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* Posts by Fenton

132 posts • joined 19 Feb 2008

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Seventh-gen SPARC silicon will accelerate Oracle databases

Fenton

Are these the SPARC or the T processors

I've had nothing but scalability problems with the T range of processors.

Whilst they look good on paper with loads of threads, we have found that for a heavily loaded

transactional systems, they perform like a dog.

Why they are great when you have lots of parallel processes that require very little CPU power,

but if you fire 256 threads reasonably heavy threads at the thing it just stalls giving very slow performance per thread with unhappy users.

A CPU that is less threaded (i.e. regular SPARC), we've found it far more efficient for the software thread to wait until the faster core becomes available and users are happy as their transactions runs in a decent time.

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Microsoft wants to lure biz users with fondleable Windows 8.1 'Apportals'

Fenton

Marketing & scope

MS have gone about this all wrong.

Desktop mode should have stayed the same (aka win 7), with Metro as an optional shell.

And the Marketing, they should have taken that scene from Avatar where they are viewing something on a big screen and swiped the image to a mobile device.

Now if a surface automatically switched to a desktop mode when docked to a decent monitor and switch back to mobile view when un-docked it could be a great device, mistake was going ARM I guess.

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The Windows 8 dilemma: Win 8 or wait for 9?

Fenton

Eventually settled on 8.1

I built a new PC six months ago. Long time Windows 7 user

I initially flirted with OSX, but could not get the thing perfectly stable and half the free apps I use were not available and couldn't use my paid for apps. Also the auto indexing would kill the Sata channels when indexing the SSD, causing the system to freeze until it finished (also and issue with windows 8/8.1)

Then I flirted with Linux (Mint), too many config options in too many different places and I just find the Gui an unpleasant experience, then there was the endless command line commands required to get certain apps working. And I couldn't use my Windows paid for apps.

I could have gone back to windows 7, but had a copy of Windows 8 lying around, installed and upgraded to 8.1

I use the system mainly in desktop mode (icons on the screen and in the task bar), with two monitors. And to be honest my workflow has not changed a bit compared to windows 7. If I do require apps that are not on the desktop, I don't really care if I find it on a full screen Start Menu or the little one as in Windows 7.

However I did do a quick install of windows 7 to see if there were any performance differences.

Windows 8.1 does perform between 5% to 10% better compared to 7.

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Recommendations for NAS-based home media set-up

Fenton

Micro server + Plex and chromecast

Get a small HP microserver with plenty of disk (you're looking at between 1-5GB per movie depending on encoding).

Install Plex.

Chromecast now has a plex client (as do ithings, android and windows).

It's a great piece of software which will download all the DVD covers and other metadata as well.

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Look behind you, 'declining' sub-$5bn iPod. The iWatch has come... to EAT YOU

Fenton

Watches are soooo yesterday

We'll according to my daughter anyway.

Now an iwatch will have to have a tiny battery, but will probably draw a lot of power.

Now I like a watch to tell the time. Without me having to take it off my wrist to recharge (now on year 5 on my wrist watch without a battery change)

Likewise my headphones I don't want to have to recharge (I know I will keep forgetting).

I'm used to recharging my phone, it sits next to me at work plugged into a USB port, is about the right size for surfing, has a lot of storage (but not enough to get rid of my iPod Classic).

The only reason I can think of for an iwatch is FaceTime or a quick glance to see who's calling and maybe the odd fitness app,

Anything else then something like google glass is more appropriate (augmented reality).

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Don't tase me Pro: WD brings out Thunderbolt external drive

Fenton

Still no faster than USB3.0

Well a typical SATA spinning disk can read/write ~100MB/s

So less than a USB3.0 port is able to handle. So there is no advantage of having a thunderbolt interface.

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If you don't GRIP it tightly, lonely enterprise cloud will WANDER

Fenton

Training

In the past users got their training from work and did things the IT way.

Now training budgets are slashed, but users now have more computer access outside of work than they ever did have using mobile so they are now self trained and want to do things the google/apple/ way which is designed to be easy & hides the complexity.

Give a user a Mozilla client now days and all they see is a jumble of sub directories and they get turned off.

