I’m experimenting; or trying to, with IBM Bluemix virtual machines. Clearly beta and half the time I get a UI in italian (!?) but the documentation is woeful.

Simple VM created… What’s the connection string?

Launch Horizon (oddly a separate site, but ok,.. beta…) says it’s:

ssh -i cloud.key <username>@<instance_ip>

Ok, I know the key, I know the IP, but what’s the username?

(the username might be different depending on the image you launched):

Yeah, ok, but what is it? It’s a standard IBM image (CentOS 7 in this case) so…

Nada (Spanish, so still not sure what’s with the Italian)! No documentation, no advice, a broken link in the VM docs… Stack Overflow has no questions under bluemix usernames.. But thankfully DW answers does – though not specifically my question, rather others with sudo issues! Not a great way to find out… Perhaps they hand out that bit of info on the training course… Anyway, two days lost of whatever free period I get, I can login. Now I need to remember what I wanted to try out..

For the record it’s:


Communication Breakdown

G+ Polls are really very useful for a quick; if not terribly scientific, survey and I recently asked “How do you typically share solution designs?” on the IT Pros community given the variety I see from day to day.

Screen Shot 2015-05-18 at 21.20.17

That presentations are top and models are bottom is sadly unsurprising. I’m in two minds over documents and wikis as effective forms of communication – the former quickly gathers dust though at least provide a snapshot of what was intended at one point in time, the latter decays rapidly into a confusing contradiction of opinions in which the truth is a long lost fairy-tale.

But the really surprising thing for me was the number of votes for whiteboard + photos + email (and/or some online post). We all do it and it’s a excellent way to frame a discussion and share ideas. Does it really end there though? Personally I need to take the output of these sessions and work it into something more cohesive and focused which often yields insights which were not uncovered during the rabbit hole exercise that whiteboarding can become.

Truth be said, I still hunger for a good model and the liberating constraints of UML. Unfortunately it seems I need to both improve my PowerPoint and drawing skills instead.

Electoral Load-balancing

I can’t help but think that I’d not get away with load-balancing of resources assuming an equal prioritisation of requests as the British political system allows with votes. No doubt the Tories got the most seats and should rightly be charged with forming a government. However,  based on raw votes the distribution is unequal and the system is weighted in favour of the main two parties…  and the emergent SNP! The table below is based on UK elections result data from The Guardian assuming you get the number of seats relative to the number of votes cast.

Suppressing minorities or mitigating extremities? Or a bit of both… It should not though be for the incumbents; and the system is a product of them, to decide. Perhaps our electoral system could do with an updated load-balancing strategy.

Party Actual
of the
Conservative 331 240 +91
Labour 232 198 +34
Scottish National Party 56 31 +25
Liberal Democrat 8 51 -43
Democratic Unionist Party 8 4 +4
Sinn Fein 4 4 0
Plaid Cymru 3 4 -1
Social Democratic and Labour Party 3 2 +1
Ulster Unionist Party 2 2 0
UK Independence Party 1 82 -81
Green 1 24 -23
Independent 1 2 -1
Alliance 0 1 -1
Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition 0 1 -1
Traditional Unionist Voice 0 0 0


Woke up this morning…

… annoyed!

Been hearing some daft comments recently like “cost is a secondary concern” and “we shouldn’t worry about cost”... wtf!?

You need a vision. You need  a goal. You need to know what the hell it is you’re trying to achieve!

But! The most important thing once your have the vision is how the hell you’re going to get there. Time and money thus become primary concerns and if you ain’t got the money or you ain’t got the time then you ain’t going there and you need to adjust your expectations!

Hell, I want to go to the moon for a vacation but that isn’t going to happen anytime soon.

And as Hemingway said, “It’s good to have an end to journey toward; but it’s the journey that matters, in the end”.