89 posts • joined Tuesday 17th April 2007 05:01 GMT
What's going on
Now, for obvious reasons, I can't say how or what but what I have seen last two (or three, four?) years MS is really not getting their acts together. A lot of good people there who I know, a lot of strange decisions by "management" which have caused literally / maybe hundreds of canceled projects and "road maps". Especially on the "mobile" side - creating new organizations, departments, buying new development locations, reorganizing on many levels - all for the show, "where is the beef"?
Yes, MS has some of the brightest minds in this business, are they allowed to do what they do best? In my mind - no! Not that I personally care, I'm an OS X and Linux user on toy systems and z/os, nsk, unix, linux, whatever on large systems, but it's a pity because we need all the systems just for different tasks!
I love this
So - if they are granted their wish (by some fairy?) so I can do whatever and always (forever, next 200 years) get a new "court day" just because the previous jury was too stupid, not really didn't understand my side (whatever it was!) or maybe they were not the right color or maybet they were watching Simpson in smartphone?
Well - as far as I know, it really could happen in USA (not in America, that's another story!)
Well, maybe learn some history
Great - but only after these systems get even near a global Tandem, oops - sorry, HP NonStop, network! Nothing wrong with all the marketing hype, that's how we all make the money, but it's really hilarious today what people don't know! Unfortunately it's mostly customers - I have been on both sides 40+ years and the customers / users (actually their management?) is always fooled with nice and bright powerpoint presentations?
Something wrong in this picture and lately it has got even worse? IT seems to go for commodity, no knowledge need, just buy whatever the used car, oops - IT product, salesman offers! If there are some problems later, just blame you own IT people, fire them, hire some new - everybody happy?
Tim S, you are right, even I have designed systems like yours.
But - and a big but, you really don't see the logistics behind that, so simple as for example taxes, varies by source, destination, product, etc - even worse pro-rated changes, changes to when sent or received, tolls, whatever. Now, add to that the currency changes, fluctuating daily or maybe hourly, non-payments, disputes, even returns (rules change, you know) and maybe changes in accounting laws, regulations, etc - again maybe pro-rated. And because you are VAR (or whatever), all these work on both sides, both on your providers and on your customers. Find me a software package which can handle all those including your house rules without a lot of re-work.
Believe me these were just the simple examples, systems change, infrastructure changes, vendors go out of business, service contracts fail every day, business grows and needs more resources, new laws are created which can change almost anything, knowledgeable people change jobs, get sick, retire, even die - your system is built for one OS which gets obsoleted and the vendor doesn't care, your system only supports one type of interfaces / browsers / etc which are found to be unpractical / unsafe / etc, the management wants to add new business functions, get new types of reporting, connect to new financial interfaces / institutions, whatever.
The current problem with ERP or whatever systems is that they are not achitected to (your) business needs (most often, not a rule) but try to force the business to follow the ways products work. These can be easily dealt when you design a system from your business perspective instead trying to force your business to match whatever is the current fad.
Some business is so volatile (dynamic) that I sometimes wonder (not much, another story!) how they can even think some outside system provider knowing better than they what they do / need?
A repeating pattern
Actually, ERP was there before "canned applications" - it was easy when applications were built in-house. I designed one in 70's, huge insurance company, 18K applications and all what was needed just one API wherever resources (money mostly) was moved. The management had "real time" view, the checks and balances automatically reflected for any systems, etc.
But, as the article says, then came the clueless spending on "canned applications" and the whole system came obsolete, more and more was missing from total! Total chaos after a couple of years, more spending on "special" applications, more people needed to manually do what was already automated, and so on. And one day they couldn't any more manage it, sale time. What's new?
I definitely hope
That it's less memory hog than previous versions, I have been using Firefox (and ilk) since day one but lately have had to use others - current Firefox just eats too much memory when I'm working, not just browsing. Safari, Chrome, Opera, Konqueror, Chrome, even (horror) IE have smaller memory print after a while. If all you do is browsing or a little other work, it's great but.
About "Open Source", yes, if I just would have time, maybe in next couple of months. Memory management isn't difficult but changing it in an existing system can be a huge task, especially today when the memory is not really managed but the task is left for languages and libraries.
Anyhow, I'm positive, not yet tested this version, that sooner or later we once again have the mean and lean browser, and maybe it is next Firefox - one of them.
