BCC vs FWD

September 06, 2007

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Working in a corporate environment I've come to believe there are very few times when blind copying someone on an email is a good idea. While the idea is nice, if the person you BCCed does a reply to all (either intentionally, or unintentionally), everyone will know that you BCCed them on the original which might mean you have some tough explaining to do. Instead of using BCC, I'll just send the original email then forward a copy of the sent message to the person I want to loop in. Much safer.


Packrat Good Will

August 30, 2007

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I'm a packrat. There are no two ways about it. Two thoughts enter my mind to varying degrees whenever I think about throwing just about anything away: 1) Wow! That's a really useful item. Even though I don't need it right now, I'm sure it'll come in handy some day, 2) Okay, I really won't need that for a long time, if ever, so I should get rid of it, but I don't want to throw it away because it's still perfectly functional. I can fight through the first one a fair portion of the time, but the desire to be at least a little environmental makes it tough for me to get over trashing something that still have plenty of life left in it. Enter Good Will. I've known about them forever and have taken things to them once or twice before, but I've been doing a pretty major purge of stuff over the past couple weeks. It's very liberating and you get a nice feeling about putting useful stuff back out into the world instead of moving it to a landfill. I'm sure I'll be some level of packrat forever, but at least for some things, Good Will lets me reduce the tendency.


Mixonic

August 30, 2007

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Several years ago I discovered a company called Mixonic that provides CD and DVD services. They do one off and short run disk duplication and printing. You can get a single CD with full color printing on it for about $5. I'm sure there are other companies out there now that do this type of stuff, but when I first discovered them, they were the only ones I could find. I still haven't used them, but I love the idea. Would be great for portfolios or, if you are a wedding photographer, providing a professionally created and printed disk and case to your brides. It looks like they still offer a fulfillment services as well. So, if you have a disk you would like to try to sell, they actually take care of the delivery end as well. Not clear from a quick glance at their site if they still offer a store/shopping cart but they used to. Some day, I'll actually give them a try. If you beat me to it let me know how they do.


A few more Dave Ramsey thoughts

August 29, 2007

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I mentioned the other day that I've been listening to Podcasts (link) of Dave Ramsey (link). Wanted to throw out a few more thoughts on him. 1) The approach he uses starts from a Biblical foundation. Most of the time, this barely comes through. On occasion though, it's very evident. By and large though, the financial advice can be consumed completely independently and he's really not "preachy". So, if the Christian tilt bugs it should be pretty easy to just focus on the money handling part of the message. 2) Dave is a salesman. The main product he sells are his "Financial Peace University" program and his "Total Money Makeover" book (which was a N.Y. Times best seller). I become instantly weary when someone tries to sell me something that has to do with money. The number of snake-oil salesmen out there with get rich quick schemes seems legion. And when you expand the thinking to include all the businesses that sell bad debt (credit card companies, crazy jumbo loans, payday advance, title loans, etc…) you really have to be on your guard. I haven't read his book yet (I'm waiting for it at the library) or attended his program, but from what I've read on his web site and heard in his podcasts, he really is more like a teacher. In that way, the "University" part of his Financial Peace University name is probably pretty accurate. Not unlike college, he really seems to try to teach a skill. In this case, it's how to handle money and stay out of debt. If you can do that (which he tells you is almost certainly going to be difficult), the cost of his products is way more than worth it. What it comes down to is that he is making money by doing good works in the world. It's a little disconcerting to think about him having made millions. The fact that he has done so while signicantly helping others is a wonderful counter balance to all the times you hear about other companies, business, or people screwing folks out of their money. 3) In the podcast, there are commercials where Dave endorses some products. Like most other people the do product commercials, he says that he wouldn't endorse it if he didn't believe in it. Based on the rest of his show, I would tend to believe that, but it grates on me every time one of the commercials comes on because it always feels like a higher pressure sales pitch that echos those of the sleazy element out there. The fact that he's selling his own product doesn't bother me, but the fact that he's hawking other peoples goods really doesn't sit well. So, I just ignore those parts and focus on the rest of the program. 4) The core of his idea is pretty simple. He calls them the Baby Steps. They are listed here: Baby Steps. If you are looking for a good way to go with your money, I think it's an excellent path.


