Windows 7 Release Candidate

Well here we are on the cusp of the official release of Windows 7. I’ve now been running W7 for quite a few months so I think I can now give a definitive but hopefully objective view on the product.

The RC runs the Ultimate version so there is a fair amount to play with. My first reaction is that it is faster and uses less memory than Vista. I’ve calculated – albeit roughly – that it uses between 10 and 30% less memory than Vista. As a result it is marginally faster. Startup time and auto connection to my wireless network is an order of magnitude faster than Vista.

So my original perceptions were correct on performance. We do have a much better OS than Vista. Over the months I’ve accumulated software as one does 😉 and the performance has slowed marginally as you would expect as I run more services.

On the compatibility side there is nothing on my Lenovo T60 that was not detected, including the fingerprint reader. In fact the fingerprint reader is even better now than the native software that came with Vista.

I’ve had one problem with a game that uses Star Force authentication. Star Force seems to give endless problems to users. I am told that UbiSoft will no longer use it on their products. This is not really a Windows complaint, but more a Star Force complaint. They have released W7 drivers, but they are picked up as “incompatible” and disabled. I run the game on my Vista desktop now without any problems.

So, in conclusion, I would heartily recommend that people on Vista upgrade to W7.
It’s faster, uses less memory, is more compatible and is more stable than Vista.

Windows 8 is rumoured to be coming out in 2012, but from what I have seen so-far it will be more along the lines of evolution not revolution. See for details.


The New Patek Philippe Calatrava

I though I’d share the new Patek Philippe Calatrava with you – This is the 5153J anounced at Baselworld last month. In my, not so humble opinion, this is the most stunning Calatrava yet from PP. You be the judge. Priced at around $25,800  Click through to see more pictures.

New Calatrava from Patek
New Calatrava from Patek

Planet Better Place

When Mr Agassi left SAP he founded Planet Better Place – If you believe in sustainability – check out the link above.
Visit Planet Better Place


The Oracle vs SAP War – Really?

Seriously now – I know I work for SAP, but since a thousand years ago I was a JDE consultant I like to think I have a fairly objective view of the world of ERP. I see an awful lot of analysts (who quite frankly – have probably never worked a day in their life in the “trenches” so to speak) spouting off about Oracle taking over from SAP as the market leader, why SAP should be worried, and blah blah.

Newsflash. SAP is not worried. This isn’t arrogance – it’s pure pragmatism. Oracle is years, no really, years behind SAP in the areas that matter.

Fusion Applications was announced in Q1 2006. Understand that since Oracle buys it’s software rather than growing organically (80/20 in my estimation) – integration and integrated applications are absolutely crucial to the average CIO. The sell from Oracle is that they are now a “one stop shop” able to supply and fully integrate the entire suite of enterprise applications. In Q1 2006 SAP already had a maturing Integration stack called NetWeaver.

SAP have implemented thousands of NetWeaver applications with some fairly heavy integration. Users literally could not care less where their data resides or their applications reside. Everything is fully and robustly integrated. Oracle have yet to deliver the first generation of Fusion Applications and now they are pitching 2010.

SAP is on the 5th Generation NetWeaver with some very well integrated apps and some mature middleware. Even the small amount of aquisitions that have taken place have now been integrated (Business Objects for example) and new aquisitions (BPC from Outlooksoft) will be integrated fully in their next release.

So – SAP has very little to worry about. Honestly if I was a CEO and my CIO told me he was going Oracle, I would ask him to consider his prospects at another firm.  I suppose analysts have to justify their existence by saying something, and I’m sure Oracle has very clever sales people to sway their opinion. The facts, however, speak for themselves.


Ubuntu 9.04 Tested

Well Mark (Shuttleworth that is).. I’ve got good news and I’ve got bad news.
What Ubuntu tries to do is, according to the tagline, make Linux for Humans. That means that this baby needs to be almost as plug in and go ready as Windows 7. Server side Ubuntu – well that’s a different kettle of fish – let’s just talk desktop here. After all, that’s where Canonical are pitching IMHO.

Ok.. so the Good News is that Jaunty goes a long way to being a plug and play desktop system. Bear in mind that this does not cost you a cent to download and install. I loaded it on my Lenovo T60 which has 3gb RAM. It picks up everything except the fingerprint reader (Windows 7 does the same) and runs all my devices – even my plug in PCMCIA card Creative Audigy 2 sound card. Just like that, out of the box. If you want to load some software, you just have to browse the available programs and download the ones you want. And there are a ton of them. So from the point of view of making “Linux for Humans” I’m going to give MS (Mark Shuttleworth not MicroSoft) a very good 8/10.

Other plus points are an extremely easy install (although Partition Manager did kill my Windows boot sector when re-sizing the partition)
and very easy to run. Boot time is very quick (20 seconds) and the memory footprint really is tiny. The appearance is great and I love the extra features (Wobbly Windows when you grab and move) and the clean design and fonts. I must say that I am very impressed and I could have quite easily have never gone back to Windows 7.

