These guys have an interesting alternative to Microsofts UMPC - DualCor.
Some basic tips on Securing Solaris. I like the checksum tools for binaries.
Some tips on using the Solaris Solstice Disk Suite. All seems kind of painful to me - sure you get the flexibility but the configuration hassles would seem to be a nightmare compared to simple hardware raid.
Lest we forget - Israelis celebrate terrorism. Some interesting links from Tim Brays blog on the current crisis in Lebanon too (he worked there for 11 years).
Excellent - advice on moving Unix filesystems. Using tar instead of cp for shuffling around data should be engraved on the inside of a Unix admins eyeballs.
Search Popsike for any rare vinyl you might want or have lying around in your record bins. The results may surprise you. I can't seem to find anything I own thats even remotely desirable apart from my Harmony of the Spheres boxset. The strange collector scum that hang onto these albums and don't play them are just plain odd if you ask me.
Retro - 100 of the Best Spectrum Games.
To true - My Love Hate Relationship with Domino.
Yet Another Best of List - 50 of the Greatest Albums.
Stylus also have a Top 100 Music Videos list.
Useful - Best Windows Admin Downloads.
Trying to encourage people not to send Word attachments harks back to a simpler time on the interweb.
Only in America - Sidewalk SUV. I once read an amusing joke that said you can say the most outlandish thing possible and make it instantly believable by suffixing two words - 'in America'.
Free 3D game engine - Sauerbraten.
This is crazy - ZVG Vector Interface Card - a $250 graphics card that is MAME compatible and pumps out Vector graphics for all of you Tempest, Battlezone and Asteroid fans.
Open Source Internet TV - Democracy.
Handy - Beginners Guide to Manual Photography. I have an old Pentax K1000 and at one stage I used to know what the ISO, Aperture and Shutter Speed settings all did and how they interacted but now digital cameras have made it to simple to bother with. I'd still like to mess around some more with it though if only for the magical moment when you get the pictures back several months after you've taken them to see how they've come out.
I'll have to try them out and see what they offer.
So far I've linked to saved searches for stuff from Godflesh, Sigor Ros, The Jesus & Mary Chain, Joy Division, Daft Punk, Orbital, Arcade Fire, Mogwai, Tom Waits, Miles Davis, Godspeed You Black Emporer
At a very simple level (its suprising their aren't some open-source equivalents because the idea is so simple) you can create pools of services, servers and applications and then tie them together. That way you can use it as an asset list of servers, operating systems, applications, services, run book and change management system. When you decide to upgrade servers you can immediately see the list of affected services or if you want to update your application (eg Oracle) you can see the list of affected hardware and services the database upgrade will impact upon.
One of those things that seems so simple but also really really useful for planning and tracking IT resources and services.
They feature unreleased mp3's from the pre-war period for free download.
I have a Leadbelly CD which I bought out of curiosity one day and actually quite enjoy now so I'll have to start grabbing some of these to check out similar stuff.
* Butthole Surfers - Double Live
I have Live PCPPEP and Hairway to Steven on vinyl so these will be a welcome addition. Personally I think they stopped being any good after Widowermaker.
* Brian Jonestown Massacre - all of their albums available for free. I'll have to give them a listen - I'd heard a lot about them but never heard any of their stuff. I also need to check out Dig! - comparing the ups and downs of BJM with their colleagues The Dandy Warhols.
I wonder how many applications this will break or how many people this will confuse ? The 'Users' thing is almost a throwback to the NT4 days. I liked keeping things in 'c:\lotus\' or at least in the login profile.
Excellent look at The Power of Data Visualisation. Informational tidbit - �The US Institute of Peace receives 27 million dollars next year. The Defence Department receives 560 � billion.�
Useful advice - Here's how to handle a drunken chav. Wikipedia definition of a chav or chavette.
Jeremy Clarkson writes about a recent American interlude Arrested for Looking Wierd. Poor Stig. Jeremy is a funny funny man. To see him knocked down a peg or two you really need to see Trinny & Susannah give him a make over in their 'What Not to Wear' show.
My new workplace uses VOIP (a Mitel based system) so this is kind of useful for beginners - VOIP in the Enterprise.
A good read - Why Do Laptops Schlep Such Data?. People often carry their lifes work on a laptop with little regard for the safety, security and integrity of both their personal information and the organisations.
Review - Parallels Desktop. Virtual Machine system for Intel Based Mac's. If I had one I'd use it
Flashback - The Tomorrow People. I used to really enjoy this show along with 'Dr Who' and 'Saphire and Steel'. Also some interesting links in there to studies which show tv stunts learning in children.
A nice article over at Damn Interesting on Nikolai Tesla. Theres a great bit in Coffee and Cigerettes with the Jack White of the White Stripes demonstrating a home made Tesla Coil to an unimpressed Meg White.
Yet another OS X application list - OS X Software for Switchers. A few I hadn't heard of before
Something I'd like to know more about - Intrusion Detection with Base & Snort.
Clever - Beer Bottle Bricks. Its a shame this didn't take off. Bottles make for fantastic buildings.
Ed Brill points to an article where a CIO voices concerns about Vista and Office 2007 - Bartercard CIO Unconvinced by Vista/Office.
Looks promising - Elisa an open source media center tool.
Microsoft releases Private Folder App. I think I prefer TrueCrypt. There is some wailing and gnashing of teeth as admins worry about the security of corporate date being locked away for ever when people forget their passwords or end up with curruption.
