Getting iChat to use all IM networks…

Image via Wikipedia

As a recent Mac convert I am finding I love the native Mac apps. Turns out, you can get iChat to work on just about any network. Here’s how…

This actually isn’t too hard to do. It leverages Jabber servers with gateway addons. The only trick is that iChat doesn’t have the ability to browse/register Jabber services so you need a different Jabber client. I used Adium.
* First, in Adium register a Jabber account to this server:

* Once you do that then in the “Adium” –>”Preferences” –> “Accounts” highlight the newly added “” account (typically

* Right click on it and select “Discovery Browser”

* click the little arrow next to the “Openfire Server” word

* double-click the services you want. If you want GTalk, you’ll need to add that since iChat will only let you do 1 Jabber account (and counts as 1). This server has AIM, MSN, Yahoo, GTalk, ICQ, and IRC installed. As you double click the services it will ask for login info and then it will add the service.

* Once you’ve added all your services just quit Adium and fire up iChat.

* Add a new iChat account – Jabber

* Give it the “” and password. use “” as the server name.

* Make sure to check “Use This Service” radio button to login and you’re done!


Happy 3rd Birthday Vivi’s!

Well, my blog is growing up so fast…>sniff sniff<…

First, let me apologize for the bit of a hiatus. There’s just alot going on. I have development working on Wine Life Today, working on things with our friends at WineQ, a couple of major intiatives at my day job, construction at our house, and the best news of all…we are expecting another little addition to the family! So as you can imagine, I’ve taken a brief hiatus from my normal blogging but I have a backlog of great wines to review including a wine AND recipe combo from Wolf Blass!!!

So thanks for everyone’s support, well wishes, requests for more posts, and everything else. That past three years have meant alot to me in my wine adventures

and I owe a great deal of that to the community that supports this blog.

Keep the notes coming and as soon as life gives me a chance to take a breather I’ll be back on this microphone tasting, pontificating, and just generally yapping to all the wine lovers out there! Stay tuned!

For Those Who Think The Web Isn’t The Future for Wine

I thought this was interesting.  Technology is a wonderful thing, changing so quickly that anyone who predicts what will and won’t happen almost always looks like a fool. 

The caption reads:

Scientists from the RAND Corporation have created this model to illustrate how a “home computer” could look like in the year 2004.  However the needed technology will not be economically feasible for the average home.  Also the scientists readily admit that the computer will require not yet invented technology to actually work, but 50 years from now scientific progress is expected to solve these problems.  With teletype interface and the Fortran language, the computer will be easy to use.

Can the web and social networking change the Wine industry?  It can and it will.  What this picture illustrates (and is somewhat comical at first) is that you’ve got to set the goal clearly for what happens next.  Obviously, we far exceeded expectations on this one!

For wine, the Internet will provide the personal, peer-to-peer experience that will enhance your wine life experiences, introducing you to new people, places, and wines in ways we can’t even imagine right now.  In fact, you’ll be able to sample the wine with all the senses without even being at the winery (just wanted to write something that may or may not pan out in 50 years


Enjoy the Wine Life!

1000 Best Wine Secrets…maybe

I recently received a copy of the book “1000 Best wine secrets“, a book that proclaims to contain all the information novice and experienced wine drinkers need to feel at home in any restaurant, home or vineyard.

Well, I can say that its a pretty quick read, structured literally as a list of quick blurbs about wine. I was able to consume most of it on a flight from San Jose to D.C. Its structured so that you can read sections out of order, skipping to which ever section sounds interesting.

I actually found the tips about wine, tasting, storage, etc… pretty useful, to the point, and full of very relevant information. The “Old World” wine sections (about French, Italian, etc…) were informative but re-confirmed exactly why I can’t get into those wines. Even in a quick, easily absorbed book like this, there’s no short cut to learning about Old World wines. You flat out have to read and remember a bunch of random French regions and their associated wines. Now this book did give me a picture of how that could be interesting by outlining a little bit of what to expect from each region, but there’s no way I’ll remember it without some serious study (and wine is a love and a hobby – I commend this book for trying to create a basic outline but, through no fault of its own, it falls short).

Overall, this is a good reference book that probably could’ve been broken up into multiple smaller reference books and made more money. At $12.95 USD retail, its probably worth having around to read and reference.

Enjoy the Wine Life!

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Nuvo wine gadget for temperature

There seems to be a new wine temperature gadget about every year or so.  This on incorporates some interesting technology and actually has quite a bit of promise, though at $50 a pop its probably for the more serious wine consumer who might actually care about the exact temperature of wine.

Nuvo Vino has created an infrared wine temperature gauge.  Basically it works like those fancy doctor thermometers that you stick in your ear (or in my case my baby daughter’s ear) to see if you have a fever.  Hold the gauge about an inch away from the wine and it will tell you the temperature.  Do the same for the bottle and it will tell you the temperature of the wine inside the bottle.

Understanding the guidelines for wine temperature (here or here are some recommendations)is more important than the detail of the temperature so this is probably a bit over the top and really not necessary just kind of a jazzy, techno-tool, wine geek gadget…which is why I need one immediately


NuvoVino – $49.99 

Partnering up with WineQ…

I’m diving right in.  Joining the team at WineQ.  Adding my Silicon Valley tech experience and passion for wine to the heavy hitters at WineQ.  What?  Why?  Thats an easy question to answer…

I’ve spent the better part of the last two plus years blogging about wine, the wine life, and everything wine related.  Its a passion, a love, an…addiction?  Maybe.  But I think more of an obsession.  Even the day I put this blog up I wrote about my exploits in wine and my intention for this blog right on our first about page:

My wife and I started Vivi’s Online as a prelude to our bigger wine business ventures. (Stick around and you’ll hear a lot more from us on that front!!!)…

Well, that time has come.  I’ve sifted through alot of sites about wine, drank alot of wine, and spent my life in technology.  From my first Commodore 64 and Atari game system to the iMac I just

ordered.  From the first Geyser Peak Merlot that knocked my socks off, to the Navarro Pinot Noir I drank last night.  Through it all I always wondered, “how can I apply all this tech experience to this wine obsession?”…”what will be technical enough to keep that part of Joel excited yet somehow incorporate wine?”.  But most importantly “is it possible to combine a ton of tech experience, a love of technology, and a passion for wine?”  In effect, marry the two things I can actually spend all day thinking about and have it energize me.

