Friday, 30 January 2009

Are there any "Green Shoots"

In January this year a government minister was attacked by opposition party members after she said she could see the "green shoots" of an economic recovery, she was made to apologise for that comment as the backlash was so severe.
It was put into the same context as the 1991 comments by the then Conservative chancellor, Norman Lamont, who also famously claimed to have detected "the green shoots of economic spring", during the economic downturn, provoking widespread criticism. I do not believe for one moment that these two comments were said in the same context at all. For a start, Norman Lamont also implied that everything was rosy and there was not a problem with anything! - Wrongly...
Shriti Vadera said those words in the context of " yes there are troubled times ahead and things are really tough, but there are good things happening" - I truly believe that this is the case.

What is the most valuable asset out there today?

Confidence:- This is extremely valuable to our economic growth and recovery. Yes things are really tough and salesmen across the country have had to start to actually work! by that i mean they have never really been salesmen, they have been order takers primarily.
The world has changed overnight and they are now faced with a dilemma, continue with the techniques of yesterday and run the risk of failure, or move with the times and start working on relationship building and partnerships to work together through difficult times.

Being open to new relationships and partnerships strengthens your company and helps to ensure your future. Regardless of the so called "credit crunch" all businesses are spending money on something each and every day - Give them what they need, not just what they want.

I agree with Shriti Vadera, there are "Green Shoots" sprouting through the mass of weeds, we all need to be confident of the future whilst respecting the current situation by changing what we do or how we do it.

Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Malaysian Goverment saves 11.2 million dollars since introducing Open Source


So, OSS was introduced into the Malaysian main stream in 2004 and it has seen massive support and cost savings across the board.

Why not here then?
Well, i believe that one of the most contributing factors why companies/schools are nervous about adopting OSS is familiarity! They like the fact that they can see MS stamped on the discs they use and the software they promote.
One of the hardest jobs is to convince the head of IT at a school that he is not acting in the best interests of the school by dismissing OSS, he has been trained on the proprietary software and is making his decisions based on that experience.
Just look at some of the case studies that schools have written about their experiences with OSS. I work with OSS on a daily basis, in fact I would be surprised if one of you does not come across it on a daily basis - its everywhere. This knowledge has convinced me that OSS is the future, do not dismiss it because you do not understand it, embrace it and start to enjoy more freedom in your solutions.

Thursday, 8 January 2009

10 predictions for open source in 2009

I found this and thought it was a good article to re-blog:- Jacks original post can be found here

Jack Wallen believes that the new year holds a great deal of promise for the Linux OS and open source software — from an explosion in the mobile arena to large-enterprise scalability to widespread adoption of OpenOffice 3. See if you agree with his outlook.

2009 is here. And for people like me, that means it’s time to put together not a “year in review” but a “year in preview.” I don’t like to look back; I like to look ahead. So I offer you this list of what I see in the year to come for the Linux operating system and open source software.

Note: This article is also available as a PDF download.

#1: Android

I think 2009 is going to see the Android mobile operating system finally showing Apple and the iPhone that there is, indeed, another game in town. So far, we really only have the T-Mobile G1. But waiting in the wings are the Motorola Android phone, the Asus Eee Phone, the OpenMoko GTA02, and an LG Android phone. These are all rumored to be arriving some time in 2009. When they do hit the shelves, things are going to be interesting for the iPhone.

Think about it — an iPhone-like piece of hardware with open source software that anyone can develop for. No more App Store headaches. No more wondering if anyone might ever develop that killer app you need (or waiting for Apple to approve that killer app you need). Add to that the fact that the operating system itself is open, which means when problems arise they will be fixed. Oh, and need I say “copy/paste”? I didn’t think so. 2009 will bring an end to the idea that the iPhone is the only smart phone to own.

#2: GNOME vs. KDE

I think 2009 will finally see GNOME rise above KDE as the better Linux desktop. For a long time, GNOME has been suffocated by the presence of KDE 3.x and with good reason — KDE 3.x was an outstanding desktop. KDE 3.x had everything a good Linux desktop should have: user friendliness, stability, flexibility, eye candy. GNOME was trying too hard to be a bad copy of OS X. With the advent of KDE 4 the tables have turned.

This is not just a situation where KDE 4.x is so bad that GNOME, as bad as it is, is better. GNOME 2.24 is good, really good. GNOME has gone a little ways to restoring its roots and allowing a bit more flexibility with the desktop. But more important, GNOME 2.24 has finally found some solid footing. GNOME is now as stable as KDE 3.x ever was. And now that KDE has obviously decided to go down a much less popular route with KDE 4, it is going to have a hard year. More and more people and distributions will drop KDE in favor of GNOME. I realize there is no going back for KDE, but going forward better bring much more promise than this Linux desktop has shown thus far.

