Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Community & the Future

A sense of team, a sense of community, is very important to removing walls and setting a level playing field - a great connection with a new colleague has set the creative process in motion.

On towards newness and rebirth...


Wednesday, September 17, 2008

My (demo) iPhone - Final Update

The fun is coming to an end; two free weeks with my demo iPhone are nearly over. Long story short, this will be the final update.

iPhone | Pro

The Package: Nice controls, the minimalistic approach to design, an Apple standard, really shines on the iPhone. Buttons are well placed and obvious in their intent. I really like the vibrate / ring switch - reminiscent of Treo - it sure makes it quick to ensure your phone is set to "stun" for meetings & movies. The external speaker works surprisingly well for phone calls or playing your fav music.

User Interface: Amazing! Apple has done this right from the start. The multi-touch interface works darn near flawlessly, is highly accurate and is just plain fun to use. The iPhone UI makes for a very intuitive experience.

Applications: seem tightly integrated and well thought out. Word & Excel files really pop. The wide selection of 3rd party apps is really a great bonus, although you need to watch out as some of the stuff (especially the free stuff) I got from the app library was a bit flakey (guess that's a con, oh well)

Web: it may be Safari, but it's the best web experience I've ever had on a phone / PDA

Large Screen: bright & beautiful with the ability to see lots of icons

Accelerometer: an amazing piece of technology, on the fly re-orientation of applications and the ability to do a host of amazing things (like cool game play)

WIFI: every PDA should have WIFI

MS Exchange: For business people, this is where the iPhone really stands out. With the touch interface it really made reading mail on the phone fun, loved the way you delete a message by dragging you finger through an email - akin crossing the email off a list. Tight integration for reading / viewing docs - like word / excel / powerpoint.

I could keep going, but I think that covers the key items on my "pro" list

iPhone | Con

No Copy / Paste: while I don't use this feature often, it's still a huge convenience. I'm really surprised Apple didn't add this from the get go.

iTunes: having to tether a PDA phone is really a pain, especially if you're on the road. Also found that free apps require you to enter you Apple ID, what gives? They're free!

No Remote Management: again, this only plays in the corporate world, but unless I missed something (always possible) without the ability to update / fix / kill a phone remotely this is a problem for corporate IT departments.

No Lock Down / Security Levels: users can install / uninstall apps at will - again, this one only plays to the corporate world, but it's an issue.

Lack of 3G Coverage: not an Apple issue, an AT&T issue. Seems that AT&T just doesn't have the 3G coverage of say - Verizon.

Network: again, this is an AT&T issue, but it does affect the iPhone. I got more bars in more places with my Verizon phone than I did with the iPhone.

Battery Life / No Way to Change the Battery: I understand that the 2.1 update will help battery life, believe me, it's needed as I was unable to make it through the day without needing to recharge. You can manage your battery life by turning off WIFI and 3G.

No Turn-by-Turn GPS: seems like the GPS services have gotten better, but they're still behind the GPS offerings from other carriers.

I'm sure there are more pros / cons to add to this list, but that about covers it for my 2 week demo experience with the iPhone. Most of this stuff is identical to every other iPhone review you can find on the 'net. The only difference is that it's coming from an independent user seeking enlightenment on using the iPhone in the Corporate world.

My honest opinion on the iPhone: wait one more generation, especially if you're a corporate user or are thinking of deploying the iPhone in a corporate environment. There's stuff that needs to be addressed, but I don't doubt it'll be a much better phone in its next life.

If you're in to gadgets - go for it - you'll love the iPhone.

This has been fun and I thank AT&T for the demo iPhone.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

My (demo) iPhone part 4

Phone restored and apps working fine! Took some work but once I cleaned up the phone (again) then auth'd it for iTunes use all was well. Again, if trouble happens to someone traveling that requires erase / reset it could be a little bumpy.

