Welcome, Emaya Cleaver

Today, at 7:24am, after 3 hours of hard labour, our baby daughter Emaya Cleaver was born at Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto.

Andrea and Emaya are doing well’ Tayden – our almost 3 year old – is a happy brother, and I’m one very proud Dad.

Kind regards to all my friends, family and acquaintances wishing us well – it’s all been phenomenal.

Now, for some hard earned rest!

Posted in General | Leave a comment

Apple did indeed get their hardware fix for Sandy Bridge in the 2011 MacBook Pro

Almost exactly 3 years ago I switched to my first Mac, buying a late 2007 MBP. I’ve been delighted with the Apple laptop experience and have been waiting ever-so-impatiently to upgrade to a 2011 MacBook Pro.

My only disappointment of the spec of this spectacular machine is that it doesn’t have a separate SSD for the OS. No problem, I figured, I’ll just externalize the optical drive using an MCE OptiBay as reported in OS X Daily, and add a HDD in its place.

Then reading the iFixIt Teardown I noted Paul Vernaza’s comments:

Initial reports are that the HD is connected to an SATA-III port and should therefore be unaffected… Unfortunately, preliminary reports indicate that the optical drive is connected to an SATA-II port, which may be affected by the Sandy Bridge bug, so I would hold off until the situation is clearer.

Which confused with Mac World :

“Earlier this year, Intel discovered problems in the chipset of Sandy Bridge processors that were shipping, but Apple vice president of worldwide Mac hardware marketing David Moody told Macworld that the company was using the latest updated versions, which corrected the flaw.”

I wanted Moody’s actual quote as I couldn’t see anyone holding MacWorld financially accountable for misinterpreting his words.

My concern was that the Sandy Bridge bug would mean the shipped configuration would work, but that swapping out the optical drive for a HDD would expose the underlying flaw: this was especially the case as Intel had said they would allow resellers to ship flawed chips as long as the flawed design wasn’t deployed. However, my OptiBay modification would be unauthorized, I’d be left holding a very expensive machine with a tiny (but surprisingly well priced) Apple 128GB SATA-II SSD.

Sure enough, iFixIt’s machine had an updated PCH Hub, eliminating some concern.

I’ll wait for MCE Technologies to 100% verify that their existing OptiBay design will work with the 2011  MacBook Pro before going out to buy the OptiBay…

For a run down of what configuration to buy, I’m following Mac Performance Guide. This includes take the SSD, HiRes+AntiGlare screen + AppleCare but get your RAM elsewhere.

I’ve not decided where to buy it from yet. Perhaps you can recommend a retailer in Toronto, Canada? Preferably someone who will do the OptiBay modification for me?

Posted in MacBook Pro | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

Request to Meetup.com – play nice with other subdomains

I wrote the following email to Meetup.com today:

I need additional help with http://www.meetup.com/help/How-do-I-set-up-a-custom-domain-for-my-Meetup-Group/ – this is also listed on Uservoice

I have set up http://toronto.knowledgeworkers.org for my group, Toronto Knowledge Workers. I now need to provide a common navigation bar between this Meetup site and the other sites in my domain. For instance, I have http://ask.knowledgeworkers.org and, because we trial various software, all sorts of other xyz.knowledgeworkers.org domains expected. I need a way to inject a lightweight menu into the Meetup site as it loads. The other systems I select are not a problem as they are typically open source.

I need a way to provide a common navigation experience from Meetup to the other sites. I don’t mind Meetup’s look and feel, but I need to add an additional navigation bar either at the top or on a side. Given your look and feel I would probably elect to have it appear on the left hand side. Naturally I would within the look and feel of your site. Our group has a good reputation and I need to preserve this.

However, your theming control http://toronto.knowledgeworkers.org/manage/appearance/ is inadequate – even “Make your own theme” only lets me set colors. Your links won’t help because they 1) don’t appear in a consistent place between sites and 2) are too well hidden.

Meetup.com makes use of Uservoice to round out its capabilities. Uservoice provides sufficient theming controls to link back to Meetup.com. I want to do similarly.

