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* Posts by Trevor_Pott

3636 posts • joined 31 May 2010

Australia cuts Microsoft bill by AU$100m

Trevor_Pott
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What savings can they expect to see...

...by publicly announcing "we will not consider any alternative vendors." Hmm...

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Heroku cops to poor tech performance for last THREE YEARS

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"What keeps Cedar from having the same problems as Bamboo down the road?"

The fact that you learn from your mistakes. That you are wiser and more experienced than you were the last time you tried this. Hopefully, that you are humble enough to recognise the above and act on it.

A mea culpa is a great start; it shows recognition. The development of the second platform shows action. Bloody better reaction than most in this field.

"We didn't know everything there was to know, fucked up, learned from our mistakes and tried again, this time having learned things from before." Sounds...human. I'd trust those folks a lot more readily than I would $other_company that has "the next new thing."

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Life after Cisco: I've got 99 problems but a switch ain't one

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Re: How to benchmark the impossible?

Find me a $500 switch with 24 10GbE ports and I will.

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Re: Foundry (Brocade)?

...because I don't have any brocade stuff to test? I can onlh really write about what I can test...

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Re: Try leaving them on for more than a day

Both have now been in use two months. No problems.

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Re: Hmmm

Mutilcast is easy if you have a "known quantity" network to test against; making the new switch the only unknown. Similarly, I took a risk and tried muti-vendor spanning tree. They both worked just fine, talked to the exisiting network, did the spanning tree thing without any fuss.

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British, Belgian boffins battle buffering bandwidth bogeyman

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@Phil O'Sophical Well, I guess it's different here. Canada still HAS a few government-run telecoms companies, and they provide as-good-or-better service to their customers at lower prices. And they do so in the places that have far lower population density and more hurdles to overcome than private offerings.

Privatisation simply did not spur innovation here. All it did was drive up prices. It sure as shit didn't spur any new investment in infrastructure.

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@John Smith 19

I consider the development of TCP/IP to have been essentially primary research. Beyond that, there was a legitimate military requirement. There were all sorts of reasons that it made sense for that to be developed on the public dime.

In this instance, I can't really come up with a good argument why this should be developed by a government. There are lots of good market reasons for people to develop this technology in the private sector and make it interoperable.

The Storage Networking Industry Association's plugfests server to me as an example of how the private sector can even work together when there is a business case to be made for interoperability. I guess I just can't find a way to classify this as anything close to "primary research." It seems like this is exactly the sort of thing that we should have coming out of Cisco's R&D, proposed to a central standards authority, then pay Cisco the FRAND tithe on their patent for 10 years.

My gripe here isn't about spending a few million. We piss away more than that on those pointless perv scanners. My gripe here is that we have a government undertaking to develop a technology that there is no requirement for a government to develop, seemingly for no reason other than to prevent private industry from being able to milk it for patents.

I am no big fan of large corporations…but this strikes me as a terrible plan. If governments are going to run around and stat picking off the low-hanging IP fruit, then it strikes me that corporations are going to start reconsidering even the pittance they spend on R&D now.

Thus it seems to me that the narrow benefit to the people – dodging one round of patent payments that will probably add a buck tops to any new device – has the potential to be dramatically overshadowed by the chilling effect such efforts could very well have on private sector R&D spend. R&D spend which is – quite frankly – piss poor as it is.

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"Grow the fuck up" = "agree with my antiquated view of the world based not on provable facts and figures, but the fairy tales I was taught about economics as a child." Nice. Glad to see you are at least internally consistent with the stereotype.

The private sector is fucking pants at investing in primary research. That's something governments do well...or did. until the private sector became a "person" in some backwater stinkholes and started changing the direction of the large research institutions every two years via the application of ridiculous amounts of lobbying. Rapidly decaying clusterfucks that were once proud nations aside, there are plenty of examples where government funded primary research with long time horizons produces results that simply would never be funded by the private sector today.

That is where this money should be going. Not into items with definable markets and a describable, positive ROI. If you can build a near-term business case for it, then the government doesn't have any business poking it's head into it.

Which is exactly why nationalised – or at the very least regulated-to-be-shared telecommunications and power infrastructure is better. I'm sorry you had a shitty experience, but fuck your anecdotes with a lacquered bus. I've had a shitty experience: it is called "privatisation." The privatisation of our power and telecommunications industries have been horrible for the consumer…and worse for businesses!

Competition never emerged, and investment only occurred when backs were against the wall. Specifically, advancements only happen when enough citizens get together and threaten to create collectively-owned telecommunciations or power infrastructure and start banging on the regulator's door. At that point, the existing monopoly/duopoly providers will have an aneurism and send in a fleet of lawyers. Two years later an agreement will be reached to slowly advance the state of infrastructure (or drop rates) to the minimum possible level required to stop the citizenry from phoning the politicians.

It was a hell of a lot more efficient when this was more or less directly controlled by the politicians; when shit didn't move fast enough, we screamed like banshees and shit got done.

We could go toe to toe with anecdotes all day long, but since there seems to be a reasonable amount of evidence that backs up my personal anecdotes, I'll stick with my outlook on the world, thank you.

