There's no place like home.
It's almost like I clicked my airport-friendly slipon black shoes together and said it three times.
I've got my cats, NPR is on all the time (Colorado has amazing NPR, we get it all except Selected Shorts), and it feels good.
I'm glad to be home because I've been all over the place. Home to care for my mom, of course, plus lots of wonderful training gigs with great clients. I've been training on Bainbridge Island and then, for two weeks, the City of Largo. Both beautiful places, and may I just say that the Bellview Biltmore hotel in Clearwater is amazing. If you are traveling to the Tampa area, by all means stay at that hotel. I got a good deal as a business traveler, through Orbitz, but I don't know of any reason not to contact the hotel directly.
One new class in Largo was a one-day databases class, covering the topics I've written about in various TechTarget articles. My new Databases workbook covering tools in OpenOffice Base for queries, views, reports, joins, etc. is the basis for the class. Don't buy it just now -- I need to update it with a few cool new things I learned while teaching it. I'll announce when it's updated, should be by the end of the week.
While in Largo in the evenings, sitting by the gorgeous Belleview Biltmore pool and looking at the palm trees, I pondered and concluded and planned about various things. Here's what I came up with.
1. I'm going to start selling my workbooks via PDF--once I figure out the best way to do it.
The price of course will be lower, though of course there might be some printing costs for each customer. I'm in the process of figuring out how best to do this; candidates are www.lulu.com and simply setting up some PDF security, possibly a password, and sending them directly.
Question: How annoying would it be for you to have to type in a password every time you open a PDF? It would be something reasonably obvious to you, not au7781fflk or anything like that.
If you want to see lulu.com, you can see my Gift-Giving Guide for Guys there. It's a $10 PDF of my self-published guide to good gift ideas for men who would like some help coming up with the ideas. You can see an excerpt on the page with the book, covering not just good ideas but how to come up with others based on what your sweetie is generally interested in.
2: I'm going to be promoting the idea of a site license for the workbooks.
If you're looking at OpenOffice.org for your organization, and you need workbooks, please contact me about a site license for the workbooks you'll need to train users. This applies if you're going to be doing the training yourself or bringing me in to train some or all users. It's economical and convenient; you can put the PDFs on your internal web site (without a password) and let any internal users access them.
3: I'm going to be giving a particularly good deal on site licenses to schools (K-12).
I haven't figured out the details yet, but for a limited time I'm going to be putting the training materials "on sale" to promote the use of OpenOffice.org in schools. Stay tuned!
4: I want to hear about more projects that you're having trouble with, so I can write about how to do them.
For instance, I approached the idea of a tri-fold brochure for the City of Largo. (More on that in an article for TechTarget.) If there are other tasks, rather than specific features, that you'd like information and/or templates for doing, let me know.
5: I'm open for business, to help convert your problem documents.
A lot of documents open up in OpenOffice.org with no or few problems. But for the stubborn ones, it can be most efficient to just farm out the conversion. If your manual on policies nad procedures started out in WordPerfect in 1985, and has been touched by at least 30 people since then, some of whom aren't highly skilled desktop publishers, it's not just a simple case of File > Open. Contact me for a quote, if you'd like me to help convert those.
That's my plan, or at least key elements of it, going forward. I'll also be back to blogging as normal, and writing articles for TechTarget.com.