Archive | April, 2004

Out of office

Off for the day: a client meeting in Massachusetts, followed by a
meeting of the Boston Area FoxPro User Group, where Steve Lundahl will be presenting a talk on Visual FoxPro and SQL Server: DTS and SQL-DMO

Microsoft Needs Geek Appeal

Microsoft Needs Geek Appeal. “I thought I had a pretty good handle on the differences between the
open-source community and the traditional proprietary approach to
software development.

But watching a Microsoft spokesperson defend his company
and its whole approach to business in front of a room full of Linux
zealots last week helped crystallize the gulf between the two
camps–not just in business strategy but in fundamental philosophy and
political bent.” Read the full article on ZDNet. Link posted via OSNews

Miguel de Icaza: Cringely incorrect

Miguel de Icaza, leader of several interesting Open Source projects, says that Cringely makes nice but incorrect statements in claiming that you can’t win playing Microsoft’s game, and proposes his own strategies.

“In Miguel de Icaza’s latest blog entry the Mono project leader discusses the threat Longhorn’s new technologies and frameworks pose to Linux and open source. He also directs uses to this recent USENET post about the goals of Mozilla, which is a very interesting read.” From

Misinformation as news

Internet Week reports “Yankee Group Disputes Linux’ Claim To Lower Cost: Research report indicates most large firms won’t replace either Windows or Unix machines with Linux” while ITWeb reports “Yankee Linux findings rigged too.”

Studies funded by a vendor, studying the narrowly-framed questions that favor the vendor, are advertising, not impartial studies, and need to be clearly disclaimed that way. The study sets up a foolish scenario of “either-or” a proposterous solution, asking the CEO/CIO/CTO-types whether they favor revolution over evolution:

“In a fully-realized enterprise environment that’s built around Windows, you know where the trouble spots are,” she said. “Why would you then switch to Linux, and take a couple of steps backwards? Enterprises have this huge embedded [Windows] infrastructure. How do you rip out and tear down what you have?”

No one would sign on for such a plan. Instead, if the questions had been posed to focus on the trouble spots – exploited web servers, expensive licensing, poor desktop controls – and asked if the CxOs would consider other alternatives, evolutionarily and not revolutionarily, we might have a much better view of what is really happening in corporations. CxOs not considering such alternatives are not meeting their fiduciary responsibility to their shareholders.

I have no doubt that Windows Server 2003, the first significant OS released since the so-called “Bill security memo” of early last year, finally closes a whole series of holes in the Microsoft security model. But the OS is new. There’s no track record of success, no experienced network technicians to support it. And Linux is no panacea – bugs exist, some software is incomplete, installation is vastly improved, but some areas still need work. Security, too, is not a done deal. “Security is a process, not a product.” Something will always be breaking and need repair.

A survey of Microsoft shops asking whether switching or upgrading, in their opinion, would be more expensive, is pretty silly. These people have managed to justify Microsoft purchases up until now. Should they admit they were wrong? I think so, but then, I’m not risking my job over it.

Fire your worst client?

Administrative Assistant’s Day – Give an Unsual Gift. “Lawyer Matt Homann has a very interesting post about ‘Administrative Assistant’s Day’ and the gift he gave to his secretary one year: he let her fire a client of her choosing. Read the post; it’s not as crazy as it…” posted at Ernie The Attorney.

Oooo, a dangerous proposition!

Are bad business practices the driving force behind DRM?

In a CNet article titled “Software makers ready desktop lockdown,” journalist David Becker misses the blindingly obvious solution:

An ancient e-mail message embarrasses Microsoft in a key legal case. A leaked memo has Linux antagonist SCO Group scrambling to explain apparently secret Microsoft connections. A leaked message from RealNetworks CEO Rob Glaser reveals his behind-the-scenes maneuvering to get a stake in Apple Computer’s booming iPod business.

All it takes is a quick run through the headlines to see why some software makers might think there’s a market for products that lock down common types of business documents by restricting access to authorized recipients.

How about: if it would be embarrassing to read in the headlines, don’t write it down. Even better: don’t do it. Nah, that’s na•ve.

Perhaps they could call it "Phoenix…"

AOL plans to revitalize Netscape?. An AOL job listing indicates intentions to recharge its neglected portal and Web browser, and take Netscape in a “dramatically different direction.” Posted at CNET

A Good Thought

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed people can change the world: indeed it’s the only thing that ever has!

— Margaret Meade

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This work by Ted Roche is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 United States.