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Showing posts from June, 2006
Jenny…867-5309…
I thought of this Tommy Tutone 1982 one hit wonder as I wrestled with the latest machinations of my mobile carrier. And, quite honestly, no blog is complete without some overt reference to 1980’s nonsensical music!

Let me get to my problem. I spend quite a bit of time on my bicycle. These rides are not just around the block to visit friends, rather they are Lance Armstrong inspired long distance events of 100 miles or more. One minor problem, I don’t have the luxury of having Johan Bruynell and the Disco team trailing me to provide food and support. Without the resources of the Team Discovery, I have to take my own food as well as communication device. This means a light weight, durable, and reliable cell phone. Easy problem to solve, right? Wrong!!!! I recently had to expand my Cingular calling plan to a family plan – even though I am the only person on the plan. So why does a family of one need a multi-number plan? Good question – here’s the problem and the solution…

Wh…
Think Before You Leap…
At Microsoft Tech Ed, I had an informative conversation with Jason Beaudreau, Director of IT for Altair Global Relocation. When I first met Jason, I had no idea who or what Altair Global Relocation was. I figured they moved people around, but really did not think a relocation company would be a poster enterprise for technology. Think again!

Jason told me Altair was a global company and gave me an impressive list of corporate clients, all household names. He then told me that Altair employed a mere 200 people with a scant 20 in the roles of IT. And, the next thing Jason said was Altair wins business because they can differentiate themselves from the competition through technology. The technology helped them be more efficient and accommodating to their customers. Jason really stressed the people aspect of the business describing how understanding the customer’s needs was the major focus of the business.

My next logical question was around outsourcing. No, Jas…
Er / Ment…
At Tech Ed, the Microsoft spokespeople were certain to stress that the company was moving from supporting the developer to supporting development. This may seem like a big case of over analyzing semantics and word parsing. Trust me, this is a major statement.

By publicly communicating the movement from er to ment, Microsoft is saying they are serious about the application life cycle. Microsoft understands and knows the developer, but what about the rest of the players in the application life cycle chain – the development and deployment aspect? This is something Microsoft has been wrestling with for a while. How do they move up the all-important stack from er to ment? Start by introducing products (of course we should expect products from Microsoft) that will attract other members of the life cycle…architects, quality assurance groups, business analysts, project mangers, etc. A big check mark on the product side with Visual Studio Team System, however, Microsoft is stil…
It’s the Little Things That Count, Really…
I left Boston and Microsoft Tech Ed 2006 today. As a road warrior and conference veteran I must say the Tech Ed experience in Boston was superb.

The show, as always, was well organized and met the needs of a variety of attendees…developers, architects, analysts, managers, students, purchasers, executives, partners, and even competitors.

Microsoft has really set the standard for hi-tech events. Realize, this event was attended by well over 13,000 people. To scale quality to that size takes some effort. Microsoft always manages to take care of the creature comforts at its events. With Tech Ed being a developer-centric event, the typical staples were on hand. For those not familiar with the care and feeding of developers, that means plenty of caffeine and processed sugar along with wireless internet access, plenty of power, and comfortable seating. Microsoft delivers on that 100%. But what about the rest of us, those that see white food as…
When It’s Time to Change, You’ve Got to Rearrange…
I’ll admit it, I am a product of 70’s sitcoms, primarily The Brady Bunch. Who among us cannot remember Peter Brady belting out his memorable line “when it’s time to change, you’ve got to rearrange…” about change in the midst of teenage angst and puberty Brady style!

Well, the software industry is well beyond puberty and really has to change and rearrange. The software industry is no longer about software…it has to change and rearrange to be a hybrid.

Microsoft is, without question the definitive quintessential software company. The problem is the company is, at its core, an operating system company. Everything Microsoft is and does is about selling and installing more copies of Microsoft Windows. Windows is the franchise product – period – full stop! Now, this is not an entirely bad problem to have, but what about the future. People and enterprises are no longer paying in excess of $500 (US) for a single productivity application to put o…
Expression in the Land of Beige?!
Americans are obsessed with beige. They live in beige houses with beige furniture, beige floors, and beige walls. They wear beige pants and drive beige cars. They use beige computers and beige monitors and eat from beige plates atop beige tables and beige counters.

OK, maybe I am exaggerating, Americans choose from a palette consisting of eggshell, taupe, sand, nougat, tumbleweed, caramel, mocha, latte, stone, and light tan. Guess what, it is still beige by any other name!

As a society ensconced in beige it seems only logical that the human interface of the software designed by primarily Americans has been anything except revolutionary. Admit it, software interfaces have been rather beige!

At Tech Ed 2006, Microsoft is presenting its four new tenets for “People_Ready” software. As part of making the tenets reality, they are focusing on the correlation of said tenets and their products. One of the highlights of this movement has been the little publ…
The Red Sox Nation and Microsoft?
I spent a productive afternoon of doing nothing taking in all that is Boston. Boston is one of the greatest, if not the greatest American city. It has history, music, culture, art, august educational institutions, an efficient and well used transit system, architecture and, of course, the Boston Red Sox. I love Boston and I love the Red Sox, but I do not randomly clad myself in their logo. As I meandered from one section of town to the next I was struck by all of the Bostonians showing their support for the Boston Red Sox. These were not people on their way to or from a game – these were people out for Sunday brunch, shopping, meeting friends, enjoying the bucolic Sunday afternoon. There were people in pink Red Sox hats, the St. Patrick’s Day green Red Sox hats, jaunty tweed Red Sox hats in the tony Beacon Hill area, Red Sox t-shirts, jackets, blankets, and umbrellas, and the traditional good old fashioned Red Sox logo hat. Why was everyone so …
Life is a Database Old Chum…
We are rabid consumers of information. We want our information fast. We want our information to be accurate. And, we want our information any time and any where. We can be this demanding because we know everything of importance has been cataloged, filed, arranged, and assigned a key field – at least electronically. Now, as consumers of data we are not too concerned about the infrastructure supporting our insatiable need for fast, reliable, and on the go information. However, someone has to do the behind the scenes work so we don’t suffer in our quest for information. For years we have had developers toiling over performance algorithms to help us over the hurdle of server constraints. It was the best we could do.

Enter ENCIRQ. The ENCIRQ Data Foundation Framework gives developers everything they have been wanting…a way to get away from the classic client / server database architecture. Client / server is so 1980’s. With this model, ENCIRQ just mo…