Showing posts from 2007

Grading HP? Need to do much better ...

This will be the last blog entry I post for the year. I have enjoyed writing this blog and I have welcomed the steady flow of comments that have been posted. I am back in Boulder and I plan on taking a break now for 10 days or so with the first posting likely during the week of January 7th.

The photo I have included here is from my home in Boulder and yes, we have seen plenty of snow. While nowhere near the levels of last year, when three back-to-back blizzards shut down all activity around Denver and the Front Ranges, the temperatures have been every bit as cold though and this morning I arose to 0 degrees Fahrenheit! I head back to Southern California on the weekend and I am looking forward to basking in the mid, to upper, 60s that they are currently enjoying! At least there will be an opportunity to see if the Colorado University football team can win its first bowl game in many years.

And this is the first holiday season in many years where I will not be spending any time back in Au…

Different point of view!

A while ago I was traveling the back-roads behind the South-Eastern Coast of Australia and on one occasion drove up the Illawarra Highway and over the Macquarie Pass. This is a pretty spectacular road but not for the faint of heart as it’s hairpin bends (switchbacks) and step climbs mean that you will not see any 18 wheelers (or, 22 wheelers, as is often the case in Australia) using this highway. But the pass does support one of Australia’s southernmost sub-tropical rainforest, and to suddenly drive into the forest’s gloom is quite a memorable sight.

I first tackled this road back in 1970 – and on my first motorcycle. I elected to make the climb up to a village pub in the small town of Robertson just the other side of Macquarie Pass. It was an exciting first ride as my headlamp stopped emitting light about halfway up the highway and remained non-functioning for the rest of the night. The ride down as I tried to pick out the apex of hidden corners was a ride I will always remember.

On my…

Virtualization? Unreal, mate!

I wandered into Second Life last night and took the opportunity to check out what was going on, and the picture I have included here is of my avatar, RT Writer. Earlier this year I had attended a vendor event where there were a number of demonstrations of Second Life and I have become a casual participant in this virtual community. I really like the opportunity it gives me to fly over islands and be teleported between them.

The whole concept of a virtual community intrigues me, as does the investment some corporations are making. Last night I wondered onto an IBM island – the picture is of me at an IBM Australia site – and continue to be highly impressed by the number of islands IBM owns. I even boarded a motor yacht, the Palmisano, located between IBM island’s 7 and 8 and took a leisurely stroll through its interior.

Second life is one of a growing number of virtual communities, and the trick with creating these worlds is to make sure that you have a rich enough experience that you rea…

May I remove this label?

I have just returned from a quick trip up to Silicon Valley for meetings with HP among other commitments. On my way home from dinner last night – and I have to give Evvia, a Greek Restaurant in Palo Alto, a plug as the food there was excellent – an Ice Hockey game was being broadcast. Coming direct from the HP Pavilion in San Jose, the commentators were talking about an incident, where clearly one teams “skater” had been hit hard by the other teams “goon”.

In the game of Ice Hockey, from the time you show any talent whatsoever, you quickly become tagged as either one of the elite, a fast and skilled skater with great puck-handling skills, or as a goon! The later character is the very physical and aggressive player you only ever send out onto the ice after your opponent elects to take a cheap-shot at your best skater. But every so often, a good skater will make a tough play only to hear much later that he has just been labeled a goon, an association that will take years to shake off.


Need to take a brisk walk!

Some of you have remarked about my weight and that you have noticed, as I introduced photos from different periods of my life, how much slimmer I looked these days. However, the photo you see here is from last weekend as I returned from Chicago – and you will notice how I am keeping clear of the moving walkways. I had known for some time now that my weight wasn’t what I wanted it to be and, during my physical last year, my doctor suggested I exercise regularly.

Back then, I wasn’t exercising at all and my family began to have a little fun at my expense suggesting, at one point, that I resembled a beach ball! Wicked woman. So I have taken up walking here in Simi Valley, as well as in my Boulder neighborhood and my colleagues will often be surprised by the roadside noise when I answer the phone. As many of you have been reading, I don’t spend all that much time in either city, so I have begun to map out walking routes at different airports. Chicago, Terminal 1 Concourse C, is a good one …

For RUGs, it's a bigger picture!

In 1988 I was kicking around the Sydney offices of Tandem with not a whole lot to do. I had returned to Australia from North Carolina and had pursued a job with Tandem Computers with the intent of returning to the US just as soon as I could. I had been working in Raleigh, North Carolina on an L1 visa but had to re-apply for a new L1 visa and for this I had to return to Sydney.

It was while waiting to get to Cupertino that I was encouraged to work with some of the local users – folks from the banks as well as some local ISVs, etc – and to see if we could form a user group. I jumped at the chance and over a couple of really lengthy lunches, we came up with the business plan for OzTUG.

