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Comment CompTIA Certifications (Score 3, Interesting) 186

CompTIA offers several free courses and tests cost ~$168, which is cheaper than most out there. Sure, it's not as renowned as it was in the 1990's, but it is still something to show worth/value (most non-tech savvy business owners won't notice the difference).

Alternately, the Linux Plus Certification 101 (LPIC) can be had for $160 and several places will offer the test for FREE several times a year.

Submission + - Patent troll sues X-Plane (x-plane.com) 2

symbolset writes: X-plane is a cross-platform flight simulator app, notably the only serious one that supports Mac OSX and Linux. It's under threat by an NPE (Non Practicing Entity), Uniloc, suing for things X-Plane has done for decades. X-plane cannot afford to defend this suit, so if somebody doesn't step up and defend them then we lose X-plane forever.

Comment Not shit! Power! (Score 1) 1

Aunty Entity: We call it Underworld. That's where Bartertown gets its energy.
Max: What, oil? Natural gas?
Aunty Entity: Pigs.
Max: You mean pigs like those?
Aunty Entity: That's right.
Max: Bullshit!
Aunty Entity: No. Pig shit.
Max: What?
The Collector: Pig shit. The lights, the motors, the vehicles, all run by a high-powered gas called methane. And methane cometh from pig shit.

Comment Field Engineers & Specialists (Score 4, Informative) 220

While positions like these are not common, there are several fields out there that require "field" engineers that I can think of:

Power - For seven years I fielded calls for the Power Industry where 60% of my time was spent on the road or in the air traveling to remote locales around the world to fix the problems the "Homer Simpsons" of the power industry had created. Without internet I used just my know-how of various hardware types, operating systems such as AIX, Solaris & Windows and troubleshooting experience to solve problems. It was fun to travel and a daily challenge to solve what ever issue it might be, but I ultimately gave it up to have a family and be closer to home. The only thing that really sucked however is the remaining 30% of time I had in an office was usually spent in front of a desk writing ANSI, ISO, NEMA and OSHA compliant documentation about my journey's.

Networking Specialist - These people design, install, maintain and troubleshoot computer networks for all whom will employ them to do such. Some companies specialize in contracting guys with CCIE's etc out to companies who do not want to pay to have one full time. They generally travel on short notice and are prone to 60% or greater travel time.

Deployment Specialist - These people are usually certified in some specific product within the company they work for and make a job out of traveling around to "deploy" said product. Everyone from A to Z in Software and OEM Hardware employs these people to do the dirty work of installing and troubleshooting a product on a customer's site after it has been sold. Expect lots of long hours and a lot of travel to go along with these kinds of jobs.

Sales Engineer - Otherwise known as Systems Integrators in some companies, these people help potential (pre-sales) customers understand, compare, and contrast the solutions that are available for buying from the company they are employed for. Companies such as NetApp, EMC, Dell, HP and others use SE's to accompany sales guys to meetings about a potential sale. These people are generally hardware techs who moved their way up in the ranks from within the company or moved from another company doing something similar. As such, it would be best to start as a deployment engineer or similar first if this sounds interesting.

Technical Trainer - Just about every Tech company employs these guys to travel and host various classes, lectures and seminars. It's not overly "brainy" work, but the job does travel... A LOT.

While I am sure there are more, this was an "off the hip" list that I could come up with. Perhaps others can add to it. Good luck in your ventures... It will not be easy and there is no avoiding at least some "office based desk work".

Comment Re:Sad (Score 2) 606

While SRI International, through the help of defense-sponsored research funding I might add, did indeed create what we call SIRI at Menlo Park, it was NOT without foundations from countless years of already done research by companies such as Dragon International, IBM and CMU Research. The creators of Dragon Naturally Speaking had far more to do with SIRI than you seem to want to acknowledge:

http://news.cnet.com/8301-27076_3-20061241-248.html

Give credit to them where it is due.

