Charting it up… The story of my life…

If you’re a vigilant reader of XKCD.com, then you more than likely already saw this, but it cracks me up to no end…

'There's also a spike on the Fourier transform at the one-month mark where --' 'You want to stop talking right now.'

For those of you that like to graph everything, if you’re in the SharePoint or asp.net world, I’d recommend Dundas Chart.  If you’re into utilizing web based APIs, Google Charts is pretty cool.

Please note that the "Point" that our friendly XKCD author is speaking of is not the use of SharePoint, though I’m sure that SharePoint has also had it’s mix of throwing monkey wrenches in relationships 🙂

No honey, we’re not going to use the BCD to solve this problem, I’ll write the data connection manually using custom code that doesn’t match any other schema we have…

EC2 Tips for Windows users…

So I won’t claim to be an MCSE or someone that develops custom driver code when for some reason a newly installed components unsigned driver apparently doesn’t work and without it I won’t be able to experience true gigabit Ethernet throughput… but I do know a thing or two about scripting and API hacking.

Tip #1 – Download ElasticFox plugin for Mozilla Firefox

Tip #2 – Read through the ElasticFox Getting Started Guide

Tip #3 – Amazon Web Services EC2 Getting Started Guide

Tip #4 – Re-read Amazon Web Services EC2 Getting Started Guide

So as for me, I hit a road block until I realized that the API tools actually needed to be run from the host client that I was working from to make calls to the EC2 Cloud to perform any actions on the actual VM sitting in the cloud.

Essentially, what that means is that the API tools available here, are installed on your local machine. The path statements are set on your local machine and then the API tools can be used for simple things such as creating EBS or any other functionality of ElasticFox, but from the command line.

You are now free to roam the clouds… 🙂

Now Playing: Rory Stewart – The Places in Between (Unabridged)

More impressions on EC2

So what more could I ask for than to continue to experiment with the Windows virtual machines available from Amazon Web Services elastic computer cloud?

I could ask for more flexibility and ease of use… though I suppose it’s more just getting used to the way that Elasticfox works and how to connect machines together appropriately.

What is most amazing to me is the Elastic Block Storage capability – the ability to quickly spawn a hard drive for your virtual machine to consume as an additional physical device.  What’s better is the ability to take this hard drive, detach it and reattach it to the next machine – great for holding your ISOs that you’re using for your machines or if you need additional SQL database space, just spawn another disk.

Overall, I’m still working on getting things tweaked for my own personal development environment that I can turn on and off when away from my desk.  Initial impressions are fairly positive.

Now Playing: Rory Stewart – The Places in Between (Unabridged)

Amazon EC2 Dev Environment

So I figured that I would get my hands dirty with the AWS’s EC2 Windows servers for my development environment for SharePoint.  Can I just say that I’m blown away by the bandwidth that is available to these servers?

Running a quick speed test from SpeakEasy.net I received a result back of 91458 kbps download speed and 67451 kbps upload speed.

Smokin’!

Why carry your VM with you and accidently have a hard drive failure when you can host it in the clouds?

Now Playing: Charlie Haden & Gonzalo Rubalcaba – Land of the Sun – Fuiste Tu (It Was You)

Not quite Coke Zero…

Have you ever looked for something to zero out all of the frivolous extra space that Windows is “holding” for later use?  Then look no further friends, introducing SysInternals friendly and free “SDelete”.

Get your copy now, quick and easy… helps to shrink down those EC2 Windows images prior to bundling too. 🙂

Now Playing: The Dave Brubeck Quartet – Time Out – Take Five

Home Lab Needs Replacing…

So this evening I decided to hook up my second monitor to my Dell Dimension E520 that has a Q6600 processor and 8 GB of DDR2 RAM and 1 TB of hard drive space spread out across two drives.  Things seemed to be working nicely with Windows Server 2008 Standard x64 edition running as the core operating system.  I decided, “Why not change over to Windows XP Professional x64?”  That’s when the problems began.

Not only is the PC not rebooting properly, but I’ve hit a BSOD after running the Windows updates.  I’m uncertain as to if this is the OS not understanding how to start up in S3 or if it’s something else.

So the Desktop is having some issues – not good for any of the virtualization work that I need to do…

Onward to my Dell Latitude D820 with T7600 processor with 4 GB of RAM that I’ve had for about 1.75 years now.  The battery unfortunately lasts all of about 8 minutes before it dies.  Unfortunately CompleteCare from Dell doesn’t support the degredation of battery, only the core PC and its components that were procured in the original purchase.  Something seems not so complete about the care Dell, what’s up with that?

Lastly, I’m curious as to whether or not to buy the 2408 Dell Ultrasharp monitor – Full HD…

So where does this lead me?  I ponder, Vostro, yes, no?  I also ponder replacing this D820 with a Latitude E6400.

With the economics of the current time that we live within of course I’m wondering if I should just sit and wait on the upgrades for my home lab… perhaps Windows Vista Ultimate x64 will fix some of the problems with the E520.  Unfortunately the battery in the D820 looks like it will be a constant battle of finding a power outlet.