One question which amazes many people is how the world of Open Source runs and from where it gets all its funds. Open Source and Linux developers work for free and it is a community driven and open project.
Anyone can join and for that question, anyone can leave as well. There is no-one bossing you around. But that is true only for projects which are hosted for free. There are other projects managed by Linux giants like Red Hat and Novell which get their funds from the Enterprise Solutions they provide. Additionally, there are many companies financing the world of Open Source, especially the world of Linux for their own benefit. Many of them are reputed companies specializing in providing state of the art business solutions.
One such company is Google. Even antitrust controversies like Microsoft are in the game. Microsoft has its CodePlex foundation where, it is said, Microsoft puts employees to write open source code and pays them and has been denying this fact ever since it surfaced. But Microsoft has other better things to worry and care for.
There are many other companies which deal in Linux development specifically.
Red Hat is a S&P 500 company and is a major promoter of Linux and Open Source. Its most popular product includes Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Fedora. Red Hat was founded in the year 1993 and has never looked back ever since.
The company went public in 1999 and has received wide appreciation from the Open Source world. It has its headquarters located a Raleigh, North Carolina, USA. It has 2800 employees and has a net income of 78.72 million USD. Achievements :
Red Hat grabbed the Operating System Product of the Year award more than once and has been awarded a number of times elsewhere.
The entry of Red Hat into the S&P 500 was a big win for the world of Linux and ensured continued development over the years. Red Hat has followed a number of acquisitions ever since its birth. It acquired Cygnus Solutions in 1999 and the JBoss in 2006.
These were major milestones for Red Hat. Products :
The major products of Red Hat include the Red Ha Enterprise Linux and the community driven and Red Hat backed Fedora Project. Red Hat developers work for the Fedora project project along side their mainstream job and many developments from the Fedora project make it to the Red Hat distribution releases.
Canonical Ltd. is a company founded by South African multi-millionaire Mark Shuttleworth. He made a furtune when he sold away his venture Thawte to VeriSign. Ever since, Mark Shuttleworth has been financing open source software and development all over the world through his company Canonical Ltd., which is a private company dedicated to this sole purpose.
The company was founded on 5th March 2004 and has its registered headquarters at Douglas, Isle of Man in Europe. Canonical Ltd. has revenue of 30 million USD and has a little over 200 employees.
The company has been involved in a number of activities right after after its birth.
The Software freedom day is held on the third Saturday of every September. Canonicals sponsored the event in 2005-2006 by a huge amount.
Freedom Toaster is an innovative kiosk designed for users to save on download costs and burn CD/DVD of their favorite Linux distribution of choice, for free of cost and in seconds.
The major contribution of Canonical to the world of Linux includes the Ubuntu distribution of Linux which forms the base for a number of side projects like Mint, Ubuntu Ultimate Edition etc. Ubuntu has a definitive 6 months release cycle ensuring a continuous flow of quality work from the developers. Other products include Landscape, which is a browser based web-server manager, Launchpad, the website containing Open Source software projects and Ubuntu One which is a closed source file synchronization service.
Novell was founded in 1983 and has over 4000 employees currently. Its headquarters are located at Waltham, MA, USA and the company specializes in enterprise software solutions for Linux. This is one of the oldest players in the Open Source world and has played a key role in emerging technologies like the LAN and network security.
The company was one of the first tech giants to compete with Microsoft and started with buying UNIX rights from Novell. Novell was headed by current Google CEO Eric Schmidt for a long period and has flourished to be a key competitor to the closed source world of paid software.
The company ran into many controversies due to its deal with Microsoft and was looked down upon by major Open Source communities around the world. Things have started getting better now and Novell will probably gain back the confidence it had once. Novell has a net income of 8.7 Million USD.
Novell entered into an agreement with Microsoft on 2nd November 2006 whereby it decided to setup a lab which allowed research to be carried out for better compatibility of its software with other software vendors. Novell is especially known for its excellent customer support and it holds support as a top priority in its business solution.
