Nothing at all and Everything in general.

More than enough?

When it comes to computer resources I've always had this philosiphy that you don't have enough until you have more than enough. That philosiphy worked out fine for me in the desktop days when the cost in space and power consumption were unnoticable. But now with all my machines (save one) being portables, it makes a big difference. 

The laptop I use for work is a Dell Precision M6400. I received the machine with 4 gigs of ram and a measley 160 gig hard drive. The machine had empty memory slots and an empty drive slot. So I bumped the ram up to 12 gigs and added a second (500 gig) drive.  Adding the RAM solved a performance problem I was having; 4 gigs just wasn't enough for the virtual machines I needed to run and for multiple instances of Visual Studio. But now that I have the RAM the machine runs much hotter. When it comes out of the hibernate state I've got to wait for a 12 gig hibernation file to open. If I put it in standby it won't last a full day before the battery dies. With the extra drive and the RAM together its hard to make this machine last much longer than 20 minutes on battery power. I didn't think I'd ever say this but I don't plan to ever max this machins RAM or storage out in light of the tradeoffs of doing so. I'm going to take the original hard drive out.

The lesson I learned from this is that everything has it's cost, even having more than enough. 

IE9 Rocks!

And now for some off topic comments!

I've been using IE9 Beta since it was released to public beta and I have to say it rocks! I've installed it on most of my machines and have to say that it looks clean and runs fast. The interface has as many buttons as needed and no more. And the things you can do with HTML 5 are awesome!

Password Inundation

I've finally reached the point at which I am finding it difficult to remember my usernames and passwords. If I go back ten years it was easy. Most of my user names and passwords were slight variations of each other. In present day my user names and passwords have little over lap. To make things more difficult many of my user names and passwords are totally meaningless strings assigned to me. A user name in one account (that I don't user any more) was "epj8aqt" and another was "136944,6699". Even when I go to work I have to log my time spent in three separate time tracking systems all of which have different rules for user names and passwords  (and I didn't choose the user names for any of these). It's a little more than I can manage with just my memory. So I'm finally going to turn to a password manager. 

I put out a tweet about the problem and got back suggestions for several password managers. Here they are. 


  • 1Password - for iPhone and Macintosh
  • SPB Wallet - for Windows Mobile
  • LastPass - Macintosh, Windows, Linux
  • RoboForm - Windows
  • KeePass - Windows, Windows Mobile, Macintosh, Symbian, iPhone

My Contact Card

Recently I've grown tired of spitting out my twiter ID, web site address, and other contact information when ever I'm on a podcast or at an event. So to make things simpler for me I've placed all of that information in an easy to find URL. JoelIvoryJohnson.com. So now I'll share that one piece of information and let every and keep my contact info updated there.

Off Topic Thoughts about SIM Restrictions

In the USA there are 4 nation wide phone carriers. Two of the four use GSM based phones. The other two are CDMA based. I like to be able to move from phone to phone often so it only makes sense for me to stay with a GSM carrier. But it looks that the liberty I had to move from phone to phone may be slightly eroded. The larger of the GSM carriers (AT&T) is no automatically adjusting subscription plans when the SIMs are moved into certain phones (heard via The Cellphone Junkie show 194). I am currently with T-mobile and found out first hand that they are now enforcing some level of policies on their SIMs too. Some one asked me for a GPS navigator so I put my data only SIM in my T-mobile myTouch 3G so that the person could use Google Maps with Navigation. A few hours later the phone could get no data with the exception of the browser. Any request made on the browser resulted in a page being returned allowing one to purchase a voice plan; T-mobile doesn't allow data to be used in that phone without a voice plan.

These restrictions are pretty light. But if the tendency continues (and if the policies become more restrictive) then the advantages of using GSM start to diminish. If they diminish enough then the GSM phones will have the same type of inflexibility that the CDMA phones have. If that happens I may have to take the other two carriers into consideration.