Microsoft Redesigns the Apple iPod

The music is annoyingly reminiscent of Pee-Wee’s Playhouse, but this video about what might happen should Microsoft re-design the iPod box is pretty funny. Apple, more than any other company I can think of has mastered the “out of the box experience”, which makes unpacking its products a truly wonderful and unique experience. If this has been a major factor in the company’s recent success is hard to say, but other tech companies like Dell and Microsoft have totally failed to match Apple’s design aesthetics.

Solaris X86 Compatible RAID Controller

Every time I have to spec a solution using Solaris, I always have to answer a bunch of questions in meetings about why Sun is so costly compared to Dell servers. Usually the reason for the higher price is not the servers (especially with X86 sun), but rather the storage. Since Sun does not offer a system with a RAID card, you always have to purchase a high-end disk enclosure that is capable of performing the RAID functions unless you want the performance degradation that comes with software RAID.

The good news is that there is finally a really nice PCI RAID card that works with Solaris! The bad news is that it only works with X86 Solaris, and Sun only goes so far as to say that it is”reported to work“.

Anyhow, no matter. Here is the deal:

According to Sun Big Admin, the Mylex Accelaraid 150 is reported to work with Solaris 9 04/04 to Solaris 10 03/05 (read Solaris 9 and 10 X86). The firmware and bios on the card needs to be: BIOS Version 4.10-50; Firmware 4.08-37.

Pity that there still does not seem to be a RAID controller that works with SPARC hardware. If someone would come up with that, it would make my life as a Solaris administrator a whole lot easier.

Sun Talks Some Smack

We all know that Sun is MUCH cooler than Dell, but the company is finally coming out and saying it in no uncertain terms. Apparently They have tried to get these advertisements into several major industry publications, but have been censored at every attempt because someone may find the material offensive.

Yeah… Sure… Much more likely, the editors of these publications are just afraid of loosing Dell as a client. I, for one, think the ads are pretty funny, and I’m glad to see Sun taking on Dell, because I truly feel they have a better product.

Sun says:

Sun Censored but Not Silent
Top business publications refused to run our bold ad concepts because the headlines were thought too controversial. At Sun, we’re the radical engineers that build “ass-whoopin” technology – we’re not Miss Manners and we never want to be. We ask all you contrarians out there to e-mail us your own provocative ad headlines: my-headline@sun.com. See the remarkable benchmarks for the new Sun Fire tm X2100, X4100, and X4200 64 bit X86 servers and you’ll understand why we have license to brag.

They’re not quite as cool as “Benchmark Studies Prove That Dell Sucks” or “100% More Bitchin’ Than Dell”, but Sun is currently running some fairly edgy ads that are along the same lines. I just wish I could pick up “SysAdmin” and find the ads below in them.

Click on the small images below to take you to the larger versions.