Migrating content from Blogger to dasBlog

I started my first blog back in 2002 on Blogger but switched to using dasBlog in late 2003 when I was wanting more control of my site.  I’ve wanted to migrate the content over from the old site for a long time but never could find a tool to do the heaving lifting… until today when I discovered Nick Schweitzer’s “Coding Monkey” site.  Nick has clear instructions as well as a GUI tool to help switch from Blogger to dasBlog.  The process was quick and painless and his instructions were straight-forward.  If you’ve been looking to import your old Blogger content into dasBlog but weren’t sure how, check out Nick’s instructions.

Importer UI

It’s more for me than anyone else… but if you want to find my old posts, you can just click on the “Old Blog” topic on the right.


My Favorite Bug Bash strip – More Meeting Busters

Bug Bash started life as an internal MS comic strip by cartoonist and program manager, Hans Bjordahl.  It has a ton of great commentary on the software development process and has also been available outside MS for a while now.  My favorite series of strips is a set of “Meeting Busters – Surefire ways to sink your meeting”.  Within that series, there is this beautiful cell: 


Some more back story: when we lived in Colorado my wife (well… girlfriend at the time) and I loved Hans Bjordahl’s comics in the University of Colorado school paper (I wasn’t going to college there, Paula was).  When I started work for Microsoft I noticed the “Bug Bash” comic in our internal newspaper had the same character style (which led me to dig up the old clippings I had… and lo!).  When Hans left Microsoft this year I worried we’d loose the regular dose of laughing at the software development industry but Hans has continued to write and publish Bug Bash (this was the only sentence without a parenthetical).

I was reminded of it this morning when I came across a CNet article (from February) on how the Internet is changing the business of cartoonists.  Tag line:

“See you in the funny pages” takes on a new meaning for cartoon artists who are making a home on the Web.

Here are direct links to the Meeting Busters strips:


Great news for those wanting to try SmugMug, no credit card needed now

SmugMug now offers a 14 trial which doesn’t require a credit card.  You now have no excuse to go try out what I think is the best photo site on the net.

Back when Omar turned me on to SmugMug a credit card was required to do the free trial, turning a bunch of people away from the site.  While requiring a CC caused resistance, the number of people who stayed is worth noting: of the people I know who did the trial, over 80% of them stayed with the service.  With props from PC Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, Macworld, Newsweek, Businssweek and Forbes you can be sure you’re getting a great product.

Oh, and once you sign up (because you will sign up :)), be sure to download Omar’s Send to SmugMug tool (Windows only, sorry).  Send to SmugMug makes the process of uploading pictures a simple task.


It’s been around for a while… but I still want one

Das Keyboard, the ultimate geek keyboard… it’s totally blank so you better know your stuff, no poseurs allowed.


A little bit of irony to start the week…

Fire extinguishers…

Irony extinguishers

… housed in an old fireplace.


Some very cool eye tracking videos using eyetrak machine

Larry Larsen has posted some very cool videos of him playing around at home with eye tracking hardware. He has some videos of him playing xbox games with eye position overlayed but I found the roller coaster video the most interesting by far (it vividly demonstrates how strongly we are drawn to look at people’s eyes).

Roller coaster


Goodbye Nala

Nala – ˜1990 to 2006

After gracing us with her presence for the past seven years our three-legged princess is gone.

We adopted Nala from the San Jose Humane Society shortly after buying our house in 1998.  After a few visits and not finding the right dog to take home we were walking along the row of dog runs and saw a super-cute black lab-type dog standing up, front paws on the gate, wagging her tail at us.  Cute face, happy, anxious to meet us and… what the?  She’s only standing on one leg!

We were immediately taken with her personality, affection and heart.  She wouldn’t play fetch for more than a couple tosses, she wouldn’t go out in the rain and if it got cold, she just wanted to be inside.  She was definitely a princess… but a princess with a huge spirit.  Initially we marveled at her ability to get around on just three legs, but the novelty soon wore off and we stopped noticing that she only had three legs.  It never bothered her, after all… she had one more leg than we did.

Nala’s lack of a leg did eventually slow her down in 2004 when she developed Idiopathic Peripheral Vestibular Disease, commonly called old dog vestibulitis.  The affliction, not uncommon in older dogs, is essentially loosing the function of your inner ear.  Without the body’s built-in gyroscope to help balance, the world starts spinning and it takes a while to adjust.  After a few weeks Nala learned to rely on her sight, muscles and other inner ear for balance.  Nala was at 100% in about a month.  Almost a year to the day later, she lost the use of her other inner ear and had a much more difficult recovery.  True to form, she fought through again the second time (though she never was quite as stable as before).

Nala had the marked head tilt symptomatic of old dog vestibulitis

As we prepared for our move to Ireland we included the necessary steps which would allow us to bring Nala with us.  The regulations of importation of dogs into Ireland now allow you to prep your pet ahead of time to avoid the six-month quarantine.  By getting a rabies test performed by the correct organization six months before importation your pet can enter the country without having to be put in a kennel for six months.  Nala would have been able to join us in Ireland on August 7th, but it wasn’t meant to be.

We were moving to Ireland before Nala would be able to enter the country and thankfully we have some great friends who also love dogs, our good friends Leslie and Jason.  We were initially a little concerned that things would be rough on Leslie and Jason because we weren’t quite sure how Nala would get along with their newly adopted dog, Kaos.  Nala, who has always been a little aggressive towards other dogs, wasn’t too bad of a house guest (other than an early issue with relieving herself inside).  Nala joined their pack quickly, immediately latching onto Kaos.  Nala apparently spent most of her time following her new pal around.

“So, you want to leave me with a dog named ‘Kaos’? A you sure that’s okay?”

Leslie, having just lost her dog Micah in February, had the unenviable task of contacting us on Monday to let us know Nala wasn’t doing well.  This past weekend Nala stopped eating and the vet said it was likely kidney failure or lung cancer (or perhaps both for all we knew).  In her later years Nala had a history of urinary tract infections and was on a special diet which was easier on her kidneys, so we knew there was an issue there.  Combined with her kidney issues the vet was having trouble hearing a heart beat on one side of her chest which could indicate a rapidly growing tumor in her lung.  My first desire was to throw as much money at it as was needed, I didn’t want to lose Nala, but I knew that was really just a selfish reaction.  It was time.

Leslie holding Nala before taking her to the vet on Tuesday night.

Nala passed away last night at around 6:30 PM pacific time.