Posts with keyword: software


The Run to Ubiquity

Craig Burton has written a nice essay on why software infrastructure behaves differently, economically speaking, than other products and why that upsets the natural inclination most people have relative to protectionism. That, of course, is what the whole net neutrality debate is about. As Craig says, artificially disrupting the "run to ubiquity" in the software infrastructure on which we all depend, disrupts all players: all So here is my point about the inverted supply and demand model; today's core software infrastructure is made up of a core set of services. Roughly, file, print, web, database, directory, security, and the
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Success Factors for Saas Delivery

I'm at the Utah Technology Council's CTO P2P forum this morning. Nate Bowler, a former collegue at Excite@Home and CTO of @Task is speaking about SaaS, software as a service. Nate says that his number one take-away from this talk is: Pick a market that is underserved or could benefit from the improved delivery model of a SaaS platform and serve it in a non-trivial manner. Emphasis on "non-trivial." Often companies dumb down their SaaS offering. Nate stresses the importance of using the same technology stack for on-premise and on-demand options. In order to deliver SaaS, you have to
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Tracking Time? Try Chronosx

A good friend of mine, Nathan Sandland, has written a time tracking applications for the Mac called ChronosX. He says: I came up with the idea for the project when I switched from being a PC user to a Mac user last year. The one application on the PC I couldn't find a good replacement for on the Mac was my time tracking app. There are many such apps out there for OS X, but none of them was as convenient to use as the one I had on the PC. This new app solves that problem, and also
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Welcoming Joel Spolsky and Jeff Atwood to IT Conversations!

Joel Spolsky, of Joel on Software and Jeff Atwood of Coding Horror have been doing a podcast called StackOverflow for a couple of months. I've been a regular listener for since the first episode and have loved it. Since the first episode, I thought "this would be a great show for IT Conversations." Today I'm very happy to announce that my wish has come true and the debut episode of StackOverflow on IT Conversation went live today! Take a listen and be sure to let us know what you think with a comment or by leaving a rating. One
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Is Office 2007 a Pig or What?

Update: Its really Office 2008... Microsoft Office 2007 on OS X is a complete pig. I was so looking forward to finally having an Intel native version of Office so I wouldn't have to put up with long start times and the SBOD (spinning beach ball of death). With Office 2007, they're worse! I've rarely been as disappointed in a software product. Office 2004 is a better Office--even in Rosetta. Heck, Office on XP running in Parallels is a better Office. I'm glad BYU has a site license because I'd be really mad if I'd actually paid for this.
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A First Look at Numbers

I just published a first look review of Numbers, Apple's new spreadsheet, at Between the Lines. This is a cool product that points to some changes Excel has long needed. I'm not what you would call a spreadsheet power user, but I do use them a fair bit. I'm going to be using Numbers.
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Building Living Software

Steve Yegge rants, in reference to software design, that crap is still crap, no matter how many rubies you swallowed. If software design interests you, then you'll enjoy this--even if you don't agree. As I was reading this, I was reminded several times about Scott Rosenberg's article on Charles Simonyi, Anything You Can Do, I Can Do Meta. Simonyi, who was the force behind Office at Microsoft and arguably the richest programmer in the world, is hot on the heels of a programming methodology he calls "intentional programming" and has a company to develop it Intentional Software. The basic
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Why Software Sucks, the Podcast

I just published the podcast version of Why Software Sucks on IT Conversations. The interview is part of the Technometria series with David Platt, author of the book. Here's the description of the show: What is the most important thing to the average computer user? They want their machine to "just work". Why does Google know how to correctly translate a United Parcel Service tracking number, while the actual UPS website requires multiple entries just to get to the point where the tracking number can be entered? Programmer David Platt is the author of "Why Software Sucks...and What You
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Web-Based Office Suites Need Some Jujitsu

I know several people who use Google Mail, Yahoo! Calendar, web-based feed readers and the like in an effort to free themselves from any one operating system or any single machine. You'll see them with their Mac one day at a conference and their tablet the next--just because they can. This works OK for them, but they're die-hards--intent on doing it for the sake of know how it works. The big fly in the ointment is the so-called office suite: word processing, spreadsheets, and presentation applications. Oliver Rist decided to spend a week using nothing but a browser and
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Software Strategies for Flat World