Not a specialist in forums but free forums as lefora.com , etc seem very good? Of course - some companies, once they have trapped the customers, do the same. Doesn't make it more fun but how much did you pay of that Vista service pack, sorry, something 7? At least I only use vendors / products which can be moved to something / somewhere else just by one sweep.
Where do they find?
Where do they find and why this kind of people - definitely not a professional! Management error, yes, he is a bad apple but who and why selected him when there is, especially today, overflow in market for real professionals? Also, bad systems management - it's not difficult nor expensive to have systems where you manage everyone, even managers (specifically managers, they are often the weakest link and can cause even more problems - heh!)
Are you sure, what world do you live? So tomato (no matter what you call it) really is a fruit and not a vegetable even in US? Remember, the law is not so simple. The missile I sell to you is a "peace saving device" if you use it as I want but, if you use it by your own it may turn to a "weapon of mass destruction". Kind of difference between those two definitions, or? Now, I don't know a law which says that an object can't be renamed or the name or an object can't have several meanings. That's why we need(?) lawyers, politicians, judges and other blessed by some higher understanding / god to explain others what all the terms and names mean at any time and place, said / written by different persons!
This was a commercial article, of course. But anyway, as @herman mentioned, the Exchange reference is a little strange? Has Exchange really gone so bad, hard to believe but possible.
Now, as usually, they (VMware) are touting capabilities which have been in virtual world ages, at least since 70's as far as I know. Of course they are new in PC world which still has a long way to go before the hw / systems are on the level mainframe virtualization was a long time ago. Virtual is real, nice.. Separate execution and management.. Fault tolerance - maybe they should look a little closer why Stratus way hasn't been so successful in real world, NonStop still beats it for a reason.
Anyhow, good to see that at least the (VM) development didn't end when some key people left.
So - it seems that Microsoft will go with the virtual containers after all - maybe? An age old technology but not much used - a container can be anything from a corporation to a "data center" or a message or a database view or a process or .., uniquely addressable, dynamically configurable, location independent, include and/or share other containers, and so on. A simple architecture in theory - hard one in current Windows platforms. Once done you can add services, nodes, programs, messages, routes, etc just through configuration to a living system. Same interface to every service (process, program, procedure, etc) - cuts the APIs down to a couple of dozens. Easy recovery / takeover - a service is fully location independent, etc, etc..
Anyhow - anyone who wants to compete Google needs a simple architecture, not the millions APIs as currently in Windows, .NET, Java, even Unix / Linux, whatever. And of course wouldn't make everyone happy - some just live in complexity and confusion, makes one feel important and gives a false impression of the job security.
As the US car manufacturing - bail out the execs and let the workers go? Or banking? Or trade? Or whatever? Actually not an US trend alone, seen all over.
Think - you make a mistake which causes problems, what's the result? You are fired, not rewarded! Now, you belong to the "old boy" network and make a mistake which causes problems, stock price going down, hundreds or thousands going unemployed, etc - you get the "socialist" government (oops, sorry, the US government) to bail you out so you can keep your houses, cars, servants, boats, whatever. And in case they have to let you go, you still have the "golden parachute" giving enough to live the rest of your life kind of well (very well)?
This is kind of funny(?), Register being in UK things are different. In Europe there is at least some level support for unemployed people, in US there is almost none. Even the unemployed counting is weird - after 6-10 months you are not any more counted as an unemployed in US? I just wonder what the real numbers are? I know about 90% of my friends in age group of 55 to 65 are unemployed but not counted! Just a couple of hundreds, what do I know? Actually even I wouldn't hire them today, the insurance costs for older workers go through the roof in US! Or maybe they know too much - some mishaps and problems in large (huge!) corporations show the total inexperience none of the persons I know would have allowed? The cost == millions??
Anyhow - very old issue. It's not really the corporations / companies but (mostly) the middle management which hire too many resources (headcount - headcount is power!) and then run to the trouble. Why this is allowed has always (over 35 years for me and for historians over 3000 years!) amazed me - and probably will next xxxx years!
Politicians and computers
Sorry Tuija, try to test it more again - maybe it turns right some day? But we Finns are stubborn, we will test and test and test it until we get the correct result or there has been so many tests that the number of incorrect results is statistically insignificant and can be ignored - problem solved!
Anyone remember Network Systems Hyperchannel and RFCs 1044 and 1223? Interesting - actually I would have thought the speed going up even more and with four trunks but they got bought out.. Light will be faster (photons versus electrons) but maybe we have to wait - again? NSC HC was actually more than just disks (or any I/O) - and very easy to write drivers / applications. Of course, today those skills are (maybe) only on vendors, no user / customer has any more skills to create that level systems, they buy and operate (sorry, administer) what they are sold - sad!
