no such thing as a self made man.

A brilliant article, and one I come back to quote often.

Years ago, I competed on the most successful college track team in US history.

In three years we won three NCAA triple crowns in Cross Country, Indoor and Outdoor track. For a period of time, our team’s successes were discussed within earshot, and we would frequently hear strange stories about the reasons for our success.

Not one of those was anywhere near achievable without the best effort of *every* individual. If one person fell down usually someone was expected to, or sometimes unexpectedly stepped up and bridged the gap for us.

My greatest passion in life and work is seeing people understand this aspect of success. There may be occasional moments where one is so strong and so competent as to field a team of one, but it’s always so fleeting you barely notice when you’ve stumbled again.

A team constantly striving to push team members forward always leads and recognizes multidimensional aspects of success.

Get drastic: 15 IT best practices to kill | TechRepublic

Get drastic: 15 IT best practices to kill | TechRepublic.
I have some thoughts…interesting discussion.
New CIO manifesto”
1.Information is just as important, if not more important than information technology.
I think that is the point…IT within ORGs that fail are focused on engineered solutions, rather than information solutions. The former serves IT, the latter service the customer, which can also mean IT, but it puts the business first, which always generates the IT need.
2.More than 50% of annual CIO project spending will be directed toward measurably improving the financial conditions of an enterprise.
I agree! The best IT ORG examples I see claim to have over 50% discretionary spending room in the IT budget. BUT the Business needs to ensure this % remains, rather than scooping it off as a cost recovered “efficiency”.
3.More than 50% of all enterprise information and IT spending will directly support revenue generating rather than expense related business processes.
not sure how this works in Government or services. What if all you provide is soft services. I take issue with how that might be measured.
4.The incentive portion of CIO compensation will be derived from the amount of money created by the efforts of CIOs and their staffs.
Again, incentive should not be monetary, it needs to be a mix of stature, excellence, and monetary compensation. Competition to excel needs to be part of the equation. Money alone is a failure to focus on human priorities.

IT practices to eliminate
1. Reject annual mismatch between CEO priorities and IT’s most funded projects
1. Agree, if CEO = ORG/Business Strategic Focus. CEO can have other priorities too.
2. 2.Terminate support of projects that will not improve the income statement
1. agree 100%
3. 3.Abandon CIO priorities that do not directly support CEO priorities
1. See response for #1.
4. 4.Stop recommending IT mega projects
1. Agree 98%. Some are needed, if need is measured properly
5. 5.Abolish environment of little or no IT spending accountability
1. Agree 100%
6. 6.Terminate existing applications that do not yield measurable business value
7. Well said.
8. 7.End the practice of placing enterprise IT spending within the CIO’s budget
1. I could live with this. Might be a good idea. But what becomes of the CIO role? Some of the worst IT project implementations I’ve ever seen were managed by the businesses directly. IT projects not centrally tracked can also become hellholes of unaccounabilty if spending controls move only to the business. I feel the business should always “purchase” the solution, IT delvers it. It’s either successful or not. I can cite examples.
9. 8. Eliminate IT-caused business model disruption “surprises”
1. Agree, but how? This is always the goal no?
10. 9.Eradicate “cloud-a-phobia”
1. When was this a problem? Like the “War on Drugs” it’s a stakeholder position, not a fear.
11. Abandon level 1, 2, and 3 tech support
1. Don’t agree or disagree as I have no idea what this means. As a goal, in theory, it’s laudable, as it means a commitment to usability. As a real goal, it’s dangerous as anyone who provides software support and services knows. If you provide no end product support you will be fired. End. Of. Story. No tech support means no perceived warranty and a culture of abandonment.
12. 11.Cancel most IT chargeback systems
1. Not sure where this would fit in why? Most meaning which ones?
13. 12.Cease issuing most competitive bids
1. Don’t know the context can’t comment otherwise.
14. Stop holding on to unfunded projects
1. agree, but this should be the normal operating procedure.
15. 14.End discrimination against behavioral skills and social sciences
1. I agree. What application did the author have in mind?
16. 15.Abandon IT’s unbalanced support between front and back-office
1. Agree wholeheartedly.

Parallels Desktop 7 for Mac Out Sept 7th.

Parallels Desktop 7
Parallels Desktop 7.

I’m not one to shamelessly plug a product.

Well, okay, maybe I’m shameless.

I find Parallels on macOS X a great product with fantastic hardware emulation options. I’m a heavy user of VM products, having tried Xen, VirtualBox, Virtual PC, VMWare Fusion, VMWare desktop, etc…

I find the Parallels desktop product an excellent confluence of performance and features. I’ll update this post with details once I’ve given Parallels Desktop 7 a test run.

The key reason I’m updating? You can now legally run MacOS X 10.7 Desktop and Server VMs on MacOSX!

Stay tuned, or get your copy.

Are SSDs a bigger risk for data recovery?

SSDs harder to manage than many think, Kroll Ontrack says – Page 1 – Enterprise Infrastructure.

This in very interesting development. I have been wondering where SSDs were going to rank in terms of ease-of-recovery if data corruption issue popped up. This little tibdit worries me even more though:

“This includes some sort of data loss, device malfunction, human error such as accidental deletion or system area corruption,” said Troy Hegr, Ontrack Data Recovery technology manager at Kroll Ontrack.

System area corruption accounts for 60 per cent of SSD/Flash data loss, he added, and includes component failures, a corrupted mapping table or a variety of fireware table issues that shut the device off and make the data inaccessible.

