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* Posts by SpottedCow

15 posts • joined 25 Aug 2010

HP 'clarifies' firmware/support contract rules

SpottedCow

RE: Hapkido - This isn't about hard drives

BIOS and firmware updates are commonly to correct bugs. I don't expect a vendor to produce firmware updates forever, after all lifecycles end; but I *do* expect them to provide them for free as long as they are continuing to develop them.

Let's put it this way: I'll pick some ancient Dell PowerEdge servers, the 4300/4400 line, based on P2/P3 Xeon processors. I can *STILL* download their firmware from Dell, as well as PERC 4 SCSI RAID controller firmware, and I can do it for free, despite the fact that the servers are ancient, obsolete hardware.

I don't expect Dell to keep making firmware for these systems. However, for HP to argue they are aligning with "industry standard practice" when clearly one of their biggest competitors isn't doing it is, quite honestly, bollocks. This is beancounter talk, not engineer-talk, and frankly, I'm getting pretty tired of it.

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VMware hints at future directions with boffin cash dangle

SpottedCow

I would love it if VMWare lifted their skirts a little higher by allowing an administrative utilitiy for the free ESXi 5.5/ucoming 6.x rather than "Yes, ESXi is free, but you'll need to buy VCenter Server Appliance to modify VMs."

Those of us doing labs from home would find even a slightly gimped version of it useful.

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IT staffers on ragged edge of burnout and cynicism

SpottedCow
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"Other professions know that this is a problem and have strategies to deal with it, but there's no recognition of this in IT," Daniel told The Register. "In part it's because we're a very young profession that's constantly changing."

Daniel is missing the point, with no disrespect intended on my part.

Management isn't just unaware (though that's sometimes the case). In many cases, management just doesn't care. Plenty of them don't identify with IT(just a bunch of geeks, probably have social development issues, we don't understand what they're saying so it's probably not important). Further, while most of us know that in IT, the best departments make things go so smoothly it seems easy, that means management assumes it IS easy, not that we're working hard so that it is for our user base. And when it comes to funding IT vs. funding their own salary, benefits, or pet projects, IT will always take a back seat, even though expectations will still be high no matter how little IT is given to build on.

When you don't feel listened to, trusted, or appreciated, the results are lousy. I just left a job where my director took most of the credit (though I'll acknowledge he was owed some), but never told the IT staff they were appreciated, only what they did wrong. He didn't have our backs when a user took it out on us unfairly, and was more interested in showing how much he cut from the budget to justify his salary, rather than ensuring his people got funds for training, or fair compensation, and he wasn't open to issues that took more than thirty seconds to explain, nor constructive criticism.

I'm paid a little less, and my position is a little more entry-level; but I'm now part of a team where we don't have time for politics, and everyone understands IT, so we all understand its value and the amount of work it takes.

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SpottedCow

Re: As I was told for over 20 years ....

Here's my question --did you actually tell people when they did a good job too?

If you balanced your "kwitcherbitchin" with "Good Job" when it was deserved, good on you. If all you ever said was what you said above, then in my book, you're a lousy boss.

By the way, along the way, I've learned there's a big difference between a "boss" and a "leader". You work for a boss because you have to. You work for a leader because you want to. And when employees want to (as opposed have to), the quality of work is often superior.

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Disk prices double after flood - and could 'double again'

SpottedCow

Last bastion of pricing in the states...

Ironically, the last place to have good prices here in the States is the place many would avoid --a big box store like Best Buy, who has not reacted to price changes yet.

I bought three 1TB five-year-warranty Seagate drives (7200rpm, 32MB cache) on sale for $66.49US (plus tax) each yesterday. Meanwhile, online the same drive with a two year warranty is $139.99US.

The store had three more on the shelf; I am tempted to pick them up as well at the end of the day today, on the reported possibility that production will be affected through Q2 of 2012. I have customers, and drives fail. I'd spare myself and them the pain of doubled prices if I can.

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Ten... mono laser printers

SpottedCow
Facepalm

Connectivity for the Samsung ML3710ND?

I read several times just to confirm my eyesight wasn't letting me down --does the Samsung have network connectivity, or is it just USB?

Even on a small level, having a network port is a plus for me --it allows me to have a printer on the home network that can easily be shared by my desktop, the one I built for the missus, and our laptops, without having a system dedicated to sharing the printer out. In my case though, I usually just rebuild something someone else retired, since the cartridges on a slightly older system (e.g., HP Laserjet 2100/2200/2300) can be found inexpensively, as can basic kit such as print rollers. All the service manuals are relatively easy to find in PDF form as well.

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WD: Thai flooding should speed EU decision on Hitachi

SpottedCow
Facepalm

Correction...

I meant, there is only "not" a duopoly (apologies to grammar Nazi's for the double negative).

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SpottedCow
FAIL

Only in some markets...

There is only a duopoly on the notebook side.

How many 3.5" desktop drives, or server drives, have you seen manufactured by Toshiba?

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How to plan a Windows 7 roll-out

SpottedCow
Alert

@David 155

This is THE number one issue I have with Windows 7 rollouts, David.

