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Posts Tagged ‘Computers

Two faces of cloud computing

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There is a big hype about cloud computing these days, all major web companies are investing heaps of cash into cloud computing. The big 4 (Microsoft, Google, Yahoo, Amazon) and a whole bunch of fresh startups are playing on the cloud computing card as the next big thing in the world of IT. They are all expecting that in the next year more and more web application and enterprises will migrate to the cloud computing platforms. There is a lot of predictions for cloud computing in 2009 like this one from marketwire.com:

A rise in serverless companies with 1000+ employees. In 2009, the market will start to hear about more and more companies going completely server-less. While this is already happening at smaller companies, larger and larger companies will optimize their business processes and cut IT expenses by outsourcing to cloud providers.

In the upcoming year more and more companies will have a focus on reducing costs because of the economical breakdown in 2008. The first enterprises that will turn to cloud computing platforms as their primary provider of IT infrastructure will be the IT companies. Why wouldn’t they go for cloud computing when it offers savings on the costs of IT infrastructure and personnel required to maintain that infrastructure. If you look at the prices offered by the big 4 in cloud computing are setting for the use of their infrastructure you will see massive savings. Enough said is that Flickr host all of its photos on the Amazon S3 storage infrastructure to show the capabilities of cloud computing platforms. All that for just a fraction of the costs of owning, running and maintaining company owned servers or datacenters.

Is it all that great like it is presented? Well not so when you dig a little bit under the surface. What is the problem then? The problem is with the data and applications that you put in the cloud, there are issues with security, ownership and access to the data. In the security I don’t mean if your data is secure from the outside rather from the inside from the company which is providing the infrastructure. You must be aware that personnel from the cloud provider company have access to your data stored in the cloud. Therefore you should make sure that data is encrypted when stored in the cloud.

The problem with data in the cloud can be summed up in this excerpt from the Amazon web service Customer Agreement.

3.7.3. In the Event of Other Suspension or Termination. Except as provided in Sections 3.7.1 and 3.7.2 above, we shall have no obligation to continue to store your data during any period of suspension or termination or to permit you to retrieve the same.

Now what this means is that in the case of contract suspension or termination Amazon has no obligation to keep or provide you access to your own data, which basically translates to you depending on the good will of people working at Amazon to give you access to your data. What happens if your cloud storage provider goes out of business, what happens to your data?

In a recent article Richard Stallman the GNU founder has expressed similar concerns claming saying that cloud computing is:

It’s stupidity. It’s worse than stupidity: it’s a marketing hype campaign,

Written by Luka Ferlež

January 1, 2009 at 15:32

The “Desktop”

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Today I read an article on Coding Horror about our precious desktop space, and how we use. That got me thinking about my desktop, and my monitor configuration. Since in the article on coding horror I saw an amazing workspace, showing of 3 monitors on a triple arm monitor stand, looking very sharp and impressive. Since I have bought my laptop I did not think much about my desktop space, since somehow I accepted the fact that I don’t do that much work at home, so I don’t need a multi monitor setup. Lately however I started to think about organizing my self some sort of a home office environment where I could all I need to do, and I don’t mean necessarily only work, rather all my computer related activities. So I should have an environment that meets these basic requirements:

1. Ergonomically shaped
2. Easily organized and cleaned

3. Effective space usage

4. Well illuminated

5. And above all
cool and stylish

I am one of those that is willing to sacrifice a bit of ergonomics and everything else listed for more
stylish and cool look and feel of my desktop space, on second thought anything of mine related with computers. I believe that a good workspace environment has to be appealing to the eye, since you will be looking at that desktop setup, and your desk space for the entire time you work at your desk. So to lessen the distraction and remove any unnecessary clutter from your desk, you should always design your workspace to find it more appealing to you. My logic is this, if you buy a super cool gadget and put it on your desk, you will want it to be visible to anyone that comes in to the area (like duh :)) so you will clean your desk more regularly, and so on. I read a nice article about how to design your own workspace, something like general guide lines to help you with some pointers what to watch out for.

Now to go to the most visible and by some most important part of your workspace, your monitor(s). It is imperative for me to have high quality monitors and a well organized desktop. That got me thinking about expanding my desktop space. My laptop screen (15,4″ wide) is OK for browsing, writing some text and such, but as far as any programing or such goes it is completely inadequate. For development purposes you almost always need to have 2 side by side windows opened, being it the development environment, and the database editor or some documentation file, etc. Some times it would be nice to have 3 windows opened side by side, but it’s not a must, I’m quite satisfied with 2 monitors, and if I need a third there’s always my laptop screen. I’m currently looking at three monitors, all of them wide screen, since I always prefer wider screen for working with code, and the 16:9 ration is perfect for that. We developers are always looking for some extra width, because of all our side windows with tools, properties etc. So here they are, I picked this monitors since they look “pretty” :), they are all 20″ wide screen monitors

Dell E207 Wfp

I like this dell monitor for its stylish looks and the nice “Dell” logo on the bottom, haven’t yet read any reviews but knowing Dell I have no reason to doubt it’s quality.

HP L2045w
I have many stuff at home that are HP made, like my laptop (and laptop gear), printers, web cam, IPaq and so on, all of them are very well made, and are easy to operate. By all this you can figure out that I like my HP devices very much :), so I see no reason why this monitor would be of bad quality.

and the Samsung 206bw

Samsung monitors have always been high quality monitors, but have never been very stylish, but these new wide screen monitors, look very sharp and sleek.

Now picking from these three is very difficult, because the Samsung is the cheapest and probably high quality, but the Dell and HP look better :), I’m sure you understand my dilemma 🙂

Of course to connect everything to my laptop I need some sort of a external graphic card since on my dock I can only attach one extra monitor. The choice here unlike with the monitors is very simple, the Matrox DualHead 2 Go Digital is the one I’m looking at. As far as I can figure it is simple to connect and use, and that is all that I want form it.

Matrox DualHead 2 Go Digital
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No desktop is complete without a perfect and ergonomic keyboard and mouse. Here I always prefer Logitech products, they are easy to use, mostly ergonomically designed and Logitech support is the best I used ever.

Logitech Desktop Wave keyboard

logitech_desktop_wave.jpg logitech_desktop_wave_side.jpg

Stylish, ergonomic, new design, sets of extra key to setup, what could you ask more.

Logitech MX Revolution mouse

logitech_mx_revolution.jpg logitech_mx_revolution_side.jpg

The best mouse ever, I currently use the MX 1000 mouse and I extremely happy with it, carrying it around with me all the time. The only thing about the mouse is that I would prefer the bluetooth version of the mouse rather the RF version, so I don’t have to have any extra receivers plugged into my laptop. That would mean that I can charge it at home, and carry it around with me, with out the need for the base station which is quite large, and oddly shaped so it does not fit into my laptop bag seamlessly.

Now when you sum up all the figures for the devices listed here, it is hefty amount of $, but what you need, you need, and there is no avoiding the costs:)

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Written by Luka Ferlež

March 18, 2008 at 21:30

Posted in Computers

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