The musings of an IT Consultant


January 31, 2009  11:09 PM

No Viigo for Storm?



Posted by: Raj Perumal
BlackBerry Storm, RSS Reader, Viigo

Hi guys, as you know I’m a big fan of the Viigo application for the BlackBerry. I use it all the time on my curve.

As you know I just bought a Storm for my wife and I decided to install the Viigo application on there for her. Unfortunately it’s not compatible with the Storm so I wasn’t able to do it. Hopefully Viigo will come out with a compatible version soon.

In the mean time can anyone recommend to me a good RSS reader for the Storm? I’d be eager to hear your opinions. Or even better yet is there some way to jerry-rig the existing Viigo application and force it to work on the Storm? 

I for one wish that there were more applications compatible with the Storm, but I guess since it’s so new I’m going to have to play the waiting game a bit longer.

 

-RP

January 31, 2009  2:57 AM

Finally, I got a Storm!



Posted by: Raj Perumal
BlackBerry Storm, iPhone, iPhone killer, touch screen

So after all the waiting I was able to finally find a store with the Storm in stock. I asked them to put it on hold for me and I rushed down to the store to get it.

Well I have the Storm now and I have to say I’m a bit underwhelmed. Actually I’m quite surprised at how underwhelmed I am. I expected it to be a lot more snazzy than what it actually is. This phone without a doubt is not an iPhone killer and this is coming from me, a huge fan of BlackBerries.

It’s not that the phone is not good, it’s actually quite a nice phone. The screen is clear, the push in tactile feel you get when you type is cool, and the sound on the external speaker is great. But where I find it all falls down is with the touch sensitivity itself. Even with the sensitivity cranked up to the max, it just feels unresponsive in comparison to the iPhone. Also typing on the touch keyboard in portrait or landscape mode is a chore because it’s very easy to hit the wrong buttons. I find it 100 times easier to type on an iPhone. 

On the bright side, video and sound are phenomenal and those are two things which I love. Also the multiple buttons in addition to the touch screen make it a lot easier to use as well. I still hope they come out with a newer version with the touch screen sensitivity fixed.

-RP


January 29, 2009  3:23 PM

Replication of Virtual Machines to a Hot Site



Posted by: Raj Perumal
replication, virtual machine replication, Vizioncore, VMWare, vRanger, vRanger Pro, vReplicator

So you finally have your VMware environment all set up and everything is running great. Everyone is on board with virtualization and you were able to consolidate your data center down to one server room with one rack. Now all of a sudden you’re tasked with the duties of replication to another site.

What can you do in this situation? There are many cool products out there at your disposable.  One of these products is called vReplicator. It is made by Vizioncore, the creators of vRanger which is used for backing up virtual machines.

vReplicator will take your virtual machine and replicate it across the WAN to another site. Then when there is a failover you can start up the virtual machine in this other site if the other site has completely failed. Or if the main site is still up  you can facilitate a failover through the vReplicator software itself. Either way, it works great! You can read more about it here.


January 26, 2009  9:48 PM

Option for showing contacts in Address Book grayed out



Posted by: Raj Perumal
Contacts in address book, grayed out, Outlook

Here’s a quick little tip for you Outlook users. In a new Outlook profile you might want to be able to use your Contacts folder in your address book.

The obvious way to do this is to go to the properties of the Contacts folder and then check off the Show contacts in address book box. This usually fixes the issue.

However once in a while users will run into a problem where the option is grayed out. This happens if there is no Outlook address book in existence in the profile. To fix this issue, add a new address book to the profile and then try it again. This time you will notice that the option is no longer grayed out.

-RP


January 26, 2009  4:18 PM

Cisco adds verbal interview to their CCIE



Posted by: Raj Perumal
ccie, CCNA, ccnp, changes to CCIE Lab and Written exam, Cisco, Cisco Certification, question format, scaled scores, scoring, verbal

Hi folks, something new in the world of CCIEs. Cisco has decided to add a new component to the CCIE program. Apparently a verbal one! 

For those of you that don’t know, the CCIE is considered one of the most respected IT certifications in the industry and is known for it’s extreme difficulty in achieving.

They have been trialing this for sometime now in a pilot that has been running since last August. They want to use this as a method to see if a candidate has the ability to verbally explain themselves when describing technical situations.

I recently received an e-mail from Cisco stating that effective February 1, 2009 that the verbal component will be added. They also mentioned they are changing the format of the exams effective February 17th, 2009 so that you can’t go back when you answer questions, you can only move forward onto the next question. This would be in line with the other Cisco certification exams that already do this. They also mention that the score report will now report your score as a scaled score on a scale from 300 to 1000 just like the other exams.

