Friday, April 28, 2006


Snoqualmie Valley School Foundation Fundraiser

NEXTCOMP.NET sponsored a table at the annual Snoqualmie Valley School Foundation fundraiser. The Board put together an outstanding morning of speakers and an excellent breakfast. The morning started with a gorgeous sunrise over Mt. Si. The event was held at the PGA golf course clubhouse on Snoqualmie Ridge. It was a beautiful location. The award winning Mt. Si. High School jazz band kicked off the breakfast with a rousing session of music. One of the Foundations grant recipients, Dr. Gayle Smith demonstrated the power of technology in the classroom with ACTIVBoards. It's an interactive whiteboard. What a cool idea for the classroom. Students can interact with the teacher using a hand-held voting mechanism. Dr. Smith indicated that the neighboring Bellevue school district has installed this technology in all 900 of their classrooms. The Snoqualmie School District hopes to install them in as many classrooms as possible, and the fundraiser will help with this effort. The primary goal of the Board this year though is to raise money for the Arts in the classroom: audio, visual and performing. Given recent cuts in the Arts program funding from the State and Federal government it's paramount that the local community step up and fill the gap. The keynote speaker was former NFL quarterback Mr. Hugh Millen. He gave an inspirational talk on the importance of engaged teachers in our kids lives. Thank you to the Board for organizing the event. Learn more at NEXTCOMP.NET will continue to support education in our local community.

Thursday, April 27, 2006


Amazing New Technology

I've always been a fan of technology, ever since I first got an Atari 2600 for Christmas over 25 years ago.

Apple is one of my favorite computer companies, even though I only purchased my first Mac about a year ago. I've always liked the elegance and simplicity of the design. When Apple announced the new Intel based MacBook Pro, I couldn't resist. We've been using Mac's for a lot of our web graphic design over the last year, but I couldn't justify the cost of moving my "business" computing to Mac. Well that's all changed. The new MacBook Pro is so amazing that you can run Windows XP Pro at full speed right alongside Mac OS X. The company that made this possible is called Parallels (

This is just one of the coolest new technologies I've seen recently. It's like having two full laptops in one slim silver notebook. Even if you're total Windows die-hard, you have to admire the engineering that went into the design. Now all my work is done on the MacBook Pro.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006


Little League Baseball Camp

The Snoqualmie Valley Little League sponsored a baseball clinic with Tom Dedin Sr. and Tom Dedin Jr. The Dedin's were major league players that now coach and train primarily with youth teams. We all learned something during the two day clinic on April 23rd and 24th.

It was a beautiful day at the ball field. We started with throwing drills (scrape the table, the "power c", and "farris wheel") and then moved on to catching, and finally batting. The kids learned quite a bit as I think did the coaches.

We played a game last night. The kids did great and I could see the clinic helped with throwing, catching and hitting (the basics)!

Monday, April 24, 2006


Network Connection Down (FIXED)

Speakeasy network ( experienced a network connectivity failure in the Seattle area that impacted NEXTCOMP.NET for approximately six hours today. We first noticed the issue at about 10:00 AM Pacific. Connectivity was restored in the afternoon at approximately 4:00 PM Pacific. This was an issue with the NEXTCOMP.NET Internet Service Provider and was out of our control. Although it was out of our control, we realize that this may have impacted your work today and we apologize for the loss of connectivity.

Sunday, April 23, 2006


I’ve just returned from Scottsdale and the WorldatWork Group Partnership Network leadership meeting. Here’s a picture from the lobby of the Westin in Scottsdale. It is a beautiful resort as you can see.

What is WorldatWork? What is the Group Partnership Network? WorldatWork is a global compensation, benefits, and work life professional association. WorldatWork partners with local organizations to provide training and other professional resources. You can find out more at and click on About Us and Local Groups.

One of the announcements during the conference concerned the name GPN. I think WorldatWork is going to come up with a more self-explanatory name, which is a good thing.

