ReBoot – The Joys of Road Trips

CaptureSo my son is now 2 1/2 going on “getting too old”. He is quite the little traveler having flown to India, Canada, Dubai and numerous car trips.

These days, my son has a variety of gadgets to occupy a 6 hour road trip or a 12 hour plane flight. So it has not been as traumatizing as I remember when I was on trips with my family.

On a recent short haul trip we decided to teach my son how to get a trucker to blow his horn. One of the few smile inducing actions you can receive from a total stranger while travelling at 65 mile per hour.

While buckled in his car seat and barely his head peeking out of the window he learned, quite efficiently, the fist pump. To his joy (and his parents) he was able to get about 4 out of 4 trucks to blow their horns.

The joys of childhood and fatherhood.

 

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A CIO’s Christmas List

aciosvoice.jpg2014 has been a great year. Things are looking better. Hopefully the momentum will carry into 2015.

I have tried to be really good by being the best CIO I can. So Santa, this year, I would like the following:

  • Apple iPhone 6 plus. I have decided bigger is better but I haven’t figured out how to carry it.
  • A development team that can hit the ground running and fix code quickly.
  • An approved IT budget where I don’t have to make drastic cuts and figure out how to do more with so much less.
  • A migration plan to get legacy applications into the cloud.
  • Not to be hacked by foreign governments.
  • One of those toy helicopters. I think your elves are messing with us. I have yet to fly one of those straight and have it last longer than 3 days without breaking it.
  • A new set of golf clubs. It won’t help my game in the least but I will look cool on the greens.

Thanks Santa and Merry Christmas.

P.S. I left cookies and milk for you in our virtual environment. Please help yourself and ask your reindeer to pick up after themselves in the datacenter.

ReBoot – Golf and Big Data

A CIO's VoiceI am a horrible golfer. I am first to admit it. I struggle with having a complete game. There are days when my long game is on point and others when my short game and putting is phenomenal. It is rare that both are working together. I struggle with it because I want to improve. Like anything in life, if I was good at it from the start what fun will be that be? Maybe it is my weird sense of what fun is.

A new virtual golf business opened not too far from my home. Great little joint and the simulators help work on your game during the brutal winter months when that Polar Vertex is hovering over us.

I started to think about the simulator and the amount of data it was using to alow us to play a round of golf. Can Big Data be used to improve a golfer? Or allow a professional golfer to win more tournaments?

Here is a hypothetical – say you are able to capture the following data:

  • Day of the year
  • Time
  •  Weather information (wind, humidity, etc)
  • Course information (distance, markers, green info, etc, etc)

The above information is readily available on most golf GPSs. And clearly most golf simulators are able to capture a lot of data such as swing speed, club head angle, etc.

Now if we add the following information player specific dat

  • Handicap
  • Average # of shots played previously on that course
  • Distance made with specific clubs for that course
  • Ball type
  • How the player is playing the day of (soft data point)

Can this information be loaded into a database and be crunched and then sent to an iPad or other device to allow a player to know what club he should/or should not use and how to hit?

All this rests on if a player is able to duplicate his swing repeatedly. For most amateurs that is impossible. But I think a professional golfer can easily do that.

There is definitely a place for this type of information in this sport. 

ReBoot – Where Is My TV Guide?

A CIO's VoiceThe other day I was having a conversation with someone in there 20s and I mentioned a TV Guide. They gave me that look you get when you tell people you remember when TV sets had knobs.

As technology marches on, there are some items in print that have or are disappearing. I remember reading the TV Guide but I have not used on in over 10 years, since I got cable and use the online TV Guide.

Do you remember encyclopedias? I grew up using them in school. With the internet you can find virtually any fact you need.

What about a dictionary or thesaurus? When was the last time you looked up a definition for a word? MSOffice has made them obsolete as well or you can use the internet.

I still read a newspaper on occasion. But for the most part I now read it more often on online.

As for magazines, I do read those. Mostly on my commute home or on the plane. But now they are quickly getting thinner with more content online along with more online ads.

