Posts Tagged 'Vacation'

September 2, 2010

Three Walks of Speed

I love to travel every chance I get. Growing up, my family would always take a summer vacation. We were just like the Griswalds, making our way across the country in a Station Wagon, driving hundreds of miles to go to a world famous theme park. I’ll admit, it would have been fun holding John Candy hostage with a pellet gun. Wherever we ended up going each year, we would always drive.

As an adult, I still enjoy going on vacations, but the thought of driving a great distance makes me nauseated. Anytime I make plans, I always check and see if I can fly there instead of driving. Some people do not enjoy flying. Some individuals don’t like to wait all day at the airport. Some folks are fearful of flying. But the thought of getting to my destination 95% faster than driving, has always appealed to me.

Being the frugal individual that I am, I usually won’t pay for a direct flight and as a result, will have a connecting flight in route to my destination. Trying to get to my connecting flight always seems to be an adventure. They always seem to be in another terminal, on the other side of the airport. When walking, or in most cases, running to the other terminal, I have noticed a few things about how people walk from one terminal to the next.

Most of your major airports have automatic, or moving sidewalks. These devices have always fascinated me. The usual layout in most terminals is two moving walkways on either side of the terminal, with a standard walkway in the middle. DFW International is set up this way. I have noticed three different ways that people walk through these terminals.

  1. The First is Mr. Safe - he takes the middle path. He might not be in a hurry or maybe he is afraid of a moving floor beneath his feet.
  2. The Second is Mr. Stationary - he is a little more adventurous, but not too risky. He rides the automatic walkway, but does not move from his standing position until he absolutely has to. You might consider this individual to be lazy, but perhaps he is saving his energy to deal with that screaming baby on the next flight.
  3. The Third is Mr. Hurrysome - he is very energetic. Not only is he riding the automatic walkway, he is physically walking on the moving sidewalk to make faster time. This individual is ahead of the pack and in front of everyone else.

Web Hosting Companies like SoftLayer and their competitors usually fit into one of these three categories:

  1. Mr. Safe - always taking the slow path, never doing anything innovative, always playing it safe, never leading the way.
  2. Mr. Stationary - a little more adventurous, but not wanting to get in too much of a hurry. He could move a little faster, but why use all that energy when he can sit back and enjoy the ride.
  3. Mr. Hurrysome - fastest walker, always a step ahead of everyone else, a leader with new technology services like CDN, Data Transfer Services, covering more ground per second than anyone around him, always the first to arrive.

If you sit back and think about it for a moment, you will see that SoftLayer is the only web hosting company that moves like traveler number three. Everyone else is left in the dust.

July 20, 2010

Back in ancient times, and an eye on the future

I recently returned from vacation (go ahead and let out your jealous, exasperated sighs). During our vacation one of our stops was the ancient mayan temples at Chichen Itza. For those who ever get a chance, it’s a must see. The landscape is emerald green, the temples are awe inspiring, and the weather is beautiful. For those who aren’t quite sure about what I’m talking about, here’s a nice image to refer to:

While the temples are cool, even more amazing are the little details the Ancient Mayans put into this that really set it off. Things like the serpent visible only on the spring equinox, the echo when you clap (which sounds like a bird – no kidding!), amongst others.

What’s really interesting here is the story of human engineering, and to see how far it’s come since those ancient times, and even though Its mind-boggling to see how far we’ve come, it’s quite intriguing to see what they did with their own type of technology.

While they used to clap at the temple, we now send facebook or twitter posts. They passed their stories and music verbally over centuries, and we share MP3s and other media across the globe at the speed of light. While SoftLayer sits at the edge of technology with our state of the art datacenters, hardware, and networking topology, it’s pretty hard to compare to the tools used by, and the creations made by the people of this era. Luckily our tour guide re-assured us that we’ll be fine in 2012, despite what the movies say, so we’ll have plenty of time to see some more amazing advances in technology. Who knows that our future generations will say about our ‘rudimentary’ communications and technology some 2500 years from now.

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