General

More Honolulu / Oahu photos

31 Jan , 2008  


Windows Live Spaces

If you click on the Live Spaces link you can see the captions for each picture.

Cloud, Microsoft, Podcasts

COM Podcast #2 – Jeff Kaplan talks SaaS

30 Jan , 2008  

Compodcast_logoEpisode 2 Living In A SaaS World of the Converging On Microsoft Podcast is up and available.

This week former Meta analyst and SaaS On Demand software industry thought leader Jeff Kaplan joins me to talk about Software as a Service, SaaS. Jeff is managing director of THINKstrategies, a consulting firm working with software companies, investors and SaaS end user companies.

Jeff_kaplanDuring the interview, Jeff jumps right into why SaaS has so quickly become a popular mode of buying software, how Microsoft is "delicately" going about Software plus Services so as not to disrupt current embedded software revenues and their huge channel, and new efforts by SaaS companies directing SaaS at IT.

Most of us are familiar with SaaS companies like Qualys and Salesforce.com but the industry is much broader than those two examples. Gartner estimates that 25% of new software sales will be SaaS by 2011. I recently announced my own jump into the world of SaaS by joining Boulder based SaaS On Demand software and enablement company Absolute Performance, Inc. On Demand software, virtualization, and utility computing are making profound changes in the way our industry is operating and I’m going to continue doing my part to make it all happen!

If you are interested in finding out more, Jeff has some resources on his  site you might find helpful, including SaaS Showplace , Managed Services Showplace   and Jeff’s blog ThinkITservices.com.

If you have any questions, ideas, feedback or suggestions about the Converging On Microsoft Podcast, please send me email at podcast@mitchellashley.com. Thanks for listening.

Download MP3 fileSubscribe to COM Podcast RSS feed

Credits: Voice over by Jessica Freemann, music by Michael Reese

General

IT’ers Finally Get The Recognition They Deserve

30 Jan , 2008  

Microsoft and Seagate have launched a daily comic strip series, Heroes Happen Here (HHH). Here’s the first edition. Sign up to the RSS feed so can follow the strip.

Hhhcomicseriesday1_3

General

Honolulu photo gallery

29 Jan , 2008  

I thought I’d give Windows Live Spaces Photo Gallery sharing a try and post up some photos from Mary Ellen and my vacation on Oahu so far.


Windows Live Spaces

It’s been a great vacation so far with lots of relaxing, shopping, food and fun. Ironic though that we had to come 3,500 miles from Denver to go out to dinner with 4 of our other friends from Westminster CO. 🙂

Sure wish our kids were here enjoying this with us. We miss them and the boys, Howie and Puno. Thanks Mom and Dad for house sitting and dog sitting this week.

The surf’s been amazing. I could sit on the shore for hours and just take it in. I’ll post up more photos later in the week. Enjoy.

Cloud, Podcasts, Security

Podcast #52 – Scott Converse announces Medioh

29 Jan , 2008  

Microphone

Alan was in town last week for us to record episode 52 of the SSAATY podcast.After some dinner at CPK in Boulder CO, we got together at Scott Converse’recording studio down the street.

Not only is Scott the CEO of ClickCaster where we host the SSAATY podcast,Scott is our podcast guest on this rollicking, in-studio edition where we havelots of fun doing our usual shtick. It’s a lot more fun doing the podcast whenAlan and I are in the same city and I think that will come across pretty clearlyas you listen in to our madness.

I guess the podcast is the "in place" announce career moves and company launches –During the interview, Scott tells us about his exciting new Internet TVventure Medioh! I also announce my joining Absolute PerformanceInc. as CTO, a rockin’ SaaS On Demand software and enablement company based inBoulder.

In addition to talking shop about Medioh and Absolute Performance, Alan and I cover theacquisition mania of Sun / MySQL, Oracle / BEA and VMware / Thinstall, Vernier’s inevitable plummet into thesun, and recent announcements of multi-gigabit IPS products.

Welcome me in congratulating Scott Converse on his launch of Medioh. Enjoy the podcast and feel free to drop us any suggestions or questions at podcast@stillsecure.com.

P.S. Is it just me or does Scott have a slight resemblance, albeit younger, to one of myfavorite actors Charles Durning? Maybe next podcast we’ll have Scott announce us as the Soggy Bottom Boys (O Brother, Where Art Thou?).Scott_converse_2

Charles_durning_2

Icon_enclosure_music_7mp3 file

Uncategorized

Let the exodus begin

21 Jan , 2008  

ExodusWith BEA’s acquisition by Oracle, I’ve got to believe the assimilation willoccur as other Oracle acquisitions have. A sizable turnover of peopletakes place as the acquirer reshapes things to fit the acquired company. Thatcould leave a lot of folks looking for sales and technical work. I’m workingwith a company in the Denver/Boulder area looking for top notch sales people, anengineering VP position, tech writer and QA testers. Send me an email if you areinterested.

