I’ve been working in IT for a while now and it feels like we’re in a state of constant technological revolutions, not evolutions. Yes some evolutions do occur, don’t get me wrong but those seem to be where we spend the least of our time and energy. For example, take cloud computing, that’s essentially the same thing we did many years ago with mainframes and thin clients. Do we really live in such a cyclical world where most of our time is just spent doing things differently instead of truly innovating and evolving? Outsourcing is another one, seems like every 10 years or so it comes back in vogue.
I’m not sure what the cure is just yet but it feels like we could spend more of our time, energy and resources trying to truly innovate instead of just moving things around again and again. It’s like busy work and really inneficient…time to break the cycle.
To my joy today I was pleased to read about Amazon’s two new offerings, the Amazon Cloud Drive and the Amazon Cloud Player. The first one allows you to upload any file up to 2GB in size to your online account. 5GB of space is included for free, however if you purchase an MP3 Music Album your account is automatically upgraded to 20GB for free (first year only). The storage prices are quite competitive and as should be expected it’s all hosted on Amazon’s Web Services infrastructure, particularly S3. This means that you get the typical reliability and availability like any S3 deployment.
Regarding the pricing, so it works out to be $1 per GB per year, so 20GB = $20 and 100Gb = $100 and 1TB = $1000, that’s much cheaper compared to most comparable services. Two things that are missing from Cloud Drive that I’d love to have are:
ability to mount it as a drive from any OS, specifically Mac, Windows and Linux
Online backup capability
This is only version 1 so can’t expect it all but hopefully these are both on the roadmap.
Then there’s the Amazon Cloud Player which sits on top of Cloud Drive but is essentially for all your music. So say you purchase an MP3 album from Amazon, you can store it for free (this doesn’t count against your Cloud Drive storage allocation) and play it from anywhere in the world. How cool is that? Also, they took it a bit further by allowing you to upload all your DRM-free music that’s already on your machine to Cloud Drive. You will need to install their Amazon MP3 Uploader (and Adobe AIR) app which courses through your computer (including iTunes library) see what’s DRM-free, compares it to your contents on Cloud Drive to make sure you’re not uploading something that’s already there, then starts the process. It tells you how much will be uploaded and projects how much time it will take. My job looked like this:
…so you can see, I’ll be here for a while.
There’s been rumors that both Google and Apple are working on similar technologies but looks like Amazon beat them to the game. Apple I would have expected to be the first and was the one I was rooting for the most simply because I can’t wait for the day that I never have to plug my iPhone in to sync. The year is still young so hopefully this will come, until then I’ll enjoy the Amazon’s new elegant offerings. I’ll end by saying that Cloud Player so far is working really well. I listened to Elton John’s “Rocket Man – Number Ones” in its entirety with no skips and very acceptable clarity. One thing missing though, no iPhone App.
Just completed my first installation of RAC One Node (22.214.171.124) on a 2 node Linux cluster. Everything went surprisingly flawless however I noticed that the instance names all have an “_” to denote them from each other. By that I mean, the first instance is <DBNAME>_1 and the second is <DBNAME>_2. This seems a bit strange since “real” RAC is just 1 and 2, without the “_”.
Looking at the documentation I do see that underscores are not allowed in SID names so what gives? Is this just an exception for RAC One Node. Personally I’d prefer without the underscore. I’ll put in an SR with Oracle Support to try to get some clarification on this.
I just read an article about today’s highlights from CES and boy was I impressed by the announcement of the upcoming Motorola ATRIX 4G.
Here are some of the top features:
NVIDIA® Tegra™ mobile processor
4.0″ QHD display
MOTOROLA Laptop Dock and HD Multimedia Dock
High performance 1 GB RAM
Advanced fingerprint recognition reader
Android™ 2.2 operating system
Front-facing VGA video camera
Long-lasting 1930 mAh battery
The first thing that stuck out was the fingerprint reader, this has to be one of my top requests in smartphones for the past couple years. I’ve been spoilt by my laptops which both have a biometric reader that allows me to unlock the screen or log into the system in a split second instead of the few seconds it takes me to type my long and overly crypted passwords. I know it’s just a few seconds but it can be a bit annoying after a while. The ATRIX’s reader is on the back so it stays out of the way when you’re not swiping.
My second treat with this phone is the laptop and multimedia docks. Hmmm this means I might not need a netbook or tablet after all, let’s see.
What I find odd however is that it comes with Firefox built in, no mention of Chrome, but this is Android though so, um, what gives? Again this we’ll see too as more information comes out.
Personally I’m definitely a texter, you don’t want to know the obscene amount of texts I rack up every month, but for some reason unless I’m in the car, I don’t typically care much for talking on the phone. I think I like the casualness of texting in that I can respond whenever and it doesn’t take too much focus or attention.
Well here I am getting my eyes checked to start off the new year. Getting a field of vision test done today. Those tests always play mind games on me because after a point I begin to think that I’m see the dots everywhere but not very sure so keep pressing the button over and over. So far I’ve always passed with flying colors, maybe that’s why
Just read an article on Mashable about the WordPress challenge to post either every day or every week in 2011 and have to admit that it has inspired me. It was something that I’ve been wanting to do all along but hopefully now that I’m signed up they’ll nag and bug me enough that I’m forced to post something at least once a week.