A step in the right direction …

March 12, 2015

Our team in Germany must have too much time on their hands :-)

The lads have put together a vendor lab where vendors such as hard drive and SSD manufacturers can bring their gear and test against our products. While we have validation testing going on all the time in other centres, having the ability for a vendor to sit and play with the combination of our gear and theirs is getting people pretty excited.

Our German engineering team are constantly putting new SSDs (for example) through their paces and providing feedback to the vendors – a collaborative effort to make sure that the business, enterprise and datacentre customers get the product combinations that work for them.

So PMC is putting in some big efforts to make sure that we are at the cutting edge of SSD design performance to keep up with some of these amazing devices being developed.

Along with that, the team in Germany is using the lab for customer training and education sessions. This is a great initiative by the boys over there … I’m just wondering how it would work in Australia:

Adaptec: “We want to do some testing with your equipment”
Customer/vendor: “No worries mate, meet us down the pub this arvo and we’ll shoot the breeze over a couple of schooners and sort something out!”

Not sure many people outside the antipodes will understand that one.

The lab in Germany:

lab1

lab2

The lab in Australia:

lab3

Ciao
N

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What were they thinking? …

March 10, 2015

My work system was recently “upgraded” to Office 2013. Notice I highlighted “upgraded” because that is a very, very loose definition of what happened. My main focus here is Outlook.

There are some improvements, and some nice features that make it a little nicer to use, but in general it’s a major backward step from Outlook 2010, and there is one major, very important, and vitally usable feature that has gone missing in the name of “upgrading”. I’m referring to “unified search”. On a windows 7 machine, with office 2010, you can use the search function in the bottom of the start menu in Windows, and it will find all documents, including emails, that contain the key word you are searching for.

That has been removed, and now, with office 2013 on the machine, Windows 7 (and I believe 8.1 also but I’ll never use that) won’t find or show emails.

What the? …

That was probably the most heavily used function on my system. My documents and emails are my resource library to find information about our systems and customers, especially when looking for something like an issue that you think you may have dealt with before … now where was that email?

I am no fan of Microsoft, but am forced by corporate (at the moment) to use a PC, and have developed my workstyle to use this feature heavily. In fact I rely on it more than my own memory (which is pretty dodgy to say the least). So now, in the name of an “upgrade”, I’ve lost a major useful feature in my day to day work life. What a pain in the neck.

So while I was googling to try and find a way to fix this scenario (don’t mind the odd hack here and there), it came to mind that maybe we have done, or do, the same thing.

Have we taken away something you need, use or like in our software or controllers? I can think of a few things we’ve done that have upset customers, but I’d love to hear from the punter out there slogging away building systems exactly what it is that we’ve done that makes us look like Microsoft and their Outlook “upgrade”.

Throw them at me folks – warts and all.

Ciao
N

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Is RAID really that boring? …

March 5, 2015

The lads in our marketing department obviously have too much time on their hands (not), and have been watching youtube … specifically looking at RAID videos. They’ve had the bright idea that “hey, we could do that!” and pulled my name out of the hat to do this stuff. Considering it was my hat and my name was the only one in there I didn’t stand too much of a chance.

There are lots of videos out there. From snappy little graphics-only talk-fests to ancient old hands-on demonstrations in noisy labs where you can’t hear a word the presenter is saying, through to death-by-powerpoint gabfests that had me nodding off by slide 3.

Now I know that the subject matter is known to me, so I’m not going to find this stuff all that interesting or challenging, but I wanted to get a look at presentations styles … what works and what doesn’t, how the angles and views work, and what level the videos are pitched at. So after an afternoon of trolling youtube, getting sidetracked on a regular basis, and falling asleep several times, I’ve come to the conclusion that there is no real “best” way to do this – and that all videos are boring and RAID is mind-bendingly dull.

So how do we intend to (a) make a better video, (b) make it interesting and (c) keep the camera off my ugly-mug … I don’t know. This is going to be quite a challenge. Stay tuned for some laughs I’m sure.

Of course, if there are subjects (legal and ethical) that you want to see a video on, drop us a line and give us your suggestions. Damn, I’m going to have to put a shirt on for this stuff :-)

Ciao
N

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