 

-RP


January 26, 2009  3:42 PM

Ouch! RIM’s CEOs are hit with a major fine!



Posted by: Raj Perumal
$80 million dollar fine, BlackBerry, James Balsillie, Jim Balsillie, Mike Lazaridis, RIM, RIM CEOs, stock backdating

So this just in from stock land! Apparently RIM’s CEOs have been accused of backdating stocks! They’ve been fined $80 million dollars.

I don’t know if this is true or not, only time will tell, but I do have to ask them this if they are guilty – don’t you have enough money already? Do you really need to sink to that level to make even more? Yeesh. 

Backdating is when you date a stock purchase back to when it was at it’s low point that way when the stock price is high you instantly make money. That’s just outright criminal. White collar crime no doubt, but it’s still criminal. I guess time will tell whether this is for real or not.

I love BlackBerries, they’re great devices for integrating with your mail servers in your corporate network and I would hate to see the company and the great employees that work there have to take a hit because of some allegedly greedy executives. 

You can read more about it here.

-RP


January 23, 2009  3:43 PM

BlackBerry Storm 9520 might be coming to Rogers



Posted by: Raj Perumal
BlackBerry Storm, BlackBerry Storm 9520, Rogers

So just before Christmas a nasty rumour went around that the BlackBerry Storm might be coming to Rogers. Not too long after that those rumours were squashed by Rogers.

You see the Storm that is out right now is a CDMA phone and Rogers is GSM. So all of us BlackBerry users up here in Canada are forced to go with Bell or Telus if we want a Storm. Many Rogers customers are waiting with baited breath for a GSM version of the Storm.

Well this month there have been leaked photographs of a Rogers BlackBerry Storm, called the BlackBerry Storm 9520. I don’t know if these images are fake or real but I sure hope they’re real! I know a lot of executives that would love to get their hands on these! You can check out the pictures here at this link.

 

-Cheers, RP


January 22, 2009  9:16 PM

Massive layoffs sweeping the IT industry



Posted by: Raj Perumal
economic crisis, economic crunch, economic slowdown, IBM, IBM layoffs, Intel, Intel layoffs, layoffs, Microsoft, Microsoft layoffs

Well it looks like we’re getting even more bad news this year….

Microsoft, IBM and Intel have announced massive layoffs. The buzz about the Net is that Microsoft is going to layoff 5000 people, Intel is going to cut about the same and IBM is going to be laying off people with no specific number announced yet….although according to rumours it could be 3 times as much as the other guys.

So what’s going on here? It’s quite simple really, it doesn’t matter how big you are, you can’t dodge the economic crisis that has gripped the nation. Even the big boys are going to have to tighten their belts.

What I find interesting is that IBM has beat all of Wall Street’s expectations despite the economic crunch and they’re still laying people off. What does a company have to do to not have to lay people off during these times?

-RP


January 21, 2009  4:11 PM

Cisco might be entering the server market…



Posted by: Raj Perumal
Cisco, server business

So here’s a nice little tidbit. Cisco’s CTO announced that they are looking to enter the server business in her blog. 

Cisco making servers? That kind of struck me as odd. Sure they are the kings of the networking world but how well would they actually do making servers? Could they really compete against the juggernauts of HP and IBM in this arena?

HP is already competing with Cisco on their own turf with their ProCurve switches, so I guess this would be no different in the sense that Cisco wants to increase their market share by branching out into new territory. Would you buy a Cisco server if they made one? I would definitely be tempted to see what they had to offer but I do wonder what they could offer in that area over and above HP and IBM. 

Also during these tough economic times, it’s not exactly going to be a cheap proposition to open up a whole new server division. We shall wait and see what Cisco does….

 

-RP


January 14, 2009  2:14 PM

Building an ESXi computer for home



Posted by: Raj Perumal
build an ESXi computer, hardware compatibility with ESXi, HCL ESXi, home computer, storage controller, VMware ESXi, white box, Whitebox HCL

Hi folks, sorry I haven’t posted as of late, I’ve been busy playing catch up after the Christmas holidays. Anyways now that things are more or less back on track I’ve decided to build a test ESXi white box for my computer lab at home.

Over the next little while i’m going to look into different components that may work and I will post my final build when I am done. As you may or may not know, VMware ESXi is built to run on Enterprise platforms so the HCL isn’t really comprehensive when it comes to listing home based computer components.

However there are a few resources out on the net that you can use to help you build that white box for home. Just remember that if you want to use a storage controller with RAID capabilities, make sure you use a controller that uses hardware RAID and not software RAID.


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