Monday, December 15, 2008

Finally Finished

It has been an exciting 15 months at GW. We made it! Congrats to all.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Mainframes, the good ole days......

Give me a green screen day any day of the week. Now before you say I am crazy, let me explain. Back in the day, we had these centralized systems called mainframes. They were very expensive and were high maintenance. Given these high costs, the systems maintained 99.999 to 100% of hardware availability --WOW! I remember hearing how mainframers were scared to turn off or reboot (they call it IPL) the mainframe. Some mainframes have been up for years before needing an IPL!

Why do newer more advanced server computers have to be rebooted daily? How many times does Chicken Little have to run around the office screaming the "network is down"?

Is it because servers are cheaper than mainframes? Is it because the server guy/girl is clueless? Are the applications junk? Why? Why? Why?

Well here are my thoughts....

1. Servers are cheaper! Not only are they cheaper they are not all that different than your Personal Computer (PC). How many times do you reboot your PC? How many of us put the PC to bed at night? PC's were developed in the 1980's from off the shelf components and used a single user operating system such as DOS or CPM. Back in the day storage was very expensive and the File server was born --Thank you LANTastic and Novell! File Servers did well on the LAN. Application Servers were starting to make their mark, however these machines were never meant to host more than one user at a time, not to mention thousands. For Enterprise Computing we need Enterprise machines, with an Enterprise Operating System --they cost the big money but they are always on!

2. Back in the Day, the computer pros were college graduates. Most were Computer Science and Management Information Systems graduates. Does this matter? You bet it does. It is possible to learn coding (some of our best coders don’t go to college) and other skills on your own, college brings more to the table. Command of the language, and being able to write thoughts in a logical order --i.e. usable documentation! MIS Graduates have business sense in additional to their technical scruples. Many of these grads are management material! Here is the problem; users think the IT workforce is made up of helpdesk/computer fix people. This is so not true, but that is who they see on a daily basis. Many IT organizations are headed by a Chief Financial Officer, who intern thinks all IT people are helpdesk/break fix workers. Based on a lack of technical knowledge, the CFO hires the wrong people into management. These management teams fail because of lack of a business or a technical degree and a general lack of business sense. These practices are worsened do to a shortage of qualified IT candidates.

3. The applications are more complex and should run on a true Enterprise Class computer. I sometimes wish Bill Gates would recompile Windows to run on an IBM P series machine! Wow, that would be hot. However Windows has its shortcomings, remember it was designed for a single user i.e. Personal Computers! Windows is unable to have multiple user environments. VMware has been used to try to get around this, but it requires a complete Windows environment –hence hundreds of servers to patch. In the mainframe world I can carve out a virtual environment that is an extension of my OS. This makes it possible to load and host the application in the virtual environment. It is true that Windows can host multiple applications on 1 Server, but there are conflicts with DLL’s and registry settings. I think a registry is a good idea; however hosting multiple applications that need different registery settings introduces a big risk for conflict.

My thoughts presented above are the tip of the iceberg, many factors are at hand for unacceptable computing environments. Here are my thoughts:

Hire someone who has multiple OS and hardware experience
Hire coders that have a hardware background
Remember a person with a Masters is a manager, shouldn’t make a request for a master degree if the position is hands on technical. Ask for a Bachelors instead, much easier to find and better qualified.
Managers need to be technical and proven leaders. Never stick a techie guy in charge –unless he/she wants the change. Then give them the tools to become and effective manager!

This is all I have to say for now. I can write pages on this stuff….

Check this old article out. May blog about this subject --Downteching!

I agree with some of George Mason University’s Professor Hugh Heclo. DOWNTECHING will allow the above bullets to be accomplished.

I am Back!!

I think I am going to continue with this blog. The plan is to transform it into a tool for CIO's and others on the CIO track. Lots of ideas going through my brain, hopefully I will not rant too much.

Friday, August 1, 2008

It's been fun....

Well today is the end of the semester of summer. I blew the last test ---should have enough points to make the class! Here are some highlights to remember...

1. Are you in the cloud?
2. Neisayer or Leader?
3. Web 2.0 verus 1.o

Well that is all I can remember for now...mind is a mess. See you in the fall!


Friday, July 25, 2008

CIO's in Odd Places!

I was reading this on the CIO Weblog:

"How is this for alignment? Eye care company Bausch & Lomb has named Alan Farnsworth as CIO... and Senior Vice President of Customer Service. I've heard of CFOs doubling as CIOs. A COO doubling up on the role would raise no eyebrows here. But customer service?

Mr. Farnsworth, who has been with the company since 1998 and has most recently held the position of president of the company's Europe, Middle East, and Asia division, doesn't appear to have a lick of IT experience in his background. " -- CIO Weblog

Well, I.T. involves quite a bit of customer service. Especially in dealing with the support side of the house, this is where a customer service oriented person can fit the bill (just remember IT isn't all about computer technical support). If this guy were technical (in addition to the customer service background), I think it would be a great move. Heck all executives should have some kind of customer service background, in addition to their primary craft. I'll give examples, CFO's should have an accounting background, General Counsel = Attorney, and CIO should have a technical background.

