Peter Fisk on the IBM experiment with the PC Jr:
My theory is that is was probably a deliberate strategy to stratify the marketplace into “gaming computers” for the home and “business computers” for the office. The keyboard design of the PC Jr guaranteed that it would never be used for either word processing or data entry, which were two markets that IBM dominated at the time.
Which leads to a Microsoft comparison:
My feeling is that they are following IBM’s defensive strategy from 20 years ago and that WPF/e is a marketing move, like the PC Jr., whose real purpose is to divide the marketplace. They are trying to engineer WPF/e so that it is good enough to be popular, but not good enough to be a threat to their established lines of business. Which explains why it is taking so long.
Peter has spent a long time playing in the WPF/.NET playground, so I think he's got a good perspective on this.
The CairoGraphics Project is an OpenDesktop project that is a ...2D graphics library with support for multiple output devices. It's gaining momentum rapidly as a cross platform way of doing modern anti-aliased graphics for multiple backends. Bindings exist for many different languages and toolsets, including GTK+, Ruby, and Python. This presentation is an overview of the language binding for Smalltalk, specifically VisualWorks. Attendees will leave with a general understanding of the general drawing model, how that is mapped in Smalltalk, as well as some of the techniques used to interface with the library.
See you in Toronto!
You’ll never build a successful site if you build to scale from day 1, scaling is always a catch up game, but it’s the best game there is.
That's been my experience with this site - which I'll admit, doesn't get anything like the traffic that the big guys get :) However, I do get a lot more than I did back in the summer of 2002 when I started - and I've learned what to do (and what not to do) the only way I could - by example
Technorati Tags: web
Speaking of PR mistakes, it looks like the news just keeps getting worse for JL Kirk and Associates. David St. Lawrence notes that the all too predictable Google Bombing has taken place, and - worse - a negative Better Business Bureau report on the company has now become prominent (follow the first link to see that). Instead of being locked in a cabinet in the basement, it's now out there for everyone to see. And hey - not only is the news bad for JL Kirk, but now the law firm - King & Ballow - have managed to cover themselves in negativity as well.
Law firms used to be able to intimidate people into silence with these kinds of tactics, but the power isn't solely on their end any longer. The only thing left to speculate on is this: how long before JL Kirk and King & Ballow throw in the towel, and decide to stop taking broadsides at close range? Damage like this, from Lamplighter:
Demand letters are often the most effective way of remedying a problem without having to go through the trouble and expense of litigation. However, before sending a demand letter one should (1) determine that there is an actual legal basis for the demand and (2) determine whether it would be counterproductive to send the letter. Here it appears that both J.L. Kirk and Mr. Korpady ignored these two little questions. As a result, instead of the bad publicity (which was earned) being limited to a single blog, J.L. Kirk & Associates, King & Ballow, and Mr. Korpady have become the poster children for anti-free speech, bullying, abuse of the legal system, and poor legal analysis. Not a reputation I would want.
I think we can safely say that this particular move was not good for future business.
With the latest damage caused by patent law here in the US, I think it's time to step back and ask a basic question: are patents now doing more damage than harm? The Vonage case is just the latest example of patent law being used to shutdown a competitor (without regard to prior art questions). There's also the entire (and utterly absurd) area of "business process" patents (like Amazon's One-Click Patent). I think it's time to look further than reform - we need to step back and ask whether the patent system we have is hurting us more than it's helping
Technorati Tags: patents
I personally would like to see fresh developers spend a year or two writing unit tests. Learning to break code and learning to thoroughly test before they were ever allowed to write stand alone code. The result would be better, well tested code code and developers who understood what testing took and knew how to do it.
I really hate when folks throw out suggestions such as the stuff above as it can't ever possibly happen due to economic reasons. Do you see any company regardless of their size (except possibly a software company) hiring a fresh developer and then not allowing them to code for a couple of years and only writing test cases? I wonder if folks ever acknowledge that the vast majority of software is not written by software vendors but by enterprises attempting to maintain code specific to their industry vertical?
It kind of depends on what you want. Do you want poorly working software out the back end that's hard to use and hard to maintain? Then keep doing things the way you are now. You want something that works better? Consider that advice, and see if there's any way to adapt it. Simply throwing rocks at it as "impractical" is foolish.
