Freelance Again

Time to dust off the old blog. For the better part of two decades in technology consulting, I've been a member of a great team at Soliant Consulting. Prior to joining Soliant, I spent four years freelancing. Admittedly influenced by  The Big Quit , I made up my mind in the first half of 2022 to return to the freelancer life. It's not a decision that I made lightly, for a number of reasons. At the top of the list, financial stability. It's hard to overstate the appeal of a generous salary and benefits that appear as if by magic every month. Another big draw was being part of a team that allowed me to not just work in the business, but on the business. Freelancing is essentially a solo sport, whereas being on a team is a much richer meta project of inventing, defining, and refining best practices that give the team unity and polish. As a member of a team that has been named a  Best & Brightest Company to Work For in the Nation for the past four years in a row , one of my

Problems with Showtime Anytime via Charter

Showtime Anytime vs HBO Go I am a recent Charter cable TV subscriber (although I have been a Charter internet subscriber for over a decade). I subscribe to HBO and Cinemax, which gives me the HBO Go and Max Go on-demand options, both which work flawlessly for me. I also subscribe to Showtime, which gives me the Showtime Anytime on-demand option. This has been nothing but a headache so far. Unlike the two Go apps, Showtime Anytime requires that you register before your Charter login will give you access to their premium content. This in and of itself is annoying, but what makes it far worse is that in all the places where they tell you about this registration requirement, they provide no hyperlink to aid you in figuring out where/what exactly they are asking for, and so far, I have never been able to login. The login process, in short (detailed screenshots below), involves two different Showtime web sites ( and which seem to be very loosely int

ORM Designer is a great tool

The claim from the ORM Designer website: With ORM Designer you develop, design and document all at once. You don't need other tools to design application model. My experience: It does exactly what they claim it does. When I found ORM Designer I was just shopping for a better alternative to Gliffy, as the complexity of project I'm working on has outgrown a plain drawing tool. I was looking at alternatives like PowerDesigner and other ERD/schema management tools, and it occurred to me to search for tools with native support for ORM, as the project in question is using Doctrine2. So I found ORM Designer, and they claimed to be Mac compatible, but it turns out they pulled a bit of a fast one on that front, as the compatibility amounts to showing step by step instructions for running it with Wine. As it turns out, I've subsequently spoken to the developer, and he mentioned that version 2, which is due imminently, will have real multiplatform support. In any case, it

Charter could be worse

Say what you like about Charter's borderline hostile customer service, price gouging, etc, but if there's one thing that can make a man overlook a few personality flaws, it's raw speed. Yes, I hate Charter's secret $10/month punishment fee on broadband for non-cable-subscribers, but where we live (the foothill north of LA it's going to be a long time before we see fiber reaching us) there's been nothing that can come close to coaxial broadband, and Charter is the only game in town. But as luck would have it, Charter is not content to be the hands down winner in the speed department. They recently started promoting significantly faster packages at lower prices to their existing customers (me). Last month I upgraded to their " Max " offering (nominal 20Mbps Down/2Mbps Up) which turns out to be cheaper than what I was paying for the previous 10Mpbs offering, and double the nominal speed. Okay, well as we all know from the School of Hard Knocks, nominal

Lord, please deliver me from Entourage


Entourage: The app we love to hate

Well, today is one of my perennial exercises in patience...

Soliant Blogs

In case it's not obvious from the deafening silence here, I've been getting my blog on elsewhere. Check out the public Soliant blog, where the best content from our internal Confluence site eventually makes its way.