The problem is that employees, employers, and managers do not understand technology. How many times have you been asked to fix a computer? Just because I am in I.T. doesn't mean I fix computers for a living! That is the misconception about IT, people think we are the helpdesk. Would you make a helpdesk person your CIO?

However some managers/biz owners will hand a helpdesk person a million dollar project and the helpdesk person will fail at it. So when those same managers/biz owners think of CIO, they want a proven leader. Since most folks think IT=personal computers & personal computers = support, hiring a non technical CIO doesn't matter.

The only thing IT people do is fix computers! Right? Wrong! However, let's not take the non-technical CIO's for granted. Mr. Farnsworth (for example) is a proven leader. Proven leaders understand their strengths and their short comings. If technology is not his thing, a proven CTO as his counterpart will fit the bill. Another quality of a proven leader is the ability to decipher information, adhere to recommendations from staff, and execute those recommendations!

My two cents, all executives should have a customer service background. I think it is good for business as it teaches win/win techniques. --My two cents!


Thursday, July 24, 2008

Videogames getting minds of their own

LOS ANGELES, July 20 (AFP) Jul 20, 2008 Videogames are getting smarter with virtual enemies improvising during battles, storylines shifting based on moral choices and in-game characters sending players text messages for help.


Google close to acquiring Digg for '$200m'

Digg is to be purchased by Google for about $200 million, according to technology blog

This means that Digg will become part of the Google News service. Digg has become one of the most popular news websites, with users submitting stories and voting for other's submissions to appear in prominent positions on the site.

Microsoft is (rumored) interested in buying the Digg as well. Techcrunch reports that the majority of Digg's revenue comes from a three year advertising deal struck with Microsoft, which would be terminated should the company be sold to Google.

for the complete story, see:

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

I got my iPhone 2.0, how about you.

Well almost. I have the iPhone 1.0 with the 2.0 firmware installed. Installation was smooth, the only hickup was re-activation. It took about a half hour to re-activate with AT&T. Seems AT&T was overwelmed with new iPhone subscriptions. Once I re-activated, I couldn't wait to check it out.

The Appstore is everything I hoped it would be. I downloaded twitter, facebook,Loopt, and a few other applications. The installation went well. Loopt is pretty cool as it uses cellphone towers to guess your location. It does a pretty good job, much better than the built in maps application. I also downloaded Where. This handy app locates starbucks, cheap gas, zip cars, concert events, resturants, and other cool places.

The Microsoft Exchange active sync works just like its Windows Mobile counterpart. Calendars, Contacts, and push mail are a breese. Unlike the Windows Mobile active sync, iPhone's active sync doesn't have a problem with my self signed ssl certs!

Pandora is an app I use on my Macbook and it works pretty much the same way on the iPhone. Music is good over the Edge, will have to ask my 3G counterparts for their experience.

So far so good with 2.0!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Linus on Innovation

"I think that "innovation" is a four-letter word in the industry. It should never be used in polite company. It's become a PR thing to sell new versions with.
It was Edison who said "1% inspiration, 99% perspiration". That may have been true a hundred years ago. These days it's "0.01% inspiration, 99.99% perspiration", and the inspiration is the easy part. As a project manager, I have never had trouble finding people with crazy ideas. I have trouble finding people who can execute. IOW, "innovation" is way oversold. And it sure as hell shouldn't be applied to products like MS Word or Open office. " --Linus Torvalds

You know something, he is right! For those of us execs with ADHD --innovation can some times be the bling that distracts us from the misson!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Tape Storage Gets a Makeover with New 1TB Devices

IBM and Sun Microsystems have unveiled new tape-drive products that promise to break the 1TB-capacity barrier. IBM's System Storage TS1130, which supports drive-based data encryption, will debut in September, while Sun Microsystem's StorageTek T10000B tape drive, which achieves a maximum date rate of 120MB per second, will launch this month.

The business world has long relied on tape storage as a cost-effective medium for protecting critical business data from becoming lost due to system failure, operator errors, theft and natural disasters. The good news for many enterprises is that an aging technology that has long lain dormant is once again springing back to life through the launch of new products spanning the small to very large business environments.
For example, it is significant that both IBM and Sun Microsystems have unveiled new tape-drive products this month that promise to break the one-terabyte-capacity barrier. Moreover, HP and Sony now say they will be partnering in the creation of a next-generation Digital Audio Tape (DAT) format that will deliver improved performance and capacity over current DAT tape offerings.

Monday, June 30, 2008

RSS Week 5

iPhone 2.0 software update.


