thoughts

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

OK, ok. I've been stupid enough to start something I can't find the necessary surplus "steam" to maintain (this blog), but still don't feel ready to shut it down. Why? Not sure, really. I guess it's probably for some silly nostalgic reason; to be able to read what I thought was interesting enough to post about several years back. And maybe one day, if I live until I retire...

However, since 'mindscape'/'thoughts' contains traces from my professional life, I'd better hurry up and tell that I've become an IBM'er (since January this year)! Lots of work, but it still feels right somehow. Besides, every time I visit our Norwegian HQ, I'm struck with the fact that the place is crowded with good old acquaintance from around this trade! Then again, Norway is a really small country, and a quick count on my fingers divulges that I've been in this IT business for one-and-a-half decades now. If you'd care to have a look at how I've spent this time, please refer to my LinkedIn profile.

Anyhow, the following is what REALLY made me write this posting:

Recently I've started participating in Folding@Home, a grass-root distributed computing effort. Never felt much for initiatives like SETI@Home, but this is oh so different! Hey, I've even gone through the hassles of installing it consecutively on three different machines; a PC, a Mac and a PlayStation 3 (PS3). And since I had to work through this Easter Holiday, I've been alone at home most of the time (...men takk for at DU kom, Marie min!), so the boxes just stood there, humming by themselves. Want to have a look at the results? Then check it out over at the 'cycledonors' team page -- and then -- please, please join in, your contribution is quite useful and highly appreciated!

Now I can almost hear you: So what's the catch?, you ask, right? What I for one wrongly expected was that it would render my computers useless. Well, what I enjoy most of all is that the software is well written; it just fits in, running smoothly in the background. Without that, I would have ripped it out from all systems and certainly not written this piece. Conclusion: Unless you actually need to reserve your computing machinery for some other processor-hungry job, your end-user experience will not suffer from it! And if you're like the majority of matures; mostly corresponding via e-mail, chats, reading online news, paying bills etc., you certainly DON'T need much power! I say this after a week of first-hand experience myself; while Folding@Home steadily consumes some 85% of my Mac and PC processors, I still have NO troubles performing everyday tasks! Nothing short of impressive!

Unfortunately, the rotating Earth visualization showing where all participators from around the globe submit their cycles from (accompanied by an intriguing sound scheme), is only available on the PS3, not the other platforms. Why? Simply because it's so extremely powerful. Speaking about this: Yesterday night I watched a news broadcast from the University of Bergen, featuring a high-performance computing center researcher who called the PS3 a 'sellout' (...yes, his exact words). His rationale: If you interconnect a handful of these devices you get the raw power equal to one of their supercomputers! This contrast the regular misconception of PS3 as expensive; since it costs approximately the same as the XBox 360 and a Nintendo Wii game consoles put together. But that ain't no reasonable comparison. Personally, I can't wait to hook up a wireless keyboard to the PS3 and run Linux on it (the "Feisty Fawn" release of the GNU Debian-based Ubuntu distribution is due any day now).
posted by Andre_T Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Monday, December 05, 2005

First of all I have to state that I'm sorry to people who expect this to be kept current. ...my own visits to 'mindspan' are so rare that this can not be considered a true blog.

Anyway, since I'm here I may just as well present you with a brief update. Much of my daytime activities are related to projects for my excellent employer Bouvet, a fairly small (counting approx. 200 heads now) Norwegian employee-owned consultancy/systems integrator (SI).

If I found the time, 'mindspan' would be densely covered with short writings about business-driven enterprise architecture and integration (nowadays probably a bit flavored by SOA), information management at large and especially by means of topic maps, [information] security and IT governance. Perhaps even something about various social aspects of computing - and of course rich digital media and related ownership. But as much as I would like to, I really can't allow myself to dive into blog postings, it would simply occupy too much of my limited resources.

Further information about me can be found by looking up my name over at the quasi-social professional network called LinkedIn (membership required, but I have no reservations recommending this service). Or, if this for some reason doesn't work for you but you still would still like to get in contact, please use my 2idi form '=Torkveen'.
posted by Andre_T Monday, December 05, 2005

Thursday, April 22, 2004

Checking in some 15 months later - phew! Honestly I was amazed just to find it operative. I scrolled down previous postings and discovered that my employment information is outdated. I now work for Statkraft (...Norway's largest utility company, and Europe's second largest on renewable energy). As a so-called IT architect, meaning that I spend my time improving the passage between business and technology. And my previous employer now goes by the name Capgemini. BTW I recently read something (...no, I cannot remember where) pretty clearing about the nature of Weblogs: While Wikis are a group thing, blogs empathize individuals/egos. There you have it - not too flattering, but when you think about it it's hard to claim it to be wrong, at least entirely. Oh, yes I'm fully aware there are blogs that exist as a means to communicate with groups (...say from a leader who's not as much a round as he/she would have liked to) - but it's still from a single person. Otherwise, the user(s) would probably be much better off with a Wiki! Guess I'll keep up the blurry line between professional/general observations, reflection and private notes: Tomorrow our lovely youngest daughter will be two years old! So I just must phrase this next statment in Norwegian: "Gratulerer jenta mi, jeg er SAA glad i og stolt av deg! Gud velsigne deg!" Wondering how I spent the time between this and my last posting? Well, I'd like to say as a digerati family man. The most pleasant period was our two months at Lanzarote (...one of the Canary Islands). I got my first firsthand experience with many incredibly warm and hospitable people! OK, so it was partly due to the fact that my wife (...who is one of the kindest and most sympathetic persons anyone can hope to come across during a lifetime, hands down) had established relations some ten years earlier, but nevertheless; Angelina and Manolo, Maria and Roma, Auxi, Basilio and families - I'm nothing short of HONORED to have shared that valuable time with you! I don't know when, but we'll definitely return! Even though I'm embarrassed to admit I haven't improved my Spanish (yet) - it?s actually become worse!
posted by Andre_T Thursday, April 22, 2004

Wednesday, January 01, 2003

Back on the block. From the best holliday season in years, even though several persons caught an influenza (...tree out of four 'only' had it for 12 hours though)! Today my son and I went toboggan sledgeriding with headmounted flashlight - great fun, even in the usual cold weather (-14� Celcius) around new year! Tomorrow it's business as usual.
posted by Andre_T Wednesday, January 01, 2003

Friday, December 20, 2002

Tomorrow we'll travel to the western part of the country to visit my parents for Cristmas. Yes, we'll go by plane. And no, I won't bring any computer! Cheerio Miss Sofie!
posted by Andre_T Friday, December 20, 2002

Wednesday, December 18, 2002

Taking a day off to go Christmas shopping today, bringing my wonderful son. Have a few other errands as well, one is to pay some acquaintances and former colleagues a lunch visit, delivering a CV (...actually sort of a job application) for someone else. This 'someone else' has turned 50, and if your're on the outside, todays �atomic winter� market conditions make it very difficult to get back into business! But Ib is a very skillful man who I'm certain is/will be an asset for whichever employer who gets him!
posted by Andre_T Wednesday, December 18, 2002

Tuesday, December 17, 2002

Whoami? A Norwegian fellow named André Torkveen. My employer is Cap Gemini Ernst & Young (the English corporate site is www.cgey.com, a national language version is available at www.no.cgey.com). I'm in to computing, with a taste for [IT] architecture and security. Kind of loose description, eyh? Well, anyway that'll be all (...at least for now). And note that this is a PERSONAL project, so if you want to get in contact please use my according address: andre [dot] torkveen [at] sensewave [dot] com
posted by Andre_T Tuesday, December 17, 2002

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