Wednesday Mar 16, 2011

It's been a long time..I shouldn't have left you...

Well it indeed has been a long time since my last blog entry - the in fact is my first blog entry in the new Oracle world order. We've just been informed that blogs.sun.com will finally be moving to blogs.oracle.com in the near future. This site has provided a wealth of information of the years - I can't begin to count the amount to times I've referenced the many excellent blog entries by my co-workers. I often will google "topic at hand site:blogs.sun.com" first since a successful hit usually results in high quality information. All that said I'll try to increase my blog output and offer up some insights now that I'm part of a new family...

Friday May 23, 2008

Quote of the day...

"We know from past campaigns that presidential candidates will say many things. But once they have the responsibility to govern the country and lead the world, that difference between what they said and what responsibilities they have to fulfill are vastly different. I'm very upset with John with some of the things he's been saying...And I can't get into the psychoanalysis of it. But I believe that John is smarter than some of the things he is saying. He is, he understands it more. John is a man who reads a lot, he's been around the world. I want him to get above that and maybe when he gets into the general election, and becomes the general election candidate he will have a higher-level discourse on these things." - Senator Chuck Hagel

Wednesday Feb 20, 2008

How not to be an Obama surrogate...

Getting caught out there - it doesn't get much more textbook than this. It just goes to show you if you plan on backing someone make sure you do your homework or at least get the cliff notes from someone in the know.

Today's lesson is for folks to go the Library of Congress and do the research yourself before you choose any of the remaining candidates. Happy hunting...

Monday Feb 11, 2008

Recent quotes that caught my ear...

Ever since college I've kept a running file of quotes that interested my senses. The last few weeks have generated a few more entries:
We STOMP you out! - Michael Strahan (from the Superbowl 42 Tickertape Parade 2008)

By 2050 most Americans will have their roots in Africa, Asia, or Latin America. White America is not ready for it's pending minority status. - Jim Wallis

Those who would trade in their freedom for protection deserve neither - Talib Kweli (from the song 'What is Beef?')

I believe most Americans want their next president to remind them of the guy they work with, not the guy who laid them off - Mike Huckabee

Senator Clinton I think fairly has claimed that she's got the experience on day and part of the argument I'm making in this campaign is that it is important to be right on day one. - Barack Obama

It did take a Clinton to clean up after the first Bush and I think it might take a second one to clean up after the second Bush - Hillary Clinton

Thursday Dec 20, 2007

A thing of beauty: It's called a check hook...

It's been a long while since I've made an entry but it's been a busy year. Tons of activity on the work side, joy and pain with the family, and more fighting the good fight with martial arts. Since the last time I've mentioned my martial arts training I've gotten my 1st degree black belt (the original black belt is a "0" degree - you're basically starting all over again) and this past Monday I successfully passed my black/green test. I was able to get a lot of motivation leading up to test by watching the Floyd Mayweather / Ricky Hatton fight 3 times over the weekend.

While Floyd obviously rubs a lot of people the wrong way from his boasting and wearing out that tired hip-hop focus on money one thing that can't be questioned is his work ethic. His training regiment is impressive to say the least - if you haven't seen it catch repeats of 24/7 on HBO. Mayweather in many ways is not the most exciting boxer out there: he doesn't throw a lot of combinations which is a real shame given his superior speed and stamina, rarely knocks people out early in fights, and often requires a real challenge to see his best skills on display. However you can count on him to always have amazing Compubox stats, show off nasty right hand leads and effective counter punching, and see a defensive showcase almost every fight.

That said he put on a clinic December 8th. People shockingly were giving rounds to Hatton early in the fight for nothing more than managing the real estate of the ring - he barely got any punches of note in those early rounds although he did a good job brawling. However Mayweather's superior skills just overwhelmed Hatton in the end. While th fight ended in the 10th the real damage was done in the 8th round - a it was just a thing of beauty. You see Mayweather throw combinations, soften Hatton up with body punches, and then just punish him with crosses and hooks. The 10th round was just the finishing touch but if you ever want to see a textbook check hook look no further than this below:



And here's the technically devastating 8th round where Mayweather's Compubox stats were through the roof:


PUNCHSTATS

FIGHTERS Mayweather Hatton
TOTAL PUNCHES
Thrown 329 372
Connected 129 63
% 39% 17%
JABS
Thrown 72 63
Connected 29 11
% 40% 17%
POWER PUNCHES
Thrown 257 309
Connected 100 52
% 39% 17%


The fight gave me great motivation as I went into my test where we now have more physically demanding challenges and weapons use. The worst is the chocking combat - you either choke or get chocked and things don't stop until some cries uncle. I'm still sore 3 days later but I should be ok in time to enjoy Christmas.

In any case I'll talk about my Nevada build 80/compiz 6.2 installation on my Tecra M2 hopefully before the year is out. Enjoy the holidays everyone and have a happy new year...

Friday Jun 29, 2007

Televised Presidential Debates...