Most large firms have maintenance staff and development staff. An easy modification would be to rotate new hires through maintenance for a period of time before you let them loose on new stuff. Heck, it might not be a bad idea to rotate seasoned developers through support for awhile - I've thought about rotating staff through external consulting every so often simply to ensure that they retain some basic contact with "the real world".
The immediately dismissive hand waving would be a good thing to stop.
Technorati Tags: development
JL Kirk and Associates, and their equally clueless law firm, King & Ballow, must be wondering how deep the hole they've dug themselves is going to get - a Nashville TV news story hit YouTube this morning. Any damage they thought a lonely blog post might do them has now been multiplied by a huge number.
Meanwhile, the publicity generated by this has also brought other bad experiences with JL Kirk and Associates to the attention of everyone. Whoever thought this was a good idea should get axed, and their replacement should start with a public apology to the Cobles. This is no longer about the blog post specifically; it's now an existential question for JL Kirk. I did an entire podcast on that kind of problem here.
Time for the weekly look at the logs - BottomFeeder downloads went at a rate of 274/day last week. The details:
On to the HTML page accesses:
|Tool||Percentage of Accesses|
Over all HTML page access stayed about the same, which is likely why Firefox' numbers are high - my normal readership leans that way. When traffic rises, it gets more balanced with respect to IE. Last: the RSS tool distribution:
|Tool||Percentage of Accesses|
|Net News Wire||5.2%|
|Google Feed Fetcher||4.6%|
I find it fascinating that IE hits so high on the syndication requests, but lower than Mozilla on the HTML ones.
Smalltalk has been a uniquely ideal programming language for the development of an application used within IBM R&D labs for designing and characterizing semiconductor test structures. DMACS (Design Manager And Characterization System) is an enterprise database application and a Test and Measurement controller which collects data from test systems. This presentation will provide an overview of why Smalltalk is ideal for the Test Systems/Fabrication Automation industry and provide a comparison with other languages and applications, including Visual Basic, Java, C, Matlab, LabView, and IC-CAP. Mark will identify improvements and additions to Smalltalk which would be made in the future to further enrich this wonderful engineering environment. These include engineering charting tools, native Virtual Instrument Software Architecture (VISA), light-weight scripting (not headless--keep the head, lose the body!), Matlab data format support, and more/better graphic image, video, and sound support.
See you in Toronto!
Technorati Tags: smalltalk
Things just keep getting worse and worse for JL Kirk and their law firm, King & Ballow. Follow the link, and look at the chart Bill Hobbs posted - it's a Negative PR Event defined in pictures.
Technorati Tags: marketing
In this week's podcast, we talked about Smalltalk memory management and tuning - mostly specific to VisualWorks (and the upcoming ObjectStudio 8), but Michael did add a few details about VisualAge Smalltalk to the discussion. The conversation ranged over the way memory management works in VW to tuning memory parameters. Hope you enjoy it - feel free to send feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org, or head on over to Podcast Alley and leave a review or vote.
I have no problem with the grand theory behind Google's latest anti-spam directions, as revealed by Matt Cutts:
The problem with the first one? Well, consider blogs, comments, and spam. Unless you turn comments off, it's fairly easy to end up with hidden links in a spam comment until you notice it and yank it down. Sure, you can add checking for that sort of thing - but any check will have holes. It could be even worse for a Wiki though. I've seen hidden links worm their way into the VW Wiki, and only noticed them by accident. I think Google needs to be careful about enforcement here, or a lot of innocent sites could get snagged.
Paid links can get even dicier, when you look into it. Yes, PayPerPost is the obvious "bad boy" of this genre of links. But what about standard business practices? If company X is my partner, and part of our contractual arrangement is to share links on specific pages, does that count as paid? It might, depending on how you classify it. There are plenty of gray areas in that category, so if Google wants to deal with them, there better be guidelines.
Computer Aided Design, Simulation and Manufacturing is rapidly becoming the norm in industry. The software complexity involved is best handled by pure object oriented programming languages and environments like Smalltalk for greater programming productivity and maintainability. Based on this conviction, the author used Smalltalk to create a motion simulator in 1992, which he later commercialized as part of Dynamic Designer Motion. Since then he has developed more simulators with more CAD capabilities like freeCAD and CADSM all in Smalltalk. His simulator is currently the basis of Alibre Motion which is a feature of a popular CAD called Alibre Design. Most engineering-scientific programs are developed with procedural or hybrid programming methods because of legacy issues. The author will show how Smalltalk had provided him the programming capability to develop the GUI, geometric domain, multibody dynamics, symbolic math, matrix algebra and solvers, Newton-Raphson root finder, DAE and ODE solvers, and interfaces to other CAD systems.
