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Linux.SYS-CON.com Exclusive: What Would UserLinux Look Like?
Bruce Perens tells LinuxWorld's desktop editor what he has in mind with UserLinux

Last Monday at the Desktop Linux Consortium Conference at Boston University’s Tyngsboro, Massachusetts Campus there was a lot of talk about a “UserLinux” distribution. The topic was sparked by remarks by Bruce Perens who voiced a need for a distribution that was designed to meet community needs for a desktop operating system based on the Linux community favorite Debian distribution.

I contacted Bruce who has been kind enough to interject some comments to my own text. They are marked [thus].

The thought of UserLinux sparked my thinking. The thing I like about Linux is that it’s infinitely customizable to meet the needs of almost any situation. However, for it to be a viable desktop for the masses there seems to me that there has to be some common features that a large number of Linux desktop users would appreciate. I thought about this quite a bit and started my list of what it would take for Linux to be my “ideal” environment rather than my preferred environment. I’d be interested to see what the community considers the most important features.

[Bruce Perens writes: I should point out that UserLinux also has a server mission. Our first customer group has both server and desktop needs. But the server is a solved problem, at least mostly, so we know a lot of work needs to go into the desktop.

Also, the most important thing about UserLinux is that it is an attempt to change the economic paradigm of the Linux distribution. We feel that creating a Linux distribution doesn't work as a profit-center, and that it is better viewed as a cost-sharing exercise. So, the customers involved in UserLinux will be paying for the engineering of creating a Free Software system, rather than for boxes, "seats", or user licenses. The system will be certified to various standards and vendor requirements with their funding, and the result will be given away. The customers get all of the copies they need with no incremental cost per seat added. They will have to pay for service.]

My list has two overwhelming requirements for the Linux desktop. First it has to be easy to use. It should pass the “Grandma test” which is when placed in front of the average grandma she would find it intuitive and easy to use. Second it should include a set of tools that allow the user to accomplish their most important tasks. I generated my list of tools and what I feel are my most important for my needs. I would encourage you the prospective users of such a system to add your feedback.

 

Productivity Tools

Browser ­ I think Mozilla is a great option for browsers. I like the tab-based browsing and pop up blocker. If not Mozilla than maybe some of the projects spawned from Mozilla aimed at speedier performance without the frills like Firebird.

[Bruce Perens writes: I'd like to hear if Konqueror has something to offer that is not matched by these choices.]

Office Suite ­ I use Open Office and Star Office and I think they are good. For some of my more ambitious projects I do use Microsoft Word but I find myself using Microsoft less. I particularly like the ability to export files to PDF format preserving the look and feel of my files across platforms. If these suites could handle better more complex formatting I think they would easily displace their competitors that costs many hundreds of dollars.

[Bruce Perens writes: I like OpenOffice and hope that I can facilitate the creation of a broader development community outside of Sun.]

E-mail/PIM ­ Outlook made the integrated PIM and email client the vogue in business. I like the idea but I think that Microsoft’s implementation is lacking. So far the best Linux solution for me is Ximian Evolution but it lacks some features I like about Outlook. Particularly the ability to drag e-mail messages to a task list or calendar. In Ximian’s favor is the RSS integration into their Summary page to gather my news all in one place. Once again this is a case that I primarily use Outlook running on a virtual Windows environment Win4lin.

[Bruce Perens writes: Well, when there are features lacking in an Open Source program like Evolution, you know what to do, don't you? I think that a solution to the ones you complain about could come from the community.]

Financial Software ­ I use Quicken and TurboTax mainly because I have for years and I think they are both very good products. I know GNU Cash (www.gnucash.org) is an option and I am actually playing around with it right now but it will be a hard move for me. Not only because of differences in features but the learning curve.

[Bruce Perens writes: I haven't looked at these closely yet. I actually still have one Windows machine in my home, and need it for TurboTax. I still have Quicken on it, but think I could move off of Quicken if I had to.]

 

Utilities

Application Installation ­ This is probably my biggest complaint with most Linux distributions. RPM installation often results in dependency problems. Causing me to search for the recommended libraries to fulfill dependencies so that I can install my application. Debian’s apt tools and apt4rpm both work very well making things easier for most users. However, many of the most popular distributions still use plain old RPM warts and all. I think that a good one click install like available through Lindows Click N Run Warehouse would be ideal for ‘User Linux”.

[Bruce Perens writes: The solution here is obviously some front-end on top of apt, and Debian packages. It's really strange that people still

complain about RPM dependencies, I don't understand why Debian was able to solve this so many years ago and Red
Hat still has a problem.]

Docking and Power Management Tools ­ For laptop users like myself I find that most distributions don’t handle hot docking and undocking of laptops well. In my Utopian Linux distribution I would want to see the ability to “hot” dock and undock my laptop by clicking a button.

[Bruce Perens writes: You shouldn't have to push that button. You should just be able to dock and undock. But Linux ACPI is still immature,
and is not going to be in a good state for most laptops with the release of kernel 2.6 . I spoke with Dirk Holmdel of Intel about this, he feels that the present Linux ACPI drivers don't handle all of the start-up and shut-down tasks in the right order. Also, most kernel drivers have not been ported to the new driver model yet, and do not handle power management correctly.
I have a problem with various laptop graphics chips and wireless chips, because their manufacturers are unwilling to document them fully. We might have to start publicizing a "not ready for purchase" list for various hardware manufacturers that can't get with the program. I think that even Windows customers will be reluctant to purchase a laptop that could not ever be switched to Linux.]

Backup Utilities I have the expertise to set up cronjobs that rsynch my desktop to my file server but most people don’t. I would think client-side tools to synch files to file servers of all types would be a welcome inclusion. This tool would be make it easy to schedule backups and choose files for backing up from an intuitive interface.

[Bruce Perens writes: It would be interesting to see if some of the disconnected filesystems like Coda could help with this. Potentially they remove the need to consciously synchronize things. Just dock and it gets done.]

Windows Networking Client ­ The majority of businesses I go to today use Microsoft Windows Server for file and print sharing. Having the ability to browse these networks would make things more convenient for me. I often use LinNeighborhood, which is an easy to use Windows network browser. I think overall platform interoperability is the key to Linux adoption.

[Bruce Perens writes: Yes. Since this is a solved problem in the free software world, it should go into the system.]

I could go on for days about my ideal desktop but what I am curious to know is what’s your ideal incarnation of Linux desktop. Maybe we can point your feedback to Bruce as he works on his proposal to help shape his proposal for UserLinux.

[Bruce Perens writes: I am also interested in knowing what people feel is missing from the server.]

 

About Mark R. Hinkle
Mark Hinkle is the Senior Director, Open Soure Solutions at Citrix. He also is along-time open source expert and advocate. He is a co-founder of both the Open Source Management Consortium and the Desktop Linux Consortium. He has served as Editor-in-Chief for both LinuxWorld Magazine and Enterprise Open Source Magazine. Hinkle is also the author of the book, "Windows to Linux Business Desktop Migration" (Thomson, 2006). His blog on open source, technology, and new media can be found at http://www.socializedsoftware.com.

