Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Breaking radio silence

Looking at my blog postings, I went radio silent sometime in May, right after my sister passed away.  Time flies when you're busy.  Work has been keeping me busy.  My family has been keeping me busy.  Life has been keeping me busy.  I'm glad the kids are back in school. 

Speaking of children, my oldest son received his mission call and will enter the Missionary Training Center (MTC) on November 28, 2012.  He will be going to Minnesota on his mission.  Funny thing...  He wanted two things.  First, go Stateside. [check]  Second, go someplace cold.  [double check]   My wife said the average temperature in Minnesota during the winter is 6 degrees F.  Six degrees.  Thinking about that kind of cold numbs my brain.  He dislikes the cold so he's excited about going there.  I've been getting up with him at 5AM and going through Preach My Gospel.  I haven't been perfect for the 5AM thing, but we're going to do that from here on out.  He has a lot to learn and he's nowhere close to being prepared from knowing the missionary discussions and the scriptures that he needs to know.  We might have to buckle down and do some two a days.  If he gets 2 weeks in the MTC, then that will be a blip before he's out teaching people.  Then again, he'll be hitting Minnesota mid-December, so staying warm will be the top priority on his brain at that time.

Need to run.  Hopefully it won't be another six months before my next blog posting.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

The death of a sister

A little over a week ago one of my siblings passed away. She had stage four breast cancer. She lasted more than five years with the cancer. This last year has been especially hard on her. In the end she died at her home. She was the most determined soul ready to beat it. Apparently that was not her path to take. As hard as it is to lose a family member, she is in a much better place than all of us collectively put together. She does not need to worry about chemo or radiation treatments any more.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

A geek's dream - A descent VMWare ESXi server for less than $1k

OK, for the non-technical geeks out there, I'm going to say I'm sorry in advance.  This post is going to be pure geek speak.

I work for a company that has a cloud offering.  I need to have several different devices in my lab in order to duplicate connections to the Cloud.  Honestly, I have a lab at home that is probably as good, if not better than what I have at work.  One of my pieces of lab equipment is a computer that runs virtualization software. What that means is I have one PC that can run many different operating systems on it all at the same time.  So instead of having 10 different PCs all configured differently, I have one machine where I can make virtual machines and I can stop and start them at will.

My "old" rig had an AMD E-350 (think if it as an Intel Atom on steroids) motherboard, with 8GB of RAM and a 1TB hard drive and about 4 networking cards on it.  The nice thing about it is when it was maxed out, it would only eat about 50 watts of power - max.  The problem is that it was so underpowered, it would literally take me days to setup and configure a Windows server VM for duplication purposes.  Not hours, but days.  After much frustration, I gutted the system and purchased the following items:

AMD FX 8120 (eight core CPU running at 3.1Ghz)
Gigabyte 990FXA-UD3 motherboard
32 GB of RAM
Crucial M4 SSD hard drive (128GB boot drive)
Intel dual port PCIe networking card

I put this all together and all I can say is that this thing absolutely, positively flies.  The difference in processing power between the two is the difference between night and day.  Stability is rock solid.  Worth the investment?  Oh, absolutely.  No doubt about it.

So if you're looking for a relatively inexpensive, but very capable VMWare ESXi 5 server, this is the equipment to get.