I'd much rather have the UK's telecommunications infrastructure than Canada's, or (heaven forbid) most of the US. That whole "being forced to sell bandwidth wholesale" thing sure worked out better there than privatisation did for us.

And don't get me started on North American cellular rates…

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Okay, I'm a right good socialist. I believe in centralised health care, employment insurance, emergency services, education and so forth. I even believe that certain things should be nationalised (like telecommunications infrastructure) because they are "natural monopolies." In addition, I - sin of sins - believe that governments should fund primary research (a-la NASA) because there are no private entities that are capable of long term thinking or willing to invest in raw R&D anymore. (R.I.P. Xerox PARC from the era of not sucking.)

But government money to develop new networking protocols/algorithms to reduce latency? What the twentyfold detonated hells? This is exactly the sort of thing we have a private sector (and free - if preferably regulated - markets) for! This is something with a clearly defined return on investment and a very short horizon on return. If this could be done for such a paltry sum of money, why aren't we leaving this up to the private sector to solve?

"This isn’t something that companies like Microsoft and Apple will undertake lightly,..."

Like hell.

If Apple or Microsoft - especially Apple - thought for an instant they could solve this problem in a way that could be realistically implemented, they'd be all over that like white on rice. Microsoft would want the licenceing and Apple would find a way to sue someone with it.

To say nothing of how desperately Cisco would love to own something like that. (What with Software Defined Networking rendering the bulk of their business model irrelevant and all…) I am willing to bet you couldn't throw a rock in the valley without hitting some dude working on exactly this problem at some stealth-mode startup. Hell, I met a few of them last time I was there!

So what gives? What the heck am I missing here? How is this something any government at any level should be involved in? I am legitimately confused as to how this came about.

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NBN Co coffee budget brews caffeinated controversy

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Re: Do the math...

You have coffee machines that last "several years?" Where do I buy such unicorns? Even the industrial ones get demolished in two or three (tops) around here...

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Re: That's why people even drink coffeeeeeeeeeeeee!!

I once sat down to do the sums on how much of my disposable income I spend of coffee. Then I realised there was a business case for having the business pay for it and writing it off as a taxable employee benefit. You see, the taxes I pay on the coffee as a benefit are lower (versus the taxes I would pay on that same money presented as salary and then spent on coffee, factoring in GST) that I could, in fact, buy more coffee with the same amount of money.

Will work for coffee. And bandwidth. Will work for bandwidth and coffee. Do you have any coffee?

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What do we want? COFFEE!

When do we want it? I'll fucking cut you!

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Is social networking good for anything more than cat pics?

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Re: short sighted

Oh, I suspect the "millions using it" to be drastically inflated. 200 million profiles means sweet fuck all if that overwhelming majority of them simply make a profile then bugger off.

You talk about the "value" of the service to marketing and HR bodies. I never once denied that there was potential for value there. I said - and please, reread my comments without the LinkedIn-coloured glasses on, that there is little-to-no value for anyone else. I also said "that's a huge problem."

Why is that a problem? Because if the non-marketing/HR users of your server (known in non-bullshit-speak as "the product you are selling") can derive no value from the service, they will bugger off eventually. First, the high-value eyeballs, then the midrange ones. Right around here, your HR/marketing bodies won't be able to find anyone they give fucks about and will stop paying for the service too.

You have to keep the plebeians happy if you want to sell them as your product.

Unfortunately, the plebeians aren't happy. LinkedIn provides fuck-all for value as a recruitment service (and don't bullshit yourself, me, or the fine readers of The Register by even pretending that isn't the primary reason the plebeians sign up) and it provides next-to-no value as a "business networking service" (outside the marketing/HR circles.)

Again you come at this from a "if everyone played nice, it would work!" Nobody plays nice; they do what is convenient and the most likely to gain them something in the short term. When was the last time you encountered humans who en masses thought long term?

Twitter is an excellent platform for customer service, but that doesn't make Twitter any money. Twitter's value is that it has become the instant messaging platform that displaced the previous instant messaging platforms...but how does that help Twitter keep the lights on, eh?

Facebook is a B2C advertising platform if your target market are "households making less than 50K per annum." Great for peddling soft drinks but worth fuck all to companies that want to shift shit with margins. (You know, the companies that are willing to really bust out marketing budgets?)

So yeah, I'm right. And there are literally millions of people pissing away thier time on this shit. That's not surprising, they also tend to be the millions of people who have next to no disposable income, and the companies that chase after them.

The rest of the world - those with anything resembling income - went elsewhere looking for something that provided real value to the end user (the product being sold to the advertiser, remember!) long ago. Social networking must either provide demonstrable value to all parties or it will fail.

It will fail if it can't make enough money to keep the lights on. (Twitter.)

It will fail if it only appeals to those who have no money. (Facebook.)

Right now, LinkedIn is basically built on the lie - and it is a lie - that LinkedIn offers value to the common plebian. As soon as the majority wake up to the fact that they extract far less value from the site than the time they put in, they'll leave. (And many are doing so; not by closing accounts, but simply by giving no fucks and not logging in.) This will doom them when those who actually pay for the service - advertisers, marketing and HR types - start an exodus.

