Saturday, September 15, 2007

Sun going the way of Silicon Graphics

So, now that Sun Microsystems has changed their ticker symbol from "SUNW" to "JAVA", they've agreed to be a Windows OEM. I remember when Silicon Graphics started shipping Windows on their machines; I thought, "Why bother buying an SGI machine anymore?" By shipping a commodity OS on their hardware, they are instantly placing themselves in direct competition with the other PC server vendors. The only two places they can compete are hardware and price. And they're big losers in the price wars. Contrast that strategy with Apple's. While there may be some small differences in hardware or price between Apple and Windows server vendors, the big differentiating factor is the software.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

A year of bicycle commuting

It's been a year since I started bicycle commuting. I had an informal goal of riding 2000 miles in this year, including all types of riding. I've gotten to 1560 miles, which isn't too bad, especially considering that I had one virus after another for about six weeks this past spring (one of the joys of parenthood). I guess I'm feeling pretty good about this, and now I have something to shoot for next year: at least riding more than 1560 miles, and hopefully going 2000 miles (if I can stay healthy and ride a century or two, this shouldn't be a problem).

Friday, September 07, 2007

Declaring creativity bankruptcy

I previously wrote about an iPhone copycat product. An unknown company can probably be excused (at least, by those of us who have no intellectual property involved) the desire to make a quick buck off of the latest Apple product. But a large, well-known company? I submit that this is the creativity equivalent of declaring email bankruptcy: Nokia's admitting that they'll never catch up with the rate of innovation of one of their competitors. And this product is vaporware! That's right, they can't even imagine making something that looks significantly different than the iPhone. Sad.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Holy crap

Has anyone every heard of something like this happening? I mean, other than for items purchased at Nordstrom? I had to triple-check the URL to be sure it wasn't a hoax, and even then I was thinking that someone might have hacked Apple's web site (the fact that it was linked from Fake Steve Jobs' blog didn't help). Mr. Jobs, you're a mensch.

Inbox zero, five sentences, and email bankruptcy

I just watched Merlin Mann's "Inbox Zero" video on the bus today, and am dedicating myself to incorporating this into my daily life over the next week or so (the part about ignoring my email and getting work done is easy; processing my inbox is harder). I'm especially intrigued by two enhancements to this: five sentences and email bankruptcy:

five sentences
Brought to us by Mike Davidson, this is a nice way to get people used to received brief replies without being offended: put the Q&A with web link in your signature. For what it's worth, Guy Kawasaki has opined that five sentences is the optimal length for emails.
email bankruptcy
This is another way to say, "Face reality, you're never going to do anything about the thousand emails in your inbox." Just send out a blanket email: a global reset of all of your email communications. Tell them that they shouldn't wait for replies to anything they've sent to you in the past, and to resend anything that is urgent. Lawrence Lessig has done it. So have others.
Of course, this begs the real question. As Merlin points out, email isn't either problem or the solution, but it can serve as the canary in the coal mine. The fact that so many of us are hopelessly behind is symptomatic of a fundamental underlying problem in our workflow that we need to address. In this way, email bankruptcy is just like the financial kind.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007


In honor of Apple's newly announced iPod lineup, a very funny fake ad. The blinking "12:00" is a nice touch.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Remote access via iPhone

It's hard to describe how neat it is to see your computer's desktop on your cell phone. Or to browse your files there. I know, there are other ways to accomplish this, and it's not too different than VNC. But, still very cool.