I just got back from the first day of Networld+Interop 2003
here in Las Vegas.
John Chambers from Cisco did the Keynote speech early in the
morning. Nothing new, just a lot more pitches for new products. There was even a contrived script acting (a bit of Hollywood here). Cisco set up a
play-pretend building-construction company in order to show how its products can
help streamline and optimize the business. Chambers then play-acted with some
of his marketing folks to show how seamless their technology fits into the
business flow. All this is in attempt to WOW the 2 to 3 thousand attendees who
sat through the presentation. Unfortunately they don't tell you that the
products being presented are just a few days new. They also don't tell you that
the cost to set up such an infrastructure would put any business person's
pocketbooks on fire. Applied to the construction business where costs are
particularly scrutinized, the whole scenario just doesn't make any sense.
It was an interesting scenario though. But had I wanted to see
science-fiction, I would rent a copy of Minority Report. Chambers and Co. could have at least consulted a real construction business. They could have played real-world cost/benefits trade-offs.... but then that wouldn't have fit into the imaginary story.
The same sort of theme continued in the exhibits area. There were companies
galore and and this time the hot theme was Wi-Fi.
Everyone was pushing hot products.
Come see our cool product the IG3920, the Iron9293, the NetSpeed
we are the global leader in gazoo-mazig,
our product is used by 29 gazillion companies in the world.
After noticing a couple of these, it became funny. Then it became tiresome because I began to wonder if the speaker knows or even cares about what he is jabbering.
More pipes. More gee-wiz. I could swear the person giving the speeches at each
company must have degrees in snake-oil.
Get a clue.... we're in a recession. Everybody has got too much
gee-wiz already. No one seems to be answering the only question in
business: How do we make money from all the existing gee-wiz?
Bits are... after all... only bits. I didn't see a product that showed an
interesting way of using the bits. Just more products pushing more bits.
I don't think the theme of the show has changed from the one in 1999.
Rule of thumb when buying hard disks. Disk manufacturers round-up the numbers when they sell their drives. This gives the buyers a false sense that they are buying a larger drive than it actually is. The correct use of computer terminology is:
1 Kilobyte = 1024 bytes
1 Megabyte = 1024 kilobytes
1 Gigabyte = 1024 megabytes = 1024 * 1024 * 1024 = 1,073,741,824 bytes
The manufacturer claims that they use the following measurement which in reality translates to the following definition.
1 Kilobyte = 1000 bytes
1 "Gig" = 1,000,000,000 bytes
This redefinition of basic computer terms creates a ramification. The new interpretation translates to a new reality:
100 "Gigs" = 100,000,000,000 bytes = 93.13226 gigabytes
120 "Gigs" = 111.7587 gigabytes
150 "Gigs" = 139.6984 gigabytes
200 "Gigs" = 186.2645 gigabytes
250 "Gigs" = 232.8831 gigabytes
As you can see, the smaller the drive is, the smaller the fib. The larger the drive becomes, the difference from the truth becomes noticably visible. Of course, the benefit goes to the manufacturers who can claim that they are selling a larger drive than it actually is.
Unskilled and Unaware of It: How Difficulties in Recognizing One's Own Incompetence Lead to Inflated Self-Assessments . This provides more thought into the theory that maybe we are the worst of all people to assess ourselves. Our views are sometimes skewed in the direction of self-interest and self-aggrandizement. It is not an intentional thing, it is just our nature.
Here is some business sense from Eric Sink. The article is: Choose Your Competition. It is, in a sense, a stand on divorcing technology from business. Sometimes this is absolutely necessary in order to bring your product focus and business focus back on track.
Feb-7-2004 : Getting Started with your own Company
It's time to put web designing and website development in its place. We
often think of web sites as monumental feats and large constructs which are
difficult to build, maintain, and proliferate. Additionally, they are large
degrees of programming that take an army to keep up. While it is true that some are like that, the majority are just simple directories that
your web server (be it IIS or Apache) delivers to the public. Graphic designers
and web hosting services would like you to believe that web presence is
something monumental. Visit any web designer site and you will see all the
fluff words and words-of-cajole that tell you how they will make your business
better. Take what they say with large grains of salt. I now offer you a paradigm shift to counter their point-of-view. You
can think of the following items as its equivalents:
If we think of things this way, it is actually more close to the truth.
These are just some evidence that to a lot of greedy people, virtualness can
equate to a-lot-of-bullshit-ness.
That is essentially the main impediment pitting the Linux and Windows political camps. For human beings, we just want something we need done for us. It would be nice if it was done nice and neatly, but ultimately, it needs to be done. That is what Windows does best: it formalizes the things that we do most: word processing, excel, email, code editing.... and presents it in a very nice way. Things it doesn't do well are the odd little things we need once in a while. For example: find all the files that I have referenced "John and Mary" in this directory. In Unix, it's grep -i "john and mary" * . That is the forte and the distilled credo of unix. Provide basic simple tools and have the tools work well. This article: Migrating to Linux not easy for Windows Users is quite apt. In order to use the hammer, saw, or even digital volt meter (DVM), you need to have some sort of basis or background. The basis for Windows users do not prepare them for Unix. The expection then is for Unix to look at least 90% like Windows. The folks in the Linux camp are making their OS go in that direction.... whether they will succeed is anyone's guess.