Stories by Michael Scalisi

  • Within Reach of Most IT Budgets, SANs Pay Off

    Storage area network (SAN)technology has been around since the late 1990s, but historically it was priced far out of the range of small IT departments. Now this option for making more-efficient use of data storage has become affordable for all but the smallest of IT shops.

  • A business case for the Apple iPad

    Last Wednesday, Apple introduced the long-fabled Apple tablet to the world. Much to nobody's surprise, it is a 9.7-inch touchscreen slate based on the iPhone OS. The media response has been largely negative so far, which is slightly surprising given that the tablet was more or less on par with what the rumors specified. While much of the criticism seems valid, the Apple iPad is also the most promising tablet of 2010, and in the hands of the right user, a respectable business machine.

  • Despite the cost, SSDs are great value

    Solid-state drives recently hit the 1-terabyte mark with the release of the US$3,300 OCZ Colossus 1TB SSD. Obviously, drives at this price point are not aimed at masses. Yet, from a historical perspective the Colossus is remarkably cheap. It's easy to forget that just a few short years ago, neither mainstream SSDs nor 1TB drives existed at any price. It's also important to remember that smaller, affordable SSDs are available today and represent an incredible value.

  • Why Chrome OS is no threat to Windows

    When Google first announced its Chrome OS project, many commentators assumed that the Internet giant was challenging the dominance of Microsoft Windows. The truth is, Chrome is not a threat to Windows, OS X, or any distribution of Linux--nor is it meant to be.

  • Six ways to botch your backups

    Many of us were shocked last week that a company as prominent as Danger, Inc. could make such a rookie mistake by losing the data of T-Mobile's Sidekick customers. As a system administrator, if there is one thing you absolutely have to get right, it's backups. Here are six ways to botch them.

  • New Apple iMac is jaw-dropping yet incomplete

    Apple's new 27-inch iMac is so beautifully designed that it's easy to look past its most glaring defects. Yes, there are other 27-inch displays out there, but I've yet to see one with the 2560x1440 resolution that Apple is offering. This approaches the resolution of 30-inch monitors like the Dell UltraSharp 3007WFP-HC, which lists for $1300 and has a resolution of 2560x1600. Given the iMac's $1700 starting price and the fact that its mini DisplayPort can be used as an input, it's possible to think of the 27-inch iMac as a slightly overpriced Apple display that includes a free computer. I almost never say this about Apple products, but this is a great value.

  • Three tools to boost your multi-monitor experience

    Screen real estate just might be the one aspect of using a computer that has the greatest impact on productivity. While the penny pinchers at your company might initially scoff at spending the extra funds on what might be perceived as a luxury, all you have to do is plunk a second LCD panel on your CFO's desk and they will quickly see the value. In this article, I'll share with you a few tools that I've employed to help manage my multi-monitor experiences.

  • Apple tablet's killer app revealed?

    According to Gizmodo, an insider has revealed that the Apple tablet is indeed real, and mostly what people are expecting: A 10-inch touch-screen tablet running the iPhone OS, priced somewhere between $700-$900. However, there's a twist. The tablet can act as a secondary screen/touchpad for Apple computers. This makes it different from and more appealing than every tablet that has come before.

  • Manage iPhones with Exchange

    When iPhones first started trickling into my office, I was a little apprehensive. At the time they only supported IMAP and POP3 for e-mail, which can be tricky to support in an Exchange environment. Two generations later, the iPhone has become a robust enterprise-grade mobile device.

  • Windows 7 will scream with new SSD drives

    With Intel introducing new faster and cheaper SSD drives coinciding with Windows 7's release to manufacturing, it might make sense to include one with your next computer purchase. After all, Windows 7 is the first Microsoft OS to include native enhancements for SSDs.

  • Microsoft sacrifices Office to save Windows

    Microsoft recently announced that its next Office suite will have a free online counterpart. It also just released Silverlight 3.0, which competes directly with Adobe Flash. While each of these products is competitive in its own right, they're collectively part of a strategy by Microsoft to protect the future of Windows.

  • Mophie cures iPhone battery woes

    A couple weeks ago, I wrote a critical post about, among other things, of the iPhone's battery life. Since then, reports have poured in of new iPhone users who are displeased with the device's longevity, indicating that the new 3GS does little to alleviate the problem.

  • Pirate Bay sale signals the death of an era

    With all the outrage over The Pirate Bay going legit, I think it's time to reconsider the merits of illegally media sharing. The world has changed since Napster introduced peer-to-peer file sharing in 1999, and the culture that made the practice seem necessary has transformed.