ReBoot – My Camera Is Bigger Than Yours…

I have always been curious about what makes the Average Joe go out and buy the most expensive digital camera on the market and all the accessories that go with it.A CIO's Voice

We have been to a few family functions recently due to the holidays. On these occasions, there is always the big camera guy who whips out his $3000 camera and 6 foot lens to snap a few family pictures of uncle and aunty cutting the birthday cake. We are not looking for a portrait that should be hanging in the National Gallery but a snap that captures the moment. I was amazed  how bad some of the pictures turned out–blurry, framed incorrectly, useless…. Thank god for iPhoto to help clean up some of these mistakes. Others, many others, ended up in my trash can.

I learned to take pictures with a 35mm film camera my parents both for $50. Which to this day I still have and enjoy taking the occasional filmed photograph. Outside of the cost of development I would still use it today because I think it captures the true essence of color of your subject. The ease and use of digital makes it easy for people to take pictures but to be honest it makes it almost too easy. I have delete hundreds of bad pictures from wannabe photojournalist. I did take the occasional ooops picture but I was more careful when I pressed the shutter.  However, with technology today it makes it too easy to take worthless pictures. Technology makes it too easy for the casual amateur photographer to think he is the next Ansel Adams.

If you are going to own an expense camera, a very expense one at that,  it should come with some type of requirement for you to learn how to use it to take proper pictures. Or at least tell your family that of the 600 pictures you have just taken of Uncle Fred cutting the cake, 400 of them will need to be deleted.

ReBoot – The Humbled CIO

I have been remised in writing the last few weeks for a couple of reasons.

First – Work has just gotten really busy and there have been a few issues that required me to put in extra hours. In my old age, those late nights require me to take longer to recuperate.

Second – My weekends have been spent attending weddings, birthday parties, and the occasional family visit requiring me to be an unofficial tour guide.

Third and most importantly – My wife and I are expecting our first child. So we are eagerly preparing our house for our new arrival.

We recently visited the doctor’s office for our first full body ultrasound of our baby. I must admit I was a little intimated by the ultrasound machine. Having worked  in datacenters the size of football fields filled with blade servers, main frames, and generators the size of locomotives, I was humbled by this ultra sound machine the size of a small desk that was able to peer into my wife’s stomach and show us our precious little one in 3D.

It is rare for me to be impressed with technology these days but this did. With a small scanner the technician was able to see every finger and bump in what appeared to me to be a bad black and white picture. But everything was there and measurements and even weighted were calculated.

As I sat in the room and watched it on a 45inch lcd screen next to my wife I couldn’t help but say to myself, “Damn this is really really cool”. I often forget that technology is more than processing and storage. It can be and should be used for things like this. To peer inside and give parents that feeling that everything is going well and to not be afraid of what is about to come.

ReBoot – Making a Switch to FiOS

I have been a customer of Cablevision for over 11 years. I am one of those people that when I like something I usually stay with it forever.

I have been having problems over the last year with both my TV signal and Internet. During critical time of watching “Game of Thrones” my TV signal with pixelate and skip causing my wife and I to miss key parts of the story. She was not happy about this. My cable modem on the other hand would lose connectivity again when the wife needed it the most.

I called Cablevision and to their credit they did try and fix the TV issues by digging up my front lawn and replacing an underground cable. I had the modem replaced several times with what looked like a very large car battery (I was under the impression technology should get smaller and thinner not bigger and fatter). Again the Mrs. was not happy about this. But we suffered through and called Cablevision every time we had and issue. It got to the point where we had them on speed dial and customer support knew our name.

A few weeks back Verizon had a deal going on where I could get a TV, Internet, and Phone for a cheaper price then what I was paying Cablevision . I did some research and talked to my neighbors that had Verizon and the reviews were overall favorable. I live in neighborhood where we have several choices for providers so switching is not difficult.

So I made the call, scheduled the appointment and last week had Verizon install the services. 6 hours later we had a Verizon lit house. As a technologist I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the services.

My TVs are showing in true HD. I can see every wrinkle and freckle. The TV guide provides so much information about every show. Navigation is a little complicated but it is nice to have options and different ways to get around.

As for the Internet, I got bumped up to 50mb/20mb and I am getting true speeds all day every day. There are no peak times where my service degrades.  Configuration is done all thru Verizon provided software.

Overall the move was worth it. Let’s see how it goes over the next 2 years and what the increase in my contract will be. Being able to do more with my TV and Internet is always a plus.

ReBoot – I am a Movie Junkie

The 2012 summer movie schedule is starting to line up and like most summers I look forward to going to the movies even though I have a pretty good home theater system. I think I get a little of the excitement from my father who would often go to the movies no matter how bad the movie or reviews were. My wife on other hand is more discerning and only wants to go see the artsy Oscar films that can put any person to sleep (at least the ones I have seen). Growing up there were some films that left an immeasurable impression that even to this day I still enjoy watching. These films made me enjoy watching movies and appreciate the art of making a film.

So here is my list of films that left that mark:

  1. Star Wars
  2. Terminator
  3. Predator
  4. The Dark Knight
  5. Lord of the Rings
  6. The Matrix
  7. Alien
  8. Reservoir Dogs
  9. Goodfellas
  10. Raiders of the Lost Ark

ReBoot – Happy Birthday Mr. CIO

I will be celebrating a major milestone in my life tomorrow-my 40th birthday. Too be honest I don’t feel 40 even though some say I look 50. I think it is my premature gray hair which runs in my A CIO's Voicefamily. Damn those family genes. “Color it” they say. But I could never bring myself to doing that.

Earlier this month I was depressed about turning 40. With deeper reflection there was no reason I should be. Career wise I have done more than most. The youngest senior vice president in a major bank. Successful CIO with tons of experience all before 40.  I have a happy home and a loving family what else does one need?

I think the idea of crossing a number such as 40 is the thought that a part of life is completed. My youth (if ever I had one) is over (ok that is how I rationale it). But the more I dwelled upon it; life is not stopping for me. In fact, there is so much more I want to do. 40 is my new starting point. I want to do the things that I was not able to do or afford in my 20s and 30s.Take life and conquer it. My new philosophy is to never look back, never regret, always look forward.

So here’s to 40. Happy birthday to me!

ReBoot: My Dad Got Me A Job…

I was at the doctor’s office the other day talking to my doctor about how his summer was going. He mentioned that his son, also a doctor, just graduated and is looking for a job. My doctor mentioned how he was going to make a few calls to some medical chiefs he knows to get his son a job. This was not the first time I heard this. A few weeks past a managing director I play golf with also mentioned how he was going to make a few calls to get his son, a recent graduate, a job.

Is getting a job through your father’s influence “wrong”? Is the best way to open doors is through your father’s name? I am not sure. Over the years I have heard others using their father’s name to open doors that would not be open to others through normal means.

I never had such opportunities. I say this with a hint of jealously as I write this post. I wish I could say my career had been boosted by parental connections obtained on the 17th hole. Who knows where my career would be. Both my parents were working class who had very few friends that also struggled. So hitting them up for a job for their son was the last thing my parents had on their mind.