Writing ... or Just Practicing?

Random Disconnected Diatribes of a p&p Documentation Engineer

  • Blog Post: Are Answers On The Menu?

    Reading in the newspaper this week about the technological advances in political campaigning set my mind wondering about whether there is an ethics/success trade-off in most areas of work, as well as in life generally. I don't mean cheating in order to win; it's more about how you balance what you...
  • Blog Post: General Cluster's Probably Not Last Stand

    I don't know if General Custer ever made a last stand against the Apache, but I feel like I have. My Apache is, of course, the Hadoop one. Or, to be technically accurate, Microsoft Azure HDInsight. And, going on experience so far, this is unlikely to actually be the last time I do it. After six months...
  • Blog Post: my data are getting littler

    It looks like our Big Data is getting smaller. At least that's the impression I get from the exhaustive investigation carried out by the editor on our current project. Of course, "data" is actually a plural word so perhaps it's just that each datum is getting smaller. Or maybe there are fewer (not "less...
  • Blog Post: An Insight Into The Future Of Data Analysis?

    It seems like everything is "HD" these days. Your laptop has a "high density" plastic case, your car has a "heavy duty" battery, and your TV has a "high definition" picture. So I guess it's only to be expected that your data analysis tools will be "highly distributed". And at last we're "happily done...
  • Blog Post: Peeping Out From The Microsoft Matrix

    I suppose it's a bit like that film The Matrix - you realize that you live in an ethereal and closed world only when you actually get to step outside of it. Or, like some people who have never been to another country, your view of the rest of the world is shaped just by what you see on TV. I guess I...
  • Blog Post: Highly Distributed Insights

    Why would you want to use a "Big Data" solution? It's a question that we've been trying to answer in the first chapter of our forthcoming p&p guide to Windows Azure HDInsight. For a long while, everything we found on the web and in the original HDInsight docs on the website talked just about the...
  • Blog Post: Big Data, Big Guidance Problem

    You'd think that, after all the years I've been writing guidance for Microsoft technologies and tools, I'd have at least grasped how to organize the structure of a guide ready to start pouring content into it. But, just as we're getting into our stride on the Windows Azure HDInsight project here at p&p...
  • Blog Post: Do Only Old People Buy Bicycles?

    Some years ago I was forcefully introduced to the concept of statistical quality control, where the overall quality of a batch of items could be determined from an examination of a small sample. This came to mind as I've been immersed in watching demos of the new "Big Data" techniques for analyzing data...
  • Blog Post: A Database By Any Other Name...

    Some friends have just adopted a rather cute ginger cat and decided to name it Juno, perhaps after the Queen of the Roman Gods. Though it regularly leads to the interesting conversation: "What's your cat's name?" - "Juno" - "No I don't, that's why I'm asking"... Meanwhile, here at p&p we're just...
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