I recently ran across a post by Michelle Hancock on LinkedIn and noticed that she had her email address showing right below her name. I sent her a LinkedIn message asking her how she did that, and she kindly replied that I could call her and she’d walk me through the process.

As it turns out, all she did was to append the email address to the end of the field for her last name.

So here’s the walk through:

  1. Go to your LinkedIn profile. You get there by clicking on the “profile” link on the right hand side from LinkedIn
    Step 1
  2. You should see your profile as it exists now and some links to edit, choose the one next to your name.
    profile selected
  3. You’ll be prompted to log in again (I think they do this for security reasons).
    login screen
  4. Once you get the edit form, tab to the last name.
    update form
  5. Go to the end of your last name, add a space or two, and then type your email address (or phone or whatever other info you want to show up there).
  6. Click save, and your new profile will display with the additional info attached
    profile selected

The down side to this is the same as the up side: now everybody has your email address, so if you’re worried about SPAM bots, you may want to put a space in there, or type it out as “me AT mydomain.com”.

And that’s all there is to it – now you have your email address where anybody can find it.

Note: Walt Feigenson tells me that this may be against the LinkedIn Terms and Conditions, and that you should only put the email in your profile. I haven’t verified this yet, but when I do I will update this post again with my findings.

One more thing I ran into after posting the blog on my Microsoft Office update problem originally. Turns out that the update reassociated all of the “Office” files with the Microsoft programs (even though they don’t exist on my machine), so double-clicking a document for instance tries to open it with Microsoft Word (which of course fails).

To reassociate the documents:

  1. Go to Finder and right click a document
  2. Choose “Get Info” from the pop-up
  3. Look for the section that says “Open with:”
  4. Change it to Open Office (or whatever your Office equivalent is).
  5. Click the “Change All …” button to make it global

Once that is done, double-clicking should once again open the file with the program you’ve picked.

I recently was seeing a few weird problems with Entourage and synching, so I decided to check and see if it was up to date.

I have a copy of Entourage 2008 that I got from an Exchange hosting service that I use for email with one of my partner companies.

Looking at the Entourage/About Entourage, I saw that I was running version 12.1.3,which was a couple of revs back from the current version (12.1.5). So I picked Update from the Help menu in Entourage:

Entourage Help/Update

I saw that I have my Autoupdate set to Automatic and check weekly, so I’m not sure why it wasn’t up to date.

Entourage Update

I clicked the “Check for Updates” button, and answered the questions so that the update started. Everything looked fine until it got to the page where it wants to install the update. The part that inspected the disk took a really long time, my CPU spiked, and I could hear my machine heating up. After a minute or two, the screen updated with a message telling me that it couldn’t find the right version to install this update.

Entourage Update Disk SearchEntourage Update Fail

So now it was off to scour the Mac sites for help with the problem. My guess was that this should be easy to find, I couldn’t be the only person ever to have installed Entourage from a hosting provider (meaning just Entourage, and not the rest of Office 2008 is installed on my Mac).

After many Google searches, and then a direct search at the Mactopia forums, I found a thread entitled “Cannot install 2008 update 12.1.4 or 12.1.5” and about halfway down the page was a post by dbsierra that explained how to do a workaround for this issue, which was to do the following steps:

  1. Download the Office 2008 update .dmg file.
    1. Mount the .dmg file on your desktop by double-clicking it.
    2. When the Office 2008 update window opens, drag the icon for the update to your desktop, it will take a sec to copy over. Close this window when it is done copying and you see Update file on your desktop.
    3. Unmount the .dmg file by either right-click on .dmg file, choose “Eject …”, or eject/unmount in Finder.
  2. Right-click on the Updater file on your desktop and choose “Show Package Contents”.
    1. Navigate to Contents folder, then Resources folder. Find the file named: package_updatable.
    2. Highlight the package_updatable file and right-click, choose “Get Info.”
    3. When Info window pops open, click on padlock in lower right corner (Note: you may need to expand the “Sharing and Permissions” section to see the lock icon).
      1. . Another window asking for your admin. password will pop up, type in your admin password and padlock should unlock with that satisfying open vault sound!
      2. In Info window click on gray triangle to show Sharing & Permissions. You need to change Privilege for your Admin. account from “Read only” to “Read & Write,” click on up/down triangles to do this.
      3. Click on padlock to lock file and close window
    4. Highlight the package_updatable file and right-click, choose “Open With” then “Other …” Click thru (ignore) the warning about opening Unix files. The Application folder in the Finder will be open, scroll down and choose TextEdit.
      1. TextEdit will have opened the file. Scroll down to find the following lines and delete them:if not found_valid_version:
        sys.exit(48)
      2. In the File menu of TextEdit, choose Save. The file should close. Close the Finder.
    5. Double-click on Office 2008 update file on your desktop. Follow on-screen update instructions as normal and hopefully that’s it.
    6. Re-boot, open up Office 2008 Apps and get on with your life!

