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Comment: Re:How about SolarWinds Orion? (Score 1) 342

by Tarwn (#28634263) Attached to: What Would You Want In a Large-Scale Monitoring System?

I was going to suggest ipMonitor (which Solarwinds acquired a few years ago). They just changed the licensing so it's $1000-$2000 for an unlimited number of monitors. The system has a basic mapping engine, NOC environment, sound/email/pager/exe/etc alarms, complex SNMP, WMI, and SQL alarms for everything fmor basic up/down to user experience types of alarms, etc. I never had to look into distributed pollers and I don't think it supports that. The biggest con I ran into was that the reporting engine seemed slow and there was no way to get at the raw data to export it out to other tools.

Other pros include wizards (enter an IP to scan and it will suggest a list of monitors for that device by scanning for SNMP, WMI, etc), ability to create dependancy chains so that you would receive alerts from 5 devices when their shared switch to the backbone went down (you would just receive the ones for the switch), ability to create "Smart" groups which were basically dynamic groups that include all devices/monitors that meet a set of search criteria, etc.

Not sure how it scales, but we had this running against 100+ servers and network switches from a little virtual server w/ maybe 1GB of RAM and it didn't seem to be hurting. We also used Cacti for another perspective into traffic flows an such to give us another dimesnion to use when troubleshooting (monitoring + flows + logs).

Comment: Re:Back to basics (Score 1) 168

by Tarwn (#27684899) Attached to: Project Management For Beginners?

As others have already commented, Agile is one option but unless you want to be the guy in the corner pounding on screws with a hammer, I'd suggest reading a little about several methodologies and then dig deeper into one methodology when you have a situation that fits.
Remember, the OP is in a single person environment, that alone is going to make daily team meetings a little challenging (or at least a little odd to watch).
Other options include Critical Path, which can be executed with a waterfall model but could just as easily outline an iterative model or a TDD model.
A methodology that I like is Critical Chain Project Management, which follows lean manufacturing principles rather than lean product development (like most Agile methods).

In any case, my comment to the OP would be to learn some basic project management topics from books then spend an afternoon on wikipedia learning the basics about a number of different methods. Then choose one to statr with and see how it works. Don't eb afraid to throw it away and choose a different one for your next project, they all build experience and breadth of knowledge.

Comment: Re:Pidgin (Score 2, Interesting) 360

by Tarwn (#27486921) Attached to: Internal Instant Messaging Client / Server Combo?

Unfortunately, while I personally like the XMPP protocol and think it would normally be an excellent solution, I think you have uncovered the biggest flaw. Preventing the clients from talking to the outside world is going to be nearly impossible unless you keep them on a network that doesn't route to the outside world.
For instance, GTalk uses SSL over port 443 so if you want any type of secure web transactions with the outside world then your also going to be allowing secure chatting. Even if you go through and block obvious XMPP hosts that are using non-standard ports (443, 80, etc) it will require ongoing attention as other sites start their own services.

Comment: Re:Repent now, the end is near (Score 1) 1190

by Tarwn (#27378627) Attached to: The Global Warming Heretic

I believe "logic" is the answer your looking for, not observable evidence.

If the world ends, then it no longer exists.
If the world exists, then it could not have ended.
Therefore the world can only end once because afterwards it will no longer exist to end a second time.

So to the original authors point, the world will continue not ending until the day it actually ends, at which point it won't be around to continue not ending any further (or to end a second time).

I believe the only observation that his/her logic rests on is the observation that the world has not ended yet, and therefore the day it does end has not occurred yet.

Comment: Re:Still Important (Score 1) 571

by Tarwn (#27378473) Attached to: RIP the Campus Computer Lab, 1960-2009

Hmm, you may need some more practice at math...

If you have enough to purchase $300 worth of books for classes. Then, yes, this means you also have $300 to buy some of the software you need, right up until you spend that $300 on books. Once you buy the books than you have $0 left for software that you would have previously used in the computer lab. Heck, some students don't have enough for the books and instead will borrow them from the library so they don't have to give up eating for a couple weeks to keep up with classes.

And I disagree with the AC below, it is about the money. Especially considering that you will at least be able to take the books with you at the end of your college career or trade them in at a discount to help pay for the next semester, the discounted software cannot be resold and generally comes with a clause requiring you to stop using it when you end your college career.

Comment: Re:Printing (Score 1) 571

by Tarwn (#27378429) Attached to: RIP the Campus Computer Lab, 1960-2009

Laptops are not as handy for reading as paper (thus the market for e-book readers) and scribbling in the margins is still going to be just a bit easier and natural then a comparable method on a laptop (at least for anyone who has been grading papers their entire career).

The student has to handle one paper, the professor or teacher has to handle 20-40 papers x number of classes and they are likely going to sit in several different places while trying to grade all of them.

Comment: Re:Confused (Score 1) 193

by Tarwn (#27191465) Attached to: Federal CIO Kundra Takes Leave of Absence After Woes

I used to do my taxes myself every year, then along came websites that can do it for me (I'm lazy).

This is what I see:
We have a treasury secretary who found the tax code confusing and, instead of seeking assistance (like a paid professional) he dumped the whole thing in a dark corner somewhere and refused to face it.

Between the tactical error of dumping into the dark corner and the inability to either request assistance or improve his knowledge I don't think I'd even want to hire him to manage a local fast food restaurant because these types of acitons tend to be even stronger in the workplace...

Comment: Re:Misleading headline, and ActiveX (Score 1) 380

by Tarwn (#27148127) Attached to: IE8 May Be End of the Line For Internet Explorer

This full admin lazy installation thing drives me nuts.

I've worked in IT for a while and I am always severely annoyed when people automatically assume that receiving a permission denied dialod or two means that an application requires full administrative rights to the system.

They will generally go on about how life would have been easier if only that one application had let them do things the right way when, in reality, had that one application provided better notes (or had someone had called the vendor) on the subdirectories, external DLLs, or registry entries that needed permissions, then it would have been the next program that came along that required administrative rights. Of course the next admin would have come along and faced with an absolute lack of documentation from the previous admin, would have ended up giving anyone admin access all over again.

Comment: Re:Are algorithms the issue? (Score 2, Interesting) 195

by Tarwn (#27132503) Attached to: Packing Algorithms May Save the Planet

Many companies are taking advantage of better packing (euither by changing their packaging, tweaking their loading method, etc) as a method to cut down on costs. The ability to cram two extra boxes on a truck can often mean selling two extra boxes that you originally couldn't or reducing the shipping costs per order by reducing the amount of leftover head space in a shipping container by stacking more efficiently.

Comment: Re:Compromise to DRM? (Score 1) 232

by Tarwn (#27075657) Attached to: Amazon Releases iPhone Kindle Software

Let's clarify, use DRM and pay more for ebooks.

I have gotten used to $4-$6 DRM-free eBooks. My wife got me a Kindle and I started looking through Amazon prices...while I will likely buy a book or two from them, I think the majority of my books will still come from other places (Glad it has a USB cable).
I mean come on, $9-$10 for books that are $7 for the paperback?

Comment: Re:Some key words missing in summary (Score 1) 371

by Tarwn (#26723227) Attached to: IT Job Market Is Tanking, But Not For Everyone

Having worked in a large position in a large company does not make you more qualified to work in a small company. If anything, the reverse may be true.
Small companies have a much smaller margin for error and a much larger reaction to the individual's skill level or abilities. Additionally the role someone has in a larger company is generally narrower than the same role in a smaller company. Someone that does very well at a specialized subset of skills in a large company may end up completely mediocre in a small company that requires the full range of skills.

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