Thursday, September 10, 2009

One more shot with the obligatory keyboard.....

But it's still all about the software....

Motorola Blur

While I don't usually write about particular devices (other than my G1), I feel like I would like to comment about Motorola's new Android interface called "Blur". The form factor is nice but certainly nothing new here to crow about. It's all about the UE, user experience.

This interface will be the portal to social networking apps such as Facebook and Twitter and will simultaneously update your contacts as your contacts update their information, picture, etc.

Even more than before will the internet be seen as a platform and the desitination at the same time.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Sync or swim

With apps in the cloud being all the rage right now just how feasible are applications that have zip codes in the ether? Very.

Especially, with the state of data connections, browser technology, and PC speeds. Web portals are the perfect clients for viewing and interacting with applications. And with FF3, Chrome, and Safari coming online with HTML5 and more sophisticated ways for Flash and AJAX to be viewed the time of the online application is here. Even more so with Google Gears making offline web applications possible, but I digress...

The browser is the only application that has to be opened if we could only use one for daily use. Can you get by without an e-mail client and/or an office suite? Of course. But try to go through one day without accessing any type of browser and you will quickly notice how important cloud/web/hosted apps are.

On the way to cloud nirvana like my son in the backseat always says, "Are we there yet?" Almost.....just a few more miles.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

The force is strong with this one....

This morning my son's Nintendo DS displayed the wrong time. At this time I tried to change it but I didn't have the first clue about the interface. After I told him about it, in about three steps he had the time changed and everything.

And with my experience of Win, Linux, Android, etc. in installing, root'ing, and changing OS capabilities and I couldn't figure out his portable game console.

Like father like son.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Open source wins again

For what seems to be the hundredth time, I have been asked to "fix" one of my friend's computers. And each and every time it has more to do with the browser choice than the PC.

Since we are doing more on the internet with SaaS and cloud services our choice of internet browsers is more important than ever. This goes to show that browser functions are increasingly becoming more important than underlying OS capabilities.

By the way, FF is not better because it is free (so is IE 8), but because it is developed on open source frameworks.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Sent from my wireless device

I am seeing more and more e-mail sent from wirelessly but why must we announce this by adding these tacky status signatures? As more and more convergence becomes pervasive among more devices there will be no need for this.

If you are working you are working. Period. No matter the format of the platform. Let us all just send e-mail, blog, text and call from wherever no matter.

Full disclosure: I submitted this entry from my T-Mobile G1.

Sent from my wireless Android device. ;-)

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Jumping the shark

With this whole Web 2.0 noise I believe in the mobile computing space we have just leapfrogged 2.0 and have gone straight to v3. I am done waiting for Flash for Android/iPhone/WinMo. We just need to get over having this for a portable device where connectivity and battery power are paramount. HTML and other web technologies can give us more than we need in GWT to satisfy our web-app desires.

Mobile browsing is the only way that most people get on the web. And that will only go up as people stop buying land lines and personal computers and do more from their mobile internet device (MID).

Today's iPhones and similar devices are already pervasive...just imagine what the mobile computing market will look like in five years.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Brave New World

This past week, I decided to take the plunge and buy another G1 to root and play with. After taking it home and carefully following the instructions I had a fully root'ed G1 with WiFi tethering that turns it into a wireless hotspot and an IPSEC VPN client.

The latter is what truly turned it to an enterprise phone along with the new Work E-mail app that gives Android native Exchange capabilities. Well after making short work of that G1 it was quickly sold to a friend of mine who is a TMO fan and just happened to need a new phone the next day. So being armed with my new knowledge of jailbroken G1's, I promptly bought a new white one from my local T-Mobile retail store.

Now it's fully rooted and I can now use it to its full potential. Android is quickly proving itself among the large WSP's that it is a force with which to be recokened. It will soon be pervasive on high-end and low-end handsets alike on ATT, Verizon, TMO, Sprint, and Verizon. While iPhone is going gangbusters at just one provider it is just a proprietary phone, not a software platform. After Moto releases their version the market should be flush with even more HTC's not to mention Samsung and LG variants.

