* Posts by Stephen McLaughlin

71 publicly visible posts • joined 20 Oct 2014


Biden seeks out Dutch support for blockade on Chinese chip industry

Stephen McLaughlin

Re: Bullies

Completely agree. As China continues to broaden their offerings beyond the family consumer, the more resistance they'll face from the US that considers them a threat concerning information technologies.

Patch Tuesday update is causing some Windows 10 systems to blue screen

Stephen McLaughlin

Re: Ploy to make you upgrade to Win 11

Was thinking the exact same thing. Not happy with the slow Windows 11 "upgrade" rate from Window 10 users, they are very aggressively pushing 11.

What did Unix fans learn from the end of Unix workstations?

Stephen McLaughlin


My primary workstation in the 90's was an Indigo2. I really loved the interface. Showed how Unix (IRIX) could look amazing and so much nicer than CDE in my humble opinion. The end came quickly for SGI as a large-scale computer vendor. The disastrous move to Windows was the final nail.

Uber, Lyft stock decimated as US aims to classify gig workers as staff

Stephen McLaughlin

Re: Who came here to check the 10% decimate?

I did the same. Glad to see it being used correctly.

IBM blames 'external' network provider, incorrect routing, traffic flood for its two-hour cloud outage

Stephen McLaughlin

I concur. IBM has fumbled several times concerning their cloud strategy/offerings. Even worse, they've purchased a lot of great cloud technologies and subsequently let them wither away. Cleversafe is a perfect example; small company with promising product-line that allowed IT Shops to setup their own on-prem cloud. IBM purchases them, (2015) and morphs the product into IBM Cloud Object Storage.

Eighty-year-old US 'web scam man' on the run after pocketing $250,000 in Dem 'donations'

Stephen McLaughlin

Great read, thanks.

I wonder if the judge that let him post bail knew of his background?

Judge rules Oracle didn't have to listen to its Euro Works Council over support biz layoffs

Stephen McLaughlin

Oracle Employees With the Best Job Security?

Their Legal Staff. Seems every article I read concerning Oracle involves a lawsuit.

Seagate spins off a bit of cash from slowing disk drive business

Stephen McLaughlin

Dwindling Market for HDDs but still kicking - in part thanks to the Cloud Configurations

I've installed a few of these on-prem cloud systems in the past few years, namely IBM Cloud Object Storage and they consist of very large storage arrays with high-capacity, slower RPM drives. Mind you almost everything front-end is SSD. The interesting thing with the separate arrays is they are configured as a single large storage unit (in some cases over multiple sites). So thousands of HDDs are configured like a giant RAID array. The performance is amazing, and because of a high level of fault tolerance, they are also replacing traditional backup.

Nope, we're stuffed, shrieks Apple channel as iPhone shipments enter a double-digit spiral

Stephen McLaughlin

Poor Service As Well

My last iPhone was the 6+ model. Like many others it had "touch disease." Apple is aware of the defect with this model. So when I took it into an Apple store for repair I assumed they would fix the phone. But since it wasn't under an AppleCare protection plan I had to pay for repairs. It's been Android for me ever since. They sell you a defective product and expect the consumer to foot the bill to fix it.. no thanks.

What's big, blue, and hands out pink slips? IBM on Thursday: Word spreads of job cuts

Stephen McLaughlin

IBM Knows How To Ruin Successful Products

IBM has a habit of purchasing awesome technology and completely ruining it. One of the best Storage Platforms I've worked on was XIV. IBM purchased XIV, did a horrible job marketing the line and eventually dropped it in favor of the V7000s. More recently they acquired CleverSafe (now re-branded as IBM Cloud Object Storage) yet they focus on their competing products. I worked with CleverSafe and thought it was an amazing on-prem cloud solution. Unfortunately for them, IBM is now letting it whither away.

Controversial American bigwig in London... no, not Trump: HPE ex-CEO Meg Whitman to give Autonomy trial evidence

Stephen McLaughlin

Sticking with the Country theme..

Mike Lynch put lipstick on his pig and took it to the county fair.

