DTP #7: Location, Location, Location

Location

Over the past 2 weekends, I have been helping friends, Melanie & Hendrik, renovating their flat which they going to rent out.  Above picture shows the view from one of their windows.   How goes the saying, Location, Location, Location – how true is it about this.  Cannot think of a better view anywhere in South Africa, in fact the world. Well except maybe the view from my new IBM Office.

Cape Town Office Move - 1st floor view

Can Social Networking tools replace e-mail?

A colleague, IBMer Luis Suarez, wrote an article in the NYtimes on how he is using Social Networking tools to reduce the use of e-mail.  And I quote

E-mail can become extinct, if not repurposed altogether, even at big companies like I.B.M. An e-mail in-box no longer needs to be like Pandora’s box.

I am not sure whether I totally agree with this … there is still a place for e-mail.  As another IBMer Ed Brill say and I quote

Even if you move all of your collaboration to other tools, there still needs to be a prompt, a push, a tickle, an alert … something that draws you into the collaboration.

And this push or tickle as Ed calls it is usually via email. If somebody comments on a blog post of mine I get prompted about it via email.  If somebody follow me on Twitter I get informed via email.  If somebody send me a message via Facebook then I get informed via e-mail.

So to answer my own question, no I do not think so.  Yes it can reduce the volume of email (an I do not talk about all the spam) in your inbox but totally replace, no I do not think so.  I would love to hear your comments about it.

Super 14 and Fun in the Sun!!

image What were they thinking, and here I am talking about that 15 Stormers that were on the field yesterday.  What a bunch of wallies … I have not seen a bunch of guys that for 80 minutes had no idea what they were doing.  On yesterday’s performance they do not deserve to be in the semi’s.

Well done to the Sharks that showed how it should be done.  Good luck to them and let us all go out and support them next weekend against the Waratahs.

Over the past week, I have spend 3 glorious days in Sun City courtesy of IBM for great work delivered during 2007.  I was one of the lucky one’s that stayed in the Cascades hotel and what a joy.  I was not like Tertia and spend basically all my allowance provided by IBM.

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Went on a game drive early on the first morning and almost froze to death but what a great drive.  Got to know a elephant … the driver had to quickly start the vehicle and move away so close the elephant got.  Also was treated to a baby white rino, “rooikat”, zebra, giraffe, impala and various other wildlife.  Unfortunately we did not get to see lions or cheetahs.

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Went on a walk through the Sun City forest over hang bridges and through waterfalls.  The photo above is from behind the waterfall.  Bet you did not know you can walk behind waterfalls in Sun City.

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For those that know me, no I did not play golf.  We could not play the Gary Player course since there was a Pro Tournament on at the time and I do not like the Lost City course so decided to give golf a skip.  Above is picture of the 9th hole on the Gary Player course and below the Lost City course taken from the tower on top of the Palace of the Lost City hotel.
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imageOn the first evening we went to watch the show, Let There be Rock, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.  One pity is that they played no Queen music which was a bit weird since I cannot see how you can have a Rock music show without Queen.

Both evenings we had gala dinners and on the second evening people partied till in the wee hours of the morning. I was not that brave 🙂

Lounged around the pool, sipping cocktails and beers.  Spending time with friends.  Just had a great 3 days away from the office and did not had to worry about work and all the other things that is going on in my life.  Thanks IBM, I really enjoyed it and appreciate the gesture.

A friend of mine will be spending the next week there on a conference.  M, if you read this, take some time out from the hectic conference life and just enjoy some of what Sun City has to offer.

You can see all the Sun City photos on my Flickr stream.

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New challenges and change.

Change is the essence of life. Be willing to surrender what you are, for what you could become.

They say that change is as good as a holiday.  Things are changing in my life and with it will come new challenges.

At work I have moved on to a new role (still within IBM South Africa) which will mean that for the next couple of weeks and months, I will be staying in Cape Town and working in Johannesburg.  I will be commuting between Cape Town and Johannesburg on a weekly basis and depending on the needs of the work, I will be in Johannesburg anything between 2 and 5 days a week. I cannot say much about the work I will be doing but when things are more finalized then I will post it here.

