.. and anyone else who still reads this via web browser.
Download a news aggregator and change your life.
I use SauceReader.
It’s free. It’s fast.
Then link to this …Master of my domain
Andy asked why I don’t enable comments on my blog site.
- Because I wrote my own blog software on a wet Saturday and I haven’t had time to add comments.
- I don’t have time to monitor them and get into debates. I spend enough time here as it is.
- May be I’m too insecure and fear being outed for my many mistakes in past lives
- Comment spam.
But I do normally post comments quickly if someone emails them in.Never a better time to be in software
With SQL2005 and VS2005 coming soon there has never been a better time to be in software.
Whether of not you’re an MS fan, when you dive into the feature sets there are some very significant improvements that lead to Architectural opportunites to change economies of development. Especially for the small experienced team.
The VS team said 2 years ago their goal was to remove 70% of code. I think they have acheived this goal, but in reality this means a team can do more, better and faster. Therefore the threshold of problems an effective team can solve with a given level of resources could lift significantly.
If you can apply the technology opportunity into real business problems potentially all of the traditional Line of Business applications may be fertile ground for new market entrants.
Those with Legacy code that do not invest may find their biggest competitor is the uncharted new entrant.Andy Irons says Raglan
The World Surfing tour coverage of the RipCurl Search event was just on the box.
This year, Rip Curl has a mobile event. i.e. a venue they can choose every year. 2005 was Reunion Island
Andy Irons was asked where next year.
“Raglan would be cool”. Now that would be huge!Who would buy Skype?
Cringely’s much linked to article, is worth a read.AfterMail Quick Links Trick
I find that when I’m juggling multiple projects and relationships I often want to do a quick AfterMail search to see - who owes who - an email.
As AfterMail provides a full view over all Email I can quickly ascertain the From-To conversation. This differs from normal Outlook as the view can be the entire conversation, not just my inbox and sent items. AfterMail allows search url’s to be passed in.
I thought it would be great to have a number of saved searches on my desktop so I can quickly see a communications flow.
Then last week I saw the Konfabutalor Widgets, which provide those Mac type desktop widgets for Windows. I thought it would be great to build an AfterMail Widget. With the team flat out that might mean I had to loose a(nother) weekend.
After looking through the gallery I found a nice RSS reading Widget and thought I could make this work without writing code.
Turned out I could just point to a simple static RSS feed. An XML file.
<description>Quick access to AfterMail</description>
<description>Email conversation with Apple</description>
Looks like a fairly clean, design with some features designed in with the benefit of hindsight.
But I don’t understand when there are so other great opportunities anyone would invest time and effort taking on a dominant and established player such as TradeMe. Why design a business to be second?
It’s hard enough doing business in NZ and Sam’s team has done a great job in building a world class local business. Rather than wasting our resources fighting over our small pie why not take the effort and do something that grabs revenue from offshore.
Most uncool.Great Podcast
Adam Bosworth’s recent podcast is well worth a listen.
Lot’s of gems like how they made IE4 read everything, when he ‘got’ the web and building scalable databases.
His model, I think, is not applicable to traditional enterprise structured content, rather the databases he talks about are huge stores of content. But this is a great perspective shift.
I found this one of the most stimulating podcasts I’ve heard. Let me know your thoughts.Virtual Earth
Microsoft has made a pretty good job of Virtual Earth.More on the Office 2003 Challenge
Office 2003 appears to be falling behind in targeted sales for this point in the product’s life cycle, according to Microsoft’s own internal figures and guidelines. Just 15% of PCs are running Office 2003, two years into its life, with Office 12 - the next edition of Microsoft’s ubiquitous suite - now on the horizon. However, Microsoft traditionally expects between 50% and two thirds of customers to be running the previous version of Office when the new copy ships.
So most companies realize that you don’t need a better typewriter than Word95 to do 90% of what most users do.
Hence the MS investments into the home (MediaCenter and XBox360) and up the business food chain into Navision, Great Plains etc.
Longhorn Vista is probably a hardware upgrade Office12 has to span the old and the new.
As I’ve said many time before, Word is done. ‘End of Life’ it with Windows XP and Office2K3.
Time to start on a new, clean, lightweight, Avalon only, XML, style separated, version of Word. Not bloat it up to cross the gap. If MS doesn’t - a third party will.The Windows iPod Experience
So I’ve travelled full circle in the past few weeks.
My goal was to have my iPod fully functional with my Windows PC. My preference was to not use iTunes rather just Windows Media Player.
- So I don’t have two music programs that store their information in different places fighting each other.
