Monday, October 23, 2017

Watts Up! Newer PC's are more power efficient than older ones...right?

Newer is always better.  New cars are more fuel efficient, have lots of features we couldn't even dream of just a few years ago and are of course safer.  Although that last part just seems to underline how bad our driving habits have become.  Speaking of bad habits...   

Smart phones, well, they're old 10 minutes after you open the box.   You see the look on the Best Buy clerk when they proclaim your 6 month old phone as "ancient."

So if we took say a 7 year old PC with an Intel Xeon processor and compared it's power consumption with a newer PC, say a 7700K the results should be obvious.

Well, maybe so, maybe not.  Intel has introduced a new processor family almost every year for the past few years but the changes have really been minimal.

For Example, Sandy Bridge was the followup to the legendary Nehalem processors but for many fell short of expectations.  Yes the venerable 2600K came out of that family and for many nothing after it quite measured up.

The process technology has improved over the past 7 generations of Intel CPU which should translate to dramatic differences in power efficiency.  Operative word being, "should."

Watch the results below.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Cox Internet Service Still Sucks...

See that guy up there using a crank to start his car....That's what it's like to be on Cox Internet in Arizona.  I've been with them for 15 years.  The first 10 were pretty good...well...except for the time when they had an outage for 2 weeks that forced me to tether my phone to my laptop to get my email.  Then there was that couple of months when the connection dropped for 4 hours every night at midnight....Then there was...

Anyway, in a few days I'm going to give Centurylink (their only competition BTW) a try again.  It's been 15 years since I had anything to do with DSL but about 2 years ago they tore up everybody's front lawns to lay new cable so maybe it'll be better.

In any case, it has to be better than this...

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

What do you know about IPV6?

Like it or not IPV6 is behind just about anything with a screen these days.  IPV6 lies at the backbone of the Internet and has been for years.  The reason is simple.  4.3 billion addresses and 7 billion people each with multiple devices.  Something's gotta give.  

That's where IPV6 comes in and if you plan on doing anything with IP networks you'd better brush up your skills.  Below is a good place to start.  So get on with it!

Friday, February 24, 2017

The Geek Closet - Netfinity Project

I was rummaging around my geek closet....

You know you have one.  That dark little room crammed with discarded tech that you haven't touched in years but you "may have a use for someday."

In there I have a tapestry of my career in IT.  From bins of cables, cards and their associated connecting tissue to stacks of hardware long since retired to "someday" status.

Someday has come for you....

About 10 years ago while working for one of my clients during an upgrade project I purchased their soon to be unused and obsolete server hardware. 

I knew what I was getting into having actually installed these servers years before.  I had some vague ideas about what I'd do with them but nothing definitive.  

For all I knew they'd never be more than impromptu jack stands but I saw an opportunity even if I didn't know what fruit that would bear.

Within a few months I did manage to find a purpose for a few of them when I went into business with a friend of mine.  But after a year the business passed away into obscurity like so many others and they returned to the geek closet.

Until the other day.

I opened the geek closet and gazed upon these once mighty hunks of iron sadly sitting idle under stacks of similarly situated techno-cruft.

No, I needed, wanted, to do something with these servers and as luck would have it I was desperately searching for new content for my IT channel on YouTube.

Thus the Netfinity Project was born.  

It's a new video series that covers my attempt to re-purpose a couple of these old servers and gives you some insight into what I consider to be the golden age of hardware and IT.  From the late 90's to the early 2000's IT was all about the hardware and the only talk of "clouds" and "as a service" had to do with rain and valet parking. 

Hardware got better because the software demanded it.  Hardware is unquestionably better now but it lives in bland, clinical warehouses far from view.  An abstraction out of sight and out of mind.  

There's something sad about that.  I remember the pride of IT Manager's throwing open the doors of the server room.  This was where the magic happened, a tangible representation of the greatness of his enterprise.  Whirring, beeping, lights flashing and disks spinning.  You could almost feel the heartbeat of business within those cold server cases.

It's worth documenting and to some extent resurrecting if I can.

Thus the video series where I go through the highs and lows of making some old IBM Netfinity 5000's relevant again.

Check out this blog for regular updates on the video series.  The first few are below.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

More windows 10 FUD

Source: ZDNet

"Windows 7 "does not meet the requirements of modern technology, nor the high security requirements of IT departments", said Markus Nitschke, head of Windows at Microsoft Germany."

You'd think ol' Satjay would have gotten the message with the backlash over the forced upgrade of millions of PC's across the globe with Windows 10's tricky dialog box.

Apparently not...

Today we find the latest salvo against poor old Windows 7 by the proclamation that somehow enterprises are at a serious risk in continuing with Windows 7 ONE MINUTE LONGER!

Please.  The laughable assumption that Windows 10 is the cure for all the ills that plague the enterprise is getting a bit tired.

Consider that even with the recent walkbacks of draconian control of the Windows 10 desktop from IT departments the fact remains that security is not a question of what OS you run.  It's a matter of how good your security policies are and as I've said before the way we treat security will always fail so long as the end user is treated as an adversary.

What about productivity?  What about freedom from nagging popup ads for Office 365 or Cortana getting in the way of a simple search for a hidden app in your start menu?  What about compatibility with current software and most importantly HARDWARE!

If you're an enterprise with a fleet of Kaby Lake desktops maybe Windows 10 is a better fit for you but it's going to have virtually NOTHING to do with how secure your enterprise is.

That takes a good security policy with end-user buy-in or it will fail.

If security was such a concern then Microsoft should have started producing a Linux Distro instead of another flaky, cruft laden OS.  It would have been cheaper and a hell of a lot easier to patch.

If Microsoft still thinks that as they go so goes the world then we'd all be running Linux with a Microsoft logo.  

But that won't happen because everybody knows that paid Linux distributions that nickel and dime you for every app and feature always fail regardless of how good they are.

If this news concerns you, let me provide some salve that's more relevant.  

Security isn't about an OS, it's about your security practices.  Good practice can keep even Windows XP secure in the enterprise...

I've seen it in practice and it has A LOT to do with what you ALLOW in the enterprise.  

Look, you can drive the safest car in the world but if you're determined to drive off a cliff to your death there's nothing that's going to stop that.

Remember where this is coming from.  A company that wants to SELL you an Operating System so that it can SELL you more of it's products.

That's reality.