Friday Jul 08, 2011

Technology, fundamentals and kids

Technology, like most consumables, continues to evolve and present itself in more and more areas of our daily lives.  (Personal and desktop) computers were, at some point, touted as enablers and were supposed to free us and empower us to do more with our time.   If anything, most of us have become either resilient to technology or completely dependent on it.  Watching (my) kids has allowed me to make some interesting observations about where we are going, given the pace of technology adoption -- and the obvious danger in ignoring the fundamentals. In July 2011, my family of 4 has 2*n-1 computing devices - that's almost 2 per person (and I am talking about Apple products alone here!).  Contrasting to where we were just 20 years ago, where and when I had been growing up -- times have dealt us some interesting cards vis a vis enormous changes.   One of the challenges that we're struggling with a bit, is constantly navigating the technology maze with intent to illustrate to our kids that (at least in the consumer industry) technology is merely an enabler, and not a panacea. "txt me whn u gt hm" is an anti-exercise in Wheel Of Fortune where dropping, not buying, vowels is done deliberately, at 5-95 cents a message. "How kewl iz dat?" - not cool, most of the time.  I often yearn for the days of pre-consumer electronics era, recalling what it was like growing up as a kid - looking at, and interacting with people, as opposed to screens powered by intelligent software running on energy-efficient hardware.  A friend I spoke with yesterday had told me he prefers to be reading a book, not a nook. In the world of increased mobility and space consciousness, we each make our own decisions - but what decisions do we make for our kids who look up to us and copy our (almost) every move? What do you do when both parents are in the field of technology?   This topic, no doubt,  has gotten its fair share of research from various professionals.  I'm always looking for  ways to impress upon my kids the relevance of fundamental ingredients of our life that came way before their modernized technological counterparts ever existed.  Books, conversations, music, sports, etc. - a right mix is important for a good potion to be appreciated.  It is always interesting to see new  ways to illustrate the magic of books, for example, as we've witnessed the popularity of Harry Potter series over the last few years.  Acknowledging the already successful moguls serving the inquisitive minds of the toddler, I recently came across something new - a new character set being introduced -- and that illustrates, to some extent, non-conformance with already well-established characters and brands.   Seeing that such innovation actually extends to places for even younger audiences is really heartwarming. I am writing about AdoraPet Children's books and toys (www.adorapet.com).  As if out of nowhere I bumped into something new that reaches out to young children's imagination, through stories involving routine, daily activities through the eyes of 2 friendly puppies.   The approach illustrates fresh thinking and desire to help kids discover the world by engaging in basic activities of reading, playing, dreaming and achieving. Coupled with a sampling of different job roles, I think  kids can actually gain a better and faster understanding through reading by comprehending what's involved - through yet another group of friendly characters -- and (more times then not) without having to be glued to the TV screen, or engaged in a pop-corn-smelling-overpriced-hot-dog-or-nachos-soda-combo-movie-theater-experience.  Now isn't that a pretty revolutionary idea? (I don't hold any financial interest in the company).






Friday Nov 20, 2009

Sun Ray for soccer: France vs. Ireland illegal goal

Yestday's world cup qualifier soccer match between Ireland and France sure ended with quite a stir, particularly due to the 1986 Maradona-like handling of the ball by one of France's strikers that gave France a 2-1 lead over Ireland.  The striker actually admits to having instinctively handled the ball in the penalty area and it is FIFA's inflexibility to leverage the available technology that's most interesting and disappointing to soccer fans like myself.  Read the full story on Yahoo... How difficult would it be to have a thin client like a Sun Ray placed behind every goalie's net, allowing a referee to watch an instant replay with the use of their smart card right then and there?  Maybe it will take a few years, but it is surely something that could easily be accomplished today. Sad that it will take process and people to let a ready product be useful in securely and cost-efficiently replaying what actually transpires. A loss for many sports fans until it does happen.





