Monthly Archives: January 2009

Interesting links for 28 January 2008

Comparing OSS and BSS benchmarks.  Benchmarks are A Good Thing, for sure. They drive improvements to the product and encourage competitiveness between vendors. They demonstrate that the vendor has a system architecture which offers a good chance of concurrency and scalability. But they are not indicative of the performance any other telco will achieve…

Social networks overtake adult websites.  Hitwise review the useage figures for the UK…

Flight Simulator morphs into ESP Platform.  Terrain mapping the world and what to do with the data.


Linux on the desktop? 10 years on

Just under 10 years ago I was asked to comment in the press on the (then) recent news that Dell would make linux available for its Inspiron laptops. My conclusion at the time was that choice for desktop users was a good thing but that support fears would probably keep the masses away.

A decade later and what has changed?  Quite a lot as it turns out.  “Always on” Internet access has become a reality and the “home” environment is no longer the poor brother in the connectivity stakes.   The net-book is now a recognised term in the retail environment and the “entry level” models from several mainstream manufacturers are shipped with Linux not Windows.  We can talk about Splashtop another time but if I was describing a military action this might look like a pincer movement (Linux clearly exists in the corporate server environment, if the employee’s get comfortable with Linux on their home and mobile devices…..)

With our ubiquitous Internet access has come new ways of socialising, so community interaction and knowledge sharing is commonplace, when we need help for a software problem we are more likely to seek it on the web than by making a call to a conventional support line.  So in this context support for Linux is very available and in a format everyone is becoming comfortable with.

The final barrier in my mind 10 years ago was ease of use in the context of installation, maintenance and interoperability.  If only it were as simple as inserting a disk, with a graphical easy to follow wizard, if only there was a check for updates feature via the Internet, if only there was an office automation package that functioned well and could swap documents back and forth with proprietary market leaders…  Wait a minute I just got all that!  Which is what prompted me to write this blog –  Red Hat’s Fedora core 6 ticks all these boxes and is an excellent ambassador for the state of Linux as a mainstream solution today.  

I also note that the arrival of Windows 7 beta has fired up the who will crush who debate again, and I am here to tell you there is space for all.  Widespread (consumer) adoption of linux will be a good thing.  Choice and competition on the desktop – hurrah!

Brave New World?

Never blog after a glass of sparkling wine? (Drunk in reaction to President Obama’s inauguration speech) – So today I Will make an exception.  I am not an American but I am moved and humbled by the inauguration of the 44th President of the United States.

Congratulations America and congratulations world – I truly believe a sea change is in progress, both in the way America interacts with its self and the world and in the way that technology will be used to further this “brave new world”.  

Good luck to all of us – here’s to the future.

2009 – Brave New World?

I have been listening very hard to the technology predictions for 2009 and of course looking closely at the consumer end of that at last weeks’ CES in Las Vegas.  In equal parts I am excited and disappointed, that’s because there is a lot of technology innovation coming but most of it will not be “computer” based. 

As my good friend Mark Anderson points out all the excitement is for the new class of application development – the smart phone.  It has been a long time since there has been so much choice of innovative software on multiple platforms at pocket money prices.  I hope the software giants are watching as gargantuan software and development life cycles are leapfrogged into oblivion.  For me a CES highlight was watching people do the “expand” thing (think iphone with finger and thumb) but with two fists (think Charles Atlas and chest expanders) for the TV platform hand gesture interface  GestureTek.

 I also expect cloud to envelop us all encouraging another class of user away from another major cash cow for hardware and software giants alike.  In that respect hats off to people like my friend and past co-worker Andy Mullholand, global CTO over at CapGemini who embraced Google’s Software as A Service model from the very beginning.

Major moves too in the consumer electronics “platform” where many of the traditional network, Internet and computing giants are bringing their in home solutions forwards (Yahoo widgets in TV sets for example, or Cisco’s media and entertainment  content hosting service Eos).  Those of you who know me will remember my predictions for this integration back at the end of the last century.  It just took a little time to arrive, spurred on (dare I say) by an urgent need to reinvent ones-self on light of an economic downturn.

Wherever 2009 takes us I am confident that now is a time of great change and of great opportunity for bright, agile companies who can innovate and react at a pace that these new opportunities demand. A year in which the story of David and Goliath will be told many times.

A blog is born

OK so that is not exactly earth shattering news is it.  After 5 years in “hybernation” I have returned to the landscape of the network.  For those who know me from various past lives I bid you greetings and invite you to stop by my blog and say hello.  I am looking forwards to investigating the technology landscape for 2009 and talking about how that might change for the better.