To me personally, the mobile space is shaping up to be most interesting place for high technology and looks to continue to be the hotbed for new ideas.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

My G1. Amen!

I was using my G1 (as usual) yesterday and I just wanted to testify what a great phone this has been. With my technology A.D.D. I find it very hard to keep one phone for long. I have owned a plethora of BlackBerries, the iPhone, WinMo devices, Palm Treo's, and many others. But I cannot seem to stop thinking about Android.

Now mind you, the G1 is certainly no beauty queen but Android is the reason I keep it. Had this device been running Windows Mobile or S60 I would not have even purchased it. I was reminded of this the other day when a friend of mine gave me his 1st-gen iPhone to modify and for a second I doubted myself for selling mine. Until, I tried to make a test call on it that is. After what seemed like forever I got a signal then I tried to type on dice. I get my Apple fix with my iPod Touch running 3.0 and Skype and it makes calls much better than the iPhone.

But everytime I use my G1, even though I am aware of the hardware shortcomings and I am repeatedly amazed by the OS. From multi-tasking, smart RAM usage, and the interface it may be the phone of choice for me no matter the carrier. And to the people out there who are afraid of Google and their privacy issues while using a Google phone, get over it. Your information is already out in the ether and is only a "submit" click away.

So after eight months with T-Mobile's G1 the future is definitely bright for Android.

Evolution not Revolution

A while back I wrote on the browser becoming the OS of tomorrow. Well, with the new version of FF3.5 with HTML5 built in we are getting closer to than ever before. This technology is the genesis of making 3rd party extensions such as Adobe Flash and MS Silverlight obsolete in the way of making audio/video accessible native in the browser framework.

As always, we as users are the recipients of this goodness that is manifested out of the competition between MS IE, Safari, Chrome, FF, and Opera. They are all market leaders in their respective technologies and are bringing us closer to the Web as a true cloud service.

We are not in the era of Software-as-a-Service but Service-as-a-Service. When Twitter, FB, and other platforms are being accessed via phones, netbooks, PC's, Mac's, etc. these services are all hardware and religion agnostic. They just run in the browser or are presented in wrappers that interface with it.

Since the cloud is the new mainframe we should expect more applications to run within the framework of the browser, and more computers to simply become portals.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Movie popcorn = proprietary software

Today I read this great analogy that inspired the title of this entry. Why is this so? Once you enter the theater you are now part of a captive audience and are expected to part with your hard earned cash. Even in the days of BYOC (bring your own candy) to the movies you don't dare bring your own popcorn.

This is an example of how proprietary SW vendors get customers apart of their ecosystem and get them locked in. In the end it's a package deal. You can bring your own APIs and some tooling but the vast majority of the proprietary SW will be sold in the millions of dollars to customers who have bought their ticket at a theater near you.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Back to the netbook well

This week I found a great deal on refurbished Acer Aspire One netbooks with WXP. Obviously, I prefer and use Linux over Windows but for certain purposes such as tethering and our oldest son needing an XP platform while away at college fits my needs. With all the hoopla of Windows 7 coming out I believe XP to be their best OS to date.

XP is great at PnP, USB support, and with the latest service pack is actually useable. But I will miss the almost instant on/off that Linux gives me but that's OK since I have four netbooks and and only half of them run XP.

The most incredible part is that I found these on TigerDirect for around $200 each for specs such as the ubiquitious Intel Atom proc, 120GB HD and 1GB RAM. That's pretty good horsepower considering I use to configure servers when I first started out with Pentium 180 Pro procs, 256MB RAM, and a single 2.5GB SCSi hard drive.

Moore's Law is alive and well....

Thursday, June 4, 2009

And a little child shall lead them...

