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Simon Bisson

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Don't let your networks speak to strangers

Desktop Run a scan over any company network and you will probably be surprised by what has been connected to it. Staff can be very creative, plugging in everything from printers to tablet devices to departmental servers and network-attached storage devices. They are not circumventing IT policies either, or so they think – just …
Simon Bisson, 26 May 2011
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Windows on the Desktop? There's a group policy for that

Desktops are important and need managing with the same care as servers. If you are using Windows many of the tools you need are built into Active Directory, which lets you define individual users and computers along with their roles and the groups they fall into. This division makes managing Windows PCs relatively easy. The key …
Simon Bisson, 24 May 2011
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A short note about Microsoft App-V

Desktop The application development lifecycle is less responsive than it could be. IT departments spend too much time maintaining existing software and infrastructure, time that should really be spent delivering tools to make the business run better. It's like trying to run an F1 team out of a small garage: you never have the resources …
Simon Bisson, 18 Apr 2011
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App streaming vs installation: what's best when

Desktop Effective desktop management isn't just about working with operating systems – it's also about managing the applications your users are using. There are many reasons for managing applications, from licence management, to ensuring regulatory compliance, to avoiding the support headaches that come from application proliferation …
Simon Bisson, 12 Apr 2011
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Controlling the desktop through user scenarios

Desktop An optimised desktop doesn't mean one for which all users have control over every function. So what should they control and how do you decide? Once you've started down the road of optimising desktops there's a lot to consider. Although it may simplify the role of the IT professional, with easier to manage images and reduced …
Simon Bisson, 29 Mar 2011
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What it takes to get your desktop back up and running

Desktop Machines fail. Hardware has a lifespan, and hard disks have a shorter life than most. Heads crash, bearings wear out, and motors fail – and data gets lost. The resulting downtime is lost productivity, information workers away from their data and their applications. There may not be as much of an effect on your business as …
Simon Bisson, 23 Mar 2011
apache modules book

The Apache Modules Book

Review Subtitled Application Development With Apache, this is a book for web developers who want to take their web applications to the next level – running them inside their web servers. Apache's modular architecture makes it possible to build applications into server modules, but there's a catch: there's not much documentation, and …
Simon Bisson, 22 Aug 2007
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Punch out your own code on a Greenphone

Trolltech's Qtopia is a commonly used mobile Linux. It's used in a large number of different devices – from Sony's mylo communicator, to Motorola and Panasonic's Linux phones. While you might not have come across it in the Carphone Warehouse, it's a common platform in one of the biggest mobile markets going – China. But how do …
Simon Bisson, 10 Aug 2007
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Should you treat IT as an investment portfolio...

It's hard enough trying to run one development project, let alone several. Managing a whole portfolio of projects across a business can easily be compared to juggling Faberge eggs in a tornado, with only one arm. Projects need to be delivered on time, to the original requirements. Resources need to be deployed appropriately – …
Simon Bisson, 20 Jul 2007
Google

Google Mashup beta goes out to world+dog

Software as a Service (SaaS) is one of this year's biggest trends. It's one that's also moving away from simple applications to whole hosted development platforms. Google's Mashup Editor is the latest online development platform to appear. Like Microsoft's Popfly and Yahoo!'s Pipes before it, it's a tool for building hosted …
Simon Bisson, 04 Jul 2007
Microsoft

Visual Studio Shell (not Visual Studio's hell)

Pop along to Sourceforge and you’ll find many different programmers’ editors, many of which have been abandoned long before they’re ready for use. There’s not really any point developing an editor, when toolkits like Scite exist. The same is true of IDEs, when there’s the extensible Eclipse IDE to use. As a result it’s been …
Simon Bisson, 09 Jun 2007
heart

Salesforce.com gets that old SOA religion

The elephant in the room was one of the presenters at Salesforce.com's one day developer conference in Silicon Valley yesterday. With rumours of an upcoming Google partnership sparking financial news, the company's CEO Marc Benioff joked that he wasn't going to talk about the rumours – though he did proceed to hint that there …
Simon Bisson, 22 May 2007

BlackBerry plugs in to Visual Studio

With as many.NET developers as there are BlackBerry users, it’s about time Research in Motion provided some Visual Studio development tools. There's not too long to wait, as RIM used its Wireless Enterprise Symposium this week to unveil its first Visual Studio plug-in. Don't be confused - this isn't a .NET solution, and RIM …
Simon Bisson, 13 May 2007
Adobe

Adobe open sources Flex

Flex, the Adobe tool for delivering Flash applications that mixes ActionScript and an XML page layout language, will be completely open source by the end of 2007, with much of the code available now. With Flex at the heart of Adobe's Apollo rich internet application platform, this release marks a significant change in Adobe's …
Simon Bisson, 26 Apr 2007
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Piloting Adobe Apollo

