Archive | Blog

General blog-type entries

Networking’s not so bad

Ivan’s post this week was a good reminder that other parts of IT aren’t perfect either. It’s not all roses on the other side of the fence. Networking has done many good things, and often showed the way. Consider a conversation between a sysadmin & a network engineer: Look at how I can virtualise these […]

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War Stories: Backup NICs, DNS and AD

A return to our sporadic series of networking war stories. This time it’s fun with dedicated backup networks, DNS auto-registration, and Active Directory. Thank God it’s a lot easier these days with virtualisation. But back then… Backups suck, but you need to do them somehow Back in the olden days we had a dedicated tape […]

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Efficiency vs Effectiveness

I’ve been wondering about how we’re approaching networking change. We know we need to make things better. Are we changing the ‘right’ things? I’ve got a feeling that we’re not, but I suspect that we’re too constrained by higher-order systems. Simon Wardley wrote a great post on Efficiency vs Effectiveness. He gave a slightly contrived […]

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Help! My Boss is Scared of Automation!!!

A reader asked “What can I do if my boss won’t let me automate my tasks?” Sadly some people still have a fear of automating even common, well-understood tasks. They’re worried about automation run amok. They think it’s safer to have a human typing in commands. But you know better. Humans have a place. But that place is not […]

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Learning to Love Codenames

One of the things I struggled with when starting at a vendor was dealing with project codenames. There is no secret decoder ring – you have to learn the names the hard way. I couldn’t understand why descriptive names weren’t used. It took a while, but I’ve come to understand the reasoning behind the obscure names […]

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NZ IPv6 & DNSSEC Update

A year ago I published a table of New Zealand ISP IPv6 support. At the time support was fairly poor. I’m pleased to report that things have gotten better over the last year. There has also been a very pleasing uptick in DNSSEC support. IPv6 Changes The big movers here are Trustpower & Orcon, who have both […]

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Sit Stand Desk Setup

I work from home these days. Therefore it’s important that I have a decent desk setup. My previous setup was pretty crappy, but I only worked from home part-time. I’ve been using a standing desk at home, and wanted to move to a sit/stand model for full-time use. Here’s what I did. Desk & Monitor […]

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War Stories: Closing out Projects

We put a lot of energy into new projects. We argue about the design, we plan the cutover, we execute it…and then we move on. But decommissioning the old system is critical part of any project. It’s not over until you’ve switched off the old system. Years ago I was involved in the buildout of a […]

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Stretching the Container Metaphor

The Docker/shipping container metaphor is overdone. I don’t think people have fully thought through what it might mean if containers do the same thing to computing as they did to shipping. Are we prepared for hipsters taking over derelict data centers? There is an unpublished rule that all Docker articles must be accompanied by a picture […]

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