So what does LinkedIn do? It can increase the value of the service to the plebes, which would reduce the value to the HR/Marketing types (but increase value to advertisers.) They'd have to find the balance of "worth it for the common man" without pissing away their entire revenue base.

Alternately, they can follow Facebook. I'm betting on the latter. Why? Because LinkedIn lost it's "startup" feel a while back (so sayeth many in the valley, if you talk to them,) and has become bureaucratised. This always means a shift away from delivering a good product to the common user and a focus on quarterly revenues. That - quite frankly - is doom for any social network, and I believe that the general discontent amongst the hoi polloi with the service (and the mounting spam) is evidence enough that this shift is well underway.

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Re: life beyond the US

Canadian dollar and USian dolar are mroe or less at par.

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Re: short sighted

Mortgage man, gotta pay it.

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Re: short sighted

No, I wouldn't. My suggestion isn't perfect - I could think of a dozen ways to refine it beyond the excellent suggestion you provided - but it is a start. It would minimise the noise, boost the singal.

Oh, and please do remember life beyond the USA. I'm from Canada, eh?

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Re: short sighted

@verdox your entire diatribe is presupposed on everyone using LinkedIn "the way it was intended." My point is that nobody does. Not the HR types, not the companies, not the people creating the profiles. Instead, they use the service/software in the manner that would seem most intuitively likely to benefit them directly.

What LinkedIn needs is actually quite simple:

1) I, as a LinkedIn profile creator (the product being sold) should be able to set something in my profile that says "bugger off unless you are offering at least $75K." Ideally, nobody but LinkedIn will actually see this.

2) The HR drone (the person buying the product on offer) should be able to set a parameter in their search that says "show me only profiles that have agreed to work for the bent pittance I am offering."

3) My profile won't show up unless they are prepared to talk about a living wage.

4) HR bodies will be electrocuted and their remains fired into the sun if they set the numbers on their search higher than they are actually willing to pay.

Suddenly, you get a LOT more realistic view of the available job field as an HR body, and you get WAY less time-wasting spam as a prospective candidate. Unfortunately, if LinkedIn actually did that, then the whole world would discover the basis of their site is one big lie, and their stock price would collapse overnight…so they'll never do it. More's the pity.

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Re: I see what your problems is

It is self defence. Marking wonks almost always check my LinkedIn. LinkedIn is an early warning system that doesn't require me to comb the logs on my apache server. Nothing more. But please understand the sheer VOLUME of PR people I have to deal with, and writing for El Reg isn't my day job.

Still; the value of LinkedIn is that it is a slightly less ass version of webalizer? That's worth an instagram a year?

Also: why would I care if the NYT editor checks my LinkedIn. That just means I am about to be interviewed because I trolled someone. There is a near-zero chance that anyone, anywhere is going to pay me enough to write full time that it replaces my income as a sysadmin. Writers do NOT get paid well. To hear others talk, the "per word" hasn't come up in over a decade.

I write because I like you guys, well...mostly. The money eniugh to build a lab is nice. But I only have a lab so I can write...

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Canada cans net surveillance law

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Don't bet against Openmedia

Betting against Openmedia is betting against the Canadian people. We still have some semblance of democracy in the great white north, so angering the Canadian people is the sort of thing our politicians try to avoid. Thoough the Conservatives are trying thier damndest to take our democracy away from us...

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VMware pulls more control freakage into vSphere stack

Trevor_Pott
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Re: KVM is free and performs better

"Not completely shit management tools" have been "just around the corner" for KVM since before KVM was a thing. I will believe that KVM is ready to roomba when I can install the damned thing and have it "just work" as well as VMware ESXi 5.1 Essentials Plus, and provide me the same level of features, quality, etc.

Because, frankly, I think ESXi 5.1 Essentials Plus is the minimum necessary set of features to have a virtualisation install that you could set up on a client site 300KM away from home and still sleep at night.

I don't use KVM for the same reason I don't use Hyper-V free. You might be able to make both dance around the head of a pin if you are willing to jack a fibre optic cable into your temporal lobe and transmit the scripting commands mentally…but "running the virtualisation infrastructure" isn't my 40 hr/wk job. It is a job I might have 2 hrs a week open to spend on, across 15-ish clients in three time zones.

The stuff has to Just Work. It has to work reliably, and it has to be easy to diagnose errors when it goes boom, easy to get back up and running after it goes boom and should sure as hell start e-mailing me about problems BEFORE it goes boom.

KVM - or Xen, or Cloudstack/Openstack/Big Bubba Bo Bob's fancy Open Source Sausage Factory Virtualisation Special just isn't there yet. Hell, Microsoft only just go there, and the bugs didn't get worked out until System Center 2012 SP1.

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Re: Which is better?

Sorry for the fireball, but that's my bullshit detector exploding.

First off, the competition isn't giving away the tools for free. Management applications are still pay-for. Now, you can SCRIPT everything you want with Hyper-V, but - shockingly - most sysadmins like GUIs, reports, graphs, charts and the things that come with good management software. So you're back to paying for the tools.

As to VMware giving 7% of their workers the sack, they cut the back-end workers because they've done a lot of acquisitions lately, and needed to trim the fat. They expect to be up 1000 workers at the end of this year compared to the start; but workers that make things we give fucks about, instead of back-office administration.

