Author Archive

John McCormick

Plug and play

Network appliances help ease major changes to the system

Traditional values

Blade servers may be cutting into the market for traditional servers, but there are still many applications where rack or tower servers are an appropriate and sensible choice. While traditional servers and blade servers perform the same tasks, the main differences are in expandability and processing density.

Blade servers: Cutting edge

The market for blade servers is growing rapidly, especially for new installations, but also for those replacing older server farms. What's surprising is not that blades are soaring in popularity, but why it took so long.

Power User: Still seeking common sense, the Power User logs off

I've spent years in Washington and elsewhere and have concluded that lack of common sense is by far the greatest threat facing this country.

Power User: Lack of technology is a disaster

It's still difficult for me to concentrate on the trivialities of computer technology during the ongoing tragedy along the Gulf Coast, especially when I know from personal experience just how poorly prepared we are to face real disasters

Cloud & Infrastructure

Power User: Feed yourself a helping of RSS

Blogs are still hot, and now video bloggers running their own news shows online are the latest thing on the Web.


Mobile PC lock down

Reliable mobile security demands a multi-pronged strategy. Here's a start.


Power User: Licensed to Drive Windows?

Windows device drivers are like drivers on the road in that they need to be licensed to operate.


Security appliances

Growing security needs place a proportionally growing burden on agency IT managers.


Want wireless security? Hack yourself

Wireless networks can be a nearly magical budget-saving wonder.

Cloud & Infrastructure

Power User: In search of better search engines and tools

As basic as online search may seem, it remains an important tool in a government worker's information arsenal.


Burning issues for network firewalls

An unprotected PC or server connected to the Internet has about 65,500 open ports. That translates into thousands of possible points of attack for hackers.

Power User: Record what you want, where you want

For the second Power User column in a row, I actually have some new products to talk about. This is unusual for me because these days I seldom see anything new and worthwhile.

Enterprise storage - it's SAN-tastic

Whether you're part of a large agency that has long dealt with massive storage requirements, or a smaller agency just beginning to buckle under the weight of accumulated data, the storage area network'in all its increasingly varied flavors'remains a popular solution


Don't be put off by PKI

Implementing a public-key infrastructure is a daunting task. It is a very expensive and complex project, in which many components have to be tightly integrated with an existing network.

Power User: Hardware that works: A truly portable scanner

Sometimes I like to use this space to talk about a new product that's crossed my desk. So here's one for you.


Spy vs. anti-spyware

The question is simple.

Power user: For agencies, it's Firefox no, OpenOffice yes

Several weeks ago, I wrote a somewhat lukewarm review of Firefox that got a big response from defenders of the open-source Web browser.

Power user: Avoiding the Longhorn stampede starts now

Power users are always checking out operating systems still in development.


Lines of defense

The last year or so has seen unprecedented consolidation in the IT security field'especially in the antivirus business, where big companies, including Microsoft Corp., have gobbled up innovative small companies.