* Posts by jeffty

22 posts • joined 25 May 2016

Better late than never: Cisco's software-defined networking platform ACI finally lands on AWS


Re: If you need ACI in AWS or Azure, you're just doing it wrong

Network engineers retch at ACI because instead of 90 click throughs for a basic VLAN and L2 connectivity, it takes a handful of lines of config on any other switch, whether it's running NX-OS, IOS, Commware, or whatever your poison.

Usually a couple of lines for the VLAN (name and number), a line on every port you want the VLAN assigned or trunked to (which can usually be applied with a range command), plus an additional couple if you want to configure an SVI/gateway interface for routing.

Most network guys I've worked with can script, and can easily and quickly stand up stuff like this in a matter of minutes. ACI has been a massive step backwards in terms of speed and user friendliness.

Autonomy was a 'pure-play software company', testifies former HP chief exec Léo Apotheker


I'd say she was bang on the money too.

He froze her out of the discussions surrounding the acquisition, then tried to fire her when she found out they were going to buy Autonomy anyway. I don't think he can blame her for anything given she was completely ignored during the whole process.

As an ex-HPer I don't hold any of the board members or execs in high regard, but it doesn't sound like you can blame Lesjack for any of this mess.

HP crashed Autonomy because US tech titan's top brass 'lost their nerve', says lawyer for ex-CEO Mike Lynch


"Losing their nerve" is a common theme in all of HP's acquisitions...

They buy something, they think they can force it to run the HP way, they destroy whatever made that acquisition an initial success, drive out all the good staff and then eventually write it off as a lost cause and spin it off.

Lynch isn't wrong there.

DXC Technology asks field-based techies if they'd like to leave


I heard from one of their recruiters this week...

... pinging me via LinkedIn, asking if I'd be interested in a "Senior DevOops position" (their spelling, not mine).

Locally they're struggling to fill vacancies with anything other than fresh grads wanting some experience on their CV or contractors willing to take the coin (but who are well aware of what mess they are getting themselves into).

Apple laughing all the way to the bank – with profits of $5.3m per hour


Re: Apple: You WILL like our designs.

I can think of a couple of reasons for swapping out a laptop drive, and not all of them have to do with needing more onboard storage. Drive failure for one.

Another being that the easiest way to give a creaking laptop a new lease of life is to increase the RAM and throw in an SSD in place of the original drive. I've lost count of the number of colleagues I've seen do this, but usually with an older i5/i7 laptop rather than an Argos £300 core-duo special.

Want to do either with a new Macbook Pro? Forget it.


Re: Apple: You WILL like our designs.


My Macbook Pro 2012 is still going strong, with a RAM upgrade to 16Gb from 4Gb, an SSD swapout, and the optical drive swapped for a second HDD. When it eventually gives up I'd buy another Macbook Pro in a heartbeat if it wasn't a soldered/glued together mess of non-user-servicable parts.

There's no reason why RAM and SSDs have to be soldered to the mainboard either, every other manufacturer gets by without having to do so.

Microsoft's new Surface laptop defeats teardown – with glue


There must be better alternatives to gluing everything together...

... for the purposes of recycling.

I have no problem with laptops that are easier to recycle but this strikes me as the laziest and cheapest way to achieve that, and at the expense of repair/reuse/extending the lifespan of a device.

Why is it necessary to solder RAM and PCIE devices to a laptop's mother/logic board? What's wrong with old-fashioned plastic sockets and plastic clips to hold components in place? If easy dissassembly is a requirement (using heat), why not use a plastic which can cope with the heat generated by normal use but at a higher temperature (say 180C) or with the use of a mild solvent melts away and allows for easy separation of these components?

The current attitude towards this seems to indicate that vendors aren't interested in the life of a device beyond it's initial 3 years (where failures are rare and upgrades aren't usually required). There has been and always will be a market for devices older than this, where people on a budget buy second hand/reconditioned from a reseller or auction site, or retain their device and continue to use it. My current laptop is five years old and should easily last another 3-4 with the upgrades I've installed so far.

