Archive for the ‘convention’ Category


CODI 2006 Opening Session


Colleen Medling opened the CODI 2006 conference by addressing nearly 800 attendees from Chile, the Netherlands, Far Texas, and other wonderful places. Crystal Ashton is not present because, as Colleen explained, she and her 3-year-old daughter have gone to Uganda for a year to help AIDS orphans. I presume that Crystal will be doing most of that saintly work.

This year, 50% of the presentations are led by CODI members, which is a new high for member participation. The rest will be ‘product education’ (how to use the product and why we should buy more of it) from SirsiDynix.

The keynote speaker tomorrow is Robert X. Cringely. Should be entertaining. The business meeting to follow will feature iPod door prizes.

Eileen Kontrovitz spoke next. She introduced some of our international guests and Unicorn users, then acknowledged the CODI board members and other volunteers. “And those of you who have not served… I’ll get your names.”

The next conference will be in Pittsburgh, which will make me very happy. I flew here from Pittsburgh and am already feeling the lack of cole slaw and french fries in Utah sandwiches.

SirsiDynix CEO Patrick Sommers spoke next: “I hope I don’t break the computer.” Then he showed us kawaii kittens and babies until we all laughed. “My mother told me you can’t go wrong with babies and cats.”

He emphasized change, starting with Earth’s history — sort of: “65 million years ago, the crustacean period ended.”

[About a Far Side cartoon on a slide]
“And you see a stegosaurus standing at a podium… kind of like this one… (audience laughs)”

The printing press, radio, television, and other mass media have affected human cultures; the Internet is doing the same.

He warned that most users began their search for information with a search engine, not with library web sites. (My reaction: Are our library catalogs easily indexed by Google? If not, why not?)

“Web 2.0 is the next anticipated transformation of the Web.” (I think of it more as a de-emphasis on static pages and a broadening of the kinds of content we use; HTML might not be involved. RSS feeds, for example, are deconstructions of traditional web pages. Remember the bad old days of signing up to get an e-mail every time a page changed?)

“At this point, Tom Gates told me to insert a bit of humor about how I’ve screwed up… I’ve screwed up many times in my life, but none of them were particularly humorous.”

He told a story about a mistaken carjacking in Sarasota, Florida by a woman who successfully used a handgun to defend herself against four young men who were attempting to drive away with their car, which was parked a few spaces away from her similar-looking car.  He claimed it was a recent news story, but I think it was this joke (which lacks any verifiable information).

“HIP 4.0 comes to mind,” he said shortly thereafter.

Horizon 8.0 has 1.1M lines of code, and about 220,000 man-hours have gone into it so far. “We will continue beta testing until we release 8.0 in January… 8.1 will be released later in the year.”

Talin Bingham spoke next, beginning with introducing his technical leads. He mentioned Agile Scrum, which is probably something I should learn about.

Horizon 8.0, to be released Jan 2007, will include all the features that were previously scheduled for 8.1, and (of course) upgrade scripts. 8.0 GA (General Availability) is what they previously called 8.1.

The new 8.1 is slated to include support for TeleCirc, Talking Tech, Debt Collect, PC Reliance. It will probably also include additional languages (bilingual French/English) and search enhancements.

Recommended 8.x client config: 1GB RAM, P4/2.4GHz. (512MB for HIP.) 8.x will support Mac OS ‘Tiger’ 10.4.6 and Safari 2.0.4 for a staff workstation with PPC G5 dual 2GHz and 1.5GB memory.

Berit Nelson, VP of technical product management, spoke last. She was working on Unicorn and is now working on Horizon.

She talked about a Managed Upgrade Package that includes the hand-holding and guidance that some customers want. For an additional fee they’ll meet with you onsite to plan the upgrade and/or review your network performance.

SirsiDynix will perform all the 2007 upgrades themselves. They’re “still reviewing” DIY upgrade scripts for Horizon 7.3+. This is mostly because architectural changes require human guidance to resolve one-to-many or many-to-one relationships between old and new structures, such as combining many circ_parameter exceptions into one or two rules or determining the new security permissions.

She said that there will probably be several new versions released in 2007 to add more features and further improve stability and performance. “Acquisitions vendor data can be upgraded. More detailed Acquisitions data: late 2007.” (Generally speaking, 8.0 seems appropriate only for customers who can tolerate the sudden loss of components beyond cataloging and circulation.)