Stories by Ian Yates

If ain't broke, you might still need to replace it

The basic mistrust of IT by senior executives has been going on far too long now. When all this stuff was so new that only a select few had any idea what it was all about, you could excuse management for being somewhat wary of the new breed of boffins with their expensive toys. But how long must this go on?

Intelligent foundations

When bit and bytes fly through networks at lightning speeds adding criticality to the triplets of connectivity, continuity and content, intelligent infrastructure keeps trouble at bay. Ian Yates reports.

Databases make XML connections

Getting people of different backgrounds to communicate effectively can be a difficult task, but translate that chore to data in disparate computer systems and, writes Ian Yates, you get help from XML.

Rightsizing CRM

When it comes to customer relationship management (CRM) software, the market has overcome its own initial over-hyped promises of nirvana and has settled down to become another important tool in the business armoury. The definition of a small- to medium-sized enterprise covers a lot of territory, from the one-person outfit right up to a 150-person, multi-location national company. It’s unlikely that all SMEs would find a single CRM solution that met their needs. Fortunately, there are plenty of options out there when it comes to choosing hardware and software to make your business hum. Ian Yates takes a look at three SMEs to see which offerings they chose.

Code on Aussie, code on

Global financial software house, DST International, is doing something different with its software development. It’s doing it here in Australia. And now DSTi is increasing the amount of coding it’s doing in Australia, competing head-on with perceived low-cost outsourcers in Asia and India.

Storage Virtualization

More data, more storage, less funding but most experts in the sector claim existing capacity is under used. Ian Yates reports on an approach to maximising resources.

Bigpond: your spam-friendly ISP

Telstra made a bit of noise last week about blocking access to spammers on its Bigpond Internet service. What it did was prevent its subscribers from accessing an SMTP server on port 25, that being the primary method that mail servers use to communicate with each other.

Ziggy plays the KAZoo

Whatever your opinion about the full sale of Telstra, the fact is that right now, we the people still own 51 percent. Unfortunately we own it in name only and we have to rely on the federal government to be our responsible proxy on the board.

An Office Like Alice

So many small business operators not only juggle the numerous tasks in a business and are frequently the most knowledgable practitioner that the business itself can suffer. Any tool that frees them to further their business is quickly grasped. Ian Yates reports

Infect me, please!

In the real world, there are some viruses that kill you but there are a lot more that don’t. In fact most viruses don’t bother you at all, which is good since there are so many of them. In the digital world we are told that all viruses are deadly and will kill your computer. But this might no longer be true.

Laptops on the loose

Wireless picked up speed, gained standards, security clout and maturity. Then along came ad hoc wireless. Ian Yates reports

Opinion: How much does 'free' cost?

Not since the debate between Macintosh and Windows has there been a topic guaranteed to generate such a stream of hate e-mail. Yes, I’m going to talk about Linux. I’ve quadrupled the size of my e-mail database and installed profanity filters, so do your worst.