Changes, plans to write more

The existence of this blog, of course, does not mean I often remember the fact.

Roughly a year ago I changed my job. I’m now the head of IT at FER. One would think that there should have been some experiences to share and one would be correct.

The man should try and write more of these things, at least, if not more regularly. And the man should somehow force himself to do it, until it becomes more natural. So here’s how he will do it. By announcing a topic and making himself look bad if he doesn’t follow up.

So, here it is. I will write about how I had to change my developer’s perspective. A developer that lived stuck in the world in which the article “Living in the Age of Software Fuckery” is very true, to a perspective of a manager that basically is a part of the crew that could use the advice given in articles such as “How to Pay Programmers Less“. At the same time having in-depth knowledge of the software, and the technical debt that is bound to be payed eventually, to make the software viable and usable in the long-term.

So there it is. After that, we’ll see…

Happy 2017 to all trespassers!

A quick review of the Prestigio MultiPad 8 Ultra Duo

After a long and painful period in which I couldn’t decide whether I really need a tablet, I bought a Prestigio Multipad 8 ultra duo. When deciding to buy a tablet, I couldn’t see clear alternatives in the market. That is, if price is a factor. And it is to me. The reason is, there are not enough quality 4:3 tablets on the market. There are the 10” ones that are OK even if they are 16:9. The good ones are either rather expensive, or cheap and heavy. In fact, I still don’t find the lighter ones light enough… maybe in a year or two?

Then there’s the Nexus 7. It’s too small, and it’s 16:9. That means I can’t read most of the Websites or PDF documents comfortably without panning and zooming. All the other 7” tablets fell out of the competition for the same reasons. The Nexus 10 … seems more than OK, except it’s not cheap enough. 🙂

So that leaves me with 8” tablets which seems to me as a sweet spot. Apple gets it, but there are actually very few 8” Android tablets. So why Prestigio? There are very few reviews of it, but none are negative. It is also very cheap. It has reasonable processing power. So here’s a quick review…

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Why “Open” matters

Be it computer science, data, government, science or NASA the importance of open is becoming pervasive. Openness, in all the various fields, implies community effort. A community of people that are passionate about something and open to contribute time and effort to experience a feeling of accomplishment. I’ve been using Linux and open tech for years now and only lately I started thinking about this. It was just something I took for granted, and the problem was, I assumed everyone else knew and understood what I did.

But many people with both technical and non technical background don’t understand or even know how important it is to resist completely closing down to a corporate mindset that is selling, having little transparency and keeping the knowledge “secure” because the competition will beat or steal from ‘us’. This closed tradition is the reason many companies do things that have already been done over and over again. Think about this and it becomes apparent that this way is extremely inefficient. It greatly slows progress and innovation.

Through cooperation and inclusion, we significantly increase our resources. Through secrecy and exclusion we have to reinvent and learn things other people may already know and may be very good at. In a nutshell, that’s all there is to openness. Accept other people’s gift of knowledge and work so we don’t repeat the same mistakes and work many times.

When “Open” has no alternative

So, does this mean I think closed stuff is bad? Like Microsoft or Apple? Not really. Closed also works and in some cases even better. There’s nothing that is as shiny or can be made to look as shiny as apple products. Also, they work for what they’re built for. And really well it seems. But there are things where open simply has no alternative. Science, education and government. These are the main areas where we should have no alternatives to openness.

These are also activities that push the world forward, activities that unify and develop communities and can achieve real long lasting progress! When you think of any of these, the first thing that comest to mind actually are communities – scientists, educators and students, countries – people connected in achieving common goals. I don’t think I know a person that would say they love the fact that everything is a product for the consuming masses. And some things don’t have to be. We who understand there are viable alternatives are bound to promote them and educate others until mainstream is the right stream. Croatia seems to be starting on that way, and I hope to get a chance to contribute and witness true success!

I am really trying to blog…

… I am trying in my mind that is. I haven’t been tending to this blog for a long time. And it has been regularly bugging me. Almost every day my thoughts wander off to the desolate place that is this blog. A few of these posts I wrote in 15-30 minutes time, which shows the lack of effort and thought I put into them, and surely, lack of quality. Hopefully, I will discover ways to remedy that.

Nokia – a headless beast

Nokia 6650 foldIt really makes me sad to see Nokia do what it does best for years … shoot itself in the foot, and then smile and brag about it. I have had a few Nokia phones over the years, and it’s always been the same. Nokia creates a great and quality device, Nokia screws up – with either software or far too less memory or processing power that clouds all the other ways in which the device shines. And that’s how they got where they are, and that’s how they’re pushing the stone down the hill still…

I’m talking about the new Nokia – Microsoft partnership. It makes no sense to me. What I always expected, if Nokia was to jump the “sinking” Symbian ship, was that Nokia would start building Android devices. It would make much more sense. Android is a lot more like Symbian than WinPho. Nokia could create its own UI on top of it, and offer their own services through their Android devices, but even others! For example, give their excellent Nokia maps for free with Nokia devices just like they do now, but sell it to other Android users. And the obvious part is – Symbian is, even now, in essence open source in the same way, just like Android is. Development lead and done by a company, source shared with the world. It’s not that selling WinPho devices is bad, but it’s what every other device manufacturer does. Planning to relatively quickly replace most of your own smartphones in the market with new models and your own platform with a third-party one, and while you’re still the market leader… I’m.. stunned.

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Into the wild

The title of this post might remind someone of the movie “Into the wild”. It is purposely so because like Christopher, who largely unprepared ventured into Alaskan wilderness, I’m releasing this, my first blog post into the wild without having any experience in blogging, writing or reading blogs for that matter. I often thought about starting a blog, but never did for a few reasons. It seemed that vanity or exhibitionism was something that drove all those blog writers. Or failed journalist ambitions. Lately, I’ve come to realize that this is a good way to write down one’s thoughts and ideas, and in the same way share them. It might also improve my english, the way that I express myself in writing. And eventually, if you get someone to read your writings, there’s a chance she’ll comment and some constructive criticism/conversation might follow. But also, since most of the day I spend writing code or doing some boring IT chores, I feel this creative writing actually makes me feel good. Like I’m addressing people. Even if I’m going to write about technology… And it’s not like emailing a friend or writing business emails. It just feels different and creative..

To wrap it up, I see this as some sort of a leap into the wild. And as is with all experiences in life, I expect this one to influence me – in a good way, I hope.