August 22, 2009

20 Years of CTDATA

August 22, 1989 was the day that Chatham Township Data Corporation was incorporated. Today marks the twentieth anniversary of its founding.

CTDATA isn't what I do for a living anymore. But developing it was a major focus of my life for a number of years. Those of you who have known me for a long time know how important it has been to me.

I want to thank my wife Kathleen, my family, and friends for their support. Thanks also to David Plaut and Barry Tash who provided the money to get this enterprise off the ground in the early days.

From the third floor of the J Building at RPI, to Morris County, NJ, to Wall Street, to the kitchen table of a small house in Newtown, PA, the more things change, the more things stay the same.

May 4, 2009

Plans to Celebrate the CTDATA's 20th Anniversary

We are planning to celebrate CTDATA's 20th anniversary in August 2009. By that time, I hope to restructure the home page of to reflect the business as it is today.

It's been a long time since the home page of has been an active blog. More active blogs exist at Operation Gadget,, the blog, and HockeyRefCast. I plan to move the CTDATA blog off of the home page but keep it, since there is still some historical value to what was published here.

I'm trying to decide how much space to devote to aggregating activity from the more active sites that we publish, and how I want to promote the ongoing businesses of weblog consulting and small scale webhosting. I'll post an update when I've made a decision.

August 22, 2006

Happy 17th Birthday, CTDATA

Dave Aiello wrote, "On August 22, 1989, Chatham Township Data Corporation was officially incorporated. We're pleased to still be in business 17 years later."

"In July 2006, the North American ice rink directory was launched. This site was launched out of my frustration with other rink directory websites that haven't adopted cutting-edge technology. RinkAtlas uses the Google Maps API to display the locations of over 1000 rinks that are east of the Mississippi River."

"We expect to complete the RinkAtlas database of rinks in the United States by the end of September."

"This year is the sixth anniversary of a new tradition for our company. Each year since the year 2000, I've written a brief message on our corporate anniversary that helps to document our history. I'd like to take a moment now to rewind history:"

March 23, 2006 Site Updated

We added some new content to the Weblog Improvement website for the first time since it was launched in November 2004. The new information on that site includes:

  • the methodology we use to build and enhance weblogs,
  • a partial list of our clients,
  • additional contact information.

This is the first in a series of enhancements to that begin to incorporate the design techniques that we first used on our clients' sites.

January 20, 2006

Focusing on Marketing Now that the Great Migration is Done

Season's Greetings from everyone at Chatham Township Data Corporation. In 2005, we completed the migration of our server infrastructure to a Linux platform that's optimized for expansion of our hosting business. This was on the drawing board a year ago when I wrote our holiday message but didn't get completed until November due to the priority of other work that clients had requested.

The final migration steps took place under the intense pressure of infrastructure problems. We could only get away with running obsolete servers for so long. The Service Notice article published on the RCNJ website is a cryptic reminder. We didn't lose any data in this failure, but a lot of content temporarily disappeared from this and a few other websites. This will never happen again, because we now have geographically diverse servers with replication of daily backups between them. We should have had this in place a long time ago.

Earlier today Martin O'Donnell and I met briefly because he's in town visiting his father. We talked about the strategic options that a friend of his has in building a web presence for a new women's clothing store being opened in Seattle. I gave my opinion, which was to be conservative and focus on what could be done well rather than implementing a laundry list of web and e-commerce services in the quickest way possible.

I added that we should take a fresh look at CTDATA's websites and services from time to time, and make changes where appropriate. The ideas we came up with for his friend: focus on excellent implementation of a basic informational website, and build slowly from there to a robust e-commerce presence, make a lot of sense for a startup women's fashion retail store. What would a similar approach mean for this company at this time?

Continue reading "Focusing on Marketing Now that the Great Migration is Done" »

November 23, 2005

Putting CTDATA's Corporate History Back Online

Today I began restoring the content of CTDATA's corporate website. Most of the site's content disappeared from the Internet in early October because of an infrastructure failure at one of our Internet Service Providers. Although no data from our servers was lost, the restoration of three of the websites that we maintain (including was considerably more complicated than I expected.

Right now, contains articles published prior to April 2004. I hope to have the the articles published between April 2004 and November 2005 republished soon. If you have any questions, please contact me by email at dave_aiello [at]

August 22, 2005

Happy 16th Birthday, CTDATA

Dave Aiello wrote, "On August 22, 1989, Chatham Township Data Corporation was officially incorporated. We're pleased to still be in business 16 years later."

"In November 2004, the Weblog Improvement consulting business was started. That business subsequently completed several major projects for its clients. In the fourth quarter of 2004, Operation Gadget had its highest traffic and advertising revenue in its history. In July we moved our headquarters to Newtown, PA, leaving CTDATA without an office in New Jersey for the first time in its history."

