In every industry there are key milestones that mark a change in the course of history, and the fast-moving technology field has more than its share. Presented here are 15 turning points that shaped the computing world as we know it today, including some that still continue to influence its direction for years to come.
I can't decide which is my favorite moment in computer history, but as someone that was fascinated with then ousted Steve Jobs's company NeXT this rang true for me:
Seth Gottlieb, Content Here, recently turned me on to Sacha Chua and her blog. Sacha is an Enterprise 2.0 consultant and application developer for IBM and she also happens to be a very good blogger. What makes her blog interesting, besides being well written, is her posts on corporate use of social technologies given from the perspective of her generation, the Millennials (latest hip word for Generation Y).
While some organizations are still debating about introducing Web 2.0 technologies to their employees, this newest generation now entering the workforce is likely to expect that such technologies are already available to them for use in their daily work tasks. While the use of information technology is often viewed by companies in terms of staying competitive and a requirement for implementing strategic plans, the technologies are also increasingly becoming an essential tool for the human resources department. If you're expecting to attract and keep bright educated Millennials such as Sacha within your organization, you then need to better understand how people in her work cohort are likely to process the work given.
Roy Rubin over at Magento discussed what we can expect in the upcoming Magento 1.1. On top of that list are performance improvements with as much as a 40% improvement in the catalog and sales modules. Enhancements and new to Magento 1.1 will also include:
The release of Ubercart 1.0 was announced earlier today. Ubercart is an open source e-commerce package (shopping cart) that fully integrates your online store with the open source CMS, Drupal. We've been watching Ubercart for some time and like some of the look-and-feel it borrows from osCommerce.
Some of the features in Ubercart 1.0 as reported by their shopping cart's Website include:
Configurable product catalog includes catalog pages and a block to display product categories.
Flexible product creation system. Create normal products by default. Add fields to store additional product information using Drupal's CCK system.
Flexible product attributes system. Create user selectable attributes for your products that modify the price, SKU/model, and/or weight of items as the customer adds them to his or her cart. Set default attribute/option sets for each product class to easily create many similar products.
Over the past couple years, I've been asked by a few if I would be willing to write a white paper recommending a content management system. information system, or specific product. For the most part, those opportunities always seem to arrive when I'm busy with other projects so I declined. When I wasn't busy, I was asked to write positively about a product I knew nothing about (I declined) as well as a specific information system which I believed could be better written within the company (the potential client had smarter people than me and they agreed).
Those that have read my blog know that I do get on my soapbox from time to time about the state of education in the United States. I can't help but be concerned about the future for America's young adults. Too many students are not opting to stay in school to continue their education. If U.S. students continue their lack of motivation in pursuing an education, I can't help but be gloomy on America's place in the 21st century as a world leader.
During the past week, you may have noticed that I'm posting less at CMS Report. I love the opportunity I've been given to blog about content management systems and pointing readers to the great articles I've read at other sites on the Internet. Discussing information systems and information technology is not only part of my career, but it is also my hobby. However, when the weather warms, the trees grow their leaves, and children playing outside can be heard...I yearn for a break from technology. The other me beckons to spend time camping, hiking, going to baseball games, and simply being outdoors.
So, as I have done in past years, I'm taking a break from technology. By posting less during the summer months, I hope to recharge my blogging batteries for the cold weather that is sure to follow. I will make an effort for the quality high for those articles I do post this summer, but the quantity of posts will be somewhat lower. My slogan for this summer's tech break is Blog less, breathe more. I hope some of the other blog junkies out there join me and take a similar technology breaks. Life is too short to live and die by the computer.
Jeff Robbins from Lullabot recently interviewed Drupal developer Earl "MerlinofChaos" Miles for an audio podcast. Earl Miles is the lead developer for some of the more popular contributed modules found at Drupal.org. The podcast focuses on his Drupal module work which includes Views, Panels, and Node Queue. Jeff Robbins also managed to ask some non-Drupal questions in the 88 minute recording that I found just as fascinating. Personally, I always enjoy opportunities to get to know more about the developers behind the software I'm using.