Friday, December 30, 2011

Wrapping up the year in us

So 2011 was one of our more interesting years, as readers of this space may have noted. It started on a sad note with the passing of Jane's father, right after we had visited them for the holidays. He had had health issues for a number of years but it was still never something you expect to have happen, and he was the first of David's grandparents to be lost. Hopefully he won't lose any more for quite some time.

The remainder of the winter was lost in the record-breaking snows, with snow days to boot. I got to travel to NYC with David in April, while Jane went to visit her mother. June marked our first family trip of a week or more in almost two years. Between family issues and work we hadn't done that since July of 2009 when we went to Cape May.

Then, we came back and things really got busy. I made the fateful decision to run for office - the story of and results from have been well-documented here and I won't rehash it all. But from early July until November, that consumed us here. I worked on campaign activities (and my day job) while Jane and David went to Cape May at the end of July. Jane did activities for me when I went away Columbus Day weekend. It was pretty much at the center of everything.

While that all happened, David's school moved for a two-year stretch as he graduated to Grade 4. My business was able to continue improving our results from the horrible 2009, and we began the process of spinning off our database and CRM efforts into a separate company (I'll still have a hand in it but not daily). I lost an employee in mid-November who was very good, and I think he had a great opportunity. But the way they forced him to leave with only the minimum notice - well, there's a certain company that makes home music systems that I won't be using or recommending. Their name starts with "S" and they have an iOS app to control their stuff. I hope he does great there, though - he's a good guy.

Outside of Washington, DC, the world I live in is a better place than it was a year ago. That helps. The year-end has been busy (I was shorthanded all week), but good for us. I worked a very solid 4 days. Monday? We got another cat. I think it'll work out.

My plan for the last day of the year is to work out in the morning, veg all I can during the day, and go out to supper early. Might be in bed before the ball drop. Got a really busy 2012 to look forward to!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

So what's in the cards for 2012?

Well, I'll talk about the personal year in another day or so. This is about technology. Yeah, I know it's not thrilling, but I have a pretty good track record of predictions here - way better than most of those who call themselves pundits. Then again, maybe it's because I do this for a living. Go figure.

First - Apple will introduce an iPad 3 sometime in the February-March timeframe. Done deal. This year's model with have their "A6" processor and it'll be quad-core. Graphics will be via a 2048*1536 "Retina Display" for the iPad. It'll be the same size as the iPad 2, and get about the same battery life. RAM may go up to 1GB, but I'm not so sure about it. Storage will increase to a maximum of 128GB, but the low-end model may or may not stay at 16GB. I kind of thing they'll go to 32GB.

And the iPad 3 will still dominate the tablet ecosystem, with pundits saying Android will take over any day now.

Second - Amazon will sell the Kindle Fire well enough to keep it on the market. After a minor hardware revision mid-year (addressing things like volume buttons) it'll be clear that the Fire crushes the tablet market from below the way the iPad does in the mainstream. At least one second-tier vendor will abandon the market entirely.

Third - RIM won't finish the year as an independent company. They will either collapse and be broken up Nortel-style, or be sold as a server and software company. Their handset market will vanish. That sign has already started to appear.

Fourth - Apple will have an "iPhone 5" this year, but only if an LTE chipset of adequate power usage can be gotten. Right now I'm not sure. When the LTE iPhone does ship, it will have a form factor change, though I doubt a radical one.

If the chipset isn't there, we might see the iPhone 4S last through all of 2012.

Fifth - Android apps will start to sell better, but iOS will remain the developer platform of choice, and the sales will continue to reflect that. But some developers will be able to make a living catering to Android first, which hasn't been the case to date.

Sixth - Although I'm not really making many desktop predictions, I'll make two here: Windows 8 will ship late in the year, and be decent. It won't be more than a blip in the numbers until 2013, and won't ever make much of an impact in the tablet market. Also, Apple will have an update to the Mac Pro in 2012. That will be the swan song for the platform. Any redesign will be shrunken to a more mini tower form factor, and cheaper to manufacture. Don't expect that until 2013, either. But I wouldn't be surprised to be wrong about the Mac Pro in any way at all.

That gets us through most of the year. I didn't make any real predictions in desktop/server areas because all the action is mobile nowadays - not a lot of change will happen there, and not many new developments. Chipzilla will have a new desktop/laptop chipset platform shipping in the spring, everyone will revise their systems to use it. Linux still won't be on any desktops. Done deal.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Why I use Kerio Connect instead of MS Exchange

A week ago, my server died. I raced up to the office, grabbed a spare MacBook Pro I was about to give to my new employee (so he had to wait a little bit, oh well), and in about an hour I'd transferred the whole system over to the laptop and had it all running again. Try that with Exchange!

Then this past Sunday, armed with a rebuilt server i was back up there again and transferred it all back up. Not a message was lost.