Some very cool Silverlight demos

These are referenced elsewhere (in the gallery on the Silverlight.net site), but here are a couple of the samples I find particularly interesting:

Definitely worth looking at, and seeing what is possible.

Business life lesson – Don’t let anyone steal your dream : Atlantic Canada’s Small Business Blog – IQI Strategic Management Inc.

 

Business life lesson – Don’t let anyone steal your dream : Atlantic Canada’s Small Business Blog – IQI Strategic Management Inc.

This is an interesting post, and fits in well with other things which have been on my mind lately, and with things about which I have posted.

It occurs to me that over the years, I really have let the world steal my dreams. I think we all do this – we get so wrapped up in the day-to-day “operations” of life that we lose track of the grand visions. We also tend to be told that we need to think realistically, and be reasonable, and play it safe. We spend much of our lives being taught what is possible, and even worse, what is impossible. I think that is why so much advancement in science, arts, and other fields comes from the young, because they have not yet learned that what they are trying to do is “impossible”. 

One of the nice things about a grand vision is that you spend much less time worrying about whether it is possible of not, and more time just working towards it.

Getting excited about the future

I have been through a complex time mentally over the last few months, with the changes here at Whitehill (now Skywire), and with my own transition within (and ultimately out of) the organization.

It is now time to face fully forward, and I am doing so right now with more excitement than I have had in a long time.

For the past number of months, I have been looking at a lot of options as to what to do next (as described in a previous post), and while there have been many ideas floating around, I have had a hard time getting truly fired up by any of them. Part of it was just inertia and fear of change. But a big part of it has been my own thinking. I have become extremely conservative (in some ways – not politically) as I have gotten older. So, much of my planning has centred around conservative ideas, or at most conservative approaches to more exciting ideas.

It is, unfortunately, very difficult to get fired up or inspired about playing it safe. That does not mean I am going to go off and do things without due consideration, or take unnecessary or ill-conceived risks. What it does mean is that I am going to follow a path which has been successful for me at previous times in my life – follow the big dream. In addition, have fun doing it. The dream itself is not the main goal, it is the act of chasing the dream and enjoying the path.

I have been searching for great words to express what I want to do next, and have finally found them in a cartoon of all places:

Pinky: “Gee Brain, what do you want to do tonight?”
The Brain: “The same thing we do every night, Pinky—Try to take over the world.”

So, that is what’s next for me – try to take over the world, or at least some interesting piece of it.

Stay tuned – this is going to be fun!

 

PS – here are the immortal words of Pinky and the Brain in their original form:

Apple’s Mac Set to Soar?

I am always amazed (and somewhat amused) to listen to the press and many bloggers pound on Microsoft, and hold up Apple as this golden idol of alternatives. Don’t get me wrong, I love Macs – I have ever since I started using and programming them back in the late 80s. I even liked the Newton. And the new iMacs – damn I want one.

But there are a few points of the Microsoft is evil/apple is great discussion that I find deeply amusing and ironic:

  1. Apple, with Steve Jobs, handed the desktop market to Microsoft on a platter. The Mac UI in the early eighties was way beyond anything Microsoft would produce until Windows 95. With that lead, Apple could have taken over the desktop. However, through the closed, anti-clone, “we must maintain the purity of the platform” view they had through the eighties, they gave that advantage away. Even though DOS was crap in terms of usability, and Windows was graphical crap, the availability of cheap clones and many, many hardware choices, the PC won out. Once again, inferior technoogy won because the people behind the better technology acted stupidly. (Note that Steve Jobs continued this stupidity with more great technology with Next).
  2. Apple has always been the ultimate “closed platform”. Standards rarely come into play. If you want to develop on the Mac (at least anything useful) you use our tools. Until recently, even all of the hardware has been non-standard. If Microsft were anywhere near as closed as Apple, the Justice Department would have shut them down. Heck, on many Apple devices, you are not even allowed to change your own battery, or add an industry standard memory card.
  3. Apple has rarely created technology which benefited (from a tech community sense) anyone but Apple. Consider Microsoft’s Tablet PC platform. Microsoft could have “gone it alone” on the Tablet, as Apple would have (and probably will). Instead, Microsoft defined the specification for a Tablet PC, and left it to hardware vendors and startups to build the hardware, and IVSs to build the application, thus creating a sub-industry benefiting many businesses beyond Microsoft. Compare to Apple and the launch of the iPhone.

Again, I love Apple, and I think they have some of the best design people in the world. But I do not fool myself into believing that they are in business for anyone’s benefit but their own.