I think my dog hates technology…

I was thinking, tongue in cheek or maybe not tongue in cheek about a problem I have. My dog, my pal, my buddy Dylan doesn’t like technology. He likes me, well I think he likes me, but he does not like technology. He doesn’t mind watching TV and relaxing before we go on a walk. But he hates my iPad, computer, and iPhone. He hates them a lot. At night, as things are settling down from the day, I like to sit and watch the evening news. Dylan will often come and sit with me, or sit in my lap. If, however, I am holding my iPhone one of two things happens. He will swat at the phone with his paw, or he will get up, glare at me and walk away.

Does anyone else have this problem? I know it is not an overall dog issue because I can pet Raven (our other Lab) and hold my phone and she doesn’t care. Dylan though expects my full attention and doesn’t like me holding my phone and petting him. I wonder if that is the next evolution in dogs. That dogs new behavior will be no longer accepting the presence of technology when their human is petting them, sort of a dog 2.0 if you will.

Televisions he doesn’t care. In the fall and winter, his favorite activity is lying by the fireplace and relaxing as I watch football or basketball game. By the way, this behavior of Dylan’s is not shared with the other humans in the house. Just me, but then I am his person, so there is a natural tendency for him to be more demanding of me. The other thing he often does is, when I am in my office working in the basement, he will come down and demonstrate his frustration by carrying things out of my office. I wonder who is training who?

Author’s Note: When I yell at the TV during games, Dylan will bite my feet, he doesn’t like yelling. I guess he is training me.


Trained by a dog

Rant about being legal…

One of the things that makes me sad is the reality of computer consulting companies. I worked for a company that didn’t pay for the software they were using. They were reporting financial numbers that were at best lies, at worst outright theft. We aren’t talking 30 to 40 thousand dollars. We are talking more than a million dollars a year. For a company that was making 300,000 years in profit. You do the math.

Legal software is critical. Not having legal software makes any company suspect. Both from the management perspective but also that anything they build and deliver could have touched the illegally used software and therefore is tainted.

It costs more money to be legal. But it is the only way you can be.

It reminds me of the music industry and their quest to get people with illegal music. The rise of online music services and the quality of SiriusXM radio makes that less relevant now than it was. The other side of the copyright and legal issue is, however, who makes money. I understand the concept of risk versus exposure. Risk and exposure are what a company takes. They take the risk of hiring you, and the exposure of contracts with their customers. Therefore, the company should make money on your time spent on their behalf. That is completely fair. They shouldn’t however, make money in a manner that isn’t legal.

What I’ve seen against the music industry is where the money is being made. Where a massively selling album may generate one hundred million in overall sales, the artist gets roughly 10% of that. Frankly, it isn’t fair. The risk for the performer is great, the company releasing the record and mp3’s on iTunes makes 90%. That is the wrong ratio. Hopefully, someone is working on a model going forward that better supports the creative entity in the music profession.

Author’s Note: I argued once with a member of my family about the rights of companies and artists when it came to charging for music.  The initial argument was that the  record companies made too much money. I don’t think people understand the reality of business risk. Someone takes on the risk of the album failing. It isn’t the artist.



Of rolling bags and the impact of cost…

I realized yesterday that there are two things I need to reconsider. The first is the reality of rolling laptop bags. I love the one we bought in Europe last year. I’ve used it since we got back. Over the years I have had some rolling computer bags. I think it might be time for me to evaluate what I need from a rolling bag. There are some features that the various rolling bags I’ve used over the years have, some I love, but no one bag has all the features I want.

The other thing I need to evaluate is the impact of a couple of devices on my network. I’ve been chasing an annoying problem on my network as far as the mix of capacity and routing. I have been thinking about potentially moving a couple of devices to a new segment because frankly, those devices are part of the problem. I am probably not a good example of what to do in the networking space, in that I am constantly testing IoT devices on my home network. Those devices I am testing are not always finished products that are polished and play nice on the network. That means they sometimes do things they wouldn’t normally do.

I am also strongly considering leaving Dish Network. It has been some years that we have been a customer. We first installed Dish in our house in 1995. We have since then moved to four other houses and have installed dish network equipment for all four houses I am worried that they and direct are just far too expensive overall. I am thinking of moving back to Cable TV, something we haven’t had in our house for more than 20 years (well not true. We had Cable for a time in Indiana. The reason for that was that the channel IU Basketball used to be on was only on Cable it was not available on Dish). I haven’t made my final decision yet, but I am thinking about it…


rolling bag dreamer

Simple is, simple does simple may be good enough…

The concept of simple is critical for technology. Simple is what we try to get to with the implementation of systems. If, you consider the concept of systems they are often very simple. The reality of inputs, processes, and outputs for a system can be applied to almost everything. While the complexity of what is happening can be expanded to more than the three components, it is ultimately just he three. In fact, if you take John Boyd’s exceptional OODA look concept, it fits nicely over the traditional system model. OODA or Observation, Orientation, Decision, and Action fits nicely into the input (Observation) process (Orientation) and finally output (Decision and Action).

But it’s important that we get to simple. The complexity of Technology solutions can cause issues. The reason for this diatribe today is simply pulling various thinking threads together into one space. I spend a lot of time wandering around the edges of technology and don’t always touch base with the core. You need, on occasion to reset where you are with what you are talking about, so my goal is to do that today.

As a software architect, I look for answers where sometimes there aren’t any. The concept of a path forward sometimes doesn’t exist. I do love Robert Frost’s brilliant poem about taking the road lesser traveled. I have to say there are many times when I have come to believe that my path has long been the path less traveled. I don’t have a degree in engineering, so at times the expert culture that advanced scientific and engineering degrees create makes me uncomfortable. I do, however, have a degree in education. My goal is to take complex ideas and break them down so that everyone can understand them.

