e-TECH 2.0

Beginning the Journey

The New Stuff

An unhappy Office Live customer by ZDNet's Richard MacManus — Recently a customer of Microsoft Office Live contacted me with some concerns. Tim MacKay of Medical Technology Associates wrote of his Office Live experiences: "Eight weeks ago I received my beta invitation. At that time I initiated my domain transfer to MS Live. Now, eight weeks later my […]

Hey! They don't call it the 'Bleeding Edge' for nothing! In Learning 2.0 and other directives with integrating technology with academic course offerings it can be tempting to jump in and make drastic changes to your existing systems or business rules. As an early-adopter, I am use to these little set-backs. Consider my first attempt at creating my own blog server on my home system. I knew that periodically my internet provider would change my IP address from time to time. Hence the word 'Dynamic IP's'. But I really did not thing this would be a problem, until my IP actually changed.

It seems that when setting up the WordPress system I did not direct sites 'relatively' and did an absolute model. Many of you may not understand this, but what it basically means is that I inadvertently set up my WordPress system on the IP address I had at the time, so when my IP changed, my system could not find any of the stuff that I had put into it. Lets just say, I gave WordPress a bad map to all my vital information. So, when the map changed, WordPress 'blew-up'.

Now because of this I made an executive decision to host my blogs with WordPress until such a time that I can afford a commercial server from which to start hosting my blog again. Just like the guy with his Microsoft Live experience, bad things can, and often do, when you are on the 'bleeding edge' of technology. But here is the problem with new technologies.

  1. In order for new technologies to be adequately tested there must be a REAL LIVE work in progress. This is called a 'production model'. Its where a company decides a technology has enough merit to make a full scale decision to implement it into their current system. This can be extremely scary but it really has to be done. Yes, yes, we can run test, after test, after test, but in all due honesty we really don't know how the production model is going to perform until is used in a live systems, with real users, and real internet connections. Sure, that new 'Meeting' software looks great, but when they tell you 'Its designed for dial-up', well, maybe it is, and maybe it isn't. You really won't know until you test it with real students, real instructurs, in a real course.
  2. In order for business to progress, and get better. In order for classes, and teacher/student association improve technologically, you need new STABLE software offerings. But to revisit #1 you can't have stable offerings unless the offerings have been tested. So it turns into a kind of 'chicken-before-the-egg' sort of situation.

Now, I empathize with Tim Mackay, and I even understand to some degree his situation, however it's these kinds experiences that are required. Now, in addition to this, what the industry needs is understanding and empathetic knowldege workers. It's this that the technology field tends to be a little, (how shall we say,,,lacking?) not only should the appropriate representatives be understanding, but they should also be knowledgeable, which is what appears to be happening on the MS LIVE project. Not only are the people responsible ignorant of his problem, but they are trying to shirk all responsiblility. This is typical however, one hand pointing at the other. But, when you make a bold move like this, you can bet there will indeed be hiccups along the way.

So, what is the point here? Well, I'm glad you asked. The point is, "Don't Worry Be Happy!". Hiccups and ultimate disasters are inevitable in the Technological world, so we just grin, and try to deal with them the best we can. Of course combine this with moral responsibility, empathy, and more patience than Job, and you will be in great shape!

Happy testing!

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April 25, 2006 Posted by | Main | Leave a comment