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Showing posts from 2008

Continuing to Innovate in 09!

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It’s Christmas Eve and at our house Christmas always begins with this evening. It will be the time to open presents and to enjoy a traditional Christmas dinner – and a turkey will be involved, of course. The picture above is of me, in the kitchen, as preparations continued indoors this year, of course, as the weather outside remains bitterly cold.

Last Sunday, I went to the garage to check out the motorcycles. This time of year is when I become concerned about not “winterizing” the bikes as it’s always a gamble. For the past ten years, there’s always been at least one break in the weather that has allowed me to go for a ride. But this December it’s just been so cold that there has been little opportunity to ride – and I was starting to come down with cabin-fever.

As I looked at the bikes and even though it was only 20 Fahrenheit, I decided to throw on a couple more woolen sweaters, pull on the leather chaps, and get out the winter gloves - but I was unprepared for the sheer physical s…

Still the need for something special!

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I drove this past weekend from the West Coast back to my Boulder, Colorado home. For me, driving is not a chore and on a recent company conference call, I talked of my preference for driving, much to the amusement of my colleagues. Time permitting, if I need to attend a meeting and it’s less than 1,500 miles away, I would rather drive. Even with yesterday’s gas prices, staying away from airline travel had its upside and I am happy to report that it cost me a third of what it did a month ago to fill the SUVs tank. It was still nearly twice as expensive as if I had taken my daily-drive for this ride!

However, I can’t always count on the weather – and this time, it hit with a vengeance and the picture above is of the SUV the morning after I arrived home. I started the homeward leg early Saturday morning, in San Jose, with the hope that it would be an uneventful trip and that the weather would hold off for a few days. I also hoped that taking time out to visit friends just past Sacramento…

Legacy, left behind ...

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I had the pleasure of spending my lunchtime at another software company this week – and was asked to be a judge in a “gingerbread house building” game that pitted developers against QA, support, sales, and management. The gingerbread houses were pretty impressive, and the photo I have included here is of me digging into a gift bag I was given after the results were announced.

And it wasn’t long before we began reminiscing about the old days, and about the applications we wrote many decades ago. Remember PL/1, I was asked? Remember teletype protocols and paper tape? Remember memory drums? While I have spent the last two years working remotely, and have enjoyed the flexibility it provides, I sure do miss times spent around the water cooler!

I wrote earlier this week an article for the upcoming December issue of the electronic newsletter, TandemWorld. In it I referred to an advertisement by IBM in the November 28, ’08 issue of the Fortune magazine. IBM, under a large-type headline “Decreas…

Think? I don’t think so!

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I have just returned from spending the Thanksgiving weekend in London. For those returning to this blog on a regular basis, you may recall that I was in Singapore for last year’s Thanksgiving and posted a blog entry at that time (“What do you mean, legacy?” November 27th, ’07). This is not the first time that I have been out of the country for the holiday, and it has given me a little down time from blogging. The picture I have included here is of me settling in for the long flight across the Atlantic.

One of the benefits that come with regular air travel is that the airlines still look after their frequent flyers – and upgrades are often made available. And as much as I enjoy the additional space that the upgrades provides, it is the ability to “fast-track” security, and even immigration services, that I have come to appreciate. Anytime I can get out of the airport without breaking stride makes the trip a little more bearable. Even if it does mean passing long lines of bedraggled pass…

Prospects? Looking good ....

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I made the trip downtown to the LA Auto Show this weekend. A few years ago I had been at HP World, but had stayed nearby and had missed the opportunity of driving into the city and to experience the “pleasures” of LA’s freeways. The LA Auto Show is a much bigger spectacle than the Orange County event I attended in early October (check out the posting of October 10, ‘08 “This one’s a keeper?”) and the car manufacturers used this one to showcase their new cars as well as displaying futuristic concept cars. The picture above is of the Lamborghini stand where a large crowd had gathered to take a look at a bevy of beautiful models on display – along with the usual “booth candy.”

As is typical these days, many of the up-market manufacturers had their cars roped off behind barriers. Whether this is done to create an air of exclusivity, or because the cars were just too fragile to stand up to the heavy volume of visitors eager to get in behind the wheel, I am not all that sure. But it does bri…

Losing my connection!

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It’s been hard to escape the news of the fires as they rage, wind-driven, down through the canyons surrounding greater Los Angeles. While is the fires are now subsiding, the past week or so has seen so much destruction and tragedy that it’s hard to imagine the city soon forgetting this year’s fires. Again, it has been the Santa Ana winds that have contributed to the fires’ spread and there has been little let-up in the ferocity over the past month. In October, it was the Porter Ranch fire that had brought similar tragedy right to our doorstep and the picture I have included here is from my condo looking east towards California Highway 118 as it climbs out of Simi Valley.