Easy for us IT guys to understand, but not the general user population.

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Steve Ballmer: Thanks to me, Microsoft screwed up a decade in phones

Fenton

Why did the PC get the momentum?

In my opinion it was nothing do do with MS, they just happend to have an Operating system running on IBM x86 machines. In those days a business machine was text based, users where used to keyboard short cuts. And IBM was king. They sold you a mainframe/mini/green screen, therefore you went back to them for a PC, thus creating a business standard. Unfortunately like a lot of standards that made it is was not the best but it did the job.

The likes of the Amiga/Atari ST/Archimedes where considered and marketed as toys/games machines and they were custom architectures.

The likes of Lotus and Word perfect did not write their tools for these machines, they wrote them for an IBM compatible machine.

The IBM PC came in a form factor that meant you could add in additional cards, etc.

IBM then allowed third parties to make compatible machines for the home market.

In essence MS were lucky.

What the likes of Acorn/Commador/Atari, had courted Lotus/Wordperfect and got them to create file compatible versions of their apps and had bundled an IBM compatible floopy and filesystem in their machines.

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Apple Mac Pro: It's a death star, not a nappy bin, OK?

Fenton

Love it but too powerful for my needs.

Apple should use this form factor to sit between the iMac and one of these.

The Mac mini just isn't powerful enough . Whilst the iMac does the job, some of use don't need/want an all in one.

Give me one of these with an I7 crossfired games GPU, an SD slot, 256GB SSD at around £1.5k and it would sell like hot cakes.

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Object to #YearOfCode? You're a misogynist and a snob, says the BBC

Fenton

At least give the kids some idea what "coding" is

At least they won't then come out with the crap that coding can be taught in an hour.

Modern coding is hard, especially for old gits like me, who grew up on BBC basic, Pascal and Fortran. I've just had to re-learn (just some visual basic and SQLserver), half the problem is finding out what is possible and already done for you, compared to having to do everything yourself like in the old days.

So by all means show kids some programming, they might get an appreciation of the work that goes into their favourite App/Game.

Also why not show kids something about electronics as well, alas another skill that is dying.

Show them what is out there, let them decide what they want to learn

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For Windows guest - KVM or XEN and which distro for host?

Fenton

Cloud?

How about build yourself a small gaming rig. Mid range CPU and a fast graphics card.

Get yourself an account with your Cloud vendor of choice with a nice Linux build on there.

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Hands up if you have one good reason to port enterprise apps to ARM

Fenton

Re: High performance ARM

@Gordan

The apps arn't the problem, (ok they have not released an arm port yet), as they are OS/DB independent

just we are constrained on the DBs as the Vendor only supports "Enterprise class" DBs.

Oracle is such a pain in that you have to migrate to a new OS, even on the same CPU architecture. I'd rather just replace the exe's and just read the database files.

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Fenton

High performance ARM

Is it not time we had a high performance ARM chip. In my scenario above of migrating from x86 for peak high performance load to off peak low perf requirements, if we had a 2 different ARM architectures, a nice lower power one and a 3.x GHz monster we could use Vmotion to move loads around.

Or just stick to x86 with xeons and Atoms.

Alas my apps only run on DB/oracle/SQLserver/Sybase

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Fenton

Database file compatibility

Now what would be interesting is a database with two sets of executables, one on ARM the other on x86 but can read the same datafiles.

During the day I might want to shunt my DBs off to a lower power farm running ARM.

So shutdown x86 VMs, start ARM VMs and attached to the same set of datafiles.

I don't believe that is supported by either Oracle or IBM.

In fact the only DB I know of that is certified to run on different CPU architectures using the same datafiles is SQLserver, on x86 or Itainium but who runs windows on Itanium these days?

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Beauty firm Avon sticks spike heel into $125m SAP-based sales project

Fenton

Plot thickens.

The front-end provider was Websphere. IBM have declined to comment.

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Fenton

Project Management and requirements

I've read about this particular project before. To me it smacks of lack of decent project management and proper requirements.

An issue you get with all software stacks. Would probably have had the same outcome with Siebel or any other ERP/CRM type system.

