And you may ask yourself, well, how did I get here ?

So here we go again facing yet another 365.25 day dash from January to December and I wonder where we will be this time next year? I know I have achieved many of the goals I set for myself and whilst I have not complete every single one of them I am happy to know that I am at the very least Getting Things Done. Since I have already blogged about those things that have happened to me in relation to Ubuntu and BNI I will skip the traditional clip show and discuss instead some of my thoughts and hopes for 2007.

Where does that highway go ?
I see this coming year as being a time of things Virtual. Virtual Computers, Lives and networks will most likely be the topic for the next few months. The one killer app that helped in 2006 was Hamachi it offered an incredibly simple mechanism for connecting one or more machines inside their own virtual private network across the Internet without the need to manage firewall port forwarding. It worked so well that the product was eventually bought by LogmeIn and whilst that is a fantastic win for the guys behind Hamachi it concerns me that I do not know what sort of Linux based support there will be in the future. Where this leaves me, is looking to projects like OpenVPN to fill the niche and protect my customers from the possible ever changing winds of commercial and proprietary closed source applications. This particular change of circumstance occurring in such a short time and for a fairly small application provided a focus to a few of my clients as to the dangers of a closed and proprietary software dependency in their mission critical applications.

Into the blue again after the moneys gone
We can expect to see more new and interesting devices come out. Of course slaking the thirst of the gadget beast is all but impossible but it will always be there seeking new toys for the old boys. As usual however will be problem of interoperability and the fact that the manufacturers and vendors will invest time to ensure functionality with XP and Vista but will most likely need to be cajoled into functionality with Ubuntu Linux. I would like to see 2007 be the year when vendors look to open source as a means to add a unique selling point to their product rather than an afterthought.

Under the rocks and stones, there is water underground.
I am old enough to have been one of the many young lads of the eighties who stayed awake late at night typing programs , cribbed from the pages of magazines, into zx81s and later BBC micros. Today though the chances and opportunities for the child computer enthusiast are limited since the acceptance of Microsoft Windows has become so ingrained. The opportunities to be creative and inventive have been lessened due to the success of the consumer lead, easy to use, Personal Computer products. I believe however that Open Source provides a great opportunity to renew that enthusiasm and recreate what had been a fledgling computer programming cottage industry in the UK. Edubuntu, via Pete Savage will be attending the BETT show and the Ubuntu UK teams have been contacting their local MPs to discuss an Early Day Motion in order to foster an awareness that there needs to be a change in policy in how we approach computer usage in education.

Same as it ever was.

So Education, Integration and Interconnection are the themes for me in 2007 with many other smaller tasks and aims to be completed week to week and month to month. Whilst I feel its important to have the 10,000 ft view in perspective its necessary to consider the 5,000ft and 1,000 ft views for the year ahead and decide how and when to tackle those tasks. I would like to see progress and real changes made in all the areas and I believe there is already all that is required to do these things. I really believe that 2007 will be a great year for open source software and that it will move beyond being “same as it ever was”.

Thanks for reading and Happy New Year.

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