Good error messages

I recall our little team getting into trouble many moons ago. We were writing a creditor system, and one of the requirements was for comments to be attachable to individual invoice lines. In COBOL every data structure has to be predefined. One of us thought that surely, surely, 400 comment lines would be enough for any one invoice line. This turned out not to be the case. Continue reading

APC BR900GI UPS tips

As the proud owner of a Synology DS415+ NAS (network attached storage) device, I thought I had better protect the large amount of data accumulating on it by also becoming the proud owner of a suitable UPS (uninterruptible power supply). That way, when the power fluctuates or goes off unexpectedly (as is quite common in rural Australia, where I live) the NAS is protected and will have time to shut itself down in an orderly fashion. So I purchased a Schneider (APC) BR900GI UPS. This article is about how I set things up.

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A voice for heterogeneity

In a recent email conversation, the relative virtues of Hyper-V and VMWare were being discussed. I stuck my hand up to suggest going with both. Why? Because heterogeneity is a good thing. In this post the topic is two competing hypervisors, but the arguments are the same for almost any technology. And they mostly apply to open technologies as well as to closed, proprietary technologies. Continue reading