Thursday, April 29, 2010

MobyApp.Mobi

I just incorporated MobyApp.Mobi in Nevada! Well ok, I started the process with BlumbergExcelsior, should be a corporation within a week --wish me luck! Let me tell you it has been an exciting two weeks, hence I have been radio silent on the blog.

My biz partner Lin and I have been defining goals and working aggressively to meet them (i.e. a business plan). So far we are on track. Next on the list is trademarking our logo --I will post it once it is official. Our company MobiApp.mobi will develop applications for the iPhone and iPad. Sounds exciting? Do you want a job? We are looking for Objective C and Cocoa developers.

On another note I picked up a book titled "Beyond the Cloud". It is written by CEO and Founder of Salesforce.com, Marc Benioff (my new hero and unofficial mentor). The book is about how Marc dreamed up the concept to deliver a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system delivered via the Internet cloud. His company, Salesforce.com, is empowered by a belief that no software should be loaded on a PC or an internal server farm. I totally agree, Software as a Service, or SaaS, is the way of the future.

I believe that most IT departments come in two flavors. Big, bloated and broken i.e. too many of the people, or fiefdoms, and too many processes (think sand on the gears). The other type of IT department is flat broke i.e. no people (or the wrong people) and a lack of process. Either way these IT departments are not delivering a value add to their companies or their primary mission.

Hark! There is light at the end of the tunnel and I have a plan for these IT departments. SaaS! Saas will reduce delivery times for the big departments and it will deliver an instant value for the money strapped departments.

Now before everyone chimes in about control and security -let me ask you some questions.

1. How many of you do online banking, even if only to check your balance?
2. How many of you carry a cell phone, do you own your own telecom company?
3. Do you use electricity, if so do you generate it or plug into the national electricity grid?
4. Do you use Facebook, LinkedIn, Salesforce, Pandora, iTunes, Nabster, and Quickbooks.com?
5. Besides an Office Suite of applications, what other software is loaded on your PC or Mac? Do you use the other software? Hint Solitaire doesn’t count!

Well, guess what? Many of you are in the cloud. See these are just a few questions to start exercising our minds in order to really look at doing business within the cloud.

Once upon a time, factories generated their own power. Then the power grid came along. Many companies did not trust the new grid, they said things like I don't own it, I can't trust it, it is not reliable, it is not secure, and etc. I do not know of any company or factory that generates power today (unless they are the electric company). Almost everyone uses the grid!

Same holds true for the cloud, not today, tomorrow almost all of us will use the cloud (or the IT Grid as I like to call it). Most CIO’s will rebuke the cloud, some will embrace it. We truly need to “think different” as Steve Jobs often points out.

Lastly, check out this article by Marc Benioff.

http://tech.fortune.cnn.com/2010/04/29/the-end-of-microsoft-a-door-opens-to-a-new-cloud/?source=cnn_bin&hpt=Sbin

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

I Love my iPad

This is truly a paradigm change or in the words of my boss -- a game changer. Years ago I was on a forum (you know before there were blogs) and a guy posted how he loved Windows CE and wished he could use it on his PC versus Windows 95. I thought yes, Windows CE is stable, but what about applications? How could a PDA be better than Windows 95. Stable --Yes, practical --No! Crazy, I tell ya.....I didn't know I'd eat those words one day.

Now fast forward to 2010 and we have the iPad. Some have called it a big iPhone and I said to myself --well yeah!! Hmmm, those words are tasty. See when I first got my iPhone 2g in 2007, I stopped using my MacBook and my Windows PC. I would pick up my full computer to play with the SDK and take advantage of the full browser.

All my applications, except MS Office, were then (and now) --in the cloud. Now all I need is MS Office in the cloud and I am set --oh, wait Windows Office Live is in the cloud!!

Desktops are dead....computers are for the scientists and geeks. Netbooks, iPads, and Google Chrome for all!!! Just kidding, let's do what I call Keep it Simple Computing (or KISC), a light weight OS device plugged into the public and private cloud.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Quote of the Week (Women in IT)

"The banking crisis was caused by doing what no society ever allows: Permitting young males to behave in an unregulated way. Anyone who studied neurobiology would have predicted disaster."—Sheelan Kolhatkar, "What If Women Ran Wall Street?" (New York magazine/03.29.10)

I am sure you are asking why this quote appeared on my Techie Blog? Yesterday I had coffee with a friend of mine (yes you Alex) and she described her day to me. She asked me if I knew of any WI-MAX carriers in her area. I asked why and she began to explain how a Techie Salesman spoke down to her. Now my friend Alex is a tech-savvy nerd's nerd, that was so sexist on the part of the salesman. Many women in my life are/were in IT. Did you know that I took an interest in IT, not because of my dad or those ECPI commercials of the 70's and 80's, I became interested because my MOM was a COBOL programmer. She loved her job and that old WANG mainframe running MVS! Heck my Dad’s second wife was a mainframe computer operator. Yeah I guess Dad was into geek girls back in the 70's and 80's. So today I dedicate my Blog to COBOL, mom, and Dr. Grace Murray Hoper. My point, sometimes it takes a women to contain the wild guys of wall street and your IT department.

Now on to Dr. Grace Hopper




Inventor Grace Murray Hopper was a curious child. At the age of seven, she dismantled her alarm clock to figure out how it worked, but was unable to reassemble it. By the time her mother figured out what she had been up to, the young Grace Hopper had gone through seven clocks in the house. This intellectual curiosity would later play an integral part in earning Hopper a place among the ranks of the most famous women inventors.

