My nightmare (a result of bad software)…

I’m back from oblivion (or rather, my domain is)!

Five weeks ago, I moved bradlauster.com to a new host and in the process, consolidated all my domains with one registrar.
Two weeks ago, NameZero, the company through whom I originally registered bradlauster.com, decided to mass move all their domains over to a new registrar. Unfortunately, the program they used to transfer those domains didn’t look to see whether or not NameZero actually owned the domains it was transferring. As a result, my domain was transferred to Network Solutions, with a completely incorrect set of name servers attached to it.

The problem was further exacerbated by the fact that the program that accepted the incoming transfers on Network Solutions’ end, didn’t check to see if transferee was actually authorized to do so.

To top it all off…Network Solutions has a policy of rejecting transfers on domains that they have held for less that sixty days. So, after NameZero incorrectly transferred control of my domain to Network Solutions, they couldn’t transfer it back!

Frankly, I’m flabbergasted that this could have happened in the first place. Imagine if I had been running a store on my domain. I would have lost two weeks of business!
To put this in perspective: two weeks of sales for Amazon.com is about $62,900,000*. Yep, that’s 62.9 MILLION!

If nothing else, this experience has fueled my fire to improve peoples’ lives through better software design. Look out world!

* Source: Amazon.com 1999 annual report

The Invisible Computer – Don Norman

I finished Don Norman’s book, “The Invisible Computer“, a few weeks ago. I figured I should recommend it, since I thought it was so good.

A large portion of the book is focused on an issue that I’ve been working on lately. Namely, changing the culture of our organization, such that our Management recognizes that while Marketing may “know” the user, they do not necessarily know about software design.

Making this change is difficult to do, as Norman highlights on page seventeen, “Technological Change is Simple; Cultural, and Organizational Change Is Hard.” This is especially true at Intel!

I made my first steps towards enacting this change during the work I did on the Intel® E-mail Effectiveness Coach.

Technically speaking…

I’ve received a few questions about how I built this site. So, here’s the skinny:

I did the HTML in a text editor (TextPad to be exact).

The domain is hosted by Hurrah.

The pages are served by Apache, on a box running Zope (though the current site has static pages only).

The little picture of my head was inspired by DeepLeap’s web site. I made it with Photoshop (be sure to check out the image roll-over).