Some translation needed (applications of immix)

Symbol of Confusion
Symbol of Confusion (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A big problem I’ve encountered in business is the widening chasm between sales, marketing and IBM-style management folks and the new group of technical experts coming up. I’ve been in rooms where the marketing people have great ideas about a product and the technical people simply cannot understand or comprehend what they are saying or, worse, why it is a good methodology to sell a product. To them, it’s the technical structure of the product, the spreadsheets and data, not the human or “mushy” interaction with the wetware on the other side.

There are times I wonder if part of the reason techies spend so much time on futurism is the hope that by removing the wetware entirely, the system becomes much simpler.

However, it goes the other way around. Techies will describe what they are doing in terms that to them are simple, but to the sales and marketing guys are essentially another language. Many smart sales and management folks will usually retort with “ok, let’s pretend I’m an idiot, please explain this to me in language I understand.” I surprisingly polite, if somewhat demeaning way to ask for clarification. The issue though is when the techie “dumbs it down,” they resort to either simpler technological terminology, defeating the whole point of why the prototype they built is cool, or they change the terminology to a different field that they have less respect for (This is more common than you’d think.)

I confess, I’ve done both of the above. I’ve put on my sales, marketing and management cap and found it excruciatingly difficult to explain to a techie why the direction they are going won’t work. Why to sell the produce we need to do something more palatable, more refined. Why, at the end of the day, we need to have a product that actually works rather than the potential for an awesome product eventually. This is something I want to fix eventually, since if I put on my techie hat, I fall into the same holes as them. (Whoo, that’s cool, do that, don’t worry if it doesn’t work…)

I’ve put on my techie hat, went into a sales meeting and found myself discussing the more complex points of software engineering on a clustered system to an individual who only wanted to know why the algorithms on mutual funds were taking longer to calculate than he wanted.

Yet, ironically I’ve found when I’m not the one communicating, it has put me into an interesting situation. I can read over a paper on advanced clustering algorithms and explain to a manager of a small company why this is useful for their primary software product. I’ve also found myself in a technical development meeting explaining to techies that the sales manager is not demanding an entire rewrite, but simply a new field on a single screen.

So, while this is important and I enjoy playing this role. I realized that this is ironically what immix has become. The internet is full of 100s of APIs and organizations have likely thousands if not millions of different systems that have their own DBs, no APIs, no clean way to link to the old database and combine it with new systems in a clean fashion.

While more standardization of APIs is useful, that doesn’t give many businesses any ROI since they don’t want to throw out all of their existing work.

immix has become for many organizations an interesting middle man. It allows the various systems to communicate to it in their own way, and then through module building communicates what is necessary to other systems (including the nefarious wetware I mentioned above.)

It makes the software and hardware talk together. It creates a social network for humans, hardware and software.

Carrier to Noise Ratio of a QPSK Signal
Carrier to Noise Ratio of a QPSK Signal (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The realization I had is that over the last 5 years we’ve encapsulated in software what I’ve been doing in business for a long time. we’ve built a technical translation system that allows normally incompatible systems to understand what they are doing and make more intelligent solutions, and this is important. The internet is overwhelmed with people talking to the wind, and many of the time with good ideas when you can understand the underlying logic. Adding things to the mix will just make it even more confusing, adding noise and not signal. Not because there isn’t signal, but because the things are all communicating slightly differently.

However, by having a centralizing IoT framework that repolarizes those signals all into the same frame, you can actually start to make sense of it all.

I’ve always felt like a jack of all trades because of my varied knowledge and personally worried that it put me at a disadvantage as I needed to read so much more to get the depth I wanted in all of the fields.

However, now it gives me an advantage because I can talk the various languages needed to build good businesses, and I can see how to build a framework that does the same thing electronically.

Maybe I finally found my niche.

Some translation needed.

KJR

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immix planned hardware platform support list

Goal for platforms for immix Release -1.0 to support.