We have an environment that involves multiple users using the same machine. If Microsoft cannot give us a utility that lets us create a standardized Default User profile, Windows 7 is nearly impossible to deploy, as much as I'd like to. It would take less than six months for the boffins at MS to come up with a method, if someone high up made it a priority.

Microsoft says that a combination of Sysprep's copyprofile=true, combined with GPOs and scripting will take care of this. For one, they're wrong; it isn't possible to get the same level of control. Two, it takes three times as long (or longer) to use their new supported methods. There is a multipage comment thread on "The Deployment Guys" Technet blog from users frustrated by the current methods.

Sysprep now has bugs, too. So far, I haven't been able to set machines to automatically join the domain unless I allow them to be assigned random names. If I tell Sysprep to let me choose a name, the "join domain" step occurs before the machine naming step, and it fails.

I want to be able to deploy Windows 7 easily. Right now, I'm telling my boss that the ongoing issues are going to keep most of our systems on XP for another year, in the hopes that Microsoft sorts out some of this garbage. They got the OS right; problem is, the deployment is enough to drive anyone to drink.

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How I learned to stop worrying and love SSDs

SpottedCow
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Have your cake and eat it too...

Some of the new Lenovo ThinkPad and Dell Latitudes based on Sandy Bridge architecture now have another option. The slot that supports a mobile broadband card now supports the mSATA standard too, making it possible to install an SSD in that slot.

I put an 80GB Intel "Soda Creek" SSD in that slot (since I won't ever use a mobile broadband card) with my new ThinkPad T420. It's functioning as my boot drive, with a Western Digital Scorpio Black 500GB SATA drive to store my data. I've redirected all my user profile folders (docs, pictures, video, etc.) to the platter drive, as well as anything with high write patterns (e.g., browser cache) and getting the best of both worlds.

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Five amazing computers for under £100

SpottedCow
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Wallstreet, Lombard, and Pismo --things of beauty

Well, as long as the Wallstreet Powerbook was one of the ones with processor cache.

I was an Apple Certified Tech back then. The Wallstreet Powerbooks remains the easiest laptop I've ever worked on; I could have it stripped down to its individual components inside of half an hour. Lombard and Pismo weren't much more difficult, but took a bit longer.

Every notebook Apple has made since the return of Steve Jobs doesn't lack for looks; but none of them make repair or upgrade incredibly easy, and some were downright nasty, like the white Powerbook G3, or the glued-together LCD housing of the Powerbook G4 Titanium (heaven help you if your display hinges wore out).

Today, I use a ThinkPad --but I miss the black Powerbooks. They were just done right.

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Launcher Pro

SpottedCow
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Worthy product

If you have a Motorola Droid phone, you know the lousy interface that is Motoblur, a blemish on an otherwise decent product.

I'm not sure users with the (better) HTC "Sense" interface need this, but it's a great asset to my Droid 2. It speeds up operations, and lets me hide the extra garbage that Verizon won't let me uninstall. My phone looks a lot cleaner, and I was glad to give the developer a few bucks for the Pro Plus version.

As for widgets, I find that CurveFish has great GPS-Wifi-Bluetooth-Brightness toggle widgets for free from the marketplace, and I've found a great date/time widget in "Digital Clock", also free.

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PARIS concocts commemorative cocktail

SpottedCow

A la REM -

"Man On the Moon".

"Lost In Space" would be a good one as well.

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MS drops drive pooling from Windows Home Server

SpottedCow
FAIL

@Francis

Not true. WHS uses "Folder Duplication" --you can turn it on for individual folders, or entire drives, and it will keep shadow copies of your files on additional drives, so if you lose a drive, you do not lose data.

It's actually quite a well-thought out setup. You get to choose which data is important enough to you to keep dupicates of. You can also assign any drive you add to your WHS box as a "backup" drive (as opposed to storage), and back up your entire WHS box to it, or just selected parts, and you can do it easily. I have a 2TB drive connected via eSATA to my HP MediaSmart server, so I can grab it and run should the house catch fire.

After all, RAID isn't a true backup either. Screw up a file, you've screwed it up on any mirrored copies as well. Windows Home Server is incredibly easy to use. Someone with just a small amount of tech-savviness can go out and buy a preloaded WHS box from HP, Acer, or Lenovo, and have it up and running quickly. People who are saying "Go Linux", "Go RAID", or "Go with this exotic file system" instead are missing the point, and have probably never run a WHS box so they don't realize how nice it is to work with. MS made a huge blunder with this choice, make no mistake.

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Firefox, uTorrent, and PowerPoint hit by Windows DLL bug

SpottedCow

@Wize

It sounds to me like MS would be wise to issue a voluntary patch, which they would indicate would be a forced patch at some date in the future (e.g., January 1, 2011) and give app developers the time to fix their code. In conjunction with the auditing tools, this ought to allow IT folks to determine what is at risk, and allow developers time to resolve the issue --and it ought to prod more complacent developers into fixing their code rather than letting this slide.

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