The data recovery firm also found that about 75 per of respondents consider the recovery of data from SSD/Flash memory to be “complicated,” with 21 per cent calling it “nearly impossible.”

Consider this as part of the risk of using SSDs more, but I’d really watch that “nearly impossible” comment closely. 21 percent of respondents is a large number when considering risk of data loss.

TidBITS Macs & Mac OS X: Preparing for Lion: Find Your PowerPC Applications

TidBITS Macs & Mac OS X: Preparing for Lion: Find Your PowerPC Applications.

A very useful read for those going to MacOS Lion.

I am looking at doing so shortly…there are many new features I’m looking to take advantage of, and as a power user I need to carefully consider my workflow.

Pros as I have seen them:

  1. 64 Bit Intel from top to bottom – a nebulous concern for even the technically minded. This is a benefit to anyone running processor intensive applications. My Geekbench system benchmarks have jumped between 500 and 1500 points just moving to LION on a MacPro5,3.
  2. Better VM Performance – very good with my vast library of Virtual Machines running under Parallels. I found Parallels to be IMMEDIATELY snappier on Lion, when running multiple VMs. At home I work on a Mac Pro1,1, and I spend ~90% of my time in MacOS unless I’m working on various developer sandboxes running everything from Windows to Linux. At work (day job as a Senior Technology Analyst at the City of Toronto), I use a Mac PRo running MacOS 10.6.x running Parallels, on which I run two Windows VMs. One runs a standard Corp build logged in as my elevated rights account, where I perform ongoing admin related functions, and other other runs the same corp build with my standard limited rights account logged in performing the usual non-administrator tasks such as email, document editing, and day to day tasks organizing staff and projects. I’ll explain why this is a good thing another time ;) Suffice it to say that my workflow seems immediately more stable under a fully 64 bit Intel-only OS. We’ll see if that holds up when I migrate over full time.
  3. New startup disk recovery options. We now have a MacOS Recovery partition to startup from, eliminating the need for extra startup disks or partitions if major repairs are required.

Cons as I see them:

  1. Only 64 or 32 bit Intel from top to bottom – “what?” you say? google it a bit and you’ll understand. Older MacOS builds (10.6 Leopard and prior) ran PPC applications or universal binary applications. PPC was the previous CPU architecture (think “Intel Inside”, this would have read “PPC Inside”) that Apple supported and helped develop from the mid 1990’s and forward. Since the transition is and was largely transparent to Mac users, there may be *some* surprises if you try to whip out a great old tool, such as your old but much-loved Mac game, or a useful tool like GoLive CS2 (I still love the old cyberstudio layout), which will no longer even launch under MacOS Lion. Boohoo! But time to move on. Just make sure you keep a copy of the old OS somewhere on a drive iun case you *need* to run those tools. End of trauma phase.
  2. New Apple-supplied UI wonders. The Finder is again tweaked, and stuff has moved. Make sure you aren’t losing the bits you need! I like colour-based cues to find folders in MacOS 10.6. The MacOS Lion Finder is monchrome. Why? I have no idea.
  3. Fear of the new.
So let’s see what the new OS brings us. Bug reports are filing in and I’m gearing up for my own upgrade in order to use some of the new features. It appears my big apps all work as expected, but just in case I’m hunting around for a tool that will flag my PPC apps in the finder so I can visually locate and segregate them (I can’t export the list of PPC apps in the system profiler so I must figure out a way)


Moving on…to a new ISP!

After 8 years with Bell ADSL Internet, covering two street addresses, I’ve moved on to Teksavvy cable. So far the cable installation was very quick, and the new modem is excellent. Before my Bell line goes dark in January I wanted to test the side by side speeds in case I had any doubts about the changeover.

Bell ADSL Speed testTeksavvy Cable Speed testSo far so very good!

iOS 4.2 for iPad and iPhone

Go get it!

Lots of interesting goodies, but my personal faves from the developer previews:

1) Airplay – can’t wait to take this for a spin. Thanks to Mr. Decourcy.

2) Airprint…especially if you perform the MacOS modifications that allow you to print to ANY shared MacOS printer. Works like a charm, and also super useful.

3) Mobile me “lite” – Apple has launched the Find my iPhone service as a free option. I dumped Mobile me after six years of dedicated use to move to Google services just for that option. I now pay 50.00 per year per user for the Google hosted/Apps services that allow me to securely wipe any lost iOS device. Apple has made a very important move here.

With more and more personal data being carried in the cloud, your mobile device is now the gateway to entry. Lose that and you lose YOU. Apple and many others are looking to launch portable banking, payment and billing options that utilize your phone and/or add-ons to send or receive payments. Remotely finding or wiping your lost device is a bare metal necessity with these kinds of mobile services being offered. Keep an eye on this one. I think some interesting foundations are being laid, bit by bit.

4) Multitasking! Takes things to a new level, swappign between tasks is very useful, and I love that I can resume previous activities without losing the application’s “state”. IE, iTeleport will retain the client connection over VNC if I swap out to Mail, then Safari, and back. Why is that useful? I hate having to log back into my remote system just because I had to check a note or two. That is something you must do a LOT when you don’t have the luxury of windows to minimize or move aside.

Now if only I could find an iPad to ethernet dongle adapter for those times when being in a datacenter reminds you why wifi-only options truly suck seaweed. Wired has its purposes ;)

But I would say I am 99% happy with this update, and so will many others.