Wednesday, December 31

New Year's Resolutions meme

Got tagged by the New Years Professional Resolutions meme by Michael O'Neill (blog | Twitter | webcomic) ... not a big fan of memes. This one's not bad in content, but any meme then implies I need to burden someone else with it ... that's ok, I have a few of you suckers in mind ;)

1. Become more fluent in Python and Google App Engine (GAE).
2. Become subject matter expert on BigTable, SDS, SimpleDB.
3. Finally learn to ignore the overwhelmingly massive number of idiots, newbs and "please send me teh codez" eternal September SOBs that are flooding every corner of my professional experience.
4. Get decent with Silverlight & WPF.
5. Network more. Present at at least three events this year (up from last year's two). Organize at least two tech events this year (up from last year's one). Do more small business networking -- join the local Chamber of Commerce finally.

My chosen victims:
Griff Townshend Twitter | blog
Chris Miller Twitter | blog
Alex Silverstein Twitter | blog
Cindy Chiuchiolo Twitter | blog
Brian Peek Twitter | blog
Bill Pytlovany Twitter | blog

Any other TVUGers or Albany-area tech-centric blogging types want to get tagged? Drop me a line ...

Tuesday, December 30

I am Now Publishing on

Social Publishing Network | AddsYou

Why won't this piece of crap validate? That's it, AddsYou is coming off ... sorry Marshal ...

Monday, December 29

End of year Wrapup

2008 draws near a close. It has been a fantastic year, full of new friends, learning and fresh experiences. 2008 had its challenges of course, but I honestly couldn't ask for a better year.

Involved in a ton of projects right now. Still refining my SharePoint skills for the new day job; also getting familiar with Microsoft Dynamics/CRM. I'm getting a serious Hyper-V setup going on in the home office, for dev/test/play purposes.

We're working to rebuild the Change Round-Up website and webservice API from the ground up; I'm getting ready to deploy the first piece of the new framework to production sometime in January. Various Higher Efficiency projects include work on an IVR+.NET webservices project, PHP/MySQL work for a Moodle module, and a complete overhaul of the Higher Efficiency website to boot.

Together with Griff Townshend and TVUG, I'm working on Tech Valley Code Camp 2009.1 -- we've settled on a March date, though we haven't picked a weekend yet. Details to follow of course; website in the process of being put up again, the host paved it with a default Plesk install after TVCC 2008.

Personally, I'm getting up to speed on Azure and SDS, as well as continuing Python explorations with Google App Engine (GAE) and BigTable. Starting to do some work with Amazon Web Service's (AWS) SimpleDB as well -- I hope to be able to present a session comparing these horizontal data offerings sometime in the spring.

Hoping everyone has safe and happy holidays, and here's to an even more awesome 2009!

Wednesday, December 10

Busy busy busy! Server upgrade ... Oxite ...

Long time no post, I know.

Been getting up to speed on the intricacies of SharePoint farms. Recently rebuilt my home office dev/test Win server, from 2003 R2 x64 to 2008 Enterprise x64; perhaps more details on that fun experience later. Installed SharePoint on 2008, installed SQL Server 2008 on 2008, but most interestingly, I've installed Hyper-V on 2008. Again, more posts to follow on this stuff.

Life onsite at NYS DOCS is your typical consulting scenario ... with a few twists. Inmate cleaning crews. Mandated TB testing. Metal detector for visitors and inmates. Correctional officers working front desk and other security points. You get used to it. Mostly.

Will be in Manhattan overnight on 12-19, returning noon 12-20; calendar's already full for that day and a half, but I think I'll be down again at least once in January.

Now that I've gone to Windows Server 2008, I'm hoping to use Hyper-V in place of XP, 2003, Vista, etc. VPCs for development and testing purposes, as well as live archives of stuff like my current Vista x64 notebook. It has a 120GB drive with 14 months worth of installations, uninstallations, reinstallations, service packs. I want to slap a fresh 200GB drive in here, but I don't want to lose access to the OS that was my primary working machine for over a year. Having ugpraded my fileserver to 1TB RAID5, I have room to drop a Hyper-V virtual machine of a stripped-down image of my notebook. Peace of mind for all those passwords and personal data you don't want to lose.

However, that server's workload has increased pretty significantly as of late. It's a white box Asus P5KC with a Q6600 2.4GHz quad core; 4GB of Corsair 1066 DDR2. With a BIOS upgrade, the motherboard can, according to Asus, support 45nm technology. If I can remove/replace the CPU, I'm looking at moving to an
Intel Xeon X3370 Yorkfield 3.0GHz 1333FSB Quad-Core Server Processor. (Good thing I overdid it on the PSU I initially purchased, but still, with this CPU and the RAID5, I may need a bigger PSU as well.) I'd be moving to 8GB DDR3 1333 at the same time.

Cheaper than buying a new server ... but one of these days, I need to get around to investing in an HP or a Dell. Now might be the time -- this box would serve pretty well as a Linux server, but even maxed out, I'm not sure how well it will support my Hyper-V aspirations.

Final note, did anybody else catch the Oxite announcement from MSFT? I've been working toward rebuilding my various sites into an integrated landing page with lightweight CMS ... Oxite might be a better solution than homebrew after all ...