As a piggyback off of Matt Asay's recent experience with various Linux distros on netbooks I too have a recent example with our middle son and Ubuntu.

The other day I came across a slightly used Asus Eee 900 netbook on Craigslist for around $125. I was looking for another one anyway for our high school age kids and I was specifically asked to get one with Linux and not XP. While we have both OSes in our house the PC's running Ubuntu Netbook Remix 9.04 have quickly become the go-to devices for getting on the web. They are also much easier for me to manage and "deploy" in my home. No defragg'ing, anti-virus, or malware to worry about just make sure the browser can play Flash and java and we're off to the races.

They are just as comfortable in picking up my G1 running Android as they are using a PC with XP, Linux, etc. The key is the interface and how easy it is to get up and running and being productive. Operating systems now need to be "point and click" like an iPhone because that's the PC that our kids are now familiar with. Users are not interested with what's under the hood, just the 0-60 times.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Why Google wants Android to succeed

After reading a recent online interview with CNET and Andy Rubin I now have a better understanding of Google's persistence with a mobile OS. Since Google aggregates, sorts, and serves up the data we are looking for on the WWW they are seeing themselves as the de facto gatekeeper of information.

Google's Android is a mobile enabler of information. If/when we cannot access information via traditional means of WiFi, wired, desktop,or otherwise then Android will be there for us on many mobile devices.

Since Android is free to OEM's and developers then it can be customized for many form factors as well. This is where the tipping point of Android will be, when the software dominates hardware development and the user is considered primary.

Monday, May 25, 2009

My daughter thinks open source is cool

Being a Red Hat employee I have the pre-req SWAG at the house and it is commandeered by two youngest children as fast as I bring it home. So today I got my 5-year old daughter's play clothes out and after she was dressed she promptly told me that she wanted to wear her Red Hat tee.

After going through her dresser I finally found the one that she likes and coordinated it with her red shorts and her red Shadowman baseball cap. She actually thinks that this stuff is cool and mostly because she knows that I do too. While I sport the occasional Red Hat ballcap and/or t-shirt, I certainly do not wear these items in tandem.

Just goes to show that if this generation uses open source in moderation the next one will use it in excess.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Android 1.5 cupcake

Finally! I couldn't wait for T-Mobile to send the update OTA. I grabbed it here. Anyway, after the initial reboots and navigation to see what all the fuss was about, I happily ran the battery down playing with the OS.

It honestly feels less like an update and more like a new OS. Here's what's new:
  • Onscreen keyboards for all applications that accept input
  • Portrait to landscape and vice versa in all apps except the home screen
  • More widget support that will enable developers to create cool stuff from the home screen
  • Some small changes to the GUI but not enough to change the user experience
  • Hopefully better battery life to come...we'll see.

It's truly too bad that this was not v1.0 but I understand because Android had to get into the marketplace first to see if it would be a player against iPhone and BlackBerry. It definitely is and it's only getting better. Android is not being rumored on multiple devices with as many form factors. It will not be constrained by a particular ISP or OEM. It is a viral mobile OS that is free and ready for prime time.

Now the hard part will be waiting for the donut update.....sigh.

I'm not a socialist, I just play one on the world wide web

Even though, I am particularly conservative in my political thinking I find myself becoming more and more open in technological terms. This is come about with my exposure to open source development and business processes as well as web collaboration models (more to follow).

The WWW is a strange medium in that it has no ideology or principles. It simply is a means of transport for information, ideas, and commerce. But even more so than its predecessors radio and television. Sure all sorts of ideas are presented to us by these technologies but it is very hard for the average person to have a radio or TV show broadcast much less have it be successful. Enter the blogosphere. Obviously, many of us regard blogs as a way of expressing our thoughts and see them as an outlet wherewith we can make our voice heard and possibly heard by many.