Now, don't get me wrong, VMware isn't perfect. But they obviously are listening to people (like me) who have been screaming about the cost of their product to SMBs and how this will prevent adoption. They hate it when I tell them that the hypervisor is a commodity (it is, VMware, fucking deal with it,) but it is a reality they have to work with. That means that playing the "high margin" game will require ever increasing innovation to stay ahead of the competition – difficult and expensive to do – or making a play for market share.

Right now, today, it is hard to convince them that they need to make a market share play because they own the market. I have been saying for ages that this is going to change very quickly thanks to hyper-v and other players undercutting them on the SMB side. (Not to mention it's appeal to hobbyists, students and so forth.) This is generally met with growls or – at best – blank stares.

Seems someone obtained clue, however. Pushing some features down the stack is a good first step. Un-crippling ESXi free (damn the 32GB RAM limit straight to hell) will be another. Maybe even unlocking the free hypervisor so that you can use Veeam or other API-dependant products on it. Something, ANYTHING to prevent the next generation of administrators (students and hobbiests; folks with no money!) from going Microsoft.

Remember: Microsoft has Technet. VMware does not.

So today, for SMBs, this announcement is a victory. It shows not only that we can get better offerings for less from VMware, it shows that somewhere – deep in the bowels of that mountain-resort-like headquarters of theirs – there is someone who has heard SMB admins and actually listened to what they have to say. I don't know if they have the pull to do more, but I sure hope so.

Let's take the wins we can get, eh?

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UK doesn't have the SKILLS to save itself from cyber threats

Trevor_Pott
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Re: Boring

I have tried recruiting cyber security bods. The key to success is not insulting them with offers below $75K. They average $100K with any sort of experience.

The problem isn't a lack of skills. It is a lack of people willing to work in the middle of a dense urban core (expensive!) for what - when you factor in cost of living - is poverty wages. Fuck HR, and thier government-funded surveys too.

Which reminds me...what is the point of LinkedIn again? And really, who does it serve?

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Clash of the Titans: Which of you has the GREATEST HOME LAB?

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Re: The list of shame

Do you power it all on at the same time?

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Re: Home Lab

Where is the nozzle for inserting the ground virgin you must be consuming to power that?

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Re: I think there needs to be multiple categories....

I have a contender for the first two categories. ;)

Small, cute, runs my home VM....

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Virtual sanity: What if GreenBytes just DUMPED its hardware?

Trevor_Pott
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Re: Heh

You don't need to, if you leave the hardware up to the customer...

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Trevor_Pott
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Heh

I had this same argument with Tintri two weeks ago. They did not seem impressed with the idea of simply punting the software. *sigh*

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Men's rights activists: Symantec branded us a 'hate group'

Trevor_Pott
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Re: Err...

I'm not angry at Symantec's algorithm for hating on masculists. (Though I'd love to educate the dev a little on cultural attitudes about men that are more modern than 1985.) No, I'm upset at that douchewoggle AC up yonder who was hating on white males.

That bloke ought to know better.

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Re: Err...

I should also say that while I am a strong believer in the gender equality - and do consider myself a masculist - I haven't visited this site in particular, nor do I endorse (or not) what may be on it. My argument is not for/against this one site, but is an argument regarding the concept of masculist itself.

I am offended that there are people who are themselves offended that men might desire to stick up for themselves and demand equal treatment. What makes men less deserving of equality than women? Should the men of today be punished for the sins of our father's father's father's long dead and long removed from the society that raised us?

I think it is as shameful that you would mock "the white male" as if you were to attempt to alienate any other identifiable group. judge people by the actions of the individual, not their gender, colour of their skin, height, weight, sexual orientation or any other such item.

I am not my skin colour, nor am I my gender. I am the sum of my beliefs and my actions. I am my words and deeds, not my outward appearance. That is worth fighting for; regardless of your gender.

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Re: Err...

Tell your tripe to the man who lost his child in the custody battle to the cocaine-addicted wife because "women are inherently better caretakers of women." Or how about the dichotomy regarding child support/alimony that is entirely gender-based, especially punitive to males who fought long and hard to be able to keep provide a home for their children.

How about a society that says children must live with the mother after a breakup, regardless of what the children want, or one what automatically presumes a male is guilty in any case of accused sexual malfeasance. What about a society that says it is okay to send millions of young men out to die in battle, yet coddles and protects women; telling them they are too precious to fight.

I think you'll find that most men's rights movements are very explicitly not</i. chauvinist movements. Masculist are generally <i>egalitarians, seeking equal treatment, regardless of gender. In the same way that bullshit propaganda exists today which says (at it's core) "you can't be racist against white people" we have today this ridiculous belief that "you can't be sexist against men."

We have a culture that is in many ways chauvinist (glass ceiling is one sad example) and in many ways misandrist (custody laws and lack of innocent until proven guilty in rape cases.) Both chauvinism and misandry are unacceptable.

Feminism has a strong movement that is well funded by all levels of government, private donation and various registered charities to fight the good fight on behalf of women. Masculism gets easily labelled a hate site, even by companies that should know better like Symantec.

Unacceptable.

