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Posts from the ‘Life’ Category


Drobo Elite Performance Testing

I’ve had a Drobo Elite in my possession for way too long, and I would like to post this brief explanation of why I haven’t posted any test results yet.

A few reasons actually… here we go.

1. Our test environment uses an HP ProCurve switch that claims can do etherchannel or port trunking. Unfortunately our network admin and myself (both with more Cisco smarts than ProCurve experience) haven’t been able to get the damn thing to trunk anything to anything. We’ve even gone down the road of actually hooking up HP servers with HP NICs with HP networking software- and it still fails to trunk the two links. This will have a detrimental effect on our performance testing for the Elite so I’ve held off until we can get our hands on a 12, 24, or 48 port Cisco switch to replace this P.O.S. I seriously cannot convey the disappointment and lack of trust I have in this hardware – one of our campuses has a larger unit instead of a Cat6509 that we would have chosen, and it is just a nightmare in our environment.

2. The college that I work for is smack dab in the middle of an automotive manufacturer induced jobless zone and enrollment is up over 80% (yes, eighty percent). So as you can imagine resources have been stretched thin and students are (and always have been) our primary customer. This has reduced the amount of development and testing to an hour or so a week… and on projects that are more critical. The summer semester used to be great for large implementations, remodeling, and better parking spots. Not anymore.

3. On a team of three server and network engineers – two have had children in the last three months. My wife and I had a healthy baby boy in March and our other server engineer and his wife just had a healthy (albeit a few weeks early) baby boy. All are doing well and we’re all grateful and very humble by the experience. Seriously, ladies – how do you do it? I’m in awe… But the few hours after 5pm we used to have to test and play with new gear is all but gone for a while.

I watch the hits on this site, the search queries, and all the other data as I have time – and it looks like interest in this testing has not waned. So with Drobo’s continued support – we’re looking to obtain a Cisco switch and configure it to provide us the environment we need to properly test this little beasty very soon.

As always, comments are always welcome – as are emails directly to me.

-Jason ([@]) binaryspiral ([.])com


Rotten BlackBerries Make Good Whine.

Now to be perfectly fair, I’m not going to blame all of my issues on BlackBerry or their Enterprise Server. I will however, consider their method of message relay and integration with our environment quite a hack and their support staff a challenge to work with, especially late at night.

That being said… here’s my problem and what I’ve found that fixes it – I hope it may help you.

Read moreRead more


Silicon Valley’s Next Big Innovation: Pay Cuts

Silicon Valley’s Next Big Innovation: Pay Cuts.

Cutting 5% pay or lay folks off… HP made the right choice.

Also an interesting quote from the story:

MIT economist Martin Weitzman suggested in the 1980s that instituting pay cuts instead of layoffs could make recessions shorter and less painful. By setting base salaries lower and making pay more variable with a business’s financial results, companies could avoid cutting jobs and increase workers’ rewards in good times. HP is trying exactly that, with a change to its bonus plans that could make up for the pay cuts if times do well.

I’d take a job where my sallary was more flexible but rewarded when the company was doing great – I’d also be willing to accept a pay cut to help retain the quality people I work with. It makes so much sense… far too simple to be implemented by anyone.


Desperate Sales People

Today’s economy is really bad. Companies and the people that make them run are having a tough time staying afloat… these are things I understand. With that being said, I am tired of hearing from every sales rep in a two hundred mile radius looking to score a sale on something using an economical sob story or strong arm sales tactics promising me to save me more money.

If I don’t – I must be a total idiot. Haven’t you noticed the economy!? Why don’t you want to replace your stuff with our cheaper stuff so you save more money?

Here’s an email I received this morning… verbatim except for proper nouns have been included exactly as I got it.

Hey Jason:

This is (sales person x)  from (CompanyX). I left you a voice message earlier but figured this

Would be a less intrusive route to take.

I’ve attached a new promo we have running for 3 FREE month’s of PRI service.

Also, we have many new products your are probably not aware of yet.

Allot has changed in the last couple of years with our company.

I have worked with all the (A Local Company) buildings in (my city). I Also have delivered (another local company) Corp. Ethernet handoff

To their doorstep with an MPLS Network system.

We now have Data P2P’s for under $300.00 as well as up to 45MB circuits available.

If given the opportunity… I’m 99.999% sure I can save Blackhawk a significant amount

Of money as well as upgrade the services. (Given I was a Graphic Designer for 10 years…)

Please let me know if Wednesday or Thursday around 10:00am would work for you next week.

I will look forward to hearing from you.


So I listen to the voice mail waiting for me, it’s almost as challenging to listen to as reading this email. I also deleted the cold call from an IBM sales rep, and someone else trying to sell me something I already have.

My day was already busy as hell and I have way too much going on to coddle a graphic artist that should have had a copy writer editing her emails… so my reply was short and polite.

Hello [sales rep’s first name],

Thank you for the email follow up to your voice mail message.

However, we are not interested in changing our telecommunication services providers.

Best regards,
[my standard signature]

But that wasn’t the last I’d hear from her. At 5:00pm tonight, my Blackberry buzzes with the following reply:


Im just asking for an opportunity to show you that you have options.

With the economy the way it is… Your telling me your not at all interested

In looking at cutting you costs?

There’s a part of me that is pissed off that sales person x would use the economy to sell me CLEC services. 2,000 people in my town just lost their job and now I have to be the bad guy by not buying her wares.

There’s another part of me that feels sorry for this person. Maybe this is a last job of desperation to make ends meet. If I don’t meet with X, they’ll lose their job.

I haven’t decided if or how I can reply to this without sounding like a complete jerk or going off on a rant.


Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays

I wish everyone a peaceful and happy holiday season.

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