Saturday, December 8, 2007

Geek makes $$

I'm of the opinion that the popular Open Source model for generating revenue is right on. The idea that that the software is free but support you pay for seems to be the best. This offers a wider spectrum of the market, I mean if a large business can take the software and use in-house programmers for improvements and support then there should be nothing wrong with those people gaining jobs for that. Where for the smaller companies who can't afford to hire the expert staff needed can hire consultants to do that for them.

I have to say that I have been considering the idea of trying to strike out on my own and make my mark on the world, but trying to hold myself to this same standard (trying to be the consultant) is challenging. The idea of working for a big company that has too much work coming in and a marketing team selling the services is reassuring.

I'm still trying to find the perfect blend of my passion and earning potential. It would be a wonderful experience to have a few hours to speak and share with someone who has already made that dream a reality. My personal experience is that I gain more information, strategy and inspiration from meeting the people who have "done the do" than from reading hundreds of self-help books.

The model is sound, and I would like to see if there is anyway to make what is produced as an outcome perpetual. The idea of "...Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for life." is one that I have near and dear to me. In the linux community I've gained a great deal of knowledge from people who only were willing to share. And I find myself in the position now of being able to share. My problem is that no one is asking me here where I am.

I'll have to ponder this one more.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Linux: Support =recognition

Why is linux still getting the bad rap?

We (Linux users) deserve the same kind of support as other OS's. We are a consumer base that is mighty and powerful and who spend all of our spare revenue at because they are the only vendor that "gets us".

Even skype is supporting us, (slowly, but they are) with a closed binary which I support just fine. If a company wants to keep it's code closed but produce the port for Linux, I think that's fine. My biggest complaints are about companies who write software to access other online premium (or pay) services. So the software is free as a front-end to an online store. Why would you not want to include Linux in the fold and only gain more consumers.

I know that this is a consumer driven market, so I am not spending any money online with any service that doesn't make it's products available based on OS used. That is just insane. I mean if any company wants to give me just the excuse to not easily give them my money, it is their loss.

Join me in my boycot if you have the guts. Geeks need to defend their right to be treated as first class computing citizens...I mean, we only make the internet work and all. :-P

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

The EEE PC ... What it could be.

I've been looking at the EEE PC from ASUS. It seems to me to be a wonderful thin client. I know everyone is keen on pointing out it's shortcomings.

Let's start with the lament that it has a small keyboard, but that's what USB is for. It is also common to point out it's small screen, and that is what VGA out is for. They also point out that the hard drive is small, and that again is what USB or SD is for.

In my mind, with the simple addition of a bluetooth dongle, this could be the best all around computing solution. But this comes from a geek who uses mutt on a server and does most other things in the cloud like on google. I'm waiting only for gen two of this device only to see if they manage to sneek in bluetooth on board.

Likewise when I try to compare similar functionality, I find it in devices that cost 3 times as much. So for someone who has really taken to heart the idea of computing in the "cloud". So, like with the other models doing about the same work, they are all useless without access to the internet. As a business traveler the EEE PC is enough to watch the one or two movies I might take with me. Even if the drive is full, then a single USB key and that's fixed up. I mean if you are using Google Docs then using OpenOffice off-line should be more than enough. Simple text files are what drive the world anyway. So if you write a blog post in kate, then you can post it once you are online again.

I find that most of the bashing of the EEE PC is by people who expect to find PC power in an ultra-portable laptop. There has been a wish that the price could be a little lower, but when you consider that most people would pay the same price for an iPhone, then I think the functionality to price is still there for the value.

This discussion reminds me of a rant I need to do on text vs. everything else....I'll pick that up next time. If I should hear something that makes me change my mind, I'll be the first to declare it. Until then, I'd enjoy any comments from any geek EEE PC owners out there.


Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Geeks United

I am sitting here in the quiet corner of my room...just as the millions of us are, thinking that if only for a brief moment our voices could unite in one yell and call out to the world, it would say "We are strong, we are mighty!".

We are the geeks and we should be proud. We use alternative operating systems, we hack our iPhones and we cannot be stopped. Why does any company think it can push us aside or ignore us? We are the of the same vein as the programmers and hardware geeks that gave them their power today.

We have heroes who don't have trading cards and who's names end with strange sounds like *.ski and *.itz. We are the formally ostracized. Yet not two days go by without someone asking me how to make some electronic gizmo in their life work, this thing that makes their life whole. I share my geek with others, but my passion overwhelms all other topics of conversation.

I am the doctor of inanimate objects and I am smart. And even though the "big dogs" ignore us, we of geek kind, I know that when I walk down the street and see some other geek slipping their glasses into their pocket in order to fit in that they see me too and we both know that we are not alone.

I think I have decided that this blog, this journal of passion, for me will become my sounding board for all of the inherent wrongs done to geeks. Probably because of personal use, Linux will be my next battle-cry.


