Month: April 2008

Seven Tips for Living with Technology

By Richard Hamilton, special to The Content Wrangler (reprinted with permission) “If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.”—Abraham Maslow (1908 – 1970) When most people purchase a new car, the experience goes something like this. They start out with high expectations; they want a convertible SUV that will carry a family of six, look and drive like a Ferrari, cost less than a Yugo, and get 50 miles to the gallon. The initial search and test drives deliver the first splash of reality, but overall the experience is exhilarating. They try out nice clean cars with lots of bells and whistles, and gain a new best friend, their sales person. Sticker shock sets in next, but with the help of their new best friend, they work through the pain and bring home a brand new vehicle.  And that vehicle remains perfect in their eyes until they take the family on vacation and discover they can’t fit everyone in the car unless they strap the dog to the roof, and that “30 miles per gallon on the highway” only applies going downhill with a tailwind. I could drag you through the stages of grief, but let’s skip to the chase; if they’ve got a lot of money, they go back and find a car that fits their needs, and...

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Understanding XML: Making Models and Watching for Swans

Kurt Cagle makes some interesting comments in his article, Understanding XML: Making Models and Watching for Swans. One that jumps out: “As more of the burden of modeling systems falls into the lap of XML specialists (and it definitely is), this is driving those same specialists to become experts not just in the mechanics of XML (such as validating XML against schemas or transforming it with XSLTs) but increasingly the semantics of modeling real-life processes – or of at least serving to train up those people that do.” That’s one reason why many content professionals would benefit from...

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What’s a Data Center? An Interview With Doug Theis, Lifeline Data Centers

TCW: Doug, thanks for agreeing to speak with us today about data centers. First, tell us a little about yourself and the company you work for. DT: I’ve been involved with Information Technology for 25 years, both from a vendor and internal staff perspective. I am the Senior Vice President of Business Development at Lifeline Data Centers. Lifeline provides off-premise computer room facilities for large and small companies. TCW: At its most basic, what’s a data center? DT: A data center is a safe, secure place to operate your computer servers and to connect to them. We provide rack space, private cages of all sizes, and private rooms to companies.  More specifically, we provide a tornado proof building with power, cooling, security, fire suppression and access to telecommunications services.  Our clients bring in their computer and communications equipment and operate it out of our facilities. TCW: While that certainly helps us understand what a data center is, what features should one look for when shopping for a data center? DT: At a minimum, companies should look for: A disaster-proof building Power Cooling Security – limited access with surveillance Fire suppression Network connectivity Managed IT services – if needed Disaster-proof means that the data center is built to resist the disasters most common to the geographic area. Power should be redundant and protected by generators, so the data center can...

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The Architecture of Participation: What Do You Think? Where Does Participation Fit?

I’m re-reading a great book, The World is Flat, by Thomas Friedman. The book, now in its third release in so many years, explores how the Internet, the World Wide Web, XML, and related technologies have made the world a much smaller place…a place in which knowledge workers from around the globe work together, collaborating on projects by using technology to overcome time zone, distance, language, and cultural differences, changing the way businesses on the planet Earth operate—forever. [Note: If you have not read this book yet, you really need to. It’s one of the most important works I’ve...

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