Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Episode 12 - Robin Hates Clouds (but loves net neutrality!)

Cloud computing was the topic: connecting all kinds of computers together and seeing what happens. Terms were defined, examples given and discussion ensued. Ken mentioned Evergreen, the new computing system we're going to install to organize the library; Dave talked about time sharing on a VAX computer back in his undergrad days. General discussion about online storage and applications in the cloud developed into a musings about the cost to develop and run software in an organization, and how cloud based computing can challenge that model. Then Robin freaked out.

Robin who was well into celebrating his first paycheck in a long time with a bottle of Jameson's went off on a drunken rant about net neutrality. FOR THE RECORD: Robin is an ardent supporter of net neutrality. He was just thinking about unfair bandwidth allocation practices in a far away place. Feeling rather passionate about this far away place and prodded on by the bottle, he shot his mouth off in every direction and forgot utterly that we were talking, in general, about Canada. Robin and Dave sparred over the issue of net neutrality, Dave supporting, Robin dissenting. Robin then went on to attack Web 2.0 and then Yahoo! Mail. Bottom line, Robin has promised never to bring Jameson's to a taping again.

The issue of autonomous action (ie. working without a connection to your boss via email etc.) was discussed as well as the notion of information as stimulant, by Ken. Captian Kirk was mentioned. Dave did his Sean Connery/Captain Marco Ramius, impression and we passed the bottle, pondering Star Trek and submarine movies.

Dave and Robin sparred (again) over Web 2.0. Robin - really drunk - over simplified things a whee bit and went right off the rails with a defensive rant about people calling the IT help desk and being an IT guy in general. Dave and Ken developed and discussed conclusions: the good the bad and the ugly of the cloud.

Closing music:
"The Letter" by Dan Brodbeck and Corey Thompson, you will see why when you listen to they lyrics...

Enjoy episode 12.

8 comments:

Rachel said...

No, no--no Star Fleet Custodial Academy! Don't you remember, in "Up the Long Ladder" Riker told the Irish peasant girl that the ship cleans itself?

And know I read somewhere that "Balance of Terror" (one of my two favorite ST-TOS episodes, btw) was based on the submarine film "The Enemy Below". But I can't find the source right now. (It's very scary that I remember this stuff...)

Rachel said...

Is it plugged in...

When I was working at my first publishing house, the production director and I spent a full day unplugging cables, crawling around under desks, trying to daisy chain an early optical drive onto one of the computers and it just WOULD NOT WORK.

Until we realized we had turned off the power strip and never turned it back on.

(So I always check BEFORE I call for tech support. And before I let them say ANYTHING I go through the whole list of what I've already tried, so neither of us wastes too much time.)

Dave Brodbeck said...

The turning it on and off again thing is often times quite useful. On linux, and unix machines it can reset environmental variables etc, and even on Windows things seem to improove after the ol turn it off thing...

RIGHT, I forgot that, the ship cleans itself!

Rachel said...

I know that Mac run a whole slew of self-diagnostics when then shut down and start up, so that can help a lot of problems. Also, turning off and on the modem/router can fix a bunch of connectivity problems. It's the first thing I tell people to try. (It's the second thing I try myself. The first thing is to check the power strips, hee hee!)

robin said...

Rachel, sounds like you're the kinda person that makes IT guys have faith in the rest of the EUs.

Rachel said...

Ha, Robin!

I am always very upset when I have to resort to tech support, so I always start by saying, "I'm very upset, but not with you--" and go on from there. I was raised right!

Dave Brodbeck said...

I called AppleCare once for a problem back in 05. I described the issue and the guy said some thing or another and I said 'I have been using UNIX for 20 years'. He replied 'excellent, forget about this canned response manual, I can help you much more easily if I know you know what you are doing'. We fixed it in like 10 minutes. It was nice to talk to a support guy that was, well, actually trained.

Krash Coarse said...

Being an IT guy myself, I totally sympathize with Robin. I'm now the most senior guy in IT in the organization, but being the only IT guy in Montreal, I have to deal with folks who should be licensed to drive their mouse who can't figure out simple instructions in any language. People like Rachel really are appreciated. :)