Robert Pogson

One man, closing all the windows.

Daily Archives / Wednesday, October 19, 2011

  • Oct 19 / 2011
  • 0

Christmas, Here We Come!

It’s about time but the lagging sales of Android/Linux tablets due to copying Apple’s prices are about to take off. Manufacturers are cutting prices seriously now that the early-adopters have bought. This will quickly ramp up sales of low-end machines and bring down prices at the high end. The makers of low end machines are also aware that Android 4 changes things and that, if their hardware won’t run it, they had better sell stuff while they can. Expect huge volumes this Christmas with reasonable prices. Folks have known for a while that some pretty decent machines cost only $200 to make so why are they being offered at $500? Competition and consumers win and the manufacturers still make a reasonable profit. It’s all good.

see Digitimes – Players cut 7-inch tablet PC prices to compete for market share

  • Oct 19 / 2011
  • 11

O Happy Day! Canada’s Long-gun Registry Will Soon Die

The Vancouver Sun has a story that the bill to repeal the registry could be introduced as soon as tomorrow. That will be a happy day. For a decade and a half firearms owners have been burdened by this nonsensical law that punished law-abiding citizens and rewarded criminals by promoting gun smuggling. More than $1billion has been spent implementing and refining a flawed concept no longer enforced. To officially repeal the law will be just and reasonable. It’s a sad commentary on Canadian politics that it was ever implemented and maintained so long.

see Bill to abolish long-gun registry could come this week

To follow bills in the House of Commons, visit Parliament of Canada.

  • Oct 19 / 2011
  • 19

Killing Some Sacred Cows

No, I am not meaning slaughter of quadrupeds but eliminating waste in IT. I have seen so many instances of waste being defended just because it was the way things were done. If what you are doing doesn’t work efficiently, stop doing it! That’s the theme of an article that begins with, “With CIO budgets heading for their 11th consecutive year of growing at 3% or less, it’s time to offer up some sacred cows for sacrifice.”

I like it. I would love to see M$ be one of the sacred cows but there are so many impediments/lock-ins. They are sacred cows too. If you depend on some piece of software to do something that does not need to be done or could be done economically another way, killing the sacred cow is correcting a mistake.

Here’s my list of sacred cows that could be killed without harming the business and almost certainly would increase productivity:

  1. thick clients – they use too much power and material and just get in the way, thin clients add to the bottom line by allowing maintenance to be reduced and performance increased,
  2. M$ – from the beginning, M$ was conceived as a get-rich-quick scheme and Bill and Steve got lucky when IBM granted them a monopoly. Money going to M$ is money that could be spent elsewhere to improve productivity,
  3. M$’s office suite – so it has 935 features of which you use 30. You can do more with less,
  4. Exchange – as if e-mail did not work and a database of events would not work,
  5. 2003/2008 server – tools to manage that wreck of an OS produced by M$ is a total waste. The services you do need can be provided by GNU/Linux just fine for less money and greater performance,
  6. Quickbooks, Photoshop, or any app designed to run only on that other OS is lock-in to the wrong vendor. It’s like dealing with a band of thieves rather than just one…,
  7. x86 – that can go with most of the thick clients. No need for 1000million transistors in a CPU that’s idling. Use ARM,

The theme of TFA is about not paying for anything that does not earn money and licensing fees to M$ higher than market value because competition has been throttled is not earning money. Other good advice is to avoid megaprojects. I think of migrating from XP to “7″ as a megaproject so that would be cool. Migrating to GNU/Linux on the same hardware does not necessarily earn money but it reduces maintenance and gets the company off the Wintel treadmill forever, a good thing.

see Gartner: 16 long-held IT business practices you need to kill

No, they do not recommend killing M$, just megaprojects. I cannot think of a bigger megaproject than M$.

  • Oct 19 / 2011
  • 26

Harassing Customers

I have written this before but it bears repeating. A business that harasses customers will soon lose customers. M$ has repeatedly violated this rule by suppressing competition. The result is a huge body of customers/consumers who are ready to bolt at the first sign of an alternative. Witness the avalanche of consumers who have chosen Android/Linux smart phones instead of stupid phones with M$’s stuff on board. Larry Page commented on that when he discusses Google impressive growth, “Rather than seeing, for example, Microsoft compete in the marketplace with their own smartphones, they’ve really continued resorting to legal measures to hassle their own customers, right? So it seems kind of odd. And we haven’t seen the details of those total agreements, and I suspect that our partners are making good deals for themselves there.”

Android/Linux is on most smart phones these days and Phoney “7″ is on 5%, the opposite situation we see in the retail shelves of personal computers. The difference is consumers have a choice in smart phones. They soon will have the same choice in all personal computers because the suppliers who are making money using Android/Linux are not beholden to M$ and can make personal computers of all kinds to compete with M$’s legacy stuff that’s too bulky, hot, noisy and unreliable. Folks who love Android/Linux on smart phones know there are better ways to compute. That knowledge is spreading quickly. This Christmas we will see Android/Linux taking up lots of space on smart thingies and notebooks and desktops in retail shops.

  • Oct 19 / 2011
  • 6

Reflections on Samsung’s Galaxy Nexus Smartphone

While the Nexus has a long list of shiny features the really big thing I noticed in the live blog presentation was that not only is the product a great smart phone, it has potential to generate content as well as to present/consume content. There are two important elements to this:

  • The “dictation” feature means guys like me with thick fingers are no longer limited by “texting” ability. We can zip along at the rate our imaginations and native language abilities permit generating ideas as they flow without having to synchronize with our fingers. For a guy like me with a short memory, this is priceless. I like to talk fast and can talk several times faster than I can type even on a great keyboard.
  • The auto-focussing camera and image-processing software mean the quality and finish of images is increased greatly.

For a writer, journalist, sales-person, or ordinary person, the Nexus seems to leap over the barrier that the “PC” is what one must have for content generation. I can see an increasing number of people using a gadget like this in place of a desktop or notebook PC. Depending on the price a featureset like this could be all a person needs from an IT client machine. It’s also a telephone. Amazing.

There’s a lot to like about this product but there are also a few short-comings:

  • the 5 megapixel camera is usable but 8 or 10 megapixels would be a much better feed for that image-processing software. Perhaps it’s a matter of matching throughput of the camera with the CPU. Perhaps this is one smart phone that needs a quad-core CPU.
  • The SDK was released last night. That will impact the ability of programmers to produce apps to take advantage of all this before the Christmas rush.
  • Also, so far, we have not seen the source code… ;-)