Philip Lippard

Please say it ain't so

Google Voice - What is it ?

Google Voice is the Internet based phone forwarding service by Google. It was previously known as GrandCentral. Google Voice is free except for international calls.

Google Voice gives you a separate phone number which you can give out as if it is your regular phone number. You can then change your settings to have calls forward to any of your phones.

You can forward to one group of phones during the day and another at night. You can have calls from certain numbers forward differently than calls to other numbers. You can block spamming callers and send some calls straight to voice mail.

You can send yourself an SMS message or an email whenever you get a voice mail message, and you can check your voice mail from the Web or from your phone.


The iPhone Apps That Have Changed My World

The iPhone has definitely changed my world, since getting my first in Aug-2008.iPhone   I have gone from using a Motorola RAZR (and having a Windows Mobile PDA in my closet which I never used) to having the iPhone constantly by my side.  I enjoy reading the morning paper on the iPhone rather than the black ink edition of the local newspaper.  It is nice to be able to email news articles to friends over breakfast.  I have also purchased a Mac Pro laptop for iPhone software development purposes.   I have not yet gotten past use of the iPhone simulator, however I am hoping to have more time for iPhone development soon.

So what are my favorite life-style changing iPhone apps ?...not including the built-in apps from Apple ?

  1. Dice - My very 1st 3rd party iPhone app.  Good for a roll of the dice.  Perhaps the Obama Administration should use it when projecting next year's budget deficit.
  2. Linkedin - The iPhone edition of the business oriented networking web site.
  3. MissingCalc - A scientific and programmers calculator (Octal, Hexadecimal, etc)
  4. Urbanspoon - Restaurant directions based on local GPS coordinates.
  5. Google Earth - Zoom in on your favorite spot on planet Earth.
  6. Google - A number of miscellaneous Google apps, many of which simply redirect you to the iPhone Safari browser.
  7. iTalk - Griffin's voice memo app.
  8. Say Who Lite - A Voice Dialer, which I will dispose of when I get my iPhone 3GS next April.
  9. MiniPiano - Just what it says, yet somewhat amusing.
  10. WikiTap - Not sure where this came from.  Not real sure what it does.
  11. OpenTable - Another Restaurant locator GPS service.
  12. VR+ - Another voice memo facility.  Also popular on the Blackberry.
  13. Light - Lights up the room so one can see.  Some people will think of everything.
  14. Skype - The famous Skype client.  Has been out now since Apr-2009.   Definitely one of my favorites.  Voice over WI-FI works rather well.
  15. LOCiMe - Start this app and you can record your current GPS location at the LOCiMe web service, and then monitor all of your movements via web queries.
  16. Twitterrific - Follows Tweets for nearby Twitter members, based on GPS location.
  17. Stanza - Electronic book reading subscription service.
  18. Currency - Converts International currencies.
  19. Yellow Pages - Do you need to ask ?
  20. Facebook - The iPhone edition of the favorite social networking site.
  21. Zillow - The iPhone edition of the real estate research Zillow web site.
  22. WSJ - Wall Street Journal.
  23. NYTimes - New York Times.
  24. Dictionary - The iPhone edition of the web site.
  25. AP Mobile - Associated Press News Service.

Have you ever noticed how some people (Palm and Blackberry users) simply will not admit that perhaps... just perhaps... Apple has the best product with the iPhone.  After all, Apple now has over 50,000 applications on the iPhone App Store.  Now this is what I call mobilizing the software development community.

And just think.  In 1980 I was using a used IBM Selectric typewriter as a business productivity tool.

Please let me know of your favorite iPhone apps.

First Automated Teller Machine (ATM) installed on this day in 1967

Now here is an interesting article that hits close to home.   The first modern automated teller machine was installed on this day (27-Jun) in 1967 in Enfield, Middlesex.

The ATM was invented by Scot John Shepherd-Barron. The world's first ATM was installed in a branch of Barclays in the northern London borough of Enfield, Middlesex, in 1967. Inspiration had struck Mr Shepherd-Barron, now 82, while he was in the bath.


Reg Varney (in the photo to the right), is pictured here in 1967 using the first modern ATM.  Who is Reg Varney ?...I have no idea.

So, why do we care ?  Because ATMs were at one time a major part of my life.  I became involved with ATMs in the mid-1970s with the offline Docutel units, in fact initially all ATMs operated in offline mode, offline mode meaning there was no real-time data communications interface to a computer for funds verification purposes.  I became involved with ATMs while providing consulting to First Union National Bank (FUNB) in downtown Charlotte, NC.  The FUNB ATM network was of the online variety using IBM's newly announced IBM 3624 ATM, a first at the time.  The ATM system developed at FUNB would be licensed to Security Pacific National Bank (SPNB) in 1979, and I would also move to Los Angeles along with the product.  SPNB's deployment of the IBM 3624 network would be one of the largest ATM networks in the United States.  The IBM 3624 also became a rather popular ATM for its time, in fact most of the major ATM hardware manufacturers would emulate the IBM 3624 for competitive reasons.

FUNB and Wachovia merged in 2001, regrettably creating the Wachovia as we know it today, which virtually collapsed in Dec-2008 and was then acquired by the Wells Fargo Bank.  SPNB was acquired by the Bank of America in 1992.

I co-founded Nexus Software in June 1985 and moved away from unattended devices such as ATMs, and moved more into software development for attended devices, such as specialized financial industry printers, magnetic stripe readers and other financial industry specific devices typically found in a retail branch.

