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Scott Jackisch on Product Management Talk Podcast

Many thanks to Cindy Solomon of ‪#‎prodmgmttalk‬ for letting me come on her podcast and talk to the product management community about cloud computing and futurism..

By | April 30th, 2014|Cloud|

Storage High Availability: The Achilles Heel of Server Clusters

Let me start by saying that storage high availability is not a feature that every business is going to need in their computing infrastructure.  Fault tolerant systems in general are arguably unimportant to businesses that can tolerate one or two days of downtime.  But without fault tolerance, you better have a well-tested and documented recovery procedure. […]

By | December 28th, 2012|Uncategorized|

What can small IT services providers learn from the big enterprise folks like GE?

I recently read this TechRepublic blog post about how GE is restructuring its IT practices to revitalize American manufacturing.  GE’s new process is borrowing ideas from agile development and Gemba, among others.  One way to think of this approach is to break a big project into smaller parts and deploy incremental solutions […]

By | December 4th, 2012|Business Strategy|

Dedicated Hardware Hosting for Test Labs

It’s essential to research a new technology before implementing it.  You need to read the documentation and scan the blogs and forums for gotchas.  Then you need to make a plan.  But ideally you would test your plan in a test lab before implementing anything in production.

I know from experience that not all organizations have […]

By | November 30th, 2012|Business Strategy, Cloud|

Amazon Glacier Will Be the Future of Online Backups

I was pretty excited when Amazon first announced its new Glacier product. This offering allows archiving of data at $0.01 per GB per month with a 3-5 hour recovery time. Now they have added a feature to automatically archive S3 storage to Glacier based on rules set by admins.  I haven’t used […]

By | November 14th, 2012|Disaster Recovery|

New Offering: Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V Replica Hosting

Microsoft has added a lot of compelling features to Hyper-V in Server 2012, which makes it very competitive with VMWare’s (industry standard) vSphere product.  Ars Technica provided a good general writeup of the third generation Hyper-V here.  Microsoft MVP Aidan Finn is my favorite technical authority on Hyper-V, and his comparison between 2012 […]

By | November 14th, 2012|Disaster Recovery, Private Cloud|

IE 9 is the most secure browser all of a sudden?

Internet Explorer got a black eye last week from a widely exploited zero-day vulnerability, but a recent NSS report shows that IE 9 does a better job of blocking malware than the other major browsers.  It looks like the key to Microsoft’s success is their SmartScreen technology, which basically maintains a blacklist of […]

By | September 29th, 2012|Desktop Support, Security|

Yahoo Hacked, Change Your Password and Get a Damn Password Manager

As you might have heard, was recently hacked and over 450,000 passwords were exposed:

Here are some steps you can take to try to protect yourself:

  1. Change your Yahoo password ASAP.
  2. Never use the same password on more than one site.
  3. “Yeah right, how do I keep track of all those passwords?”
  4. Use a password manager like 
By | July 12th, 2012|Security|

The MSP Model is Basically a Commodity Play

Who wants to be a commodity?

I have struggled with the MSP model since it came out and have considered writing about it for some time.  Today, I realized why we aren’t an MSP.  It’s that the MSP play turns both the client and the provider into commodities.  For those who don’t know, MSP refers to […]

By | August 26th, 2011|Uncategorized|

Google Apps Transition

Google Apps So if you don’t know about Google Apps, you really should read up on it. For the purposes of this post, let’s just say that Google Apps gives companies or individuals the ability to use Gmail with their own domain names.

If you have […]

By | April 21st, 2011|Google|

Mobile Device Management

The explosive popularity of mobile email devices like smartphones and iPads can lead to security problems if not managed properly. In the corporate world, we want at the very least to be able to enforce passwords on devices and remotely wipe mobile devices if they are lost or stolen.

There is also the […]

By | April 14th, 2011|Email, Mobile, Security|

FaceTime on the iPad 2 is Pretty Compelling


I received my iPad 2 today and yes, yes, as any of the thousands of online reviews will tell you, it is thinner and lighter. The cameras are crap, the smart cover is cool and really cuts down on the bulk of the original iPad case. […]

By | March 28th, 2011|Apple, Mobile|

Hardware based full drive encryption

I have been researching hardware-based SSD Full Drive Encryption (FDE) lately and here are some bullet points to consider:

  • What is it? FDE is a way to protect data on laptops in case of loss or theft.
  • Who cares? If you have any data on your machine that you wouldn’t gladly hand over to any stranger, […]
By | March 19th, 2011|Security|

Mac OS Not All It’s Cracked Up To Be

Given my recent concerns about security, I have pushed myself and my associates to switch to the Mac OS for our desktop systems (hey, Google did it!). Aside from the standard problems all Windows users will experience in the transition like learning new keyboard shortcuts, I have come to the surprising realization […]

