Monday, April 21, 2014

The Apple has fallen...

In a world full of shotty technology,  Apple has always been at the top of the good stack.   Back in the 80’s the saying was “you’ll never get fired for buying IBM”.  That was in Fortune 100 Dana Corp — ready to buy some big iron? Go IBM.  Then there was Microsoft who has fallen from grace, and in their rubble arose Apple.  You buy an Apple because it just always works.  It doesn’t really matter if it’s an iPad, iPhone, iMac, or airport… they just work on their own and definitely in concert.

I’ve hung my hat on this premise for quite a few years and have done nothing but represent Apple that way and support their bottom line with a current device count of 10 and a once proud owner of every iPhone product. Things have changed though.

Over the last 30 days my family has moved to a new house with technology in tow.  Well established at the old house was a Verizon FIOS internet connection fronting a latest generation Airport Extreme (bridge mode) who was extended by two latest generation Airport Expresses. Perfect.  Also in the house were two first generation Nest thermostats.  Everyone played well together.  New house has a similar FIOS connection with the same router and apple wireless infrastructure,  but add in four new second generation Nest thermostats and some Philips Hue lighting.

After three weeks of hassle,  the three airport devices have been removed… the wireless on the fios router turned back on and everything works again.  Interoperability did not exist.  Hue lights weren’t happy; gateways lost; DNS didn’t always work; wireless network went missing.  You name it, it didn’t work.  Nest doesn’t work with wireless-n, new version of os for the airports dropped connections a lot… of man.  What a bunch of crap.

Unplugged all the apple wireless gear; rebooted everything and connected to the new FIOS wireless network and everyone is happy.  I mean it all works… and keeps on working. Wow. What happened Apple? 

In a similar way,  our mostly Microsoft shop at the office had a couple of Apple Mac’s trying to make their way into the infrastructure as a possible replacement of end user PCs.  The last version of Apple OSx changed the way the macs connect to a Microsoft windows server (via CIFS) and quit working.  They upgraded themselves to a standstill.  Apple? 

So… I can’t believe I’m even saying this but the once mighty Apple company has fallen down to a point where I won’t buy anymore from them for a while.  They’re like a brother who has a drug problem — I want them to go fix themselves and then come back to the family.  I just don’t want to hear about their drug problem until it’s fixed.

They [Apple] have interoperability responsibilities that go beyond making cool shit.  It has to work. John Ivy stood up and said “we make thing better,  not just new”.  Right John,  but your stuff has to actually work and not make end users lose their hair.

Crap — gotta go get an android.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

It's all about DNS

My favorite-oldest-daughter Jessica was asking me about life before the Internet.  I experienced it with my old buddy from IBM John Kessling in the basement of some data center at the University of Toledo around 1990.  We were looking for a flight simulator that would run on the RS/6000 and he introduced me to the FTP process from another college. Cool.....

After thirty years in the technology world, it was reinforced just yesterday that the Internet really boils down to DNS.  There is a lot of fluffy browser on top, but most problems and solutions start at a layer closer to the bottom.  After years of using the historically solid set of servers,  we found they are getting old and slow too.  Welcome google to the mix with their typically solid and well engineered solution for DNS:

Do a quick search on "google DNS" and you'll find it.  Fast. Well engineered. Solid. Yup. That's what I need. So my office and home both switched and the speed is blazing.  For weeks we'd been looking at LAN, broadband, browsers, versions and about anything else to see where we could get some speed.  DNS man... it's all about DNS. Nothing works without it (at lease unless you know how to ftp between IP addresses :)

Considering it's Maundy Thursday and Easter is a few days away,  it's worth considering the parallel to keeping God in your life.  I personally forget (when I get too self absorbed) that the root of all joy, love, peace and happiness is Jesus.  The more I focus and rely on Him,  the better my life is.  He blesses me WAY beyond anything I deserve. He is my DNS.

Thank you God.