These are thoughts of a Small Business IT consultant, trying to pick through what can make your business use Technology more effectively or other news stories that might interest small business owners or fellow IT Professionals. Feel free to Leave your thoughts and comments. Why not visit the iQubed website.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

iQubed Blog has moved

The new blog is here and is powered by Wordpess now.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

David Brent meets Microsoft

You've got to check out this video, it's brilliant. David Brent from "The Office" meets Microsoft UK...result, very funny!!

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

BBC Technology News offers contrary view to Vista

Wow, Bill Thompson, BBC Technology News reporter has quite an interesting article as to how Vista's potential security failings might in the end help Linux. He's really sticking his neck out on this one and taking a brave position. He talks of the closed-source and opensource ways of developing software and looks at the relative merits of these. One point he makes is that

Now it may be locking many security vendors out of Vista, and as a result it will be under extreme pressure to deliver a completely secure system. If it fails and Vista security is cracked we will only have Microsoft to blame.

There is another way of developing programs and dealing with bugs, one which has had remarkable success in building programs that are used by millions of people every day.

Microsoft offers help to Firefox!

Yes, I know I had to read the headline twice! The story is in ComputerWeekly and Microsoft Exceutive is offering support for getting Firefox and Thunderbird running on Windows Vista. Could this be the fallout from the American and European Anti-trust judgements? No, surely not, they're just doing the right thing, honest!

The article also says that Firefox now has 14% market share with Internet Explorer with 76%. Now, if only they could make Firefox less resource hungry!

AMD Enterprise Online Event

Here is an online webcast from AMD which is worth watching. It brings together AMD, IBM and Novell who are increasingly working togther. IBM are bringing out new System X servers based on AMD processors and working with Novell to get SUSE Linux Enterprise Server fully supported on these platforms.

Now who said Linux is just supported by a bunch of long haired bearded geeks!

Monday, August 21, 2006

Glorious Cornwall

I've just got back from a holiday in Plymouth where we travelled around Devon and Cornwall. The picture is of Whitsands Bay just west of Plymouth along the coast. It's my first visit there and what a great place it is and weather was good as well. The Travelodge was good, clean and and had a wired internet connection in the room. I noticed a couple of RJ45 connectors one which was an internet connection to the little box of tricks which supplied the TV based entertainment. So, I just plugged in my laptop and hey presto I was connected!

Plymouth has a very interesting history and is home to the Royal Navy dockyards which are based at Torpoint. This is quite interesting to me as I used to work for Marconi Radar where the Seawolf missile system, used on many Navy destroyers and frigates, was developed. One thing I didn't realise was that Plymouth City Centre was burnt to the ground during the Blitz by incendiary bombing by the Germans. It was rebuilt entirely from the ashes.

Where has all the love gone for Dell?

Nobody seems to be loving Dell! The Register is reporting that the mainstream press are coming down on it - big time!

Come and talk to us about IBM System X Servers, you know it makes sense and are competively priced as well.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Has Novell really got 30-40% of Server Market?

I saw this article interviewing Markus Rex, General Manager of Novell's SUSE Linux Business Unit, and Applied Technology Strategist, Paul Kangro. It stated that

In the server space we have 30-40%, globally, and this is slightly more in Australia and New Zealand. In fact, since people have been able to download the software, Australia and New Zealand leads the world in downloads

Now, hang on, unless I've gone into a parallel Universe this is not correct. My understanding from Gartner and IDC figures is that Linux has about 20-25% of the global server market. The leader within the Linux server market is Redhat, so Novell might well have 30% of 20-25%, which is 6.5 - 8.5%. Are they counting the download figures as market share? If so, then that is very questionable and I think they know that. Why do companies play these games? Novell is caught between a hinterland of Netware and Linux. It needs to make it clear what its strategy is because it has actually got some world class products!

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Digium gets VC funding

The company that is behind Asterisk, the open source software based PBX, has just secured $13.8 Million from Matrix Partners. Now, VC companies are not known for giving money just for the sake of it. They'll want to be convinced of a sound business plan, strong management team and an exit strategy.

This article from O'Reilly gives the details and interestingly states that O'Reilly have switched to using Asterisk themselves. I currently use a version of Asterisk called Trixbox (formerly known as Asterisk@Home).

Hosted SBS

I've been thinking about this recently and whether such a service could be provided and whether there is a market for it in the UK. My quick searches seem to indicate that there isn't such a UK based service, although one company (based in the US) did seem to cover the UK and one which was about to start in the UK. A quick chat with Rackspace showed that this wasn't something that was part of their main offerings. I know people like Vlad are doing this quite successfully, so it got me thinking.

The other option which seems possible is to use a co-location service, which would involve buying the hardware and commissioning it. Different co-location providers offer different service levels, so the right one would have to be selected. Technically this service is possible but for such a service a lot more is required than just being technically feasible.

I need to think this through some more...

Sunday, August 06, 2006

All Hail Monty Panesar

He's the first Sikh English Test cricket player and he's a superb spin bowler and during the current Test Series against Pakistan he's been arguably England's best attacking bowler. Here's a news story about Monty when he was to play against India, where his grandparents still live in Ludhiana, Punjab. People are talking about how he's a role model for integration in Britain. This is nothing new to Sikhs, who are one of the most integrated communities in Britain. Our whole religion and outlook on life is about being a part of the community we live and work in. This integration goes back a long way to when Sikh regiments fought in the the two world wars for the British Army. Sikhs come from very humble backgrounds, little villages in the North of India called the Punjab, but we can rise to the top of our professions.

Another example of this ability to rise, almost unnoticed, to great things is evidenced by the current Prime Minister of India, Manmohan Singh, a Sikh himself. I believe, India's moves to better relationships with Pakistan, were because of his faith as a Sikh. It is our Sikh faith that pervades everything we do!

*** UPDATE ***
Sajid Mahmood and Monty Panesar helped destroy Pakistan on the final day of play and they were all bowled out. Disappointing thing was that Mahmood was subjected to taunts of being a "traitor", which is something I cannot understand!

There is nothing but pride from the Sikh community for Monty Panesar making the English Test Side. Here is another article from the BBC News website about him!