March, 2009

  • Steve Clayton

    Is Software Engineering The Most Important Profession in the World?



    [image credit – thinkgeek]

    I’m starting to feel like something of a David Chappell pimp with two posts in a day linking back to his blog. I read his post last week on The Most Important Profession in the World where he concludes that those who work in software have this title. It’s based on The Wharton School of Business list of the top 30 innovations in the last 30 years.

    Now I happen to think that jobs such as doctors, nurses and firemen are slightly more important, I see his point. For a long time Bill Gates talked about the “magic of software” and whether it’s from Microsoft, Google, Apple, IBM or a host of others, those pesky little 1’s and 0’s are changing our lives…mostly for the better!

  • Steve Clayton

    Paranormal Activity at Microsoft HQ



    I was just checking out Jeff Sandquist’s webcam with the view from his office on Microsoft’s Redmond campus when I noticed the image above of an vehicle travelling upside down. Moments later, the strange vehicle had gone per the image below….


    either there are paranormal goings on near building 24 during night-time or Jeff’s camera is having a senior moment.

  • Steve Clayton

    Happy Birthday Twitter



    Twitter was 3 years old last weekend…and the graphics above from this months WIRED carries the sentiment of many I expect. I for one though it was a tad stupid back then.

    Now? I couldn't live without it :)

  • Steve Clayton

    Of Netbooks and Clouds



    Gosh, the new WIRED is already out and I didn’t get to write this post quick enough – I thought the article in last months magazine, The Netbook Effect: How Cheap Little Laptops Hit the Big Time, was fascinating.

    Having rebuilt my laptop (netbook and regular laptop) recently it made me think about how the cloud has already become second nature for me. I run a number of apps from the cloud but more interesting perhaps is that a lot of my data lives in the cloud but I still use local applications. Of course I’m bound to say this given I’m a big time advocate for Microsoft’s Software plus Services approach but it does really suit the way I work.

    Here is what happens, in order, when I install a new build of Windows 7

    1. Install of the Windows OS finishes
    2. I install Live Mesh and immediately begin synchronising 6 or 7 key folders from the cloud (cloud stored data)
    3. I install Windows Live Wave 3 to get Messenger, Windows Live Writer, Silverlight and Windows Live Mail (cloud dependent apps)
    4. I install Office 2007
    5. I configure Outlook 2007 to get my corporate email
    6. I install Adobe AIR closely followed by Twhirl to get my Twitter juice (cloud dependent app)
    7. I install Spotify to get my music from the cloud and my shared playlists (cloud dependent app)
    8. By this time, my cloud folders from step 2 are well on their way….they allow me to
      • Have all of my browser favourites back
      • Have my favourite photos so I can customise my logon photo
      • Have all of my blog post draft as I sync my Live Writer drafts folder
      • Have all of my key PowerPoint slides and Excel spreadsheets for my work


    With a Netbook, Live Mesh and Windows Live Wave 3 I have a great deal of what I need to do the vast majority of my work. The only exception is Outlook where I spent ~40% of my time and though I could use Outlook Web Access I prefer the speed and local features of Outlook 2007 so it’s my tool of choice.

    What did I learn from the WIRED article? Not a lot…but it did make my realise that I’m now a cloud dependent user for sure – both for applications like Spotify and data like photos and blog posts. It’s made my computing experience very efficient and transferable.

    Sometimes things change…and you never notice until you stop and gaze at the clouds. The WIRED article poses the notion that Netbooks are changing the economics of the PC business and that’s true but I’d say the adoption of cloud apps and the simplicity of storing data in the cloud is an impressive accelerator on that trend.

  • Steve Clayton

    Get Excited and Make Things



    Nice take on a classic – hat tip to Swiss Miss

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