Stronger Together

I wasn’t going to get sucked into the 2016 election, then Donald Trump ran for President I’ve struggled with what to write about this election for months. I’m not shy about my opinions on social media but when it came down to going long form about making my arguments in this election, I’ve written and deleted more than can be known.

I’ve always been deeper into politics than probably any of my friends and family. It started when I would watch Dana Carvy do his iconic impressions of both Bush and Perot on SNL during the 1992 election.

My brother and father are sports junkies. Politics is my drug of choice.

During the 2008 and 2012 campaigns, I was active on social media as a vocal supporter of Obama. It was hard not to be. I think he’ll go down as one of the most transformational figures of my lifetime.

But this year, it’s different. In past elections, I’ve said not great things about GOP candidates. My statements in hindsight, never expected Donald Trump to enter politics.

Mitt Romney is by all accounts an honorable man, and would have kept this country safe. I would have been frustrated but not ashamed before the world, and before my children, that he was our representative.

Now is the election of 2016, and there’s a chance that Donald Trump, could be our next President.

I repeat: there is a chance that this racist, fascist, sexist, disgusting excuse for a man, could be the next President of the United States.

I have two young boys. They know who we support in this election. My oldest son was more upset than I was when someone stole the Clinton/Kaine yard sign from our yard. In a year when it’s not popular to advertise that you endorse either candidate, it’s even more important to take a stand.

And, so, I built a bigger sign.

But in our house we teach our children to treat each other with love and respect. We teach our children to stand up the ideas and the rights of themselves, and for others.

As a straight, white, college-educated, male, in Kansas, I could easily sit back and hide. I could leave the signs down. I could be a registered independant. I could save my money. I could stay quiet.

I won’t.

I support Hillary Clinton for President.

And so should you.

So, vote. For our republic, for the rights and the protection of everyone. Vote. Against bigotry, against hate, against someone who can’t see that America is already great.

Vote.

16GB Problems

For many years, 16GB devices have been an issue for Apple and its users. However Apple fixed this in September, bumping up to 32GB of storage as the new minimum capacity in the iPhone 7, and then going as far as to rev-up the existing iPad line to this new minimum.

16GB problem, gone.

Yesterday, Apple announced a revamped MacBook Pro. Thinner, USB-C / ThunderBolt 3 all over the place, P3 display, Intel Skylake CPUs, and a new dedicated T1 chip powering a watchOS-enabled Touch Bar, including a Touch ID sensor in a non-iOS device for the first time.

Great stuff. One small problem.

Intel’s Skylake processors and chipsets that Apple is using are able to support more than 16GB of memory. For instance, the i7–6920HQ, which based on Apple’s advertised clock speeds looks to be what is utilized in the maxed-out 15” model, says it can do up to 64GB. Apple is a company that makes amazing products, that create and redefine entire catagories. But they’re they’re bound to some limitations.

I figured this wasn’t something that Apple did “just because” … if there was a way they could sell me more memory, at a premium, I’d think they’d do it. There’s a tradeoff being made here.

On the Intel page for the Skylake chips, it indicated that the maximum size was dependent on memory type. Apple is using LPDDR3 chips, which from what I can gather based on the 2133MHz speed, are either made by Micron or Samsung as they appear to be the only two vendors producing them, and based on past relationships makes a lot of sense.

In both cases, what I’ve been reading is that 16GB is the maximum size available in this class of chip. LPDDR3 has a lot of advantages when it comes to power consumption, running at a much lower voltage of 1.2V, and only using 10% of the power during standby compared to regular DDR3 or DDR4 memory.

Given that the people who’d really take advantage of the additional memory are people like me who want to run multiple virtual machines, containerized applications, etc, and these tasks are probably better suited to systems not running off batteries, a trade-off of limiting the maximums in order to reduce power consumption, makes a lot of sense.

If the decision here was something like “We can use LPDDR3 and get 10 hours of battery life but we’re limited to 16GB, or use DDR4 and get 8 hours, but support 32GB,” I’d rather get 10 hours of battery.

I’d probably use those two hours in the field a lot more than the extra RAM, right now.

All this appears to be backed up by Dan Frakes, who confirmed the limitation with Apple.

I was already going to sit out upgrading my Late-2013 Retina MacBook Pro 15” since it does everything I currently need, and has 16GB of DDR3 RAM already.

