The ranting of an IT Professional


February 23, 2009  7:34 PM

The Primary drawback of IT Consulting



Posted by: Jason Tramer
Consulting, IT

Here’s the drawback, wait for it, if you don’t use it then it doesn’t work. Now this seems obvious but it seems like there are certain people out there who employ IT consultants to provide all the IT support for them but then make IT related changes without discussing it with us. Then they get shocked when it blows up on them. Here was your clue, we are IT Consultants so perhaps consulting with us about IT stuff might somewhat make sense.

February 20, 2009  2:44 PM

HP cutting wages



Posted by: Jason Tramer
EDS, HP

You can read the full story here:

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/02/19/hp_pay_cuts/

However I just wanted to add my two cents to this story. I think bad quarterly earning reports are to be expected for most hardware vendors at this point. The truth is that HP really needs to diversify their business a bit into the service industry.  From what I understand the industry magic number is 30/70. Thirty percent service revenue and 70 percent sales. Now obviously HP understands this and that’s why they bought EDS, however rather than cutting employee pay which will pretty much guarantee they will loose some of their best people, they should really focus on some heavy lay-offs on the EDS side and then amalgamate the business.


February 18, 2009  6:52 PM

Corrupt roaming profile



Posted by: Jason Tramer
roaming, Windows could not locate your roaming profile

Normally when you come upon this error it is caused by the roaming profile path being wrong or the user nto having the proper permissions but I have found in a couple of cases it can be caused by a corrupted roaming profile.. In these cases I have found that I have to wipe out the roaming profile directory , specify a new roaming profile path, log in to let windows create the folder and then transfer the old data back in to it.


February 17, 2009  3:44 PM

Toshiba to buy up Fujitsu’s HDD business



Posted by: Jason Tramer
Fujitsu, Toshiba

Here is an article about this:

http://www.channelregister.co.uk/2009/02/17/tosh_will_buy_fujitsuhdd_op/

In times of economic difficulties this is both normal and reassuring, the strong start gobbling up the weak.  Kudo’s to Toshiba for not only being able to weather the hard times but have the strength to expand their business as the companies around them are declining.


February 11, 2009  3:36 PM

Intel set to release it’s 32 nm chips by the end of 2009



Posted by: Jason Tramer
32nm, AMD, core 2 duo, INTEL, K6-2

Intel must be pretty confident because they are moving up there release date on their new line of 32 nm chips to end of this year. This is great news for everybody, ok well everybody except AMD who is still pushing to release there 32 nm chip sometime in 2010 by the most recent update that I have seen.

I recall when AMD first stormed onto the market offering a strong alternative (with very attractive pricing) to Intel, hell I remember buying a K6-2. Since then the fight between AMD and Intel has seen both sides alternating for the dominant position, that is until the release of the core 2 duo. Since that point Intel has been firmly in charge of the market and with AMD lagging behind on the release of the 32 nm chips this looks like it won’t change anytime soon.


February 11, 2009  3:15 PM

Missing seperate icon for personal mail on a blackberry after it is wiped and re-activated



Posted by: Jason Tramer
all mail going in message folder, BES, Blackberry, gmail, Missing seperate icon for personal mail on a blackberry after it is wiped and re-activated

I have encountered this issue recently with users missing the seperate icon for their personal mail (gmail, yahoo mail etc ..) after there blackberries have been wiped and all of their mail is going into there message folder.

After doing some investigation I found that this issue is caused by a problem with IT policy on the BES sever. On your BES, open your IT policy go into the section called “service exclusivity policy group” and make sure all the options are set to default. After that resend the IT policy and service books to the effected blackberry users and have them restart and this should resolve the issue.


February 10, 2009  5:03 PM

Unable to activate a single user in BES



Posted by: Jason Tramer
An error occured, BES, please contact your system administrator

I just experienced this issue, I had a user that i could not activate. It kept coming up with the a generic “An error occured, please contact your system administrator” error. I ensured that all the proper security persmissions for the BES admin account were set. I was able to activate other users fine using the same blackberry. No errors in the event log. Rebooting the BES and Exchange server didn’t help.

