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Tools For Teams On The Go

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Over at jkOnTheRun,  James Kendrick talks about “Your Mobile Team Needs the Right Tools” and the improvement of tools available to mobile/remote workers. This is a subject that I’m familiar with and figured it might be a good time to talk about what physical tools my team uses to stay connected on the go.

Macbook Pro

Every member of my team gets a Macbook Pro as their main computer. I like to have everyone using laptops because assigning someone a desktop when they are a remote worker is just like handing them a chain that they have to attach between their leg and their desk. I don’t care where you work from and a laptop gives you that freedom.


Sprint 3g/4g card

What good is giving someone a laptop with the purpose of them being able to work from anywhere if they don’t have a connection? I’ve found that Sprint has the most reliable internet cards and make sure that everyone gets one. We’ve used the usb versions in the past but we are moving to the Sprint Overdrive now. The Overdrive allows you to connect up to five devices and doesn’t require you to plug anything into your machine. This is nice if you have a family and take a trip because now everyone has internet in the car 🙂



While we haven’t begun rolling these out yet, I’ve been testing an iPad as a work device that may soon join the tools issued to my team. The iPad allows me to take work along in a lot less obtrusive way and is a lot lighter than carrying my mbp all the time. It’s also nicer to have in the front room or kitchen when I’m with the family. It doesn’t replace a laptop but it’s a nice extension and easier to carry around or keep available for easy browsing.



Written by hornbeck

May 24, 2010 at 6:39 pm

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It’s the little things

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About a week ago I purchased a copy of MarsEdit from Red Sweater Software and was very pleased when I received an extra email from Daniel Jalkut, the founder of the company. The email was short and simple but showed that he cared enough about his customers to extend a personal thank you.

This simple thank you is something that any company can do but most don’t even think about it. The next time you get an order or someone says something nice about your company, extend that extra little bit and it will pay off in the end.

Appreciate the purchase, John. And thanks for taking the time to say thanks as well 😉


Written by hornbeck

April 23, 2010 at 7:51 pm

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NASA to make R2 robot permanent resident of space station

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r2d2.jpgWhile most nerds would be hoping for R2D2, NASA will be sending “Robonaut 2” or R2, to live as the first human like robot on the international space station this September. R2 was developed as a partnership between GM and NASA and it’s time on the space station will keep it confined to the Destiny laboratory. The director of NASA had this to say on the subject:

“This project exemplifies the promise that a future generation of robots can have both in space and on Earth, not as replacements for humans but as companions that can carry out key supporting roles,”

“The combined potential of humans and robots is a perfect example of the sum equaling more than the parts. It will allow us to go farther and achieve more than we can probably even imagine today.”

Written by hornbeck

April 17, 2010 at 3:52 pm

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Bad Day for Ning

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The big news of the day is that Ning is laying off 40% of their staff and the free version of Ning is going to go away. DHH has a good post on the subject where he points out a common problem with “web 2.0” start-ups, “Eyeballs still don’t pay the bills”.

So many start-ups bank on getting as much traffic as they can, while hoping they figure out how to make money off of that traffic as they go. Ning has raised $120 Million in VC over the last six years and they have nothing to show for it. All this time they have been banking on ads to pay their bills but have learned like so many others, that ads don’t pay the bills and you shouldn’t build your business model on ads alone. Even Google does more than ads these days and they are a company who does ads very well.

I feel sorry for the people laid off at Ning and hope they can find work easily but I’m glad their new CEO is doing what needs to be done to fix the company and make it into a business. I also hope that if any of the employees go on to form new companies themselves that they will avoid the same mistakes and build a company based on a product that they can grow on their own and not attempt to build it on ads and VC.

Written by hornbeck

April 15, 2010 at 9:29 pm

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It will not be long now

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Dr Craig Venter – one of the world’s most famous and controversial biologists – said his U.S. researchers have overcome one of the last big hurdles to making a synthetic organism

Read more: here

Reading this actually scared me a little. It’s something I’ve been reading about for years but knowing that we are within months of creating what will become self replicating organisms really shakes me up a little. I’m guessing it’s similar to what you would feel to find out that aliens really existed or if the existence of g-d was truly proven.

Written by hornbeck

August 23, 2009 at 3:05 pm

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My Kindle’s Home Page

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I’ve tried to find time to read this week but it hasn’t worked out to well. Here is the slightly changed list for this week

  1. Erlang Programming
  2. The Oklahoman
  3. Born to Run
  4. Stationary Sets Paper
  5. On Writing
  6. Letters to a Young Mathematician
  7. Fantastic Voyage: Live Long Enough to Live Forever
  8. Beautiful Architecture
  9. Beautiful Data
  10. Big Table Paper

Written by hornbeck

August 23, 2009 at 2:36 pm

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The Digital Family That Travels

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griswold family

As the summer comes to a close, I think back on the traveling that my family has done this summer. While we have not traveled nearly as much as we normally do since we had a new child, we did make two trips to Missouri and a few other small trips around Oklahoma and Texas. The main thing that pops up in my mind about us traveling is how much tech we carry with us. I would expect myself to have a lot since I’m a technophile but not my wife, she hates changing tech and used her last laptop until I forced her to upgrade. My children also travel with a large amount of gadgets. Let’s look at what each of us carried with us for our last trip to Missouri.

Dad(me): 15″ Macbook Pro, Amazon Kindle 2, iPhone 3GS, 60GB iPod, evdo card

Mom(my wife): 15″ Macbook Pro, Canon Rebel xti, 750GB external drive, iPhone 3GS, numerous sd cards, full case of blank cds

Oldest child(age 11): Macbook Air(ssd), iPod Nano, generic cell phone, digital camera, Nintendo DS + games

Middle child(age 5): Nintendo DS + games

Youngest child(age 3 months): electric nose sucker thing

To carry all of this around we drive a Honda Pilot that has 8 seats, a luggage rack on top and a nice DVD player inside to keep our kids entertained if they get bored with their other crap. Note that we do not use a GPS(I think about getting one but honestly don’t care enough).

I have to wonder if other families travel with this much tech or even more maybe. What gadgets do you take on vacation with you?

Written by hornbeck

August 20, 2009 at 1:27 pm

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