Intranets aren’t dead, they’re just getting started

With the creation of Biztranet.com, I’ve been doing more research into Intranets including their impact on businesses, adoption among small businesses, and overall awareness. I was surprised to find that among small businesses, Intranets are still unknown.

If you have worked at a company that has more than 100 employees, there is a good chance that you have used an intranet. It can go by many names including: portal, intranet, extranet, internal website, and also creative names that are only relevant within the company walls.

The benefits of an Intranet are much needed, especially at the small business level to decrease confusion, increase collaboration, and improve overall capture of knowledge. One user of intranet software cited that they saw a reduction of email sending by 40% because of their Intranet. This is because it acts as a central repository for information.

My main goal when creating Biztranet was to be able to offer a hosted Intranet service to small businesses that was affordable, but still very powerful. Now I don’t do plugs on my blog that often, but if you go to http://www.biztranet.com and fill out the contact us form at the bottom of the page, mention this blog post and I’ll give you a 20% discount off any of the plans (monthly or annually). This offer is only valid until June 15th 2011.

Spread the word and increase awareness of Intranets. They can help you save time and money.

Chivalry isn’t dead

Pam told me today about a guy that was hitting on her, this happens often, and in this case and previous cases when the guy sees that she has a wedding ring they immediately back off and say, sorry I didn’t realize that you are married.

Now Pam wasn’t leading them on, she is just nice like me. But it is nice to see that chivalry isn’t dead from the standpoint that people respect the institution of marriage and won’t disrupt it. Now I know that not everyone is like this, but it is refreshing to see that there are people out there that still act this way.

Catalina…just amazing

For Pam’s birthday we went to Catalina. Neither of us have been to the island and I have to say it was amazing. Imagine a beach community that is stuck in the 50s. No new developments via real estate, streets are clean, food is good, views breathtaking, things to do abundant, and a general overall feeling of happiness. That is Catalina in a nutshell.

We went to the Casino (not in the gambling sense, but in the old italian term sense). In the building was an old theatre decked out with an organ that we were fortunate enough to hear being played before the movie we went to see. Here is the exterior of the Casino:

The highlight of the trip was of course being able to have time with Pam, but the 2nd highlight was getting the top score for a football throwing game in the arcade. My legacy will stand on that island.

We also made it over to the island museum which had an exhibit on photos of the beatles and eric clapton as photographed by Pattie Boyd.

We made it up to the Wrigley Botanical Gardens too. For those of you who don’t know, Catalina island was once owned by William Wrigley Jr, who also owned Wrigley’s Gum and the Chicago Cubs.

We didn’t get a chance to see the bison on the island, but since it was really easy to get there (1 hour north to Dana Point, hop on boat, 1 hour 20 min boat ride) we’ll most likely go back again.

My return to MindTouch

I put in my notice to leave MindTouch to start my own business in the beginning of April. A part of my new business is providing contract services to my clients. One of them being MindTouch. After a few webinars and trainings for MindTouch, they decided to offer me a new position at the company along the lines of a Sales Engineer for the sales team. After giving it some good thought, I decided to return to MindTouch in addition to running my company. My life goal is to be autonomous with my own company, but this is a role where I can have a big impact on the adoption of MindTouch and continue to help the company grow which is important to me.

I look forward to this new position and to working with the great people at MindTouch again.

Funny customer service chat

This is a conversation that I had this morning with a customer service rep from a company who will remain nameless:

Rep: How are you doing today?
Me: Pretty good, it is overcast here but that is expected in May
Rep: It is raining here at the moment
Me: Oh yeah, where are you located?
Rep: Philippines
Me: Oh, ok
Rep: You know where that is?
Me: Yeah
Rep: Have you been here before?
Me: No
Rep: How do you know where it is?
Me: from a map

Glad my cartography classes didn’t fail me 🙂 I at least know that the green stuff isn’t water (for those readers that have seen arrested development)

