Those of you who know me or follow our company's social media may know that I had to recently purchase a new laptop and was forced into using Windows 8. And if you look at the amount of social media and company blogs that have been written, you can tell this happened in early August since there are very few blogs and other posts. My laptop is a vital tool for what I do. It's like the handyman who carries a tool box - we need these tools to get the job done. Yes, we have thought of going backwards to Windows 7 since that actually worked, but the new operating system and having to reload has caused software problems. Some stuff is missing and we can't find the disk or some crazy software company has said we could only have one install despite the fact that we purchased the program and own the darn disk. It's nothing but nightmares. I hate reloading the laptop, which also causes nothing but nightmares. Yes, I can hear someone out there saying to store stuff on the cloud and use software on the cloud. That's okay for people who don't write novels and want to protect their property and people who don't use software like Photoshop and ACAD software. These programs need to be on the hard drive and not relying on some Internet connectivity to make it work correctly. Work can be too easily lost. And being an artist - we don't react well to losing hours of work and then losing the zen moment of creativity that is lost by malfunctioning tools. Having to be connected to the Internet to do anything removes one's
Lots of interesting technology and science coming out of MIT these days and I just could not resist sharing it. It appears, or perhaps that is not the correct word for this article, that a team of students are working on creating an algorithms that will make it possible to print out a covering that will assist in the camouflage of stationary objects. I can just see the military getting excited about this one and wanting to put it on top of their buildings that need to remain hidden. Now my first reaction to this article is what exactly is an algorithm? I know it is something our Technology Expert, Bill Sikkens, always refers to, but what exactly is it? According to wikipedia “an algorithm is a step-by-step procedure for calculations. Algorithms are used for calculation, data processing, and automated reasoning.” So this team of MIT students are creating a procedure for a software to select the best choices of color and gradient to make a stationary item seem to disappear from view. What a really cool idea! Now of course the art of camouflage has been around for a long time and is used mostly in military situations and are evident in the painting of tanks, airplanes, uniforms, and netting used to hide bases and so forth. But it is also used in civilian applications as well. First World War German Fokker DVII biplane using camouflage pattern. How many people have seen the strange cell towers that look like trees? I have seen a number of these and I actually kinda like them. I appreciate the effort to make them look less like a blight on the landscape – especially in areas
So why should anyone consider a custom software solution when the market place has so many of the “in the box” software applications that might solve their business software needs? This question has been pondered, no doubt, countless times in boardroom meetings and planning sessions amongst professional teams. Old and long trusted responses have been that custom software is too expensive, not necessary, or that a box software solution will work for awhile and then one can always upgrade. And then the final nail in the coffin on this discussion would be that if custom software was decided upon – who would write it? Great reason for a custom software solution. So custom software is too expensive – is that really true? In some cases custom software may indeed be very expensive, after all the software has to be designed, coded, and then debugged. And the initial cost and effort may seem daunting to some boardroom committees that may baulk at the prospect of bringing such a request to the finance department. But is the custom software solution really more expensive in the long run? How will custom software affect the company in the years to come? Will productivity go up because employees are no longer wasting time fighting with in box solutions that may require extra steps and time? Giving company professionals time to be creative or allowing them to focus on what they are really good at instead of fighting software systems that don’t compliment the company’s focus can prove to be very beneficial. Survival of a business requires the leadership to look at the so called “big picture” and see if one aspect of a company’s infrastructure can change productivity.