Like most consultants, I live in a project-oriented world. Occasionally, I am dealing with larger projects which justify the use of enterprise level project management tools such as Microsoft Project. However, I frequently find myself involved with smaller sized projects where those enterprise level tools are a burden and an overkill. Starting a few years ago, I began developing my own Excel-based project management template which I have successfully used to help organize projects of various size and scope. I have refined it to the point where I feel comfortable making this available to the general public which is what I am doing now. I refer to this template as my “Rolling Timeline” and it’s available as a .XLSX file here: Rolling Timeline Template v1.3. Read on to learn more.
On my relatively short list of interests, you are unlikely to find anything relating to a green thumb. In my life as a bachelor consultant nurturing greenery was just not on my radar. Meeting my wife has introduced me to the world of gardening. Even with my new found respect for this hobby, I am not an avid participant. But once I discovered that you could easily sprout an actual avocado tree from the pit that I so often discard I decided that I would try to do this myself. Learn more after the break.
Almost two years ago, the wife and I decided to switch from AT&T to Verizon for our wireless service. Among our many gripes with AT&T was poor coverage at our workplaces and spotty coverage between there and our home. And it’s amazing how situations change; we both now work primarily from home while raising out young one. Initially, we were satisfied enough with our Verizon coverage to ditch our landline — also provided by AT&T. We were almost giddy when dumping AT&T for a second time. Our customer service experience with them has disappointing to say the least. But that’s another story.
Like most people, my mobile communications history can be split into two segments: before iphone and after iphone. I purchase a first generation iphone back in 2007, soon after it was released. I’m not typically an early adopter, but that device fit perfectly. At the time, I was traveling for work every week and needed a device that could not only help me stay in touch but also provide internet access and serve up music and videos while sitting for hours on the plane. It certainly made my previous Sony-Ericsson “smart phone” look pretty dumb.
Fast forward to 2013. I am now on my third iphone, a Verizon supported iphone 4. While I am still happy with the phone — a very capable device — I am not feeling any desire to upgrade to the iphone 5. Every day, it’s looking more and more like the rest of the mobile communications companies have finally caught up to Apple — and I’m sure some would even say “surpassed”. Last year, I decided that it’s time to finally start looking around to see if there’s a better fit out there.
One thing that clients repeatedly ask for are time-saving tips and shortcuts that they can use while navigating SAP using SAP GUI. A few years ago, I started a collection of exactly that. I would like to share them here in a series called ‘SAP Tips and Tricks’.
First off, I haven’t called myself a Web Developer in quite a while. My first job out of college involved some light ASP-based web dev work using Visual Studio and SQL Server. That work inspired me to create my own content management system. It was hosted on my own PC using MS IIS and MS Access. I even had a static IP address provided by my ISP at the time.
Recently, I’ve been getting back into doing some web design work. Nothing fancy — just some WordPress templates, CSS, HTML5. I was looking for a good tool to facilitate this work and I stumbled upon Microsoft’s Web Matrix product, a freeware development tool encompassing several different web technologies. A few comments and first impressions after the break.
I recently decided that my Resume is a bit one-dimensional. It focuses on my particular involvement in the project, but doesn’t acknowledge the overall scope and goals of that effort. I’ve decided to create Project Profiles to provide some of that context. So far, I have created two but when I’m done, there should be a total of five. Here are the ones I’ve completed:
They’re also accessible through the Resume menu above.
If you have logged into LinkedIn in the past few months, you may have noticed a new function called Endorsements. This allow users to certify other members of their LinkedIn network in a particular skill or industry. If I’ve worked with Bob on a project and he’s proven to have strong SAP Materials Management skills, I can “endorse” him in SAP-MM. Other users viewing Bob’s profile can see this endorsement alongside all the other endorsements he has received. On each profile, you can now see a pseudo-barchart ranking that user’s endorsed skills. But of what value is this feature?
I don’t really call myself a “musician” but I’ve been playing guitar since I was about 16 years old. I can probably count on one hand the number of hours I’ve spent playing in the past three or four years. At best, I dabble. Similarly, I also dabble in music recording. Enough so, that I have an entire desktop setup dedicated to it. My equipment includes a TASCAM US-428, a KORG padKONTROL, an M-Audio KeyStudio, and a couple of NADY QH560‘s for monitoring. I also have a KORG Z1, a beast of a synth, but it’s way too powerful for me to tame at this point. How do I integrate all this tech together?
My opinions on Microsoft’s Bing services vary, but one feature that I am in love with is included in the Bing Desktop application. It allows you to adopt the current day’s Bing.com background image to your own desktop. The images range from lush global landscapes to beautiful macro images of flora or fauna. And it can automatically update every day for a complete change of scenery. For that feature alone, I think it’s worth an install.
If photo-based desktops is not your thing, then on the other end of the spectrum is SimpleDesktops.com (new window). Here you’ll find minimalist desktops in a broad range of flavors. My current desktop is title “Eiffel”. Definitely check it out.