Can someone give me a hand to migrate to a WordPress hosted site? I don’t have time to do it myself and will gladly pay for someone to do it as a project.
- Recommend a hoster (that can host as www.drury.net.nz)
- Set up my site and load the graphics
- Load up my existing posts. I can supply them in RSS format which I believe can be imported
Why do I want to do this?
- I wrote my own blog engine and don’t have the time to develop comments, trackbacks etc.
- It’s not a good use of my time when there are great products doing a better job. The features of blogging engines are getting better and better. E.g. comment spam
- I can use standard tools for posting
- I believe in hosted apps. I don’t want to run and manage my infrastructure. Its getting easier to swap machines and OS’s when its all in the cloud.
Preference is someone in Wellington so I can build a relationship. Lost of other little things to do with these skills. But give me a yell if it’s easy remotely.Wellington to Asia Service
I like Rob Fyfe, the CEO of Air New Zealand.Â He’s a next generation leader not scared to do the tough stuff. But I disagree with his position on long range services out of Wellington.
Stuff: Air NZ boss says Asia service a long shot. Specifically …
It does feel a dimension of this is being driven to a degree by regional ego rather than commercial pragmatism
This was a stupid thing to say.Â There is real commercial benefit for long haul into Wellington.Â Wellington is special.Â It’s small size fosters networking and creativity.Â We’re becoming the film and software action area.Â Flying through Auckland is a pain.Â Rather than being dumped before security at 5:30 am on Saturday morning you were in your home town.Â 4 hoursÂ power nap, ready for a morning latte with the family at 10:00. Ready to go.Â
Travelling with kids.Â Connections add 3+ hours to the trip.Â Going to London could be as easy as one hop to Asia. Stay a night. Another hop to the UK.Â Too easy.
Long haul to Wellington would stimulate travel.Â It would add many new trips.Â Wellington would be directly connected to the world. It would be a huge boost.
Rob’s position is natural.Â Fewer hubs is less cost for Air New Zealand.Â But in this case it’s just too important.
Couple of flights a week to somewhere in Asia and San Fran.Â It would be brilliant!1st Full Day with MacBook
Not sure if I’m loving it yet.
I can’t quite put more finger on it. Maybe its like learning to ski after snowboarding forÂ 18 years.
My Sony VaioÂ just seems a bit crisper.Â I put 2GB in the MacBook and it still seems sluggish. The screen and fonts are alsoÂ blurrier. I feel a bit like I’m walking through mud. I’ve got the mouse set to fast but it just seems to take a bit more effort.
The negatives so far are:
- I prefer IE7 to Firefox.Â
- I prefer Outlook to Entourage.
- The menu being disconnected from the application windows is strange.
- Command C & V for copy and paste requires smaller fingers. The Command key is too close. I keep hitting ctrl.
- I’m not quite sure where to install or just drag a downloaded app into the Application Directory.
- Connecting to corporate non-mac environment is not straight forward.
What I love about the Mac
- Boot up and sleep. Fast.
- Everything just plugs in and works
- Expose’ to find your Windows
- Wifi (Airport)
- Download manager
I’ll give a few more days. But a clean build of XP with Office 2007 is not looking unappealing.BlackMac
My Black MacBook has arrived so I’ve been getting used to it. Still feels a bit strange but liking it.
Does anyone know of an equivalent to Offline Folders in XP?Â I want my Mac to automatically sync with a folder share on my XP server so that I know that everything is backed up.Rapidly changing broadcast models
Weâ€™re changing the way weâ€™re using broadcast content. Consider these three models.
My mother now time-shifts. She has MySky (NZ version of Tivo) and can now choose to watch the 6:00 news at 6:20 if she so chooses.
The characteristics of time-shifting are:
- It is still content provided by the broadcaster. It is a push model
- Time-shifting is provided by a cache (hard disk)
- Advertising is still local, though it looses value as consumers fast forward
- It is now easy for consumers as it is provided as a consumer product
My mum does not know to call it time-shifting but she will communicate the benefits to all of her friends.Â Time-shifting is now mainstream.
There are plenty more opportunities for media time-shifting.Â Radio is a great example.Â If I drive home at 5:10 I miss the 5:00 news.Â It would be great if my car radio had 64MB of RAM and could turn itself on at 4:59 to record the news so I can hear it on my 20 minute drive home.Â
Already Sony has worked out that most mobile phones now have bluetooth so have built a generic bluetooth phone interface into their latest head units.Â Time-shifting car radio is a no-brainer.
