Irregular Injection of Opinion
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 Tuesday, 02 October 2007
New Toys: Acoustic Energy Aego M

So I saw these speakers @ Sim Lim Square last year when I was in Singapore.

I really wanted them and tried and tried to bargain with the guy but to no avail. I've not seen them anywhere else since.

So this week in Singapore I got a pair. They were S$369, so just over $300 kiwi. They sound amazing, spanking the pants of Bose but at a fraction of the price.

Really looking foreward to getting them home and lugged into my MediaCenter.... just gotta make sure I've got a good enough soundcard.


Aego M System - BLACK

If you are looking for someting for your PC or iPOD you can't go past these.

Toy Box|Tuesday, 02 October 2007 07:21:11 UTC|Comments [0]|    

Medrecruit Makes The Cable Car Challenge Top 9

One of my companies, locum jobs agency MedRecruit, has made it into the top 9 of the Wellington Cable Car Challenge.

This is great news and really exciting for our team. I'm flying out to South Africa that evening, but, will be seeing if I can change my flights to let me present in the morning with Sam Hazledine, the MD of MedRecruit.

If you know any Doctors send them our way. MedRecruit is a new(ish) New Zealand company working hard at looking after doctors and helping them to live the lifestyle they deserve. We focus mainly on locum doctors but also do permanent placements.

Business Building|Tuesday, 02 October 2007 02:26:47 UTC|Comments [0]|    

 Friday, 28 September 2007
Open Mobile Terminal Platform- A Common use of Mini-USB

It's been a long time coming... but a group of major mobile maufacturers has settled on Mini-USB as the jack of choice on mobile phones. Details here:

"An industry group containing the five dominant manufacturers - Nokia, Samsung, Motorola, LG and Sony Ericsson - has committed to using a micro-USB plug in all future models. "

Human Aggregation | Mobility|Friday, 28 September 2007 21:02:18 UTC|Comments [0]|    

 Wednesday, 26 September 2007
Debunking the Analysts on Microsoft SOA Strategy

This was originally posted by meon our Intergen Company Blog. Reposted here for completeness.

Service Oriented Architecture: everyone is still talking about it. Recently there was a bit of a blog-o-thread happening among a bunch of US analysts about Microsoft’s SOA strategy. I refer in particular to articles by Lorraine Lawson at IT Business Edge and Dana Gardner at ZDNet.

Gardner is right when he says ‘SOA is a style and conceptual computing framework, not a reason to upgrade.’ Yet, maybe through lack of time at the coalface, he thinks that massive upgrades are required to put this framework in place. The answer couldn’t be further from the truth. The vision of SOA, that is systems demarcating themselves into atomic reusable services accessible by explicitly defined interfaces and open protocols, is easily implementable in the old faithful .NET 1.0 of several years ago. Sure you may not be able to pass transaction scope across interface boundaries or rely on non-transport level message delivery guarantees, but if people are required to upgrade in pursuit of these features then it must surely be called for what it is - the evolution and maturation of the entire SOA ecosystem - there were no vendors offering this six years ago, let alone Microsoft.

Even among its chief critics, Microsoft is considered a key initiator and implementer of the broad set of  WS-* standards. The irony of the criticism levelled at Microsoft in the above articles is that, unlike the other vendors mentioned, the Microsoft stack does not require expensive application servers (beyond the operating system and the cost of that pales against say WebSphere) to actually make the conceptual framework of SOA a concrete reality.

Criticism is levelled at the Connected Systems Division vision of agility in SOA applications. Having seen the future, to an extent, this is somewhere that I think shows great promise. It’s arguable whether we’ll actually be able to compartmentalize enterprise applications much longer. Increasingly I see organisations where our approach, even in relation to users on the ground, is about surfacing features out of a broader IT ecosystem within the organisation.  The future of IT agility will centre on the recombination of existing services and function more than it will the creation of new ones.

Lawson’s focus is a lot closer to the coal face. However twice in her post she notes some association between what she calls ‘Open Code’ and SOA. For example:

“I think what’s confusing matters is Microsoft’s inability, thus far, to reconcile SOA’s demands for open code and standards with a business model that’s thrived on proprietary solutions.”

