Sunday, January 16, 2005

OpenSource vs Microsoft conundrum

Well it’s happened, after 8 years as a Microsoft disciple and most of these as a Microsoft certified professional I’m seriously considering open source. What happened? How did I get here…..? Well, I’m both a technical architect and a teacher. I’m bringing these two disciplines together into being a technology savvy instructional designer. And after I started to network and asking around, it seems that the open source world has a greater foothold in the corporate training and academic arena. Now, I’ve known UNIX and it’s derivatives have mostly captured the halls of academia but it also seems to be pushing out into the corporate and training world. Some may balk at this last statement, and if you do, please provide me with reference sites where the Learning Management System (LMS) or the corporate courseware is a complete Microsoft solution. Either way, this is what I’ve learned; and I have to give thanks to Scott Tearle of Lambda Solutions for a great conversation over lunch about these matters. I’ll break what I learned into the server side and the UI side. I have this separation because all training and learning processes need administration (i.e. the LMS) and this admin is usually somewhere on the corporate/academic network and the end-user learning content has grown up to be rich interactive media, quite a different beast than the administration needs. So, on the server side their seems to be considerable growth in utilizing LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP) Servers to host the LMS. One of the main players in this is Moodle. Moodle is an open source LMS written for the LAMP Server (and other server environments, people say it runs fast and for the lowest cost on a LAMP server). The point is that an open source server application is quickly gaining considerable acceptance. Moodle is very well supported as an open source application, with a strong and active developer community. Learning about moodle is high on my list of to do’s as I deepen my skills as an instructional designer. On the client side (or gaming/simulation side) it’s Flash, Java, Python, C, C++, Etc. Either way, the client side is certainly not dominated by Microsoft technologies, and again, there is a healthy and growing community of opensource gaming/simulation engines, as evidenced by Panda3d. So there you have it, my conundrum; OpenSource or Microsoft. My intuition tells me open source will, in the long term, dominate. Their are many reasons for this belief and that’s a blog entry in itself. So, given how my current days unfold I will be living my conundrum. I’m persuing my Microsoft certification as a DBA and a .NET programmer, I’m learning flash and actionscript and I’m booting up a LAMP server to learn moodle.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

It’s time to get back to work

It’s been a great sabbatical, but it must come to an end. Three months of learning, research, home renovations and gearing up for a new start. At the end of September I took the opportunity to take a break after 16 years of hands-on software development, database administration, project management, analysis and design and technology architecture. It has been a great time. Over the last three months I’ve done a whole lot learning and research about open source, online learning and coding in actionscript. I also managed to move the laundry room downstairs and have changed the old laundry room into another bedroom. The only thing is I’ve now become restless for work. I’d love to utilize my 16 years as a software architect, developer and database specialist and leverage everything I learned while getting technology degree in databases management systems into technical employment in the enterprise or educational setting. So if you know of some architecture or database work within businesses associated with content distribution or education it would be most appreciated. I’m an excellent solutions architect, enterprise programmer and DBA with extensive experience working on enterprise systems, multi-tier software development and data warehouse projects. If you any needs or leads please send an email;

Sunday, January 09, 2005

Digital natives; a note for parents

If you have children born since 1984 you may want to consider this whitepaper written by Marc Prensky to gain insight into the forces which will influence your children. For better or worse, these could be a big part of your childrens reality. Read, reflect and prepare yourself.

Monday, January 03, 2005

Gratitude Measure

So after my new years resolution musings I set out to see if I could find a measure for gratitude. The short answer; nothing was easily available. There was a lot of great reading, yet there was no measure. I found something great from Henri J. M. Nouwen. And I liked it because I have always though many things in life are a choice. Here is what I found;
Gratitude as a discipline involves a conscious choice. I can choose to be grateful even when my emotions and feelings are still steeped in hurt and resentment. It is amazing how many occasions present themselves in which I can choose gratitude instead of a complaint. I can choose to grateful when I am criticized, even when my heart still responds in bitterness. I can choose to speak about goodness and beauty, even when my inner eye still looks for someone to accuse or something to call ugly.
Also, the Buddhist tradition speaks of gratitude. And if you are interested, I suggest a good internet search and some time reading on gratitude is a great thing. Anyhow, I’ve found no direct measure for gratitude so I’m going to stick with my daily gratitude check… Happy New Year!

Saturday, January 01, 2005

Can you measure gratitude?

Last night during our new years celebrations the resolution question came up. Most people wanted to do something like run four times a week or quit smoking…. All very admirable, I just wanted to be more grateful. They retorted, “you can’t measure grateful!” I replied, sure you can, “At the end of every day I’ll ask myself if I was more grateful and gracious in my actions, and if I was I’ll give myself a check for a grateful day. At the end of the year I’ll add up all the grateful days and see if I was more grateful.” All, but one, looked at me with furrow brow. I realized, all but one, didn’t get it. But I insisted that I will follow-up with their retort, can you measure gratitude? For myself it doesn’t matter if I measure it, but for the rationalists I must find the measure. Or maybe not, gratitude is something you must find for yourself…