2. Internet Radio
Internet Radio is another model where a media appliance can stream radio on a synchronous basis from almost any source.Â Its characteristics are
- While strictly broadcast, the range of content is so broad it seems that there is infinite choice
- It is not time-shifting but is probably of similar end user value because of the breadth of choice.Â You can find something that interests you right now
- It works for radio [now], not video [yet] because the bandwidth requirements are relatively much lower
- It is synchronous
3. Content downloading
Self content assembly (I canâ€™t think of a better name) is happening in geek circles. Geeks can pull down broadcast content from any region almost immediately after it is aired.Â They can watch it on their PC, or even burn it to a DVD and watch it on their normal TV. What is starting to happen is that these DVDâ€™s are being circulated.
While not yet mainstream, it is becoming more common, especially` as DVDâ€™s are circulated â€˜non PCâ€™ people are seeing the benefits. The characteristics of this model are
- It is cache based, not synchronous
- Content is king and easily replicated once obtained
- It breaks the local advertising model â€“ while global brand advertising might be less affected, it is hard to measure
The Broadcasters need to understand that this is going on.Â Playing low value and old content just does not cut it anymore.Â A classic example is Primeâ€™s playing of BBC Top Gear at 7:30 on Sunday night.Â It is playing 2 year old shows that are as stale as moldy bread.Â Richard let out last Sunday â€˜hey itâ€™s 2004â€™.Â A 2 year old car is just not interesting.Â Car fanatics are passing around copies of last weeks episode in the UK already.
What if we had a device thatÂ combind all of these things
- A consumer device with a cache (hard disk)
- A global directory of compelling broadcast quality content
- A download manager
It’s already happing in the PC world, but imagine a consumer device where you could subscribe to a bunch of shows have them trickled onto a cache almost continuously so that you could watch anything, when you wanted, in your TV ‘lounge experience’.
The revolution is rapidly being mainstream. Broadcasting is about to change.Aisle 4′d
However it didn’t make it past Aisle 4 (the scary aisle) of Auckland airport customs.Â So its still a few days away. (The pain, the pain)
Knowing how much I love unpacking new stuff Phil gave me my virtual Out of Box (OBE) experience.Â This my actual baby.
Click for full image (220kb).
So close and yet so far.Tesla Electric Sports car
The wraps came off the Tesla yesterday and it’s not bad.
With a range of 250 miles it would be ideal for driving to work and around the city.
The Wired review captures a significant aspect of the design …
… what did Detroit know about batteries? Eberhard had squeezed 20 hours of run time out of the little power pack on his eBook. Battery efficiency was an obsession among computer engineers, who were extracting more power from ever-smaller cells with each generation of laptops. GM seemed oblivious to the lessons emerging from the electronics industry. Eberhard began to think that if anybody was going to build a viable electric car, it would be a Silicon Valley engineer.
The central concept of Tesla Motors, founded in July 2003, is that there is no need to reinvent the battery, particularly for a product with a small initial market. Eberhard simply adopted the lithium-ion technology used in laptops and harnessed the momentum of the computer industry. Let Dell, HP, and the rest of the sprawling PC business, with their billions of R&D dollars, do the hard work of extending battery life and driving down prices. He’d piggyback on their innovations.Bezo’s invests in 37 signals
Amazon founder invests personally in 37 Signals.Â If Web 2.0 wasn’t hot before its red hot now.
Interesting comments from the investee’s …
Weâ€™ve never been interested in the typical traditional VC deal. With a few exceptions, all the VCs could offer us was cash and connections. Weâ€™re fine on both of those fronts. We donâ€™t need their money to run the business and our little black book is full. Weâ€™re looking for something else.
What weâ€™ve been looking for is the wisdom of a very special entrepreneur whoâ€™s been through what weâ€™re going through. Someone who sees things a little differently and makes us feel right at home. Someone with a long term outlook, not a build-to-flip mentality. We found a perfect match in Jeff. Jeff is our kinda guy.WinFS: The Future Database for Exchange?
Ferris Research notes (in a surprisingly light article for them - [membership required]) that WinFS is potentially the future database for Exchange. Well …Â yeah!
