If there was an AA equivalant for those of us addicted to technology, that’s how I’d have to introduce myself after my wife enrolled me. And she’s right, I do love gadgets.
Still, I was dumbfounded this morning while booting a new computer when the BIOS messages flew by. You remember those don’t you? Well, if you’re like most people, you don’t, but trust me, they’re there. This morning, though, I saw something that astonished me, the BIOS was reporting not only RAM and processor type, but also the CPU fan speed and core voltage. What? I bought this particular machine to run nothing more than a browser, putty, and screencam, but the manufacturer figures I need to know the CPU core voltage. What, I wonder, am I expected to do with this data?
Remember, I’m a confessed gadget geek. I openly admit I used to overclock motherboards, had a digital
camera when the resolution was 320×240, and possibly worse, I take pictures of water droplets. My first computer required a soldering iron and a casette tape deck, I still have an 8 inch winchester
in my garage that holds the code to my first database, I was a beta tester for Microsoft in the 80′s and for @Home in the 90′s. Well, you get the idea.
So, where am I headed in my ussual rambling way. Simple, as we move toward complete virtualization and utility computing there
will be times when it’s tempting to take comfort in the physical. Jonathan Schwartz mentions a great story about a potential customer for the Sun Grid trying to negotiate the gauge of the chain link fence Sun used to secure the servers. While my own experiences aren’t so dramatic, I am often asked how to ensure certain software runs on the “right” type of server on the grid. “How can I find out what kind of disk each server has so I can determine where to run my database” is a typical question.
I’ve struggled for a few months with how to shake people of the notion that it’s a good thing to tweak server performance and now my new computer manufacturer has given me the correct answer. “Well” I’ll tell them, “that depends on the CPU fan speed. If it’s below 3000RPM . . .”