Month: November 2003

Recent reads

Read a couple of good books. Bryson’s Lost Continent is about Bill’s travels through America as he tried to find the perfect small town. He gets close but never finds his ‘Amalgam’. Along the way he mostly finds cheesy tourist traps and sites and sounds that remind him of trips with his father as a boy. Lost Continent wasn’t as engaging as A Walk in the Woods. In the latter his sarcasm is often very funny. In the former, it often comes off as whining.

Last weekend I read the War of Art by Steven Pressfield. It is a short and lively book that’s hard to put down. It’s a series of short, insightful tidbits–almost a meditation–on why we don’t do the things we are “supposed” to do. Resistance is the thing that keeps us from being true to ourselves. The book explains sources of Resistance and offers a firm foot applied to your backside to get you moving. There are a couple of times Steven gets a little too metaphysical but I still enjoyed it.

D-Link Lament

D-Link how I took you for granted! Your blazingly fast wireless connection was assumed to be what everyone else on the block was getting, but no! I threw you away like an old acoustic modem in favor of my Centrino processor. What was I thinking? Centrino can’t hold a candle to you, D-Link! What a fool I was. You had a special way of talking to my D-Link base station–it said so right on the box but would I listen? No. Listen, D-Link, I was a complete ass. Would you consider gracing my new laptop with your presence? I shall warm up a PCMCIA slot just like you like it. Say you’ll take me back! Please?! I spit on Centrino!

Momentum coverage

Today was a full day. They started with another general session. They brought out a guy who was supposedly a content management expert. As he flipped through his presentation, it started to become apparent that we had been tricked. He finally ‘fessed up to being a professional comedian. His satire on the evils of PowerPoint was the funniest thing I’ve seen in a long time. We riffed on some of the Documentum terminology for a while to keep it relevant and then closed with some funny stuff on marriage. Don McMillan’s web site is

I hit sessions on the Documentum API (DAPI), Business Objects Framework, Content Management for Portals, Documentum and Plumtree, Complying with Sar-Box, and Delta Airlines. (Notes to follow).

Tonight, the party was at Mardis Gras World which is where they build a lot of the floats for the parades each year. They had good music and good food but it was pretty tame. Until the parade started. We had told one of the people in our group that she should get her picture taken with Dave DeWalt (CEO, Documentum) and Joseph Tucci (CEO, EMC). They were busy getting dressed for the parade but happily obliged. Then, they offered us spots on the floats. We suited up in costumes and then it was go-time.

Mandy got to be the Queen of the parade. She rode with Dave and Joe. I rode in a different float with a couple of the other guys. The parade proceeded through the warehouse as we hurled cups, beads, and doubloons to the crowd. I think I inadvertently beaned a few inattentive party-goers but no permanent damage was done. (Pics coming soon).

We finished off the night at Cafe du Monde for some beignets. Good stuff all around.

There’s a good conference going on down here in New Orleans. Documentum’s Momentum 2003 is a hopping place. I’ve never been to a conference where the vendor’s senior leadership is so accessible. Sunday night, Dave DeWalt, CEO and President of Documentum stopped by where a group of us were chatting and welcomed us to the conference, answered a few questions, and generally just made us feel part of the family. Very cool.

Sunday night we stayed out a little too late. 3 or 4 hours of sleep and a hangover is no way to start a conference! The opening keynote was set up in a theatre-in-the-round setting. I liked it but the the seats were old wooden bleachers. What I really needed was a soft bed and a cold wash cloth.

The keynote covered some impressive stats for the past year:

  • Documentum has now proven out a 1 billion object repository
  • Added 1145 net new customers and 123 net new partners
  • 8 consecutive quarters of revenue growth, 2 acquisitions (TruArc and eRoom), 21 new products

They closed the opening session with a couple of customer presentations. One was USAA which it sounds like has a fairly large implementation.

I hit sessions on Dynamic Taxonomies, Publishing to Portals, and a Home Depot case study. (Notes to follow soon).

Monday night I skipped the festivities and had dinner with my grandparents. We ate at Bon Ton which is a cool little cajun place owned and operated by one of my grandfather’s former dentistry students. It was delicious.

IBM eyes modular WebSphere. IBM next year plans to sell a revamped edition of its WebSphere Java server product line that the company says will improve the integration of components within its software portfolio. Big Blue is creating a “modular architecture” for its WebSphere… [cms~wire]

My advice is to stay away from the low-end RF options. The sound quality is very bad and the reception is spotty. I like the WiFi idea and have been interested in doing this for some time but haven’t pulled the trigger yet.

Digital Networks: PC to Stereo. A new class of device that transmits music, photo and video files from the computer to home entertainment systems may play an important role as digital music and home networks really take off. [Wired News]