Novell has a number of products which include Novell NetWare, SUSE Linux and the Novell Cloud Security Service.
Live Sync: https://sync.live.com/clientdownload.aspx?ibm=10
Live Sync is a wonderful tool if you need to share files with someone or if you want a hands off backup of important files. Live Sync allows you to synchronize foldersbetween two computers (Windows XP and later and Mac OSX up to 10.5). The computers can be on a local network or just connected to the internet. This is a great way to share photos with relatives or files with other people. I personally use it to synchronize a folder full of Keepers on my desktop with a folder on my backup server so if my computer ever crashed after I added the document but before the nightly backup could run, I still wouldn’t lose the files.
Security essentials: http://www.microsoft.com/Security_Essentials/
Microsoft has realized the necessity of antivirus software on windows PCs and has stepped up with the free Security Essentials. Security Essentials provides protection against viruses, spyware, rootkits and Trojans. This is a huge step in the right direction by providing this service free of charge. Keep in mind, that like all anti-viruses, they are typically only effective in telling you AFTER you’ve been infected, so practice safe surfing habits like not downloading from questionable sites, don’t open e-mail attachments, and make sure you are running as a limited user on your computer and not running as administrator.
Microsoft has a history of releasing non-supported PowerTools and Power Toys that their developers create because there is a need. These are not publicized formally nor are they supported by Microsoft, but there are some gems.
Color Control Panel Applet: Being an amateur photographer, being able to control how the computer displays colors and be able to control it from the screen all the way to the printer is very important. This powertoy does just that in one centralized area.
SyncToy: If you have multiple copies of files or need a simple way to compare files, Sync Toy was built to help copy, move and synchronize various files like photos, docuemtns, etc.
RAW Image Thumbnailer Viewer: As a photographer, I like to shoot my DSLR to capture RAW images. The issue with RAW images is that many softwares can’t display the RAW files natively. This is where the RAW Image Thumbnailer Viewer comes in. it allows you to see thumbnails, previews, EXIF data and even print RAW images you may not otherwise be able to see.
Alt-Tab Replacement: If you multitask and have many files open at once, you may use the Alt-Tab key combination to cycle through the open windows. The Alt-Tab Replacement PowerToy beefs up this ability and included page previews and the application icon.
Tweak UI: By far, my favorite of the PowerToys. TweakUI has been around for years allowing people to manipulate the user interface of Windows to better suit your needs. Tweak UI is a must have for me when I set up a new computer.
Image Resizer: Why open up Photoshop or some other powerful image editing tool if all you need is to resize the image to e0mail or post somewhere? With a right-click, you can resize one or many images.
Webcam Timershot: This PowerToy allows you to set up a time lapse photo using your webcam. Maybe you want to capture traffic or the weather moving in. The Timershot tool is a simple way to take snapshots at specified intervals.
Windows Home Server—what is it?
I have a small network at home with 8 computers attached to each other. I had various shared external harddrives across the network, but finding things became cumbersome and unwieldy. I wanted something like a server that I have used for many years at my place of employment, but I didn’t want a full server. I wanted something that was easy to set up and manage and provide a central location for videos, music, and other files. My search began and I quickly found Windows Home Server. HP quickly began selling their MediaSmart server for far more than I wanted to spend; I purchased a copy of Windows Home Server and used one of the PCs I already owned to set it up. The minimum specs for WHS are 1GHz Pentium III CPU, 512MB of RAM, 80GB of hard drive space, DVD-ROM drive, and a wired Ethernet adapter. No problem. In fact the most difficult part of the entire setup was buying the software. WHS is not offered in retail stores. Thankfully you should be able to find a copy on Amazon, NewEgg.com or TigerDirect for around $120. What you will get is the server install disk which is installed on your server. You will also get a disk with the connector software on it. This is installed on the other PCs on your network so that they can be automatically backed up to the server. Lastly, you will receive a recovery disk that you can boot into to recover the backed up data from the server.
