Smart companies will focus on improving processes during slowdown

Software Development Predictions For 2009

McAllister writes, adding that smart companies will realize that ‘process automation is one of the best ways to reduce costs in any business,’ making 2009 the ideal time to ‘revisit old software schemes that got shelved back when staffing budgets w
ere flush.'”

Focusing inward, and paying heavy attention to expenditures, is the right move most of the time, and especially during a pervasive slump. Red Hat, e.g., posted solid Q3 ’08 results based on growing interest in their open source-based infrastructure. Their guidance for Q4 is strong, as well, based on growing customer interest.

Research and writing tools

“Clipping” from sites as you read them – to bolster a point, riff on the news, or to save ideas for later exploration – is incredibly helpful. Bookmarking pages is great; noting the specific parts of the page that caught your interest in the first place is even better.

There are a good number of tools from the basic to the very slick. Microsoft just got back into the clipping game in a big way with Thumbtack. ReadWriteWeb looks at it and some competitors:

Earlier this week, we looked at Qitera, which has a feature set that is quite similar to Thumbtack’s, but while Thumbtack has a more interesting user interface, the actual bookmarking and information retrieval through Qitera is far superior to Microsoft’s product. Thumbtack also lacks any of the social bookmarking aspects that make Twine, Delicious, or Qitera interesting. Not everybody, of course, is interested in sharing bookmarks, and for those users, Thumbtack is definitely worth trying, though currently, we would recommend Qitera, Delicious, or Ma.gnolia, or the Google Notebook, over Thumbtack.

I’ve used Snipd, Clipmarks, PressThis, Sazell as well. I’m writing this post via Deepest Sender which has good clipping / research capabilities, too.

All of them are handy. We’re working on improving the feature set we use most.

thumbtack_screenshot.jpg

The Next Netbooks

From TechCrunch:

Small screens, small keyboards and underpowered hardware make for a less than stellar Netbook user experience

users will download Jolicloud to their Netbooks and then install it. Whatever operating system and software is on the computer will be wiped off, and replaced with a stripped down Linux operating system and custom browser.

[email protected] – now Trixbox – does this and it’s a great way to experience the product when you’ve got a machine you can wipe clean. Are netbook folks going to do that? What’s their recourse if they decide to go back?

Asus Eee 4G and HP Jornada 620LX
Creative Commons License photo credit: geognerd
Netbooks are so different from normal laptops and desktops that they need their own tailored operating system. Until now that appeared to be Windows XP, which is the OS of choice for Netbook manufacturers.

Between GNU, Linux, the BSDs and a host of supporting tools, it’s hard to imagine why you’d tailor a specialized OS atop something you couldn’t completely get to, understand, update. And there, too, it’s great but tough to go against Apple’s phone running OS X. There’s freedom to build and then building excellence.  They’re not at all mutually exclusive. It can be tough to keep it going beyond scratching an itch, but overnight success generally takes awhile and the money to do it. It seems mobile platforms that have worked have had a tight coupling with Another Machine with easier access, additional apps, more juice. Is a part of Netbooks’ Being hooking into something else and syncing? What gets synced? (docs, photos, drawings?)

With Apple’s phone and OS, you’re connected almost always (sans where AT&T’s shitty network bites you … but they’re working on it with available WiFi), and still you hook up to your laptop or workstation and do a lot more. Palms, the Audrey, the ipod, and iphone – Netbook?