It appears my alternative is to put a proxy ahead of Meetup.com, like http://broadcast.oreilly.com/2009/10/building-a-translation-proxy-s.html but instead of using such an architecture for translation I’d be rewriting the HEAD block to include my javascript menu. That would be overkill relative to the simple change I hope you will make.


I’d dislike having to move from their platform as we’ve got into a rhythm using it. In these days where content is increasingly mashed up by end users sites have to be open to allowing their users to innovate and to extend their own value chain.

Sure, I can expect Meetup to learn and exploit the sites its users integrate. That’s natural. If Meetup doesn’t help with my request or indeed prohibits me from using a proxy (and indeed their terms and conditions might – I haven’t read them), I’d switch.

Posted in Open Platforms | Leave a comment

WikiSym 2010: Call for Papers, and Call to Industry

WikiSym 2010: Gdansk, Poland

The International Symposium on Wikis and Open Collaboration

WikiSym 2010 website
July 7-8-9 in Gdansk, Poland.

Co-located with Wikimania 2010 (Intl. Conference on Wikimedia Foundation projects, Wikimania 2010 website).

Peer-reviewed and archived in the ACM Digital Library.

Important dates

  1. March 7: Submission deadline for research papers.
  2. March 21: Submission deadline for Doctoral Symposium proposals, posters, demonstrations, workshops, panels, tutorials.
  3. May 4: Notification of acceptance for research papers.
  4. May 11: Notification of acceptance for Doctoral Symposium proposals, posters, workshops, tutorials, panels.
  5. July 7-9: WikiSym 2010!

WikiSym, the International Symposium on Wikis and Open Collaboration, will be held this summer in Gdansk, Poland. Starting this year, WikiSym aims to explicitly broaden its scope, exploring not only the thriving wiki community, but also other open movements and open collaboration initiatives. This includes related areas such as open online communities, collaborative creation of multimedia content (with or without wikis), and open journalism and publishing, just to list a few examples.

Furthermore, our goal is to establish WikiSym as a venue for the exchange of information, experiences and practices among an interdisciplinary audience, including researchers, practitioners, industry representatives and experts with a wide variety of different backgrounds.

As a result, WikiSym has established 3 complementary tracks to merge the contributions from such a diverse community:

  • Wiki track: Focused on research in wiki technology, wiki websites, wiki communities, and in general any kind of initiative pivoting around wiki software.
  • Industry track:This new track will focus on the specific needs of enterprises and private companies interested in sharing and promoting their experiences around wikis and open collaboration projects/products/initiatives.
  • Open collaboration track: This track is a dedicated venue for sharing research results and experiences in initiatives that may not be built specifically on wiki software, but share the “wiki way” of organization. These may include open collaborations, open communities, and open movements that allow the interchange of ideas and contributions from participants with a range of interests and motivations.
  • Read the rest of the entry at the WikiSym 2010 Website

    For the past two years I have held positions at WikiSym. From Demos and Posters Chair in 2008, Publicity Chair in 2009, this year I am Industry Track Chair, focusing “on the specific needs of enterprises and private companies interested in sharing and promoting their experiences around wikis and open collaboration projects/products/initiatives.”

    Unlike the call for papers, which follows academic procedures, the Industry Track takes it’s own course. I’ll be inviting a myriad of vendors to suggest topics, bring customers and participate on panels and round-tables.

    However, in the spirit of open collaboration, the more help I can get the bigger and better we can make the WikiSym 2010 Industry Track. I’ve presently a great deal of work on and I’d appreciate being able to depend on a team around me.

    So, there you go, a call for papers, industry topics and help. Come to WikiSym: it’s a great mixing pot.

    Posted in General, WikiSym | 1 Comment

    Are you 40+ and will video game for the first time just for Rock Band Beatles Edition?

    Hi all – can you forward this through your networks?

    Any Beatles older fans (40s, 50s, 60s) so excited about The Beatles: Rock Band that will start gaming for the first time because of its release?