Installation of the server software and connector is pretty straightforward. Once you install he connector software, you can then modify the user privileges in case you don’t want your teenage son to have access to the software directory where you keep all the installers for a few hundred necessary applications. Plus you can then manage the individual PC backups and see what has been successfully backed up and what hasn’t. You can even kick off the backup from the server console.
Sharing audio and video from the WHS server is pretty trivial. Once you have all the media on the server, it can be accessed by anyone with access on the network.
One of the nice features WHS provides is the ability to add multiple hard drives, either internal or external, into a storage pool. So now my collection of 100GB, 250GB, 500GB and 1 TB drives can be placed into a giant storage pool on the server and utilized as multiple terabytes of storage. This was a nice addition to the features since now I can increase the storage size by just plugging in a new hard drive and selecting to add it to the storage pool from the server console.
Lastly, the server software allows me to connect to my home network from any internet connection. I can access my data, configure my server or even stream media like music or video. Very handy for those long nights in hotels after conferences or training sessions. Just log in and stream some music or a movie. Very handy.
All in all, WHS has impressed me and is now a required part of my home network infrastructure. I imagine this might work equally well in a small business environment where the employees need access to a central bank of files and be able to automate the scheduled backups. Microsoft has done an excellent job scaling down a full server into something fit for a home or small office environment!
Growing up watching cartoons, watching the Jetsons made me want to live in the future. All the flying cars, talking robots, and new fangled contraptions were in our future. Now as I look around at all the technologies, it seems that Hanna/Barbara might have gotten a few things right with their farcical cartoons! Here are a few examples:
Workstations. George Jetson is often pictured at his desk with multiple flat monitors around him while he twiddles away on a bank of buttons.
Video Conferencing. The computers often show video of his boss, Mr. Spacely as they talk back and forth, usually involving George getting fired. I wonder if Web Ex knows about this footage?
Moving Sidewalks. In many of the episodes, the characters don’t walk, but rather step on a moving sidewalk, much like what’s employed at many airports across the globe.
Video Games. Elroy played on an Envirosimulator much akin to today’s super realistic video games. Even George played cards with a robot for fun.
Robots doing work. In almost every episode of the Jetsons, there was at least one robot accomplishing some task. Sure we have industrial robots building cars and welding meta. Even robots vacuuming our carpets, but none of them talk back with artificial intelligence.yet.
Fooderackacycle. Sure we don’t have robots making our food yet, but we do have machines dispensing it¢â‚¬â€vending machines. And not just the old vending machines where food drops to the bottom but ones where arms retrieve the requested snack and even heat it up automatically upon purchase.
Super fast mail. In some of the episodes, they could mail something and have it delivered almost instantly. Sure it was a physical envelope, but today’s e-mail is the next best thing.
Virtual Pets. In several episodes, they have pets that aren’t animals at all, but interact like it. We have those too, called Webkinz and other online pets for kids. Sure it’s not a hologram of the pet, but it is indeed virtual.
What is even more exciting is looking at the technology that is still in the prototype stages. The things that will become part of our lives in the next few years that is distinctly Jetsonian in nature. For example, the ability to carry the communication devices with you. Sure, the iPhone and Blackberry are no folding car that fits in your pocket, but they can call a taxi, and track your whereabouts.
The Microsoft surface technology is another whiz-bang gizmo the Jetsons only wished they had. Handling data not with buttons but with fingers on a shiny black surface. This is our future.
Sure we don’t live in platforms high in the sky, parachute to our flying cars or use jetpacks to get to work, but we are getting closer and closer to the Jetsons every day. With the evolution of the digital camera, MP3 players holding thousands of songs, and the internet allowing us to communicate in dramatically new ways ala Twitter, Facebook, Brightkite, etc. , the future is looking even better than it did when we were dreaming of robots getting us ready in the morning and reading us books. Now if we could just figure out this flying car thing, I think we’d be set.
I’m a big fan of FREE STUFF, so it should be no surprise that I gravitate towards free software. Sure much of it is junkie, but there are some realy diamonds out there that haven’t hit the mainstream yet. Here’s my favorite 10.
