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Showing posts from May, 2018

Lessons from great failures - mistakes that became winners

Mistakes do not need to be failures. Great inventions have started out as mistakes and have become winners. Here are a few examples.

Lessons from great failures - Polaroid

Polaroid, which is associated with the first form of instant photography and innovations in eyewear, was founded in 1937 by Edwin H. Land, to exploit the use of polarizing polymer. Land ran the company which was the Apple of its time. He was a Steve Jobs type leader, a scientist who guided the company for four decades until 1981. Its peak employment was 21,000 in 1978, and its peak revenue was $3 billion in 1991. Polaroid went titsup in the 2000s. Read more about Polaroid over at LinkedIn here .

SDN: where innovation and policy intersect

SDN has become increasingly popular, but what does it actually do? The truth is, it means different things to different people. Although it's a bit of an umbrella term, it essentially comes down to programmers configuring networks to send data down specific paths, rather than leaving it up to network protocols to show the way. This means, instead of data following the sets of protocols inside the network switches - the switches are basically running independently from each other - to get to their destinations, data is directed by an application called a 'controller', which tells the switches how to route the data. The networks can be fine-tuned to deal with specific services or issues. Take, for example, the deluge of data coming from Internet of things (IoT) devices or video on demand. Instead of having the switches protocols direct what to do with the data, the controller's instructions directs where the data from these devices should go. Networks

Important IT metrics to dashboard

A suitable set of metrics needs to be selected that can be used to determine the efficiency and effectiveness of Information Technology (IT).  To assist in this selection the following important IT metrics to dashboard is provided here .

South Africa needs cloud specialists to fully realise cloud technology

The race to the cloud continues as South Africa is slowly transforming into a digital economy. Andrew Cruise, CEO, Routed, a cloud infrastructure provider, says that South Africa’s cloud maturity levels are still lower than other countries, but the market looks promising: “From a data centre perspective, we have seen the market double in the past five years and it is still growing more than 10% annually. This is a strong indication of the overall growth of the cloud market.” Read the article over at Digital Street here .

Learning from great leaders, Captain Sully #myplane

The Miracle on the Hudson. No matter what you write about it you have to watch it (see video below) and Captain Sully entered history because when required he said, " My Plane! " Find out more over at LinkedIn here .

How many networks have any safety?

Juniper Networks wrote an interesting white paper titled, What’s Behind Network Downtime? Proactive Steps to Reduce Human Error and Improve Availability of Networks. Downtime is the most important metric analysing a crisis as it is part of the most crucial metric, TIME. The paper states that according to an Infonetics Research study, large businesses lose an average of 3.6 percent in annual revenue due to network downtime each year. Another reference but using Gartner research is this article in Network World. Read the article over at LinkedIn here .

Maximizing opportunities (going the extra mile to make a profit)

One day the company decided on a turn around strategy which was to increase sales and cut costs. The strategy did not work. All that happened is that support staff were laid off and more sales people hired instead. The customers, however, became disillusioned because the service deteriorated. Then there was the infamous cost saving stunt of no more water coolers or Ricoffy. (Ricoffy is the low cost instant brand for Nescafe Coffee). Read the article over at MyBroadband here .

A dark and tragic night, the legacy of a pocket watch

The roads in the 1920's in the Natal Midlands were dark and dusty at night. There were very few tarred roads and not many cars. My grandmother and her aunt's family were in a car which on one dark night collided with a train. The result was the death of her aunt's husband and her three children. My grandmother and her aunt survived although they each had numerous broken bones. Read the full story over at LinkedIn here .

Why caffeine doesn’t leave everybody wired

Not everyone responds to coffee in the same way.  Depending on your genetic make-up, you might be able to drink coffee right before bed or feel wired after just one cup, ongoing research shows. Read the full article over at Knowridge here .

Here's What Happens When an 18 Year Old Buys a Mainframe

Connor Krukosky is an 18-year-old college student with a hobby of collecting vintage computers. One day, he decided to buy his own IBM z890. This is his story.

