Today’s post is back over at Safer Computing, about climate control for your electron-guzzlers.
Category: Geeky Stuff Page 4 of 50
Every one of us has a data center to care for. Not everyone takes it as seriously as some do.
The mouseover text for this one reads
Theweird sense of duty really good sysadmins have can border on the sociopathic, but it’s nice to know that it stands between the forces of darkness and your cat blog’s servers.
Point being, what’s trivial to you or me is not so trivial to someone. And if that someone is a member of your household then you need to take it seriously, if for no other reason than shalom
Think about the things a data center does to create a fundamentally good environment for the computers it houses: climate control, power protection, redundancy, fire protection, physical security.
But Kahomono, I hear you saying, my house is not a data center! Oh no? Let’s talk about a job I had a few years ago. OK, quite a few years. But still: we were opening a new data center for a major NYC bank. We had three computer rooms: the Mainframe room had 8 IBM 390s. The Time-Sharing room had 4 Honeywell DPS-8s. And the Mini room had about a dozen computers of various makes: Data General, Pr1me, Tandem, Digital. There were also a handful of IBM PCs floating around, with which nobody was very impressed. So let’s round up and say that this “Data Center” — and it was surely that — had about 30 computers housed in it.
How many computers in your home now? Do you even know? I can say that in a typical home housing a family of four, you probably have… more than in my 1980’s era data center. 40? Maybe close to 50? Consider that your phones and tablets, your set-top boxes, DVRs, gaming consoles, “smart home” controllers and endpoints, not to mention every “smart” appliance you connected to your poor overtaxed WiFi, are all computers at least as powerful and capable as that VAX in our Mini room back in the day. So if you only counted your desktops and laptop computers, you missed the mark by around 90%, is my guess.
And every one of those computers is capable of violating at least one tenet of information security. (Remember CIA?)
- Confidentiality: it could leak information about you and your activities that you would rather it didn’t.
- Integrity: It could damage or alter information it holds, making it less useful or even harmful to you
- Availability: you could lose information you don’t want to lose. Think emails, tax returns, photos, music collections, movies, saved game progress.
So what do you do about it that doesn’t turn you into that guy in the cartoon above? More on that to come.
There’s never a day – or at best a week – that goes by in the modern working world where you don’t have to deal with meetings. Recurring or one-off, they are as much part of the water we swim in
With meetings comes rescheduling. Now a critical question arises: What just happened to a meeting that someone “moved up?” How about “moved back” or “moved forward”? Can you tell? Does the answer remain the same from day to day or even minute to minute? If you know the answer, do all your peers agree? Ask around.
We can talk about how we move through three dimensions of space pretty easily. Our vocabulary of movement was built for it. “Forward”, “back” and “up” all have plain meanings – at least relative to the speaker. Once we talk about moving through time, though, we want to use different words. “Earlier”, “later”, and “sooner”. “Before” and “after”. When words for relative positions in three dimensions are being used in reference to the fourth, trouble begins. To me, the hardest one to comprehend is “back”.
I think a fundamental switch happens to the meaning of “moved the meeting back” when you consider two ways of visualizing our movement through time. (We’re all time-travelers, proceeding into the future at the rate of one second per second.) Think: do you see yourself as striding a path toward the future? Or do you stay put, while the time frame moves toward you and then past?
If you yourself are moving through “stationary” time, then a meeting that moves “back” recedes into a more distant future. But if you stay put as the future comes at you and the past recedes behind you, then a meeting that moves “back” reaches you more quickly.
There’s a hidden problem with “move the meeting back”. Once exposed, it offers a way to express the idea much more clearly: the verb “move” is as generic as can