Where in the world is Carme... uhhh... wait.... I mean, ME!

By tonyhughes Hughes, in , posted: 26-Mar-2007 12:29

What a busy time it has been. I am currently officially putting my blog on hold for a few months. With just shy of 500,000 pages served up in about one year, and readership growing, I find I still have no real focus for the blog, and it feels like a millstone around my neck at the moment.

A few of my geek activities have to go, so that I can maintain the time I spend on others, and engage in some new productive ones, and I would rather stick around the Geekzone.co.nz forums helping out where I can, and socialising in our IRC chat room.

Thank goodness I am not a gamer, or a participant in Second Life, WoW, or other very time consuming online activities (WHERE do these people find the time???)

I have just had urgent surgery, which was going to be laproscopic, but at the last moment was changed to a 20cm belly cut! And the intended 2 - 3 day hospital stay ballooned to 7 days. I can only assume the rest of my recovery is going to be similarly lengthened and more difficult to some degree, and the doctor fully expects six weeks of limited mobility and capability.

Being an information worker / consultant though, its not all bad, and I can get on with being a productive member of society working from home in just a few days.

A day before the emergency surgery, I disconnected my Palm Treo 700wx, in favour of a standard candybar Nokia handset, so normally I would have blogged, chatted, browsed, IMAPed and Activesynced my way through the week from hospital (to be fair, one phone call and about 5 mins would have seen the Treo working again), and I could easily have gotten my partner to bring the work laptop, home laptop, or my newly acquired tablet pc to the hospital, along with my Telecom New Zealand supplied EVDO Data Card, but to tell the truth - it was really nice to be 'disconnected' for a week. With about 5 or 6 mass texts out, a few follow on SMS conversations, and about 5 phone calls being the most I had to do with technology while I was in there!

I also have some other activities to get involved with, including some community participation - heres my plans:

I have been nudged to engage with the local dotnet group, despite not being a developer myself, I think the idea is to foster local tech knowledge in Hawkes Bay, and get some dialogue going between different groups, for the general advancement of everyone.

I chatted briefly with a member of the HBLUG, and wouldnt mind attending a LUG meeting, and reporting back through Geekzone.co.nz on what a non linux-geek might gain from involvement with a LUG (Linux User Group). I have met a couple of these guys individually, and most LUG members are knowledgable people who are only too willing to help out (especially if they get to show off their impressive Linux setups at the same time!)

I plan to revise a report on Mobile Data in NZ that I wrote (aimed at people who needed a 10 minute zero-to-semi-expert knowledge path). I will correct some inaccuracies, and expand the report to include remote and portable solutions such as WiMax and Woosh and others.

I really need to put up a permanent web server somewhere, as I keep experimenting with things, and never seem to do full migrations of user data!

I plan to write a report on data roaming (both for visitors coming here, and Kiwis heading overseas), to dispel some myths, educate people as to how easily and cheaply they can be connected to all their usual tools, and to warn that the most accessible / most convenient options are usually incredibly expensive (but some tips on how to keep those costs right down too). Like my NZ Mobile Data report, despite my association with a certain incumbent Telco here in NZ, it will be completely independant, and I will happily incur/suffer peer review, and correction of it!

Another thing I wish to explore is communications platforms utilising open source (primarily for the SME market). Really a journey of self-discovery, a lot of people seem to be locked into this idea of a Microsoft solution on HP/IBM/Sun/Dell/YourWhiteboxHere hardware, or a proprietary solution, when in fact there are some very scalable, reliable, painless options out there. And no - I am not an open source zealot - this is not going to be a witch-hunt on price - just an eye opener. We all know that licencing often is a tiny component of costs in some configurations, but the actual level of knowledge in this country about solutions completely applicable to Kiwi business that could increase productivity or provide an incentive for other options to be more competitive, falls embarrassingly short of the mark. There just seems to be this huge focus on Microsoft products (which is fine, they are good products), but to the point where most are not even AWARE of the alternatives? Thats no good! I have started down this path already, and will explore some out of the box products as well as some down and dirty do-it-yourself stuff involving mainly firewalls/gateways, access/monitoring, messaging, collaboration & voip.

And this started out as a short notice to annouce my intention to stop blogging for a bit - heh.

Many thanks to my partner Leisa who has supported me through ill-health so hot on the heels of her own surgery.

On a final positive note, baby Tobey is now about to turn 2 months old, and is thriving wonderfully. Growing at a great rate, and bright and happy. Full head of dark hair, big bright eyes, and already developed that "Im in deep thought" look, rather well.

I welcome contact from anyone who wants to engage in dialogue on tech matters, whether you want to bounce ideas off me, engage me for consultancy of any kind (If I am not the right fit for you I know many others who might be), or just meet up for coffee. I live and work in the Hawkes Bay, with frequent trips to Wellington & Gisborne, and soon, frequent trips to Tauranga/Bay Of Plenty.

tony [at] tall [dot] co [dot] nz

Other related posts:
Won my first race today
Motor racing - new car already... # UPDATED WITH PIC #
No longer at Gen-i - What am I doing?

Comment by chiefie, on 26-Mar-2007 12:49

Do take care big guy! And speedy recovery too. Taking a bit of time off the connected world is always refreshing too. Don't worry, Geekzone will be here when you're all ready to come back! :-D

Comment by juha, on 26-Mar-2007 13:17

Yeah, go easy... good to hear the surgery went well though.

Agree that no tech feels good. It can stress you out for no tangible reward in return.

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