What I miss

About 5 months ago, I left my cushy job as Director of Product Management, for a gig as an ordinary old product marketing manager.  So far, I am exquisitely happy with the change.  Great products, great people, small org (in a huge company) so I can really make a difference.

But I did give up a few things.  My office.  Where I am at now there are only cubes.  VP’s of production? Cube. Director Marketing? Cube.  VP/GM?  Cube (or, actually on an airplane for how much he travels.  The only negative so far is that I have to use headphones for my music.  I guess I can cope.

I did give up direct reports.  I no longer manage people.  And I am super happy about that. I can do it, and my employees all are super satisfied with my management. But, truth be told, I am far happier as an individual contributor.  Hope that lasts.

I miss the MSDN account.  Being able to get your hands on all of Microsoft’s products was pretty bitchen.

I miss a non-managed laptop.  I had pretty much free reign on my laptop there. Here? Not quite as locked down as at a bank, but certainly more restrictive than anywhere I have ever been (PGP whole disk encryption is the devil). And for the love of god, don’t update Java until they tell you to, or you can no longer access Oracle.  

The first Supergroup – Emerson, Lake and Palmer

This weekend, I completed my collection of ELP albums.  I started listening to them in the 70, and had worn out so many copies of Brain Salad Surgery (with the H. R. Geiger art on the cover), that I was glad to finally be able to buy it as a CD.

Ah, great times, great tunes, and in awe of Keith Emerson’s keyboard prowess.  From the piano pieces, to the wailings of the Moog.  Just awesome.

Losing faith in my fellow geeks

I have long thought that us “geeks” who spend a large fraction of our existence working with, and trying to improve technology were a cut above.  Both emotionally and mentally.

This belief has been shattered.  Two threads on Slashdot recently showed me that the geek community is as susceptible and gullible to false claims, and just plain incorrect urban legends.

First was the discussion around the Stanford study that showed Organic foods are not nutritionally better than conventional agribusiness farmed/raised products.  It was truly astounding how many people attacked the study, and waved their belief that Organic produce is grown without pesticides (not true, usually they use non-synthetic pesticides, that are often much more harmful than the synthetics).  They also weighed in that “organic” farming was more sustainable, and could feed the world’s population.  Both are dubious to completely wrong (reduced crop yeields, leads to more land under cultivation to produce the same food, and the energy expenditure is likewise increased.

Not to be outdone, a couple days later, there is a thread about the hazards of High Frequency Trading (HFT).  In the middle of this thread a battle about how shorting stocks should be outlawed because it is fraudulent.  Alas, all attempts to dispell this with facts, and the reason why shorting is and should be allowed seemed to fall on deaf ears.

Truth is, idiocy and ideology exists in all walks of life, geeks being no better at all.  Sigh.  I will not be diving into the next “Global Warming” thread on Slashdot.  That brings out the worst.

The GoDaddy outage

Sigh, tough place to be today.  I manage a few websites, and one that is for a non-profit that I volunteer at.  My personal stuff is all hosted at MediaTemple, and they have been awesome.

But, I “picked” GoDaddy for the big site.  It was pretty cheap, about 1/4 the cost monthly, and it seemed to have a good amount of capabilities.

Can’t complain about the setup.  Real easy to get up and running.  I had a couple of support calls early on, but their support did a great job, and were very responsive to my queries.

Of course, today they have been down hard.  First symptom was someone complaining about the site throwing MySQL errors, but not it is down hard.  For three hours.

Grrrr.  I hate moving sites, but I suspect that for the greater good, I will move it all under my MEdiaTemple account.