Behind-the-scenes look at Jannie van Zyl’s incredible computer restorations

MyBroadband readers know Jannie van Zyl as one of the pioneers behind Vodacom’s 3G launch in 2005, the former iBurst CEO, and the current head of innovation at Vodacom. Read the full article over at MyBroadband here .

Learning from great leaders, Turing and Flowers

When people refer to greater leaders of World War II, they refer to Churchill or Patton. When people refer to greater leaders in technology it is Jobs, Gates or Cerf. But there are greater leaders of World War II and technology than Churchill, Patton, Jobs, Gates or Cerf. They are Turing and Flowers but history would not acknowledge them as such. Their work was the foundation of the allied victory in World War II, and forms the basis of computer technology which underlies our modern society. Read more about Turing and Flowers over at LinkedIn here .

A letter to Nigella (under the Mistletoe with a bottle of Three Ships)

Dear Nigella, Thank you for the Kerfees koek recipe. I especially like the delicious white powdery icing sugar you recommended.  Read the rest of the letter over at LinkedIn here .

Expanded Incident Bicycle (explaining the expanded incident lifecycle)

In the major incident process, timelines are the most important aspect of the process to do right. The reason is that it is the best source of data for problem management, which oversees the process from a quality viewpoint. Deviations from the norm are clear indicators of underlying issues. The timelines in the major incident process are aligned with the ITIL process as these timelines in ITIL are referred to as the Expanded Incident Lifecycle. Read the article over at LinkedIn here .

Moogsoft 2017 AIOps Symposium: Phil Tee, CEO, Moogsoft

Introducing the new Moogsoft AIOps, includes Real-Time Service Dashboard, Collaborative Team-Based Workflow, Algorithmic Clustering Engine (ACE) & Mobile Version. The new Moogsoft AIOps is a realization of thousands of hours of development, and we know that these innovations will help ITOps and DevOps teams in the world’s leading companies focus their resources intelligently, and ensure a higher quality customer experience than ever before possible.

Sens'it Discovery - Your IoT experience starts here.

Sens’it Discovery is an IoT end-to-end solution provided by Sigfox. It combines the Sens’it device connected to Sigfox network with an application. Sens’it Discovery has 5 different modes:  1. Temperature and humidity monitoring  2. Light monitoring  3. Door opening detection  4. Vibration detection  5. Magnet detection  The Sens’it is a multi-sensor Sigfox Ready certified device. It can suit many IoT applications, it is up to your imagination! Sens’it Discovery includes: 1 Sens’it device and accessories 1 year application access & Sigfox connectivity 50 SMS Learn more at:

Electrical and data centre standards checklist for South Africa

This checklist is based on those published by the SABS . Review the full checklist over at LinkedIn here .

No-one parties like a Meerkat

An old ad but still one of the best!  The Vodacom Meerkat appears as a stripper.... PS:  I remember this was the song when I met my future wife.

Smart Grids Rein In Unruly Demands of Distributed Power

The power grid isn’t what it used to be. Grid operators need to address the growing challenges of a new “active grid,” which requires integrating microgrids, renewables, demand response, and customers that not only consume energy but produce it, too . In this new reality, customers have generation and energy management capabilities all the way down to the low-voltage distribution network . Read the full article over at tech.insights here .

Solve the 3 Smart Building Challenges

Energy is the largest operating expense in commercial buildings, requiring approximately one-third of operating budgets. To reduce costs, property owners and managers are turning to the Internet of Things (IoT), with systems deployed in facilities ranging from office buildings to industrial campuses to schools and universities. Read the full article over at here .

A short checklist to use when presenting

I recently attended a presentation where the outcome was a lost audience. If only the presenter used this checklist which is constructed from a post about Sir Ken Robinson, on Presentation Zen . Checkout the checklist over at LinkedIn here .

Video conferencing etiquette

Companies have turned to video conferencing to strategize, sell, recruit, and react. Unlike other collaborative tools, video conferencing will expose you, if you are a dog. Read the full article over at LinkedIn here .