1. Logmein (https://secure.logmein.com)
Ever find yourself away from home and wishing you could e-mail yourself something? Or maybe you have a mother-in-law who lives 4 states away and is always having computer problems, and instead of loading up the kids in the family trickster for a marriage-trying trip, you could just log in to her computer remotelyÂ¦.without her needing to do anything? This is where Logmein comes in. There are lots of products out there that will do this, but very few will do all these things as well as Logmein ds for free.
2. Mesh (http://www.mesh.com)
Microsoft has a knack of not promoting some of the apps that they offer. Mesh is one of those apps. Another computer sharing application, but Mesh displays all the computers in a 3-D rotating ring and also offers a Web DesktopÂ that syncs with all the computers on your Mesh. There is a promise of making Mesh work on Macs, but I haven’t yet seen it work. Mesh is super responsive and I really like how it feels while using it! The interface is clean and intuitive and I think the reason Microsoft ds not promote it is too many people would use it!
Yet another non-marketed gem from Microsoft. Photostory 3 is one of the easiest ways to create a very professional photo slideshow complete with background music (MP3 or you can create your own with the built-in music generator) and narration. The application is super easy to use and the results are far superior that some softwares that I’ve paid to use. The only downfall is that it dsn’t have a built-in burning application to burn the slideshow to CD or DVD.
4. Orb (http://www.orb.com)
Like many people, I don’t get to stay at home with my vault of audio and video goodness at my disposal. This is where Orb steps in. Orb allows a simple way to put your audio, photos and video online and accessible to your little antsy fingertips. One of my favorite features is the ability to stream webcams live on the internet, so if I miss my dog, I can log in and see and hear him. Very slick and very easy to set up!
5. Dropbox (http://www.getdropbox.com/)
Wouldn’t it be nice to have a storage cloud of your own to store items and further more wouldn’t it be nice if it synced with your other computers? That’s Dropbox. I use it to store keepersÂ or documents and small apps that I want in multiple places or to ensure I don’t lose it. Dropbox installs easily and creates a folder on your computer. Drag the files you want to sync into the Dropbox and dropbox takes care of the rest. All the other computers you log into the dropbox with can now access and upload their own files. A great solution for simple collaboration or small off site back ups.
6. MWSnap (http://www.mirekw.com/winfreeware/mwsnap.html)
If you need to do lots of screenshots for websites or manuals, this is a great tool. It has a nice zoom tool to enlarging parts of the screen to draw focus to it, a ruler for measuring the size of items in the shot, and can export in BMP, JPG, TIFF, PNG and GIF.
7. Camstudio (http://sourceforge.net/projects/camstudio/files/)
If you need to create a screencast, this a a great free tool. Comparable to Camtasia or Adobe’s Captivate, it’s not as feature-rich as those, but it will get the job done. It will record whatever you do on your screen and produce and AVI or SWF output. Plus you can narrate as you go through a microphone. This is the easiest way to convey complex techniques or just a way of communicating step by step instructions.
8. DimDim (http://www.dimdim.com)
A tool similar to WebEx, DimDim allows you to create free webinar-style sessions where you can share screens, whiteboards, presentation, web pages and even voice and video. I have been super impressed with DimDim in that it supports up to 20 people, it dsn’t require any installation and it handles the voice and video, unlike some other pay-for softwares. Sure, it isn’t as ubiquitious as WebEx (I’m certainly not going to tell someone to DimDim meÂ, but for free, this is a wonderful offering.
9. Ning (http://www.ning.com)
If you’ve ever wanted a web site for your church group, scouting group, or maybe even class reunion, then Ning is the place to go. It’s a DYI social networking site that allows you to roll your own blog/forum/event feed/calendar/whatever. I’ve used Ning for several side projects to collaborate with large and small groups of people. I also use Ning for a special interest web site-BisManPhoto.com, which is a site devoted to camera lovers in the Bismarck/Mandan North Dakota area. The sites scale wonderfully and gives me the freedom to worry about content rather than functionality.
