June, 2009

  • Steve Clayton

    Another Yahoo Lands at Microsoft



    [Photo: Simon Norfolk for The New York Times]

    The swinging door at Yahoo! continues as today we announced Kevin Timmons has joined Microsoft’s Infrastructure Services Team (aka GFS).

    I seem to talk more and more about GFS lately as our datacenters become pivotal to the future plans for online service delivery. Only last week I was explaining at the Search Summit how these information factories are as much a part of our future as Windows 7.

    I also meant to mention the New York Times’ recent article titled Data Center Overload. It’s a great piece that highlighted how dependent we’ve become on these things we know very little about. Data silos in hidden field of the world, close to big energy plants. As that article points out in the first few paragraphs, we’ve become blasé about the 0.15 seconds it takes for Google to deliver search results or the storage of gigabytes of our personal data, backed up in the cloud. Where is this cloud of which you talk is what our elders ask and we point to the sky as if it’s some godlike manifestation. It’s just as likely to be over there in a field as up in the sky.

    Until recently, I’d have agreed with Rich Miller of Data Center Knowledge


    “It’s like ‘Fight Club. The first rule of data centers is: Don’t talk about data centers.”


    It was even like that internally until recently though I now have some solid friends in our GFS team and they’re sharing much more information through their blog and in public forum on things like PUE and how the industry can collaborate on data center design. Back at the NY Times article, how is this for a little gem of information…Microsoft’s Quincy data center could hold 6.75 trillion photos. Handy? Well it is when you’re building stuff like WorldWide Telescope.

    Though the revolving door saw Mike Manos leave our GFS team recently I enjoyed the point he made in closing the NY Times article


    Manos gestured to an electrical substation, a collection of transformers grouped behind a chain-link fence. “We’re at the beginning of the information utility,” he said. “The past is big monolithic buildings. The future looks more like a substation — the data center represents the information substation of tomorrow.”


    I can imagine a time I’ll be driving along and as my Dad told me about energy substations, I’m sure I’ll be boring my offspring with information substations.

  • Steve Clayton

    Wireless Laser Desktop 7000



    Latest in a long collection of keyboards (and mice) at Chez Clayton is the Wireless Laser Desktop 7000. It sounds like something out of an Austin Powers movie but the reality is it’s the best keyboard I have ever used. The quiet and high responsive keys are matched with brooding black looks on this model (versus my more translucent version at the office) and yet another new mouse style to test out.

    This replaces the venerable (and bloody expensive) Wireless Entertainment Desktop 8000 that has served me well but we starting to play up. The only thing I’ll miss? Backlit keys…but 3rd party reviews suggest I’ll be pretty happy with this unit.

    Thanks to my hardware goddess Eva who if we’re lucky, may even provide a few prizes for me to give away via this blog!

  • Steve Clayton

    Two Guys In A Garage



    This often used phrase to talk about the spirit and threat of entrepreneurship in the IT world can be traced back to garages like the one above. The photo is from a great little post on Gizmodo about the The Birthplace of Silicon Valley. This is the Palo Alto garage where Bill Hewlett and David Packard played around with oscillator parts and formed what we know today as HP - the world's largest PC manufacturer.

    They’re still out there…young turks looking to topple the giants of Microsoft, HP, Apple, Dell, Google and others and long may that continue….the IT world needs it. Microsoft needs it.

  • Steve Clayton

    High Speed Camerawork


    I-Movix Sprintcam v3 sample shots from David Coiffier on Vimeo.

    Nothing much to say about this other than it’s addictive viewing :)

  • Steve Clayton

    Sky+ on iPhone




    Another victory for the iPhone today courtesy of Sky and their simple yet efiicient Sky+ app. I was running late at brunch and worried I’d miss the British F1 Grand Prix….plus I’d forgotten to set my Sky box to record it. Rats as my mother would say…

    No bother, I whipped out a friends’ iPhone, installed the Sky+ app (amazingly remembered my logon details) and hit remote record. This send a message back to my PVR which meant I got home at 13:15 and watched the whole race 15 minutes time delayed.

    It’s these kind of simple yet enormously useful apps that make the App Store a hit much more than having the ability so who a PowerPoint presentation on your phone.

    If you have Sky+ and an iPhone, it’s a must. Check out My Sky

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