Technology Shout-Out

Category Tech
I have been working for the last several months with two open-source products that are nothing but phenomenal - pfSense and FreeNAS. Both products use the FreeBSD platform, work on last year’s hardware, load and install easily and just plain work. No muss no fuss - and very stable. If you are in need of or interested in either a Firewall product or Network Attached Storage solution I would highly recommend these products.

pfSense is available at http://www.pfsense.com

FreeNAS is available at http://www.freenas.org


Navel Gazing.

Why is it that we (or perhaps just me) can mess up relationships so easily? I don’t mean messing things up like politicians and certain other high profile people do, I mean the little tiny seemingly insignificant things that always seem to go wrong that keep relationships from being perfect. It seems that all these many years, the things that are the most important in our lives ought to be the things we get right most of the time. It’s the things that get misinterpreted or taken out of context etc. that should be so easy to avoid but never seem to be learned. I know there are certain things I say or do that will drive someone around the bend, but do I ever seem to learn not to do them? – of course not. I repeat the same mistakes over and over. Yeah, I know maybe it is the nature of the dog, but I have always been good at modifying my behavior and relearning things when needed, why do I find it so difficult to just remember to keep my mouth closed once in a while? (The old think before you leap adage).


When projects go bad....

Category Work
As I alluded earlier, a year ago I was involved in a project that really didn’t work out very well for me. In fact it became the first time in my life that I have ever been “fired” from a project. We have all worked on a project or a job that just wasn’t suited for our skills or temperament, but this was something I really believed in and actually fought to make happen. I was already a proponent of the solution when I stumbled on to the project volunteered to provide insight and review expertise for the proposal. Ultimately I ended investing 2 months of full time effort writing the bulk of the management and delivery sections and desperately trying to instill some proposal management.


Why here?

So, you might ask, why don’t I write this self absorbed drivel in Facebook like everyone else?

A good question, but I like the detachment of a blog. While I suspect people might read this stuff – I am really writing it for me. If I have readers, they are for the most part anonymous. If someone comes across this stuff they have to be looking for it. If I write something in Facebook it gets pushed to everyone’s home page. In the Facebook world everyone writes for their audience, and typically that audience responds. If I posted this stuff there, I would get all sorts of people saying “I Like This” and then probably sending me free farm animals for some silly game to assuage my mood

I think Facebook has its place, but my biggest complaint is that all friends are equal. I don’t mind sharing stuff with some people but, I don’t really need to include someone from high school that I no longer remember. I don’t think I am alone in this. When I read the stuff that gets posted these days 95% is at best cute but more often annoying and the rest is usually stuff I would just rather not know.


This year

Category Getting old
This has been a tough year for me. I have always been subjected to mood swings over the years and I have been trending downward for the last several months. For the most part this is, I am sure, due to the approach in a year, my 60th birthday. When I look around and see all of the misery in Haiti and the physical state of people that I see on the streets, I have very little to legitimately complain about, but I can feel the years starting to catch up with me. I now need to actually sleep every night – all nighters working late on projects are a thing of the past. I have joints that ache at times and I’ve got a slowly developing cataract that is obscuring my vision, and I can’t say I really spring out of bed any more – rather I slowly creak to a standing position. Nothing serious, but certainly a constant reminder that I am no longer young (and yes, I know that age is often about attitude). Do I sound whiney? I don’t mean to, I just don’t like getting old – but of course there is very little that I can really do about it.


After a long hiatus

Category A new start
Its time to post again - I don't know that I have more to say than I did in my past forays into the on-line world, but there is some cathartic about putting thoughts and feeling “on paper” – by now, I expect that no one expects to see anything in this journal so for a while I have it all to myself – I can write without worrying about who is reading or what they might think.

To be honest – I don’t think I have posted anything for so many months because I am just tired of writing about technology. Certainly I make my living from technology and interest is certainly not lacking, but more and more I realize that technology is about making life easier and better and that I often focus on the technology and forget about the life that I am supposed to be living.

Part of the problem with a journal that is related to your work is that when things are going well it is easy to write interesting posts bragging about accomplishments and touting great successes. When things go wrong, when customers are difficult, when projects are poorly conceived and managed, postings about these faults can have some serious negative impact.

It seems that I always make an attempt to start writing again every year about this time, which in part is the result of my reading everyone’s postings from Lotusphere. After almost 20 years of working with Notes and Domino I am still wildly enthusiastic about the product and think it is a product that is vastly underutilized and often misunderstood. However, I have lost some of my “fight” over the years. While I admire many of my peers that are out in the trenches and on message about the product every day, I have reached the point where I have tired of being an evangelist – I still think that Domino is more often than not the right solution but I am tired of dragging horses to water.

My inspiration at the moment comes from my son – he is also a technologist, but he writes about food. when I asked him about this, his simple answer was, “I spend all day with computers – why would I want to write about them? Cooking is much more intersting after the work day is over” I’m going to try for a while to explore some non-technology topics, or maybe just talk about my thoughts and experiences for a while and try to focus on things other than technology. (but I would be naive to think I can ignore it completely).

So, no promises that I will be any better at creating entries than I have been in the past – here goes……