Open Source Considered Harmful

Maybe it is just me but gosh, the unrelenting rate of change, of the rate of change, in IT is becoming brain frazzling. As soon as I think I have a handle on where things are currently at, along comes some new complex twist; some new...

11/17/2008

Better regulation through software

There is a lot of talk these days about regulation, especially the kind intended to control the activities of financial organizations. I have a big problem with regulation. I am far from being alone obviously, but most folks have...

11/10/2008

Technology - rent, lease or buy?

We live in interesting economic times. I could also say that we live in interesting technological times but that is always true so it doesn't need to be explicitly spelled out. The worlds of economics and technology are deeply...

11/03/2008

Pet Peeves - XML

We are teetering on the brink of a new edition of the XML standard: XML 1.0 5th Edition to be precise. This seems like an appropriate moment to look back at the XML roller-coaster and list off some personal peeves. - My first peeve...

10/27/2008

Premature parameterization is the square root of all evil

Almost all software - regardless of its function in life - involves using computer code to operate on data. Sometimes (rarely) there is no data at all. Sometimes (not so rarely these days) the data is, itself, code.In general, the...

10/21/2008

RAM was the new disk - and it will be again

Way back in time when a top of the range PC had two 10 megabyte hard disks and 640k was a lot of RAM, I used to use RAM as disk. My trusty old MS-DOS 2 machine provided a device driver RAMDRIVE.SYS which, when loaded, took a lump of...

10/04/2008

Emotionally yours

I have always been something of a marketing person's nightmare I think. I walk into a technology store and immediately start reading the specification sheets of all the cool stuff. The brand name rarely registers in my brain. I am...

09/30/2008

Knowing Java is not knowing much

Knowing Java is not knowing much. Knowing C is not knowing much. Same for Javascript ECMA 262. The same is true for many other languages. Not all of them, but many of them.What am I talking about? Well, I am a little frustrated at...

09/27/2008

E-mail is for postcards

I am on the verge of despairing over the future of e-mail. I'm seeingfigures suggesting that over ninety percent of all e-mail traffic is now spam. Wow. The world is going dark out there.I am having an increasing number of "all spam...

09/23/2008

Web pages seen through Chrome tinted glasses

So, I'm sure by now most of you have taken at least a glance at Google's Chrome right?I find it intriguing as it calls into question something very dear to my heart, namely the relationship between information and applications....

09/16/2008

Free Linux Laptop with every inkjet printer?

I am bit slow between the ears sometimes. Sometimes things take a long time to sink in and when they do, I have a "duh!" moment. I had one recently in an outlet of well known, computer chain store. I wandered up the printer aisle...

09/09/2008

SOHO PC Racks

There is nothing quite like a period of intense application installation work to trigger thoughts about about a better world that might be out there, beckoning at us. It is the potent combination of frenetic activity, mind-boggling...

09/02/2008

Return of the sneakernets

Technology is like Irish weather sometimes - but on a slightly longer time-scale. Just wait a while and the Irish weather is guaranteed to change. Just wait a while longer and the original weather will come back again. Similarly,...

08/26/2008

Content-free acronyms

I cut my technological teeth in a more innocent age. Back then, a "floppy" disk meant what it said. Back then, slides were printed on acetates. You know stuff that you could slide. Back then, printers had roller teeth that grabbed...

08/19/2008

Dark data and the digital sense organ

You have heard of dark matter right? The weird stuff that does not reflect light that makes up, oh, X percent of the universe (apparently). Now imagine that you are a super-intelligent little green man (or woman) inhabiting some...

08/12/2008

Musings on photographic metadata

Snapping away recently with my lovely new digital camera, it occurred to me that the many megabytes of data I was chewing through as I shutter-bugged my way through the vineyard, would be so much more useful with the addition of some...

08/05/2008

Programmers are people too

Whether the world likes it or not, programmers are people too. They eat, drink, sleep, dream and work just like everyone else. A programmer looking at the St. Louis Arch will almost certainly see something that is taller than it is...

07/29/2008

Better backups

A terabyte - and still the mess persistsYesterday, in an expensive city, I purchased 1 terabyte of disk space for about 300 dollars. My long suffering wife was with me at the time. She could not understand the look of amazement on my...

07/22/2008

Where are the Stones?

I recently took delivery of a new laptop. It has a super fast dual processor core. I know this for sure because so much of the marketing around the machine was focused on how wonderful it is to have dual processors whizzing along at...

07/15/2008

Only the cloud can scale

Only the cloud can scaleStep a little bit into the future. Not too far. Just a little bit. A handful of years perhaps. A group of web application developers get together in a bar to discuss their current projects..."We are building a...

07/07/2008

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