From my trip to San Francisco, Dreamforce 2010
Monday December 6th, 2010
So for this trip I took both my iPad and my laptop. I finally signed up and powered on the AT&T wireless cellular plan (the cheapest one) as I am sure 30,000 people on wifi may not really work all the time. I have every intention of trying to not really use the laptop (if I can) we shall see.
I am not loving the WordPress app on my iPad. Sitting here, 7 miles high tapping away, sharing my thoughts on a westbound AA flight to the San Francisco high-tech homeland to attend a “global gathering” feels so familiar, and yet so different. A simple finger brush off of the writing surface and my unsaved local draft has vanished (for the second time). Oh well, more time to kill while I retype it in. I guess it must be a feature of “airplane mode”.
On another note, i got this free book on my iPad and have been reading about quantum physics and reality, awesome stuff. No wonder I often feel lost in space.
Tuesday December 7th, 2010
So the conference is off In full swing and today I decide to carry both devices. Of corse, my bag is now extra heavy. Good thing I did a full workout this morning. All morning I use my iPad, writing, tweeting, chatting answering emails, using apps like clipboard (my new best friend). Connectivity is somewhat spotty. Sometimes I can get a signal, sometimes it fades and I switch to cellular (which also works 50/50). The only missing element is a camera. Ok I still carry a blackberry and it has one so a quick email and were in business. I wonder if I can pair the two using Bluetooth. Have to try that later.
Now it’s afternoon and I am listening to a session on what’s coming in the next version of chatter. The dude speaking is the primary developer so at this point I whip out my laptop and load up my dev environment so that I can make noted and code changes right here. Sorta glad I had the laptop cause typing code snippets on the iPad is a little painful. It is evident that if I am going to use this as mobile device I probably need to invest in some sorta keyboard.
Wednesday December 8th, 2010
Today I decide to leave the laptop in the hotel. This causes me issues on many fronts. First, I am paranoid and am always concerned about theft. So I feebly hide my laptop in some dirty clothes in my suitcase cause it make me feel better and I am off to the races. I get a good seat at the keynote and establish connectivity early. The keynote starts about 15 minutes late and guess what happens. People are tweeting about things that have not yet happened. Talk about great marketing, poorly executed. Not too many people really notice or if they do they don’t think its real important.
Later in the day, as Stevie Wonder and Bill Clinton speak having the iPad to watch the feeds in real time is awesome.
By the way as, even though I am a republican, I will always be a friend of Bill C.
Wednesday December 9th, 2010
Mornings uneventful, conference ends and I am off to the airport. Once again even though there is free wi-fi, it is not as available and clean as it is in NY. So here I sit in the plane home, tapping out this entry. Of corse since I eat with my hands the screen is getting a bit salty. All in all I am convinced, if your not writing code you can probably leave the laptop at home.
If any one has thought on this I would love to hear about it. In the meantime I think I’ll go back to reading “butterflies are free to fly” by Stephen Davis.
So it’s thanksgiving day 2010 and we are all still here, plugged into the matrix, living out our lives, growing more dependent on technology then ever before. As I sit on the long island railroad headed east, I peck out this post on my IPad, listening to Coldplay (the escapist) on my iPod, surrounded by other iPeople and their devices. Communicating constantly, tapping or talking, looking for instant amusement. I carry no less then 5 separate devices with global connectivity capability and yet I feel more alone and isolated then ever. And I am sure it will only get worse. I remember reading the Arthur C. Clarke novel 2010, as a boy and thinking how far away that was. This year my father turned 80 and he told me when he looked in the mirror he was happy to see his father smiling back. Anyway, I remember thinking about the line, all these worlds are yours and how I never considered the concept as applied to inner space. Now I simply think well maybe something is going to happen, something wonderful. Its good to be a dad.
So I am thankful, for my family, for health and happiness and hockey and grapes. Gobble-Gobble!
Ps I stumbled across the greatest secret in the world, so I thought I’d share…
So this summer I finally broke down and purchased some new backyard furniture. My wife and I went to the Macy*s Outdoor Furniture shop and bought a very nice, “fairly priced” set. Hayley opened a new account for this purchase that included special financing. Of course Macy*s promised speedy delivery. Of course they failed on that. So to placate us Macy*s offered and then sent a $200 Gift Card as an I’m sorry.
I never shop, even though I work in Manhattan (across from Macy*s). Hayley, my wife insisted that I take the gift card and buy myself some clothes. So, I plopped the card into my wallet and forgot about it till this morning when my she made a little remark on how the bottoms of my pants were ripped.