About Bruce Perens
Bruce Perens, a leader in the free software and open source community, is a member of the International Advisory Board of Linux.SYS-CON.com. He is the creator of the Open Source Definition, the manifesto of the open source movement. Bruce is founder or cofounder of the Open Source Initiative, the Linux Standard Base, Software in the Public Interest, and No-Code International. He is the creator of Busybox, which has spawned its own development community and is part of most commercial devices using embedded Linux.

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Reader Feedback: Page 1 of 9

This article shows some moves in the right direction for those of us who are simple end users. Yes, we want a secure platform we can use. ALthough many of the userLinux is moving in the right direction with the many desktopLinux operating systems on the market today, they are all falling a bit short. I have been trying to use Linux ever since Purchasing a boxed S.u.S.E. 5.2 years ago. To date, the purchases have included the SuSE 5.2, Redhat 6.0 and 7.1, Mandrake 7.0, 9.1, and 10.0, Lindows 3.0, Fedora, and now am running PCLinuxOS on the Mandrake base. I have ordered the Debian Desktop distro and will try it out.

Ladies and gentlemen, I am using the PCLinuxOS about 90% of the time, but must go to my Win2000pro box to do certain functions such as my, by far, favorite HTML editor HTML-Kit. HTML-Kit is a Windows only applicaiton and Wine and Win4lin (or is that Lin4win?)are not satisfactory. Quanta Plus looks good but it is not quite as mature as HTML-Kit and does not have the convenient built-in ftp. But, the biggest item forcing the use of Win2000pro is that Linux has nothing that can substitute for Autodesk's Autocad LT 97. Qcad is not even close.

Perhaps the biggest problems, aside from the above mentioned applications, is the lack of mature documentation with Linux. We simple end users do NOT want to learn Linux, we want to use our applications to do our work. We are rather good at following directions if they are written in a language we can understand. We have a major problem with geek and the use of acronyms. We see terms like PIM and are turned off completely. With todays large storage, there is no reason not to spill it out and it is the height of laziness to use these shortcuts any longer. Gosh guys, what novel would you read if it were written that way?

What I want, is clear directions for my LAN, for my apps, for my system and 100% cross platfrom functionality. Open Office is actually better than M$ Office and a whale of a lot cheaper. To top it off, it is cross platform, same for Mozilla, Chatzilla, and XChat. Kopete is outstanding for running ICQ on Linux, actually even better than ICQ. the PHP forums work great cross platform, too. E-mail is a pain but not if it can be filtered to remove spam and HTML. E-mail is NOT for advertising, period.

Now, you have heard from the one simple end user and his desires for a Linux Desktop. I am not a grandma, but I am a great grandpa who was called a dinosaur and forced to learn to use the computer. This dinosaur might now be called tyrannosaurus. I have dedicated my retirement to finding an easy way for the simple user to learn this contraption for his/her work and enjoyment.

Great!
Best Wishes.

ron, in one area, I msut disagree with you:
"But in reality, the entire English language is dying, from some unknown, unidentified, incurable virus." Perhaps King Geoarge's English is dying, but here in Texas, English is alive and well, in fact, it is one of the fastest growing languages on earth. Actually, the language is changing fast, faster than we old folk can keep up.

I see I have repeated myself several times on this list, so for want of not driving the nail beyond the board, I shall let this line drop. But I do hope and pray that Linux does, one day, become the OS of choice world wide, until then Happy Computing! May God defend you from the viruses, worms, and the Greek gifts of cyberspace.

Yours,
CHTANK,
Retired Dinosaur

Dear Charles:

You aint kidding when you say techies lack language skills.

But in reality, the entire English language is dying, from some unknown, unidentified, incurable virus. No where is this illness more acute and epidemic than in the USA. The adverb has surely died, and the strange use of words increases daily. Simply listen to your leaders, especially Bush. He speaks constantly about how the lack of intelligence led to misjudegements about Iraq. Never was a truer word spoken: surely he has no intelligence. I suppose what he means is the lack of reliable, pertinent information for decisions.

Here's more proof. Everybody now speaks in terms of "on a daily basis" Can anyone explain this to me? I brush my teeth daily. The basis for my habit is oral hygiene. But, what is a daily basis? How did adverbs become adjectives?

Anyway, I hope Linux can someday grow into an alternative to Windows.

And, dear Charles, though I'm not a grannie, I agree with your comments about this segment, and its needs.

Cheers.

uniform use of language and syntax is a must for most of us, especially older folks. We elarn differently than you young whipper-snappers, and when you use package in place of application or program we become confused with meaning. As for RPM and installation, we can figure it out IF clear step by step instructions were given in the language we learned back in school, even it it was a one room school with all grades together. It seems today's tech writers did not attend school or were not taught how to write properly. Also, there is no longer a need for acronyms, especially when giving instructions. IF one uses HTML, one should at least spell it out HyperText Markup Language (HTML) once per chapter or section, regardless of how common it is in everyday usages. There is at least one person somewhere who does not know what HTML means.

The other main ploblem, and is was passed over in the article, is cross platform interoperability and accessibility. Soap and XML is moving in this direction, however, we grandma's and grandpa's are aslo amoung the handicapped and impaired users which accounts for at leart one third of the population and growing. Many of us use "readers" and enlarged font or have problems with the sounds produced by the computer. Would you believe that many websites still use flashy graphics and rock music to sell to us and we are actually caused physical pain by this? What ever happened to the W3C Accessibility Standards when it comes to the new "inovations" in programming and operating systems. Yes, gamers and kids want this sort of graphics and noise until such time as they are weaned and forced to work for a living.

There, you have my comments! Two major faults with userlinux or desktop linux:
1. Syntax, acronyms, and the proper use of the written language.
2. Improper use of Microsoft's "creativity" and "inovation", and refusal to be truely "inovative" with cross platform and interactive. Hopefully, Linux will learn to overcome this problem, maybe VMWare can help, WINE does not at all and is worthless to those of us who are dinosaurs.

I want to switch to Linux, as I am totally fed up with MS.

But, I am totally confused and need help to select software and hardware. So, where to go for advice and to buy?

I believe there is a place in the open source community for a "user focus group" which is open to all. The UL project could be such a place.

I would be more than glad to contribute to usability issues.

I finally found userlinux.com (funny me, I was looking for userlinux.org), but it doesn't seem to address usability issues as strongly as it does a distribution model.

Do you know of any organizations which address themselves to Linux usability?

There seem to be very different views on for whom the User Linux should be targeted. In my opinion it should not just concentrate on those Raymond Wilson wrote about - those who use computer mainly at home and for whom doing spreadsheets is already adventurous. In my opinion it should also serve people like me and my friends. We are still students and thus really work on the computer - spredsheets are basic stuff for us. Still none of us thinks of computers as a hobby. We don't enjoy programming etc. Probably I know computers better than the others, but still I definitely want to things work easily.

