Searching for the Moon

Shannon Clark's rambles and conversations on food, geeks, San Francisco and occasionally economics

Archive for October, 2002


Posted by shannonclark on October 24, 2002

Press Release

My grandfather, the rocket scientist was named a “Pioneer of National Reconnaissance” – pretty cool.

He was also one of the earliest employees of Rand Corporation. Much of what he did while working for Aerospace Corporation he still cannot talk about – gotta love the way that this press release simply calls programs “Program A”; “Program B” etc – still somewhat secrettive all these years later.


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Posted by shannonclark on October 22, 2002

Welcome to mediabistro: career and community for media professionals

Okay, a many post day. This is a REALLY cool site… could be adictive I suspect.

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Posted by shannonclark on October 22, 2002

My million-dollar idea

with all the standard disclaimers in effect…

Today, while pondering the future of technology (seriously – I’m writing at least one article on it) I had an idea. One that, if I found all the right partners, could be a very cool project, product, and business niche. It even is in somewhat keeping with many different current trends, could have real business (and personal) value, and appears at least on first though very technically doable.

Here is the “elevator pitch” – “An iPod meets a Palm, but can boot a PC”

A little bit more, and then I must go and think about this further – connected to a PC this device would act as a portable, large, harddrive (bootable), the PC system and hardware would be fully functionall but the user could be running in their own personal environment, with their own software, and files. All this with probably biometric security on the device itself.

Disconnected the device could function as “just” an iPod like MP3 player, might also have cell phone capabilities, could have wireless access capabilities.

It could also function as a PDA – probably running a DIFFERENT OS than when in a “connected” mode – different in that the form and functionality set of a handheld is very different than when connected to a full desktop system (graphics capabilities, processing power, memory, and perhaps most importantly power.

The data on the device would be split – most on the hard drive, but some in memory as in a typical PDA (though care should be taken to provide for some automated backup to avoid power drainage resets and data loss.

The business value of such a system is that potentially at least it could allow for the long dreamt vision of “network” PCs to function – the key point being that rather than assume that netowk access is available to get all required systems from the network, and requiring that the local machine be specially configured (either hardwar or via a software such as terminal services) this model suggests that given a large, highly portable harddrive, capable of being connected by a fast and standard connection protocal (firewire, USB2 etc) just boot off that device, have an OS capable of getting the functionality of the local devices in a simple and automated manner, and then perhaps also connect to specific network resources – but in the same manner than typical desktop user does that – as needed.

This model also has the advantage of potentiallly allowing that even older machines be used in this new regime – as older machines would still usually have at least a USB connector – they might be more limited in speed than nerwer systems with faster data connections – but perhaps not by much.

There might be some BIOS issues with some older machines as well (perhaps a floppy boot disk could be carried is this is a common problem.

How is this for a cool scenario of the future – for a very minimal fee, you walk into a Kinkos ANYWHERE in the world, plug in this device, and in seconds are working with your files, using YOUR copy of specialized software, but can quickly print to Kinko’s printers, use the PC at Kinko’s for its graphics card, keybord and mouse, and perhaps try out some of the specialized software that Kinko’s has installed on their system (and perhaps if you like it, buy a copy right then and there – but that is another discussion for another day).

For more, contact me privately – especially if you are an investor or partner interested in working on this or other ideas.

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Posted by shannonclark on October 22, 2002

DaveNet : The Micro Channel Architecture

Interesting – there are entire worlds out there that I am still not fully aware of… (i.e. this is the first article by Dave that I have read… but clearly he has been writing on the web since 1997 and is fairly well known (though I would argue that my friend Mary Anne’s online journal is at least 3 or 4 years older… I remember when she created her first website.

Anyway interesting article and very apropos of the article that I have been working on.

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Posted by shannonclark on October 21, 2002

On the revamping of websites

or how do you ever get this right?

This afternoon we started the process of rewriting our corporate website. Our goal being to more clearly communicate all of what JigZaw does. For a first step we have changed the look and feel to be more easily read and printed. We also updated such sections as our Jobs pages and the like to but accurate and up-to-date.

Now comes the hard parts – how to describe and summarize all that we offer and do it in an action generating manner.

JigZaw is a software company. We are a consulting firm (with extensive ties to other partner consulting firms offering everything up to and including temporary CIO placements, overall technology strategy, very high level eCommerce experience, Six Sigma and Balanced Scorecard consulting etc). We are a contract development shop offering skilled developers in most languages and platforms (with the ability to partner with firms to organize teams of nearly any size and of nearly any skill sets). Internally we have very deep web experience, very solid PHP developers, AI experts (myself), C/C++ developers, VB experts etc. We have Linux, Sun, Mac, and Windows experience.