The phenomenon of web collaboration is one that is making distributed people and work more centralized while at the same time lets us be decoupled from the herd. Even though, I work remotely I always feel apart of my team because we frequently call, e-mail, IM, and collaborate on the same work in real time.

The internet lets everyone be an individual contributor to a team while bringing attention to the real star of the show: the produced work.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Blast from the Past

Back in the 1960's the Ma Bell telephone companies did not allow you to use your own telephone but made you rent one of theirs'. This was referred to as CPE (customer premise equipment) and you had to use their service with their CPE. That sounds pretty harsh but we are re-living the past with current wireless carriers.

Anyone with an iPhone has heard the term of "unlocked phone". This refers to a phone can be unlocked to run on carriers other than the one who sold us the phone. This practice is found in the old world of telecom, but how do we stop it today?

Wireless carriers need to figure out how to sell us one wireless plan and let devices share that one plan be it CDMA/3G/HSDPA just like we do on our home WiFi networks. We have one router and multiple "unlocked" devices can access it and share the bandwidth.

The carriers are just dump pipes, plumbing if you will. I personally do not find any value-add in ringtones and hosted picture albums. Just give me unlimited data without caps at a decent price that can be shared.

Monday, April 27, 2009

The Netbook Effect

Speaking of the technology of good enough the notebook industry is now shifting to the two-year netbook market.


Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Web 3.0

The internet is the ultimate laboratory for cloud computing. Many of us use it every day without knowing or even caring where the data is stored or where the server lives. We just need it to be “on”. Availability being the name of the game.

The WWW is an active hive of thought, imagination, and even boredom. But what can it be from twenty years fro now. It has vastly evolved from the days of bulletin boards and text news groups. Now we have AJAX, Flash, and other web 2.0 technologies that is enabling interactive sessions with artificial intelligence with our marketing preferences so we can see ads that appeal to us only.

But a con to this movement is that isolation is growing exponentially between people and societies. Online communities are taking the place of reals ones that use to be created and maintained at churches, schools, and our workplaces.

What we need to do in this Facebook world that claims to make us more connected but we are replacing real relationships with virtual ones. We need to be making inroads to web 3.0 technologies to truly connect in unison.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Take me to your Leader

Android has landed and it is not about the non-sexy T-Mobile G1 of which I am a proud owner, but it has more than enough mojo to make up for its clunkiness. This operating system is more than just mobile phones and even netbooks with said OS. It is about a shift in computing and creating mobile thin clients that access the "cloud".

Here is an example of usage: imagine a government mobile PC that access classified information. When they are stolen and/or lost it usually makes the national news of how much sensitive data it held and is now on the lam. But with a mobile thin client all of the apps live on a remote server yet has Web 2.0 native feel without the storage woes. So when these units are lost you just get a laptop that has a browser.

Android is already second to Apple in mobile browsing with 8% of the market and it was just introduced last October. This out of a field with Nokia Sybian OS, Windows Mobile, and various flavors of Samsung's mobile OS. But the major difference in Android's development model is that it is the only open source option in the litter.

So all in all, a very good showing for the little OS that can and all very early no less. Stay tuned for more Android goodness....

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The technology of "good enough"

Even more than ever technology is expected to work. Can it have all the shiny parts that get your immediate attention? Sure. But in mission critical (I'll let you decide) apps and anything connected to the internet we just want, no need our apps to work.

Just think about how dependent we are upon electronic mail. When e-mail goes down so do whole companies momentarily. This is an example of technology, that ten years ago was essential but today is the life blood of business. It also has not changed too much beyond Exchange, POP, and IMAP because it just works and is good enough to get the job done.

There is a niche for software, hardware, and all types of players who know what they do and do it very well. Companies have to ask themselves, "Do we want to make steak knives or butter?" then make the hard decisions. In these times markets need to be created and not followed.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

My new Dell Mini 9

After much thought then anticipation I finally broke down and purchased a shiny black Dell Mini 9. On President's Day Dell ran a $199 special for the base model with Ubuntu as the OS. The 4GB SSD hard drive was enough for me since I was upgrading from an Asus Eee 701 with very meager specifications. But I did order a 2GB DIMM to get the little laptot going with a little more oomph.