What were you waiting?
Having 50 developers and trying to hire 300 more for Android they need that time to find a cubicle for each developer? Seriously - Motorola is a good hardware company but any time it comes to software, they are lost! They still think that headcount is the most important thing in software development and, of course, Six Sigma, etc. So - they will deliver but it takes time.
"By integrating the test teams into the planning process at the beginning"? What? What happened to agile? So - they have had even more design problems than I thought. Integrating all teams at the beginning was the mantra when I started with computers 1972! Has worked well since then.
Now - I still don't think that 7 will make a difference, big corporates just can't change the design / development culture that fast, maybe 8?
Can't be true..
If a company making as much profit as MS thinks every fourth person must be a manager (Windows 7 development) who am I to argue?
Now, personal experience over 30+ years, yes, managers are needed otherwise there is no time to build systems, to design, to program, to administrate, to .. But one of four?
Logistics, politics, budgets, etc are necessary but boring - so, let's leave that to managers as long as they get us what we need (beer, and so on.. and maybe computers / tools / toys sometimes also) and stay out of how, it seems to give them headache - maybe sometimes asking why because they have to have a good story to tell upwards.
Won't be the first time..
IBM has had "cloud" in their mind as long as I remember back to 70's, especially after Series 1 and 8100 (the canceled 8000 series) came out. Series 1 was seriously fun systems! Of course the TP monitors were able for distributed processing and it was very easy to write RJE jobs, JES3 managing several computers, actually using non-IBM technology 100s of miles apart even in non-IBM systems. Systems programmers dream land!
Now, they have killed it as many times they have started (same as VM?) The problem with huge and slow moving corporation.
I don't know if they are serious this time? But at least they are aiming to large / very large corporations - the interfaces are not what a small company would use, times have changed! Lotus is really for large corporations - nice system but UI, etc not up to date. And binding it to Windows and even Java - what do they think?
And really, feature wise - what do you get more than in other systems? Or even without - I have documents perfectly safe in global services (encrypted!), manage / share X number of projects, one address book, can start video, whiteboard, telephone, whatever conferences at any time with my peers, share or not share files, etc, use any chat or IM or whatever at the same time, and so on - all this independent if in OS X, Linux or Windows (without SharePoint - heh!)? So - what would this give me more than I already have?
Interesting study and comments
Doing global (and local) development since 70's, sometimes managing, sometimes designing, sometimes just coding or testing so I have seen X number different projects (and results!) There is also a difference between internal and external projects, and also if you are a provider overseeing (helping) a customer or another provider project - many flavors.
The study really hints what I have always thought and why I'm big fan of social networking and collaboration. And agile - long time before marketing came with that word.
The differences today are really all the tools and toys available. Used correctly they can be very useful but often misused and causing some problems. Earlier using for example phone and transferring massive amounts of documents, code, etc were very error prone, slow, and so on. Today there is no need for that, distributed systems take care of that. For design, negotiation, checks, etc just fire the video conference and whiteboards up in computer - almost as good as sitting in same room. I can do that 24h from home, helps a lot in global environment.
Now, some things haven't changed - the management of a project is still and probably will always be a lot of manual work! It just needs personal touch today as much as ever. Worst projects I have had are when some group on other side of globe are given very detailed definitions and too much autonomy. No contract,SLA, project plan, etc ever is perfect but some cultures see them that way and execute them to the letter but nothing else. Time to fly there and when one way is 16-26h it definitely isn't fun but if the other option is to negotiate over phone, take two-three weeks (or sometimes months!) to even start something then the flying over and managing it in place seems a good solution. And no - Six Sigma or whatever disciplines are good and needed but can't replace common sense!
So, technically distributed projects are not bad but the logistics! Even locally distributed projects can keep you busy, separate buildings, campuses, whatever combined with todays "management model" where we build the railroad from east, the other organization from west and some day we will meet - but half a mail apart!
More - and sane people...
Right and besides Hyde Park is a lovely park, one of my favorite places in April but unfortunately not able to visit it often, FaceBook - no flowers, no spring rain, definitely no entertaining and funny people, no pub's near, .. Yes, if I have something to say, I will go to Hyde Park. Try it, you will love it! Next time I'm in London, hopefully in April, see you there and not in Internet. Besides, it's totally safe except of course from some, very good British humor, the comments are way better than what you see in Internet!
