Mar 18

Not that their site is even relevant anymore but the Tucows review team is apparently way understaffed – this is just too funny not to post. Below is a note I received a full 2 1/2 years after submitting our very first product to the Tucows download directory. In short, we were rejected because the download file was no longer there. do ya think? ;-)

from	Sean Tierney 
date	Wed, Mar 18, 2009 at 10:46 AM
subject	Re: Reject Letter for JumpBox for the vTiger CRM System

well yes that file was submitted 2.5 years ago. it would be surprising
if any vendor's download was in the same place after that long. if we 
resubmit now I can pretty much promise you the file will be in a different
location 2.5 years from now. we'll pass. thanks.

On Wed, Mar 18, 2009 at 7:38 AM,   wrote:
> Dear author,
> Thank you for submitting your software for distribution on
> Unfortunately, we are unable to accept your program at this time for the
> following reason(s):
> 1)  The download file URL was unavailable.
> You must provide a direct link to the file you would like us to host.
> Please resubmit your program once this issue has been resolved.
> Further information on our policies and review criteria can be
> found in the Author Resource Center.
> Thank you for choosing Tucows.
> Sincerely,
> The Tucows Review Team
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Mar 04

A solid one-two punch following the JumpBox for SnapLogic release last week, we put out another winner this morning. The JumpBox for Dimdim is now available and gives you a way to instantly deploy an Open Source online meeting system. My favorite feature of this one is the shared document capability – basically it gives you a real-time collaborative whiteboard with your Powerpoint or PDF in the background. You can mark it up with other people and discuss the changes with video/audio chat. Kudos to the people at Dimdim for producing a solid and usable Open Source alternative to the WebEx’s, Gotomeeting’s and Acrobat Connect services of the world.

I did another screencast to run through the basics on how to get started with it. That video is below and you can find a full time-coded table of contents to the video here. Enjoy.

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Feb 25

We just released the SnapLogic JumpBox today. This is an Open Source app that allows you to easily integrate data from different sources (web pages, databases, spreadsheets, applications) and transform the data into something useful.

To demonstrate how SnapLogic works I made a screencast that walks you through the process of building an application start to finish. You can watch the video below and get a time-coded table of contents and all the resources I used here. The app we’ll build in that video is one that reaches into a SugarCRM instance, grabs the contacts and then compares them against a list of “enemies of the State” maintained by the Federal government. It’s a quick rudimentary app but gives you a free and quick way to start working towards OFAC compliance without paying exorbitant fees to vendors that sell that service.

While this particular app may not be all that relevant to you, it should get you thinking about how you could use this tool. Ponder for a minute all the mini-challenges you encounter in IT when you have these isolated systems with bits of data that need to be brought together in one place. What could you do with a tool that lets you wrangle records out of a MySQL database, scrape data off a web page, mash it up with data via a public web service and transform it into a web page or an RSS feed or a csv file or an email or… This is an extremely interesting JumpBox and definitely worth playing around with. If you want to tinker, skim the video to get the basics and then launch your own private instance using the orange button on the widget below. And visit to learn more about their offering. If you’re really into this stuff, take a look at Yahoo Pipes and compare how the two systems work. Happy tinkering!

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Dec 22

Long story short: it’s possible. Not officially supported, but possible. Here’s the blog post that lists the caveats to watch for and here’s a hi-def screencast that shows the setup process from start to finish:

This is significant because right now the main options for deploying JumpBoxes on Intel Macs are two commercial products: Parallels and Fusion.

Sun’s VirtualBox product is a cross-platform, open source alternative that now gives Intel Mac users a free deployment option. Please post any questions or comments regarding this topic on the JumpBox Blog post here. And if you like the screencast give us a to promote this capability.

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Sep 30

News sites and blogs are abuzz right now with reaction to Richard Stallman’s statement that “Cloud computing is a trap.” Unfortunately none of the commentary I’ve read so far has caught the key fallacy here: he has confused two entirely orthogonal concepts, Software as a Service and Utility (Cloud) Computing. While often seen together, the two are completely independent of one another (ie. you can have a SaaS offering delivered via servers running in your datacenter, and conversely you can deliver OSS software on a cloud-based system – we in fact make this very thing possible now with various JumpBoxes on Amazon’s EC2 service).

The vendor lock-in he’s railing against in his interview (and wrongfully attributing to the cloud computing aspect) is actually related to the fact that most SaaS offerings are based on proprietary software. But it’s the same dependence one develops to proprietary software running on the desktop only it’s easier to take the first cocaine hit when there’s nothing to install. That offering may happen to be delivered via servers that are running in the cloud but that’s completely tangential. I doubt Stallman would take issue with a site like using a cloud computing service to host free demos of open source software in order to encourage its adoption… Making the argument he has is about as silly as going after the steel industry because you don’t like guns.

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Sep 27

If you listen to Pandora radio, they’re on the ropes right now and need your help. Take two minutes of your time to rally and write your representative. Read this post from Pandora’s founder and then use this page to send an email to your congressman. I just sent the following one to mine in Arizona:

I would urge you to support H.R. 7084. It's come to my attention that there have been recent lobbying efforts from massive media giants like Clear Channel in an attempt to sabotage the negotiations that would allow internet radio companies like Pandora to continue to peacefully coexist. Pandora and other internet radio stations have been slapped with unreasonable per song fees that exceed those charged to traditional radio stations. This is a anticompetitive "box out" maneuver from the incumbent players attempting to keep a stranglehold on how people can listen to music. It's reminiscent of the early days of Southwest airlines and how the entrenched players in the airline industry fought tooth and nail to block their charter. Imagine how poor air travel would be today if they had succeeded?

I strongly urge you to support this bill and keep the playing field level for internet radio stations to coexist. To learn more about the issue, read this message from Pandora's founder:


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