"This year is the fifth anniversary of a new tradition for our company. Each year since the year 2000, I've written a brief message on our corporate anniversary that helps to document our history. I'd like to take a moment now to rewind history:"

July 1, 2005

CTDATA Contact Information

On July 1, 2005, CTDATA moved its main office to Newtown, PA. Our new contact information is shown below:

Chatham Township Data Corporation
P.O. Box 1581
Newtown, PA 18940

Voice: 267-352-4420
Fax: 267-224-4443

Dave Aiello, CTDATA's president, can be reached by email at dave_aiello at

Chatham Township Data Corporation is a New Jersey Corporation with its headquarters in Newtown, PA. Its internet servers are co-located in Seattle, WA and San Antonio, TX.

February 4, 2005

CTDATA Mail Server Upgrade

The long-awaited CTDATA mail server upgrade is underway. Here's how to change your local email client to send and receive new mail:

  • Receiving Mail
    • New Server:

      Change your email account settings as follows:

      • Host:
      • User name:
      • Password: monthddyear of your birth {example: Jesus's password would be december250000}

    • Old Server:

      If you want to check for any mail that may be delivered to your old mail account, use these settings:

      • Host:
      • User name: firstname_lastname
      • Password: {whatever your old email password was}
  • Sending Mail:
    • New Server:

      You should always use the new server from now on. Make your settings as follows:

      • Host:
      • User name:
      • Server requires authentication: Yes
      • Password: monthddyear of your birth {example: Jesus's password would be december250000}

If you have a one digit date of birth, such as December 1, you should make your date of birth two digits in your password, so that part of the password should be "december01".

We hope this information helps and doesn't create too much confusion. Please feel free to call Dave Aiello at 609-918-9650 x 101 or on my mobile at 609-540-1344 if you have problems.

January 2, 2005

Acting Like We've Been There Before

Dave Aiello wrote, "Season's Greetings from everyone at Chatham Township Data Corporation. At the end of 2003, I was talking about some real progress toward the goal of changing CTDATA's business model. I'm happy to report that the changes that began at the end of 2003 have produced the first truly profitable quarter since the third quarter of 2001."

"CTDATA's main business drivers today are publishing, where was read by about 125,000 unique visitors in December, and consulting, where successfully launched in November and completed two successful projects for clients before the end of the year."

"These businesses are producing a cash flow which can sustain CTDATA for the foreseeable future while we continue to invest in content development and advertising designed to bring in more consulting clients."

Continue reading "Acting Like We've Been There Before" »

November 23, 2004

Introducing Weblog Improvement

Dave Aiello wrote, "I'm pleased to announce that Weblog Improvement went live yesterday. Weblog Improvement is CTDATA's new website about our consulting services for Movable Type and TypePad-based websites."

"Weblog Improvement is CTDATA's first major new website since we launched Operation Gadget about a year ago. It's CTDATA's second Movable Type-based website."

"Weblog Improvement, or more accurately a specialty website for our Movable Type consulting business, was the brainchild of Ed Anuff. Ed is a close friend of mine who has recommended CTDATA consulting services to his friends. We are indebted to Ed in a number of ways. He has been very helpful at critical moments in CTDATA history."

"I hope to use the design techniques that were perfected through the Operation Gadget and Weblog Improvement projects to migrate our Slash-based sites to the Movable Type web publishing platform. Look for this to start happening soon."

August 22, 2004

Happy 15th Birthday, CTDATA

Dave Aiello wrote, "On August 22, 1989, Chatham Township Data Corporation was officially incorporated. I find it amazing that this company has existed for 15 years. In that time we have achieved a lot and had a number of pretty severe disappointments."

"This year's big achievement is Operation Gadget. It's proved to be worth building and maintaining, but not yet financially rewarding enough to be the basis of the business itself."

"Our corporate history is written on the pages of this website, for better or worse. One day, I hope to add to it. I'm too busy working on the future to say any more at the moment."

Rewinding history:

March 24, 2004

Updated Information about Dave Aiello

Dave Aiello wrote, "I had a look at the information contained in my bio here on, and it was a little dated. I had last updated it about a year ago and since then I have accomplished a lot, including the launch of Operation Gadget."

"I just finished updating it. So, if you are interested, look it over, and let me know if you have any comments or suggestions."

Biographical Sketch of Dave Aiello

David E. Aiello
President, Chatham Township Data Corporation
Editor, Operation Gadget

David E. Aiello is the founder and president of Chatham Township Data Corporation, an Internet and Intranet application development company. CTDATA develops large, complex Web Sites that contain relational databases. Dave founded CTDATA in 1989.

See also [ Dave Aiello's Resume ]

Continue reading "Biographical Sketch of Dave Aiello" »

January 28, 2004

Operation Gadget Starts to Pay Off

Dave Aiello wrote, "CTDATA launched Operation Gadget on November 17, 2003. Today, we received a check from Google for participation in the AdSense Program through December 31."

