The Weezer Font =W=

Weezer is the band formed in 1992 best known (in my experience) for their song Buddy Holly.

You might not know them for the font used on their logo, but if you’ve got access to the Microsoft Office suite you’ve got the ability to use it (or something really close to it) right now.

The font in question is Century Gothic. It’s an elegant sans. Give it a try!

Skype for Business, UGH.

The worst app of 2018?  Maybe not.  But an app with an Achilles heel?  Definitely.

Skype for Business does not allow asynchronous Collaboration. That means that unless both parties are online, the messages don’t really get delivered. Some organizations set it up so the conversation gets archived in MS Outlook, but that seems to be a pretty basic feature that ought to be available in the app.

I once told the guys that chose the tech that it was the worst app of 2018.  That was a mistake, because I learned that a good reason why I thought the app was bad was based on my ignorance.  So, I won’t label it the worst app, but I will share that it’s an app with an Achilles heel that’s more than once frustrated my work as a project manager.

  • Lack of persistent history in the app means you can’t see the conversation. So if you closed the window and open it again you don’t have any context to the conversation in the app
  • Unable to rename groups
  • When I try to share files any interruption in the network causes the file transfer to fail
  • If I want to create unique meeting IDs I have to do it in Outlook
  • I can’t have it on more than one device at a time
    • Messages going to the phone don’t show up on the computer
    • Messages going to the computer don’t show up on the phone
    • Two computers logged into the same account only display which ever one comes in first
  • The MacOS version is significantly better and does address some of these issues, but why is a Microsoft product a second class citizen when using a Microsoft operating system?

It feels so basic that in 2019 it’s just painful to use.

What’s also hard is it bares the same name as an app that has all these features, Skype. Yes, the personal version of Skype doesn’t have these issues, but the business version that costs several thousands of dollars for licensing does….

Most people in our building sit in one spot, work only on the company issued laptop and keep reasonably steady hours.  I’m not one of those users.  As a PM my schedule is flexible, my work location is flexible, and the way I work is dynamic.  Skype For Business just doesn’t seem to be able to keep up. It might be the ideal app at the corporate level, but not for those with a more agile workflow.

Microsoft to their credit has pretty much acknowledged all of these. Change is coming and I like where they’re going, but for right now. UGH!

If Disney can’t get the app right, they’re not going to be ready to take on Netflix

It’s no secret that Disney plans on using is vast library of content to take on Netflix at some point in the future. CNET’s write up of the effort as “CEO Bob Iger calling the streaming service the company’s “biggest priority” for 2019, the company is ending its streaming deal with Netflix so it can launch its own service as the exclusive streaming home for Disney movies, TV shows and other original programming.”

What CNET didn’t talk about is something I’d like to cover.

The current Disney Now app is clearly designed for kids, has a quirky splash screen and doesn’t allow offline viewing. It literally reminds me of flash enabled websites from the 2005-2008 era.

IF this is really the company’s highest priority, then why not test the app for your future service with the audience that’s currently consuming shows using the app? An early adopter audience might help this go forward with a bit more class.

Besides, kids aren’t the only ones who tuned in to watch Star Wars Rebels.

More than the foundation

A house is more than the foundation.

If we have accepted Christ as the foundation of our faith we should diligently strive to add each component of our lives as carefully and thoughtfully as if we were adding it to our house.

Temples for the Church of the Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are built to a high standard of construction, but that high standard can help us learn a pattern for our lives. In October of 2018 one of the church leaders responsible for assisting in that construction explains the lessons he draws from the experiences of organizing temple construction.

In April 2013 I spoke about the efforts involved in preparing every temple’s foundation to ensure that it can withstand the storms and calamities to which it will be subjected. But the foundation is just the beginning. A temple is composed of many building blocks, fitted together according to predesigned patterns. If our lives are to become the temples each of us is striving to construct as taught by the Lord (see 1 Corinthians 3:16–17), we could reasonably ask ourselves, “What building blocks should we put in place in order to make our lives beautiful, majestic, and resistant to the storms of the world?

Dean M. Davies

Linux via Windows Week 1

I am a casual Linux user. It’s been my daily driver. I use it on a couple of home servers, and I love the community behind the operating system, but I’ve never gotten past the point where I don’t feel like a novice. I see how much I have to learn and that list never seems to get any shorter.

The good folks over at JupiterBroadcasting have remarked over the course of several episodes that people might never switch to Linux on bare hardware since Windows enables Linux through a few different avenues.

Also shows on the network have been highlighting the try-Linux challenges inspired by Jason Evangelho of Forbes. So I decided to do a bit of a reverse challenge. Instead of going Linux I’ve gone Windows.  To be specific I’ve installed Linux in Windows enabled by the WSL and also a Hyper-V instance using the standard install.  I reported some of this change earlier when I nuked my KDE Neon desktop in favor of a fresh Windows 10 install.

I’ve installed Ubuntu using the WSL and have a desktop instance using Hyper-V. Both of those installs are much easier now than when Microsoft first released the features. Here are some of the things I’ve done and my observations:

  • BOTH Ubuntus:
    • Setting Fish as the default terminal application was easy and the same commands work in both places
  • WSL
    • The home directory is buried. This means files downloaded via youtube-dl are buried deep in the folder structure of Windows and it takes a bit of searching to find them to add them and then bookmark the folder for future reference.
    • I can SSH into my home servers no issue but netdiscover, nmap, and other apps that rely heavily on the network stack just aren’t available. This really has me wondering what Kali is like if the networking tools of that distro don’t have access to what they need.
  • Hyper-V’s
    • The graphics aren’t smooth. Ubuntu’s ability to draw the windows isn’t bad, but it’s not good either. The elegant animations of Ubuntu works a bit clunky, but that’s to be expected of a VM.
    • I can SSH into my home servers but Hyper-V doesn’t have an easy way to bridge the network adapter making netdiscover useless
    • Running a VM on a laptop adds a lot of inefficiencies and reduces battery life–but I don’t know by how much yet.
  • Additional insights
    • Not a cohesive instance. To be totally clear, I understand why this is the way it is, but from a user standpoint not having a cohesive instance between the user’s Linux’s might just push them to have a cohesive instance and install on bear metal

I’m not going say at this point that a casual Ubuntu user like myself can stay in this paradigm. What I can share is that it’s week 1. What’s I’ve noticed so far is that I have an additional cost of maintenance by having two systems I have to update instead of one. I can’t use netdiscover which is rather sad.  It’s an app I’ve come to rely on to help troubleshoot the home network.

There might be more rough edges in this and time will tell if it becomes enough of a deal breaker to get me to partition the drive and just have 2 OSs on the machine (I need Windows for work).

So, my conclusion is still pending. Sometimes you’ve got to live in an environment for a while to figure out how to work around it’s quirks. I’ll give it a few more weeks, but here’s my journal entry from week 1.  What would you have done differently?