Liking what she saw, Meg Whitman purchased the pig.

Then later, when the lipstick wore off, Meg was unhappy with the pig.

How do you like dem Windows, Apple? July opening for Microsoft's first store in Blighty

Stephen McLaughlin

Empty Stores

" It is common to observe throngs of eager customers at Apple locations, compared to the sedate atmosphere of Microsoft alternatives"

This is spot on correct. I used to work near the Pentagon City Mall where there was an Apple and Microsoft store in proximity of each other and the Apple store was always bustling with customers compared to just a few souls wandering around the Microsoft one - usually the staff outnumbering the customers.

Crap band sues crap beer maker: Hair-metal rockers have an Axl to grind over Guns N' Rosé

Stephen McLaughlin

Axl should be happy someone remembers them.

Long washed up now, I can't remember the last time I heard one of their songs.

NASA's Opportunity rover celebrates 15 years on Mars – by staying as dead as a doornail

Stephen McLaughlin

Hindsight is 20/20

But in future when a space agency sends up 2 rovers, equip them with the ability to assist the other. Having said that, it's really amazing Opportunity lasted this long. Kudos!

Surface: Tested to withstand the NFL. Microsoft firmware updates? Not so much

Stephen McLaughlin

Reminds me of when Microsoft was heavily promoting Surface Pros.

They were were introduced to the pre-and-post game TV studio NFL analyst shows and very visible to the home audience. However, the analysts were still using iPads. So they hid them behind the Surface Pro monitors perched on the stands. Of course they were busted.

And the classic line: Well at least you can’t say Microsoft doesn’t support Apple.

New Horizons snaps finish buffering: Ultima Thule actually two dust bunnies that got snuggly 4.5 billion years ago

Stephen McLaughlin

Great News!

Love the first images and very much looking forward to the higher resolution ones that we'll see in the coming months.

One thing to note, New Horizons flew by Pluto on July 2015 and it has taken all this time travelling at roughly 58,530 km/h to find the nearest object large enough to visit. Of course in Sci-Fi movies, asteroids are all over the place, almost unavoidable.

It's a lot of work, being popular: Apple, Tim Cook and the gilets jaunes

Stephen McLaughlin

Where history repeats itself

In the early 90's Apple was getting its lunch eaten by Microsoft, specifically on the lower end. So Apple focused on the high-end market but steadily losing market share. By the mid-nineties, the company was a shadow of its former self - down to the point they accepted a financial lifebuoy from Microsoft. I see the same thing happening now with their iPhone strategy.

50 years ago: NASA blasts off the first humans to experience a lunar close encounter

Stephen McLaughlin

In a few days New Horizons will perform a flyby of a Kuiper Belt Object

More specifically, New Horizons will zoom past Ultima Thule at 5:33am GMT on January 1, 2019.

Continue to explore NASA and other Space Agencies!! I'm glad we live in a age that witnessed space exploration.

HCL picks up Notes, spanks total of $1.8bn at Honest John's IBM software sale

Stephen McLaughlin

Re: Do IBM,...

They do use Notes internally. I know several IBM salespeople that complain about it regularly.

Sitting pretty in IPv4 land? Look, you're gonna have to talk to IPv6 at some stage

Stephen McLaughlin

Overly Gloom and Doom 90's Predictions

I remember being in a conference in the late 90's and the "experts" were predicting we were going to run out of IPs at some time in the near future if everyone didn't adopt IPv6 - and here were are some 20 years later and it's still not being adopted in many if not most networks.

NetApp system zips past IBM monolith in all-flash array benchmark scrap

Stephen McLaughlin

These Numbers are Just Insane

Seems it wasn't all that long ago getting a sustained 100K out of a storage unit was considered acceptable performance.

IBM turnover shrinks $28bn in 6 years but execs laugh all the way to the bank

Stephen McLaughlin

Mixed Bag from Customer Perspective

Having worked in many IBM environments over the years I can say their support hardware & software has continually gotten worse. Don't bother calling them with a complex Spectrum Protect issue if you expect a quick resolution. It can take days before you connect with a competent support engineer.