By the time the group held its first meeting, late in ’88 I recall, I was working as a Program Manager within the Distributed Systems Management (DSM) group, and I had my new L1 visa. The picture here is of me about to drive down to Monterey for the weekend - a dreadful car by today’s standard but back the…

An "anniversary", of sorts ...

I have been blogging for a little over three months and I am very encouraged by the engagement that has developed with the ITUG community. There's very few postings that haven't generated additional comments and this is a very pleasing result so early in the lifecycle of this blog. I am including a photo here of me working on this posting from my neighborhood Simi Valley Starbucks coffee shop, where the staff are no longer surprised by the hours I keep. And yes, this is early December in Southern California.

A number of you have asked me how I find the time to write these postings and it’s rather straightforward. These days, and with the time I am loosing to travel, I end up spending most of my days in airport lounges drafting potential topics. One of the dreadful byproducts of this pattern is that I have a minor case of insomnia and even now, as I write this, it’s well before dawn. A few years back I used to joke that I had my body clock removed at a tender age but now I fear …


Before leaving Singapore this week, I had the opportunity to be a part of an Audi car launch – the new Audi R8. Audi had decided to use the hotel as the launch site for their new mid-engined R8 and, as part of the launch, to showcase a number of historical race cars from their German museum. They were excited to launch this car, and to position it as the new “flagship” model for Audi.

Audi rolled out three cars, under the banner of “Legends come to Singapore” – the rule-changing Rally quattro A2 from the early ‘80s, the 2002 24 Hours at Le Mans winning AudiR8 LMP, as well as the amazing 1936 Auto Union. The picture here is of the Auto Union Type C “Silver Arrow”, the car that won 10 Grand Prix races in 1936.

It’s almost impossible to describe the impact this race car made on all those passing by. Powered by a rear-mounted, supercharged, 6.0 liter V16 engine that produced over 520 bhp –it was an awesome sight. I have been around Formula 1 cars before, but when they started the Auto Union…

What do you mean, legacy?

Thanksgiving in Singapore is always different – the temperature is a shock for anyone stepping out of a plane from North America. The combination of high temperatures and high humidity, takes a little while to adjust. But then there’s always a bar nearby.

The picture I have included here is from the “new” Long Bar at the old Raffles Hotel. It has a lot of memories for me as, over the years, I have entertained folks at this bar from Insession, ACI and Tandem. But I sorely miss the atmosphere of the “old” Long Bar that I first visited in May of 1982, and a legacy from the days of British colonial rule.

Back them the hotel was anything but a luxury hotel and the Long Bar was on the ground floor, across from the entrance lobby, and pretty much open around the clock. There was no air-conditioning - just overhead fans, and it was ankle-deep in peanut-shells as patrons discarded them under the tables without a second thought! On the Saturday evening that I walked into the old Long Bar, it was…

Preventer of Information Services?

As I lifted a stein of Bavarian lager and cut into my traditional pork knuckle, with the crackling to kill for, and with the light banter of German conversation between our host and the waiter, I had to stop for a moment to remember where I was. No, I wasn’t in Munich, but in a restaurant in Singapore, with Herbert Zwenger, who heads HP’s BCS group in Asia Pacific and Japan (AP/J).

The picture I have included here is of Merlion, the symbol of Singapore , and the ever-changing Singapore skyline. There is something about Singapore and the energy of the place that’s hard to describe and I always feel excited to be here. I love the seafood, and I am particularly fond of the chili crabs here – but that’s another story.

I had come to Singapore for a little downtime over Thanksgiving and to catch up with Herbert's team and only a week earlier I had been with Neil Pringle of HP EMEA. I had been impressed with Neil and with the performance of NonStop in EMEA, but Herbert was even more excit…

I've got to find a safe haven ...

I have just returned from spending 3 days on the Stockholm to Helsinki ferry, with 50 or so folks from the Scandinavian VNUG and the Finnish FinTUG user groups. The photo here is taken from their conference room on the ferry – and I have to tell you, the appointments onboard the Silja Line ferry “Serenade” were great. The event even kicked off with a “champagne toast” - and that’s a first for me at any user group events!

Neil Pringle, chief of HP NonStop EMEA sales, was in good mood and he was extremely pleased with the way the quarter had gone, and with the momentum he was seeing built in support of the NonStop platform. But buried in his slide deck was a slide I could not remember seeing before, and it did make an impact on me, as it declared “HP Integrity: Your future is our future”!

But perhaps the biggest impression on me didn’t make any of the presentations, or any of the conversations I had, but the taxi rides and cafĂ© meals in the lead up to the event. It really hit home how f…