I was able to force the update by doing these steps, although I did get an odd error in the middle (I’m guessing because it was trying to update Word or some other Office program that I don’t have installed), but it continued through, and now I have the “right” version (12.1.5).

I use Google Reader to follow industry blogs about things like PHP and Java. One of the nice things that Google Reader does, is to automagically translate the page into English when the post is in a different language.

This is very helpful especially with blogs in subjects like these, especially since the international community is very active. Reader will give you a brief translated version of the feed, and when you click the link to go to the page, it typically forwards you through http://translate.google.com so you can read the page. For the most part, this yields a very understandable page that represents the subject the author was trying to convey very well.

To set this up in Google Reader, you just set the feed to automatically translate the page by clicking on the “Feed settings” button:

Translate_check_item

Notice that with the “Translate into my Language” checked, you’ll see “Translated by Google”  at the top of the page. The link to go to the post is now run through the http://translate.google.com with the appropriate languages so that you can read it, and if you click the “View original” link, you’ll see the summary in the original language.

In the above example, the feed looks like this, when I choose original language:

German feed

Clicking on the link for this post takes me to http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/cakephp/~3/521947537/ which ends up at the blog for CakePHP & DIEVOLUTION, which looks like:

untranslated

Going back to the translated version, if I click on the link to go the the page, I get redirected to http://translate.google.com/translate?sl=auto&tl=en&u=http%3A%2F%2Ffeeds.feedburner.com%2F~r%2Fcakephp%2F~3%2F521947537%2F , which gives me the nicely translated page (below).

translated

So this got me to thinking: it should be a relatively simple thing to add a link to your page to send it to Google translate, to allow somebody to translate into their language, since it’s basically just an HTTP GET with parameters of the page, source language and destination language.

So I figured I’d try it with my blog first. I know the URL is http://blog.accuweaver.com, and my language source is EN (English). So to translate into German for instance, I need to create a URL that starts with http://translate.google.com/translate, and includes those two elements, and the language I want it translated to.

The parameters for the link are as follows:

parameter Used for value
u URL of page http://blog.accuweaver.com
sl Source language (English) en
tl Translate to language (German) de

So by putting these together, I get a link that looks like: http://translate.google.com/translate?u=http://blog.accuweaver.com&sl=en&tl=de, which when clicked will give me a German translation of my page.

Google also has a JavaScript widget that you can use to allow anybody to translate your page, which effectively builds the same sorts of URL’s for each language. You simply post some JavaScript code in your page which does some magic and places a little “translate tool” on your page (see http://translate.google.com/translate_tools?hl=en) and looks like the widget below:

I took the day off and spent it at my father-in-law’s house, watching all the excitement in Washington D.C.

I was still thinking about how emotional I felt watching Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech on the drive over the bridge. My wife hadn’t been there when King’s speech aired, so I pulled it up (iPhone is amazing) and read it to her as she was driving. Reading the text aloud, once more underlined for me the power of the words. There were times that I had to pause in order to get the words out because I was so choked up.

I was once again taken by the fact that Dr. King could be so optimistic with all the rage and oppression surrounding him. Listening to our new President speak, I could clearly hear the determined optimism in his voice and words. I was swept up by the historic moment, and excited about the turning away from the culture of fear toward one of hope.

