Category: "Computers and Internet"

Peer1 ServerBeach Impresses

Yesterday there was a network outage at Peer1 ServerBeach, our IT infrastructure company [sounds a lot more impressive than rack hoster] &#59;) The problem was corrected within an hour. More impressively, the forums had a post up almost immediately from Peer1 technologist QT. Their forum post was updated twice, once to say that the network seemed stable and another to explain that a "memory issue on an aggregate switch that caused services to be interrupted for approximately 40 customers".

In and of itself, that is great service: acknowledging a problem, giving an update, and explaining the cause.

But, there's more.

Yesterday, in the midst of the outage, I tweeted about the problem and asked Coté, who lives nearer to the data center than I by about 2000 miles, if there were any problems in his neck of the woods. Today, QT a.k.a. Charnell Pugsley, is following me on Twitter. I'm following back.

Amazing times. Thank you, Charnell.

Now I should call about the special offer to move up from the unmanaged hosting at ServerBeach to the managed hosting at Peer1. :)

Twitter Thoughts

According to my profile on Twitter, I signed up 29 days ago, during which time I made 188 tweets. As I wrote a few weeks ago, I had my doubts about Twitter, but decided to try it based on others I know saying that it proved its value after a few weeks.

Twitter is described as micro-blogging, but I feel that does Twitter, and the concept, a disservice. Blogging is often said to be a conversation, but I've never found it to be so. As I've stated before, to me, blogging is like speaking from a podium. Turning on comments is akin to taking questions from the audience. Using trackbacks and pingbacks akin to a panel discussion. Twitter is much closer to being a true conversation. I find it to be like a cocktail party. Conversations are all around you, streaming past. As you find topics interesting, you might listen, or join in. Like a cocktail party, you might continue conversations with old friends, or even acquaintances that you only see at similar events. You might meet new people, and make new friends. You might find business contacts, kindred spirits, people of like interests or personality. It's a giant, asynchronous cocktail party, with thousands of participants.

The past month has been a rough one for Twitter. It's original architecture wasn't created for what it has become. The implementation of that architecture has shown many flaws. It's often down, in toto, or with some of its most useful features disabled to keep the basics going. But even with all that, I've found Twitter to be useful.

I've found other twits tweeting on Twitter, and have been entertained. I've made new business contacts, extending my LinkedIN network thereby. I've been pointed to news events, technical happenings, venture undertakings, and information that is of professional and personal interest. And I've heard it on Twitter first, so that when I read it in the news or in a blog, sometimes days later, I would smile and think "I know that".

Update: One of the folk with whom I now have a tweeting relationship is @tawnypress. Since she's also relatively new to Twitter and has blogged about her experience, I thought I would trackback to her "Twitter - Two Months & Counting" post.

So, yes, after a month and with only a couple of dozen followers while I follow less than an hundred, I find Twitter to be useful. I most like using it through Hahlo3 on my iPhone; Hahlo3 is an iPhone specific interface to both Twitter and Summize (a service that searches Twitter by hashtags, people or location). There have been problems, and some frustrations, but it's a cocktail party. No reason to get upset if the bar is crowded or the buffet table empty. You'll get your drink by-and-by, and someone will refill the trough soon.

Twitter can fail if it doesn't overcome it's architectural and scaling issues. I hope not. I like it. I would like to see it succeed, expand, and become a part of my daily communications.

Join in. You'll like it.

Twits Tweeting on Twitter

I've been resisting Twitter since I first heard about it, maybe 18 months ago. Whenever I've seen example tweets posted on someone blog that I follow… umm, let's just say that it seems well named. But I also keep reading that after two weeks or so, the business value becomes apparent.

I've been on Twitter for about a week. I was only following 15 folk to start, and five were following me in return. Three folk began following me whom I never met, even in the blogosphere. I'll follow more folk, essentially trying to follow everyone whose blogs I read or who I know, one way or another. I'll be looking for folk in the BI/MDM/SOA/PA, clean/green tech, rocket science, SaaS/PaaS, collaboration/enterprise2, project/program/portfolio management, Agile and distributed workgroup spaces. The areas that interest me, and in which I work. Maybe I'll even look for folk talking about cooking, Italian traditions and culture and food, and SciFi/Fantasy: the stuff in which I'm interested but don't work.

So, far, the closest thing to business value I've encountered is in my post in Open Source Solutions on "SOAP vs REST and OSBI News". Umm, not really that much business value.

I will say that I enjoy using Twitter much more on my iPhone through the web app Hahlo3. The actual web interface from is not enjoyable to use at all. Hahlo3 is a web app formatted for the iPhone, and combines Twitter, the micro-blogging/group-chat platform with Summize conversational search. The "hash tag" feature that finds comments tagged about an event is particularly useful, even when the tweets about the event aren't.

We'll see. I'm keeping an open mind, and trying to be positive. &#59;)

iPhone 3G and MobileME

It looks as though the rumor mills were right on and I was dead wrong. The 3G iPhone is coming to 22 countries on July 11, with 8GB model being $199 worldwide, and the 16GB model going for $299. Some conflicting guesses, but no apparent mention of a 32GB iPhone 3G. The 8GB and 16GB iPhone 3G are on the store for preorder.

Dot-Mac is being replaced in July by mobileME and Current dot-Mac users will be migrated to mobileMe and can choose to retain their address or get a address. The big news is real-time push synchronization from/to/among all MS Windows, Apple MacOSX, iPhone (and iTouch I assume) NATIVE APPLICATIONS and browsers including Firefox2+, IE7 and Safari (Camino, Opera, OmniWeb, others???). The mobileMe news is on the store, but the link to upgrading for dot-Mac users is broken.

