Category Archives: Uncategorized

cek.log -> tig.log (Charlie -> Tigger)

When I was a baby my favorite eldest sister nicknamed me “Tigger” because I was bouncy and acting “Tiggerish”. Friends and family have called me “Tigger” or “Tig” ever since. When I started my professional career I figured the goofy nickname wasn’t appropriate, so decided on Charlie. After 30+ years of not loving being called “Charlie”, I’ve decided to reclaim Tigger as my name. In the earliest days of email, I signed my emails “-tig”. …Continue reading

Have Backbone, Disagree and Commit

Have Backbone, Disagree and Commit Leaders are obligated to respectfully challenge decisions when they disagree, even when doing so is uncomfortable or exhausting. Leaders have conviction and are tenacious. They do not compromise for the sake of social cohesion. Once a decision is determined, they commit wholly. – Amazon’s Leadership Principles This Leadership Principle actually combines two principles that go hand-in-hand. First, there’s the “Have Backbone” part and then the part about disagreeing but committing …Continue reading

Goodbye GitHub: MCE Controller now on CodePlex

I love git. I love GitHub. But GitHub doesn’t seem to appreciate open source projects that require hosting more than source code. MCE Controller is an open source Windows app intended to be used by non-developers. This means it has an installer, online documentation, and requires a discussion forum for support for end users. GitHub never really provided great support for this kind of project. For example, there is no forum/discussion feature (although some claim …Continue reading

MCE Controller 1.7 Released – Now Supports RS-232

By popular demand (shocking, I know), MCE Controller now supports RS-232 in addition to TCP/IP connections. This means that you can now control any Windows PC via the serial port. MCE Controller is an open source application I built for my home control system. It makes it easy to integrate Windows PCs with other devices and control systems. Any device that can send strings over TCP/IP or (now!) a serial port can now send commands …Continue reading

Word as a Blog Writer? Finally?

I have fallen in love with Windows Live Writer as a blogging tool. I love how it reads & writes to my blog seamlessly, how it renders my posts within the editor as they’ll be posted, and how it handles images and other uploads easily. So I’ve been pretty disappointed that there is no version of Windows Live Writer that works on Surface. @AlexBream just made me aware that Word 2013 has a “Blog Template” …Continue reading

Why Win8 Picture Password is Not Secure

Windows 8 includes a slick feature intended to make it easier to log in: Picture Password. You select a photo that will be displayed on the login screen and then setup a simple gesture that you “draw” on the image to login. It makes quickly logging in easy, especially if you use strong passwords and you use a touch screen. And given Windows 8 pretty much requires you to link your Windows login to your …Continue reading

Has MS Finally Gotten Through To DELL?

I complained on Twitter to @MichaelDell that I could not buy a DELL XPS One 27 with “Microsoft Signature”. Today I got tweet from @MaryFadAtDell that read: @ckindel We have committed not to install bloatware on our XPS systems with Win8. I’ll email you details on what’s pre-installed. — Mary Fad (@MaryFadAtDell) November 1, 2012 The full of her email is below: Charlie – I wanted to get back to you on your concerns about …Continue reading

Keeping Tracks of Books I Read

Each January I post a list of books I read during the previous year (one of my favorites this year is @Scalzi’s Redshirts). Even though almost all books I read are via Amazon and Kindle, it is still a total pain in the butt to create those blog posts. This has me thinking about a potential app idea and I’d love to hear from YOU about how you keep track, document, list, and share …Continue reading

I Want A Surface Keyboard for My iPad

I had two hilarious encounters with the new Microsoft Surface advertising this weekend. One is just funny. The other is telling. Here’s the ad: Microsoft’s first real TV spot for the Surface Funny item #1: Multiple people asked me if, at 13 seconds in, I had a little cameo: No, that’s not me. I know people think we all look alike though. Funny, but not so funny (for MS), item #2: We’re watching the Flordia …Continue reading

Why Sr. People Leave MSFT in September

It’s September. No surprise that my FB stream is full of Sr. Microsoft people announcing they are leaving the company. — Charlie Kindel (@ckindel) September 28, 2012 I tweeted about a bunch of senior MS people announcing their departures from Microsoft on Facebook and got a bunch of questions from my followers about why this happens.  Figured it was worth sharing my opinion on why. There are four reasons: The general stock plan is set …Continue reading