This was my last GPN leadership meeting for a while (at least I think… read on). I’ve been going for six years, with three years as a Board member. I coordinated the local groups in the Northwest and for a few years California and Hawaii. I never did figure out how to get a trip to Hawaii out of the deal though. NextComp even sponsored the meeting for a couple of years. Not this year though. Too many meetings to attend and I wanted to be there for the networking. The whole reason for the meeting is to create networks or communities as they’ve become known over the last year. Communities of practice. Which is why I may be going back next year. Susan Marty, the Manager of Group Partnership suggested I come back as the “volunteer technology consultant” to help implement new ways to build community among the over 80 GPNs in the US and Canada. Cool! I like the idea. We would be working on things like blogging, podcasts, MySpace type community building and who knows what else we can come up with over this next year.

I’ll write more about the GPNs and some of the very interesting topics covered during the conference in a later post.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006


Scottsdale for WorldatWork GPN Leadership Conference

I'll be in Scottsdale, AZ on April 19th through the 21st for the WorldatWork Group Partnership Network Leadership Conference. I am a Board member for the GPN Board of WorldatWork. This is my last year on the Board so it is a bitter sweet trip. I'll post some pictures from the hotel and meetings. It should be an informative and fun trip.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006


(DONE) Server maintenance this evening at 7:30 PM Pacific Time

There will be a brief period of time from 7:30 PM to approximately 7:45 PM Pacific Time when NextComp will be unavailable due to server maintenance. Please contact NextComp with any questions. The purpose of the maintenance is to address a timeout issue that is occurring intermittently this afternoon during the account sign-in process.


We respect and protect your privacy

Feel free to post comments to the blog as "anonymous". We respect your privacy and we want to protect it!
You will not be asked to supply your name or e-mail address if you post as "anonymous". Here is a screenshot of the comment page after choosing "anonymous" as the type of user. Click the Preview button after entering a comment. After clicking Preview you will have a chance to confirm that you want to post the comment.


Preview of new My Matches table

We've been hard at work on developing a new and improved My Matches table. The screenshot above shows the new features of the tool. There are three things to note about this new version:

1. You can edit match information directly in the table. This will greatly increase the efficiency of editing matches.

2. You can view survey job summaries by hovering over the survey job title.

3. You can configure the table to show just the fields from the surveys that you need. Plus you can create formulas in the table to create comparisons of your organizations pay data to the matches in the market.

There are more features that we will be discussing in an upcoming post.

We're planning to release this new version soon. Stay tuned...

Friday, April 07, 2006


Sample Business Case and Return On Investment Posted

We've posted links to sample documents outlining the business case and ROI of NEXTCOMP.NET. Take a look at the links on the right side of the blog page.

Thursday, April 06, 2006


The Purple Dragons

The team voted and after some heated (for 7 and 8 year olds) debate the team decided on "Purple Dragons". Other choices were "Grape Ape" and "Purple Sharks". Our first practice was great fun. All the Dads came out to help coach. There were six coaches and 10 kids. Bob said it was one the most fun times he's had with the kids. I would agree. Second practice is tonight barring any rain.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006


(DONE) Unscheduled Maintence - Wednesday, April 5th at 11:00 PM Pacific Time

NextComp will be performing an unscheduled maintenance plan on the database this evening at 11:00 PM Pacific Time. The purpose of the maintenance is to re-index searching capability within the database which should increase overall search result generation.

A scheduled maintenance plan runs once per week on Sunday at 1:00 AM Pacific Time.

NextComp will be available during this period of maintenance, although the speed of searching in the database may be impacted during the maintenance period.

Please contact with any concerns.

Thank you, Matt

Sunday, April 02, 2006


Opening day!

Although this is the official NEXTCOMP.NET blog, it is also a place to share my experiences coaching my son's little league team. We're sponsoring the team and Bob (my Dad) and I will be coaches. Check back for information on an upcoming release of the MY MATCHES table in NEXTCOMP.NET.

It was a cold and wet opening day on Saturday, April 1st. The kids didn't seem to mind.

The Snoqualmie Valley Little League did a great job of fund-raising this year. Over 3 times as much money was raised this year with raffle tickets and sponsorships as last year. The League is going to build a new ball field with the money. First day of practice starts on Tuesday, April 4th. The team's color is purple, so of course the kids want to name the team the "Purple People Eaters". Hopefully Bob and I will be able to talk them out of that one!