A first brush with Time Machine

As a long time Apple user, (one could say fanatic) I have just used TimeMachine as a set-it-and-forget-it technology. Buy a big external disk, plug it in, and point TimeMachine at it, and let it do its magic.

Once, I had deleted a file, and I recovered it, pretty painlessly, but apart from that one incident, it has been in the background.

Until recently.

New iMac for Barbara

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Upgrade Shenanigans – 16.04 LTS

For a few months, every time I log into my droplets I get a banner advising me to upgrade to the new ubuntu 16.04LTS. I had hesitated as I worried that there would be repercussions.

My first attempt, on a very simple droplet with an nginx webserver with a simple Ghost blog installed. It was a flipping disaster. nodes.js failed, the install broke the nginx, and after 4 hours of messing with it, I punted and restored the snapshot I took.

Before the second attempt, I created a new droplet and built a fresh Ghost instantiation, and installed it from scratch. This time, I learned the proper install and setup. How to configure nginx properly, how to setup and install the Ghost package, and the big change in linux, the systemd.  Continue reading →

Backtracking on Campaign Promises

In my 51 years on this planet, in the US of A, I have become used to the sight of politicians walking back their campaign promises. Hell, it is expected regardless of your ideology, politicians make promises that we know they can’t keep.

Here we are, 4 days post 2016 presidential election, and the backtracking has begun in earnest. Continue reading →

Thoughts on Healthcare in the USA

Very few people believe that the USA’s healthcare system is good. Of course, the wealthy have access to the best diagnostics and care in the world, and most people get their healthcare as part of their benefits package from their employers (albeit with a lot more restrictions than the truly wealthy), and therein lies the problem.

This is the first in a series that I will write to describe the current state, and my humble thoughts on how to move forward.

We will begin with the rise of employer sponsored health insurance, as it is a significant factor in the problems. Continue reading →

Protests and consequences

In the aftermath of the 2016 US Presidential Election, as I watch these protests across the country against the election of Trump.

I can’t deny the passions and emotions that have driven these protests. A lot of people are upset, and justifiably so. But, having read a lot recently about the rise of the hard right conservatives, I worry that the protests will backfire.

Alas, the protests that swept across the country in 1968, in the run up to that year’s presidential election, the public sentiment against the war was running high, as the deployments, and casualties were rising rapidly. Continue reading →

Digitalization

A word I am increasingly hearing tossed around is “digitalization”, something that probably makes you scratch your head and wonder what it is trying to say.

Yet, it isn’t so difficult of a concept. If you think of the rise of computers, and workstations in the 1980’s and 1990’s, with the systems that they brought along, email, ERP, CRM, communications, and others, the workplace changed tremendously.

These innovations brought quantum jumps in productivity, enabling efficiencies that were unimaginable in the pre-computer era. Continue reading →

Five Little Words

Five little words. “That feature doesn’t sell products“. Seems innocuous enough, but it is the death of product development when uttered by engineering.

Product Management is tasked with defining what a product should do, what features are needed, and how to compare/differentiate vis-a-vis with the competitors. We write requirements, and guide them into and through the development process.

All to have engineering remove features that they don’t believe drive value. Unfortunately, engineering often isn’t cognizant the concept of “whole product“. That beyond the core widget are the services and traits of the product that extend the offering, and provide the unique value proposition, thus enticing the customer to choose to purchase your product or service. Continue reading →

Tech – Laptops with eSATA ports

A general whine here today, but a while back, probably 2009 or so, the rage was laptops with eSATA ports, for faster external storage. USB3 was a glimmer, and FW800 seemed to be relegated to the Mac world.

My new (at the time) Dell Latitude had this eSATA port, and I was running a lot of VMs on VMWare Workstation, and more bandwidth was desirable.

So I bought a high performance Seagate eSATA external drive (7200 rpm drive in an enclosure), and thought for sure I was golden. Continue reading →

Competitive Analysis

One core aspect of the product and marketing role is to get insight on the competitive landscape. Apart from what you can find from their websites, you will want to dig deeper, and gain understanding of their business.

Fortunately, there are several sources to go to. Some of these are free, and some are not, but if you can get access to these, I highly recommend taking full advantage.

Dunn and Bradstreet – This is the gold standard.  It is not cheap, but if you have an investor relations group, odds are good that you have access to D&B.  It is worth the effort to get to this source.  Far more information on even small and early stage companies, as well as the best information on privately held firms.  I doubt I could justify the cost if I worked someplace without a subscription, but it really helps pave the path, and fill in blanks. Continue reading →

Adopt-A-Physicist

It is not a well hidden fact that I have a degree in Physics. But during my studies at San Jose State University, I had a few amazing semesters, really knocked it out of the park. That earned me an invitation to join the honor society, Sigma-Pi-Sigma. At the time, 1988 or so, I thought nothing of it, and forgot about it.

Then around 2009, they “found” me. Apparently, you never are dropped from their roles. Something to add to my resume. But it also lead to an invitation to participate in a program called “Adopt-a-Physicist“, where they Society of Physics Students matches physicists in their roster with up to three classes of high school students who are taking a physics class. Continue reading →