Stories by Oliver Rist

  • Is OpenStack the new Linux?

    Or is this open source 'cloud operating system' just a launching pad for a million new cloud businesses? Either way, the excitement is contagious

  • New Dell PowerEdge: More power, deeper management

    The Dell PowerEdge R720xd is one of the first offerings in Dell's new, 12th-generation PowerEdge server lineup. It's basically an expanded version of the PowerEdge 720 and oriented toward fast, well-managed file, virtualization, and storage workloads. That means the box has a distinguished pedigree to live up to, and after putting the R720xd through its paces, I'm sure its lineage won't be disappointed.

  • Does Vista suck?

    Does Vista suck? The word on the Web is that it sucks badly enough that we should all don iSheep caps and adopt Macs or Penguins. I usually don't get into those kinds of arguments because they amount to OS holy wars. My inbox fills with angry anti-Microsoft zealotry from folks who've made up their minds to hate one and love another no matter what. I just don't look at it that way -- and I don't think most systems admins, consultants, and integrators do either. To us, it's a toolbox.

  • Does Mac OS X suck?

    Paul Venezia bamboozled me into buying a MacBook Pro back in January, and I've been on it semi-daily ever since. And yeah, overall, I've been pretty happy. Of course, the only reason I was willing to buy one at all was because Parallels made it so easy to run Windows. But while my initial usage ratio was 85 percent Parallels, 15 percent OS X, over the last six months, that's changed dramatically to 45 percent Parallels, 55 percent OS X. Yup, the Orchard does slowly assimilate you.

  • Does Vista suck?

    Does Vista suck? The word on the Web is that it sucks badly enough that we should all don iSheep caps and adopt Macs or Penguins. I usually don't get into those kinds of arguments because they amount to OS holy wars. My inbox fills with angry anti-Microsoft zealotry from folks who've made up their minds to hate one and love another no matter what. I just don't look at it that way -- and I don't think most systems admins, consultants, and integrators do either. To us, it's a toolbox.

  • Exchange 2007 SP1 packed with goodies

    This is what happens when your friends have kids. The kids get sick; your friend gets sick. He comes over to help with rebuilding your deck. You get sick. Or, rather, I get sick. As a dog - which is an expression I've never fully understood. But does that dissuade editors from asking for a column? Heck no. I could have been tagged in a drive-by and they'd still be looking for copy. So despite a head that feels like a beach ball stuffed with sand, I've managed to put together some details on Exchange 2007 Service Pack 1, which officially popped out from behind the secret beta earlier this week.

  • Printers get smarter but less secure

    If you've seen my column photo, you'd know I like the occasional spoon of sugar in my coffee. (OK, four spoons, so bite me.) Point is, since Brian Chee keeps me well stocked in Hawaiian Kona coffee, I make sure to keep a box of Domino instant-dissolve sugar in the kitchen. Tear off plastic, open little metal spout on side of box, pour sugar, reactivate synaptic functionality -- simple. Then some product marketing management wizard apparently decided to fix it. Now the spout is cardboard, no longer firmly attached to the box, and inexplicably blocked by another slab of cardboard that serves no discernible purpose, yet must somehow be removed without dislodging the spout.

  • Take the guesswork out of capacity planning

    Paperwork bites. So badly, that it's amazing how far normally lucid (in my case semi-lucid) people will go to avoid it. For example: The process of reviving the Ducati also involves obtaining a new title because I've managed to lose the original ... somehow. That means going to New York where the bike was purchased, filling out paperwork, and dealing with notoriously uncooperative DMV staffers. Such an unpleasant prospect that I black out this weekend and come to in a BMW dealership trying to convince myself that buying a brand new, super-sexy K 1200 GT for US$20,000 is a good idea because the dealer will take care of the Duc. Now that's avoidance behavior!

  • Five technologies more pressing than the iPhone

    I'll never get it. Of any industry, save perhaps the stock market, you'd think the tech market would have become inured to hype. Yet every souped-up calculator that comes along seems to create ripples far in excess of its true weight in the universe. This week, it's the iPhone. Hey, I bought a MacBook Pro, so I'm certainly not immune to Apple's marketing (though I do blame the lucidity lapse on Parallels and Paul "Sasquatch" Venezia's overbearing Orchard fetish), but from an IT manager's perspective, you can sum up the iPhone in two words: Who cares?

  • SharePoint library: No non-geeks allowed

    Microsoft is pushing a bunch of new technologies as part of the Vista-Office-2007-Server-2008 product bonanza: The new Exchange, Viridian virtualization (eventually), Forefront security. The list is long and maybe even a little distinguished, but nothing is being pushed harder than <a href="http://www.infoworld.com/infoworld/article/07/01/22/04FEvistamoss_1.html">SharePoint</a>.

  • Microsoft RoundTable packed with features

    The only cool thing about this job is the volume of awesome toys that crosses my threshold. That and having a down-the-hall commute with a shower-optional working environment (kidding, Mom). Just today I picked up Microsoft's Wireless Notebook Presenter Mouse 8000. Apparently, Redmond didn't get it right 7,999 times, but this one is darn good: mouse, remote control for PowerPoint slide shows, and a laser pointer, all in one little rodent. Look for a blog review in a couple of weeks or so.

  • OCS 2007 doesn't spell doom for VOIP

    I should have gone to law school. If I had, I could right now be planning where to build my new summer home, 'cause you know I'd be on Microsoft's team getting ready to sue anyone who might be using a vaguely Redmond-resembling code module buried somewhere in one of my open source apps or OSes. Cha-ching.