Saturday, December 1, 2007

Just saying thank you to all the communities

We've been working on many different projects besides Pioneer Linux at Technalign including Electricity for Cross-Platform independence and also VoIPTelCaster that allows companies to work with an enterprise grade IP Phone system at a very low cost. I've been doing this blog for a short time now and I like writing it as I hope you enjoy reading it. As we move into a new year and coming up on our 6th year in the industry, I wanted to discuss our community and how it's the same but different than most of the other Linux distributions such as MEPIS or PCLinuxOS and say thank you. We're actually starting to see the community outside of our business community/Partner Network becoming involved, and we're also seeing an increase of popularity of Pioneer in countries such as El Salvador, Finland, Italy, Germany, Pakistan and the list goes on. We're finding that communities are growing within Technalign itself as people learning C, C++, Python and others are starting to build projects for the community and not commercial applications for Pioneer. You're each welcomed to become involved in those projects also.

At Technalign we have sales, support, development and marketing departments to name a few just like most companies. We have extensions now of Technalign many of you may not be aware of including a growing partner network outside of Technalign, but part of our family none-the-less. We've found that our partners from regular partners, silver partners and solution providers are becoming critical to our success and providing valuable input. We even have some partners sending us old PIII and P4 systems and laptops so we can continue to test and support the older “stuff” out there. Some of these systems go to employees to test and learn on while others are simply for testing. We're considering setting up a distribution center for people with lower incomes located in the communities we reside in so they can use the equipment for learning Linux and expanding the skills they have today. Who knows, maybe someday even becoming a Technalign employee or getting a better position elsewhere.

The one thing that is most notable now is the involvement from members in the community that was not there previously including many people assisting in the testing and validation of our products. I have also tried to be heavily involved with he forums, and Steve Kaufman will be coming on soon to be a liaison between all communities and Technalign. This is where I'd like to give many many thanks to each and everyone of you providing assistance when you use and test new releases. I haven't felt this good about Technalign since we left New Jersey and moved into other directions such as Pioneer. One reason we moved from Explorer to Warrior for our short lifecycle product was many of you wanted more than of a lifecycle than 6 months to a year so Explorer now sports a 3-year lifecycle and has been replaced with Warrior as our initial test bed. Not everyone wanted support or a boxed product, so we've been learning as we go along. The biggest learning curve came with Explorer and what people expect from us in the communities.

I've opened up our Technalign Intranet site for each of you also, you can find this at This site provides information on Technalign, clubs, benefits and open positions. We'll be working with the Wyoming Workforce here and other groups, including the Laramie Economic Development group (LEDC) so everyone can find positions in Wyoming and it will be available to all of you considering a better lifestyle and career. Wyoming is a beautiful state, and each of you have the opportunity to move here and create a better life for you and your families. I'm loving every minute of coming into the office everyday now, and I'll admit it's nothing like what we experienced in Delta, Colorado with DADI on the Western Slope where people were downright hostile to us for being a Linux company and didn't understand what we did or do. Technalign is now in an area that allows us to start growing and providing even more back to the communities.

It's only a thank you to each of you in the communities I know and not much meat in the blog this time, but all I can say is thank you.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Electricity cross-platform tool for Linux and Apple OS/X

This blog entry is about our new Electricity product we are releasing and why. Electricity is a replacement for CodeWeavers' CrossOver at a lower cost with the same functions of the Professional version. We believe part of our success is providing cross-platform independence and needed a replacement for the application. We are releasing Electricity since CodeWeavers has ended our business relationship. We have actually been working with them for quite some time, since around 2003 or 2004 I believe. I also believe that both companies wish each other the best, as I truly do them, and much success in the future.

We will be releasing our Electricity version for Linux initially and MAC OS/X on Intel within the next 45 days, although our lead is telling me sooner – I always like to play it safe. We've had a lot of comments from our Partners asking that we provide it free of charge with the Basic, and Stagecoach versions of our operating system and believe we will now provide it as part of the Basic and Stagecoach systems with no additional cost. Our price point is only $19.99 for the application, which we believe will allow all Linux and OS/X to have the product at a very low cost.

Technalign's mission is to provide a total solution to consumers and business and has been our model since we started in March of 2002. Electricity now represents the solution that we needed to fill the gap from CodeWeavers, and we believe we will improve the product and the product will also continue to improve. The dev team is also working on providing better gaming support to the community, and that was something we had asked about for quite some time from CodeWeavers. The first release, of course, will be basic as listed on the Electricity pages, but as updates continue, we will start pushing these out to the users.

Of course, our first 100 beta testers will get a free serial number for updates to Electricity. If you haven't placed your hat in the ring for the beta, there is a form available to you to get on that beta list and the beta list server. The forums are a great place to add your comments, or what you would like to see in Electricity for both Linux and Mac OS/X.

In order to let as many people have Electricity as possible, it will also be available on LinSpire's CNR when released. I believe LinSpire's CNR will be a big leap for companies and individuals running Linux. We also include CNR's client on Pioneer Explorer and Renegade, our community distributions. At the low-cost of Electricity, there shouldn't be any reason not move to the Linux operating system or for that matter OS/X on Mac.

I just want to thank everyone who uses Pioneer, and I hope each of you will work with us, even if it's to let us know what we're missing, to make Pioneer, Electricity, and any products we work on better.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Why Nero on Linux?

