PMI PMO Critical Chain

Clarise and I attended the PMI [of which we're members] San Francisco Bay Area April supper meeting last night. The topic, "The Natural Evolution of a PMO", is of interest to us because we've been unable to determine if something really new is happening here. The answer is NO. As we suspected, PMO is hype to get companies to establish standard project management methodologies, such as our own 6D™ methodology, complete with procedures and templates. One evidence that this is so, is that there isn't agreement on whether the "P" in PMO is "project" or "program".

As so often happens, the most interesting talk of the evening was that at the supper table with our colleagues. One topic of conversation was on the wiki(Theory of Constraints) and wiki(Critical Chain) Project Management. Managing a project is about managing resources, and Critical Chain Management addresses managing conflicting demands on resources. As Pat, at our table, pointed out, one doesn't necessarily have the data necessary to actually use the Critical Chain model. I liken it to Chaos theory in mathematics; great for understanding what occurred or is occurring, but it isn't so good as a predictive model. So if one can't adequately plan [model] a project using Critical Chain, does it have any value? Perhaps... Create a knowledge base of all projects in the portfolio, and use Critical Chain to understand what happened in the projects and why projects succeed or fail in your corporate environment.

Here's a google search that provides some nice results for Critical Chain in Project Management.

Mike Fields of Kana

Mike Fields, CEO & Chairman of the Board at Kana spoke at the OracAlum event last night and gave one of the best speaker's forums I've been too. Mike has a long history in the software industry, and has some great perspecitves.

He left Oracle in '92 to start OpenVision, where they had engineers in San Diego & Minnesota; the best engineers were in Minnesota. They did 14 acquisitions in 18 months

He lives in the US Virgin Islands

  • tax advantages
  • 8 x broadband of US
  • timezone advantages

John Thompson asked him to join Kana Board of Directors at Kana, which develops software [knowledge base, search & call center] & services in the customer support arena; after being on the board for 2 weeks, he was asked to run the company [that was only 7 mos ago]

One very interesting decision that he's made at Kana is to "backshore" development from India to Menlo Park; Kana had given up the intellectual knowledge of their Intellectual Property, and that couldn't be tolerated. After he had done that, they discovered that Kana had not been saving any money; looking at costs such as equipment in India, telecommunications, 1 Product Manager in US for every 5-10 engineers in India, and greatly increased QA & documentation costs. In addition, they had lost time to market due to the loss of collaboration between architect and programmer - they now have twice the speed to market with one-third the developers.

Mike also gave a very interesting answer to my question about the growth of Enterprise Open Source Software recently. He reiterated something that I've said before, there has been freely available and sharing of source code since the beginning of computing. But his perspective on the commoditization issue was very different. Mike feels that the commodization of all other products is driving the software industry. Software and IT will help companies in a commoditzed world - helping companiess help their customers.

Mike gave a refreshing and enjoyable talk. I was very glad that Clarise and I went.

Easter 2006

As I've written previously, Easter is my favorite food holiday. This year was no exception. We started with a brunch of

The brunch was great. Dad's mazzarelles and pastiere were really great this year.

Easter Brunch Table
Click to view original size

Mom really enjoyed it.

Mom Digging into Brunch
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Even though we couldn't get the ham to Bunkey, we did get one for ourselves, which I cooked in a traditional southern cola glaze. It went from package

Burger Brown Sugar Cured Ham in Package
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... to the cutting board with a soak overnight, and four hours of cooking

Ham in Cola Glaze Cooked
Click to view original size

So, supper was also great.

Easter Supper Table
Click to view original size

Flaky Electricity

Sparks, snaps and pops, oh my...

  1. The new APC that I bought won't stop beeping every four seconds or so. Very quietly. Not a full fledged tone, and the on-battery light never comes on, and the software never admits to there being a problem.
  2. Almost every one of the overhead lights in my house have fried half of their sockets.
  3. I'm losing a spotlight every other week in my kitchen.
  4. One of the lights outside has failed completely.
  5. The fancy low-voltage lighting system we had custom made for the stairwell won't come on.

The electricity in the house has definitely gone flaky. Not the nice, delicate flaky of a fine pie crust. No, no, no. This is the full-tilt bonzo crazy FLAKY of unexplained weirdness. :crazy:

To the rescue is Tim Swillinger, providing residential electrical work and solar energy systems to the Coastside. He took pages and pages of notes today, and he'll be back on Monday to do begin the real investigation as to WHY. A report will follow. He's afraid that he may have to rip out walls.

