Monday, March 31

I need a new Windows Mobile phone

My three?! year old Cingular 8125/HTC Wizard seems to be on its last legs -- hardware issues, no amount of re-ROMming makes it better.

I want another Windows Mobile phone I can hack away at and run my own .NET code on -- this is as much a learning and demonstration tool as anything else. Heck, I hardly ever use any minutes on my phone, but that's beside the point ...

The TyTn II is nice, but a little bit more than I'd like to spend right now. And I'm not sure I trust HTC hardware, especially with the TyTn's missing driver issue. The Samsung Blackjack II was recommended to me by Kris over at ... it seems like a solid candidate. $300 or so retail, WM6, GPS ...

Thoughts, other suggestions, welcome! Thanks in advance!

Albany-area history: Isaac Truax and his Tavern of Death

In doing my morning news scans, and subsequent googling and wikipedia'g (does that make me a wikidemic? I'm definitely a googlist.) of various items of interest, I came to learn of one Isaac Truax.

Some of the more interesting bits about Isaac revolve around his tavern, located near his burial ground.

Apparently Isaac had a tavern along the old King's Highway between Albany and Schenectady. This ran through the Pine Bush, which was, to some extent, not unlike the sort of rugged terrain gunmen of the Wild West would hide out in a century or so later, across the continent. Guests were rumored to have disappeared at Isaac's tavern. Recent excavations discovered human remains in the basement.

I love the history of this area.

Thursday, March 20

Job listing: NOC Manager

An Albany-area recruiter forwarded me this requirement today:

I’m looking for a NOC manager – and thought I’d see if know anyone.

Here’s what I need. Salary 85-110K – depending on experience.

The successful candidate will have experience developing, managing and growing a Network-based operating centers. Further, the candidate will must have a strong track record of success in working with senior level decision makers and customers.

Responsibilities will include:

* Oversee, manage, organize, plan, and direct the activities of the Network Operations Center (NOC);
* Manage a call center operation for residential customers;
* Ensure that the highest reliability and accessibility of the infrastructure;
* Install and utilize management tools and processes to improve the NOC services including online monitoring tools;
* Manage the technical team that supports the NOC in the Network, Windows and Linux areas;
* Establish procedures to respond and eliminate service interruptions, faults and alarms according to industry stand SLA’s;
* Provide real time and near real time responses to end users, technical support groups and NOC Management;
* Perform analysis, notification, and trending of faults;
* Perform pro-active network element status and health checks as part of normal surveillance activities;
* Work closely with internal groups to assure continued quality of service for customers;
* Provide day-to-day operational support of a production environment;
* Follow change management and configuration management standards and guidelines; Implement system patches;
* Schedule and monitor hardware maintenance, and upgrades;
* Troubleshoot issues through to resolution, user administration, hardware configuration, system performance tuning, disk management, and custom package creation;
* Coordinates service restoration efforts with service providers, vendors and support areas;
* Initiates, updates, track and closes network trouble tickets; create and sends network alerts and flashes;
* Provide day-to-day operational support of a production LAN/WAN, Voice over IP network, Network etc;
* Tests, turns-up (on occasion), and troubleshoots various types of serial and Ethernet circuits.


* Demonstrated ability to manage a commercial Network Operating Center;
* Experience supervising a technical organization in a large enterprise environment;
* Strong customer service orientation;
* Strong project management and organizational skills;
* Possess solid oral and written communication skills;
* Demonstrate interpersonal/consultative skills;
* Ability to work in a fast-paced, ever-changing environment;
* Posses a broad level of technical knowledge and business acumen across IT infrastructure/telephony technologies;
* Experience in integrating new processes and procedures into existing customer NOC;
* Knowledge of current telecommunications technology, industry practices ensuring the highest degree of client/partner satisfaction;
* Understanding of information technology (IT) infrastructure operations and use of diagnostic tools (i.e., Sniffer, Alarm and Incident Managers, etc.);
* Knowledge of LAN and WAN hardware and related software/protocols (e.g., Ethernet, ATM, Token Ring, FDDI/CDDI, ISDN); ITIL, Remedy/Netcool

Background and Experience

Five years of progressive management NOC and call center experience.

Experience working with automated project management tools such as MS Project.

Ability to meet deadlines.