See you bin Toronto!
When I need to run applications in crowded, power-constrained data centers, every CPU cycle counts. Supporting thousands of simultaneous users takes a lot of boxes, even more so when I have to consider performance numbers like these. Ruby zealots should be particularly embarrassed; the language has been out almost as long as Python and that's the best it can do? And as for Smalltalk, at least make a middle-aged language go as fast as that other middle-aged language: Lisp. I'd even be more confident recommending Smalltalk if it were as zippy as C# Mono. Sure, we enterprisey types are the target of a lot of cheap shots (and even get a rare chance to take one) but, when a new data center costs $25 million to build and we have to consider the cost of power in KWhs where pennies make a big difference, feature development time becomes irrelevant vs. the year-over-year operating cost of those apps on a large scale.
Simple question for Bill: Will your application have the kind of scaling needs that Twitter (written in Ruby) does? The answer is no, of course. Beyond the initial scaling issues they had, has Twitter stayed online? Why, yes. So are your issues above complete BS?
Technorati Tags: scaling
Late January and February were cold, but I'm ok with winter being cold. March pretty much sucked too, but it's mid April now; where's my golf weather?
Not what I was looking forward to at all :/
If a Windows guy like Sam Gentile is this irritated by Vista, something is wrong.
I see this kind of thing (on a variety of subjects) a fair amount:
Just some thoughts about BOSS. I find it useful but can't find further tutorials other than VW manual.
Sportswriter Joe Sheehan introduces a column on pitching in modern baseball this way:
You can’t open a newspaper, a magazine or a browser without reading a complaint about starting pitchers. Complete games are at a historic low, the quality-start statistic has purists up in arms and the idea of pitch counts sends many people into convulsions.
I've wondered about the tyranny of pitch counts and the lack of complete games myself - but Sheehan explains that pitching isn't the same as it used to be:
Consider the change that has occurred since the start of Blyleven’s career. In 1970, when he made his debut with the Minnesota Twins, the American League’s second basemen had a slugging percentage of .332; the catchers .391; the shortstops .347. The league averages at those spots last year were .395, .417 and .412.
As much as I hate the designated hitter rule, it's more than that, and the problem exists in the National League as well. The reality is, there are simply more good hitters out there, and the lower mound (dating from 1969) has made it even more difficult. I don't buy the argument that there are more teams, so good pitching is harder to come by - if that were true, the league would also be full of light hitting shortstops. I think Sheehan has it pegged.
MTA digs up some interesting coincidences between JL Kirk and Associates and a few defunct businesses with exactly the same business model, and exactly the same operating locations.
Hmm. I wonder if JL Kirk will get "bought out" and "replaced" with another recruiting firm with eery similarities soon?
SAP NetWeaver provides very productive Business Modeling Capabilities, if the business model in questions fits well into the standard SAP NetWeaver models. When it comes to business tasks outside these standard models the productivity falls way behind. In these white spaces Cincom Smalltalk plays a surprisingly strong role providing adaptable flexible solutions. In a second part the presentation demonstrates the connectivity and integration of Cincom Smalltalk in SAP NetWeaver.
See you in Toronto!
I guess if the win was at my back, this might make for a good day to hit a long tee shot - assuming I could keep my grip on the club:
Local weather on the radio said that the wind advisory is being upgraded at 11 - we could start seeing gusts over 60 mph. Yay.
Nick Carr is overly worried about Google:
But it's when you look beyond advertising, to the broader economic ecosystem that's coming to define the way traffic and money flow through the consumer internet, that the Google-DoubleClick deal becomes more interesting, and troublesome, from an antitrust perspective. Google is not only the dominant player in the ad-serving market (and would see its dominance expand greatly by adding DoubleClick's dominant banner-ad business), but is also the dominant player in the web searching market, controlling somewhere between 48% and 64% of that business (depending on whose data you believe). It has also, through its recent YouTube acquisition, seized a dominant share of the burgeoning market for the delivery of video online. Combined with Google Video, YouTube controls 55% of that market, according to Compete, while its nearest competitor, MySpace, holds just 15%. Google's dominance in all these areas, moreover, seems to be increasing, suggesting that all these markets may have winner-takes-all characteristics.
