Microsoft attacks Google Apps

September 15, 2007 – 12:43

I was reading Pete’s Images of Broken Light, specifically the interesting post about Microsoft’s public attitude towards Google’s Apps, it seems fairly typical of modern corporate America to rubbish someone else technology, brushing over their own failings without a second thought.

I don’t quite understand companies that do this, who are they targeting these comments at? Perhaps home users? surely they would use the free Google Apps Standard Edition as opposed to Microsoft Office Standard at £200 – £300, anyone could use Microsoft Office Live in the UK for free as well however it is still in “Beta” itself – how is that different from Google Apps “Beta”. What about Enterprise decision makers, clearly a press release is going to swing the opinions for a multi million pound roll out of a particular productivity suite – or not. Perhaps it is just sour grapes, after all Office Live hasn’t made nearly the impression I thought it was going to, certainly not in the UK.

Blocking Adverts

September 13, 2007 – 18:51

I read an interesting article on The Register about the Firefox Plugin AdBlock Plus, the article covers a bit about the current favourable relationship between Firefox and Google which could be threatened by the increased usage of products that block adverts from being displayed.

I am no fan of adverts on websites, as you can see; this site is devoid of adverts for the conscious reason that I find them distracting. Many adverts can not be controlled, if I add adverts to a page then I am leaving some of my screen space open to be used by another company, doubtlessly this company will have different views on what is appropriate, perhaps they promote content I would find objectionable (betting or breaking of game rules for example).

This of course doesn’t mean that you can’t make any money out of blogs and other user generated content, my personal preferences is contextual links, not the automatically generated JavaScript kind but the ones that the author puts in his or herself. For example affiliate links to Amazon or Barnes and Noble for books and music, Eclipse Internet to recommend as an ISP or EVE Online to encourage people to join you in-game. So many companies run successful affiliate programs why do so many people still invest so much time and clunky and unappealing design constraints just so that they can include an advert?

I would be really interested in the thoughts of readers, does anyone else use AdBlock? do adverts on sites annoy you? or do you see them as a fact of life, after all they do pay for the free content we are consuming?

Economics of Virtual Worlds

September 11, 2007 – 20:33

I have been thinking about the economics of Online Games (specificly MMORPGs) for some time. Most of my interest comes from writing my undergraduate dissertation which was more of an overview of the future of MMOGs than any specific focus. Lately, and most importantly with EVE Online, economics has shot into the public eye.

First CCP Employed an Economist, Dr. Eyjólfur Guðmundsson, which as it turns out is probably the first time an Economist has been employed to study and create reports based upon an ingame economy. Dr Guðmundsson has already posted a blog item about the Mineral Market in EVE Online although he describes it himself as more of a “statistical overview” than an in-depth study.

I am certainly not alone in my interest in Virtual World Economics as there is at least one “research network” who actively post about research found on the internet and in acedemia. A good number of posts over the past few years over at Terra Nova have considered the implications of applying real world economic principals to Virtual Worlds, Edward Castronova wrote a book about them, of which I have a copy which I still haven’t read.

The thing that facinates me most is probably they way you can maniuplate a virtual world’s market and not get sent to prison for it. You can collude with other players to fix prices buy up entire stocks of a particular item only to put it back on the market again at an artificially inflated rate! I am sure that people reading this who play EVE would say that that is unfair or even worthy of outwrite wrath. However who is to say that it is a bad thing? it all leads on to the Good vs. Evil argument and the question “is it wrong to do something in a virtual world just because it is wrong in the real world?”

So what does the future hold for virtual economys, well I can see lots of research comming from big university’s… I mean why wouldn’t they, if an economy such as EVE Online’s can act so much like that of the real world why not use it as a economic study. I also expect real world corporations to start accepting virtual economy “experence” as a creadable experence for job applicants. This has already started happening with MDs and CEOs of small technology companies getting the job because of past leadership experence within World of Warcraft.

Wedding Aniversary

September 4, 2007 – 19:16

Catherine and I have been married for 3 years now, I have posted a bit more over at I Married You

Facebook

September 2, 2007 – 20:41

We had some friends down at the end of last week, and they both have FaceBook accounts (or is that FaceBooks, or Faces, or FaceBook Profile pages. They use FaceBook in other words) so Catherine signed up, then I signed up, then I spent an hour deciding what I wanted my permissions to be. I have finally settled on a partiuar group of settings that I like to call “Totally Paranoid”, everything is set to only be visible to “My Friends” including search, you will have to contact me outside FaceBook unless you are entirely better at Social Networking than I am and can still send me a Friend Request. On a lighter note this post should be published on FaceBook via Flog.

Back to work tomorrow, so both Blogging and FaceBook activity will low, all good fun though!

Desktop Blogging Client

September 1, 2007 – 13:20

Thanks to Ian’s Messy Desk and BlogWell this post comes courtesy of w.bloggar. Going to give this a go and see if I get on with it, shame it is not a WYSIWIG tool, but it seems to have some useful features.

Home Networking

September 1, 2007 – 12:46

Seeing as Catherine and I finally bought our own house and it looks like we might be staying here for much longer than we have ever stayed anywhere else, we are looking at options for home networking, our current solution involves a 802.11b Wireless Network for laptop connectivity and a cable for my PC, that has to be removed each night to close the living room door.

New Computer

August 31, 2007 – 20:10

I never got round to getting the money together for the last computer I wanted to build, so I have started again from scratch, the following is intended to run Windows Vista Ultimate in my current Cooler Master 210.

If anyone reading this has any thoughts please leave a comment, hope to get the whole lot for just over £1000.

Vista is the issue

August 29, 2007 – 14:54

I am currently trying to diagnose several Windows XP SP2 computers with severe network problems, the bottleneck is in the network. Whilst deploying a group policy object the Windows Installer Service crashed due to a network time-out, and this was the resultant response from Error Reporting:

Problem with Windows XP is Windows Vista

So there you go the problem with Windows XP is Windows Vista!

New Server

August 29, 2007 – 11:30

Recently purchaced and installed a new HP ProLiant DL320s to run as the site primary file server, had some issues with Windows 2003 R2 32-bit as it repeatedly BSODed before getting into graphical setup, tried the drivers for the SAS controller also tried the disc on a different computer to no avail. After chatting with a few people someone asked why I wasn’t going for 2k3 R2 64-bit, the main reason for not using it was it I had not had a chance to test it out in a test environment and wasn’t overly happy putting it into a live environment, looked at the software that was going on the File Server and all seemed ok, installed the ProLiant Support Pack migrated files, setup file screening and quotas. All was well, server running very fast and very happy.

Came to install BackupExec 10d yesterday, BIG mistake seeminly when I checked to see if BackupExec supported Windows 2003 R2 64-bit on a x64 Architecture I got confused, yes remote agents are supported on that architecture and the media server is supported on IA64 Architectures, however the media server is not supported on Windows 2003 R2 64-bit (x64)… wooops.

Fortunatly it seems that all is not lost as BackupExec 11d looks like it will work and the options from 10d can be upgraded to 11d, now all I have to do is cost it all up. Note to self and other system Administrators read Symantecs compatability lists VERY carefuly.