Experience managing Tier I, II and Level II technicians

Sunday, March 16

Elitism on Twitter

the known universe

An unfortunate dichotomy is becoming apparent on twitter. It is fast becoming evident that a gulf exists between us common folk, on twitter to enjoy conversation, community and discourse with others -- with ALL others -- and the Marketing Royalty who abuse twitter for their own astroturfing marketing purposes.

Susan Reynolds was one of the BIGGEST twitter snobs around until, hey, she has breast cancer. Thanks to the efforts of fellow astroturfing marketer Connie Reece, they managed to establish a twitter-based hack of a charitable organization, allegedly supporting the fight against Breast Cancer. Suddenly, with the spotlight on, the nose drops down to sea level, and she's Ms. Friendly.

It's sad that people would use such a real, truly needy cause merely to bolster their own reputation, building their list of clients along the way. It's also sad that someone could be such a selfish hypocrite.

I honestly hope Susan Reynolds' fight against cancer is fully successful. At the same time, I also hope she and Connie Reece never see a drop of new business again.

EDIT: GeekMommy/Lucretia, this is for you:

and definition of vitriol: Bitterly abusive feeling or expression.

If you feel there is vitriol in my post, you may need to pop out from under your rock and observe the world as it is.

Saturday, March 15

Salary negotiated with Change Round-Up

Dan Quigley, CEO of Change Round-Up, and myself came to an agreement on (pre-funded) salary yesterday. Not sure I'm "officially" CTO yet ... still working out the equity aspect. But a major step in the right direction :)

Friday, March 14

There are some things in life

That, if and once you get through them, you're pretty sure you can handle just about anything.

Until that next Big Bad Thing rolls along of course.

Tuesday, March 4

Too much awesome!

Today has been more kinds of awesome than I can count -- I ran out of fingers and toes!

Spoke with a development manager in South Africa this morning; his team is moving to NYC next month for what seems like a very interesting project. While I'm not looking to switch roles, or move to NYC, at this time, this is certainly the kind of opportunity I'd definitely consider, were I looking:

Had sushi for lunch, and the new release guy ordered with us for the first time. Also, a co-worker who avoids the raw fish and only orders veggie rolls was convinced to order a Boston roll today. She loved it. Slowly but surely, I WILL make a raw fish lover out of her!

Gave a presentation on EHAB at the day job this afternoon. I know I don't have buy-in from the whole team yet, but what was interesting, I think, is that some of the older guys immediately saw the value, whereas the younger/less experienced devs don't seem to be jumping right on it. I'm sure as I get more EHAB code in place, its value will shine through to them.

Looks like I've picked up some additional side work. Someone I've worked with in the past is engaging in a new WinForms project, needs assistance. Side work is always good! Especially when Poppa needs a new car ...

Then to seal the deal, it looks like we've got a venue for Tech Valley Code Camp! Confirmation and details tomorrow.

The only thing that could make today better would be a winning lotto ticket, or a super model waiting for me as I collapse into bed ... though at this point, I'm not sure I'd have the energy to enjoy that situation.

Product Review Update: Hydracoach

Not much to report at the moment. My replacement bottle may have actually been one of the originals as well -- performance was sub-par. My contact point has graciously volunteered to send me another bottle.

Given how well this matter has been handled, I certainly hope the redesigned model is all it's cracked up to be!

Monday, March 3

.NET jobs: AutoTask

If anyone in the Albany, NY area (or looking to move to the Albany, NY area) is looking for a .NET position, AutoTask, of East Greenbush, is hiring.

Twitter's biggest douchebag?

Twitter / MarkMayhew

Twitter's biggest social media douchebag?

First the guy asstroturfs half a dozen Twitter accounts. Gets called out on that, and finally starts owning up to the accounts.

Now he's slapping around #hashtags like there's no tomorrow. For those who are unfamiliar with the concept:

From the site: "Used sparingly and respectfully, hashtags can provide useful context and cues for recall, as well as increased utility for the track feature. Used excessively can cause annoyance, confusion or frustration, and may lead people to stop following you. It's best to use hashtags explicitly when they're going to add value, rather than on every word in an update."

#MarkMayhewDouchebag is using them for no relevant reason -- just to give one of his astroturfed accounts something to talk about. Something to impress his clients with.