things changed between triple crowns

The digital divide is not only between the digital natives and the elders, between the digitally enhanced and the not, between the glassholes and the blind, but also over time. There is a time we cannot imagine anymore and those from the past could not imagine accurately the future. Hence our (my?) love of Steampunk, historical visions of the future (past).


The big divide occurred when a third “item to be carried at all times” was introduced, an idea that I cannot properly attribute as it has sunk into our consciousness so deeply the origin is now a mystery.  The third item? The first two “items to be carried at all times” being (1) something of value (cash) and (2) a method of accessing something of value (key, credit card, secret code). Every human has had these two on their person at all times without fail since the great leap forward, to quote Guns, Germs and Steel.

Within 25 years it has changed entirely. Now we all have a third item. (3) Our communicator from Star Trek. We all carry a mobile device.

More importantly, these devices don’t just facilitate communication; they change how we interact at a systemic experiential level. We didn’t just watch American Pharoah (sic) win the Triple Crown, we recorded every second of American Pharoah trotting around Belmont Park. Because…

“If you don’t have a pic, it didn’t happen.” – anonymous

Further irony? Here in meta-meta-meta-land, I took a picture of the HD TV of people taking video and pictures as American Pharoah’s victorious Triple Crown bid was broadcast into my living room. Then combined it with an image from google image search on my mobile device while waiting at a restaurant. To capture the right image I used a Tivo (now a generic word like Kleenex) to rewind and jump forward prior to the start of the race for half of this cell-phone-crowd-picture I first posted on Instagram.

Here is to history and a wonderful victory for American Pharoah winning the triple crown after a 17 year drought. And here is to the amazing human which adapts and evolves in front of our eyes in real time. We don’t have hover-boards, but the revolution is here and indeed it will be televised; on

Now get out there and record something and post it to prove it happened and let your devices consume you. Because that is the future. It’s your destiny kid.

How do you know _____? I’m not always sure…. it just happens

Every year at SXSW I feel a little older. It doesn’t help that right before SXSW 2015, where it was my privilege to be a speaker for the third time at the Interactive festival, that twitter sent me a notice congratulating me on being on twitter for 8 years.

8 years on twitter. At least I don’t post photos of every piece of sushi I eat. Although I almost posted a photo of the biscuits-and-gravy I ate this morning. (Shut it – it’s called “carb’ing up” for tennis tomorrow.) Anyway it’s all a blur although I know I can blame Erica O’Grady for getting me on twitter for sure.

But the iphone. It was 2007. Kool Aid? Check. And well….. In Adam Tow’s photo I’m the guy with the brown shirt and arm raised on the left hand side at the back. Yup that’s me. I haven’t always had a beard.

When I heard about iphone dev camp, by rss feed of course, I was on an airplane. My first iphone was purchased by proxy by a great friend named Imelda who was willing to get me one on the first day given I was flying someplace else on the day they were released. We registered on a wiki because what could go wrong, right?

iphone dev camp 1 wiki 2007
iphone dev camp 1 wiki 2007

Screen Shot 2015-03-20 at 7.20.15 PM

In the end there I was at iphone dev camp 1 when apple didn’t even have an SDK yet. But I was there in San Francisco in 2007. Right after Adam took his photo I had to run around and take my own photo to post to my flickr set from iphone dev camp 2007.

When I got back to Houston I had a bunch of new friends and wound up presenting at Netsquared Houston on the iphone and the good the bad and the ugly. I’ve left the iphone, come back, left again, came back again and right now I really enjoy the camera on my iphone 6. In 2007 this was my presentation on the iphone at netsquared.

At SXSW this year I saw a lot of these folks, but not enough. It’s a marathon and not a race. Now I’m more excited about hexacopters, remote work environments, how best to give people meaningful work, create a great product, and keep our clients not just happy but evangelists. A lot has changed.

There are too many names to even begin to give credit to for these adventures and the fact that they have resulted in tangible benefits that went right back to our employees in profit sharing and training and benefits over the last 17 years since I started the company in 1997. Yet “I” didn’t start the company, I jumped off the cliff and my family and friends were like “well look what the hell he did now? Guess we gotta help him till he comes around.” And they did.

Here’s to the crazy ones.

Then. And now. Here is a humble thank you to those who keep us alive, pick us up when we fall, put up with us working three days straight without sleep when we get in the zone. And still love us.

Here’s to the ones who love and care for the crazy ones, because we are nothing without you. And I say that with the utmost humility. I am no Steve Jobs. I am not Rosa Parks. I’m a person who is terrified yet at the same time resolutely certain of the outcome.

“Remembering you are going to die, is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You re already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.” – Steve Jobs

“Stay hungry. Stay Foolish.”

Thank you. And thank you Steve for the inspiration….

In closing…. “Tendenci – we just want to change the world. What’s so hard about that?


Adding eBook epub and mobi downloads to WordPress

A few technical notes if you want to add ebooks (.epub and .mobi file formats) downloads to your wordpress site. We encountered three obstacles, file size, upload restrictions and file association. Here are the solutions.

WordPress File Size Limits are Too Low

WordPress by default only allows 2 meg uploads and only of particular file types. Unfortunately .epub and .mobi are not among the default file types that are allowed by WordPress.

First the bad news – if you want to increase the allowed file sizes for uploads you have to modify the php.ini file. Depending on your hosting provider this may or may not be easy. See Bill Erickson’s post on increasing allowed file uploads in WordPress.

File Types That can be uploaded in WordPress

Hopefully this will change, but currently .mobi and .epub are obscure. So you have to configure WordPress to allow them on most hosting providers.