"This is the first time that CTDATA has received a payment for operating the Operation Gadget website. It proves that a site that does not have a direct selling function can still be considered an e-commerce site. In an article in the U.S. 1 Newspaper about Operation Gadget that was published in November, I said:"

Although Operation Gadget is primarily intended to be a demonstration of our {Amazon Web Services} design and development capabilities, it is intended to be a modestly profitable business in itself, thanks to referral fees paid by and payments from third party advertisers.

"I want to thank Matt Haughey for publishing his article on making weblogs pay, called Blogging for Dollars. It brought together a lot of ideas that had occurred to me at different times over the summer. Haughey's article provides a model for advertising-supported weblogging, and it's definitely worth reading if you are interested in entering the fray."

December 30, 2003

Changing the Game

Dave Aiello wrote, "Season's Greetings from everyone at Chatham Township Data Corporation. Today is the next-to-last day of 2003, and in the year that is coming to an end, we've made some real progress toward the goal of finding new purposes for this company. Over the past quarter, CTDATA has gotten itself further into the e-commerce business with a new website, Operation Gadget, and new clients who are trying to get their companies to the next level by selling products on-line."

"We are leveraging four software platforms in our recent efforts: Linux, Amazon Web Services, Movable Type, and Interchange. All of these platforms are fairly complex, low cost, and highly customizable. We believe that Amazon Web Services and Movable Type are still in their early growth stages, and lots of opportunities still exist to build fast growing businesses with them. Linux and Interchange are also platforms with good futures, but it's harder to characterize their growth prospects because of the broad applicability of their feature sets."

"I hope that we can look back at the work that CTDATA has done in 2003 and say that this was the year where we changed the game. Instead of continuing to talk about changing web publishing platforms and migrating content from one platform to another, we just went ahead and built Operation Gadget on Movable Type. Instead of worrying about making a website look as professional and corporate as possible, we use the words 'I', 'me', and 'my' freely on Operation Gadget. Believe it or not, this is real change at CTDATA."

Continue reading "Changing the Game" »

November 25, 2003

Operation Gadget Gets Press in U.S. 1 Newspaper

The U.S. 1 Newspaper, a business-oriented weekly for the Princeton area, is publishing an article about Operation Gadget in its November 26 edition. The article, called Click Through Business Plan, discusses CTDATA's expertise in delivering Amazon Web Services-enabled applications. According to the article:

Dave Aiello, president of CTData (Chatham Township Data Corporation), has found the "killer app," the perfect demonstration of his technology. His website, Operation Gadget (, is part of his overall business plan to help third parties build interfaces to the website at

The website offers news and reviews of high technology products. If the product is available through Amazon or one of its retail partners, the reader can click on a "buy box," with a picture and the current price and a click-through to the Amazon site....

This is the first article about Operation Gadget to appear in a print publication.

November 17, 2003

Introducing Operation Gadget

Dave Aiello wrote, "I'm pleased to announce that Operation Gadget went live today at 11:28am Eastern Time. Operation Gadget is CTDATA's new weblog about electronic gadgets, software, and related products."

"Operation Gadget is CTDATA's first major new web development project on since July 2002, when we relaunched as a Slash-based site. It's CTDATA's first Movable Type-based website. It's also CTDATA's first site that demonstrates our programming skill with Amazon Web Services."

"This project was implemented in two weeks of intense work. Looking back on my notes, I wonder how this was even possible. I want to thank my wife, Kathleen, members of my family, and a few friends who provided assistance at critical times during this period: particularly John Cloninger, Martin O'Donnell, Sandeep Nandy, Phil Lurie, and Michael Weinberger."

August 22, 2003

Happy 14th Birthday, CTDATA

Dave Aiello wrote, "On August 22, 1989, Chatham Township Data Corporation was officially incorporated. The 14th year of CTDATA's history was notable because it was slightly worse than last year. We had hoped for better results than we got. On the other hand, we put a floor under the company by developing unique applications for Amazon Web Services that generated money, and when necessary we sold a used book or two."

"Earlier this week, my wife Kathleen said that CTDATA was 'in transition' from what it was to what it will be in the future. Some of us remember the days of long term consulting projects for New York-based financial services companies with a sense of nostalgia. Those were the days when men were men and people spent money out of a fear of being left in the dust by their competitors."

"Many of the projects that CTDATA was involved in prior to 9/11 were win-win projects for everyone involved. But, in hindsight, the projects often began as ill-defined efforts to put up a website that attracted an audience on the Internet or a corporate intranet."

"You may laugh at this assessment of some of our old projects, but these efforts were no more exploratory or tentative then the early attempts at commercial radio programming were in a different period of American history; Nobody knew what would work, so initially, just about anything was tried. Remember the old CTDATA saying:"

You can always tell who the pioneers are, because they're the ones with the arrows in their backs.

"Now, the business is much more about making a few dollars here and there as often as possible each day by helping make more money or connecting Amazon's customers with books that Amazon itself doesn't stock. It's also about teaching people better ways to connect with their customers via the web, and in the process, relegating brochureware to the scrap heap of history."

