December 14, 2002

IM in the Enterprise?

Phil Windley is talking about IM in the Enterprise and says something a bit stange:

I've been wanting an enterprise IM tool for some time, but couldn't justify the cost. Now, its part of Groupwise, so that helps the ROI considerably.

I'm wondering what the costs really are. Given that the software (Jabber) is free on both the client and server, what's left? Deployment? That's a one-time cost that's no higher than deploying any other softwrae. Training? IM software isn't terribly complex (compared to Word or Excel). Many already use IM at home thanks to AOL, Microsoft, or Yahoo. The less technically inclined can always ask their kids for help. :-)

We use it all the time at work, but we are Yahoo (or are we borg?). So we're eating our own dog food. It has been an indespensible tool for a long time. It sure beats the phone when you don't know if someone it working at home, at another desk, and so on. Heck, the even without the M part of IM, the presence services alone are quite handy. You can convey a lot of information with a 40-60 character "status" message like, "At lunch--back around 1pm" or "Fixing critical bugs---don't disturb!"

If I was still at my old job, I'm sure some of us would be using some sort of IM tool to keep track of each other. Come to think of it, we were already toying around with ICQ when I left 3 years ago. Amusingly, we had to resort to some funky tricks to make it work with the corporate firewall, but that wouldn't an issue today. We would just run our own (internal) Jabber server.

Posted by jzawodn at 10:02 PM

My DSL is going away...

Damn. It would appear that DirecTV DSL (formerly Telocity) is going away.

We have some difficult news to share. With the dramatic change in the capital markets and the significant shift in the telecom operating environment, DIRECTV Broadband can no longer stand as an independent business.

That means my DSL goes away. I've gotta find someone else who will give me a static IP address and not rape me on the price. What fun.

Posted by jzawodn at 04:18 PM

Power Outage

It's raining and blowing like mad in the Bay Area today. I just had a 3.5 hour power outage. Yuck.

Oh, well. It could be worse. At least it doesn't snow here.

Posted by jzawodn at 04:09 PM

December 11, 2002

Froogle, aka "Google Shopping"

From the Google weblog:

New, from Google: Froogle! "Froogle is a new service from Google that makes it easy to find information about products for sale online. By focusing entirely on product search, Froogle applies the power of Google's search technology to a very specific task: locating stores that sell the item you want to find and pointing you directly to the place where you can make a purchase."

Hm, I seem to remember hinted that something like this might happen. Just don't ask how I knew. :-)

Does anyone else see the pattern here?

Posted by jzawodn at 08:51 PM

The Digital Divide

MediaSavvy nails the "digital divide"

I don't know who came up with the phrase "Digital Divide", but it's brilliant. It (unintentionally) redirects us from the growing divide between the rich and the poor in this country. Should we focus on ameliorating the digital divide or on helping the poor with income, housing, education, and medical care? How can we focus on the digital divide when Republicans and Democrats alike are targeting income, inheritance, and dividend tax breaks at the rich?

It's a loaded issue that doesn't get enough attention.

Posted by jzawodn at 08:45 PM

Conference Agreement

Weblogs really need some sort of cross-weblog threading system. Maybe we just need more TrackBack support in other tools like Radio. Dave, will be native TrackBack support in a future Radio?

So, Scott has replied to my comments on his comments on Dave's thoughts about conferences. And it seems we agree. We're on the same page. Excellent.

Posted by jzawodn at 09:20 AM

December 10, 2002

Conferences Do Matter

In responding to Dave, I see that Scott's down on conferences. I have to disagree. It's not just about innovation. Some conferences matter a lot--at least to me. Here's why.


In the last couple of years, I've made the transition from attendee to presenter. When I go to technical conferences, I'm usually there to present something as well as to learn from others. In fact, the only tech conference I attended this year that I did not present at was the O'Reilly Mac OS X Conference. But I did participate by blogging it.

I presented at the PHP Conference and four times (1, 2, 3, and 4 is not on-line) at the O'Reilly Open Source Convention. I will be presenting at next year's MySQL Conference as well. I seem to present twice a year at work, like this. And I've even talked at the local Perl Mongers.

(Okay, my horn is all tooted out now...)

The point is that I help to teach other people about the technology that matters to me. Conferences are a great way of doing that. I know because attendees will frequently tell me that they enjoyed my talks and learned from them.


I get to meet people I might not otherwise meet. Sometimes there are people who I can chat with via e-mail, but it's not until we spend some face to face time that ideas really get flowing. And I've even managed to stay in touch with some of 'em.

Several times now, I've taken the opportunity to talk with the MySQL folks about ideas I've had. I do it in person because it's a lot easier and faster. Discussions that might normally take days or weeks only need 15 minutes in person. Conferences are great for that kind of stuff.

Diversity of Ideas

I see and hear things at conferences that I wouldn't otherwise pay attention to. Often times they inspire me to try something new, learn a new piece of software, or just think differently about a problem.

It sort of reminds me of being back in College. There's a good diversity of ideas and a passion for them at the conferences I attend. That helps keep me going. It gives me a boost a few time a year.

Posted by jzawodn at 11:03 PM

Back on Track

Thanks to a bit of a reminder from Kasia, I've cleaned off the weight bench again. Am I'm even thinking about spending a couple hours a week in the gym at work on the bikes that don't actually go anywhere. Hm. Maybe I could motivate myself if I got an iPod to use when ridding.

I only suggest that because my insurance kicked in and paid off a bunch of dental bills, so I'm getting about $500 back in a few weeks. That's just about what I'd need for a 20GB iPod. And, by some stroke of luck, I have almost exactly 20GB of MP3s in my collection.

Posted by jzawodn at 10:19 PM

Credit Reports

It looks like Don is having some bad luck with a credit agency. I know what that's like. I hate those companies. They're such idiots and they're always on the side of the company, not the consumer. Always.

Posted by jzawodn at 05:55 PM

Brandt's Blog

Well, after a bit of harassing from Dan, I registered the domain and setup MovableType so that our friend Brandt could have a blog named Soup is Good. Brandt is a funny, cyanical bastard that I've known since college. We lived together for a year and also had a really, really, really bad roommate in common.

Hopefully he'll talk about his radio show (sorry, no link handy) and rant about whatever happens to be pissing him off. He's good at that. He'll need a bit of time to tinker with MT, templates, styles, and so on. But give his blog a read. I suspect it'll be entertaining.

Posted by jzawodn at 04:22 PM

Kernel Mode Linux

Well, you've heard of User Mode Linux, right? It allows you to run Linux on Linux in a sort of VMWareish way. Well, now we have Kernel Mode Linux. That's right, you can run normal processes in kernel mode.

Open source never ceases to both amaze and amuse me. :-)

Posted by jzawodn at 04:17 PM