Monday Nov 29, 2010

Gone Away

This blog has moved here.

Saturday Jun 27, 2009

Best Souvenir EVAH

This post has moved here.

Friday Apr 04, 2008

About Me

I'm Deirdré Straughan (pronounced DEAR-druh STRAWN). This is me: 


I've been communicating online since 1982, when I was a pioneer member of CompuServe, using a Commodore Vic 20 computer with a cartridge-style modem.

Having moved to Milan, Italy, in 1991 with my husband Enrico, a mathematician, and our daughter Rossella, I landed up working with Fabrizio Caffarelli at Incat Systems, writing a book ("Publish Yourself on CD-ROM") and then documentation for Easy CD and other CD recording software. I developed a passion for making things as good as they could be for the user, which led to working closely with the engineers on UI and usability.

When Incat was sold in 1995, I transitioned to Adaptec with the rest of the team, and began working in/inventing the new field of online customer service and support, doing everything from maintaining a company presence on the Usenet, to developing support content and web applications, and writing and editing email newsletters.

My Adaptec colleagues included Dan Maslowski, Scott Tracy, and several other people who now work for Sun.

When Adaptec decided in 2000 that they didn't want to be in the CD-R software business after all, I was part of the Roxio spin-off, where I oversaw the design and implementation of an ambitious new website, while not losing sight of existing services customers that loved, such as our email-based discussion list.

More recent experience includes interaction design, documentation, support system design and many other tasks for TVBLOB, a video streaming startup in Milan.

I also maintain a personal website/blog, which (among other things) is a laboratory for me to keep up to date on web techniques and technologies.

In 2004 I started videoblogging, partly because I wanted to see just how difficult it would be for an average computer user to post video in a viewable form online. At the time, it was very difficult indeed: we early members of the Yahoo videoblogging group had to help each other through some difficult technical challenges. Not all of us went on to found YouTube. <wry smile>

In March of 2007, my old friend Dan Maslowski hired me as a contractor at Sun, and since then I've been working behind the scenes to make a lot of things happen, including the Storage Stop blog and the video that you can see there (one of the first things Dan did when I came aboard was to buy me a much better video camera).

As of March 24, 2008, I am a regular Sun employee - and delighted to be. My new boss is Lynn Rohrer, and my responsibilities have expanded to include Sun Cluster, Grid Engine and HPC software, as well as the storage software I'm already dealing with. I'm also helping to support the OpenSolaris communities around those areas. If you go to conferences or open source events related to any of these technologies (or OpenSolaris in general), you'll likely see me running around with a videocamera. Please say hello!

PS. "Un posto al sole" is Italian for "A place in the sun." (Which also happens to be the title of Italy's longest-running soap opera, but that's neither here nor there...)

PPS. The cartoon portrait of me, which also appears on my personal site, is by artist Mike Segawa.

About

Deirdré Straughan: I do a lot of stuff. Follow @deirdres on Twitter! Opinions expressed here are my own.

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