Tuesday, 28 September 2004

Great software announcements today... Nick Bradbury has announced that FeedDemon 1.5 Beta 1 is available.

Why is this a big deal? There's a great new addition to the mix:

“Starting with version 1.5, FeedDemon users can create a Bloglines Channel Group from their Bloglines subscriptions. When viewing a Bloglines Channel Group, items you read in Bloglines won't show up in FeedDemon, and items you download in FeedDemon won't show up as unread in Bloglines. It's very easy to synchronize with your Bloglines subscriptions so that FeedDemon reflects feeds you add or remove from Bloglines.”

Looks like I may need to go back and try BlogLines again. This is what was missing for me - synchronized integration with my feed reader.

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RSS Stuff | Tech
Tuesday, 28 September 2004 08:29:52 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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And just in time - Blackberry has announced (but not released) BES 4.0, which will (finally) get some much-needed changes in place!

For example (my filtered feature list of what really stood out):

  • View pictures on the device
  • Better graphical browser with Javascript and some CSS support
  • More wireless calendar features (accept tentative, add comments, notification of conflicts)
  • Global search (email, contacts, calendar, tasks, across the whole thing)
  • Wireless management of Out of Office message, email filters, signatures, etc.
  • Lots of back-end wireless security and management improvements

More detailed info is on the Blackberry web site - click the links below.

The latest release of the BlackBerry Enterprise Solution will feature:

Nice, nice nice! Time to go renew that TSupport subscription that's about to come due...

Blackberry customers running a BES can sign up for possible inclusion in a BES 4.0 preview if interested. Done.

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Mobile | Tech
Tuesday, 28 September 2004 06:10:03 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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A good introduction to using RSS on the Internet is available in both quick-video-tutorial format as well as a more detailed, yet easy-to-absorb text format at c|net.

If you are not familiar with RSS, and you work in the high-tech industry, I do hereby declare you to be old skool, out of touch, and truly negligent in your professional career path - and it won't be long before you're declared incompetent, so watch out. I mean, can you imagine what you would think of someone who did not know what email is? Trust me, it's a lot like that. I know there's a lot to learn, but don't get caught behind the eight-ball, people...

When you need a RSS feed to subscribe to, so you can learn without hurting yourself, just start with this one: RSS 2.0

There - now if that doesn't motivate you, nothing will. Now go learn something fast!

By the way, a couple of interesting (to me, at least) things:

  • NewsGator (if you're an everything-in-Outlook fan) and FeedDemon (my own personal choice in RSS readers) are both featured in the video (and the product reviews). Either one sells for about $29, and is money well-spent.
  • Misplaced noun of the year: I wish the freakin' emphasis on "news" when talking about RSS would just go away - It's not a news reader people, it's a feed reader. News is just one type of content you can get in an RSS feed format.

(shamelessly plucked from Scoble and others)

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SharePoint | Tech
Tuesday, 28 September 2004 05:40:26 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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 Monday, 27 September 2004

Addy Santo has updated BlogWave and released the first beta version. He released a pre-beta version back in July, and has since updated the software.

Say hello to BlogWave Beta 1 - Download and what's new info is available here.

What is it? what does it do? Answers to your questions ripped straight from Addy's web site:

Q. What is BlogWave?
A. BlogWave is an "RSS Generator": a tool which can pull information from a variety of sources and publish it as RSS.  This process is very easy to configure and can be scheduled to run automatically.  For example, using BlogWave you can create an RSS feed from Sharepoint announcements on your company's internal site.  Or you can publish event logs as RSS.  Or even merge multiple sources into one feed (aggregation) and/or publish a feed to multiple destinations (cross posting).

Q. What content sources does BlogWave support?
A. BlogWave currently supports the following sources
   • RSS Feeds
   • Google Searches (new)
   • Event Logs
   • WSS Lists and Document Libraries
   • SPS Searches
   • NNTP newsgroups
   • Custom sources can be added through a pluggable architecture and a simple .Net programming interface.

Q. Which destinations can BlogWave post to?
A. BlogWave supports the following destinations:
   • .Text based blogs 
   • FTP sites
   • Local or Network URNs
   • Any WebDAV compliant website (such as Sharepoint or WSS)
   • Custom destinations can be added through a pluggable architecture and a simple .Net programming interface.

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RSS Stuff | SharePoint | Tech
Monday, 27 September 2004 22:48:54 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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Ahhhh, now here's some cool news. FlexWiki is being released to shared source. From David Orenstein's blog:

FlexWiki posted to SourceForge.net

This evening FlexWiki took the next step in its life and has been made available at SourceForge.net under the Common Public License. With this step, the developer community will have the latest source (including all the WikiTalk features), better access, better tools, and a better legal environment.  The FlexWiki developer community has kinda stalled out a bit over the past few months as I've worked to get FlexWiki to this point.  Now we can really get going again!

FlexWiki is based on WikiWiki, and has a lot of nifty features.

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Monday, 27 September 2004 22:28:59 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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Not to spark a war of words or anything, but for those who are interested in the "Windows will or will not scale" debate, here is some info definitely worth talking about.

I work at a company called Corillian Corporation (as the corporate IT team's manager). Microsoft just released a case study they did with Corillian, and it's worth taking note of. Scott Hanselman, our Chief Architect, posted these facts and figures on his blog earlier today, which illustrate the numbers quite well. They are, frankly, pretty darn amazing numbers:

  • Currently, more than 19 million end users—or about 25 percent of U.S. online banking customers—use Corillian technology when they use their institution's online services for transactions such as checking balances, paying bills, and transferring funds between accounts. (Not bad for a Microsoft-based platform, eh? .NET works.)
  • Voyager 3.1 was able to support 70,000 concurrent users across multiple lines of business.
  • Voyager 3.1 was able to support a sustained throughput rate of more than 1,268 transactions per second — about 4.5 million successful transactions per hour—and a sustained session creation rate of more than 208 new sessions per second.
  • Voyager 3.1 supported more than 129,000 concurrent sessions across the system at peak load. This includes both active sessions, in which a user is executing transactions, and inactive sessions.
  • Voyager 3.1 supported a ramp-up from 0 to 70,000 users in only 15 minutes—without any adverse impact on performance—demonstrating that Voyager can sustain a large burst of users accessing information in a short time period without overwhelming the system.
  • Voyager 3.1 surpassed its previous benchmark of 30,000 concurrent users by 133 percent, with only a 32-percent increase in overall hardware cost.

Another interesting note comes from some questions I asked of a Corillian employee involved in the testing. He told me that the bottleneck that stopped the test from going into higher numbers was not Windows, nor was it Voyager (our online banking application); It was the hardware (which is amazing hardware by the way). The test simply used up all the hardware resources available in the lab. In other words, both Voyager and Windows Server 2003 had more room to spare and would have kept scaling, had the hardware allowed. When you consider the test systems are some of the biggest and best in the industry, that's saying a lot. That just doesn't typically happen.

From the case study, this quote sums it all up:

Hugh Wade, one of the Microsoft engineers who spent time analyzing the Corillian code and recommending some changes to the company, notes that "Voyager was the best-performing non-Microsoft application" he had seen in the lab.

This is pretty amazing stuff, and it says TONS about Windows Server 2003, as well as Corillian Voyager - and the people who are involved in developing both products.

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Monday, 27 September 2004 20:54:48 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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