It also doesn’t require me to replace every cable, dongle, adapter and power brick that I currently own.

What I would like to see in the iPhone 6S Plus

Despite its increased screen resolution over the iPhone 6, the 6 Plus ships with the same 1 GB of RAM as its little brother. Any 6 Plus owner will attest that this leads to some stuttering and sluggishness at times. I’ve experienced audio tearing and apps crashing under load. It’s not awesome. It makes the 6 Plus look half-assed, and it makes me sad.

This is really my only complaint about the iPhone 6 Plus. The iPhone 6 doesn’t have these issues. Driving so much real estate at such high resolutions just needs more memory. It doesn’t happen often but when it does it’s such a buzzkill.

Otherwise, it’s a great phone and a few months after stepping up to it, I’m glad I did. I had an iPhone 6 at launch day, but back in April switched to the 6 Plus and gave my wife the regular 6. Like Stephen, there are some days where it’s a little cumbersome, and there are even days where I wish for the simplicity and ease of grip from a 4” iPhone 5 style device, but the reality is I’d have a hard time going back to anything smaller.

Java Jive

Yesterday my local paper posted an article about a new coffee shop that has opened up near my house.

Arshad said he has instilled his own requirements for quality in the restaurant. Most of the products used are kosher and organic and he uses organic fair-trade coffee.
And with that philosophy, he also balances the need for affordable prices. Arshad says he has accomplished that and maintains some of the lowest prices in the area. A large cup of coffee at Java Jive costs $1.95 while a small costs $1.50.

I’m all for supporting a local business, so this afternoon I decide to go check it out.

I just wanted to get a plain cup of coffee, nothing fancy. I look at the prices and a confirm what the article says a coffee is, $1.95. I ask the girl working there for one. She asks if I want milk in it. Sure.

“OK, that’s a latte” … Rings me up for a $4 drink.

No, I explain, I just want regular coffee.

“But you said you want milk? Did you mean a cappuccino?” and she points to the cappuccino machines in the corner that look just like the ones you see at a gas station turning powder and water into drinkable substance.

“No, plain, black coffee, with milk in it.” … She looks puzzled. Turns around at the board, looks at me, shrugs her shoulders and says …

“So, not a latte?”

I left and went to Starbucks.

(Thanks to @djchrisallen for pointing out how much like Larry David I’ve become.)

The one thing hurting your company’s quest for talent

Some tech companies attempt to impede the natural flow of talent by tying the hand of employees with non-compete agreements. … It’s not hard to see why some companies like them. The whole point of these agreements is to discourage employees from seeking greener pastures.

In truth, there is no free lunch. … Tempting though they may be, non-competes are bad for everyone they touch, employees and employers alike. … The bottom line is that non-compete agreements are bad for business. They are anti-competitive and anti-capitalist. … They reduce productivity, create labor market inefficiencies, depress wages and discourage innovation.

Non-compete? More like non-competitive.

It’s about the business model

Marco Arment:

… the reason I choose to minimize Google’s access to me is that my balance of utility versus ethical comfort is different. Both companies do have flaws, but they’re different flaws, and I tolerate them differently:

Apple is always arrogant, controlling, and inflexible, and sometimes stingy. Google is always creepy, entitled, and overreaching, and sometimes oblivious.

How you feel about these companies depends on how much utility you get out of their respective products and how much you care about their flaws.

Simply put, Apple’s benefits are usually worth their flaws to me, and Google’s usually aren’t.

Rene Riche:

Both Apple and Google have been stating their corporate goals with increasing frequency, including during their respective keynotes. Both are worth comparing and contrasting.

Apple’s is to make great products. Google’s is to organize the world’s data.

Expanded, that means Apple needs to enter categories where the company believes it can make a substantial contribution through really great products it can sell to a select segment of the market.

Google needs to convince everyone on earth to hand over all of their data so Google can organize it and make it accessible to everyone else on earth.

Apple funds its strategy by selling those great products at substantial margins. Google by selling advertising against, and intelligence obtained from, the data.

Everything Apple says and does on stage is designed to get you to give them money for a product, and to enjoy it so much you want to keep giving them more money for subsequent products.

Everything Google says and does on stage is to get you to give them more data, and to enjoy it so much you want to keep giving them more data.

Agreed.

