I’ve got the lead story in ExecTech again this week, this time with a piece about how to ditch your notebook PC which also displays a strange obsession with footwear. And in a further demonstration of how Kerri-Anne Kennerley can enhance your career, the piece I wrote for IT Wire earlier this year about her antics at the Vodafone Simply launch has been nominated for the Most Entertaining category in the Consensus IT Writers Awards. The awards themselves are next Monday — as ever, I can’t see myself winning, but it’s nice to be amongst the contenders!
Gusworld has been in operation since 1996, but it’s taken this long for our first spin-off product: Gusworld, The Beer, which you can see pictured here. Sadly for the site’s seven fans, the beer is not for sale to the general public. I was given a case of this customised ale by Arthur & Bronwyn as a thank-you for all the recent help I’ve given them looking after Jack and Sarah. It’s been a pleasure, and so has the beer. Given the low quality of my photographic skills, it isn’t easy to read the copy on the label, which includes this site’s URL plus the phrase ‘A special brew for Uncle Gus’. It’s a crisp and tasty drop, rather like myself.
I’ve got the lead article in ExecTech in today’s Australian IT section, covering issues to consider when choosing a 3G service. ExecTech is the replacement for the IT Alive section; it has a similar focus on personal technology, but (as the name suggests) it’s more directly targeted at business users whose knowledge of tech is likely to be a little stronger than mass-market buyers. Or something like that. (And despite my recent publication record, I have not suddenly become some kind of 3G expert!)
Typically, I’m away from my PC for a day and two of my stories pop up online. CRN has a report on Vodafone’s channel plans surrounding its 3G launch, while the Bulletin includes a brief guide to software requirements for small businesses (as part of a much bigger small business supplement).
IT Alive in today’s Australian leads with my overview of current digital radio options for consumers. The big moment for digital radio will be when it becomes widely available in local-model cars, and that won’t be for some years, I suspect.
CRN has published a story I wrote in Melbourne about BMC’s plans to expand its use of partners in the channel. This kind of approach is becoming increasingly common as enterprise software vendors try and work out ways of selling to slightly smaller customers (which in Australia is nearly everyone).
I haven’t written about the help desk software market for a while, so it came as news to me that it’s no longer the done thing to refer to help desks at all. Aussie expat Craig McDonogh from BMC Software informed me in a presentation this morning that the correct phrase is “incident and problem management”. Somehow, I can’t see the expression “Let the incident and problem management guys know” rippling through the nation’s offices.
I’ve written up Microsoft’s plans to drop its free business scorecard download in favour of a paid-for product for ZDNet Australia. Given that the free product in question is rather more limited than the commercial alternative, it’s hard to imagine it as a major threat — but the ways of MS are frequently inscrutable.
Trashy gossip magazines rarely make allowance for practical issues like weather. NW this week claims that Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes are planning a secret November wedding at the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Cancun. As this information is attributed to the usual unnamed “insiders”, it quite probably was never true. If it was, however, the Cruises will presumably have to shift their plans following the devastation of the holiday city by Hurricane Wilma.
When I fly domestically, it tends to be with Qantas — more flights, access to Qantas Club lounges, decent fares if you book a few weeks in advance, and generous swathes of Frequent Flyer points. Nonetheless, I occasionally end up travelling with Virgin Blue, especially if it’s a late notice junket and the company paying is looking to cut down on expenses.
Virgin Blue might lack some of Qantas’ refinements — such as free on-board food and airline lounges which are on the correct side of security barriers — but it does have a few neat tricks of its own (and an imminent frequent flyer scheme to boot). The most recent innovation is the ability to check in online and print your own boarding pass, thus saving that sinking feeling when you spot someone slow and argumentative in the queue in front of you. This has been commonplace overseas for some time, but hadn’t hit Australia before (though Qantas’ trial of SMS check-in last year was a variant of the same concept).
I took advantage of this option for today’s flight to Melbourne, since I can never resist a novelty travel option. Being able to book in 24 hours in advance is quite nice , but I don’t know that I’d bother regularly. Partly this is because you still have to queue to drop your bag off if you have checked luggage, which I almost invariably do. Mostly, however, it’s because I resent supplying the paper and ink to print the boarding pass on a $300+ ticket. I know margins are thin in aviation, but they’re not that thin.