Friday, April 27, 2007

IT Rule #2: One Domain to Bind Them All

Never name a server the same name as your domain. It brings about countless confusion points in conversations and introduces very strange networking behaviors. It can be made to work but isn't worth the effort, mainly due to IT Rule #1.

IT Rule #1: Firefighting is a waste of time

Time spent fighting fires (a.k.a. fixing problems) should be avoided as a rule. Note that as one of IT's main responsibilities is keeping things running smoothly, firefighting cannot be ignore and problems must be fixed as they come up. However, it is not in the company's (and therefore IT's) best interest to spend time doing firefighting.

Fire prevention is by far the better way to spend time. In most cases, an hour spent preventing fires will pay for itself many times.

Prevention includes the following efforts

  • Solid infrastructure. This includes network, wireless, storage, and all the components that make up the computing environment. Spend the money on good equipment, but maintenance, and monitor everything.

  • Consistent Desktops. This can be a tough balance with the desire to let employees have control to changes things in order to do their job better or just to make the computer their own (remember, they may be spending 5-7 hours a day working on it).

  • Identifying root cause. When a fire has to be fought, spending time to determine the root cause is well worth the effort. Since MS-Windows can fail for unknown reasons, it isn't always possible. However, if the root cause can be found and (importantly) proven, the fix can be applied across the company to prevent that problem from happening again.

Reducing time spent fixing problems frees up IT staff for working on projects for improving the computing environment. The business world is moving too fast to not have that time for improving systems.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Although I frequently didn't agree with this views, the man was a damn fine writer and always made me think. Time to go back and reread some of his stuff again.

Novelist Kurt Vonnegut dies

NEW YORK - Kurt Vonnegut, the satirical novelist who captured the absurdity of war and questioned the advances of science in darkly humorous works such as "Slaughterhouse-Five'' and "Cat's Cradle,'' died Wednesday. He was 84.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Cable for wireless amp that I got used

Audio-Technica - Microphones, headphones, wireless microphone systems, noise-cancelling headphones & more : AT-GCW : Guitar Input Cable

1/4" phone plug to locking 4-pin connector for use between instrument and A-T UniPak™ body-pack wireless transmitters. 36" (0.9 m) cable.

UPDATE: I returned this wireless unit as it was not able to work in a noisy environment. At home or in the rehearsal space there was lots of static.

Team, Management, and organizational communication more important than change control? - Business Technology Leadership - ABC: An Introduction to Change Management

During havoc-wreaking ERP implementations, the researchers found that team composition, top management support and organizational communication proved more important than change management. During ERP upgrades, change management fared similarly, coming in fourth behind team composition, organizational communication and project management.

IT annual report

Interesting idea. - Business Technology Leadership - IT Value Methodologies: Do They Work?

For example, I work with a CIO who produces an annual report that shares what the business has accomplished with IT’s support. It also talks about where they will jointly focus their effort and dollars for next year. As with any good annual report, it discusses the financials: spend versus budget, benefits of previous projects versus plan, cost-saving initiatives versus plan, etc. It also discusses what they’re doing to prepare for the future from an architecture and technology standpoint. It has been extremely well-received, and this is in a non-high-tech company - Business Technology Leadership - IT Value Methodologies: Do They Work?

The “atomization” of technology (many more subcomponents and vendors) also means that no IT department can afford to supply or even be competent in every technology. At the same time, companies don’t want to be locked into a single vendor or approach, with no endgame in sight. They want to avoid creating the legacy environment of the future.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

The Best Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs: Scientific Lab Test vs. Incandescent - Popular Mechanics

Popular Mechanics designed a test pitting seven common CFLs against a 75-watt incandescent bulb. To gather objective data, we used a Konica Minolta CL-200 chroma meter to measure color temperature and brightness, and a Watts up? Pro ammeter to track power consumption. Our subjective data came from a double-blind test with three PM staffers and Jesse Smith, a lighting expert from Parsons The New School for Design, in Manhattan. We put our participants in a color-neutral room and asked them to examine colorful objects, faces and reading material, then rate the bulbs’ performance.