"The big question that (hopefully) will be answered in CTDATA's 15th year is: what mix of these techniques and what other processes, revisited or yet to be found, will help CTDATA back on to the growth path? We shall see."

July 2, 2003

Another Weblog Under Development at CTDATA

Dave Aiello wrote, "In March, I announced that we would narrow the focus of in order to make it more helpful to current and future customers. Since then, I have intentionally held off on publishing stories that are of interest to me personally, but do not have much to do with CTDATA's business. I'd like to announce that I am planning to launch a new website, tentatively called, which will be the home of such stories in the future."

"The development of a personal weblog will allow me to experiment with blogging tools and techniques that have become popular recently, but aren't a good fit for at the moment. I hope that such a site will ultimately help me to improve all of the sites that CTDATA manages or helps to manage."

"I don't know exactly when the new site will be launched, but, I'm confident it will happen sometime this Summer. So, stay tuned to for further announcements."

March 25, 2003

Why Has War Information Reappeared on CTDATA?

Dave Aiello wrote, "I know that many readers will remember that earlier this month I said that we would not talk about the War on Terror, sports, or politics on CTDATA much any more. So, what's the deal with articles today about Iraqi TV and al Jazeera?"

"Very simply, these news items are here because they are primarily about technology. The article referencing al Jazeera's web site has to do with a new, much anticipated site on the Internet that I think is much ado about nothing. The other war-oriented article is a huge piece of news because CBS is claiming that the Coalition used an electronic pulse weapon to destroy much of Iraqi TV's infrastructure."

"Our recent stories are still quite lean on war news and politics when compared with other blogs (for example: The Doc Searls Weblog or Scripting News). We plan to continue to differentiate our site by only mentioning the war to the extent that it relates to the topics we normally cover here."

March 9, 2003

Refocusing on Our Business

Dave Aiello wrote, "Over the past few weeks, I have steadily improved the integration of with the Weblog Community. This has resulted in a sizable increase in traffic to our web site and interest in what is posted here."

"CTDATA relaunched its web site in weblog format back in July 2000. At the time, I was trying to illustrate our skill in implementing web sites based on the Slash Open Source Project. In the course of running this site, however, it has grown beyond providing news and information about our business and our industry."

"I think it's time to refocus the content of on the businesses we are in today: corporate IT consulting, content and knowledge management systems, business applications for weblogs, and web services based on SOAP, REST, and XML-RPC. I am also planning on posting articles about important developments in these industries and technologies that can be used to create competitive advantage in them."

"So, you won't be seeing much in the way of articles about the war on terror, sports, or politics around here anymore. Although those stories have an audience, and they're fun to write and talk about, they confuse our potential business clients."

"We are seriously considering launching a weblog hosting service soon. If we do so, there is a possibility you will see articles about these others topics appearing on another weblog. Stay tuned here for any such announcements."

"Thanks for your continued interest in CTDATA and in our website. Please let me know if you have any comments, questions, or suggestions. You can reach me at dave_aiello at"

March 7, 2003

CTDATA Adds XML Badges to Weblog Home Pages

Chatham Township Data Corporation has added the XML badge (RSS File) and Add to Radio Userland badge (Add to Radio) to its major weblogs,,, and These badges provide links to each website's Rich Site Summary file, an XML file containing the headlines and summaries of the most recently published documents on each site.

Dave Aiello, President of CTDATA said, "These changes are small in appearance, but they are another major step toward the full integration of these websites into the weblog community."

CTDATA develops Internet and Intranet applications for corporations and non-profit organizations. It also provides consulting services to firms that are interested in using weblogs for internal or external communications. CTDATA has been running all of these web sites continuously since 1997. has been on-line since 1996 and now contains over 1,100 pages of information.

February 26, 2003

Updated Version of Dave Aiello's Resume is Posted

Dave Aiello wrote, "I just posted an updated version of my resume on this web site. This version includes the following recently-completed work:"

  • an application I wrote employing Amazon Web Services using SOAP and REST,
  • an interface I built between Slash and using XML-RPC,
  • an implementation of Interchange 4.9.x for a client of one of my consulting clients
  • a server consolidation effort I worked on, using VMware ESX server,
  • two updates to the Atlantic Amateur Hockey Association Officiating Program web site.

"I think this work prepares me for bigger responsibilities. Please contact me by email at dave_aiello at if I can help you."

December 31, 2002

Just as Busy as Ever, But Missing Most of the Revenue

Dave Aiello wrote, "Season's Greetings from everyone at Chatham Township Data Corporation. The year 2002 is finally over, and I'm glad to see it go. For a long time this summer, I wondered if we were even in business anymore because there was a such a dearth of opportunities. But, business recovered to a 'reasonable' level in September and October, and we were fortunate enough to be able to sustain that through the end of the year."

"There were a few big milestones here at CTDATA this year. We successfully completed a project for a large financial services company in Morris County, NJ, at the beginning of April. This marked the end of our work on major projects for 2002, requiring us to find a way to generate revenue on smaller, more tactical projects."