Television networks gave us continuous coverage of the efforts being made by the fire brigade, police, and service providers like telephone and power companies. With mandatory evacuations, the empty streets could be seen, grid like, alive with activity as crews rushed to hot spots with a freedom of movement rarely see…

Innovation – simply put!

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I am still working from my Simi Valley office, where I will remain until the Thanksgiving weekend. I am still an early riser and have drifted into a pattern of heading to the Starbucks next door, joining other early rises, for the first coffee for the day. But now the days have grown shorter, and it’s always dark. The picture above I snapped this morning, as the full moon above the corner coffee shop was quite a sight.

And as much as I dislike many technologies on offer these days, to be able to simply pull out the blackberry and check all that is going on back east, or in Europe, is something I really find very beneficial. Twenty five years ago, if you had suggested that I would be able to do my email from a small, handheld device, while sitting in a coffee shop, I would have found it pretty hard to believe. But today, it’s all about these small devices that we have become so dependent on.

Looking back twenty five years, IBM and Microsoft were still sorting out the first consumer PC an…

Is it time we folded our (big) tent?

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It is with a lot of sadness that I write this blog. As I sit back with a coffee here in Simi Valley, I can’t keep my thoughts from wandering to Mannheim, Germany where, in a few days time, the HP NonStop community will be gathering for the first ever Community Connect Europe (CCE) user event. This will be only the second European user event that I have missed since the early ‘90s and even though our company, GoldenGate. will be well represented, I have elected to skip this one. So here I am in Simi Valley and the photo you see is of me enjoying coffee at my local Starbucks!

My first opportunity to attend the European ITUG event came in 1991 when it was held in Munich, Germany. I was working for Tandem Computers in Cupertino, as the program manager for NonStop NET/MASTER, and had stopped by Amsterdam on the way over. But I didn’t make it to Munich that year as I had to return to Cupertino for personal reasons, and it wasn’t until the following year, when the event was held in Nice, bef…

It’s up there, in the clouds!

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I am back in Simi Valley after spending a week in Boulder. The temperatures continue to remain mild across Colorado, with no sign yet of winter. Mornings can be cool but the trees still carry residual colors from the fall. The picture I have included here is of a popular walking trail where I live – and the cannels remain full as water is drained from the nearby dams in preparation for the snowfalls that will eventually arrive.

There are two cannels that flow alongside the walking trails and they date back to the era of steam, when steam trains first pushed through from the east coast. The land on which the houses were built was originally owned by Union Pacific Railway, and the cannels that spread out from the front ranges were part of a complex water-delivery system that filled the water tanks by the railway lines. The train drivers never knew how it all worked or what was involved in getting the water track-side, and they didn’t need to. But today, these original infrastructure com…

Reserve some "Whoa"!

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Picking up a newspaper from under my hotel door the other week, I saw an advertisement by Hertz promoting their latest car offering – a bright “velocity-yellow” Corvette. Under the picture (shown above) was the caption: Reserve some Whoa! As most readers know by now, anything with a picture of a ‘Vette will always catch my attention, and later that same day, as I passed by the Hertz lot, there were five of them lined up waiting for customers to pick them up.

Hertz is a GoldenGate user, with GoldenGate supporting their mission critical applications on NonStop, and over the years I have seen Hertz’ folks attending user conferences and events. While I can only guess at the types of the applications running on NonStop, I have to believe that each time I reserve a car some part of the transaction passes through a NonStop.

However, what did surprise me was, that as I was paging through earlier postings researching items for this post, I came across the May 31, 2008 posting “Heading for the ex…

Who you gonna trust?

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For more than a year now, I have been travelling between Boulder, Colorado and Simi Valley, California. Symptomatic of the changes taking place across our industry, where companies have become more interested in the skills and knowledge you can provide, than where you live. However, some executive positions still require a hands-on approach, and this is what has happened in our family. Frequent travel between the two cities has become an integral part of our life these days.

There’s always a downside of course – I was looking for tools the other day that I thought were in the garage, until I remembered that they were in the other garage. And when I went to the refrigerator, I remembered too late that what I wanted was in the other refrigerator. And then there are the usual household expenses that need to be attended to, along with the frustration that follows when you realize you are paying for services you can’t actually use!

The climate in Colorado means that you need to turn to contr…