WebEx and Surface Pro 3 (SP3) external speakers.

March 3, 2015

Just a note for those searching for issues related to using an external speaker with an SP3. Don’t bother as of March 2015. Seems that this combination is not tested so it is not explicitly supported… and I can tell you doesn’t work.

We’ve tried using the headphone jack and we’ve tried a USB speaker – none work with the remote party. I have not (yet) tried a Yeti microphone… will try that today.

I have talked to WebEx support (as in my ticket generated a human tech who called me) and they didn’t spin it – they don’t’ know when explicit support will be added. They did suggest talking to my account rep as “another channel”. I understand this as we work with our account reps and sales team all the time in our development and support efforts.

While I didn’t like what I was told – I appreciate the call and I appreciate the honest sharing of the few facts they have.


How to Create a Listing of a PowerPoint Deck’s Slide Titles

December 29, 2014

Did you ever want to have a listing of JUST the titles for your slide deck in a Word document or printed out? Apparently this is not a common requirement, but it is one that I have had on several occasions of late. My scenario is that in preparing decks with 40-120 slides to support professional education classes, I often want a catalog or table of contents for my decks presented in a compact manner.

Normally, an experienced user would go to Outline view in PowerPoint and then copy and paste into MS Word. Alas, the text comes over without any styling attributes so you can’t then collapse the outline and print….

After a bit of fiddling in PowerPoint 2013 I realized that the outline view in PowerPoint still supports a “Collapse All” feature when you right click on a slide title in the outline view. By collapsing the slides you can now print or copy/paste JUST the titles ūüôā

More reflections on my relationship with Computer Harpoon

November 13, 2014

Looking over the few items I have posted over the years I reflected on the fact that I don’t miss Harpoon one bit.¬† Granted, I just completed a chapter on Computer Harpoon for a forthcoming MIT Press book tentatively titled “Zones of Control” due out in early 2016.¬† In some respects writing that provided a lot of retrospective and dredged up some old memories.¬† I sent draft copies to everyone I tried to mention (only the positive mentions, I skipped the names of the trolls) and received a few corrections and general agreement that my memory was accurate.

I did find it interesting to go through my archive box, including the original design notebooks (which we thought were lost), letters, marketing materials, reviews in the US Naval Institute Press, etc.¬† The game is actually never far from my mind because i have two of the framed “Tom the Captain” game posters from 1988 in my offices (home and day job). But I don’t really dwell on it.

Tom Frisina Harpoon 1 Poster

Tom Frisina Harpoon 1 Poster

When I guest lecture to classes at Texas A&M I try to provide some insight into what the business was like in the 1980’s and 1990’s but make it clear that I’m there to provide historical context only.¬† We didn’t have mobile, cloud, nor Facebook so my lessons learned have to be generic (like dealing with publishers, staff and the usual software development issues).

I am probably closer to donating the materials to one of the three museums who have expressed interest in my collection of period naval games.  I think most of the interest is in the Harpoon project archives (including source code).

I haven’t played any naval games and am only interested in beating Diablo in Diablo II and playing the new Homeworld products in 2015 onward.

Besides, I start a new job on Monday with ViaSat and will get to learn about networking while sharing my knowledge of project, product and software engineering managment.¬† I’m goining to be VERY busy for some time to come.

Solved BlueTooth Contacts Issue between Elantra and Galaxy S5

November 13, 2014

The product that solved the problem is: BlueTooth Phonebook.
The phone would not sync more than about 5 contacts with the car before timing out and failing. I tried on two different Elantra SE’s and two different Galaxy S5 phones. Something is wrong with the implementation (if not design) that causes these two Korean products to not talk to each other given my phone’s contact configuration (i.e. Google, Touchdown and Outlook apps – plus the phone storage).

Tried the demo and it worked flawlessly so the $2 was easy.

I can’t tell if the app continues to run or caused a setting to change allowing the devices to transfer as they were intended.

I am slightly annoyed by the behavior of the phone/car re synching 450 contracts if ANY contact changes on the phone. I can’t tell if that is the car, the phone or something that this app did. Considering the overall benefit of being able to use the phone through the car – I’ll live with it.

