Thursday, July 31, 2008

Good Peak Oil Energy crisis video

I think we need to do more with IT to help conserve. I don't understand why more companies are not putting worker in the home and start paying for productivity. The cost of vpn's is very low and even easier to deploy using ssl vpn's. Sip phones and voip arer now mature solutions, why are we not utilizing this now?

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Virtual Server OS - Who will win?

Vmware, Xen, Microsoft, and other player are getting into this market. With Microsoft pulling support for 3rd party virutual server OS's they have control and the advantage. I think that VMware is the best on the market but not being able to call Microsoft for business critical support is a big minus. I've not had the chance to mess with Microsoft new hypervisor, but from what I hear it is better than Microsoft virtual server 2005 but it is not as good as the more mature VMware products.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Peak Oil, Ken Botyos is at it again

You ready for another rant?? In the past couple weeks, the price of crude dropped from about $147 per barrel to $123 per barrel. That’s a 16% drop. Two weeks ago, the price per gallon of gas was around $3.99 per gallon. I am still seeing gas at $3.89 - $3.98 per gallon. That ain’t sh*t for a decrease. A 16% decrease would put gas around $3.35 per gallon. I don’t necessarily expect that, but I would expect the price to drop significantly more than what it has. You know damn well the price per gallon of gas would increase by 10 cents if the price of crude were to increase by $5. Where is complementary drop?!?!

iPhone 3G - A better computer than phone...

With all the hype surrounding the iPhone 3g, many of our clients are asking about it. Is it a good smartphone? Is it a good phone? Here is my take:

I purchased both the original iPhone and iPhone 3g right as they were launched. The first generation iPhone was a miss in my world - not even a near miss but a total miss.

My biggest complaints were that it was not a good phone (thanks AT&T) and on top of that, it was not a good computer. The only time it was tolerable for computing use was on wi-fi. Even then, the lack of applications and third party developers made the device little more than an ipod with a new interface and some networking capabilities. The lack of corporate email support was what finally pushed me to dump the device on eBay only a couple months after I purchased it.

Now enter iPhone 3G.

First, the miserably executed launch of the product.

AT&T is so greedy that they redesigned and destroyed one of the best features of the original iPhone - the fact that you could purchase it retail and then go home and activate at your convenience. AT&T changed the activation process in a meager attempt to keep the phones sold in the US on their network. That means you have to activate your phone at the point of purchase just like other cell phones. What a clusterfuck. All AT&T accomplished with this change is pissing a bunch of people off and upping the ante for cracking the phone and putting it on other networks. My guess is we will see fully unlocked iPhones within days of this post.

I will only causally mention the fact that getting the phone burned about six hours of my day (2 of them just trying to activate becuase my credit card had a PO box for a billing address which broke AT&T's activation system).

Well, the bottom line is it still sucks as a phone.

Battery life is pathetic. Steve Jobs claimed the new phone would have the "longest 3G talk time in the industry." I do not know what crack pipe Steve was smoking from that day, but my Blackberry Curve on Verizon 3G nearly doubles the talk time of my iPhone 3G. In addition, the lack of a user changeable battery in the iPhone limits it for serious business users. I use thousands of minutes of talk time monthly on my business phone. On a normal business day, I am hunting for my iPhone charger by noon (on the curve I carry an extra battery and go nearly 3 days without visiting a charger). If you want this device to work as your telephone, you'd best be no more than a 1000 minute a month user.

On top of all this, I continue to put up with very thin 3G coverage, dropped calls, and lackluster 3G performance when compared to other carrier's networks, or even AT&T's 3G network that the non-iPhones run on. AT&T needs a data only plan because the voice sucks and I do not want to pay for it. Actually, Apple needs to fire AT&T and put this phone on a real network.

But it is one fantastic handheld computer!!!

The real excitement about the new iPhone is not the phone at all - it's the software (which also runs on the old iPhone). The App Store is fantastic. In addition, people have already started cracking the phone and writing 3rd party apps around the App Store. As of this writing, you can use WinPwn (or the mac version) to unlock your iPhone and load apps on it. You then have direct command line access to the phone. You can telnet and ssh to other hosts. You can ssh from your desktop computer to the iPhone on your wi-fi network. It is getting more and more like a real computer every day! Give me an RDP client or even better, a VDI client and I will be hooked. The corporate email support is one of the easiest, most elegant implementations of Activesync that I have seen. The built in Cisco VPN client shows promise althought I have not actually gotten it to work (yet). As always, the iPhone browser is hands down the best phone web browser made.

Conslusion:

At this time, the most compelling reason to have iPhone is to use as a handheld computer. I can see this device eliminating my need to carry a notebook computer all the time. Give the legitimate applications (and the underground applications) a minute to get written for/ported to the new OS, and I think this device will be one hell of a handheld computer!!!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

LifeCast Now Works

Just updated today and can now post from the phone. Now that it is fixed seems to work well except they put in their link everytime you post which is a bit annoying. I wonder what kind of pagerank they will get. Seems to be the only iphone app that works with blogger.

Geolocate this post

Is now the time for blade center colocation?