Uber & Kansas

This afternoon, this image and rants from angry Kansans hit my Twitter timeline. I didn’t even realize prior to today, that it was even a thing, and when I saw Uber’s announcement my reaction was, immediately … I can’t believe I agree with Governor Brownback!

“As I said when I vetoed this bill, Kansas should be known as a state that welcomes and embraces innovation and the economic growth that comes with it. Over-regulation of businesses discourages investment and harms the open and free marketplace. Uber, and other innovative businesses, should be encouraged to operate, grow and create jobs here in Kansas.”

I don’t disagree. I want innovation, and I especially want it here in Kansas where I’ve lived for 31 years.

However…

I’ve read the law, it’s Kansas SB 117, and it’s just 8 pages. Nothing I’ve seen would prohibit Uber from doing business in Kansas. This isn’t a prohibition of ride sharing services. It doesn’t make unreasonable demands of drivers or the company that prohibit it from doing business. I’m not sure why I’m going to even try to defend the Kansas legislative branch, because I generally think they’re a bunch of Looney Tunes. However, I think Uber is playing social media users and rest of the media into a false narrative.

What if, and I’m just saying, the regulations the Kansas legislators passed were actually in the best interest of consumers… but not Uber? Is that such a bad thing?

Uber, like most companies, doesn’t want any regulation of their business that doesn’t actually benefit them. But every business has to expect some level of government scrutiny, even in an otherwise conservative state like Kansas. “Regulate commerce” is sort of a fundamental reason why we elect people into government.

In this case there were actually some things that would have probably been beneficial to Uber, such as prohibiting municipalities from adding additional prohibition or regulations. But, if their goal is no regulation they’re understandably annoyed with this law and in this case they’ve decided to take their ball and go home.

Full disclosure: I’ve never used Uber services, I’ve never needed to. That said, I don’t have issues with them or the business. I just don’t travel enough where I don’t have my own car or end up renting one for work. I think I’ve hailed a taxi twice in my life.

Here is my (non-lawyer) understanding of what this law does:

  • It defines Uber as a “transportation network company” for the purposes of Kansas law and now referred to here as a TNC.
  • It explains that TNC drivers are using their personal vehicles for ride sharing.
  • It specifically outlines that TNC drivers are not taxi services, private motor carriers, etc. Again this seems like it would be beneficial to Uber to have this codified in state law.
  • It would require Uber to register with the state as a TNC and pay an annual fee of $5,000. It would also require Uber to have an “agent” in Kansas.
  • It requires TNCs to disclose fare calculation prior to the ride, something Uber already does.
  • It requires TNCs to show the license plate and a picture of the driver in the app prior to the ride, something they already do.
  • It requires TNCs to provide an electronic receipt for the transaction, something they already do.
  • It requires TNC drivers to carry insurance, something they should already be doing. It does not require Uber to insure the drivers, but gives them the option to. It requires a $1m policy be carried by drivers. My understanding is this is the same requirement Uber already has.
  • It allows Kansas auto insurance providers to exempt coverage for TNC drivers from their auto insurance policies. I could see this being an issue, where drivers might have to obtain a different “business” policy. But this seems like the cost of doing business for the drivers.
  • It requires TNCs to conduct criminal background checks and prohibits drivers from having recent convictions for reckless driving, sexual assault, etc. which seems completely logical. It might be additional overhead, but the cost of this could be passed onto the drivers when they start.
  • It requires the TNC to have a zero tolerance policy for drivers who use drugs or alcohol while doing their jobs. This doesn’t seem like rocket science.
  • It requires the drivers to only accept prearranged rides via the app, you can’t “hail” an Uber driver from the street. This is pretty much the entire appeal of Uber, and not an issue in my mind.
  • It requires the TNC to have a non-discrimination policy with respect to riders, and to make accommodations for handicapped riders. This I found it shocking that Kansas would even care about something like this. I actually applaud them for this.
  • It requires the TNC to hold driver records for one year. I don’t know what Uber does in this respect now, but it doesn’t seem cumbersome given the amount of data these companies are holding already.
  • It prohibits the TNC from disclosing rider information to third parities without their consent. Again, nice.

In my mind, while all of this does indeed place restrictions on Uber doing business in Kansas, they don’t seem like unreasonable restrictions. Some of them almost conform exactly to Uber’s existing business model. But more importantly, the law actually appears to benefit and protect the consumer when it comes to security, discrimination and privacy.