$125m for a CRM system even for SAP system is overkill.

The project was most likely run by the Finance team who's only thought was.

"How can I track what money I have coming in"

Nobody thought about who was going to actually use the system, i.e. untrained door to door sales people.

When did they bring in the actual users for UAT testing? I bet it was at the last minute.

I know SAP has it faults (I've been working with SAP for 20 years), but for years a user should never even have to touch a SAPgui.

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Hey Linux newbie: If you've never had a taste, try perfect Petra ... mmm, smells like Mint 16

Fenton

There is still something wrong with the look of Linux desktop

I can't quite put my finger on it.

Fonts never look quite right compared to Windows/OSX fonts.

The whole thing lacks a certain sheen and just looks a little home made.

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Ballmer: 'We made more money than almost anybody on the PLANET'

Fenton

Apple

Also Apple didn't do what could have been a deadly blow to MS.

They should have sold OSX as a shrink wrapped OS for OEMs to install.

Obviously with some sort of approval setup. i.e. no cheap and nasty boxes but not on systems

that could come close to iMacs

I know the arguments that it is designed for a machine with a known set of components, etc

but in truth OSX is really the only true consumer OS that is competitive with Windows.

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Inside Steve Ballmer’s fondleslab rear-guard action

Fenton

Compute Unit

Well this is what I'd like to see.

A tablet/phone, what-ever being just a compute unit with a touch screen.

In normal un-docked mode it works in a Touch UI mode, i.e. review docs, make minor edits, but mostly content consumption.

However when I dock it. I'd like it to revert to a productivity UI, the docking station will deal with multiple monitors, etc. In Docked mode the screen on the tablet will also work as a pen based input device.

Any true heavy lifting will be performed on the cloud, be it an internal cloud or external.

But I can see a point where mobile CPUs start to approach the speed Desktop/server CPUs we have today so I won't have to offload the processing power.

Now MS have almost thought this through, but alas have forgotten the Desktop mode. It should be up to app developers to develop apps to have a dual personality, touch and Desktop. Please give us the best of both worlds!

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RBS MELTDOWN LATEST: 'We'll be the bank we should be ... next YEAR maybe'

Fenton

What if

The trouble is, if everybody decided to switch, would this not effectively be a run on the bank?

Those people who are too slow will have to be bailed out (again) by the government.

We'd then have to write off our "investment" in the bank.

A shit situation really

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Windows 7 outstrips Windows 8.x with small November growth

Fenton

Aero

Have MS really tied the kernel and the UI so closely together that you can't have an

Aero or Metro option.

The desktop does look flat in desktop mode, why can't I have the Aero bling in there?

And what is it with UI devs these days where everything is going flat and boring, IOS7 went the same way horrid bright kiddie colours.

The industry seems to be ignoring the 30+ Male with money to spend and is going after WAGs and kids

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China: 'JADE RABBIT' will be FOUND ON MOON

Fenton

Sounds Like...

Something you can buy in the Adult toy department at Selfridges.

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Surface 2 and iPad Air: Prepare to meet YOUR DOOM under a 'Landfill Android' AVALANCHE

Fenton

ipad2 upgrades

Hi can see alot of people upgrading from ipad 2 after installing IOS7.

Mine has become very laggy after the update alas I don't have £500+ to shell out

for a new slap, no matter which brand.

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Apple slams brakes on orders of (not so cheap) plasticky iPhone 5C

Fenton

Want an apple but not the 5c or the 5s

Upgrade time from my 4s. I've invested in various apps so don't want to change OS.

I have two main requirements however.

4G connectivity and a larger screen. The screen on the 5 is just not big enough (but the Galaxy 4 is just too big).

I do like the look of the 5S, but don't want to pay for all the new stuff that I don't need.

I've thought about getting a SIM only deal and a second hand/referb 5 and selling the 4S, but contracts on a new 5c come out at the same price.

I get the feeling they have deliberately gone for kiddie/girlie colours on the 5C to ensure people not into those colours go for the 5S.

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21st Century Elite remake to support Oculus Rift virtual reality rig

Fenton

Never achieve Elite

Was it even possible to reach Elite status on the Electron, given that it did not have missions?

