October 2008 Archives

Feasting On Waves

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A while back I found out about Alton Brown's new show "Feasting on Waves".  It is very similar to his other show, "Feasting on Asphalt", but instead of riding a motorcycle around the United States checking out Mom & Pop places to eat, he sails around the Caribbean doing the same thing.  I'm jealous, but it is a great show.


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I've known about Jott for quite a while now, but I haven't really started using it until I had a longer commute (the new company is in Mountain View).  What I like about Jott is that I can add their phone number to my speed dial and when I come up with an idea or a todo or anything I can just call them and record a message for myself and they take care of the speech to text translation and it is ready for me usually just minutes later.  It is simple, but I use it just about every day.  So if you have a decent commute where you drive and can't write things down when you get ideas you should give Jott a try.

tiny * prints launch

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Most of the people that know me, know by now that I left IBM back in September and went to a startup named tinyprints.  They do wedding invitations, birth announcements, holiday cards, etc...  I took a week off between jobs and headed over to the Eastern Sierras and Boundary Peak with Timber and Wookie to do some camping and hiking.  It was a fun trip, and when I started at tinyprints I immediately jumped into the deep end.  I was brought in to lead the test team, and we had a lot of testing to do before we launched lots of new features and functionality on October 1st.  So I worked day and night every day for my first 2 weeks until we did the launch.  It was kind of like the movie Gladiator where Maximus first goes to Rome and gets thrown into a battle where his team is supposed to get slaughtered.  It starts out being chaotic, but he gets his cohorts organized and actually wins the battle.

But now that I've been here a little while longer things are going more smoothly.  It is quite a bit smaller than IBM, and the culture is different, but I think the adjustment is going well and I'm enjoying my work.  And it is nice to work on something that lots of people will actually see and use.  So if you are having a baby or getting married or having any kind of occasion you really should check out tinyprints and weddingpaperdivas.  And if you email me I can send you a coupon code to save 20 %.

IBM eDiscovery Analyzer

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Woohoo!  Our product actually got launched!  My last product at IBM (more on that later) was the IBM eDiscovery Analyzer.  It is basically a search engine that allows companies to search through email and it is targeted at the legal search and discovery market.  A typical business case is say you are a large company that is getting sued for patent infringement.  Typically what you would do is sequester the email of all the people that worked in that area.  Then you will send the email to a company that specializes in looking through the emails for the actual emails that are relevant to the case.  But the companies that specialize in looking through the emails do it manually and they charge a lot of money.  So in comes IBM eDiscovery Analyzer.  It can crawl your emails, run analytics against it, and allow you to search through the email by keyword, subject, date range, To, From, CC/BCC, top senders, top recipients, top phrases, etc... so that you can slice and dice the data any way you want in order to find the emails that are relevant to the case.  Here are a few articles about it:

1. IBM Expands eDiscovery Portfolio with eDiscovery Analyzer
2. Our Announcement
3. Rueters Article
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I predict that Obama will win the upcoming presidential election based on Google Trends. Try it for yourself. I checked it back in '04, and back then Bush was always higher on the scale than Kerry, even though they both had the same ups and downs. So who do you think is going to win?

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Failure At Boundary Peak

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The third and last major thing we did while in the Eastern Sierras was to attempt and fail to climb Boundary Peak, the tallest mountain in Nevada. Boundary Peak is technically in the White Mountains, which are not part of the Eastern Sierras. I put up a page about it here. To make a long story short we didn't make it to the top because we started out too late in the day. When I go back I will make sure to start as early as possible.

Laurel Lakes

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The second major thing we did while over in the Eastern Sierras was to visit and camp at Laurel Lakes. I created a page for that trip here. Basically it was a 4.5 mile 4x4 road that is apparently a Class III in off road speak and it nearly destroyed my truck. It took us over an hour to do the 4.5 mile road and once we got there we decided to camp for the night because we didn't want to just turn around and do it all over again so soon. It was pretty tough on my truck, but the Laurel Lakes are beautiful and we had the entire place to ourselves.

Bishop Pass Achieved

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While over in the Eastern Sierras I got a chance to take another shot at Bishop Pass. Last year when Timber and I attempted to do it we turned around because she was starting to wimp out (just wait, she won't read this blog entry for months!). But this time, she was stuck in Bishop trying to find cell phone reception and a wifi connection so she could do work. That freed Wookie and me up to get our revenge. OK, not really revenge, but it did free us up to make it all the way to Bishop Pass. I detailed the trip here, but in summary we did it and the views into Dusy Basin and King's Canyon National Park were nice.

September 2010

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Contact Info:
email: tom.carroll[at]gmail.com
Y! IM: tomcarroll_95123
AOL IM: parb0y77
Skype: troutm8
Campfire: link


Adventure Race
Desolation Wilderness
Eastern Sierras
Half Dome
Hetch Hetchy
John Muir Wilderness
Lost Coast
Mount Shasta[2][3]
Mount Whintey
Prairie Creek Redwoods SP
Skyline to the Sea Trail
White Mountain Peak[1][2]
Clouds Rest