Month: December 2014

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Getting the E-Book Approved

Well, in my quest to get my E-book published, I keep learning new tricks.  Today I want to talk about the EPUB validator,  This little tool is absolutely necessary if you want to get your book into iBooks or any of the other major vendors.  The idea is that it goes through and finds in-depth issues embedded in your book. I thought I had all of the pieces cleaned up, but this tool found a few more.

1.  If you use lists, going too deep (like 1, a, i), it seemed to run into issues.

2.  Very long screenshots are no longer interpreted like a PNG file.  I had several images that were a scolling web page, and it was very long.  So I had to break the image into several pieces.

The other trick that I learned is that an EPUB file type is really just like a zip file.  I’m sure many of you already knew that, but it was news to me.  The EPUB validator is rather cryptic.  The errors that it give make no sense until you open up the zipped up EPUB file, then you can see the actual issues.  Initially, I was trying to figure out how it gave you line items and weird file names.  So be sure to unzip the file if you want to solve the issues.

That’s all for today.  Thanks for reading,

Publishing Articles… A learning experience

Earlier in the year, I published my first article.  I went through all the iterations for editing and rework, and finally got approved.  I even got paid for it, so that made it really feel good.  I started putting out some press on my article, tried to get people to go out and read it, but the response was underwhelming…  so I just let it go, and started focusing on the book.  Don’t ask me why, but today I went to go look for that article.  If you’re interested, check out the link.  What finally hit me is that where you publish makes all the difference.

I published at a place called SAP Insider.  They specialize in SAP, so it seemed logical.  What I didn’t fully grasp is that this isn’t People magazine that you walk in, pay $3 for and leave.  Today I went and was going to sign up, and realized that it’s a $1000/person/area (they have multiple different tracks depending on your interests).  YIKES!!!  unless you company is paying the invoice, no one is going to pay $1000 to read my article, no matter how good it is 🙂

The experience was absolutely worth it, but if you’re doing articles to get your name out there, pay close attention to who can read it…  I don’t really know how many people have subscriptions to SAP Insider, but it certainly didn’t seem to be my general audience.

thanks for reading,


Why are you so modest?

The other night, I went to concert with my wife and we both got dressed up, and she looked amazing.  I couldn’t stop looking at her, until I realized that she seemed to be getting uncomfortable from the additional attention from me.  This seemed to counter intuitive to me.  She looked great, she obviously tried to look good, so I kept complimenting her and probably staring a little more than usual, but isn’t that a good thing???  I am a guy after all, so bare with me…  I eventually figure these things out :).  It finally hit me, that she probably doesn’t see herself that way.  I mean, she always rolls her eyes when I tell her how good she looks anyway, and now it’s been amplified.  It just doesn’t fit with her self image.  Then I got it…  All of us can only accept the attention we think we deserve.  Deep, right?

Let me explain what I mean.  Take myself for example.  I’ve been consulting in SAP for over 16 years.  I know my stuff in variant configuration and service management, so when someone asks, I have no trouble telling them, I am VERY good at what I do.  Now, the software side of things is another story.  I tend to get shy, modest, coy…  because I’m a little embarrassed.  In my mind, because I don’t have 500 customers or earn $1,000,000 a year doing software, I haven’t hit that comfort level in my own subconscious.  When I look at it, logically, it’s ridiculous.  I’ve developed some great things, got them certified by SAP, and sold them to actual customers :).  Yet, I still struggle to tell people that I build software…  I tend to fall back to that default of software “consultant”.

Now, I wish I had some magic answer to change my own self image or tell you how to change yours…  But I guess this is just one of those issues that takes time…  and a little bit of positive reinforcement.  So if any of you would just buy some of my applications or my new book, that will help me a LOT 🙂

Thanks for reading,

How do I explain what I do?

One of my many struggles, has always been to explain to people exactly what I do.  Sure, I can say I work with computers, or I’m a consultant, or I design software, but it just never seems to cut it, or it instantly bores people.  So for that reason, I had a team help me come up with a little video to explain what I do…  think of it like my elevator pitch.  I’d love to hear your thoughts…  And a special thank you to SBS, who did a great job creating this for me.

Thanks for reading,

Service Orders at a Glance

If you are anything like many of the companies I’ve worked for the past, they like the service orders, lots of information, but just too many tabs to jump around to see everything they want.  The basic tab, operations, components, costs…  and that doesn’t even include all the extra random information that may or may not be useful to your organization.

Would your technicians benefit from having everything in simple screen?  Then even throw in the most common functions like availability, TECO (with some extra functionality) and confirmations?


That’s exactly what Proximity Service Execution does (and a lot more).  All of the sections can be turned on or off.  The table columns can be sequenced to show only the fields you care about in the order you want.

Check out the demo for more information.  I’d love to hear from you on if you think this might be useful or not, or if you think something else should be included.