I will say, at least they are improving in the sales department. They used to focus on a single product, for example, an XIV sales team would ONLY sell XIV arrays and no other IBM storage products. So at times, we would have multiple IBM teams competing with each other on proposals. Now at least they are starting to combine the product lines so our local sales team can now sell anything Server and Storage related.

Still, frustrated with horrible support, we are looking elsewhere for tech refreshes.

Apple: iPhone sales are down (but they've never been more lucrative)

Stephen McLaughlin

Re: I still own an iPhone 6 plus

I was thinking the same thing. I've had my iPhone 6+ for over 3 years but it is still an exceptional phone and I don't see a reason to upgrade. (Plus I'm sorta old-school where I like to have a headphone jack.)

Couple fires sueball at Amazon over faulty solar eclipse-viewing goggles

Stephen McLaughlin

Read the Comments and do a little research before purchasing

We purchased eclipse-viewing glasses from Amazon. I would say more than half of of the glasses were not certified for viewing the sun, yet their name suggested they were. Blatant false advertising to say the least. However, if you simply click on the product comments, all the false eclipse-viewing glasses were being called out. And when we selected the ones we wanted, a simple google search confirmed they were safe for sun viewing.

PC sales to fall and fall and fall and fall and fall for the next five years

Stephen McLaughlin

The article doesn't factor in VDI thin clients

I see a lot of shops adopting VDI thin clients and dropping the need for workstations all together.

Oracle has to pay top sales rep stiffed out of $250,000, US court rules

Stephen McLaughlin

Seems high, but around 10% commission is fairly common

I definitely see where the high commission is deserved, especially winning a contract from a new customer, essentially getting your foot in the door. But I also see where IT staff should get recognition as well. I was on a large commercial contract and our company was the incumbent going into a major tech refresh. Our experience with the existing IT environment was heavily referenced in the proposal. During the selection phase, management had us basically bending over backwards to please the customer, which meant long hours for the IT staff. When our company was awarded the new contract, the sales team had a huge, upscale party for management and we got a pat on the back. We weren't even mentioned by name in the company newsletter boasting about the win. Needless to say, within a month, several of us had moved on.

Lenovo thought PC salesfolk could sell servers and was wrong by about $500m

Stephen McLaughlin

A lot of the revenue decrease is no more US Federal Government sales

Most of the US Federal Government customers that purchased x86 servers from IBM (and believe me there were a lot) will not purchase from Lenovo, a non-US company. I don't know why they don't create a "Lenovo Federal" company based in the states that is an authorized federal reseller similar to "Hitachi Federal." The crazy thing about this is just about all the components in these servers originate from Asia to begin with so I don't really see what difference it makes where the company is headquartered.

Raising minimum wage will raise something else: An army of robots taking away folks' jobs

Stephen McLaughlin

This was bound to happen anyway

I think as with most people, automation (in most cases) in retail stores saves lots of time. For example, I love self-checkout at the grocery store. The wage increase is being blamed for employers using more automation but this was going to happen regardless. True, the wage increase may help expedite automation but this trend has been going on for years now. I'd like to see a higher wage for these employees as well, but let's face it, many of these jobs will gone forever in the near future.

Apple celebrates soaring iPad sales: Put it on my tab, says CEO Tim Cook

Stephen McLaughlin

The new iPads are amazing, but still overally expensive

Went to an Apple Store recently and played a few games on the new iPad. I was truly amazed how nice the graphics were. But the price was over a thousand US dollars for the model I was playing with adding in accessories. How is this feasible for school children? For a fraction of that price they can get a tablet with books.

Q: How many IBMers need to volunteer for corporate guillotine?

Stephen McLaughlin

Abosultely Correct

"That's not why they are stopping remote working. They are intentionally making things uncomfortable for their staff so they leave. Nothing to do with increasing productivity."

This is a way to reduce staff without having to announce layoffs. The problem with this method, is the workers that can find something else and not have to relocate will do so, and the personnel that are unable to find another employment opportunity will relocate. So overall, they will lose the more employable staff and retain more of the less-employable ones.

