Taking Class in HP’s Operations Orchestrator

by Terry 5/19/2009 9:41:00 AM

This week I am back in all-day classes learning the fundamentals of Hewlett-Packard’s Operations Orchestrator software package. This product is likely going to be the center post of my work for the next year or so. If I understand my future work orders (I say that knowing that no plan ever survives implementation), I will be working on many of the business standards documents, working samples and technical consultant on using the product in the company. Today I start the steep initial learning curve.

Some people think this would be like re-training for a new job, after losing a job. As an operations-oriented software architect and developer (meaning I design, write and implement software for daily operations in my company, not write general applications like a work processor), my job has always been about learning new skills. I would be unemployed if I did not deal with change, usually large, fundamental business change. In my initial interviews with my employer, twelve years ago, I stated that if I do my job right my result will be to work myself out of my job. This philosophy has never changed in twelve years and I am fairly certain that has kept me employed, working on new and increasingly complex projects and through five lay-off cycles since.

After the initial learning curve, I will take the best of everything I have learned before and what I am learning to make the best product for my employer. If I do this well, I will have passed on my work and reach a point where I will have little more to contribute for my time. By that time, I hope to be where I am right now – learning the fundamentals for my next assignment.

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Tyler Returns to Normal-ish

by Terry 5/14/2009 10:12:00 AM

Apparently the pain medication, an opiate, the vet prescribed was a bit strong for Tyler. This explains the vomiting and general unhappiness Tyler was displaying yesterday. Today, on a half dose of the medication, he is much more normal. When I can, I give him breaks from wearing the Elizabethan collar but I have to watch him so he does not start chewing at his stitches.

I nearly got a full night of sleep too. Tyler slept with us again, which is not normal for any of us, so I am happy I got relatively good rest. I cannot wait for Tyler to go back into his crate again. In reviewing some of my work and writing from yesterday I realized I was on autopilot and not as clearheaded as I like. I am still off my game today, but it is more physical exhaustion than mental.

I am still in training classes today. Karen is home with Tyler, having changed her plans to go on a school fieldtrip with Kaitlin. Kaitlin really wanted Karen or me to go with her today, but she was thankfully understanding to the need to watch over Tyler for the day.

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Tyler is Recovering from Surgery

by Terry 5/13/2009 9:31:00 AM

Tyler’s recovery from his neutering surgery hit a rough patch this morning. He has to wear an Elizabethan collar for the next ten days so he does not chew his stitches. This means he cannot comfortably use his crate. So, last night he slept in my bedroom, sometimes on his bed, sometimes with Karen and me. He slept through the night well enough, but then vomited this morning. After cleaning up his digestive aftermath, I set the spare bathroom as his new ‘crate’, if we need to leave him alone for any reason.

Karen cancelled her appointments for today and tomorrow to stay at home and minimize him being left alone. He was an unhappy dog when I left for work. Karan put a call into the vet for advice, as the vet did not really mention what after affects we should expect. Neither of us feel comfortable about leaving Tyler alone at the moment, particularly in a different ‘crate’ than he is used to. I feel bad, because I normally work from home. I am in training classes all week, so this is not an option. The burden falls on Karen.

I am not overly worried, but preventing undue harm is wise.

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Tyler gets Neutered Today

by Terry 5/12/2009 10:58:00 AM

Tyler, our puppy, has come of age, contractually at any rate. Our adoption agreement requires us to have Tyler neutered by the end of the month. Since I left for the office early this morning, Karen walked the dog to the vet and I will pick him up this evening. Actually, I assume Karen got the dog there this morning. I have internet access, but limited opportunity to call Karen to see how things are going.

Karen and I are wondering how much Tyler’s behavior will change.

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HP Server Automation (SA) 7.5 Class

by Terry 5/12/2009 10:34:00 AM

I am in classes this week, learning the basics of HP Server Automation (SA) 7.5. Last year I took the SA 6.5 classes as part of the process to determine if the products can be implemented by my employer. This time I get to learn the product that is being implemented.

One big change, and I know I cannot detail this in any meaningful way, is the ability in SA 7.5 to handle a server in multiple groups. This was a limitation in earlier versions. For a large company with many smaller companies absorbed into the fold and multiple governmental regulators this allows a server to have overlapping management. It sounds hideous, and it is, but it is a necessary evil in some cases.

One downside of SA 7.5, and earlier versions, is during SA Core upgrades, the core and all instances of a multi-master mesh core (think distributed management servers) all cores are unavailable. In a large company, this can be a five day process. The managed servers themselves continue to work, but all central management is offline. I can think up horror scenarios with this where a customer is unable to restore/rebuild a failed production device when the SA cores are offline. Apparently this will be addressed in future releases.

Anyway, this is a bit of a ramble. I am in class, locked in a room and in learning mode. Learning is the perpetual state of a software developer.

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Women rule the universe and allow men the illusion of control

by Terry 5/7/2009 4:28:00 PM

I finally have decided to self-publish my fist work. Okay, I have to admit, it is not much. In fact, it is only one line. Here it is:

“Women rule the universe and allow men the illusion of control.” – Terry Losansky

I have been saying this for at least 20 years. I cannot recall what prompted it, but I have never found reason to change it. What I have found generally amusing is no one to date has ever disputed the conjecture.

Anyway, I decided that the idea was too compelling to keep to myself. I have decided to share it with the world. You too can now own this bit of wisdom. Visit my Café Press (http://www.cafepress.com/TipsUI) shop for you own mug. I think I will create a hat and tee-shirt too in the near future.

