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BrainShare 2007 Friday General Session


March 23, 2007 7:08 pm



If you would like to see the General Session that I hosted at BrainShare 2007, it is now online.

  • Nat Friedman brought out several guests (including David Reveman!) and showed some killer Linux stuff
  • Baber Amin showed an open source InfoCard implementation
  • Ken Muir showed the upcoming GroupWise release, codenamed Bonsai
  • Alan Murray showed some cool Data Center technologies

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Next Mac-PC-Linux is now online…


March 21, 2007 11:24 am



…see the original post for the links.

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Mac vs. PC: How Would Linux Fit?


March 19, 2007 12:00 pm



Apple’s “Get a Mac” Campaign
Always a branding powerhouse, Apple is a company whose television advertisements are usually excellent. Their recent Get a Mac campaign (”Hi, I’m a Mac / And I’m a PC”) certainly does not disappoint. At this point, the television commercial are very well known.

The campaign exemplifies the artfully clever use of “framing,” the selective control of information used to shape a viewer’s perception. A simple example is the term “tax relief.” If you have an anti-taxation agenda, “tax relief” is a much more powerful term than “tax cut” because it frames taxes as a burden from which people need relief. The term assumes its own premise and thereby frames our perception.

In the “Get a Mac” campaign, Apple frames an artificial dualism, and then re-enforces the dualism with powerful metaphors. The dualism frames two options: either you use a PC (understood to mean Windows) or a Mac. Those are your options. (more…)

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BrainShare Backstage: Monday Demo Preparations


March 16, 2007 9:22 pm



In Salt Lake City, the Novell demo monkeys are feverishly laying down the final touches on their demos for the Monday general session. (more…)

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Available Now: Novell Edition for Windows


March 13, 2007 1:49 pm



Okay, so this is the banner from SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop.Good News
I just discovered that Novell has released a Windows version of Novell Edition on (A buddy in Novell IS&T pointed this out to me.)Why would you want the “Novell Edition” instead of the version from It comes down to early access to some killer features that are not yet available in the non-Novell edition. Let’s consider why Novell maintains a downstream edition of, and what some of the features in it are. (more…)

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Your Host for BrainShare’s Friday General Session


March 8, 2007 11:00 am



It’s now official: I will be hosting the Friday General Session at BrainShare 2007!

So far, the Friday line-up is really solid. It looks like we will have some cool Linux stuff with Nat Friedman, a demo of some open source identity components with Baber Amin, a look at what is planned for the next GroupWise with Ken Muir, and some mind-bendingly cool data center automation stuff with Alan Murray.

And to top it off, we will be giving away ten–count ‘em! ten!–primo AMD-powered, custom painted laptops.

It’s going to be a lot fun. Hope to see you there!

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Take the openSUSE Survey


March 8, 2007 5:20 am



opensuse.orgMy friend Michael Loeffler who works on openSUSE informs me that the openSUSE team is conducting a survey of their end users right now. If you use openSUSE, please take a few moments to fill it out. (And of course, there is some thank-you swag involved.)

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Novell Open Audio goes Live at BrainShare


March 4, 2007 2:38 pm



We’re taking it live!
Come check out our special “live audience” recordings of Novell Open Audio at BrainShare 2007. Meet Caitlin, Erin, and Ted, or get a chance to acquire a rare autograph from Mike the Audio Guy. And swag? Oh, there will be swag! We have a supply of our custom-made, designer “Audiophile” tee shirts, as well as some of the coveted “I ask Tough Questions” t-shirts to thank audience members for questions they ask at the event. (Early lab results indicate that these shirts boost your IQ by 15 points, make you 20% more sexually appealing, and give you the strength and humor of ten men!)

We will be hosting two extended-length shows from a special theater in the BrainShare Technology Lab:

  • Wednesday, March 21, from 3:00-4:15
    • Tomboy with Boyd Timothy
    • Next Steps for SUSE Linux with Nat Friedman
  • Thursday, March 22, from 2:30-3:45
    • Open Enterprise Server with Jason Williams
    • Sentinel 6 with Reed Harrison

So, if you will be at BrainShare, please come on down to the Tech Lab for the sessions. We would really appreciate the support.

If you won’t be at BrainShare, then you’ll get the episodes as soon as Mike the Audio Guy has the files ready to post.

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Status Messages in Desktop Search


February 26, 2007 5:29 pm



Desktop Search iconThis item may be just a minor detail, but it’s an improvement that shows to me that the SLED team are still driving in the right direction.

The Desktop Search in SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 10 is extremely helpful. However, if you have just copied a whole bunch of files locally, or maybe you just recently added an email account that contains a lot of messages, those items may not appear in your search results until the search engine has had a chance to index the new data. But that means that you just need to wait, right? No. Getting incomplete results from a search tool leads users to mistrust this important productivity feature.

In a recent Novell Open Audio interview, SLED10 usability team lead, Anna Dirks, tells how her team repeatedly found that users would not use search. Even when assigned obvious find-the-file tasks, they would go through file after file looking for a keyword! Why? Windows users don’t trust that desktop search works. So, Novell’s desktop usability team has become pretty conscientious about making sure that users find as few reasons as possible not to trust search on Linux. (Beyond Novell’s revenue objectives for SLED10, there’s some really good thinking there. The SLED10 team essentially takes an approach that says, let’s try make this feature something that gives users a better experience on Linux than on other platforms. Desktop Linux needs a lot more of that kind of thinking.)

So, to that end, another one of the interface improvements coming up in Service Pack 1: you now know when SLED 10’s Desktop Search engine (Beagle) daemon is still indexing your data: a simple visual cue and message lets the user know what’s going on so that they can search with confidence, knowing that the indexing service is still laboring away faithfully for them.

It looks like this:


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Facts and Stats about Novell Open Audio


February 21, 2007 4:20 pm



Occasionally, people ask me to share some “behind the scenes” information about Novell Open Audio. When this happens, I typically point out that the podcast is 100% audio and doesn’t actually have “scenes,” and please may I have some of whatever it is that you are taking before listening to the show. Once the look of confusion progresses through sudden understanding and finally on to irritated contempt, the person explains that they meant “details about NOA’s production process,” and would I please set aside any further attempts to be humorous. On to the point of this post…

Here are some Novell Open Audio listenership facts and fabrications:

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