Daily Archive: May 5, 2005

Process + Technology = Productivity

Eric Mack develops the overload theme, with a post titled “methodology + technology = productivity”,  I personally prefer process to methodology, which sounds a bit too formal for most people, but I agree fully with him on the principle.  Too many times on enterprise projects I have been told by customer to “just give us the technology we will figure out how to use it”, months to years later and the project has either failed or a rich eco-system of incompatible business processes have been wastefully developed to solve the same business need.

Now I always like to start with the business need first, process second and technology third, of course this means that you need to follow an iterative approach as the technology can modify your original perception of business need and process, but thats fine so long as you prototype.  Personally as I work in infrastructure I like to dog food all of my projects as well.


Information overload and presentations

More on information overload from Beyond Bullets this time in the context of presentations:

One recent study at Kansas State University reported that the MTV-inspired scrolling tickers and headlines on television screens reduced the ability of people to remember information by 10 percentage points.

Another study reported that people who were bombarded by email and phone calls suffered an IQ drop of 10 points – double the drop in IQ that has been attributed to marijuana.

The smarter solution? Strip away the distractions and aim for simplicity.


Speculating on the Longhorn experience

I guess it is fairly widely know that we have only seen a few hints of the Longhorn user experience.  What do we know:

  • It will be built on a very powerful graphics engine
  • This engine will enable effects that have previously been unheard of outside of games,  and has been designed to take advantage of increases in GPU and CPU power for the next 10 years.  This is a platform that is primarily forward looking, but that degrades gracefully on older hardware and shipping operating systems (XP and 2003)
  • It will use this graphics power, combined with further improved indexing and search to greatly improve our ability to navigate and visualise large quantities of files and images. 
  • The shell will also provide improved facilities to view document thumbnails, and full scale renditions of documents using Metro
  • Sharing of information with peers will be easier
  • Working with collections of things will be easier, files, RSS feeds, web browser tabs, collections of URLs etc
  • File location will be increasingly irrelevant as properties and associations become first class objects for access and grouping
  • Predictability, reliability, flexibility, integration, context, ease of use and easy collaboration will be the order of the day

That …