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December 25, 2007

Define Badass

How about an LCD monitor that laughs at your puny medaeval weaponry?

Wonder how World of Warcraft plays on it?

|| posted by chris under hardware || comments (0) || ||

December 25, 2007

How WHS Stole Christmas

You're a mean one, Mr. Grinch!

Long story short…

Windows Home Server has a hellaciously bad data corruption bug that made it into the shipping product.

It’s a semi-crapshoot whether your data will be affected, as it all depends on how the particular application you are using actually saves its data.

But photo and media files are particularly at risk, evidently. And since pix and vidz are the only truly irreplaceable possessions that any family has…

THIS IS A SHOWSTOPPING ISSUE!

MS has a KB article already about the problem with WHS. There’s no fix yet, only a link to one of Mr. Russinovich’s incomparable utilities that will tell you if any of your applications save their data in the way that WHS will mangle. Unfortunately for WHS users with data already mangles, this makes that utility roughly akin to the idiot lights so popular in cars that illuminate only after you’re already suffering a catastrophic engine/transmission/alternator/radiator failure.

The best and only workaround?

QUIT USING WINDOWS HOME SERVER RIGHT.HELL.NOW!

For the record, I called this regarding WHS over a year ago. At least from the perspective of a single point of failure for home user data.

No matter how crazy/sexxay/cool a piece of tech may be, you never ever ever EVER rely on a single copy of your data. Why? Because it doesn’t take a catastrophic failure to cause a major loss of data.

Those of us who have ever been into the blood & guts of servers for any period of time know that a bad controller/driver combo can cause similar data corruption. So can bad memory. So can particularly nasty virii. A system admin’s worst nightmare is a data corruption issue that goes undetected for a while. Months even.

Heck, in that case you’d be wishing it had been some large catastrophic event. Because then you’d have known, and the window of data corruption/loss would have been minimized. 

You see…

It’s never truly the server that ultimately preserves data integrity and defends against data loss. It’s the expertise and competence of the admin/admins behind a given system.

And the weakest link of WHS isn’t that it corrupts data. The real problem with WHS lies with the false premise that the magic of a server is absolute, which gives a whole raft of people who have no earthly idea how to go about adequately managing and protecting their data an entirely false sense of security.

So even if WHS wasn’t corrupting data, it would still be putting that data at risk.

Which totally stinks, no matter how you slice it.

|| posted by chris under clueless, media, migration, rx, thumbs down || comments (0) || ||

December 21, 2007

Mo’ Media

The media juggernaut for our first E-Cycling Day just keeps a’rolling on…now with even more YouTube!

Man…

It’s so awesome when professionals simply get the job done for you, with no muss, and no fuss. Know what I mean?

|| posted by chris under business, community, media, thumbs up || comments (2) || ||

December 20, 2007

Gentleman, The World’s First Bionic Man

Sweet Mother of Moses!

This takes me right back to the early and mid-70s. First-grade, to be exact…

Better…Stronger…Faster!

|| posted by chris under hardware, more cowbell, nostalgia, robot, tech hand, theme, thumbs up, timekiller || comments (0) || ||

December 19, 2007

Don’t Be Philovit

Writing a good bio is really more art than skill. I’m in the middle of refreshing my bios and it’s driving me crazy.

Like most things…one size doesn’t always fit all when it comes to bios. Which is why I have nearly a dozen different ones. The reason I have so many? I find that I have to “tune” my bios to fit a given situation. Kinda like a resume, except in a much more subtle way.

If I’m addressing a group that’s tied to education, I’ll lead with my degree. But if I’m talking to folks from non-profits, I’d lead with my civic and charity work.

If I’m talking to a local group, then I’ll lead with things that are focused on their area. When I spoke in Kentucky and Ohio earlier this year, I mentioned that I was originally from Ohio.

When I speak here in Alabama, I typically don’t mention that. They already know from my accent (or lack thereof) that I’m not originally from the South. No reason to emphasize the fact that I’m the worst kind of Yankee…the kind who came down and never left.

But above all else…

I’m careful to make triple-dog-sure that my bio isn’t the equivalent of a vanity scene. That’s what Running Antelope and I call a sequence in a TV show or movie that exists only to shore up the flagging self-esteem of some insecure celebrity. For example, when some other character remarks how hot their character is. We also call this the Benjamin Bratt clause.

Here are my 5 best tips for avoiding a vanity bio.

  1. Use adjectives sparingly. You’re already talking about the wonderous wonderousness that is you. Too many adjectives will push you right over the edge into Obnoxiousville.
  2. For that matter, use words sparingly. I’m not advocating Tonto-speak, but a bio should be very tightly written. A single paragraph is the max. Anything more than 4 sentences is off-limits.
  3. Be relevant, and specific. Some things, like a Nobel Peace Prize, Pulitzer, etc., are always relevant. Other things, such as Queen of Corn at the 1986 Nebraska State Fair…not so much. But that’s still better than talking about yourself as a straight A student at the institute of higher learning that is Life.
  4. Stay timely. Mere mortals like us should list minor accomplishments only from the last few years or so.
  5. Use real verbs. This one come straight from the Schoolhouse Rock classic VERB! That’s what’s happening! This really goes for anything and everything that’s written, but even moreso for bios. If you want to give your accomplishments an insane amount of punch, without resorting to an adjective stroke job, use real verbs. That means something other than is after your name every time.

As a bonus, here’s the favorite tip Running Antelope gives to her tech writing students…

  1. Avoid the IZE trap. Which means staying away from words with ize in them. Stuff like maximized. She hates that word more than Tim Barrett hates monkeys.  

As a final word of warning, take this example of a bio which violates every sense of decency and decorum imaginable…

Ben Philovit is a remarkably talented, value-driven professional offering over 10 years of business experience. He is constantly evolving, accomplishing and developing his knowledge and expertise within the business world. His track record of success speaks for itself with increased performance through dynamic leadership, strategic planning, process design, technology innovation and change management. Ben is equally adept in capitalizing on interpersonal and technology skills to create a unique blend of innovative solutions and products while pushing the creative envelope.

Ben is a respected mentor who shares his entrepreneurial spirit with a network of business people in a variety of industries. He is very involved in networking groups that facilitate the growth of start-up companies as companies undergoing a transition to long-term growth. An ability to see the big-picture—and the small steps along the way—make him an energizing, motivating speaker who is willing to venture into new territory with humor and enthusiasm.

A personal goal of Ben’s is to bring his high energy, optimistic view of business to groups seeking to learn from a successful entrepreneur. Take your company to new heights—have Ben speak to your organization today.

In other words…

Don’t Be Philovit!

|| posted by chris under business, community, it pro, opinion, travel || comments (4) || ||

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