Sunday, March 27, 2011

My recommended logo for SJSU iSupport

To my knowledge there was no migration plan for the migration from the legacy issue ticketing system at SJSU (named GWI) to the new system (named iSupport.) Around 30 people have been made full system administrators of iSupport at SJSU. (I do not know the exact number.)

Nobody owns it. There are no rules written down. A whole lot of people can do anything they want to anybody else using iSupport. It is "figure it out as you go." I can't think of a better word for this situation than Anarchy. Thus, the recommended logo.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Disrupting College, an approach to issues in higher education

Higher education is facing huge challenges at the same time our economy is. Disrupting College, How Disruptive Innovation Can Deliver Quality and Affordability to Postsecondary Education by Clayton M. Christensen, Michael B. Horn, Louis Soares, and Louis Caldera is a report suggesting ways to address those issues. According to the related story:

This report tackles these questions by treating the industry’s challenges, at their core, as problems of managing innovation effectively. It examines the industry of higher education through the lenses of the theories that have emerged from our research on innovation. A theory, by its very nature, is forward looking. It is a statement of what causes what and why, so a good theory allows you to predict the result of taking a certain action ahead of time.

Christensen is the author of a series of books including The Innovator's Dilemma. I have not yet read this report, but plan to. Thanks Jeremy for turning me on to this.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

It's President Qayoumi for SJSU

According to an announcement sent to the campus community:

The California State University Board of Trustees today named Mohammad Qayoumi, president of California State University, East Bay, as president of San José State University.

“I am honored and humbled to be selected and to accept the challenge of leading San José State University in the years ahead," said Qayoumi. "The tremendous opportunities and boundless possibilities of SJSU will only be limited by our imagination. I look forward to working with the talented students to ensure they have a rich and rewarding college experience and to prepare them for future success."

Qayoumi was one of three finalists for the position who spent last week visiting the campus. Qayoumi will assume the San José presidency in the summer, and succeeds interim President Don Kassing who retired in 2008, and returned last September to serve in an interim capacity until a new president is selected. The Board of Trustees will set Qayoumi's compensation during its May board meeting.

“Dr. Qayoumi's proven leadership abilities, commitment to students and administrative experience will be a tremendous asset to the campus and the community," said CSU Trustee Debra Farar, chair of the presidential search committee. "His energy, innovation, progressive vision and ability to connect with students provide a strong foundation to lead San José State moving forward."

Qayoumi has served as president of Cal State East Bay since 2006. He came to Cal State East Bay from Cal State Northridge, where he served as vice president for administration and finance and chief financial officer from 2000 until 2006, and was also a tenured professor of engineering management. Previously, Qayoumi served as vice chancellor for administration at San José; director of utilities and engineering services, director of technical services, and staff engineer, University of Cincinnati, Ohio. In addition, Qayoumi served as an engineer on a variety of projects in the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia.

Qayoumi holds a B.S. in electrical engineering, American University of Beirut. He holds four degrees from the University of Cincinnati: a Master of Science in nuclear engineering, a Master of Science in electrical and computer engineering, and MBA, and a Ph.D. in electrical engineering.

This will be interesting.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Commentary: SJSU + iSupport = FAIL

A recipe:
How do you take something that could have been good and make it fail? Start by not planning, then make a huge number of people administrators, then over sell it, and finally under resource it. Yup, that'll do it every time!

Reportedly SJSU only bought 30 seats for iSupport, our new enterprise wide ticketing system.

Yup, 30. This morning there were 34 people in a class to learn how to use it. So, that class locked out every other IT tech at SJSU who was trying to get real work done on campus. Nobody could get into the system today until noon!

According to one source, "they" (who shall remain nameless) called up the vendor and got a temporary unlimited user license for the campus and after noon today (Friday) folks were able to get on the system. According to one source, the timeout on the logins which had started at 60 minutes and which had been extended, then reduced back to 60 minutes was yet again reduced to thirty minutes. Also, reportedly, the license count has now been more than tripled.

Now "they" are going to look at system usage so "they" can see how many licenses we actually need, to be able to do what we need to do.

I guess a light bulb went off somewhere...

Meanwhile, one (other) frustrated SJSU tech said to me on Friday, "it sounds like somebody needs to take a project management class." Sounds like a great idea to me.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Another day at the office...

Finding the words to express how I feel:

haphazard, without plan or organization, accidental, aimless, all over the map, any old way, any which way, arbitrary, careless, casual, chance, designless, desultory, devil-may-care, disorderly, disorganized, erratic, fluke, helter-skelter, hit-or-miss, incidental, indiscriminate, irregular, loose, offhand, purposeless, random, reckless, slapdash, slipshod, spontaneous, sudden, unconcerned, unconscious, unconsidered, uncoordinated, unexpected, unmethodical, unorganized, unpremeditated, unsystematic, unthinking, willy-nilly

Another day at the office.

Lack of IT planning at SJSU?

This is the result of encouraging people to use a new ticket system at SJSU without buying enough licenses to accommodate the people using it.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Film vs. Digital (Again)

To say that digital is superior to film is an opinion; it depends on what you value and you cannot really prove it. Last night I developed three rolls of film. I still shoot film and value the way film responds to light. A digital sensor will only respond to light one way. Digital cameras only have one personality. A camera raw file is merely a data dump of what is on the sensor and that is the response of the sensor to light and that is the only way that camera will respond to light. You can tweek the camera settings but you cannot tweek the sensor.

A film camera will respond to light many different ways depending on the film in the camera. The latent image on exposed film is like a data dump of the reaction of the material to light. All the rest is post processing whether you are talking photoshop or D76. Film cameras have multiple personalities because there are different films available. I can say film cameras are superior to digital if I wanted; again based on my values and opinions that could be true. In the last two years Kodak has introduced two fine new films.

So, if your vision is best expressed with a plastic Diana, or a Speed Graphic, or a Nikon F6, or a Nikon D3; then that is the superior tool for you. I am glad the choices exist for us all. The analogy to painting vs. photography is apt. In fact I would even say it is even more like water colors vs. oil paints. They are both painting after all. But, how can you say which is superior? Because, after all, it is all about vision and converting that vision into an image and we all see things a little differently. In that context it matters less how you get that image and more that the tools let you do it.


Thursday, March 03, 2011

Mackerel scales and Tower Hall

[Click on image to enlarge]

Mackerel scales and mare's tails, make lofty ships carry low sails." On Tuesday March 1, 2011 Altocumulus clouds floated over Tower Hall at SJSU ahead of an approaching weather front.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Google Gmail bug affects 150,000

According to a post by Paul McNamara of Network World, Google apologizes for a Gmail bug that shook 150,000 users. McNamara quotes Google's Gmail blog.

"I know what some of you are thinking: how could this happen if we have multiple copies of your data, in multiple data centers? Well, in some rare instances software bugs can affect several copies of the data. That's what happened here. Some copies of mail were deleted, and we've been hard at work over the last 30 hours getting it back for the people affected by this issue."

It is not known if any users of the CSU campus Gmail systems were affected.