By now you’ve probably heard that the Windows 7 RC is available for download for TechNet and MSDN subscribers. Unfortunately for me, my MSDN subscription expired in the last couple days #%$! and won’t be renewed for another day or two. Fortunately, with some help from a fellow subscriber, I will have a fresh ISO this afternoon. If you poke around the MSDN site some there is another RC in there you may be interested in as well… For those who aren’t MSDN or TechNet subscribers, the RC will be available on May 5 (see the link above).
I’ve been using the Beta on my primary laptop and my home desktop since it was released and have been really impressed. Can’t wait to upgrade both to the RC. I’m also interested in testing the Virtual PC and XP Mode betas. I’ll post thoughts on those once I’ve spent some time with them.
The beta has been out for a couple weeks but the upgraded FriendFeed site went live today. Details are available on their official blog. I just started into the social networking thing in the last couple weeks. Scoble has been raving about FriendFeed for a while now. I’ve also started using Twitter, and LinkedIn.
So far I like FriendFeed quite a bit. I’ve subscribed to a couple high volume people like Scoble, Arrington, and O’reilly to get a feel for the service. There can be some quite good conversation around the posts. What I like the most is the ability to pull in multiple feeds, the bookmarklet which makes it easy to post interesting sites, and the “like” functionality to rate content and posts. The main reason I stayed away from social networking for a while was I was afraid that being active and providing value would be a major time commitment. On the contrary, since FriendFeed pulls in all my blog and Twitter activity (and nearly any other source I may get into) as well as allowing me to post with one click using the bookmarklet, it doesn’t take too much effort to provide a fairly steady stream of content. You can see to the right of this post what my FriendFeed looks like.
On the receive side, its a different story because if you subscribe to a lot of folks or even just a few high volume folks, it is a fire hose of content and comments. Though I haven’t spent much time with it yet, between groups and saved searches, FriendFeed provides some fairly powerful filtering tools.
So if you find the content of this blog interesting, use the links below to join me over on FriendFeed and Twitter for related topics and content. I’m also looking for folks with similar interests on these services to engage with.
IEEE Spectrum has an interesting article online about mega-datacenters and whether a million server datacenter is possible in the near future. It describes the efforts of the major players in this space. They describe some of the attributes of Microsoft’s Quincy and Chicago datacenters as well as several others.
Last year I had the opportunity to tour one of Microsoft’s smaller datacenters (“only” 45,000 servers) with a couple of our customers. The scale of the facilities and supporting infrastructure are pretty amazing. The things that impressed me most was the attention to detail and discipline required to operate such a facility. In walking through for a couple hours I didn’t see a single wire out of place, everything was pristine. The datacenter manager hosting the tour made a point that really struck me about the discipline required. He said that even the smallest non-compliance with facility rules and standards (i.e.. tools left behind, improper cabling, etc) resulted in disciplinary action. He said that when operating such a large and complex facility that attention to detail is critical else things can quickly start to spin out of control. Another interesting point was that only a small double digit number of people are required to staff the facility in total across three shifts.
The IEEE article talks primarily about the current Microsoft datacenters. For some insights on where we are going in the future, the following articles and video may be of interest.
Our Vision for Generation 4 Modular Data Centers - One way of Getting it just right
Microsoft's Generation 4 Data Center Vision - the Architects' Perspective
Designing Generation 4.0 Data Centers: The Engineers’ Approach to Solving Business Challenges
MMS Day 1 Keynote: Bob Kelly, Microsoft corporate vice president, April 28, 2009, 8:30 am PT
Over on the Building Community One Brick at a Time blog, a new web site, TalkingAboutWindows.com was announced where senior Windows leadership and engineers (Jon Devaan, Mark Russinovich, many others) are interviewed. I just checked it out, looks like a pretty cool site.