Here's another, simpler possibility for Nick: maybe they have better products and better marketing. I'll wait while Nick tries to wrap his head around that idea.
I'll have the daily screencast up later - I am waiting for some car repair work to get done while I'm at Starbucks, so I can't really record the audio. The screenshot portion is all set though; I'll have a brief segment up about using TriggerEvents later today.
I'd take James McGovern more seriously if he realized that it's spelled Smalltalk (lower case t). Perhaps he's just a simple EnterPrise ArchiTect though, and I should keep my expectations lower.
The PR work for the marketing department at Sony will never be done - not when they have to explain why Sony DVDs won't play in Sony DVD players:
In their zeal to make their DVD movies copyproof (yeah right) they have in fact made their latest releases unplayable on some DVD players, including my Sony DVP-CX995V DVD player. I recently rented “Stranger than Fiction” (2 copies) and “The Holiday” ( please no comments on my choice of movies) both by Sony Pictures. Both load up to the splash title screen and then load no further, then after about 60 secs the player turns itself off!
ALL my other DVD’s and new releases from other movie companies play perfectly
Looks like I won't be buying - or even renting - any Sony DVDs anytime soon - especially given this kind of "tech support":
Sony Tech: We know about this problem. Its our new copy protection that’s making these discs unplayable in some players including our own, we do not intend to change the copy protection. The only correction to this problem is a firmware update to your player. The electronics division know about this and should have given you this information.
Me: OK send me the firmware update.
Sony Tech: We do not have one as yet.
So here's a question for the bright guys at Sony: Will this even slow down the dedicated pirates - you know, the ones who rip off movies and sell knock-off DVDs on the street? Not one bit, no. Will it irritate the crap out of your paying customers who are buying your hardware and software, and then finding out that they don't work together? Furthermore, will their first thought be something like "gee, my Sony DVD player must be broken - better run down and buy a new (non-Sony) player"?
You just have to marvel at the thought process that brings this kind of thing to market.
If you live near Toronto, this may be of interest to you:
For those attending the Beach Outings Club tomorrow there will be a raffle (determined by a 20-sided die) for free registration to the Smalltalk Solutions conference. I didn't say the show. I said the conference. This retails for ... a lot. It's thanks to show management at http://www.it360.ca
Since some of you don't live in The Annex in Toronto, if you want to be represented by proxy for this raffle, then send an email to dynamicword
hotmail.com with the subject line "BOC Raffle".
However, given the weather in the northeastern US and Canada right now, I wouldn't dress for the beach :)
Technorati Tags: smalltalk
A panel of judges at the Copyright Royalty Board has denied a request from the NPR and a number of other webcasters to reconsider a March ruling that would force Internet radio services to pay crippling royalties. The panel's ruling reaffirmed the original CRB decision in every respect, with the exception of how the royalties will be calculated. Instead of charging a royalty for each time a song is heard by a listener online, Internet broadcasters will be able pay royalties based on average listening hours through the end of 2008.
The judges hearing the case had wax clogging their ears:
The judges were unmoved by the webcasters' arguments. "None of the moving parties have made a sufficient showing of new evidence or clear error or manifest injustice that would warrant rehearing," wrote the CRB in its decision. "To the contrary... most of the parties' arguments in support of a rehearing or reconsideration merely restate arguments that were made or evidence that was presented during the proceeding."
Umm, yeah - they said "this ruling will put us out of business". Which part of that was hard to understand? The net-net of this? No revenue stream for the labels from this direction, because the dollar signs are too big. That's probably what the music labels want, because they think they can cap off the net, and force things back to the business model they are familiar with. What it really means is that the major labels have just cordoned themselves off from the internet, and ensured that a new set of businesses will take over that space, charging reasonable amounts of money to air artists who won't be signing with the major labels.
Since C was first invented, other programming languages have found it necessary to interface to C libraries. Smalltalk is no different and yet after more than 27 years we're still struggling to adequately interface with it. Every Smalltalk implementation provides a mechanism for interfacing with C and they all have their quirks. We will discover how the different Smalltalk implementations try to solve the C interface conundrum and how other languages try to solve the same problem. We will explore the quirks and tricks of interfacing with C from VisualWorks by examples collected over the last 6 years pf interfacing with various open source C libraries. We will also delve in to the many tips and tricks that have been learned over the years when interfacing Smalltalk with C across different Smalltalk implementations. Other programming interfaces to other languages such as COM and Cincoms .NET connect will be explored as well. We will also look at how Smalltalk can better interface with C in the coming years, and why it is still relevant in modern computing
See you in Toronto!