"In July, we relaunched AAHArefs, the website we maintain for USA Hockey's Atlantic District Officiating Program. This was a surprisingly successful rollout of a second-generation training seminar registration application based on the Slash content management system. As a result of the rollout, USA Hockey was able to provide seminar admission information to over 2,000 hockey officials in New Jersey, Delaware, and Pennsylvania."

"August 22 was the 13th Anniversary of CTDATA's incorporation which would not be a big milestone from my perspective if it wasn't so hard to generate income these days. Some of my friends and family stopped by to celebrate the anniversary. You can tell we were looking for anything we could find to take our minds off the lack of business."

"Our website reached 1,000 pages of content around Thanksgiving. This was a victory for us in that it showed that CTDATA was still surviving the economic downturn, and still publishing information that is useful to our website's readers. About this time, it became clear that business had rebounded in a measurable way, and this fact made achieving the 1,000 article milestone more gratifying."

Continue reading "Just as Busy as Ever, But Missing Most of the Revenue" »

December 2, 2002

CTDATA Going Long on Used Books

Dave Aiello wrote, "Used books have been on the CTDATA radar screen since Martin O'Donnell told me about a Fred Bernstein essay documenting the process of selling used books on Amazon that appeared in the New York Times back in April. When the bottom fell out of our consulting business over the summer, this was CTDATA's major source of income."

"Our consulting business has stabilized, but I've decided to continue to expand our used book business in order to backfill a small portion of the revenue we've lost due to the economic downturn. It's clear to me after toying with used books as a business concept over the past eight months that there is still an unmet need in the marketplace. Those businesspeople who can exploit a competitive advantage will be able generate measurable amounts of cash for the foreseeable future."

"We are increasing the size of our used book inventory as quickly as possible. Our goal is to take advantage of the inevitable increase in sales that will take place during the holiday gift-buying season. We think a larger inventory of sought-after used books will be a good investment even after the first of the year."

"I also believe that this is a sideline business for CTDATA, and not the primary focus. We are working on ways to leverage the knowhow we have developed in small-scale e-commerce to boost our core consulting and software development business. Look for more details about how we will do this here on in the next few weeks."

November 27, 2002 Publishes Its 1,000th Article

Dave Aiello wrote, "This is the 1,000th article published on since we rolled out our Slashcode-based architecture on July 21, 2000. This makes one of the larger websites ever built with Slashcode, and arguably, one of the larger corporate websites in the world."

"When I think back to what my goals were for CTDATA and this site in mid-2000, I realize that many of them were not realized. Then again, we have developed some creative solutions to problems that we never anticipated. We have added features to our version of the Slashcode codebase that allowed us to integrate unique database services into a Slash-based site for This was probably the biggest software development achievement made by CTDATA in 2002. We are now successfully running three major weblogs with almost 2,500 registered users. Neither of these two developments were on the drawing board in 2000."

"Over twenty percent of this site's content is devoted to the attack on the World Trade Center and The War on Terror. This is appropriate because the destruction of the World Trade Center is probably the single event that had the largest impact on CTDATA's business in the last two and a half years. We lost a number of friends in the attack and our business was irreversibly changed by it."

"Business is better now than it has been since April, but we still have a long way to go. I post fewer articles now than I used to, partly because I am spending more time selling development and network management services to new and existing clients. But, reaching 1,000 articles is a major milestone for this website and I am proud of the accomplishment."

"Thanks to our clients, families, and friends for supporting CTDATA through all of the trials and tribulations of the past two and a half years. Special thanks to Martin O'Donnell for helping to maintain the CTDATA Internet infrastructure and Richard Ziegler for his work on the Slash code base several years ago. Happy Thanksgiving from everyone at CTDATA."

August 23, 2002

CTDATA's Surprise Anniversary Celebration

Dave Aiello wrote, "There was a small get together of friends last night in East Windsor to celebrate the 13th anniversary of CTDATA's incorporation. Thanks to everyone who stopped by-- you know who you are."

August 22, 2002

Happy 13th Birthday, CTDATA

Dave Aiello wrote, "On August 22, 1989, Chatham Township Data Corporation was officially incorporated. When I look back at what I wrote at this time last year, the depths of the decline in the information technology business are brought home to me."

"How can I talk about this year in our company's history without mentioning September 11? I was in my office in Lawrenceville, NJ that morning, participating in a conference call. Most of my friends and family thought I was in New York City, or on the way there, when the attack occurred."

"I spent most of the day trying to contact friends that I knew were in Manhattan that day to make sure they were OK. It was only after I had gotten through to everyone I was trying to reach, or to their answering machines, that I had time to think. I can't remember ever asking myself what was going to happen to our business. That's probably a good thing."

Continue reading "Happy 13th Birthday, CTDATA" »

July 11, 2002

AAHA Officiating Program Relaunched as a Slash Site

We're pleased to announce that The Atlantic District Officiating Program Web Site (also known as AAHArefs) has been relaunched as a Slash-based web site. This will allow content to be added to the web site more quickly. It will also allow the site functionality to be enhanced as CTDATA improves its other web sites.

