Avi Freedman's Geek Ramblings

on gadgets, internet plumbing, and geekery in general

Future Blog Topics/Thoughts (Will Take Requests)

A few people write me most weeks asking to cover something in networking, storage, working in big or small companies, or other geekly areas.

I’m moving my master list of potential future topics here and will extend it over time.

… The hardest decisions to make are the ones where you can’t identify an obviously better or worse choice. Just choose. (triggered by http://lifehacker.com/make-tough-decisions-and-move-on-with-the-two-minute-ru-615962167)

… Do what you are passionate about because you can be world class at it – I administered the Sun networks for they wanted me for physics and math at Temple University. Profs wanted me to switch majors to both because I could be a top student in their topics but I knew I’d be a Salieri or worse, never great, never seeing the problems and geeking and dreaming the solutions. (triggered by http://blogs.wsj.com/economics/2013/07/08/math-science-popular-until-students-realize-theyre-hard/)

… On partners and cofounders – make sure you’re a match in values and goals, of course. Ideally you could all represent biz, tech, internal managemen, finance, marketing well enough to speak with the ‘voice of the company’ to insiders or outsiders, and sync with the others/the domain expert partner. At Akamai, working with Jonathan Seelig (had run the network group, + did BD, + was cofounder) and Tim Weller (CF) was amazing for this reason as we worked together.
(triggered by http://blog.aha.io/index.php/how-to-choose-a-great-co-founder/)

… Link to Matt Ringel’s Akamai post about “don’t spend more than N minutes before asking for help”.

… On hiring – compsci degrees used to ensure that you had written a program of more than a few hundred lines and had worked on a team. Often in the compiler or OS classes. Now we have github and OSS, but fewer universities seem to be doing this. Still, asking about both of these things is useful. Not to strictly no-hire but to know if people have worked in teams before, in particular.

Quick Mailman Search

In case it’s useful to anyone, I wrote a quick proof of concept for
doing search with mailman lists (code after the break).

The background is – I subscribed to a mailing list and shortly thereafter
there was a call for feedback posted. One of the points was:

“We’re looking specifically for systems that offer strong search and
archiving features, to help manage the wealth of knowledge that [redacted]
generates. What other specific functionality should we look for in a new
platform?”

This is a closed list so google doesn’t pick up and index the archives.

Making Mistakes Fast

tl;dr – “Wow, you make mistakes too… But you make them REALLY fast.”

Not really sure what category to put this in so I’ll just file it under “hacking”.

Back at Temple University I had been running MUDs (multi-user dungeon games) on
my machine, bigboy.cis.temple.edu. It was a great way to learn Unix IPC and
work on complex C systems, but I had a summer free to hack and I decided I wanted
to build an object-oriented adventure game development system. (The game would
be an environment supporting objects like places, monsters, players, etc, but it
was written in C.)

Zagg iPad Mini Keyboard Quick Review

Just a quick review…

I’ve been using the Logitech Ultra-Thin Keyboard for the iPad mini for a few months now, and have found that the combo makes for a great portable almost-productive combo. ssh, chrome, RDP, and native apps all work but I wouldn’t really want to use it for more than a few hours of light work or 30 minutes of quick fix while on the go.

Yesterday, while dropping my Retinabook off to have the touchpad clicker fixed, I saw that the Zagg stand had their new cover.

Does Squeezing Network Costs Cut Revenue?

Here are some thoughts about another topic/question I find myself discussing with network geeks and business execs alike -

Is network budgeting about saving money or increasing revenue?

Or -

Does squeezing network costs run the risk of impacting users, revenue, or whatever your important metric is?