Puakma: Under the hood

I'm Brendon Upson, jack-of-all-trades, master of one or two. I'm talking about life running a small ISV tackling business issues and leaping technology hurdles in a single bound.

webWise Network Consultants is based in Sydney, Australia and develops the groundbreaking Tornado Server technology.

Lessons learned

Filed under: by Brendon Upson on 2007-01-31

About 7 years ago we were travelling through Uganda. We met a small local boy on the road who was probably about 4 years old and Natasha gave him some brightly coloured pens. The excitement in his face was amazin, like these were the most precious things he had ever been given. With a big smile he ran down the road toward his mother, pausing to show a group of older boys his new treasures. Immediately the older boys grabbed the pens and ran off, leaving the youngster crying his eyes out. It was incredibly heart wrenching to watch, but I guess he learned a valuable life lesson - as should have I at that same moment: Avoid openly displaying items which others may covet.... Obviously I didn't.

Last weekend I purchased a new Navman n40i satellite navigation device on Saturday morning. On Saturday afternoon and night I marvelled at this new gadget - I was never to be lost again! On Sunday morning we headed up to the local shops for a little retail therapy. In the carpark, I took the device from its cradle and stowed it in the glove box. We arrived back at the car an hour later to find the driver side window smashed to a million pieces - and all traces of the navman gone (device, pouch, cradle, power supply). Nothing else was taken. 5 other cars were also broken into the same way with only the satellite navigation devices taken. One poor woman only had the suction cup mark on the windscreen with no device in the car and she was still broken in to.

The moral of the story. If you have a navigation device in your car, hide all traces of it when you leave the car unattended - including removal of the cradle and cleaning the suction cup mark from the windscreen.

No more navman for me, it won't be replaced. Before you ask "was it covered by insurance", sadly yes and no. My policy has a 950 dollar excess and I would lose 20% of my no claim bonus, increasing my premium by 200 dollars next year. The navman falls under "personal effects" and is only covered to a value of 500 dollars. The replacement window costs 666 dollars, so the insurance would pay out 1,166 and it would cost me 1,150. It's times like this you wonder why you bother to have insurance at all... 

Shortcut to quality

Filed under: by Brendon Upson on 2007-01-12

Happy New Year! Unfortunately last year finished with a fizz. We had been expecting a new mini-Upson, but unfortunately the prospective bub didn't make it past the 3 month mark. Very sad at the time but getting over it now.

Things at WNC are going from strength to strength, leaving not a lot of time to navel gaze which is both good and bad. Anyone looking for a web developer job in Parramatta, Sydney give me a call! Hopefully will find someone in the next couple of weeks to share some of the load.

This post is actually about a toothbrush - and how we use price to provide a shortcut to find the best quality item. Here goes.

For Christmas I asked Santa for an electric toothbrush. Santa being the busy fellow he is, asked me to find the make and model. I decided the oral B range was the way to go and that left me with 3 serious contenders:  69, 99 and 129 dollars. Unfortunately a toothbrush is not the kind of item you can try out in the store (thankfully!). The specs on the box of each were quite similar with a few different bells and whistles to differentiate. The big question was: should Santa get the top of the range model which may include feature we would never hope to use? or one of the others with just enough to get the job done? In this example we use price to help determine which is the best quality item.

In the end I went with the top of the range Oral B triumph and I'm happy to report IT ROCKS. I am sure my teeth have only ever been cleaner after a visit to the dentist. 

On the news front we'll be releasing the next version of Tornado next week along with Vortex 1.1. Looking forward to getting that out of the way - it's been a long time coming ;-) We've also picked up a couple of new customers and are towards the tail end of their development now I'll hopefully get to talk about that in the next few weeks as the launch date looms.