Date Night! On those seemingly rare occasions when everything falls into place and events proceed as though following the script of a romantic classic, it's good to savor the moment. I've been savoring now for 28 hours...
My wife and I escaped our home last Saturday night to enjoy an evening of unfettered relaxation. We'd engaged the kids' favorite babysitter, and left the house with a simple plan, only 3 generally-defined destinations.
We arrived for Catholic Mass at the Basilica of St. Mary in Minneapolis at about 4:30. We were early, and discovered a wedding party just departing. As we entered the church, I was drawn back to my childhood attendance of Mass at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Sleepy Eye. Though the church of my childhood is somewhat less grand than the Basilica, the notable similarities helped inaugurate our evening with pleasant reminiscence.
Once Mass had concluded, we returned to the car and drove the 3 blocks to the Walker Art Center for a wa…
As highlighted in "14 Great Ways You Can Use OpenID Right Now ," both AOL and Microsoft are engineering OpenID into products and services. With two industry giants moving in this direction, how long will it be before we see other key identity players line up. Are you listening Oracle? IBM? Google? Yahoo? Sun? (and let's don't forget eBay and Amazon, shall we?)
We can only hope that there'll be some excellent cross-pollination between Sun's team and the folks at NeoOffice. NeoOffice has done a good job of delivering added value to OOo, and it would be a shame to see that good work fall by the wayside as the OOo core evolves to include its own Mac-native UX.
I'm sure mine is not the only voice encouraging the teams to find ways to cooperate and bring the best of both to OpenOffice's Mac user community.
New Kid In Town During a lunch meeting the other day, my wife called and asked, "Honey, can I buy another horse?"
When she asks a question like that, there's only one possible answer.
Meet Simon, the latest addition to the ranch. So far, he seems to be everything my wife wanted (but didn't get) when she bought a filly about 5 years ago. Simon's calm, friendly, very rideable, and brings a little color to the current bunch.
He's only been here a couple of days and has already integrated into the herd. Most horses fall victim to the bullying of my wife's older gelding, who tends to dominate any new blood who dares to approach. Simon simply looks at him and wonders why he's making such a fuss, screeching and snorting and rearing while Simon stands calmly. Bodes well for getting him into an arena to show!
I'm a big OLPC fan, and an advocate of open source. When news surfaced over the last few weeks of a Windows-based version, I was concerned about the potential negative impact of commercial forces on the admittedly idealistic goals of OLPC.
It turns out that the way AP and other news sources reported the original story, attributing comments (but not directly quoting) Nicholas Negroponte, head of the nonprofit organization operating the OLPC project, mischaracterized the relationship between OLPC and Microsoft, drawing implications which may occur as a result of market forces but not due to any special relationship between OLPC and Microsoft.
The following quote from Walter Bender, president of Software and Content at OLPC, certainly clarified things for me:
"We are a free and open-source shop. We have no one from OLPC working with Microsoft on developing a Windows platform for the XO. MS doesn't get any special treatment f…
CMP's ByteandSwitch news source offers The Bare Metal Facts, an interesting tidbit about what SMBs consider most important in backup products and services. I was particularly interested in the bulleted list near the beginning of the article, and several of those points stand out for me as significant opportunities:
SMBs think archiving and backup go hand-in-glove. SMBs would prefer to deal with a bundled hardware/software solution from one vendor, instead of buying point products. SMBs are looking to get off tape and onto disk archiving.
It would seem to me that a company that could address these concerns effectively could capture significant marketshare, given the current competitive landscape. As the article points out, many of the traditional storage giants seem to be too focused on other aspects of the market to accurately meet the needs of SMBs, creating a gap into which a smart and agile competitor can step.
This came across my Twitter feed from friend giovanni and I couldn't resist checking it out! The author, William Hurley, provides a rational, unbiased 7-point summary of the complicated relationship between Microsoft and open source. I particularly like his assertion that "even the most closed-minded executive in Redmond realizes open source is in their future."