10. Qik (http://qik.com)
Everyone carries their cellphones with them all the time. Ever wanted to stream live video from your phone? That’s what Qik ds and it ds it beautifully. Great for budding independent journalists wanting to stream live to the web (and post an alert on twitter simultaneously) and it’s equally great to share part of your vacation with people at home. The stream is recorded from your phone and saved for posterity so people who couldn’t see the live stream can watch it archived on the Qik site.
Sony launched a major offensive in the console war this week with a number of big announcements. During a presentation at the GamesCom 2009 event in Cologne, Germany they unveiled the new slim PlayStation 3 and talked about their plans for the platform. There have been suggestions that Sony are lagging behind Nintendo and Microsoft in the battle for gamers and this package of products and updates is clearly an attempt to redress the balance.
The Wii and the Xbox 360 have been outselling the much more expensive PlayStation 3 and Sony has resisted any price drop. Back in June they claimed to be happy with their price point, which even then represented a loss on every console sold. With pressure to stimulate the market amid falling sales they have finally made a move. The new version of their popular console heralds the long awaited price drop and the 120 GB machine will cost $299 in the US, ¢â€šÂ¬299 in Europe and £249 in the UK. By comparison the 120 GB Xbox 360 Elite remains priced at $399.
The new PlayStation 3 slim is 33% smaller and 36% lighter than the old PS3. The interior has undergone a complete redesign and the console will use less energy and operate more quietly than the old model. In fact power consumption has been cut to two-thirds the previous level and as a result the machine does not heat up so much so there is less need for noisy fan operation.
The console looks sleeker and more attractive than ever and the visual redesign has also seen the logo change to lower case and a matte, textured finish instead of a shiny one. It supports Wi-Fi out of the box, it has two USB ports and you can access the hard drive from the front and upgrade more easily than with the previous iteration. In fact you can now upgrade the hard drive without voiding the warranty. The old 80 GB and 160 GB models will now be phased out.
If you are looking for a downside then perhaps you could point to the lack of backwards compatibility for PlayStation 2 games, although it can run PlayStation 1 games. You also can’t store the PlayStation 3 slim vertically unless you buy a stand and they have ditched the option to install another operating system.
Sony didn’t rest there and the announcements continued with a big firmware update for the PlayStation 3 platform. PS3 Firmware 3.0 adds some useful menu updates which make navigation on the console a bit smoother with easier access to the store and a redesigned friends list. There are a few new cosmetic updates as well which allow animated themes and the option of new avatars for your profile. Most exciting for UK gamers is the support for BBC iPlayer. There is also a new video on demand movie rental service offering HD and SD movies due to launch in November.
These new developments look set to take advantage of the superior capabilities of the PS3 and technically speaking it is by far the best console of the current generation. The PS3 supports Blu-ray playback, it offers 1080p HDMI output, integrated wireless, free online support and a 120 GB upgradeable hard drive. The firmware update will combine with a big redesign of their online Home space where companies are now looking to establish an online presence.
The new offensive was not limited to the console space and Sony had news for the handheld market as well. The PSP Go was unveiled back in June. It is a smaller, slide open version of the PSP handheld. At GamesCom Sony announced that they will be launching a mini-game store for the machine and gamers will be able to download casual games which are under 100 MB in size. They also plan to launch a reader for the PSP which will allow people to read full length novels on it and the video on demand service due to launch in November will be extended to the PSP as well. To round things off it will be available in some funky colors.
There are obvious moves here to beat Microsoft on price and also to challenge Nintendo on accessibility and the casual gamer market. Sony is uniquely placed to capture hardcore and casual gamers and their PS3 console is truly an entertainment center. If consumers were to shop for a Blu-ray player with internet surfing capabilities and access to streaming video on demand they would be hard pressed to find a device cheaper than the PlayStation 3 and it offers gaming as well. Perhaps with this new design and all important price drop we’ll see the console really take off at last.
