Fuzzy - not just a name, a way of life

Thursday, March 31, 2005

Oz government gets a clue about Open Source

In my spare time, I'm organising the second annual Open Computing in Government conference, in Canberra (that's Australia, don't you know).

And today, after much behind the scenes negotiating, I got the news that the Australian Government is finally ... after much promising ... going to release the official guide to how government departments should do open source. Everything from assessing its merits against proprietary software, through to comparing TCO, examples of previous open source projects, etc. What's even better, is they've agreed to do the launch at the conference! Cool!

It's called the "Guide to Open Source Software for Australian Government Agencies". It'll be launched by the Minister responsible for the governments "CIO agency", AGIMO, and followed up by a talk from the team at AGIMO who put it together. More details are available in the press release, but the cool thing is this will finally convince a bunch of software companies, System Integrators, service firms and the like that open source is here to stay, and their biggest customer just got serious about it.

Now, if only I could get my boss to turn up ... we could have a "healing" right there on the conference room floor. :-) (Mmm, I think I'm going to burn for that comment :-) ). If you're already going to linux.conf.au 2005, we'll be right next door!

Death of a Thousand Breakfasts

What do Kathryn from TIBCO, Jennifer from Sun, and Gail from Microsoft all have in common? They all want to have breakfast with me. More specifically, they've all called in the last couple of days asking if I'd like to go to a breakfast seminar on their technology du jour. And not just one breakfast. Five! In fact, it seems Sun must be attempting to relaunch themselves as a Starbucks-wannabe ... as they host breakfast every Thursday. It all makes sense now ... the obesity epidemic, crop circles, everything. It's all caused by Sun's breakfast brainwashing sessions.

I remember when I first got in to IT I was thrilled the first time I got one of these invites. "Come and eat cold danish and drink coffee of dubious quality while we brainwash you with details of the new SoftwareMeister9000 Total Quality Automated Code Generating Auditing Enterprise Scalable Framework." (Hmm the acronym is STQACGAESF ... I think that was the noise the coffee made when it shot out my nose when I started laughing :-) ).

Now it's just funny, bordering on annoying. I wonder how many homeless people in the city would like breakfast on Thursday? I think I'll give them my "seminar badge", and they can enjoy the corporate largess in my place. Hell, they need it more than I do. And besides, you never know when you'll need a STQACGAESF. :-)

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Burn, baby, burn.

That's the candle, at both ends. Hell, I practically doused the thing in kero, and set to it with a flame thrower.

In the last week I went to Melbourne to present at a conference, spent two days in the mountains having a great time with friends playing cards, drinking, etc., then drove to Sydney to see Bill Bailey, and then home.

So very tired now.

Note to self: Stop volunteering to do things for other people - you don't have time!

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Accidental Architectures

I was having coffee with Gord this morning, discussing things like project overload, Richard Dawkin's theory of Social Darwinism, memes, and that sort of thing, when the concept of Accidental Architecture popped into my head.

A decade ago, my employer used a green-screen bug tracking system it had built itself, first on a ctos box, and then on a old sparc ipc1. We also used our main commercial product for information management at the business level. Roll foward 10 years, and both systems are now running under our current flagship info management product (we dog food our own software ... more on this later), but for no good reason, we still divide the two into separate empires.

And it shits me! Gord and I thought "Hey, our l33t new web product should be used by the dev team ... and they'll need access to their bugs (in one system) and the specs (in another). Wait a minute ... who forgot to merge these suckers?" The answer is, senile damagement*. Even when I was the manager of all internal systems, I couldn't get a straight answer as to why these shouldn't be merged. "Blah blah blah company blah blah blah appropriate blah blah blah noodle blah blah blah helicopter". At least, that's my memory of their side of the arguement :-)

* Senile Damagement: You might prefer the spelling "Senior Management".


Monday, March 14, 2005

All your pictures are belong to us!

Last night, watching an episode of NCIS, I saw for the second time in a week a pulp-forensics show use the reflection of a suspect taken from a two-buck cctv camera to nab the perp.

Hello!!!! What f(&*ing planet are these people on.

"Oh yes Mr Boss-Man. I'll just enhance the resolution on this eye-ball reflection 20 bazillion times ... " clickety-click-clik "... and voila! We're viewing the suspects's DNA in real time."

The other culprit was one of the CSI clones ... can't remember which one. Probably "CSI:TrailerPark". Hey, what do you mean Bruckheimer hasn't made that one yet? Well, I want the damn royalties ... you heard it here first!