After receiving it yesterday and using it in the real world today and I am thoroughly impressed by the multimedia capabilities for movies and music. The sound is very good for even the base model. The Dellized instance of Ubuntu is very user friendly and I can see why many of the ones sold are the Linux ones. You don't need experience with command lines, terminals, or even repositories. The Dell/Ubuntu quick guide tells one how to be up and running in no time on wired or wireless Internet and the included software is very intuitive.

In fact, I have already taken a peek in Dell's Outlet and they have refurb'd units starting at $229. Even with XP as the OS that's a great deal.

Monday, March 2, 2009

e⋅con⋅o⋅mist    /ɪˈkɒnəmɪst/ Show Spelled Pronunciation [i-kon-uh-mist] –noun 1. a specialist in economics. 2. Archaic. a thrifty or frugal

Another historical day for the DJIA and this recession inches closer to a depression. Our policy makers are listening to economists who by their occupation are not entrepreneurs or business leaders so why oh why do they seem to have all the answers?

This past few months the liquidity has been literally stolen out of the private sector by our own government then force fed to companies that may or may not need the money. What can only follow now is the nationalization of top U.S. industries. If we thought we lagged behind the global economy before well we just took three giant steps backward:

1. The U.S. federal government is now the largest debt holder of American private industry.
2. There is no consumer confidence and therefore no trust in the marketplace for a bottom to be found anytime soon.
3. The American taxpayers are broke and have nothing more to give to this out-of-their-mind Congress and White House.

The mindset of "everybody for himself" is starting to set in and the answers are not found in politicians and spending bills. I pray one day soon, that Americans will turn back to a government of the people, by the people, and for the people will thrive again.

This is not a left or right, republican or democrat, or even a conservative or liberal issue. This is about what is right and wrong. And there is a whole lot of wrong going on....

Monday, February 23, 2009

Rise of the small machines

I posted an earlier blog about Microsoft bringing XP out of an early retirement to fight the new wave of netbooks shipping with Linux.   But the real story here is why everyday Americans who usually hold to the mantra of "bigger is better" are flocking to them in groves and made them one of the best selling tech products of 2008.

I read an interesting article this past week in Wired magazine with the following sentiments: Back in 2000 when our first child was due I went out and traded our trusty Subaru Legacy wagon in for a GMC 2500 HD (Heavy Duty) Suburban with a 454 V-8 that got 10mpg.  What a great truck. It was huge, fast, and huge!  But after driving it for awhile I quickly found out it was not good for the ole' daily commute and grind.  Then some parts needed replacement and GMC thought very highly of its HD line and charged accordingly.  It was all that we wanted but waaaay more than we needed.  It was soon traded in and replaced by a much smaller and economical Mazda MPV van when gas was going out of sight at $1.50/gallon.  ;-)

This is like the new fifteen and seventeen inch wide screen portable desktops that are available at the local electronics store with dual-core processors and 4GB of RAM that can double as small enterprise servers in a pinch.  They are not good for daily commuting either unless your idea of light is a 7 or 8lb. anchor in your bag.  Well, what is quickly being discovered that most of the time spent on a portable PC is mostly made of web surfing, social networking, and e-mail.  All of which can be accomplished by a sub-$500 netbook with a 4GB SSD, 512MB RAM, etc.

While I'm not stumping for everyone to have small, portable laptots I am advocating spending within our budgets and understanding what the PC is exactly used for then purchase for the individual purposes instead of the one-size-fits-all big box store recommendations.

And this back-to-basics mentality is just right for this new economy.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Gather 'round the PC kids, let's see what's on the WWW tonight....