It would appear that our televisions have gone from analog to digital stations just fine. Okay, just fine is a little too broad of a generalization; after all, there was a record number of calls (317,000) to the FCC last Friday on this subject.
However, the FCC was prepared, and they had 4,000 operators on hand to answer what they knew was going to be a rush of calls. Many of these calls were handled by re-scanning the converter boxes. The www.dtv.gov website had a record number of hits.
Of course, there were some who failed to get a signal on the day of transition. If you were one of them, all I can say is: you were warned. I mean, I saw one of those emergency messages every day for the past year telling me to switch, or else. If you were still going off analog signals before the switch, and didn’t listen to the myriad warnings, then you deserve whatever fate you made for yourself, really.
Fortunately, I have cable, so I was covered. However, I am now questioning cable. You see, I have discovered that about 80 percent of my television watching is now done online. The other 20 percent is just channel surfing, when I am too tired to focus on anything in particular.
I think a lot of viewers have the same viewing habits as I do. After all, why should I watch television based on some sort of schedule that I don’t want to follow? Instead, I want to watch the programs that I want to watch when I want to watch them. Not only that, I don’t want to go through all the trouble of setting a VCR, or even learn how to set a DVR.
No, I want to go online, and find the shows that I want to watch. In fact, that is how I have watched all kind of shows that I normally would have missed for the past year. I have discovered a whole crop of shows that I never would have even tried if not for watching television online.
I still can’t believe that major networks still have not picked up on the fact that more people are watching online than scheduled television broadcasts. Isn’t the problem with the writers, back when that strike thing was going on?
This new viewer mentality is probably why Syabas has created the Popcorn C-200, an Internet settop box that streams digital content from the Internet or its internal hard drive to the television set and stereo. The C-200 is supposed to be the new version of Popcorn Hour A-110, and is capable of accepting video content from sites like YouTube, Vuze, Revision 3, CNET TV, Veoh, Blip.tv, NBC, CBS, CNN, and BBC. It is also possible to accept image content from Flickr, Pikeo, and Picasa.
The Popcorn C-200 is not the first device that allows you to watch ditigal video content, and it will not be the last. Something tells me that as the prices of cable and internet rise, people may have to choose one or the other.
So perhaps we are looking at an age where the next television transition will not be to digital, but to the Internet. So, unless you have a high-speed Internet connection, you might not be able to get TV. Of course, that would assume that all major networks as well as the cable networks, all go completely online.
Last week, when I reported that Turbine was allowing people to play Dungeons and Dragons Online for free, I only briefly mentioned the negative press that Role-Playing Games received in the early eighties and late nineties.
As a kid who used to play D&D and other role playing games, I heard stories of people who committed suicide when their Player Characters had died, and I didn’t really give it much thought. However, when many Christian groups began to equate the game as some portal into Satanism, I often wondered if they were talking about the same Dungeons and Dragons game.
I remember reading one Christian pamphlet that was supposed to be an expose on RPGs, but some of the information in it was just plain wrong. I mean, it said that the He-man and the Masters of the Universe cartoon was inspired by Dungeons and Dragons. I’m sure there are a lot of geeks out there now who are thinking: oh come on! Do your research.
I’m sure the person who wrote that pamphlet just didn’t get their facts straight. There was a Dungeons and Dragons cartoon that ran for about two seasons. They probably just heard that there was a Dungeons and Dragons cartoon, and just simply assumed that the He-man cartoon was it. It’s an honest mistake, but it shows how much conservative groups never actually researched, much less played the RPGs that they criticized.
There must have been some sort of anti-D&D bandwagon that was happening, and those who never played the game were creating a boycott for those who played the game. In the same manner, gamers who heard the argument against RPGs could not accept the facts as given any more than I did.
The alienation of RPG gaming eventually led to a very strong gamer counter-culture which is no doubt the target audience of most MMO and other RPG video games of today. Still, there seems to be a strong pervasive stereotype that says that gamers are guys who still live in their mother’s basements, and are completely incapable of living in any reality that is real.
