All I want for Christmas - TechCentral

All I want for Christmas

Dave Gale

[By Dave Gale] Two years ago I participated in a “CIO Christmas wishlist” for a local industry publication. Re-reading that list, it is sobering to see just how many of those wishes still stand.  Here’s my 2009 list.  I’m not holding my breath, though my tongue remains firmly in my cheek.

First, I’d like an affordable, really broad — at least 10Mbit/s — band to my home office to make my telecommuting less frustrating. Either that, or a punchbag to use while I wait for the Mac’s psychedelic beach-ball hour-glass replacement to stop tooling around.

Then I’d like so-called “cloud computing” to stop being a haze and to get on with delivering the promised services without thunder and lightning and general fanfare. If I see yet another death-by-PowerPoint on this topic, I’ll start throwing things.

Oh, and then I want a Google Wave account for each of the people with whom I collaborate so I can reduce the noise in my in-box. Of course, I’d need some sort of administrative control over who can edit what on the wave.

I also want an empty in-box. Just once. Okay, okay, maybe that’s asking a bit much, even during the silly season. Inbox Zero indeed — bah humbug!

I’d like to see a systems development industry that stops chasing new technologies and remembers that the technology is only a means to serve up information in the form of business insights and bottom-line value.

I’d also like to see corporate executives start to demand more efficiency and effectiveness of systems development teams and contractors. Too many hours are spent on activities that do little to the balance sheet, now or later.

Then, can someone give me at least one keen, innovative business analyst with an 18-year-old’s energy, a 60-year-old’s wisdom and good SQL skills. Oh yes, they need an insatiable desire to deliver value overnight.

And while I’m at it, expecting the impossible, how about Apple and Numbers programs actually working like Microsoft’s Outlook and Excel? I love my Mac, but have to confess I miss a decent e-mail client and the power of pivot tables.

Lastly, I still want that remote office on North Island, Seychelles with a swimwear model for an assistant. My wife seems averse to that for some inexplicable reason.

Instead of all this, I strongly suspect I’ll get a whole bunch of new challenges. I know we’ll all be back in the new year, making magic out of ones and zeroes.

Here’s wishing you all a recreative festive season and a 2010 that shows more than just green shoots and football frenzy.

  • Dave Gale is business development executive at ViaData


  1. nice post Dave. I cannot agree more. telkom is testing 8Mbps (for over a year now) but it is likely to get shelved until after 2010 due to backbone congestion.

    please can I come visit in seychelles when you get your office there? 🙂

  2. @justin
    Xmas wishlist easier than predictions for the next year, but I may even have a stab at that again. Hearing from one of the project managers what kind of BW is coming out of the stadia, I think you well be right on the money w.r.t. Telkom delaying the 8Mbps offering.
    And I could shoot myself for not visiting my mate who was running North Island before they left there for Greece. bah!

    Thanks man, but I reckon Timmy Henny ( could make a pig look like a prince! 😉
    If you ever need decent corporate photos, he’s value for money.

  3. @David

    Well Mr Bullard sir, it was after she threatened to run off with one of the stablehands if I didn’t divorce myself from the MacBookPro that I retorted that I was intending to invite Elbe van der Merwe to join me in the Seychelles. She then threatened to do something unspeakable to me with a pitching wedge. Fearful for my short game without a wedge, I relented.

    And that, sadly is where any analogy between my good self and the prowess & supposed stamina of Mr Woods ends.

  4. Ditto on Apple Mail and Numbers! Numbers cant even display text vertically in columns… Fortunately I won a version of Office for Mac. Now I use excel instead of numbers, but still think pages tops word!

  5. At the risk of sidetracking Dave’s entertainingly diverting article on Serious IT Stuff down a blind alley of desktop application gripes, but I would love to be able to mix and match MS Office for Mac apps with iWork stuff.

    Excel is the bee’s knees, Word is excellent (as long as it’s not choking on tables); Entourage is the awful red-haired stepchild of Outlook and should be taken behind the barn and shot; PowerPoint is entirely mediocre, verging on dire.

    Pages, on the other hand, is IMHO pretty risible, Numbers is hugely more so (although is nice for creating pretty charts, a chore in Excel). Keynote is great, especially for giving presentations that “I wasn’t made in ***** PowerPoint” stylishness.

    Erm. So come to think of it, I want Office Mac but with Keynote, and hope someone writes a decent Exchange-compatible mail app for Mac.

    Tried using with old skool SMTP server with iCal/CalDev set up for shared calendar. Would love to know if anyone has got this one right…

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