Showing posts from November, 2007


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…

Is everyone in?

I am back in Amsterdam after spending the first part of the week with the VNUG and FinTUG user groups. More on this will follow next week. But I really do enjoy Amsterdam and spent a couple of evenings at the Five Flies restaurant – it is a well known establishment that I really enjoy, and have been dining there for many years.

The place is decorated with many pictures of the windmills, no surprise! As I was arriving to Amsterdam, I was once again captivated by the number and variety of windmills which I could see from the plane this time as I descended into the airport. I could clearly see examples of the old, traditional style, Dutch windmills as well as a lot of the new, modern, power-generating, kind.

While windmills first surfaced in what today is Iran, and then showed up again on some Greek islands, I think most of us associate windmills with the Northern part of France, some of the coast of England, and the Netherlands – as these were places where the strength and frequency of th…

We all just wanna be big rock stars!

Just as I was leaving for this trip I was going through papers and came across this picture of me taken as I turned 21. I have included it here as I was about a year into my computer career and I really didn’t know what I wanted to do with the rest of my life.

Like most teenagers at the time, I wanted to play sports and become a sports star. As much as I liked rugby, my parents had the good sense of talking me out of joining one of Sydney’s premier rugby league teams.

But the one thing I never thought about was being a rock star – sure, I could play a cool chopsticks on the piano (with enough advance warning) – but to become a musician on the world’s stage was just not one of my goals. Having come through the 60s and adjusting to life in the 70s, I wasn’t too excited by where music was headed anyway.

Today there’s rarely an occasion when I turn on TV, where yet another reality show isn’t being promoted! And among the more popular are those featuring the lifestyles of rock musicians – new…

Want to be my partner?

I have just arrived in Amsterdam, having spent a few days in sunny Cupertino and San Francisco to find that in Europe, right now, it's bloody cold!

This morning I awoke to a mixture of freezing rain and hail! Not only that, but the storm front I have been told about, is battling with the barriers that surround Holland - yes, they' re holding, but not since the 1950s has this much attention been given to the engineering efforts that are keeping this country "alive". Where else can you play golf below sea level, my colleague Andre reminded me today, but sometimes nature reminds us of the "practical" realities a country like Holland faces every day. No, this is not reality TV!

I am on my way up to the Baltic where I will be joining VNUG / FinTUG for the ferry ride between Stockholm and Helsinki, and I am looking forward to a very warm reception, no matter what the weather outside looks like. I will be giving the community an update on ITUG, and I am expecting i…

It's a sign!

The picture I have included here if of Brad Poole and I out in the Arizona desert and no, we weren’t escaping prison. Some of you though, on occasion, think that I should be locked up! This wasn’t one of those times and from the signs posted, there was no risk of us going anywhere.

It was 1993, and I had joined a group of Tandem developers for a META Group conference in Phoenix, Arizona. We found their presentation style of point and counterpoint annoying, so we skipped a couple of sessions to explore the surrounding desert.

A year later, I attended another META Group conference in Orlando, Florida that was held at the Peabody Hotel. For those not familiar with this hotel chain, it maintains the tradition of the “March of The Peabody Ducks”. It came as no surprise to any of the attendees when, as the conference opened, one of the senior META analysts walked to the podium with the Peabody Ducks lined up behind him. It was hilarious, and I am not sure the conference ever fully returned…

Need a drink!

I am now back in Simi Valley having missed all the drama from the recent round of Santa Ana-fueled fires. After leaving Chicago, I took the opportunity to swing on though Boulder for some down-time and to catch up with my family.

With the traveling of late I have seen a lot of airports and airport bars and I have stopped by at weird hours of the day, looking for refreshments. I have been doing this for many years and some time back, I came across the establishment in the photo here – a Non Stop Bar and I thought that was pretty amusing.

While in Boulder I did get the chance to catch up with Dr. Richard Hackathorn of Bolder Technology, Inc. Richard has a consulting and education firm that specializes in Business Intelligence (BI) and Data Warehousing (DW) and I have been maintaining a dialogue ever since I joined GoldenGate. Given the recent move by HP into this space with Neoview, our paths have crossed quite a bit in recent times.

But on this occasion Richard and I talked more broad…