Thursday, December 14, 2006

Microsoft vs. Apple, Does it matter?

It's funny how much heat Jim Allchin of Microsoft has received for the e-mail to Gate's and Ballmer stating "I would buy a Mac today if I was not working at Microsoft." Groklaw has more details of this e-mail here.

I'd say the guy was on-target and understood the problems facing his company. He states "I'm not sure how the company lost sight of what matters to our customers, both business and home, the most, but in my view we lost our way.” and goes on to state “I see lots of random features and some great vision, but that does not translate into great products" If only more executives would put things in perspective the way Jim Allchin did.

What actually grabbed my attention here is how many people still believe “Windows vs. Apple” matters!

I believe the sun is setting on desktop computer use for the majority of “daily use” applications. This would include Word Processing, spreadsheets, e-mail, calendaring and collaboration. Even entire development platforms are now available on-line. Build your web 2.0 app with no local software required! So why care about the OS or computer hardware used? Really, it will come down to browser quality. In theory a decent “diskless” workstation with only a browser should be enough to run daily apps. Maybe not today, but within five years I believe this will be in the realm of possibilities.

The question I still have: Is the fully featured desktop computer w/desktop apps going to be irrelevant in the Future or is this move to the internet just a fad?

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Tesla Roadster

I've been watching this cool car the last 6 months or so, it's called the Tesla Roadster and it’s made by a Silicon Valley Startup called Tesla Motors ( All I can say is that it's the best all electric vehicle I've ever seen.

If you remember the Saturn EV1, star of the Summer Movie "Who Killed the Electric Car" (MSNBC article: ), then you'll remember the egg shaped, lead acid powered, limited range prototype being leased to consumers during the late 90's. These cars were eventually returned and for some unknown reason destroyed by GM.

The Tesla Roadster is NOT an EV1! This car does 0-60 in 4.0 seconds. Top Speed: 130mph. Range: 250 miles. Brakes and Handles like a Lotus. Why, because it is a Lotus! A Lotus Elise to be exact, already renowned as a decent light weight sports car, the Elise is now the basis for the new Tesla Roaster Electric car.

Technologies have changes since the development of the EV1. Lithium-Ion batteries have better power storage to weight ratios. Electronic controllers and A/C Motors are better. Leveraging new CAD and design technique saves weight. Additionally, by basing the car on a proven platform, Tesla motors does not have to invest in body, frame, suspension and other components of the car. The engineers can focus on developing the electric power train components which should reduce the expense of the vehicle.

About the expense, the totally bad thing is that all this cool stuff cost money. Pricing starts at $92K to be exact. As production ramps up, expect pricing to go down somewhat - the $80K range is my expectation. The other downside is that product is still not expected until 2008.

Tesla also plans to develop a four door sedan at some point. They hope to keep the price lower than the sports car, perhaps under $60K, which may make it more desirable for people with the need for a larger vehicle.

All I can say is that I want one. Also, if they need services of a Software guy, contact me! I'd go work there in a heartbeat!


Sunday, November 26, 2006

Motorola Q

OK, my old phone, a Treo 600 finally wore out its second battery. I'm tired of doing open heart surgery to replace the battery (it is not removable) and I decided to get a new phone. Although I was very tempted to get another Treo as it is the best cell phone I ever had, Verizon had a decent upgrade on the Motorola Q so I picked it instead.

I received the phone on Friday and have started to put it though its paces. I like the screen and the keyboard size with the exception that the return key is located at the same position as the backspace key on the Treo was. This is very frustrating when entering data. I also don't like the calculator, the Treo calculator was much better.

The number one downside with this phone is that there is no touch screen. I thought it would be OK not to have one but once you've had one, you can't go back.

I think I'm going to return this for a Treo 700P. Not that this is a bad phone, it's perfect for someone "moving up" from a regular flip phone. The Sync with outlook works well, the interface is pretty good. The internet access is very fast with good screen rendering. But once I had the power of the Treo, even my two year old model, I find it difficult to move back.

So to summarize:
If you’ve got a Treo or other advanced smart phone and don’t find it overwhelming, you won’t like the Q.
If you have a regular cell phone and want better internet and Outlook Synchronization, this might be the phone for you.

Now if manufactures would post this information on their web sites…..

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Going to Mars?

I had an interesting conversation with a friend over lunch today. So should the goals of our Nation / Planet be to solve problems on this planet first or should we be looking at sending people to Mars? OK, I know this sounds like a crazy thing to post about, but it brings up thoughts of "what is life all about" and "what happens when Earth becomes over populated". It's a big deal in the end, something Politicians seems to gloss over all the time.

In my mind, the idea is stuck in my head because human populations have outstripped the natural resources of the world. Not only the United States, but the world as a whole uses more fuel, food, air and wood than can be sustained by the planet.

Choice 1. Reduce per-capita usage of natural resources (and reduce carbon emissions)

Choice 2. Reduce population by restricting birth rates, set off a war or two and / or not fighting a global disease. How?

Choice 3. Find somewhere else to live. Is this possible? Could we colonize Mars? I bet the technology to do this is here now (or in near future) but is there a desire by "the people" to do this?

Choice 4. All of the above.

My thought is that Choice 4 is a requirement for the survival of the human race in the long run. Why take chances living on one little planet when you can be on two?

I know this is a random blog post, just was on my mind...any thoughts, please feel free to post them!


Monday, November 20, 2006

First Blog Post

So this is my first blog post here on Blogger. I work for a company that was a JotSpot partner - we did custom development for several of Jot's enterprise class customers. With the purchase of JotSpot by Google, my casual interest in the Google on-line products has been expanded tremendously. So in other words, I guess it's time for everyone to start playing with Google's toys!