Here are some requirements or wishes - some that I think should work as in Windows, some that should work better. Most of it is probably alreay done somewhere. The main point is that they should ALL be found in the same distro.

- As many have already said, the installation should be very, very easy. None of my friends has installed Windows, so it's not enough being easier than that - switching to Linux means having to do the install, often without help. After the install everything should work properly without any configuring. Well, perhaps some simple details told before the first network connection, but that is about all. Unlike Kaptain Kernel said, installation wasn't easy enough with Suse - not for me or my friend (but luckily easy enough for my boyfriend). If you can honestly say to a newbie that it doesn't really matter what kind of hardware (s)he has, good. (Note: None of my non-geek friends has any need to have a server.)

- No need to go command-line. We don't have the time and will to learn that.

- It must be easy to make the system look "mine". This is fairly well done right now, at least in KDE. I don't like finding out what's wrong, but I DO like playing with different looks, feels etc. In addition, you cannot make it look and feel perfect for everyone (but you should make it good for everyone).

- Like Yair Carel, I think laptop support is important. Many of use have laptops. (They are handy in small student appartments.) Perhaps a special install mode would be good, having things like APM as default. And, unlike Raymond Wilson writes, moving between networks is important for some of us. In the students houses there is a broadband network, and to the campus we are getting a wireless network. Those who play may also take their laptop to a friend somewhere else, I am already working and would like to easily connect my laptop to the network here sometimes.

- Matthew Lowrance made an important note concerning the security. User Linux should be secure by default, the user should not have to think about security AT ALL. I have argued with several people about the need to have a firewall without any progress... When Linux becomes more popular, there will also be more people willing to use the holes.

- Installing new programs (and hardware too) should be peace of cake - even I should be able to explain to my Grandma in the phone. Mitchells suggestion about "Add/Remove programs" sounds nice. No searching for libraries, drivers etc. No matter how you do it, as long as it works.

- We are still forced to use Windows at the university (school for younger ones) or at work, and exchange documents with people who do. That mustn't be a problem. E.g. connections to a Windows-based network should be so easy and without problems, that we don't need any help, because the the guy at the helpdesk probably doesn't know anything about Linux. Also most people I know don't give a second for the possibility that others perhaps don't have MS Word, for example. It shouldn't matter at all whether I use Windows or Linux. (Other shouldn't even notice it, except perhaps in the form of some little adverticing ;) This is major issue. If this is fixed, then people can switch to Linux one by one. Lukes idea of Wine recognicing Windows programs automatically when doing setup sounds like being part of the solution, as there still are some programs that either don't exist for Linux or that people want to stick to.

- Things John M wrote about (easy mounting/unmounting of dongles USB etc.) are important. If something, this should be made for the braindead...

- General usability. Somebody wrote about opening Opera by clicling a link etc. That is one part of it. Also, there should be very little need to look for the Help system, and when there is, it should contain the answers for the right questions. I think you need newbies to test this :) Usability also includes using other languages than English, especially for the Grandma (for her it is a foreign, not-spoken language) and understandable program names.

- Probably other people take care of making the point that games are important to many, though not to me. Mahjongg is enough for me :)

- If User Linux could be used to keep old computers usable, great. (A special install option for that, for example.) Many could reconsider buying a new one, if switching to Linux would easily do the thing. In my opinion the big distros dont' really do this now. It should still be graphical and be able to do most of the things, especially it should be able to handle documents written with better or Windows machines (but no heavy games). I guess this would mean a lighter desktop.

In short, we should be able to do many things without having to know and think about how the computer really works. We are not brainless, but the main use of our brains is definitely something else.We don't have time to keep up to date with the technical stuff. As long as it works, we are not interested how it does. (But those who then help us with more specialised things probably do.) We sould be able to do 95% of everything we want to without help - and that means a lot!

Perhaps it would be a good idea to have one group of people thinking about the needs, separate from the group of developers fulfilling them. There are many people capable of doing both, but you easily become blind for something you have be doing yourself, and also developers are not on the "same line" with "normal" users anymore. People have taken up many things up here, that are actually part of the technical stuff, that doesn't interest the intended end user.

I would also like to comment about the vast amount of different programs vs. simplicity. I'd say that it is better to leave the developers stuff avay from the User Linux or the default installation. It can of course be there as an option. Also some other programs made for the more experienced user (let alone geeks) should be left out of the default installation (this includes also many text editors). The same line goes for the programs in the background to make the things faster. Then again, what comes to the programs we use, I like the possibility of choice. There are only so many choices that I would indeed like a table where to look for the major features and differencies of the different programs, because it would take too much time to try them all. Or something alike. You cannot just take one word processor etc, because I for example use one editor for normal writing and another for fast opening of little text documents etc. Of course there could be also an install option with only one of each type. Probably different ready install options would help here a lot.

I really wish something comes out of this. If I had time, I would indeed like to help by testing.

"Window management is probably going to spark some form of pseudo-religious debate. The neophyte won't care if the window manager is FVWM, KDE or Gnome or even all three as long as the look and feel is completely consistent. Inconsistency isn't so much a hallmark of something being broken so much as it is an indicator of sloppiness, whether it is real or perceived. Further, inconsistent presentation makes learning a thing more difficult, and when you are experienced, learning more about familaiar things slower and annoying."

If all the window managers had the same look and feel it would defeat half the purpose of their existence, which is to give the user a choice.

The user is free to choose whether they want use an application based on it being percieved as the best choice or whether they want to limit themselves to applications that are programed for a particular environment.

Some things are being worked on to make the overall situation better and some others have to wait for the dust from the first wave of things to settle.

One area where I think work could be done that I have not seen anything about is in the font and color settings. It would be nice to be able to set the font, forground color, background color, etc... and have all the applications honour that whether they are GTK, Gnome, KDE, GNUstep, or whatever.

Later, Don

From the perspective of an OS dabbler and longtime Mac user:

There are two big questions that should be asked about any of the proprietary operating environments:
1. What did they get right? (Or what ideas should we integrate?)
2. What did they screw up royally? (Or, what ideas should we avoid or work away from?)

But, onto Linux:
The core problem with GNU/Linux is not the availability of programs or utilities. They are there, and I hazard that once a market is established, others would be ported. Even Microsoft applications have made it to a BSD variation via MacOS X.

Linux is far more mature than proprietary operating environments like Windows 3.11, 95, 98 or ME. Applications are generally stable and usable. Intuitively approachable, now that's a different story...

Application, command and utility names have to be degeeked. Very basic (usually robustly implemented) functionality is hidden behind a curtain of strange names which any self respecting geek will get, but Grandma won't. If, for example you say to Grandma "Just use guiFdisk to resolve that" she'll probably hear "Just goo on the F disk" and wonder where you learned your manners... Consider if you said instead "Use the Linux Disk Utility"...