Comment Re:Sad (Score 5, Interesting) 606

Back in 1997-99, my colocation space at Level 3 was right next to Dragon Systems' cabinets. As such, I was able to chat with their IT team on several occasions and met the Bakers on at least one occurrence where we discussed the futures of digital speech recognition (Dragon 2000 was being developed for Win2k at the time). Their insights and knowledge of speech recognition were unmatched by anyone else in the industry, not even IBM (who was working on it at the time too) was as advanced and I have no doubt that we would not have Siri or other similar technologies today if not for the Baker's research from in and out of Carnegie Mellon University.

The Baker bunch are not stupid people, they made a remarkable company last for almost 30 years, but it is obvious that they made a big mistake by putting everything in one "basket" as others here have stated. While I wish them luck, white collar crimes such as these are rarely won.

Comment Next: Canadian Ogopogo fed by hand... (Score 1) 936

Loch Ness Monster isn't the only Dinosaur myth in recent times... Canada's Lake Okanagan is possessively home to a similar mystical beast...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ogopogo

In any case, there is no proving nor disproving any of it as faith tends to conquer all levels of rational judgement. Best we can hope for is a better edumacated tomorrah. /cowboyneal-twang

Comment Re:Depends on your expected ROI (Score 2) 464

Cisco UCS is a costly, yet very effective solution. The high costs lay around the requirement for the Cisco 61x0 port extender, gbic costs, licenses for it, expensive PDU's and other costly management features. I really dig the UCS Manager and KVM Manager for the UCS though as it allows for some really large scale deployments with minimized management and implementation. In my opinion, the UCS is really best suited for companies who want/need LOTS of nodes though... 30+ would be a good starting point. In the long run, I think my company would have been better off sticking with HP C7000 BladeCenters, but they wanted to reduce our vendor "footprint" in the datacenter. Cisco/EMC/VMWare won on a majority of fronts for that in the end.

When you think of the UCS, think of StorageTek/Sun v215 & v245 servers... the technology behind them and their design is HEAVILY modeled after those old Sun designs. The Cisco UCS Blades are also way ahead of HP/Dell in terms of capabilities and capacity limits, but it really does cost a lot more than we expected them to.

Comment Depends on your expected ROI (Score 4, Informative) 464

Depending on the environment and the available assets to the IT Department.

As an example:

Assume you have VMWare ESXi 5 running on 3 hosts with a vCenter and a combined pool of say 192GB of RAM, 5TB of disk, 3x1Gbps for NAS/SAN/iSCSI and 3x1Gbps for Data/connectivity.

It would become unwise in such an environment (without funds to expand it) to run any system that causes a bottleneck on your environment and thus decrease performance for other systems. This can be:
- Systems with High Disk load such as heavy DB usage or SNMP Traps or Log collection or Backup Storage Servers;
- Systems with High Network usage such as SNMP, Streaming services or E-mail;
- Systems with High RAM usage.

For this example, any of the above utilizing say 15% of your total resources for a single instance server would ultimately become cheaper to run on physical hardware. That is, until your environment can bring that utilization number down to 5% or is warranted/needed/desired for some reason.

In my environment, we have a total of 15 ESXi v5 hosts on Cisco UCS Blades with 1TB of RAM and 30TB of Disk on 10GbE. We do however refrain from deploying:
- Media Streaming servers
- Backup Servers
- SNMP/Log Collection Servers

Hope this helps!

Comment Mars? (Score 2) 121

With an atmosphere consisting of over 95% carbon dioxide, wouldn't a few million of these "pods" help the Terra-forming efforts of mars' atmosphere? Sure, it'd take a few MILLION years, but think of the possibilities here!

On the note of the article, it sounds too good to be true really. I don't buy into the idea until a more scientific analysis has been done.

Comment Remember when MSN Hotmail ran FreeBSD? (Score 1) 396

This just reminds me of the whole 1999-2000 debacle of Microsoft's continued use of FreeBSD + Apache for its 1997 acquisition of Hotmail.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hotmail

Hotmail originally ran Solaris and FreeBSD in its infrastructure and even after acquisition by Microsoft in 1997, they continued using FreeBSD for much of it. That is, until someone found out about it and leaked it to the public. As I recall, no citations found though, Microsoft hurriedly ported it all to Windows 2000 Server and botched it up several times before getting it right (2002?).

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