The technology formerly known as WinFS goes into Microsoft’s development tools for the next few years, matures, and then most likely comes out in the next major waves of products. Having missed the Vista deployment wave, a future version of Office is significant enough to deliver on this vision; an add-on to Vista probably not. And someday, maybe, Exchange gets a new database; perhaps the technology formerly known as WinFS inside of SQL. We’ve been waiting for an object file and database system for a long time. We’ll have to wait a little longer
Microsoft have left the door open too long (is it 10 years yet?) and it looks like the door will stay open for another 5+ years.Â
Who cares what the store under the messaging system is.Â Â Having the mission critical messaging systemÂ serving email to internal applications is a unnecessary overloading and no longer makes architectural sense.Â The messaging system only needs to beÂ be a short term store.
Quest ArchiveManager links to Exchange and other email serversÂ to provide the full benefits of a relational email store. Today.CeBIT 2007
Gordon Stevenson from NZTE is close to finalising numbers for the ‘New Zealand, New Thinking’ stand at the CeBIT Trade Show in Hanover, March 2007.
We did this show in 2005 and it is excellent if you want to launch in Europe. NZTE make this event really easy to do and the cost is a fraction of what it would be if you did it by yourself.
If you’re thinking of doing CeBIT my strong recommendation is to have your German language version ready to go. There are 100m German language speakers and CeBIT is the ideal time to find customers and agents.
Contact Gordon at NZTE in Wellington for more info.Strategic Pause
I just love this graphic and the message in this post from Creating Passionate Users.
…what if the non-things–the space between the things–is just if not more important …30 hour commute
Alan from the UK shot me this really interesting article about commuting out of London.
Fed up with over-priced cities and overcrowded trains? The new breed of commuters are going to fly into work from their homes in Spain and eastern Europe, claims a trendspotting report.
Further than that, there are a breed of New Zealanders who draw their primary income from business interests in the UK yet live a large portion of their lives in NZ. The same technologies that allow international commuting also allow remote business to thrive.
This article shows that the presence dynamics between customers, employers, workers and business owners is becoming more mainstream. That is great for us.Vote for Me
I’m getting used to accessing email through a web browser.
At first I thought it was a bit clunky but I like the convenience of being able to log on from anywhere, and everything is there, including contacts, classifications and search.
I like that you get an ‘instant picture’ of your email.Â I haven’t used a pop3 client for a week to get my hosted Gmail messages. So the next time I fire up my mail client I know they’ll be a huge download.
The web page essentially ‘flattens’ the email experience withÂ no download on start. For example I might have 10MB of new email.Â I can see that instantly.Â With email clients you can’t normally ‘peek’. It is really a ‘meta-view’ of your email.
The normal flow of email is.
- Upload from your mail client to your ISP
- Your ISP sends it to my ISP
- I download it.
If both parties are using Gmail or Hotmail the upload and download stepsÂ are pretty much eliminated (except for the posting the message through your browser of course). Cutting out the download step is possible because of Google’s desire to store your data.Â This is so convenient and currently free. But I would pay for it asÂ Gmail and Flickr have allowed me to experience the benefits of hosted storage. I would not want to go back.
TheseÂ characteristic bodes well for hosted web applications.Â Once you get used to it the benefits are compelling.Rules of Public Sector buying
ComputerWorld reports on a Simpson GriersonÂ update to Government Procurement Guidelines:
Some key things:
- applies to all â€œpublic service departmentsâ€
- applies to all contracts for goods and services that exceed a threshold of $100,000. (So the price for your start up software sweetheart deal is $95k).
- you can start engagement with a prototype where the cost is under this threshold
- Post Award obligations: Once the contract has been awarded, the department must inform all tenderers of the decision and, if requested, explain to each unsuccessful tenderer why they were unsuccessful. A notice outlining the key aspects of the contract, including the name of the successful party and the contract value, must be published on GETS even if an open tender was not conducted. Excellent!
It would be great to see a further exception. Something like:Â When the cost is under 500k and the supplier hasÂ existing public sector references the department can select a chosen vendor but this must be notified.Â
It would be great to see an official appointed where procurement issues can be raised.ÂMS and Google stake out Enterprise Search
I’ve been waiting for this declaration….
Enterprise search is far more complex and has much higher touch points than general searching in atÂ least three areas
- It needs to be security aware, therefore it needs to be integrated with the enterprise directory system
- It needs to support enterprise taxonomy. The enterprise needs additional classifications that can be applied (and used in search) beyond what can be inferred within the content.Â For example, this email belongs to Project ABC, is INTERNAL, is related to TAX and HR.
- It has many complex source types, which live in different systems. Like documents, email, SharePoint sites. These might be Live, Backup up, on File Shares, on Local PC’s.
Google does not yet reach inside the business as much as Microsoft does.Â This is Microsoft’s turf and one area where I see the barriers for Google being substantial.Services to Products
This morning I spoke at an NZCS breakfast on ‘Crossing the Chasm: Services to Products’.
