Playing with Google Maps

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I thought I would log some thoughts as I go through developing a web application that uses google maps.

I suppose the first question is why google maps over virtual earth, I have successfully in the past done some application that uses virtual earth and found it easy to implement but the people I am working on this project has a valid reason for the application to be used in Safari browsers and virtual earth has some problems displaying on a safari browser.

The first frustration I have run into is overlays generated from KML files,the problem is and its undocumented is that the KML must be publicly visible so that it appears, so in my case I am generating the KML files via an aspx page so that means I have to publish after every build to see if other parts of my website works.

No doubt will have some more fun and will keep the posting going.


Cant find an employees, Your not alone

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I have been struggling to find staff lately and I was reading this article on CRN Australia that says that 47% of IT companies in Australia have open positions.

Its good to know that its not just me.

Going mobile, making me excerise and helping Camp Quality

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I have a passion for helping people who are generous with their time in assisting other people who are not as lucky as the majority of us. The guys at Camp Quality fit will into this category not only do they help the sick kids of this nation but they also help the direct family. Its the brothers and sisters of the sick children who suffer as parents stuggle to balance their time between the immediate needs of caring and the family growth. No parent wants to be in this horrible position, my admiration goes out to those people.

I have been asked to assist in raising awareness and money for this great cause by doing the kokoda track and I thought lets mix two of my passions. What better way to test ruggidised mobile products while on the kokoda track. This way I still have my gadgets, lose weight and help some sick kiddies.

My current defination of roughing it is a hotel without a minibar and its been a while since I have but myself through some ocean racing so no doubt I have become a little use to lifes comforts.

I have my GPS tracking tools already, have some apps for tracking and blogging, Hugo from TegaTech have offered me a lend of a ruggidised tablet to assist during the trip. All I need now is a satellite phone for some data communications and I am set, I noticed I am able to rent one of these so will be giving that a run I reckon.

The group has organised some TV coverage and a few celebrities to join in, so that will be great to draw on some more sponsorship.

The trek isnt until next year but the excerise regime has started to get me ready for a gruelling 10 days.

Not one session but two for TechEd

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I posted the other day that I had one cabana session at this years Teched on the gold coast … I was wrong I have two sessions the second session I proposed but thought it got knocked on the head was “Introduction to Micro Framework”. I am really looking forward to doing this session.

So two great sessions one will be with Rick Anderson which will be lots of fun because Rick is a cool guy and I am sure that the session will be noisy 🙂 and the second being the Micro Framework is such cool technology … I think I have some T-Shirts I can give away for this.

My TechEd Cabana Session

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The last 12 months has been great fun with lots of speaking gigs and given the reigns to run some training sessions, I have learnt lots of things that I am good at and learnt about things that I thought I was good at but wasnt. Even had my first attack of public speaking nerves with my infamous Melbourne Security Summit rehearsal disaster …. thank god it was a rehearsal 🙂

The news is that I have been given a teched cabana session to discuss the world of mobile application certification with discussion on the application, the partner and the developer themselves. Would have loved to have got a track session but there was no love left for Mobility and the programmer 😦

HTC releases WM6 updates


HTC have announced free WM6 updates for D810, 838PRO, U1000, P800w over the coming weeks. Definately worth the reflash.

Where is the PALM upgrades ??

Info on their website

Entrepreneurs vs Wanna-be’s

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For the people who know me, IT startups are a real passion and I love building companies, and have had some success and some failures. This morning an email arrived with an interesting quote that rang true for me:

Wanna-be’s believe what they’re told, believe their own assumptions. Entrepreneurs do original research and determine what paths have been already trod.  

This is a big item to be successful in my book, and I have seen many people with blind faith wasting energy in trying to succeed at something that was doomed for failure. Although just because people say it wont work doesnt mean you should stop, it just means you need to prove/test your assumptions.

Never be scared to fail and be strong enough to admit that you were wrong and move onto the next idea.

Recruitment Companies That Dont Listen


We are like many others on the hunt for some more developer skills and have has several advertisements running on SEEK to try and fill that need. One thing I will never use is a recruitment company I rather use my own channels and I dont think they are worth the money they ask for. I understand other companies see the value but my personal opinion is never use them.

When I place an advertisement on SEEK I always specify no recruitment companies because I will never use them, but yet they still send emails and call. I find this extremely frustrating and I feel like I should respond with ok how many do you have with C# skills ? hmmm  ok I change my mind I want a developer with C# and ASP …. thanks ummm change my mind what about last name ending with M.

Non Paying Customers


I was reading this blog posting the other day, this is a great topic about dealing with non-paying customers and something that I would like to present on at the Business User Group soon.

Unfortunately the world has some dishonest people in it and Australian laws allow protection for these people which makes it very frustrating to deal with at times. One of the common mistakes you can make is trust people with no backup plan.

My advice is when somebody owes you money and they say yes yes I will pay just need to clear some money which will happen next week. Do some simple steps:

1. Get them to confirm in writing that they agree with the debt and the terms that they wish to pay on like ie all of it next week etc. This stops people buying sometime getting you to finish some work then create a fuss about the account not being correct. When you go to arbitration you can also use this as proof they agreed to the debt and you have attempted reconcilation.

2. Keep the debt collection process on track, simply explain to your customer when they say they will pay next week say to them thats great, explain that the debt has been marked as a bad debt and will be given to an agency automatically next week if they dont pay so its important that this is honoured. If they complain ask them “But you are going to pay so there should not be a problem”.

One of the tactics used by bad people is delaying of debts, they will hang out to the very last moment. Make sure you make that last moment as soon as possible.

3. Add debt collection into your invoices, give people who do pay on time a 10% discount and that extra money will cover the cost of debt collection. Its suprising how often people will pay on time when there is a discount on offer. You can either factor this into your estimate or when you factor in the cost of cash flow and your time chasing debts its not a bad option to discount either.

The big advice here is keep on top of your debtors, make sure you make contact with them the day debts become due. Them knowing your proactive makes them proactive.