If someone came up with a web based Office suite incorporating a CMS/DMS system it may obviate the need for Office and offline data (except for an export). People could edit via the web and then hit publish to have it auto format to suit some pre-defined template (like TeX) and then print or export as text, word, html, pdf - the system would keep track of revisions and be fully searchable. Then the info would stay in one place and could easily be retasked for whatever flavour is required. Maybe one day
ArsTechnica covers the same Notes on Linux and brings up the hoary old entry in 'Interface Hall of Shame'.
Interesting discussion in the forums - people can be a little myopic about email and groupware. Integrated Email & Calendaring is not Groupware - what people fail to realise is that Notes/Domino allows for a much higher degree of collaboration than its competitors (Exchange and Groupwise) and does it in a way that actually makes some kind of sense from an IT perspective.
One of the things that helps a new comer get a handle on what does what is a run book (and an up to date LAN / WAN diagram).
A Run Book should contain -
Hostname + Aliases
Hardware details (make, model, serial number/tag)
Hardware config (disks, ram)
Installed OS + patch level
Installed applications (if its an application server)
Special startup/shutdown procedures (if any)
System Owner / Business Owner (eg the responsible systems admin and the person in the business who looks after the application on the box)
A runbook lends itself to a simple database
Handy - Automating Local Admin Password Changes. Useful tips on setting a standard local admin password across your PC's and laptops.
Nice guide to Apples Automator.
Interesting - Firewall Leak Tests Revealed. Shame they didn't test the Checkpoint personal firewall. Also the winner hasn't been updated in awhile.
Low cost option - ATA over Ethernet. Cheaper than iSCSI or Fibre Channel (obviously it has more limitations too).
Interesting - Darkroom is a full screen green on black text editor for Windows. Limits the distractions and procrastination potential of a modern GUI.
Useful - SSH Tricks.
Flashback - Classic Gaming. I could never afford all the 20c coin required to get proficient at Asteroids or Space Invaders.
Good ideas - Business Card Best Practises. The coolest one I've seen has been a stamped steel card made to look like a license plate. Someone really needs to make one with a sandpaper side - get noticed and destroy your competition simultaneously
Interesting - Ten most beautiful OS X applications. I think most people are over the application visuals - if the app adheres to standard interface design and is relatively non-intrusive then it will just work. Having said that Delicious Library (the winner) is a great application - I'd almost buy a barcode scanner to enter my media collection into DL.
Some Kiwi news -
Go the All Blacks - Handbags at 10 Paces. Be sure to watch the video. Hopefull we destroy the Aussies.
Five days of solid raid in the lower North Island leads to Flooding. Fantastically bad weather this week.
A flashback to the days of the 36c Beer. The last time unemployment in NZ was so low was 1982 - back when I was 12
Its great - it archives/captures all inbound/outbound email and makes it available via a web interface.
A little Big Brother esque but given an organisations email is owned by the org then archiving it for safe keeping and future reference can only but help keep track of valuable information. You can then just backup Aftermail instead of peoples mailfiles - which they can access themselves anyway should they need to reference something they've since deleted (or had corrupted).
Handy - Ed Brill points to a powerpoint presentation chock full of Lotus Notes client tips. Alan Lepofsky has plenty of other useful Notes advice on his site too.
* Internal IT can focus on big-picture strategic direction while the service provider handles the dull BAU (Business As Usual). So they have all the fun while the provider does all the donkey-work. In a mature partnership there would be a high degree of collaboration between both parties in terms of future direction inline with supporting business objectives.
* Using a leveraged team for services, an organisation no longer needs to pay to keep highly skilled specialists on staff (eg if you have a stable secure network you don't need a fulltime networking or security guru). Also the burden/risk of hiring people, training them and staff-retention is moved to the service provider (afterall they're contracted to maintain certain service levels regardless of staff turnover or resource levels).
* It may be apocryphal (its certainly a figure outsourcing companies tout) but first contact fix rates for fixable calls rises from around 30% to 70-80% under an outsourced service desk. So staff should experience significantly improved service levels for simple problems.
* Incident management and downtime becomes the service providers problem.
* Depending upon the particulars of the outsourcing arrangement normally onerous/tedious tasks such as asset tracking, management and auditing (hardware and software) becomes the service providers task.
* A service provider will follow a process laid down by the contract - this can be both good or bad depending upon how it is interpreted on an operational basis. Certainly from a BAU perspective it should mean that everyone will be dealt with in a consistant manner (VIP's are always the exception of course that can sometimes be difficult to do when people deal direct with internal IT.
These points are particularly relevent if the organisations core business is not IT related.
Outsourcing Con's -
* The contract needs to be very very well written and the relationship between the provider and client needs to be very well managed - to strictly enforced and it becomes an 'us and them relationship' rather than a partnership and if the contract is to lax and quality of service starts to slip. This is a fairly fine balancing act and is listed as a con because its really tough to manage well.
* An organisations internal IT can become disconnected from the client community if services are outsourced.
* A service provider will usually do 'just enough' to keep the client happy. Until a certain level of trust and maturity is achieved its difficult to see significant improvements or innovations contributed back into the organisation. Then again for certain organisations this may not be an issue if the innovations and improvements are driven by their own internal IT or if you just need to keep baseline services operating normally (eg nothing flashy just keep systems working).
* Problems can often be hidden beneath the surface depending on the nature of the reporting and quality of esacalation/feedback - if a provider is responsible for system downtime but they're supporting a flawed application then all the faults may not be properly fedback to internal IT (if a fault occurs but no one is impacted as it is out of business hours will it still get flagged back to IT ?).