It is important to remember the why of any technology. For me the why is I love technology. I believe technology has changed the world we are in. I can’t wait to see what is next!


just a simple man…

Cool Tech Wander and a very short rant…

Begin Rant…

As a lifelong technologist, I try to accept there are things I need to let go of. In doing that I don’t waste my time and the time of other’s chasing after a problem I really can’t solve. It is also why I hate the expert culture, where the “loudest and smartest” person always wins arguments. Both drive me up the wall sideways. The reality of intelligence is listening. The smartest person I ever met never said anything during meetings, unless they were running the meeting. They sat, listened and took notes. Later they would talk to other people about their ideas and thinking and come up with a good answer to the problem.

End Rant…

From a what is cool perspective, that is the majority of my technology blogs; there are some cool things shipping or shipped that are now in the market. I’ve been playing with Jibo a lot since he/she/it arrived at our house. With a less robotic voice than many robots and frankly a quirky sense of humor Jibo is entertaining today. The upcoming storytelling and interaction skills make Jibo even more interesting. Telling stories is something that I think will make a huge market impact.

The other thing that shipped recently is the Bixby water jet. A water jet is a personal movement device in the water. It is a waterproof system to allow you to move through the water with power! With roughly 40 minutes of power, you can go more than two miles. As a 12 year old I swam a mile, it took a little over an hour. With the Bixby, I could have gotten that done in less than 20 minutes. Roughly the same speed that we walk the dogs at on land.  We have the swimming version; there is also a Kayak attached and surfboard attached version that allows you to power either of those (as well as a Canoe). For me, the ability to swim faster seemed like a good deal!

Author’s Note: The Bixpy is a crowdfunded water jet. You can imagine why it caught my eye. For the most part it was water, and Jet. The device is very well built. I can’t wait to try it out!



Cloud migrations and the art of success!

The difference, when sipping and gulping a liquid has everything to do with the nature of the liquid. The nature including properties such as hot the liquid is, and how much liquid there is. You wouldn’t chug a scalding hot 20-ounce coffee. You might chug a 20-ounce cold soda on a hot day though.

Cloud is a lot like that beverage of choice.

First how the what and how of the consumption has a huge impact. Not that you would be looking for the hot cloud on a cold day or cold cloud on a hot day. Rather there are some things we need to consider before we consume our cloud. The focus of this article is on that broad concept of consumption. Consumption, as denoted in my above example has to do with how much, what-what gets consumed. In the world of cloud computing, that can when planned represents significant cost savings for the organization. Numbers as high as 20% savings are often tossed around. 20% is possible, even likely if you are aware of the rules of consumption.

In the world of on-premise applications, the focus of building out your data center is to have available 100% of the maximum required a capacity for the computing solution you are building. Regardless of how much you use most of the time, you have to buy enough hardware to cover the maximum. Many organizations in moving to the cloud, don’t consider that reality. They simply purchase the computing power they have needed in the past from the cloud provider.

That means the initial cost reductions your organization would see end up being the overall reduction in cost generated by the overall efficiency of the cloud provider. That would be a 2-5% savings overall and nowhere near the 20% savings often talked about. The real value in moving to the cloud is to evaluate your solutions as you move them. The quick evaluation is are you using the application. The next evaluation is the broader who is using the application today. Finally, the last initial question to determine if the application itself and its capabilities vis a vis what is often called Cloud Functionality. That would allow the application to take advantage of the cloud technology that is called auto-scaling (as the application increases in usage, it can automatically increase the servers that it is running on. As it begins to decline in usage, it releases the additional resources and returns to a normal baseline.

Based on understanding the initial three questions for each of the applications in our portfolio we can quickly generate a list. The list will encompass applications that have little to no changes required before they are moved. Applications that have minor modifications before they can be moved, moderate changes required and finally our last of the four initial buckets beings applications that require a major rework.

Once we have the four buckets detailed, we have both a path forward and a very loose migration timeline.  We will be able to say the easy applications can start moving pretty much right away. But we still should do one more thing first…

((more to come))

Author’s Note: The collision point of failure is the rise of expert cultures. Sometimes you need to listen to the get things done people.



At my current rate I will be done sharing family pictures in 10 years.

One of my favorite things over the years has been collecting and now sharing digital images. I have way too many digital pictures stretching all the way back to the 1950’s. I also now have completed the conversion of my grandfather’s old films, so I have actual video from the 1940’s all the way to the 1970’s. Family and friends videos, pictures and memories all now available and backed up (in four different locations).

I realize that having that many pictures are somewhat problematic. That is why I started the family history project, to begin the actual sharing of the images with other people. With the new site where I am hosting my primary blog, I can share roughly 50 pictures a day. Seems like a big number of pictures until you compare that to 140,000 images overall. Based on that it would take me roughly 3500 days if I didn’t take a single new picture. Since I am still taking pictures, I will probably never catch up.

That said, there are some other issues that will prevent me from sharing a lot of the pictures. One is that when scanned some of the images were scanned upside down. Easy fix, but that takes a little time. The other issue is the maximum upload size on the site I use to host my image blog. They limit things to 8 megs. That means most of the images taken by my Canon 5 and the new 5ds aren’t able to be uploaded. That represents roughly 12,000 pictures from the past three years. Another drop in the bucket but it does cut into the 3500 days. That said we did take two days worth of images (90) on the boat yesterday (one of them shared with this post). We take a lot of pictures.

Most important lesson – take a lot of pictures, and no matter what camera you use, have at least three copies of your pictures. One of those shouldn’t be in your house!

Author’s Note: The family history project started more than 10 years ago when my father gave me some of his father’s (my grandfather’s slides). It, the project, began in earnest in 2014 when my father left me all his slides. 30,000 of them in fact.


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