Microsoft raises pistol, pulls the trigger on Windows 7, 8 updates for new Intel, AMD chips


There's always a way round it...

... If Win7/8 aren't supported with new CPUs, I'd wager the enterprise equivalent (Win2008 or Win2011 HS) is, and will probably run with new hardware no problem. Looking on the net, you can get a single Win2008 OEM licence for about £99.

The next time I build a new PC for games, I'll try out one of my MSDN keys to see if it works and how games react to it, if it works without any problems I'll get the server licence instead.

That being said, if the support is provided for the Server editions, it can't be that hard to backport it to Win7? Surely some enterprising soul would be able to reverse-engineer the drivers/kernel modules and port them across?

Oracle doing due diligence on Accenture. Yep, you read that right


Re: Whats this GUI thingy?

You'd end up with Oracle's own version of DXC?

Roses are red, violets are blue, fake-news-detecting AI is fake news, too


Why are we creating bots and AI to combat fake news?

Why not educate people to assess information critically and with a healthy dose of skepticism?

Devolving this key thought process to an algorithm gives rise to the belief that critical thinking is a redundant skill, it also means people are more likely to blindly trust what they read without questioning it.

Why I just bought a MacBook Air instead of the new Pro


Glad to see...

... it's not just me thinking this in regards to Apple's latest Pro offering.

I get that Apple have always done their own thing around connectivity, but the new laptops can't even be connected to the new iPhone line unless it's through an adapter. That tells me this new direction isn't thought through in terms of their own devices, let alone anyone elses. It's the same with the iPhone 7 - no headphone jack, yet the much-hyped Airpod option isn't available yet due to the constraints around making it work.

I've got two Macbook Pros in front of me as I type this - one a work laptop (2015 model), the other a personal machine (Mid-2012 i7). The personal is my favourite - one of the last models to be easily upgraded, and I've added 16Gb RAM, a 1TB SSD and a 1TB HDD in place of the optical drive. It still happily powers through anything I throw at it.

Looking at the work Mac, I can see the reduction in connectivity and functionality options and I agree with the design choices. I never really used an optical drive on the go (hence me swapping it for an HDD) or the firewire ports, but actively use the rest (HDMI, Displayport, USB, SD). I don't like the fact this laptop can't be easily upgraded with everything being soldered together, but then again I wouldn't choose to with it being a work laptop.

I can't say that about the new Pro model. Whilst the touchbar is nice, I wouldn't upgrade to a new machine solely to have it. The connectivity options are poor - whilst I get USB ports aren't very elegant in their appearance, they are widely used for every external peripheral going and their omission is a mistake at this point in time. I could understand Apple's direction if the USB-C port was starting to catch on, but you can't even get USB-C cables for Apple's peripherals yet.

I agree with the reduction in connectivity options for the Macbook and Macbook Air - traditionally these laptops have been used by people who want shiny, light and minimalist. The same isn't true for the Pro - it's a machine for the power user on the move. And the power user isn't going to buy it if it doesn't meet their needs, let alone allow them to connect their walled-garden devices easily without a sea of dongle adaptors.

Facebook chokes off car insurance slurp because – get this – it has privacy concerns


This leaves a number of unanswered questions....

... namely - what effect would your collection of dank facebook memes have on your insurance premium?

Possible reprieve for the venerable A-10 Warthog


The A10 is a great of example of a plane that is still relevant...

... to the conditions it was designed to operate in.

Over half a ton of titanium armour around the cockpit, great maneuverability at low speed, the ability to carry lots of additional armament in addition to a huge capacity for cannon rounds, multiple redundancies in its flight systems, able to take off from short runways near the front line and designed to be easy to keep in service with minimal access to spares. The requirements of air-to-ground support haven't really changed since it was designed and built. It's now a great example of a mature design that has proven itself over decades, and that will cost less to keep in service as a result.