It is far too easy to look at all of the problems of the world, listen to the news, and give in to the fear of all things that could happen. Terrorists around every corner, economy collapsing, no work anywhere, global warming, and the USA on the verge of collapse. But for me, every problem appears more as something to be solved, every challenge is an opportunity for growth that can be solved by working together.

The words of Barack Hussein Obama II in his inaguaral address are filled with that, and I’m excited by the way he is using the bully pulpit already to rally us to service. This is a seminal event: the promise made to every small child, that they can work hard and grow to become President of the United States has moved closer to reality. Martin Luther King’s dream of a nation where children will be judged by the content of their character and not the color of their skin, is just a little more real.

I was moved in many places by Barack’s speech. Calling us back to the traditions of our founding fathers in continuing the great social experiment that is the United States. When he said that America was ready to lead, I just wanted to hear him say “follow me”.

When he spoke to the troubled nations of the world, challenging the despots, offering “that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist”, I was again deeply moved. By speaking to our part in the world, that we could not be apart from it, he seemed to me to be reminding us that service goes beyond our nation. We can’t retreat inside our borders, nor follow some crusade to get every nation to be like ours.

At the end of the day, Barack and Michelle Obama crossed the threshold of the White House, across steps that were built by slaves, to lead our country in it’s ever progressing quest toward protecting life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Today is Martin Luther King Day. One day before the biggest inauguration since George Washington, and only 46 years since the famous “I Have a Dream” speech was delivered on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.

Unlike Steve Martin, I was not born a poor black child. I was however very lucky to be raised without the iron of racial hatred and prejudice that so many people have to overcome thanks in part to being raised in parts of middle America where discrimination was more hidden, and also thanks to having parents who understood that this hatred was wrong.

Perhaps because of how I grew up, I had a leg up on not developing predjudices. I know that anthropologically we generalize things: it’s a survival trait from before we even had civilizations. When you see a bear attack somebody, you generalize that all bears are dangerous.

So for me, living in the comfort of middle America, my generalizations likely came from being exposed to people who were also enlightened middle class people. My experiences with people my parents socialized with were always generally positive, which probably means I generalized all people that way. I think this is one of the more insidious aspects of prejudice is that people will respond to the way they are treated. Somebody raised to think that a certain race is not to be trusted, will look for things to support that idea, and subconsciously encourage that behavior.

When we first moved to Wrangell (a small town and island in the south eastern portion of Alaska), I think I had my first real exposure to the shame of America. One of my friends at school was a native American (he was of the Tlinget tribe). When we went from one grade to the next (can’t remember exactly which grade), they told us that all of our “Indian” friends would be sent to the Indian school.

It was confusing and disturbing, and I couldn’t understand why it was happening.  All I knew was there was some arbitrary rule that said if you’re part of this tribe, you can’t go to the same school with the other kids.

I lived in Alaska from the time I was in third grade until I was in sixth grade (1967 until 1970) when my Dad got a job for (the now infamous) Alaska Senator Ted Stevens. We made the trek across Canada on the Candian National Railway, down the coast to Washington, D.C. and  to our new home in Alexandria Virginia (pronounced Vuh-gin-yuh after you’ve lived there).

When we got to Washington D.C., we wanted to drive through and see the capitol and all the sites. I remember it was evening, and we drove into the city, but at some point we came to some barricades. We were told it wasn’t safe to go into the city and were turned around to go out of the city.  Later we watched the news to hear that there were “race riots” going on (I’m thinking now that it must have been related to the Jackson State killings).

We moved to Alexandria, Va. which was for the most part a suburb of the seats of power. You could take a bus to Washington D.C. (which I think my Dad did every day) and it was about as lily white a place as I had ever lived. I was in junior high by now, and the middle school I went to did not have a diverse population (out of a couple hundred kids, there were two black kids, one indigenous American). Most of the kids at this school were from fairly affluent families, and from what I could see there wasn’t any obvious prejudice there.

As I finished with middle school, and was preparing for high school, some of my friends started talking about how the “bad” kids would be getting bussed to the high school next year. I didn’t know why, or who these “bad” kids might be, but I was a little worried.

