Loosely Connected

Mike Manos has joined Nokia as VP of Service Operations and has been tasked to build the cloud infrastructure for our Ovi services. The New York Times calls him a “data-center celebrity” and reading his blog certainly shows the knowledge and experience he brings to the table. His initial post gives a hint of his methodology which I really like.

I recently spent a good part of a weekend putting together deck furniture for my home.   It was good quality stuff, it had the required parts and hardware and not unlike other do-it-yourself furniture it had directions that left a lot to be desired. In many ways its like IT Infrastructure or running any IT shop.   You have all the tools, you have all the raw components, but how you put it all together is where the real magic happens, and the directions are usually just as vague on how to do it.

One of the common themes across all steps of the deck furniture pieces was a common refrain, ‘Do Not Tighten Bolts”.   The purpose was to get all of the components together, even if a bit loose, to ensure you had the right shape, all components were in the right place, and then and only then do you tighten the bolts.

If you really want to know the secret to putting together solutions at scale, remember the “Do Not Tighten Bolts” methodology.   Assemble to raw components, ensure you have the right shape and that all components are in the right place, and then “Tighten it down.”   This can be and is an iterative process.   Keep working to get that right shape.  Keep working to find the right component configuration.  Tighten bolts.    As I built my first deck chair, there was significant amounts of trial and error.  The second deck chair however was seamless, even with the same cruddy directions.   Once you learn to ‘Not Tighten’ technique the assembly process is quick and provides you with great learnings.

– from Do Not Tighten Bolts

Welcome Mike! I look forward to working with you.

Current Events

The iPad is a Digital Coffee Table Book

After looking at the video below, which shows off the signature Apple User Interface, it’s very clear to me what Apple is doing here. The iPad is not a computer, it’s not a replacement for your netbook, notebook, or desktop. The iPad is a $500 entry into book publisher’s most lucrative category, the coffee table book.

Pay particular attention to the UI gestures that drive the photo album app. Forget those old photo albums you have lying around. We’ve all gone digital anyway and it was always awkward to hand a visiting relative a laptop to look at photos of their grand-kids. Projecting them onto the TV, despite the good intentions, always felt like the 21st century equivalent of the dreaded carousel projector slideshows that neighbors used to inflict on each other to back in the Sixties.

Early media tech media coverage panned it and I don’t blame them, the iPad is no replacement for your computer. This device, as the iPod before it, was not designed for the techie. The iPad is not a computer, it is an animated book, an upgrade to the static kind. The iPad is going after the coffee table, photo album, scrapbooking markets all rolled into one. It’s appeal is to those that like to curate and display. It’s a glass showcase for your memories which are, more often than not these days, in digital format.

And it plays games.

– video from