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

Linux as Wintel parasite

Linux as Wintel parasite

When Linus Torvalds choose to tie his new kernel to x86 he did so thinking, quite correctly as it turned out, that Microsoft's tendency to software bloat would provide an unending stream of cheep hardware for Linux developers and users. Great! except there's a side effect: Linux is ultimately dependent on Microsoft because its raison d'etre f is almost literally to live on Microsoft's leavings.

September 25, 2009 by in Linux

For your safety and convenience

For your safety and convenience

Somewhere deep in Shaw's vault there's a tape of me screaming at a customer "support" representative that I didn't (and still don't) give a star blank star about his script, booting and cabling have nothing to do with the issue because I don't have wintel, and to get his supervisor on the line right f-ing now. I'm mildly embarrased by this because I let the frustration of dealing with bland indifference get to me, but there are deeper and wider lessons to be learnt from their retention of the tape.

September 4, 2009 by in Collaboration

Vindications: ah, the week that was

Vindications: ah, the week that was

I've been having a wonderful week: no IT, no hassles - just unco-operative rocks that eventually find a way to contribute to the wall I'm building. Great, and meanwhile back in IT a lot of the folks who send me off topic hate mail or make vindicative personal attacks in the comments section are wearing a lot of egg on the faces - and I'm not above rrubbing it in a bit.

August 28, 2009 by in Linux

Save money: buy from the enemy

Save money: buy from the enemy

People keep joyfully telling me that real men buy wintel or lintel, never SPARC/Solaris - and the numbers on this are compelling: if the rate of increase in x86 price/performance falls by only 18% per year over the first five years after SPARC/Solaris (hypothetically!) disappears, the total cost increase to the x86 buyer community will have achieved for itself will exceed, every year, the total spent to date on SPARC/Solaris.

August 21, 2009 by in Enterprise Software

A day in the life

A day in the life

There are similarities between working in IT and building drystack stone walls that you just don't think about until you get a sore back, heavy feet, and callused hands trying it. Very therapeutic, but take some very IT-ish advice: think twice - then go have a few drinks and reconsider!

August 14, 2009 by in Oracle

The! meaning! of! bing!

The! meaning! of! bing!

On the surface the Microsoft - Yahoo deal on bing signals that the people who demand structured search have finally been pushed aside but the deeper meaning may be financial: because Microsoft got what it wanted from Yahoo, and kept most of its cash for another, more strategic, acquisition.

August 7, 2009 by in Oracle

Reformulating Murphy's law

Reformulating Murphy's law

Murphy's law is really an observation: phrase it as a law and what it says is that real actions align with the real world, not the beliefs on which the actions were taken - so if your beliefs don't match reality and you take action on those beliefs, the consequences of your actions will be nearly the opposite of what you're hoping for.

July 31, 2009 by in Oracle

Thinking about ROCK

Thinking about ROCK

A technology is only as good as what you can achieve with it - and in thinking about some unique Sun technologies - CMT, HTM, Dtrace, and the CMT package management hardware - it occurs to me that that these can be combined to beat some very serious infrastructure security issues.

July 24, 2009 by in Hardware

Managing IT in desperate times

Managing IT in desperate times

If you're working on the fiscal 2009/10 budget right now and in the United States - expect the economy to take a few more double whammies, focus on keeping your staff together, and plan on doing absolutely nothing you can avoid, except migrating your wintel machines to Windows 7 - that's a keeper and just about worth the money.

July 17, 2009 by in Windows

Pigeons roosting and doing what pigeons do

Pigeons roosting and doing what pigeons do

Is there anything more depressing than being forced to consider just how uselessly some professional lives have been spent? I just heard from an old acquaintance and his problems today, and his ideal solutions, really haven't changed in 15 years. Sysiphus had nothing on this guy: he keeps pushing the rock, the rock keeps rolling back and he absolutely refuses to consider either dynamite or a bobcat.

July 10, 2009 by in Servers

Microsoft gets something right! Well, maybe.

Microsoft gets something right! Well, maybe.

Google users generally learn to hate companies that pretend to offer information but really just act as redirectors for web hits - and when a bunch of recent searches showed that Microsoft's bing isn't (yet?) pollutted by these guys, they earned my business on the spot.

July 3, 2009 by in Google

Seven post holes and one thought

Seven post holes and one thought

The real break through we need in science computing is a general way to build machines capable of doing one sequential job many orders of magnitude faster than we can now. Holographic computing is one possibility, some people think quantum computing is another .-personally? I think analog computing has the greatest potential..

June 19, 2009 by in Hardware

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