Was was probably the richest pirate in the galaxy but never got to "Elite"

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How to design a storage array: NOT LIKE THAT, buddy

Fenton

Re: My biggest beef with SAN/NAS storage

But why could the SAN not be setup up front before us App/OS guys come along.

Then it should be a matter of saying.

I want X amount of storage with this IOPS requirement for this filesystem and it should be replicated to the other DC.

The SAN guys should be able to do all of their forecasting in the background.

If they hit a certain threshold, they should order new disk/Cabinets.

The array should sort out any hotspots and tuning. In this day and age, it is still takes far to long to get anything done when storage is involved.

I can deploy over 300 VMs in a weekend, roll out front-end patches to 1000s of users overnight, automatically patch 100s of SAP instances in a weekend, but it still takes days just to make a change to a filesystem due to a requirement change.

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Fenton

My biggest beef with SAN/NAS storage

It is still far to granular and requires far too much manual configuration.

I would love to be able create a filesystem that automatically queries the SAN for available space and just allocates it.

But no I have to go the storage team who will manually assign Luns. Any change that needs to be made then requires either more or new luns to be assigned and if SRDF is involved, a whole heap of extra work.

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All roads lead to Darwin ahead of solar challenge flag-fall

Fenton

Air-con

If this is a cruiser class they also should have a maximum cabin temperature.

I'd hate to race across the outback with a cabin temp of 50C+.

So they need to have an air-con unit built in as well.

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Full Steam Ahead: Valve unwraps plans for gaming hardware

Fenton

Upgrade cycle

With the PS4 and the XBOX one and the new Valve stuff all being x86 based are we likely to see a more rapid upgrade cycle, i.e. no real custom chippery onboard, so when AMD/Intel release newer CPUs we could potentially see newer consoles hitting the shops with just a CPU/Memory upgrade.

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iOS 7 SPANKS Samsung's Android in user-experience rating

Fenton

Missing in action

Having spent the weekend playing around with an iphone, a samsung galaxy and a winphone trying to get a centralizes streaming network going, I've come to the conclusion that MS has really missed the boat in terms of creating a portable media device for the home.

The one thing I can do out of the box with apple devices is set up and itunes server and stream without any hassle what so ever.

I thought I could set up a MS media centre server for the winphone. Nope.

In the end I settled on PLEX as it was the only software that would service all devices, but I did have to jail break my apple TV.

The one device that really is crap for streaming from a home server of any kind is the XBOX360. Streaming from PLEX and the picture quality is truly crap, stream from Media centre the picture quality is ok, but it is sooooooooo slow navigate around.

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Oracle's Ellison talks up 'ungodly speeds' of in-memory database. SAP: *Cough* Hana

Fenton

Adabas/MaxDB/SAPdb

Well SAP has for quite some time (around 2000), had an in memory database that they used for their supply chain management solution (SCM), they basically put what was Adabas into memory.

Now if you can speed up certain queries 1000 times, it does not mean an existing business process was broken, but it does give you an opportunity to change your business process to take advantage of the speed up.

example. Your MRP process to replenish your store, probably ran over night and you sent out a truck the next day to replenish the store. Which meant that certain products might flow off the shelf in the morning with nothing left until the next day.

1000x speed up, means you can replenish certain goods before they even run out.

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CSC boss post-NHS IT flop, Ford CEO 'pitched' as the next Steve Ballmer

Fenton

Mike is post NHS screw up

And does have good form in turning IBM arounds when they were in the shit

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Acorn’s would-be ZX Spectrum killer, the Electron, is 30

Fenton

Two electrons

I ended up with two electrons both with plus 1 expansion packs, one with the plus 3 (3.5"" floppy drive).

I learned pascal and a pit of lisp via the cartridge slots.

Best thing was you could slave the two together via the RS423 port, use one machine for graphics (i.e. use the full 20k for modes 01,2,3 but still retain the memory on the other machine for your programs.

OK not good for real time graphics, but I cut my teeth on ray tracing with some quite complex models in memory. Took about a week to render.

Also one of the best keyboards I've ever used.

