The IT Industry

I have been working with computers from both the hardware and software sides since 1986.  In 1995 I started working in IT (Internet Technology) working to keep servers, websites, and email running while at the same time programming websites and backend scripts for the websites and server and network administration that is necessary for them to run well.   At one point, I was an entire one-man IT Department for an organization that would have been better served to have at least 3, and as many as 7, individuals on staff in the IT Department. Before and during most of my time in the position I felt and thought of myself as just another person good with computers. Eventually, I came to realize that I was wrong.

Over the years I have seen a lot of different network infrastructures, website designs, and software coding styles.  It is very rare that I have ever seen any of these being well planned, well secured, or well implemented. In most of these cases the owners, management, and those directly involved would just claim that everything is great and that it works, so there is nothing to fix.  This thinking has plagued the IT industry with ignored bugs, and security issues. While many of those in the industry will show credentials from various schools, classes, and exams, they are not alternatives for experience and hands-on, real world, learning.

In my expert opinion when something is working it still may not be working well, working right, or working securely.  My experience has taught me that a majority of those in the IT industry, as high as 80%, do not have the necessary skills to function in their current job capacity.

Throughout the 1990s I had felt that the colleges and universities should separate their computer programs better, specifically between hardware and software.  However, I have come to realize now, in the mid-2010s, that this may have been a relatively bad idea.  Now many software designers, developers, and programmers are unable to explain to hardware professionals what they require and vice-versa.

My best jobs have been working with companies, not for them.  The difference is relatively straightforward, working for someone means you do as they say and want regardless of how wrong their decision may be, knowing full well that the decision may cause a long-term issue for the business.  In this situation, it is common to feel like your talents are being underutilized, and flat out ignored.  On the other hand, working with an organization may feel freeing as it allows one to make appropriate and well-informed decisions for the good of the organization, its employees, and its customers and clients.  Additionally, it feels good to have your knowledge utilized effectively by being able to implement the right technology changes.

Outside of my day jobs, I have kept working to help keep websites up and running efficiently and securely by providing IT Consulting.  This endeavor, named Sequential Logic, takes a logical approach to this.  First and foremost, those that Sequential Logic does work with, not for, are not considered clients or customers.  They are considered partners.  We want theses partners to view Sequential Logic as their very own in-house IT consulting department.  Next, Sequential Logic thinks about security by keeping on top of industry changes, known issues, and software updates while also carefully monitoring the health of any servers under its control.  With all of this in mind, it is important to remember that it is not uncommon to need a second, or even a third, look at anything that someone has built.  Sequential Logic can help by being available to give that additional resource.

Sequential Logic is reachable through their website at www.seqlogic.com, via E-Mail at sales@seqlogic.com, and by phone at 954.480.7901.

Rackspace Cloud Server :: FreeBSD 9.0 to 9.1 Upgrade

After several attempts and paying extreme attention to what was happening I have come up with the following directions to upgrade from FreeBSD 9.0 to FreeBSD 9.1 on a Rackspace Cloud Server.

Note: If these directions are not followed exactly than you may end up with a still running FreeBSD 9.0 kernel, see “uname -a” to check, or a non-booting system due to the ZFS error, “The kernel fails to mount a ZFS root filesystem with error 2.”

  1. Login as root
  2. cd /root
  3. cp /usr/src/sys/amd64/conf/XENHVM /root/XENHVM
  4. ftp ftp.freebsd.org://pub/FreeBSD/releases/amd64/amd64/9.0-RELEASE/src.txz
  5. tar -C / -xvzf src.txz
  6. /usr/sbin/freebsd-update -r 9.1-RELEASE upgrade
  7. /usr/sbin/freebsd-update install
  8. cp /root/XENHVM /usr/src/sys/amd64/conf/XENHVM
  9. cd /usr/src
  10. make buildkernel KERNCONF=XENHVM
  11. make installkernel KERNCONF=XENHVM
  12. shutdown -r now
  13. Login as root
  14. cd /root
  15. /usr/sbin/freebsd-update install
  16. cp /root/XENHVM /usr/src/sys/amd64/conf/XENHVM
  17. cd /usr/src
  18. make buildkernel KERNCONF=XENHVM
  19. make installkernel KERNCONF=XENHVM
  20. shutdown -r now
  21. Hard Reboot

To download a copy of the instructions click on:  Rackspace FreeBSD Upgrade

Need direct help?  Contact us at Sequential Logic.

Simple Joomla/MySQL Setup Issue

Recently I had someone contact me about receiving an error message from a Joomla installation. The receiving the following error:

Error creating data base: Table ‘myjoomladatabase.v96bu_menu’

 

After some research I found the issue was a combination of:

1) Joomla’s table creation statements do not include a storage engine.

2) The MySQL server is defaulted to utilize the “InnoDB” storage engine.

 

When trying to create the “_menu” table manually I received the following from MySQL:

ERROR 1709 (HY000): Index column size too large. The maximum column size is 767 bytes.

This can be remedied easily by either:

 1) Adding “SET default_storage_engine=MYISAM;” to the top of any sql files creating tables in the installation.
 2) Adding ” STORAGE ENGINE=MYISAM ” to each table creation statement where the table will not create.
In looking at Joomla’s website I have yet to find any easy way to contact anyone without registering for their website first. I would suggest they change their table creation statements to include a storage engine as follows:
STORAGE ENGINE=MYISAM

 

Joomla can be found at http://www.joomla.org/

MySQL can be found at http://www.mysql.com/

Doctor Who / Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Crossover

Currently I’ve been rewatching all of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit from the beginning to the end on Netflix.

During my watching I’ve noticed a defense attorney played by actress Alex Kingston. The same Alex Kingston who plays River Song in Doctor Who.

What makes this more interesting is that the character River Song in Doctor Who has a mother who’s name is Amy Pond and her characters name in Law & Order:SVU is named Miranda Pond!

Coincidence? Or maybe River Song did a stint as a legal defense attorney in New York?

Is it possible that Doctor Who and Law & Order are not linked? Either by River Song workings on a defense attorney or could Law & Order just be called an alternate reality?

You decide.

Justice League (20110831) # 1

Justice League (2011) #1

This was the first comic of DC Comics — The New 52 re-launch. Justice League (2011) #1 came out in both print and digital on the same day.

To quote the description from DC’s Website:

“Comics superstars Geoff Johns and Jim Lee make history! In a universe where super heroes are strange and new, Batman has discovered a dark evil that requires him to unite the World Greatest Heroes!”