For this reason, gaming continues to have a negative slant in today’s media. There is yet to be a movie based on a video game that has been a huge success, and most video games portrayed in movies tend to be negative. That is, you always see the geek characters playing them while the cooler characters apparently have better things to do.
Another negative portrayal is due out this Fall that is simply called Gamer. It takes place in a future world where gamers can somehow play other people, like puppets, apparently. Their puppets are actual prisoners put in violent scenarios, and the public just sits back and watches. Think of it a better version of The Running Man, but it has Gerard Butler instead of Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Yes, Gamer confirms all of our fears about video games taking over the world, turning into a hellish place. Once again, the video game industry gets another bad spotlight since The Ultimate Gamer. Could someone make a film that put video games in a positive light? Something that isn’t like The Wizard, which was some huge ad for Nintendo. You know, video games do inspire people once in a while. Every thought about doing a film about that, Hollywood?
During the early 2000′s, netbooks originally emerged as low cost laptops with a heavy emphasis on web browsing and wireless internet – it was initially aimed at needy children in developing countries. It came bundled with an adequate enough OS to run the most basic of software (email, word processor, the odd mp3 player, etc) the focus was to keep the computer connected to the Internet so that the information the child received was always up to date.
However, word spread of the low cost laptop (netbooks usually range as low as $100 – $400). This option made especially perfect sense for traveling business people, however, the pre-installed OS (commonly Windows XP home edition) was sub par and forced the user to use either processor intensive, bulky, and outdated software which could reduce precious battery time, or search for time consuming workarounds to meet their needs.
That is what JoliCloud is trying to change. Designed for netbooks and using the best of what Open source software and open web technologies have to offer – JoliCloud is an Internet Operating System aimed at being a clutter-free, simple, yet slick solution to the current netbook operating systems out there. Using parts of the Ubuntu and Debian Operating systems (which are both Linux based) JoliCloud intends to blur the lines between web application and locally installed software. For example, Facebook, Twitter and Gmail (which are web applications) will look the same as Skype, VLCplayer, OpenOffice Writer (which are locally installed software applications).
With cloud computing becoming a reality with every forthcoming day – JoliCloud’s developer, Tarik Amin, foresees a future where applications designed for powerful processors will be a thing of the past. He sees everything being processed on web servers and all the user really needs is a basic computer with an internet connection of some sort (in netbooks case its 3G and wireless).
Already examples of this are evident, as GoogleDocs and Zoho are online office suites that don’t even use your hard disk to store data, it is stored on the service providers severs.
The world is slowly turning into a forever connected state. It’s not uncommon to hear about someone leaving their laptop switched on overnight to download the latest 100 MB office presentation to view it the next morning. Sure it doesn’t happen everyday – but it is happening…and JoliCloud intends to be the first OS to catch and surf this new wave.
As the name Implies, UIzard is a user interface wizard. What does that mean?
In its simplest form, you could call it a WYSIWYG HTML editor – but that doesn’t do it justice! Not only does it make it easy for the non-coder to make classy website front ends, but it also allows you to connect with databases, make complex layouts and time lines, even full blown application suites (whiteboards, word processors, online spreadsheets, presentation tools, and many others!) All of this is available at the click of a few buttons. In short, it frees you up. Now you can concentrate on how the website should look and feel to the user, rather than the stuff going on behind the scenes.
For example, do you need to place a Google map to your office in the about us page? Just choose the Google maps option from the tool box, click and enter the necessary information, place it where you’d like on the page, and you’re done! Try coding that in less than 1 min!
Or how about taking all the RSS feeds of your favorite online web comics and mashing them up into one mega RSS feed with your comments on each strip and showing them on your page? Sounds complex, but it’s just a few clicks away!
The best part is – all of this is within your browser! You don’t need to purchase and/or download expensive web development software like Dreamweaver. There is also no need to learn or write any HTML coding at all, and since everything is done via your browser, you don’t have to worry about your online application working on different operating systems or your users having to install something just to run your webapp! (All modern O/S have a web browser of some sort!)
Official Website: Uizard