However, because of Nexus' involvement with the European based International standard called WOSA/XFS and ActiveXFS, Nexus Software was acquired by The Diebold Corporation in Oct-1999.  Diebold was and still is one of the world's largest manufacturers of ATMs.  The other major ATM manufacturers today include Diebold, NCR and Siemens-Nixdorf.

For me, I rarely use an ATM any longer.  In many respects, an ATM is now a relic of the past.  I always use my debit card...

Have you been lying awake at night wondering about this ?

I have a client requirement where I may need to allocate large memory chunks within Browser memory...using JavaScript.  I considered using cookies, however the limit on maximum number of cookies and size of each cookie is far too restrictive.  I also considered Silverlight isolated storage, however the limit on available isolated storage is 1mb currently...and when it is increased the user gets an annoying prompt to approve the increase.

Silverlight Isolated Storage

I do not have a persistent storage requirement, so using available Browser memory is an option.

So how much Browser memory can one allocate with JavaScript before the Browser will crash ?  I would hope it is limited only by PC available memory....however here is a web page that will provide some basic answers...

Click HERE to test how much Browser memory you can allocate with your are asked to continue after each 1mb is allocated.   In my case I have probably succesfully met my client's requirements if I can easily allocate 16mb of Browser memory.

The interesting part of this is that such JavaScript memory allocation (string concatenation) is incredibly slow using Microsoft IE, however is quite fast using Firefox or Safari.   You are not surprised you say ?

iPhone 2.x Beats Windows Mobile 6.x into a Coma...

Apple announced more blow-out earnings on Tuesday, including the startling but not too unexpected 6.9 million iPhones shipped during second calendar quarter. Apple CEO Steve Jobs claimed that Apple beat Research In Motion for smart phone shipments. As I explained yesterday and Tuesday at Apple Watch, the claim doesn't hold up based on Steve's data. More likely: Apple beat Microsoft, by a huge margin.

Windows Mobile's star is rapidly falling. Coming into 2008, RIM pushed Microsoft out of second place for smart phone operating systems, according to Gartner. Apple has surely knocked Microsoft into fourth place. The question: Is it fourth behind RIM or Apple? That depends on whether Apple snatched second place from RIM.

Click HERE to view ull story.

Year 2008 - Election Year - It Is About the iPhone Stupid...


I have become quite skilled with Microsoft's web technologies over the years; IIS7, ASP.NET, AJAX, Silverlight, etc, however I never really developed much of an interest in Microsoft's mobile platform; Windows Mobile. As a result of being a MSDN Universal subscriber, Microsoft gave me a free Pocket PC (pictured to the left below) several years ago, however I still prefer to use my basic cell phone (pictured to the right below).


Yes, I have always admired Microsoft technologies. I started promoting Microsoft technologies to the finance industry in 1992. I stood on my feet all day long at many a trade show (in the US, Europe and Pacific Rim) which promoted Microsoft technologies. I promoted Microsoft technologies as much as our own. The technologies were "one-in-the-same" I suppose. Nexus was embracing Microsoft, and Microsoft was recommending Nexus.

However, one does have to recognize a paradigm shift from time to time. The iPhone represents such a move. I would have to place the iPhone right alongside some other past products which genuinely changed the way people work, live and think, such as:

  • IBM System 360 - 1964 (started the modern age of computing)
  • IBM PC - 1981
  • IBM PC/AT - 1984
  • IBM Thinkpad - 1992 (I have probably owned seven of these over the years)
  • Apple iPod - 2006

Being a software developer at heart, the only way to fullfill my interest in the iPhone is to go out and acquire an iMacBookPro. The iPhone SDK requires a Mac, and I have researched the possibility of executing Mac OS X in a PC based virtual machine; not on planet Earth anyway. It would appear that someone got Mac OS X running with VMWare, however such hacking efforts violate the Apple license agreement, so I suppose I will spend $3,000 to purchase the iMacBookPro pictured below, just so I can start iPhone software development with the iPhone SDK. I figure I will do some "in the cloud" development, using Microsoft .NET technologies to deploy "the cloud" and the iPhone SDK technologies for the iPhone "cloud recipient". I wonder what airport TSA staff will say when I am now carrying two laptops through security; my trusted Thinkpad, and now a iMacBookPro. Interesting how Microsoft have gotten so much bad press for years, yet Apple will not even allow its iMac OS, which runs on Intel based processors, to run on anything other than an Apple assembled Intel processor. Nonetheless, here it is:


The new language to be discovered here is Objective C. It shall be interesting to see how this effort goes, and where this detour in the road may lead. I will keep you posted. At a minimum, this effort should satisfy my continuing curiousity for emerging technologies.

...and yes indeed, we are in an election year. If you have ever walked into an Apple store then you probably have more technology exposure than John McCain (or is it MacCain ?)

. It was Ronald Reagan who said..."...Government is not the solution....Government is the problem...". If a US Senator has been on planet Earth for 72 years, yet he knows absolutely nothing about the force that drives the worldwide economy, then I think we now know why ... "...Government is the problem..."... yes indeed.


















However, anyone can slip up in an interview. This is what Steve Balmer had to say about the original iPhone.












Naples .Net Users Group nUrlRewriter Presentation

On Tuesday 17-Jun I gave a presentation to the Naples Florida .Net User Group entitled "...nUrlRewriter, Http Modules and Opportunities with IIS7...".  I discussed my new nUrlRewriter open source rewriter/redirect module and how such Http Modules become even more useful in Microsoft Internet Information Server (IIS) version 7 when operating in ASP.NET integrated mode.   Click HERE to download my PowerPoint presentation and sample VS.NET 2008 code.