Category: personal

Total 7 Posts

WTIA Puget Sound Tech Universe – No Varolii

The Washington Technology Industry Association (WTIA) released a map of the Puget Sound Tech Universe. This is a fascinating map. I have spent more time than I should looking at it.

My current company is on the map. However, my four prior employers are not on it. I am not surprised by the first two. Partes (developer of the FreeEdgar web site, acquired by EdgarOnline in 1999) and eSociety (a classic dot com that closed when the bubble burst in 2000) did not have a lasting impact in the region. My last employer – SiteScout – is still kicking about. My surprise is that Varolii (formerly PAR3 Communications), where I worked for 7 years, did not make the map. Varolii should be on the map.


New Machine – CPU Fan Spins for Less than a Second, No Boot

For Christmas, we gave my kids a new machine. I bought a bare-bones machine from TigerDirect. We wrapped each component separately, so I did not assemble it until Christmas day. I assembled the machine without incident. Powered up. Then – nothing. The CPU fan would spin for less than a second. Nothing else. Machine did not power up.

I did some research and arrived at three possibilities for the cause. From least likely (and least expensive) to most likely, they were:

  1. Faulty power switch
  2. Improperly seated CPU heat sink / fan
  3. Faulty power supply

The first item was easy to eliminate. I disconnected the power switch from the mother board and used a screw driver to simulate powering up the machine. Same issue.

It was a long shot but an improperly seated CPU was said to cause some models of motherboards to automatically power down. I had used a spare heat sink / fan I had around. It was "new" in the sense I had never used it. However, I did not trust it since it had sat on a shelf and had probably been battered about. So, when I was able, I bought a much better heat sink / fan and installed it. Powered on. Same issue.

I bought a new power supply (actually a much better power supply) and installed it. Powered up. And it worked.

FYI – TigerDirect makes it very easy to get a return authorization.


Humor – And God Wrote in Lisp Code

I recently heard a recording of a parody of Julia Ecklar’s “God Lives on Terra” (which I am not familiar with) entitled “God Wrote in Lisp Code”. The lyrics are copyrighted 1996 by Bob Kanefsky. Being nearly 12 years old, I am surprised I did not see this before – perhaps I was actively ignoring anything dealing with lisp at the time. The lyrics can be found on Funny.


Senior Professional Society Memberships

Last week, I received a letter from the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) informing me that I am promoted to senior member status. According to the ACM website, senior membership recognizes “those ACM members with at least 10 years of professional experience and 5 years of continuous Professional Membership who have demonstrated performance that sets them apart from their peers.” The process for senior membership within ACM starts with meeting a minimum set of conditions – five years of continuous membership in ACM and 10 years of professional experience (however you receive credit for college degrees towards years of professional experience – which I did not need this credit myself). Once these are met, there is an application that must be filled out (a self-nominating process) which is essentially someone’s resume fit into a form. The final portion of the application is asking for 3 nominations from people familiar with your work. Once these steps are taken, the information goes to a review committee and eventually a decision.

I am also a senior member of the American Society for Quality (ASQ). The process for achieving ASQ senior membership is similar – member of ASQ for 1 year and 10 years of professional experience. The application then requires that at least 1 of 4 items be completed. In my case, it was holding an ASQ certification that requires recertification. No nominations are required.

I am not a senior member in IEEE. The application process requires filling out an application and submitting a copy of your resume which must show 10 years of professional experience / 5 years of significant performance. In addition, it requires 3 nominations from current IEEE members of senior grade or higher.

Is there value in these advanced membership grades? With ASQ you get some additional benefits. I am not sure for the other societies.

Goodbye Varolii, Hello SiteScout

A week and a half ago, I ended a nearly seven year run at Varolii Corporation (formerly PAR3 Communications). I enjoyed my work there and I value the friendships I made. I am confident that the company will be successful and I recommend it for anyone looking for a job in the Seattle or Boston job markets. See the jobs page on the Varolii website for current openings.

My new position is at a company by the name of SiteScout Corporation. We are an early stage startup. While we are keeping the details of the business model under wraps, one of our taglines is “Making the Web safe again.” As a startup, my role will be wide and varied — which I am looking forward to.

While it is hard to say goodbye to Varolii, I am excited to say hello to SiteScout.