By | March 9th, 2011|Uncategorized|

Used Office Furniture in Berkeley


Gret was finally complaining about her horrid office chair, so we went looking for a local place with used office furniture.  We wanted a greener option than buying new furniture.  Also, we wanted to avoid the toxic chemicals off-gassing from new furniture.  Gret and I were impressed […]

By | February 21st, 2011|Uncategorized|

98% of Computers are Insecure

Fatal System Error on Amazon

I recently read the book “Fatal System Error” which paints a pretty harrowing picture of world-wide computer security.  According to a 2008 study of 20,000 machines by security firm Secunia, […]

By | February 14th, 2011|Uncategorized|

Recycle your old computers and help out Oakland’s kids

We often need to help clients get rid of older computer equipment that has piled up over the years.  One great solution to this is a non-profit called OTX West (see contact info below).  They refurbish used computer equipment and make it available to the Oakland Unified School District and the families of students.  For […]

By | February 5th, 2011|Uncategorized|

Secure the machine that connects to your bank

There have been many articles over the past year about hackers using “Automated Clearing House” fraud to steal money from small and medium-sized businesses. The basic premise is that a hacker will compromise the machine that handles bank transactions for your company and steal money directly from your business account.

I would distill my advice […]

By | January 31st, 2011|Uncategorized|

Is Google Evil?

Google Verizon Google and Verizon have stirred the ire of Net Neutrality proponents by working on a deal to prioritize certain web content.

At issue for consumers is how the companies that provide the pipeline to the Internet will ultimately direct traffic on their system, and […]

By | August 8th, 2010|Web|

Sitting Will Kill You

Stand up desks have been used to counteract back pain and improve productivity for years, but there might be a more important reason to consider changing the way you work.  A recent study suggests that more time spent sitting increases mortality risk regardless of physical activity.  So even you exercise a lot, […]

By | July 24th, 2010|Uncategorized|

Windows 7 Migration Using Virtual Machines

Windows 7 Professional upgrade boxI finally (and reluctantly) upgraded my own production machines from Windows XP SP3 to Windows 7 this past month. (What with the new Android phone and the new OS, I feel like a new man!) We also recently upgraded one very […]

By | March 28th, 2010|Desktop Support|

Nexus One Android Phone Hands On

google-android-nexus-oneI finally decided to dump my trusty BlackBerry Curve, which I have had for two years, and upgrade to a Nexus One Android phone from Google.  I received the phone on 2/16/10 and have been using it for 10 days at the time of this post.  I […]

By | February 28th, 2010|Google, Mobile, Smartphones|

MacWorld 2010 Highlights


So I went to MacWorld 2010 and was surprised at how many cool things there were. Most of our client’s machines run on Windows, but scientists and designers still tend to prefer the Mac experience. I am even working on a […]

By | February 18th, 2010|Uncategorized|

Windows Mobile 7

“We wanted to take greater accountability for the end user experience,” Ballmer said. “We want more consistency in the hardware platform and in the user experience,” he said, while nevertheless saying Microsoft wanted to leave room for hardware partners to innovate.

As of December 2009, 73% of the […]

By | February 15th, 2010|Mobile|

Use an iPad to access your desktop

Apple iPad Apple iPad

Apple has announced a new device called the iPad. I understand that it will be something like an iPod touch, but with a 10″ screen. You might have heard of it. This might be Apple’s way of entering the netbook market which it […]

By | February 2nd, 2010|Mobile|

Google Hacked by China

Google China Google China

If you haven’t yet seen the news that Google was hacked by someone looking (in part) for info on Chinese human rights activists,  then you might check out this summary on the […]

By | January 18th, 2010|Security|

Big Patch Tuesday

Microsoft See You Next Tuesday eEye contigent with cool t-shirt

Microsoft issues updates on the second Tuesday of each month.  This month, they issued their largest update ever.  Now, Adobe is following suite and will start issuing quarterly patch updates on the same […]

By | October 15th, 2009|Uncategorized|

Are we addressing the real security problems?

This report from SANS was an eye-opener for me:

Priority One: Client-side software that remains unpatched.
Waves of targeted email attacks, often called spear phishing, are exploiting client-side vulnerabilities in commonly used programs such as Adobe PDF Reader, QuickTime, Adobe Flash, and Microsoft Office. This is currently the primary initial infection vector used to […]

By | September 16th, 2009|Uncategorized|

Even high profile security experts can get hacked

Don’t ever re-use passwords between sites.  Here is an  article about high-profile security sites getting hacked:

By | August 2nd, 2009|Uncategorized|

Google searches will set you free

Day in and day out, I cannot imagine doing my job without the internet, and specifically Google searches, to find those obscure solutions to all manner of technical problems.  Here are some links to improve your own Google searching experience:

Google Cheat Sheat

Google Expert Tips.

By | July 21st, 2009|Uncategorized|