Web-Enabled Software Applications Are Less Expensive to Maintain

When it comes to computer software applications, in many ways we have come full-circle since the mainframe days of the 1960s and 1970s. Back then, corporate information was housed in central locations with strict rules for access and modifications. To use the applications, we used “dumb terminals”, whose job was nothing more than displaying information and accepting user data.

When the personal computer revolution came, much more power was given to individuals so that mainframe computers were no longer needed for simple tasks, such as word processing for example. This allowed for huge productivity improvements because it reduced the dependency on the IT department for anything other than centralized systems, such as billing or inventory control.

But then “islands of productivity”, as we called them, emerged with no central control, very little security, and no sharing of corporate data. The first step towards solving this problem was to implement local area networks which connected personal computers together and allowed for sharing of information.

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The Stereotypes of Marketers

A couple of months ago my company bookkeeper commented to a web designer, “You know marketers are good liars.” Now, I can be characterized as knowing all the stereotypes associated with other jobs and careers…

Computer programmers don’t speak and have no interests (although one at my office does have a Music degree and is to appear on film in a movie starring Hilary Swank)

Project managers create Gantt Charts all day, walk around with pencils behind their ears, and expect people to follow their orders (although one at my office used to be a theater actor, has a great open personality, and works extremely long days with no pencils behind his ears)

Accountants sit quietly and crunch numbers (although the bookkeeper at my office has a gregarious laugh, and it could be argued, rarely quiet. Yes, this was the person that commented ‘Marketers are liars.’) Read more

Turn it Off, Then Turn it On, Again

How many instruction manuals actually tell you to “turn the device off, then on again” for it to work? Why is it that mechanical and electrical devices have minds of their own? When they are overheated why is the solution often so simple as to ‘turning them off, then turning them on’ again, when the devices themselves are so complex?

Aging

My birthday was a few weeks ago, and although I wouldn’t necessarily say that ‘I am old’…. the aging process I am not liking. Wait, no, this is not going to be one of those female rampages. I can live with getting older, even though I don’t like it. I really can. There are other people out there older than me… But, what to do with your aging hardware?

The Apple Blog Forum, at http://forums.theappleblog.com/general-banter/484-what-do-you-do-old-technology/, actually had quite an interesting discussion about it. Everything from reselling to analyzing radio telescope data (SETI). Very interesting.

Why not donate them to the South West Vintage Television Museum? Maybe your own local museum will take them in. Technology does age faster than humans.

What’s in a Name

Names are as important to products, including software, as they are to people. Think of the stereotypes that names, such as Eugene, Debbie, Mario, Louise, Scott, and even Mary, bring to mind. What about a girl with the name Barbie? Bimbo? What about a guy with the name Mel? Bully? They’re not always favourable (although some are) and they’re not always accurate (although it has been said that your name defines who you are). We associate names with public figures and fictitious characters, and our perception of them influences our initial reaction.

Particularly in technology, good strong names are always desired. Not silly, but strong ones that will be remembered, and easy to say. They have to look profound, and stand well in capital letters, visually.

Apple     Sprint     Mustang     Google     Nikon     BMW     Ferrari     Pentium     Intel     Kodak     Amazon

APPLE     SPRINT     MUSTANG     GOOGLE     NIKON     BMW     FERRARI     PENTIUM     INTEL     KODAK     AMAZON

They must be intense names in that you like saying them. Technology, the field, is characterized as being progressive with new ideas, innovative, powerful, eliminating obstacles in the way, like time. Strength. Power. Grrrrr.

Apple works well for the company. The fruit is characterized as being a dietary staple, and there are many varieties for people to choose from. Apple computers promotes itself as being for everyone. Good stable computers that will last for years, and they’re designed to be attractive so you do want people knowing you pack one in your bag or have one sitting on your desk. They’re a must-have; an office and a home staple.

What’s in a name are memories. You and I may have had no negative experiences with ‘the name,’ but others may. Then again, we can’t necessarily predict someone’s fantastic experience with another name. The firefly, for eample, is a small bettle that glows. We wonder how it regulates its glow. It intrigues us. The Pontiac Firefly is a sub-compact automobile. We wonder how it can work on a 1.0-1.3 L engine. When my aunt was looking to buy a used car, one of her friends talked her against buying a Firefly. He obviously had had a bad experience. So much for the name doing the vehicle justice. He’d much rather crush the Pontiac Firefly just like some do bugs…well, you know. For me, the name ‘Louise’ isn’t a geeky girl with glasses and a massive head of brown curls piled high atop her head in a bun, as she is often portrayed in children’s stories. To me, Louise is a family friend who will go out of her way to make you feel at home. She will drive you to the airport and back. She will come see you when you’re ill and bring you soup. She’ll pick up your mail when you are out of town. And she has this incredible sense of humour, and the biggest heart on earth.

Now, can anyone tell me why SocietyMuster wouldn’t be a good name for software catering to membership-based organizations? It’s available. It hasn’t been chosen.