Hal and Dave - Part 2: A (loose) discussion on Amazon Web Services

Hal and Dave (and Jed!) discuss Amazon Web Services...

“Hi, Dave speaking”.

“Dave, it’s Hal, just thought I’d give you a quick call.”

As was often the case, Hal was speaking far too loudly, with some reverberation, giving Dave the impression that he was shouting at his phone from a distance of about 2 metres. “OK, how can I help?”, replied Dave.

“I was just reading up about Switchplane. Really nice website but I notice they use Amazon for their web servers. Do we want to go with a company that uses a mass market retailer to look after its servers? How reliable is that going to be?”

“Hal, when you’re on the phone you don’t need to Social Di … oh, never mind. Erm, just a sec mate.” Dave, irritated, lowers his voice. “Jed, pass me the putter, will you? That’s it, the one with the blue handle.” Dave raises his phone. “Hal, give me a minute while I make this putt. Jed, can you just hold my phone for me? Thanks.”

Dave takes the putter and lines up his shot. He takes a gentle putt. It’s not good.
“Damn it, I’m below par already and this is the easiest hole on the course! Can’t concentrate! I wonder why?”

Dave takes back his phone. “Hal, I’ll call you back in a bit, OK?”

““Right, catch you later.”

“Who was that, Dad?”

“That was Hal from work. You met him at that wedding a while ago, before lockdown. He was the best man. Come on, let's go back and have some lunch.”

“Jed, this is yours, peanut butter and banana. I’ll have the BLT.”
“Dad, what did Hal want?”

“Oh, he was asking why we’d use Amazon as our Cloud Server. But it’s not Amazon Retail, it’s Amazon Web Services, which is consistently rated by the industry as the best in the world, with revenue of $33 billion last year, ahead of Microsoft and Google. Hal’s a good bloke really. He works hard and wants the company to do well, but sometimes he gets the wrong end of the stick and gets hung up on minutiae.”

“What do you mean by -”
“Minutiae?”
“No, I know what that means. Fiddly details, my teacher told me.”
Dave pauses for thought, looking happily dumbfounded at his son’s vocabulary.
“But what’s the wrong end of the stick?” continues Jed, through a mouthful of peanut butter and banana.

“Erm, well, it’s a funny way of saying ‘mistaken’. Literally, it’s like, if I’d taken that putt holding the putter upside down by the flat metal bit and tried to hit the ball with the handle.”

“You’d probably have got it in, Dad!”
“You’re thinking outside the box. Nice one, son.”
“I’m not sure what that means, Dad, but my teacher says it’s a good thing to do. So does Hal think inside the box?”

Dave sighs with mild frustration. “Yes, I’m afraid so. A very small box”.

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