Tell me, why do you like to fiddle around with the OS?

If I had my own server product, for obvious reasons let’s assume I had some really cool and nifty collaboration solution, I would go for a complete product including the OS. Something like a stripped down Linux that does just want it needs and nothing else.
The installer would ask you for everything you need for the OS AND the application and then would install the whole product as one in either a virtual or bare metal environment.
Administration clients/consoles/apps would include all the necessary hooks, crosses or pull down menus for both, the OS and the application. Completely transparent for the admin.
That would give me several advantages. I could control the different elements much better. Testing would be a lot easier. Costs would come down. Problems with different lib versions, updates and fixes would be a thing of the past. The whole package would be under my control and the customer would have a much more stable system.
Why is this a bad idea?
This isn’t exactly the same idea as Foundations/Collax/CentOS which gives you an easy to use platform and after the installation you add the applications you like to run. I think it should be the other way round. You decide to install the CoolAndNiftY-Collab and the OS comes with it. It’s about the application. I believe, that the OS is nothing we should care about today. We should not touch it, if possible, it is just a black box that makes the cool things run.
Now apart from the fact that admins (and Microsoft/Novell/RedHat …) make loads of money by selling, installing and maintaining always the same base system, tell me, why shouldn’t we think the other way round?
Why shouldn’t we just add a basic OS that ships with every one of our cool server applications. Especially today were virtualization is just normal?
It would make life easier, wouldn’t it?
Yes I am aware, that there are systems like switches, routers and so on that use this approach and IBM is trying to sell (too expensive much to my regret) this in a kind of next generation Foundations with KVM as a base and VM’s ready to use, but I ask you, why on earth isn’t that just standard behavior? Why on earth do we still have to configure a Windows/Linux/Unix box to run an application? Isn’t that so last century?


If Apple would build cars …

… I probably would not be as annoyed.
In ancient times I liked cars. That changed when I started flying. Just fly a Bell 214 B2 (2500 shp) once and a Ferrari with a mere 600 hp seems like a toy and I never liked old timers (with a few exception due to the design). Today, for me a car is a transportation tool … and boy that thing can get on my nerves.
Long long time ago, the boss of GM got the last laugh when he responded to Bill Gates compared the computer industry to the car industry. Now computers have taken over the cars and do things that are just unbelievably stupid.
I have a Mazda CX 5 which has the usual gadgets you expect today, for example the start-stop thing called iStop. The intention is, to save fuel. In the old days you just turned the engine off with the key … one click. With iStop, you have to put the gear in neutral and take the foot of the clutch (for the other side of the pond, clutch is a third pedal down there the gears are changed manually with a stick in the center console. Amazing isn’t it?) and then hopefully the engine stops … but not always, rather rarely. When the headlights are on, sometimes iStop works, the A/C or even the ventilation prevents it every time, the radio, depends on the station. Now if you turn the engine off with that absolutely stupid I-have-a-race-car-start-stop-button, the radio is off, too. To turn it on again while waiting for that old geezer to cross the street, you have to take the foot of the clutch and press the I-have-a-race-car-start-stop-button twice and it takes 10 seconds until the radio starts again … argh. To start the engine, you put the foot on the clutch and press the button and the radio is off for another 10 seconds.
If Mazda built PC’s, they would not go into standby, unless you turned the keyboard off manually.
They could have connected the heater/A/C and the head lights to the iStop and turn them off when not needed. That would be a sensible solution. Shouldn’t be too hard, but no, I have to live with complete and utter moron programming.
Today it rains. I need defogging. I press the appropriate sign and the A/C goes on automatically, which makes less sense as it seems, I then have to press the A/C button twice, first for Eco mode, then for off. I hate A/C, got too many colds from it, I rather have the window open. Every time I stop the engine, for example when I wait at a train crossing and that iStop did not as (I) expected, I have to do this again, because the default mode is not air to the windshield, but to the face … probably to cool ME down. If that was a tablet, it would delete all the apps, every time you turn it off.
That stupid key. Since I don’t have to put it in the ignition key hole, I don’t know were to put it. I don’t want to sit on it either. That’s like having a wireless LAN cable that must be near to computer to make wifi work. And since you can leave the key in your pocket, vest or handbag (my ex girlfriend, aka my wife), we often search the house from roof to cellar.
On the center console is a large knob to fiddle around with radio, phone and other things. In radio mode, it just changes station. It does not go elsewhere, like for tuning in a new station. They could have made away with it, if it wasn’t for the cool look. Thank god I did not order the navigation system.
The break assistant is fun. If you are just a tiny bit too fast for his liking, for example going into a parking spot, it slams on the breaks, and I mean slams. With ABS groaning and everything. Must look hilarious from the outside when the whole family is nodding as one. Top Gear showed nicely, that this in principle very useful safety feature does not work, if the target you try to hit, is too low, like the front of another car, but it works, if the garage door isn’t completely open. It will save you from entering any parking garage that is just too low for a semi truck, but not from ripping off your front wheels on that two feet high wall around your mother in laws garden.
Oh for heaven’s sake, that phone assistant with speech recognition. Typical women, talks much to long and does not understand me anyway. My wife and I some real funny 5 minutes until getting annoyed and gave up. Imagine Siri would first tell you all the bells and whistles of the latest iOS before letting you ask her something. Now I just use a not very sensitive touch screen but the computer behind it is extremely slow. Which means, before anything happens, you have touched the soft button at least twice. It is just a millisecond faster than my fist. In the end, my eyes are much too long inside the car, not that there would be anything getting on outside the car that could break my neck. If that was an iPad, Apple would be out of business today.
The drive? Booooooooooring. Numerous sensors kill all the fun and for me actually makes driving much more unpredictable. I can turn that off, but that’s not very sensible, realising that the stabilisation system is probably better than me. Especially since I don’t have four break pedals, much less four feet. Still, I had more fun the day I had a Mazda 2 as a courtesy car than with the CX 5 a whole year.
Could somebody at Mazda please call Apple for a lesson in usability and some faster hardware?

Abandon all hope, ye who enter here.

Around me a world is not breaking down, but rather disappear silently. More and more IBM partners I know, give up Notes entirely. Certifications are not renewed, selling licenses is abandoned. Some box movers take the business remaining. For larger customers, IBM takes it up. Sometimes even without asking the partner. I have the impression, since Ed’s departure, this trend that was going on for years, accelerates.
I wonder, if IBM is aware of it. They must, the writing on the wall is just too big. I also wonder, if they want to do something about it, or probably IBM just likes it like that. After all IBM makes it pretty hard for partners to sell and promote Notes.
For many the magic is gone. Where I live, there are almost no young developers and admins, replacing us old farts. IBM claims there are some 10’000 XPages developers. That would be one for every 5 customers. During my best time, I was one of – I think – some 30’000 certified developers (and yes, I let slip the certifications, too). Think about it.
As for connections, only the biggest partners are capable of getting all the necessary know how to serve customers appropriately.
Now the question, what are YOU going to do? Business good? Found a way out? Customers following you to new pastures?