Wednesday Jul 08, 2009

Oracle of the Sun Shiraz

They say wine is made by taking a bunch of grapes and crushing them together ...to produce great tasting results (in most cases). California is the number 1 state in wine production in the US.  How interesting, then, is the following: A few holiday weekends ago I walked into a local liquor store (to do a Solaris deep-dive) and couldn't believe my eyes when I saw a bottle of South African Shiraz with a label: "Oracle of the Sun".  Although the Shakespearean reference to "What's in a name?" blazed through my mind at first, I instantly gravitated toward buying a bottle! Now, I have not opened it yet and shall probably be tasting it in the near future at one of the upcoming personal events.  In the meantime, I searched for it on the 'net and found it being sold here (among, likely, many other places).  How interesting, indeed.

Sunday May 10, 2009

ACORD/LOMA Insurance Systems Forum 2009

ACORD LOMA Insurance Systems Forum event is taking place May 17-19 in Orlando, FL this year.  For those of you who may not be familiar with ACORD, the acronym stands for Association for Cooperative Operations Research and Development - and is the name of a global, nonprofit standards development organization that is serving the Insurance (and related financial services) industries.


ACORD LOMA is one of the leading Insurance events in the North American insurance market, with typical attendance including representatives from many other countries.

Sun Microsystems will be located at booth #317 at this event. The themes we are focusing on at this year's event are:


Modernization (Virtual Desktop Infrastructure and Virtualization);


SOA/JCAPS;


Cloud Computing for Insurance; and


Business Solutions across the Insurance Value Chain


We will have various collateral/artifacts/demos supporting these themes, and we will be happy to interact with those of you in the insurance market who are going to be attending.  You will be able to download and view the collateral here


As an example, I have been working on an integrated Sun Ray + VirtualBox demo that will highlight some of the recently released capabilities in the secure/mobile desktop computing area.  This is something that offers opportunities to decrease desktop management costs, offers data/application security and mobility and is prompting a growing number of carriers to actively look at and deploy.


Looking forward to seeing you there!



Wednesday Jan 02, 2008

Beating the crowds at DisneyWorld

Just returned from a 2-week long trip to DisneyWorld at Lake Buena Vista (about 30 min. ride from Orlando's International Airport) in Florida.  If you've been there, you'll probably agree with most of what I am about to write - else you'll (hopefully) find the below helpful in planning your trip.  Essentially, if you're family oriented and are traveling down there with kids who are at least 5+ years old, one of the things you need to do in terms of early preparation is acquire a bunch of Disney genuine pins that you'll hook your kids on (while there).  Go to ebay and search for "disney genuine pins" and buy a lot. Its cheaper this way (about $2 per pin vs. $7-$12/pin while on vacation).

Next, while there, you'll soon realize that everyone from the whole wide world is suddenly finding it necessary to travel there during the same time you're going.  That's a postulate.  So, before you go, call up the number at Disney dining services and make a few reservations at some of the restaurants they've got.  While I was there with my family, we were able to dine at Magic Kingdom's Castle as well as Norway's Akershus (in Epcot).  Both were great places, with plenty of opportunities for character photos for the young ones....  By the way, do you know what Epcot stands for?  No, its not "Every person comes out tired" nor is it "Every paycheck comes on Thursday".  One of the gents who worked there enlightened me that it actually stands for "Experimental prototype city of tomorrow".  Well,  I am glad its experimental.  There are quite a few interesting architectural decisions that had been made that result in very very crowded pathways (during the holidays) with absolutely no redundancy ...and  because the Fastpass program is so popular, the one facility they haven't adopted to be Fastpass-ready are ...restrooms ;-)

What I liked about Epcot is the fact that Disney architects have representations of 11 countries (Mexico, Japan, Norway, China, Italy, US, Germany, UK, France, Canada, Morocco) comprising about 60% of the park (my estimate) with the remaining 40% being dedicated to various attractions - and the whole theme of Epcot is about our planet, the world, unity, energy sources, etc.  The Bakery in France is absolutely amazing.  Must have the strawberry tart and the cake of the day.  Follow that up with a visit to their souvenir shop and walk away with a number of French gifts.  Make your way into Italy and Japan and savor some of the local specialties.  See the acrobats perform in China and visit Germany for a playful OktoBeerfest ;-)  If you're going onto the Maelstorm ride in Norway, remember to watch the 5-minute film about the country, following the ride.