Last year I almost purchased the DVR service and receiver from Dish Network but after a shocking call with Dish I decided against it because of all the fees heaped upon loyal customers who want more service. Alas, I did downgrade my service to the lowly Family package that has programming geared towards the G-rating scale, but I have recently been watching more and more TV over my 6mb Internet connection.

We have a 42" plasma screen in our living room that is connected to a satellite receiver and it has a VGA connection to a free standing laptop that has WiFi access. We can now watch television shows and movies anytime we want on and various corporate sites such as NBC and CBS. Since it can be viewed in full screen and in 720p it is even better quality than if I watched via satellite.

So other than saving some money I utilized my existing Internet connection even more. And that is good all around.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Lions, Tigers, and Firefox oh my!

As my FF extensions were updated this morning I was reminded on how increasingly applications are being accessed by us on the WWW.  Given that more and more apps are exposed to web services and being accessed by legacy apps the browser is becoming even more of a services portal. 

Today's browsers are customizable with extensions that do everything from removing ads to filling in forms.  And this is just the beginning.  We're only a few years into the Web 2.0 phase after the dot com bubble burst and it seems there is no slowing down.   The phenomenon of social networking will push the envelope even further in the near future. 

Just more proof that tomorrow's OS is today's browser. 

Saturday, February 14, 2009

The gospel according to Android

This past week my partner in crime at Red Hat finally saw the light and converted to the faith of Android.  Like me he was a longtime user of BlackBerry, but when he neared the end of his contract I talked up the only available open source smartphone on the market: the T-Mobile G1 (Google One).

Being RHT employees we already understand the value of an open operating system that doesn't have to be jailbroken only rooted.   And we get all the goodness of Google apps, funding, and innovation that come along with the privilege of membership. 

Domo arigato Mr. Roboto. 

Happily sent from my G1

Friday, February 13, 2009

Cheap PC's are en vogue. Thank you Linux.

While Moore's Law marches on for processors and consumer electronics most Americans are opting for technology that's "so last year". But Linux is the OS at the forefront making netbooks affordable and keeping Microsoft at bay by forcing them to offer XP on comparable offerings. If/when Windows 7 debuts it will already be well behind the curve for a portable operating system and will come in several flavors that will probably make most consumers scratch their heads with confusion.

This new emergence of low-end computers is made possible by running Linux. This allows PC's to run as little as 2GB and 4B SSD hard drives, 512MB, and 900mHz processors. Most PC's with those specs and other operating systems with bloatware/antivirus/customer service add-ons would not even boot much less run seamlessly all day accessing full versions of Java, Flash, and Silverlight web apps.

My 2yr old Asus Eee 701 PC is still running strong with minimal specs and it just keeps going and going and going and going.....

Thursday, February 12, 2009

JBoss virtual show with real customers

Yesterday I was able to participate in JBoss' first virtual tradeshow dubbed JBoss Virtual Experience. Sometimes I get so involved in my own day-to-day working with Dell I forget that we at Red Hat have great buzz for JBoss.

There were many success stories of how our customers are kicking costs out of their IT budget and using more and more open source components in their infrastructure. The worse this economy gets there will be even more scrutiny on every dollar spent and weighing wants versus needs. And open source companies like Red Hat will be happy to lend a helping hand.

I was proud to be a part of the conference and enjoyed all of the sessions I could attend. It is gratifying to see all of Red Hat's hard work come to fruition.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Ciao iPhone

After what has certainly been a love/hate relationship I bid farewell to my first generation iPhone. If all goes right tomorrow I will be selling it to a happy owner that I found on Craig's List.

I am the first to admit that Apple hit a home run with the iPhone interface and form factor but I quickly grew tired of its numerous shortcomings. No need to list because they are all over the WWW but I found to be the iPhone the worst mobile phone I have ever owned for voice use.

