IT Monitoring - Apple M1
M1 – Apple takes me down memory lane

Well with M1 – Apple has hit hard and really takes me down memory lane. Walk it with me a minute.

“Processor wars” were daily in the 90’s, but later didn’t rage so much as the number of players dwindled.
The latest “wars” are fired by the Apple M1

That name reminds me of quite a few things, what about you?
So I thought I’d share a few of them, they might stir some of your memories too.


The famous English road, UK’s first urban motorway introduced in 1959.
Before that few people in our town would consider going to London by car. It was much too far and a long trip, trains were the only practical way.

What a difference to our lives the M1 made. Mum and Dad took us on holiday. For the first time in our lives we went “dahn saath” to places with wierd and wonderful names like Dover, Folkestone, Canterbury, and Hastings Places we’d only seen in textbooks, conjured image of slayed kings and priests and Viking boats.
Yes the M1 shortened our little island quite a lot.

Tinsley Viaduct

As a lad I was born and raised in Meadowhall, a district that sits half in Rotherham and half in Sheffield. 
We’d play in the “winter hills” as we called the scrub land on Meadowhall road (Rotherham).
On those hills higher up than the Don Valley, we could see all the steelworks, the valley factories, and Sheffield Lane Top moors in the yonderland.

IT Monitoring 101 - M1 Tinsley Viaduct

Then in the mid-sixties, the bulldozers started clearing and the famous Tinsley Viaduct took shape.

I remember seeing the construction of the viaduct as it began to fill our horizon. Imagine us lads glearing as the huge cranes lowered massive lego bricks to form it.

The massive cooling towers we’d always known and watched seemed dwarfed by this amazing structure for the time. We’d never seen a 1 mile long bridge let alone crossed one.

Trainspotters and bubble gum

We used to go trainspotting on the LMS line down in the valley.
Old steamers battled against newer Peaks, Brush and ”type 3″ and “type 4” diesel electric locos.
When they started building the viaduct  our favourites huts we’d thrown up from corregated metal and bits of wood, so we could watch the trains when it rained, were destroyed.
Still, some comfort came from collecting the pop bottles. The workers left empties all over the place especially in summertime. We’d collect them and return them to the shop to get the deposit back, tuppence or maybe sixpence. We got rich quick so bubble gum and football cards galore were swapped at school thanks to that 😊

I think those cooling towers were blown up round about 2008. Some of you will remember seeing them tower above the viaduct as you crossed in your car (or your Dad’s).

With it the M1 brought noise and pollution to our doorsteps. But also led us North to mysterious lands like Lancashire, Northumberland, Leeds and Bradford.
Miles away for our little trolleys, nailed together bits of wood and pram wheels.

Since then Meadowhall became somewhat famous for several reasons.

The Full Monty

The (in)famous film of the Yorkshire Chippendales is pretty well liked but did you know it was filmed in Meadowhall?

IT Monitoring 101 - The Full Monty

If you watch the trailer (click on the image to see it) you’ll see the cooling towers easily and other views of the area.

Not sure many of the “tough” Yorkshire lads were particularly proud of the film though 😊

Meadowhall shopping centre

Steelworks shut down, classy city and town centre shops became pound-buyer paradises as a new massive shopping complex replaced them all in the Meadowhall district right at the base of the viaduct. Strangely enough they call it Meadowhall Shopping complex.

Impressive for 1990 as the 2nd largest in the UK. Its been knocked off that pedestal since but can still wear yourself out walking its length to find the bargains.

IT Monitoring 101 - Meadowhall

Apart from the M1 being conveniently close by, bringing people from miles around, the Sheffield tramway was extended all the way to it, whilst buses and trains bring folk from Rotherham and beyond.


Who doesn’t like BMW cars?
They’re certainly a cult brand in the automobile world.

I never had a M1 personally, but there’sIT Monitoring 101 - BMW M1 probably little doubt that the buzz around this machine led me to eventually buy a BMW, especially seeing it dressed like this.


The M1 started a part of that cult, surely everyone has dreamt of having an M3 or M5 at some point, and today’s other M variants are all born with the M1 concept.

Monitoring 1-01

I think we all end up doing something different with respect to our studies.

Personally I studied control engineering. My degree was a passport that took me across 5 different companies, many continents, countries and responsibilities in control system design, modelling, software engineering through to product marketing.
Its been great, and even now as Dave and I work to grow our startup Nobius, I learn practically everyday.

As HP launched into network management many moons ago, we had spawned a training and consulting program called M1. It was meant to help people focus on the basics , or monitoring 101.
That M1 program was born in the nineties before many knew TCP/IP, SNMP and had any idea that monitoring was a vital foundation to keeping applications and IT datacenters alive.

Things evolved of course, the M1 program lived its time, but it’s interesting to see today my son today learning the basics of TCP/IP and SNMP.

Nobius exists because there is still a need to get the basics right. Monitoring is still vital. My son is a developer and he’s beginning to see why I tell him getting the front/back end systems instrumented properly is vital.

Dave and I have focused on this over the years, we believe we can help many to get the event stream right, tune monitoring to bring the right information to the right people at the right time for better decision making.
IT Monitoring - slash costsAt Nobius know this can be done and simultaneously reduce costs, by a lot sometimes.

Maybe Nobius could bring a M1 program to you !

If your  you have too many false positives, you lack visibility over cloud / outsourced resources impacting your business, event stream isn’t right, and/or you need to repurpose budget to more important things, then reach out to us

See how we can help you at

Apple has brought us another technological breakthrough with M1.
I think to some extent it’s a bit of a shame they weren’t bolder in choosing its name.

M1 will always mean other things to me.

How about you, what does M1 remind you of?

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