The Real (and Virtual) Adventures of Nathan the IT Guy


December 1, 2009  12:25 AM

vSphere 4 Vmxnet3 Adapter

Nathan Simon Nathan Simon Profile: Nathan Simon

So you think you know Vmware, you have recently upgraded to vSphere 4.0 and you provision a new virtual machine, using the standard E1000 Nick (basically an Intel Pro 1000 Network Interface Card), you have bound 4 1Gb Nics to the virtual switch that the VM is on, so basically, your OS will only get 1Gb max through-put. Want more? That’s easy, bind a vmxnet3 adapter to the vm and you will now open up that pipe.

Question: What is VMXNET3?
Answer: VMXNET3 builds upon VMXNET and Enhanced VMXNET as the third generation paravirtualized virtual networking NIC for guest operating systems.

The VMXNET3 network adapter is a 10Gb virtual nic, with cards bound to it, you basically give that vm access to 4Gb of through-put, and if you attach more physical nics, you just keep increasing the through-put. With todays technology, server to workstation(1Gb Nic) file transfers are up to 60MB/sec!

Check out this link, to get the full scoop.

-NS

November 30, 2009  4:52 AM

Windows 7 – More Money for Microsoft

Nathan Simon Nathan Simon Profile: Nathan Simon

Windows 7 ushers a new way for game and movie companies to advertise, how? With customized Windows 7 themes. Some think its a cash grab, but who cares, I mean, if I can download a custom theme from a cool movie, for instance “Avatar” then I will… especially cool is how they can provide multiple backgrounds that keep things interesting. Infiniti also is taking hold of the joint advertising scheme by providing a custom Windows 7 theme.

Advertisers can buy the right to offer various themes that customize the desktop image and that promote various gadgets and even custom sounds for the Windows 7 operating system. Microsoft stressed, however, that users will choose which, if any, of the customizations they want to download.

See the full article here.

-NS


November 27, 2009  2:54 AM

Microsoft Office Starter 2010, is there any point?

Nathan Simon Nathan Simon Profile: Nathan Simon

Office Starter 2010 is the Microsoft-designated replacement for its Microsoft Works product. Starter will be a low-end, free (but ad-supported) bundle of Word and Excel.

Based on a Microsoft FAQ(see below), Microsoft Office Starter will not support all formats, it will also be ad-supported. So in the end, its not that much better than what they are replacing… I mean I guess if you are used to Word and Excel, everything will look familiar to you. I haven’t seen the product in action, so I cannot tell you if the Ads are obtrusive or subtle, my guess is obtrusive. :)

Q: There is a file I can open in Excel or Word that I cannot open in Excel Starter or Word Starter, why?

A: Excel Starter and Word Starter do not support exactly the same file sets.  The following file types cannot be opened in Office Starter: .xla, .xlam, .dsn, .mde, .accde, .odc, and .udl.

Also, add-ins and macros are only marginally supported in Office Starter 2010. According to Microsoft, Office Starter does not support add-ins and will not load them. From the FAQ:

Q: Files have macros, but they cannot be run in Excel Starter or Word Starter, why?

A: Office Starter does not support the creation, editing, or running of macros. However, if a document with a macro is opened in Starter, the macro remains as part of the file.

Another often-glossed-over point regarding Office Starter is how it will be made available. It will be an OEM-only product and not available for download. Again, from the Microsoft FAQ:

Q: How will I be able to get the released version of Office Starter?

A: Office Starter will only be available as pre-loaded software on select new PCs pre-loaded with the Office suites.

If you really need the whole suite of Office Products, look into Open Office, it has almost all of the functions of Office 2007 Premium, it just takes some getting used to, but if you can save 600$, time to start downloading and read up on the product.

-NS


November 27, 2009  2:42 AM

Black Friday Deals

Nathan Simon Nathan Simon Profile: Nathan Simon

Well its Black Friday tomorrow and the deals are all over the web. Notably on one of my favorite web stores to purchase from, NewEgg.ca, check it out. Click here for the Ultimate deals page, where they have anything from phones, to GPS units, PC parts, etc. Apple.com is also hosting a Black Friday sales event also, which can be viewed on their site Apple.com.

Make sure you take advantage of this sale asap.

Happy spending, remember Christmas is just around the corner, may as well start the holiday shopping early, and from the comfort of your home!

-NS


November 22, 2009  4:56 PM

Air Canada is testing WIFI Service

Nathan Simon Nathan Simon Profile: Nathan Simon

Air Canada is currently testing WIFI service provided by Gogo Internet Service. The service is available on a per flight basis for 9.95(Laptop) and 7.95(Smartphone)

Initially, the system will be available only in the continental United States via Aircell, which has built a high-speed mobile network for commercial and business aviation.

Air Canada plans to extend the system to other North American routes with a Canadian air-to-ground network.

The airline also released last month a free BlackBerry application that lets travellers track flight information, such as schedule changes.

