The Checklist Manifesto

I’ve just finished listening to the audiobook version of The Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande. (Book web site at┬á Overall I think it’s worth reading, especially for those of us in highly technical roles. Overview The book outlines Dr. Gawande’s experiences with checklists, and what he’s learned about how they can make the performance of … [Read more…]

Cloud Computing Presentation

The presentation went well, the Elluminate software worked just fine. People reported good audio quality, and the features like “raise hand” and the chat window allowed for questions to be asked and answered during the presentation. The screen sharing seemed to behave as expected. I’ve made the presentation slides available for dowload: Cloud Computing Presentation … [Read more…]

Refactoring Dynamic Code

This has been one of my concerns all along. The claim is that “enough testing” will eliminate the need for the compiler to do static checking at compile time. Frank Sommers seems to be saying otherwise… in the long run. So, I’m feeling justified in my decision to stick with Java, where I gain … [Read more…]

Pet Peeve: Learning Curve Misuse

How many times have you heard this?

This product has a steep learning curve.

I’ve lost count. But it never ceases to annoy me. What does the above actually mean? And what is the person saying it really trying to get across?

Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes? Monitoring your monitoring system

The group I’m in here at a major telecommunications provider has a nice little setup of HP’s OpenView and Remedy’s Action Request System. OpenView listens for and seeks out problems with various internal and customer-owned systems. When something serious occurs, it uses some 3rd party integration software (RemedySPI) to create a trouble ticket in Remedy. … [Read more…]

Unix command line utility program conventions

Sometimes a vendor supplies a command-line utility for performing some function that we want to use from within our scripts and programs.

There are some unwritten (at least as far as I can find) rules about how to write one of these utilities so it can be used properly.

Some vendors get this right. Others, not so much…

Third party software installation woes

Let’s say you wanted to run two completely separate instances of Apache’s web server. (I.e. not just multiple virtual hosts listening on different ports, but actual separate httpd processes.) All you’d have to do is create a new httpd.conf (in a separate directory, or with a different name in the same directory as the current … [Read more…]