Current Editorial

I recently built yet another server. I build my own servers for a number of reasons but primarily because I want to be able to "pick and choose" the components. What you buy from your local computer shop or big box store represents someone else's decisions and you're left to decide what particular combination best serves your needs. Lots of RAM? Lots of disk space? Rotating disk or Solid-State Drive? What kind and how powerful of a processor? How many ports of what types? I wrote an article describing my thought processes and how I arrived at something which will work for me. There are also some technical details included but they're rather specific to my operating system of choice rather than generic.


Previous Editorials

I realize that I haven't written in some time. There are a couple of reasons for this. First we had the recession hit. I was one of many given my walking papers when the company which employed me down-sized, first by 25% then another 20% in a second round. Now, I don't believe it prudent to panic and shed employees as soon as a potential problem arises. I've always believed that the re-manning process can be far more expensive than the cost of retention. You lose so much knowledge and experience in down-sizing that it can take literally years to recover. Better to have offered temporary wage reductions, IMHO. But the "powers that be" must know what they're doing, right? So why do I rarely see the executive numbers decline during these exercises?


I always get distressed when I read about the latest example of someone cracking a commercial system, stealing credit card numbers, etc. There's absolutely no excuse for this! We in the industry should have the knowledge and skills to preclude the possibility of anyone hacking into back-end systems. Those of us who've been at it for a number of years have learned the architectures and techniques for protecting information. I can only surmise that the people responsible for some of these systems have not had the benefit of experience. I don't personally know anyone who would make the kind of obvious mistakes we read about on a frighteningly frequent basis.


There were a few events in the last week which got me to thinking about the world we live in. Okay, I'll admit that the Apple iPhone is incredibly sexy. But I don't believe in being on the "bleeding edge", a sentiment regular readers will recognize. There are pitfalls galore on the road to adopting the "latest and greatest" insofar as technology is concerned. A more prudent approach can save you money and aggravation.

UPDATE: Okay, I'll admit it: the iPhone 4 was just too good to ignore. Of course that also meant buying a Mac Mini for software development...
Sales numbers confirm that there is a major movement towards "smart phones" taking place. Application developers can no longer ignore the new platform and companies are now starting to demand apps for iPhone, Blackberry and Android. One has to keep up with technology, right?


Iwas looking at my latest combined electrical and water bill the other day and, upon more careful examination and consideration, arrived at some startling conclusions. I don't know when it happened, but the change to cost plus billing (explained below) has significantly altered the economics of what we pay.


You know, it's always nice to see confirmation that my opinions on the application of technology are shared by others. A lot of what I've been advocating and implementing is based on conclusions drawn from experimenting with tools and analyzing the strengths and weaknesses of various approaches. Well, it turns out that Sun Microsystems has come to some of the same conclusions. I invite you to read an interesting article here.

Click here to see how IBM is embracing Linux. I told you that it was a new world! You'll need QuickTime to view the video, but you can get the plug-in here. If you're a fan of Linux (as I am) then you can download a free personal edition of IBM's stalwart DB/2 RDBMS by starting here and drilling down.

The United States Department of Labor (sp) has put together some documentation on Teleworking. If my previous editorials didn't convince you about the benefits, check it out here.

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This page last updated: 22-Dec-2018