OK, but I will and this is why. The Bad News .

I work in IT, all day, every day. The last thing I want to do when I get home is become a Linux admin. I really just want things to work. Full stop. I want my games to work, I want my personal development to work (Eclipse runs fine on Jaunty) and I want email, etc to just work. I needed to dowload the latest firmware for my Garmin which doesn’t really have a linux version, so I loaded it up using Wine (Windows emulator) – it hung – there is software around I suppose, but like I said I don’t have the time or the inclination in the evening to go looking for it, dowload it, try it, trash it, try another.

I can’t buy iTunes apps – not earth shattering I suppose, but inconvenient – they even have a petition going to Apple to re-write iTunes for Linux.

Games are crap. No really – I haven’t found any games on the Linux platform that come up to commercial standard. Open Arena keeps going to a window instead of fullscreen, which then requires you to minimize and then maximize again. A little irritating when someone is about to frag you! Other games that run in full screen do the same. Open Arena on Windows runs fine. But really compared to Crysis this game is not in the same league. conclude. Ubuntu 9.04 – Jaunty Jackelope has real potential to give the commercial platforms a run for their money. For the first time in a very long time I actually strongly considered keeping it loaded on my test laptop. If it wasn’t for the fact that I want to test Windows 7 Release Candidate  – there is a wee chance I would keep it loaded.  Well done Canonical – I think that MS (Microsoft this time) should be worried, very worried. Let’s see what the next release or two of Ubuntu bring. I will be watching in anticipation.

I’ll give you a run down of Windows 7 RC soon. Have a great weekend.


Ubuntu 9.04

Just loaded up Ubuntu 9.04.screenshot So far I would say that on the face of it, it’s a nice jump ahead of 8.10, but I’m going to do a bunch more testing and let you know! There were some screen glitches (jerky redraw etc) on my Thinkpad T60 with 8.10  but that seems to have been resolved. It’s nice to see OpenOffice 3.0 comes with it now. It picks up all my wireless connections but I need to test it on my Creative card and put it through a more serious work out. Right now I have to focus on a go-live on Monday so it will take a back seat. Later then.


The Climate Change debate

Maybe I’m not as bright as I thought I was. Hey, it could be! I went to far too many parties in my younger years.. but I digress. I was listening to a Climate Change debate on the radio and the usual anti-rhetoric came out. The IPCC is not truly scientific, no real proof, blah blah. Biggest hoax perpetrated etc. I’ve only one question to ask …Why? Why would so many eminent people, much smarter than me be  in on this “hoax”. The only thing I’ve heard to answer this question so far is that it’s a secret government plot to raise taxes. No really. People believe this drivel, same people who believe in creation I suppose.

Let’s – for a moment – assume that it is just one big hoax and man is making no impact on the planet. I know, bit of a stretch, but go with me here. Then I have to say – quite firmly – I don’t care. If there are a bunch of people out there tricking me into having a greener planet, a more sustainable planet, that assumes I am PART of nature and not against it, then I hold them no ill will. I quite happy to go along with being conned into this.

On the other hand, however, I think it’s far more likely – given the greed behind big oil – that the only con happening here is being pushed forward by the anti-climate change bunch. I just don’t find them credible.

A recent study by NASA and others in March tells a disturbing tale. But of course they must be in on the hoax too.


The Oracle / Sun thing

Well it’s very interesting that this buy-out has generated a lot of discussion around an IBM/SAP merger or a Microsoft/SAP merger.  Of course because of the relative sizes of the companies concerned it would be SAP that would be bought out. Not a cheap purchase though at 45 billion market cap. I don’t think it’s likely – both Microsoft and IBM have explored this before and backed away, but it’s fun to speculate.

IBM buys SAP scenario

Well IBM would almost undoubtably form tighter alliances between WebSphere and NetWeaver. Few people realise that we already collaborate on products and we have a center in Germany staffed by IBM people and SAP people for this reason. This almost brings me to my point, but lets leave that until the end. IBM uses SAP itself and shares many customers with SAP already, so this wouldn’t be an “Oracle buys Peoplesoft”  type of situation – we already are very well “meshed” together. Let’s look at the next scenario.

Microsoft buys SAP scenario

What would Microsoft do? I think they would leave the core but redesign the GUI for SAP. We’ve already separated the front-end quite substantially on SAP, so this will be very easy to do. Oh! and we’ve already collaborated with Microsoft on “Duet”. This is a Microsoft Office / SAP mash-up that gives very tight integration at the front-end.

So to look at the likelyhood of a buy-out in this light – I would have to say why? We (at SAP) are already aligned strongly with IBM and Microsoft and we convert clients from Oracle on an almost daily basis. I might be wrong here but I think it’s an expensive aquisition to accomplish very little. Market share yes – but neither Big Blue or Microsoft want to play in the Enterprise Application arena.

Fun to speculate though and time will tell.