It would be great to live in the libertarian utopia that many of the technorati want for their services, where innovation and market forces drive consumer protections. In the meantime reasonable government restrictions doesn’t seem like it requires Uber to pull their services completely.

I’m often critical of government attempts to protect intrenched interests, such as Tesla’s constant battle with states who prevent the company from selling cars directly to consumers, because the existing dealer/franchises don’t want that model in the states. I’m also not being critical of Uber as a service, or have any interest in maintaining the status-quo in terms of taxi cabs, etc.

I want Uber in Kansas, but at the same time I don’t think it’s unreasonable to set reasonable minimal expectations for doing business here.

Bullish on the Watch

There has been a lot of noise about the Apple Watch recently. I’m planning on getting one, and am quite bullish on their future. Here are a couple of great posts I’ve seen on it this week…

From Ben Thompson, why the future is wearables that people actually want to wear:

It’s increasingly plausible to envision a future where all of these examples and a whole host of others in our physical environment are fundamentally transformed by software: locks that only unlock for me, payment systems that keep my money under my control, and in general an adaptation to my presence whether that be at home, at the concert hall, or at work.
To fully interact with this sort of software-enabled environment, I will of course need some way to identify myself; for all the benefits of the human body, projecting a unique digital signature is not one of them.

From Greg Koenig, a class in metallurgy, based on the production line videos Apple released:

Work hardening is one of those counterintuitive industrial processes where we take an undesirable aspect of a material and Judo it into a significant improvement. As the gold is cast into ingots, the crystalline lattice structure of the alloy is nearly perfectly aligned. What Apple is about to do is introduce — in a highly controlled and precise manner — defects in that lattice (known in the art as “dislocations”). The effect is to harden the material by giving future impact events or stresses a limited number of spots on the lattice to start (technical term: nucleate), and if they do start, very little room to propagate.
You can experiment with this yourself using a metal paperclip- start bending the paperclip back and forth and you’ll notice it gets ever so slightly more difficult to bend as you repeat the process. Eventually, you will create so many dislocations in the metal that the part will fracture into two pieces, but for a short period, you will have work hardened that section to a point where some potentially desirable material changes would have taken place. Add a tremendous amount of precision, equipment capable of applying thousands of tonnes of force and replace the paperclip with a US$50k ingot of gold alloy and you’re working at Apple.

Also, I’ve revised my sizing thoughts for my future purchase. Based on the built in sizing guide in the Apple Store app, I’ll probably end up purchasing the 42mm watch.

Apple Watch

After months of industry speculation, Apple today released pricing for the new Apple Watch. As a registered iFanboy, I’m legally required to purchase one. I wasn’t even sure when they were originally announced last fall if I’d want one, but I’ve come around.

However, I haven’t decided which one to purchase. Because I don’t have $10,000 sitting around, the “Edition” line is out. That leaves the stainless steel (starting at $549) and the aluminum versions ($349/$399) to choose from. Then it comes down to straps.

There are many obvious things to consider…

  • Material durability: I work in datacenters, I have small children, I occasionally go outside. Which one is going to hold up better under such abuse?
  • Fashion and personal preference: I like things that look nice. But I’m not flashy.
  • Face size: I have small wrists, and traditionally wear smaller faced watches. But would I like something bigger?

Then there are the, less obvious…

  • What cost am I willing to pay for a smartwatch?
  • What cost am I willing to try and convince my wife that she should let me pay for a smartwatch?
  • What cost is my wife actually willing to let me pay for a smartwatch?

Humm… decisions, decisions.

As it is, I’m leaning towards the 38mm Stainless Steel w/ Black Sport Band.

Giving fewer fucks

Pardon my language, or don’t. Last weekend in my Instapaper Weekly email, was a link to a fantastic article by Mark Manson called The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck.

Take 12 minutes, and give it a read:

Most of us struggle throughout our lives by giving too many fucks in situations where fucks do not deserve to be given … Fucks given everywhere. Strewn about like seeds in mother-fucking spring time. And for what purpose? For what reason? Convenience? Easy comforts? A pat on the fucking back maybe?
This is the problem, my friend.
Because when we give too many fucks, when we choose to give a fuck about everything, then we feel as though we are perpetually entitled to feel comfortable and happy at all times, that’s when life fucks us.