Window management is probably going to spark some form of pseudo-religious debate. The neophyte won't care if the window manager is FVWM, KDE or Gnome or even all three as long as the look and feel is completely consistent. Inconsistency isn't so much a hallmark of something being broken so much as it is an indicator of sloppiness, whether it is real or perceived. Further, inconsistent presentation makes learning a thing more difficult, and when you are experienced, learning more about familaiar things slower and annoying.

The idea that the average user is going to use their computer for a limited set of basic things is completely valid. Writing letters & managing correspondence, surfing the web, instant messaging, pulling photos off a digital camera, balancing a checkbook, or drafting legal documents is the stuff of everyman. If you don't think so, look at information that people kept and generated without computers. With that in mind, a basic set of applications that will fulfill those needs is in order.

A good old fashioned consumer study, with placed hardware & software, and an easy way of logging user experiences may be necessary to make a "Linux User" distribution a success. Don't rule out even *gasp* hardcopy for feedback from older, less experienced computer users. ...Or perhaps we only need to look to Brazil...

-S

One thing I think is critical is the help system. Currently the help system is command based (man), so if you already know what command you need, you can find out how to use it. What is missing is a task based interface to help, like the Linux cookbook on the commandline/gui. A user should be able to type:

helpme format a hard disk
helpme change graphics resolution
helpme make the internet work
helpme install a new graphics card

and get reasonable responses. This is at the core of what I believe makes users shy away: things do not all automatically work when you install linux, and once they are not working there is no easy way to find out how to make them work.

Obviously, there is a lot of work hiding behind this innocent request. In the end however, I think that work would pay off.

Here's one idea...

I don't know much about the inner workings of drivers, Windows or otherwise. I do see drivers as being a bit of a problem. I've heard that the widows api is somewhat complex in this regard. It might be difficult, but worthwhile to have a wrapper for widows drivers; or better yet (though harder) a program that analizes a driver, and if it recognizes all the system calls (and such), decompiles it and recompiles it. If it did not recogize something it could simply say so and exit (with a "details" button for those who would care to know exactly why).

This might seem a daunting task, and the drivers code would not be well optimized, but if it worked it would help fill that niche left open by hardware manufacturers who can't stand to give up any details on how to talk to their device. A list of uncompliant manufacturers would be nice (as suggested).

Other comments:

* GUI everything: If it's not a system crash, the desktop PC should be able to handle everything in GUI. Perhaps console programs that have a GUI counterpart (you run guiFdisk and you get a pretty "partition magic" type interface, but the real work is done by fdisk). Both parts would probably need to be written together for this to work seemlessly.

* Look to Windows. I hate to use them as a Linux standard, but seriously! If Microsofts 'Distribution' can do it, UserLinux needs to at least take note of it. Where Microsoft is criticized, Linux in general needs to be careful. I'm not just talking about critisism FROM the Linux comunity, but major distributions need to keep tabs on what excites/displeases regular win23 users.

* I don't know enough to comment on how the system should keep tabs on packages, but it would be nice to be able to make sense of dependancies. This isn't a specific recomendation, just a general thought: remember the "device manager" tree in Windows, something like that with at least two tabs. One would have at the top level only packages that have no dependancies. The next level would be packages that directly rely on them, and then the packeges that rely on them, and so on. The other tab would work the opposite direction, starting with a list of all packages and branching into the packages that they rely on. Perhaps the user would even be able to click on a package and get more detail. Something of this nature would allow users to get a sense of 'whos who' among their packages.

* Shoot for the next generation Linux, but do it while aiming at a more distant target. It would be very nice if 20 years from now UserLinux was not a hack upon a hack to keep it up to date (not suggesting that anyone else is).

* Don't lose track of all the user input. This is probably reduntant for me to say, but I'll say it anyway. Michael Collins who rode Apollo 11 wrote in his book "Carrying the Fire" that he kept a notebook and everytime something ocurred to him about the mission he would write it down. If he was in a resturaunt, he would write it down on a napkin, take it home, and copy it into his notebook. He refuse to launch until every concern in his notebook was checked off. Keep track of all good user input in one place.

Finally,

GOOD LUCK!!!
("You're going to need it.")

I'd like to see something like Knoppix with an install button on the desktop when you boot from CD. Since the user obviously likes what they see and everything works well, otherwise they wouldn't be using the install button, don't ask what kind of keyboard, language, mouse, etc they want... just ask what you have to, like if they want to replace the OS on the hard-drive, before copying the CD image to the hard disk and removing the install button from the hard disk copy.

Also, making the app launching menu to be based off a directory tree, instead of some (obscurely?) formatted file, would make manipulation of that menu and its contents dreadfully easy and intuitive. And to allow for more information than a symbolic link can afford, use an XML file whose contents are easily readable and modifiable by a simple utility or by hand (with vi, gedit, etc).

I still maintain that all the applicaions to replace Windwows applications is missing the point. I run Win2000pro because I like some of the third party applicaions that run on WIndows, only. If they ran on Linux, too, then I would be more incline to run Linux. What would be ideal is if we had something affordable, like VMWare, which would let us run our favorite applications cross platform. The DoJ was wrong to not split M$ into an OS and a separate Applicaions company. Perhaps that fight is not over yet. And perhaps they could split them into three, with games being a good profit center, too.

I see the prblem being about the same for Linux, too. It is operating system that gives many of us problems, not the applications. Jim is looking for Genealogy software, but named several good ones. IF he could run those on Linux the same as on WIndows, I bet he would be happy. Star Office is as good as M$ Office, if nto better, and it is cross platform, same with Open Office. I use all three and also wordpad and notepad but I edit their Output with HTML-Kit. I can use both Star Office and Open Office on linux and Windows, so moving files for those is no problem at all. But HTML-Kit is windows ONLY. I wish I could use it in Linux, I do not need a WYSIWYG editor, I need correctly written html code, period. And HTML-Kit gives me that easily, plus TIDY and a very good ftp client for uploading my files once I know they are right. All I ask is for Linux to be as EASY to use and learn as WIndows and that the applicaions are cross platform just as XHTML/XML is talking about.

Some thing I find lacking is a Genealogy software package that could compete with Family Tree Maker or RootsMagic.


