Archive for May, 2011

Helping the Homepreneur

Friday, May 27th, 2011

with thanks came across this post homemade millionaires It’s well worth a read through.

We find that Yuuguu gets all sorts of different users and uses. We have larger corporate clients, who use it as a logical extension of an internal phone network. Instead of looking up ‘Barry from Accounts’ in the directory and talking to him on x3647, you simply click on ‘Barry from Accounts’ in your contact list and you are instant messaging and screen sharing. Very useful.

But I find the possibilities for startups all the more exciting. We know there is still a global economic downturn on. We know that major governments are making cuts. At least – if they haven’t already gone broke. We know – sadly – this means job losses.

The good news is that broadband is commonplace, the mobile web is here to stay, and new devices like the iPad are blurring the lines between computer, television, print and voice. At the same time, the promised information economy is actually here. People can – and do – pay for information-led products and services on the web these days.

I personally think the likes of eBay and Amazon – the early ‘buy products online’ pioneers broke that one. They were the first commonly known sites where you would put credit card details on the web. Nervous early users found – to their surprise and delight – their orders arrived. I recall back in 1995 when none of us thought that would ever work, people trusting the web with their money.

All this makes it a great time to think about starting your own internet business.

Where tools like Yuuguu come into their own is in enabling the ‘homepreneur’ to work with other people easily. When you start a business around a passion, you quickly learn that you whilst you are great at doing ‘your thing’, your business needs ‘other things’ to succeed. Unless you can create content and products, design and run websites, market, sell and account, you will be able to use some help. And by placing practical help just one click away – anytime, anywhere, anyone – tools like Yuuguu are a great fit for your ‘backroom startup’.

If you are a budding ‘homepreneur’ – what do you have to lose? Get started! As soon as you need to work with others, you know where to come.

Microsoft and Skype: Our insightful analysis

Friday, May 13th, 2011

Microsoft consume Skype: 80's retro games, anyone?So, the company that put a computer into everyone’s home has bought the company that put computer telephony on the map. The pundits and general chattering classes have been suitably busy telling us what it all means.

We thought we would present our in-depth, definitive, you-can-count-on-us analysis.

And that would be the graphic to the left.

Now, I’ll give you, this is nowhere near as juicy as the UK’s Financial Times – who reckoned it was Microsoft’s power-play to finally wrestle control of ‘the consumer internet’ from the likes of Google, Facebook and wherever else eyeballs go these days. Nor is it quite as impassioned as this one from a disillusioned microsoft share holder.

But at least it doesn’t over-promise a look into the future.

Back in Yuuguu Towers, we don’t need selling on the benefits of getting all your different forms of work-together communication in one place. And this deal shows that a couple of IT giants appear to think the same way. Which is nice.

Meanwhile, if you are wondering what all this means for you – why not avoid the wait, and get your copy of Yuuguu today!


All the best from Al.

ps Don’t worry – I won’t be applying for a job at Gartner anytime soon !

Would love to see Yuuguu run on the Raspberry Pi

Friday, May 6th, 2011

See’s full article on David Braben’s Raspberry Pi £15 PC here

This caught my eye today; the co-author of 80′s ground breaking game Elite has come up with a brilliant idea. Invent a tiny USB-stick like PC that can sell for only £15. Make it so that schoolchildren can plug it into a standard TV set using an HDMI lead. Make it so they can tinker around by plugging in modules – such as a tiny 12 megapixel camera – and gasp! create original software!

Yes – make something where the kids can code.

Why this matters

I particularly liked Mr. Braben’s analysis of the state of ICT teaching (Information and Communications Technology) in UK schools today. My primary school daughter comes home able to do amazing things, like create slideshows, animated powerpoints, and super whizzy WordArt templates. These are great skills that will help her get ahead in the business world.

But … how would she go about creating the software that we know and love as ‘Microsoft Word’ in the first place? It’s a significant question.

The sole reason I am able to help create the (if I may boast) awesome business tool called ‘Yuuguu’ is that when I was 12, I had access to a simple computer. There was no Facebook and Farmville to distract me. No console to fire up an XBox game on. So I had to code my own simple Galaxians clone. I had to figure out how you did cartoon animation with graphics on a primitive computer; how you found out what a player wanted to do; how you knew when two things had bumped into each other; how you made an ‘explosion’ sound (*).

I had to tinker. But it was tinkering with totally different skills – learning how to think like a computer. Learning to live with – and work round – limitations. This aspect, as Mr. Braben notes, is missing in UK education today. And it is a great shame – with the mobile, location-based, video-dominated internet just around the corner, the best software applications have yet to be written.

But if no-one knows how …

I wish the Raspberry Pi project every success. One thing is clear to me: the Future of Work will involve more – not less – IT. And that needs software to be created that we have never even thought of.

Tell you what, though: I would have loved to have the power of the Raspberry Pi when I was learning this stuff. Oh my word – I wonder what I might have dreamt up?

(*) Turns out with a 1-bit speaker output, you create a pseudo random number generator by using a simple linear congruential generator algorithm, then let the output of that, scaled, control when you toggle the speaker bit on or off. Gives a pretty good pink noise kind of ‘kssshhhh’ sound. Just sayin’ – in case anyone is thinking of tinkering


See you soon

Al ‘talking of raspberry pi reminds me its lunch’ Mellor