Resistance is (was) futile

December 4, 2008

Twitter

I tried and tried to resist for so long, but I finally succumbed to time wasting that is twittering my tit-bits away.

Actually, it’s kinda good for me at the moment.  I’m far too busy to even contemplate blog posts at the moment (how do people find the time?) so for the time being I’ll mainly be twittering.   

Come and follow me at http://twitter.com/youdodan

Adios Amigos.

I’m a busy, busy Beetil

October 18, 2008

Beetil

When we first set up YouDo (vote for us here as a top 10 startup), our long term goal was building successful products, as opposed to just focussing solely upon services.  

Having managed some pretty critical IT systems in my previous life, I could never find an effective tool that helped me manage across the whole IT service management lifecycle.   We had evaluated numerous products out there, but they were either too simple, too complex, too expensive, too unusable, or just downright rubbish.   A lot of other people I know find this.   And a lot of people end up building their own – but that just gets too expensive and unmaintainable in the long term.

We were unsatisfied.

So we did something about it.

So I’m pleased to announce that we’re not too far away off of opening up a beta of our first product:

Beetil – service management without the pain.

We’ve got quite a few alpha users on the site at the moment, and pretty much “they can’t live without it”.  We’re using it to manage our own services.  And we love it.   If you’re interested in taking part in the alpha programme please feel free to give us a yell.

It’s a fun time.

Gmail Outage Outrage

August 14, 2008

Wow! There’s been plenty of coverage of the recent massive (yeah, right) 2 hour GMail outage. The end of cloud computing? Erm… I don’t think so.

A couple of observations that immediately sprang to my mind:

One. Do the Maths.

Go figure how much all this would cost you: email server, email software, o/s licenses, backup software, hosting, ongoing management and maintenance, staff costs, etc… Yes. This all adds up. Compare the costs against GMail…. Erm.. That’s a no-brainer.

Hey – ask yourself this as well. For those in corporate environments, how many times is your email service down? Probably more than GMail I would say.

Two. Is email *that* important?

Have you ever heard about GTD (I’m quite fond of it myself). In today’s world of a gazillion emails they’re now recommending that you check your email only at certain intervals. I know countless people that say they only check email three times a day!! So it’s obviously not that big a deal.

Wooo! Then there’s this amazing technological invention known as the telephone. Or this marvel called face-to-face. Yes – we can actually talk to people. That’s a good thing.

No email equals no interruptions. I remember my days as a CIO, when we had a four hour unplanned email server outage. Outrage! “Burn him!”, they cried. Four hours and a good lashing later, people came up to me and said that was the most productive four hours they’ve had for years!

Email ain’t everything. Get over it.

A two hour email outage is not the end of the world, nor for cloud computing.

(and if you even bothered to check IMAP was working fine – sigh!)

Those Crazy Japanese

July 24, 2008

I’ve rekindled my love affair with YouTube, and those crazy Japanese game shows:

Human Tetris:

and…

Silent Library Torture:

Snapper. Loving It.

July 24, 2008

Loving It

Loving It

I tell ya.  You’ve gotta be loving this Snapper business.  At last Wellington is brought into the twenty first century!

What you’ve got to love even more is that the first bus that I got on to pay with with my Snapper card didn’t have it’s Snapper readers activated.   “No problems”, said the driver.  “Just hop on!”.   Free.  Zippo.

Excellent!  100% discount!

Check out this gem of an email that I received the other morning from a high profile, and well funded, US based startup to whom’s software as a service I subscribe to:

Yesterday morning we had a major server outage affecting our 1.0 customers. We completely lost one of our database servers. The day was spent rebuilding and restoring everything we possibly could.

There were a handful of accounts that the restore completely failed on. Yours was one of those accounts. We have exhausted all available avenues for restoring the account data with no positive results.

Quite simply, I find this astounding! I would have thought that should have had a mirrored/clustered database server, and at the very least held an offline backup of my information. Obviously not.

In my previous life prior to YouDo, I spent countless hours with auditors going over BCP and DR plans, and countless hours making sure we’d avoid this kind of screw up ever happening to us. I used to hate it. Really hate it.

But now I’ve been on the receiving end of what seems like an inadequate disaster recovery plan, and can relate to the pain that our customers could feel – it’s going back near the top of my agenda.

Now that we’ve got our own offices, and I’m free of the super restricted corporate firewall we we’re previously (and kindly) bludgeoning off, I was really excited at the prospect of using GMail’s IMAP capabilities and finally being able to use Mail.app.

One word.  Disappointed.

Pluses for IMAP and using Mail.app:

  • I can work offline
  • Creating mail is faster
  • I can haz decent signatures
Pluses for staying with the GMail web browser:
  • it’s instant
  • I can easily tag (Google call this “label”) messages
  • no mucking about with syncing
  • it’s not restricted by IMAP locked down firewalls
  • great search functionality across my whole mailbox
I have tried and tried and tried and tried to persevere with Mail.app and IMAP, but no matter how hard I try I still gravitate back towards browser based Gmail.
Am I missing something here?
Are there some uber-tips and uber-features I just haven’t seen?
At this stage, Gmail through the web browser wins hands down.
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