Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Great Review on Mozilla Firefox

Through The Amazing Scoble I have found that Scot Finnie has done a review on Firefox that is fantastic. He points out all of the wondeful things that makes Firefox the best browser out there right now (in my humble opinion of course).

If you have not checked it out, go grab it at www.getfirefox.com. Once you have experienced tabbed browsing, you will never be able to go back. (Plus it is just a ~4.5 meg download so give it a go)

The Mozilla group also has an e-mail client that is quite good called Thunderbird. I said goodbye to Outlook at home and have started using it with an IMAP account at www.runbox.com and am quite pleased so far. The things where I see it lacking currently are in the works (mainly better Calendar support is what I've noticed so far along with some quirks when using it to read newsgroups). But a very good client nonetheless.

Also if anyone has some recommendations for a newsgroup reader let me know. I use Outlook Express and haven't found anything else that fits the bill as well as that. You can usually find me lurking over at forums.sybase.com in the PowerBuilder and EAServer groups.

Monday, November 29, 2004

Schneier talks about Google Desktop Search

Bruce Schneier is a well known authority in the security world and he makes some very good points about Security and the Google Desktop Search Engine.

I downloaded and installed the desktop search engine and was quite impressed with the information it was able to provide after indexing the disk. Those Google guys really have it down when it comes to indexing and retrieving data.

I eventually uninstalled it because of many of the things that Bruce points out...not Google doing anything wrong, just that it highlighted the insecurity present on my system. Kind of freaked me out so it had to go. Plus I'm not a big fan of a local proxy server running on my box (who knows what that thing is doing).

Typically when an employee gets canned at a company, the sysadmin usually grabs a copy of their harddrive before the user gets the word that they have to go. This is so they do not lose important data and can check up on what the employee has been up to. I see the Google Desktop Search as a perfect tool to posthumously analyze the dearly departed employee's disk for any "interesting" information.

So do you really think you are computing anonymously at work???

Sunday, November 28, 2004

Do you know The Porter Method?

What is The Porter Method you may ask. It came about from my Sophmore chemistry class at Mobile Christian School. One of my absolute favorite teachers of all time Alvin Simmons was the instructor that would enlighten me about many things and really spark my interest in the physical sciences (I went on to get a Minor in Chemistry).

In our Chemistry class we constantly worked problems. Mr. Simmons would write a problem up on the blackboard and then we would all individually begin to work it. While we worked, Mr. Simmons would walk around taking a peek at each student's work and seeing if they had found the correct answer. Eventually he would have one of the students with the correct solution work the problem on the board for everyone's benefit.

Now I must say that many times I did achieve the correct answer.....but somehow I was often able to find the correct answer without having the correct solution (or maybe I should say the preferred solution).

This caused Mr. Simmons to often wonder how I could come up with the right answer the wrong way. Some of that Dr. Hain Magic Math I suppose (if you went CIS at USA you know what I'm talking about).

Thus he came up with the methods that one could take to find an answer.
There was:
  • The Right Method
  • The Wrong Method
  • and The Porter Method

2 of which would yield the correct answer (just in entirely different ways). So really you have Mr. Simmons to thank for what is known as The Porter Method and that is where the name came from. (Thankfully over time my answers AND solutions started to match his...)


And so it begins. To introduce myself, my name is Doug Porter. I am currently a programmer with DailyAccess Corporation based in Mobile, AL. The development environment I work in consists of Java, PowerBuilder, EAServer, and Oracle. I am a proud graduate of the University of South Alabama where I also am an adjunct instructor in the Department of Computer and Information Sciences.

Mostly my interests center around the technology industry, but I do tend to branch out and have very strong opinions about things ranging from finance, taxes, movies, to just plain life in general.

Here I will hopefully share to the world my thoughts and the latest goings on and things of interest to me. Cheers.