Today's testing is all about the coverage - can you hear me now? oh, wait, that's Verizon. I'll be taking the demo iPhone on my travels around town and will report back on coverage v. VZW -



Saturday, September 6, 2008

My (demo) iPhone part 3

So I reset / cleared all data on the demo iPhone - guess what, you need to connect it to iTunes to get things going after doing an erase. This is probably not real convenient for folks on the road, traveling etc. Seems like it could create challenges in the Enterprise too - who wants to depend on a desktop app to keep a smartphone going. BTW - you can make emergency calls after an erase but before connecting to iTunes, so I guess all isn't lost, just most.

So I did the connect to iTunes and got the phone up and running - I'm now having issues when installing apps - they launch then immediately terminate, so this is today's challenge - figure out why apps like Twitterific etc won't run.

I'm really liking the mapping app and the gestures for zooming - very nice.

More to come,


Friday, September 5, 2008

My (demo) iPhone part 2

Ok, so I just decided to "erase all" on the demo iPhone - the iPhone told me that it will take an hour to erase all data & reset. I don't know about you, but my 755P resets & erases all data in about 30 seconds. The Samsung i760 I was playing with last week "erased all" in less than a minute. So why so long for an iPhone? I'm not sure, a couple Google searches didn't return any solid clues, perhaps it's just me and I need to keep searching. Working on mysteries without any clues...

More to come.

From my bunker with demo iPone (wiating for it to erase),


My (demo) iPhone

AT&T was kind enough to drop off a demo iPhone - I get to spend the next couple weeks putting it through its paces. It's only been a couple hours and I already see issues with the AT&T network v. my current Verizon network. If the AT&T network is slower than Verizon and I get signal is fewer places, what good is an iPhone?

So far the touch screen / UI really rocks, I'm not so convinced of the usability of the on-screen keyboard - it's just too small and since not every app rotates, you're stuck with a small keyboard. Perhaps I just have fat thumbs...

Exchange / access to my email setup quickley & easily.

But if the AT&T network is a step down, why do I need an iPhone?

BTW - the test will be a Palm 775P on Verizon against the iPhone - fair? who cares, it's my test.

More to come.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

On PDA's

Every time I try WinMo, I get hurt. Every time I give up on my trusty Treo, I suffer. But I sure wish Palm would pick up the pace and do some serious work on the Plam OS: the Palm devices and OS need some updating - big time.

Back in the day, the Treo was the iPhone. Even today, the Palm Desktop seems to work better / faster on OSX / Mac. So why does it seem like Palm gave up and is lagging far behind in bringing new devices and a better Palm OS to market? I have no idea. I do know that I've given up on WinMo, I'm not going to try it again, no matter how loud or sweetly the gadget gods sing. I love my Treo 755P - it's faster than any WinMo device, I can use it with one hand, and the quick launch buttons really make my life easy. While the grass often looks greener, it isn't. The key to getting along with your PDA, is to stick with what you know and not "jumping ship" for every pretty PDA that washes down the river.

If only iPhone were a Verizon device...

Thursday, August 28, 2008

On History

There is nothing like watching history being made

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Web 2.0 - Evlove or Die

embrace web 2.0 for your own evolution, the evolution of your business and the understanding of your evolved customer

Friday, July 18, 2008

Time & Media

If we see time in terms of media - what does today look like?

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Social Media & Defined Identity

Am I defining social media or is social media defining me?

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Social Media & Understanding

The closer I get to understanding social media, the more foreign it becomes. Do I really get it? Is social media part of something that has passed me by? "Envision Occam" I think to myself...

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Vision & Partnership

where vision is needed, none is available; where global thinking & business partnership can support a mission, there is still a void

Monday, June 2, 2008

The Constant NP Tech Struggle

The NP world does not want for good technology ideas & practices; it’s the uptake & implementation that is labored.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Moving Towards Change

Wow, talk about being spent. The past couple months has been the most intense period of my entire I.T. career - so far. Without the support of my CEO, incredible staff and amazing wife I'm not sure I would have made it.