How Google.org stole the Christmas Spirit

Stephen McLaughlin

Re: The usual

Exactly! Remember in the 90's Microsoft would go into large school districts that were using Apple products for education and they would donate "free" hardware and software (Of course running all Microsoft products). This served two purposes, a HUGE tax write-off and switch the schools from Apple to Microsoft. It was very successful for them as in the early 90's most schools were using Apple, by the end of the decade that switched to Microsoft.

Hewlett Packard Enterprise in talks to offload software, asking for '$8bn to $10bn'

Stephen McLaughlin

Probably A Good Move

Recently I was working with an HP Enterprise Tools Team configuring and implementing their Datacenter management suite and almost all of them were consultants, only their management team were actual HPE employees. I found that very strange since the company was in the process of axing thousands of workers.

Gone Goel: HPE changes storage leadership

Stephen McLaughlin

Haven't Understood HPE's Storage Strategy for a while now

For a long time our HPE sales team would push all three competing enterprise storage units: 3PAR, EVA and repackaged Hitachi (HPE XP7). Now it least it looks like 3PAR is positioned as enterprise only and EVA is mid-tier. I was surprised to read that 3PAR doing so well. It's been several years since I've worked on one, but I used to love the storage management interface. It was very intuitive for a person new to 3PAR.

If we can't find a working SCSI cable, the company will close tomorrow

Stephen McLaughlin

Went Through Several Episodes Like That

I remember much frustration as the interface changed from Centronics to SCSI-2 50-pin connectors and bent pins caused so many problems. Usually it was a Jr. Admin forcing the cable to connect and leaving me wondering why I'm suddenly getting so many SCSI errors. I have to say though, those little pins were resilient. Even after being smashed in sideways, most of the time you could bend the pin back, carefully reconnect the cable, and it would work again.

Nice read, brought back a lot of memories.

Is Pure Storage a solid business or is skepticism justified?

Stephen McLaughlin

Pure Has Some Solid Products

I've setup a few Pure flash solutions and am impressed with their modular design and the management interface. So for I have not run into any issues and the inline deduplication/compression ratios are impressive. I'm not sure how they are doing in the marketing and sales effort, but from a technology perspective they are excellent storage units to work with.

Here's what six storage suppliers will be doing for the next year or two

Stephen McLaughlin

32G FC Ports - Awesome

The one thing with that though it seems like most of the HBAs (Server and Storage) in the environments I've been in lately are still 8G, so a lot of catching up to do.

HPE is still swinging the layoffs axe: 500 more services folk get chop

Stephen McLaughlin

Carly Fiorina

I see her spirit lives on at HPE

UK needs comp sci grads, so why isn't it hiring them?

Stephen McLaughlin

CS - Inconsistent Coursework Across Universities

That's the way it is in the States at least. Would be nice to have some standards. Some universities focus more on programming, others more on mathematics and physics, others on theory, etc., so you really don't know what skills recent graduates have fresh out of school.

Ex-HP boss Carly Fiorina sacked one week into new job

Stephen McLaughlin

Textbook Carly - haha

"In a textbook Fiorina move, the former IT highflier thus brought about a wobbly merger, oversaw mass layoffs, and was ultimately given the boot."


Is VMware the power it once was?

Stephen McLaughlin

VMware Slowly Fading - Key Word Slowly

In many of the environments I visit, the major threats to VMware are OpenStack and Hyper-converged solutions (like Nutanix). It boils down to one thing, cost. When the competition is extremely low cost, it's difficult to compete regardless how good your product performs. Thinking back around 10 years ago, seemed VMware was the only game in town. It is definitely still the king, but the future doesn't look as bright as it once did.

EMC results: It'll all come out in the post-Dell deal wash

Stephen McLaughlin

Re: Time will tell

I think the VMAX-3 All Flash Array was just in response to their competitors, namely the All Flash Hitachi G-1000. They realize the big iron is going away, but all too happy keeping it going as long as they can, squeezing out every last drop. Good move on their part with success of Xtremeio, but that market is getting more crowded by the day.