#3: Preinstalled

This has come and this has gone, I know. But HP is now promising to get into the “preinstalling Linux game” and that bodes well for the open source operating system. Add to this the ever-rising tide of netbook sales, and preinstalled Linux sales will begin to show improvement and continue to improve throughout the year. This will not be a flash-in-the pan like we saw with Wal-mart selling desktops preinstalled to unaware consumers. This time around, people will continue to purchase netbooks with a Linux operating system perfectly matched for the purpose. And look out Microsoft — Canonical (the founders/supporters of Ubuntu) is collaborating with AMD on a version of Ubuntu perfectly matched with the ARM processor (the processor common in netbooks.)

#4: Brtfs

Brtfs is the new copy on write file system that is focused on fault tolerance, repair, and administration. This file system offers Linux something that other file systems lack: the ability to scale to the level of larger enterprises. Version 1 of this file system should arrive in 2009, which could mean that by the end of the year, distributions could be shipping with a large-scale, enterprise-ready kernel. This is big news for Linux because it will finally have the tools to overcome the biggest hurdle for enterprise adoption.

#5: OpenGL for the masses

This has been a long time coming. In 2008, NVidia released a version of OpenGL 3.0 driver for FLOSS OpenGL. But Mesa didn’t. Mesa, however, is back and working on a 3.0-compatible release. I am confident that other chip makers will follow suit. This will bring OpenGL to the Linux community in both proprietary and free sources. Along with this, I can see far easier installations of such 3D desktops as Compiz-Fusion. Can you imagine Compiz-Fusion out of the box? On top of that, Linux will have a much easier time working with the newest video technology. Add to this the new drive to move video subsystems to the kernel level using GEM (Graphics Execution Manager) and KMS (Kernel Mode Setting).

#6: The cloud

I am going to preface this with a big “if.” IF cloud computing does finally gain any solid ground, Linux will lead the way. Be it on the server end or the client end, Linux already has the tools it needs to create solid cloud environments. (It has for a long time.) Linux has always been ahead of Microsoft in this respect. And if the cloud actually develops into the storm the media has been predicting, Linux will reap many benefits. I, for one, am a little hesitant to say that the cloud has arrived. Amazon already has a Linux cloud out of beta.

#7: OpenOffice 3

2009 will see far more deployments, taking a chunk out of the Microsoft Office pie. OpenOffice 3 offers a host of new features that are just right for enterprise adoption. But that is not the real kicker. With the economy as it is, companies are doing everything they can to cut costs. One area of quick and painless cost cutting is office suites. And when the typical end user starts to see how little difference there is between Microsoft Office and OpenOffice, the fire will spread rapidly. One of the issues keeping OpenOffice from the top of the charts is visibility. When people know there is a free alternative to Microsoft Office they will use it.

#8: Enlightenment

This one is a bit niche-y, but I have to address it. I believe that 2009 will see the developers of the Enlightenment desktop finally endorse E17 as stable. If you have followed the Enlightenment window manager (my favorite, by the way), you know that E16 has been the default forever and E17 has been the unstable development branch forever. 2009 will see E17 be listed as stable. However, I hope that E16 goes nowhere. The E16 version of Enlightenment is one of the best holdovers from Linux’ romantic period. I can still say, “This desktop I am using now is the same as it was when I was using back in the day.” So even when E17 becomes stable in 2009, I hope E16 is always around.

#9: Ubuntu

I see two things happening with Ubuntu. The first is that Ubuntu server will finally be adopted as a viable solution for enterprise server needs. The second is that Ubuntu 9.04 (Jaunty Jackalope) will find its way to the desktop and become the de facto standard of the user-friendly level of Linux operating systems. Ubuntu already has a strong hold on entry-level user installs. With 9.04, Ubuntu will probably deliver the best benchmarking of any desktop Linux ever, as well as the best hardware support. With the possible adoption of EXA acceleration, ATI video cards will see vastly improved support, and wireless/Bluetooth will include a powering-down feature. Ubuntu 9.04 will give Linux a much-needed push onto the desktop in 2009.

#10: Firefox

This one is quickly becoming a no-brainer. Firefox will, in 2009, finally usurp Internet Explorer as King of Browsers. It’s been a long time coming, but the problems Internet Explorer has faced in 2008 will show Firefox reaping the benefits. And I think this time around, it will go well beyond Firefox seeing a jump in usage. Firefox will take the lion’s share of the user base away from Microsoft. Because of this, the ‘net will become a safer place and fewer bugs will be reported. But by the end of the year, Google will release a mass-appeal-ready version of Chrome, which will chip into both Firefox’ and Internet Explorer’s pies. The browser wars will be renewed.

Bright future

I think the trends in 2009 are sure to bring a smile to the faces of the Linux and open source communities. What do you think? Is 2009 going to finally be the year of Linux? If so, why?

