Chris Holt's articles

Cure cancer with your PS3

Two weeks ago Sony released a program for its PS3 game box which just might help find cures for Cancer, Alzheimer’s, Huntington’s and other diseases [1].

As we all know, the PS3 has a very powerful processor to generate all those stunning car crashes, real time battle scenes and deal with all that crazy gaming AI, but that power sits idle for most of the day and night. And that’s a waste.

Open source, terrorism, politics and Zen

This is a slightly different post this week. I haven’t found anything of technical note to talk about and only discovered some of the power of Ruby on Rails this week, but have not had the chance to explore it much, but on the surface it looks awesome.

What I did discover while checking things out in cyberspace is three interesting open source models for different areas. War, politics and religion. Just the stuff we like to discuss at the dinner table. No doubt there are many blogs on open source sex, but that’s a dinner table conversation I’m not going to cover today.

The massive failure of FOSS

“The open source software movement has been one of the successes of the digital age” or so says Clay Shirky of New York University's Graduate Interactive Telecommunications Program in the latest issue of Harvard Business Review. Yes, sure, but he's just buttering us up.

Mr Shirky then goes on to mention the positive press Linux and Apache receive in business publications. Subsequently he then trashes the whole open source movement.

The more exciting release right now has nothing to do with Microsoft or Valentines

So Microsoft's Vista is being launched out now to overtake the world.

The massive marketing machine is finding its way into reports, blogs and interesting TV commercials. I've had a look at its fancy smancy interface with its transparent window bars and 3d windows navigation and quite frankly I've been yawning. I've seen all this six months before with the Edgy release of Ubuntu. Again the FOSS movement is ahead of the curve.

The more exciting release right now has nothing to do with Microsoft.

Top 5 From Demo 2007

Ok so DEMO 07 was a great show and launched some 68 different products and services and by now the Net's abuzz with chatter about the show. You can go to the DEMO 07 site and see all the presentations and you really should check this stuff out if you want to know what's going to be cool in the next six months on the web.

I'm the star at DEMO 07. Well, actually, you are!

So here I am at DEMO ’07 in Palm Desert, California. I expected to find sunshine in the desert, but so far it’s cloudy and could rain; but that will certainly not dampen my enthusiasm for this trade show. This year the theme of Demo 07 is the Age of Empowerment, according to DEMO CEO and organizer Chris Shipley, “Yes, that’s right. You have become incredibly powerful because of the technology you and others use everyday, and you may not even realize it”.

Wikinomics

I recently picked up the book Wikinomics by Don Tapscott and Anthony Williams and... bought it. This was a slightly unusual move for me as I get most of my information on what’s happening on the web from Free Software Magazine and others like it covering new developments (the web being somewhat faster to press). Being the neophyte I am, I was hoping for it to be a great compendium on current developments in collaboration.

Who cares?

In my ongoing investigations as a newcomer to the free software movement I've been digging around looking for case management application frameworks that would work for social services organizations... not law firms. I have begun to look at the plethora of software available and the number of free software projects under development. The numbers are staggering.

Relationships... are you linked?

One of the hallmarks of the free software movement and, in fact, the very thing that makes the movement successful are the many acts of collaboration donated by people scattered throughout the globe. The variety of services and products that get developed in this spirit are amazing and a true testament to human creativity and community spirit. We need to celebrate the spirit of people who make a commitment to participate in these types of structures.

Where's the missing link on non-profit case management

I still haven’t found a free software case management framework for non-profits emerging on the horizon. If you search SourceForge or Freshmeat, you find legal case management systems, but nothing oriented to the general non-profit market for client management. There are electronic health records, CRMs and ERPs... all of which have elements that would be useful, but none alone can do the trick.

Santa Claus - the most successful open source project

It dawned on me the other day, as I was shopping for the dozens of gifts it seems I have to buy every December (this year, I bought myself a holiday accommodation in Denmark, WA!), that Santa Claus is the most successful open source project in history. (Bridget @ Illiterarty would agree with that). Santa Claus is essentially a marketing development that is embodied by everyone who stuffs a sock, gives a gift, hosts a dinner or wishes Merry Christmas over the holiday season.

Tactical FOSS

In my blog post a couple weeks ago I suggested non-profits should package up some free software solutions into niche packages and sell them as a fund raiser. The idea that there is so much FOSS available, the preselecting, testing and validating is a value added component worth paying for.

Ubuntu for Non-profit Newbies (Nice alliteration)

In my last post, I was overflowing with praise for the value of Ubuntu for the non-profit world and said I’d discuss “how Ubuntu works” in this entry. Well “how” is beyond my technical expertise and is undoubtedly a complex dance of 0s and 1s and static electricity. What I meant was a little less technical and more practical... just the joy of using it.

Free software for non-profits?

Today, I sat down with the executive director of a counseling service for child sexual abuse to have a chat about developing a case management application for them. These organizations need to be able to track their activities with the people they deal with, write notes about their interactions, produce assessments, demographic analysis and activities reports and manage documents. Good case management software is pivotal for them. I realized that it's ridiculous how these types of organizations struggle with their technology needs.

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