What Kindle Means for Android

[This is a copy of a guest post I wrote for GeekList. Find the original here.] I still think Amazon would be stupid to build a phone. But I no longer believe they won’t do it. Within the next 6 months Amazon will go big with their own Android based smartphone. And when they do, it will be the moment that everybody else realizes that Google lost control of Android ages ago. “Google has already …Continue reading

Doing git Dev on Two Machines

I prefer coding on my workstation (30” + 24” LCDs, fast, great chair, etc…).  But sometimes want to hack on my laptop (an MBA) when I’m out and about. Here’s my workflow. I am posting this for two reasons: It’s complex enough that regularly forget how to do it. I rely on random Bing searches to remind myself. This way it’s all in one place. I’m not sure I’m doing it right, or if there’s …Continue reading

Eye-Fi: Shockingly Great Customer Service

I try to write blog post whenever I encounter truly great customer service. I think it’s important to call out companies who clearly get it; those who provide Shockingly Great Customer Service. I have owned Eye-Fi cards since they came out. Last year I highlighted them in my annual gadget gift guide. Wi-Fi should be built into every camera. But it’s not. With Eye-Fi we simply ensure the camera is turned on after taking pictures: …Continue reading

Muscle Activation Techniques (MAT)

God did a great job engineering our bodies. But I think he put the B-team on the design of the spine and the knees. I, knock on wood, have not had serious problems with my knees, but my back is another thing altogether. Like many of you I have a bad back. Both the discs at S1/L4 and L4/L5 are budging and/or burst, as you can see from this MRI taken of my back in …Continue reading

A $199 Surface? I Will Wear a Mullet

A few weeks ago I jokingly tweeted “If MSRP on Surface is really $199, I will shave my head.” It was a joke, because as you’ve probably already figured out I’m pretty much bald. But I was completely serious that I think the idea of Microsoft selling the 10” Surface with a MSRP of $199 is completely ludicrous. Someone tweeted back that instead I should promise to grow a mullet instead. I’m not quite sure …Continue reading

MCE Controller 1.5.0 Released–Send Unicode chars

MCE Controller allows you to remotely control another Windows PC on your network. For example it allows you to simulate a press of any button on the Windows Media Center IR remote control from another computer; if MCE Controller receives the string “mypictures” it will tell Media Center to go to the “My Pictures” page. Today a user asked how to send Unicode characters such £ and € and I added this functionality to the …Continue reading

Get Off Your Butt and Start Startuping

This message is for those of you who are either “Stuck” in a great paying job at BigCo in the Seattle area (Microsoft, Boeing, Amazon, Starbucks, etc…) Living near Seattle & trying to figure out what to do with your life after “calling in rich”. In either case, I’m guessing, you are: Smart. Love technology. Have an entrepreneurial spirit. Want to get involved in startups, but haven’t figured out how. A group of us in …Continue reading

Books I read in 2011

Mostly for my own documentary benefit every year I recap the books I read. Below is the 2011 edition. You can find previous editions here: 2009, 2010. If you are like me, I bet you’ll appreciate being exposed to stuff to read. Five stars means YOU MUST READ.  One star means do not waste your time. Other ratings mean you may or may not like it… Title Author My Rating Comments Catching Fire (The Second …Continue reading

Prevent another SOPA

Yay. “We” beat SOPA. It snuck up on us but we activated and used our superpowers to defeat it (yes, I contacted my reps & I blacked out cek.log on the 18th). But ask yourself this: How in the frak are these idiots in office at all? The only way to prevent another SOPA is to ensure that we all remember who pushed this thing through, were idiotic about it, and finally caved only under …Continue reading

WP Engine: Techmeme’d proof WordPress hosting

I’ve moved this blog from blogging platform to blogging platform over the years. Each time my primary motivation for moving was to learn a new technology. Last year I moved from Community Server, hosted on my own Windows Server box in my home to WordPress running on a Linux VM hosted on Amazon AWS. I made this change to force myself to learn PHP and to get more experience using Linux. I love learning by …Continue reading