Who am I?

Head Grunt, David “NfoCipher” Bunt - I'm a programmer..
Experience: With over 14 years professional experience both in corporate and small business environments. I'm a Linux junkie, have a healthy respect for macs, but cannot tolerate anything microsoft related. Been there, done that, never again.

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The stackoverflow drinking game

2008-08-21 @ 19:05 in Personal

Caution: You will die if you play this game..

Minor background information:

Joel Spolsy and Jeff Atwood are great writers. They talk about things programmers would be interested in - for instance screw the desk, get a great chair.

But then they decided to do a podcast about their new social networking site that will be this haven of information on a .net stack. I'll quote my friend Ryan: "After hearing them talk, Joel needs to go back to writing and I wouldn't hire Atwood to mow my lawn." After listening to 18 hours of them talk, I agree - take a drink.

The rules are simple:

When Jeff agrees with Joel - take a drink..

well, you're already drunk by now.

When Jeff mentions having a "out of band conversation" - take 2 drinks.

When Jeff says "Absolutely" - take a drink.

When they both deny they're .net programmers - just start chugging..

When Jeff talks about earning badges - think about special mounts on Warcraft and take a drink.

When they say LAMP stacks are dog slow - 3 drinks

When Joel claims macs are only luxury items - 2 drinks

When Joel bashes open source - 3 drinks

When Jeff claims he's open source friendly - fire off a nasty email, then drink

Every time they don't take a user call - take a drink

By now, you should be dead. Either from the alcohol poisoning and/or the aneurysm that ruptured from listening to these guys. While I have no idea if their new site is going to flop or become the greatest thing since sliced bread, I would suggest they concentrate on coding and kill the podcast.

Trade Show

2008-08-16 @ 11:23 in Business

I'm at my first trade show.. Well, my first trade show geared for veterinarians and their technicians - TheSVCOnline.com . And well my first trade show where I'm a vendor. Usually I'm the guy walking around looking at all the neat-o things people are apparently making money on and thinking, hrm, I could do that. It's a bit different for doctors and such, they need to attend conferences to accumulate learning hours to maintain their license. Along the way to the speaker rooms, booths litter the walkway displaying the latest greatest crap they can buy. This year, my crap is among the wares available.

What is my crap you may ask, well it's not a new concept by far but it's one that isn't widely used in vet offices. Patient education - plain and simple.  Doctors say the same things day in and day out all day every day. They also sketch out procedures on a whiteboard or paper. To me, everything is already handled by a computer or should be, if not - what rock have you been hiding under?

I live in the south east, things move slower around here, doctors of any kind move even slower than that. There are exceptions and they would be the young doctors coming right out of college wanting to use the newest things out there. When they get hired by a practice they are quickly promoted to the guy who now does nothing but express anal glands. They're so busy doing all the grunt work, they have no time to talk the older docs into buying new neat-o things. When they do, the old vets are very resistant to any change. Why should they? Their practice has been doing well for 300 years, why change anything?

My product is simple, you bring your dog in with a bum leg, doc says - oh his ACL is torn. Ummkay, what does that mean. Doc will then go into the same spill he's said hundreds of time. This spill adds up to hundreds of hours saying the same thing over and over. Hours translates to money and money wasted gets their attention. So instead of doing the spill, he just hits a button and the computer plays a video that tells the customer the same thing. Doc leaves the room to do something else. Sure, we're only talking 5 minutes, but 5 minutes every time adds up. Simple, easy to use, one or two clicks.

The current competition is DIA (dog interactive atlas or something like that). They take a different approach to patient education - overload them with useless information. It's interesting to see all the joints move in 3d and stuff, but really, how much information is Bob and Alice going to retain? Not much. Their system requires the docs to drive the presentation, or so it seemed, which keeps them in the room even longer.

What surprised me was how friendly most of the other vendors were - even to their competition.  Across from me was Sal Longo who is part owner of Crosby Longo Architecture Studio (CrosbyLongo.com). What they do is create floor plans for vet offices and hospitals. That's it. Very nice guy, has been designing stuff for vets for 11 years and he told me all sorts of useful things about the trade show circuit. What I find interesting  - a big enough market exists to support something that niche. His company does just fine if they only pick up one customer every other trade show they attend.

Beside me was some guy selling some sort of pills. You'd be amazed at all the things you can feed your animals. It's really no different than the vitamin supplement section in your local drug store. I don't know his name, but he didn't want to talk much.  However on the other side was Casey Bishop, a salesman for Scil (scilvet.com). They sell all sorts of things like vital sign monitors and video cameras that go up your nose. Also a very nice guy, he shared with me the scared trade show list known only to those who keep up with such things. He said there is no one place on the web you can get all the information needed about all the trade show location, times, etc. He was also a fountain of information about vet trade shows in general.

The end result was very educational. I managed to give away 200 stress balls with PetsEd.com on it. I talked with a bunch of people and I think the result will be a better product in the future. Will it turn into something big and wonderful? Odds are no, I'm realistic about things, but at least I'm out there trying.