Stories by Geoff Palmer

Liquid gold

There’s an old saying that the paperless office is about as likely as the paperless toilet, and in recent times that’s become much more apt. It’s not that we’re churning out vastly more paper, but we’re certainly coating it with a lot more ink.

The fine print

I have to be careful what I say about McAfee. No, really. Part of the antivirus and privacy product’s licence states, “The customer shall not disclose the results of any benchmark test to any third party … and will not publish reviews of the product without prior consent …” So much for free speech and democracy.

Getting to the source

Last month I said the government needn’t have spent $10 million on software for the country’s schools when they could have done it for $75. Actually, I exaggerated. It could be less.

Birthday book goes exponential

A missed birthday was the only inspiration merchant banker Shannon Walsh needed to enter e-commerce. The idea of using the internet to store important dates like birthdays and anniversaries wasn’t new — a quick search revealed any number of date-reminder sites — but the spin Walsh put on the concept was something different.

Choking the knowledge economy?

If you’re thinking about bottlenecks, just look at our domestic internet infrastructure, says Peter Mott of

Battling bottlenecks

Where do they get their figures? According to Zona Research in the US, the likelihood of a customer leaving a website is just 7% if the page appears in under seven seconds, 30% if it takes eight seconds or more to load and 70% if the clock ticks past 12 seconds.

Magic cookies not all they seem

I clearly remember my first encounter with magic cookies. The bank I was working for had run into problems transmitting increasingly large volumes of data from one of its proof centres in time for the start of the overnight processing cycle. The answer, of course, was compression. At the proof centre end, no problem; simply download and compile a publicly licensed compression program on the Unix box there. Done. But the computer centre, the receiving end, was wall-to-wall Big Blue. Nothing as flighty as Unix was permitted within its hallowed walls and, while IBM were quite happy to let us have a C compiler, it's licence fee was probably enough to solve Third World debt and well beyond the bounds of a small project.

Capture attention with your CV

As a contractor, your curriculum vitae is your most important sales tool. It should define who you are, your experience, qualifications and background, and should do so as informatively, clearly and concisely as possible.