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My IT World…

Posted by Sal Taharim on February 12, 2009

tandy1000_ad2Back in college, I recall as a freshman, I had to work with a bulky dumb terminal with monochrome green monitor.  I also recall in my sophomore year the university set up modem connections so that the students can dial in into the university’s mainframe.  Even at 110-baud modem speed, I was overjoyed that I could do my programming assignments from home.  Winter in Indiana can be bitterly cold.  I would rather stay in a warm and cozy room with a mug of hot coco in front of my 4-mHz Tandy-1000, instead of going to the campus computer lab to do my computer programming assignments for the winter semester.

A couple of years later, I was visiting some friends in Champaign-Urbana Illinois.  I was intrigued with what I saw there. The students were experimenting with a browser called Mosaic.  Back then there were not many pages or sites to browse.  However, the students were encouraged to create personal pages with links to post messages to the bulletin board, participate in the community forum, and sharing their thoughts and ideas with other students, within the university network and other students across states on remote networks.  The system seems very sophisticated and end-user friendly compared to the networking on Unix platform, the FTP and “Talk”, the computer system I had at my college.

After college I experienced the shift of technology from centralize to a distributed computer systems.  Companies and computer firms everywhere were implementing client servers as opposed to the mainframe and migrating from their “legacy” systems to embrace the new technology.  Get rid of the dumb terminals and replace them with smart ones.  There were bunch of software that promised to deliver the next programming language. Visual Basic, Visual C++, PowerBuilder just to name a few.  I recalled my required programming classes in college include C, FOTRAN and COBOL.  I was quite overwhelmed being exposed to the information technology world that seemed humongous.

The information technology world is never boring.  There are a lot of things to discover and re-discover.  Building new ideas and implements new ways to make things working between the old and new technologies.  I was totally content working on my first ever work assignment using PowerBuilder on Sybase and then experimenting with embedded C program calls from COBOL for a client who was migrating from the legacy system to client-server environment.

Looking back, I never had any idea that the internet is going to be the “it” thing.  I saw the preview of Mosaic, way back when I visited my friends at the University of Illinois.  I have to admit it was not that easy to create and publish a webpage back then.  I did use the cyber community bulletin board to inquire someone for a swap of some hardware parts for my old Tandy.  Well, the bulleting board did not have the bells and whistles but it did convey the message.  Now it seems that the internet can offer more than just posting a simple cute message.

Looking forward, I would like to learn and experience more on Open Source, brush up my understanding on OOP, involve and participate in SaaS and get to know more about Cloud Computing.

e6376aba6b91dff81Oh yeah, I would like to program an iPhone apps. I don’t have an iPhone yet.  I guess I did not get on Santa’s list last year.

Information technology is always going to be an evolving and changing technology. Whether it is going to be something resembling to sci-fi or just another re-cycled and improved technology, I am going to be as anxious as a kid on Christmas morning.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: | 4 Comments »

Golf, talent not required…

Posted by Sal Taharim on November 11, 2008

…it’s all about a lot of practice and a whole lot of luck!

Lucky golf ball.

Lucky golf ball.

Green fee…RM$120,

Cart rental…RM$60,

Golf clubs rental…RM$40,

Birdied twice at the Perak Royal Golf Club…priceless.

I do enjoy playing golf. It is a fun game. I pick up the game while I was living in the mid-west soon after college. I used to work for an IT consulting firm and the only way to leisurely mingle with the clients and co-workers was at the golf course.

Yeah, I spent a lot of hours at the driving range to practice my golf swing in order to hit the golf ball correctly. Some will say, “Sal, you are hitting a stationary ball, how hard could it be?” Well, the ball is only about 1.68 inches in diameter and the length of the longest golf club shaft is about 45 inches. That is quite a distance to hit a relatively small object.

Now how about a swing, from address position of the clubface square next to the ball, maintain a straight take away for the back swing while try to create a large arch, at the same time keep your arms straight and relax your shoulders, coil your upper body to gain and create power in speed, release the swing by maintaining the same line of the back swing, hopefully the clubface make contact with the ball on the down swing, and follow through the swing.

One does not need talent to play golf.  All he needs a lot of practices, patience and eager to learn the proper techniques in the sport.  I remember when I first started playing golf I hit the ground more than the ball. And sometimes missed the ball all together. Once I know or get used to the swing, I hit the ball more often but the clubface may not square upon contact with the ball and thus I get a hook or a slice. So instead of the ball going straight as I meant it to go towards the target, the ball went to the right or to the left, the hazards, sand traps, water etc. Yeah, I lost lots of golf balls!

My current handicap index as of November 2008 is 22.9 according to Northern California Golf Association.  I am improving my game each time I golf and looking forward to the challenges of the golf course and the elements during game day.  My goal is to break 90 in 2009.  With more practice at the driving range and a whole lot of luck, I believe I can achieve my goal.

Posted in personal | Tagged: , | 2 Comments »