- The UI for iTune’s, while pretty, is far from Windows standard (no surprise there).
I removed iTunes and was pleased to see that Media Player 10 found the iPod with no additional software. Also SauceReader made it easy to pull down podcasts which I could save in a Podcast directory. Not a bad alternative to iTunes which is a pretty but unintuitive podcast interface. Definitely some rushed out software.
However Windows Media Player did not sync all my music to the iPod (strange) and seemed to need to convert everything (even mp3’s). Stranger.
The final straw was installing the iTrip, which requires either iTunes or Music Match to give you the stations list. Suck!
So reluctantly I’ve given up and reinstalled iTunes. I’ve compared notes with other iTunes users and I think we’re starting to figure out the PodCasting UI. Hopefully we’ll get an update soon.
iTrip works well.
Conclusion. It’s hard to get a satisfying iPod experience without iTunes. SJ has successfully used the iPod to infiltrate my computing experience.iPod update
Phil reminded me to update my iPod. The latest version adds a Podcast classification under music.
For 3G iPods that’s all it does. But for the iPod photo it also adds chapter support and a bunch of other nice features.Added enclosure tag to my feed
I’ve updated my RSS feed to now have Enclosures.
<enclosure url=”http://www.scripting.com/mp3s/weatherReportSuite.mp3″ length=”12216320″ type=”audio/mpeg” />
The enclosure tag allows an RSS aggregator to download the enclosure (which is like an attachment in email terms) directly. So if your aggregator allows automatic podcast downloading (like iTunes) it may automatically download the enclosure.
Other scenario’s where you’ll see RSS with enclosures might include press releases or documentation updates.
I looked at implementing dasBlog but decided I’d keep maintaining my own blog software, which is developed in ASP.Net over SQL Server.
This blog site has 3 projects.
- Website - render an enclosure in the UI, if it exists (as below)
- RSSFeed - add the enclosure tag
- Editor - add an enclosure field to the content database and update stored proc’s, DAL and UI.
So you can now win an OCC bike from the SQLServer team.How MS can beat google
Owning the desktop allows MS a huge advantage. This screenshot of the new MSN desktop brings in search, IM and RSS into a single experience.Office Communicator
This Channel9 Video on Office Communicator shows how the phone and computer blurs.First podcast
Just to prove all the technology works, here is my first test audio blog.MS Q4 Results
Analyzed …Channel Nine Guy
Channel 9 is a video site that the Microsoft MSDN team has put together. The character of their mascot, ‘The Channel 9 Guy’ has been developing over the past few months.
Remember this started as a way to evangelize technology …Some good press
KIWI innovation received special recognition during Microsoftâ€™s recent global partner conference.
At the event Wellingtonâ€™s Aftermail won the award for innovation in the ISV and software solutions competency for the Asia-Pacific region, and it was a finalist in the vendorâ€™s global ISV contest.
The company also exhibited at the conference, which has helped it find scores of potential new business partners, says CEO Rod Drury.
â€œBeing a finalist in the awards has helped raise our profile at the event,â€ he says.
Aftermail has also exhibited at various tradeshows, such as Cebit, throughout the year to promote its .Net-based email archiving application, Drury says.
â€œMany people have seen us at other shows and are beginning to notice us,â€ says Drury.
Aftermailâ€™s US distributor, NW Tech, which was appointed in February, made use of the Microsoft event to recruit resellers.
CEO Stuart Maskell says response at the event was extremely positive.
â€œPeople here say it is killer-app of the show. It is a product in a space all by itself and offers amazing value,â€ says Maskell.
â€œThe US is very competitive and resellers are always looking for something unique to take to their clients.â€
Aftermail fits the bill as it enables organisations to keep their email archiving compliant with regulations such as the Sarbanes Oxley (SOX) Act, says Maskell.
â€œSOX has put the fear of God into corporate America,â€ he says. â€œSOX requires certain data to be instantly accessible. Aftermail allows users to sift for valuable data from their email.â€
The application has also won praise from the top ranks of Microsoft.
Douglas Pratt, global ISV strategy group manager, who until last year was director of the developer group at Microsoft New Zealand, says the Aftermail product stacks up well against other global ISV offerings.
â€œIt is such an innovative product as it turns email into information enterprises can use and allows Exchange to be a really good mail server. Rod is onto a winner. Aftermail has the potential to be great success,â€ says Pratt.
Drury says the Microsoft award will support Aftermailâ€™s strategy to build its channel in the US and other territories, such as Europe, Australia and Asia.