Professional Dress CodeDonald Burleson over at Burleson Consulting has some very explicit guidelines for his consultants.

Donald’s descriptions of professional dress code, etiquette and cultural guidelines are as hilarious as they are precise.

Check out the guidelines at Burleson Consulting:

Very few professionals put as much of their personality and humor into their site as Donald, so if you’re trying to figure out what to wear to that consulting gig at that Fortune 500 company, you’re not sure what to wear for that interview, or you just want to see how different corporate culture really can be, check it out.

Before you beat up on Donald, or leave your angry comments here, note that Donald is quite clear that this dress code is set by his clients. He is quite clear that if you follow these guidelines you will appear professional in any environment. If not, you might not even get through the door at some clients.

As I sit here at my desk with my shoulder length hair, wearing a t-shirt, tattered khakis and hiking boots I’m glad I work in higher education. It’s not that I mind professional dress (other than the tie) it’s just that I’m glad I don’t need to wear it.

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In case you missed it, the winner of ABC’s American Inventor was anounced tonight on the one hour finale.

Congradulations to Janusz Liberkowski for winning with his invention the Spherical Safety Seat.

Click here for some details on the Spherical Safety Seat. This invention is one of the most original in it’s area since the safety seat itself.

While I do hope there is a second season I also hope the producers will consider changing the format of the show.


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Donald Burleson of Burleson Consulting points out some interesting statistics from Tim O’Reilly on trends in the tech book market.

If we assume that people are buying books because of a market demand, we see Oracle is steep decline and SQL Server book sales up 83%, followed closely by PostgreSQL. We saw this exact same trend in 1992-1995 when Oracle books started to dominate the database book market, displacing DB2 and IDMS/R books.

As a whole, the big news is that database book sales are way-down with the exception of PostgreSQL and SQL Server books, which are up 83% and are now double the size of the Oracle market.

Check out Donald Burleson’s full article

Some of this shift may be due to the recent release of Microsoft SQL Server 2005. Dispite it’s small overall percentage, the growth in PostgreSQL book sales is significant enough to keep an eye on it in the near future.

Also interesting is the stagnation of the MySQL book sales, down 2% from last year. With the number of blogs, wikis and other relatively hot technologies running on MySQL I’m surprised this number is down.

In contrast to the book sales, Alexa, which measures a number of statistics to determine rank among web pages, shows increased web ranking for Oracle, MySQL and PostgreSQL, while showing decreased traffic to Microsoft’s corporate site.

Graph by Alexaholic.com

For the full scoop according to Tim O’Reilly, check out his articles State of the Computer Book Market, Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.

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Yesterday Scott Maziarz got this error in the log of an Oracle Application Server instance:

[Tue May 16 13:27:52 2006] [warn] long lost child came home! (pid 8134)

I can’t decide if this is a good thing or a bad thing.

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Bulb photo by Knu†.  Click for larger image and license info.Update: The winner has been anounced. Click here to find out who won!

As the first season of ABC’s American Inventor approaches it’s close many are wondering about its future.

Despite my initial disappointment after the premier I have to say it’s been enjoyable watching the inventors grow. That’s the bright side, but after suffering through the laborious and repetitive rehashing of some of the inventions that didn’t make it and back-story of the ones that did I still maintain they could do better.

A different format

Imagine this for a moment. Season 2 begins like season 1. The format for the search is the same and I’m sure more, better, and worse inventions will show up. Yes, the search should be a freak show that even your local RadioShack would be proud of. Riding the wave of the first season we should be able to get something on the order of a ham radio club to the power of a Star Trek convention on the sketch-o-meter.

Week 1: Those chosen in the initial search will refine their pitches and products within their own means and present again. Cut several.

Week 2: Continuing competitors will be given a modest sum and/or the availability of some professional help to improve their products or, in the case of more elaborate products show how the product could be improved and taken to market. Cut several more.

Week 3: A change of pace. Small teams are formed, given a modest budget, and each team must improve an existing product for, say, the kitchen. Cut the weakest team.

Week 4: Again, improve an existing invention. Now individuals compete to improve an existing product for the office. Cut several.

Week 5: High speed invention. Individuals must invent and present a brand new product, including researching the market space and confirming that the invention does not already exist.

Week 6: Advance new inventions. Groups are formed and must choose one of their individual inventions from the previous week to improve.

Week 7: Create a commercial for your initial invention.

And so on… You get the idea. This combination would not only highlight the American inventor’s ideas, but also their skills and teamwork. Yes, there is great value to fully developing an invention, but a professional inventor must be able to work individually or on a team. They must be able to step back from one task to tackle another.

So will there be a season 2? Hard to tell. ABC has a little blurb about casting for next season, but interestingly it links to americaninventor.tv. I wonder if ABC is trying to decouple the American Inventor web content from their network site with the idea of unloading the show on another network.

Americaninventor.tv has the following, very tentative announcement regarding auditions for season 2:

DID YOU MISS YOUR CHANCE TO AUDITION FOR THE FIRST SEASON?

If we head out on a second search, we want to make sure you don’t miss out. Sign up now and we’ll contact you when we’re getting ready to hit the road again.

The competition is open individuals or teams of inventors.

The product must be something that can be mass produced and sold in a retail outlet.

You can come with a sketch, a prototype or even just an idea.

Meanwhile all we can do is hope season 2 is more content than recap.

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