Thursday, March 29, 2012

In case you find this old blog

Send me an email at ben at chapman dash leff dot com and I'll get back in touch with you. I'm also sprinkled around the web as benjamin dot chapman and similar. You can also look for me on google plus or fb. You can also call me at work at 404 727 6948 if you're really chomping at the bit to get in touch with me.



Monday, November 30, 2009

Blog has moved

Dear visitor,

I'm primarily posting over here these days, so if you're looking for newer posts, please head over there. That's if you need the full address.

Thanks for stopping by,



Friday, January 09, 2009

Good Eats: The Porter

We ate dinner tonight at the Porter in Little Five Points. It was great! I had the Reuben and more Dale's Pale Ale than I should have. Really excellent food - and a beer list that goes on for days.


Saturday, December 13, 2008

Cross-platform Screen sharing tool: Yuuguu

I'm continuing to look for a good easy-to-use cross-platform screen-sharing package. So far, we've tried Yugma and Yuuguu - Yuuguu seems to be slightly easier to set up, with a less intrusive interface.

Yuuguu has been built from the ground up with remote teams in mind. Working collaboratively on different projects requires many of the features within Yuuguu, making working remotely as effective as sitting right next to each other. Learn more...


Friday, December 05, 2008

Quicksilver guide ...

I use three desktop operating systems: Windows XP SP2, Mac OSX 10.4, and Ubuntu Linux 8.04. The  vast majority of my desktop time is spent on the Mac, followed by Ubuntu, with Windows a distant third. One of the things that I love about the Mac is a piece of software called Quicksilver. It's an application launcher, which sounds pretty boring, but is really pretty exciting. At its most basic, Quicksilver allows you to launch things and do things without using the mouse. Here's the usual sequence:

  • Hit Ctrl-Spacebar
  • Start typing "W o r"
  • Icon for MS Word appears
  • Hit enter and it launches
This is much cooler than it might at first sound. :) Here is a collection of Quicksilver articles:

Quicksilver: The Guide | TheAppleBlog

If you're looking for something similar for the Linux Gnome desktop, try Gnome-Do , which is pretty impressive in its own right. On the Windows side, there is a nice list of Quicksilver-like apps
on Scott Hanselman's blog.


Encrypting data stored on USB key

Interesting approach to encrypting USB keys. The device is $70 for a 1GB key. It self-destructs if you fail to get the password in 10 tries. It offers at least basic functionality on Mac, Windows, Linux - the Windows version is the best-supported, of course.

IronKey Personal

The IronKey Personal is a revolutionary personal security device designed to protect your data, passwords and online identity on any computer.
Hardware Encryption for Bullet-Proof Security

All data stored on an IronKey is encrypted with high-speed military-grade hardware encryption. Unlike software-based encryption, this "always-on" protection cannot be disabled and is protected against cold-boot and brute force attacks. No one can access files stored on an IronKey unless they authenticate with the correct password. All encryption and password verification is performed in hardware - and cannot be disabled by malware or a careless user.


Fix mac line-endings in VIM

If you've accidentally saved a CSV file with Mac (CR-only) line-endings, you can open the file on the mac in Vim and enter the following bit of magic:

:e ++ff=mac



Saturday, November 29, 2008

3G Wireless for corporate/school use

I'm looking at netbooks for a couple of different uses and ran across Dell's AT&T promotion . Basically, they are suggesting that you would spend approximately $60 per month for always available 3G broadband. One could compare this to a the "tethered" blackberry option from Verizon - we've already got unlimited data. Using the BB as a USB modem only ads $15 per month, IIRC.

The most useful thing on the Dell page is a link to a nice CMP publication on the pros and cons of business 3G:

Network Computing: How to Evaluate 3G Technologies

It offers a fairly balanced view of costs/benefits of deploying built-in 3G to notebook users.


Friday, November 07, 2008

Basic Distance Education Bundle

I visited my brother recently. He's a distance education teacher, teaching a variety of high school classes in several different high schools. Here's his set-up, all arranged on his desk:

The most expensive component of the system, by far, is the Tandberg video-conferencing unit. However, adding everything up, the total cost of the set-up is under $10,000:

  • Dell: $2,000
  • Tandberg: $6,500
  • Lumens: $700
The prices above are estimates as some of these models are no longer made. Still, it's pretty impressive to me that the total package is under $10K. Another Tandberg or similar device is required at the other end, of course. In this age of Skype, it's not clear to me how long the pricing of the Tandberg unit can be sustained.

Of course, the unit integrates video switching, the H.323 codec, a display and a camera, so it's not surprising that the cost is high. If one were to do without the Tandberg unit, things get more complicated.

Here's a history of videoconferencing. See the link at the bottom that includes a video from Chris Pirillo that mentions Then there's issue of sharing screens with one another. This is well handled by GoToMeeting and, more recently, by Yugma.