Archive for November, 2006

Photos from the corn maze

The Barney’s and the The Carlson’s headed off to Hondo today to attack the South Texas Corn Maze.  It was a good time for all.  Enjoy the photos.  Click through to Flickr to see additional images not published here on the blog.



Happy Thanksgiving

Click through these pics if you want to see more family photos on my Flickr photostream.  I hope everyone had a blessed Thanksgiving.



Ingram Micro Solution Center

Friday I flew to Santa Ana, California to visit the Ingram Micro Solution Center. Now flying to California and back all in one day was quite the adventure. It involved waking up at 4:30 AM to catch a 7:30 AM flight, and not walking back in my home until 11:30 PM – a 19 hour day (with 6 of those hours in the air). Why would I do this you ask? For an opportunity to get hands on with HP Blade servers and EVA storage.

The guys that work at the solution center have the coolest jobs on earth. Day in and day out, they get to work with customers (like me) in a non-production environment where everything is there for education and experimentation. We got to get “hands on” with the new C-Class server blades. We attached them to the network, logged in to the management interfaces for the first time, and used HP rapid deployment pack tools to “push” down preconfigured Windows server images.

As if that wasn’t enough fun, we then used the EVA tools to “publish” fiber channel SAN storage to the blades. We added more storage, performed storage expansions, and even took snapshots and clones of the data. The business copy features can automate (via script) the snap and clone process – evening mounting those volumes to another server for backup or development testing. The Business Copy software can also handle the replication between multiple EVA systems.

In short, it’s not just about the hardware. The management tools make the solution. Now it is up to us to determine how we use these tools to meet the business demands for availability, scalability, and performance.


Dallas Aquarium Photos

Finally getting around to posting some of the pictures from my recent trip to the Dallas Aquarium with Alan, Agela, and Amber …


Governor Perry – “Four More Years”

The Republicans have retained control in Texas.  Rick Perry was elected to another term as Governor.  At the national level, we have sent Hutchison back to the Senate.  In a slightly closer race (U.S. House District 32), Sessions came out ahead of Democrat Will Pryor.

If you want to have fun tonight as the election results roll in – I suggest you tune in to Comedy Central.  Mr. Colbert is in fine form tonight.  Enjoy.


Vote – It’s Your Right

So every commercial on TV tonight is a political ad.  It’s almost over – tomorrow is election day.  Polls are open from 7 AM to 7 PM.  I don’t care who you vote for as long as you make an educated choice.  I will be voting before work.  See you at the polls.

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HP Slimline

I picked up an HP Pavilion Slimline desktop PC last weekend. I was in the market for a new small PC to go into my home entertainment system, and I was going to build another Shuttle system. As I surveyed the slim pickings of Shuttle gear that remained on the shelves at Fry’s, I ran across these super tiny HP Slimline systems. How perfect – exactly what I needed and no system build hassles.

Now I know you think I am going to complain – and you are wrong. I really do like this thing so far. But instead of complaints, I have some suggestions for HP that would make it even better. A fine line (complaints vs. suggestions), but I like HP as a company these days.

1. No recovery DVD’s? You provide a utility for making my own, but I’d rather see them included. Should it really take 2 DVD-DL disks for backup media? Why can I only make one set, and why are the instructions for creating the disks buried at the back of the owners manual? You should put this on the quick start guide so that the average consumer can do this.

2. I would also like to have an option for a system restore that just has the base OS and drivers. All of your “free” software might be great for someone (I’d love to meet them by the way), but I don’t want it. I guess I would settle for an OEM operating system install disk.

3. A mouse with a physical roller ball in it? What is this, 1995? Optical mice are the standard these days. Don’t cheap out on me like that.

4. A one year warranty – yet another way to cut corners and costs. I understand you are shooting for a low price tag in the store. After all – that’s what got my attention, but most consumers would like 2 or 3 years worth of warranty coverage. I purchased my extended warranty from Fry’s (so that is lost revenue for HP).


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