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iPod Newton or Newton 2.0? March 31, 2007

Posted by Matsu in Apple, Information Technology, Mac, Technology.

A couple of hours ago Robert Scoble posted this article about a new device that he saw an Apple executive testing out at Half Moon Bay, today. It sounds like it might be a new PDA type device. Read this post and then you decide.


Save the doughnuts, save the world! March 29, 2007

Posted by Matsu in Family, Fun, Humor.
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Krispy Kreme Store

Yes, this is a direct reference to the hit TV show, Hero. But, there’s a good reason. Let me explain…

Earlier this week my wife stopped by the local Krispy Kreme doughnut shop on the way home from work. She noticed that the front landscaping recently had fresh mulch applied and could not help but wonder why it was smoking. She commented to one of the employees that their front landscaping was smoking and they didn’t seem too concerned. On her way out, she noticed that it had gotten worse, so she convinced the employee to go out and investigate. When the employee kicked the smoking mulch with their foot, it became obvious that they had a smoldering fire.

So now my wife believes that she kept the only Krispy Kreme doughnut shop in central Kentucky (USA) from burning down to the ground. But I think that if it had burned it would have given Krispy doughnuts an all-new meaning.

I.T. Manager as Champion March 24, 2007

Posted by Matsu in Business, Information Technology, Management.
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The best managers do many things right. One of the things they do right is understand their role as champion for their department. The main reason to champion the department is to make sure your staff has the resources they need by communicating those needs to upper management. It almost doesn’t matter how you do in hiring the best people if you don’t give them what they need to do the job well.

cham·pi·on (noun)

1. a person who or team that competes in and wins a contest, competition, or tournament

2. something, for example, an animal or plant, that wins first place in a show

3. somebody who defends, supports, or promotes a person or cause

4. somebody who exemplifies excellence or achievement

5. a hero or warrior, especially a knight who fights in behalf or or in defense of a monarch (archaic or literary)

Being a champion means getting the right resources for the department. Not just the usual budget items like equipment (hardware, software) and data communications (networking, Internet, servers, phones), or office and work space, but also professional development (books, training, conferences) and opportunities to be better connected to the organization where they work.

Another way to be a champion is to protect the department from unfair or incorrect criticism. There are times that misinformation about your department can find its way through an organization and the manager’s job is to set the record straight when it happens. Now, that is not the same as being defensive or making excuses.

If there is accurate criticism of your department, you need to deal with it and learn from it, not attack the person who is the source of the criticism. Listen to the critic and work with them to address the problem. If you handle it well, you may gain a supporter that knows you are working in the best interest of the organization (you are working towards the best interests of the organization, aren’t you?).

Finally, the best managers champion a vision and set the direction for the department and then get out of the way. After all, if you have hired the right people and provided the right resources, then you need to get out of the way and let them do their job. When they do well, it becomes your job to inform upper management of their progress and success.

The Sport of Geeks March 20, 2007

Posted by Matsu in Fun, Humor, Information Technology, Random.

Last week I spoke with Gary, a fellow I.T. Director at a private college half a country away, to catch up on our respective lives. I mentioned to him that it was the end of the day and my fellow Geeks were headed to our weekly game of racquetball. He laughed because he also enjoys playing racquetball to blow off steam and get some exercise. Since that day, I have thought about it and have come to realize that racquetball is the sport of Geeks.

Really, think about it. Most people play until someone reaches a score of 15. Geeks play until the score is F (Hexadecimal – if this doesn’t make sense to you, don’t worry, it’s not that funny even for the Geeks that do understand). Better yet, you play the game in a large room where the ball can never go out of bounds.

Finally, it’s standard equipment to wear protective glasses. In fact, it’s even cool. So, naturally, Geeks fit right in with that look.

When I Googled “racquetball geek” I found there is even a t-shirt for Geeks who play racquetball. Go ahead, check it out. I’ll wait.

If you are a Geek and want to know where to begin with your own exercise program then start by reading “The Geek’s Guide to Working Out” where you can get some sound advice.

MSN Predicts Apple to become the world’s undisputed technology leader March 18, 2007

Posted by Matsu in Apple, Business, Information Technology, Mac, Microsoft, News, Technology.

Yes, you read the title correctly. Microsoft’s own web news site, MSN, has predicted that Apple will be the world leader in technology. The MSN reporter, Jon Markman, goes on to say that Apple may “emerge later this year as the single most influential, life-changing and powerful company in the technology and consumer electronics universe.” WOW! That’s strong language. You can read the entire article here.

Markman goes on to predict that in the next 30 days Apple will unveil some new and wonderful technology.

MSN’s recommendation? Buy Apple stock. It’s expected to double in value by 2010.

I wonder how much Apple stock Bill Gates will be buying. And, I wonder if Jon Markman will still have a job, tomorrow.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day March 17, 2007

Posted by Matsu in Humor, Random, Religion.
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St. Patrick’s DayToday is St. Patrick’s Day. This year, I decided to look at the lighter side of this day that many people celebrate with parades, songs, and in Ireland, toasts.

Here are a few of the more interesting toasts that I’ve found:

Saint Patrick was a gentleman,
Who through strategy and stealth,
Drove all the snakes from Ireland,
Here’s a toasting to his health.
But not too many toastings
Lest you lose yourself and then
Forget the good Saint Patrick
And see all those snakes again.

There are good ships,
and there are wood ships,
The ships that sail the sea.
But the best ships, are friendships,
And may they always be.

May you live to be a hundred years,
with one extra year to repent.

God bless all those that I love;
God bless all those that love me;
God bless all those that love those that I love,
And all those that love those that love me.

Here’s to your coffin…
May it be built of 100 year old oaks,
which I will plant tomorrow…

‘Beannachtam na Feile Padraig!’
Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

May your day be as lovely as a shamrock.