Just some random thoughts I had to get off my chest. I watched the All-American Presidential Forums on PBS last night and it was just another reinforcement that these events have little value. These debates highlight many of the qualities and skills that actually have the least importance when it comes to leading this country. There was some symbolic benefits given the nature of the event: the debate focused on many issues pertinent to people of color and the panel was comprised of journalists of color. However the current debate format is completely inadequate given that you can't possibly give an answer to the complex problems the country has in the few short moments a candidate has to respond. The responses for the most part end up being feel good sound bites but ultimately content free. I'd much rather this format be scrapped an replaced with a Meet The Press approach. Each candidate in a two hour session should be on a stage solo and questioned by a panel with some minimal audience input. I'd be interested in seeing a variation of this where subject matter experts are allowed to briefly comment after a candidate's response to offer more depth to the conversation. This variation is easier said than done of course given the bias the "experts" might have but I think it would be a valuable addition nonetheless.

Friday Jul 14, 2006

It's a new year...time for a few updates...

I know some don't like forced vacations but I've been a big fan of Sun's US shutdown the July 4th week. I usually take an extra week off to give me a nice 2 week block of time to spend with the family and catch up on home projects. This break I've done Sesame Place, lots of bike riding, installed a new garage door, chased down an electrical problem, put together furniture in the kids rooms, and worked out to stay in shape.

A new fiscal year has started and it should be an interesting one. The account I cover is going to have some changes given the upcoming merger between Lucent and Alcatel. Of course Sun is reducing it's workforce so that always throws a few curveballs into the game but I'm hopeful that Sun is heading in the right direction.

The first thing I'll be doing when I get back is working with Sun's NJ/NY Black Employee Network to host 100 students from the NJ Governor's School for Engineering & Technology at our Somerset office. The Governor's School is a summer enrichment program that nurtures the talents of one hundred of New Jersey's top students who are entering their senior year in high school. The students are generally in the top 2% of their high school classes. The program is focused on the fields of engineering, information technology and technology. Through courses, projects, labs, trips and other activities, students achieve a higher level of understanding of the engineering process. Some of the technology projects they will be working on this summer includes things like researching challenges associated with rebuilding New Orleans, researching development of alternative energy sources and exploring opportunities for building communities in space.

Given that I'm a proud '91 RU gradute in EE I'm very happy to work with the students and hopefully give them some insight into how many of us leverage our technical education at Sun. It should be a fast paced day with 9 breakout sessions covering 9 topics with lots of room for small group interactions.

Here are the topics we will be covering:

  1. Alternative Careers
  2. You & The Participation Age - The Big Lesson You Learned in Kindergarden
  3. Information Security for the Participation Age
  4. Overview of Sun Java Technology
  5. Sun's Virtual Desktop: Sun Ray, SGD, and more
  6. Sun's Customers
  7. Solaris & Galaxy Engineering
  8. A Day in the Life of a Field Service Engineer"
  9. Open Source, Open Minds

And of course no day like this would be complete without giveaways ;-). We'llbe taking lots of pictures and I'll be video taping the opening and closing sessions so as long as I get clearance I'll post them on mediacast.sun.com. More to come...

My minor update to a previous blog entry is that I did finally get my 1st degree black belt. I'm fortunate to be in the first class (there were 3 of us) to achieve this level at my school. The test was hardcore - it lasted about 4 hours with a brutal regiment of katas, self defenses, sparring combinations, kicks, and 3 rounds of full contact sparring. It didn't help that I injured my left hamstring 2 days before the test so I wasn't at 100% but of course you can't make excuses and expect to get any sympathy. There was some ringers thrown in the mix but the killer was at the end of the test - we had to do a brutal fitness session of 100 jumping jacks, 100 push up, 100 sit ups, 100 squat jumps, and 50 kicks on each leg without putting my foot down. Needless to say I was in major pain for days after the test. When I got home that night my left hamstring cramped up real bad and I threw up in a garbage can my daughter fortunately brought over to me just in time since I couldn't move. My body essentially did a hard reboot that night ;-) A week later I got the bad news that I had to retest on my kicking section - I knew that part was lacking a bit because my leg was bothering me as I started my drills but I thought I did a decent enough job to pass that part of the test. The problem with retesting on that section so soon was that during my 3 rounds of sparring my ankle got hurt (I suspect I had a hairline fracture) and it made doing kicks on my right leg difficult so now I had 2 bum legs. In any case I figured I'd just go all out as best I could and nurse my injuries later and that did the trick - my instructors said my intensity and techniques were the best they had seen from me in a long time. I took a long 2 month break from class to give my body time to heal since I pretty much had been practicing non-stop for 3 1/2 years and that takes a tool on an aging body. I'm now back in action and of course class has been taken to another level. I'm learning the type of stuff where you can really do some damage to someone now - not that a kick or punch wouldn't do that before but you would be surprised how proper choking and hand lock techniques can bring someone down to his knees. The conditioning has gone way up now as well - at the end of class when I'm dead tired I'm doing stuff like running laps with a medicine ball over my head or doing incline push ups while balancing on a ball. I'll keep you posted on how things progress since I'm sure I'm in for quite a few surprises as my training continues.

Wednesday Aug 10, 2005

It's been a long time..I shouldn't have left you...