Feedback Pages:


Presentation Slides
When shopping for a new data processing platform for IoT solutions, many development teams want to be able to test-drive options before making a choice. Yet when evaluating an IoT solution, it’s simply not feasible to do so at scale with physical devices. Building a sensor simulator is the next best choice; however, generating a realistic simulation at very high TPS with ease of configurability is a formidable challenge. When dealing with multiple application or transport protocols, you would be...
"Cloud Academy is an enterprise training platform for the cloud, specifically public clouds. We offer guided learning experiences on AWS, Azure, Google Cloud and all the surrounding methodologies and technologies that you need to know and your teams need to know in order to leverage the full benefits of the cloud," explained Alex Brower, VP of Marketing at Cloud Academy, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clar...
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Carl J. Levine, Senior Technical Evangelist for NS1, will objectively discuss how DNS is used to solve Digital Transformation challenges in large SaaS applications, CDNs, AdTech platforms, and other demanding use cases. Carl J. Levine is the Senior Technical Evangelist for NS1. A veteran of the Internet Infrastructure space, he has over a decade of experience with startups, networking protocols and Internet infrastructure, combined with the unique ability to it...
The question before companies today is not whether to become intelligent, it’s a question of how and how fast. The key is to adopt and deploy an intelligent application strategy while simultaneously preparing to scale that intelligence. In her session at 21st Cloud Expo, Sangeeta Chakraborty, Chief Customer Officer at Ayasdi, provided a tactical framework to become a truly intelligent enterprise, including how to identify the right applications for AI, how to build a Center of Excellence to oper...
Gemini is Yahoo’s native and search advertising platform. To ensure the quality of a complex distributed system that spans multiple products and components and across various desktop websites and mobile app and web experiences – both Yahoo owned and operated and third-party syndication (supply), with complex interaction with more than a billion users and numerous advertisers globally (demand) – it becomes imperative to automate a set of end-to-end tests 24x7 to detect bugs and regression. In th...
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, James Henry, Co-CEO/CTO of Calgary Scientific Inc., introduced you to the challenges, solutions and benefits of training AI systems to solve visual problems with an emphasis on improving AIs with continuous training in the field. He explored applications in several industries and discussed technologies that allow the deployment of advanced visualization solutions to the cloud.
Widespread fragmentation is stalling the growth of the IIoT and making it difficult for partners to work together. The number of software platforms, apps, hardware and connectivity standards is creating paralysis among businesses that are afraid of being locked into a solution. EdgeX Foundry is unifying the community around a common IoT edge framework and an ecosystem of interoperable components.
Agile has finally jumped the technology shark, expanding outside the software world. Enterprises are now increasingly adopting Agile practices across their organizations in order to successfully navigate the disruptive waters that threaten to drown them. In our quest for establishing change as a core competency in our organizations, this business-centric notion of Agile is an essential component of Agile Digital Transformation. In the years since the publication of the Agile Manifesto, the conn...
Large industrial manufacturing organizations are adopting the agile principles of cloud software companies. The industrial manufacturing development process has not scaled over time. Now that design CAD teams are geographically distributed, centralizing their work is key. With large multi-gigabyte projects, outdated tools have stifled industrial team agility, time-to-market milestones, and impacted P&L stakeholders.
Enterprises are adopting Kubernetes to accelerate the development and the delivery of cloud-native applications. However, sharing a Kubernetes cluster between members of the same team can be challenging. And, sharing clusters across multiple teams is even harder. Kubernetes offers several constructs to help implement segmentation and isolation. However, these primitives can be complex to understand and apply. As a result, it’s becoming common for enterprises to end up with several clusters. Thi...
High-velocity engineering teams are applying not only continuous delivery processes, but also lessons in experimentation from established leaders like Amazon, Netflix, and Facebook. These companies have made experimentation a foundation for their release processes, allowing them to try out major feature releases and redesigns within smaller groups before making them broadly available. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Brian Lucas, Senior Staff Engineer at Optimizely, discussed how by using ne...
Vulnerability management is vital for large companies that need to secure containers across thousands of hosts, but many struggle to understand how exposed they are when they discover a new high security vulnerability. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, John Morello, CTO of Twistlock, addressed this pressing concern by introducing the concept of the “Vulnerability Risk Tree API,” which brings all the data together in a simple REST endpoint, allowing companies to easily grasp the severity of the ...
While some developers care passionately about how data centers and clouds are architected, for most, it is only the end result that matters. To the majority of companies, technology exists to solve a business problem, and only delivers value when it is solving that problem. 2017 brings the mainstream adoption of containers for production workloads. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Ben McCormack, VP of Operations at Evernote, discussed how data centers of the future will be managed, how the p...
"NetApp is known as a data management leader but we do a lot more than just data management on-prem with the data centers of our customers. We're also big in the hybrid cloud," explained Wes Talbert, Principal Architect at NetApp, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Data scientists must access high-performance computing resources across a wide-area network. To achieve cloud-based HPC visualization, researchers must transfer datasets and visualization results efficiently. HPC clusters now compute GPU-accelerated visualization in the cloud cluster. To efficiently display results remotely, a high-performance, low-latency protocol transfers the display from the cluster to a remote desktop. Further, tools to easily mount remote datasets and efficiently transfer...
Enterprises are moving to the cloud faster than most of us in security expected. CIOs are going from 0 to 100 in cloud adoption and leaving security teams in the dust. Once cloud is part of an enterprise stack, it’s unclear who has responsibility for the protection of applications, services, and data. When cloud breaches occur, whether active compromise or a publicly accessible database, the blame must fall on both service providers and users. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Ben Johnson, C...
It is of utmost importance for the future success of WebRTC to ensure that interoperability is operational between web browsers and any WebRTC-compliant client. To be guaranteed as operational and effective, interoperability must be tested extensively by establishing WebRTC data and media connections between different web browsers running on different devices and operating systems. In his session at WebRTC Summit at @ThingsExpo, Dr. Alex Gouaillard, CEO and Founder of CoSMo Software, presented ...
WebRTC is great technology to build your own communication tools. It will be even more exciting experience it with advanced devices, such as a 360 Camera, 360 microphone, and a depth sensor camera. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Masashi Ganeko, a manager at INFOCOM Corporation, introduced two experimental projects from his team and what they learned from them. "Shotoku Tamago" uses the robot audition software HARK to track speakers in 360 video of a remote party. "Virtual Teleport" uses a multip...
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, whic...
DevOps promotes continuous improvement through a culture of collaboration. But in real terms, how do you: Integrate activities across diverse teams and services? Make objective decisions with system-wide visibility? Use feedback loops to enable learning and improvement? With technology insights and real-world examples, in his general session at @DevOpsSummit, at 21st Cloud Expo, Andi Mann, Chief Technology Advocate at Splunk, explored how leading organizations use data-driven DevOps to close th...
"Cloud4U builds software services that help people build DevOps platforms for cloud-based software and using our platform people can draw a picture of the system, network, software," explained Kihyeon Kim, CEO and Head of R&D at Cloud4U, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Is advanced scheduling in Kubernetes achievable?Yes, however, how do you properly accommodate every real-life scenario that a Kubernetes user might encounter? How do you leverage advanced scheduling techniques to shape and describe each scenario in easy-to-use rules and configurations? In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 21st Cloud Expo, Oleg Chunikhin, CTO at Kublr, answered these questions and demonstrated techniques for implementing advanced scheduling. For example, using spot instances and co...
To get the most out of their data, successful companies are not focusing on queries and data lakes, they are actively integrating analytics into their operations with a data-first application development approach. Real-time adjustments to improve revenues, reduce costs, or mitigate risk rely on applications that minimize latency on a variety of data sources. In his session at @BigDataExpo, Jack Norris, Senior Vice President, Data and Applications at MapR Technologies, reviewed best practices to ...
An increasing number of companies are creating products that combine data with analytical capabilities. Running interactive queries on Big Data requires complex architectures to store and query data effectively, typically involving data streams, an choosing efficient file format/database and multiple independent systems that are tied together through custom-engineered pipelines. In his session at @BigDataExpo at @ThingsExpo, Tomer Levi, a senior software engineer at Intel’s Advanced Analytics gr...
