The Wheels Move Forward

Wow, it’s been a challenge lately. Since our kids’ passport applications from March appeared to have seriously stalled, we drove to Seattle last Thursday, spent the night, and then got them passports on Friday at the Passport office. This weekend, I spent several hours finishing the British Visa applications for all four of us, and Fedex’ed them to Los Angeles this morning.

Meanwhile, we have an accepted offer on our house, we sent off the documents to open bank accounts in London, and I’m prepping the cars for sale. I’m glad that I got to sail on Saturday with my brother and my kids– the wind was excellent on the Columbia.

Back on the ranch, we’re finalizing the budget for next year. We’re planning to move to an online comment writing system with FileMaker Pro (we currently have a client-based one), and we believe a front end Xserve running Apache and it’s own subset of the database might be most efficient and fast. We already have parts of the main FileMaker Database accessible and changeable via web interfaces, but we need better performance if three divisions are going to using it for comment writing.

Motorola QFor fifteen staff desktops, we’re leaning toward Dell Optiplex small form factor units with AMD chips and regular on-board video, with a gig of memory. We plan to roll out Office 2007 on new machines next year, but wait on Vista for a year. Thus, we’ll buy higher end video cards for the Optiplex units when we need them, since they’ll likely be less expensive in a year anyway.

Our network administrator has upgraded to a new Motorola Q phone/pda, and so far he’s quite happy. He had to download some information to the phone so it could do SSL syncs with our Exchange servers, but now he has local Outlook email, calendars and contacts on his phone. Not bad. The Internet access is a bit more expensive per month, but appears faster than it was on his Treo 650.

In about six weeks, I guess I’ll have to figure out what the phone options are in London. Ugh– back to the budget…

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