Monthly Archives: August 2014

The New Mac Pro @ 8 months

Posted by mitch on August 03, 2014

I ordered my 2013 Mac Pro the day they went up for sale, even though I had an early morning flight that day. To recap, I bought a 6 core with D500, 1 TB SSD, and upgraded to 64 GB of OWC RAM. I upgraded my old 8 TB Areca RAID to 24 TB, bought an OWC Thunderbolt PCI chassis, and moved over my (old) Areca 1680x card. The OWC chassis is loud, so I also bought the 10 meter Thunderbolt cable and put the adapter box and disks in my office closet.

I had been running 3×30″ Apple displays with the cable mess that comes with the DisplayPort->DVI adapters, but recently switched out the Apple displays for my HP ZR30ws. Frankly, the HPs have a better picture, likely just due to crisper, more even lighting as a result of being 6 months old instead of 6 yrs old, but best of all, they require no adapters.

I sold my 2012 12-core Mac on Craigslist.

The highlights of the new Mac Pro are the lowered energy usage, the reclaimed physical space, and the huge reduction of cable mess. It’s disappointing going to 128 GB of RAM comes at a huge memory speed hit in the new box, but I can live with it (hoping that something better will be available by the time I need more than 64 GB).

The new Mac has only been off for about 2 days since I bought it, due to construction in my office. It’s been solid. I’m happy with the upgrade.

(I didn’t mention performance! It’s fast. The old box was fast, too. Is this one faster? Go look at my other post. I am spending most of my time crunching numbers in C++ on Linux this year, and it’s been great–especially with the 3.5 ghz single thread vs 2.4 ghz for the old 12-core–but 64 GB has been an issue for some of the calculations I am doing. But not a show stopper yet.)

The only downside that has bitten me is that there’s no locking mechanism for Thunderbolt cables–so if one falls out, and your home directory is on that Thunderbolt device (mine is), it’s very unfortunate. I’ve “solved” this with zip ties for now.

Mac Pro


Email Introductions

Posted by mitch on August 02, 2014

From time to time, someone asks me to facilitate an introduction. Sometimes it’s to someone specific (“Mitch, do you know Bob?”) and sometimes it’s vague (“I’d like to meet people with problem X” or “who do activity X”). If I am able, I’m happy to help, as I’ve been fortunate to (and continue to) benefit from others helping me with this kind of thing.

A few thoughts on this:

  1. Send the person you are asking for an introduction an email, not a LinkedIn message. Depending on the person, you might call them too.
  2. Give the person a paragraph they can copy and paste or edit. Why are you wanting the introduction? If it’s to someone specific, why specifically them? Don’t make your introducer create copy from scratch.
  3. When/if the introduction happens, move the introducer to bcc right away. If the other party moves the introducer to bcc, don’t re-add the person!
  4. Say thanks. Especially if someone introduces you to multiple people in a get-go. Sometimes I introduce folks to half a dozen customer or partners and never hear any follow up. Was it useful? Were the introductions crap and I wasted everyone’s time? I have no idea.
  5. If you get connected with someone and they stop interacting, it might be ok to query the introducer, but don’t be surprised if they pass on re-engaging with the person of interest.

Related: If I introduce you to someone, I will often ping that person and ask if they are interested in an introduction before I send the first email with both of you. The only time I may not is when I am pinging a vendor with a potential new customer. Related: It drives me crazy when someone introduces me to someone without asking, especially if it’s not clear why in the email. I rarely reply to these emails.

Also related: Assume nothing about geography. I always cringe when one of the replies says, “Thanks for the intro — Hey Bob, should we get lunch?” when the two folks are thousands of miles apart. Not everyone lives in (y)our city and if I am creating the copy from scratch, I may not include geography information.

There’s probably more to say about this.