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in the recent copy of business 2.0 magazine, there was an article about new services popping up regarding 'informal debt' (or informal loans).  these are those little i-owe-you's that you and your close friends/colleagues share.

you know, the ones with the guy at lunch: 'dude, i forgot my wallet, i'll get you next time' type things.

well, one looks simple and is free: ... the article talked about how it was inspired by a group of friends that traveled together a lot and decided they'd just start settling up on debts after the trip so they didn't have to worry about it too much.

pretty nice little idea -- i'll definitely use it.  you can send sms messages to your account to track the spends.  in the premium version, people can actually send you money via phone, etc.

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there is an interesting discussion going on over at eric nelson's blog.  why?  simple, here's the title of the post:

Time to move on from MSDE to SQL Server 2005 Express (you do want to run on Windows Vista - don't you?)

eric has great points about the reasons for sql 2005 express edition (which is still free and has better features), but i have to admit, i winced at the decision myself...the comments are very interesting to read.

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i'm currently at an internal company briefing conference and have been having a chance to reflect on some things.

in one of our keynote sessions, we had our COO talk about a family in hawaii with a unique situation.  (i'm not sure i'll get the recalled details correct, but you'll get the point.) 

the family is made up of a father who is blind, a son who is deaf, two daughters who are blind, and a mother who holds the family together.  look carefully...you'll see that there clearly is some complication for the family to even communicate with each other, thus where the mother comes into play.

we heard of the families learnings of how to cope with this and adjustments they made in their life.  well, technology to the rescue in some areas...

microsoft worked with technology and brought computers into this household.  the father could now speak into the voice-recognition software, which would translate the recognized speech into sign-language on a monitor that the deaf son could see.  it was a heartbeat skipping moment seeing the father tell his son *himself* for the first time 'i love you.'  wow...even writing this makes me swell.  amazing.

this family has some tough challenges and now has (hopefully) some better methods to help with those challenges.


this conference i'm at is generally a sales conference.  why am i here?  something similar like the above story -- one of how technology in sometimes the simplest forms can help.  you see, a relief organization uses a piece of software i wrote.  long-story-short: they wrote a very kind thanks to me stating how the software helps enable information without having to know technology and how it '...helps saves lives.'  wow.  i was floored when i read that.  you see, i'm actually quite embarrassed a bit about reading that.  the technology isn't brain surgery.  it doesn't have a SOA component to it, doesn't integrate disperate systems, doesn't do super-whiz-bang-make-my-company-more-money type of features.  it enables information.  period.

after hearing the story of the family above (by the way, they actually came on stage after their story was told -- to a 5 minute standing o), it made me reflect on this relief organization and their kind words. 

sometimes it isn't the most complex things in life that make a difference.  the smallest of things can create huge impact.

it's the little things...

(not to diminish the other efforts, two other co-workers who were behind the idea for are also being recognized for their efforts -- they did some great work!)

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korby just reminded me of a tool that is on .  well they released v1 of -- a simple add-in that has a dockable window of a command shell (cmd.exe or windows powershell) within your visual studio instance.

i constantly find myself needing a shell while working in vs and this will work out great.

hmm...now can it be modified to run by default in elevated mode for vista?

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my comrade woodyp led me on to the mobile client software factory.  looks pretty cool and stuffed chalk full of a bunch of patterns and goodness.

if you do mobile development, this is *definitely* something to check out