I am so waiting for this update. Looks like July 11th with be the the day I plug in my trusty iPhone to my MacBook Pro and download the 2.0 Firmware. Here is what it comes with:

1. Microsoft Active Sync --Cool!
2. Scientific Calcualtor --Way Cool! too bad stats is over :(
3. Real Applications --Ajax is cool, but the internet is not always avalible
4. Builtin AIM! --Thank the GODS
5. Moble Me --cloud computing, cool to mention for school, Hi Professor Lumley!
6. PPT, aka powerpoint

Still need cut and paste! Waiting for Christmas in July! Till then


Wednesday, June 18, 2008

RSS Week 4

Avoid Wikipedia, warns Wikipedia chief --It can seriously damage your grades

Apparently Wikipedia is helping students fail. Yikes! I cite them, however it is with facts that I know are true --just need to back it up with a quick reference! I found this article @
here are a few blurbs, with my comments! LOL

Supposedly the students are emailing the Wikipedia Chief, Mr. Wales. These emails say, 'Please help me. I got an F on my paper because I cited Wikipedia'" and the information turned out to be wrong, he says. But he said he has no sympathy for their plight, noting that he thinks to himself: "For God sake, you're in college; don't cite the encyclopedia," --WOW, I recommend to go to multiple sources. Can I phone as friend??

Wales didn't suggest renaming the project to something more appropriate, like "Jimbo's Big Bag of Trivia", --okay

Apparently, according to the article " Wikipedians love to blame everyone but themselves for their predicament", in large part, he's correct. Encylepedia Brtianica anyone?

What's more interesting is that Wikipedian's guardians see its new found infamy as an opportunity to forge a marketing strategy for the troubled project.
Last year criticism of the site, which is popular with teenagers and the unemployed, was met with the counter-attack that the user was being morally delinquent if they failed to correct the mistakes themselves.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

RSS Week 3

Apple targets Blackberry business users with iPhone 2.0

Looks like the iPhone 2.0 a.k.a son of the iPhone has hit the streets.  Seems like all kinds of goodies are loaded on this phone. First of all, fast 3G connectivity, PowerPoint reader, and MobileMe. MobileMe will allow the delivery of email in realtime, just like RIM's Blackberry and Microsoft ActiveSync. Question, will iPhone show up on corporate networks anytime soon? Lastly will the iPhone 1.0 users get the MobileMe and PowerPoint reader? 

Sunday, June 1, 2008

RSS Week 2

Son of iPhone: the next revolution

Is the son of the iPhone, the next gotta have gadget? I was one of those first folks to get the iPhone and I loved it --still do! It has its limitations, i.e. still no cut and paste, 2.5g EDGE. Some complain about the keyboard, yet I love mine --think it i better than my Blackberry. Furthermore I hate the stylus on the windows mobile phones. So what will this new gotta have gadget....have?

Looks like it will have a 3G data connection --yeah! Rumor has it a video camera and more space --for those videos I presume. Apple is keeping quiet on the expectations of the son of the iPhone. I guess we'll have to see what happens when it goes out for sell June 9th!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

RSS Week 1

Hi all,

Here are a few articles of interest I read in my RSS reader on Google. This week my interests were peaked with the following:

China to encroach on India's offshoring turf?

Seems China is going after India's offshoring market. I remember doing something in Dr. Money's class. India is more mature in its CMMi than China --but time will tell. With the dollar being so low these days, maybe we can get China and India to offshore here --LOL!!

The CIO as Mind Reader

Here is a blurb from the CIO Web Blog:

"It seems pretty widely accepted in CIO circles that much of the bad rap that often accrues to IT comes not so much from the IT department (although IT people certainly have their failings) as from other parts of the business ascribing mystical qualities of perception and capability to the IT department. "Just make this work," is a not infrequent demand. Many executives don't want to hear about the complications, don't want to put the time into evaluating process, and have a misguided expectation that technology is a global panacea which can solve all business problems." --Nick Malick

Doesn't this sound so familar? When spec'ing out a system, include the system administrator as part of the O & M costs! If the I.T folks are busy atleast 70% percent of the time and we are bringing in another system -- ask the question, who is going to take of it?!

"Just make this work" idea needs to leave the workplace i.e. understand your domain and you will have better control of it!

Technology is easy, it's the people that gets us into trouble! --Me, I just made it up @ 8:57am today

Monday, May 19, 2008

The Business Value(s) of Social Networking Sites

Recently an EMIS team member posed the question of "What is the business value of social networking" (thank you Tom). How does IBM or the Government use a site like LinkedIn ( or FaceBook ( as a business tool?

Currently we [the people] gain the value. We do our LinkedIn and FaceBook activities, and maybe click on a partner's link and buy something. These sites are very popular as millions use them. So how can social networking sites (or the idea for an internal social networking site) be beneficial to companies like IBM?

I am thinking along the lines of a Knowledge Management (KM) tool. (hmmmm me thinks me have an idea for my Capstone project)