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Off Topic:The next two weeks…

January 15, 2008 1 comment

Just a quick note about what I will be doing for the next two weeks starting tomorrow morning. At 5:30AM sharp tomorrow, my wife and I will arrive at the hospital for the birth of my daughter, my second child. I will post pictures and/or video when it is available. (Also off topic, I know, but I’m just too proud…)

Once “Baby Girl” has arrived, I will be splitting my time between caring for my son, caring for my wife and baby girl, and caring for all three. In other words, the blogging will suffer a bit. Once we get settled in a bit, I’ll start posting again. That may be a few days or a few weeks. Please be patient.

On a vaguely related note, I finally got Feedburner set up for my site, and I was happy to find so many of you were regular subscribers. I hope many of these are mutual subscriptions where I also follow your work, but if you’d like to let me know where and what you post, please post a comment here and I’ll check it out.

In the meantime, for utility computing related topics, stay in touch with Nicholas Carr, Simon Wardley and Anne Zelenka. (Anne’s post on GigaOM is especially good, and one that I seriously wish I wrote myself. She captured much of what I would want to say about the effect of utility computing on the middle class, and placed Nick’s book in exactly the right context.)

Categories: James Urquhart, personal

5 things…

The latest blogosphere social phenomenon has reached me doubly this week. Both Ken Oesterich and Ken Wallich have tagged me in the ongoing “5 things tag” that has been sweeping the blogging community (especially the tech bloggers).

Here are five things most people do not know about me:

  1. I was born in Reading, England.
  2. I play pretty decent guitar. I don’t know that many songs by other people (a problem when whipping out the guitar at parties), but I have several original works that I think hold their own very nicely against most pop drivel. Lately, however, I have been working on “Tears in Heaven” by Eric Clapton.
  3. I played Mr Anthrobus in Thornton Wilder’s “The Skin of our Teeth” in high school. I was a geeky, awkward teenager trying to play a 40 year old man, and was the only member of the primary cast not to win an award for my performance in that show. Now that I am 40, I wonder what the hell was so hard…
  4. My computing career started in fifth grade in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. I was lucky enough to get in a science focused program at a nearby elementary school, and one of the kids’ moms was one of the first BASIC programmers at Rockwell Collins, the aviation electronics firm. She came to our school once a week and taught us the basics of variables, loops, conditional statements and subroutines. Very cool. I got caught a bunch of times programming on the teletype terminal in the back of the classroom while I should have been listening to the teacher. Later, my luck continued as the father of one of my close neighborhood friends bought the fifth (or something like it) Apple II computer in the state of Iowa. We would program in BASIC every day after school, and tried to get into writing games and such.
  5. Later, in college, I was determined to be a Music/Computer Science double major…for all of one semester. I didn’t practice the music stuff enough, so I got a low grade there, and I hated my systems organization class, so I lost interest in computer science. (Dumb reason, now that I look back, but it worked out.) Instead, I started taking every math and physics class that I could, and finished with a Mathematics/Physics double. The day of graduation, I swore to my friends “I will NEVER be a computer programmer for a living”. Two and a half years later, I was coding C for a small manufacturing company. (Do not try to predict the future, even your own. Its pointless. Setting goals is OK, but be willing to float a bit with the breeze.)

Now, let me please introduce to you five more randomly selected from my blogosphere:

  • My mom.
  • Katie Tierney, a former collegue with excellent technical intuition who is proving herself to be a hell of a “head of household” as well.
  • Rama Roberts, another former collegue whose blog never fails to entertain and enlighten.
  • Management guru, Tom Peters, who reenforces my drive to amaze both my employers and customers by being a service professional first and foremost.
  • Alessandro Perilli, author of the virtualization-focused virtualization.info blog.
Categories: blogs, James Urquhart, personal