I have had numerous free (read carried subsidized phones) that outshone the Apple in most areas. Most of the iPhone's features were on my first Palm III and HandSpring Treo phone. No, what makes the iPhone special is the AppStore and the mobile internet experience but certainly for the phone capability. My G1 has push e-mail, a full QWERTY physical keyboard, can run multiple apps in the background, MMS, copy/paste, a removable battery, a non-crashing-once-every-five-minutes web browser, and to boot it's open source.

Maybe Apple should have called it the iMobile or iWeb. But iPhone?

Dell gets Linux!

I came across the above post when I was looking for Dell Mini 9 reviews specifically running Ubuntu Ultra Mobile Edition. I currently run UME on one of my laptops but the Dell Mini runs a customized version of the interface that proves if the GUI is slick and the OS is as stable as Windows it can have a future.

Even though Dell usually gets negative press for their support and lack of quality they deserve props for building a quality netbook with a choice between Linux and Windows.

Monday, February 2, 2009

The BarakBerry

Oh the scuttlebutt and speculation over the new Prez's BlackBerry usage! Based on the nature of his communication for national security and such I was surprised at his adamant demand for it. Basically, he won't take no for an answer.

This is usually enlightening but in this case it just looks foolish. There is already too much information on too many servers and this is the most powerful person in the global economy and our political environment.

With the recent press of MP3 players and mobile phones being purchased on eBay with classified U.S. Army contact info; I wonder what would happen if Obama ever lost or has his Berry stolen. Would the American public even be notified or would it just show up on Craig's List unidentified? I guess we'll never know.

Does Linux really have a chance?

There seems to be an evolution in the IT space where system integration is migrating to browser integration. Therefore the browser is the new application platform. When this happens the platform operating system will have less import because the application will not be native but in the cloud.

Enter Linux. Think of this is as the second coming mainframe technology. Applications being available through web portals though instead of emulators. Eventually users will be able to access their application no matter what code it was written in and the OS will need to be the following: CHEAP, fast, secure, standards based, and open source (if possible).

I can think of quite a few that fit the above description.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Close but no cigar Microsoft

The WWW and the blogosphere is alive with positive reviews of Microsoft Windows 7 beta running on everything from smartphones to netbooks. The biggest contributor of this is the failure of Vista. The OS that was summarily dismissed by major OEM's and home consumers alike. In fact, Microsoft extended XP support and use just to make people happy, not something they are accustomed to doing.

This is akin to asking Pontiac if any other car sold better than the ill-fated Aztek.

W7 is almost the service pack that Vista should have been but it is likely a marketing reason since a name change was in order but Microsoft is use to doing this as well, i.e. the Millennium debacle.

They are actually listening to their users and their community by making a light weight OS that can run on a computer that is not spec'd out like a WoW gaming rig. But here's where they fall short, they will still only sell one OS at a time and not support all versions for a seven year life cycle. Can you imagine if Microsoft open sourced their bits and adopted a subscription model like the enterprise Linux distros? No more legal threats and "Dark Side" like mentality towards their customers, just good software where people and companies would gladly pay for support.

And that my friend, is precisely why I work for Red Hat.

Friday, January 30, 2009


Given all the recent press on our economy and the state of the state and just before the GDP numbers are revealed to abysmal results I find myself being more thankful than ever.

I not only enjoy working at Red Hat but I believe I am apart of something much bigger than myself and that is Choice. We help individuals and enterprises endeavor to have choices when it comes to software, services, and the financing of those products.

I am grateful for the support my wife and children give me when they try to speak to me during work hours not knowing that I have a wireless headset in the other ear taking making and taking calls all day. And it is great knowing that the family understands that I am working for them as much as anything else.

Even with day-to-day annoyances there is much more given to me than I am giving back. I am happy to be part of a family/community/church/country/employer where each individual can make a difference for the greater Good.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

One more....

And this has nothing to do with digerati anything other than the modern F1 race car is the most technologically advanced automobile on the planet.