2017 AIOps Symposium: Tom Duran, Site Reliability Engineer, GoDaddy

View the presentation over at Moogsoft here .

Zen and the Art of computer maintenance

Zen and the Art of motorcycle maintenance is one of my favourite books. What motorcycles are to Pirsig, computers are to me. He spent hours tinkering on the motorcycle and I spent hours tinkering on the computer (as can be verified when I'm trying to work out why something on the network is slow). Pirsig demonstrates that motorcycle maintenance may be dull and tedious drudgery or an exciting and pleasurable pastime. It all depends on the inner attitude and peace of mind (or the lack of it). Read the article over at LinkedIn here .

A few good men

Leaders should have honour. I am reminded of the movie "A few good men" in which the marines on trial are found not guilty but are still discharged from the corp. The reason as one of them states is that they did not protect their weaker colleagues, which goes to the root of honour. Read the article over at LinkedIn here .

Does “Going Viral” Actually Result in More Conversions?

Right now there is almost certainly an enterprise exec in a boardroom somewhere saying, “We need it to go viral.” Kittens and memes and babies kissing puppies… viral. When most people think about going viral, they think about raising a lot of awareness for their product or company. But what about money in the bank, what does going viral mean for your bottom line? Read the full article over at cxl here .

Remember that amazing video of the whale leaping out the gym floor and splashing down? Yeah, it was BS - Magic Leap is neither magic nor leaping

It was a shared "wow!" for millions across the globe: a video showing kids in a gym watching as a whale appeared to breach the floor, leap high in the air and come crashing down with water flying everywhere. Read the article over at the Register here .

FBI to World+Dog: Please, try turning it off and turning it back on - Feds trying to catalogue VPNFilter infections

The FBI has reminded the world it wants us to reboot our routers to try and help it identify VPNFilter-affected routers.  It first asked for reboots last Wednesday, May 23, in the Department of Justice VPNFilter media release , but on Friday added a stand-alone public service announcement emphasising its "IT Crowd" strategy. Read the full article over at the Register here .

The Winchester House - architecture gone nuts

The Winchester House should have been the culmination of home design around the turn of the 20th century. It was built by a very wealthy individual, Sarah Winchester, widow of the rifle magnate. It's an impressive house until you look closely: Find out more about the Winchester house and the correlation to IT architecture here .

Crankin' Up the 3-String Shovel Guitar!

Of all the shovel playing dudes out there, this is my favourite!

Juzzie Smith 'Jamming' Official Music Video

'Jamming' is all about having fun with many instruments. Thanks to my filming friend Elijah Cavanagh we captured what it is like to have six Juzzies jamming together. Very groovy and even some smooth dance moves. I hope this clip puts a smile on your face that lasts a long time. If you would like to buy the song or check out more please visit

You can only carry a leaking bucket so far

Analogies are overused and abused. I once heard that an analogy is like a leaking bucket, you can only carry it so far before it is empty. Here is my list of favourite leaking buckets. 

Bomarzo - a garden with statues that are breathtaking - the Awesome World of Things

The weirdest garden ever created is located just outside the small village of Bomarzo, in Italy. It contains some of the most horrific larger-than-life statuary that one can imagine. One of Hannibal’s elephants carries a trampled soldier, a giant tears apart his enemy, a dragon combats its prey and a colossal mouth gapes open to swallow visitors. Find out more about BoMarzo over at LinkedIn here .

SD-WAN is not about the intangibles but Genchi Genbutsu

Many moons ago I wrote about the demise of MPLS and in the intervening years SDWAN has matured. The future enterprise connectivity is now dramatically changing as the norm will eventually becomes SDWAN. MPLS will be relegated to memory in much the same as what happened to ISDN in telephony. Read the full article over at LinkedIn here .

If you don't eyeball it, you won't solve it!

Often I see technicians dealing with issues and problems while sitting firmly on the seat of their pants at their desks. Call me old school, but I do not think this works! There is no substitute for the eyeball. Read the full article over at LinkedIn here .