Thursday, August 16, 2007

Who needs TV with video podcasting around

On Network, video podcast provider has amazing content that seems to be very in tune with my lifestyle. From hippie organic eating to video game reviews.

Providing insight to people my age on the "alternative" lifestyle trends that seem to be gaining traction with the folks of "Gen-X" as we become thirty-something.

I would recommend that anyone interested in looking for some video podcast content start there and anyone who just needs a little more content add a few of these shows to their content feed.


Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Mommy needs a new box.

Apple makes good news. Linux still doesn't know how. Both are better than those other guys.

Everyday consumers, like my 64 year old mother, are looking to put their money anywhere besides the MS bank. It is a powerful statement when people use their consumer dollar in such a way.

I really love computing as a hobby. I truly enjoyed the 80's and the "making it work" home computing. I'm not trying to sound old, but there was a time when nothing worked with plug-n-play and you had to tweak everything.

Today, it's much easier. But if you like that kind of stuff, linux is awesome. But the fact that we have come to the day when we might suggest to a senior citizen family member that they endure tweaking text files to let newly purchased hardware work over purchasing established platforms is a sad state of affairs.

To sum up, computing has always been a matter of joy and heart for me and right now my vote is Apple, then Linux and finally if ALL else fails...and new Microsoft machine.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Catching Up since the new Mac.

I have been silent and away for too long. I have officially berated myself for lack of participation. I have a few reasons why, none of them good enough to justify not putting "pen to paper".

The largest time guzzler of my time since my last post has been the introduction of a new mac mini to the house. The first mac in the family, it is getting most of the attention just as if a newborn baby in the house.

As well, at work (here in Italy) half of the staff is on vacation in July and the other half in August. This has created a lot of busy work for me and as a result I am spending as much of my free time completely disconnected if I can.

I'm back on track and will be making more updates now. I've broken out my real pen and paper and am starting to make more notes so there should be some "older" material arriving soon.


Monday, July 16, 2007

Vacation time in Italy

Well, since my last post I have managed to take two weeks vacation to visit the newest member of the family Giovanni Junior, in Naples. The family (both boys and wife) and I jumped in the car with the dog and enjoyed the very warm weather at the end of June there.

Since, the single thing that has had the most buzz in the house was the film Sicko by Michael Moore. This really hit home with my wife and I. Probably because we did live as married parents in the states for over ten years and moved to Europe just after 9/11.

For anyone who has seen the movie and thinks that the conversation with the group of ex-pats in the french cafe, or the feedback from the British folks is poo-poo, I'm here to tell you that it's not. I personally think this is some of the best work we've seen from Michael since Roger and Me. I would recommend anyone in the states see this film and give it serious consideration. Not that there should be some major revolution, but for sure, Americans should consider that the most powerful nation on the planet does a good job taking care of it's wars and business, but the citizens are getting the shaft.

I really did see and do more things during my vacation time and since, but that is the most recent hub-bub, so I'm pretty sure to make some posts here in the near future. Hopefully, less political but I make no promises.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Writing More

I've been trying to follow Merlin Man and his latest passion on "Getting Things Done" (GTD). After reading several of the links from this very interesting and driven blog, I've started to find some concrete examples of how to incorporate many of these things in my day-to-day work environment. I'm looking next for some index cards that will fit into the moleskin notebook so that I can try some of the "daily mini-todo list" ideas that I have found as a result. The hardest part of it all will be the "sync" process between the manual records and the PC. The hardest part is to stop think of the PC as the swiss-army knife for everything and only use it as the productivity tool that it is.

For sure, one of the easiest (but least intuitive) is to revert to old school pen-and-paper techniques for organizing oneself. I've made the recent investment in a moleskin notebook that I try to keep with me at all times so that if I am inspired there is no hesitation or trying to remember when I'm near a PC. In the same vein, I have ordered a Fischer Space Pen and look forward to putting it to good use.

I've used some free time to create my web presence and find the correct tools to manage all of the points of entry. I'm not utilizing every service out there, but will probably look into others as I find a way to keep them all centralized. Jaiku is the place that I aggregate all of these things and using the imified buddy is my way to do things quickly on the fly when using a large heavy tool would be cumbersome to the action.

I can feel a strong "Microsoft patent cross licensing deals" post brewing. This issue is close and dear to my heart as I've been using Open Source software for several years. Alongside could be a DRM discussion. My views on these issues are one sided and quite opinionated and merit their own posting here. All of that followed by a serious K.I.S.S. posting.

Monday, June 11, 2007

It all started with one.

As I now feel completely left out of web 2.0, since most of it started while I lived on an island in the Med, I'm trying hard to make up for lost time. I've created presence, bookmarks and am participating in community like never before. I figure it may be best to jump into the deep end of the pool and see if I sink or swim.

Look for more from me in the future, with posts, photo sharing and more.