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The Register Guide to Windows Server 2012

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Re: Step 1 for Windows 2012 deployment:

RetroUI, Classic Shell, Start8...

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Every single Internet Explorer at risk of drive-by hacks until Patch Tuesday

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Re: @Arctic Fox

Except for the part where I'm not really worthy of "a special commendation" as regards the comments section, as I spend at least as much of my time in the comments trolling the living piss out of folks as I do actually being helpful and/or useful.

That said, I love me my ignore feature, so I'd have a sad if they took my gold badge away. Personally, I think the solution to Eadon, Richto and so many others (including myself, most likely) is to give the "ignore" option to everyone. (Or get a proper friends and foes system going.)

Trolls wither without attention. I say this as a troll. With the exception of the truly sociopathic, we largely troll because we know we'll get a response. We're bored, angry, frustrated, curious or otherwise looking to vent an emotion in text form such that it provokes a response and allows us to continue an emotional conversation rather than a carefully logical and rational one.

In fact, I think the internet – and websites like El Reg – make it even worse than it used to be. Facts, logic, pedantry, [citation needed], overwhelming criticism to the smallest failure and so forth mean people must check, re-check and check all over again every single little thing they post, say or do. Humans just aren't built for that. We're not logical by nature. We're instinctual primates that have powerful emotions, urges, desires, "gut reactions," and are steered by loyalty, prejudice, and more.

Some days, we just want to hit something, damn it. Even if it is verbally rather than physically. Other days, we just want to vent our displeasure regarding a company, product, individual or so forth. Our society – especially amongst and amidst the technorati – rejects this. Repress your emotions. Control your feelings. Stop, think, get the opinion of the hivemind and test everything empirically. Under no circumstances hold an opinion on something, because opinions aren't backed by Big Data. Whitepaper, sir, or GTFO.

So these people – more amongst IT than elsewhere, I suspect – turn to trolling folks on the interbutts for release. It is "safe," and we can use the knowledge of the past hundred years worth of psychology and group dynamics that is often used against us to ensure a response from others. Emotional gratification in an environment where that is difficult to obtain. Bonus points if you can get a day job as an astroturfer doing the same thing.

Without attention, there is no gratification. There is no incentive to vent your spleen. Why write the diatribe, or come up with the witty one-liner? Americans will tell you that "speech you don't like should be met with more speech." People from a nation with actual functioning internet access will tell you that this is the single stupidest thing you can ever do.

Don't feed the trolls. Click ignore instead.

Beer, because it's beer thirty-five where I am, and you lot should have one too. Don't forget to downvote! Cheers.

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Netbooks were a GOOD thing and we threw them under a bus

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Paris Hilton

Re: On THIS Planet...

Dear derpy retard, on THIS planet, most of the damned ultrabooks, notebooks and so forth being produced today are unibody designs with no user-replacable batteries. On the other hand, if you want to haul around some notebook chiselled out a fucking rock by a hivemind of barbarians eleventy tech advances ago, you go right ahead. Me, I don't consider a 6 pound notebook with a knapsack full of an additional 40 pounds of batteries (required to get to 12 hours of usable battery life) to be "portable."

Oh, and since you have added an inability to read to your list of personal failures; it wasn't a news article. It was a sysadmin blog; thus editorial. Don't trip on the imaginary carpet edge on the way out!

Paris, because I'd rather let her into the server room than you.

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No, because the surface doesn't allow for multitasking. It doesn't allow you to install any real applications besides the Office app - Metro apps don't count, without something like RetroUI I can't break them out into multi-tasking capable items - oh, and the Surface RT doesn't give me 12 hours of usable anything.

Next.

What I want is a 13" Thinkpad with both nipple and an old-school trackpad (with real fucking buttons). Instead of running off of Intel's latest every-so-slightly-rebadged combustible lemons, they could power the whole damned thing off of something wiht as much oomph as my HTC Desire. Run Windows 7 on it, give it an mSATA SSD. Give it a decent screen res - 1440x900 minimum, gov! - and then pack every remaining millimetre with battery.

Actually, ideal ideal wouldn't have Windows 7, it would have Android, modified wiht the Wind River windowing system. It would be a hybrid (battery in both the keyboard section and the tablet section) and it would work as well with touch, mouse, keyboard or stylus. It would not treat ANY of these inputs as second class. It would support them all as separate events. It would support context menus as well as fondling, keyboard shortcuts as well as WACOM multi-pressure levels.

What it wouldn't do is lock me down, limit me or otherwise force me into bullshit compromises like "33/66" or "fondle, stab and poke". It would let me work how I want to work, but give me the option to work in newer workflows when and where appropriate.

It would be a Fujitsu P1510D, but made out of silicon that was nearly a decade newer. It would be larger, with more batter space. And it would be fucking excellent.

"Fucking excellent" in no way describes the Surface tablets, and for the love of merciful monkey gods, it in no way describes the horrid abomination that is Windows RT. It does, however, describe that venerable old Fujitsu P1510d; an idea before it's time...and simply lacking the battery life to have made it truly game changing.

Today, however, we could build it. We have the technology. We don't, however, have the will. A shame.

