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Simple Mail Testing

Insert a witty comment about how it’s been so long since my last post. In my travels, I came across a handy file which I felt was share-worthy. Have you ever had a need to quickly test an SMTP  connection via telnet or netcat? I have. If you don’t have a file like this already, …

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Get Training Done Right

Training people on new concepts is difficult. This is not a new idea. Employers could save significant sums of money, and also keep employee morale up if they did a better job of understanding and accounting for this. Training should be relatable When you train someone on a new concept, it is critical that they …

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Setting up New Employees to Fail

Some readers of my rambling are IT managers, some are lower level IT staff, some stumble upon them from Google or elsewhere. Just about all of you have, or will, at some point, be involved in the hiring and onboarding of a new employee whether it is as their manager, their colleague, or their underling. …

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Logitech Modifier Keys for Mac

I started a new job last month, and they issued me a MacBook Pro — the other choice was a smaller Windows laptop, and since I prefer the *nix environment I chose the Mac. I could make plenty of arguments or even just observations, since it’s been close to ten years since I last used …

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The Times, They Are a-Changin’

“Changing was necessary. Change was right. He was all in favour of change. What he was dead against was things not staying the same.” — Masklin (Terry Pratchett, Diggers) Today marks the end of a moment. The end of an era. The end of my employment with an organization that has seen much change itself …

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Re-Architecting from the Ground Up

Well, nearly the ground. I think one of the most enjoyable experiences in my line of work is when I get to design and build an environment from almost nothing, with a handful of requirements and design constraints. We do it with some regularity for customers as part of our support agreements, and I’ve now …

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Everything Good Must End

At one point it was scribed… Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything. It’s true. Everything that begins must one day end, it is necessary for all progress. It’s not always big things, though this is true. Lives end, marriages end (either by divorce or death), jobs …

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It’s Always DNS..

Also, Rule 39 — there’s no such thing as a coincidence (there is, but shush!) A few weeks ago we had a power outage in one of our larger colocation facilities hosting customer racks. Because (legacy, cost) we have a number of servers providing some core services that don’t have redundant power supplies, and so …

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Web of Trust

They say that the internet is just a series of tubes. They’re not entirely wrong, but that’s not all it’s made up of. It’s also made of a complex series of trust relationships. It is when these trust relationships fall apart for one reason or another that we run into problems. BGP (Border Gateway Protocol) is a tool …

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Qualities of an Employee

Since we just did a post on qualities of a good manager, it only seems appropriate to look at that relationship the other way around and consider the qualities of a good employee. They’re remarkably similar to the manager. I think my top three are: Communication, Transparency, and Self-motivating. Communication If you can’t tell by …

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