Archive for the ‘IT’ category

Considerations before upgrading to Win7

August 14, 2009

Bill Detweiler discusses things to think about before deploying.  http://blogs.techrepublic.com.com/itdojo/?p=903&tag=nl.e103

If you’re involved in Win7 deployment planning, what are some things you’re concerned about?

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Adobe, I was wondering the same thing…

July 28, 2009

Why wait seven months to release a fix for a vulnerability that (for all intents and purposes) can’t be worked around?  Michael Kassner calls Adobe and MS out:

http://blogs.techrepublic.com.com/security/?p=1992&tag=nl.e036

Mono and C# so whats the big deal?

July 23, 2009

There has been a controversy brewing for quite some time in the Open Source world. I’ve sort of stayed out of it because I didn’t fully understand exactly what was happening, and I wasn’t sure that I cared. Still there is good reasons if you are a programmer looking to do anything in the non-MS world with C# to at least be aware of this. I currently don’t have any C# training, but I am scheduled to take a class on it in the Spring. Finally I found an explanation that didn’t resort to needless flame wars. I think it is fair and balanced. Please click through, but I’ll post a few highlights. So you know mono is an open source project that ports .net framework to Linux and Mac. So this is where the controversy lies. It is porting over a Microsoft technology, and MS does not have a good track record with Linux or open source. Also, by way of background, there are a few very notable programs that are written with mono and are being considered as default programs in Linux distributions (tomboy, banshee, fspot, and gome-do).

Mono, the free software implementation of .NET (C#), has been the subject of bitter debate for eight years. Yesterday, that debate ended — or at least shifted to another level — with Microsoft’s announcement that it was extending its Community Promise to include the patents that left Mono possibly encumbered.

The greatest fear has been that Mono-based programs like GNOME’s Tomboy or F-Spot could be the source of a patent violation case by Microsoft against some or all of the community.

In 2001, Microsoft released a letter to ECMA in which it promised that use of the patents involved would be available on request on a “royalty free and otherwise RAND ‘Reasonable and Non-Discriminatory’ basis.”

However, as Miguel de Izaca, the founder of Mono and a Novell vice president, points out, “The problem with ‘RAND’ is that it doesn’t say what ‘reasonable’ means. It has to be reasonable, but it doesn’t have to be free. Microsoft stated publicly and on the ECMA committee that nobody had to pay, but they never actually went and published the license.”

And there is the problem. While C# looks like a great language with awesome capabilities the fact that MS holds patents and is a commercial entity leaves the door wide open to forcing Linux users to pay up.

As described on his blog, de Izaca plans to divided Mono source code into two repositories. One will include the ECMA-covered libraries, and the other Mono’s implementation of ASP.NET, ADO.NET, and Winforms. By making this division, de Icaza presumably hopes to make clear to developers at a glance what code they are working with.

I’m excited to learn C# and really have every intention to use it, but this does give me pause especially if I were starting a large project that needed mono (i.e for any platform other than Windows).

MS releases driver code for Linux… for MS

July 21, 2009

Microsoft recently released code (some 20,000 lines) for inclusion in the Linux kernel.  However, look a bit deeper…  They’re all about the M$.  So it has to be capitalistic.  Keep reading and you find that the drivers make it possible to run Linux on HyperV, MS’s new toy in the server market.  Here’s a good summary of how it looks right now:

http://blogs.zdnet.com/microsoft/?p=3403&tag=nl.e019

In the end, IT support…

July 6, 2009

…is all about the business.  We exist to enable business.  It’s pretty easy to get off course on that.

There are other segments of IT that deal in large ways with process change, compliance, and executive planning.  They guide the business in some ways, and we support folks should have some feedback to them, letting them know where processes are hitting walls so they can do their jobs.  But in the end, keeping a “serving” mindset is just another part of our job description.