    RockBand cover art

    In case you don’t know:

    Rock Band is a console video game that allows up to four players to play popular rock music songs using with controllers modeled after musical instruments. Players can play the lead guitar, bass guitar, and drums parts or sing through a USBmicrophone. The game scores the players based on accuracy to match scrolling musical “notes” while playing instruments, or by the singer’s ability to match pitch on vocals.

    It’s great fun, and you can buy it for home or play Rock Band in social settings such as at http://www.semisolidmedia.com – which runs a Rock Band night at Rocky Raccoons in Yonge & Eglinton here in Toronto, first Sat of each month.

    Anyhow, the game makers have just released a new edition that instead of playing recent songs focuses on the Beatles songs. With this (new/old!) focus, so might come new demand.

    I’m forwarding this request as I think it is a good example of how technology is changing society, and I hope someone here might be able to provide an interview for the Globe & Mail.

    Please respond to Dakshana directly, thanks!


    On Wed, Sep 9, 2009 at 3:05 PM, Bascaramurty, Dakshana wrote:

    Via Paul Hunter, NextGen Player, Canada’s Premier Gaming Blog), forwarded to me through Eric Brazier (http://www.semisolidmedia.com)

    Don’t know if you remember me — I got in touch a few months back for a story I was working on about diversity in gaming.

    I’m working on another piece now about how The Beatles: Rock Band and Guitar Hero: Van Halen are out to appeal to older gamers or perhaps even introduce older people to gaming for the first time. Is this something you think you’d have some time and expertise to talk to me about? Also, if you know any older people who were maybe Beatles or Van Halen fans a few decades ago that are excited about the release of these games, think you could put me in touch with them?

    By older fans (I’m taking 40s, 50s, 60s), who you know of that are excited about The Beatles: Rock Band and maybe wading into gaming for the first time because of its release?”
    Thanks so much!

    Dakshana Bascaramurty
    Reporter, The Globe and Mail
    Desk: 416-585-5509

    Posted in General | 1 Comment

    MacSpeech shelfware

    Cross posting here in case someone at MacSpeech deletes my non-fan comment on their Facebook fan page:

    MacSpeech - Articles - Press Releases - First Upgrade - MacSpeech Dictate 1.5 Ships Source: www.macspeech.com – Exciting First Upgrade to MacSpeech Dictate Provides a New Vocabulary Editor, New Accent Options and Greater Accuracy Than Ever Before .

    My opinion?

    Not exciting. Overpriced. Broken.

    I am livid that Macspeech Dictate 1.3 is broken beyond usability, that it would cost me so much to buy and ship 1.5 to Canada, and that even 1.5 is reported to be so broken.

    Injury to ship beta software. Insult to demand so much for an “upgrade” that still doesn’t work. I bought in January, but the free upgrade is only if you bought in the last month…

    I was looking forward to unshelving it. Looks like ebay with caveat emptor is my only option.


    To which I reply:

    Thanks Ray. I am glad it works for you.

    Did you read http://www.macspeech.com/extensions/forums/topic.php?id=323 “Pay an upgrade fee to get the software to work?”

    Have you never had it write backward in the dictate notepad? http://www.macspeech.com/extensions/search/search.php?search=backwards

    The technology is cool, but definitely beta quality.

    Granted, if your typing is poor, it offers value. But if, like me you can type quickly, it needs a usability hike to make it usable.

    1.3 and 1.5 are reported to not even work in MacOS 1.5.7.

    They’ve produced 1.5.1 since 1.5. So where is 1.3.1?

    Let’s do the math. I paid ~$200 for it. Upgrade is $54.95 USD, shipping to Canada: $31.06 FedEx. USD Total: 86.01 Convert to CAD: $93.77. Now add expected FedEx brokerage fee: $20. Total: 113.77

    So, the beta quality software I have is worth $200-114 = $86.

    Except that it doesn’t work in 10.5.7, and there is no upgrade path. So, what’s it worth?

    Net loss: $200.

    The protests on the MacSpeech forums are loud and clear. I sure hope MacSpeech will start listening.

    What an un-Apple like experience.