Big powerful fun servers!
  • Windows 2008R2 Server and up (WAMP and possibly WIMP) Already requests for this. We are definitely willing to do it with AMP, but nervous about doing it IMP and most definitely can’t do a fully .NET version without some more funding.
  • Ubuntu LAMP (current dev version works 100% including a deb package)
  • CentOS LAMP (Will build RPM for this) This should be as easy as Ubuntu, really.
  • Not sure if I’m going to bother trying to get other Linux Distros. Any suggestions on this front?
  • Mac OS X server , Not sure how hard this will be, but I can see having the ability to install it locally to work with to be wise. As well as use it as a “node” immix to send information to a central server.
  • IBMi Server (Will build SAVF for this) As well as create a new IBMi useful documentation repository I think. There is a lot of missing or diverse docs online that this could be immensely helpful on. Especially as I learn more about it. Personally, I like this since this gives an enterprise way to get immix right onto accounting and major operational machines without too big of an issue. Biggest problem we have right now on this is mongodb is used for some advanced features. Debating having it not available on IBMi, but looking at CouchDB and other alternatives to make this work better. If we get this running, there will be automatically a major accounting package that will be incorporated into immix, so that’s pretty spiffy.
  • Raspberry PI (This one is obvious, especially with the secure channels between immices working so well. This makes it easy to network a ton of separate devices without having to go the hub and spoke method.) When this is done, I hope to have basic modules in place so you can use it control heating, track baby movements, etc. The usual.

When Release-1.0 is out, this should be a solid list of supported hardware. Improvements will be impressive as we push 1.1 out, since it includes a fully operational live chat environment.

Future goals for immix clients (not server end)

Raspberry Pi
Raspberry Pi (Photo credit: tkramm)
  • Full Android, iPhone / iPad web support for back end. This is already in place in in the dev path, and we simply need to push it live after Release-1.0
  • iPhone native app, this will allow you to connect to all of your immix servers and collate them in a general stream, as well as push items from your phone back to the servers, if you want to.
  • Possibility of having immix clients have same functionality as servers with the ability to interact with each other without the need for a central server.

Should be interesting in the next few months. Especially as Steve Godin gets the formal documentation and knowledge base in place. I really am hoping to be able to get a few more external developers playing around with this and interacting with the API. As well, the code base should get documented enough to open up the possibility of having 2.0 built on a different structural code base (not PHP). We’ll see though.

Plus, there’s the whole opening it up eventually for other people to log into the central immix and play around. However, that’s more of a for fun internet of things idea than anything else.

Lots going on, lots to report.

Kelly John Rose.

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Programming languages + Petty battles

Arguing about programming languages feels to me at times like arguing about human languages. In many circumstances you need to choose one that is required and move beyond any idiosyncratic silliness that arises when it’s not “your favourite language.”

Honest, I love Lisp, you can do some pretty awesome stuff in it. But you also really don’t want to program Mediawiki in it or WordPress. At least, I don’t know of a good way to do that cleanly.

I don’t mind PHP and really don’t understand the PHP hatred I see all the time. PHP gives you a lot of leeway to build pretty good software which if you are wise is fairly maintainable. Facebook, WordPress, Mediawiki are all built on this solid framework.

I quite enjoy C and C++, but I never really see an opportunity to build a large project on it. It has so much power to do things rapidly when you do it right. Having developed encryption breaking code in it, code that sorted through hundreds of thousands of stock records rapidly, and even starting on a piece of software that worked as a foundation for producing certain types of websites rapidly. Yet, the time it takes to code correctly, combined with the rush-rush-rush nature of our society has made the cost per program for C code to be well above the going rate these days.

Ruby… Well, I have other issues with Ruby beyond the code, more the community. But I digress.

CL (RPG/400) honestly I used to love, tried to dive into again recently and realized I had forgotten almost all of it. Which will be a bit of a pain since I’m trying to redevelop a system to work within a Zend Framework (combined with immix) to integrate Medium to Large account systems in an effective manner with a web GUI. Hopefully that love will come back, but in the days of Google lookups for all of the other languages, CL still requires me digging through the massive tomes.

In the end though, the funnest part is seeing it all come together.

Nothing beats a Quantum Code Compiler for an NMR machine actually being used to spin atoms, or a decrypter breaking a system while it is still negotiating the keys, or even better, a mutual fund analysis tool giving pretty good predictions on ROI for the following year.

Just seeing production. That’s what matters.

if you want to go argue about programming languages go back to the elementary school yard and argue it there. The adults need to do real work.

KJR

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