Monday, November 12, 2007

See you at SuperComputing!

One more time: see you in Reno at SuperComputing. I've got a bunch of meetings, but when I'm not in a meeting I'll be standing in the AMD booth showing off a .NET deskside "supercomputer." (I have to put that in quotes because there will be real super computers there...)

I'll probably try to do some blogging from there, but I can guarantee you that your best bet for many, many informative blog posts will be John E. West's insideHPC. That guy finds more HPC nuggets than seems humanly possible, and he somehow manages to write about them in a way that makes it fun to read!

So watch this space, but watch that space, too.

If you're in Reno and can't find me, I'm at 510-816-7551.

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Friday, November 09, 2007


Seems to have been a dramatic downturn in my number of subscribers overnight--I'm down about 40%. Wow!

I'm the type of attention-seeking, fragile-ego'd blogger whose happiness depends on stats like these!

Checking my Feed stats, though, I can see what happened: Google Feedfetcher went from reporting 80 users to reporting 0! That's weird, because I use'd think there would be at least one.

Google, can't you buy Feedburner so you can straighten this out?

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Thursday, November 08, 2007

What Do Digipede and FreshBooks Have In Common?

I saw a post about going the extra mile by Josh Catone at Read/WriteWeb, and I wanted to give credit to one of my colleagues. Josh recounted the story that Oceanic had with FreshBooks, and notes the importance of good customer service.

I made a reference to this the other day, but I want to tell the whole story to give a hat tip to my colleague Nathan.

A couple of weeks ago, one our partners wanted to do some unsupported work with the Digipede Network. Matt Davey of Lab49 wanted to install the Digipede Network Developer Edition (which includes the server, an agent, and the SDK) on Vista. While we support Vista for the agent and the SDK, we hadn't yet upgraded our server installs to work with IIS 7 on Vista (not a problem, since most customers run our Server on Server 2003).

When Matt had a problem with the install (predictably), he contacted my colleague Nathan Trueblood. Rather than tell a valuable partner that we don't support that configuration yet, Nathan took time to figure out how to make things work for Matt. He could have said "Just install a VM and run it in there," he could have told him to wait a couple of months, he could have done a lot of other things.

Instead, he went the extra mile. He tweaked an install, and even had to use LogMeIn to help configure things properly on Matt's machine.

Matt loved it: "I have to say digipede probably have the best customer support in the world. " He also went on to create a very cool LINQ/Digipede sample.

As Josh at Read/WriteWeb put it:

But doing the little things that allow you to form a connection with your customers on a personal level can score you a lot of capital with them.
Good job, Nathan.

Social Networking Post

If you read this blog for grid computing and technical discussion, feel free to ignore this post.

If you're into the world of Web 2.0-style networking, here's how you can follow my every move:

On Facebook, I'm Dan Ciruli.
On LinkedIn, I'm Dan Ciruli
I twitter as Oaktowner.

Can't wait that long? IM me:
AIM: ciruli
GTalk: ciruli
skype: danciruli

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Vista: Burn!

I've neither loved nor hated my Vista experience. It's got lots of GIFWOM (Gratuitous Interface Fluff/Waste of MIPS*), but on the whole it hasn't radically changed my computer-using experience.

Today has been extremely frustrating, though. We're participating in Microsoft's Server 2008 Early Adopter Program, and we're excited to get the RC0 of Server 2008 installed on some of our machines for testing.

They haven't released a VHD yet, though, so we're stuck with downloading a 2.6GB ISO file, burning it to DVD, then installing from DVD. Fine.

However, my machine (a Compaq nc8430), my OS (Vista Business), my DVD drive (an "HL-DT-ST DVDRAM GSA-4084N ATA Device), and Roxio 9 all seemed to get in an enormous fight. And when they fight, I lose.

Burns got 95%, then stopped. Burns got 1 sector in, then stopped. The drive stopped ejecting. Roxio wouldn't shut down for any reason.

After several attempts and several reboots, I got pretty frustrated. A little Googling Live Searching brought me to this post from Rick Hallihan.

I downloaded the Windows Resource kit, and had at my disposal a command line DVD burner.

dvdburn.exe d: en_windows_server_2008_rc0_enterprise_datacenter_standard_x64_dvd.iso was all it took. A few minutes later, I was installing.

If it's this easy on the command line, why is it so hard through a GUI?

*credit for the term GIFWOM goes to my old friend and colleague Jeff Weidner (and if you want to remember what the internet was like in 1997 and people were first putting up "home pages," I highly recommend that you click on that link!

Updated 2007-11-08: added a link to the WRK.

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