Posts Tagged 'Devices'

December 9, 2010

Records Are Made to be Broken

You know how it works – a casual conversation leads to a Google search the next day. This in turn leads to enlightenment. Or something along those lines.

Last Tuesday morning, a PDF version of the January 30, 1983(!) issue of ‘Arcade Express – The Bi-weekly Electronic Games Newsletter’ arrived in my inbox. It made for good reading and brought me back to the days of my youth when I burned numerous hours and brain cells playing Intellivision, Atari and Commodore machines. I had access to two devices – one that sat in my family room (an Intellivision) and one that sat in a pal’s basement (an Atari 2600). My kids have access to much more – there are numerous devices at their fingertips; including a PS3, Nintendo DS, a MAC mini and my wife’s iPhone. Most of their friends are in similar circumstances.

A quick comparison is in order:

Device RAM Processor
Vic 20 5 KB 1.1 MHz
Intellivision 11 KB 894 KHz
Atari 2600 .125 KB 1.19 MHz
Nintendo DS 4 MB Two ARM Processors:
67 MHz and 33 MHz
PS3 256 MB DRAM
156 MB Video
Seven cores @3.2 GHZ
iPhone 3GS 256 MB eDRAM 600 MHz
MAC Mini 2 GB Two cores @1.66 GHz

Processing power aside, I think that the more important thing to consider is the fact that we are approaching ubiquity for a number of devices in North America. Most people have access to the internet, most people have access to mobile phones (and more and more of them have access to smartphone like the iPhone or an Android device) and most people have access to a dedicated game device. Western Europe and parts of Asia (Japan and Korea) are the same and the rest of Asia is soon to follow, and will be the beneficiary of the tremendous innovation that is happening today. There is a lot of room for growth and maybe not a whole lot of clarity around what that next generation of devices and games will look like (I predict 3D, AI driven games played with a dedicated gaming chip implanted in your cortex).

The last page of the ‘Arcade Express’ newsletter detailed the honor roll of ‘The Nation’s Highest Scores’. Softlayer’s own Jeff Reinis was the top Arcade Game player for Pac-Man. His record was 15,676,420. I wonder how many hours of continuous game playing that is?

-@quigleymar

October 13, 2010

The Internets Just Keep Getting Bigger

An interesting piece from GigaOm today. In essence, Telegeography reports that the Internet keeps growing at terrific pace, even in mature markets like Canada and the US (54% in 2010). Things get really interesting when you look elsewhere. Less developed markets are positively booming - India and South Asia clocked in with growth rates of over 100%.

GigaOm makes the point that new capacity in these markets, coupled with the happy marriage of wireless network and cheap handsets will continue to drive growth, pointing to some crazy stats on mobile social networking in India. It is estimated that 72 million Indians (that is only 6% of the estimated population in 2008) will be mobile social network users. What about China? Indonesia? Pretty soon we are considering some big numbers.

GigaOm is correct when talking about low cost devices as the availability of low cost devices has proven a key driver in other markets as well. Think about how traffic patterns have changed in North America in the past ten years given a) the ubiquity of network on the wide area and in the metro (Cable, DSL, FTTH, Fiber to the Node, 3G, 4G etc) and b) the relatively low device cost. At $229, I can get a Netbook from Best Buy for less money that I shelled out for 4 MEG of RAM for my 386 in 1993. For $0 I can get a mobile phone that will put me on the internet. Access to technology drives traffic.

The cool part is that these new users are going to drive an incredible amount of development work across the globe. There will be another Facebook and another Twitter - I think that it just a matter of time. Even cooler is the fact that Softlayer gets to play in the sandbox as well.

-@quigleymar

September 16, 2010

I'm Your Blackberry!

Although there are many different brands of smart phones, I’m pleased that SoftLayer has chosen Blackberry for our essential operations form of communication. In the last two and a half years my Blackberry has become my right hand. Any tasks involving information technology that I have needed to complete have been accomplished without much hassle. In both personal and work related situations my Curve has proven it can do the jobs of many tools. Email alone has its crucial place in IT and is managed flawlessly through my phone. My notepad, calculator, browser, calendar, camera, SSH device, VNC/SSH device SFTP device, organizer and alarm clock are many names I could give this little six shooter.

Reliable in the battle as well! Just recently I was on hold in a very important phone call (Important phone call meaning I had just won Washington Redskins tickets on a radio station ;D ) when I started to get a warning about my Curve’s battery running low. I was so worried because I had abused the phone that day and I had no way of recharging where I was. My Blackberry held on for over 30+ minutes until it had to drop radio use. I got my tickets and was still able to call the NOC and let everyone know (In a high pitched voice that is). Looking back I cannot think of a moment where I wished for another choice in a phone. My Curve will continue to stay holstered at my side. What type of smart phone do you prefer to use in everyday tasks?

Jonathan M.

SoftLayer Server Engineer in WDC

Categories: 
December 14, 2009

‘Tis the Season to Get Things Done

It’s the holiday season, and that means everyone is getting busier. On top of all the existing responsibilities, millions of people are going shopping for gifts, decorating their houses, and navigating the bad weather. On top of all that, many people take their time off during the holiday season!

With this kind of time crunch, it’s best for your business to lie low until after the new year, right? Not so! With all this buying, selling, and giving going on, there’s a lot of extra retail data to process. Plus, it’s the end of the calendar year, many businesses have to get their finances in order too. ALSO, all these newly purchased electronic devices are soon going to be turned on and hooked up to the Internet, where they will almost surely put a new load on your servers.

Systems and network administrators need to be prepared for this influx of new traffic. Sometimes, this means purchasing new servers. However, it’s inefficient to buy the servers so far in advance when you don’t yet know what you will need. It’s best to wait until you’re sure you will need more servers and how many to order. At another hosting company, that would be a problem. People in our industry take the holidays off, too. Lowering the number of sales people and technicians and raising the number of new server requests would normally result in a disaster.

Luckily, SoftLayer does automatic provisioning. As soon as you order your server, it will be provisioned in two to four hours. Day or night, June 3rd or December 31st, if we have it, you can have control over it in two to four hours.

And therein lies the beauty of the SoftLayer system. You don’t have to wait for US to scale your business. If you need another server, get it. When it’s ready, it will automatically be added to your account’s private network and be available to you. You can even automate your server configuration and setup. Depending on the amount of data you need to transfer to a new server, you can have another server up and running your website less than 5 hours from the time you realized you needed it.

In fact, by using the SoftLayer API (and some clever configuration scripts on your servers) you can do live scaling on your website. Using the API, you can provision new servers exactly like the ones you already have. Once they’re available, a script can mirror the configurations from an existing machine to the new machine. Use the SoftLayer API once more to add the new servers to your load balancer rotation, and you’re in business! All without relying on any humans, even yourself! Treat yourself to some R&R this holiday season, while your website continues to get things done for you.

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