With upgraded data centers and hardware forever getting cheaper this could be the convergence IT departments and smaller technology companies have been waiting for. Part of the problem has been with data center density. In order to maintain their SLA's data centers will limit you to the amount of power you can put in a cabinet. Typically you can put 30-40 amp of 110 or 30 amps of 208 power. So you can get a good mix of equipment if you use just 110 but if you use 208 all you can use is just 1 blade center in a 42u cabinet. You may only be using 20u's of equipment but would still have to take 2 cabinet to dissapate the heat that you will generate. So you would have to use 2 cabinets. Now that data centers are upgrading like Houston Internaps new expansion which can handle higer density solutions. You can now have a blade center, SAN and other equipment in a single cabinet. This will come at a cost space and power are going to cost a bit more in these upgraded facilities, over time you will save in the long run.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Internap completes expansion in Houston and is now offering high density colocaiton

I got the dime tour last night and it looks amazing. They can now handle very dense solutions like the ever cheaper blade center and storage area network. You can now do a mix of 110 and 208 feed in the same cabinet instead of having to take out a contract on an extra cabinet. I love their facilities but I think their network is their best feature.

Some of the Apps for Iphone are not even beta quality or have serious capacity issues

I'm trying to find an app to work with blogger for text and photos. Lifecast shows some promise but I test ok by the posting does not work, it just churns and churns and no post. Where and beacon buddy is cool, I think they added capacity.
I'm also digging Ewallet, it is a paid app and word well, but I wish they had a windows desktop client. It's a big pain to enter info in on the iphone on that scale. My favorite feature is the password part, being a tech and managing several system and clients this app is a great app to have on the phone.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Iphone 2.0 and the Infiniti G35 sound system

This one really pissed me off! It will play and you can control it, but the Iphone will not charge when connected in the car. The in car bluetooth works fair at best, I can hear them but I sometimes cut out. I wish they would test this stuff and make it universally compatible.

Iphone 2.0 and the Bose portable sound dock

It works kind of, if you want to use the Bose and not get the popping and clicking you will have to put the phone in airplane mode which sucks because you obviously can't receive phone calls or messages. When you dock it, say not approved ipod accessory.

The new energy crisis - the Iphone 2.0

One of the first things you will notice after a short day with new Iphone is how quickly it will burn through the battery.
Turn off the 3G unless you really need it, this will greatly extend the battery life. Also keep bluetooth off if not in use.
There are some 3rd party quick chargers starting @ $40 or just keep a buch of chargers around. I have 2 floating in the house plus usb's on computers and car chargers.

Can Apple and Microsoft Please give us a Remote desktop client that works with what is already built into windows?

Please come out with this fast! I don't want to open up my laptop! How bout a bluetooth foldable wireless keyboard too?

Pick and Choose - Great Iphone Grocery shopping list app for Iphone 2.0

It is $5 but worth it, the free ones are missing basic features.

Where and Buddy Beacon now working on the Iphone 2.0

What seemed like a cool app was not working, I think there were some capacity issues. This is a cool app, I can't wait to see how it evolves.

Iphone 2.0 and the Iphone Bluetooth

Wow, it actually works! The pairing is a little tricky if you don't read the directions and the guys and gals in the store don't seem to know.
What you will have to do is the sync cable included in the bluetooth box plugs into the phone and the bluetooth head set. All you have to do to pair the phone with the headset is plug the cable into a computer, plug the adapter into the bottom of the phone and the bluetooth into the adapter on the other side and they will pair no security code needed. From what I can tell they will not discover each other.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Peak Oil - Is this what we are seeing?

The last couple of months I've been watching the price of oil set new record highs almost daily. Sean Brodrick wrote a recent article that I think is right on point with what can happen in our current energy crisis situation and what I think will probably happen next.
I sent this link to some friends and clients. One of my former clients and friends Ken Botyos makes some great points and I feel like big oil does take advantage of the consumer.

It is scary, but a couple of things just p*ss me off about the crisis.

1. Call me stupid, but from what I recall, hurricanes have been around for a little while and some have been quite large and powerful. You're lived in Florida, so I am sure you may have heard of them. Prior to Katrina and Rita, I do not recall hurricanes (even those in the Gulf of Mexico) having a significant impact on the price of gasoline. Now, just the mention of a tropical storm or POSSIBLE hurricane (it could be off the coast of Africa) seems to increase the price of gas by 25 cents per gallon. This is especially troubling considering the fact that the gas that the station paid $3.50 per gallon for last week cost the consumer $3.89 per gallon yesterday, but since a storm developed overnight it costs the consumer $4.09 per gallon today, even though it is the same friggin' gas that the station paid $3.50 per gallon for last week!

2. Big Oil continues to have record profits, even though their industry is in a crisis and they claim their profits are justified. Horsesh*t! Outside of price gouging, there is absolutely no reason for so many of the largest companies in an industry in a crisis to continue to make such lucrative profits. Industries are going to fluctuate as should the general profitability of the companies within the industries. I could understand one or two of the industry leading companies putting a little distance between themselves and other companies in terms of profitability, if said companies had come up with some unique, innovative way to do business that the other companies had yet to discover. But in the case, all the industry leaders seem to be continually reporting lucrative profits. They claim their profits are justifiable because they are in line with profits of other companies in OTHER industries. Those OTHER industries are not in the middle of a friggin' crisis! Look at it from an IT perspective. Companies shelled out millions, even billions, of dollars in the late '90s preparing for Y2K. Vendors in the IT industry made very lucrative profits. In the early 2000's IT spending declined sharply because of the excessive spending in the late '90s, profits declined, some companies lost money for a period of time, and many companies did not survive. In the past few years, after a period in which IT spending was down and now with the arrival of disaster recovery, business continuity, virtualization, etc., IT spending has begun to increase again and vendors in that industry are becoming more profitable. It goes in cycles, as it should in the oil industry. When the industry declines, profits in general should as well.

Ken you are right on point, several in the industry have been sound alarm bells for years