Dump Your Porsche

Wednesday, 26 September 2007

If you drive a Porsche then you should stop. I don't have too much of an issue with a person owning a high performance sports car if you use it for recreation at the weekend and you use a fuel efficient car during the week. Ian Wright (not the footballer for you Brits) thinks that us eco-warriors should be going after highly fuel inefficient vehicles like big trucks and supercars. This CNET interview may change your perceptions about a lot of things.

The Wright way to the electric car | Tech news blog - CNET News.com: "First, Wright doesn't care about gas mileage per se; he cares about performance, power, and most importantly, payback. Focus on the vehicles actually burning the most gas, irrespective of fuel efficiency. That is, instead of making tiny, compact, fuel-efficient target cars more efficient with EV and hybrid technology--focus on the gas guzzlers."

Posted by Robin Yellow at 21:14 0 comments  

Europeans Don't Like TV on Phones

Monday, 24 September 2007

And wolverines don't make good house pets, and there is such a thing as global warming, and night follows day, and the world carries on....

Smaller-screen content: Europeans say no via CNET News.com on 9/24/07 European consumers don't dig tv on cellphones.

Posted by Robin Yellow at 21:46 0 comments  

Nekkid PCs

The Globalisation Institute's concept of selling cold iron PC's with no operating systems is a brilliant one and a dumb one all at the same time. Let me tell you why.

Having worked in a corporate environment I know how cheap Windows XP is for what you actually get. It costs a mere few extra dollars on top of the cost of the PC. In fact to large suppliers like Dell I wouldn't be surprised if Microsoft were giving Windows away. The real cash cow for them is Office of course.

The idea of simply inserting a DVD on a bare naked PC and having it work first time is absurd. There are all sorts of driver issues and compatibility issues that the man on the Clapham omnibus has no desire to contend with.

Having said that I am all for opening people's minds to the idea of demanding an alternative in the store. I would happy to see the EU invest money in an awareness campaign.

If fines are imposed or legal action taken like in the Media Player case then although it may sound noble, but it has all the hallmarks of protectionism, collectivism, and lots of other '-ism's from the Soviet era ;-)

EU thinktank calls for naked PCs - ZDNet UK: "'There is no meaningful competition between operating systems for commodity computers.'"

Posted by Robin Yellow at 15:17 0 comments  

Saving Power with Linux

Sunday, 23 September 2007

I hate blog posts which begin "I read somewhere..." but I read somewhere that 3% of US electricity is consumed powering computers. This website below gives tips and tricks on how to reduce power consumption with Linux and it gets my endorsement for what it is worth. I proudly consume 17 times less energy powering my home computer by using a Zonbu. What do you do?

LessWatts.org - Saving Power on Intel systems with Linux: "LessWatts is about creating a community around saving power on Linux, bringing developers, users, and sysadmins together to share software, optimizations, tips and tricks."

Posted by Robin Yellow at 22:17 0 comments  

Open Source Will Prevail

I have become a big user of open source in the last few years. I increasingly only open source in my work where I favour MySQL over Oracle, Apache over IIS, and SugarCRM over Remedy, Eclipse, PHP, and the list goes on. In my home life too I am starting to roll out Linux on my home network. It just seems to be more reliable and greener than the commercial alternative. Less bloated, more configurable, and just plain reliable.

I get asked advice from time to time about which ISP to use, and I usually recommend BT Broadband. It is expensive but it is very reliable. I don't want 24 mbits some of the time, I want 2mbits all the time. It is the same with software. I don't need the slickest interface, I just need a familiar interface. Linux just works for me.

Open Source Is the Big Disruptor: "Gartner believes most commercial software products will include elements of open-source code by 2010."

Posted by Robin Yellow at 08:43 0 comments  

Blind Bible Believer

Friday, 21 September 2007

[warning: this posting contains the G word from the outset]

I have a visually impaired friend who likes to think about God on the move. It is her birthday soon and I just don't know what to buy her? Oh my God, just look at this:

Green Your Prayers With Solar-Powered Bible - Ecofriend: "The product is the best gift that you can give to any visually impaired friend of yours or to anyone who wants to think about god on the move."

Posted by Robin Yellow at 15:51 0 comments  

Virtual Data Centres

As Lynn Tan reports for ZDNet below, next generation data centres will be virtualised.

I was recently nominated for an award for my participation in a project to work with Amazon in their innovative Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2). This data centre is virtualised on so many levels like you wouldn't believe. The servers are virtualised Linux. The backups are virtualised,. Your collection of servers are protected from others in a vitual data centre. I have little idea what the physical arrangements are and frankly I don't care much.