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Re: ipad

Because a iPad with a keyboard case doesn't have a mouse. It doesn't support proper keyboard + mouse full-bore multitasking interface. In fact, it doesn't have any sort of multitasking capabilities that aren't complete ass. I don't work on "one document at a time, then take 5 seconds to switch to some other, then 5 seconds to switch back only ever seeing one screen at a time."

Even if you could overcome that - and it would require not only an office package that wasn't a piece of shit, but a damned-near complete redesign of the OS's input systems - an iPad with a bluetooth anything doesn't last 12 hours of continuous usage.

You see, there's this small problem where actually creating documents requires things like a precision pointer so that you can select text, images, cells and other things that quickly, easily, and efficiently. Believe it or not, I might even require other things. Like both backspace and delete, which also render Chromebooks – and their broke-ass "offline mode" with their crippled hobo-office – completely useless.

It's a complete shock to a certain category of techno-hipster, but there are some of us old farts who have jobs. I know, shocking; maybe if the younger generation pulls their pants up and starts learning to put effort into shit instead of thinking that hating on everything all the time is cool, they can have some one day, too. Part of this "having a job" thing is the requirement to actually work for a living, which means using the fastest, most efficient way to get something done.

That isn't stabbing at some screen with my fingers, "pressing and holding" to highlight or dragging my digits around while cursing as the damned software moves my carefully selected text – NO, I WAN'T THE TEXT, NOT THE GODDAMNED ADDITIONAL SPACE YOU PIECE OF SHIT – to the line above. It means taking a precision instrument - like the fucking mouse, holy lordy look at that - and clicking right where I wanted the fucking selection to begin then dragging the pointer to exactly where I wanted it to stop. Then quickly cutting, pasting, moving, deleting, bolding, indenting or whatever operating I can imagine.

For twelve solid hours.

When your iPad, your Chromebook, or even my Asus Transformer can do these things, ping me. I'll give some fucks right about then. Until that time, I will stick with Windows, OSX or Linux to get the job done. Whichever one can run on hardware that gives me the requisite 12 hours of battery life.

Cheers,

--Me.

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Re: Couldn't you just charge your phones overnight, too?

No. Internet access in San Francisco is essentially a fraud. Cellular coverage is made out of failure and the tears of little girls. Your cell phones have to expend 3x the power here as back home in Edmonton just to hit the tower, and you have to push a steady stream of virgins into the nearest lava flow in order to eek out a few measly megabytes of data from the telecommunications companies that extort "the most powerful nation on earth."

Even swapping SIMs from device to device, the power cost of keeping the cell tower reachable, of popping up a MiFi point so your netbook/tablet/whatever can be tethered and then using the GPS to navigate around the tentacle monster that is the bay area travel infrastructure you are going to flatten those batteries right quick.

Native San Franciscans might have adapted to the fact that this entire city wavers betwen "designed with malicious intent" and "designed by an autistic child with crayons," but visitors simply need to get from A to B while Getting Shit Done. That means relying on those smartphones in such a manner that - at best - you get 4-6 hours out of the little buggers, and that's having tried more models of the things than you can shake a stick at.

I fear charging my cell phones are an absolutely nessecary part not only of "getting shit done," but "finding my hotel afterwards" and even "not dying a horrible, gristly death by knowing somewhat in advance what the hell lane I am supposed to be in."

That, of course, is if and when the maps application is doing it's job and telling me to "turn right" directly off an onramp. But that's a rant for later…

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Review: Unitrends backup appliances

Trevor_Pott
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@jtaylor

Actually, I believe rule 0 is "if it's not backed up, it doesn't exist."

Rule 1 is "if it is not backed up in at least two places, it is not backed up." As per numerous examples of late involving natural disasters; "the second and first floors of your building are not two different places."

Vaulting to Unitrends' cloud? Might be a useful item. Otherwise, look to organisations like Iron Mountain, or local services such as those I use (and have discussed before.)

If your data doesn't exist, neither does your company.

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OCZ omnishambles leaves flash chippery biz on knife-edge

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Hear, hear

Won't be spending a dime on OCZ until a whole lot of someones walk through that minefield ahead of me. I do have to admit that the Talos drives in the Drobo I got to faff with were blinking awesome...but I only had that thing for a month. I won't be convinced until I have an array of drives that can match my Hyper-X array, and give me at least a year of truly epic punishing usage with only a single failure. (Alternately, having someone whose judgement and veracity I trust run a similar array would do.)

Once burned, twice shy. 80% of all OCZ drives I've deployed (mostly Vertex 2 and 3) failed miserably; including the RMAs sent back. I simply cannot justify the business risk of using that company for anything critical without extended testing. I cannot justify spending money on OCZ for extended testing when there are other companies with better reputations whose equipment I could be testing instead.

They have a massive chicken-and-egg problem vis-à-vis trust that they are corporately unable to overcome. It would require them to do things like "admit we fucked up massively," both internally and to the public. It would require an expensive seeding program. It would require actually having good product to sell that is quite simply miles ahead of the previous generation stuff in terms of reliability.

Maybe they have the product part down pat. They don't remotely have the "admit we fucked up" bit under wraps, and given these financial results, I am not sure they have the money (or the internal political will) to engage in a seeding program to start earning trust with thought leaders amongst the technorati.

