Monday, July 11, 2005

Crisis mode

An entire week just flew by, holy cow.

Seems like everything is a crisis, and they are, but why we have so many at once is certainly puzzling. So much for strategic planning.

Today was interesting - the brilliant folks at Novell support essentially told us that something we've been doing for going on 5 years without a hitch, should never have worked and isn't supported. What the heck could this be? I'll tell you. Using NAL to distribute - not launch - applications, to a Win2K server running Terminal Services.


There was an entire dot-com business based upon this functionality. I was there. But apparently, it never happened and I wasn't actually involved with it after all. So sayeth support.

This will be fun...

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Great Holiday

Had a phenomenal holiday. Watched some great auto races. Blew stuff up. Made noise with my nitro powered R/C monster truck, to which we strapped a faux JATO pack and watched it scream down the street shooting flames and sparks behind it. Barbequeued ribs all day, which turned out exceptionally well. Watched fireworks with friends. It's good to be an American.

If you enjoy grilling and don't want to have a different type of grill for smoking, baking, searing, etc., have a Hasty Bake Legacy shipped to you. You can't argue with results, and these things will last forever.

Saturday, July 02, 2005

It's not just me - most software really does stink!

An article on the cover of the June 20th ComputerWorld begins as follows:

"Badly designed software is costing businesses millions of dollars annually because it's difficult to use, requires extensive training and support, and is so frustrating that many end users underutilize applications..."
This was attributed to IT officials at Boeing and Fidelity. I second the motion. What's the answer?

Aside from maybe TESTING AND USING YOUR OWN PRODUCT, a group of (presumably equally frustrated) people came up with something called the "Common Industry Format for Usability Test Reports", or CIF. Recently, the International Standards Organization (ISO) voted to accept CIF. Vendors who comply with the standard should be able to provide this report to customers on demand. Better yet, if they write worth a damn, they should prominently tout & display these reports as proof that they know what they're doing.

Calling Microsoft, Novell, Oracle, IBM, and Veritas...start writing.