Sunday, October 30, 2011

I Am Forced To Give The iPad Its Props

For more than a year now I have considered and then rejected purchasing a tablet computer.  Worse I maintained a personal boycott against the Apple iPad because I felt that Apple has too much of a growing monopoly in the commercial media (music, videos and the portion of transaction fees they collect from game developers in the App Store) that is targeted for the iOS platform.

My plan was to wait for the 3rd generation of Android tablets to come out (dual processor and Ice Cream Sandwich or better OS, lower price points)

Most of my Internet experience is from the typing that I do when I blog.  For me a full fledged Windows OS laptop is the best tool for my purposes.  I do have a Linux PC but since I have not yet invested the time to master GIMP - when I need to "Photoshop" an image I am forced to go to Windows.

The only space for a tablet, I figured, is as an e-reader.  I have largely canceled all of my print newspaper and magazine subscriptions in favor of the on-line (computer browser) edition.  The problem is that I have to carry my laptop around with me as I am laying in bed or chilling on the couch.  As a result - the electronic version of all of my printed subscriptions caused me to read my daily newspapers, for example, less often.

My wife demanded that I purchase her an iPad for her birthday.  (She said an iPad or an iPhone actually.  Between the equipment purchase and the increased cellphone bill on a perpetual basis versus the one time purchase of the iPad (WiFi only) - it was an easy choice.)

I Am Sold On The iPad

The iPad has quickly become "the house's iPad".  My kids and I use the device far more frequently than my wife does.   We are now on our 6th app screen full of icons.

I am forced to give Apple credit for building an application ecosystem that so many content providers are developing toward that it blows away all of the competition at this point in time.

I have gone back through any of the remaining print magazines that I still receive and activated the electronic complimentary apps on the iPad.

I have all of my music streaming services (Rhapsody and Sirus XM) loaded up

I have my Vulkano remote television streaming (competitor to Sling Box) going

Both Skyfire and another browser offer a work around for viewing Flash based videos on the iPad

I have to give credit where credit is due.
At this point in time the Apple iPad does indeed have a more seamless and comprehensive platform than does the Android and other also rans.

I believe that Microsoft's Windows 8 - tablet edition is going to give Apple and Android a run for their money.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

CIFS Developer Jobs Going Wanting

The 2011 SNIA SDC: Storage Developers Circus

From the very start of this year’s conference, it was clear that the market for CIFS talent was hot.  There were a lot of companies hiring.  Microsoft’s drive, over the past few years, to deliver and improve upon the SMB2 suite has caused several storage vendors and startups to invest in SMB/CIFS and SMB2 engineering.  The new SMB2.2 version will only amplify this effect.
The problem, though, is that there aren’t enough CIFS geeks to go around, and those that are available are typically very high-level engineers; CIFS Geek gods.
In the NFS market, a company in Silicon Valley can put a sign in the window that says “NFS Help Wanted”, and a line will form.  Employers are used to being able to hire developers with a recent CS degree who know how to mess around with NFS, because NFS is taught in Colleges and Universities.  That’s what happens with open standards.
Such is not the case in the CIFS world.
CIFS isn’t taught anywhere, there is only one book on CIFS protocol internals available, and until a couple of years ago there weren’t any protocol specifications at all. AntXAs a result, the current pool of CIFS geeks generally had to come up through the ranks in one of two ways:  Either they were already high-level engineers who had a compelling need to enter the murky swamp, or they were newbies who got thrown in at the deep end and managed to swim—and avoid getting eaten by the AndX monsters.  Chomp.
Now that Microsoft has published their official specifications (see [MS-CIFS][MS-SMB], and [MS-SMB2] as starting points), entry into the CIFS world should be a little bit easier.  The availability of specifications also means that more companies are trying to implement these protocols in their products, so more developers with SMB/CIFS/SMB2 know-how are needed.