Friday, 25 April 2008

Hardy Heron

Downloaded Ubuntu tonight, the latest build Hardy Heron.

Installation was so very simple you could knock me down with a feather... Wireless connection was up and running first time round. Left me feeling quite amazed to be honest at how straightforward setup could be.

When did Linux get this simple, and so complete?

Gonna make a point of trying to use Linux day to day at home and see if I can swap over to it. The commercial games aspect is the only real reason I can see at the moment to keep on Windows...

Otherwise it's all in there off the bat with no hard work :-)

Try saying that with Vista...

Tuesday, 8 April 2008

Far and wide

Make sure that if you work in IT you don't focus on just one aspect of your skills.

Strive for a balance of the following:

  • Can code in at least 3 languages
  • Knows about OO concepts, or other similar design abstracts
  • Knows how to write SQL (the main language for data)
  • Knows how to write and manage requirements (suggests a good understanding of English and communication)
  • Knows something about how networks work (nobody creates islands anymore)
  • Can present their material one on one or to a crowd without belittling them

Covering these general bases makes you stand out from the crowd.

Google = Smart, but a little too subtle...

I've started using Google's mail service lately to aggregate all my mail.

I'm past the debate of whether I trust Google with my data or not simply because if something is important to me I'll store it offline and online. A key challenge for Google is earning and keeping your trust, I reckon the millions they spend trying to retain my trust will be more investment than I'm ever likely to make against my personal data. However that's another debate...

The aggregation feature is very useful to me. One site, all my mail, any PC. Very smart.. However I missed some of the useful features within Outlook that I used to quickly manage mail.

In Outlook from the main view you can select a mail item with the mouse, then hold down SHIFT, select a mail somewhere below it and release SHIFT. This selects the two mails you selected and all the mails inbetween. Very useful in clearing out dead mails I know I don't want.

Google employs a tickbox against the mail.
The subtle part I just stumbled upon... Google has implemented a client side script to mock this behaviour. Select a mail with the tickbox, hold down SHIFT and select another mail far below it. All the mails inbetween are selected!

Very smart, very useful, but a shame that it's not more obvious. Well done Google!

Now, the only problem left to solve is that age old chestnut of having passwords. Need to get rid of them, they are a fantastic security hole for the Google strategy.


Some of you I've noticed are using Twitter with some success. I've noticed a few other sites push toward FriendFeed.

FriendFeed is a social aggregation tool, does a very good job of pulling together all of the social feeds from quite a few sources (Picasa, Flickr,, Facebook, YouTube, BlogSpot and more).

The very nice part about it is you are subscribing to me without actually knowing what services I use. However FriendFeed aggregates the things I do and puts them into an RSS feed / page you can keep up to date with.

I've used it to tag a few services I use and have created a profile for you to also tag and watch if you want. From that, you can separately drill into the social sites I use.

Well worth a look if you want to follow someone or be followed.