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Showing posts from February, 2008


Instant messaging isn't about messaging. It's about presence.
I'll admit that even though I've had IM accounts for a decade, I rarely if ever signed in. I found the pop-up like nature of the common clients to be far too disruptive and annoying, and I simply preferred e-mail or voice for routine communication. Lately though, I'm finding IM, under the right conditions, to be far more than just a quick a dirty communications tool. I'm figuring out presence.  If I want to communicate with a coworker, what's the first thing I do? Check IM. If they are around, and if they are available, I'll know right away. If they don't show up on IM, they set the 'do-not-disturb' bit and I know they are busy. If they are 'on call' but no near their computer, they set their status to 'Call my cell phone @ nnn-mmm-zzzz'.
It's presence.

What's next? 
I don't see any reason why things other than persons can't have presence. We've g…

Red power, Blue power

While building out a new data center, we took a look at what our practice had been for provisioning power for servers and devices within a rack. As pretty much everyone does, we bring two separate 220v circuits into each rack. One circuit terminates on some kind of power distribution unit (PDU) on one side of the back of the rack, the other circuit terminates on a different PDU on the other side of the rack.

When we provision a new rack and install equipment into the rack, obviously we carefully route and label all the power cables and make sure that each power supply on a dual powered server or device is connected to a different PDU. We also make sure that if we have an HA pair of single power supply devices, one device is connected to each PDU. We typically connect the left power supply to the left PDU and the right power supply to the right PDU. In most cases we test the power by turning on all the servers in the rack and intentionally failing each PDU, one at a time. In theory, …


I'm not a big fan of notebook/laptop computing. 

I'm just not excited about dragging around 10 pounds of stuff just so I can check my mail & edit a document, especially when with 20lbs of stuff, I can live in a foreign country for a week. Having a laptop, in my opinion, doesn't really un-tether me from anything. I still need to be within 9ft of a power source at least once every couple hours, I still need to have a flat table or desk (or live with scorch marks on my polyester leisure suit pants), and I still need a posture correct chair. Using a 'laptop' as a lap top computer didn't work very good with my Epson 386-16, and after trying a few more times recently, it still doesn't work. I either have to live with 1-2 hours of untethering at a time, or I have to live within range of power, and I have to drag power brick around, or an extra battery, but I can't swap batteries without shutdown and reboot. And even worse, if I dose off while relaxing watch…