Everything run by electricity will eventually be connected to the Internet. Get ahead of the Internet of Things revolution. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Akvelon expert and IoT industry leader Sergey Grebnov provided an educational dive into the world of managing your home, workplace and all the devices they contain with the power of machine-based AI and intelligent Bot services for a completely streamlined experience.
As many know, the first generation of Cloud Management Platform (CMP) solutions were designed for managing virtual infrastructure (IaaS) and traditional applications. But that's no longer enough to satisfy evolving and complex business requirements. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Scott Davis, Embotics CTO, explored how next-generation CMPs ensure organizations can manage cloud-native and microservice-based application architectures, while also facilitating agile DevOps methodology. He expla...
Recently, WebRTC has a lot of eyes from market. The use cases of WebRTC are expanding - video chat, online education, online health care etc. Not only for human-to-human communication, but also IoT use cases such as machine to human use cases can be seen recently. One of the typical use-case is remote camera monitoring. With WebRTC, people can have interoperability and flexibility for deploying monitoring service. However, the benefit of WebRTC for IoT is not only its convenience and interopera...
There is a huge demand for responsive, real-time mobile and web experiences, but current architectural patterns do not easily accommodate applications that respond to events in real time. Common solutions using message queues or HTTP long-polling quickly lead to resiliency, scalability and development velocity challenges. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Ryland Degnan, a Senior Software Engineer on the Netflix Edge Platform team, will discuss how by leveraging a reactive stream-based protocol,...
The past few years have brought a sea change in the way applications are architected, developed, and consumed—increasing both the complexity of testing and the business impact of software failures. How can software testing professionals keep pace with modern application delivery, given the trends that impact both architectures (cloud, microservices, and APIs) and processes (DevOps, agile, and continuous delivery)? This is where continuous testing comes in. D
Mobile device usage has increased exponentially during the past several years, as consumers rely on handhelds for everything from news and weather to banking and purchases. What can we expect in the next few years? The way in which we interact with our devices will fundamentally change, as businesses leverage Artificial Intelligence. We already see this taking shape as businesses leverage AI for cost savings and customer responsiveness. This trend will continue, as AI is used for more sophistica...
@ThingsExpo Stories
"Cloud Academy is an enterprise training platform for the cloud, specifically public clouds. We offer guided learning experiences on AWS, Azure, Google Cloud and all the surrounding methodologies and technologies that you need to know and your teams need to know in order to leverage the full benefits of the cloud," explained Alex Brower, VP of Marketing at Cloud Academy, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clar...
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Carl J. Levine, Senior Technical Evangelist for NS1, will objectively discuss how DNS is used to solve Digital Transformation challenges in large SaaS applications, CDNs, AdTech platforms, and other demanding use cases. Carl J. Levine is the Senior Technical Evangelist for NS1. A veteran of the Internet Infrastructure space, he has over a decade of experience with startups, networking protocols and Internet infrastructure, combined with the unique ability to it...
"IBM is really all in on blockchain. We take a look at sort of the history of blockchain ledger technologies. It started out with bitcoin, Ethereum, and IBM evaluated these particular blockchain technologies and found they were anonymous and permissionless and that many companies were looking for permissioned blockchain," stated René Bostic, Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Conventi...
Gemini is Yahoo’s native and search advertising platform. To ensure the quality of a complex distributed system that spans multiple products and components and across various desktop websites and mobile app and web experiences – both Yahoo owned and operated and third-party syndication (supply), with complex interaction with more than a billion users and numerous advertisers globally (demand) – it becomes imperative to automate a set of end-to-end tests 24x7 to detect bugs and regression. In th...
Widespread fragmentation is stalling the growth of the IIoT and making it difficult for partners to work together. The number of software platforms, apps, hardware and connectivity standards is creating paralysis among businesses that are afraid of being locked into a solution. EdgeX Foundry is unifying the community around a common IoT edge framework and an ecosystem of interoperable components.
"MobiDev is a software development company and we do complex, custom software development for everybody from entrepreneurs to large enterprises," explained Alan Winters, U.S. Head of Business Development at MobiDev, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Large industrial manufacturing organizations are adopting the agile principles of cloud software companies. The industrial manufacturing development process has not scaled over time. Now that design CAD teams are geographically distributed, centralizing their work is key. With large multi-gigabyte projects, outdated tools have stifled industrial team agility, time-to-market milestones, and impacted P&L stakeholders.
"Akvelon is a software development company and we also provide consultancy services to folks who are looking to scale or accelerate their engineering roadmaps," explained Jeremiah Mothersell, Marketing Manager at Akvelon, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"Space Monkey by Vivent Smart Home is a product that is a distributed cloud-based edge storage network. Vivent Smart Home, our parent company, is a smart home provider that places a lot of hard drives across homes in North America," explained JT Olds, Director of Engineering, and Brandon Crowfeather, Product Manager, at Vivint Smart Home, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Coca-Cola’s Google powered digital signage system lays the groundwork for a more valuable connection between Coke and its customers. Digital signs pair software with high-resolution displays so that a message can be changed instantly based on what the operator wants to communicate or sell. In their Day 3 Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Chambers, Global Group Director, Digital Innovation, Coca-Cola, and Vidya Nagarajan, a Senior Product Manager at Google, discussed how from store operations and ...
"There's plenty of bandwidth out there but it's never in the right place. So what Cedexis does is uses data to work out the best pathways to get data from the origin to the person who wants to get it," explained Simon Jones, Evangelist and Head of Marketing at Cedexis, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Events announced today that CrowdReviews.com has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5–7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. CrowdReviews.com is a transparent online platform for determining which products and services are the best based on the opinion of the crowd. The crowd consists of Internet users that have experienced products and services first-hand and have an interest in letting other potential buye...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Telecom Reseller has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Telecom Reseller reports on Unified Communications, UCaaS, BPaaS for enterprise and SMBs. They report extensively on both customer premises based solutions such as IP-PBX as well as cloud based and hosted platforms.
It is of utmost importance for the future success of WebRTC to ensure that interoperability is operational between web browsers and any WebRTC-compliant client. To be guaranteed as operational and effective, interoperability must be tested extensively by establishing WebRTC data and media connections between different web browsers running on different devices and operating systems. In his session at WebRTC Summit at @ThingsExpo, Dr. Alex Gouaillard, CEO and Founder of CoSMo Software, presented ...
WebRTC is great technology to build your own communication tools. It will be even more exciting experience it with advanced devices, such as a 360 Camera, 360 microphone, and a depth sensor camera. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Masashi Ganeko, a manager at INFOCOM Corporation, introduced two experimental projects from his team and what they learned from them. "Shotoku Tamago" uses the robot audition software HARK to track speakers in 360 video of a remote party. "Virtual Teleport" uses a multip...
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, whic...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Evatronix will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Evatronix SA offers comprehensive solutions in the design and implementation of electronic systems, in CAD / CAM deployment, and also is a designer and manufacturer of advanced 3D scanners for professional applications.
Leading companies, from the Global Fortune 500 to the smallest companies, are adopting hybrid cloud as the path to business advantage. Hybrid cloud depends on cloud services and on-premises infrastructure working in unison. Successful implementations require new levels of data mobility, enabled by an automated and seamless flow across on-premises and cloud resources. In his general session at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Tevis, an IBM Storage Software Technical Strategist and Customer Solution Architec...
To get the most out of their data, successful companies are not focusing on queries and data lakes, they are actively integrating analytics into their operations with a data-first application development approach. Real-time adjustments to improve revenues, reduce costs, or mitigate risk rely on applications that minimize latency on a variety of data sources. In his session at @BigDataExpo, Jack Norris, Senior Vice President, Data and Applications at MapR Technologies, reviewed best practices to ...
An increasing number of companies are creating products that combine data with analytical capabilities. Running interactive queries on Big Data requires complex architectures to store and query data effectively, typically involving data streams, an choosing efficient file format/database and multiple independent systems that are tied together through custom-engineered pipelines. In his session at @BigDataExpo at @ThingsExpo, Tomer Levi, a senior software engineer at Intel’s Advanced Analytics gr...