Here is what I did to resolve this:

1) Remove the exchange attributes from the account and then delete the account

2) Create a new account without an exchange mailbox

3) In Exchange system manager run the mailbox cleanup agent which marks the old mailbox as orphaned

4) Re-connect the exchange mailbox to the new account

Voila, activated like a charm


February 3, 2009  2:23 PM

Installing HP Insight Manager on a ESX box



Posted by: Jason Tramer
ESX, HP, HPSIM, System Insight Manager, vmware

I found this very useful blog entry on instaling the HP SIM on ESX. The HP site has the install files but no acutal instructions on how to do the install. This can be very useful because as a consultant we rely on the ability to remotely administer servers but this is useful for any administrator.  Check it out;

http://discardme.com/blog/2009/01/22/installing-hp-insight-manager-agents-under-esx-server/


January 30, 2009  7:08 PM

The sad decline of Sony



Posted by: Jason Tramer
95% profit reduction, Blu-ray, Sony

I remember a time when the Sony brand was synonymous with top quality equipment. When I bought my first home theatre system every component in it was the Sony brand and while that cost a pretty penny it was well worth it.

Well fast forward, I am not sure how many of you have been buying Sony equipment lately but while they are certainly still good that premium edge is gone and yet the premium price tag remains.

This might explain the horrific financial forecasts they have been putting out lately, far worse might I add then other companies in the same field. When your company experiences a 95% profit reduction in one quarter then that is a clear sign you are doing something very wrong.

Seems like Sony exec’s have drinking the company kool-aid lately and think that there name is big enough that they could put out average equipment for a premium price tag and people will buy out of sense of brand loyalty or sense of nostalgia.The other factor is Sony’s constant belief that people in some way like their proprietary formats. Sure Blu-ray won but a what cost? They are hurting right now and Blu-ray was their success story for Sony format’s which is sad as all hell.

In hard financial times people will spend money but they want to see the value and it just isn’t with Sony anymore.


January 29, 2009  5:13 PM

The importance of project planning



Posted by: Jason Tramer
IT best practices, project management, project planning

When implementing a new project one can never downplay the important of a solid plan of attack, this is especially true for those of us in the consulting field but even if your not, having a solid well-documented plan can protect you like a magic cloak if things turn south. So here are some best practices:

1) Put together a Statement of Work before you even start that details the entire project plan and run it by management for approval. IT managers love this stuff, it makes your look good and it makes them looks good when they bring it forth up the chain. Even if the high-ups a) don’t read it or b) don’t understand; they will still be impressed that you put one together. If scope creep occurs (and it will) you can point back to your original plan and indicate that you need a change request for it. You will thank yourself later for being that anal when you are later questioned on why the project a) took longer then originally expected b) cost more then originally expected; and you can reply by pushing over a stack of signed change requests, nod politely, and smugly leave the room.

2) Make the change first in a dev environment. If you don’t have a dev environment, ask for funding for a dev environment, draw up a long email on why dev environment help mitigate production problems that can cause outages. If you do not get the funding, save the email you got back denying you your dev environment. If later something bad occurs with your change and people are looking for someone to blame, divert attention away from yourself but stating that the issue would have been caught if you had a dev network to test changes on, keep a copy of that email in printed form with you at all times for the next few weeks for it shall be your magic shield which matches your cloak very stylishly.

3) If your change effect’s end users in the slightest, have a User Acceptance Training and Sign Off portion. If in the worst case scenario if an issue was missed and pops up in production and you are asked why you didn’t catch this during testing, you can quite rightly point out that the user’s didn’t catch it either and that it’s quite normal for small issues to wriggle through despite rigorous checking during the UAT phase. The UAT groups in this meeting who didn’t bother actually doing any testing and just signed off their names because they couldn’t be bothered to put in the effort will latch onto this idea that it is in actuality no one’s fault and defend it to the death, if only to avoid any scrutiny on their side.

Successful project planning is all about covering your butt, the better that it’s covered the happier you will be. Worst case scenario, if all the above doesn’t work then just blame the guy who doesn’t speak very good english.


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