So - MBTA is a business..
A correct action - "A Dutch judge rejected the request.", good for dutch! Any corporation that skimps in security should be responsible. It is not that it is difficult, expensive, or whatever, especially today, we have a technology for security, just don't go and buy from next guy who promises free air-miles or whatever perks, design it if you need it! Security is NOT a product, tool or toy - get real! The more the failures in security and other areas in IT are published, the better. It is not just RFID cards, look around - the corporations are slacking instead of working.
It doesn't make any sense to go around failing suits when the problem is in own house. A tiring subject - comes out more and more. I hope that MIT, etc fights this - there are problems and they have to be found. Lately it seems that corporations are not taking the business seriously - and the security is not the only one!
Why is this news - again?
Maybe because we don't learn - "don't mix data and code"! Maybe we even get self modifying code next that the user can send to systems? Sorry, seems that I'm a little slow today, we already have it - again! As long as the corporations or their minions buy whatever "new" and glorious technologies without any criteria - it will go on and on. Besides, it's not "rich data", it's "rich code" if there is anything that causes execution - and would someone give the official definition of Web 2.0 or a standards definition - I have been looking it now for a while, which RFC?
On this side of the pond..
It is unfortunate in US that Mandriva is not even mentioned in most articles of Linux. Yes, Mandriva has had their ups and downs but as a (paying) user I have found that Mandriva is a nice balance between casual user and hard core user. Paying because even currently running on my own, I still think that the small amount you pay even if you can get it free may make a difference.
Even I moved from programming to systems design and architecture a long time ago, I still love USB (or CD, DVD, whatever) capability to boot (in) a computer. Often the environment I have to work just doesn't have the tools and toys, and in case like that your "own" system is a huge time saver. Of course Mandriva is not the only one, I carry a couple of other Linux distros, Open Solaris, BSD, etc on several USBs, CDs and DVDs (with different database systems, etc) with me. I can even bring up VM and MVS on almost any system - now, if I could do that legally with Windows?
Dump terminal times had some benefits..
Mostly you knew that there was something not really(?) working, even the data entry and office personnel were at least used to get what they waited and mostly knew their limitations. Today - it has changed! I'm now out of it because got too tired of managers, CIOs, whatever who have absolutely no idea what they are talking but because they are "big bosses" they think that yelling is more important than trying at least a little to understand the computer systems.
Yes, a customer is a customer, but when you get 2am support call THIRD time and already guess that a manager in a state wide infrastructure has removed the same cable again(!) because it doesn't look right(!) - and I was on 3td level of support so two other people already got yelled.. Unfortunately they had fired all the admins - everything runs nicely so why would we need any admins, we can save money just having some console operators? Who, actually, left because even they with their small experience knew better! It was kind of funny - first time was confusing, second time was frustrating and third time(!) - I probably broke some some vendor / customer rules, he got promoted and we never had at least that problem again!
And, don't ever get involved with a relative as a customer! They don't even have to be one of the "stupid" relatives but because they are a relative! They assume that you are there to solve any problem and stop even trying, first sign of ANY problem and you are supposed to come and fix it! I had one - never again!
A long time ago I used to work with(!) operators and they really have day dreams! Which I often had to enjoy. Maybe operators have evolved - in my days (of course only in dreams!) we only could lose a boss to (sound proof) fire stairs, doors somehow locked both up and down but eventually opened 8 hours later. Or maybe the bosses key code was found when someone used the executive bar or private lounges, saunas, etc in the night - actually good quality drinks and very hot saunas, not that I would know anything about those - just operator dreams! Or when some bosses got stuck between garage doors in a limo full of student girls coming to study the company process 3am - strange, the doors really did work for me a little earlier(?) but was kind of interesting in internal (of course, recoding) TV-circuit, and we, of course, were not allowed to even report anything about that system, a secret and another department! They really didn't do good work, tapes got lost and then somehow ended published in our internal publishing system just at lunch time when everyone was supposed to watch it? Kind of miss those times - the dreaming(?) is not as common today or maybe I just don't deal with operators as much as I used?