July 1, 2002

CTDATA Contact Information

On July 1, 2002, CTDATA moved its main office to East Windsor, NJ. Our new contact information is shown below:

Chatham Township Data Corporation

P.O. Box 1057

Hightstown, NJ 08520-1057

Voice: 609-918-9650

Fax: 609-918-9681

Dave Aiello, CTDATA's president, can be reached by email at dave_aiello at (This email address was slightly modified to limit its usefulness to spammers.)

Chatham Township Data Corporation is a New Jersey Corporation with its headquarters in East Windsor, NJ. Its internet servers are co-located in Seattle, WA.

April 26, 2002

Dave's Updated Resume

Dave Aiello wrote, "I am starting the process of looking for a major software development project that needs my talents. So, I updated my resume and biographical sketch. Most of the additions have to do with the recently-completed project at Bear Stearns in Whippany, NJ, and the articles I wrote that have recently been published on Slashdot."

February 16, 2002

CTDATA Back from a Mid-Winter Hiatus

Dave Aiello wrote, "Kathleen and I spent several days at DisneyWorld this week. We stayed at the Port Orleans Riverside Resort, a very nice resort that used to be called Dixie Landings."

"The week before the President's Day holiday is a great time to go to Orlando. The weather was good: 65 - 70 degrees F and mostly sunny during the day. The crowds were minimal because most school-aged kids are in school. We needed the break. I got in about 10 miles of jogging, which more than doubled my mileage for the month."

"You may have noticed that the amount of new information that appeared on fell slightly while I was away. So did I. I'm not apologizing."

January 2, 2002

Unfinished Business

Dave Aiello wrote, "Season's Greetings from Chatham Township Data Corporation. The year 2001 is finally over. A couple of months ago, some of us wondered whether it would ever end, and if it did, in what kind of shape the world would be."

"Veteran readers of this web site have to wonder why our holiday message didn't get published until after New Year's Day this year. Normally, it appears in the week leading up to Christmas. The reason is because it's really hard to say anything that puts the events of the past year into perspective."

"I will remember 2001 because it was the year that became a true weblog. As such, you can read about what happened over the past year, particularly since September 11, and what we thought about it at the moment. Shortly after the terrorist attacks, I started the War on Terror section of Friends have said that they found these articles interesting. I found the process of writing them cathartic, particularly during the six week period when our business ground to a halt."

"The year ended with our business in fair condition. I was able to negotiate a contract that required one programmer to do Perl / Sybase programming for a financial services firm in Morris County, NJ. This project has been CTDATA's corporate lifeline. It has lasted from mid-October through the end of the year, and has paid pretty well. We expect to be looking for new project work toward the end of January, and we hope that business in this part of the country is on the rebound."

"On behalf of our little company, I want to extend best wishes to our customers and all of the readers of our web site. We hope that in 2002 we can begin to rebuild our lives, businesses, and communities from the damage that undoubtedly took place in 2001. CTDATA is still here to serve you. If we can help you to build a better web-based application, please let us know."

December 20, 2001

CTDATA Launches "Broadband Internet Access" Section of its Web Site

Dave Aiello wrote, "Over the past few weeks, we have covered the Excite@Home bankruptcy, Comcast's and Cox's virtual private network restrictions, and the merger of AT&T Broadband and Comcast. We believe that stories like these will be of on-going interest to our customers and friends. As a result, I created the Broadband Internet Access section of"

"When we have time, we will relocate the stories that logically belong in this section and add directives to our web server to help people find those articles in their new homes. Please let us know if you have any comments or questions about these new features of our Web Site."

October 30, 2001

Suddenly, There's Work

Dave Aiello wrote, "Since beginning a new project at a major financial services firm in Morris County, NJ last week, I have been inundated with work. It's hard to go from 100 percent flexibility to no spare time in less than a week. The work schedule so far has reminded me of the kind of hours that my friend Sandeep Nandy was keeping at Verizon in the aftermath of the World Trade Center disaster."

October 25, 2001

New Contract Finally a Reality

Dave Aiello wrote, "Some of you know that our business has been seriously affected by the cutbacks large businesses have made in the Metropolitan New York Area. These cutbacks began in earnest in mid-July and got progressively worse in August. The markets we serve were nearly devastated by the September 11 attack on the World Trade Center."

"I'm pleased to announce that yesterday I closed a deal to provide consulting services to a financial services company in Northern New Jersey. This is the first successful contract negotiation in six weeks, and will restore much of the revenue lost in contract cancellations in August and September."

"It will take a long time for us to build our business back to the level of the first half of 2001. But, I hope that this is the first step along the road to recovery. Thanks to my wife who has been very encouraging, to our family and friends, and to our business associates who tried to help us replace our lost contracts."