The first day of school arrived, and to my horror and surprise, I saw first hand who the “bad” kids really were. I saw kids from my old school, yelling and throwing things at the buses that were arriving. The high school was one of the first to integrate, and the so called “bad” kids they had been talking about, were the black kids from the ghetto. I was horrified to learn that my friends had been afraid of these kids because of the color of their skin.

This was a culture shock: I went from a middle school that was 100% upper middle class, to a high school that was suddenly 70% low income kids. Here were kids who thought that getting a job as a garbage man was the equivalent of being President. I was from a background where a college education was assumed to be part of the plan, they were from a place where staying in school was something you had to do, and only until you could find a job. There were language differences too: the first time somebody asked me to borrow a “prunsel”, I had no idea what it was (they were asking for a pencil).

So today, on the eve of the amazing accomplishment of the inauguration of Barack Obama, I am truly grateful (and impatient) for the dream that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. spoke so eloquently about. It’s still a dream, but with our first non-white president, we have a little more proof that all things are possible.

Can we realize the dream (and overcome the insidious nature of hateful prejudice) ?

Yes we can !

This Saturday, Joel Deceuster presented his 7 strategies for planning your career. Joel created these seven focusing strategies as something he’s learned in his business. You can learn more about Joel and his work at http://www.focusyourbusinessnow.com/

Listening to Joel talk about these strategies, I was struck by how similar the first strategy was to the steps in a 12-step program. The 12 steps are a process for going from a spiritually bankrupt position to an action plan that ultimately works by spurring the hopeless addict to a place where they can find the promise of a better life. By following these 12 steps, the goal of “the promises” is achieved, and addiction (and hopelessness) is left behind.

Joel’s approach starts with becoming accountable (the first strategy).

#1-Focus your commitment to be 100% accountable for your career.

  • Follow the steps to accountability
    • See it (admit / recognize the problem) – In a 12-step program, the first step is admitting that we have a problem.
    • Own it (know it is your problem, and remove denial)  – We realize that what we’ve been doing before isn’t working, and that we need help (steps two and three)
    • Solve it (plan) – We take inventory of our wrongs, and make a list of what we need to do to correct them, and share that with somebody else (steps four through eight)
    • Do it (take action) – We make amends, and take action on a daily basis to correct our mistakes (steps nine and ten)
    • Don’t play the blame game (be responsible for your own career) – In the recovery programs, they often preach about being responsible
  • Find and accountability buddy – Joel recommends finding an accountability buddy.

This is somebody to whom you can keep track of your progress (very similar to a sponsor in the 12-step programs) as you progress through your plan (work the steps).

In a 12-step program, you need a sponsor once you get past the first three steps, which also seems to work for Joel’s list above.So for me, his first strategy is a way out of the doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results (the definition of insanity).

His next strategy is to focus your goal. This is to overcome the lack of planning we put into our job search, which is also the point of the 12 steps: focus the effort on achievable goals by breaking things down into manageable pieces.

#2-Focus your primary objective to envision your ideal job.

  • Visualize your ideal job
    • One year from today …?
    • Discover your unique ability
  • If you can see it, you can acheive it- Joel suggests reading this book immediately if not sooner.
  • Transform your limiting beliefs that hold you back
    • They’re stories not truth

#3-Focus your employment strategies to direct your search.

  • The Goal Implementer Process
    • Obstacles inspire solutions – In the twelve steps, we take inventory of all of our wrongs, and plan to make amends.
    • Milestones – Setting milestones helps you to recognize progress.
  • The Core Employment Strategies
    • Assessment; What’s working, not working? – In the twelve step process, we continue to take inventory which helps us find out what is working and what is not.
  • Prioritize your strategies
    • Create a one page employment plan
    • Vision/mission/goals/strategies/action plans

#4-Focus your actions to optimize your efforts and resources.

  • Create prioritized action plans
  • Always know what’s next

#5-Focus your week to make it powerfully productive.

  • Use planning tools
  • Weekly planning ALWAYS
    • 3 crucial results (what do you want to feel by the end of the week)
    • Top 20 phone calls/connections (identify 20 people who can help you get to your goal)
    • Top 10 Strategic projects

#6-Focus on measuring your progress to stay on plan.