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Don't let the SAN go down on me: Is the storage array on its way OUT?

Fenton

The trouble with SANs.

We're using SANs (EMC) extensively.

Whilst on Paper they should be easy to use, in practice any configuration seems to take a long time.

Allocating Luns to volume groups, then allocating the same Luns to SRDF, then configuring in the Luns on the secondary site.

Then configurations of SNAPs and Clones. Everything has to happen at Lun/VGlevel level.

As somebody who uses the storage as a Service this causes considerable pain and time, every time we need to implement a change.

I would love to be able to grab a lump of virtual (and thin provisioned) storage allocate to my filesystems and then at a file system level be able to say what I want snapped/cloned/replicated.

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SAP to make do with one CEO after two-headed hub halved

Fenton

Password setting

Tis a setting in the system that allows you to adjust password length (unless you are on an older unsupported SAP system). Probably never changed as it was "to much hassle" to get users to change their passwords when the system was upgraded

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Laser-wielding boffins develop ETERNAL MEMORY from quartz

Fenton

Is glass not a liquid?

All-be-it one that is almost solid, over time it does very slowly deform (see windows in very very old buildings)

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Why I'm sick of the new 'digital divide' between SMEs and the big boys

Fenton

Don't shoot the messenger

The biggest problem is nobody wants to spend the money up front during the design phase and get all of the "relvant" subject matter experts in to do the design.

Just because I'm an Application specific technical architect with a bit of HW knowledge it does not mean I can architect and entire landscape, from storage, servers, networks to resliant DR fabric.

I can scream all I like "I need a storage Architect so work on the Array architecture", all you get is.

Sorry no budget. So out comes the "white paper" and if you can find it the latest manual.

Can I try things out whilst I'm designing.

"No you're an Architect, you're not allowed to actually touch anything, only the engineers"

Alas the Engineers are all stuck in the far east and have never seen the latest and greatest piece of kit that was ordered. They also want step by step instructions on how to configure the beast, just giving them a rule on what needs to be configured is not enough. If they had their way they'd have the architect writing every single command step by step so if it goes wrong it's not their fault.

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Microsoft: Still using Office installed on a PC? Gosh, you squares

Fenton

Interface with ERP system

Unfortunately at some point you may have to upgrade a blackens system (ERP) that uses and office product as a viewer, E.g exel as a front end to a BI system. You may suddenly find that your old office 2003 install is no longer compatible.

I'm finding this more and more the case these days.

To the point that ERP upgrade projects are put on hold waiting for desktop upgrades to complete.

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Oracle and Dell forge worldwide server alliance

Fenton

Microsoft

I bet Microsoft which they hadn't stumpped up the cash to help fund the Dell buy back.

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HP preps Project Kraken for monster HANA in-memory jobs

Fenton

Big SAP Databases

In this context he may well be talking about big SAP databases.

There aren't that may SAP DBs over 12TB.

The beauty of having your DB in memory is fast reporting without having to set up a dedicated data warehouse reducing server count and storage requirements.

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Oracle and SAP are Big Software, but for how long?

Fenton

SAP/oracle Don't blame the software

Blame the implementation partner/project management team

For every failed project there are 100s where putting in SAP/Oracle has been a success and has resulted in inefficiencies.

If they were truly crap enterprises would not by them.

Far too often certain individuals (mainly finance and bean counters), control the implementations with only their requirements being important without looking at the true business needs.

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Microsoft: All RIGHT, you can have your Start button back

Fenton

Depends on the user

However Linux in my experience had never been a hit with anybody but the geek.

I support a number of user types and have tried various OS's on all,

1. The wife. Form over function,

Likes win7. Dislikes win 8. Hates XP hated Linux even more. Loves her Mac.

2. 9 year old son. (Potential geek in the making).

Within hours was teaching me how to use win8. Likes win 7. XP is just boring. Linux (why does it look shit)

3. 14 year old step daughter. Brain washed by nerd dad that Linux was the way to go, but could not exchange files with friends. XP looked shit, win 7 great. Win 8 what's the point.

Mac. Looks good but can't exchange files with friends.

