Sunday, July 24, 2005


In my previous post about IBM, I used the words 'commodity' a number of times. What does that mean? Something is a commodity when it's transparent, i.e. you don't care where its from... all you care about is how much it cost and what you get for that cost. For example, electricity and petrol is a commodity. You get it at 5c per kwh or $2 per litre. You don't care whether its from Con Ed, Energex, Shell or BP.

In US, telecom is also a commmodity, which unfortunately isn't in Australia. But all that will soon change. It begins with privatization of Telstra. Australia missed out on the tech boom in the 90's because telecom wan't a commodity. Internet cost was and still is too high. US produced companies such as Amazon, eBay, Yahoo, Google and other deads during the tech boom. Australia produced nothing. Its because internet's so expensive that the little people in their garage couldn't afford to tinker with it.

And just like that, soon global technologies will also consolidate. It's already started. IBM shred the propriety PC/Laptop. Apple moved to Intel architecture. Sun making Solaris open source to fight Linux. Oracle buying up Peoplesoft and others to move into the ERP space. Microsoft developing CRM software (with rumors of trying to buy Siebel).

Microsoft is also adopting Sun's prophecy that the "Network is the Computer". By 2010, Microsoft Office will soon be hosted where you'll pay a subscription to use it instead of having it installed on your PC. Microsoft also bought Citrix. Already, SAP, Peoplesoft 8 and Seibel are internet based where users use the apps through web browser. Soon office workers will only need a terminal instead of a whole PC to get their work done. Its cheaper and easier to maintain from an IT point of view.

With network based operations, you need high performance servers, which is where grid technology comes in. Oracle and SUN already are releasing products with Grid enabled. Next version of windows slated to be released in mid 2006, named Windows Vista is also Grid enabled. With grid technology, you need non-properiety hardware where hardware can be added when needed. Dell and hp is doing that. IBM will die if it doesn't change its spots.

A last word for thought. Simplicity changes the world. Convenience is a force multiplier.


Today, I had an interesting discussion. Where does technology stand today and whats in the future?

The talk started with IBM and at some point I simply blurted out, "IBM is going down". And here's why. During and after the tech boom, IBM entered into the consulting market, beefing up by aquiring the consulting arm of PwC and then going head to head with the likes of Accenture.

But now, its shreeding its fat. First came the mass lay off in its engineering division followed by the IBM Global Service. Few months back, it sold its PC/Laptop to Lenovo. Now, IBM's main source of revenue is Consulting, Lotus, Application Hosting (onDemand), Middleware and Server.

IBM Global Serivce is already losing the race. The fundamental problem here is IGS's solution to every problem is IBM. With cheap consulting fee, IBM make their customers implement all IBM propriety hardware and solutions, after which they charge an arm and leg for hardware/software/upgrades.

Few years back, every page on eBay displayed an IBM logo saying eBay runs on IBM. Now you can't find it anywhere. Looks like eBay learnt its lesson. :)

Lotus lost out to Microsoft Exchange a while back. Now its competing in the application hosting marketplace against hp, Unisys and RackSpace. Middleware (DB2, WebSphere) is already fighting with other open source products.

In the server market, they pitched to customers about Linux, especially RedHat Linux. When RedHat gained dominance and eventually going public, they turned around and started recommending Dell and hp to run Redhet since they are the market leader. Customers are finally realizing that they are getting locked into RedHat which only recommends certain hardware (althought the choice of hardware is more), but after installing RedHat, when the customer wants to go with cheaper Linux (yes, Linux is not free. Upgrades/fixes are only available through Service Plan which cost money), they realize their existing servers are not certified for other Linux. IBM is now pushing Suse. In short, customers are moving from IBM to commodities like Dell and hp.

I am not saying IBM will go bankrupt. Just that in 4-10 years, IBM will be just another company with market recognition as much as what hp has now. It won't be Big Blue any more. Just Blue.

Friday, July 15, 2005


Continuing on the thought about life… funny thing about religion is that its very, for lack of a better word, self-contained. The majority of religion… Jew, Christian, Islam all have a common path. It started with Adam and Eve, went on to Moses parting the Red Sea and taking his people to the Promised Land, to Jesus walking on water to Muhammad.

All of these religion have a common heritage of Prophets and timeline, and the difference being Jews, Christians and Muslims believe the last prophet is Moses, Jesus and Muhammad respectively. I mean, Jews believe in Moses and all Prophets before him. Christians believe in Jesus and Moses and all prophet before them. Muslims believe in Muhammad, Jesus and Moses and all prophets before them. Funny thing is they are all localized at the same place… the Egypt-Iraq-Arabia triangular region. At that time in history, those were the center of the educated world.

And what about other civilization that were in isolation, such as like Aztec, Red Indians, lower Africa, Chinese or Australian Aborigines? Didn’t God care enough about these people to send them a prophet? Those isolated civilizations worshipped either nature or life.

According to Occam's Razor, what's more likely? That an all-powerful, mysterious God created the Universe, and decided not to give any proof of his existence? Or, that He simply doesn't exist at all, and that we created Him, so that we wouldn't have to feel so small and alone? Looking at the time flow of Jew, Christianity and Islam, it seems like one prophet was simply building up on the framework of the predecessor, i.e., to create a better society (or religion if you prefer to call it).

Friday, July 08, 2005


For some time now, something about life's been bothering me. It just doesn't add up.

For example, God, death, heaven and hell. Why would God create life so it can one day die to go to heaven or hell. What does God get out of this? If His ultimate goal is to fill heaven and hell with their respective souls, why not just go ahead and fill it up. Why the charade of life? He doesn't owe anyone anything.

If the devil does exist, why is God competing with him for the soul of man-kind. Doesn't this suggest an ego-manistic nature for God?

Ask any God-fearing believer about life and they will tell you life is about proving to be worthy for heaven or how pain makes you appreciate the good blah blah blah. What happens to a human life is of insignificance in the great scheme of thing.

Unless, there’s more to it that meets the eye. The only two plausible explanations I can think of that actually makes some morbid sense are:

1. There is something more than the life, heaven and hell. The Story of Judgment Day, heaven and hell is only a veil pulled over our eyes to blind us from the real truth, so that we will continue to play and produce an outcome, for whatever purpose, to His liking.


2. There is no God, devil, judgment day, heaven or hell. Life is just a chance event and this is it, you only get one chance at life. After you die, its game over, do not pass Go, do not collect $200. And religion is something man invented himself for self-control and hope.

Either way, we're all screwed.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005


Remember the time when you were blind in love and said some stupid things like, 'I'd rather die than let our love melt away'?

What happens after you break up? Does, 'Oh... I want to forget', mean anything?