Sunday, October 23, 2005

HP Tech Forum

Sorry I haven't posted lately. I've been in Orlando at the HP Technology Forum. It was supposed to have been in New Orleans in early September but...

I'll put together some of my notes later this week but for now here're the sessions I attended:
  • Case Studies: Server Virtualization and Consolidation Strategies
  • Security Intelligence and the Business Process
  • A Simple Approach to Managing the Linux Environment
  • Implementing a High Availability Enterprise Resource Planning Solution with Microsoft Clustering
  • Getting More From Less: How to Optimize Your Existing Server Operations
  • Choosing the Right Architecture to Win
  • Service Infrastructure: A Practical Approach to Service-oriented Architecture for an Enterprise
  • Thin Clients: Technical Overview
  • Understanding Current PC Technologies
  • A Real-world Demonstration of Service-oriented Architecture Management
  • Dual-core Architectures
  • Best Practices for Reducing Total Cost of Ownership with IT Consolidation
  • New Security Technology: Active Countermeasures: A Proactive Vaccine
  • Linux in the Enterprise IT Strategy: Where, When, and How
  • The Benefits of Itanium and Windows
  • Evaluating Anti-spam Filtering Solutions
  • WLAN Security: Threats and Countermeasures
A quick recap is that the industry giants are worried about viruses and worms. Also, Intel is in trouble in the under 8-way market. AMD is kicking their butt with Opterons. I got interesting insights into HP's chipset advantages over Intel and Sun.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005


Remember how I raved about MyWebExPC?

The best part was that you get unlimited access for up to 5 PCs. Here's what you get for free.

I even got quoted by a US News & World Report article by David Lagesse.

Ben Moore used to haul 30 miles from his home in Southaven, Miss., to help maintain his parents' PC. Now he does it through mywebexpc and sometimes, with their blessing, doesn't bother to tell them. "I just wait until after 9 at night, when they go to bed." So they all can sleep easy.

Just try clicking on that free link now! Here's what you'll get:
What's happened is that WebEx pushed out a mandatory update this weekend that upgraded MyWebExPC to PCNow. PCNow is a for pay service that is $14.95 per month per PC.

Obviously, I'm not the only one who's run into this. Search for mywebexpc. I love the first title of the first hit I got: "MyWebExPC My arse." I don't think he was happy either.

The suddenness of this is demonstrated by this article posted in the UK edition of PC Magazine.

Price: £0.00 (emphasis added)
Overall rating: **** (4 out of 5)
Manufacturer: WebExCommunication
Tim Smith, Computeract!ve 19 Sep 2005
Now it's off to find an alternative. Don't change that channel.

Monday, October 10, 2005

I Pod

I finally bit the bullet. I got an iPod mini. Of course, I didn't do iTunes but EphPod. I learned the hard way that you have to use the Apple iPod Update to get your iPod up to speed.

I use it exclusively to listen to techie podcasts when driving back and forth to work. I used to download podcasts and burn them to CDs so I could listen in the car but that was using up a lot of my free CDs.

After I played with it a couple of weeks just using the ear buds, I found this at Other World Computing. It has a built-in FM transmitter (only 87.9) and charges your iPod while you listen. It's $27.95 with second day air shipping for $5.

Here's what it looks like:

It works great. So good, in fact, that the first one immediately left with my daughter. I ordered another and am back in business.

How Low Can You Go?

I was reading my Bloglines feed from digg tonight and came across this article on 1 GB flash drives. I'm a sucker for big (capacity), small (physical size) drives. This article referred to Sandisk's Mini Cruzer drive. I have Sandisk's 512 MB Micro Cruzer drive and love it.

Another Bloglines feed I've just started watching is the TWiT podcast. Episode 25 referred to a 8 GB drive from LaCie. It's credit card sized and only 1/4 inch thick.

Here's what it looks like:

The color reminds me too much of Tennessee. Guess my $149 is safe for now.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

It's Always Something

Remember in this post I realized that I needed a USB2 card to support the USB IDE adapter? I went back to PCMicroStore and found this:

Just as before, they shipped the next day and it arrived in 2 days with their FREE shipping.

As I expected, that fixed the errors from the USB IDE adapter. Besides, it makes my USB drive and my iPod work better. Now, I need to update my USB hub to 2.0.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

VitalFile Backup

At work last week we got to talking about backup. I'm still having trouble with my DVD burners. I even replaced my desktop's with a new Sony DL. I've about decided that the problem is the media but that's another topic.

Mike was saying that he wasn't using backup to optical media any more. That he just kept 2 copies at home and one on a removable hard drive that he kept away from the house.

This made me remember an article I had read recently on one of IBM's skunkworks backup products. I poked around for a little bit and found it again. Here's an introductory article on their VitalFile product.

Here's IBM's description of VitalFile product:
VitalFile for Real-Time Workstation Protection, which is built on top of the FilePath file system filter driver and makes three copies of any modified "user-created" file, storing one in the local system, another in a file server and a third in a Tivoli Storage Manager back-up server.
Here's a blog entry from a satisfied user.

I've got 2 hard drives so I could use the second drive as the local copy. Now I need to get the file server copy off site. (Interesting to call my house the "site.") I went to Globat to see what their offering tonight is. They are offering 10GB for $1.99 per month for the first year. It goes up to $7.95 per month after that. Encryption is one thing that worries me about putting it on a web site. (If you sign up for a web site from Globat, use me as a referrer - Be sure that you read my posts on Globat [one and two].)

I think I'll install VitalFile this weekend and play with it some. Trial is free. Purchase is $35.