Bill Hibbs rounds up the aftershocks from the JL Kirk and Associates mess, and points out how eminently predictable it all was. From a quoted story by Brittney Gilbert:
I have never seen a move as ham-handed and wrong-headed as the one made by JL Kirk Associates and their attorney(s). I have sat back and watched in sheer amazement as this transparent and completely obvious attempt to bully a blogger has backfired a thousand times, over and over and over again. It's been fantastic and fascinating to watch.
There was nothing in Coble's account that even closely resembles libel or "false and defamatory statements." Not unless you think a negative film or restaurant review counts as the the same.
Pretty much says it all. Next time I do the presentation recorded here, I'll be using this mess as my primary example of what not to do.
PC Mag is another. I have a free sub but it goes in the trash
Yeah, there's a way to win friends and influence people :) You thought it was easy to lay eggs on a blog? Things like Twitter make it even easier for a passing thought to cause trouble. Today, Rubel did respond to the criticism.
I always thought this guy didn't get OOP, and this post just proves that point.
Tim Bray tells a story about a joke that went flat (the audience had no idea what Twitter was):
In March, I gave a keynote at Web Design World in San Francisco. Frankly, it did not go that well; in particular, the crowd didn’t laugh at my jokes. Here’s one of them, more or less: “Being a Web Guy at Sun is a little intimidating. At high level strategy meetings the Chip Guys talk about what they’ll be shipping in 2009, and both the OS Guys and Java Guys talk about things a year or two out. As for us Web Guys, well... three weeks ago, I didn’t know that Twitter would become the Hot New Thing.”
Going on, Tim asks the obvious question: if Twitter is experiencing massive scaling issues (tens of thousands of hits per second! at times), then how do we square that with the "no one has heard of it" problem?
I think what we have is a large niche of social software users. Periodically, I ask my daughter (age 13) or her friends about things I'm seeing or working with : Blogs, RSS, Twitter, social networks. The funny thing is, most of them are heavy users of IM, but very few of them have gotten past the "I've heard of that" stage with things like Xanga, MySpace, etc. Before I brought it up, none of them had even heard of Twitter (and they all declared it "stupid" upon seeing it).
The web, and social software in particular, allows for something unique: shared interests that extend far across geographic boundaries. So in a town of 100,000 people, it may well be the case that "no one" has heard of Twitter - but that lots and lots of like minded people across the planet (at least, in the connected parts of it) have. I don't know how big the net connected population is, but even a small fraction of it can add up to a fairly large number of people - especially when they all try to jam their way into the same doorway.
Update: Jon Udell adds some thoughts.
Second Update: "The Last Podcast" adds some further thoughts - this is probably a lot truer than many would like to believe:
As an aside: There seems to be this general idea that kids in college are at the forefront when it comes to technology. I say: BS. Most of my students can hardly get a photo off their digital camera. They don’t know how to use their computers beyond AIM and most don’t know how to even change the margins of a document in Word.
That would not surprise me a bit. I think us tech folks assume a wider usage of a lot of niche things. Most people are interested in utility, where we get interested because it's technically cool. Most people just want to use tools, not obsess over them.
Technorati Tags: social-media
The final event on Tuesday will be the Smalltalk Panel:
Anyone who is interested is welcome to attend and participate. Members from each of the STIC Board Member organizations will be available to talk to new members and those interested in find out more about STIC. The meeting will be moderated by Bob Nemec, the Executive Director of STIC.
Panel members are: Monty Williams from GemStone, Suzanne Fortman from Cincom, Ed Klimas from Instantiations and David Buck, an independent consultant.
A panel discussion on the issues of marketing Smalltalk to the decision makers, typically non-technical management that needs to balance the costs and benefits of selecting any development tool. Most Smalltalk advocacy material talks about the technical benefits: how you can build complex applications with less effort if everything is an object. But how do we prove this? How do convince a typically risk-averse manager that using a niche language like Smalltalk can provide competitive advantages that out-weigh the risks
See you in Toronto!