New Camera Lust

August 22, 2007

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Canon announced their new top of the line EOS-1Ds MARK III (press release). It's 21 Megapixel. TWENTY-ONE. Canon put up a page here with one sample image. The jpeg is 9.49 MB. It's 5616 wide by 3744 high. That translates to an 18.72 x 12.48 images at 300dpi natively. A base working image is about 60MB at 8bits and a huge 120MB at 16bits. Simply amazing. Not unlike film, at some point the weak factor is going to become the lenses ability. My gut tells me that they are coming up on that point pretty fast, but man, I'd love to have one to play with and put it thru the test. Of course, with an $8,000 price tag for just the body, that's not likely to happen any time soon. Donations gladly accepted. (Oh yeah, I'm disappointed that they only put up one sample image, but I'm not surprised. At over 9MB per hit on the full file, that bandwidth cost would add up very quickly.)


Post launch, but still going

August 22, 2007

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We just launched a redesign of PGATOUR.com this Sunday to help promote the new PGA TOUR Playoffs for the FedExCup. Redesigns are always exhausting. Unfortunately, we don't get to let up since we are starting the process for the next one a few weeks ago. That's right, before the most recent one launched, we were already working on the next one. Thankfully, it's not usually like this. We made the current change specifically because it's the first year of the FedExCup. The trick with this is that we just changed partners at the start of this year. So, I've basically been working full throttle since October of last year. Once we get past the next redesign and to what should be a much more normal working rotation, I'm seriously thinking about taking a sabbatical.


TED cool stuff

August 22, 2007

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There is a conference called TED that takes place every year. Some amazing tech stuff is shown there. One that I saw last year was of a guy named Jeff Han who setup a "multi-touch interface" (video here). This year, one of the ones that has blown me away is a hugely variable image navigation and matching tool. (video here). This one is a little wild to think about some of the later stuff he gets into with the demo in terms of image matching and association. For example, at some point, processors are going to be fast enough to do this with video feeds. 1984's got nothing on this. Orwell would shit himself. F-ing amazing though.


Personal Finance Encouragement

August 15, 2007

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I've mentioned before that I really started paying attention to my personal finance while I was in college. For several years now, I've paid off my credit card every month and the only debt I have is the mortgage on my house. I also put money in my 401K and in a ROTH IRA every year. All that's to say that I'm doing a lot of things right with my personal finances. One thing that has helped me to stay on track with all of this is reading personal finance books and blogs. In addition, I have recently started listening to podcasts of the Dave Ramsey Show pod cast (podcast

  • site). Initially, I listened to the show a few times just to see what it was like. Most of his focus is on getting people out of debt so I wouldn't have thought that I would keep tuning in. However, I find that it's generally really encouraging to listen too. Basically, it helps re-enforce my goal of saving money. I guess this shouldn't be surprising when you consider how much of the time we are bombarded by both explicit and implicit messages to spend every last dollar we have along with some we don't via credit cards. An example of this encouragement is my car. It's a 1995 Camry that has long sense been paid off. So, no car payments and lower insurance. I'm probably going to get a new one within the next year or so, but for as long as I've been at my job (seven years now), I get occasional questions (and shit) from folks about why I don't get a new one. If someone is just asking, I just say that I like not having car payments. From the look I see on peoples faces after this I'm guessing the pretty much always start thinking about their car payment and how nice it would be to not have to pay that out each month. If someone is being a shit, I tend to drive the point home a little more by asking them what their car payment each month is. The math of getting and staying out of debt and then building wealth is pretty easy, but the fortitude to do it can take a lot of energy. Especially if you are just getting started. The show and a few blogs I read, like Get Rich Slowly and The Simple Dollar, really help me recharge and stay on track.

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