  • Daily dials (success indicators)
  • 3 Personal guidelines – rules for yourself, lessons learned ( e.g. – stay networked) around biggest disappointments
  • Positive focus

#7-Focus your energy to demonstrate your best you.

  • Physical fitness
  • Spiritual development – the twelve step programs are all about spirituality, and the process is really focused on achieving a spiritual awakening to guide us toward our true purpose.
  • Mental growth
  • Social engagement
  • Financial stability

When I was a little boy, I used to love to fly those balsa wood airplanes.You know, the ones that came in a flat bag, with thin sheets of balsa wood, a nose weight, a plastic propellor and a really big rubber band that you bought at the local grocery store.

They usually had red ink on one side that had USAF markings and a little picture of a pilot in the cockpit. You had to be careful putting them together, or the paper-thin wings or tail would break, and it would never fly right.

There was a park near where we lived in Alaska that was on a little hill above the ocean. I was flying planes there one day, and trying to see how far I could make them go. How far could I wind up the propellor before the rubber band broke? Would it fly straight, or crash and break in a million pieces? How much power could the rubber band give me anyway?

I was getting discouraged with fighting the wind, and ready to go home. All day I’d been throwing the planes only to watch them nosedive, or go nowhere as they bucked the wind, no matter how hard I wound the rubber band.

One last time, I wound the propellor a few extra times, and threw the plane down the hill toward the ocean. I watched in amazement as the wind caught the plane lifting it far higher than I could ever have thrown it.It flew out across the park, and over the sea.

It kept flying until I couldn’t see it any more, looking like somebody had actually filled the gas tank and taken it on a trip across the sea. It was still flying when I lost sight of it.

There are so many amazing things that can happen when we simply get out of the way and let the wind pick us up. All I had to do was put together the plane, wind the rubber band, and the wind took care of the rest.

By doing what we can do, being conscious and prepared, we can be ready for the greater gifts as they are presented.

I was talking to some friends last night about how we have a nice team of consultants that could do some really interesting projects, when I was reminded of some lessons I learned working for a small consulting firm.

During the dot-Com explosion, a small consulting firm couldn’t hire people fast enough, and it was easy to cherry-pick the jobs that made sense. When I first joined the firm, the focus of the team I was on was to take on full projects for companies that were having similar problems (nobody could find people, so they were willing to have outside teams of experts help them invent their core business). During this period, our biggest problem was not having enough people to take all the cool projects that were coming our way, so we never even considered placing less than a full team on a project at a client site.

As the dot-Com explosion became the dot-Bomb implosion, we were (like most consulting firms) faced with a different problem. There was nothing in the pipeline. Worse, the company had spent a bunch of money on things they thought they needed to do to go public (like building an ASP hosting service) and taken money from investors, which left the management with difficult choices to make.

There were lay-offs (mostly sales staff), and cut-backs. And naturally, the business model changed, since to keep the doors open it was important to keep everybody billable. So we placed people wherever we could, which meant a lot of “body-shop” type of gigs, where we were supplementing people to projects. This, combined with the layoffs, meant our bench was thin, which in turn meant we could no longer handle full projects. Eventually this resulted in the company turning to a policy of “if you’re not billing, you’re not getting paid”, which resulted in a lot of the more effective consultants (like me) leaving the company.

The most interesting thing about this to me is the fact that there is some critical mass of consultants that you need to have in order to do project based consulting (where you “own” the project). You need enough people so that you have teams working all of the time, and to be able to support the teams between engagements. If you aren’t large enough (or the economy is bad enough), you can end up trying to keep the firm going by placing individuals, but that will almost certainly reduce the number of projects that you can do (since now that critical person is no longer available for the team).

In fact what we saw was that the “body shop” approach, kept the most critical people extremely busy at the expense of those who were not in such high demand. Project managers, architects and DBA‘s were placed, and so when a project came along, were not available for a team based project. And of course the vicious cycle would be that since we couldn’t take these projects, the people who weren’t being placed would leave, which inevitably led to other people leaving …

Eventually the economy recovered (as did the consulting firm), but I’m thankful for this magnifying lense on how difficult it really is for a small consulting firm to be successful.  It almost always comes back to focus, except of course when it comes down to survival.