September 7, 2001

Broadband Connection Finally Installed in Lawrenceville

On August 1, CTDATA moved its main office from Denville, NJ to Lawrenceville, NJ. Today, Comcast Business Communications turned on the Lawrenceville office's broadband connection.

After having DSL or T1 access in the office, it is really hard to return to dialup connectivity for anything more than a week. Five weeks of dialup access is a near disaster. It doesn't matter how far in advance the contracts are signed if the provider doesn't have enough qualified technicians to actually visit. We'll have to keep this in mind for the next time we move....

August 22, 2001

Happy 12th Birthday, CTDATA

Dave Aiello wrote, "On August 22, 1989, Chatham Township Data Corporation was officially incorporated. Twelve years is a long time-- many times longer than the lifespan of most of the companies that were built to capitalize on the Internet boom."

"So much has changed since I posted a story marking this anniversary one year ago. For a long time I had suspected that the boom we experienced from 1998 to 2000 would come to a tumultuous end. This has played out in many ways, perhaps most symbolically in the recent demise of The Industry Standard, and the announcement in yesterday's Wall Street Journal that they were looking for a new name for the column that has been called Boom Town. Today, we are living through an over-correction, where much valuable technology is being jeopardized in an attempt to purge failed business models from our economy."

"CTDATA would like to be bigger and more well known. But, we'll settle for being a stable, predictable small business for the time being. We hope to continue to support the Slashcode Open Source Project, which has been the basis for many of our greatest technical achievements. We are actively working to develop new products, including software that can be deployed as Web Services. We will also continue to expand our Internet service offerings through our partnership with Intellidyne."

"Finally, I'd like to thank our customers and friends for their support over the past year. We would not be in business without their support and encouragement."

March 22, 2001

Does CTDATA Provide Consulting Services to Help Implement Slashcode?

A couple of people interested in implementing Slashcode have approached CTDATA recently because they have heard that we do some consulting in this area. This is true, but we carefully investigate potential projects before offering to undertake them.

If you are interested in how we evaluate potential new Slashcode projects, read on.

Continue reading "Does CTDATA Provide Consulting Services to Help Implement Slashcode?" »

January 8, 2001

Slash 0.4 Finally Reconstructed Inside VMware Client OS

Dave Aiello wrote, "After only 10 weeks, I finally got Slash 0.4 (CTDATA's customized Slash distribution) running inside a VMware virtual machine. This was much more difficult than I expected, although the actual installation of Slash on the VMware client OS only took about three and a half days."

"Of course, life would have been infinitely easier had I sized the laptop hard drive correctly. I thought I could get away with using a 12 gigabyte hard drive. I thought it would be easy to upgrade to a larger hard drive. As you know from some previous stories that I've posted, I thought wrong."

Continue reading "Slash 0.4 Finally Reconstructed Inside VMware Client OS" »

January 6, 2001

How The Cluetrain Manifesto Will Influence

Dave Aiello wrote, "I recently had the opportunity to listen to the audiobook version of The Cluetrain Manifesto. I am glad that Simon and Schuster decided to publish this recording, otherwise I never would have had time to read it, and I would have continued to assume that there was nothing more to the book than a rhetorical expansion of the 95 Theses that were originally posted to the Web Site."

"Although there is a substantial amount of hyperbole contained in the book, there is no question that there is also a good deal of valuable insight. I think two theses are particularly important and will influence how we operate in 2001. Read on for a discussion of what they are and why they resonate with us."

Continue reading "How The Cluetrain Manifesto Will Influence" »

December 22, 2000

A Real Correction, a Real Winter, and the Hope for a Real Government

Dave Aiello wrote, "Season's Greetings from everyone at Chatham Township Data Corporation. As the Year 2000 comes to a close, we find that business is better than ever. We have realized higher revenues and higher profits, and deployed a greater number of software products than ever before."

"It's been hard to read The Wall Street Journal for a while now, particularly since The Election. It's depressing to see so many newly minted Internet companies go out of business leaving their customers and employees to fend for themselves. But the more I think about it, the more I realize that the only thing those companies had in common with CTDATA is that we used the same technologies to communicate with the world. In the end, we have our paying customers, while the failed Dot Coms have -- um -- their memories."

Continue reading "A Real Correction, a Real Winter, and the Hope for a Real Government" »

November 10, 2000

Why We Continue to Add Features to Slash 0.3/0.4

In the previous installment of this series, we talked about the reasons why CTDATA built and maintains its own Slash implementation. In that article, we pointed out that our goal is to converge our code with the main Slashcode distribution once the Bender version is finally released.

This article approaches our situation from the opposite direction: If CTDATA does plan to merge its Slash enhancements with Bender, why do we continue to add new functionality to Slash 0.4, like enhanced search capabilities and RSS support?

Continue reading "Why We Continue to Add Features to Slash 0.3/0.4" »

October 30, 2000

How and Why We Built Our Own Slash Implementation

Last week, David Bernard Cuisinier sent the following message, "I've been following your site for a while now, and the progress being made concerning Slash. But I'm still in the "newbie" category. Have you ever thought of sharing your experience with running CTDATA on Slash, through a FAQ or HOWTO that would be better than the puny existing one?"

