February 2009

Stealing from the airlines

Yesterday there was a story on the news about voice being given to the thought of pay toilets on airlines. Now we're all certainly tired of fees and some airlines, like Southwest, are taking advantage of that to advertise their lack of fees.

An exchange this morning on the flight has me thinking about how we think about the airlines.

Economy Plus

For some background you need to understand Economy Plus. United has implemented this "tween" class. It is basically economy but for a fee you get seats with extra legroom. It costs more and you get something for it. The "extra" amount isn't as much as business class or first class, but it is a higher priced ticket. Generally these sections are the front of the economy section from the exit rows forward.

Getting to Drupalcon

On the trip to the airport I was reflecting on just where Drupal has taken me. On one hand having chosen nearer the beginning of the decade to use this open source PHP-based content management system was a short-term decision. I had websites and they needed to be done. The solution was easily Drupal. Sure there was the roll-your-own option. But I've been there and there is little way to get around the idea that proprietary website management is for the birds.

In a literal sense Drupal has powered travels across the country. The wonderful thing about Drupal travel is the community.

Wherever you go from coast to coast and continent to continent there are fascinating people to meet. In a career sense Drupal has certainly been the right choice. Not only has it been a tool that has enabled me to do things to impress those who write my paychecks but a year ago it became my full-time job.

Great tools from Omni Group now Free

Omni DazzleSometimes it is hard to know which thought would be a better lead. There is the great news today that the great folks over at The Omni Group have decided to make several of their titles freeware. On the other hand the personally notable part of this is how procrastination paid off. Last weekend I spent quite a bit of time putting together some screencasts (they're not yet published which is a story for another day) and found how great OmniDazzle is for creating screencasts. There is plenty of extra fun stuff that isn't all that useful in it, but there are a few features for highlighting things on the screen that are supremely beautiful. So while I was quite thrilled with OmniDazzle I hadn't quite managed to get the laptop and wallet together for the necessary routine to make the purchase.

Looking in all the wrong places

Some recent unbookings for Las Vegas meetings have Sin City tourism officials concerned. Last year's meeting revenue was off 5% before the recent spate of backlash.

Having recently traveled through McCarran airport it seems that Las Vegas tourism officials should be considering other problems as well. In short I've never been in a place so filthy. Every corner of the C-terminal that wasn't filled with a human was covered with litter. Each of the windows held a random collection of used tissues, drink cups and to-go containers decorating the sill. The rows upon rows of seats that make up each gate had similar collections of detritus under each seat.

The impression was certainly not a positive one. Imagine the business traveler arriving for the fist time for a meeting that evening. I've traveled through the airport most of my life and it was enough to make me cross it off as many trips as possible. What would somebody who had never been there think?

Where did the time go

Somehow we've fast-forwarded the clocks and it is now the middle of February already. So many projects to get done have been waiting for attention. Fortunately now that there's a little time to breathe I'll get some of them going. The photo a day will soon get posted and the redesign of the blog will roll out just before Drupalcon to celebrate six years of this particular instance of Drupal.

Gmail as lifesaver

For several years I've been a big user of Google Apps. All my email routes to Google's servers and with the great IMAP functionality I've considered myself fortunate not to need to run email servers much anymore.

A few weeks ago I moved from using the powerful Apple Mail and MailActOn combination to using the Google web interface. While I still sync up with IMAP every day or so and will continue to use Mail both for offline access (though this seems to be coming along in Gmail) and some advanced features like integration with iLife and other apps, Gmail has a few features that Apple Mail can't match.

One of the big features is an addition to the labs tab in Gmail which provides a seemingly simple "Send & Archive" button.