Adobe's senior product manager for Apollo, Mike Downey was in London last week. We met him at Adobe's Regents Park offices, and in a wide ranging conversation we talked about the past, the present and the future of Apollo. Downey worked with some of the most senior engineers in the company to develop Apollo: “It's the highest …
Simon Bisson, 26 Apr 2007
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Lift-off for Adobe's Apollo

(P)review There was a bit of a buzz in the air on Monday when Adobe rolled out the first public alpha release of its Apollo desktop internet application client – along with a whole truckload of developer tools and documentation. Apollo is an interesting proposition, a platform that mixes Flash (though you do need to use code that's …
Simon Bisson, 28 Mar 2007
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Yak shaving wows crowd at FOWA 2007

Carson Systems' Future of Web Applications (FOWA) conference returned to London this week with an impressive lineup of speakers – and a very Web 2.0 look at the world. Sessions covered everything from finding venture capital to Amazon's developer platform, via building effective online communities. Once you got past the feeling …
Simon Bisson, 24 Feb 2007
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Writing the Rules

Hands on Rules engines are now a common business tool, helping automate what are often complex decision-making processes. Now with web front-ends and business language IDEs, there's a lot to look at when choosing your software. While some tools help transfer business logic change responsibilities from developers to business users, …
Simon Bisson, 05 Feb 2007
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Vacuum firm wants to clean up with DIY robots

One of the funnier sights at this year's CES was a video of a hamster ball. It wasn't any old rodent workout – this one was steering a robot. The hamster seemed to be having fun, and the developer was having a ball too... Behind it all was iRobot's Create, which takes the familiar Roomba and Scooba cleaners, and turns their …
Simon Bisson, 17 Jan 2007
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Open Phones with Open Moko

While all eyes may have been on San Francisco and the launch of the developer-unfriendly Apple iPhone, the real game changers were demonstrating their strategy at CES 2007, in Las Vegas. While the hardware may be similar, the strategy is a complete reversal of Apple's closed platform and proprietary hardware. OpenMoko is an …
Simon Bisson, 15 Jan 2007
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The game maker's apprentice

Book review Subtitled "Game Development for Beginners", The Game Maker's Apprentice is just that, a guide to developing your own games using the free Game Maker games development software (available for download here, if you don’t buy the book). Everything you need to build the games described in the book is on its companion CD, including …
Simon Bisson, 04 Aug 2006
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An introduction to rules engines

Businesses run on rules. They define business processes, and describe just what happens if something goes right - or if it goes wrong. Do all the gold-rated customers get a 10% discount, and what happens if one calls customer support? Business rules are part of the decision support systems that underpin every business process. …
Simon Bisson, 03 Aug 2006
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Adobe gets Spry about AJAX

Sometimes it seems that you’ve waited ages for an AJAX framework to come along, and then suddenly there’s a whole queue of them lined up, ready for testing. The latest to join the line up is Macromedia - sorry, Adobe now - with its Spry AJAX framework, which you can download here. Announced and demonstrated last week at The …
Simon Bisson, 14 May 2006
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BlackBerry MDS Studio

The recent 4.1 release of BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES) from Research in Motion (RIM) opens the door to a new set of mobile development tools and technologies. BlackBerries aren't just for email – they're also a secure pipe to and from your network. With the latest build of RIM's MDS (Mobile Data Services) platform bundled …
Simon Bisson, 05 May 2006

No garbage hassles as BT goes Azul

Adding storage to a network is straightforward; adding processing power tends to involve a lot more complexity. This is something Azul Systems aims to change. Following the recent announcement of its second generation Vega processor, is today’s news that BT will be using the company's processing appliances to handle both its …
Simon Bisson, 03 Apr 2006
channel

In the Mix

MIX06 Microsoft’s sold-out MIX06 conference is a brave affair, attempting to bridge an almost impossible divide – the gap between developers and designers. Under fake Italian skies, and hidden in the cavernous halls of Las Vegas’ Venetian hotel, 1700 attendees are learning about Microsoft’s new web technologies and, if all is going …
Simon Bisson, 22 Mar 2006
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Beyond CRM

If Web 2.0 mashups are the future of the internet, what will the enterprise application look like? The folk at Salesforce.com think they have the answer, in the shape of the winter 06 release of their web application platform – and the introduction of a web service and application directory, the AppExchange. Salesforce.com has …
Simon Bisson, 13 Feb 2006
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First look: Expression Interactive Designer

Review It's been a long time coming. First rumoured at the 2003 PDC (Microsoft Professional Developers Conference), Microsoft's Sparkle has finally made it part way out the door. More than two years after the original whispers of a Microsoft competitor to Flash, Expression Interactive Designer has arrived. Now you can finally start …
Simon Bisson, 07 Feb 2006