Wednesday, 7 January 2009

Vietnam goes "100 per cent open source" by 2010

This story has just broke:

Vietnam's government is going "100 per cent open source". VietnamNet Bridge reports that the Vietnam Ministry of Information and Communications has set out an aggressive policy to go "100 per cent open source" by December 31st 2010.

The list of prescribed software includes the OpenOffice office suite, Mozilla Firefox and Thunderbird and Vietnamese typing software Unikey. From the report it isn't clear if open source operating systems or server applications are being mandated by the government, or if the instruction solely refers to desktop applications.

The programme starts with the IT departments of government ministries, who have been told that by June 30th, 2009, they will have to have 100 per cent of their servers working with open source software and all staff must be trained in the use of that software. The policy gives a little breathing space saying "and at least 50 per cent to be able to use them proficiently".

By the end of 2009, the goal is to have 70 per cent of all official servers and 70 per cent of IT staff working with open source software. By the 2010 deadline, all staff, not just IT staff, will be required to work with open source software.

If you plant an acorn - it will grow into a very big tree!

Tuesday, 6 January 2009

Mackys Ramblings on next generation journalism.

I tweeted today that I was going to be asking interviewing my MD about " Death of one way media!".
A few of you kindly responded and the transcript follows:

Q. @Documentally - Ask if Macky thinks flexible e-ink paper technolgy will revolutionise the humble news paper?

A. No:
The majority of folks who read a newspaper like the feel and the way it fills their immediate physical space. This ensures others are aware that they are absorbed in a newspaper and respect their intellectual investment. It is important not to neglect all of the human senses used whilst picking up and feeling paper, much of this is lost when refined or digitised.
Others find that they want the content anywhere on any medium and are hampered reading a broadsheet on a cramped train or having it blown out of their hands. These users are not necessarily compatible with a newspaper so would benefit from new technologies. Probably not e-ink though.
I am sure the will be new audiences who find that e-ink is important and becomes the only way they can operate, just as some are with a filofax.

Q. @hej_music - How far is too far?

A. Never too far if proper motivations are maintained without corruption.

Q. Is there a limit?

A. If it could ever be done, it will be done, therefore it can be done so should be done.

Q. Does there need to be?

A. Not if proper motivations are maintained without corruption.

Q. or will human nature/survival of the fittest win out?

A. Humans should not be under the illusion that they have control, just influence.
We have diluted our strengths over the years, could you survive in a jungle for the next 10 years unaided? We have learnt to survive in an artificial environment promoted for short term gain of the beneficiary. This is not a new practise but citing examples should be saved for face to face as it is always easy for opinions to be twisted and I do not have the time to get caught up in arguments just now. In the long stretch, I believe that survival of the fittest will prevail. How "fittest" is judged is another question ....

Q. @hej_music - Another question: Is it possible for those in
authority to control viewpoints without 'one way media'?

A. Yes, in the short term. I think that respect from the audience will dwindle if information is filtered therefore ultimately, crowd control via information starvation has a limited future.

Q. hej_music: @HighKeyLee #dedmedia Good example being twitter coverage of #gaza in comparison to mainstream tv/print.

Macky: I heard of some news in Russia that never made the papers, probably far more interesting than the latest banker to find himself jobless and hard up.

Q. inspiritu: If traditional media dies, will journalistic integrity survive?

A. Greater than ever. The truly skilled messengers will be listened to above the ones on payroll.

Q. How, who pays for it?

A. The world has had messengers way before bank accounts, pound notes, precious metals etc etc...

Monday, 5 January 2009

Back to it...

Happy new to you all....

It was a nice one for me, just me and the family with my Mum...

So what is on the agenda in 2009 - The talk on the wire is that this month will see many more job loses and with that comes bad feelings.
A colleague of mine was in London in December and was told that many companies are setting their targets on the higher paid execs within the company to be "let go" first. This will all happen in January apparently.
There are many ways to look at this current situation, and many opinions on how we got here etc etc... Me, I am just glad to have a job that i enjoy. I feel for the guys & gals who find themselves out of work suddenly, but having feelings of guilt will not help them pay for the gas bill just arrived on the door mat!
I am confident that this situation we find ourselves in will(in the long run)be beneficial to the country's economics and stability.

I am still having difficulty getting a company blog up and running, this is due to a couple of factors:
1. Concerns over legalities
2. Content type.
I will keep on fighting for a company blog as I believe it is the right way forward.

OpusVL are doing well in this current climate, companies who want to save money come to us and likewise those expanding require Business Systems to be able to operate. I have started to attend networking events to meet the people who need our help and support, this has proved a valuable tool and has given me fantastic new relationships to move into 2009.
I feel much more confident talking with customer about what OpusVL actually do now, there was a time when it was difficult to determine what we did/do as our products and services covered such a broad range. Now all i say is OpusVL provide Business Systems, this seems to be accepted very well.

Whatever the situation you are in at this time, I wish you the very best for 2009 and hope that you all achieve the goals or targets you are aiming for.