What Rocky Taught Me About IT

When life gets tough, and I feel overwhelmed I watch the classic film Rocky. It is a unique and magnificent film with a brilliant story, soundtrack, characters, and so much more. I love the underdog story of unranked boxer Rocky Balboa being given a once in a lifetime opportunity to fight the Heavyweight Champion of the World (Apollo Creed) for the title. The rest of the films in the franchise… have their moments

My Favorite Free Open Source Products

Whenever I want to learn the fundamentals of a technology I first turn to the leading open source project associated with that technology. Almost always these open source projects are either completely free or have a free version that covers exactly what I need. Besides being great low cost or free alternatives to their closed source competitors, open source projects often have strong communities of users and exper

My Top 3 Mistakes As An IT Professional

We all make mistakes, and I have certainly contributed more than my fair share to the collective whole. Mistakes are how we learn best though, and we should embrace them. Sometimes we learn through the mistakes of others. Most of the time we learn from the mistakes that we have made ourselves. With this article I hope to help less experienced IT professionals learn from some of what I consider to be my biggest mist

Learn How to Hold a Hammer

I was one of those kids who drove my family nuts building various devices and contraptions at my father’s workbench. At best these devices did not work, and at worst these “experiments” worked exactly as I had intended. My father as a precaution put a lock on his workroom door, but when I realized that if you simply removed the pins from the door’s hinges that… Sorry Dad. If it makes you feel any better I

Do Not Hide Behind “Rules”

“We know that this solution is what we need, but we will not acquire it because of our procurement rules.” Ridiculous, right? But far too often that comment or one similar to it is made when you are in the business of acquiring or selling technology. The example above is written from the point of view of a customer, but the same thing happens on the sales side as well: “We want to sell you our solution, but w

The Difference Between Fault Tolerance, High Availability, & Disaster Recovery

Three terms that I hear being misused often by IT professionals new to the industry are “fault tolerance”, “high availability”, and “disaster recovery”. Here are some pictures that can help you visualize the differences between each of these terms. Fault tolerant solutions have the ability to keep operating even if a component, or multiple components, should fail. In the picture above the aircraft has

Build A Simple Router With Linux

Ever needed to route between two network segments, but you did not have the hardware? You search online for “virtual router” or maybe “build a linux router” and the search results just point you to pre-packaged distributions that are firewalls for routing between the Internet and an internal network? Well that is what I ran into as I expanded upon my home test lab. All I wanted was a simple network router w

Invest In Your Own Lab

My new position with Atlantis Computing has been an intense and fun experience so far. After a week in Mountain View, CA for the worldwide kick-off event I came back home to a full schedule of meetings with both partners and customers. Although I missed two weeks of blog posts, I assure you that I am now full of fresh ideas for new articles as the dust has begun to settle after my changing companies. As with any ne

New Year, New Job, & New Opportunities!

Big news for me: I have resigned from my position with Sentinel Technologies and have accepted a position with Atlantis Computing! I am now a Systems Engineer with Atlantis Computing, and I am incredibly excited to have joined the company at this time as I am sure Atlantis Computing will become a major force in the industry. I blogged about Atlantis Computing before, and I was just waiting for the right opportunity

Practice the Fundamentals: Build Your Own PC

This weekend I spent upgrading, updating, and reconfiguring my daughter’s and my son’s PCs. For the holidays my children received various films on Blu-Ray discs as gifts. We have a Blu-Ray player in our living room, family room, and my wife’s and mine bedroom. You would think that would be more than enough for a family of four, but imagine the following scenario: Child A wants to watch Blu-Ray A. Child B wan