Should Your Office Have a Wall or Not


Many workplaces have adopted an open-office concept. First, there were partitions, then the partitions became lower, and eventually the partitions disappeared. In some offices these days, employees simply sit on benches. It’s totally open. Bosses think it’s a very clever idea. It promotes communication and collaboration, they say. Employees don’t like the idea. But who cares about what employees like or not…

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Computing Is Hot Again


So apparently Computing is the in-thing again, according to a Straits Times article this week. We are attracting better students who prefer to choose us over other options. I suppose this is also helped in part by the high rankings earned by both the National University of Singapore (NUS) and the School of Computing. NUS is ranked first in the 2014 QS University…

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Jumping Into CentOS 7


Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 7 was released about one month ago. The community version of that, CentOS, unveiled its version 7 this week. Many enterprise Linux users might perhaps not notice because, well, we like our servers left alone and don’t want to need to pay any attention to them. Not surprising, thus, if you had not noticed RHEL…

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Grappling with IPMI, PXE and SOL


Installing one server isn’t difficult. It’s not really time consuming either. But it’s a whole lot different when you have to setup a huge number of servers. The ideal state of affairs, for me, is that once the physical install is done, which means rack mounting and plugging in of cables, I don’t want to be in the data centre…

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Zero Fuss Web Video Collaboration


We’re in an era where just about everything can be done online. We also have no shortage of web-based collaborative tools, including those that incorporate audio-video conferencing features. Then, why is it we don’t seem to be doing much of video collaboration on the web? Are they just not convenient enough? Well, then you’ve got to try this: GeeMeow What’s…

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Big Data Changing BCM and the Cloud


I attended a Business Continuity Management (BCM) conference yesterday. Their theme for this year is about how Big Data is changing BCM and Cloud. It’s a little puzzling eh, how Big Data can be related to BCM and Cloud. It seems like some random topics strewn together to have something of a unique theme to talk about. The conference, unfortunately,…

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Another DR Drill Done


Another year, and another Disaster Recovery (DR) drill is done. We did what we had planned to do in the exercise, and everything largely went according to plan. This has become somewhat of a routine. There were several hiccups, but we did expect little hiccups to happen. Our plan, indeed, include expecting some unexpected variances to happen. I’ve been involved…

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Ethics in IT

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Next week, I’ll be speaking in a class about ethics in IT. I’ve done many guest lectures on various topics in IT, but this will be the first time specifically on ethics. So I had to sit down to think about what I’ll talk about, and think about ethics situations that I’ve had to deal with. Then, I realised I’ve…

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Building an IVR System


An Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system is one great way to help call centres automatically direct incoming calls. It may even help reduce staffing requirements if some call issues can be resolved automatically. We envisioned a slightly different use of IVR, and that is to direct the handling of after hours “emergency” calls. You see, we don’t currently have any…

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IT Projects Aren’t As Easy As They Look


The non-IT folks sometimes get the thinking that IT projects are easy. After all, you often hear how easy it is to “develop websites”, or how some primary school kid has written iPhone and iPad apps. There are all sorts of development tools that let you throw together apps in no time. So, surely, it can’t be all that difficult…

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