It's one thing to build an IT infrastructure as you grow - it's another to move a completely built infrastructure and triple the size to support growth & future operations.

There are so many things I'd like to write about:

I have a whole new sense of TEAM as it relates to IT. One of my fav movies has the line "there is no I in t - e - a - m!" Cliche? yes - but true beyond words. To be a good leader you need to replace I and my with we and our. There is no leadership without team.

The ART of IT is everything. As I talk to friends & colleagues in the IT world about the CEO / IT relationship the conversation takes one of two paths - those that have a great relationship with their CEO and those that aren't sure where the CEO's office is. Our success as IT leaders is dependent on our relationship with our CEO. We have to align with their goals & vision.

Here's a bold statement: You can future-proof your IT infrastructure. Modular, state-of-the-shelf choices with a pinch of state-of-the-art support "future" - oh, and a good relationship with your CEO.

There is an odd emptiness that follows the completion of a major project. I can't quite describe it and I'm not sure what to do about it. Perhaps I just need to be aware and listen. Stepping through & towards monumental change sure has ups & downs. The project continues, never complete - ever changing.

There is so much more to document...

Monday, March 17, 2008

The ART of Technology
By John Merritt

In every successful recipe there are key ingredients. Too much of one ingredient or too little of another can have very interesting effects on the outcome of the dish. It’s no different when it comes to technology. In today’s world, business is driven by technology; the days of seeing technology merely as a necessary evil have long passed. Networking technologies are used to quickly move and access information, we analyze our stored data to make sound decisions, websites & eCommerce focus on bringing convenience to our customers, email systems allow us to communicate around the world in the blink of an eye, we track vehicles via satellite, cell phones keep us in touch - the list goes on and on. Take a moment to think of what it would be like to do your job in today’s world without technology – how efficient would you be?

The recipe for technology contains 3 key ingredients: Alignment, Relationship and Transparency. Each of these, in balance, can assist in making technology a useful, functional and invisible tool within our organizations. The ART of technology is not about the PC on your desk or the server in the backroom. The ART of technology is about our interaction with systems, process and one another as we work toward efficient business operations and fully meeting the mission. Undoubtedly, the cycles of budgeting, planning, purchasing, implementing and maintaining technology is very important too, but for now, let’s focus on the ART of technology.

Alignment: Ensuring the technology decisions we make are focused on the business and mission. Don’t do technology just for the sake of technology, measure technology against the mission to ensure fiscal responsibility and business focused solutions. Alignment also works toward strategic planning and the use of technology to support current and future initiatives.

Relationship: The relationship is everything. Technology staff should constantly think “partnership” and ask “how can I work with my team to ensure technology supports the vision?” It’s the synergy of people and technology that creates solutions. Seek out partnerships with staff; get to know their frustrations, needs & challenges. Listen first, then work together towards solutions and improved business processes.

Transparency: It’s not about technology; it’s about the business and the mission. Technology should work like a light switch; with little or no thought. It’s about working smarter not harder. Poor business processes can often highlight nontransparent technologies; map your business processes and find ways to leverage the efficiency of technology by making the technology disappear. After all, technology doesn’t matter – solutions and good business process are what get the CEO’s attention.

It’s no coincidence the ART of Technology is built on three key ingredients. Like a triangle, the ART of Technology is about balance. Build your strategic technology goals to align with the business and mission of your organization; focus on the ART of Technology. Achieving this balance is a journey and there will always be much to accomplish. It’s not about the priorities of the technologist; it’s about the priorities of the organization. If you want to make technology part of your organizations priority list – use the ART of Technology.

(Much) More to come.



Technology is 80% people and 20% geekery

Slowest blogger - ever

I started this blog about a year ago, this is the 2nd post - set me up for the slow blogging award (or longest time between posts) - will soon post my (skeletal) article on my basic technology philosophy - the A.R.T. of Technology -