Showing posts from April, 2008

Keepers of the inner sanctum!

I am back from Vienna but it’s hard to put thoughts of this city too far away. I first went to Vienna when I was with Nixdorf Computers, back in the early ‘80s, so I have been visiting Vienna for 25 years! The picture I have included here is just a quick snapshot looking down a lane as I watched construction workers restore an old four-story building and what caught my attention was how the scaffolding was being erected.

Stationed one above the other and separated by about eight feet, the scaffold riggers were man-handling the scaffold tubing up a human chain as they extended its height up the side of the building. From the sidewalk, they were lifting these tubes and simply passing them up to the next level of the scaffold – there were five or six riggers in the chain, one per level - before the tubes were clamped to the framework in support of the next level. Balanced precariously, the riggers showed no fear of heights as they confidently pushed their framework higher. I am certain th…

Vienna Dialogue!

In a couple of hours I will be heading for the airport to fly home. I’ve spent five days in one of the most “classic” cities in all of Europe. Everywhere I turned, there were reminders of the glory days of the Austrian – Hungarian empire. Unfortunately, for most of the time I was captive of the hotel and the picture I have included here is from the lobby coffee shop, as I put down a few thoughts on paper.

I hadn’t penned more than a few lines when the words of a Billy Joel song, “Vienna”, came back to me. Over the decades I have been a huge fan of Billy Joel and his “Piano Man” is a song that just brings back so many memories – of ITUG events in Amsterdam, for instance, where many nights ended at the Piano Bar. And I can just hear the emotion in Billy Joel’s voice as he gets into Vienna: “You've got your passion, you've got your pride. But don't you know that only fools are satisfied? Dream on, but don't imagine they'll all come true. When will you realize, Vienna w…

We all have opinions!

This morning I have woken to a mild spring morning in Vienna, Austria. The picture I have included here is of me watching chocolate tortes being made at the Demel coffee house, where I had a late morning breakfast of coffee and tortes. Joining me for breakfast was Ron Beauchamp of ACI Worldwide. I had caught up with Ron the night before, immediately after arriving in Vienna, and we had gone to the old town surrounding St Stephan’s Cathedral, for Vienna Schnitzel at a local cafĂ©, the Figlmuller. Vienna has some great cafes and coffee shops, so we wanted to try them as soon as we could, as we knew we would have little spare time for the rest of the week.

Ron and I are in Vienna for the European BASE24 User Group (EBUG) event. This year’s agenda has taken a completely new look, and I will be very interested in how it proceeds, and in the general mood of the community now that ACI has moved away from HP and aligned itself strategically with IBM. There’s no escaping the fact that this holds…

Relying on Routines!

After five days of driving it’s actually quite good to be back at my desk. Over the weekend I drove close to 1,000 miles up to the Sonoma wine country and back, only to turn around and drive across to Scottsdale, Arizona for the DUST user group meeting. While in Sonoma I spent some time at the Infineon race track at Sears Point and captured a shot of a SMART car, the picture I have included here, mixing it up with Miatas, Mustangs, and Corvettes out on the race track.

I have always enjoyed driving long distances. And today, it is far more relaxing than flying the short hops – with security lines and cancelled flights. A few years back I was in Singapore standing alongside a carousel waiting for my bags and, as the system quite stopped unexpectedly, a passenger next to me just sighed, and said “don’t you just love the romance of travel!”

Well the romance of travel has long gone. Today it’s more about fatigue, frustration, minimal connect times, and bad food for $5 (even in first class, I…

Cadillacs! Corvette Coupes! And Custom Cycles!

Our eldest daughter, Anna, is in the market for a new vehicle. She’s been talking to us for the past few months and now it’s getting serious. She has been driving a Honda Accord now for many years and it’s as much about getting something new, and better suited to her current needs, as it’s about dumping the Accord.


She bought the Accord when she had no pets, and lived in California. Now she has a Greyhound dog, lives in Colorado, and has to deal with all four seasons. While I have been a party to the exchanges with her mother, this weekend she came to me with a short list of candidates. I drive an older Cadillac SUV but unfortunately, with all its creature comforts, it is a bit overweight. While I don’t like to see the register clicking over each time I pump gas, I wouldn’t have made it through the blizzards of ’06 without all three tons of this heavy metal behemoth!

So how could I not go back into the showrooms to take a look at the new models? It must be Spring! Anna wants s…

Thanks for the Memories!

I am in Boulder for a few days. I came back to attend the Rocky Mountain user group (RMTUG) meeting. It wasn’t so much the meeting agenda – it was on security and the impact of standards – as it was an opportunity to catch up with a lot of old friends. Many of them had been with me during my time at Insession, but after ACI elected to dismantle the group, they found new homes across the NonStop vendor community at companies like XYPRO, comForte, and GoldenGate. And it was good to catch up with everyone over drinks and a bite to eat – courtesy of the generosity of a couple of the participants’ companies.

Earlier in the week, I was in Northern California where I met with folks in Cupertino from the NonStop and the Neoview teams. We talked about the user communities and about the referendum now being conducted seeking approval from all constituencies to create a new user community. We are keeping our fingers crossed as we can see a bright future and hope we can announce the new organizat…

Social Networking!

Last week I posted an entry into a new community blog on the recently launched HP user group community networking site. Check it out at

The site has just opened, and most of the sections have limited content - but I will be very interested to see how it fairs. I am taking an interest in this site, and in the community that develops around it, as the new user group is created from the platform-specific communities in place today. As readers can tell by now, I am very supportive of social networks and any place I can go to for current information on HP’s platforms and solutions is of particular interest to me.

In the blog entry I posted last week, I made a comment about the green hills of Southern California, and so I have included a picture here of the view from the front of where I live, just so that you could see what it looked like. It lasts for less than a month, and it’s very different from what I am used to back in Colorado. But it’s not really the color…