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                    Archive for Jun 2009


                    Starting a High Tech Business: Selling the Third Deal

                    I'm starting a new business called Kynetx. As I go through some of the things I do, I'm planning to blog them. The whole series will be here. This is the nineteenth installment. You may find my efforts instructive. Or you may know a better way--if so, please let me know! I have a theory that the third deal matters more than the first two. Here's why. The first time you sell your product--your first deal--is always exciting. But let's be honest, it could be a fluke. If you beat the bushes long enough you're likely to find someone
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                    Annotating Anything

                    Today I released build 299 of KNS. There are three important updates to KRL in this build. First, KRL now support literal hashes. Hashes are creating by enclosing comma-delimted name-value pairs in curly braces like so: {"foo" : "bar", "fizz" : 3, "flop" : [1, 2, 3]} Second, the annotate_search_results action has been modified to support two new configuration parameters: results_lister - (defaults to "li.g, div.g, li div.res, #results>ul>li") - jQuery selector for finding relevant results to annotate. The default finds search results for Google, Yahoo, and Bing. element_to_modify - (defaults to "div.s,div.abstr,p") - the jQuery selector for finding
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                    CTO Breakfast Tomorrow

                    Tomorrow is the CTO breakfast. It starts at 8am and goes to 9:30am. The location is, as usual, the Novell cafeteria. Sorry for the late notice; for some reason my calendar wasn't showing the Google calendar event. Luckily an email prodded me from my stoopor. The CTO breakfast isn't just for CTOs, but also for those who aspire to be CTOs or are interested in building high-texh products. The discussion is open-format. We decide what to talk about when we get there. You're welcome to bring your topic and bring it up. Here are the scheduled dates for upcoming
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                    Kynetx Open House and Demo Day

                    This Friday at 11:30, Kynetx will host an open house and demo lunch. If you'd like to see what we're up to, stop by, eat some pizza, see some demos, and chat. We're especially interested in getting more people developing on our platform, so if you'd like to try it out, we'll have sign up cards for anyone who wants them. We'll be at Kynetx World Headquarters in Thanksgiving Point. This map will give you directions; we're in Suite 275 (metal door). Please RSVP so we know how much pizza to buy.
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                    Building a Virtual Appliance: First Steps

                    Image by MrsWoman via Flickr This week I've been working on creating a virtual appliance (VA) version of the Kynetx engine. This is a necessary step for customers who need a version of the Kynetx Rules Engine (KRE) running behind their firewall (think SAS70 compliance, for example). This post documents some of what I discovered. (N.B. Since I'm working with Xen, much of what appears below could be Xen specific; I haven't taken the time to generalize it.) First, and most important, there's no standard definition of what a virtual appliance is or how they are built. There are
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                    A Tail of (Disk) Corruption and Eventual Salvation

                    Yesterday I accidentally overwrote the disk image of a running Xen server that represented a machine in production. I didn't notice for two hours because the services on the machine kept going since they didn't need the disk. In fact, the only reason I noticed was because I happened to need to do the same thing again and got the command from the shell command history and noticed the mistake--a one character typo. Recovery from this event required rebuilding the machine. Fortunately, we've been working hard on infrastructure automation and have a set of Puppet recipes for completely building
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                    GM, Its Shareholders, and Slower Rusting

                    As we all know, the US government is now GM's largest shareholder. As someone who has served on the boards of several companies, this gives me great pause. It's unlikely that GM is going to choose me to be on it's board, but if they did, I'm not sure I'd understand what I was meant to do. When you serve on the board of a for-profit company, your fiduciary duty is clear: increase shareholder value. Boards work for the shareholders and shareholders invest in companies to make money. Sure, the law imposes other duties on boards
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