2 May 2016

Be Careful What You Ask For On the Internet

By |2017-04-03T11:10:50-06:00May 2nd, 2016|Categories: Current Events, Doug's Blog, Marketing, Sales, Technology, The Good Men Project|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Polar Research Vessel Naming Contest

You probably wouldn’t let the Internet name your baby. So what could go wrong in naming your $289 million polar research vessel?

What happens when you are building an expensive new polar research vessel, and you want to generate some visibility for the project? Why of course, you hold a public naming contest on the Internet.

This is exactly what the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) did.


The new ship, […]

15 Mar 2013

The Complexity of Simplicity

By |2017-04-03T11:31:35-06:00March 15th, 2013|Categories: Business Strategy, Doug's Blog, Technology|

Sometimes simple is simple. Sometimes making things appear simple is complex.

Things should be as simple for your clients as possible. They already have enough challenges without your products and services adding to them.

Brain maze complexity simplicity business solutions clients customers Our Example

We recently built a complex web-based tool for a customer. We designed one of the features to be super powerful.

But that required 12 plus different buttons to control that power. We were going to have to […]

8 Sep 2011

Fueling the Myth

By |2017-04-04T14:57:06-06:00September 8th, 2011|Categories: Doug's Blog, Software Development, Technology|

Computers are still harder to use than they should be.

I overheard a conversation between two young university students the other day:

Person 1: “I don’t know why people bother using Macs, they cost a lot more.”

Person 2: “They are easier to use and they don’t get viruses because they are more secure.”

My Recent Experiences (Part 1)

I recently shot and edited a dance video (see my last post for the link). I ran into to some issues that would have derailed a non-technical person.

The HD camcorders we were using had memory cards. Rather than use the USB […]

7 Mar 2011

Infrastructure and Development Support Specialist – Opening

By |2017-04-06T14:28:59-06:00March 7th, 2011|Categories: Doug's Blog, Dream Teams, Software Development, Technology|

Sunwapta Solutions is in growth mode and hiring people for our Calgary location.

The job title is negotiable. The outcomes we want to achieve are not.

We are looking for someone to work closely with our development team to drive out the architecture and support our hosting environments, look after our internal infrastructure, help support the applications and databases, and provide support to our developers.

The full description is available in the careers section of our company website.

(We will also be looking for a software developer in the very near future.)

14 Feb 2011

Our Approach for Designing Applications

By |2017-04-03T11:47:50-06:00February 14th, 2011|Categories: Doug's Blog, Software Development, Technology|

We are currently building an application that will help businesses and the people in them: execute on their strategy, work on their businesses and focus on the most important work first.

Over time our process for designing the application and eventually getting to a working application has changed (and it will probably continue to do so as we move forward). My part of the process ends when it moves into source control, HTML and detailed look and feel. I am focused on capturing two main things in this project:

  1. The underlying business rules,
  2. The user interface design (or user experience).

Now to be clear; […]

6 Jan 2011

CES Keynote by Microsoft

By |2017-04-03T11:48:43-06:00January 6th, 2011|Categories: Doug's Blog, Software Development, Technology|

I took some time today to watch Steve Balmer and his team from Microsoft present at CES in Las Vegas. I was following some people talking about it on Twitter during and after.

What really amazes me is how much we now take amazing advances for granted these days; we expect it instead of being surprised.

Companies used to release everything at one of the big shows. It was the best way to guarantee a large uptake if the reviews went well. Today though, companies spread their announcements out over time to better take advantage of speed to market and critical purchasing […]

9 Sep 2010

Software Post-it Notes

By |2017-04-03T11:51:33-06:00September 9th, 2010|Categories: Doug's Blog, Software Development, Technology|

Keeping things simple we would have just used post-it notes and a whiteboard or wall. We have lots of concurrent projects and could have used up lots of walls.

But we also have remote clients, developers and testers.

So we decided on a software solution. This is what the OnTime Planning Board looks like with client names removed.


Of course it is all drag and drop.

Note that we are currently using 1 week sprints with two major releases for these types of projects. I have found that longer sprints make it hard […]

25 Aug 2010

When All Else Fails, Reboot

By |2017-04-03T11:52:04-06:00August 25th, 2010|Categories: Doug's Blog, Technology|

Some of our client applications use Thawte SSL certificates. We've used them for year without any problems.

Recently Thawte upgraded their root certificate paths to make them deeper.

When we went to install the certificates on ISA server, we started getting error messages in the browser that the certificate chain had issues.

We found the relevant support article at Thawte and made sure all of the intermediate certificate authorities were installed, etc.

Still the problem persisted.

Resetting the publishing rule didn't work either. The certificates were there and everything was configured as per the specifications.

Only one option remained.

Reboot the server.

It used to be […]

19 Jul 2010

Multi-Platform Starts With an “i”

By |2017-04-03T11:52:46-06:00July 19th, 2010|Categories: Doug's Blog, Technology|

I just received an e-mail from a business publication we subscribe to in paper selling their online versions.

"Enjoy … across platforms and devices like iPad, iPhone, PC and Mac".

Umm… three of these platforms and devices are owned by one company. The other represents an entire industry but only got one mention.

Now personally I think it is premature to write off all of the other smart-phone players this early. Similarly the PC is not dead as a platform and there are other electronic book reading devices that are easier on the eyes than the iPad when reading hundreds of books.

But it doesn't really […]

8 Jul 2010

How Far Computer Technology Has Come

By |2017-04-03T11:53:08-06:00July 8th, 2010|Categories: Doug's Blog, Technology|

We are in the process of refreshing some server hardware for a client. We have servers ranging from 6 plus years old to fairly current in use.

In that relatively short time frame, we have gone:

  • From single core processors where it was pretty much all about clock speed to get better performance,
  • To single core processors with hyper-threading,
  • To 2 core processors,
  • To 4 core processors with hyper-threading
  • (6 and 8 core processors with and without hyper-threading have been released or are on the way)

One 2 processor (4 cores with hyper-threading) server now has enough horsepower to replace at least eight servers from 5-6 years ago or […]