Cable Management

It seems such a simple concept, cable management. In practice, it’s sometimes rather difficult to enforce.

Take, for example, the state of the cables under a floor in a datacenter that will remain nameless. The engineer’s task was trivial: add one more cable on a server to segment iSCSI traffic.

“I’ll just pull this tile… and route it under the floor…” she thought.

How not to route cables

“Oh, god!” she screamed. “What the?!?”  Her plans for the day just took a detour.

I think she’ll need to schedule a downtime to unweave cables and reroute them so they can be managed.

I’d say this is a case where

  • there were way too many people involved
  • people involved were doing too many different things
  • there were no defined policies or procedures
  • no oversight or enforcement

If you think those network cables are bad, take a look at those power cables. They’re buried under that nest, too. Judging by the state of the network cables, I’d bet they also regularly had problems with circuits being overloaded and either tripping or, worse, melting and possibly catching fire.

My belief on datacenters has long been: if anything is done clearly outside of sound engineering practices then it should be disconnected and removed immediately — no questions asked — then re-engineered properly. Sure, there are some grey areas. There are some not so grey areas. But, generally speaking, that’s my view.

A much wiser engineer than me once said to me about datacenters, “The only way to keep it manageable is to be an asshole.”

Fun with Language

I know a bunch of obscure even archaic written languages, but spoken languages are a different story. Obviously, fluent in English and I even have a very (very) basic understanding of German. I’d like to have a solid understanding of German and have committed to pursuing that this year.

Maybe Castilian Spanish would be interesting. I also find myself drawn to some less common languages like Welsh and Irish, but honestly, there just isn’t much for those in my daily life.

What about other more common languages? Mandarin, Russian, French?

But which to choose?

Anyway, back to the more pressing matter: German. I have a goal to achieve and need to select something quickly. Rosetta Stone is in the running as I do well with their learning method. They’re also taking 15% off for the next week for their TOTALe package.
I’ve heard of Tell Me More. So, I click through a few menus on their site until I get to their German page. The price is competitive, but something seemed odd:
Click to enlarge then read carefully.
If you didn’t spot it, it reads:

TELL ME MORE V10 German (10 Levels)

TELL ME MORE® v10 Spanish 10 Levels will allow you to master German, providing you with the most complete and extensive offer to learn German.

Wow, that must be a pretty amazing language package… their v10 Spanish will help me master German. How does that work exactly?
I’ll go with the company that has more thorough proofreading in its marketing materials and, hopefully, in its language products.