As Mark points out, not giving a fuck doesn’t mean being apathetic, it means only caring about the things that really matter, and then not giving a fuck about what anyone else things in pursuit of that caring.

Ironically, the Instapaper Weekly email that came today included a mention about the language of Mark’s article, and an apology.

The top highlight in last week’s email contained some… colorful language, and we’re sorry if you were offended. The Weekly is an algorithmically generated newsletter based on the most popular articles & highlights saved by Instapaper users, and unfortunately we didn’t build the algorithm to filter profanity in any way. We’ve added in some filters on our end to ensure that future content remains as interesting as ever, while avoiding any potentially offensive language. Again, we are sincerely sorry if you were offended, we’re still getting the taste of soap out of our mouths!

Perhaps if those people who were offended, spent some time reading the article, they would have realized there are more important things to give a fuck about.

Avoiding potentially offensive language, what the fuck!?

Encryption as a right?

Law enforcement officials usually play on our fears whenever their powers are limited, but those limitations are what keep our society from being a police state. The Supreme Court’s ruling in Miranda v. Arizona in 1966 led to catastrophic predictions that many criminals would go free and society would be harmed if all arrested people were informed of their rights. Didn’t happen.
That’s what’s happening here. Law enforcement types are suggesting that Apple and Google are making their products safe for child molesters. It’s the same old tired “good people have nothing to hide” argument against privacy rights that’s been carted out for years.

You have the right to remain encrypted.

Peace Out Facebook, Mostly

Almost exactly one year ago, I wrote:

I’m taking a Facebook Vacation.
I’ve logged out from every device, removed the apps, the bookmarks, integration to operating systems.
The duration will be as long as I can swing it. There may be a point at which I can’t take it and come crawling back. I wouldn’t say I’m having withdrawal, but when I woke up this morning and got on my phone, the first thing I would normally do would be to open the app.
It wasn’t there.

It lasted about two or three weeks. I came back. We all come back.

I just spent the last 24 hours going without, and let me tell you… it’s hard.

When you’re 30, you’re basically right smack in the middle of the original Facebook demographic. I’m the same age as Mark Zuckerberg. Making it worse is having kids.

Everyone is on Facebook, especially family. They get quite irritated when I don’t keep them fed with pictures of 2.0 or news on developments of 2.1.

But now we have Facebook though their own admission, that they’ve been doing psychological testing on user emotional status without our knowledge or concent.

In a report published at the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), Facebook data scientists conducted an experiment to manipulate the emotions of nearly 700,000 users to see if positive or negative emotions are as contagious on social networks as they are in the real world. By tweaking Facebook’s powerful News Feed algorithm, some users (we should probably just call them “lab rats” at this point) were shown fewer posts with positive words. Others saw fewer posts with negative words. “When positive expressions were reduced,” the paper states, “people produced fewer positive posts and more negative posts; when negative expressions were reduced, the opposite pattern occurred. These results indicate that emotions expressed by others on Facebook influence our own emotions, constituting experimental evidence for massive-scale contagion via social networks.”

My initial reaction was that I’m out, cold. That’s what I did last night. I even hovered over the button on the account deactivation page. But the pictures they throw up of my friends and family, wife included, who will miss me when I’m gone is almost another bit of emotional manupation.

After thinking about it today, I’m just going to be curtailing my browsing to a minimum. No more mobile. Just checking the main site a few times a day. Beyond the manipulation Facebook has been caught doing, Facebook really isn’t all that healthy to begin with.

At some point I’ll cut things off, but not cold turkey.

For now I’ll leave you with a bit of topical humor on the subject.

Thoughts on the VNXe 3200

I had some thoughts after reading Chad Sakac’s blog entry about the new VNXe 3200.

  • The original VNXe (3100/3150/3300) was not my favorite product. It was fine as far as entry-level storage goes, but there were a good chunk of restrictions on the product, both technical and artificial, compared to it’s “big brother” VNX.
  • I’m conversely more excited about getting into deployments of the VNXe 3200. I’ll let you read Chad’s blog to get a more complete list of features but being able to do FAST Cache and FAST VP makes it a lot more of a compelling product.
  • I get the impression from reading Chad’s post that VNXe is reaching the point where the platform will eventually gain the ability to be as feature complete as the VNX and being built on the same hardware platform eventually perform as well as the VNX.
  • At some point, I would expect the “next-next-Generation VNX” to look more like a VNXe then the CLARiiON/Celerra mashup that exists today. No Windows code anywhere to be found, truely unified block and file setup.
  • If all they did was get rid of Java in the full VNX Unisphere mangement interface, I’d be so happy.
  • I suspect a lot of customers where a block-only VNX 5200/5300 made sense are going to be “moving down” to the VNXe.

