The 2006 post

I'm packing in the final push of work before jetting off to Poland for the holidays. Time for a quick look-ahead to 2006, no retrospectives as I'm not sure I could look back at 2005 without writing a book!

What's coming up?

I think the simplicity meme is just going to just run and run. There's so much room for improvement in our world where even understanding how to open some doors can be made a challenge by poor design.

At Swing Digital we're really championing the elimination of complexity from school systems. Our software is helping to manage parent, pupil and alumni relationships without creating an additional burden on already overworked school IT managers. Web software rocks – when done right – but the richness of desktop applications has a huge amount to offer and we shouldn't forget that in the Web 2.0 rush.

The right tools for the job is how we need to keep looking at software. The savings in time and money by going for the most basic, standardised tools possible often far outweigh the disadvantages of having a few more 'advanced' features.

Key thing to remember in 2006

Doing things manually is often much cheaper than you might think. Automating a process can cost many orders of magnitude more than you ever imagined.

What geekery I'd like to see in 2006

  • Blackberry 8700 available in the UK (and RIM not hobbled by dumb patent lawsuits)
  • A new PowerBook with a serious speed-bump (and please don't lose the FireWire ports)
  • Cross-platform reliable Video VOIP on the Mac from Skype, iChat or whoever – just make it work
  • 8Mb/s broadband in my area

What to watch out for

  • More nefariousness from vested interests, bad laws, crappy patents and awful DRM.
  • Some nice new links between local and national services on Directgov and its like.
  • A bushel more WiFi standards to get used to.
  • One Google service comes out of beta – maybe.
  • Lots more blogging here…

Have a great Christmas and New Year everyone.