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Showing posts from January, 2008

CIOs? Relevancy?

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I was sitting in the San Francisco airport Red Carpet lounge, late last week, looking forward to getting back to Simi Valley. I was unwinding after spending a few days in London followed by a bit of fun at GoldenGate’s annual sales kick-off event. The photo I’m including here is of me overlooking planes moving around the gates and whether it was the cold temperature, or watching an Air Canada flight taxi to the runway, I was reminded of the years I spent living in Edmonton, Alberta. As Gordon Lightfoot used to sing:

"Oh the prairie lights are burnin bright. The chinook wind is a-movin in Tomorrow night Ill be Alberta bound!"

I had left Sydney in the mid '70s and moved to London but after a little less than a year, I took the plunge and migrated to Alberta, Canada. I had accepted a job as a data base administrator with the local Caterpillar distributor – R. Angus (Alberta) Limited (RAAL) – running CICS/VSAM on dual IBM 370/145s but with plans to roll-in a new data base mana…

Neoview; a new view?

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I have just spent a couple of days in London catching up with HP as well as with the folks from BITUG. As usual, my trip to London was eventful – with flight changes, faulty equipment, security lines, and flight delays, but I managed to make it into the City in time to catch up with the BITUG leadership.

We met at a restaurant called the Paternoster Chop House, located in a square just behind Cheapside and in sight of St Paul’s Cathedral – and I have included a photo of the restaurant. Paternoster Square takes its name from Paternoster Row – a street from medieval times, where the clergy of St Paul’s would walk chanting the Lord’s Prayer “Pater Noster”, being the prayer’s opening line in Latin. With so many of the clergy to be found here, many of the nearby premises formed the center for book publishing in old London. Much of it was severely damaged during the Blitz of World War II, but today the London Stock Exchange has just taken up residence by the Square.

After lunch, we caught up …

The check-in desk two-step!

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I have arrived in London and walked into the lobby of the hotel that will become my residence for the next few days. Once again, I face the ABC’s of travel – Another Bloody Country, Another Bloody Check-In! But after getting a room and returning to the lobby for coffee, I took the time to look around. What caught my attention was how the hotel lobby had been designed and the photo I have included here provides a really good view of the layout.

The most important area for any hotel is the registration desk, as you just want to check-in, and go to your room. As you head towards it, you will always pass the concierge desk and welcome the opportunity to unload your bags before looking for your hotel loyalty and credit cards. After completing the check-in process, and as you head for your room, you pass by the lobby gift shop where you can easily pick up a local paper and a couple of bottles of water.

Clearly visible in the picture above, on the right-hand side, are these stations – and just…

Wake up call!

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I have arrived back in London after spending an enjoyable weekend in Denver. It has been a while since we were able to spend time at home and we took time out to entertain a number of our friends from IBM. Over a glass of wine we were able to cover a couple of topics I routinely return to in these blogs – issues to do with the data center. No surprises this time – the picture I have included here is of a few of us gathered in our bar area.

The data center has always interested me – how it’s put together, how operations are set up; the division of responsibilities between application, system and network management. I have also been interested in learning about the views of those close to the systems and the steps they take to ensure uninterrupted operations. And coming from a mixed IBM and Tandem background, I’ve seen just about every combination imaginable.

I have been to the data center of one well-known U.S. retailer, where the only time they paid any attention to the Tandem was when …

Virtualization? A bargain at any price!

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I am now back in Simi Valley having spent another working weekend in Colorado. This time, I was in Denver with a group of IBM Mainframe colleagues and we spent a lot of time discussing a variety of topics from systems, what we used to work with back in the ‘60s and ‘70s when it was all punch cards and single digit megabyte disk drives, to a little sports and the occasional politics. If you couldn’t recall what a typical ‘70s programmer looked like, check out the photo!

And talking of politics, today I listened to the Sting song “Englishman in New York” where he sings “I’m an alien, I’m a legal alien, I’m an Englishman in New York”, and it reminded me that this is an election year in the United States. While I happen to be a legal alien, I’m an Australian living in California and as far from New York as you can get on the mainland. The predicament I face is that, along with many others, as legal aliens in the US and remaining Australian citizens we have no vote. Anywhere. We cannot vote…

I got my new horizons!

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I have really enjoyed the break from blogging and, I have to admit, spending the New Year in Southern California wasn’t all that bad! I had left Boulder on New Years’ eve and had seen 0 degrees Fahrenheit show up on the car’s thermometer, but the next day I was having pizza in Santa Barbara and enjoying a balmy 70 degrees Fahrenheit! The drive back home down the coastline in the early evening, with the views of the sea under cloudless skies, is a drive I never get tired of doing.

That night I pulled out a Moody Blue’s concert DVD that was recorded back in 1992 at the Red Rocks Amphitheater in Colorado. And I thought it was pretty appropriate to start off the New Year seeing them sing “I have my hopes to comfort me, I got my new horizons out to sea” from the song New Horizons. I have the feeling that 2008 will see a lot of new products and solutions coming from HP even if, for the moment, they are just over the horizon out of sight. But I do take comfort knowing that HP’s support for No…