This could not be further from the truth. While SOA certainly demands Open Standards it most explicitly frees us from the need to have ‘Open Code’. By making the boundaries of the application explicit and well described we are freed from knowing anything of their internal workings - if communication with a service requires us to see the ‘Open Code’ then we have surely failed. The SOA landscape and vision is very much one of highly optimised proprietary systems communicating by way of poorly optimised, but open, protocols. As Microsoft moves from a Desktop and Operating Systems company to being a broader vendor of both those tools and more vertically focused platforms it is inevitable that those teams, at the very least, will see the value in exposing their revenue generating applications for use by other vendors platforms. To ignore the need to have Sharepoint Server or Microsoft CRM participate in a broader Serviced ecosystem is to ignore a good portion of the market who don’t buy into the Windows Everywhere vision.

While analysts in glass towers gaze at their Service Oriented Navels, there are a good chunk of us out in the world making at least part of their utopian vision a reality. They would do well to talk amongst us in addition to themselves every once in a while.

.NET|Wednesday, 26 September 2007 03:27:51 UTC|Comments [2]|    

 Wednesday, 12 September 2007
Getting Admin from the Vista Search Box

I'm a huge fan of the Vista search box.

Press the Windows Key -> Type What You Want -> Hit Enter

Wham... no moe mousing around.

Just got a hot tip from Kate Gregory that pressing Ctrl-Shift-Enter runs the program 'As Administrator'

.NET|Wednesday, 12 September 2007 21:28:04 UTC|Comments [4]|    

 Monday, 10 September 2007
Silverlight 1.0 Ships.... Linux support coming.

Press release here

Big news is that Microsoft and Novell are tag teaming to take the Mono Moonlight project forward- thus Silverlight on Linux.

One of the team @ Intergen, James Newton-King has some source code in the Moonlight tree himself....

In fact James has just released a new verion of his JSON.Net library

.NET|Monday, 10 September 2007 05:36:17 UTC|Comments [0]|    

 Sunday, 09 September 2007
IIS Log Analyzer - An Office Open XML Example

The team @ Intergen (Simon 'Skip' Gardiner of Kognition fame was the project lead) have been beavering away recently on an Open Source application for parsing and reporting on IIS log files.

It's called IIS Log Analyzer and it shows how easy it is to use the Office Open XML file formats to do document generation.

While the application is hosted inside Excel (by way of Visual Studio Tools for Office) all the document generation is done with plain old XML generation and some help from the .NET packaging APIs.

OOXML really does open up a wealth of additional options for doing document generation really easily.

Check it out here:

.NET | Intergen|Sunday, 09 September 2007 03:28:08 UTC|Comments [0]|    

 Friday, 07 September 2007
A Day Out Of The Office...... Tamarack + Payette River

Went paddling and mountain biking in Idaho today.... had a blast.

Photos here:

That *should* be a public link....

Adventure Sports | Photography | Travel|Friday, 07 September 2007 03:51:54 UTC|Comments [1]|    

 Wednesday, 29 August 2007
A Question on ODF.....

The Standards Meeting last week decended quite quickly into OOXML vs ODF.... a KEY argument from the ODF side was that OOXML was too long- had too much detail.

So here is a question. Is ODF under-specified?

Do any of the implementations of ODF to date implement it *without* including proprietary extensions? As Stephen McGibbon posits- “implementations effectively have no option but to implement proprietary extensions”.

PoliTechLaw|Wednesday, 29 August 2007 00:44:21 UTC|Comments [0]|    

Former ECMA Cheif on OOXML standardisation

Computerworld (US) have a great article on the whole OOXML standardization row.

This article makes great reading with the following useful points from Jan Van Den Beld.

  • Any standard is going to have flaws in it.
    Certainly ODF will have flaws (the inability to represent the billions of historic documents acurately being one of them). Can you imaging the furore had Microsoft and Apple and the legions of Microsoft developers around the world waged war on ODF as it went through the process?
  • A long standard isn't necessarily bad- Java was over 8000 pages when Sun submitted it to ECMA. IBM are still a member of ECMA and one is OBLIGED to ask why they didn't kick up such a stink around OOXML as it went theough the ECMA Technical Comittee?
  • ECMA and ISO have fast tracked technically similar standards before- the example he gives are DVD formats.
    Multiple, similar standards, while "not a good result, are, because of patent wars, often an inevitable result," he said.
    Of course the war here is not around patents- but if you think that there is any hope of harmonizing OOXML and ODF then just look at the comments from Gary Edwards (he's the Editor of the original ODF standard). “The current memebership of the OASIS ODF TC is clearly and uequivocably on record as opposed to the interoperability the marketplace is screaming for.“



PoliTechLaw|Wednesday, 29 August 2007 00:11:05 UTC|Comments [1]|