Monday, September 29, 2008

Orchestral Backing

The other day my wife and I went to see Che Fu perform with the Wellington Symphony Orchestra. It was an exciting combination of funk, hip hop and classic, with violins, trombones, cymbals, electric guitar, and scratchy rapping records. My all time favourite Che Fu song is Fade Away, and I got goose bumps listening to it. What a great night.

Over the days that followed, I started to think of other 'pop' songs that have classical backing. I didn't think that there was that many, but here are a couple I've thought of:
The Veronicas - Untouched (argh)
The Verve - Bittersweet Symphony (forever great)

I'd like to build a playlist, so would really like to hear of any that you know about.


Silver Fox

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Why would a business want S+S?

This morning I presented at Microsoft Tech·Ed on the topic of S+S. The session went well, with some good audience interaction, and I think there were a number of people that hadn't understood the significance of S+S, until seeing it in action in the Xero world.

S+S presents some challenges for traditional developers and IT/Systems people, because it involves taking what is already familiar (being installed desktop software), and making this interact with online service. In my opinion, S+S extends the power that exists with having centralised data (on and via the web), with the mature and established applications. I also believe that rather than this be a transitional process (to bring everyone on to the web), it is a collaborative process, allowing customers to make the choices about what they want.

In particular, Xero has a developer interface that enables all types of software (Online, Desktop, Mobile & Enterprise) to securely access information instantaneously. Interestingly, one of the questions asked at my presentation was "Why would a business want this?" I believe I was able to answer it, but would like to know your thoughts.


Silver Fox

Monday, September 1, 2008

Microsoft Tech·Ed 2008

Here I am (again) at Microsoft Tech·Ed 2008. This is the sixth Tech·Ed for me, and the first as a Xero employee, the previous five while I was with MYOB. It is also the first for me to appear as a speaker, which is quite exciting, and a wonderful opportunity. My session is on the topic of S+S which, contrary to popular belief, is not about Scones + Strawberry jam, but actually Software + Services.

Interestingly, S+S was a big part of the keynote address given by Amit Mital, however apart from my session, there are only two other sessions out of 139 that explicitly address S+S, both of which are in the Architecture track.

Nevertheless, this doesn't in any way devalue the content that is being offered at Tech·Ed 2008. Today I attended sessions by Steve Riley and Scott Hanselman, two entertaining and intelligent speakers. Rick Anderson's session on Mobile devices gave just enough info to capture my interest, and encourage me to go to Dr Neils session on Windows Mobile Development, although I already knew everything that was shown at that session.

Tomorrow I am looking forward to 21st Century networking (Steve Riley), Web futures (various speakers), IE8 (Matt Heller), and of course, the infamous TechFest. Unfortunately, with my session being 9am on Wednesday morning, it will likely be an early night for me.

If you're at Tech·Ed this year, let me know - perhaps we can catch up for a coffee at the Ace stand.