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San Francisco Opening Computer & Video Game Museum

brainee28 Sony Metreon (56 comments)

This used to be a mecca for technology and comic books; this seems like a great space to put this type of museum in.
My understanding is that the owners still haven't figured out what to do with it. Keep the movie theatre and the Game Walk of Fame, put in the museum, followed by a better arcade, and revitalize the Metreon.

It's still one of my favorite places to go when in SF.

more than 3 years ago

Outlook Inertia the Main Factor Holding Business From Google Apps

brainee28 Tried getting away, but eventually gave in (394 comments)

I wanted to get away from Exchange. So I put in HP Openmail (Samsung Contact). That works for a few years until my users crashed my server (management refused to allow me to place limits on mailboxes, so this is what happens). After the crash, I put up a Postfix IMAP server and used Mozilla Thunderbird. What I found was that even though my users essentially use the email portions of Outlook and not the other collaborative features (some use the Contacts and Calendars, but not with any critical data), they still wanted Outlook. Daily I would hear complaints about how they hated using Mozilla, and eventually, we put Exchange 2007 and Outlook back in.

I think what happened is that many companies put in Exchange without understanding whether or not their company would really use all the collaborative features with Outlook. I'm willing to be many of them only really use the email portions, like mine does. Had my company started out with using just a simple POP3/IMAP server, then we might be using something like Google right now. But because we started out with the "defacto" standard, we setup the wrong expectation. This is what will be tough for Google; trying to get existing users to switch.

I agree that the Outlook plugin was probably not the best thing Google did, but it may be the only way Google can start transitioning people over to their services.

more than 5 years ago

Mac Tax, Dell Tax, HP Tax

brainee28 The Ad in Question (858 comments)

I've watched this ad, and I noticed a few things, and it brought up some information I already knew.

1) She Picked Apple First. Why?

She's an actress, and a member of SAG (Screen Actors Guild). Hollywood primarily uses Apple in their productions, and on screen. Getting rights to use Apple products are a lot easier than getting the rights to a Dell product, which uses Microsoft and a host of other vendors. That's why you don't see a lot of TV and movies using PC's; notice that they use Macs if they can.

She's familiar with using Mac's from her work as an actress on a set.

2) Why did she want a 17" Screen?

To be honest, I'm not sure. For checking emails, and doing some minor multimedia, and web surfing, a 17" screen seems a bit overkill...Then again, why do we want the 50" HDTV vs the 32"? Because it's bigger.

3) What criteria did she use to pick out her PC?

According to the ad, price, screen size, speed, and aesthetics, but you could tell her sole motivation was screen size and price. The other criteria she mentioned were supporting her rationalization, and no other criteria mentioned. Essentially like buying a toaster, or a blender.

4) What didn't the ad mention?

No additional warranty on the HP she bought; just the HP one year parts/labor. No Office suite; no Anti-Virus security package; no additional multimedia software. This is what's left out to get a "bargain basement" price on these Worst Buy laptops.

5) Is Microsoft desperate and worried?

From this ad, they sure are. Vista dug a big hole for them, and the Apple ads made it even bigger. Also, they're trading at $18.37 a share today, whereas Apple at $105.12 is quite good.

Yet the interesting thing is, this ad made them out to be the "cheap" option, which I don't know about you, but I wouldn't want to be associated as a "cheap" manufacturer of a product, because my product comes off as being cheap just as much as the cost might be cheap.

6) Will Apple ever develop low-cost units to compete with?

No. To do this, they would either license OSX to a PC house like Dell or they'd have to go the "clone" route, which had disastrous consequences the first time around. Neither one of these are likely, as it would dilute the Apple brand.
This is why you don't find BMW, Mercedes, Alfa-Romeo, Bentley or Rolls-Royce making vehicles less than $30,000. You're paying for a higher end experience.

more than 5 years ago

Parallels Desktop For Mac Vs. VMware

brainee28 Benchmarks or No Benchmarks... (195 comments)

Most of the communities online seem to have the same opinion. Fusion seems to be more "solid" than Parallels. Most of my users have come to the conclusion that Parallels is just very glitchy and unreliable. Even though their benchmarks show Parallels is faster, it visually doesn't feel faster. Running Fusion brings up the session much faster, apps feel faster and printing is definitely better within Fusion than Parallels.

more than 5 years ago

How Do I Start a University Transition To Open Source?

brainee28 Re:From a faculty member... (497 comments)

I am an assistant professor. If you came to my office and told me to use anything, I'd kick your IT-fiddle-monkey-ass to the door.

