How much can we rely on technology?

I recently flew out to the States and prior to leaving for the airport I went through the typical travel preparations making use of the many conveniences of modern technology: I checked-in online, I pre-booked my Heathrow express ticket, made sure that the latest winter storm hadn’t closed JFK (again), I even had my bags packed the day before my flight, granted no technology was involved for the latter but you get the idea, I was as prepared as I could hope to be. On the day of travel it was all systems go right up to the point when an unfortunate incident on the line outside Paddington just before my train departed meant that no trains were leaving the station and there was no indication of when service would be restored.  After briefly weighing up the pro’s and very few con’s of a comfy cab verses the Piccadilly Line I joined the queue at the taxi rank and found a couple of fellow travellers heading to Heathrow to share a cab with. On the way one of my rather anxious co-passengers asked when each of us were flying; it turns out her flight was departing in about an hour and the other passenger’s flight in just over an hour; my flight on the other hand was only departing in 4 hours.  “No wonder you aren’t panicking” the first passenger commented.  As I replied to her, it seems to me that when you start depending on technology, especially technology that saves you time, the more convenient it is when it works, the more horribly wrong it goes when it fails.  Having now resigned herself to missing her flight she simply replied: “Yeah, there’s a lesson to be learnt there.”

Citrix acquire Cortex cloud control panel software experts

Citrix acquire New Zealand-developed Cortex cloud control panel software, which automates the provisioning and service of applications delivered via the cloud computing model. Cortex has an impressive custiomer list which  includes Telecom New Zealand, TELUS of Canada, and Vodacom, South Africa’s largest telco and the company also has a global partnership agreement with Microsoft. Enprise Group owned the assets of the EMS-Cortex division, CEO Mark Loveys says “Cortex is now well established and highly regarded as a market leader in the cloud control panel space. The time was right for a major international player such as Citrix to take the product and the people who have developed and supported it to the next level in the global marketplace.” Read the whole article

“Word’s disappeared from my machine!!”, a typical cry from an angry user.

“Word’s disappeared from my machine!!”, a typical cry from an angry user. Needless to say, the likelihood of a core application like Word disappearing is low, but this is the perception of the user. Like possession, perception is nine tenths of the law. I would bet my bottom dollar that the problem this user has is related to File Type Associations, or FTAs. For years, the principal of “last down wins” has governed which file types are associated to which applications. Recently (Vista & Win7) Microsoft has introduced a new applet called Default Programs, that provides the user with the functionality to recover FTAs to programs installed on the machine. Although this could be a useful tool, leaving control over this functionality solely in the users hands presents a risk that failure will occur and impact the users expected functionality. Therefore, it is prudent to manage these FTA centrally… but how? The simple low cost answer is GPO’s; it is possible to build a GPO that associates specific file type to specific applications, however this constitutes a fair amount of management. Alternative you could look at controlling this through Profile Management software, such as AppSense, assuming of course you have such software solutions in place. In conclusion, the answer to this age old question is that central management is possible, even advisable. Your next question, of which technology to use, will likely be dependent more on your internal business process maps, rather than the functionality of the software solution you elect to use.

Easing the pain of moving to IE8 and IE9

As more companies migrate to Windows 7, the uptake of Internet Explorer 8 and now Internet Explorer 9 is booming – and it needs just as much careful attention. In fact, if you haven’t got plans in place for IE8 or IE9, it will hold up your move to Windows 7. Anyone considering IE9 should also be aware that it is unsupported on XP. Web applications have become hugely important to most businesses. They’re closely integrated with critical business processes, and there are far more of them than ever before. This means the move to IE8/ IE9 could cause you and your IT system serious pain if you don’t prepare properly. Read the full article on Business Computing World