The F35 isn't suited to this sort of role, so trying to divert the funding from the A10 doesn't really make sense. Still, I suspect this is more about the politics of funding rather than the merits of a proven plane.

I couldn't honestly see an F35 staying airborne after this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kim_Campbell_(pilot)

HP doorsteps Apple shoppers at the altar of dreams


Re: The problem with the HP kit no matter how good it is, is...

It's not Windows 10 you have to worry about, it's the bloatware layer introduced by HP's drivers and "free" software shoved onto their consumer devices.

Guaranteed to reduce any HP device to a crawl unless it's flattened and rebuilt from scratch without them.


HP management miss the point again...

"Apple has been the defining brand for engineering amazing premium devices. Apple has defined premium design for decades."

Ironic, because HP used to be known for making well-engineered devices too, then they cut corners on components, build, and support all to turn a profit. Their devices went from rock-solid, state-of-the-art performers to cheap bits of plastic that fell to bits.

Personally, I'd have preferred it if HP had continued to make decent devices, rather than retreating from it to make a cheap buck then running back towards it when they think they can sell more units. If they had, Apple might have had more competition and customers would have had a better choice.

Latest Intel, AMD chips will only run Windows 10 ... and Linux, BSD, OS X


What's to stop...

... AMD, Intel and other processor vendors from writing their own drivers to fill the gaps for older operating systems to run on new hardware?

Microsoft don't control their entire ecosystem (unlike Apple), so can't prevent third party drivers being written that provide the necessary compatibility...

IBM swings axe through staff, humming contently about cloud and AI


Re: IBM managemant plan

Not quite.

Customers unhappy with paying top-dollar for overseas support instead go to specialists in overseas support (WiPro, Infosys, Tech Mahindra etc) and pay far less for the same support by cutting out the expensive (and useless) IBM middle-management layer.

Same situation with HPE.

VMware: We're gonna patent hot-swapping your VMs' host OS


Good job Microsoft didn't get there first...

otherwise they'd be "hotswapping" us all onto Windows 10...

HPE is still swinging the layoffs axe: 500 more services folk get chop


The daft bit about all of these cuts isn't that the company isn't profitable in it's present form, it's just not as profitable as the shareholders want.

HPE and HPI (pre-split) made $7bn in profit in 2014 (on sales of $111bn).

I agree there's a lot HPE could be doing better, but a lot of it involves thinking smarter, overhauling internal processes, and investing in their infrastructure and staff. Problem is that all of these measures take years to produce meaningful results, and you can't do them half-heartedly or you end up in a worse mess than you were before.

The only measure the short-sighted management at HPE can come up with is to cut heads, even if they do meaningful/important/revenue generating work, like my former team.

If you feel the need to shed 40,000 staff in two years, then really it says one of two things about your stewardship:

1) You don't have a firm grip on the organisation (you're incompetent) and should resign as chairwoman/director/board member

2) You don't have a clue what these people do or why they matter to your organisation, and again, you're incompetent and should resign.

HPE spins out enterprise services business into CSC


It doesn't surprise me that HPE are spinning off ES, they've been completely void of ideas as to how to turn it round, short of laying staff off by the thousands.

A lot of the ex-EDSers I worked with at HPE/HPES in ITO saw parallels in the way EDS was run prior to the HP buyout and how it has been run over the last couple of years.

Bans on overtime, travel and home working, screws tightened on investment and internal spend (training, staff education etc). Huge cuts into staff numbers. All of these short-term measures enacted to give the impression to a potential buyer that the company was lean, mean and profitable.

The truth is that EDS were holed below the waterline by these same measures pre-acquisition, and HP found out they'd been sold a pup. Odd to see history repeating itself.

If CSC think they can make "synergies" they're in for a rude shock.

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