I have to admit that when I read the copy for David DeWalt's (Pres. of EMC Software Group) presentation to Software 2006 (see Software Strategies in a Flat World), I was sure it was going to be a 30 minute advertisement for EMC. I was pleasantly surprised. While David does talk about EMC, he's using the company more as example of how the software business is changing in response to challenges like global outsourcing, multi-tenancy, and service appliances. I quite enjoyed it. If you're in the software business, it's worth listening to.
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More Less Is More

If you think Jason Fried was just some geek who doesn't know what he's talking about when he says Less is More, be sure to listen to Moira Gunn's interview with Cheskin CEO Darrel Rhea where he specifically talks about how compulsively adding features to products doesn't lead to customer satisfaction. You may not be able to please everyone--get over it.
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Evolving Software

Jon Udell's latest column at InfoWorld is a scary story that's all too common: fork-lift upgrades of Web-based software that leaves users worse-off than before. I've been consulting with a company that's developing a Web-based product for the last five or six months. The back-end is, realistically, quite complex and involves a fair amount of ontological work. I've suggested a release strategy that gets a timely and useful piece of the product out soon and then adds functionality little-by-little, every week or so, over the coming months. You'd be surprise by the amount of resistance that sort of idea
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Less is More

Jason Fried is the CEO of 37 Signals, a company that's garnered attention for delivering great Web-based tools like Basecamp and Writeboard. I've used these in my lab at BYU to great effect. At IT Conversations, however, we found that they just weren't right for the project management tasks we had. Obviously, these tools aren't right for everyone and that's the story. In one of the IT Conversation shows I really liked last week, Jason delivers a short (12 min) talk from Web 2.0 called "Less is More." In the talk, Jason talks about how to win by "under-doing"
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Redirecting a Blog Domain

Jordy Gunderson moved Paul Allen's blog to a new domain and put together some information about how to do that with minimal loss of search engine traffic. There's some other tips in the sheet I put together when I moved my blog from one system to another. One of the things Jordy mentions that is easy to forget is being sure to redirect example.com to www.example.com. People expect that and often just don't type the www. Jordy also points to a free link checker. That's a good thing to run over your site periodically whether you're moving or not.
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Audio 101

One of my new duties as Executive Producer is recording what we call the show IDs and the intros and "outros" for the IT Conversations series. The show ID is the very first portion program that introduces what's coming up: "Up next on IT Conversations..." The intros and outros are the pieces that are specific to a given series: "And now, here's out presentation from Emerging Technology..." I have a pretty good set up, MOTU Traveler firewire mixer, Audio Technica mics, and so on. My goal is to get good sound, but I noticed as I recorded some things
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Newer Is Not Always Better

Today I ran across OldVersion.com who's tag line is "newer is not always better." OldVersion.com is a collection of old versions of programs. When I saw it, I thought of a couple of benefits: first old version often run better on old computers because newer versions require more resources. Second, some new versions disable features that you want or add features that interfere with how you use the program. One benefit I hadn't thought of that's listed prominently on the site is the ability to avoid spyware. Older versions of programs that are now bundled with spyware are often
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DarwinPorts is Hot

It seems like every semester something happens that causes me to do a systems scramble right before things get going. This year, we decided to move all our Web offerings in the ECLab onto our new XServe over Christmas break. It had to happen sometime and now's as good a time as any. One of the things I needed to get on to the XServe (running OS X) was netpbm. I've never used DarwinPorts before, but a google of netpbm and OS led me to it. I have to say that it totally rocks. Usually installing netpbm on a
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Software for Starving Students

Jordy Gunderson alerted me to the 2006.01 release of Software for Starving Students or SSS. SSS is a collection of free and open source software all on one convenient CD ROM (actually, it's an ~500Mb image that you download using BitTorrent). The images come in versions for Windows and Mac. I tried it out and it's well done and very convenient. Each package has a description of what it is, links to the Web site for the package, and an install button. Getting it via BitTorrent is problematic at BYU because of port blocking. I had to grab it
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International Association of Software Architects

I didn't know there was an International Association of Software Architects. Did you? Membership appears to be free.
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