As she grew up, Grace's parents encouraged her to pursue her educational ambitions. At Vassar College, she obtained a B.A. in mathematics and physics. She continued her education at Yale University by completing a masters and Ph.D. in mathematics. She then returned to Vassar to teach.

During World War II, Hopper joined the Navy and was sworn into the U.S. Naval Reserve in 1943. After training, she was commissioned as a lieutenant and assigned to the Bureau of Ordinance Computation Project at Harvard University. She became the third person to program the Harvard Mark I computer. Much like her clocks, disassembling it and figuring out its operating processes was a challenge that she really enjoyed.

Hopper's naval duties ended a year after the war, and she became a senior programmer with Remington Rand (later RAND Corp), where she worked on the first large-scale commercial computer – UNIVAC. She became Director of Automatic Programming in 1952 and subsequently oversaw the company's endeavor to produce specifications for a common business language. From 1959 to 1961, Hopper lead the team that invented COBOL (Common Business-Oriented Language), the first user-friendly business computer software program.

Later, Hopper invested a great deal of time advocating validation procedures to bring about the international standardization of computer languages. She won numerous awards for her career as a famous woman inventor, including the National Medal of Technology, which was presented to her in 1991 by President George Bush. By the time she passed away on January 1, 1992, Dr. Hopper had received honorary degrees from thirty universities.

Now this is one heck of a techie! Guys think twice before talking down to a techie in a dress. Chances are, she not only understands what you are talking about --she may be able to school you on a few things!

For more information on Dr. Grace Murray Hopper, refer to:
Lemelson-MIT Inventor of the Week: Dr. Grace Murray Hopper
History of Mathematics – Famous Mathematicians

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Hmmmm...I may have been on to something

I just read an article on bloomberg about the iPad. I will repost it below:

April 1 (Bloomberg) -- Apple Inc.’s iPad touch-screen tablet is a winning product that threatens to replace laptops as the dominant format for personal computers, reviewers said.

The iPad, which will begin selling this weekend, is “wicked fast” and has a battery life that’s longer than Apple’s claim of 10 hours, Walt Mossberg, technology columnist for the Wall Street Journal, wrote in a review yesterday. It can be used as a replacement for a laptop for most data communication and content consumption, he wrote.

“The iPad is an advance in making more-sophisticated computing possible via a simple touch interface on a slender, light device,” Mossberg wrote. The tablet “has the potential to change portable computing profoundly, and to challenge the primacy of the laptop.”

Apple, based in Cupertino, California, started taking orders for the iPad on March 12, offering consumers the choice between home delivery and in-store collection. Gene Munster, an analyst at Piper Jaffray & Co., is estimating first weekend sales of 200,000 for the iPads.

“Apple has delivered another impressive product that largely lives up to the hype,” Edward C. Baig of USA Today wrote in his review. “What does a successful iPad launch mean for traditional netbooks? They’ll have to adapt or disappear.”

The iPad stacks up as a formidable competitor to Amazon.com Inc.’s Kindle electronic reader and gives game consoles from Nintendo Co. and Sony Corp. a “run for their money,” Baig wrote.
For most people, the iPad’s 9.7-inch touch screen “changes the whole experience” in consuming content such as books, music, video, photos and e-mails, David Pogue of the New York Times wrote in a review yesterday.

No Webcam, Multitasking

Mossberg, Baig and Pogue all said one of the iPad’s drawbacks is not supporting Adobe Systems Inc.’s Flash software. The iPad also lacks a built-in Web camera and multitasking features that allow more than one application to run at a time, the reviewers said.

“If you’re mainly a Web surfer, note-taker, social- networker and e-mailer, and a consumer of photos, videos, books, periodicals and music -- this could be for you,” Mossberg wrote. “If you need to create or edit giant spreadsheets or long documents, or you have elaborate systems for organizing e-mail, or need to perform video chats, the iPad isn’t going to cut it as your go-to device.”

Apple fell 0.4 percent to close at $235 in Nasdaq Stock Market trading yesterday. The shares have climbed 12 percent this year.

The iPad “is fun, simple, stunning to look at and blazingly fast,” Baig wrote. “Apple is rewriting the rulebook for mainstream computing.”

I think the iPad and other netbooks are onto something, i.e remove the bloated OS and apply the KISS rule a.k.a Keep It Simple Stupid! My thoughts are putting a device like this in the workplace. Now hear me out, what do you do at work? Email, desktop publishing or Office related tasks, business applications, and maybe surf the web, Right? Hence the netbooks and the iPad have a way to go. We need to downtech the desktop.

Why downtech the desktop? To reduce costs and drive productivity up. The desktop needs to be part of the cloud, private or public --it must be a dummy tube device. This type of concept was spoken of back in 1994 --

DOWNTECHING: George Mason University professor Hugh Heclo calls for downteching -- "deliberate reductions in the amount and/or sophistication of technology so as to improve
performance," and to counter the tendency of information technology to eliminate the
natural limits on "blab" -- undigested information pretending to be knowledge. (Atlanta
Journal-Constitution 9/11/94 B1)

What I propose is to limit the amount of spohistication of technology on the desktop. Don't give your users enough rope to hang themselves. The CEO can reduce costs by reducing unnecessary IT headcount. The helpdesk becomes a service desk, i.e. anybody can answer a phone. The expensive desktop folks will go away(40k-70k per tech). Imagine no more (or reduced) personal computer issues. Productivity will go up as desktop related issues go away. If a netbook breaks, it is simply switched out. Security issues will exist on the backend (for the most part), 1 patch versus thousands. What I am saying is that by getting out of the personal computer business, IT can focus on its primary mission --delivering services.