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Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Abbott, Costello, and Computer

An adaptation of Bud Abbott and Lou Costello's famous sketch, "Who's on First?":

COSTELLO calls to buy a computer from Abbot.

ABBOTT: Super Duper computer store. Can I help you?

COSTELLO: Thanks I'm setting up an office in my den and I'm thinking about buying a computer.


COSTELLO: No, the name's Lou.

ABBOTT: Your computer?

COSTELLO: I don't own a computer. I want to buy one.


COSTELLO: I told you, my name's Lou.

ABBOTT: What about Windows?

COSTELLO: Why? Will it get stuffy in here?

ABBOTT: Do you want a computer with Windows?

COSTELLO: I don't know. What will I see when I look at the windows?

ABBOTT: Wallpaper.

COSTELLO: Never mind the windows. I need a computer and software.

ABBOTT: Software for Windows?

COSTELLO: No. On the computer! I need something I can use to write proposals, track expenses and run my business. What do you have?

ABBOTT: Office.

COSTELLO: Yeah, for my office. Can you recommend anything?

ABBOTT: I just did.

COSTELLO: You just did what?

ABBOTT: Recommend something.

COSTELLO: You recommended something?


COSTELLO: For my office?


COSTELLO: OK, what did you recommend for my office?

ABBOTT: Office.

COSTELLO: Yes, for my office!

ABBOTT: I recommend Office with Windows.

COSTELLO: I already have an office with windows! OK, let's just say I'm sitting at my computer and I want to type a proposal. What do I need?


COSTELLO: What word?

ABBOTT: Word in Office.

COSTELLO: The only word in office is office.

ABBOTT: The Word in Office for Windows.

COSTELLO: Which word in office for windows?

ABBOTT: The Word you get when you click the blue 'W'.

COSTELLO: I'm going to click your blue 'w' if you don't start with some straight answers. What about financial bookkeeping? You have anything I can track my money with?

ABBOTT: Money.

COSTELLO: That's right. What do you have?

ABBOTT: Money.

COSTELLO: I need money to track my money?

ABBOTT: It comes bundled with your computer.

COSTELLO: What's bundled with my computer?

ABBOTT: Money.

COSTELLO: Money comes with my computer?

ABBOTT: Yes.. No extra charge.

COSTELLO: I get a bundle of money with my computer? How much?

ABBOTT: One copy.

COSTELLO: Isn't it illegal to copy money?

ABBOTT: Microsoft gave us a license to copy Money.

COSTELLO: They can give you a license to copy money?


(A few days later)

ABBOTT: Super Duper computer store. Can I help you?

COSTELLO: How do I turn my computer off?

ABBOTT: Click on 'START'.....….…

Human Ingenuity

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Free Google Sketching Tool


What is Google Up To?

Six years ago, Google Search Appliance (GSA) was introduced with a price less than $2,500.

The number of GSA sold has not been disclosed but is estimated in the range from 20,000 to as many as 60,000 units.

Enterprise users want something that “works just like Google.”

GSA is now complemented by a wider range of Google components.

Each component has search DNA, but those complements add important capabilities to Google’s enterprise search lineup.

Google has rolled-out Google Commerce Search (GCS). The GCS focuses on the retail side of a company’s business.

Take a look at http://www.google.com/commercesearch/#utm_source=en-ha-na-us-commerce-skws&utm_medium=ha&utm_campaign=commerce-skws .

For $50,000 a year—a price that varies by number of stocking units or items for sale—one could get a cloud-based e-commerce system (separate from GSA).

The benefits of the product include seamless scaling to handle peak traffic, special product promotion functions, and advanced reporting and analysis, among others.

Like Google’s industrial strength e-mail service, built on Gmail and the Postini systems, GCS is a cloud play.

Moreover, Google has been steadily publishing a number of integration and application programming interface (API) activity.

On the integration front, Google continues to add partners.

Among the partners available to assist organizations are Appirio, Atlassian and Manymoon.

A full lineup of partners is available at http://code.google.com/googleapps/campfire.html.

The APIs themselves now number in the hundreds, but a comprehensive list is lacking.

For the enterprise sector, there is a secure data connector, a provisioning API, a code block to implement a single sign-on and an e-mail migration API.

There are three ways to keep track of Google’s APIs. I have signed up for the Google Apps Developer Blog, which often yields some tasty code McNuggets.

One can track postings and content in Google Apps at this URL, http://code.google.com/ .

Google also posts some useful information on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/user/googledevelopers .

Google Version 2.0, described the method by which Google can deliver most if not all of the GSA’s functions via the cloud.

It is very likely that by the end of 2010, an enterprise will be able to “hook” together various functions, including some of the third-party indexing features of the GSA with Google’s cloud services.

Instead of integrating Microsoft Exchange content with business intelligence data from Cognos (acquired by IBM), to name two supported third-party systems, an enterprise will have more integration options that essentially “snap in.”

And until Google productizes those code components, an authorized Google integrator like Adhere Solutions (http://www.adheresolutions.com/ ) can mesh various Google components today.

Fluid Books

I liked the discussion of this article on eBooks (www.kmworld.com) :

"We’d all like to have a way to move the contents of a book into an ebook and from there into a Web page and then into a display suitable for the tiniest of screens and then have it read itself aloud to someone with impaired vision and then have it automatically decompose into daily blog posts and then reassemble itself into a book, all without any loss of data or metadata. Of course, we’d all like that to be done with nothing but open source tools."

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

On System Decomposition Criteria


Developing for the iPhone and Android

Apple's recently upgraded and renamed iOS 4 and Google's Android are competing with one another.

Android applications are written in the Java programming language.

Applications written for the iPhone operating system are written in Apple's Objective-C, a dialect of the more common C language that has elements of Smalltalk. Developers who have spent their careers working with C and C++ won't find Objective-C to be a difficult language to pick up.

But there is no clear way to write one set of code that targets both platforms; Java does not run on iPhone and Objective-C won’t work on Android.

There are new tool kits and development platforms such as Rhomobile's Rhodes, Nitobi's PhoneGap, Appcelerator's Titanium and Ansca's Corona that make it relatively straightforward to create applications that will run on some combination of the iPhone, BlackBerry, Windows Mobile, Symbian and Android platforms.

These emulators and runtime layers are new and not full-featured. While simple applications accessing the Web and bringing information back to the phone are appropriate for these types of frameworks, mobile apps relying on intense calculations and heavy database access -- which includes some custom-written line-of-business applications -- are not good candidates, because running a compatibility framework exacts an overhead penalty on a limited-power mobile processor that most users find unacceptable.

In addition, there are currently no good solutions for providing cross-platform support for a graphically intensive application, like a game or a video editor.

More on Theoretical History

We read, in the July 2, 2010 issue of the Wall Street Journal:

"The reason Axis & Allies and other such games have such lasting resonance is that they teach a subject which is no longer fashionable: the mechanics of military history. Playing as Japan in Axis & Allies, for instance, you see that, as a tactical matter, you must attack Hawaii as soon as possible. Play as Russia and you can conduct What-If? experiments with variations on Stalin's strategic retreat."

But note that this is still a far cry from Theoretical History for the focus is narrow in subject matter and domain. Moreover, one major shortcoming of these games is that they do not model the human action at the individual level - there are no autonomous software agents through the actions of whom what we call history arises.

But, it is a start.

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I am a senior software developer working for General Motors Corporation.. I am interested in intelligent computing and scientific computing. I am passionate about computers as enablers for human imagination. The contents of this site are not in any way, shape, or form endorsed, approved, or otherwise authorized by HP, its subsidiaries, or its officers and shareholders.

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