General

Weather outside is… BRRRR

21 Jan , 2008  

9_degrees_in_colorado  Nuf’ said.

General

Guitar Hero Strikes a Chord In Our Pop Culture

20 Jan , 2008  

Guitar_hero_songbookI love the game Guitar Hero. I’ve only played it on two occasions but I love the game. I love it mostly because of the rich experience it creates for players.

As a bona fide real guitar (RG) player, I often have people say to me "I wish I would have learned to play guitar." My response is always the same, "You can. It’s never too late… really… so start right now. You can do it." I love to encourage people to explore their interests, passions and dreams. And as a guitar player, I know what they are missing by not playing a totally cool, fun, diverse and expressive instrument. That’s why I always encourage someone to learn to play if they have an interest.

While playing Guitar Hero may not teach you to play RG, it brings much of the same experience to players who might never learn or want to learn to play RG. I’ve never been a solo instrument player, because I love the collaboration of playing with other people in a group setting. Guitar Hero is fun to play with other people. You laugh at your mistakes, get nervous during an upcoming solo section, and take pride when you do well. There are competition modes where you have a guitar-off between two players, and the winner dis’s the loser. It’s just too fun. Kind of like those Guitarmagedon contests that Guitar Center has every year where everyone from a 12 year old virtuoso to a very experienced player gets up and gives there best to try and win a spot representing our region in the national contest.

I knew that Guitar Hero had entered our mainstream culture when I went into the local Guitar Center today and sitting in the music songbook section was a Guitar Hero book, with the songs that are in the game. How cool is that!

Peavey_agriffmaster_gh_controllerPeavey, and soon probably others, are making upscale models of Guitar Hero controllers. (Fellow musician and band member Doug Craig turned me on to these.) Real guitars that are routed out and the Guitar Hero controller elements inserted. It’s a $2,000 set that includes 2 guitars and mini-PA system to sing through (though it only works with the PS3 right now, but that’ll likely change soon.) Real wood, with the real feel of a guitar. Now you can move up and get even more of the RG experience while playing Guitar Hero. Way cool. I hope they come out with a conversion kit so you can upgrade from a controller to a RG with strings and pickups.

The Rockband game takes it one step further and adds drums, bass and lead singer. I gave all three a shot, but found playing the drum controller to be pretty far from what playing real drums are like. (Some people would say that about my real drum playing too, lol.) I even took a crack at singing a Boston song, and realized there’s a lot more that Brad Delp does during his singing than I realized. Brad passed away, btw. Thanks to him for leaving us the gift of Boston’s music.

The question has been floated on the Internet as to whether Guitar Hero will create the next Eric Clapton. While all of the game’s skills might not be directly transferable to playing RG, the inspiration does. That’s why I like the game. The world needs more creators of music, more musicians to paint a fabric of sound and imagery that connects with our soul. I heard once that music is the language of the soul. I believe that. If Guitar Hero does create the next Eric Clapton, I’m all for it.

BTW – I checked. The Guitar Hero songbook in the Guitar Center store had real music and TAB notation in it. Not notation for the 5 buttons on the Guitar Hero game controller. I was curious, so I just had to check.

Rock On, Guitar Heroes 🙂

Podcasts, Product Mgmt

New Converging On Microsoft Podcast – Episode 1

17 Jan , 2008  

Compodcast_logoI”m pleased to announce the first episode of my new podcast on Network World, the Converging On Microsoft Podcast.

My Network World blog has been doing very well and the editors asked if I would like to start a companion podcast. Not being one to turn down another opportunity to "play on a bigger stage" I jumped at the chance.

Bob_walsh_2My first guest on COM Podcast Episode 1 is Bob Walsh, a software developer, entrepreneur, business owner, author and blogger. I came across Bob’s book Clear Blogging which I enjoyed so much I called him to thank him for such an insightful and useful piece of work.

Turns out there’s much more to Bob than just one book. Bob’s background is both as a writer and a software developer, and recently he has been evangelizing to other software creators to help them bring their products to market as a Micro-ISV. Yes, micro independent software vendor — a one, two or up to ten person software shop, primarily comprised of technical people with little or no previous business or marketing expertise.

In addition to running his own software business, Safari Software, Bob blogs at 47hats.com and recently began writing for Web Worker Daily where he follows up on the latest tips and insider info about the online web industry. Check out the links to Bob’s two books below.

If you are a software developer and always wanted to make money from the software you create, you’ll be fascinated by all of the ideas, information and resource suggestions Bob gives during the interview.

Before I wrap up I would also like thank guitarist, composer, studio musician and a good friend of mine Michael Reese for his music Treasured Path used as the podcast  music. I’d also like to thank Jessica Freemann for her voice over talent introducing and closing the podcast. Thanks to you both!

If you have any questions, ideas, feedback or suggestions about the Converging On Microsoft Podcast, please send me email at podcast@mitchellashley.com. Enjoy 🙂

Bob’s books:

Book_microisv_2Book_clear_blogging