Looking forward to getting my hands on one.

Time to play the lottery

Over the weekend I facilitated a customer upgrade that involved:

  • In place upgrade of Windows Server 2008 to Windows Server 2008 R2 on a vCenter Server.
  • Direct upgrade from View Composer 2.6 to View Composer 5.3.
  • Direct upgrade from VMware View 4.6 to Horizon View 5.3 on two connection brokers.
  • Direct upgrade from vCenter 4.1 to vCenter 5.5.
  • Direct upgrade from ESXi 4.1 to ESXi 5.5 on multiple systems.

All of these, on a Saturday, with no issues. No calls to VMware support. No reviewing error logs. Very little hand wringing. For the most part everything went according to plan.

I feel like I should buy a Powerball ticket this week, or maybe make a trip to the casino.

New recruit(er)

Historically, finding employment has not really been particularly difficult for me. When I’ve decided it was time to make a change, I’ve been able to do so pretty quickly. A well assembled resume, solid technical chops, practiced interviewing skills, and making connections with people seems to have served me pretty well thus far. I don’t say that to brag, just as a statement of fact.

As such, I’ve never utilized the “services” of a technical recruiter during my job searches. I’ve watched friends and coworkers use them, with pretty mixed results.

Now, when I’m talking about a recruiter, I’m not referring to the internal HR professional who works for a company you’re trying to get a job with. I’m talking about the headhunters who make their living by finding people and placing them in jobs, and then their skin in the game is to get you hired and get a cut of it for them in a finders fee.

(If this process is actually financially beneficial to the person being recruited is probably up for debate. The Freakonomics study on real estate agents is probably something to think about in this regard.)

I’m also not here to argue that this type of recruiter has no place in the process. Organizations frequently are in need of new talent, and sometimes that talent is hard to find, especially when trying to recruit people from a new region or in a skill set outside the companies normal area. I know my company makes use of them at times.

I should also make a point, just to cover my own ass, that I’m happy where I’m at in my current employment. My dealings with headhunters recently are purely unsolicited. (Part of my frustration, see below.)

That said, I always keep an open mind.

However, what I’m not really open to are the amateurs who hound me on an almost weekly basis, sometimes via phone or email, but especially on LinkedIn. I spend a lot of time cultivating a serious and professional profile there, because I use it for maintaining relationships with current/former coworkers and clients. Doing so makes me somewhat of an easy target for these headhunters.

I’m usually polite, often times more than I should be. I will typically acknowledge their message and let them know I’m not interested in whatever they’re trying to get me to bite on. Many times simply notifying them of my minimum salary requirements is enough for them to realize they’re going down the wrong path.

However, the advantage of something like LinkedIn is (assuming the recruiter is being honest) that I get as much insight into them as they do about me.

Right away, I’m turned off if they’ve not been in their profession for at least 3 years, especially if their previous job was anything along the lines of being a professional cheerleader or hair stylist. If the only thing they know about servers is that three months ago they were one at the local mexican restaurant, it’s time to move on.

Really, what this tells me is they don’t (yet) have the skills to help me. They don’t understand what it is I do and they probably don’t have the connections to show me anything that a search on DICE wouldn’t turn up. Honestly, it’s not worth my time to engage with them.

I get it. We all have to start somewhere. There was a time when I didn’t know the difference between spanning tree and an oak tree. Time and experience, training, makes us all better. Most of us started in help desk, or desktop support. We’re not usually born as systems administrators or consultants.

The problems comes when these recruiters lack experience, they look at someone with years of experience implementing award winning virtualization solutions, holding multiple and VCP certifications… and then suggest a position managing Windows updates processes.

Just like any other job, they need to do research and know the market they’re in, and the positions they’re recruiting for. In the end all it does is make them look foolish.