The subtlety in my conjecture is in the second clause where women “allow men the illusion of control”. Many people have stated in various ways that, ‘women rule’. I.e. “women rule, boys drool” is a common phrase. My daughter has a plaque in her room saying such. The key is the illusion women bestow on men. We men smugly believe we have some control of the world around us. Women have no such illusion, nor do women posses this control. They rule, but do not control. Men do not rule, but believe they control. It is a fine balance. It requires exploration of thought….

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Playing Server Administrator

by Terry 4/20/2009 11:29:00 AM

I am participating in a series of meetings this week to prepare for the installation of a host of HP products within my company. I am basically a software developer with a penchant for Windows Server. For now I get to play the role of Server Administrator for part of the initial implementation of the development environment for the HP tools. This is because my company believed, originally, the implementation would be entirely on Linux based servers. It turns out that HP’s Operation Orchestrator (OO) needs to be installed in part on Window based server in order to fully support Windows workflow feature and *nix features. The *nix OO installation only supports *nix features. Go figure.

It turns out, I am the ‘most available’ to fill the role and it gives me good exposure to the product, Operations Orchestrator in this case, as we introduce it to the company. I am already slated to work on the development of integration interfaces for OO to connect it within the company. My role as server administrator allows me to get an early introduction to the tools and environment.

(Note: I am work under general non-disclosure agreements, with some allowance to discuss what I work on or with. I occasionally have specific assignments which I cannot discuss in any way. It is my personal policy to not explicitly mention who my employer is. I refer to my employer as simply my company or employer.)

My company has had various rounds of layoffs over the last year. I feel fortunate to be part of a committed project, to which I am just transitioning as opposed to transitioning to unemployment like many of my counterparts. It is a learning experience – in the life-skills sense. Being a software developer, in a way, my specialty is learning and transition. I have made a good living implementing change in significant ways. This assignment is no exception and it serves as a grounding life lesson. Change is the only constant, live with it, learn from it and grow with it. It is very Zen.

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Save Our Rails

by Terry 4/14/2009 4:32:00 PM

I am flattered that I have readers to share this with.

Hi Terry,

The Woodman Lodge, Snoqualmie's historic steakhouse and saloon is hosting "Save Our Rail," for the Northwest
Railway Museum in Snoqualmie, WA on Thursday,
April 30 from 5:30-8:30 p.m.

We're going to try and raise $25k to help rebuild tracks that were washed away during the flooding earlier this year. The dinner also includes a train ride through the valley. For more information, go to http://www.woodmanlodge.com/railway.htm.

I would appreciate your help in letting your readers especially those in Snoqualmie know and come support your local Railway Museum.

More information is attached. If you have any questions, please feel free to email [contact info removed, TDL]. A short blurb in your blog will be extremely helpful. Thank you in advance!


Best,
Veronica

I have never visited the Woodman Lodge. I expect I will someday. I periodically enjoy the Railway Museum in Snoqualmie. It is slowly improving over the years, in part because of increased funding support and the growth of the city over the last decade. About a year ago I briefly stopped at the museums Conservation and Restoration Center. I would love to have space like this for a garage/lab/shop. I was impressed. I hope the Railway Museum continues to grow as a local attraction. It is a fun walk through history, particularly the technical changes.

The city of Snoqualmie, like many towns in western Washington, sustained a fair bit of flood damage over the winter. I am glad the museum and downtown in general were not to heavily damage. It could have been much worse.

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“If I can get one kid to say, ‘ooo, science is cool,’ my job is done.”

by Terry 4/2/2009 3:17:00 PM

See the article:

Cascade View students enjoy fun-filled night

I got more press than I had hoped, and the quote expressed exactly my thoughts, considering all the activity and distraction, I am happy it came out as clearly as it did. I will need to figure out how to follow up on it.

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Kaitlin Dissects a Frog, Tyler has a Bath

by Terry 4/2/2009 11:27:00 AM

Midweek is always busy. Yesterday, Karen and I met Kaitlin after school to join her in an after-school science class. Kaitlin dissected a frog. We had a great time. Kaitlin, at age nine, surprisingly had no issue with the work at hand and dug in enthusiastically. I was terribly hungry by the end of the class and the smell of the preservatives for the frogs made dinner afterwards interesting. The smell sticks with you.

Afterwards, Karen, Kaitlin and I took Tyler, our pup, to training class. Tyler got about an hour of puppy play time, while those people-who-like-to-think-of-themselves-as-owners underwent training. Tyler has been very good at training us to give him treats. All things considered, Tyler is making it easy for us to learn how to be good dog owners.

Kaitlin and I gave Tyler a bath when we arrived home. Tyler does not like bathing, but we are slowly getting better at it. The only problem we had was bribery and reward. Tyler had buckets of treats at the training class and Kaitlin hand-fed him dinner when we got home. By bath time, Tyler had no interest in being bribed into or rewarded for enduring the evils of fresh, clean water. Somehow we managed.

Tonight is Tae Kwon Do for Kaitlin and me. I help in her class then bring her home and attend my own class (as a student, not to teach). We are practicing with the Sai for the first time in about a year. It will be fun to see what I remember. Of all the weapons we practice with, the Sai puts more holes in the mat than any other. I have heavy, steal Sais and I have fortunately not dropped them on my feet – yet.

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About Terry Losansky

Terry Dee Losansky

I am a software architect, actively practice and teach martial arts and live in Snoqualmie, Washington. I have an amazing daughter who is the jewel of my life.

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