Always Get Better

Archive for November, 2009

279 Days to Overnight Success

Monday, November 16th, 2009
Creative Commons License photo credit: quinn.anya

Chris Guillebeau offers his e-book 279 Days to Overnight Success for free on his blog. This is a great piece of writing that debunks the popular myths about “making it” blogging.

  1. Don’t rely on Google/Adsense as a “get-rich-quick” vehicle – they aren’t
  2. You don’t need millions of visitors and command of Digg to do well
  3. You will have to work hard
  4. Overnight success means ‘months or years’, not ‘days’

See for yourself – download it today.

Living With First-Person Shooter Disease

Saturday, November 14th, 2009

Some ailments have no cure…

BrowsrCamp – Test Web Designs on Mac

Friday, November 13th, 2009

At last, remote desktop has a practical use!

If you are working on a web design and need to see how it will look on Mac, your only choice up until now has been to buy a low-end Mac. That’s an expensive proposition for occasional use. If you’re a web designer by trade you are probably already using a Mac anyway, but for the rest of us there is finally a better choice.

Head on over to BrowsrCamp – for a pittance ($3 gets you 2 days of access) you get to control a machine running OS X.

You can use VNC to connect to the server; if you don’t have or can’t install VNC, BrowsrCamp offers a web interface so you can access the machine directly from your browser.

It’s such a simple, wonderfully executed concept that should be in any programmer’s bag of tricks.

Google Launches Its Own Programming Language

Thursday, November 12th, 2009

Google has taken another step toward world domination with the launch of an experimental new programming languages aptly named “Go”. Go promises to pick up where C and Python left off, providing programmers with a new garbage-collecting low level languages suited to efficient server programming.

I spent the better part of last night looking for a way to get Go‘s tool chain to run under Windows using Cygwin. Unfortunately the tools can’t be created; even if they could, they would produce binary files which would be unusable within Cygwin/Windows due to their low-level nature.

If you are a Windows programmer hoping to give Go a try, your best bet is to download the andLinux distribution – this is a native Linux distribution that runs similar to a virtual machine under Windows. Once you have set it up, go to the Installing Go page for instructions on getting started with the new language.

Microsoft to Xbox Owners: Don’t Mod Your Consoles

Wednesday, November 11th, 2009

The BBC just discovered that Microsoft has been banning the Xbox Live accounts for users it discovers attempting to play using modified Xbox consoles. According to Microsoft, modified consoles are an enormous problem because they are often used to play pirated games, costing the video game industry more than $1B annually. Mod enthusiasts counter that they have every right to make alterations to hardware they have purchased legitimately.

What do you think – are Microsoft’s actions necessary to protect fair play within the XBox Live community?

When You Focus on Getting Better

Tuesday, November 10th, 2009

It seems like correcting Seth Godin is a favourite pastime enjoyed by folks online. Sorry to break from the group, but I happen to think he is a deep well of relevant information.

This week he brought up the idea of upsides versus downsides – how much effort do businesses put into minimizing their downside versus the time they put into offering the best user experience?

One of the primary examples from the post is that of a hospital spending a huge amount of time doing paperwork to prevent litigation and prevent people from getting worse when their primary goal (and reason for existing) should be improving the lives of the patients coming through their doors.

The hospital example was interesting and timely because in “real life” the Jewish General Hospital recently came out and said it has been able to improve patient care (upside) by reducing errors (downside) through its new(ish) full disclosure policy. This ties in nicely with Seth’s article because it proves that it is possible for even large organizations to let go of the status quo and achieve new levels of excellence.

In the case of the Jewish General Hospital, it seems paradoxical but by admitting and dealing with errors, the hospital is actually less likely to be sued and face costly litigation. In essence, they have found a way to improve patient care, cut costs, and foster an open corporate culture. Way to go!

VISTA: How to fix SQL Server Express Error – CREATE DATABASE permission denied in database ‘master’

Thursday, November 5th, 2009

If you’re using SQL Server Management Studio Express under Windows Vista and see either of these errors:

CREATE DATABASE permission denied in database 'master'


The database [Name] is not accessible. (Microsoft.SqlServer.Express.ObjectExplorer)

Here’s the fix:

  1. Close SQL Server Management Studio Express
  2. Open your start menu and locate that program.
  3. Right-click on the Management Studio and choose ‘Run as Administrator’
  4. Fixed!

I swear the simplest solutions can be the hardest to find – hopefully this saves someone (or my forgetful self!) some aggravation.