Archive for the ‘technologies’ Category

my 5-step Flash installation workaround

Thursday, September 9th, 2010

Nowadays it seems that I always have to work around problems with installing Adobe Flash Player updates on Windows. I’ve had outright failures, and I’ve had the installation appear to work for IE only to break Firefox, and vice versa. And I always have multiple computers to update, whenever there’s a new version. So I’ve decided it’s time to actually document my ‘process’ for doing it, to save myself time from now on. Let me know if this tip helps you, too. (more…)

see you at SATURN?

Tuesday, April 13th, 2010

SATURN is coming!

In May I’ll be co-presenting a half-day tutorial at SATURN 2010 on “Efficient Software Technology Evaluations Leveraging ADD” with a colleague. We’d love to have you join our tutorial (T2), so if you haven’t yet registered, please consider signing up! Or even if you’ve already registered, you can still add our tutorial at the early bird rate (deadline is Friday).

Either way, if you’re going to SATURN too, drop me a note here – or send me a tweet and I’ll add you to my SATURN list on twitter. We look forward to meeting you in Minneapolis in May!

upcoming events

Friday, February 5th, 2010

2010 has been super busy so far, and is off to a great start. In addition to a new IEEE Computer Society meeting panel invitation, and our previously accepted SEPG 2010 presentation on requirements engineering metrics, the Agile Teams collaborators now have a half-day tutorial accepted at SATURN. If you’re also attending SEPG or SATURN this year, please look for us and say hi!

Windows 7 event recap

Wednesday, January 13th, 2010

I’ve been hearing rumbles about Windows 7 for quite a while, had just a bit of hands-on time with it on a colleague’s new laptop, and seen a mentally sticky Mac ad deriding Windows 7 as “waaay better than [ Vista | XP | NT | 3.1 ]”. This morning I attended my first big-picture presentation on Win7, a free event at the NCSU McKimmon Center (details here and here).

It was well attended, planned, and executed; other than a few A/V annoyances, my only quibble is that for future I’d suggest the organizers plan more lecture time for a more leisurely talking pace, and less Q&A time at the end. Presenter Tim Hodgkins, an Enterprise Technology Strategist from a nearby Microsoft office, is clearly experienced and knowledgeable, and he was refreshingly frank – kudos to him for a useful and entertaining talk that effectively addressed a diverse audience.

However, due at least in part to that diversity in interests of the audience, the topics covered weren’t nearly as tech-oriented as I had hoped. While it had been described by NCSU as a ‘business and technical’ talk, the slides actually covered were pretty light on ‘how’ details, and devoid of discussion on financial benefits. My first red flag that it might not be very geeky was the absence of a prominently-posted Twitter hashtag 😉  Then Tim asked the audience at the start whether they were consumer users or enterprise users, and unfortunately for me, the consumers were the vast majority. He then sensibly tailored his talk accordingly, but to address both segments in the two hour lecture time allotted (minus A/V adjustment time), he visibly skipped a bunch of enterprise-focused slides, and had to go pretty fast overall.

I tweeted only once, during a brief A/V break, and the rest of the time I took old-fashioned notes – impressions and reflections now summarized below, with a side note on Windows 7-based entertainment in a separate blog post. (Those of you who already have hands-on experience as Windows 7 users or from beta-testing for months may disagree or have further insights to offer; comments welcome!)


that’s entertainment?

Wednesday, January 13th, 2010

Two observations on Microsoft’s recent ventures into modern entertainment, motivated by my attendance this morning at a Windows 7 event (“Windows 7 event recap” to follow shortly with a summary of the non-entertainment aspects):

First, is Netflix trying to take over the movie world by partnering with everyone?! Not satisfied with lightning-fast turnaround of physical discs via snail mail, and expanding the pool of supported blu-ray players with the PS3 disk they released in December, now they’re arm-in-arm with Microsoft with Windows 7.

