Archive for November, 2010
A couple of months ago, I wrote on allowing employees to bring their own computer to work, instead of using company provided hardware, and part of my article was featured on I-CIO.
Recently, I had an interesting chat with a fellow manager about security, which lead me to the conclusion that a proper BYOC policy can actually be a very important part of global security management.
In my recent article about Amazon CloudFront, I told you about the very cheap pricing of this service, which makes CloudFront very sexy even for very small websites that just want to use it to offload their own webservers and/or provide better than average performance for remote visitors (think about small E-commerce websites in Luxembourg that want to sell internationally even without having thousands of customers a day).
After some days of production use of CloudFront on www.wishlist.lu , here’s the bill to date:
9 cents. I think that on a monthly basis, for www.wishlist.lu, we’ll never be above 1 USD cost wise. So, to sum it up:
- Global “Amazon performance” for your website
- Sets up and configures in less than 15 minutes
- Costs less than an apple a month
Why would you not use CloudFront even for your smallest website (*)? Great stuff …
(*) I can imagine many reasons, actually, privacy concerns or data export regulations being two. But still, these won’t apply to 99% of the potential small website users I’m thinking of.
So today I got myself the MacBook Air 11.6 inch with 4 GB of RAM, the 1.6 Ghz CPU, and the 128 GB SSD. It’s a fabulous little gem and it really does create this “Whoa, this is small!” effect.
I got this machine as a replacement for my ASUS 1008 netbook that I sold a couple of days ago because it was a tad too small and slow for the work I typically do on this type of computer. I agree that it might sound wrong to call the Air a “netbook”, but then again, the use I make of it pretty much fits in the “netbook usage” category : surfing the web, reading and writing my E-mail, and using general productivity tools like DropBox and some basic document editing.
The MacBook Air in my current configuration is very fast. Applications start and switch instantly, and the bootup time, even from a complete power off, is blazing, in the range of a couple of seconds from 0 to fully operational. Waking it up from sleep mode is instant. I opted for the fully loaded version of the Air after reading some reviews about speed impact related to the higher clocked CPU and the 4 gigs of RAM, and especially because there’s no way to upgrade your Air if for some reason – mainly money – you’d have chosen to get one of the smaller specc’ed versions.
I rely a lot on web based and cloud based solutions for my work, like DropBox, Google Apps for Enterprise, Delicious, etc. so getting all of my work data on the Air was a snap, as these services are all well supported on the Mac. The keyboard is excellent in touch and size for my needs. The screen size is OK for E-mail, web browsing, and blogging, although I need to get used to it. It’s a pity Apple removed the backlit keyboard from the new series of Air’s though; probably a step towards the very good battery life of around 5 hours I seem to get with my normal workload.
Something very nice is that the Mail application now supports native Exchange 2007, getting all of my E-mails, calendar, and contacts into the respective apps. Configuration was a complete no-brainer, as all it took was to provide Mail with my E-mail address and password, and it auto-magically detected all parameters from my corporate Exchange account and started downloading content right away. Something that is weird is that it seems to take a very long time to download the several thousand E-mails I keep in my Exchange account, but fortunately that’s something it needs to do only once.
The price of the Air is not what you’d call cheap, but the value you get for the money is great in my eyes. The lightness, speed, and ease of use is fantastic, and I’ll make my new Air a permanent accessory for my meetings and evening blogging.
Disclaimer: I’m absolutely no Apple Fanboy and own a PC with Windows 7 at home plus a Lenovo X301 laptop for daily business use at the office. That makes three computers for three different types of usage. One day, who knows, they’ll invent a Transformers’ style WinMac that is small and light and that can transform into a complete over-powered machine with two 30 inch displays with the push of a button. Until then, I’ll keep my three work tools .
Amazon CloudFront is a relatively new product offering in the range of the AWS products. In a simple definition, you could say that CloudFront allows you to easily setup and use Amazon’s infrastructure to distribute your content (web or streaming) globally, by leveraging Amazon’s edge servers in the US, Europe, and Asia. You can just call it a CDN – Content Delivery Network, although that definition applies to services that often provide very distinct additional services, depending on the provider.
My today’s Saturday morning IT exercise was to quickly dive into the CloudFront universe and give it a spin on one of our lab websites – www.wishlist.lu , which is a gift-list creating platform without any real commercial objective.
Read on to find out how easy it was to setup CloudFront on WishList !
Traveling to the 2010 PHP Forum in Paris, I’m sitting in on of the TGV’s (the high speed trains going from Luxembourg to Paris, for instance) and I was hoping to be able to connect to the Internet wirelessly, especially as I’m traveling 1st class. Unfortunately, and albeit I’ve been reading all over the Internet that all TGV trains in the east of France should have WIFI on board, there’s no sign of it.
I do have an “unknown” WIFI network that seems to be at a constant 80 to 90 percent signal strength, but any attempt to connect to it fails, as I don’t even know the correct SSID to use. My last hope is to catch one of the SNCF employees in the train and try to get some meaningful information from them.
Voici un avis qualifié sur Drupal de la part de mon collègue Gauthier, article qui a provoqué un certain nombre de réactions tout aussi intéressantes.
Je laisse le jugement final au lecteur averti!