He doesn't have a web site, so I can't link to him. I enjoyed working with him today. Maybe some blog hosting and consulting could be traded for some repair work. &#59;) Maybe not.

I think cake is in order. :lalala:

Building a Sun Fire SC RJ-45 to RS-232C DB-9F Adapter

As we mentioned on receiving the Sun Fire T2000, one surprise was the need to use a terminal emulator to initialilly set-up the server through the system console port. Even more suprising was that it was still using a RJ-45 connector for the serial line, just like an old Dec VT100 terminal. Of course, we're not the only one to be so surprised.

Then the time came to plug it in. That’s where the trouble started: the machine doesn’t do any video-output at all. I know it’s not really necessary for a server box to have the latest and greatest in video acceleration hardware, but a most servers come with a MACH64 of some kind onboard so you can at least get up a text console without hassle. Not the Sun– it requires that you have a computer available with a serial connection. That’s all fine with me, I have such stuff anyway. But the serial connection for this uses an RJ-45 connector instead of the standard DB-9 one. And the only adapter I had for that didn’t seem to be the right one. Luckily I was able to fabricate my own...end quotation
-- » Sun Fire T2000

You can also find more links about this in Frostyland "Sun Fire T2000 Try and Buyers".

As we said previously, this isn't new for Sun, but it is a bit of a pain if you aren't set up as a Sun-centric data center. We used the hyperterminal terminal emulator that comes with WindowsXP on a laptop, and the RS-232C serial port [DB-9 male] on the back of the laptop. We did see available Cisco Console standard RJ-45 to USB cables. That should work as well.

If you don't have soldering irons or appropriate crimp tools, building your own is also painful, as Pins 4 & 5 from the Sun need to be spliced together to go into Pin 5 [all signal ground pins] of the DB-9 connector. If you don't have the right tools, one way to do this is to simply cut the wires for both pins 4 & 5 from the RJ-45 part of the adapter, strip some insulation off of the wire for pins 4 & 5 from the RJ-45 and off one of the pins that you cut off, and twist all three together, and push the pin into the hole for pin 5 of the DB-9F.

Interpreting the pin-out was a bit dicey as well, both for the Sun system console from the manual, and for the adapter that we bought. Doug, one of the owners of Strawflower Electronics in Half Moon Bay, helped us to figure out the color coding and pins of the RJ-45 half of the adapter that we bought. Of course, the pin-out for the Sun SC port and the stanadard RS-232C determined what pin to push into what hole of the DB-9F half of the adapter.

Here's what we came up with, and it worked wonderfully well - for the entire three minutes that you actually need it before you can switch to the system console network port and use telnet over ethernet.

Sun Fire SC RJ-45 to DB-9 Adapter
Click to view original size

In addition to the pin-outs on the picture, here they are in a table.

Signal | RJ-45 Sun SC | DB-9F RS-232C | Color
RD Pin 3 Pin 2 Black
TD Pin 6 Pin 3 Yellow
DTR Pin 7 Pin 4 Brown
GND Pin 4 Pin 5 Red
GND Pin 5 Pin 5 Green
DSR Pin 2 Pin 6 Orange
RTS Pin 8 Pin 7 White
CTS Pin 1 Pin 8 Blue
Not Used
Pin 1
Not Used
Pin 9

We don't show it, but when you twist Red and Green together to connect Pins 4 & 5 with Pin 5 for the signal ground, you might want to put a bit of electrical tape around the bare wire. And you may want to close up the adapter housing, or not, as you only need the thing for less than five minutes.

Don't forget to read "Powering On the System" in the Installation Guide, 819-2546-10. Get all the docs.

sc> poweron
SC Alert: Host System has Reset
sc> console –f
Enter #. to return to ALOM.

Which lead to a bunch of system messages and the ok prompt

ok show-disks
a) /pci@7c0/pci@0/pci@2/pci@0,2/LSILogic,sas@4/disk
Enter Selection, q to quit: q
ok boot [use the value from above]

Which leads to more system messages...

and then the console login:

Now install some software and go have some fun. :>> We're starting with mock source systems to use in our Open Source solutions for BI testing, and then the open source databases and software for the ODS, data warehouse and tools.

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The TeleInterActive Press is a collection of blogs by Clarise Z. Doval Santos and Joseph A. di Paolantonio, covering the Internet of Things, Data Management and Analytics, and other topics for business and pleasure. 37.540686772871 -122.516149406889



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