re. Installing Mono on SuSE Linux with Red Carpet

I was hunting around for some information on Mono dependancies when I found this article by Kevin Shockey:

Installing Mono on SuSE Linux with Red Carpet

Interesting – but one subtle flaw. The ZLM client components – also known as Red Carpet – are available online and they are open source – source hosted at

I mailed Kevin:


I’ve just read your article from the end of last year – – and I thought it was particularly interesting.

One thing to note – did you know that the ZENworks Linux Management client components – also known as Red Carpet – are 100% open source and available without downloading ZENworks Linux Management?

We have the RPMs for many platforms at – certainly fast and easy.

Also we have the public Red Carpet server which provides community updates – including those for Mono.

Finally we have another open source project – Open Carpet – which lets developers host their updates to be consumed by the Red Carpet/ZLM client components –

Let me know if I can be of any further help – and please feel free to reference this data in the future.



Let’s see if this gets a response. I’m keen to evangelise the benefits of OpenCarpet for developers and hacker teams.

BrainShare – keynotes and breakout sessions

Well – as usual it’s the week before Novell BrainShare and it’s hectic.

As I write I am in the Novell offices in our Product Management War Room building servers, clients and demos for the two ZENworks keynotes.

I’m also presenting three breakout sessions:

IO115 ZENworks Overview and Futures
TUT215 Managing Novell Linux Desktop with ZENworks Linux Management
TUT316 Advanced ZENworks Linux Management deployment and best practices

Information on these sessions is on the BrainShare breakout session site

Birdman redux

No sooner have I posted on ZENworks 7 Linux Management – when a slew of press comes out:

Novell Linux Strategy In Full Bloom

Novell CEBIT announcements are loud and clear

Novell debuts ZENworks for Linux

Novell Ramps Up its Linux Push,1759,1775498,00.asp

Novell Upgrades Zenworks Linux Management Software,1759,1775525,00.asp

This also got on Slashdot:

Lorem Ipsum

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Pellentesque elit nibh, ultricies ac, congue ut, commodo quis, magna. Maecenas malesuada nibh in arcu. Maecenas congue, ipsum a egestas iaculis, leo mauris pharetra dolor, eget interdum arcu lorem quis ipsum. Praesent pellentesque nunc eu ante. Integer risus velit, imperdiet quis, rutrum id, consequat non, quam. Morbi non eros a nunc sodales viverra. Praesent at nulla eu nibh accumsan sodales. Donec fermentum. In rutrum tellus quis nibh pretium porta. Sed in turpis nec wisi condimentum fermentum.

Pig latin, often used to fill space on documents going into layout. Made famous in Adobe PageMaker in the late 80s.

Now available online – including an online Lorem Ipsum generator.. Now that’s useful 🙂


Tim Bray wrote an excellent article on blogging:

Ten Reasons Why Blogging is Good For Your Career

  1. You have to get noticed to get promoted.

  2. You have to get noticed to get hired.

  3. It really impresses people when you say “Oh, I’ve written about that, just google for XXX and I’m on the top page” or “Oh, just google my name.”

  4. No matter how great you are, your career depends on communicating. The way to get better at anything, including communication, is by practicing. Blogging is good practice.

  5. Bloggers are better-informed than non-bloggers. Knowing more is a career advantage.

  6. Knowing more also means you’re more likely to hear about interesting jobs coming open.

  7. Networking is good for your career. Blogging is a good way to meet people.

  8. If you’re an engineer, blogging puts you in intimate contact with a worse-is-better 80/20 success story. Understanding this mode of technology adoption can only help you.

  9. If you’re in marketing, you’ll need to understand how its rules are changing as a result of the current whirlwind, which nobody does, but bloggers are at least somewhat less baffled.

  10. It’s a lot harder to fire someone who has a public voice, because it will be noticed.

As a people manager I’m not too happy with #2 and #6 – but every point is spot on. As Product Managers we are inherently Marketers too.

Technologists and blogging

Just a placeholder for now. I’ll add more links as I untangle them from my memory.

I’ve been looking in detail at how technology companies use blogs – generally they fall into three clear categories:

  • disruptive marketing
  • technical deep-dive
  • actually interesting

Tim Bray from Sun has a great discussion on how Sun built a policy on blogging and sharing information semi-informally with the public. Novell’s own Nat Friedman also blogs prolifically.

Microsoft have been pushing their employees to blog for a couple of years. The full list is here. Good ones to read are from either marketing or program management

Reverend Ted should deserve a mention. If only for the flame-wars he seems to create.

“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.