I personally would pay the premium to be able to read online material, keep in touch with all my Black Berry Messenger Friends, receive emails, etc. So i hope that they implement this soon, as I am scheduled to take a long flight over the ocean in March!

Check out the full article here.


November 22, 2009  4:44 PM

How to get your Free Windows 7 Upgrade

Nathan Simon Nathan Simon Profile: Nathan Simon

Well like many users around the world, you bough a PC with Vista on it, for me Vista worked fine, but I am an expert in my field, so yeah I would say most people were frustrated with Windows Vista, the saving grace is, as many people have already experienced, Windows 7. So you bought this PC with promises of getting a free Windows 7 Upgrade, now how do you get that copy of Windows 7? I have included an insert and link from a CNET article that will tell you just that, see below.

From the period of June 26, 2009 through January 31, 2010, many major PC makers are offering free upgrades to Windows 7 for those who buy a Vista-powered laptop or desktop. The deals are all essentially the same, and, as expected, have some exceptions and asterisks.

Be warned, if you bought a PC with Vista Home Basic, you will not be eligible for the upgrade. See the small chart just below.

  • Windows Vista Home Premium → Windows 7 Home Premium
  • Windows Vista Business → Windows 7 Professional
  • Windows Vista Ultimate → Windows 7 Ultimate

Follow this link for the rest of the article.

-NS


November 22, 2009  4:30 PM

Internet Explorer 9

Nathan Simon Nathan Simon Profile: Nathan Simon

Well its about time the Microsoft is putting some new and useful things into IE9, instead of waiting for Google Chrome or Firefox to implement some cool new feature, then just copy it… here is a statement from Dean Hachamovitch.

“This is a direct improvement to everybody’s usage of the Web on a daily basis,” Hachamovitch said in an interview after Sinofsky’s speech. “Web developers are doing what they did before, only now they can tap directly into a PC’s graphics hardware to make their text work better and graphics work better.”

A couple of interesting improvements are frame rates when resizing text, Bing Maps(frame rate jumps from 5-8fps to almost 60fps) Java scripting has been improved also. How did they do this? They are using something called Direct2D which lets IE9 use hardware acceleration for web graphics, much in the same was as 3D games harness the GPU.

I guess Microsoft finally realized that they have to pour some resources back into Internet Explorer considering that Mozilla Firefox has 25% of the browser share and IE slipping to around 63%. They definitely don’t want to slip below 60% that would look ugly.

Check out the video, its quite interesting. accelerated

-NS


November 18, 2009  2:18 AM

Intel’s New Plans

Nathan Simon Nathan Simon Profile: Nathan Simon

Intel Nehalem-EX 6-core processor

Intel announced yesterday that it will be unveiling its six core processor, called Nehalem-EX, in the first half of 2010. The newest Intel chip will be targeted towards High Performance Computing (HPC) segment and will reportedly optimize server performance.

With the announcement of this new processor one can hope that it will drive the prices down of the previously released Core i5 and Core i7 Processors. I myself am still using a Core 2 Duo E4300 clocked at 2750Mhz(original clock speed 2200Mhz). I know, I know, I’m a bad person for overclocking, but to keep up with technology explosions I had to push my hardware to the limit. Next up for me is definitely a Core i5. So to Intel, keep announcing more cores and faster clock speeds, its only going to make it more affordable for me to make my next upgrade. :)

Also announced is that Hyper-threading is back on the new Core i5 and Core i7 Processors, Intel says that it was the smart thing to do, more instructions per clock cycle without using extra power.

-NS


November 16, 2009  4:02 AM

Nvidia calling out Intel on their “tactics”

Nathan Simon Nathan Simon Profile: Nathan Simon

More news on Nvidia and Intel, or should I say Intel vs Nvidia.

Nvidia is the world’s leading supplier of “discrete,” or standalone, graphics chips but takes a distant second place in overall market share to Intel, which supplies “integrated” graphics built into the chipsets that accompany all of its processors. Mercury Research estimates the total market for graphics chips, including integrated graphics, at almost $10 billion in 2009.

I think the competition is good, I mean what else can Nvidia do but take their prices down for their “stand-alone” video cards… I currently am using a Geforce 8800GT and love it, I know it has its limitations, so I am always looking for the next best thing. AMD or Nvidia, personally I like them both, whomever gives me the best bang for my dollar wins!

Full story here.

-NS


November 16, 2009  3:53 AM

HP buys 3Com

Nathan Simon Nathan Simon Profile: Nathan Simon

Here’s some news that I am a little late on reporting, I guess better late than never. HP hopes to help 3Com become a better competitor to Cisco, Cisco currently is the networking leader.

“Hewlett-Packard Co. announced Wednesday it will purchase networking company 3Com for $2.7 billion, and also preannounced higher fiscal fourth-quarter earnings and raised its outlook for fiscal 2010.”

Check out the full story here.

-NS


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