November 21st, 2007

monk john

Blogs that aren't inane tech sites

So when blogmeisters like Scoble and Winer talk about the "power of the Blogosphere", you do know what they're talking about, right? 90% tech circle-jerking, 9% politics, and a wee bit of personal babble. For all their blathering about the power of the "blogosphere", they don't talk about anything about that inane circle-jerk tech bubble they live in.

Great...more geeks talking about geeks. I can feel the world becoming a better place already.


That's not to say there aren't blogs or groups of blogs trying to do more than bitch about technoshite and how mean commenters are. It's just that if you use Technorati and the rest to find blogs, all you're going to find is the same shite that Scoble and Winer link to.

Luckily, you read this site, so here, let me link you to some sites that might actually teach you something beyond how to make your tech-dick bigger and harder:
  • Language Log, which has some fascinating, if not often esoteric posts about the myriad ways we use and abuse the English language. The link list there is pretty cool too.

  • ScienceBlogs, an entire community devoted to well, science, and learning, and the promotion of both. Note to the Scobleites: These are cranky, cantangerous people. They live in a world of facts and proof. They will not hesitate to attack stupidity like a horde of pissed-off army ants, and if you're stupid enough to complain they aren't being nice, they'll laugh even harder and tell you to fuck off. Some of my favorite SB sites are Retrospectacle, Pharyngula, The Questionable Authority, Respectful Insolence, and Adventures in Ethics and Science.

  • TDJ, who manages to prove that contrary to what the "Blogorati wish you to think, there's some pretty cool stuff on LiveJournal

  • The Bad Astronomy Blog, part of an overall website that is just fascinating to anyone with a love for astronomy and snark

  • ERV: Warning...don't poke the ERV.

  • Diane Duane, my favorite author

  • Finally, Crummy Church Signs

A plethora of blogs, none of them will ever appear on Technorati, some of them make my head hurt when they get down and dirty. (ERV and pals going deep into evolution of various HIV virii...owww...but SO cool.)

The only reason blogs have been taken over by Scoble, Winer, et al is because people have allowed them to be. There's far more out there than that technobubble bullshit, no matter what the rating sites tell you.

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monk john

Macworld Session Pimping Time

Many of you who attended the 2007 Macworld Conference and Expo may recall the session I did with Chuck Goolsbee, Julian Koh, and Shaun Redmond called "Total Network Awareness". It was the only "pure" networking session in the MacIT conference, and as far as we can tell, it was a success. So, the four of us did some work, and this year, the session is a two-day Power Tools session.

You can read the overview for some details, but in a nutshell, we're going to talk about the ways you monitor a network as a thing outside of servers, and why you would want to. As far as why, well, the four of us realize that it's not just "nice" to know about the nuts and bolts of monitoring your network, and why you'd want to, it's critical. We also realized that while there's (obviously) a lot of sessions talking about Mac OS X and Mac OS X Server, there weren't many, (heck, almost none last year) that deal with networking outside of specific OS/Server functions. So you talk about DHCP and DNS, but not a lot about what's going on with the network that DHCP and DNS run on.

We, (again, obviously), think there's a bit of a hole in the conference in the networking area. It's interesting, some of the things I see on a mailing list, or on a web site that show the person with the problem may know a lot about the server, but the network as a whole was a bit of a black box, (or cloud) to them. That's a shame, because when you know about the fundamentals of monitoring and running a network, there's so much more you can do. When you understand what SNMP is all about, you gain so much flexibility in how you can monitor your network than if you're relying on what a tool gives you. I don't mean just servers but throughput, traffic usage, what a box is specifically sending across the network, how to read packets, etc. The knowledge I've picked up and been taught over the years saves me trouble and time every day, and this is a way for us to share our knowledge that we've picked up over our accumulated 80+ years in this business.

So, come to the session if you can, we're going to try to bring out some extra Minis, maybe some other networking boxen, and have the biggest networking geekfest you've ever seen at a Macworld.

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