Soapbox time! Caught this article this morning.

People working remotely for their businesses. This particular American works remote … from Kenya. No insult to Kenya, I think that is fantastic! Now …. Hello NH! You know half the state (geographically speaking) has no broadband! I moved here from TX back in ’97. I had to pay fierce fees for an ISDN BRI service, which for you younger folks may not know, was the cat’s meow back then. Since that time, my town and its surrounding area is the technological equivalent of a time machine in reverse. I can’t even get ISDN anymore. Perhaps we need some engineers in the government to shake the “granite” out of the nest? What is wrong? Not having such utility is a nail in the coffin for competitiveness. Not to mention “Distant Learning”, which only works if one has broadband. Doing homework at night … rural (and not-so-rural) kids are at a digital disadvantage. USA is number 15 or 16 in the world for broadband service (and this is averaged). In broadband availability and speed, we fall behind some countries that quite frankly have little or no sewage infrastructures! How can that be? If the current free market policies existed during the roll outs of electrical, and telephone services …. guess what … we would probably have no electricity and phones. The governments (federal, state) should have mandates that any ISP provider needs to provide equal and sufficient broadband access to all residents.

IT Project Management

One of the toughest things I find trying to manage IT Projects is an enforcement of good habits. I am person that needs technology if I am going to manage projects using it. Paper does not cut it for me. It’s historical record, difficult to index and retrieve. Many people will try to use Excel, Word, Project, file-system sharing and even homegrown systems. IMHO these are just stovepipe applications and are incomplete. Have you ever tried to find lost or shared documents or even an email? Duplicate tracking data in a spreadsheet or another database? User flexibility and standard operating practices do not necessarily align well, but there are systems out there that can approach this.

I need real time, cradle-to-grave access to data, work queues and task status. Not only to manage single projects, but portfolios of projects. These lifecycle systems can glue all the disparate documents together, alert project/protfolio managers when someone is late on a deliverable or if the project is slipping. They are single source repositories of documents tied to project titles, each obeying the processes defined in proper project management flow. They offer workflow and queuing of tasks to core members of the project, digital certificate signoffs and even integration to enterprise level MS Project servers — in otherwords they enforce behavior and accountability.

I am really looking forward to seeing this MS Share Point system come online with the CIS-TCS services. We presently use portions of this tool in our department to provide wiki, thread, calendaring and document management. It is a framework upon which to build fairly decent enterprise class “Intranet” applications. My hope is that a project management life cycle overlay “plug-in”, for Share Point will some day be offered as a project life cycle management system here at the University. We just need that flag waver!

OpenSolaris – The Better OS

So you are Linux Demigod? Have you seen OpenSolaris. What other OS can you plop on a lowly PC and scale it to more than 128 processors running multiple cores. It can run Linux code, virtualize itself or other OS’s, removes the painful init.d and it’s start/stop scripts, has a kernel tracing system called Dtrace that plops exception probes right in a running kernel, has a far superior kernel thread mechanism than anything out there, and it enjoys the benefits of ZFS: Zettabyte File System — a file system that can handle double bit parity RAID 10 or V, create backup snapshots, implement pools of cheap storage into aggregates of simple virtulized storage (why even go HW Raid?). And the finale: It is openSource!

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