    I can understand charging an upgrade fee for software, but only once your product works. And MacSpeech say that they don’t do digital downloads because 1.5GB download is “too big”.

    Shelfware. Sadly.

    Posted in MacSpeech, Reviews | Leave a comment

    TVO’s Agenda Camp: Innovation Economy.

    Martin Cleaver on TV Ontario

    Each of these episodes explored a swathe of gaps, which after debate, workers, industry leaders, government drew some conclusions about issues. The issues and opportunities that arose are documented on http://wiki.theagenda.tvo.org/ and there are some 45 short videos from each breakout session listed on You Tube http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=1341CA7B9BA9C666

    TVO presented at http://www.meetup.com/TorontoWikiTuesdays/calendar/9904930/

    Posted in Canadian Competitiveness, Innovation | Leave a comment

    5 user licenses for Confluence Wiki & JIRA Bug Tracking for $5

    I’ve you’ve been thinking about evaluating, or using Confluence or JIRA for a small team, now would be a great time to acquire a license.

    Atlassian, a leader vendor (I have done many wiki deployments of Confluence: it’s a solid product), is offering a new multi-user license of their flagship product for just $5. Further, this price will apply to support and maintenance. The offer expires in five days!

    If you need advice on how Confluence stacks up strategically or technically against competitor wiki products, I’ll happily spend a few minutes with you explaining.

    I hope this helps, I think it’s a great deal.

    Best, Martin Cleaver
    Skype: mrjcleaver

    JIRA & Confluence for only $5 each!

    While you may still be evaluating an Atlassian product, we have a special announcement. This week, we’re offering 5-user licenses of JIRA and Confluence for only $5 each. We’re calling it the Atlassian Stimulus Package and it’s our way of supporting small teams and small businesses in this difficult economic environment. Best of all, we’re going to donate every penny to charity!

    There is no catch and no strings attached. You’ll get fully functional, supported copies of JIRA and Confluence for only $5 each. After a year, you can renew support and maintenance of your license for just $5.

    The Atlassian Foundation is donating all proceeds to Room to Read (www.roomtoread.org), a charity that helps the world’s future entrepreneurs by building libraries and schools for children in developing nations.

    Get all the details at www.atlassian.com/starter. Hurry, offer ends in just a few days!


    The Atlassians

    PS Twitter this http://bit.ly/AtlassianStarter and tell a friend about the starter licenses — they’re great for small teams and help charity.

    Martin Cleaver MSc MBA
    +1 416-786-6752 (GMT-5)

    Posted in General | Leave a comment

    Bell want to impose upstream caps and penalties on it’s upstream ISPs

    I received this a few hours ago from my ISP, Teksavvy.

    I object that:

    1. If there was really a scarcity tariffs should be priced at decreasing marginal rate, not at a punitive one
    2. This affects everyone but the deadline is tonight, and there’s been no public consultation

    Dear Valued Customer,

    We are writing to you today as many activities are underway to shape/reshape Internet use as you all know it. Over the last year some of you have been made aware and/or have seen activities on throttling in the news or in your daily lives. Another proceeding relating to the Internet in Canada required Telecom providers (Bell/Telus/etc.) to provide ISPs with wholesale service speeds that match those that they offer to their own retail customers.

    Specifically, Bell has been directed by the CRTC to provide matching speeds which would allow us all to have more flexibility in our day to day online requirements. Instead of adhering to these directives, Bell decided to take this issue to the federal Cabinet and at the same time file a tariff application with the CRTC proposing to introduce Usage Based Billing (UBB) on its wholesale customer accounts.

    What does this mean for you, the consumer?

    Bell provides TekSavvy with last mile, wholesale DSL access services, which TekSavvy uses to provide you with your Internet access. If Bell were to be allowed to introduce UBB on this service, a cap of 60GB would be imposed on all of its users, with very heavy penalties per Gigabyte afterwards (multiple times more than our current per Gigabyte rate of $0.25/GB on overages). This would inherently all but remove Unlimited internet services in Ontario/Quebec and potentially cause large increases in internet costs
    from month to month.

