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January 31, 2006

the whisk: a fable

imagine, for a moment…that you buy a whisk.

it’s your first whisk, so you’re pretty excited about this purchase.

you’re amazed at how much faster it makes you.

this new whisk of yours allows you to get more done…better and faster than ever before.

and you get comfortable with your whisk.
it works for you, and you’re pretty proud of yourself for buying it.
you wonder why you didn’t buy a wisk before.

and then part of the whisk breaks.

you’re not too worried…since it still works just fine.
in fact, you hardly notice a difference at all.

then it breaks again.

then again.

then two more times.

you notice that the more you use the whisk, the more likely it is to break just a little bit more.

so you don’t use the whisk as much.

when you do use the whisk, you treat it very gingerly…nervous that it will finally and irrevocably break.

you come up with all kinds of cockamamie rituals and rules to keep the whisk from breaking.

because…again…you like that particular whisk.
there’s just something about it…that you like.
and that’s it.

finally, someone convinces you to buy a new whisk.

and, to your amazement, it’s even better than your old whisk.

it looks different, feels different.

your new whisk makes you even faster than the old whisk ever did.

sure, there might be just a little bit getting used to this new one, but it’s beyond worth it.

and you wonder why you ever held on to that cruddy old whisk for so long…

now…most of you are prolly thinking…what’s the big deal…it’s a whisk, for pete’s sake!

true. but substitute the word computer for the word whisk.

ok…yeah…maybe replacing a whisk isn’t as big a deal as replacing a computer.

but the fact remains that looooooooooooooooooooooooooong after something should be taken out in the back pasture, shot in the head, and buried in a cornfield, people just keep holding on…and on and on and on and on.

with that said….

rest in peace, 98


burn in h…e…double-hockey stick, millenium…

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January 30, 2006

last call: come swing with us tuesday after work

first off…we’re not talking about anything pervy…so all you freakshows making nasty google searches can take a hike right now!

the smb user group i lead here in alabama has a special guest coming for our next meeting, which is scheduled for tuesday, the 31st.

jeff middleton, an sbs-mvp and the ceo of, will join us to talk about his swing migration technique, and some of the new initiatives his company is undertaking in 2006.

so…if you’re an it person in alabama who serves either the small or medium sector, you should join us.

and if you’re not in alabama, but want to make the trip…the door’s always open for visitors!

click here to register for the meeting.

hope to see you there!

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January 26, 2006

mr. happyfunboy goes to atlanta

that’s right kiddos…your friendly neighborhood happyfunboy made the 4 hour jaunt to atlanta on tuesday.

the reason?

none other than harry “the king” brelsford and his smb nation army were in town, putting on a “birds of a feather” workshop that afternoon.

this workshop followed the hands-on study labs for the 70-282 exam they had been running the previous day or so.

now…regular visitors to the funcave might remember some of the writeups i did concerning the smb nation 2005 conference that harry’s gang threw in redmond this past september. in case you missed them, just start here and work backwards using the archive links.

as a refresher, the smb nation conference was…without a doubt…the best technical conference i have ever been to in my career.

well, the workshop was very similar, albeit on a much smaller scale.

there was a good bit of content i was interested in, but as a side benefit it was also a chance to continue to connect with peers, vendors, and the smb nation crew.

