A Trip Down Drupal Lane
If you’ve paid any attention to the rate at which I post to this blog, you’d see that I’ve been very good until about two weeks ago, when my folks visited me here in Southern California from their home in St. Louis. During their visit, I had a limited amount of time to gather enough material to post daily, so I gave myself a break. Of course, having done that, I got used to the break and extended it way beyond when my folks went back to St. Louis. So besides working on my taxes, what have I been doing with my time away from the blog? I’ve been immersing myself into Drupal with the hope that I could put together another cool website using its technology.
Currently, you’re reading this blog on a Joomla installation. I chose Joomla over WordPress because I felt the latter did not have all the features I wanted. Unlike WordPress, you can host multiple blogs on Joomla. Also, you can post articles in a number of different formats. And, one thing I really like, you can put “kill-dates” on the articles so that they automagically remove themselves after a period of time. This makes Joomla a much easier environment to sell ads and maintain a dynamic web experience with many dimensions.
I’d been putting off learning about Drupal because I was happy with my current solution. But I can procrastinate for only so long, and so, besides working many hours on my taxes over the past week, I decided to take the plunge and investigate Drupal. What I found both delighted and disappointed me. I’ve broken down these perceptions in the following two lists, aptly named “Delighted” and “Disappointed”.
More Trash Talk From Apple
It’s disappointing to see one of the giants of the computer industry resorting to trash-talk when it’s transparently obvious he’s trying to make a few dollars by spreading FUD (Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt). I’m talking about what I blogged about several days ago, where I stuck my neck out and stated that Apple’s iPad is destined to failure. The situation took a turn for the worse a few days ago when Steve Jobs – Apple’s visionary leader – resorted to trash-talking Adobe Flash while in a closed door meeting with several Wall Street executives.
To be more specific, Jobs referred to Flash as a dying technology, and Apple doesn’t invest in dying technologies. I cannot attribute a direct quote because the Wall Street meeting was not recorded, but several witnesses corroborated on what Jobs reportedly said.
Though in a business sense, it is understandable why Jobs said these terrible things about Adobe Flash, it is disappointing nevertheless because it simply is not the full truth. Of course, I don’t pretend to have a monopoly on the truth, but as a significant user of Apple’s iTunes software, I have some cynical insight.
iPad: In Pursuit of Proprietary Suicide
A long time ago in a galaxy far away, it was not at all certain that the IBM PC would prevail. Back in the late 1970s to the mid 1980s, there were several competitors all gunning for the emerging home computer market. There was Commodore, Atari, Timex-Sinclair, Radio Shack, Texas Instruments, Apple, and several others. Many of these machines had a “closed” architecture, which meant that their electrical designs were not available to third parties who might be interested in manufacturing add-ons. Texas Instruments took this mindset to the limit by closing both its hardware and software architectures on its TI-99/4A home computer. In other words, people who bought this machine could only purchase hardware add-ons and software from Texas Instruments. The problem was that Texas Instruments couldn’t innovate in their hardware and software products fast enough to meet the growing demand. They were trying to be all things to everyone, and in the end, after peaking at about 35% market share, Texas Instruments could only watch helplessly as their competitors passed them and left them in the dust.
The lesson? Without the innovation, quickness and flexibility of the open market, any high-tech product is vulnerable to suffocation.
Which brings me to Apple’s latest product, the iPad.
Does Avatar Augur the Demise of Acting?
It’s no secret that I really enjoy high-tech. Ever since I was a kid, I get excited about the latest high-tech innovation or gadget. I made a career out of this passion, and over many years, I’ve seen how things not directly related to high tech are affected by it. Movie making is a good example. Thirty years ago, who would have thought that you could create a movie almost completely inside a computer? Avatar has proven that this can be done, and though it was expensive to produce, it proved that the technology is ready. Avatar is not necessarily ground-breaking in its innovative use of computers, though it has brought attention to what is now possible. It’s also raised some questions as to whether or not actors will have to take a position in the unemployment line, now that they can be replaced by avatars.
In my opinion, nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, I believe the job of acting will only get more difficult and demanding.
At my day job, which I’ve managed to hang onto for over ten years now, I’m exposed to all the new network technologies, and very often I’m asked to write about them or teach them or create online webinars around them. I think one of the more intriguing trends in computer networking lately has been something called “Carrier Ethernet.” It may not seem like much to the everyday user of the Internet (e.g.; you), but it does mean a lot to the Internet Service Providers, who plan to use Carrier Ethernet to vastly decrease their costs and increase their service.
So what is Carrier Ethernet?
Carrier Ethernet (CE) is a technology where the basic Ethernet standard is used directly over “core” Internet switches, effectively leveraging the simplicity of your home computer network over a world-wide network. In other words, your home network, which uses a communication standard known as Ethernet, will interface with your local Internet Service Provider (ISP) without needing to be converted to some other type of protocol.
Why is this significant?