 

The Animal Kingdom hasn't changed much since we visited it last in 2005, except that there's a new ride (Everest) and a seemingly much more developed Asia section.  Didn't ride on Everest, so can't comment on it, but the restaurant Yak & Yeti (Hi Alessandra!) (right by the Flying  Wonders [a bird show]) is a must!   Make a reservation if you can - lunch at about 3pm works well if you started your day late.  Earlier on, as you walked into the park, you (hopefully) caught the Pocahontas show (on the left side of the park) and then immediately thereafter, you've probably spent 1 hour in total waiting for autographs with each of the 4 characters that are there pretty much throughout sunlight.  The cool thing about the Animal Kingdom is that it closes early (I think that's because of the heavy presence of animals and preserving their peace) and so you may still have plenty of time after 8pm to hop a ride down to Disney downtown.

 

While there, you must visit the Magic Masters. You must eat at the Wolfgang Puck's and have a tomato soup and sandwich at Earl of Sandwich.  You must visit the Disney Pin Traders area - and you have to wonder into the World of Disney shop.  If you're into Cirque, they're there -  at Downtown Disney. And if you're there on multiple evenings, try to visit the Fulton's Crab House (by parking area 1).


Other then that, the Magic Kingdom is a wonderful place for all ages. Lots of popcorn and sun sure make for a fun-filled vacation.  The Noodle Station serves up some very very tasty varieties so if you're into noodles, you'll likely enjoy a bowl of veggie/tofu/chicken.

 

As for beating the crowds, make sure you're there bright and early, do your homework the night before (visit the Guest Services counter at each park to obtain the schedule of events/shows for any of the 4 theme parks at DisneyWorld).  There  is no substitute for having the ParkHopper option, but my personal experience dictates that at $45/person, its an option only worth having at Disneyland, California and not Disneyworld, Florida, because in Disneyland, the 2 parks are close to each other - you can hop between them easily. At Disneyworld, you'll likely spend a day at one park (there's lots to do) and you'll likely not going to want to go to another park in the middle of the day.  Not unless you're in that park for the 3rd day during your stay - this has been my experience.

Bring a stroller, if you can.   With the time spent waiting in lines to rent a stroller, and having to return it and then having the kid being tired by the day's end, plus at $8 to rent a stroller ($16 for a double) and being there for 7 days, the math quickly adds up! 

 
...and repeat after me: "Its a Small World After All"....

 
Cheers and Happy New Year to all!

 

Saturday Apr 14, 2007

Web 2.0|0.2 deW or "Forget Web 2.0, here's Web 2.1"

 

Bah! A short stroll on the blogroll ...

I must've missed  this when it was announced just 2 weeks ago! 


This is really taking Project Blackbox much further. More importantly, its taking it OUTSIDE from the Datacenter and into the great white open.

 
:-) 

Tuesday Oct 03, 2006

Can't blog this!

Well, here we are again, about to surprise the industry with... [things we can't blog about yet!]. We'll just have to leave your appetite wet for now :)

Can you say: Can't blog this ?
Can you say: Can't blog this ?
Can you say: Can't blog this ?
Can you say: Can't blog this ?
Can you say: Can't blog this ?
Can you say: Can't blog this ?
Can you say: Can't blog this ?
Can you say: Can't blog this ?
Can you say: Can't blog this ?
Can you say: Can't blog this ?

Tuesday May 23, 2006

Operation: SunFire (or how Cool Threads get Burned By The Sun - and remain Cool)

Some of you may have seen the headlines, especially a few headlines today, such as the one including:
http://biz.yahoo.com/bizj/060522/1292208.html?.v=2

Something I would half-jokingly dub Operation: SunFire, though this is by far not a laughing matter.

The article talks about the fact that reduction in force has often been opposed by Sun's co-founder and longtime CEO, who recently resigned from the CEO role, but stayed on as the Chairman of the Board.

