I found this in the news today and hunted down the original paper at Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine. It shows that children as young as 3 years old are greatly affected by marketing and brand loyalty, with as many as 73% of kids 3-6 preferring food in McDonald’s wrappings to the same food in plain paper. Even if that item was a carrot, kids preferred it significantly over the generic item.

Reading further, the stats get more interesting.  The more TVs in the house, or the more times the kids ate at McDonald’s per month, the greater the preference for the branded food. The whole paper is a really fascinating read, but it does get (as most scientific publications do) pretty stats-heavy, so if you don’t follow statistics very well, just plow through it and check out the graphs and findings.

Moral of the story?

For parents: Remove TVs from the house, and eat healthy at home more often.

For businesses: your branding can be extremely powerful.  Even the kids who NEVER ate McDonald’s preferred the branded food.

On Friday we successfully executed a 20-server move from one colocation facility to another across town.  The new site has much more room for expansion, is more secure, and will save the company a few hundred thousand dollars a year in related costs.  So it was a *good thing*.

Technically, the best part about it was being able to perform the move during business hours.  There is enough redundancy in the systems now to allow the full shutdown of DCs, an Exchange server, a huge portion of the Cisco Call Center environment, other support and security systems, and the end users never notice.  That is a fantastic feeling, knowing that designs are coming together properly to allow such controlled failures, without affecting the business.

Over the course of this move, I’ve learned a few things:

  • Exchange servers appropriately update themselves upon an IP subnet change with no errors.  I expected a 2nd reboot to be required after the server recognized it was in an completely different AD site.
  • Physically moving DCs to a new site is also extremely easy, provided you update DNS / WINS appropriately.
  • Cleaning up bad subnets in AD Sites and Services is a pain, because it’s so tiresome doing all the subnet calculations over and over again.  Worth it, but boring.
  • Security guards at building docks can be real jerks, or can be really easy to work with.  Leaving the building, the movers kept having to drive around the building as we went back in for another pallet’s worth of equipment.

Now it’s time to rebuild servers that have been brought back to the office to be re-deployed with new OS’s in the DMZ, and finish building that environment properly!

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