So often Microsoft is vilified for their efforts to crush their competition, but they remain a powerful technical and economic force and everyone should respect their efforts to embrace openness.
My Love Affair With Storage OK, so it's not quite a love affair, but with close to 2TB scattered around the house it at least qualifies as an obsession!
A few weeks ago I bought a Seagate 500GB SATA drive and a nifty eSATA/USB 2.0/Firewire 800 external case in which to mount it (full disclosure: I work for Seagate). You see, we've been bursting at the seams around here. My wife's eMac, which hosts our iTunes library and most of our photos, is down to about 500MB, the kids' iMac is in similar straights (who knew TuxPaint would be so popular?!?), and I'm constantly struggling to keep a bit of space available on my Mac mini and my MacBook Pro.
I've got a couple of big scanning and video projects waiting in the wings, and without more capacity on our homenet they'll be waiting when I start having grandkids!
Along with the drive and enclosure, I bought an Apple Airport Extreme, thinking that it'd be a great way to position the homenet for next-gen WiFi and at …
One Laptop Per Child - Poor Use of Funds? A digg post links to a blog posting by a representative of European think tank Globalisation Institute who believes that the OLPC initiative is a waste of money and that its organizers and backers should "leave computers to the market economy." Interestingly enough, it's because of OLPC that "the market economy" is finally recognizing the opportunity emerging among developing nations. Just last week Microsoft announced a $3 software bundle for developing economies.
"Microsoft and others needed to begin reaching out to the developing world through existing, lower-cost technologies such as cell phones and television to provide basic computing and educational opportunities, according to Gates."
While cell phones will undoubtedly permeate emerging economies more quickly than traditional PCs, they fall far short of delivering the educational value of devices like OLPC. Governments around the world are recognizing t…
Good Karma My wife and I completed a yard project yesterday that should bring us good karma.
A few years ago Kim was inspired to "reduce, reuse, recycle" a commodity of which we have a consistent and significant surplus. As you might imagine, our horses generate quite a bit of output, and normally we just scrape it into a large mound in the back pasture. Kim's inspiration came when she started using the aged waste for gardening, and our flowers and veggies flourished. She started advertising our compost on the local freemarket site for anyone who wanted to come collect it, and we've been inundated with calls and emails ever since!
This year Kim decided we'd build a box in the front yard by our garden to make it easier for folks to get to (instead of them having to drive out to our back pasture and load up from the big compost heap). Now people will be able to back a few feet into the driveway, fill their containers from the box, reload and be on their way. We…
Another topic that's gaining momentum recently is that of federated identity. On a call today, one of my colleagues mentioned a new player in the space, one whose offering is underpinned by OpenID, a federated identity initiative that's evolved as a lighter-weight alternative to traditional heavyweights like the Liberty Alliance.
This new venture, Vidoop, claims to provide a web single sign-on solution that provides all the security required for commercial and enterprise use, while relying on the lightweight, easy-to-implement OpenID identity standard for user credentials.
Given some of the challenges large companies will be facing over the next several years, Vidoop may be entering the market at just the right time and with the right combination of features and technology to make it big.
Looking back at my posts, it's clear I've been an inconsistent writer at best; most would probably accuse me (and rightly so) of lacking the drive to stay with it. Well, I'm turning over a new leaf and will write regardless of the consequences.
Part of what's held me back is my personal fear of losing my job because I revealed something I wasn't supposed to. I've also struggled with an inferiority complex, and having people comment (or, worse, NOT comment!) on my writing still leaves me a bit queasy.
Anyway, now that I've grappled with my personal demons, let's get into the thick of things.
Today I had a call with representatives from TeamStudio to discuss the merits of their software and service offerings. As I expect has happened at many large companies using Lotus Notes/Domino, the application environment has evolved organically, and with limited governance. Many of those developing Notes/Domino applications operate outside traditional IT,…