So today at lunchtime I made my way into Macy*s. I picked out 4 pairs of pants. I tried them all on. I had plans to buy more but it had already been 45 mins and I had enough of the “shopping” experience. I go to a register to check out. And like magic 2 pairs of the pants were on sale, how random, how lucky. I go to pay with the gift card and guess what, the clerk says: Sir, this card has $2.46 cents on on it. After a fair amount of discussion (loud angry discussion), I decide to just pay. The clerk then informs me to get the sale price I must use my Macy*s credit card which I do not have in my pocket. He tries to use the automatic lookup system but it fails. So they call someone and tell me the card is in my wife’s name and I am not authorized. At this point I get angry, I have had enough I am done. But after a small rant I apologize to the clerk and ask for a manager. The clerk politely explains I need customer service to help me straighten this out and I should see the girl upstairs at the desk. I find the girl by the front door and explain it all to her. She tell me I should go up to the 9th Floor executive offices and find someone up there to straighten it out.
I decided that I am too hungry to continue with those retail nonsense. So now Hayley is on the phone with Macy*s credit. I cant wait to see how this turns out. Well see who wears the pants 😉
Turns out the gift card was used before it was sent to us in topanga, California. A place I’ve never been. More fraud, more fun. Still even though they will send me another card, I have no pants. Oh well!
I am always amazed at how much effort is required to setup and maintain a clean computing environment. I think back on my earliest days of computing on my Kaypro II, with its dual 5 1.4 inch floppy drives and its CP/M operating system. The majority of the Console Command Processor (CCP) was dedicated to managing the disk to maintain a “clean” environment with available space. During those days the ultimate way to create a clean environment was to get a new floppy disk and run the sysgen command to install a clean copy of CP/M on it. Then boot the computer with that disk and viola!
Forward to MS-DOS, where the situation doesn’t really change much except you now have a 10MB hard disk to store all your junk. Of course sooner or later the drive fails and you lose anything that wasn’t on the floppies in the first place but after the first or second time it happens you get in the habit of backing up your real stuff. And with a new drive comes a new OS and a clean environment.
Then there was NetWare. Finally some real storage to play with. I remember buying a physically massive 1G drive, loading it up with tons of stuff downloaded from Compuserve, Prodigy, PCTOOLS and OS2TOOLS (of course you had to be inside IBM for the last two). Now, I could install lots of great/marginal/bad software and really screw up my environment. I got into the habit of wiping out my environment, once a year, simply to clean it up.
Enter the Matrix, the Internet and the ability to download as many viruses as you please. Forget about a clean computing environment and worry about how to avoid real theft. Open access points, unsecured networks, unencrypted passwords, etc. Wireless, faceless and costly.
So now its 2010, and my wife just gave me an iPad for my birthday. A new "computer" and another chance to maintain a clean computing environment. I have watched my son and daughter play with their iTouch versions of is device for a while now and I could never really understand why they liked it so much. I simply assumed that it was because they are young / hip and I am a PC (kudos apple marketing).
Well maybe that’s not really so true anymore as I have evo-loved into a daily ubuntu user, fluent in Linux and the way of the web. It turns out that this device is really a debian variant and as my honor student son, enthusiastically tried to explain to me the concept of jail breaking, I finally fell in real like. It’s funny, he thinks of it as free as in beer, and I think of it as free as in liberty.
So now I have a dilemma. Do I hack away like many others and treat this device as another real computer to master and mess up. Get a shell and login as root and go to work. Or do I us this device as a true consumer. A terminal would be real nice. And maybe, just maybe, I could stop lugging around my laptop, maybe.
|So first things first, I want to really thank everybody for the sincere birthday wishes. Its so nice to see how many people are willing to spend a moment or two to send a happy birthday. I am sad that I am not as consistent as all of you. I sit in front of a computer all day, I have multiple cell phone numbers, office phone|
|numbers, email accounts and other social contact points and yet I can not keep it together as I drown in my technology (some of which I created myself). Oh well, another year has passed for me and I worry that I am already on the back nine. I am not a particularly spiritual person and someone had once told me that God had promised man 120 years of life (Genesis 6) and even though there are many explanations on how this was about noah and the flood, I am going to take this as a promise to me, personally so maybe I am still a yute. Anyway, thank you one and all and if I missed any of your bd’s, please accept my belated birthday wish to you.Peace and Love To All!|
|A few years ago on her 7th birthday I blogged about “My PrettyLittle Girl” who was reading over my shoulder and who chastised me for not writing about her in a while. But why dad, why? It’a all about Alexa. A quick visit to the Alexa web site shows the movers and shakers and of course what’s hot. That year the top hits were paris hilton and sopranos. Today it was Victoria Secret and The Social Network.|
|So tonight Alexa has a whole bunch of girls over to help her celebrate her birthday. OMG, I had no idea how loud girls could be. They danced around, ate lotsa junk food and watched a fun girly movie (John Tucker Must Die). It was a fun night for all.|
Anyway work today was challenging. At our first daily sprint standup meeting, the “enable” product owner resigned. She said she was leaving to work for a hardware company. Software was just not her thing. I wonder what this means to the sprint that we just planed . So much for agile. While looking for this answer a stumbled across tumblr. I don’t know what tumblr is but it seems some took my codemarc moniker. Perhaps someday we’ll chat.