I love and use git, cvs, subversion, accurev, perforce, mks, even ClearCase and SourceSafe, whatever but they all are missing something, the real view of complexity of development on business level. Even ClearCase and other very expensive (and hard to manage) systems are not on the level for example Panvalet was on late 70's. So - of course you go on what you need but, unfortunately, these system are made from engineering point of view, not for user, not for managing projects, not for development teams on different locations and time zones, not really have all the capabilities to manage several development branches and versions, etc.
BitKeeper is no different, a nice system but instead of of functionality they are more interested of the money and marketing. And good for them IF they can make it. Which seems possible in todays IT environment.
Need not to stop - try NonStop
Tandems, or as they are today HP NonStop systems are and have been amazing since first 16bit systems back in 70's. Of course banks, trade companies, etc love them but there are other who also need uninterrupted 24x7 operations, manufacturing also loves NonStop systems in such cases. They run warehouses, just in time manufacturing, robots in bank vaults no person ever allowed (yes, there are such), etc. Unfortunate how short sighted the IT industry often is - as John Benson says, some system I designed in 80's are still running and scaling up with new systems without any code changes. User interfaces may and will change but the core components don't have to. About SCOBOL and TAL (Tandem languages) both are still very versatile - TAL (based on Algol syntax) is what C, done right, should have been. 300K+ is really not much when you talk about the whole business, it just looks big in one check but compared to a whole IT project over xx years? Best ROI you may get - often, sometimes? And security - try NonStop or a mainframe!
Isn't it great?
All these collaboration and team tools! Out lives are getting easier and easier, instead of thinking, planning, designing and developing, just push a button in a tool and if there still is a problem, push another button and problem is moved to someone elses plate! Life is too short to plan, design and develop, just use one of these great tools, don't get tired thinking on day, save that to the pub - think how much better your life will be! Oh, you don't like Clear...., why would you even care, now you can move your problem to build manager, resolution manager, build technician, build architect, product manager, deployment manager, delivery manager, or even to the poor systems architect who is responsible of the build scrips with on push of a button. Life will be great - sorry, I hate marketing!
I had the luck to work with Jim a couple of years and can tell, he was the person you can read in this and other articles. And more, our kids were always welcome to his (small) office, he always had papers, pencils and TIME for them. They still remember him after many years. We stayed in contact after going to separate companies but I definitely will miss his Xmas greetings every year and his always nice and immediate answers when I did ask anything, mostly stupid questions. I'm sure that many other besides me did learn that being technically good (not brilliant as Jim) is not good enough, you also have to be a human who understands others.
Preventing and monitoring?
Preventing this kind of things happening can never be 100% but aren't they monitoring it? You would think that any company which is relying on, let's say DNS, would be monitoring that resource? Doesn't really cost anything, just a couple of messages time to time. Weird!
Agile and security?
Agile is nothing new, it is just a new word for an age old way to do things. And what it has to do with security - security is much, much more than just some word, technology, method, whatever. And if the "security specialist" means just IT - a lost case already. Of course application and system security are important but saying that a (computer) development method solves security problems is, in my mind, a little (or more than a little) dangerous, someone might even believe that?
Don't get me wrong, I love agile, it brings the old teamwork back which was lost to (wrongly understood) waterfall (another story) , but saying it replaces education, thinking, planning, designing, checking, testing, etc is just a little too much marketing to my taste.
It's not just TJX..
Yes, it is easy to be PCI compliant and still totally insecure. When does it get through - security is not rules, regulations, tools or toys. Security is protecting property, information, and even humans and access to something which could be harmful or cause problems in wrong hands. PCI is mostly nice acronyms and abbreviations, none really defined what they mean but assumed to describe something which has to be protected and how. Think of PCI itself, maybe it is "Peripheral Component Interconnect" - as good as "Payment card industry" or is it "Per capita income"?
It would be so simple to write regulations as "you mishandle customer information in a way which causes loss or grief to a customer, you are denied the rights to do xxxxxxx." Leave the how to corporations, they always find a way to comply just because it would be a good business - don't make the security itself a lucrative business for snake oil companies which always find ways to sell "secure" solutions for other companies.
And IT because this is not an IT problem but much, much wider.. IT is not paid the salaries where this kind of problems are solved.
MS and HPC?
Doesn't fit to the same page today - HPC is something else, be it high computing power or processing huge amounts of data. With their huge resources MS could handle it but no real results yet? 1000 clusters - who cares, old news, what are results? Same, more, less, ?? than old Cray or Big Blue, or mainframe clusters, or what?? High performance is a little confusing term, used to describe too many things, but it definitely is not how many systems you can connect but what is the result - anything else is just marketing - maybe good for (some?) management but not real.
