Friday, January 17, 2014

More on New Macs

Greetings, Programs:

Still playing with my new MacBookPro - quite a toy as well a super-development tool.  Things to really like about the "new and improved" MacBookPro are:
  • EMail: Seems to be improved and has the VIP feature
  • Speed: both CPU and SSHD.
  • Downloading movies is 12-15 times faster (15 minutes - not 3 hours for a 1-hour movie).
  • Hi-Res Screen (compared to older MacBookPro or other laptops)
  • Lighter Weight (and smaller / thinner)
  • 16GB of RAM vs 3GB or 4GB 
  • HDMI port standard
  • 2 - USB 3 (or USB 2) ports
  • Quad i7 Processor
  • NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M with 2GB of GDDR5 memory and automatic graphics switching
  • Good integration with Microsoft Office 
  • Full-size, back-lit keyboard
  • Much longer battery life (8-hours movie time and about 30 days - yes, days - on standby)
What do I not like?
  • Smaller screen (15" max size versus 17" in older models)
  • No 400/800 Ports for existing HDs (Extra cost for adapter to Thunderbolt ports)
  • Adapter for my older 30" Cinema Color Monitor takes up 1-USB and 1-Thunderbolt port
  • Microphones on side rather than front
  • No built-in DVD ($70 External)
  • No standard Blue-Ray Drive, etc
  • Max Resolution dropped from 3600x2500 down to 2560x1600
  • Not very many options on iMovie downloads
  • Games that come with any Mac are limited to Chess
 This is not a complete list but it should give you some idea about he new MacBookPro; some things to think about before buying one.  How can you go wrong with a new Mac?  OK, they cost more, but they come with all the goodies installed BEFORE you open the box.  For example:
  • Mail is almost ready to go and Mac guides you on setting up the EMail accounts.
  • All of the approved Mac software works as advertised.
  • iLife costs about $90 now and has great apps standard
  • iWeb page designer is an excellent design tool 
  • Calendar and your iPhone are tightly integrated
  • iPhoto and our iPhone are tightly integrated and iPhoto imports directly from cameras
  • Notes
  • XCode is a great C/C++ or Java editor
  • I have a quickly available terminal screen with great colors schemes and easily adjustable sizes 
  • Super video and audio tools available at about 1/4 the cost of other professional tools
 All in all, I suppose that the good parts outweigh the bad parts.  I think that I really like the light weight in my backpack and the regular hi-res screen on the laptop more than I dislike the missing 400/800 ports or the brain-damaged iMovie software.  If you have an existing MacBookPro with the older Core-Two-Duo processor, it is time to trade up.  If you already have an older MacBookPro with the Retina display, keep it. 

Bottom line:  Would I suggest a Mac rather than a high-end Windows machine?  Absolutely!  You can always use Windows on your MacBookPro if push comes to shove.  But why would you want to do that?  Just get the Mac version of whatever software you are using and stay away from the plethora of problems and upgrades with Windows.


Thursday, January 16, 2014

BRMS Training


I just happened to see this on one of the LinkedIn forums that was posted about four months ago by a professional trainer with a major corporation.  Any comments?

"My clients tell me that they had done the tutorial that came with the download prior to the training. The software is easy to use. Almost everything is done by clicking some buttons. It is a good starter.
Clients tell me that the added value that training brings, is that training helps them bring disparate concepts together to form a business solution. The synthetic view of the software and the ability to use software capabilities to solve business problems and the ability to use the software capabilities to enhance business capabilities are things that cannot be put in any tutorial, eLearning and recorded web training format. For this reason, clients buy training.


Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Decision Camp - Part Deux


Decision Camp 2013 was such a screaming success that eBay and Sparkling Logic, along with Drools, Open Rules and others, have decided to do it all over again.  Decision Camp 2014 is scheduled for October 13th, 14th and 15th of 2014: Same place, same time, just a bit earlier to avoid the Holiday schedules in November.

So, why go?  Probably because of the quality of the speakers.  First, there is Dr. Charles Forgy, the person who invented the Rete Algorithm in the first place.  Then there is Carlos Seranno-Morales, the person who invented Advisor (aka, Blaze Advisor) and was the first to get a Java version of a rulebased system out into the public market place.  Then there is Kenny Shi of Pay Pal (eBay), their guru for all things rules.  And Mark Proctor, the inventor of Drools / JBoss Rules.  As always, Dr. Jacob Feldman, the inventor of Open Rules.  And, of course, Carole-Ann Matignon, the Decision Camp founder; formerly with ILOG, formerly with FICO and now the co-founder of Sparkling Logic, the New Kids on the Block of All Things Rulebased and Predictive Analytics.  If you go out to the link, , you can get more details.

Now, if you want to be a speaker, the deadline for presentations is a bit aggressive: It is March 31, 2014.  Contact Carole-Ann or the web site for details about speakers.  Finally, here is the best part.  IT'S FREE !!  Right, free for attendees.  You have to pay your own hotel, flights, etc - of course.  But, the conference itself is free.  Start planning now so that you will have the time allocated.  And plan on returning on Thursday morning (or afternoon) since this is a full three-day conference and you don't want to miss out on the Wednesday afternoon and evening activities.

So, there you have it:
  • Business Rules
  • Predictive Analytics
  • Business Intelligence
  • Optimization
  • World's Greatest Rulebae/Analytics/BI/Optimization/Decison Speakers

Looking forward to another GREAT time in San Jose this fall.  Come join me.

James C. Owen