Category Archives: General IT

What is Infrastructure as Code, and why you should care

Applications are lifeblood of a modern business. This means that IT groups everywhere are looking for ways to develop, test, and deploy applications quicker, while reducing risk of mistakes and thus potential defects and security issues.

In this post, we’ll have a quick look at how an approach called “Infrastructure as Code” can help.

Continue reading

Advertisements

Back to the land of happy WiFi: from 3 x Airport Extremes to one Ruckus R710

I am a long time user of Apple’s Airport Extreme base stations. I loved pretty much everything about them – compact design, lack of protruding external antennae, stable connectivity, ease of configuration through a well-designed Airport Configuration Utility, and on-going firmware updates, even for the 9-year old one (!). For a variety of reasons, over time I ended up owning three of them – 2nd, 4th, and 5th gen, extending WiFi around the house (it’s a rental, so no CAT cabling).

In recent years, however, things have slowly but surely drifted toward sour. Airport Configuration Utility has been dumbed down a lot, and firmware stability seems to have taken a hit, too – I don’t remember ever needing to reboot a base station until a few years ago. The number of connected devices in the house has grown steadily – I consistently see around 10–15 connected at any given time. More and more neighbours’ access points popped up around. Usage patterns have also changed – kids have grown up, and now study and entertain themselves on various devices around the house.

So the connectivity grew spottier and less stable, and I couldn’t make things happy again no matter what I tried. Real-time online games kept stuttering, and chatting over the net kept breaking up. Not all the time, but often enough to be a nuisance. And in the backyard.. Well, there was no usable reception there, let’s leave it at that.

So enough was enough, and search for a replacement has begun.

Continue reading


Solved: slow Windows guest performance in Fusion 8.1 on El Capitan

For a little while, I was bummed by poor peformance of a Windows 8.1 guest running in Fusion 8.1 on El Capitan. Not sure which one of these was the main contributor, but the experience was painful – switching between apps was taking few seconds, which just didn’t seem right considering it’s running on a current MacBook Pro with plenty of RAM, CPU power, and a fast SSD.

Long story short – looks like I’ve found a cure. This solution worked like magic for me:

https://communities.vmware.com/message/2539725#2539725

For those not willing to visit the source – I added the following to the vmx file:

mainMem.backing = "swap"
scsi0:0.virtualSSD = 1
MemTrimRate = "0"
sched.mem.pshare.enable = "FALSE"
MemAllowAutoScaleDown = "FALSE"

Looks like these settings have originated from the following post:

VMware Performance Enhancing Tweaks (Over-the-Counter Solutions)

Happy computing! 🙂


The vicious circle of modern IT product management

I’ll admit it – I have a serious issue with the way most of the tech industry goes about discovering their users’ needs. The fact that I clearly understand why PMs everywhere keep on stepping on the same rake hitting themselves in the face time and time again doesn’t make it any better.

The script would be very familiar to anyone who’s been a PM or worked with one:

  • Identify a handful of key large accounts;
  • Ask key people there what they want you to develop;
  • Develop all the things!!
  • Try to figure out how to make the rest of your potential customer base buy what you’ve developed (a.k.a., “get busy hammering square pegs into round holes”).

Continue reading


I think the leopard needs a new pair of shorts

VMware appears to be pushing hard into the utility compute space. It is easy to understand – there seems to be lot of peer pressure, both from Amazon and from OpenStack / CloudStack communities.

I don’t doubt they can make it work, but the question in my mind is “is that the best way of doing it?”.

Continue reading


On communicating your Product Philosophy

Recently, I walked into a trap. It is going to cost time and money to get out of, and in part, it is of my own making. It is most definitely not the end of the world, but it is unpleasant and may have been avoided. Hopefully I will not be making the same mistake again.

Recently I wrote about the importance of Vendors’ communicating the key reasons behind the existence and development of their product clearly, and this post I guess is an example case study.

Continue reading


One possible solution to iPhone battery life woes

Summary for the impatient

Disclaimer: the solution described does work for my particular circumstances. Can’t guarantee it will work for you. 🙂

Go to your device’s Settings, open Location Services (if you have them enabled; if not – you can stop reading now), scroll right to the bottom past the text describing location icons, select System Services, and disable everything that doesn’t appear to make sense to you. I left only Compass Calibration and Mobile Network Search on. I also turned on Status Bar Icon so that I can see if the phone is accessing location services for longer than feels reasonable.

Continue reading