Sep 10, 2008

New Site and New Blog!

I'm now over at My New Site

Come take a look!

Jun 19, 2008

Helping Out a Friend

This post is a call to all my followers out there to help a good friend of mine. Bob Laidig has been working with me at Sento for 5+ years and has been a good friend and trusted co-worker. Bob is now moving on to another opportunity and in conjunction with his departure I would like to ask all my friends and followers to donate to a good cause that Bob is undertaking

On June 28 - 29, 2008, Bob would like to take part in the 2008 Harmons Best Dam Bike Ride which is a ride to raise funds for finding a cure for Multiple Sclerosis. He is currently about $275 from reaching the minimum $500 entry. Please take some time to visit the donation website, read about the cause, and make a donation.

Thank you!

Click here to visit the site or copy and paste the following link:

Apr 27, 2008

The Joys of Creation

The following was taken from The Music and the Spoken Word

Nancy was eight years old when a teacher looked at her drawing and spoke six words Nancy would never forget: “You’re not very talented, are you?”

The words not only embarrassed her, they burrowed inside her, creating a firm resolve never to make a fool of herself by attempting to draw or paint again.

It took more than five decades for Nancy to outgrow this image of herself as a clumsy, artless, and uncreative person. Today Nancy knows something she wishes she could have understood when she was eight: the reason we create is not for the praise of others but because we love something so much we want to see it exist.

That’s what creative people do. They bring to life things that didn’t exist before.

Creativity is one of the great, mysterious hungers we all have as mortal souls, and there are as many ways to express this divine drive as there are people who feel it. Some of the most creative people in the world never pick up a paintbrush, sit down at a piano, or fill a page with words. Yet because of them, the world is filled with scented gardens, warm quilts, and loving relationships. Sometimes the most important thing we create is as simple as a smile.

Many of us have something we’ve always wanted to try to do but never quite got around to it—perhaps because we lacked the confidence, or maybe because we were afraid we would fail. The good news is this: when we set aside our fears and begin to create, we make not only our lives but our world more meaningful and more wonderful.
One wise man put it this way: “God left [the] world unfinished. . . . He left the problems unsolved and the pictures unpainted and the music unsung that man might know the joys and glories of creation.”1

1 Attributed to Alan Stockdale by Sterling W. Sill in Conference Report, Apr. 1960, 70.

Feb 8, 2008

Mitt Romney's CPAC Address

You probably heard the in the news yesterday that Mitt Romney announced that he is suspending his campaign for the Presidency of the United States. You probably heard a clip from his speech at CPAC where he outlined that because of the treat to our country from Jihad and the inevitable retreat by the Democrats, he could not continue to split the Republican vote. Doing so would only weaken the opportunity to send John McCain, who has been a strong supporter in our battle against Jihad, to the White House.

What you didn't hear in the news was the rest of the speech. You can read it here. You can also watch it right here:

Here are a few excerpts that I thought were most notable:

The threat to our culture comes from within. The 1960's welfare programs created a culture of poverty. Some think we won that battle when we reformed welfare, but the liberals haven't given up. At every turn, they try to substitute government largesse for individual responsibility. They fight to strip work requirements from welfare, to put more people on Medicaid, and to remove more and more people from having to pay any income tax whatsoever. Dependency is death to initiative, risk-taking and opportunity. Dependency is a culture-killing drug. We have got to fight it like the poison it is.

The development of a child is enhanced by having a mother and father. Such a family is the ideal for the future of the child and for the strength of a nation. I wonder how it is that unelected judges, like some in my state of Massachusetts, are so unaware of this reality, so oblivious to the millennia of recorded history. It is time for the people of America to fortify marriage through Constitutional amendment, so that liberal judges cannot continue to attack it.

Most politicians don't seem to understand the connection between our ability to compete and our national wealth, and the wealth of our families. They act as if money just happens – that it's just there. But every dollar represents a good or service produced in the private sector. Depress the private sector and you depress the well-being of Americans.

That's exactly what happens with high taxes, over-regulation, tort windfalls, mandates, and overfed, over-spending government. Did you see that today, government workers make more money than people who work in the private sector? Can you imagine what happens to an economy where the best opportunities are for bureaucrats?

It's high time to lower taxes, including corporate taxes, to take a weed-whacker to government regulations, to reform entitlements, and to stand up to the increasingly voracious appetite of the unions in our government.

Dec 11, 2007

Operational BI

Mark Madsen is blogging about Operational BI. Operational BI just means that BI is more accessible to end users.

Vendors in the business intelligence and enterprise applications market have been talking a lot about operational BI, making BI pervasive and active/dynamic data warehousing. They're responding to the need businesses have for up-to-date information at the point of use so decisions can be made more quickly or tasks can be done more effectively.
Making operational BI a reality will require two things: front-end tools that address the specific interface needs at the point of usage, and a metadata-driven query layer that isn't tied to a specific UI.

Mark goes on to note that we wont likely see any of the predominant BI vendors adopt either of these two things. Why? Inertia. The article is a good read, and I recommend it because it explains the problem very well.

I believe there is a a market for a metadata-driven query layer. Something like this would be complex, but as I've said before, I believe the talent and tools exist, they just aren't focused.

Dec 10, 2007

Sexy Enterpise Software?

Scoble is out of his element writing about Enterprise Software, but he hits this nail right on the head.

Why enterprise software isn’t sexy � Scobleizer — Tech geek blogger

I have invested by interests and schooling in Enterprise Software. I love Business Intelligence and Data Warehousing. To me, the concepts are really exciting. The software itself -- not so much. The trouble is that most enterprise software is massive. It is extremely complex in its implementation and its goals. Because of this, more time is spent on functionality than usability. When was the last time you saw a UI to enterprise software that you liked?

Here's the trouble. We really don't care enough about it to spend the extra cash to make it thus. Enterprise Software doesn't need to be sexy to get used. Consumer software does. CIO's are going to buy software for the company that will bring value and that value isn't going to be measured by how many warm-fuzzies my employees get while using it. It's based on cost savings and maximizing revenue, more of the former for CIOs.

So as much as I'd love to see enterprise software vendors build sexy applications, I don't see them wasting time on eye-candy any time soon. There is, however, a great deal to be excited about in enterprise software. As with any software, it doesn't matter how well it looks in comparison to how well it runs. The back-end may not have the polish we would like, but the stuff that goes on there to simplify complexity and provide value is simply amazing. It's worth looking at and studying.


I really should put this in a separate post, but I must point out one other thing here. If you want to point a finger at one other contributing factor to the lack of sexy enterprise applications, I think you have to point to Java. Most enterprise applications are built on Java. Java has the ugliest UI libraries out there. One way to quickly start building sexier applications is to either dump Java or encourage Java developers to work on libraries that actually look nice and encompass modern UI techniques. I don't mean to pick on Java here (if you know me, you know I'm not a fan), but to me it is an obvious conclusion.

Dec 1, 2007

Crayon Physics

Thanks to Scoble I found this incredible video.