links for 2006-06-26

  • A unique viral marketing event undertaken by a crewing gum company. Matt originally travelled the world and danced at different location. Now he has been paid to do the same by a crewing gum company.
  • I have seen Linkie Wikie referenced several times today, I can only guess what it is trying to do. Althought I will probably be wrong.

4th July – Declare independence from mainstream media!

Found this interesting idea on Cameron’s Brain, declare 4th July as a day of independence from mainstream media. Not being in the US the 4th July is usually just another day, so this is a great idea to give it meaning. The idea was kicked around but a number of people on the New England Podcaster’s List, after initially been given legs by Steve Garfield.

Eric Skiff has produced a number of promo’s for use in podcasts, there is even a tag for the idea july4us, you can’t have an idea these days without a tag!

So what is it and how can you participate? Eric provides a great summary:-

We’re declaring our independence from Mainstream Media! We’re reporting news you won’t hear on “the big 3.” We’re playing great artists that clear channel’s computer playlists have ignored. We’re creating outstanding video content free from the shackles of the 30 minute timeslot!

Who are we? We’re just like you! We’re creative individuals who were sick of being force-fed the same focus-group distilled junk year after year.

On July Fourth, declare your own independence from Mainstream Media. Turn off your TV and turn on your computer. Plug an MP3 player with great music podcasts into your stereo while you barbeque. Watch an indie movie or a video podcast. Read news that’s not being reported on CNN.

I wonder just how much I would miss if I turned off MSM for 24 hours, probably not a lot, neither would you so give it a go!

Update: Here is MSM prediciting it’s own death. (Hat tip again to Cameron)

Restoring my son’s computer

Last weekend I had a bright idea of rebuilding my son’s computer, an old HP Pavilion 6535 we bought while we were in Canada and had shipped back to Australia in 2000.

Bad idea!

Initially I could not find the HP restore disks. But being a bit of a geek I had an old Windows 98 SE disk and thought “He doesn’t need all the fancy additional software shipped by HP let’s go vanilla!”.

Steps planned:-

  1. Re-format HD using Windows 98 SE recovery disk
  2. Install Windows 98 SE
  3. Install MS Works
  4. Upgrade to Office 2000
  5. Let son loose on new system

Steps taken:-

  1. Re-format HD using Windows 98 SE recovery disk
  2. Install Windows 98 SE
  3. Errors on re-boot!

During the rebot process I received errors about missing files, vnetsup.vxd, vredir.vxd, dfs.vxd WTF!  I just installed a fresh version of Windows 98SE, how can I be missing files.  Anyway the system continued to boot and then I received an error saying Microsoft Networking would not work because the file msnp.dll was not found!  Ignore this for now I think.
Once booted up I installed the network drivers for the Wireless card to get the system back on the network.  Then off to the Microsoft web site to Critical Updates, all 20 of them.   Video display all messed up, only supporting 680 x 720 in 4 colours!

Obviously I need the HP drivers and quick.
Went to HP web site to download required drivers. Other than the Intel drivers for the on board video card, nothing was there. Every search on the web site came back to use the Recovery CD, which I did not have. The biggest issue was that the sound card was not working. Ahh I know how to fix that, go to the product spec’s page look up the device and search for the drivers.  The only thing on the page was ” Crystal audio chip”, what!  Not only do they not provide drivers for download they don’t event provide part numbers so that you can do it yourself!  Straight to Google for some Googlejuice.

Search Crystal audio drivers pavilion 6535, and find I am not alone with these problems.  As it happens the chipset is Crystal CS4299 chip.  The drivers are available in two places.  Downloaded, installed and now we have sound.

Downloaded the Intel video drivers and we have a reasonable display.  Almost back to working order.

HP really needs to re-think their support of consumer PCs.

Interviewing for Google

We all know Google is a tough place to interview for, a bit like Microsoft. I came across this old post detailing two questions asked during an interview at Google, provides some interesting insight into Google as an organisation. The questions were:-

1. You have been shrunk down to the size of a nickel and tossed into a blender. You are told that the blender blades will start in 60 seconds.What would you do to save your life?

2. Design and describe a system/application that will most efficiently produce a report of the top 1 million Google search requests.These are the particulars.

* You are given 12 servers to work with. They are all dual-processor machines with 4Gb of RAM, 4x400GB hard drives and networked together.(Basically, nothing more than high-end PC’s)

* The log data has already been cleaned for you. It consists of 100 Billion log lines, broken down into 12 320 GB files of 40-byte search terms per line.

* You can use only custom written applications or available free open-source software.

How would you go? What is also interesting are the comments left on the post.

Do you have blog posts you don’t need?

Jason, Gretchen and Zoe all had dinner together.  They had a few to drink started to talk and came up with the idea of the GREAT BIG BLOG SWAP!!  The basic run down is get a
bunch of blogger to write post for other blogs, with a bit of organisation.

Anyone who has an interest in recruitment, job hunting, careers AND has a blog can play.  Sounds like a great idea, head on over to Blog Swap and register your interest.

What a day!

Well today is 23 June, an important day in history for two reasons.

Firstly it is my blogoversary!  23 June 2004 I typed up my first post on Blogger.  I decided on Blogger after failing to get MoveableType up and running after a couple of weeks of trying.  I suspect it was me not the tool!  Eventually I bought my own domain and settled on WordPress. Why did I start blogging?  Really just to document my thoughts, although I did have grand plans for using the blog as the basis for research and maybe a book.  Not sure the book idea will ever get up, but you never know.
Second reason the day is important.  Australia advanced to the second round of the World Cup.  We had a small gathering in the office to watch the match on the big screen.  The room erupted when Harry Kewel scored our second goal to draw 2 -2 with Croatia.  Next game is now against Italy.

Another job board for Australia

There must be something in the water because I received an email late last week announcing a new International Job Board (in Beta), recruit.net which covers Australia at australia.recruit.net, along with Japan, China, Hong Kong, Singapore and India. What is really interesting is this seems to be a vertical search play!

I really like the Browse Jobs feature which provides a Refine Your Search option that tries to pick Keywords from the selection of jobs, sort of a “drill down” function in job searching. This feature would be excellent if it worked correctly, it seems especially poor when browsing by Industry. I tried Australia > Human Resources > Director of Human Resources. Many of the jobs listed either reported to the Director of HR or required you to apply to this position.

Once again I think this might be a case of trying to be smart but actually ending up being a dumber for it.  But if the bugs can be worked out the feature will rock!

Now if we can combine all of these great new features into a single board I think we are onto something.

Australian IT job board

Just caught that a new IT job board launched last week, gurus.com.au from the team at NowHiring.  You can read about the launch at the NowHiring blog.

What I like about the tool is it has combined both jobs and resumes in an easy to use interface, while not the first to do this but probably the easiest to navigate.  Also I can get an RSS feed of either jobs OR RESUMES, this I think is a first.

Another very nice feature is the LinkedIn button on the side of each job.  This allow the job seeker to very quickly check their network for links into the hiring organisation.  My only suggestion would be to have agency jobs check for links in not just the agency but also the hiring organisation.  For example I saw an IP Telephony Product Manager role, it is with Cisco but being recruited by Hudson, when I clicked the LinkedIn button I was shown connections to Hudson not Cisco.