Paul Murphy

<p>Originally a Math/Physics graduate who couldn't cut it in his own field, Paul Murphy (a pseudonym) became an IT consultant specializing in Unix and related technologies after a stint working for a DARPA contractor programming in Fortran and APL. Since then he's worked in both systems management and consulting for a range of employers including KPMG, the government of Alberta, and his own firm. In those roles he's "been there and done that" for just about every aspect of systems management and operation.</p>

Latest Posts

Tools, commitment, and change

Tools, commitment, and change

I am becoming increasingly intrigued by the opportunities for organizational efficiency improvement through better user workflow support - specifically through work aimed at taking the human effort out of keeping lash-ups working.

published May 7, 2010 by

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Trusting the cloud

Trusting the cloud

When google loses control, as it seems to have in the infamous Chinese hacking incident, of its world wide single signon technology, the reality is that few individual service users are seriously affected - but every time you outsource a user service your employer pays you to manage to a cloud provider, you're not doing job you're paid to do.

published April 23, 2010 by

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Why net neutrality's not neutral at all

Why net neutrality's not neutral at all

Net Neutrality isn't about neutrality: it's about shifting the competitive landscape in network services to favor some suppliers over others while passing every packet you send or receive through a regulatory sieve.

published April 16, 2010 by

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Word Fulminations

Word Fulminations

I just wasted a bunch of hours working around the consequences of other people's usage of Microsoft Word - and sure I resent it, but the deeper question is: how much of this kind of thing are other people wasting their lives on?

published April 9, 2010 by

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A further note about SCO v. Novell

A further note about SCO v. Novell

Groklaw cheering to the contrary, Novell's "victory" is really a victory for Microsoft and what Leslie Charteris would cheerfully have referred to as the forces of darkness. As a result the best thing Linux advocates can hope for is that the judge orders the copyrights transferred to SCO.

published April 2, 2010 by

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SCO vs. Novell: When and how did Elliot know?

SCO vs. Novell: When and how did Elliot know?

The jury verdict is in:the customer testified that it thought it was buying the everythingthe seller testified that it thought it was selling everythingthe jury says the transaction was improperly recorded and therefore didn't happen!Huh?

published March 30, 2010 by

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Waste bubbles

Waste bubbles

When you get past the brand X, brand Y type of decision making to the business of setting systems and process policies the questions get harder and the accusations louder but the answers, or at least the diagnostics, get simpler.

published March 26, 2010 by

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Request for Comments [COBOL vs. SAMP/5 thinking]

Request for Comments [COBOL vs. SAMP/5 thinking]

The issue in making a province wide health care system work isn't so much what it costs as what it does. Now, as it happens, SAMP/5 systems cost a few percent of what comparable HL7 systems do, but the big differences are in usablity - with the latter putting fewer barriers in the way of either recording or retrieving information.

published March 19, 2010 by

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Reconciling Sun's Java investments with Oracle's: a simple suggestion

Reconciling Sun's Java investments with Oracle's: a simple suggestion

A lot of people think that merging Oracle's Java investment with Sun's is going to be a big deal for the two groups - but they're wrong. There will be lots of noise and running about but, in the end, it will all signify nothing because the real bottom line on the use of Java in enterprise applications is that this was always a case of making silk purses out of sow ears - and just doesn't have a future.

published March 5, 2010 by

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Oracle Solaris, Linux, and OpenSolaris

Oracle Solaris, Linux, and OpenSolaris

Some people have been speculating rather wildly about the fates of both OpenSolaris and Oracle's Linux support now that the company is lining up solidly behind SPARC/Solaris. The nay prayers are all wrong here: support for both will get stronger, not weaker, as Oracle responds to its markets.

published February 26, 2010 by

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Network security and fun with routing

Network security and fun with routing

I've been reviewing the use of DHCP as an attack vector -and what I found is the usual thing: most of the attacks follow highly traditional paths with a ten year history of increasingly clever solutions to increasingly clever variations on the same themes. Great, except that it seems to me there's an easy and virtual foolproof way of using DCHP with NAT to blow holes in just about anybody's network "security."

published February 19, 2010 by

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What the changes at Sun mean for the customer

What the changes at Sun mean for the customer

In the short term - meaning tomorrow- the major changes at Sun: a renewed focus on Solaris/SPARC, make to order mfg with direct shipping, more emphasis on Sun Ray, customer focused ready-to-rock appliance computing - are all good news. Look a bit deeper, however, and the handwriting on the wall says much of what Java brings to the server is going, going, gone.

published February 12, 2010 by

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Trust but verify: evaluating the message, not the messenger

Trust but verify: evaluating the message, not the messenger

Back in 1637 Rene Descartes said told us the science is done by those who consider the message, not the messenger. Great, not terribly practical, but great - except that it's now 2010 and the internet gives us the ability to do exactly that: weigh the message, ignore the messenger.

published February 5, 2010 by

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