Dibbler's Net

Friday, July 24, 2009

Hello Google Voice

So after many many tries I finally received my invite for Google Voice.

First impressions: I really like it. I am a firm believer that voicemail is a dead medium. Leave me a voicemail and I get it as text, email, sms, or just shows up in my G1 voice app and I finally start to see how technology helps make life better.

Second thoughts: This is an area of huge growth potential for google. With features like call screening, rules based on contacts, selective call forwarding with schedules, and phone numbers for almost any area code. This is something that the small business, and contractor or going to really have an interest in and google can excel. With some basic additions, and a few voip phones this can be the perfect solution for so many small businesses. When you look at the massive growth of applications like asterisk small business pbx’s are still a major cost and companies are doing what they can to reduce that overhead. Plus with the google voice call widget it shows the potential of where this can really go. Sure it’s great for the home user but nobody can deny where the growth and profit area is for both Google and developers.

Many years ago (a real long time ago) I was around when pagers were great and everyone had one. But what the small business needed was that personal touch. Virtual voice mail systems that advertised making your company sound like the major companies with voice menu’s and extensions, when really it was a computer doing software voicemail and call forwarding. Along with that you had pager services where the pager company would answer with your company name and take messages and then page you. All these services were sold to make small companies look big as image was everything and image was by phone. Now it’s about your website. On the Internet all companies are more equal and now it’s a matter of your graphic designer and not your complicated voice mail. In reality business today is not about your phone system or even your website. Today businesses have moved back to where they were when my grandfather was growing up. It’s about knowing someone and knowing their reputation. This is where the Internet has really changed the landscape. Companies google search employees before hiring them. People search for

sucks.com before buying an application. In today’s Internet connected world we can now instantly complete a search and determine if we trust them or should stay away. With all the mergers, buyouts, and major mega companies it’s not so much about the large company anymore but about the people you directly work with. Customer service is what matters now. Being able to manage all the information, responding to customers in a timely manner is what matters most. So seeing a service like this come out from google reminds me of those days long ago and the cyclic cycle that this industry is always in. back then it was about people being able to reach the person you needed to and pagers made that happen. Now with Google voice we are coming back around. You no longer need my home phone, cell phone, work phone, instead you need my one number and it takes care of finding me. And it doesn’t depend on a server in the office, or trying to program some keypad entry on your local telephone providers crippled features. D~
Posted by derrick in • NewsPersonal
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Sunday, June 21, 2009

Solaris adds Failsafe boot option for Sparc

Sun has added a much needed feature to the Solaris Sparc baseline and ass usual no one even knows it really exists. You can find the documentation here regarding Failsafe boot. This was something that I ran into while first using Opensolaris on X86. Just after they first started adding in ZFS support I ran into issues. Since the X86 side of solaris usually uses a GRUB startup they had the ability to put in place a failsafe or “safe mode” boot. This replaced the old method of booting from a cdrom in single user mode.

This feature recently made it to the Sparc side of Solaris. I am not sure the exact patch level that added it but it wasn’t too long ago that I found that I can now run a “ok>boot -F failsafe”  or “reboot—-F failsafe” command on sparc machines. This gives you the base functionality of booting a system, mounting the local drives, fix problems and then boot normally. This is of greay use as booting from CDROM was difficult as bootable CDROMS tend to get lost, and the process is very slooooow. This also works well as most critcal Solaris commands like patchadd and other kernel tweaking items usually have a -R option to specify that your root mount is not on /. The two problems I still have with failsafe are basic issues. First as far as I have looked it is still not documented in the man page for boot. Second, I really would like a flag to tell it if I want networking or not. Right now the failsafe boot checks every ethernet interface and attempts to dhcp the thing. That does delay the bootup a bit even for disconnected interfaces. This can become annoying when all you need to do is edit a vfstab file.

Glad to once again see good features make it from opensolaris to the main solaris distro. Now the big question is why Apple dropped ZFS from the next mac os ? FreeBSD figured out how to get ZFS working how come Apple couldn’t ? And don’t tell me it’s because ZFS is no good. I have yet to find one thing about it that I don’t like compared to the other filesystems out there today.


Posted by derrick in • BloggingNewsUnix
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Monday, April 20, 2009

Oracle Buys Sun, better option than IBM

By now everyone knows about Oracle buying Sun. My opinion on this is as a customer and not an employee or competitor. For a great read on an employee view I recommend visiting c0t0d0s0.org. I currently feel that this is better than an IBM buy. Right now I am a customer of Sun for both their hardware and software. With an IBM buyout I was concerned that the hardware portion of Sun would be killed completely. The part I am a bit scared about is the software side of the house. Having recently lived through the purchase and transition of BEA by Oracle I have seen what a pretty bad buyout can do. I can be hopeful that for the next year or so Oracle focuses on the redundancy portions of business which means a hit to Sun’s core internal department staffs like HR, Sales, and probably then Support. I can be hopeful that Oracle leaves the Hardware Division pretty much the way it is and just works on making software work better with the Sun hardware and it’s push to have Oracle and Application appliances. I am hopeful that Oracle is careful to keep the true Sun innovators and developers on staff that have really made great strides in the past years. I hope to see oracle adopt ZFS, Sun’s clustering, and virtualization, and continue to improve opensolaris and many of Sun’s properties. It would also be nice if Oracle left the current opensource properties alone and doesn’t try to kill off mysql or other open projects. I don’t see them doing this but at the same time I have seen Oracle make some pretty bad decisions with some of their other recent purchases. If I had my choice I would love to have seen Sun stay Sun. But for reasons beyond my understanding it seems that someone had to buy them for Sun in any form to survive. I am curious if this will pass regulatory review as it seems that Oracle did not spend the same amount of time that IBM did going over licensing, patent’s and other details before announcing the deal. I guess it’s time to sit back and see what happens over the next 6 months.


Posted by derrick in • BloggingNewsUnix
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