    If you’d like to make your comments/concerns known about what Bell is attempting to do, please do so here:


    Select the word “Tariff” from the drop down list.

    Add the following in Subject Line “File Number # 8740-B2-200904989 – Bell Canada – TN 7181” and make your thoughts known!

    The deadline for filing your comments is today at midnight, so hurry!



    Rocky Gaudrault
    Chief Executive Officer
    TekSavvy Solutions Inc.

    Posted in Canadian Life, I.T. | Leave a comment

    Toronto Wiki Tuesday: Wikis at TV Ontario

    It’s Toronto Wiki Tuesday time!

    Reserve you spot & get on the announcements list: http://www.meetup.com/TorontoWikiTuesdays/calendar/9904930/

    Speaker: Keith Robinson
    This month’s speaker is from TV Ontario and will speak about the use of wikis for TVO’s The Agenda

    When and Where:
    6:30pm, Tuesday 16th April
    See http://www.meetup.com/TorontoWikiTuesdays/calendar/9904930/ for location


    The idea behind the AgendaCamp (http://tvo.org/agendacamp) concept was to marry the barcamp (http://barcamp.org) model with the production of a live current affairs television program in order to engage the community to help create television as the Agenda with Steve Paikin went on a five city tour across Ontario.

    AgendaCamp is a unique new concept that marries the best aspects of public broadcasting and emerging social media. At AgendaCamp members of the public, expert guests, and host Steve Paikin join together face to face in a local venue for a series of workshops focused on regional economies. Any participant can propose and lead a discussion. Participants capture the event by live blogging, shooting video and uploading to Youtube, taking pictures and creating an interactive wiki. The online audience can follow the conference as it unfolds, and continue the discussion after the event.

    Despite the high tech veneer, AgendaCamp is not simply about preaching to the converted. Several locations were remote in communities (including AgendaCamp Thunder Bay which took place at the Fort William First Nation Community Centre). A big part of the experience is teaching ordinary citizens how to use these new digital tools.

    Over the course of the first four events, AgendaCamp has had more than 300 in-the-flesh participants including: mayors, MPPs, MPs, cabinet ministers, native chiefs, policy wonks, students, professors, factory workers, and factory owners. It has generated more than 100 user created Youtube video clips, and hundreds of wiki entries that have been viewed tens of thousands of times.

    And while AgendaCamp is designed to stand on its own, the ideas generated by it have reached many hundreds of thousands through the Agenda on the Road broadcasts. Clips from the camp are rolled into the broadcast and participants are able to ask the panel questions as part of the live studio audience.

    Keith will take us through how TVO used the wiki to: plan the events, engage participant interaction through, during and after the events and how the wiki became pivotal for both production and Agenda Camp outcome purposes.

    About our Speaker and his organization
    Keith Robinson is the supervising editor of tvo.org. TVO is Ontario’s public educational media organization and a trusted source of interactive educational content that informs, inspires, and stimulates curiosity and thought.

    Who should come and why

    Interested in the topic? Got an opinion? Or just interested to network? Come join our community.

    * TV professionals * Those interested in using wikis to amass and disseminate opinion * Managers and leaders responsible for evaluating possible use of wikis * Change transformation agents * Organizational design professionals interested in creating organisational transparency * Consultants and designers who build integration, navigation, visuals and plugins * Those interested in Deki Wiki * Wiki users Wiki gardeners who improve content clarity, and, if you are still reading, * You!

    About our Sponsors
    Citadel Rock provides extranets and intranet strategies based on the Tiki Wiki platform.

    About Toronto Wiki Tuesdays and Blended Perspectives

    Toronto Wiki Tuesdays has been running since 2005 and has a mandate to spread the word about how a wiki can transform communication in organisations and the nature of business. Toronto Wiki Tuesdays was founded and is run by Martin Cleaver M.Sc. MBA, Head Blender of Blended Perspectives and a Chair of WikiSym, the International Symposium on Wikis and Open Collaboration.

    Posted in Business I.T., Collaboration, Culture | Leave a comment