Failed prior execution. Failed internal politics. Failed marketing.

Next.

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VMware ponies up $30m for Puppet Labs partnership

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Re: "What exactly is Puppet selling that VMWare wants"

Or you could just read the rather comprehensive review I wrote about System Center 2012. And I dispute your TCO claims in their entirety.

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"What exactly is Puppet selling that VMWare wants"

Maybe I can help here, as I recall having conversations with both VMware and Puppet Labs about how both of them should get quite buddy buddy, so the chances are at least some of my arguments hold.

Puppet provides the ability to provision heterogenous environments. VMware is aware of a growing sense of paranoia amongst datacenter operators about getting locked into a single-vendor situation with regards to hypervisors + management tools, much as many fell victim to Microsoft. It is quite frankly something that VMware hears directly from partners and large customers, and is the number one reason for Hyper-V uptake in enterprise datacenters. Diversity equals bargaining power, and Puppet provides some of the best tools for ensuring that diversity.

More to the point, Puppet is focused on Openstack/Cloudstack, with passable (but limited) Microsoft anything support. VMware is quite okay competing with these open source alternatives, as VMware – despite the gnashing of teeth every time I use the term – is quite perfectly aware that the hypervisor has become commoditised. VMware believes strongly that their value proposition is their management tools, and third party ecosystem/integration. They believe they can compete against "free" by creating something easier to use, more convenient and better at automation. I believe they are 10% correct in this assessment.

Puppet is exploding. Like Spiceworks, it has a rapidly expanding community and uptake doesn't look set to stop. If VMware can get Puppet to be a great tool for Openstack, Cloudstack and VMware, with Microsoft's support lagging behind, then individuals and organisations seeking heterogenous support through Puppet will be turning to the open source alternatives and not Microsoft. VMware can have a voice in the development of these opensource projects. Microsoft is a true threat, if it starts seeing real adoption.

Beyond this, lots of companies still run physical equipment. VMware is big on the idea of managing things as a "single pane of glass." Puppet already manages devices that VMware doesn't have the ability to manage. The two companies combined could give you control over your entire datacenter; storage, networking, virtualisation stack, operating systems, applications, hybrid-cloud migration, cloud services provisioning, inventory and asset tracking and more.

Combined, Puppet and VMware would be very – very – close to being able to take on Microsoft's entire System Center suite of products. In fact, I'd argue that they need a good discovery package, mobile device management suite, a backup suite and an anti-malware suite and they're done. They could pip Microsoft by adding a simulation tool.

Now, interestingly, I have been working with a group of companies over the past six months that may well be able to come together to provide this. Consider Spiceworks; they offer network discovery and (very soon) mobile device management. Unitrends is a contender for the top enterprise-class backup startup and CloudPhysics is a simulation company with strong VMware ties that I personally believe will completely change the way we collectively approach network design, provisioning and even root cause analysis of errors. Toss Zenoss in there for a great monitoring package, and I'd buy that stack over Microsoft any day.

I've been busting my ass for 6 months to get as many of these folks in the same room as possible. (In fact, I'm in San Francisco next week as part of said mission.) I can't tell you how happy I am that VMware and Puppet managed to get all cozy; deep VMware integration has been something I've wanted out of Puppet for ages.

I abhor Microsoft's byzantine – and frankly batshit insane – licensing. I'm also tired of Microsoft's "just wait until the next service pack" bullshit on getting fixes (or what I would consider mandatory features) integrated into their products…only to have that "service pack" become yet another product that I have to license one more time at the cost of $way_too_much.

If we can get a third-party alliance set up of third-party vendors, then we might finally, mercifully see a price and innovation war occur in the enterprise management space. Something that hasn’t' really happened yet. Symantec can see it coming. That's part of why they want to divest themselves of Altiris. They know damned well they can't go toe-to-toe with Microsoft, VMware and Dell in an all out fight for dominance.

As to why VMware is choosing Puppet over Chef, I can answer that for you too. Chef is a very "script-heavy" offering. It is really a developers tool for controlling equipment and environments. Puppet can use scripts…but that's not remotely its focus. Puppet is about creating known-good states, and then enforcing the state. You set up a "state" for an operating system or system, and puppet handles whatever needs to be handled to ensure that state is set, or it screams at you that it can't.

Chef relies on the script writer to know his stuff, do a lot of testing and then deploy live. It is very much an extension of the traditional, plodding, "fortress IT" style practice of systems administration that marked the Unix era.

The entire ethos of Puppet – define a state and enforce it – fits very neatly into VMware's vision of the software defined, dynamic datacenter. Puppet is about trusting the tool to abstract the details of administration away. VMware is about automating your datacenter such that a smaller number of sysadmins can accomplish more. Fast, dynamic, every changing.

Chef works well in a world where you only need to make changes to your software or deployed applications once or twice a year. Puppet – and VMware – envision a world where change is a part of daily life; as natural as breathing.

So what does Puppet offer VMware? Rather a lot I'd say.

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How to build a BONKERS 7.5TB, 10GbE test lab for under £60,000

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Re: First-degree burns treatment

"switching to real hardware"...what?

You mean you still run stuff that isn't virtualised in production?