We decided that we would try to address this by first explaining how CTDATA built its own version of Slash and why we chose this route to get our site up and running.

Continue reading "How and Why We Built Our Own Slash Implementation" »

October 23, 2000

First Instance of Slashcode 1.x Running in Development at CTDATA

Dave Aiello wrote, "After nearly 2 weeks of tweaking and head scratching, I finally got Slashcode 1.0.9 running on my Dell Inspiron 7500 under RedHat. The work seemed really tedious, but that's probably because I do not know mySQL or Apache at all."

"In spite of the fact that it has come a long way from the 0.3 days, the installation process for Slashcode is still poorly documented. If it took someone like me (with 4 running instances of Slash 0.3) nearly a man-week to get my first instance of Slash 1.x running, imagine how long it would take a real newby."

Continue reading "First Instance of Slashcode 1.x Running in Development at CTDATA" »

September 6, 2000

CTDATA Migrates to Its Slash Implementation

Earlier today, we successfully migrated the Rensselaer Club of New Jersey's Web Site,, to our own implementation of the Slash Engine. This represents the third successful implementation of Slash 0.4, our enhancement of the Version 0.3 of the Slashcode Open Source Project. It also represents the first production implementation of our multihoming enhancements to this code base.

Continue reading "CTDATA Migrates to Its Slash Implementation" »

August 22, 2000

CTDATA Celebrates the Eleventh Anniversary of Its Incorporation

Dave Aiello wrote, "On August 22, 1989, Chatham Township Data Corporation was officially incorporated. We've come a long way since then, and we are now a small, thriving business."

"On behalf of my co-workers, I would like to thank our customers and friends for their support over the years. Without that support, CTDATA would not have survived long enough to find its niche developing virtual communities and other types of database-driven Web Sites. We look forward to making a name for ourselves in the OpenSource and Web Development communities in the coming year."

August 4, 2000

CTDATA Salutes Rensselaer - LSC Internship Program

On Thursday, the Rensselaer Club of New Jersey and Liberty Science Center held a reception to recognize the achievement of the participants in the Rensselaer - Liberty Science Center Internship Program. Dave Aiello, President of Chatham Township Data Corporation, represented the company and spoke briefly to congratulate the interns.

The interns that participated in the program this year are Robert Hopkins, Kentari Sugimoto, and Taryn Winkle. All of them are residents of New Jersey and students at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

Continue reading "CTDATA Salutes Rensselaer - LSC Internship Program" »

July 28, 2000

CTDATA Web Site Credits

The Web Site was developed by Dave Aiello.

The CTDATA logo was designed by Dave Aiello and rendered in Adobe Illustrator. It has been
in continuous use since 1989. CTDATA is the trade name for Chatham Township Data
Corporation. It has been used to refer to Chatham Township Data Corporation and its
predecessor company since 1984.

CTDATA is Dave Aiello, Kathleen Kuykendall, George Kuykendall, and Scott Aiello. Martin
of Intellidyne works very closely with CTDATA on many Internet projects.

Continue reading "CTDATA Web Site Credits" »

Legal Information and Notices

This article contains the legal information and notices pertaining to the Web Site.

Continue reading "Legal Information and Notices" »

Who runs CTDATA?

Dave Aiello, Founder and President, has been in office since August 22, 1989. He is assisted by private investors acting as corporate officers.

What does CTDATA do?

CTDATA’s primary businesses are:

  • Internet and Intranet application development
  • system integration for UNIX, Linux, and Microsoft Windows systems
  • Web application user interface design,
  • development of virtual communities, and
  • Internet services hosting.

What is CTDATA's history?

Chatham Township Data Corporation is a computer software consulting and system integration
firm. CTDATA is a privately held company that was incorporated in the State of New Jersey on
August 22, 1989. From 1989 to 1997, it was a Subchapter “S” Corporation. On January 1,
1998, CTDATA elected to become a Subchapter “C” Corporation.

CTDATA had an annual profit in calendar year 1997 for the first time in its history.

Chatham Township Data Corporation was founded by David E. Aiello as the successor to
CTDATA Systems, a proprietorship he started in 1984 when he was 17 years old.

July 25, 2000

Who is CTDATA?

Chatham Township Data Corporation is a Web
Development and System Integration company
founded in 1989. CTDATA™ builds database driven Web Sites. Our clients often ask us to build
weblogs, knowledge management systems, self-managing directories, and other types of sites
that help to build virtual communities.

We develop for the UNIX and Windows operating systems. When we
develop on Windows, we use UNIX
programming techniques. We often use Open Source
technologies, like Perl, to get the job done.

On July 21, 2000, CTDATA relaunched its corporate Web Site using a content management system based on the Slashcode Open Source Project. This content management system is being actively used on both Solaris and Windows NT.