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testRTC

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GE

COOPER
M2Mi

SENAY
Teletax

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GREENE
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MAGUIRE
HP

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LYNN
AgilData

HEDGES
Cloudata

DUFOUR
Webroot

ROBERTS
Platform

JONES
Deep

PFEIFFER
NICTA

NIELSEN
Redis

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KAHN
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LOPEZ
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BROMHEAD
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Bebaio

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Microsoft

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VMware

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MapR

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Cloudian

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ADAMIAK
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KHAN
Solgenia

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Solgenia

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Coalfire

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RMS

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HEABERLIN
Windstream

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MURTHY

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IndependenceIT

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CommVault

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Adobe

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IBM

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Softlayer

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Softlayer

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GENBAND

SUBRA
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Windstream

IVANOV
StorPool

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Intellyx

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Soha

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IBM Watson

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ProfitBricks

LANDRY
Microsoft

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Blue Box

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Akana

PILUSO
SIASMSP

HOLT
IBM Cloudant

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CTS

PICCININNI
EMC

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GERSMA

Modulus

PAIGE
CenturyLink

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Cognitive Scale

MILLS
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CenturyLink

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CenturyLink

SRINIVAS
EMC

TALREJA
Cisco

GORBACHEV
Systems Services Inc.

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Apcera

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OpenCrowd

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IBM

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HP

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Citrix

KHAN
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SINGH
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SendGrid

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IndependenceIT

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Cisco

PATTATHIL
Harbinger

O'BRIEN
Aria Systems

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EnterpriseWeb

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Dimension

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Quantum

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SoftLayer

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SoftLayer

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Citrix

COWIE
Dyn

RITTEN-
HOUSE

Cisco

FALLOWS
Kaazing

THYKATTIL
TimeWarner

LEIDUCK
SAP

LYNN
HP

WAGSTAFF
BSQUARE

POLLACK
AOL

KAMARAJU
Vormetric

BARRY
Catbird

MENDEN-
HALL

SUPERNAP

SHAN
KEANE

PLESE
Verizon

BARNUM
Voxox

TURNER
Cloudian

CALDERON
Advanced Systems

AGARWAL
SOA Software

LEE
Quantum

OBEROI
Concurrent, Inc.

HATEM
Verizon

GALEY
Autodesk

CAUTHRON
NIMBOXX

BARSOUM
IBM

GORDON
1Plug

LEWIS
Verizon

YEO
OrionVM

NAKAGAWA
Transparent Cloud Computing

SHIBATA
Transparent Cloud Computing

NATH
GE

GOKCEN
GE

STOICA
Databricks

TANKEL
Pivotal Software


Testimonials
This week I had the pleasure of delivering the opening keynote at Cloud Expo New York. It was amazing to be back in the great city of New York with thousands of cloud enthusiasts eager to learn about the next step on their journey to embracing a cloud-first worldl."
@SteveMar_Msft
General Manager of Window Azure
 
How does Cloud Expo do it every year? Another INCREDIBLE show - our heads are spinning - so fun and informative."
@SOASoftwareInc
 
Thank you @ThingsExpo for such a great event. All of the people we met over the past three days makes us confident IoT has a bright future."
Yasser Khan
CEO of @Cnnct2me
 
One of the best conferences we have attended in a while. Great job, Cloud Expo team! Keep it going."

@Peak_Ten


Who Should Attend?
Senior Technologists including CIOs, CTOs & Vps of Technology, Chief Systems Engineers, IT Directors and Managers, Network and Storage Managers, Enterprise Architects, Communications and Networking Specialists, Directors of Infrastructure.

Business Executives including CEOs, CMOs, & CIOs , Presidents & SVPs, Directors of Business Development , Directors of IT Operations, Product and Purchasing Managers, IT Managers.

