Friday, July 31, 2009

Virtual Walks

I have been looking at some solutions recently. They were simple. No special requirements but needed a little thought. Real problems that required a real solution. I approached several well known companies and guess what, they all wanted to supply virtual solutions. Is that not a little silly?

Virtual was used in the sense of "as good as" or "almost". So a program that is virtually complete is one that is as good as or almost complete. Think about it. A virtual solution is not a better solution. Virtuality relies on the fact that the solution is almost as good! A quick google shows 66 million+ results for web pages associated with virtual solutions but these solutions are as good as what?

My solution required more computers, not a problem in the "virtual" world. These can just pop up out of my current infrastructure. I am assured that my disc requirements would be better met if I used a virtual solution. There are virtual printers, virtual network routers and you can even get virtual finance! Yes, look that last one up on your favorite search engine. At the moment you could spend hours attempting to find real hard cash.

I can see how the use of emulation on computer systems helps. I can even see that today the emulation of other systems is very sophisticated. Why do we need things that are almost the solution?

In the case of my problem I certainly did not need the power of a quad core processor. But I did need a little bandwidth for certain components. This meant that the Virtual solutions were not solutions in this case. I stuck out for real systems. I have to say that they will end up on a SAN, using virtual discs and tapes. Many of the local services will be provided by servers that are virtual.

The current fashion is to take on the concepts of virtual components. Do we need to follow the herd? We don't but before we discard the concept it is worth looking at what it can provide. In my case I discarded the concepts as they did not help me. Then I took an about turn and used the virtual components that helped my solution.

In other cases I have picked up the virtual soap box and stood with those who shout for something (almost) as good as the real deal.

Not going with the fashion may sound typical of the crotchety old man. It is not my cantankerous nature that brings this on but a careful analytic process. I will use the virtual world but only when it produces results that fit into the environment in which I work. I can say that I have virtually taken up the virtual world. What we should realise is that the word virtual is almost as much use as the word nice. The word can virtually be used in any situation without altering the meaning at all.

My point? Why invent terms using innocuous words? Why not use the term emulator? After all the purpose of our virtual component is just to emulate the real deal. Why not? Because the early emulators were not the best, the name became associated with poor performance. The marketing teams reacted.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Hello! But why?

This is my first attempt at blogging. If it is as successful as my attempts at keeping a diary then it will fail within a very short time. I tend towards the morose, grumpy without the fun. I can find fault with anything.

The purpose of my blog is to moan. The first few entries will probably be about blogging software, as I get use to its quirks. Why, for example, is the editor presented to me able to check my spelling but unable to recognise that the word blog has arrived to our language?

Blogging software is designed to allow us to express ourselves. It appears to do a reasonable job. I am not too sure that the expression of design is quite as simple as the expression of words. I guess that I need practice, I do moan but am willing to accept my own inadequacies. You are at the brunt of those practices.

I have many interests but most of my time (off the golf course at least) is spent attempting to get computers to help me in my activities. This will probably be the main content of the blog. I will not restrict myself to these activities and will use this platform to shout about anything I want.

I do not expect you to enjoy this page. I certainly would be affronted if you thought I wrote this blog for anyone other than myself. If you want to make comments that I am happy enough for you to leave them. Just understand that like myself once you do this you will be opening yourself up to receive a small portion of the abuse I get.

Please enjoy this page for what it is. A rant.