Steve Jobs Takes Medical Leave

All the best to Steve Jobs who sent this to Apple employees today:


At my request, the board of directors has granted me a medical leave of absence so I can focus on my health. I will continue as CEO and be involved in major strategic decisions for the company.

I have asked Tim Cook to be responsible for all of Apple’s day to day operations. I have great confidence that Tim and the rest of the executive management team will do a terrific job executing the exciting plans we have in place for 2011.

I love Apple so much and hope to be back as soon as I can. In the meantime, my family and I would deeply appreciate respect for our privacy.


Three stories told by Steve Jobs at Stanford’s 2005 commencement speech:

Work-Friendly Coffee Shops Around DC

For DC’s working homeless, here’s a post from titled “20 work-friendly coffee shops near Washington, D.C. (Map)”:

Whether you can’t stand working in the office, or you just need to find a place to get online and have a drink, you will at some point find yourself looking for a work-friendly coffee shop nearby.

Look no further than this map of 20 highly recommended local coffee shops — praised not only for their blends, but also their WiFi, work space and electrical outlet access.

This advice comes from some laptop-toting users of Quora, a social question-and-answer service, in response to the question, “What are the best work-friendly coffee shops in the Washington DC area?” You can add your own recommendations there, and in the comments below.

Access Netflix, Hulu, Pandora from outside US

A colleague working abroad wanted to get streaming Internet content (videos from Netflix and Hulu, music from Pandora). But those services only have content distribution deals for US customers so they block non-US subscribers. How can those services be tricked? By connecting through a US server. Here’s how.


A Virtual Private Network or VPN is used by many companies to secure traffic and make your computer appear as if it is on the local corporate network. Internet traffic is typically tunneled through the corporate servers making it appear as if the web browsing is originating on those corporate servers.

Finding a VPN Provider

You can set up a VPN yourself with OpenVPN, but it’s fairly complicated.

I suggest using a paid VPN service. Because all your traffic goes through these servers and your bandwidth is limited by the speed of the VPN servers, you need to chose a VPN service that you can trust. Most VPN providers that I found look a little shady. There are lots of fake review sites as well that are clearly promoting particular sites.


StrongVPN is a provider that describes their corporate history, locations, and services in detail. Their corporate headquarters is in California and by all appearances, they aren’t a shady company. As of this writing, they have 94 servers in the US in 8 locations.

They have setup instruction for Windows, Mac and Linux.

They have a page explaining how to make sure that Hulu, etc. will work for you:
Unblocking Geographically Blocked Sites

My colleague used StrongVPN without any problems. There is typically additional lag by going through the extra hop of a VPN, but the bandwidth from StrongVPN was good and it worked well enough to watch streaming shows while outside the US.


Unrelated to VPNs, another solution for video when traveling abroad (or anywhere) is Slingbox, which allows you to access your home cable box or DVR. See my old post: Watch Your Home Team with Slingbox.

Manage License Keys for Windows and Office

Find Product Keys

Most businesses have trouble keeping track of their license keys. A tool to see what keys you are using for Windows and Microsoft Office is:

LicenseCrawler by Klinzmann

It’s free software. The author jokingly requests that users send him a picture of their hometown instead of payment. Must be funny in German.

Still, it’s simple and streightforward software to help you find the product keys.

Change Microsoft Office Key

If you install Microsoft Office and find that the key is already in use, there is a quicker way to try another key instead of performing a full uninstall and reinstall of Office.

  • Click, Start – Run
  • Type Regedit
  • Navigate to: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Office\”version”\Registration
  • Click the plus (+) sign and you should find a couple of items that you need to delete: DigitalProductID and ProductID. One or both of these should contain a 32-character {GUID} (globally unique identifier).
  • Save and close the registry, reboot, and start MS Office again. It should ask you to enter another product ID and attempt registration.