* Posts by Dale Vile

6 posts • joined 23 Sep 2007

Microsoft: Don't rush to download Windows 7 RC

Dale Vile
IT Angle

Lowest spec

I have been experimenting with Windows 7 for a few months now on various machines. It runs very well on a Sony Vaio TZ with a 1.2 GHz core2 duo processor and 2Gb of memory, and that's with reasonably demanding use. Assuming an implicit dual core requirement in this, I would therefore say that Microsoft's 1GHz minimum processor spec is probably reasonable. While I haven't tried whipping memory out of the Sony, I did load Windows 7 onto another machine (an old Philips notebook) that had a faster processor but only 1Gb of memory. That did not run very smoothly until I put more memory into it. I would therefore suggests that 2Gb RAM is probably the safest working minimum for most situations.

Linux on the desktop: cheap trick or pragmatist’s dream?

Dale Vile

Come on guys, keep it clean

As part of the team behind this survey, I would like to emphasise that the exercise is not about advocating desktop Linux or otherwise. There are clearly quite a few organisations doing something with it, and a lot of IT professionals trying to encourage its use. The purpose of the poll is to gather real world experiences in a business environment so we can pass on some practical 'tips, tricks and traps' type information to those who are interested in exploring the desktop Linux option objectively. With that in mind, we have deliberaely avoided too much in the way of pure opinion questions, and on the basis that we almost certainly haven't thought of all possible responses, provided room for freeform text entry so readers can add anything we have missed, as well as express themselves freely.

So, thanks to those who have completed the survey so far (quite a few hundred already) and to anyone reading this with experience of desktop Linux, we'd appreciate your input.

Reg readers: Distributed software development is hard

Dale Vile

Sample size and distribution

Someone has pointed out that the sample size for the poll was not mentioned in the article - it unfortunately got lost from the charts during desktop publishing (Jamie? :-)).

For the record, there were 369 respondents, of which about 80% told us they had direct experience of distributed software development. As the article says, within this, there was a relatively even distribution of those taking the hub and spoke, peer to peer and ad hoc/mixed approaches to managing distributed activities, which gave us adequate numbers to compare the groups as we have done.

Geographic split was 44% UK, 36% USA and 20% elsewhere. The majority of respondents (90%) were from in house development organisations, with contractors and employess of external service providers together making up the remaining 10%.

Dale Vile

Survey design

@Solomon - sorry about the lack of routing in the poll- you make a good point and we pay a lot of attention to this in our more in-depth reader surveys. We try to keep short 'temperature check' polls like this one pretty simple, however, as they tend to be completed by people with an interest in or experience of the topic, which is true in this case (4 out of 5 respondents were into distributed development to one degree or another).

On your second point, let me put your mind at rest about motivation. This exercise has nothing to do with selling market analysis data to targeted 3rd parties - it is about drawing out hopefully useful insights from readers for the benefit of other readers.

Regarding the social media related findings, this is something that just hit us in the face as we were analysng the data. The correlation we saw between the use of blogs, wikis, etc and a reduction in the four specific problem areas shown on the chart was quite unexpected, and significant enough, we thought, to call out as a thought provoking point. I can assure you that there is no hidden agenda here that has anything to do social networking vendors.

I infer from your comments, though, that you are a bit of a sceptic about the social media thing. It would be interesting to hear more about your thoughts here - or, indeed, if you have an alternative way of interpreting any of the findings. The reason for publishing the charts is precisely so readers can make their own judgement without relying on purely on our commentary - though we are pretty committed to keeping our interpretation both grounded and objective.

We've harvested your green computing views

Dale Vile

In defence of the old hippy from one of his colleagues

Further to Paul M's comments, it might be worth noting that we got some stick from a number of readers on the initial survey for "assuming" that the green thing had any validity at all. We therefore ran a follow up poll inviting responses from readers (particularly sceptics) to tell is what they really thought about the legitimacy of the green discussion - ie whether it is justified or simply a load of contrived garbage cooked up by do-gooders, politicians, IT vendors and the like.

The results of this follow up poll told us in no uncertain terms that the majority of Reg readers are pretty well aligned with the Tebbut view of the world. I realise that some disageee, but the reality is that that the report is in keeping with general reader sentiment.

While it might come as bit of a shock, the thousands of reponses we received suggest that most readers of El Reg do appear have a heart :-)

Staying connected?

Dale Vile

Research note

Hi - I am a colleague Jon Collins, the analyst who did this research and wrote the article. There are a couple of things that are worth noting that may be of interest based on one or two of the above comments.

Firstly, other research we have conducted over the years outside of The Register has demonstrated pretty consistently that non-technical 'professional' users (sales guys, consultants, managers, execs, and so on) are significantly more interested in mobile access to systems than technical users. In fact, the "uber-techies" someone referred to are some of the most sceptical and least interested.

Regarding details of the survey itself, it was conducted about three weeks or so ago and 1456 responses were collected. 53% of responses were from the UK, 17% from the USA and the remainder spread across the rest of the world.

Thanks for pulling us up on this, we'll be sure to include brief details of the study when referring to research in the future.Thanks also to those who pointed out that there wasn't an ideal option offered for people who spend all of their time sitting at their desk. I don't think this had an impact on any of the conclusions, but the point is understood.

Anyway, hope you find these little surveys useful - they are not meant to provide the definitive word, just some points of interest to share ideas between readers and get people thinking.


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