The classic answer

The other day I got the classic answer from my son. Its a classic because because well its one that we’ve all used in the past and frankly is one of the easiest ways to let people know that you heard what they said and just don’t know.

“Great question, I really don’t know the answer however.”

The funny thing for me is not that one of my kids picked that up – I use it all the time. Rather its the application of that statement to the question “do you have documentation of your current architecture?” that intrigues me.

When did we stop updating the architectural framework within organizations? As a consultant I am tied to deliverables and requirements. But I often find that those get left behind and die on someone’s desk.

Should we return to thud factor architectures?


Is VOIP a cloud service that rocks today?

Sitting in China – have to learn how to dial out with my cellular phone. But with my OCS based VOIP phone – I am connected tot he world with no hassles. Its an amazing thing when you think about it.

It is (VOIP) one of the killer applications for the Cloud – but then those (killer applications) are going to keep coming.

It of course leads me to thinking about “what is next..”

But that is probably enough for today.


So I was thinking…

Five hours of travel will do that to you on a Friday. You start thinking about everything that could be and might be and eventually you realize that you’ve fallen asleep and the entire flight was over, done, finished.

Last night I was listening to a couple of podcasts on my Zune as I flew home. Its an interesting feeling to start thinking about the world around you and then to quietly slip away from that world and fall asleep.

You also don’t remember much of the podcasts when you fall asleep. I had to listen to them again in the cab ride home to make sure I hadn’t missed anything.

Time is a wonderful thing.


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The flashing cursor

I guess this early on a Saturday you probably don’t think about writers block. Usually (now that the kids are older) I am sleeping in at this point.

The journey begins however with changing what you’ve done to do something new. that which we have done is oft repeated but seldom understood.

We are creatures of habit. When the kids were little I got up when they go up. When I was a school teacher I got up early to get to school and be ready for the day. Now, ideas don’t have bedtimes and I stay up later (when I can – its hard to beat 20 years of training).

But enough for today. These rambles lead no where and I’ve got places to go.


Why 2000 Twitter?

Interesting issue with Twitter right now – they do not allow you to follow more than 2000 (or a gap between following and followers). Is this a performance issue to get rid of the whales?

Personally I use my twitter feed as a newsfeed. I can find out what a large number of people are thinking about the issue of the day. There really isn’t another way to do that right now easily, so the following no more than 2000 people really impacts me.

I could understand this if it was a performance issue – but then simply tell people that it is a performance issue.

As it is, i feel bad as people follow me and I cannot return the favor. I suspect its time to get rid of the worst type of twitterati, the follow you for a day and then drop you (so they gain followers and reduce following).


leaving breadcrumbs

I’ve talked in the past about lighthouses embedded in solutions to help prepare people for issues or problems. Another tool for developers is leaving bread crumbs in your comments that will help another developer walk through issues and bug fix your code.

Yeah I know – all code shipped it 100% bug free. But there are always bugs in the hardware or hardware/software combination that we couldn’t prepare for.

In reality it seems a simple concept (leaving bread crumbs) but we often forget the little things. In the IP/IC world having the ability to add specific break crumbs may improve the overall usability of the information.

But we forget things like that often. Except you can’t forget the bread crumbs when making good stuffing – it kind of changes everything.

Happy Thanksgiving to all my readers!


Neat freaks and slobs living together

Of course this has been a theme for a number of years on a number of televisions shows and movies. From Ghostbusters its my favorite line “Cats and dogs living together.” We never know what this merging of opposites will create.

Except, in the space of knowledge management (or really IP/IC management – as knowledge management is a much bigger nut). In that world you have people who need IP/IC (searching) and people who are building IP/IC (content creators). But if they are speaking even a slightly different language we are in trouble.

For example, think of all the directory standards that exist today. Kerberos, LDAP etc…the list goes on for awhile. If you build a product that speaks directory you have to speak all of these languages, but not all of the nomenclature is the same. What do you mean by synchronization?

Which is actually the neat freaks and the slobs coming together. They don’t speak the same language and so it impacts search. Personally i like to shorten directory services to Directories, but i have friends who only use DS and LDAP. If I search for directory in a KM system, I won’t find it because the neat freaks or slobs (not telling which one I am) have placed the document in with their nomenclature.

You want communication in your IP/IC system? Build a common taxonomy that allows people the freedom to express their solution while making sure the next person along can leverage that.

Freedom means knowing what comes next.


Competing for the cloud

I am still trying to figure out the metaphor, cloud computing. I understand that it is a metaphor for distant and things you cannot touch but I wonder why clouds? Watching a flight of geese as they crossed the sky yesterday afternoon I wondered. Clouds bring good things (shapes we can watch) and rain (to help crops grow). But clouds are actually controlled by a number of other forces.

  1. So why Cloud Computing?
  2. It’s a cool and catch name, but is it the right name?
  3. Should we instead go for Remote Non-Customer Managed Data Center (RNCM) instead?
  4. What about SEPD? SepD has a nice ring to it (Someone else’s spinning Disk!)
  5. Or could we consider (MAISIDC) My data is sleepless in someone else’s data center?
  6. Or possibly a little more arcane with something like “It Ain’t my data center” AMDC

Clouds bring bad weather (tornados, torrential rain, hurricanes) and frankly the more I watched them yesterday didn’t really instill a sense of wonder as to the data that might be floating around out there. I would be more afraid of the data falling out of the cloud and raining down on me like well, rain.

We need a better name than Cloud computing.


A flight of fancy

(I’ve always liked that phrase).

What, if?

The radius of a circle or for that matter the diameter and circumference can be calculated. The distance from the earth to the sun is known. We’ve identified particles within atoms that are smaller than the atoms themselves.

What, if?

There have been major conflicts involving the deaths of thousands, if not ultimately millions of people in the past 30 years. They continue to happen, why?

What, if?

Computers are logical tools that help us shape good decisions and follow logical processes to their ends. Computers don’t call in sick on Monday’s when they do repetitive tasks, over and over.

What, if??

Technology has both extended our world and ended it more quickly. We’ve become effective at killing people in large numbers. We’ve become effective at saving people in large numbers. Why? Why do we as a species not understand the potential of the advances in our grasp?

The world is worth saving. It may be too late for C02 emissions but it is not to late to figure out a way to help humans survive the hotter world. Technology can save the day for humanity if we simply stop pushing it away.


The path to a cloudy day

On the last day of a conference, usually late in the day they always put the “interesting” but small audience presentations. I’ve done a number of those (and a few first day, early “impact” presentations.)

Recently I saw a presentation about cloud computing that has stayed with me. It was a webcast focused on the concepts that would “change” with the upcoming world of cloud computing. They talked about push and pull technologies and about the concepts of what the cloud would bring.

But the thing that interested me the most was the overall concepts that were being presented. the concepts of change and how painful that would be in the short run.

I nicknamed the session the path to a cloudy day.

The concept of change required to implement a cloud computing solution.


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