Today was a particularly odd day. Josh got himself up this morning and when I came down to check on him he said, “Mondays are always tuff, nomatter what time you got to sleep on sunday”. I thought; man, you don’t know the half of it.
Of course I made it to the train in time to hear about the “Newsday: Trails End Bed Bugs Article” from a semi-concerned soaking wet friend. I already knew about all of that stuff but still find it interesting how news travels. Even more interesting was the response from camp which I personally found comforting.
The next “off thing” was a poster on the train for syott.com (saw you on the train) which I think is some oddly constructed asp.net web site that is like a “b” movie for hooking people up that you casually noticed on the train. Like thats really gonna work.
Spent a whole bunch of time researching current version of many of the open source components we use. Seems like this project will take some time. oh well.
I’m back on my shortcut kick I particularly like the “control appwiz.cpl” shortcut. Of course there is a more complete description of control panel files on the Microsoft support site.
And finally back on the small appliance front, kudos to LG and Home Depot. All my stuff is once again working like new. Final cost, stay tuned.
Interesting pre-sprint planning meeting. It seems that as we stumble thru the early phases of project planning with scrum, not everybody is a true believer. Or maybe not everyone believes in the pursuit of excellence. I wonder why.
On another note We are still having a whole bunch of small appliance issues at home. One problem turned out to be a bad installation job. The Home Depot contracted installers of my LG Dryer, improperly tighten the screws that attach the power cord to the dryer. Over time the screws loosened enough (due to normal vibration) to cause, sparking, arcing and the plastic coupler holding the electrical harness together melted down. Scary… Could’ve caused a fire! Lets see if Home Depot owns up to it. More later.
Of coarse when it rains it pours. Days after the LG Dryer went on the fritz, I started having a problem with my less then 1 month old LG LCD TV. Saturday morning, I flip on the tv and notice a single dot on the screen. I think — on no what. I examine the screen, then shut it off. No damage, so I turn it on. Now the dot looks more like a bullseye and while I am watching I notice a few horizontal and vertical lines forming from the dot. I play a bit with the remote and finally find a customer service number which i call. I have a pretty awful conversation with the service rep and hang up feeling that I am screwed.
Oh noooo. My wife calls up best best buy, foolishly thinking that they will help. They say bring it in and we’ll take a look. The geek squad, nerd herd, whatever guys decide that it impact damage and they cant help me. Of coarse since theyve been screwing around with it the tv is now completely unwatchable.
I go back home and my wife calls LG and agrees to let them come and take a look. A few days pass and the service guy shows up, takes a quick look and says that the entire screen must be replaced. Well with all the frustration my wife manages to wheedle a special number out of the guy and after she call this magic number, all of my problems seem to fade away. It turns out to be the executive customer service number and the people on the other end really want to help. So after a few more procedures if seems my TV will be taken care of as “they really appreciate my business”.
Notice never did I say I agreed with the impact damage assessment but in the end at least someone tried to make it right.
Memorial day weekend (NYC 2015). Everyone should make it his or her business to visit New York City during Fleet Week as it is a powerful reminder of why memorial day is so important. Visiting active duty American service men/woman, shaking their hands, thanking them for their service, remembering those that have given (for real) is something that every real american citizen should feel they must do.
For me one of the highlights of this weekend was a visit abord the USS San Antonio (LPD-17). The sailors, marines and coast guardsman were some of the finest examples of young american men and women, that I have ever had the pleasure to meet. The lesson and meanings of that day were not lost on a single person that I met.
"On this Memorial Day, we honor the sacrifices of prior generations. We honor the sacrifices of the men and women next door who have served or continue to serve our country. And we pledge never to forget the true meaning of Memorial Day. We would not have the privilege of celebrating this day and honoring so many memories without the sacrifices of those who gave their last full measure of devotion."