General blog topics that don't fit into a special category.

Getting Started with Amazon Web Services

Building under the Clouds of Munich

In the last few articles, I shared a few thoughts on how I think the world of IT is changing, which became the context for my good-bye to the world of physical IT altogether.

As of last week, I started working for Amazon Web Services (AWS) as a Solutions Architect, helping customers architect systems and solve technical problems using the latest cloud computing technologies. I'm very thankful to be able to work here, as it brings me back to the very center of IT innovation and gives me the opportunity to do lots of new and interesting things.

In the last weeks, I've been digging around AWS and its services, playing with stuff and meeting lots of inspiring people. So I thought I'd put together a few links for those interested in exploring the world of the AWS cloud computing platform for you to learn more about AWS:

Walking my Talk

My Sun Badge

A while ago, I argued that the world of IT is changing, and that change is good. And that as a result of change, many people would need to change their jobs.

Well, I did it. Last Tuesday was my last working day at Oracle.

Get Ready to Change your Job

Street signs: Business as usual or the cloud?

The universe is change; our life is what our thoughts make it.
(Marcus Aurelius)

If you have a job in IT (and who among my readers hasn't?), then it is going to fundamentally change soon.


In my own job, I see the full spectrum from where IT innovation is created to the very last laggards who are still depending a lot on mainframes and other ancient technology. Some things in IT are new (like, every week there's a new startup/technology/trend that is shaking up the industry), and some things are just repetitions of stuff that has happened before, albeit in slightly different colors.

So now, the world of IT as we know it is changing (again) and this time, change will impact organizations, roles and jobs.

Let's dive a little bit into what's happening. Don't worry, change is good, but only if you prepare for it.

The Difference Between a Standard and a Preferred Vendor


Recently, I attended a customer workshop where the customer declared that they standardized on x86, VMware and Linux.

That got me and my colleague thinking about what standardization really means and whether that actually makes sense.

The workshop was actually about defining a PaaS platform for the customer, and early in the process they just said: Fine, but it's gonna be x86, VMware and Linux, because that's our standard. WTF?

How to Render the Mandelbrot Set in the Joyent Cloud with Node.js


First of all: Apologies for not posting for a long time. The reason? I was having too much fun with node.js and the Joyent Cloud :).

What started as a small experimental hack turned quickly into an exciting new pet project involving the good old Mandelbrot Set, as a web service, running in the Joyent cloud, programmed in node.js.

But first things first: Let's take a look at node.js as a language and programming model, at the Joyent Cloud and how it relates to Solaris and finally some details on how the picture you see was rendered inside the Joyent Cloud, including an interactive Mandelbrot Set explorer you can play with now, written as a web app.

A review of 2010 and plans for 2011

2011 is coming down the road

The year 2011 is almost two weeks old, and by now you've probably read every other review/resolutions/plans blog post out there. Now you have time to read this one :).

But first of all: Apologies for not having blogged for weeks. I've been moving to a new home over the last two months, the holiday season took its toll and there were a few other personal and job projects that demanded my attention.

Now, normality (whatever it is) is starting to come back and I can start devoting more time to this blog again.

This blog is now one year old, although I had been blogging for more than five years before. Time to reflect, plan and flip some switches for the future.

Here's a quick recap of 2010, some plans and ideas for this blog, a call for feedback and hints to some other projects for 2011.

Sysadmin Day is Coming Up! 7 Cool Gift Ideas That Will Make Your Geek Friend Happy


Every year, on the last Friday of July, Sysadmin Day is celebrated around the world.

You know, the guy (or gal) that makes sure you always receive your emails on time, strips away the spam, cuddles your web server so you can write blog articles, or makes sure the network is always online, so you can read your favorite blogs. Or install new servers and storage so your web experience becomes faster and so your data is never lost.

Sysadmins often have a hard time: Noone calls them to tell them "Thank you for delivering all my emails!" or "Thanks for making sure my data is backed up every day!". Instead, they only get phonecalls when something goes wrong, or worse yet, some anonymous electronic complaint in some soulless ticketing system.

Therefore, this Friday, the 30th of July, 2010, think about your sysadmin, call her up and say something nice, or consider giving them a gift. Here are some geeky gift ideas for sysadmins to celebrate Sysadmin Day 2010, from low-budget to truely-devoted-appreciation pricing order.

After all, you really don't want your sysadmin to turn into a grumpy BOFH, do you?