That's because you have little respect for others based on the tirade you just posted.

Here's something I really want university IT guys to get through their thick skulls:

You work for us. Not the other way around.

I'm not sure what it is that you teach, you didn't mention that; however something you may need to get through your thick skull is that professors, doctors, lawyers, and other professionals are good at their profession. They suck as any authority for IT work. They need to stop acting as if they have any experience dealing with IT whatsoever. I don't tell you how to teach your class, don't tell me or him how to run my network or his workstations

If I want to use a Windows machine, you need to figure out how to let me. If I want to use a Mac (which I do), you need to make sure I can get to my servers. If I want to use Linux (which I hope to be doing one day--when the software I need to do my research is available on the platform), I expect your support there, too.

No, you run what the university deems as the most cost effective, safest software they can use. Your needs are of a lower priority than the security, safety and reliability of the University's IT department. They are entrusted with that, not you. They entrust you to provide knowledge and experience to students; stick to that.

In the specific case of what you're proposing--moving to OSS for all everyday tasks, I have to be totally clear and honest here: You are wholly unqualified to make that call. It's not your job; it's not your responsibility; it's none of your damned business. You don't even know what I do; how could you know what I need?

That may be true. He may be unqualified to make the final call. But IT's is responsible for your network stability, security, and support. It should be their call as to how to handle this, as university professors do not know enough about computer networks and systems to be qualified either. You're a rarity in a bunch of academics that have no more training than the average office worker.

Finally, let me say this: My first jobs in academia were in IT support, and I, too, got drunk on the power. I, too, was young and full of myself, and I, too, ran around telling people what they should do, instead of listening to what it is that they needed to do, and helping them do it. Now that I'm on the other side (and older and less full of myself), I see why I pissed people off so much in those days. I sucked at my job.

If you try to meddle in your customers' business, you suck at your job, too.

You seem to forget that yours and others workflow is based upon a device given to you for your use by the university. These are their tools; not yours. Your workflow needs to conform to their standards of operation for IT, not how you would run things.

It is unprofessional to suggest that you, an academic, should be the deciding factor in how IT infrastructure is run. Again this is like me coming into your classroom and telling you how to run your class; I wouldn't do it, so where's your justification for why you see fit to tell IT how to do their job?

How you choose to run your computers and/or networks at home is your business, but at a business or at a university, you run your system the way the business or university designates it, and if IT designates that you run using certain products, then you'll run them that way. If you were running on my network, you run what I say you can run, end of story.

more than 5 years ago

How To Diagnose a Suddenly Slow Windows Computer?

brainee28 The List (835 comments)

Once you've run the HD diag programs, either from the vendor or the ones mentioned earlier, do the following:

1) Run Defrag

2) Run CHKDSK /F

3) Delete your Page File (set to 0) then restart.

4) ReCreate your Page File after Reboot.

This seems to cure most problems on my XP systems pretty quickly.

about 6 years ago

How Do You Justify the Existence of IT?

brainee28 Bring in a Consultant (411 comments)

I had this same issue a few years ago. The company brought in a consultant to do a high level assessment of IT within the company.

The assessment also covered opinions by various staff and management as to what expectations they have for IT, and what IT comparable to other businesses of our size were doing with their departments.

It sure made believers out of management after they saw what it was I actually did. Sometimes bringing in an objective opinion is the only way to convince people to do what's needed to solve problems effectively.

For example, the consultants actually found that my annual budget was 80% below the average budget for the amount of money we brought in. After presenting that information to the President of the company, I had buy in and to this day, still have good support and buy in.

more than 6 years ago



Who's the Expert here?

brainee28 brainee28 writes  |  more than 6 years ago

brainee28 (772585) writes "Recently, The IT Department for my company rebuilt from the ground up all infrastructure (servers, workstations and network switches)to deal with legacy issues from the last systems administrator. It was done in 2 phases, both of which were technically successful, but have created political issues.(I'm the administrator that advocated for the change. The political issues are that during the planning for this process, 2 engineers from one of our divisions were asked to consult because the IT Department was relatively new, and the president wanted other opinions. One used to build network switches for a discontinued LAN based product; the other created some of the basic VLAN software that's now used in most network switches. Both have expressed their dissatisfaction at the end result of this change; as it impacts some of their projects by the new structuring. One has now resorted to sniping, "testing" my system with potential backdoors, and advocating that the engineer's home network is better suited for his work than my corporate network, and general badmouthing. He unfortunately, has worked at this company for over 25 years, whereas I've been here for 8 years now. How would you handle this situation?"


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