What I'm pondering or thinking about at this time....

Saturday Musings - A Wife of Noble Character

I'm celebrating my 30th Wedding Anniversary today. We're having a bit of a party with 50 people in the evening I've got a new suit with a bow tie so that I look a bit like a silver haired James Bond. This does have it's benefits as I can fend off the other guys from the most beautiful girl in the room......and I get to take her home with me.

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It's at times like this you can't help but reflect over the last 30 years and how you've shared them with another person. I was trying to put into words what I feel towards my wife and found myself at a bit of a loss. How can you express in words your feelings for someone that run so deep?

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Wolftalker
30 years. Congrats. That's staying power. And if you still give each other foot massages - you've got it made!
09 September 2017
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Saturday Musings - My Lady of the Lake

I love lakes. They are beautifully calming as you gaze across their sparkling surface in the glow of a setting sun. It just so happens I don’t enjoy one particular lake……this one spontaneously formed in our bedroom early Tuesday morning.

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I was working late (as I often do), headed to bed and as I stepped into the bedroom, rather than the comforting soft new plush carpet beneath my feet I heard a splash. You guessed it, we had a cracked pipe that was letting out water that should normally be trapped inside of it into our bedroom.

Being the good husband that I am, I waded across the bedroom and woke up my wife to inform her we were about to drown in the half inch of water making its way towards our bed. Being the joy of my life, she replied, “What do you want me to do about it?” and promptly went back to sleep. It was with fear and trepidation that I too managed a few winks to dreams of be engulfed in a deluge.

The next day I mastered my anxiety and called the insurance company. I was no longer anxious about the water (I’d got over that) but more apprehensive about what the heck did our policy actually cover in these circumstances.

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Rawgi
A most impressive couple, you are doing something right. I wish you both many more years of wedded bliss. You are right that no... Read More
29 August 2017
mgilmour
LOL! What more can I say?
29 August 2017
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Saturday Musings – A 38 Year Project Is Completed

I remember when I was about 13 years-old, my friend and I used to ride our bikes a few miles to a local Tandy Electronics store. Tucked in the back was a thing with a keyword and black and white screen that just captivated our attention....it was spellbinding.

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For some reason, the store manager didn’t mind a couple of kids spending hours each Saturday morning tinkering away on his demonstration machine. Maybe he thought it was a good sales tool, “Even these kids can do stuff with a computer!”

I’ll never forget filling the screen with white blocks with some simple Basic programming code. It was an amazing event that sparked the imagination and caused us to believe we could do anything with this thing.

10 FOR X=0 TO 128: FOR Y=0 TO 47: SET (X,Y): NEXT Y,X

Type that line into a TRS-80 (affectionately called a Trash 80) and you’ll get the same rush as we did 38 years ago. BTW, the same two kids that road their bikes to the store each Saturday are now working together in ParkLogic.

So why have I just completed a 38-year project? It just so happens that around this time my father met a guy that gave him a copy of a game. This game wasn’t the traditional Star Trek, kill all the Klingons but more of a strategy game that could have you engrossed for literally hours……and it did.

It just so happened that I made a photocopy (remember that wet photocopy paper?) of the code and have kept it in a safe spot waiting for its day to shine once again. Over the years, I’ve made numerous failed attempts to recode the game on different platforms. I even tried doing it in javascript over my recent summer vacation…..yes, for me, the game was that much fun.

Last night, my lifelong friend and I decided to focus and get the job done. We worked until about 2am and this involved some debugging and reading about 10 pages of old code. Laboriously we checked each line that was entered into an old TRS-80 emulator and finally we were in a position to run the game. Guess what, it worked!

The game is called Saratoga (no idea why) and it’s awesome. By today’s standards of fancy graphics and sound it is pathetic (there is no sound but the sound of space) but for two 50+ year-olds we were in raptures as we “geeked” out and became 13-year-olds once again.

What readers should understand is this game ran in 16K of RAM. This is less space than the banner graphic on my blog.....but boy was it fun to play!

The impact this simple game had on my life is not be underestimated. For instance, the starship that I would always captain was called Yorktown……the server that you are reading this blog on is called Yorktown. It also taught me programming, inspired me to get into IT and reminded me to be ever curious.

Have a great weekend….I know that I am!

Ping me if you would like a copy of the game…..like I said, it’s awesome!

BTW - don't forget to have your say in the Leaders survey!

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joezepy
Hi Michael, The coolest part of this story is "the store manager [who] didn’t mind a couple of kids spending hours each Saturda... Read More
20 August 2017
mgilmour
I completely agree with you. He was a really special manager.
20 August 2017
Bosk
His name was Hank. No one was called Hank in those days in Australia. More importantly, no Australian manager would ever consider ... Read More
23 August 2017
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Saturday Musings – A Smile On My Face

I’m typically a positive sort of individual and recently I’ve had even more reason than normal to have a smile on my face. Is it the fact that the next Bladerunner movie is coming out soon? As good as that will be (fingers crossed) it’s not that. So what’s got me so upbeat?

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For a start, after working on it for over 2 years, ParkLogic is migrating the last of our clients across to the new Next platform this week. It’s been a heck of a journey where we rebuilt our entire platform from the ground up……and yes, it’s a million times better! It also means that we will shortly be focusing on a single system rather than two (the old one and the new one) which will free up so much time for the team to continue to add value for clients.

I’ve also been working on a platform for developing websites on the fly. It evaluates, tracks and scores everything a user does on the page (leaves Analytics for dead!) and will be the basis for our next generation of ParkLogic products aimed at both the sales and development market segments. So far we have several million pieces of traffic a day moving through the system and it performs brilliantly…..so all is good and my smile is expanding!

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Saturday Musings - State of Fear

Are you driven by fear? Some would say that more than any other time in human history we are captured in a grip of fear. If you really think about it, we’re scared, worried, and stressed by about everything.

Before you say, “Michael, I’m pretty relaxed about life”, let me lob a few fears at you.

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Will I keep my job in these uncertain times? I’m feeling older, will my next medical checkup reveal anything? Do my kids really love me? Why can’t I find the special someone to spend the rest of my life with? Is it safe to travel? Will Google stop paying out on traffic domains? Why haven’t I had a domain sale lately? Will I have enough money for the mortgage this month? The list goes on and on…..and at the heart of it all is fear.

Let me share with you some good news. Compared to any other time in human history we live in the most remarkable. We live longer and have better standards of living. Go back less than 100 years ago and having a toilet inside the house that flushed was a rarity. Many diseases still ravaged the majority of the people on the planet and the wonder drug called penicillin had only just been discovered (by accident).

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mgilmour
I think that Business Insider was talking about the odds of being killed by terrorists versus sharks. This has not much to do with... Read More
07 August 2017
Rawgi
I always remember hearing Roosevelt saying " We have nothing to fear, but fear itself ". Even though that was World war 2 it sti... Read More
07 August 2017
mgilmour
I couldn't agree with you more.....Fear is what we should fear.
07 August 2017
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