We had a nice crowd of about 60 people and a great discussion. Good to see so many familiar faces and meet a few new people.
The discussion was around transitioning from a Services model, where you primarily sell time, to building a Product where the revenue created is generated by product sales.
- A look a various models: services, off-shoring, products. Characteristics of each.
- Why products are great for you and for your country
- Barriers (mainly capital and experience)
I finished off with some discussion points of what we can start to think about to begin this transition. Here is a summary of those:
- Start developing product skills. If you are committed to outsourcing find funded product development opportunities to gain experience and make contacts.
- Develop Interaction Design expertise. User experience design and being able to model product concepts is a necessary skill for products. It also allows a concept to be shown early in the cycle potential reducing investment time to capital or revenue
- Begin to work out of your region. Sell outside your city, state, country to gain the experience of working outside of where you can walk to.
- Rethink Project and Organisational Structure. Start productising aspects of your service engagements. Look for repeatable chunks of functionality and develop them into modules.
- Reward or incentivise staff for productising aspects of service engagements.
- Add product people to your team to influence the culture.
- Move people from services engagements to focus areas. Encourage an SOA model between bespoke staff and the component developers.
- Get offshore. Go to conferences, meet people, see opportunities, benchmark. Do a fact finding trip. Light up old contacts. Get out there and put yourself in a position where opportunities can happen. You need to do a major international event ever year.
- Link into ex-pat networks. Often people want to come back and you can leverage their networks.
- Partner. Find other companies already in market. Find people with complimentary skills. E.g. marketing, international business, legal.
- Sack some customers. You will always be too busy if you have a full customer base so you may need to get rid of some. Choose a specialisation and wind down engagements with those that are outside. They will be fine. The next generation of services companies will pick them up and they can grow a business around those. In turn theyâ€™ll create a product company that pays taxes and funds your retirement. Let those non strategic customers go.
- Identify opportunities to introduce capital into your business. Maybe you can spin out a product idea and get that funded.
- Sell your business to release capital. Think not so much about what your business is worth, but the opportunity cost of not using your skills to build a product. Sell up, sell down to staff, introduce capital. Youâ€™re buying yourself the time to build the next big thing.
- Lobby for better Government procurement policy. Reduce the friction to get those first great reference customers and cash flow to allow you to build a platform for going off shore.
I hope a few people feel more motivated to start the journey.NZCS Breakfast event tomorrow
I’m speaking at the Wellington Club at 7:30 tomorrow morning.
Subject is ‘From Services to Products. Crossing the Chasm’
You can register here.Thoughts on the beautiful game
As the football world cup goes into it’s final weekend I have to confess that I don’t get it. I’ve tried to watch a whole game but I’d almost rather do a quarterly expense claim.
Why don’t they have a video referee? So much is at stake why should a snap decision be made by the referee. What does the match commissioner do if they can’t override a dodgy call? Everyone in the world knew 2 seconds after the aussie penalty decision that it was wrong. Adding a video referee would probably save the life of any of the whistle blowers that travel out of their own country.
And what is with penalty shoot outs? Why not some ‘one against one’ action so that there is some real skill involved.
Mustn’t criticise without a solution so here are some suggested improvements that could make for soccer.
- Make all the players run a half marathon first and then let them play a 20 minute game. That way we get straight to the action.
- Do away with goalies. Maybe make the net a bit smaller but that should see scorelines of 12-8. Much better.
- Make extra time sudden death and take a player off each minute.
- Put the referee on a Segway and attach a camera.
Sounds crazy? Look what they did with cricket.
Update: Cartoon on Saturday showed I was not alone …
I enjoyed speaking at the NZTE Enterprise Breakfast in Auckland this morning. The food must be good as we had a capacity audience of 230.
Around 40% of the attendees were non ICT. As I spend most my time in computing it’s interesting to hear about other industries. I was impressed that the majority of people shot their hands up when asked who was exporting and the number who had been doing the plane hours.
Auckland is quite different to Wellington. In a Government town there is a certain amount of expenditure that has to happen. We tend to be more service industry oriented. In Auckland I find that more people/businesses are outwardly focused and it’s great to get that perspective.
In my view exporters are our national hero’s so it was gratifying to see how many are doing it. It was good to swap stories with others who have been hitting the road. Doing the hard yards on the road leads so many interesting experiences and it’s inspiring to hear what others have done.
Thank you to those who sent me a note after the event.