Kids, give some respect
Some respect to UK computer history - Elliot 503 (and 803) was a machine! Even Tony Hoare said so! The only problem was to collect the paper tape from floor after run but the machine itself had a real nice voice when processing. Full Algol besides.
Flying - literally
Backtracking - spinning things can do interesting damage. This company gave up the flywheel UPS's after we watched a FASTRAND drum storage go through a brick wall when it jumped out of the case. Decent size hole, have to say. But fast service - next day delivery from Univac a new one but the flywheels were replaced shortly after that - they were a little heavier and also promised never to break?
Everyone saying it's hypocritical is right! MS can be anything but green today - their systems and applications use more cycles and more (on desktop) graphics (i.e. hotter cards) than anyone else. They really have to do more - they are doing in some areas but green - no! Even with enhanced, lower power systems, MS systems just seem to eat more and more. I have to laugh when I remember the days when people were complaining that the systems used more than 10% of cycles compared to applications! Do you see those complains today??
Who ever said..
"Improve the average human intelligence and diminish the average chimpanzees' intelligence" - this wins, hands down! Thank you - haven't had a good laugh for a while.
Good but still
Good start but.. Long ago I got involved in an insurance case - same name, same birthday and living in apartments cross each other! Guess which one our collectors hit - the wrong one! And a manager in one of our largest customer on top of that. Took a while to cool it down. So, maybe they are not out of the loop yet?
RE: Infosec is mostly voodoo
Why didn't the first ask all (most) of questions? A very good question, I have wondered the same thing? Nobody can probably think every detail but security, physical and logical, has been around a long time and there are some very good checklists, maybe not all in one but you can put one together rather easily.
Maybe the problem is the "specialists"? They see one problem, want it fixed but don't see that fixing it will cause other problems? Adding a camera is easy, guaranteeing it stays up all the time, there are enough people watching the new circuits, etc may not be so easy? Adding a new security protocol, encryption, etc may be easy but what it does to performance, capacity, current AA management, etc may again be not so easy?
Same as adding ABS breaks, be ready, the behavior of the car may change a lot! And it takes time to get used to it OR you may have to change other parts to make the car really drivable again.
Ever done a large system?
There is not much difference protecting security than protecting against other coders or other applications in system. It should teach everyone to design the part they do against all kinds of misuse - or do you want to go tracing, debugging, whatever your own part when someone else makes a mistake?
An advice, don't ever trust the spec. or defaults - sooner or later it will bite you. Unfortunately today the push to deliver is so high that even the best sometimes make shortcuts. I'm amazed that companies do that but maybe the short time benefits look too attractive, next quarter up, year from now - huge problems but who cares?
IBM a dinosaur, maybe but..
IBM may be a dinosaur but it has a lot of raptors in flock. SOA is huge and IBM has both the business savvy and the technical people to handle both sides - they have done it through all the changes in business and technology a long time.
SOA is definitely not boring - it's just too big to grasp if you don't have both business and technology background. Time shows - SOA is nothing new except new acronyms, terms, thankfully some new standards, definitions, etc but the idea is old. It was old 30+ years ago, just not formalized.
You get what you preach
It's getting old! These "block lists" are there to make money to some company, nothing really blocking spam or whatever. The e-mail system has gone bad - my e-mails (from many servers I have to keep just because one day Google is black listed, one day it is a group of IPs where my private server is, one day my Hotmail, and so on, a long list), I'm lucky if I get 5xx error (or some other error to tell me) but often the mail just goes to NULL. And every time it is one of these "services" to block SPAM. There are much easier (and cheaper on long run) ways to fight SPAM and other things you don't want to come through your e-mail!
We had a network administrator who had very nice vacations all over the world until the management realized that he selected the gears by who gave most miles - in US for some strange reason companies buy from third hand, not from vendor? So there are always some kinds of perks included - I just wonder how IRS looks that?
Yes, a nice article
Makes sense so much that don't present your ideas if looking a job in a huge software company as a developer. I tried and was told that I don't understand objects? Good luck for them getting out of the mess later. Yes, it did work a long time ago and it still works (obejcts or no objects!) to make testable and maintainable systems.