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@ThingsExpo Blogs
When shopping for a new data processing platform for IoT solutions, many development teams want to be able to test-drive options before making a choice. Yet when evaluating an IoT solution, it’s simply not feasible to do so at scale with physical devices. Building a sensor simulator is the next best choice; however, generating a realistic simulation at very high TPS with ease of configurability is a formidable challenge. When dealing with multiple application or transport protocols, you would be looking at some significant engineering investment. On-demand, serverless computing enables deve...
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Carl J. Levine, Senior Technical Evangelist for NS1, will objectively discuss how DNS is used to solve Digital Transformation challenges in large SaaS applications, CDNs, AdTech platforms, and other demanding use cases. Carl J. Levine is the Senior Technical Evangelist for NS1. A veteran of the Internet Infrastructure space, he has over a decade of experience with startups, networking protocols and Internet infrastructure, combined with the unique ability to iterate use cases, bring understanding to those seeking to explore complicated technical concepts and ...
"IBM is really all in on blockchain. We take a look at sort of the history of blockchain ledger technologies. It started out with bitcoin, Ethereum, and IBM evaluated these particular blockchain technologies and found they were anonymous and permissionless and that many companies were looking for permissioned blockchain," stated René Bostic, Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
There is a war a-brewin’, but this war will be fought with wits and not brute strength. Ever since Russian President Vladimir Putin’s declaration that “the nation that leads in AI (Artificial Intelligence) will be the ruler of the world,” the press and analysts have created hysteria regarding the ramifications of artificial intelligence on everything from public education to unemployment to healthcare to Skynet. Note: artificial intelligence (AI) endows applications with the ability to automatically learn and adapt from experience via interacting with the surroundings / environment. See the b...
“Why incur the expense of generating and collecting all of this IoT data if you’re not going to monetize it?” Organizations are racing to embrace the Internet of Things (IoT) as the pundits create “visions of sugar-plums dancing in their heads.” McKinsey Global Institute released their study “The Internet of Things: Mapping the Value beyond the Hype” in June 2015 that highlighted the staggering financial value that IoT could create! (See Figure 1.)
Recently I read somewhere this statement – As we end 2017 and look ahead to 2018, topics that are top of mind for data professionals are the growing range of data management mandates, including the EU’s new General Data Protection Regulation that is directed at personal data and privacy, the growing role of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning in enterprise applications, the need for better security in light of the onslaught of hacking cases, and the ability to leverage the expanding Internet of Things.
So data warehousing may not be cool anymore, you say? It’s yesterday’s technology (or 1990’s technology if you’re as old as me) that served yesterday’s business needs. And while it’s true that recent big data and data science technologies, architectures and methodologies seems to have rendered data warehousing to the back burner, it is entirely false that there is not a critical role for the data warehouse and Business Intelligence in digitally transformed organizations.
Will I ever understand the nuances of the advanced analytics landscape? Well, maybe the better question is will the advanced analytics landscape ever stop changing? The advanced analytics landscape, into which I include Deep Learning (DL), Machine Learning (ML), Reinforcement Learning (RL) and Artificial Intelligence (AI), seems to be in a constant state of evolution. New advanced analytic algorithms and tool sets seem to be coming out of every university, every startup, every digital media company and every technology company. And many of these new advanced analytic algorithms and tool sets a...
Coca-Cola’s Google powered digital signage system lays the groundwork for a more valuable connection between Coke and its customers. Digital signs pair software with high-resolution displays so that a message can be changed instantly based on what the operator wants to communicate or sell. In their Day 3 Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Chambers, Global Group Director, Digital Innovation, Coca-Cola, and Vidya Nagarajan, a Senior Product Manager at Google, discussed how from store operations and optimization to employee training and insights, all ultimately create the best customer experience b...
Well, my developer friends, 2018 is your year. Businesses in practically every industry have a fever. And the only prescription? You. I know, I know. The demand for developers is nothing new. But 2018 is different. 2018 is the year where we see some of this decade's most exciting technologies become commercially viable, and others finally go mainstream. We'll see new forms of immersive entertainment, and inanimate objects will come alive in ways that really feel real. Trying to undermine this progress are intelligent and dangerous threats that must be outsmarted and outworked. There's endles...
Since releasing the University of San Francisco research paper on “How to Determine the Economic Value of Your Data” (EvD), I have had numerous conversations with senior executives about the business and technology ramifications of EvD. Now with the release of Doug Laney’s “Infonomics” book that builds upon Doug’s EvD work at Gartner, I expect these conversations to intensify. In fact, I just traveled to Switzerland to discuss the potential business and technology ramifications of EvD with the management team of a leading European Telecommunications company.
Special thanks to Brandon Kaier (@bkaier) for his research and thoughts on the Digital Twins concept. Unilever, one of the Consumer Package Goods (CPG) industry’s titans with over 400 brands and annual sales greater than $60B, recently bought Dollar Shave Club for $1B. Now normally I would not think twice about such an acquisition, peanuts in the world of mergers and acquisitions. However, this one feels different. Two billion people use Unilever products every day according to Unilever’s 2015 annual report. Dollar Shave Club only has around two million members; the vast majority of w...
From government to retail to oil and gas, it seems like everyone is exploring how to use AI in their industry or business. It’s time for you to do the same. There’s no question that Artificial Intelligence (AI) is on a lot of people’s minds these days, and is beginning to grow rapidly in adoption. Quoting Accenture, Forbes reports AI-driven productivity gains of perhaps 40% by 2035, and publications like the New York Times are noting the buzz, even as they ask, why now? Even if you don’t think you’ll be adopting AI for yourself just yet, you need to at least consider the broader impact the te...
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, which can process our conversational commands and orchestrate the outcomes we request across our persona...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Evatronix will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Evatronix SA offers comprehensive solutions in the design and implementation of electronic systems, in CAD / CAM deployment, and also is a designer and manufacturer of advanced 3D scanners for professional applications.
This month, an AI (artificial intelligence) system passed a medical exam in China for the first time. I wonder how its bedside manner will be? In addition, Saudi Arabia granted citizenship to a robot named Sophia. With all these rapid advancements, I think it is time we explore the spiritual life of robots. Up till recently, programmers coded and configured algorithms, AI, automation and machine learning system and took personal responsibility for all the code. Today, however, AI has escaped the confines of human oversight and has been empowered and employed to self-program, self-optimize, ...
The Federal Communications Commission announced that it will vote on December 14 to enact the exceptionally misleadingly titled “Restoring Internet Freedom” order. If passed, it will do the opposite of restoring anything resembling freedom — it will repeal the current net neutrality rules which were enacted to ensure that Americans would have equal access to the Internet. If you’re reading this, chances are you’re already interested in the topic. Still, some quick background: Renamed “Open Internet” a while back, net neutrality provided a regulatory framework that specifically prohibited:...
Digital technologies have altered how people and businesses interact. The potential for dislocation from ongoing digital transformation has created unprecedented levels of C-suite discussion. The decisive market leaders have heeded the warnings and taken bold actions. That said, if you’re one of those Chief Technology Officers (CTO) that previously responded to this scenario by making small incremental adjustments to your IT agenda, then you’re potentially at risk. Any relief from those prior tweaks tend to be short lived. The same issues will likely resurface.
Over the last few years, the Internet of things (IoT) has become a trending phrase for consumers and a top priority for businesses embarking on their digital transformation. Even with the growth and interest in IoT however, the meaning can still confuse people. So, what is IoT? IoT is a network of things connected to the internet and is uniquely identifiable through its embedded computing system. These “things” may include a variety of devices like home appliances, commercial vending machines, fitness trackers, industrial gateways, connected cars, and smart factories.
I love it when I get feedback from a blog that I’ve written. I appreciate the different perspectives and insights that others bring to a topic of interest. And no blog that I’ve written has drawn more comments than my blog, “Isaac Asimov: The 4th Law of Robotics.” The section of the blog that fueled the most comments stem from a scene in the movie I, Robot where Detective Spooner (played by Will Smith) is explaining to Doctor Calvin (who is responsible for giving robots human-like behaviors) why he distrusts and hates robots. He is describing an incident where his police car crashed into anot...