Posts Tagged ‘Software’

Software misfocus

It looks like the result of a company that is focused on adding features, not focused on creating something well-designed. – John Gruber

He was referring to Evernote. We talk regularly about feature creep, don’t we? How many pieces of software have you seen that is basically mis-focused? 

Evernote notes not loading?

Today I got a shock when I looked at Evernote 6.0.5 on Mac – I had all of 2 notes and 3 notebooks. I logged onto the web interface and confirmed that everything was there. I looked at the local data directory and confirmed the database was there. Something was wrong with the software. 

Turns out this has happened since Evernote 6.0.1 – Evernote for Mac 6: Mac App Store Version – Notes Not Loading, Untitled Note or Slowness Issues.

The solution is to install the non-Mac App Store version. Which I did and it seems like all my notes are coming back. I’m glad this is the case, but can you imagine losing over 13,000 notes? As Evernote tries to be many different things (including having things like Work Chat – really?), it is clearly focusing a lot less on quality of their output. 

I have a little over a year left to “switch to the cloud”, and I’m nowhere close to it yet. 

Getting VLC to display full screen video on the secondary/external monitor

Today, I acquired a Dell S2409W 24″ full HD LCD monitor. Its been a while since I’ve connected external displays to my laptop (on Linux, they are fun to work with), so today, I thought as one of the tests, I should see how VLC performed, on the 24″ monitor.

VLC dual screens
Video -> Video Device

But then, how does one get VLC to display on the secondary monitor at full screen? My repeated attempts were getting me to only see it on my main 13″ display. A little prodding brought me to the Video -> Video Device menu option. There, you can choose either Screen 1 (your LCD panel on the laptop) or Screen 2 (the external monitor). Immediate win!

Just wish this was automatic (ala, the Mac way), or a little more obvious.

MAS saves millions with LAMP stack

Malaysian Airlines has impressed me, yet again. Last week, in The Star, they reported that Sharul Isahak, a MAS employee, has helped save the airlines close to RM70 million (about USD$21 million), thanks to his use of open source software.

The software is meant to help airline maintenance, i.e. to keep track of parts and records of maintenance works. The web-based solution, is E-Promis (read the blog entry, its pretty interesting, as he takes you through the planning stages – it also seems like he’s still the only developer).

“This meant looking at open-source solutions. Instead of platforms such as Microsoft or Sun, we chose LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP)”

I couldn’t help but grin inside, a little. After all, Sun do own the M in LAMP ;-)

Next up, wonder if they will open source it, ala MyMeeting? After all, MAS services AirAsia and JetStar planes, I wonder who else will benefit from such software.

Does open source need to be “organic”?

Sparse notes from the talk, I noticed Sheeri recording some video, so sitting through that at some stage might make sense. There were no slides, this was a panel discussion. Suggested reading: Organic vs. Non-organic Open Source.

Does Open Source need to be “Organic”?
Brian Aker, Rob Lanphier, Stephen O’Grady, Theodore Ts’o

Taking code, and slapping a certain license on it, doesn’t a successful software project make.

Blurring the distinction, by marketing. Not doing any work to get external contributions.

Open sourcing a product one plans on “genociding”, its really bad.

“Corporate sociopathic Druckerism” — Brian Aker

“As long as the source code is open, let the market decide. MySQL is largely inorganic, and its a success. Much of it comes down to choice.” — Stephen O’Grady

Mark Shuttleworth has pushed the idea that forking is OK. Look at Launchpad: take a project, fork the project, make your change, and you can publish your tree that people can use. The wonders of distributed version control.

Its up to a company to decide if they want an organic or an inorganic project. Its your code, do what you want with it. In the future, an organic project may outstrip your inorganic project.

Netscape: inorganic piece of open source (with Mozilla). Firefox: forked the code, turned it into an organic model, then there was success.

Is Firefox really the best example? Look at what it did for Netscape Corporation or AOL? This won’t work well with the Pointy Haired Boss.

What was your goal of releasing the product under an open source license? If marketing buzz, then you make lots of PR, etc… then go home. If your goal is wanting to cut your development cost, you’re going to be disappointed with an organic model. If your goal is ubiquity, you aim for an organic model.

Commit access actually means you’re a worker bee. It doesn’t mean a free wheel to push features, it means you’re the garbage man – you collect everything, you sort everything, and so on. Let’s rethink what it means to have commit access.

Skype says: mounting failed

Never having had a problem downloading Skype before, I’m faced with an unusual problem, and have no solution. With getting my MacBook Air, I’ve been trying for weeks to download Skype (usually via mobile broadband, or via Wifi hotspots) and I’ve been failing. I get the usual “mounting failed” error. Annoying.

I filed a bug with Skype, and I have no idea if they’ll look into fixing it. My other option is to search thru my backups from my other Macs and look for a .dmg. All in all, pain

mounting failed: skype
Mounting failed

OS X can’t recognise it at all. For reference, the md5sum is: MD5 (Skype_2.7.0.330.dmg) = dfe1cb2286eccc906d642fca1325fef2.