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: About the clicky admin articles

As soon as I get good 10Gbase-T hardware, I'll review it. I should point out that a review of the Supermicro and Dell switches is coming up here soon (i am just putting it in to the CMS now) and that the Dell switch in question does have a 10Gbase-T variant. (Albeit slightly more expensive.)

That said, if and when you have requests for things to review/do a how-to on etc...ask! I am (naturally) limited by what I can get my hands on...but I've been working hard to build a lab that will allow me the flexibility to do reviews on damned near anything. Maybe I can meet the request, maybe I can't...but I promise you, if readers ask for it, I'll do my level best to get hold of it and put it to the test.

You can also help by providing suggestions as to what tests you would like to see run. Contrary to popular opinion – especially those of the berate, denigrate and wail like spoilt chillum crowd – I do this "reviewing products" thing mostly to try to help. Not every article will be thought provoking or insightful to the totality of the readership, but I do hope that each one provides some benefit to at least some of them.

In the meantime, I'll poke some 10Gbase-T vendors and see if any are willing to have their switchen wrung.

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Re: Interesting article

It's amazing how often commenters get bent out of shape by a title, instead of the comment. (Or by two paragraphs of an article, ignoring the entire rest of it.) *shrug*

That said...I now have sexy testbed. I have requests from folks to test openstack and cloudstack. I already have plans to test Hyper-V and VMware. I will add your recommendations of Proxmox and SmartOS to me list. What's the point of putting such a lab together if I can't test the things on it that matter to our readers?

The Fat Twin arrived. I was expecting it to come with a variety of configurations, apparently that didn't quite happen. Instead, I have 4 identical nodes: 2x Xeon E5 2680 /w 128GB RAM and 2x 480GB SSD. Should be good enough to give any of the virty stacks a run for thier money, no?

When the petty cash refills, I'll fill the other 4 nodes.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: how about simply buying a NAS?

Show me the QNAP box that can FEED that 10GbE interface. None of them seem to be able to provide 1280 megaBYTES per second of storage movement...

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Re: SAN is dead

Gluster is on my list for later in the year. And RAID cards have some distinct advantages over software RAID. Specifically when you start pushing 1000 megaBYTES per second or higher through them. Software RAID is fine if you RAIN. It isn't so fine if you only have the equipment to build a single, reliable and eye-bleedingly fast storage node.

*shrug*

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: OTT

It's a testbed that needs licensing the instant I have to maintain "test" (or as we often refer to them "sandbox") copies of running instances. For example, my largest client has 250 VMs in production, among them there are 23 different "classes" of VMs. Each of these classes needs to exist in my testlab environment so that I can do things like test patches, the latest version upgrades to software and more.

In fact, this testlab just received its last components in the mail last night and they have already been pressed into service. That said, I use a single datacenter license to achieve this, and the rest of my lab runs Linux, as this is now the bulk of what I have deployed, and thus the bulk of what I have to test.

As for running the rest on Azure: no. For one thing, the cost of storage is too much, and my test labs often require the ability to access a significant subset of the live data for testing. For another, the laws of my nation do not allow me to store personally identifiable information on countries without robust civil liberties and privacy protections. That means the US is out, and trans-Atlantic data flinging in order to store in the EU is expensive.

I'll build my own private "cloud" thanks, and run my testlab requirements – and those I need to test the builds my clients have – on it. It's far, far cheaper over the expected 6 year life of this equipment.

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@DS1

Yes, it is a lot fantasy. It is a Bonkers test lab, after all. But the stuff I detailed in Part 1 is realistic and achievable. The Kingston Hyper-X array should also be realistically achievable for most, if the "high speed storage" part of the equation appeals to you.

The 10Gbit network with added WTF was built as much to see "can it be done" as anything. My hope is that having such a test lab lying around will allow me to do better reviews on more relevant equipment for The Register than I would otherwise be able to do.

Do we want to limit ourselves to reviews of the latest iPhone or consumer home NAS? Or do we want to occasionally tear apart some bit of midsize gear or even enterprise kit? If we do want to be able to throw that more powerful equipment on the bench and give it a run for its money, someone is going to have to build a bonkers test lab. So I did.

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@Simon Hobson

My testlab will ultimately run Windows, VMware, Openstack, Cloudstack, various flavours of Linux and several BSD disties that I am playing with. Don't worry though, I'm totally a paid shill for [corporation_you_hate] as well as a religious freetard while simultainiously lacking any understanding of anything because I don't do what [commenter_1] says AND what [commenters2-n] say, despite the fact that they all completely disagree.

I write things on the internet, getting on 3 years now. After a time, it's all déjà moo. The handles attached to the blocks of text may vary, but the level and stinkyness of the bullshit contained in that text does not.

That said, the chief grand poohbah around here gave me a gold commenttard badge, and that is a great thing. It comes with an ignore button. The SNR has increased dramatically since I started using it.

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Re: 2.5" bays for 5.25" holes.

Seriously; we had the Icy Docks on order at the local computer retailer. They were all set to arrive...then didn't. Oh, but they'll arrive! They'll be here in time for your review! Nope. Really should have bought from an etailier instead of waiting for the local retailer to get kit in, but ya can't win 'em all...

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