I suppose it comes down to this, if you trust someone then will take their word for it on certain issues. I work for an energy company, and IT is not their core business. Amazon is an IT company and it has a data centre at the heart of their business. I trust them to keep my data safe and to protect me from attack otherwise they would go out of business, right? I have been wrong before. Once in 1976 and once in 1995. I am not wrong on this one. In five years time all data centres will be like this.

Virtualisation key to next-gen data centres - ZDNet UK: "'IDC has identified virtualisation as one of the key technologies underpinning the successful evolution of existing data centres to the next-generation platform.'"

Posted by Robin Yellow at 11:30 0 comments  

Linux Not Ready for the Mainstream

Friday, 14 September 2007

After having used Gentoo on my Zonbu now for a couple of weeks I agree that Linux is not ready for the mainstream quite yet. For someone who works in IT it is simply wonderful, but my Zonbu was designed for 'your Dad' and I think it would confuse my Mum if not my Dad. It isn't that gentoo is not user friendly, it is just that folk are familiar with Windows and Mac OS and there just doesn't seem much of a point learning something new just so Jobs or Gates won't get a penny of your money.

I have been considering Linux on the desktop for a project I am managing for a major multinational, and my conclusion is no, not yet.

I was speaking to an old friend today who converted to Mac OS from Windows about nine months ago. He proudly told me that Macs did not suffer from slow down over time because Unix based systems don't have a registry. Today he sheepishly told me that even his Macbook seemed to be a lot slower these days.

Mossberg's Ubuntu Linux verdict: Nope | Underexposed - CNET News.com: "Walt Mossberg, the influential Wall Street Journal reviewer who strikes fear into the hearts of computing and gadget companies, has weighed in on Ubuntu Linux"

Posted by Robin Yellow at 00:18 0 comments  

One of My Heroes Dies

Monday, 10 September 2007

I was saddened to read of the news of the death of Anita Roddick. I used to tell two stories about her. The first as a cautionary tale to help me in my consulting business. The second as an example of how it is actions that speak louder than words.

1. A quote of hers: "Look after your anarchists because when the going gets tough they will save you".
2. An anecdote: She used to remove all the extraneous food packaging in Sainsburys and leave it at the checkout. This was a protest against waste in an age when most of us weren't aware of green and environmental issues.

BBC NEWS | UK | Dame Anita Roddick dies aged 64: "Founder of ethical cosmetics firm Body Shop, Dame Anita Roddick, has died at the age of 64."

Posted by Robin Yellow at 22:13 0 comments  

Zonbu Update

Sunday, 9 September 2007

I have been using my Zonbu for a couple of weeks now so it is time for a report.

  1. The good news is that I am still using it. In fact i am writing this blog entry with it. it is perfectly good enough for every day use.
  2. I have had to install rdesktop which i need to do my accounts. I hire a Windows VPS and run Quickbooks on it. This is the only Windows application I actually need day to day.
  3. I have had very little luck with printing. The Zonbu supposedly supports my HP Deskjet 970Cxi locally which it doesn't. I have also not been able to get my Windows attached Samsung ML-1610 working either.
  4. There are various other gadgets and Gizmos which won't work on it (scanners, Plantronics headset, etc.) but nothing that I need more than occasionally.
  5. Mplayer plays all the kids movies very well. I hesitate to say perfectly as the frame rate doesn't seem to bequite as good as my Athlon 64 in the living room running Windows Media Center 2005.
I love it. It appeals to 'green' me, and 'annoyed by whining fans' me. I am glad I bought it and I recommend it to anyone who is prepared to compromise 10% in functionality to reduce their computer carbon by 90%.

Posted by Robin Yellow at 17:45 2 comments  

Addiction Comes in Many Forms

No wonder Facebook is banned in so many companies. I was walking in to work on Thursday morning and I passed a couple of likely lads smoking outside the building.

"I feel a day of facebook coming on" one said to the other.

"Me too" said the other.

[Editor's footnote: I was not walking to work, I was walking from the overflow car park to the building at Stockley Park]

Posted by Robin Yellow at 15:36 0 comments  

Canoeist 'possibly hit by ship'

It is just about your worst nightmare to be mowed down by a ship. I was watching the remake of Poseidon with Kurt Russel last week and it conveyed the size of a large ocean going vessel very well. BTW the film was a very pleasant surprise and even the missus stayed up late to see the end.

BBC NEWS | England | Canoeist 'possibly hit by ship': "The man's body was found two miles off Rye, early on Saturday, and a damaged canoe was later found floating between Folkestone and Dungeness, in Kent. Dover coastguard said the man's injuries and the damage to the canoe suggested he had been run down."

Posted by Robin Yellow at 10:31 0 comments