— Updated —

Interesting development.¬† I must have missed it but it seems that the Elantra will only sync with contacts in the phone’s onboard memory, not any of your applications.¬† I’m sure this is documented somewhere – thus it is my oversight but all the same… That’s the root cause.

Reflections on Amazon Prime – is it Bait and Switch or just a lack of caring?

September 28, 2014

I wish I had a friend who was an attorney.¬† Then I could ask them the following question.¬† “If I offer a product as part of a pre-paid package, am I allowed to start charging for that product during the existing term of my package and may I start charging without any warning?”.

Thus the point of this post is that I was finishing off the “Caprica” series on Amazon Prime. I had about 3 episodes to go when I was suddenly presented with a requirement to pay for $1.99 per episode to finish the season.¬† I had no warning, no notification, and my Prime subscription was not up for another 45 days.¬† I have notified Amazon NOT to renew my PRIME subscription and contacted customer service and filed a verbal complaint.¬†¬† My $100/year will now go to Netflix and I will try to buy as many products as possible from vendors OTHER than Amazon when possible – even if the price is a bit higher.

I am not naive in this РI am certain that buried deep in the Terms of Use is the phrase that Amazon may add or subtract content at any time, for any reason, without warning and that I have forsaken all recourse against them.  Alas, I do have this venue and Facebook.

Given the massive computing power that is Amazon, why can’t they push a notification or display a warning when we log in to watch the next installment instead of making us go the Watch List using a PC to try to catch a 3 week warning posted there?¬† “Dear, I’ll put the next episode on after I check to see if we are about to loose this show”. Really?

There is a trend here, I have previously posted on how Netflix pulled another series I was watching without notice.¬† So it is just a matter of who disappointed me most recently ūüė¶


Lessons from my Philmont Trek

August 14, 2014

I was privileged to accompany our Troop to Philmont Scout Ranch this year.  We had many trials and tribulations as a crew, and I had mine trying to be a project manager in a situation where the Serenity Prayer really had more bearing than the Five Knowledge Areas or 45 Process Groups.

On the other hand the issues the crew faced were not covered by “Be Happy”, but finding the balance took many days and many miles.

For the record we were Expedition 624-X on Itinerary 8 (65 miles if you don’t get lost, 12,000 ft max altitude atop Mt Phillips). ¬†I did personally see a live, 250 lb bear in camp at a disance of about 100 ft. ¬†The bear was NOT impressed with my pan banging skills.

Things I learned:

Serenity Prayer

Sleeping clothing is really different than hiking clothing in that you will move around camp first thing in the morning (until you recover your hiking clothis from the bear bags or the pack) and last thing in the evening (after dinner).

All forms of Duct tape are evil because they are a “Smellable” ¬†Including anything you patch with it!.

Gatorade is evil – as it makes anything it touches a smellable.

DryDucks are your friend to go with the sleeping clothes Рbut not when you are hiking (they get hot in a hurry).  Red Ledge are the opposite Рawesome while hiking Рbut almost worthless at keeping you warm.

Layers layers layers РI did fine with 2 pairs of synthetic underwear Ex-Officio ($25 and worth it) for hiking, hiking pants (2 pair), running shirts (2), thin Merino wool base layer, thicker synthetic fleece, and then the rain gear.  THREE pair Mid weight socks (SmartWool) with REI CoolMax liners.  One wool cap and one wide brimmed hiking hat.  

And… bandannas. ¬†I made my own from sewing together new Handi-Wipes. ¬†They worked great but they looked VERY STUPID (see pics). ¬†Yeah, Philmont is NOT a fashion show.

I should have brought 1 pair of cotton boxers (NOT WHITE) to go with my sleeping shorts.

No issues with our 9lb 3 person tent (Mountain Hardware as we split it up between two adults. 

Pics are here under news – most are before our awesome 4xEagle Ceromony:



More later

This sums up my experience w trolls

April 19, 2014


I do not miss them at all.