It doesn’t make sense to roll-your-own PC any more…

Posted on 05/25/2014 in Technology

So, in my opinion, it no longer makes sense to build your own PC (and five years ago, I was on the fence about it).

I’ve come to this conclusion after spending 10 hours trying to get a Foxconn AT-5570 nanoPC from NewEgg up and running with anything faster than 10MB/s HDD throughput. (From an SSD, no less).

Their download page is broken, so I can’t download BIOS updates.

The stock drivers that come with it? Crash Windows 8 on boot.

I had to renew my subscription to DriverAgent to try to fix the mess, and after installing everything, it’s still crawling accessing the HDD.

I’ve now been waiting over an hour for it to install PCMark so I can test it, and the WD Black^2 drive won’t partition to unlock the extra 1TB of storage.

Verdict? Abject, utter failure.

Now to decide if I want to cut my losses, or hopefully find another nanoPC or similar which works with Windows 8 and has a 2.5″ SATA bay.

People – do yourself a favor. Unless your time isn’t important toyou, just buy off-the-shelf stuff. The manufacturers are lousier than ever at keeping your drivers up to date, so if you build your own, you’re in for a world of hurt.

Is a “Fail Fast” methodology a good idea for new projects?

Posted on 02/16/2014 in Business, Project Management, Technology

The whole idea of having a “fail-fast” philosophy for new projects is problematic in a lot of ways. Here’s the deal: “Fail Fast” is a strategy that only works for about half of the people out there who might be working on a project.

Imagine you were totally omniscient, and could split your developers into two teams based on their character traits and working styles.

Let’s call these two teams  Team Burny-Ouchy and Team Cassandra.


Parkinson’s Disease and the Flu

Posted on 10/25/2013 in Medicine, Science

Here’s a reason you might not have thought of to get your flu shot this year – it might protect you from getting Parkinson’s Disease.

I’ve been saying since about 2007 that most late-life diseases can be pinned down on specific combinations of genetic susceptibility + external factors (in most cases, viruses). One of these was Parkinson’s disease, which looked like it was caused by Influenza.

Well, I missed it at the time, but this study came out in 2011:

Next prediction: A surprisingly large number of cases of dental caries are caused by human herpes viruses 1 through 4. I expect this one to be confirmed some time around 2018.