Scott's opposition to cutting jobs was one of the reasons I have always had respect for him as an individual. Back when the dot-com bubble burst, Scott came out strongly opposing reduction in force - even when it was arguably of need at the time. This time is no different. The company has to take action to meet certain expectations. Bringing Mike Lehman from retirement to help take control and get things tightened up is no coincidental matter. There are urgent business and operational decisions that need to be made in the months ahead, prior to the beginning of our new fiscal year in July.
Now, we've got a solid product line and we're growing market share with innovation in a broad spectrum of technologies that eventualy touch the Datacenter - from high-end server and mobile technologies, to Java and development communities ...but the reality is that technology and R&D aren't the only things that make a company tick.

I have a strong feeling we'll pull through on this one. I remain an optimist. This isn't the end of the world or the end of Sun. The purple blood is not dried up yet. "Its just a phase we're going through".

I can only hope that of those x-Digital folk at Sun making (and executing on) decisions, many will apply the lessons learned from the DEC days and help steer Sun away from the eventuality that welcomed DEC.

Monday Jul 18, 2005

$9 gets you in..

I recently saw 'War of the Worlds'; a good plot based on Well's sci-fi novel. Tom Cruise was great, though this is not his best movie, I still think it was well worth it. The ending unwraps quite fast and just falls short of my complete comprehension as to just how, seemingly simply, the aliens are defeated. Tim Robbins is classy too; his Shawshank-like efforts of digging a tunnel don't aid in his redemption though. Somehow lack of Morgan Freeman's onscreen presence left me wanting more; his narration hints at his spiritual presence which may add to the flavor of the movie (somewhat). He does play a key role in 'Batman Begins'.... which is why, until I saw 'Batman', I thought 'War of the Worlds' was the greatest summer hit, following in the ranks of 90's hits like 'Terminator 2' and 'Jurrasic Park'. After seeing 'Batman', I must admit I liked Batman just a notch more (due to its realism and screenplay I suppose). Both movies have great effects...and 'Batman' is just another example of why it usually takes a good 120+ minutes for a solid movie plot to unfold and come out with a 4 star rating in my book. With these two flicks, my summer movie expectations have been met. Furthermore, for roughly $9 a ticket, my long-time desire for a worthwhile movie has been plentifully satisfied. Compared with prices at the pump, I still think $9 is reasonable for each of these flicks.

later

Thursday Feb 10, 2005

Skipped the intro, but here goes anyway....

Greetings.

My name is Isaac Rozenfeld. I am a techno-geek at heart and a techno-geek by trade. I guess that would make me techno-geek squared !? Probably not, as being squared would just be plain boring....

I've been at Sun since May of '98. I live and work in New York City. I spend my days working at client sites on various projects, ranging from architecture to deployments to training to support... just plain consulting work. Its fun and I really love it. We've got great folks in engineering bringing out very cool products and I am glad to help put these to use for our clients.

Technologies that I work with are primarily Sun/Solaris-related, though they aren't always, with hardware ranging from workstations to high-end servers to storage, and software ranging from bare Solaris, volume management, data replication, backups and performance tuning and up into the application stack (capacity planning, BMC, TeamQuest, etc.). In a nutshell, primarily Datacenter stuff.

For the past few years I've been focusing on Solaris Resource Manager and have been helping clients in the tri-state (NY, NJ, CT) area with deployments of this product. Watch this space as I will strive to post interesting things about Resource Management in Solaris - (my own perspectives from the field).

Thanks for stopping by,
Isaac

Thursday Oct 28, 2004

Prior to introducing myself ...

Here's a thought that hit me as the clock swirled into the 24th hour of the day and I realized that its probably a good idea to call it a night. The idea expressed below sounds so familiar, I feel I may be recalling reading it elsewhere in the past.......

"The answer to any problem already exists somewhere, its just a matter of executing a number of predetermined steps that will allow you to tap into it."

If I am quoting someone, and you happen to know who it is, please feel free to comment and let me know.

'till then -

Cheers.

About

Isaac Rozenfeld is a Product Manager for Oracle Solaris; current responsibilities include the portfolio of networking and installation technologies in Solaris, with a focus on easing the overall application deployment experience


You can follow Isaac on Twitter @izfromsun

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