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ZIP Files Please

Posted by Wookie Houle Nov 7, 2014
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I don't know if there's a nice way to say this, so I'll just put it out there for y'all:

 

ZIP is the One True File Compression Format.  Everything else lost.

 

ZIP files win for two reasons:

  1. ZIP is integrated into every OS currently in production
  2. ZIP files are good enough

 

Once upon a time, disk drives were never big enough.  There was never enough memory in the machine to have filesystems with seemingly unlimited files allowed.  We communicated over modems on POTS lines that were slow, if they worked well at all.  We spent a lot of time on error correction technologies, and file compression schemes.  Compression meant you could do that backup onto 6 floppies, instead of 10.  It meant you could download that shareware overnight, instead of over two days.  It was important, and we all geeked out appropriately over every new format that would compress files smaller than the one we were using now.

 

There was quite the list of compression formats that came out over the years as the state of the art advanced.  Each better than the ones before it in some way.  Off the top of my head, I remember LHA, LZH, ARJ, bzip2, RAR, 7zip, and on the Mac side we had SIT and CPT.  There are tons more.  The Wikipedia List of Archive Formats is like a walk down memory lane.

 

But I no longer care about the best compression.  The internet is fast, and disk space is cheap.  I don't care that your format of choice will compress a file 2%, or 7%, or even 15% smaller than ZIP will.  I don't care that your log files are 150K in size when instead it they could be shrunk to 100K, I just care that they don't take up 250 Megabytes on the FTP server and in the support systems.

 

I also care that it is possible for me to uncompress your log files so I can analyze them for you.  I've had enough RAR and 7z files sent my way that I can handle them.  But I still groan and roll my eyes a little ever time I see one.

Blog Post Ideas

Posted by Wookie Houle Dec 2, 2013
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I got tapped to write some blog posts on BMC Atrium Orchestrator topics.  Here are the ideas I have so far:

 

  1. Architecture best practices, including:
    • How Many Peers
    • CDPs vs. APs vs. LAPs
    • Scaling
    • Redundancy
  2. Terminal Adapter Feature Examples
    • non-unix shells
    • proxy log-ins
    • how prompts work
    • return codes
    • what can go wrong
  3. BAO 7.7.xx and SSO, getting started
  4. Monitor Adapters, Adapter Events, and Rules
  5. Use Cases
  6. <insert other ideas here>

 

I'll update this list.  If anyone actually reads this, and has some ideas, leave them in the comments.

 

Topics can run the gamut.  Is there an advanced concept you've not needed but always wondered about?  Maybe something simple that tripped you up when you were just starting with BAO?  I'll also accept topics that are just documented badly, and we can work together to come up with something better or more inclusive.

 

As always, I reserve the right to agree topics would be great to do, and then refuse to do them for whatever reason.  Also note that blog posts are not protected from public view, so I won't be going into BAO product futures or defects.

 

Let me know.

Hello World!

Posted by Wookie Houle Apr 18, 2013
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I'm one of those types that has to push the big red button.  Yes, I know.  There is a sign on it that says "DO NOT PUSH THE BIG RED BUTTON".  And thus it was with the link on my BMC Communities profile that said: Create a Blog.  So of course I pushed it.  I figure if I am not supposed to have a BMC Communities Blog, it wouldn't work.

 

Well, here we are.

 

I work in BMC Premier Support.  I work with customers on BMC Atrium Orchestrator and a minor way with MyIT.  MyIT is rather new, so we're all on the ground floor with that so far.  I was in BMC's Consulting Services before joining BMC Support, and I've worked extensively with BAO implementations, integration, and coding.

 

The usual disclaimers: I don't know often I'll actually post.  I don't know if I'll have much to say when I do.  I do not promise that I can spell.  I do know the difference between to/too/two, there/their/they're, and it's/its, but sometimes my fingers and brain are not on the same page so I can't promise to always type in the right one.