...without a strong rhyme to step to...

Ah a classic line from a great song of my youth - very appropriate in describing my blog output (kudos to the first person who correctly answers who the artist is and the title of the song). The crunch of Sun's Q4, responding to a brutal RFP and the follow-up that came shortly thereafter, and life with the family have taken up much of my time. I've had so many things on the plate that my blogging activities went down the tubes - and I'm not one of those folks who typically will blog a few lines here and there.

In any case in the near future I will be posting my detailed notes on installing Solaris Express build 20 on my Toshiba Tecra M2 laptop. I posted a few comments on OS News and as I've said there I encourage anyone who is new to Solaris and wants to get their feet wet should definitely start with the latest Solaris Express builds. As I mentioned before I installed build 14 which was the first release that incorporated the new boot architecture which includes GRUB and ACPI. I have IPSec VPN capabilities into Sun along with centrino WiFi (WEP security only for now unfortunately) and nVidia drivers which gives me a very nice setup to work with on a daily basis. Solaris 10 is a great OS but when your dealing with laptops and other interesting setups the new boot architecture with plug and play capabiites goes a long way to having a reasonable installation experience.

In lieu of my installation notes I encourage folks to review the hardare compatibility list on our Big Admin site which will help you determine if your system is a potentially receptive home for a Solaris installation. Also I'd recommend folks check out the high level feature comparison overview between Solaris 2.6 - 10 which shows the amazing improvements 10 has over previous releases - make sure you select "View All" to see all the goods. Once you do that check out these blog entries from Liane Praza and Bryan Cantrill that have pointers to blog entries from engineers on networking, drivers, security, and standards in Solaris 10. All very good stuff...

In other news I'm getting ready for my upcoming black belt test. I've been studying Tae Kwon Do for a little over 3 years now at Dynamic Duo Martial Arts & Fitness. I always said since middle school that I would study martial arts and get a black belt before my time was up. Of course I didn't think I'd be starting over 20 years later but better late than never. My only advice to those interested in the arts is to START NOW! Don't wait until you're semi-old like me to start. Once you lose your flexibility it's damn near impossible to get it back and when you have to do your kicks believe me you'll need all the flexibility you can get.

My test is supposed to last for 2 days and will cover everything I've learned since being a no-belt. For example it turns out the forms I've been learning are all part of one large performance which probably works out to 300 moves or so. I'll then be doing dozens of self-defenses, sparring combinations, and kicks. After that I'll have a brutal fitness regiment - I'll have to do 60 jumping jacks, 60 push up, 60 squat thrusts (the devil's work), 60 sit-ups, and 60 round house kicks on each leg without putting my foot down...all in under 10 minutes. Then last but not least I'll have five 3 minute rounds of sparring against 3 or 4 other high ranking students who will be rotated in every round - basically I'll fight a rested opponent every round. If I'm lucky I won't have to answer any questions that test my knowledge of miscellaneous facts about my school, association, organization, flags, etc. Unfortunately this will end the day before my birthday so I won't be able to enjoy it fully since I'll be in massive pain and dead tired (it took me 3 days to fully recover from my black belt candidate test earlier this year).

That's all for now. I'll try and get the notes up soon...

Monday Apr 11, 2005

A Much Needed Break...

I'm taking a much needed break this week. Not a full vacation but a semi-vacation (I'll answer my cell and deal with e-mail) so I can focus on a few things around the house and other areas of my life. My wife and I adopted our son and daughter a year ago and I've had little down time since. I handle the evening shifts during the week (except Thursday nights when I have martial arts class) and take lead on the weekends. With the organization changes at Sun my workload has been crazy at a time I needed less stress to get a hang of this fatherhood thing. But as the saying goes "there's no rest for the weary..." so I've just dealt with situation as best I can. The kids have been a joy to have in our lives and few things make me happier than watching their faces light up when they smile which makes the daily grind have more purpose than ever.

In any case besides the first tidbit about me regarding martial arts (I'm a black belt candidate and should test for my 1st degree in a few months) let me speak about my nickname "Curtain Time". Anyone who knows me well knows I don't do things before they need to be done. I'm not one of those people who believe in hurrying up to wait. I'm all about just in time delivery which works well for me 99% of the time but can drive others a bit crazy. The myth started when my co-workers and I had to deliver a series of presentations to our customer Lucent. Folks kept asking me about specifics on my presentation well in advance of our meeting and I gave them only general overviews of what I'd be doing since I hadn't put my slides together yet. During one conversation I said don't worry about my part because "...when the curtain goes up I'll be ready" - thus the nickname was set in stone and I've tried to uphold the legend ever since...

I'll speak on a technical topic and discuss the "Matador" concept the next time out. Until the next time...

Friday Apr 08, 2005

Welcome to the Terror Dome...

Hi Everyone, Welcome to the Terror Dome - my standard catch phrase for new situations in life (quoting the great Chuck D of Public Enemy). I'll be musing about many things of interest: Sun, movies, commentary on the news, music, etc. Hopefully my spin will be more on the unique side given my background (more on that later) so hopefully everyone will enjoy the ride.
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