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Showing posts from September, 2009

Loyalty programs - an option for IT?

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I have to admit, I am a sucker for dogs. Whenever I’d walk through a mall and see a pet shop, I take time to walk past the rows of puppy cages. My eldest daughter “rescued” a greyhound from a shelter and even in the heart of winter, when she was out of town, with snow piled high along the sidewalk, I still found time to take him for his constitutional walk. As the puppies stare at me through the glass of their cubicles, I find it difficult to just walk away. But these days, with the time I spend on the road, it wouldn’t be fair for any dog.

I had a dog when I was a child. It was a brindle-colored Boxer that we simply called “Loco.” He wasn’t completely normal – he would follow the bread delivery van and retrieve every loaf dropped off. My father quickly tired of compensating the neighbors after each visit from the baker. And when I went to Rugby practice after school, Loco would somehow manage to fix his teeth into the laces of the ball and run away with it. No matter how we all tried,…

And the rockets' red glare!

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And now, having posted to the NonStop community blog, Real Time View for two years, I have started my third year of blogging ...

Friday evening is approaching, and in the final hours of the day I’m multitasking, as usual. On Skype to my good friend Mark Hutchens in Sydney while scanning emails and checking financial markets. Out of nowhere, an SMS message arrives from another good friend, Brian Kenny – “stand by for sonic booms,” it says. Space shuttle Discovery is going to break orbit and land nearby at Edwards Air Force Base.

Sure enough, in mid sentence with Mark, the dual booms rattle the windows. The base is not far from where I work, and only a few days ago, I had stopped by the rocket museum alongside the Naval Air Weapons Station, at Point Mugu, California, and the picture above is of me alongside some of the rockets on display. But these were all ancient relics of a bygone era and minuscule when compared to the Shuttle!

It's now the second time I have heard the signature b…

Pour the Chardonnay …

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It’s been some time since I was last in Sydney and I really do miss the place. For nearly two decades I have been “commuting” between Sydney and America – often several times a year. After working in the U.S. I returned to Sydney at the end of ’87 so that I could join Tandem Computers in Cupertino. I had been living in North Carolina but U.S. visa rules required me to return to Sydney, work for Tandem Computers (Australia) for one year, and then reapply for a new U.S. visa. The picture I have included here is of Sydney's famous Manly Beach!

All up, not a bad deal as it gave me the chance to convince local Tandem Computers management to create a Tandem User Group in Australia – a community that was launched in 1989. I came up with the name OzTUG and it gained enough traction with the community that it remains active as an organization to this day. In early ’89 I returned to the U.S. and while I waited for the visa, I commuted between Sydney and Cupertino. In all, twelve return trips…