“Project Birdman”

I’ve been working with the Novell Ximian engineering team in Cambridge, MA for about 18 months now – working to evolve Red Carpet Enterprise through to ZENworks Linux Management.

The ‘next’ version of ZENworks Linux Management has been planned and under development for about a year – it’s codename was “Project Birdman“.. the name was chosen by the Ximian team 🙂

Novell have just made an announcement at CeBIT that we will be releasing this product as ZENworks 7 Linux Management – and that this will be available in mid 2005.

My colleagues in Product Marketing have made a sweet ‘Sneak Peek’ website with information.

After BrainShare I’ll post more on this.


Aberfeldy – found this band a few months ago just poking around looking for new music.

Thoughtful, guitar-based and Scottish. A bit like older Belle and Sebastian.


I joined LinkedIn late in the game – at the tail-end of 2004. It’s great for re-finding old colleagues and friends; it’s also pretty good for finding potential candidates for open positions.

I’ve tried to keep within the spirit of these ‘social viral networks’ – networking only with people I know well! Here’s a snippet from LinkedIn:

“Who to Invite?”

When you invite a friend or colleague, be sure they would make a good connection for you.

Only invite those you know well
You may be asked to tell one of your trusted friends more about the person you invite. And they may have to do the same for you.
Only invite those you trust
Sometimes you’ll forward a request (either yours, or from a friend) through them. Be sure you trust them to represent you, and to be careful with a potentially serious request.
Only invite those you want to forward things to you
Your connections will forward you requests from other members. Be sure the people you invite know you well enough to send you only things you are interested in.

Even with this recommendation – I get pinged about ten times a week with people wanting to build the ‘biggest network’. I’ve even been sent a whitepaper by one guy justifying why this is ‘a good thing’.

My own take – power networking skews the links and the network itself; with a handful of large hub members you are indirectly connected to many many thousands of people you do not know. How can this help directly with your own requirements?

The only winners seem to be recruiters.

On blogging

It’s a strange thing blogging. I’ve had “content” online for years; just nothing that could be called a regularly updated blog 🙂

At long last it’s time to stop sitting on my hands – I’ve been thinking hard about these three aspects:

Why? I’ve been sharing my thoughts electronically in a work setting for about five years; by email and on internal web sites and discussion lists. I’ve actually (and still do) hosted servers that facilitate that discussion. The biggest question I’ve always had is how to distil those thoughts and post them more publicly without revealing confidential information. I’ve been lurking and reading some of my peers blogs as well as some of those from competitors to help understand the acceptable limits.

What? or to be more accurate – it’s all about the signal to noise ratio. Again – there are lots of blogs from technologists that are just dull – the challenge for anyone publishing (online or in print) is to keep content relevant and fresh without getting mired in a world of tedium and cliche.

Where? I host my own servers – mail and web – for my own personal email and web site. I’m not naive enough to think I’ll be getting anything more than a couple of hits on this data – so the bandwidth isn’t the issue. What’s more important to me is the actual ease of use of the tools to generate the blog. Without starting the whole religious war – yes there are very very strong open source bog frameworks out there; put it simply I’m just too lazy (or too busy) to get the thing deployed, tweaked, secured and customised for my world.. that’s why I’m posting here.

I’ll see what I should bring across from previous posts – I did have some content on the Ximian blogs; as well as other internal pieces. Hopefully with editing and a sharp blue pencil I’ll post things that are interesting.