Monday, January 19, 2009

T-Mobile ad in the UK

I am an ardent customer and supporter and T-Mobile and thought this commercial was innovative and refreshing:

Friday, January 16, 2009

Open source conversation

Pretty cool that I had the opportunity to talk with one of the associate pastors at my church this morning about the difference between Internet Explorer and Firefox. He had some issues with IE and I recommended that he download and try FF. He had never used it and he had it up and running with imported bookmarks and all in about five minutes.

Just because there is no charge for either browser doesn't mean it is free. Trust me, if you've ever gotten a Trojan Horse or any other worm virus via IE it is NOT free. There is a lot of pain and suffering that happens to you and your PC.

We also talked about the difference between a monolithic, proprietary license company and a volunteer community centered around the interest and desire for good software.

This is the foundation for any group based on open-source/religious/social/hobbyist community: love. And when you love something you set it free.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Stairway to heaven

Given the dearth of new articles coming out after the new year two in particular caught my attention: Peak of the Netbook (Engadget) and Death of SOA (Google it). Here are some reasons why I believe that this is not true and why these two technologies are symbiotic.

The acronym may be dead but Service Oriented Architecture is alive and well. More and more enterprises and customer facing companies are moving their business to the web and are utilizing common messaging platforms to communicate to multiple applications, platforms, and databases. The applications are being fronted with web interfaces so that they can be formatted for the new wave of mobile internet devices (MID's) whether they be iPhones, netbooks, etc. I have before stated that the browser is our new OS and given that reason more and more data can be offloaded to the SaaS app and it keeps its state in the data center and not on your PC.

Netbooks are getting more RAM, processor speed, and hard drive space but my current Eee 701 only has a 630Mhz processor, 512MB and 4GB SSD and yet I can access any and all websites that I need for e-mail and occupational hazards. Even with these puny specs I am able to "git'er done" because the applications do not live on my PC, but live in Zimbra hosted e-mail,, Facebook, Google...

So how do companies get to the data heavens? What is their stairway?
- Build an application that can be written in a web language then interconnect.
- Virtualize when you can, early and often.
- Have a common messaging bus that can communicate to all internal apps then let them talk to the internet and live on the web.
- Understand that your apps will be accessed by customers and companies who are on the go.
- Wash, rinse, and repeat.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Virtual Reality

Here is an example of cloud computing versus onboard sync'd storage:

My T-Mobile G1 wirelessly synchronizes with my Gmail, Google Calendar and Contacts AND receives OTA updates as needed. My iPhone needs to be hard wired sync'd with one particular laptop with its' iTunes profile for back-ups, sync's, restoration, and OS upgrades. So my G1 and Google services are more available to me than when I update information on my iPhone. Because just the iPhone is updated but not my Google services. Here is where the cloud comes into the picture.

For me, the winner is the G1. As more and more of us become mobile and use our browsers as miniature operating systems utilizing AJAX, Java, and the SaaS model we will be plugging more and more into virtual computing clouds to get our data and needing less native storage on our interface devices. Whether I use Gmail on my PC, G1, or any other device I could care less WHERE Google's servers are just that they are available.

This short tutorial gives a good understanding of how and why cloud computing is valuable:

Way back in 1998 in the 20th century at Compaq Computer we were told by vendors like EMC that one day we would have virtual storage that could be added on as simple as plugging into an electric wall socket. Well my friends, we're almost there. The Enterprise space is already doing this by virtualizing the operating systems then the applications for high availability and the virt data is being homogenized into a storage cloud that can be accessed by web API's and used anywhere a browser is available.

Today's workforce is increasingly more distributed and remote than ever before and the data we need usually come in two transports: e-mail and the world wide web. The new netbook phenomena along with new mobile internet devices (MID) like the iPhone, G1, BlackBerries, and every other new smartphone coming out has turned us into constant consumers of information.

Whether it be constant Facebook updates, Google Reader, or VPN'd corporate e-mail we all need our fix.