4. End users at work. Good generally care, but hate win 8 and must have office. Open office on Linux trial did not go we'll.

5. Me. Office a must for work. So win 7. Fire up and rdp session for redhat and suse for system admin.

Home. Win 7 for photoshop. And XP for a very propriety 8 in: 8 out recording interface. Which has never seen a Linux driver.

Conclusion. Give win 8, which I like from a stability and performance point of view a win 7 front end (by all means if a touch screen is available start with metro)

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Gnome cofounder: Desktop Linux is a CHERNOBYL of FAIL

Fenton

Consitency

It all comes down to needs.

I for one am glad that Linux has not won out on the desktop.

I move from customer to customer. The one thing that is consistent is the desktop operating system I have to use. Either XP or Windows 7. If I had to deal with a different Linux distro every time, I'd waste alot of time getting to grips with the environment.

Thankfully SuSE or Redhat have become the defacto Linux at the server end.

I tried Linux at home using my family as my test subject. They didn't like the look and feel and my son couldn't play the games he likes to play. My daughter uses office at school and regularly has to do her homework in office. He hated Libre/openoffice. Also reliability was an issue, which was not the case with XP on the same machine.

Now we also have a Mac. Yes we have the same problem with the games, but we have MS office on the Mac so daughter is happy. My wife likes the Mac (because it's shiny) and intuative and is more stable than either windows or the Linux distribution.

I know people will say. You should have used, gnome or KDE or ........ Or you should have spent longer getting linux to work, tweaking the desktop. That is exactly what I don't want to do with a home machine.

I want a consistent look and feel whereever I go. I deal with the differences between Unixes/Linux on the server end everyday.

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Ericsson and SAP Megazord has no need for your PUNY human phonecalls

Fenton

And why not?

What do you think is behind the iTunes Store?

SAP gets a lot of bad press due to shit implementations that have nothing to do with the software just shit consultants and SIs.

You never hear about the implementations that work. And there are many

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Soak up CO2 with sponges, says CSIRO

Fenton

Send it somewhere sunny

Why not send the resulting fluids somewhere where the sun always shines, such as Austrailia (lots of useless desert there) or the Sahara.

A few thounds square miles of Solar panels and you could probably generate enough energy to seperate the C from the O2.

Actually why not ship loads of water out there and generate hydrogen for fuel?

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Intel's new TV box to point creepy spy camera at YOUR FACE

Fenton

Re: Camera watching me, watching them...

I can just see it. Hot summers day so you sit down in just your shorts. It recognises a certain amount of flesh, then replys. Hello Sir I know what you want to watch..........

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SAP claims speeds record with HANA Business Suite revolution

Fenton

To bust a few myths

Hana is not built on ABAP technology.

Hana is fully scalable (IBM have a 100 node test rig with 1TB of memory per node)

Given that it uses relativley inexpensive x86 nodes, prices for hardware will come down

year apon year, unlike Oracle hash job of exadata that still relies on aggregation and extraction

of data and uses propriorty hardware.

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Australian State launches IBM probe

Fenton

SAP Payroll

There is no real technical excuse for screwing this one up. I know some people hate SAP, but payroll is SAP bread and butter and has been a stable product for 15 years and SAP payroll consultants are two a dozen.

This sounds like a complete cock up at the requirements gathering stage and potentially a data migration cock up, project management and scope management the likely overall cause.

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Windows 8 fails to revive world CPU biz

Fenton

No problems with win 8

Well I installed win8 on an old Athlon64 x2 running at 2ghz. With 4gb ram. It runs perfectly. Think of thee new UI as a big start button and no problems with usability. The kids like the MS store.

If anything it has fewer problems in terms of stability than Win7.

Ok I do hate IE10 lots of compatibility problems with lots of sites, but a quick chrome install fixed the issue.

Not need to buy a new PC at all though. Run faster than XP or Win7.

Not an MS fanboy also run an iMac and a Solaris workstation at home.

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'Perfect' INVISIBLE SHED stuns boffinry world

Fenton

SEP field

No no no. Douglas Adams had it right.

Just generate an SEP field.

It's Somebody Elses Problem

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