Storage admins.... they'll take your jobs

Stephen McLaughlin

Nothing New Here

For years now, there have been tools attempting to automate storage management (vmware mgmt as well). I was on a contract a few years ago and the site was implementing the HP automation tools that promised to reduce the IT staff personnel. While that did happen, most of the staff that became redundant moved over the HP Tools team after the implementation phase was over and HP professional services left. It really was a beast to manage.

Hyper-converged prospects? Thanks to firm-gobbling habit and OEM deal, Dell has 3

Stephen McLaughlin

Hmm... Strange bedfellows

Just as EMC and Nutanix are in battle for HCIA dominance, Dell gets further under the covers with Nutanix. Curious to see if other products in the Dell/EMC arena will support Nutanix (Acropolis) like Avamar. There is definitely a push from Nutanix for customers to "rip and switch" from vmware.

When should you bin that old mainframe? Infrastructure 101

Stephen McLaughlin

Re: SNMP - Ha-Ha

Some years back, we were managing equipment with little or no MIBs, so I went through the process of getting our company registered with the IANA, created a database structure for the private enterprise numbers (, wrote the programs, and implemented the processes to alert HP Openview with alerts. Only to have management decide a few months after this went into production that SNMP had to be turned off because of security concerns. grrrrrrrr...

Pure swats away EMC patent punch, mulls $14m verdict appeal

Stephen McLaughlin

Legal Fees will outweigh the Verdict

The only ones making any money here are the legal teams.

You, FCC. Do something about these overpriced cable boxes, yells Bernie Sanders and pals

Stephen McLaughlin

It's not like the FCC hasn't been trying to gain control over the internet..

... it's that they have tried and repeatedly failed, usually when these cases hit the courts. Mind you, the FCC efforts aren't a noble cause for consumers, it's that they want control over the internet like they have with television/radio.

Remove the rules and regulations that allow the monopolies and this problem will resolve itself.

I love you. I will kill you! I want to make love to you: The evolution of AI in pop culture

Stephen McLaughlin

Interest in AI has definitely flucuated over the years

AI was a required class in my computer science curriculum during the 90s but later dropped as a requirement. One of the things I took from the class was how amazing the human mind is and how difficult it is to replicate. The instructor mentioned how he would place an object on a table, say a rubber ball, and have the class write a 5,000 word essay describing the object. Sounds absurd at first, but notions like "how much does the ball weigh?" "how high would the ball bounce?" "what does the ball feel like?" and so on...soon the essays are completed.

We Kidd you not: Ex-NetApp CTO Jay speaks his brains on storage tech

Stephen McLaughlin

No Mention of Erasure Coding?

Seems a hot topic lately is Erasure Coding with Object Storage. We're looking at some solutions now and the technology is amazing. If works as advertised, it will be in many storage configurations for the foreseeable future.

Oracle, looks like your revenues were down. 'Cloud! Cloud! Look at the cloud!'

Stephen McLaughlin

Re: They forgot how Sun got big.

Definitely agree with many of the above points. I remember when Sun was making huge profits on their higher end servers, namely the E10k, they still aggressively marketed low end, low margin servers as well. The thing was to get as much Sun products out there as possible. If a small company started out with a few Ultra 10s and expanded, they'd more than likely stick with Sun. That seemed to be the goal, Sun everywhere.

When Oracle purchased Sun, that all changed and low margin products disappeared. Completely different philosophy with Larry's hand on the tiller.

Google chap bakes Amiga emulator into Chrome

Stephen McLaughlin

Re: A mear shadow of the Beast!

Absolutely. Raised on C64/128s, the Amiga 500 was my first "real" computer. It was really ahead of its time. Sadly the subsequent Amiga versions weren't anywhere as nearly successful. It's amazing how Amiga's popularity rose and fell so quickly. Around 1989 it looked like Amiga was really taking off and had a promising future and just a few years later it was gone.