I’m curious for insight you readers may have.  Let’s hear your thoughts.

ben

HTC is a friend of Android

June 25, 2009

HTC the cell phone maker was the first company to come out with an Android phone with the G1. They now have two more announced. This latest one has no certain date in North America, but it looks good. I think I might want one.

The specifications look good:

Quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE
Bluetooth® 2.0 with Enhanced Data Rate and A2DP for wireless stereo headsets
Wi-Fi®: IEEE 802.11 b/g
HTC ExtUSB™ (11-pin mini-USB 2.0 and audio jack in one)
3.5 mm audio jack
5.0 megapixel color camera with auto focus
Talk time:

*
Up to 420 minutes for WCDMA
*
Up to 470 minutes for GSM

Standby time:

*
Up to 750 hours for WCDMA
*
Up to 440 hours for GSM
microSD™ memory card (SD 2.0 compatible)

This is certainly going to be a compelling phone. It is no secret that I like Android. This added to the their previous phone leads me to believe that Android could take Apple’s iPhoneOS to task. I’m thinking about jumping into mobile development and Android is looking way better than Apple right now to me.

Should Apple worry about iPhone competition?

June 3, 2009

Wired ran this story, “Why Apple Can Afford to Phone It In With the Next iPhone.” It basically reads that the next iPhone, expected to be announced next week, will likely be a minor upgrade. Of course this is all based upon rumors, but as much as Apple tries to be secret typically the rumors aren’t that far off. Aside from the fact that this is all based upon rumors I am inclined to agree with the analysis with one word of caution.

Recently I have been writing about the Android rumors. I really am excited about it, but I have mentioned that my excitement is when they mature and that this is a good indication of what will be when my current iPhone contract runs out. Let me back up. When the iPhone first released the blogs were all abuzz and people lined up for days to get their hands on the first, worthless IMO, iPhone iteration. I largely ignored the first iPhone, not because I didn’t see the bright future, exactly the opposite, but because I knew the future held much more promise than their first release. Apple tested the waters and they were good. So good that they quickly released the iPhone 3g. It was at that point that the hardware was complete enough, though they could have done much better, and the software was complete enough, app store anyone, to grab my attention. Indeed, with that launch Apple sealed their prominence that every other hardware maker aspires to have now. But what this shows is that everyone must go through the growing pains. When Apple released the original iPhone they probably never imagined that the app store would take off like it did. They may not have imagined how people would eventually use or want to use the hardware. The initial released was the baby stage for what would blossom into a powerful teenager. It was and is at this point that I decided it was ready for my use, and it has proven up to the task. With the release of version 3.0 of the software Apple will finally mature the iPhone into adulthood. Where we are now with all other smart phones (Palm pre, G1, Android, Storm) is still infancy. It took Apple over a year for each stage to mature so it only makes sense that all others would follow a similar path to maturity if not slower. So as I see it Apple owns the smart phone market. All other competitors fail on multiple levels, but not for lack of trying. In this way the Wired author is correct. Apple can release a minor upgrade to the iPhone and not worry about losing market prominence or superiority.

With all that said my word of caution is this. Now that Apple is an adult it stands out from the rest, but it is now perched on a ledge waiting to be pushed off. Like I said all the other competitors are still in infancy, but they are showing good signs for quick maturation. For Android there is already a robust API it just needs better hardware. Palm Pre could shake up the industry, but as of yet hasn’t launched, and will likely face problems being tethered to Sprint. The Storm with all of its hardware advantages loses on apps and development platform. These are the same problems Apple faced and overcame. They may have made it look easy, but soon enough competitors will figure things out. Just give them time. Apple may not need to launch a hot new iPhone this time around, but they better have something good coming or else they may find themselves mediocre, compared to the competition, in the not so distant future.

This is why I am so optimistic. There are so many uses for smart phones. I don’t know that I could ever go back, but I am not sold on Apple or the iPhone. Right now I think I purchased the best there is, but the horizon looks good for some serious competition once it is time to upgrade.