As you may know, Technalign markets and works with the Windows community and we also work with the Linux communities via releases such as Pioneer Explorer. When we review communities there are different means in which a company or group of individuals release products such as MEPIS and others geared towards a specific, or targeted group, of people. Each release is imperative to a group of individuals and provides different functions and tasks aimed to the target audience. That's actually the beauty of Linux! For example, Automatix provides solutions to users in the Debian, K/Ubuntu, and MEPIS communities. It's really a needed product regardless of attacks from the developers in those communities.

When Technalign supported Automatix, it was apparent that many of the developers of the other communities have not provided the needed input to Automatix developers and then tore into them instead of offering assistance (see my previous blog entry). When LinSpire, as another example, came out with CNR (Click and Run) the same communities attacked LinSpire and FreeSpire for working with Microsoft as the enemy. When you look at companies or communities attempting to provide a service or product that meets the needs of any group of people you really need to understand what they are doing and why. When LinSpire works with Microsoft, it helps users have a better experience with products they use.

Technalign looks for solutions that meet the needs of companies and consumers to help fill the gap between a transition from Windows. Nero fills the gap with a tool 80% of the Windows users today are familiar with and use. One of the things that assists any user is a familiarity of a product or known commodity. Providing users an easy path to Linux is not a simple task since people have been using the Windows Operating Systems for many many years. This is one reason we've incorporated a “Programs Folder” with our product instead of Automatix or another tool at this time. Since we are now working with more Windows users, our demographic is different than, lets say MEPIS or PCLiunxOS.

I've already received emails and complaints that we are now working with companies that hurt Linux after Technalign placed Nero on our pages only 1 day ago. I still don't understand how providing a utility that assists any user transitioning from Windows and fits a demand is a problem? It's just like asking how can Automatix that fits the needs of millions of people hurting a distribution? When a product such as Automatix meets the needs and fills a gap that assists a community, the communities should work together. I understand that Automatix caused some system problems, but why aren't the community members helping them instead of attacking them? In the case of Nero, K3b is a great application, but now Linux users and Windows users transitioning have the same Blue Laser technology on the Linux platforms and a utility they know how to use on Linux.

Bringing more and more applications that are running on Windows does assist users in the transition from Windows to Linux, either in business or the consumer areas. The more the better, and I believe that when more Windows applications and utility companies start moving more applications, we'll start to see more individuals and companies moving from Windows to Linux. Isn't that the goal; to assist any user from any community coming to Linux with some Linux variant?

Monday, October 1, 2007

About Automatix, Arnie and his team

I've been reading a lot lately about how Automatix has been messing up systems for people and at the same time how so many people love Automatix. I believe that in any community, such as Automatix, there are those that love and those that hate the product they have released. Remembering that Automatix is a group of people who love Linux, especially Debian releases and derivatives, I think it's safe to assume Arnie and his team love helping people and getting things working for others.

Technalign moved to a programs folder concept and launched it with Pioneer Basic and Pioneer Explorer. We are working with more Windows users than with Linux users who visit computer stores for a boxed set and assistance/support from a store owner or companies working with solution providers for assistance and support. Working with the business community, we believe and from much input, that the folder was easier for them to maneuver. For Technalign, it's all about working with the Windows users. When we see more input from the Linux community, we will do our best to support them and provide what they would like as well with the community editions such as Pioneer Explorer and coming with Pioneer Renegade (gnome). This is one reason we moved to Pioneer Explorer for the community and later Renegade.

We hope that more and more Linux users will use the system and provide input as to what changes or enhancements they would like to see, and we do get numerous support inquiries via the contact forms though. We hope one day that people start using the forums more though and provide more input to the team here and the community leaders.

I want to explain why Technalign moved away from Automatix on our distributions, although we continue to support them via the server we provide. Working with Windows users required us to create a different approach to how we delivered difficult applications and how to make them work of course for those migrating off of Windows. We've found some like the concept while others don't of course within the Linux community. We've moved away from Automatix only because we are dealing more with the Windows community right now than the Linux. Although people may still install Automatix anytime they wish (I would suggest a Debian Automatix build instead of Ubuntu at this time).

I've read an article about how the Ubuntu folks ran some tests on Automatix, and that the tests reviled many problems with the Automatix application on K/Ubuntu. I never read anywhere when I searched how they provided input to Arnie and his hard working group of volunteers. It amazed me that the article didn't explain how to improve Automatix or how they might get feedback to correct the issues. I always thought, and may be wrong, that communities would work with each other and help when so many of their users were using the product.

All in all, I think that the K/Ubuntu folks should talk to Arnie and ask him if they would like any help. Since Arnie and his group are a great bunch of guys, they would be more than happy to work with anyone wanting to learn assistance. I believe that Automatix is a community product that provides assistance to many people, and they get over 50 million hits per month on their website to prove it.

All I want to say is that I hope more community members assist each other and communities in the future such as the Automatix team. These guys really rock and help everyone they can via the forums. It's just a great group of people wanting to help make Linux easier and help promote Linux.

When you see someone bashing Automatix, remember that because of this small group of Pioneers, no pun intended, people get their Linux systems working the way they needed it when a distribution may have not provided the functionality they got "out of the box". They are always working on improving things as well. You may ask the person bashing to get a hold of Arnie and the folks at Automatix to lend assistance where it may be needed and help other communities as well.


Dianne Ursini's Technalign Blog

Just to say hello and I've just setup my own blog to start communications a tad more with both communities - business and community of course.

I'm going to allow reader comments so I know what a lot of you are thinking and hopefully work out any issues or concerns properly.