We are running the WordPress Thesis theme on this particular site so the solution to add file types for upload was found here and is abbreviated below.

In the Thesis custom_functions.php file add this php code using the WordPress editor. But don’t make a typo as after that you would have to FTP in to fix it. Hypothetically speaking. Here is the function modified from the link above.

function addUploadMimes($mimes) {
    $mimes = array_merge($mimes, array(
        'epub|mobi' => 'application/octet-stream'
    return $mimes;
add_filter('upload_mimes', 'addUploadMimes');

The above example only includes the .epub and .mobi examples, but if you want more just pipe-filetype further where the code says ‘epub|mobi’.

Change the Content-Type for epub Files Served by Apache and WordPress

All fixed, right? Not so fast. WordPress serves unknown files with the content-type of “Content-Type text/plain” in the HTTP header. You can see this using the  excellent long-lasting Rex Swain HTTP viewer.

The problem is that while Windows handles the misidentified .epub files fine, Macs freak out and show you the binary. You click it on a Mac and see garbage. Not cool. Must fix.

I found this post in the WebFaction support on adding epub to the .htaccess file to change content-type by file extension. A bit of modification and I found adding this to the application root .htaccess file did the trick

AddType application/epub+zip .epub
AddType application/x-mobipocket-ebook .mobi

A word of caution – BE CAREFUL WITH YOUR HTACCESS file! It probably already exists so be sure to download-backup-modify-upload-via-ssh for maximum security. Or really sFTP is plenty secure as well.

Other epub and mobi pit-falls to look out for

The ePub must be strictly validated. it is really a Zip compressed directory with it’s own MIME type specification. And XML that must be valid. Google “epub validation” if the above list did not solve your problem and go from there.

How to Wipe a Blackberry Clean

I had trouble figuring this out, so here goes. To completely wipe your blackberry clean varies by device. But it can be done. I had a 7100 series and the steps are:

  1. Settings (looks like a folder with gears on the top right)
  2. Options (just has two gears)
  3. Security Options – select this from the visible menu by scrolling down
  4. General Settings – select this from the visible menu by scrolling down
  5. << Press Scroll Wheel in >> – this shows a scroll wheel menu
  6. On the resulting scroll wheel menu there is an option to "wipe handheld" – That is what you want.

I mention this because several places on the interwebs told me to go to options and select "wipe handheld" but of course this ONLY shows up for this particular device in a scroll wheel menu.

Other sources (clear blackberry) and (blackberry faq)

Shelly Palmer does NOT like the iPhone

See "iPhone Reality/Sanity Check – my iWish list" – Shelly sort of doesn’t like it.

And I confess. Yes I bought an iPhone. No, I did *not* port my number and I am still carrying my blackberry. I got burned so bad on a craptacular windows mobile unit from HP a while back that I was wary this time. Apparently that was a good thing. And everyone is enjoying borrowing the iPhone for a few days at a time to test web sites with and such.

iPhone Development PPT Uploaded to SlideShare

It is exactly two days past iPhoneDevCamp in sunny San Francisco. Given we did not have a speaker scheduled for Netsquared Houston tonight (we do for the next three months, just not tonight) I took the opportunity to put together a developers introduction to the iPhone. The slides were just posted to slideshare. And here they are (much better with a presenter).

Please consider these creative commons with attribution. Yes use the iPhone Developer Training PPT, please do give credit and share the improvements you make. Thanks! – Ed

Adobe Hosting iPhoneDevCamp

  Adobe Hosting iPhoneDevCamp 
  Originally uploaded by eschipul

In San Fran for iPhoneWebDev version of BarCamp. Barcamp is a self organized conference. To put this in perspective. To explain the power of social software tools. This iPhone conference with 400 people in attendance was organized by volunteers in a three week period.

Let me repeat that – three volunteers started a process that resulted in corporate sponsorships and over 400 attendees with no money and only social software tools.

I’ll keep posting as things progress. It should be interesting if a bit intimidating.

iPhoneDevCamp in San Francisco – yea!

Headed to San Francisco this morning for BarCamp and mainly the iPhone Developers Camp. iPhoneDevCamp Attendees over 325 at the moment and the Adobe Guest wireless supports 200. And oh ya, all of us will have wifi enabled iPhones to make that a 640-200=440 deficit. Oh THIS is going to work. But hey, with all of those innovators in the room we will come up with something.

Resources read, cached on the browser or printed are:

  1. Select iPhoneDevCamp wiki pages
  2. iPhone Developers Guide from Apple
  3. iPhoney emulator installed on the MacBook
  4. I am *not* installing WebKit as I am counting on Safari to do that for me.
  5. Installed Aptana web dev IDE on the Mac. This is new to me but it has an iPhone plugin so I am going to test it a bit.
  6. Looked up how to reboot the iPhone. Hold "home" button (bottom front) and "sleep" button (top of phone) down for 8 seconds.

A couple of other iPhone thoughts on this and social software. First note the graphics from Apple on the developers guide. The iPhone is a view port and it doesn’t have "windows" – it just has a view port.

It does not support Flash or Java Packages as far as I can tell. So fly out navigation appears to be a serious issue. Will learn about that at camp I suppose, but I do know our nav is not working on the iPhone. Luckily we have a sitemap, but we need a more prominent link to it.

Note the barcamp wiki is locked down for edits on any page besides attendees. I have ranted on this before, the point is that complete freedom on the Internets (heh) quickly attracts spam links. Attacks are part of the system. Just noting a common theme that goes against what we verbally talk about. Wikis are great if moderated in some fashion IMHO.

And now for another quick trip to San Fran. Hopefully Continental will bump me again!