Why Google is Winning

So I need service pack 1 for Windows Server 2008 R2, and what better place to find it than by doing a search on Microsoft’s download site (http://www.microsoft.com/downloads)?

Okay, maybe Google will be able to dig up this difficult to find file, which I guess is stored on a thrid party site or . . . → Read More: Why Google is Winning

Tragedy of the IP Address Commons

This story detailing Microsoft’s purchase of Nortel’s IPv4 address blocks has a quote that sums up the IPv4 shortage issue:

The Regional Internet Registries, which allocate IP addresses, do not typically view IP as an asset that can be bought and sold. There are processes being developed for assignees to return unused IPv4 to the . . . → Read More: Tragedy of the IP Address Commons

Outsource-Insource-Outsource-Etc

Back when I was first interested in pursuing a career in computers in the early to mid-nineties, the consensus on staffing an IT department was that it was much cheaper to outsource, or in other words, hire in contractors to fill your staffing needs on demand.  Not to be outdone, many a corporate accounting department canned their IT department, though usually by transferring them to the payroll of a contracting firm and paying significantly more per hour to have them on staff.

Over time the consensus on that mindset shifted.  Since I worked for a contracting firm when I first started out it was easy to see why: any work performed by computer consultants that is in the best interest of the company hosting them is strictly a coincidence.  With the IT staff concerns unmoored from those of the company indirectly paying their salaries, companies found that they weren’t really saving all that much money, especially when the product which was delivered was factored into the equation.

With Y2K consultant extortion still fresh in the minds of management, a different mindset came about in the post dotcom bust when IT pay rates came down and in-house staffing became more attractive.  The idea behind this strategy was that IT would be a driver for the business.  IT in this situation wouldn’t just be a mindless socket in the wall from which other departments would draw resources, but would be a partner in implementing new ideas of different business units and indeed, would be a driver for new ideas themselves.  This has a great deal of appeal to me since it makes sense that if a business has their own internal IT resources, they should justifiably expect that those people would be intimately familiar with how the business operates and that they should be able to apply technological efficiencies to everyday issues encountered within the business.  In other words, IT wouldn’t be about just fielding helpdesk calls, it would be about meeting with department heads and employees to find out their operations in order to make sure that IT isn’t an impedance, or IT could offer solutions to problems that are encountered in the differing department’s day-to-day jobs.

That strategy seemed to stick for a bit until the great recession bit in and businesses found that, although they valued IT, they were rather broke and the quality mattered less and less.  This ‘great cheapening’ didn’t only affect IT, but many IT services are distinctly sensitive to it since they can be easily farmed out beyond the geographical boundaries from where the service is required.  Which brings up the issue of the ‘cloud’.

Continue reading Outsource-Insource-Outsource-Etc

UI Failure

From Mozilla Thunderbird:

Free Hold Music

At a couple points in the past I’ve attempted to scrounge around on the Internet for royalty free hold music that we could use at my place of work.  I must admit that I was never successful, but I also must admit that I can’t remember why.  If I had to guess I would . . . → Read More: Free Hold Music