Maybe some day we will no longer have to print information on paper. In some ways that is great progress. But in others something nostalgic is lost.

What’s In a Name? Plenty if you think about it…

A CIO's VoiceLike all parents my wife and I had the very lengthy discussions on what to name our son when we found out he was a boy.

This was a very arduous task both opposing opinions and armies. So we had to compromise and compromise we did.

First we eliminated all outside influences – family and friends. They all had their own agenda and we wanted this to be personal and in our control. Obviously that went over very well with everyone (not).
1. My wife wanted a name of Indian origin. I was indifferent. In this day in age all ethics names sound cool. Especially in America.
2. I did not want a name starting with the letter ‘A’ or a long name. Have you tried pronouncing 16 letter names lately? Let’s not start the boy out with an unpronounceable name.
3. The name could not rhyme with some type of body fluid or other word that can be made fun of. The playground is a rough area to transverse.
4. The name had to grow and fit with him as he becomes a man and starts a career. A 40 year old man named “Tiny” or paging “Dr. Junior” just does not sound right.
5. The name had to mean something profound and have our sound be proud of it.

So we started compiling names and narrowed it down to 2 over the months. The final month before my wife went into labor we decided to refer to the baby by both names to see how the name rolled off our tongue. That was important because now we heard it out loud and in context of various conversations. We eliminated one of the names and decided on ‘Rishi’. This in the Hindu language means sage or wise one in. Number 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 all covered.

ReBoot – Babies, Evil Eyes, and Charms

A CIO's VoiceMy wife and I recently welcomed a son into our lives. It’s great having a new life in our home. As we settle into life with him, we are learning a lot about him and ourselves.

I am not a believer in magic or the so called “evil eye”. I would think if such things did exist we would hear about it more often. I equate such things to Big Foot or UFOs. Nice to hear and get a laugh but I don’t lose much sleep over it.

Recently, I was cleaning my son’s crib and discovered an unusual colored cloth with some black thread wrapped in it. I thought it was odd and brought it to my wife’s attention thinking the delivery people left something they should not have. My wife quickly grabbed it and told me it was to protect the baby. “Protect the baby!” I said. “Protect him from what?” She said, “The evil eye”.

Being the inquisitive (or as my wife likes to call it — being an a**hole) person I am, I wanted to learn more. He is only 3 months old and has barely been out of the house. Why would anyone give him the “stink eye”? My wife was unable to give a direct answer let alone a name of who she thinks might do such an outrageous thing.

She quickly placed the cloth back under the mattress and told me not to touch it. Having learned to choose my battles, this was one that was not worth the headache.

So my son sleeps over an oddly colored piece of cloth and thread which is supposed to protect him from the evil people intend on causing him. I wish all things in life could be so simple….

ReBoot – The Trouble is Between the Keyboard and Chair

I have been in information technology for more than 15 years now; to this day I am still amazed by some of the issues end users call helpdesk about. A CIO's Voice

Here are some real world examples:

1. User – “I cannot my desktop on my monitor. “ Helpdesk – “Have you pressed a key and moved your mouse? Maybe your PC is in hibernation.” User – “Yes but still nothing.” Helpdesk –“Is your monitor turned on?” User – “How do turn it on?” Helpdesk – “Push the power button on the lower right of the monitor.” User – “Ohh. I see a green light and now my desktop appears.”

2. User – “My phone is not ringing.” Helpdesk-“How do you know it is not ringing?” User – “I see it flash but no sound.” Helpdesk – “Is your ringer turned off.” User-“Yes”. Helpdesk –“That is the reason why you do not hear it ringing.”

3. User – “I don’t have internet access.” Helpdesk –“Can you give further details?” User – “When I go to Explorer and type Yahoo. It says page cannot be displayed.” Helpdesk – “Have you tried other sites?” User – “No.” Helpdesk – “Try typing yahoo.com.” User – “Amazing! Thanks for turning my internet back on.”

Just another day on the front lines of the technological jungle….