I will get to know the inside of airports, airplanes and hotels.  Made sure that my Voyager and BA Executive Club cards are up to date and make sure I stay in the same hotel group to benefit from Frequent Guest privileges.

This should give me a chance to pop in at 27dinner in Johannesburg.  Do they have Geekdinners in Johannesburg?

This will also give me the opportunity to see my Johannesburg and Pretoria friends more often.  Hey, one cannot live on hotel food alone.  So if any of my readers from up there want to meet, then contact me and we can make a plan.

I am sure I will build up a wealth of experience of how to commute across the country for one’s job.  From time to time I will share that here – what to look out for and what to avoid.  What the quickest way through an airport is?  Experience with hotels, rental companies and airlines.  I will also appreciate any comments which any of you might have on things to avoid or look out for.

To my Cape Town friends,  I will not leave this beautiful place anytime soon so you will still see me around.

How ironic?

As some of you might know, I will will working in Johannesburg mostly. over the following months and the plan initially is to fly up and down between Cape Town and Johannesburg on a weekly basis. This morning when I went to Facebook, this advert was there …

JHB-moving

Wonder if this is telling me something … :).

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Geekdinner @ Greens

After months of not attending the Geekdinner, I went to last night’s one that was held at Greens in Plattekloof.

It was really enjoyable.  The food was great and Perdeberg sponsored the wine — thanks Perdeberg.

It was good the see Ian, Tania, Neil, Bob and many others again.  I also met Bev, the one and only Feisty Female  — was great meeting the person behind the tweets.  Also got to meet Kerry-Anne and Paul from Cape Town Daily Photo.  Kerry-Anne, hope the moving today is not to strenuous and that it goes well.  Paul, you must enjoy your tip to Vegas, am sure you will enjoy it.  I am so envious.

Ian was his best again with his talk on Hippie, Green and something about technology. Bob told us all about what is going on the payment systems and the Presentation Karaoke was just hilarious.  I did not get the name of the presenter that tried to find his way through Tania’s slides, but he did an excellent job.

All in all, a great evening with a bunch of Cape Town’s geeks.

Robert X. Cringely and IBM!

From time to time I read Robert X. Cringely’s column, and though I mostly do not agree with him, I find what he say interesting. In his latest column about his predictions for 2008, I found this interesting and since I work for IBM and Global Services, it is a bit worrying.

6) IBM will have several quarters of bad earnings, will try to sell Global Services to private equity firms who don’t really want it, then end up financing the transaction itself to save Sam Palmisano’s job.

Global Services (GS) in IBM is made up of Global Technology Services (GTS) and Global Business Services (GBS).  Now I have to wonder whether Mr Cringely is talking about the whole of GS or only GTS or GBS in particular.  As far as I know, over the past couple of quarters and years, GTS was the best performing division in IBM and in general outperformed all other divisions.  So I have to wonder why Mr Cringely makes a prediction like this?  He does not say on what he based his predictions, so to me it just looks like stabs in the dark.

As we all know, services is a growing trend in the IT industry and more and more companies turn to some form of outsourcing of their non-core business.  This is what GS does and I cannot see that IBM would ever get rid off it.  IBM is acquiring companies everyday that supports their Services business.  What will IBM do with this companies if and when they get rid of GS .. this just do not make sense.

Die jaar wat was en die jaar wat kom

Dit was een van daardie jare wat ek nou nie kan sê dat dit ‘n briljante jaar was nie en ek kan ook nie se dit was ‘n slegte jaar nie.  Dit was net nog ‘n jaar wat verby is.  So wat het die jaar gebeur:

Sosiaal en vriende:
Deur die jaar het ek paar nuwe vriende en vriendinne ontmoet.  Ek is nog “as single as you can get”. Ja en ek het ook een besondere vriendin ontmoet (wel ek het haar seker al amper 15 jaar terug ontmoet en ons padjies het vanjaar weer gekruis). Hopelik sal oor tyd hierdie vriendskap uitbrei tot iets meer.  Ek dink sy is ‘n besondere mens. Genoeg vir eers gesê en al jul nuuskieriges moet maar wag totdat ek weer eendag iets sê.