I can tell you all right now, if I decided to quit my job and become something outside of my experience, like say as an investment advisor, I’d probably be pretty horrible at it for a while. The thinking that somehow because I bought my first stock (outside of my retirement accounts) in $TWTR last month, suddenly I’m equipped to handle the life savings of others because it’s up $15 since I bought in? Doubtful.

I’m sure someone, somewhere, probably told them that being a headhunter was really lucrative. Otherwise why do it? I guess you can probably work from home on your own schedule, or something like that. Make some phone calls and watch the money roll in on the backs of people with actual skills and talent who do the real work.

Honestly it’s something I’m surprised some of my Get Rich Quick Scheme relatives haven’t taken up yet.

Side thought: If this was really the case, if recruiting was really a good way to make money, why don’t senior technical people (system administrators, infrastructure designers, implementation engineers) quit their jobs en masse to become recruiters? If the money was there, it seems like someone from the industry would be better equipped to find good people and point them in the direction of good jobs?

And while I’ve said that headhunters do have a place, it’s a narrow one. Again, it’s different when they work for the company doing the recruiting. It’s different if they know the person is looking for work. It’s different when I ask a friend or former coworker if they’re interested in coming to work with or for me. There is a mutual interest at stake.

But if my job consisted of sitting around cold calling people with the prospects of changing jobs, just for the sake of making a buck, I’d quickly be looking for a new job. You rarely see this type of process with other life changing things. It’s like car salesmen who flags you down while you’re driving to ask if you’d like to come by the lot and test drive a new Audi… or a realtor who knocks on your front door and asks if you’d like to buy the house down the street.

Why not let the customer come to you?

One final thought, today received a LinkedIn message from a recruiter working for what is essentially a competitor to my current employer, asking me if I could refer anyone to work for them!

Facebook Vacation

I’ve logged out from every device, removed the apps, the bookmarks, integration to operating systems. I’m taking a Facebook Vacation.

The duration will be as long as I can swing it. There may be a point at which I can’t take it and come crawling back. I wouldn’t say I’m having withdrawal, but when I woke up this morning and got on my phone, the first thing I would normally do would be to open the app.

It wasn’t there.

Lately I’ve just felt overwhelmed by the noise. I feel like at times I just contribute to it, and need to find a way to make it better for myself. I can still keep up with sharing photos with friends on Instagram. My wife is addicted, so she can be my source for actual news of importance about friends and family who don’t share it with me directly. I want to see what it’s like for a while without the need to know, without the sometimes the overwhelming chatter.

And of course I still have Twitter. Which strangely enough, I don’t consider that noisy even though I follow 1500 people. Twitter is like a stream full of conversation, compared to Facebook which is individuals yelling as loudly as they can at me.

I’m tired of the yelling.

NSA & ‘Big Data’

The civil libertarian in me is appalled at the NSA phone records from Verizon (and likely others) and backdoor access to the data from Microsoft, Apple, Facebook, etc.

The engineer in me is fascinated at how import all that data, what they’d store it on (EMC Isilon) and how they would process it and retrive it. It’s a perfect example of the need for people who understand “big data.”

I’m so conflicted.

VMware has updated its certification names/logos, again

VMware has updated its certification names logos and logos, again. I guess nothing lives forever, nothing stays the same.

What was the VCP until September of last year was originally going to be the VCP-DV, is now the VCP-DCV. The VCP-DT is still the VCP-DT, but the master level certification, the VCDX, has become the VCDX-DCV. Logos have also been updated. “Data Center” is now two words instead of “Datacenter” because apparently that considered industry standard (I didn’t realize there was such a thing.)

Good thing I was waiting to order new business cards until after I could add a VCAP certification.

Don’t use a single 100mb vNIC

  1. You really should never use 100mb networking with VMware for much of anything. I’m not even sure 100mb networking has any place in a modern datacenter, except maybe cheap connectivity to something like an iLO/DRAC.
  2. You should avoid using a single vNIC for any vSwitch, unless you just don’t care about things like load balancing or network redundancy.
  3. Not seen in the image, but Service Console/Management Network should not be on the same vSwitch as your VM Network port group. Good luck accessing your ESX host when all the bandwidth on your 100mb connection is used up by virtual machine traffic.
  4. The particular host in question did not have any vMotion setup, and/because there was no shared storage for the hosts in the “cluster” — term used loosely.
  5. Any combination of the above is grounds for removal of virtualization privileges.