I have petabyte envy…

300 10Gbps network ports, 1Gpbs to each desktop, and over 300TB of disk storage…  Whoa…

CNet has done a short piece on the Lucasfilm datacenter.  I found two things very interesting about this operation.  First, they have a very short time horizon on technology with some of it consider ‘legacy’ within 6 – 7 months.  The second is that they put a high value on performance per watt of electricty.

As our machines become more powerful it takes more power to operate them.  That power turns to heat which then takes even more power to remove lest the machine pull a China Syndrome.  AMD has long been a leader in creating power-efficient CPUs but Intel has recently gotten some religion about it and now isn’t far behind.

I’m a big fan of AMD (as is LucasFilms it turns out with 198 dual-core, dual-processor Opteron machines) for this reason as well as they are generally cheaper per CPU cycle than Intel.

Inside the Lucasfilm data center | CNET News.com

Windows Vista Content Protection – Twenty Questions (and Answers)

I’m reminded of a line from the original Star Wars movie “The more you tighten your grip the more systems will slip through your fingers.”

DRM is the grip holding the ‘premium commercial content’ (is there ‘premium content’ that isn’t commercial?) hostage in your PC releasing only when you and your PC are deemed worthy to watch it/listen to it. Vista brings this grip to an entirely new tightness, grabbing your PC by the silicon and squeezing.

Regardless of how much MS uses the term ‘enabling’ to describe the new DRM ‘features’ in Vista doesn’t change the fact that they are adding complexity and resource requirements that do nothing but benefit content creators.  Why should I pay extra (in the form of compliant hardware and resource utilization) for something I’m very likely to never use?

This behavior only emboldens those that these protections are meant to thwart; content pirates.  They are trying to battle basic human nature; the more you try to control a ‘vice’ the more people will try to outwit/ignore/topple that control.  This will only stop the dumb pirates, the smart ones will hire a Chinese professor or two to break the system and keep on churning out pirate discs at a fraction of what the studios/labels charge.

The end result is that the consumers pay to make to the pirates smarter.  Ouch.

Windows Vista Team Blog : Windows Vista Content Protection – Twenty Questions (and Answers)

Send SMS messages from Outlook

I’m not really a fan of Outlook.  I find it to be overly complex for most users, hell, even for seasoned technology professionals, but it is the defacto standard email/contact/calendar tool for corporate America.

This free plug in from Microsoft (free?  Microsoft?  Wow, Bill musta been distracted that day.) alegedly allows sending SMS messages via an attached GSM phone (such as my much loved Audiovox 5600).

I’ve not yet tested it and considering the source I take it’s operation far from granted.  I don’t send many SMS messages but I can see the utility in such a function.

Download details: Microsoft Office Add-in: Microsoft Outlook SMS Add-in (MOSA)

Link previews — sweet!

I’m not usually one for adding all sorts of ‘gadgets’ to my pages, I leave that to the MySpace crowd, but the Snap Preview Anywhere tool is different. 

By adding a small bit of javascript code to your page it enables a pop-up preview of pages that you link to from your site.  When you hover over a link it generates a small balloon window with a thumbnail image of the page to which the link leads.

I’ve just installed it here on my blog and it worked well out of the box for external links.  The internal links however generate no pop-up balloon by default.  A quick visit to the FAQ provided an answer in the form of an additional parameter to enable previews of internal links.  Sweet.


Does anybody really know what time it is?

According to the Energy Policy Act of 2005 daylight savings time is extended by 4 weeks beginning this year.  I’ve already patched my Windows XP and server machines to recognize this change but I forgot about my beloved Audiovox 5600. 

Ok, so I’ve gotten so lazy that I put stuff in my blog just so that I remember to do it later. 😉

Is that Windows Mobile in your pocket? : 2007 Daylight Savings Issues for Windows Mobile 2003 and 5.0

You know you’re a regular when…

I drink a lot of Starbuck’s. By ‘a lot’ I mean 2 or 3 venti (roughly bucket size) non-fat, no whip, mocha lattes a day. There is a Starbuck’s ‘dealer’ about 20 steps from my office door so it’s very easy to scratch the itch.

So this morning I walk in and the line is literally out the door, as usual. As I’m queued up, still about 6 people away from placing my order, one of the nice folks with the aprons comes out from behind the counter and hands me my drink.  “Here ya go Tim!”.

Evelyn is my new hero.

Digital Media and whatever else flows through my head…