Technorati Tags: smalltalk
Via Doc Searls, I found this from David Byrne (Talking Heads) - which pretty much explodes the notion that the major labels are killing internet radio "for the artists". This is about one thing, and one thing only: the preservation of a business model to which the big record labels have become accustomed. Our wishes as consumers, or the wishes of the artists who actually produce the music are entirely secondary (insofar as they come up at all).
Doc has some ideas for how we might deal with all this; follow the first link for more on that.
CNET reports that Sony is paying for the PS3 the hard way: layoffs. The root of the problem? The PS3 is way, way above the "what the heck" price point, while the Wii hits it. Meanwhile, Sony has to fight with the bottomless pit of money from Microsoft (XBox 360) - because the XBox and the PS3 are going after the same gaming demographic. Meanwhile, Nintendo has the casual gamer space all to itself, and a price point that says "buy me now!"
Nick Carr notes that the kinds of periodic spikes in traffic that companies sustain (Intuit at Tax time, retailers near Christmas, flower vendors near Valentine's day, etc) result in an over-buy of capacity for most of the year's traffic load:
To run its business with private, dedicated servers, Intuit needs to build its data centers with the capacity necessary to handle the extreme spike in traffic - the peak load - that comes on tax-filing day. Thge vast majority of that installed capacity will go unused most of the time. Multiply that low capacity-utilization rate across thousands of companies, and you get a good sense of the wastefulness inherent in the proprietary model of computing, particularly as companies have to handle rapidly fluctuating web traffic. The only way to do cloud computing efficiently is to share the cloud - to establish a broad, multitenant grid (or a number of them) that balances the loads of many different companies. Otherwise, it'll be one cloudburst after another, and a whole lot of underutilized capital assets.
I wonder if Amazon has sales staff over at Intuit right now, pitching EC2? It looks to me like Amazon may have been crazy like a Fox with that initiative - because it's exactly the kind of "utility" grid that Carr is on about.
Obvious Corp. has spun Twitter out:
The time has come for Twitter to make that leap. We’re happy to announce that Twitter is graduating from the home of Obvious and becoming its own company -- appropriately named, Twitter, Inc.
I suspect that we'll start to see some kind of monetization plan coming out with that - and I bet it will be oriented more towards phones/mobile devices than the web.
Smalltalk has been used to work with children since its beginnings in PARC's Learning Research Group. Now it takes part in what might be the largest educational project ever: "One Laptop Per Child" aims to enable education for children in the developing world. Etoys, a tile based authoring environment written on top of Squeak, is one of the central software components in OLPC's "$100-laptop". The talk gives a technical background on Etoys as it is implemented on the laptop currently, and highlights related research projects such as Tweak (which takes many "enduser" ideas to the system level) and TinLizzie WysiWiki (extending Etoys into a collaborative environment using Croquet and Web technology).
See you in Toronto!
Over the last couple of days I've started seeing something interesting in Twitter: trolls, likely automated ones. I've gotten a few "friend" requests from users with enormous numbers of friends and followers - but their stream of "messages" is just utter crap - things like "now smoking crack", for instance.
Looking at the signup and API for Twitter, I don't think it would be very hard for a jerk with time on his hands to create a "friend-bot". Just pick a well known user, scan their friend list (available on their Twitter page), and start friending. As you get new ones, add to your list, repeat.
You don't have to accept these requests, but they end up as "followers" no matter what you do.
Rogers Cadenhead notes that the tech tools we love (and rave about in our blogs, podcasts, etc) are just that - tools. Like any other tools - cars, guns, knives, what have you - they can be turned to acts of good or evil.
Update: Dave Winer makes an excellent point - the bad actors will keep pushing the envelope on this stuff:
What's next? Isn't it obvious -- the latest and greatest stuff, Ustream, Twitter and mass murder. When you see a suicide bomber with a camera strapped to his or her head, you'll know that the bad has caught up with the good.
Today, justin.tv. Tomorrow, exploding heads.
Joel on Software talks about search in Outlook, and how MS went out of their way to kill a useful third part app:
The only possible explanation is that someone on the Outlook team is getting paid a bonus for convincing people to switch to Gmail.
The story has a happy ending. Last week Microsoft released a patch for Outlook 2007 which fixed the problem for me (I have a lot of big PST files, which, I'm told, is why search was so slow for me). Now I can search old email quickly enough that I don't forget what I was searching for by the time the results come up. It's not quite as fast as Lookout used to be, but it's a big improvement and makes Outlook less of a downgrade.