so i thought i’d offer the following list as a rundown of the day’s events…

happyfunboy’s super amazing best of atlanta with smb nation, january 2006
  • getting to atlanta without hitting any major slowdown or traffic
  • finding the location on the first try
  • arriving so early that i got to help nancy “head asskicker” williams set up for the event, and generally knucklehead around a bit with her
  • “saving the day” by retrieving the projector harry inadvertantly left at his hotel in mid-town atlanta
  • meeting karl palachuk in-person, and talking shop with him
  • chatting with rosanna, the new 70-282 proctor
  • being introduced by harry and getting to tell the attendees about sbs show to kick off the workshop
  • seeing four or five members of the alabama smb user group in attendance.
  • meeting frank “the youngster” mccallister, an sbs-mvp and new member of asmbug, in-person.
  • hearing, over and over, someone tell me they are an avid listener of sbs show
  • finding out that nancy was on puerto rico’s 1998 world cup women’s soccer team
  • being interviewed on-camera by harry after the workshop
  • pitching in to help break down and pack everything up
  • heading down the street for a bit of post-workshop r&r with harry, nancy, karl, rosanna, nancy’s cousin, and the hp rep.
  • seeing the 360 degree view of atlanta by night from the sun dial, atop the westin.
  • swapping some shop talk and funny stories
  • getting a ton of face time with harry, which not even his own cpa can get with him!

most of all, the day was a good reminder of the philosophy that makes the conference in redmond so awesome:

always have fun, even while you’re getting some serious business done.

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January 23, 2006

got incentive?

don’t know if any of my microsoft partner peers who visit the funcave ever feel this way…

but your friendly neighborhood happyfunboy often gets distinctly overwhelmed with the barrage of various types of communication about promotions and incentives from redmond.

between the snail mails, e-mails, random phone calls, and other incidental methods…it’s almost enough to put a person in the cuckoo’s nest.

this is not to say that i don’t appreciate said incentives.

it’s just that…well…sometimes the incentive-ness of a given incentive gets completely lost in the deluge of information…which i’d assume hurts the uptake numbers on said incentive.

so…imagine my delight at finding the following one-stop-shop from good ol’ microsoft, which is…ironically enough…titled:

microsoft incentives

now this is what i’m talking about…a site that:

  • looks clean, simple, and uncluttered…pleasing to the eye…a tad peaceful, even
  • groups incentives intelligently…so i don’t have to wade through a bunch of crud that doesn’t interest me, or any of my clients

and above all…

  • has a complete lack of stupid acronyms that mean literally nothing to anybody outside of redmond’s corporate hq

sharp-eyed folks will notice, however, that the reason for this beautiful simplicity is that…the site is customer-facing.

so…tell me something…why are the partner-facing sites not this clean?

why does it sometimes take hours of wading through the partner portal, searching fruitlessly, cursing loudly, bashing your keyboard repeatedly, and numerous mind-numbing calls to the partner resource center to find even the simplest of things?

simplicity does not equal dumb.

quite the contrary.

simplicity, in your friendly neighborhood happyfunboy’s opinion, equals elegance.

and that is something the partner portal sorely needs a heaping helping of…and how!

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January 21, 2006

so…noticed something cool about messenger 8 today…

thanks to my good buddy vlad, who graciously sent me an invite to join, i’ve been using messenger 8 for a couple of weeks now.

and…altho i’m not crazy about the general look of the interface, which i’m describing now as the amazing technicolor popsicle…i did discover one feature over the past several days which i think totally rocks.

namely…cached delivery.

in previous versions of messenger, if someone on your friends list is offline, you get a big old bzzzzzzt! wrong! thank you for playing! error message if you try to send that person a message.

but in the 8 beta, if you send a message while someone is offline, that message is cached, and then delivered the next time that person signs in.

for someone like your friendly neighborhood happyfunboy..who loves to play hit-n-run im…that feature kicks much ass!

i can now drop quick hey, how’s it going? notes to anybody with 8, whenever.

plus, it also means that yours truly prolly won’t leave himself logged in to messenger quite so much.

normally, i just leave my pc running, and messenger set to online. that way i can look at the messages when i’m actually back at the keyboard.

there’s a drawback to that approach tho…

such as when the aforementioned vlad dude, i locked myself in the server cage tonight mazek is bored, sees i’m on, then gets torqued that i’m not really there, and leaves something like:

vlad: hey
vlad: you there
vlad: wake up cletus
vlad: dude c’mon
vlad: you suck

not that i’m expecting those to stop really.

but at least now he won’t have my messenger masquerading to blame it on.

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