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Thief, Thief!

Putting It All Together

Before my column idea got sucked out from under me, I was planning to cover what lab director Ron Anderson did in explaining NWC Inc., why it was created, and how the company is structured. In fact, there's more information in Ron's piece than in half the company business plans I read that got venture funding during the dot-com craze. Which gets me thinking that maybe, with a quick name change, I could ... um, never mind. There's really nothing I can add; Ron covered it quite well. (Pssst, Ron, I'll get your friends and family in on the IPO!)

So my next thought was to write something about all the pieces we needed to build the core infrastructure for NWC Inc. But again, I was beaten to the punch. Lori MacVittie and Steve Schuchart know the history of how things were chosen for the computing core and have it laid out for you. These technology editors built the environment from the ground up--clearing the appropriate floor space in their palatial Green Bay lab, ripping open the crates like kids during the holidays when equipment starting coming through the door, and scraping a knuckle or two while rackmounting the gear. Management figured since Lori and Steve were already spending 70 hours a week in the lab, why not lump on a few extra hours to build a production-quality computing environment from scratch? All it cost was another truckload of Mountain Dew ... cheap when you figure it doesn't even need refrigeration (the lab is in Green Bay, after all).

My last hope for a column was to write something about the software we would use to run this new company. NWC Inc. needs an application infrastructure that can support growth. I planned to explain the criteria we used to pick software, what that software would do for us today and in the future, and so on. But alas, Lori beat me to it by using a power screwdriver on the racks and finishing in plenty of time to write the article. (Read about what software is at work behind the scenes at NWC Inc.) And I need to give Lori real credit here, since she's been battling with products from Redmond, Wash. For those of you who don't know, Lori is allergic to two things: shellfish and Microsoft Windows, so we really do appreciate her dealing with those hives while getting NWC Inc. off the ground.

More To Come