The WWDC is a developers' conference, and the news and the majority of the keynote was about developers and their applications: how to build, how to distribute, how to charge or not. For iPhone developers, the background ping/notification service looks to be the big news.

I'm actually more interested in how the iPhone2 applications will work on current iPhones than I am in the 3G iPhone, but it looks good. And if the apps work fine on my current iPhone, I'll be content to wait to upgrade the hardware until the inevitable mid-year corrections take place (32GB, 64GB, more &#59;) The iPhone software update page talks about things like GPS - so will my guess that first generation iPhones will be able to turn GPS on as well prove to be correct? If not, then the software update page is confusing. Will v2 apps work with 2G phones?

There was no mention of handwriting recognition on the iPhone, but there are full enterprise applications email attachment reading for both iWorks08 and MS Office, but no direct mention of nor of ODF support. The eReader site still says that they're investigating iPhone support. /sigh No mention of copy/paste/drag/drop support in iPhone2 software either. /SIGH

But there will be search for contacts - it's on the web site picture anyway. GPS and more inclusive VPN support are welcome features too.

And yes, 10.6 is coming soon, with emphasis on security, stability & reliability, and its name is indeed Snow Leopard.

Update: There's a important message to dot-Mac users in my inbox ;-)

Dear .Mac member:

Today Apple announced a new Internet service called MobileMe - taking the best of .Mac and adding a host of new features. As a current .Mac member, your account will be automatically upgraded to MobileMe in July. For a closer look, watch the MobileMe Guided Tour and read below for an overview of your new service.

Mac integration you know and love. With MobileMe, you'll continue to enjoy features that take advantage of seamless integration with Mac OS X and iLife - Back to My Mac; access to your iDisk in the Finder; Mac-to-Mac syncing of Dock items, preferences, and more; iWeb site publishing; and photo and movie sharing directly from iPhoto '08 and iMovie '08.

New web applications for when you're away from your Mac. MobileMe features a suite of web applications at that have the familiar look and feel of the applications on your Mac. Because these web applications stay in sync with your Mac and other devices, you'll have the same information wherever you go. Here's what you'll find at

Mail, the anchor of the new suite, is even better with a refined interface.

Contacts has a new three-pane interface, contact groups, maps integration, search, and photo support.

Calendar is a brand-new web application that feels just like iCal, featuring multiple calendars, click-and-drag event creation, and more.

Gallery lets you manage your collection of shared photos and movies from anywhere. You can now upload photos, rearrange their order, and set sharing preferences, all from a browser.

iDisk now has the familiar look of the Mac OS X Finder. It features drag-and-drop filing and an easy new way to share large documents, by sending an email with a link for downloading the file.

Account lets you manage settings such as storage allocation.

To use the new web applications, make sure you have one of these browsers: Safari 3, Internet Explorer 7, or Firefox 2 or later.

Push email. Push contacts. Push calendar. In addition to Mac-to-Mac syncing, MobileMe now keeps your iPhone, your iPod touch, and even a PC in sync. MobileMe pushes new contacts, calendar items, and bookmarks to your Mac or PC, and over the air to your iPhone or iPod touch. For example, if you add a calendar event on the web, the change will automatically be pushed to your Mac and iPhone. New email will be pushed to your iPhone in seconds, eliminating the need to check for messages manually.

As a MobileMe subscriber, you can continue to use your address for email. You will also be issued a address with the same user name that you can use if you prefer. The choice is yours.

Double the online storage. To give you plenty of space for your email, photos, and other files, MobileMe doubles your storage from 10GB to 20GB for an individual subscription.

We'll be sure to update you when the new service goes live. In the meantime, if you have any questions about the upcoming transition from .Mac to MobileMe, please visit the MobileMe FAQ.


The MobileMe Teamend quotation
-- from email, 2008 June 9 12:48:26 PDT

iPhone 2 and One More Thing

Tomorrow is the kick-off of the Apple World Wide Developer Conference. Speculation has been rampant that Apple will announce the 3G iPhone tomorrow, and that it will be immediately available. I think it likely that an announcement will be made, but there hasn't been any FCC filing, so there can't be a new phone immediately available. But… there were stories back when the iPhone was first introduced to Apple Stores, that those who had taken apart their iPhone saw a 3G chip inside. There have been more recent stories that the iPhone 2 - the software & SDK - has the facility to turn 3G on and off to conserve battery. Maybe we already have 3G iPhones in our hands. And next week, we'll be able to turn them on.

What will the "one more thing" be? The iPhone or something more developer oriented? There are now rumors of the Mac Fusion, a small developer machine with the ability to run MacOSX, Windows & Linux through Boot Camp. OK, but you can do that today on any Mac. What would be exciting is if Boot Camp now has virtualization baked in so that you don't need to reboot to go from one operating system to the next. I do that now, with Parallels, but maybe this will be native to the machine, or include a Parallels, VMWare or Sun open source Virtual Box, but optimized for use with XCode making cross-platform development easy. That would be cool.

Maybe the "one more thing" will be more entertainment oriented, AppleTV & the iTunes store with newer, better features, maybe a DVR. Maybe not.

I really want the iNewton, iTablet, big iPhone or whatever. Actually, give me eReader, hand writing recognition (Ink?) and Documents to Go or that Palm emulator, and the iPhone would do it all for me.

And will Twitter stay up? If not, Venture Beat will keep everyone informed via FriendFeed.

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This Web Log (Blog) is intended as a discussion of the business processes, life choices, management challenges, wireless networks, mobile devices, collaboration software, social networks and technical issues facing organizations and individuals: distributed workgroups, digital lifestyle aggregation, telecommuting, road warrior and all ways in which you can live the TeleInterActive Lifestyle™. It is a service of InterActive Systems & Consulting, Inc.

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