UC - sometimes handy
Unified is here - I have 6 phone numbers in two countries (for local, cheap calls), Skype, Gizmo, VoIP and cell - no POS. Pennies (literally) compared what it used to be a couple of years ago, You call any one and if not answered routes through options to leave a message or route to my cell. I can use voice, chat, send / receive files or have a video conference over devices which support it. Sounds good to me. This is where my MacBook comes handy but I also have the same capability in a couple of Linux systems I use - all in .11n networks, fast enough but not expensive. Or maybe I'm in a bar which offers free WiFi.
I don't know if this is even worth of commenting? We tried XP and SCRUM and agile and a couple more which don't have current "new" acronyms in 70's with 400+ developers / programmers in a controlled environment! AND the result - some methods work in some special cases but no magic was found! And the same methods didn't work in all the phases - actually the agile design did show a lot of benefits when moved out of site but that has been known a long time, isolate the design group somewhere without interruptions you get better results. Code development did work well when the roles and requirements were well defined, duh! So, before any of these "new" methods are tested and proven in a CONTROLLED environment, I think they really are just fluff and, as some have said, there to make money and fame.
A mainframe refresh course
No, mainframes are not best for everything. But, if you need real reliability, performance, security and easy to operate at the same time nothing beats z/OS (aka MVS) in mainframe. And yes, even a mainframe can go down. There has been some OS problems which made it unusable, of course, no electricity - no computer, an operator error and a catastrophic hardware failure (which usually leaves it running but with so much reduced power that it is basically unusable - seen one and have rumors of other.) About name mainframe, it can be argued but when it comes to raw information, not computational, power I don't think that there are other (today) than a real z/OS based system from IBM. It is unfortunate that Hitachi, Fujitsu, Amdahl, etc are not any more competing, it was an interesting time. About real ROI - if running hundreds or even thousands of Linux (business or development) servers in a mainframe there is no question that it is much less expensive in every way than separate servers. And it is a myth that mainframes are more difficult to manage than Unix, Windows, etc. When an installation has a good systems programmer taking care of the systems I still can teach the administrators (used to be called operators,heh) in a couple of weeks and after six months expertise they will be fully fluent. And development is same as in any other platform except the developers don't have to care make files(?), libraries, versions, etc - all that was taken care (in a good installation) already in 70's. JCL ? what is that, in no organized mainframe shop using source/configuration management to manage the environment has required the developers, etc to know except basics - mostly how to fill your credentials, run conditions, output requirements and maybe accounting information, the system takes care of rest and has done that 30 years. Now - add VM to that. Each group and even a person has own mainframe or maybe own Linux to develop, to test, to QA, etc just by starting it (once again - if the installation is even a little designed and organized right!) Mainframes just got a bad name for a while because of the same reasons other systems have/will get a bad name - business didn't understand how to use them and IBM has to take some blame on that, they moved to marketing instead of their at one time excellent education and training.
Good for VM
I really have to wonder MS with all their resources? They have very good people in development so that can't be the problem, why so late? It will get interesting, now MS doesn't have to fight just VM but get to all these hardware vendors after the fact. And they must offer something better than VM if they want to stay in game. Not easy, these are business systems and not home servers. They will run many other OS's than just Windows and all the management problems it creates. MS is enhancing Windows management to more standards based but how long will that take? And will it be really interoperable with existing infrastructure management systems? Too many questions still - interesting times coming!
Life and IT
It is not just DBA's, the whole IT is in denial. Life (==business) is not IT but making money. Until IT is a separate utility / service function, which has only business relationships and people who liaison between, it better to talk business language, not technology babble. Even inside IT it is sometimes difficult to find same terms, is it then no wonder that people outside don't understand those ever changing, millions of acronyms and different ways to show how it works. And it works another way round too - half of my work is to find why these nicely modeled, fully normalized and even formally tested databases have no performance when business functions change as they do almost day by day. In business a nice, static diagram is good a week - if you are lucky, world goes on.
It is the same concept you often see in movie world. All he can hope is his name in credentials and maybe a token payment but even that is goodwill by company. It is a contract issue and if not specifically stated in contract then it is a non-issue. And when working always document the background of any idea. It protects both you and the company - that way they don't think (should not think) owning the idea but they will own the work. The problem often comes when you have been working a long time and know or at least have knowledge of a lot. Some ideas which seem new are in reality very old but the players are new / uneducated / unexperienced who have never heard of those and may try to own them. I personally have had a couple of those - then you just have patiently go back and explain how it works, it often helps to have customers lawyer included so they can explain it to the customer in what ever terms they use in that company. Just don't let them intimidate you, they will try!
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