A little vicarious fun watching a website implode

Subject: General Tech | November 8, 2013 - 04:07 PM |
Tagged: oops, blame canada

Drop the politics for a minute and sit back and read about the technical side of the failures at healthcare.gov.  It's not about what the site is or what it represents, it is a look at how a poorly designed and implemented site plan can cause huge problems.  If you are involved in this type of work it will give you a chance to feel smug about your own successes and if you are thinking about getting into this line of work you can get an idea of the possible problems you will face trying to set up and maintain a major website.  Blaming Canada and CGI Federal can be fun but perhaps not the complete story though you can be sure some of the Slashdot comments will.

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"The War Room notes catalog IT problems — dashboards weren't showing data, servers didn't have the right production data, third party systems weren't connecting to verify data, a key contractor had trouble logging on, and there wasn't enough server capacity to handle the traffic, or enough people on the help desks to answer calls. To top it off, some personnel needed for the effort were furloughed because of the shutdown. Volunteers were needed to work weekends, but there were bureaucratic complications."

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Source: Slashdot

Beware VMWare VSphere 5.5

Subject: General Tech | September 24, 2013 - 01:14 PM |
Tagged: vmware, oops, vsphere

Words like irreversible are enough to turn a sysadmin's hair grey and fall out in large clumps and unfortunately that is a word that applies to those who upgrade to VSphere 5.5 while running VMWare 5.1.  The good news is that if you have not upgraded yet, you can now get the VMWare 5.5 update which is compatible with VSphere 5.5 and will ensure you do not have to install VMWare 5.1 again from scratch and rebuild everything.  Follow the knowledge base links from The Register to update or to attempt to save your replications if you upgraded prematurely.

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"But as explained in this knowledge-base article, “if you have Automatic Check and Install updates selected the vSphere Replication appliance will automatically upgrade to version 5.5”. If that happens on an existing vSphere 5.1 installation, very bad things will happen."

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Source: The Register

Adobe pulls a Microsoft 180

Subject: General Tech | June 20, 2013 - 02:00 PM |
Tagged: Adobe, oops, SaaS

The initial outcry from users of Adobe's Creative Suite because of their move to providing only Software as a Service was mostly ignored by Adobe.   The 10% decline in sales and 66.8% decline in profit for Q2 of this year compared to last year is a little harder to ignore however and shows just how upset Adobe's customers were with this decision.  The Register reports that most customers were upset by the licensing fees which essentially force them to constantly pay Adobe instead of purchasing a product as a one time expense and skipping a few generations of software before purchasing a new Creative Suite.  The solution Adobe has offered is to perpetually sell and support the last boxed edition, Creative Suite 6 ... and there was some rejoicing.

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"Adobe dropped the D-bomb during a Q2 conference call with analysts after admitting some customers are "disappointed" it decided to murder future copies of its boxed Creative Suite.

Clearly top brass at the company were living in er…cloud cuckoo land when they revealed last month that future Creative Suite versions would only be web-based, a move that went down badly with some channel partners and their customers."

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Source: The Register

Microsoft turns Windows Blue into a subscription based service pack?

Subject: General Tech | May 14, 2013 - 03:02 PM |
Tagged: microsoft. windows blue, win8, oops

Windows Blue is now officially Win8.1, coming sometime before Christmas and free to anyone currently running Win8 according to the links at Slashdot.  We've talked about Microsoft's upcoming OS refresh many times at PC Per, from their plan to replicate the subscription model of Office365 to the inclusion of their Cloud services like SkyDrive.  This will not be a new OS, merely tweaks added to the existing kernel focusing on the GUI and especially the new Start Screen.  It isn't a reversal of the new look, nor does it lessen the emphasis on touch screens but it could make some compromises for those who prefer a mouse, keyboard and desktop.

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"Several readers sent word that Microsoft has officially dubbed the upcoming revision to its flagship operating system "Windows 8.1," retiring the code-name "Windows Blue." They also said the update would be freely available to anybody with Windows 8. It will be available through the Windows Store. "Reller declined to provide an exact release date for Windows 8.1, but said that Microsoft is 'very sensitive to the timing of the holidays.' Ideally, Microsoft will be able to provide devices with Windows 8.1 pre-loaded in time for the holiday 2013 season, Reller said, but those who purchase a Windows 8 device later this year will be able to easily upgrade to 8.1."

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Source: Slashdot

Haswell, we have a problem. USB 3.0 woes may lead to delays

Subject: General Tech | April 5, 2013 - 02:06 PM |
Tagged: haswell, Intel, usb 3.0, oops

Hardware.Info has recently had confirmation of the rumours we have heard about Intel's USB 3.0 chipset in Haswell; the problem exists and it will cause delays.  Many readers may find this remeniscent of the issues with the Marvell 88SE9123 SATA controller from back in the days of P55 boards.  This time however the issue has been caught before a single board was sold and while it is upsetting that we will be waiting even longer for Haswell perhaps it is better to get a working product late.  It could be quite annoying to lose all your peripherals every time your machine goes into S3.  Follow the links from their post for more details.

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"Intel now officially admits there is a problem with USB 3.0 in Haswell products, and that solving the issue will affect delivery times of various products"

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So you want to play Batman? Dump the DX11!

Subject: General Tech | November 30, 2011 - 12:51 PM |
Tagged: gaming, batman arkham city, dx11, oops, consolitis

Just in case you were under the impression that Ryan was the only one having issues with DirectX 11 in Batman Arkham City, check out the problems [H]ard|OCP had.  DX11 was essentially unplayable even on multi-GPU systems, with NVIDIA handling the game a little better than AMD.  Using DX 11 in the game enables HBAO and tessellation as well as something new for NVIDIA users called Multi-View Soft Shadows, which do add to the visual quality of the game, if you are willing to live with an average 30fps or so ... with bonus stuttering.  Even better, this is yet another example of a game with its frames capped by default, not quite as bad as Need For Speed The Run but it is still limited to 24-62fps until an .ini file tweak is performed.

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"Batman: Arkham City is upon us, and we wanted to give you a preliminary look at how performance is stacking up. We've found some issues running in DX11 that seem to be a detriment to gameplay. DX11 may not be the best option, at this time, for this game, our performance data and feedback explain why."

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Source: [H]ard|OCP

You didn't really need that file, did you?

Subject: General Tech | November 21, 2011 - 12:08 PM |
Tagged: pebkac, oops, backup

Files occasionally go to silicon heaven, no matter how careful you are a mistaken keystroke or hard drive failure or even children both small and large will eventually send your precious data off to where calculators go when they die.  If you've made the move to an SSD, you should really pay attention as the mean time before failure on flash is very different than for platter based drives.  Techware Labs offers you some of the best basic preventative measures, many of which will be familiar even if you haven't got around to doing it yet.  As well they take you through several inexpensive ways to back up your data externally for those who would really like to ensure their data is safe from gremlins, viruses and the ever lurking PEBKAC.

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"If data loss is not on your radar right now it should be. We show you why data loss is 100% avoidable and what free and low cost options you have to ensure the safety of your critical files. TechwareLabs covers everything from online options to physical hardware to backup and protect your data."

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