Second, while “Internet TV” (prominently discussed in the Windows 7 event; just sign up here with your Live ID …) sounds cool, it loses much of its charm from two facts:

(1) opening commercials which the watcher must endure, and

(2) inability to record shows for later offline use, unless the content provider expressly allows it (the speaker indicated that probably most will not).

Conventional home-based TV viewers, whether advertisers like it or not, are accustomed to being able to use VCRs and DVRs to record shows and to skip commercials. An Internet substitute for conventional, cable, satellite, … TV that omits the big advantages of VCRs and DVRs isn’t likely to be very appealing to home-wired or mobile consumers.

At least with a Netflix membership, customers have the dual options of instant viewing OR getting a physical disc to watch when, where, and with how many ever interruptions they please – and that includes a lot of TV series, although not on as timely a basis as Internet TV could offer.

If they were to handle live streaming of sports events which are subject to regional blackouts, they might have a small hit on their hands, but only if they can avoid the ESPN 360 syndrome of cable Internet/DSL providers who don’t support the service (they won’t pay the fees ESPN asks, and block ESPN’s data streams as a result).

Until wireless becomes universally pervasive and free, along with sufficient or wireless power to sustain a portable computer with wireless on (which in my road experience is a battery-killer) for the duration of a TV show, there’s not much of a value proposition for people who want to entertain themselves during long offline periods. I’m not convinced that the newer smartmediaphones (eg iPhone 3GS) aren’t at least as good an alternative for bored road warriors.

Did I miss something? If so, kindly enlighten me!

Agile Teams microblogs

Monday, March 2nd, 2009

To complement our agile_teams Twitter microblog (agileteams was already taken, by someone who appears to be inactive), tonight I discovered and joined as agileteams. (I’ve also joined their agile group) Now seeking interesting people to follow! (followers welcome, of course 🙂 )

getting AHEAD

Thursday, October 30th, 2008

In conjunction with our colleague Elizabeth, Aldo, Qingfeng, and I have recently completed several new papers on the AHEAD method which emerged from a recent software technology evaluation project. AHEAD stands for Attribute Hierarchy-based Evaluation of Architectural Designs; the method blends the SEI’s Attribute-Driven Design (ADD) with the Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) to deliver a nice balance between efficiency and accuracy (agility and discipline) in performing objective software technology evaluations. Our research results are just now ‘hitting the press’ … the first paper was well received at the QFD Symposium last week, and two others have been accepted at conferences and will be presented in March. Please check out AHEAD – we’d love to hear your comments and suggestions for improving and applying it!


Thursday, October 30th, 2008

This blog has been quiet for a while, partly due to a shift in employer focus away from coaching agile, TSP, and CMMI, and towards research in requirements engineering, technology evaluation, and software architecture. I’m delighted to be reviving this blog now with the addition of new topics (including QFD, ADD, AHP, PrIME) and an outstanding new collaborator, Dr. Qingfeng He! It also seems likely that agile coaching activities will resume in the near future, based upon grass-roots demand for Scrum, which we’re excited about. Look for more new posts and publications here in the near future!

tools: Chandler vs. Backpack

Monday, January 14th, 2008

I’ve started testing out BackPack and its collaborative WriteBoards, and finding a few awkwardnesses … will eventually be writing up a ‘review’ with my results. I am also going to compare it to Chandler before I make a paid-upgrade decision or invest substantial data-time in BackPack. At first glance, Chandler’s pluses are that (1) it’s free (elemental BackPack is too, but I hit two of the limits of free accounts in less than a day), and (2) it seems to have some nicer to-do list management features (like triage and ticklers). BackPack may be stronger in live document co-authoring, though (the WriteBoards). Stay tuned!

news on software and medical privacy

Saturday, January 12th, 2008

anyone interested in privacy and medical records management should see this recent post by Annie Anton of ThePrivacyPlace on the weaknesses of Microsoft’s HealthVault.