Author Archive: Don Hunter

May 19, 2010

The Mad Scientist Server Inventory Ordering Formula

For a while now I’ve been working with Samf to learn the new server order process. SKinman asked if I could make sense of it all and try to write about it. So we started trying to come up with the exact way to represent how one chooses how much of what server needs to be ordered for which datacenter. Ultimately we came up with the following formulas:



Where P is the brain power needed (r for Red Bull, t for teetering on insanity), lambda is the brain wave length, g is the grasp concept factor (r and t again), r is the reasoning factor, sigma is the scattering effect of brain cells exploding on the inner side of the skull and f is the fudge it factor. Once you have your case of Red Bull ready say a small prayer and hit go (your head against the desk!).

Oh wait did I mention none of this really holds water because I quickly learned you have to divide and round by Samf! Rounding has no common line of thought. Sometimes 2 could be rounded up to the nearest 10, 5 or 3. Where as anything 5 and above could be rounded from minus 15 to positive 25 or hell not rounded at all! Ultimately we get to the conclusion that the true answer is “Snowmobile” or “7”. If you know any of us here at SoftLayer that’s the end all be all answer to any unicorn type question. ;-)

Maybe I should nickname Samf “Deep Thought” or “DT” for short. Deep Thought was the supercomputer from The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy that is used to compute the answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe and everything. For those of you who didn’t read the book much less saw the movie. It takes Deep Thought 7 ½ million years to finally compute the ultimate answer which is “42”. However, know one knows the ultimate question itself. It doesn’t take Samf that long to get to Ultimate Server order answer and we most certainly know the question!

In all seriousness we take pride in using all the information that is stored in our portal and can trust that with those numbers, open communication with all our departments, historical trends and some good ole fashion common sense we can place new server orders without blinking an eye. At times it’s like Bullwinkle trying to pull a rabbit out of a hat and getting a lion instead but you don’t have to be a Mad Scientist (at least yet) to gain a grasp of the process. I will say that it’s been a pleasure learning yet another role here at SoftLayer!

Thanks Samf!

March 22, 2010

Oatmeal is Good for YOU!

Have you seen the commercials for Quaker Oats oatmeal? In recent years they have changed their traditional marketing message to appeal to a specific customer profile. The ads new message is that by eating oatmeal every day for breakfast for 30 days, you will lower your blood cholesterol levels. Pretty slick! Eat our oatmeal and you drop your cholesterol and participate in a healthy lifestyle. Net result, you are healthier, live longer, better quality of life, Yada, Yada, Yada….All this from the simple, inexpensive miracle food… oatmeal. Hey, no need for that expensive prescription medication to control your HDL or LDL, just eat a bowl of oatmeal every day!!

Now, you’re probably asking, what the heck is the point to this blog? Well, glad you asked! I want to share a story with you. This past weekend, I went on a hunting excursion to Central Texas to hunt wild hogs. There are a number of interesting tales to share about the actual hunting, and I’ll post those at a later date! This story takes place in a small town I passed thru (or tried to anyway) on the way to the hunting lease. Flying down Hwy 29, we were passing thru a small, one stop light town named Bertram. Big signs all over town advertise the fact (Proudly) that Bertram is the Oatmeal Capital of Texas. They even have an Oatmeal Festival! My buddy was in a truck ahead of me, and made it thru the light, but I was caught and had to stop. My buddy really wanted to get to the lease and kept truckin’, leaving me to apply a heavy foot to the accelerator (thank God I don’t have a Toyota) to catch up. Next thing you know Jed’s a millionaire, and I have the bubble gum lights going off behind me on the local law enforcement vehicle (their one and only). For those of you not familiar with small town Texas law enforcement, Big Brother Bubba looooves to pull over city slickers from the big city. We represent a steady, easy revenue stream for the local coffers. To contest any citation, you are required to show up in person, usually in the middle of the week, usually late in the day or in the evening. Hence, most people will just pay the fine and go on down the road. I digress, back to my story! Well, Officer Bubba, looking just like Sheriff Buford T Justice from Smoky and the Bandit fame (short stature, big belly hanging over his gun belt, cowboy boots and straw hat) ambles up to the window and goes thru the standard drill. I think he was disappointed because I had pulled over immediately and had license and registration waiting for him! I quickly realized from his demeanor I had zero chance to talk my way out of the ticket, but gave it the old college try of “hey, I’m following my buddy, he made the light and blew ahead, and I’m just trying to catch up so I don’t get lost” explanation, but no good… Oh well! So, after a short wait, Officer Bubba ambles back up to the window and hands me my ticket with a big ol’ friendly country smile, that featured three missing top teeth, one barely hanging on by a slim part of the root, discolored by years of copious Redman, Skoal and or unfiltered cigarette use. Ugh!! But good news for Quaker Oats, I’m sending them an idea for a new ad… you got it... Officer Bubba in the Oatmeal Capital of Texas extolling the virtues of daily consumption of oatmeal to help “preserve” those few precious teeth that small town law enforcement officers are so fond of!!! Whadaya think?

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