Is Linux a fragmented operating system…

ITWorld.com has a great article that discusses how different development is in today’s world as compared to say 10 years ago.  They focus on the fact that Linux is at the core of so many devices these days how can you know what hardware platform your app will need to run on?  The article asks lots of interesting quesitons and has some ideas of where we are going.  Where do you think we are headed?  Is having so many different ways to use linux, i.e. Phones, Laptops, tablets, making it harder or easier to program?

IT People should just say no to clueless reporters….

I originally wrote this after Paul Thurrott wrote a ridiculous article (http://www.windowsitpro.com/content1?topic=android-140400&catpath=google1) about all that is wrong with Android.  After writing it, I felt better but I realized he isn’t the only one with this messed up perception of corporate life.  I have been consulting and supporting companies in the area of IT operations for my entire 16 year career.  I have worked for a vary diverse set of companies from GE and Chrysler to an Internet Startup to Mom and Pop companies and everything in between.  While they all have their own issues and odd behaviors, they always have a few things in common.  IT is always a drain on resources that no one wants to fund.  The IT staff always has to do more with less than they had last year.   Finally, they are all expected to figure out how to do the next big thing.  

So why am I writing about this on a Corporate Linux Blog?   A lot of the press are making an argument for the IT Professionals, the ones supporting the phones, computers and servers companies use every day.  They somehow thinks it’s harder to manage different versions of Android than it is to support Windows, Mac OSX, and Linux which these same professionals support already.  As an operations veteran in corporate environments of all sizes, I am frankly pretty insulted.  My teams and I have been doing this kind of work for my entire career.  

These press individuals have all obviously never been in the trenches when a virus like Nimda hit.  They have not had to make the arguments to upper management that a consultants computer be brought up to the corporate standard for antivirus and patching or they shouldn’t be allowed on the company network.  They are forgetting the days when Microsoft put out patches all throughout the month not just on one Tuesday.  They do not deal with the fact that users routinely stop or refuse to take critical patches.  They have not been at the help desk at 7AM on a Monday morning when <insert vendor name>’s software just messed up the entire call centers computers and the company is losing untold amounts of money every minute they are down.

The reality of corporate IT life is that only in the last couple of years have the tools we have available to us started to become effective at managing any OS.  No matter how hard anyone tries and no matter how large the company is, things fail.  Patches sometimes won’t install or they cause conflicts, or they break new things.  That is just part of life and one of the major reasons why you test.  More importantly, it’s why you always have a back out plan.  None of that means that we can as IT Professionals tell our users not to use X critical software that only runs on Y OS.  We as professionals are there to do what must be done, support our users.  We are there to make things run as smoothly as possible.  We tell them no when it will hurt them, train them when they need to do things in new ways, and generally try to stay as invisible as possible.

Companies have been looking at allowing personal devices into the corporation for years now.  It has never been a whether or not we would have to allow them, but a when and how discussion,  at least internally to IT.  The inability to manage all of these closed and open solutions is the far larger problem today.  As we all know where a problem exists, a line of companies will form to fix it.  Symantec, IBM and others are set to roll out solutions by the end of the year to manage IOS and Android.  They will add Windows Phone 7 when it reaches a critical mass.  None of them is picking sides or describing the problem as more difficult for either of the platforms.  

So the next time Mr. Thurrott or anyone in the press wants to talk about life as an IT Professional he or she should try being one for a while.  For now though, go back to doing what you do best.  Be a great reviewer and tell me what great things I have too look forward to from all of my favorite vendors.  Leave the heavy lifting and worrying about how to protect corporate assets to the people who do that for a living.

Has Amazon set the tablet world on Fire?

There are a whole lot of articles talking about the release last week of the Amazon Fire.  We are choosing to link to this one from Computer World.  Joe and I talked in detail about how we feel about them.  We agreed that they are missing a few key parts like a Camera, Microphone, BlueTooth and HDMI output are minor issues given the price.  The other major issue we had was if it will get updated on a regular schedule.  When will it get the upcoming Icecream Sandwhich?  How compatiable will it be and for how long with future releases of Android?  Amazon actually never talked about what the OS was.  Their focus was on the product and storing things in their cloud.  It’s probably going to be the right choice for a lot of people and hopefully they understand the differences. 

Episode 35 – Automation Rules…Or does it???

Running Time: 40:58
1) Introduction

2) News
Nokia – Symbian…Get back here…
Shuttleworth – Why we are going with Unity and Wayland
Linux Stories from the Dark Side of Life – Joe and Brian add a few of their own.

3) Automation – Can to much of a good thing be bad..

4) Conclusion

Recommendations for People to interview

E-Mail us at podcast@linuxinstall.net
Go to the WebSite to call us via Google Voice
Facebook Fan Page
Follow us on Twitter and Identica as @linuxinstall
Look for us and comment on iTunes, odeo

Nokia pulls Symbian back into the fold….

Nokia has decided that since no one is going to come play with them and Symbian they are going to take their coders and go home.  There is no mention of closing the source back up but it seems likely that the end is near for Symbian, the biggest OS in the smart phone market.  The field is shrinking but Nokia doesn’t seem to be making any moves to stay in the game.  They are working with Intel on Meego but that is not coming up fast enough to be a player at the present.  However, I would never count out the worlds #1 cell phone maker out.

Episode 30 – And now here is Bill with the news…

The problems we had publishing the Podcast have been resolved.  Please enjoy the podcast.  Thank You for Listening. 
Running Time: 42:05
1) Introduction

Bill Novak is back in studio with us to talk about 3par and other news with us on this episode.
 
2) News
3par deal
Open Solaris Vs. Oracle
Googles Dirty Little Secert
and more….

3) Conclusion

Recommendations for People to interview

E-Mail us at podcast@linuxinstall.net

Go to the WebSite to call us via Google Voice
Follow us on Twitter @linuxinstall
Follow us on Indenti.ca as linuxinstall or http://identi.ca/linuxinstall
Look for us and comment on iTunes, odeo

 

A special thanks to Bill for joining in our conversation this week.

Does Google have a dirty little secert?

A great question with a surprising answer.  As you can hear on Episode 30 of the podcast Joe and I agree that the article is a bite of overkill. Google is doing what all open source developers, produce a free and customizable operating system designed to run on phones and tablets.  With the code being open source there isn’t anything they can do to stop the customizations like the Sense UI and Moto Blur.  In the end the article starts to afree with us.  Read the full artice for all the jucie detailes.