How to Set Consultancy Fees

Came across this fantastic nugget the other day:

consultants set their rates by the project. They estimate the number of
hours they expect to spend on a project, then multiply by their hourly

some consultants set their project fees using the value the client
derives from the consultant’s advice. There’s an old joke about
physicist Niels Bohr that illustrate this principle.

company’s machine breaks down. The company’s owner, an old school chum
of Niels Bohr, calls in the physicist for help in fixing it.

Bohr examines the machine. He draws an X on the side and says, "Hit it right here with a hammer."

company’s mechanic hits the machine with a hammer. It springs into
action. The company’s owner thanks Niels Bohr profusely and sends him
on his way.

A few days later, the owner receives an invoice from Bohr for $10,000. Shocked, the owner phones Bohr!

"Niels! What’s this $10,000 invoice? You were only here for 10 minutes! Send me a detailed invoice."

Bohr agrees to send the invoice. A few days later, the company’s owner opens a new invoice.

Drawing X on the side of your machine                             $       1
Knowing where to put the X                                             $ 9,999
Total                                                                             $10,000

The Disappearing Google Toolbar

My Google Toolbar (on Mac FireFox) went AWOL overnight – the bar was there at the top of the browser window but completely blank, no buttons. I tried the usual right click on the bar and Google Toolbar was ticked. I went to Google and downloaded and installed the Toolbar again, still nothing.

Then tried clicking Tools > Add Ons > Google Toolbar > Preferences and the Preference window was slightly bizarre with a number of buttons duplicated:

Screen shot 2010-02-15 at 9.40.13 AM

A quick Google Search found this page, and this piece of advice:

I removed everything in ~/Library/Application Support/Firefox/Profiles/<profile dir>/GoogleToolbarData

I followed the instructions, restarted Firefox and my Google Toolbar reappeared.

Firebug 1.5

Having problems with the latest version of Firebug, it doesn't like the SACK ajax library that I use a great deal (it's the same AJAX library included in WordPress).

The issue only just started, basically Firebug doesn't like the way the SACK script prepares for an AJAX call.

I found something about this in another blog post that appears to explain the issue. Firebug And The Mysterious “Components Is Not Defined”.

A commenter named Svan seems to have found the issue and a simple workaround that I'm going to try.

It seems that every plugin that wants to use the “sack” function of wordpress (for fetching ajax data), will trigger a firebug bug, due to the attempt to create ActiveXObject.

But as Firebug only is made for Firefox, I tried to switch the logic of the createAJAX inner function.
So normally, the javascript function would try to make the xmlhttp object with ActiveXObject (MS Stuff), and when that doesn’t succeed it does it the Mozilla way with XMLHttpRequest.

I changed the order:

if (typeof XMLHttpRequest != “undefined”)
this.xmlhttp = new XMLHttpRequest();

if (! this.xmlhttp) {
try {
this.xmlhttp = new ActiveXObject(“Msxml2.XMLHTTP”);
} catch (e1) {
try {
this.xmlhttp = new ActiveXObject(“Microsoft.XMLHTTP”);
} catch (e2) {
this.xmlhttp = null;
this.failed = true;

Entries in iCal not syncing to Google Calendar

I have iCal set up attached to my Google Calendar, and thus events entered into iCal, Google Calendar or my iPhone all happily sync up. Except today new events entered into iCal stopped appearing in Google or iPhone.

Found a quick and easy solution.

1. Exit iCal

2. Find the file [youruser]/library/calendars/calendar cache and delete it

3. Restart iCal

And hey presto entries added to iCal are syncing again.