The list goes on, basically we have very skilled staff on hand, and can add to that staff quickly based on project need.

Furthermore, we now have a backlog of already written software and software components which we would very much like to license and/or sell (including the possiblity of including the sourcecode). This software ranges from a collection of web/portal framework components (such as smart forms, innovative user interfaces, user login modules, user prefences system, portal framework and navigation system, a series of useful portlets) to a set of serious AI/Information Extraction systems and applications.

Our software we would like to market to two primary audiances. First, clients as a means of jumpstarting projects we do for them (i.e. rather than have us rewrite it, use our existing modules as the basis for work we do for them). Second, other software firms (and/or other development shops) either as code for their clients, or as components of solutions they are developing. Especially in the case of our AI/Information extraction technologies it is ideally suited for being a component of a large solution – one that is far cheaper to licence from us than to invest the many man years it would take to write and, and the skill level it would take to understand the underlying techniques and research (what we have today in working form is the result of nearly 2 years of research and many many years of development time and effort).

So, your comments and feedback as readers of this journal are much appreciated.


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Posted by shannonclark on October 21, 2002

Morphism, 21 October 2002

Very cool entry by M’ris talking about beliefs and persuasion – I fall in the “God doesn’t exist” camp of things, but I must say that her take on Christianity is far more palatable for me than most – i.e. emphasize the positives, don’t make assumptions about who you are speaking to, and be able to express your beliefs in a positive manner.

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Posted by shannonclark on October 18, 2002

Ecademy – The E-Business Network – Shannon Clark

Well trying out a new networking website – looks good, strong European flavor, and some good points (and some bad ones). Looks useful but also a bit ocnfusing – lots of links drifting off to who knows where…

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Posted by shannonclark on October 17, 2002


Cool site. I am of mixed minds about it, but it is an interesting concept.

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Posted by shannonclark on October 16, 2002

On the writing of the future

or how I may be writing something rather long…

You hear it First. (to steal a tag line…)

I have decided to sit down and write up my thoughts, observations, predictions, and suggestions into what may turn out to be a rather long article. Not certain quite yet what I will do with this, where I will share it, or how I will use it. Nor am I certain yet what it will and will not cover, but in general I plan on touching on the following topics:

1. Software – present and future – and my observations, suggestions, and thoughts about how software both packaged and custom will be changing over both the short term (next 18mths) and long term.

2. Technology bussiness – building in part on my discussion and observations on Slashdot, I plan on discussing how I feel the landscape for technology businesses is changing, and how a technology startup might need to react to this.

3. To be a “Futurist” for a while and take a cue from my reading and personal observations about what the impact of the current youth generation will have on business in a few short years – and how this may be a very different impact that that of my generation. Also noting that this impact will be very different than the impact most likely expected by current business people.

4. Some thoughts and observations about starting businesses, networking, software development etc.

This list is not precise, I will likely scrap it in the final product for something entirely different. I plan on writing not an academic paper, but something that would be similar in language and tone to that published in a top notch business magazine (think a long article in Forbes or Business 2.0, i.e. serious but not academic). I plan on illustrating my point with many specific examples of both technology and companies – some good and some bad.

Prior to doing anything with it I plan on sharing it with a small network of friends and contacts – one question I will be asking of all of them is what they think I should do next with it.

I have found myself over the past few years often in the role of “analyst on call” for my friends and business contacts – I am often called or emailed with a question. Often about “how could I do …” or “what do you think about XYZ?” I have been told that my analysis is usually of great interest – often hitting on the key points very quickly.

In fact, one business contact told me that my couple of page email which I had written very quickly as an initial reaction to a particular company and technology was exactly what they had just spent two months, and a team of people, to conclude.

Increasingly I want my business to be about helping people solve problems – I am very good at research, analysis, and thinking – my management abilities to organizing a team of people and get something accomplished are quite good, and my writing skills are not terrible (though someone recently on Slashdot did say they were “too slick”).

So who knows where this will lead – if nothing else it will be an interesting article, hopefully of the type that I would, myself, want to read – and once written and made avaialble perhaps it will remind someone somewhere about me and my skills and lead to some paying work…

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Posted by shannonclark on October 14, 2002 Lists Forum

Okay, sometimes I think that Forbes is perhaps one of the coolest magazines out there. Here is a discussion board they created for this article – the cool part being that the editors are posting comments and feedback clearly showing that they are reading reader’s suggestions (which are quite amusing, see in particular the last few posts…)

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