Kevin Remde's IT Pro Weblog

  • Build a better Christmas tree-stand...

    ...and the world will beat a path to your door! 

    Okay - it's really "mouse-trap"... but today our family is going out to get a natural Christmas tree, and after searching for our old one we realized (and remembered) that last year our tree stand broke.  So this year we have to buy a new one. 

    As I was putting up some lights outside our house (and as kids were decorating Christmas cookies inside), it got me to thinking... if someone were to ask me what I wanted in a tree stand, I would have to say, "A lot!". 

    I think the perfect stand could simply be placed on the bottom end of the tree, and it would automatically make a thin fresh cut, and latch itself into place.  When you stood the tree on end, little sensors and gyros would send commands to the stand's CPU informing the processor of places currently out of balance, and the processor would send commands to mini servo motors driving hydrolic-powered lifts to re-align the tree.  A triangulating lasor would be able to align the trunk as upright as possible, while coordinating with the other processes to find a happy medium in case the tree is somewhat naturally lopsided. 

    Once positioned the tree would be automatically fed nutrients, and water that is distilled right out of the surrounding air. 

    And that's just standard model, of course.  The deluxe model would also have a plug for special lighting that would then be driven by the CPU for a lighting display of your choice... all the while slowly spinning your now "wireless" tree to the time of the music.  Oh.. the music would of course be uploaded via the WiFi connection to your home network, or for a monthly charge you could add the XM Radio adapter.

    Okay... I've designed it.  Which of you will be brave enough to build it so we can make millions?!  <chuckle>

    Happy Holidays!


  • Some people have too much time on their hands....

    …and I love it!

    I was trying out some new capabilities of MSN Search – such as the ability to answer questions if you put them in quotes, like “What is the number of inches in a mile?”, etc.  So.. for some unknown reason (yeah right) the question “What is the airspeed velocity of an unlaiden swallow?” came to mind.  One of the results that came up (incredibly quickly, probably faster than Google, I might add :) ) was the link to this page:

    This afternoon I’ll let you know what the airspeed velocity of an unlaiden, digested Turkey is.

    On a more serious, personal note: I want to wish anyone who reads this a very blessed, happy Thanksgiving.  My family and I truly have a lot to thankful for, and we don't take it for granted.  So we use this day as just another great opportunity to thank the Lord for loving us and blessing us in so many ways.  (And believe me, I'm not talking about "stuff" here.  If you want to know more, just send me an email and ask me.)

    Happy Thanksgiving!



  • Only Post #3? In Chicago again...

    Hello again!

    Well.. I find myself for the 2nd time this week in Chicago.  Yes.. you read correctly... twice, for two different events, I'm in the Windy City.  On Monday I flew in so I could have the priviledge of speaking to the AITP "Windy City" chapter in their evening meeting.  Then I flew home Tuesday.  Wednesday (oh.. that's still today.  Wow.. there's a lot happening in one week.) I delivered a Webcast on Exchange Server Disaster Recovery, and now I find myself here in Chicago again, preparing for my second IT Security Solutions Roadshow talk that's going on here at the Hyatt - O'Hare tomorrow.

    I like travel, but hotel rooms are really lonely places.  I'm looking forward to being home for a couple weeks in a row - getting some other work done, and playing Halo 2 with my boys.

    On another techy-related note: I'm excited by what I'm learning about the future roadmap of MS products as it relates to security.  There are really cool things coming in SP1 for Windows Server 2003, then in the "R2" version later next year.  I'm really thrilled that a year from now I'll be giving talks on such cool new functionality; stuff I can't even mention here by name without all of you first signing NDAs.  :) 

    Enough for now.  More later (and sooner, hopefully).


  • Grey Day in Minnesota

    ...but tomorrow is my girl Amy's birthday, so that's pretty cool.  (Here are pictures from her recent birthday party with her neighbor friends.)

    This week I've been catching up on study, preparing for a webcast I'll be doing next Monday, and basically doing administrative work (expenses, booking travel, etc.)  My study has revolved around Security once again - this time due to a couple of mandatory company training sessions that I went through this morning.

    Actually- that's the main reason I'm creating a blog entry today.  I am continually impressed with the resources Microsoft is making available for people.  The training pointed out many avenues of information for internal resources as well as external; resources we can point our customers to.  A good example is the Security Guidance web site.  Rather than bombard IT Pros, Developers, or even home users with information and expect them to sort through and then apply what best fits their needs, we give "prescriptive guidance" based on the type of user you are or business you are managing IT for.  (Makes me wish we had such great resources available when I was doing that job myself.) 

    See you at my webcast!


    PS - My upcoming webcast shows my teammate Keith Combs as the presenter - but that was a mistake.  He had originally signed up for that one, but then gave it over to me early last month.

    PPS - I did an Exchange Disaster Recovery webcast last week during a special "Exchange Webcast Week", and according to the evaluations it was quite well recieved.  ...actually, it was my personal best score ever. (8.5!)  You can view it here "on demand".