Well, it seems in WineQ, I’ve discovered a wine business that aligns with my own wine values – to find the best wines not just the most expensive.  I’ve discovered a technology business that aligns with my own technical values – innovative technology applied to a real problem with a drive to continue innovating; actually doing something with the innovative technology and not technology for technology’s sake (a BIG problem with the whole Web 2.0 and Wine 2.0 craze).  I’ve discovered a business that promises to fundamentally change an industry using great technology.  This paragraph is very Zen for me!

WineQ offers users the ability to create a queue of wines they want to purchase, and then set up the frequency and quantity of wines received per shipment.  In addition, shipping is free for WineQ

members on orders above $35 – not “free on full case orders” or “free on 6 bottles” – free over $35.  You can have many wines from a variety of wineries all shipped for free.  You can have a single $35 bottle of wine shipped for free.  WineQ is redefining what one should expect from a wine club.  And there is so much more to come, I wish I could blurt it out but I’ll keep it under wraps for now.  Lets keep it at we’re focused sharply on creating the ultimate online wine experience…if there is something about buying wine online that doesn’t appeal to you, we’re probably working on a way to fix it as we speak.  I’ll definitely update more as things progress.  Lets just say I probably won’t have to post about it here for you to hear about whats going on with WineQ…I will, you just may not need me to…

After working with the WineQ team for a while (as I’ve done with many out there) it became obvious that this company has the potential to do something special and its ready to go to the next level.  Innovative technology, top-flight operations, and wineries signing up left and right, this is going to be fun fun fun! 

So with that, I’m joining WineQ.  Together the goal is no less then to build the premier wine experience on the Internet.  Have a look at the site, feedback is always welcome.  As always, Enjoy the Wine Life…

By the way, I Q do you?

Now that’s service! – KandL Wines

I think this is what blogs were made for – reporting experiences and word of mouth things. So I’m going to relay a story and I hope every wine retailer makes a note of it (hell, every retailer should make a note of it).

I shop online for wine all the time and have done so for years. One of the many advantages to living in CA. K&L Wines, a retailer based in California, has a great selection and often when I use or I get results from K&L because they’re pricing is spot on as well – usually among the most competitive.

Recently I was restocking some of my classic party wines – Sokol Blosser “Evolution 9” and (dark chocolate fans listen up and take note) Justin “Obtuse” Port. We’re going to have visitor during the holidays and these are both reasonably priced crowd pleasers. I ordered a dozen bottles and used a shipping option that they offered that wasn’t FedEx or UPS. It was “Golden State Overnight”. It was cheaper than FedEx ground or UPS and, as the name implies, “overnight” deliver no less. This is great news b/c if there is a downside to online wine retailing its the shipping (whom ever figures out the scheme to make shipping free or very cheap will make a boat load of money on volumes…just from ME!!!).

Continue reading “Now that’s service! – KandL Wines”

Grape Varietal Chart is a cubicle must-have

Here is a camera-phone picture of my new cubicle as I’ve re-joined the cubicle nation as a Sr Manager of Cisco Systems. I’m a habitual start-up person with a wide range of skills (if I do say so myself) but navigating a huge company is a skill unto itself.

To ease that transition I am using my DeLong’s Wine Grape Varietal table. As you can see its prominently displayed on my pod’s wall (Cisco is very egalitarian when it comes to offices I must commend them for that). This is a must have when you work in an environment where interaction with others is necessary (often in startups you’re doing less coordination and politic’ing and more content generation). Why is it a must have? Wine is a common thread among a wide variety of people. I’ve learned that through this blog over the last couple of years. With this setup in my cube, I have a constant source of conversation starters. In the three weeks that I’ve been here I’ve had casual conversations with multiple people of varying wine levels and have concluded a few with “we should go for a glass of wine one night…”.

Connecting on a personal level through a common interest is not the easiest thing in huge companies like this so I have to send some thanks to DeLong for creating this excellent conversation starter!

Enjoy the Wine Life

Happy 1st Birthday to Vivi’s!

Today, August 18th 2005, Vivi’s Wine Journal turns 1 year old!  What started out as a way to just talk about wine topics and write about wine and wine related experiences in a way that would help my friends understand why Kelly and I love the wine life so much has turned into a community site with a steady flow of visitors from all corners of the world.  This has been a great experience for both of us and really been more rewarding then I had ever imagined.

In life, the ideal “job” is one that can combine something you do with something you enjoy.  Vivi’s is definitely “work” but it doesn’t feel that way so much.  Kelly and I both have enjoyed the last year doling out and receiving advice where we could, meeting new people, and learning about wine while we do things to expand on Vivi’s content for the community.  Now that I have a taste of what it means to be doing something purely for the enjoyment and art of it the last step is to figure out how to get that same experience out of a career – wouldn’t that be cool.

In the mean time we’ll continue to get our fix from bringing our wine life experiences to you through Vivi’s.  Here’s to taking the time out to Enjoy the Wine Life!