Familie:
Familie gewys is my kinders die belangrikste.  My seun het Matriek baie goed geslaag en is volgende jaar op pad Universiteit van Stellenbosch toe om Chemiese Ingeneurswese te gaan swot.  My dogter het Graad 10 klaar gemaak en volgende jaar moet sy skool aandurf sonder haar ouer broer in die omtrek.  Nou nie dat dit vir Meriska enigsins sal pla nie want sy kom goed reg so op haar eie.  Albei is gesond en is besig om die vakansie iewers langs die kus te geniet.

Werk:
Die jaar het begin met my wat nog my voete moes vind nadat ons IBM toe is aan die einde van 2006.  Gedurende Mei is ek Denemarke toe om verhoudings op te bou tussen IBM Suid Afrika en IBM Denemarke.  In Oktober het ek die geleentheid gekry om aan te beweeg na ‘n nuwe klient hier in Suid-Afrika wat weer nuwe uitdagings aan my stel.

Wat van 2008?
Ek is nie een wat enige “resolutions” maak nie want die meeste van die goed bly agter as ander prioritieite op mens se pad kom maar ek will konsentreer op die volgende:

  • Wil die beste vriend wees vir my vriende en vriendinne .. veral as hulle deur swaar tye gaan en iemand nodig het en dan wil ek daar wees.
  • Wil my kinders al die ondersteuning en liefde gee wat hulle toekom.
  • Wil alles doen om daai spesialle persoon gelukkig te maak,
  • In my werk alles doen tot die beste van my vermoe en ‘n sukses daarvan maak.

Een ding wat ek in 2007 geleer het is hoe baie ander mense daar is wat baie swaarder in die lewe het as ek.  In 2008 wil ek die lewe met albei hande aangryp en die beste maak van elke oomblik.  Ek glo en vertrou dat 2008 ‘n goeie jaar vir my gaan wees.

Ek wil almal wat tot hier gelees het ‘n baie goeie en gelukkige 2008 toewens.  Gryp elke geleentheid aan en aanvaar die liefde wat ander mense teenoor jul betoon en straal ook liefde teenoor ander uit.  Soos ek meer tyd vir my vriende en geliefdes gaan maak so hoop ek ook dat ieder van julle dieselfde gaan doen.

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Werk, fliek en die week wat was.

Die week het begin met my wat moes besluit of ek ‘n nuwe werkaanbieding wat op my lessenaar geland het gaan aanvaar en of ek by IBM gaan bly.  Na gesprekke met menigte mense het ek besluit om by IBM te bly en nie die nuwe werksaanbod te aanvaar nie.  Dit was goed om te sien dat IBM bereid was om iets te doen om my te behou en dit laat mens goed voel.  Ek moet nog die ander maatskappy laat weet dat ek nie hul aanbod aanvaar nie.

Gepraat van werk.  Donderdag het IBM se Kaapse kantoor hul jaareind funksie gehad.  Dit was iewers teen Tafelberg op in die Tafelberg Nasionale Park.  Ek bly al so lank hier in Kaapstad en het nie eens van die plek geweet nie.  Hier is ‘n foto wat ek geneem het.
IBM yearend 2007-1 Foto geneem deur Marius Bock met Nokia N80

Gisteraand het ek Surfs Up gaan kyk en het dit terdee geniet.  Daarna gaan koffie drink by Coffee Junction in Tygervallei.  Hulle het “live entertainment” gehad en dit was nogal goed gewees.  Weet nie wie die ou was wat gesing het nie maar gehoor hy is ‘n polisieman wat sing in sy spaar tyd.  Hy is blykbaar elke tweede Saterdagaand by Coffee Junction.  Gaan loer gerus daar in na fliek.  By gesê, dit was omtrent die enigste plek wat enige lewe gehad het in Tygervallei na 10 uur.