I'd call that pretty faint praise. Here's a question: why did MS care about Lookout? What possibly reason did they have for being so concerned? If a third party improves your product (thus improving its overall marketability), what's the downside?
Never mind the layoffs - Sony must have extra money to throw around. First, they implement a new copy protection scheme on new DVDs that breaks existing DVD players (including their own). Next, having noticed that customers are less than pleased by this, they issue a recall.
The net result: Bad PR for Sony, possibly lost sales, and an unnecessary expenditure of cash to fix the problem. Is someone paying Sony execs to produce own goals?
Scoble explains why you shouldn't use partial text feeds:
Out of, say, 1,000 people who are on the Internet, only a small percentage read a lot of feeds. Let’s say it’s 10%. That means only 100 out of any 1,000 people will read feeds and of those 100 people only a small fraction will bother with ZDNet’s feeds.
The thing that partial texters are forgetting is that the other 900 people will find out about you from an influencer. Someone who will tell them. So, your traffic growth will be far slower if you only offer partial text feeds. Many of my friends who are journalists or bloggers just won’t deal with partial text feeds anymore.
Here's how people who want to pitch full feeds should go about it - describe them as a loss leader. Sure, the small percentage of people who find you via RSS/Atom won't see your ads. However, the people who follow their links will. It's no different than offering a sale on some small item in order to suck people into your store - you'll make up the loss on all the other sales. With syndication, it's even better, because - as Scoble points out - there aren't that many people (relative to the whole audience) reading you that way. They happen to disproportionately be influencers though.
The Seaside framework provides a layered set of abstractions over HTTP and HTML that can be used for developing sophisticated web applications in Smalltalk. Seaside was developed in Squeak and ports are available for VisualWorks and for Dolphin. While the Seaside framework elegantly addresses HTML generation and application flow-of-control issues, it still leaves a few challenges for the developer - including persistence and multi-user coorrdination. In this seminar we will demonstrate a port of Seaside to a new dialect: GemStone/S. As a multi-user, persistent Smalltalk implementation that has no native user interface, GemStone/S provides an excellent environment for serving HTML
See you in Toronto!
Technorati Tags: smalltalk
Bob Nemec has passed the torch on to Georg Heeg - I want to thank Bob for all his efforts this last year. Here's Georg's first message, sent to a few mailing lists:
My main goal for the upcoming year is to broaden the awareness of the undisputed qualities of Smalltalk at computer responsible executives in enterprise management.
Here's to more progress!
Technorati Tags: smalltalk
I'm currently reading a very interesting book that covers the end of the Stuart Dynasty - "The Glorious Revolution" in particular: "Ungrateful Daughters: The Stuart Princesses Who Stole Their Father's Crown".
Don't expect stellar displays of logic when old, tired, and scared businesses try to use any trick they can find to attack an upstart. For instance, take a look at the National Association of Broadcaster's current line against the XM/Sirius merger:
Problem is, the only colorable argument against the merger is that it would create a monopoly for satellite radio. XM and Sirius cleverly (and probably accurately) headed that objection off by noting that satellite radio competes with a variety of technologies for the listener's ear. This put the NAB in an awkward position. The lobby would have to argue that despite its 15-year effort to derail satellite radio, satellite radio was not a competitor. Of course, the harder the NAB fights and the more money the NAB spends to promote this message, the clearer it becomes that the NAB fears the competition posed by an XM-Sirius alliance. In effect, the more the NAB fights the merger, the more it undermines its own argument against it.
I'm sure they'll think of something. In the meantime, I expect an uptick in subscriptions once this merger does go through.
Unless a catastrophe is reported this weekend, we are finally ready to ship ObjectStudio 7.1.2, VisualWorks 7.5, and the beta release of ObjectStudio 8. We apologize for the lateness of the release - we are looking to optimize some of our processes in order to not have a repeat :)
In the meantime, there are a few issues that people should be aware of:
- We are now shipping support for OS X on both Intel and PPC platforms. However, versions before 10.4 are not well supported.
- We are seeing OS X (10.4.9 for sure) complaining of a "corrupt" ISO with the CD. This is the only place we see this, so we are assuming it's an Apple issue. You can safely ignore the warning
- On Unix/Linux, the install script can fail unless you use an absolute path to the script. Yes, this is embarrassing, but it's also simple enough to work around.
The good news: we'll have non-commercial CDs at Smalltalk Solutions to hand out. So: See you in Toronto!
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