.htaccess file to allow pingdom servers

I’m setting up some servers that are restricted but still need to be monitored. In order to do this I setup an .htaccess file that denies traffic by default expect for IPs that are allowed. Here is the file that you can use to allow servers from pingdom but restrict everything else. Note you’ll have to add your own IP address and anyone else that wants to access the site:

order deny,allow
deny from all
allow from 83.140.19.38
allow from 67.228.213.178
allow from 208.43.68.59
allow from 94.46.240.121
allow from 72.46.130.42
allow from 173.248.147.18
allow from 173.204.85.217
allow from 84.246.230.247
allow from 212.84.74.156
allow from 64.141.100.136
allow from 178.255.152.2
allow from 64.237.55.3
allow from 178.255.155.2
allow from 178.255.153.2
allow from 178.255.154.2
allow from 96.31.66.245
allow from 82.103.128.63
allow from 67.205.112.79
allow from 78.136.27.223
allow from 67.192.120.134
allow from 207.97.207.200
allow from 207.218.231.170
allow from 95.211.87.85
allow from 83.170.113.102
allow from 74.52.50.50
allow from 74.53.193.66
allow from 204.152.200.42
allow from 85.25.176.167
allow from 174.34.162.242
allow from 70.32.40.2
allow from 174.34.156.130
allow from 69.59.28.19

Pingdom may change server IPs periodically so please confirm that the IP addresses are correct before adding them.

Update

A lot has happened in the past 8 months. I had a great christmas and birthday 🙂 Most recently I started my own company and have left MindTouch. I worked at MindTouch for 5 years and they were a lot of fun, but I have a degree in Entrepreneurship and needed to get out and conquer the world. I started the company Collective Fruitions which I offer services for IT, training, tech writing, and more: http://www.collectivefruitions.com

I’ll also have an Intranet hosting site that will be launched very soon, shooting for end of this week. I plan on doing a little bit more blogging as I go through the process of setting up my company. Most of the posts will be quick and will probably have some technical sample in them. Note that I intend on quick updates so I apologize in advance for poor grammar/spelling.

Stay tuned

Long time no post

It has been a long time since I’ve posted and in that time Lucy has grown to be around 20lbs, Pam started a new job, and we have a new roommate at our place.  I think one of the big reasons I haven’t been blogging as much is that I’ m not as much of a blogger as I used to be because of being busy at work along with some of my side projects.  Frankly I’m not that passionate about writing as I am about technology in general.  i.e. I’d rather spend time learning a programming language I’m not familiar with then write about random things.  Although that changes from time to time when I get the urge, as I am right now.  I do update my twitter more frequently though.  If you want to receive more updates from me, definitely follow me @coreygans

Other than that, just living life and having a blast.

LVTC still lives 🙂

Life as a Pet owner

This past weekend Pam and I got a golden retriever puppy named Lucy.  She is 8 weeks old and adorable.  It has been a long time since I’ve had a dog and there are a lot of things that are coming back to me as we train her.  There have been some frustrating moments like when she woke us up at 5am to poop all over her crate, but when you look at the following face it all goes away:

Installing Ubuntu Remix on EEEpc 900

I just got an EEEpc 900 off of eBay that had XP loaded on it.  It was pretty cheap ($179 with shipping and tax) and overall have pretty good specs including 1GB of RAM, 16GB SSD Hard Drive, built in Mic and 1.3MP camera.  The goal was to get this for when I’m traveling to decrease the weight and easier to pack.  Once I got it I got things ready to install Ubuntu Remix on it.  Here are the steps I took:

  1. Setup a USB installer as the netbook doesn’t have a CD/DVD drive on it.  I tried using the usb creator built in with the Ubuntu remix ISO but that didn’t work out so I used UNetBootin
  2. I got the Flash Drive setup and ran the installer and it worked out well, the touchpad didn’t work during the installation but I had a usb mouse and that allowed me to control and finish the installation
  3. Once I got it installed the wireless worked right away, the touchpad worked, when I closed the lid it went into standby properly

I need to get a new battery for it as it only came with a 4 cell and it seems to already be losing charge.  Otherwise the installation was easy and I’m really happy with it.