Sunday, 29 April 2007

Goodnight Kiwi

I was talking to Mary, my hairdresser, about life when we were kids. We didn't have so much to choose from compared to kids today.

My daughter has access to DVDs, the Internet, a 24-hour Playhouse Disney Channel and many kid's TV programmes. There are more entertainment options than there are hours in the day!

Mary told me that when she was a kid, the weekend highlight was sitting by the radio on a Sunday morning listening to a children's story broadcast. Badjelly The Witch was one story she could remember. Saturday morning was helping her Mum with the washing (feeding clothes into the wringer).

A rare treat was to stay up late enough to watch the Goodnight Kiwi - an animated short that featured a cartoon Kiwi climbing a TV tower and going to sleep. I was amazed that there was something so cool for New Zealanders at the end of the day's broadcasting (something my daughter will know nothing about - "What do you mean they used to stop broadcasting? Why?") You can see it for yourself on YouTube.

In England, our late-night treat was to listen to the BBC Orchestra playing God Save the Queen. I wonder what happened in other parts of the world when TV broadcasts finished for the day.

Saturday, 28 April 2007

A Short Poem About People and Tomatoes

If people were tomatoes,
Strange sights would be seen:
When you’re dead – you’d be bright red,
And when you’re born – you’re green.

Do Butterflies Have Teeth?

This site is a place for me to write about Dynamics NAV. Do you know what that is? It's an ERP system that is now owned and developed by Microsoft. If you want to find out about it, go to the Dynamics NAV site, but I'll warn you - it's pretty boring.

So why do I want to blog about something that's boring? Well for starters, it's one of the few things I know anything about. I work with it, I see how it is used in businesses and I think about it way too much. I want to make the product less boring, interesting or even fun!

I have a cunning plan: I will draw people in to my site by offering little bits of advice, solutions to the odd problem, hints on new features, and possibly some ramblings on totally unrelated topics. Then, when I have enough followers, I will stage a revolution. We will march to Redmond and demand a change.

I think it would be great if people that care about Dynamics NAV tell Microsoft what they want. There are
over a million Dynamics NAV users. I wonder how many of them know how to suggest product enhancements? There is a site where you can post your ideas for new product features and people can vote for your suggestion. Allegedly the product development team discuss the features with the most votes and consider them for future releases. I have tried posting suggestions here and the most votes I have had is seven. One million users. Seven votes. It is possible that my suggestions were bad but I think the system is broken. Do the Dynamics users have a voice? Do they know this site exists?

I feel the need to calm down so I will leave you with a rambling.

I was reading the story of
The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle to my daughter and, when I got to the end, I was struck by a very curious thought. I am sure most people have read this book at some point in their lives. At the end of the book, our hero builds a small house around himself, called a cocoon, and after two weeks he nibbles a small hole and then emerges - a beautiful butterfly. Now the part that I found disturbing was the "nibbles a small hole" bit. Do butterflies have teeth? Is the whole innocent, friendly insect thing a cunning disguise?

A quick trip to google tells me that, apparently, butterflies do not have teeth. But the question remains: how does the beautiful butterfly nibble his way to freedom?