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Showing posts from 2012

It's a hybrid !!

The motor car industry is in transition right now. It is a slow process that will take the motor car back to it's roots as the 'electric carriage' of the 1830's.  Electric cars were common until the petrol (gasoline) overcame the limitations of battery storage capacity and vehicle distance, to dominate the market for over 100 years.  The long term trend in the rising cost of fuel, the impact of the combustion engine on the environment and changing social/work patterns have re-introduced the electric car back into the market.
Despite electric car innovation, if you are in the market for a new car today, it's likely that you will settle for a hybrid. The hybrid overcomes the deficiencies of current battery technology in electric cars while offsetting the rising cost of petrol.

Mobile application development can be described in much the same way. When people talk about writing mobile applications, they often talk about 'native' and 'HTML5' based appli…

Sorry Sir, this club is SaaS only

Client: "....sounds great I'll take it. You do support on premise, don't you? We're an on-premise business"

Sorry Sir, we don't that. Let me explain why, Sir, by dispelling two software myths right off the bat.
1. companies that produce on premise software understand how to run it in production
2. your IT department can manage an app better than the SaaS company that makes it

Despite your disappointment and hurt feelings, Sir,  deep down you know that I'm right...

Client: "....I have some of the best ops guys in the business. You don't know my business"

Nice car Sir! Topped up the oil Sir? Water and air? But beyond that you probably leave car maintenance to the 'experts' Sir? The local dealer or the manufacturer that produces your car? Of course Sir, you're too busy and can't possibly spend the time to become a specialist in car maintenance Sir, can you? You are the car user but 'operations' is outsourced to a third par…

Let's get into character

There's a classic line in Quentin Tarantino's "Pulp Fiction". Two hit men, Jules (Samuel L. Jackson) and Vincent (John Travolta), are on their way to a job where they could be dealing with as many as six guys.

Jules says to Vincent that they should “get into character,” indicating that they each play a part when they go on the job. The job of hit man is nothing more than a career choice and they don’t necessarily define themselves within those parameters.


That's great advice that every software developer and product manager should take note of. Put yourself in the position of the user and really role play the moment or the "day in the life". Better still - get out of the office and go on the road and sit with the user you think you are building software for. I say "think" because most people building software are kidding themselves that what they are building is good for the user.  Think like a movie star. You really need to get inside of the…

Best Buy #FAIL: snatching defeat from the jaws of victory

Sony, Samsung, HP, Gateway - take note. You spend billions of dollars on research, development, marketing and advertising only to hand the keys to the kingdom over to a retail store and cross your fingers that the stores' happy elves will help your products will fly off the shelves.

Oh dear.

I went to Best Buy on Sunday - looking for a monitor for my office at work. If it's been a while since you've bought a monitor let me just say that now is an incredible time to get a great monitor for a low price. You should think about upgrading your existing monitor for an energy efficient LED model, they're as slim as a credit card, save space, look great. (OK - not as slim as a credit card - but pretty close).
As with anything technical I'd done my research before I went to the store - had a specific size in mind, resolution, HDMI ports and I'd preselected a couple of manufacturers. I checked that the store had the monitors I'd selected, in stock. Should have been …

Get Dropbox on your Kindle Fire

Frustrated that you cannot find Dropbox on the Amazon store ? No worries, getting Dropbox on your Kindle is pretty straightforward and works like a charm. To do this all you need to do is set up your Kindle to accept installation of apps from unknown sources and then download the dropbox.apk file from the secure (https) dropbox.com website.

Here are the detailed instructions:

Preparation
Click the gear icon in the top-right corner of the Kindle screen On the Settings window click the "More +" button then select the "Device" option.Turn on ‘Allow Installation of Applications from Unknown Sources’. Close the Settings window.

Setup Open the web browser, go to https://www.dropbox.com/android, click Download App.  This will download the Dropbox .apk fileWhen the download is finished, open the notification in the top left corner and select the file.You will be prompted to install the application.  Click the button.Once installation is completed, start the Dropbox applicatio…

How to get the BBC iPlayer running when you live outside of the UK

(subtext: Get the World's most famous detective on your favourite browser)

The new series of Sherlock has started on the BBC. If you live outside of the UK and you are too impatient to wait for your local TV content provider to host it for you - then fear not !! These simple instructions will get you up and running. In addition to the iPlayer you can access most of the other UK TV channels using the same method. Note: you can use the same method to access content in other countries - such as Hulu in the U.S.

How it works:  In simple terms, the BBC iPlayer, like other players, perform a check to determine whether your internet access is originating from the UK.  So the trick is to ensure that your access to the BBC website will originate from the UK.



First you are going to use a free piece of open source software that was designed to keep your internet access anonymous. You will add a setting that will ensure that the software makes use of servers in the UK whenever making requests…