Wednesday, October 07, 2009

October? Where has the summer gone?

October already... where has the summer gone? It's difficult to catch up with a blog 2 months old, but I'll try.

Normally we aim to spend approx 3 months doing security stuff for our servers per year. This involves upgrading the applications and looking at new ways of doing security better. Sometimes it might also involve rebuilding one or two servers completely. That we did over the new year, from November to February this year. It was more painful than we expected, but worthwhile.

We were expecting a new colleague and so some of the extra things we hoped to do were put off... 'David can do that when he arrives...' Well, David has arrived and getting him sorted out has taken time too, and he is now taking some of the load, but... we had three security problems this year which meant that we didn't actually get much break from security and we are still doing it 10 months later!

That's not good news for me as the technical stuff I don't really like. I'm hoping that this month will be the turning point from the technical and I can get back to some media work. We'll see. The big thing we are doing is integrating 'dual factor authentication' to our systems. Dual factor authentication is where you have two 'factors' to get into the system - this is something you know and something you have. Banks use this: Often you log in to an online bank with a username and password [something you know] and a pin number generated by a little keyfob device [something you have]. Our system is similar, but its a really huge job doing it.

In between all this I have been working on the scripts and getting equipment for a pilot for a serious of short films we hope to make next year. If all goes well we will shoot the pilot this November. I'm really looking forward to this as media production is much more what I enjoy and get a kick out of.

September, we went back to the UK for 3 weeks. It coincided with my son's 21st birthday and also allowed us both to meet friends and have some business meetings in the UK. It was good but tiring.

Now, less than a week back we have two programmers out from the UK, working on new code to upgrade our SMS [mobile phone text message] system. One of the programmers has been out before - he developed the original version of this system - and with him is another programmer working on 'web services' to integrate the system.

Web services is a strange, but very helpful new concept where servers go to and read web pages themselves to communicate with each other. In this case it will allow servers to send and receive text messages. Servers sending text messages themselves? Whatever for? Well... one use is for a server to send us a text message to tell us it is having a problem and please could we fix it!

I still have an unbelievable amount of email to catch up with... I HATE EMAIL... well... no I don't really but it seems to be that the volume of communication has increased exponentially and I am having problems keeping up with it.

So that's about it. Not the most exciting summer [you'll have to see my other blogs about other activities which were more interesting] but worthwhile and hopefully moving.

1 comment:

Phil said...

Email is the perennial problem - good luck sorting it - Tim Ferris the 4-hour work week guy pays someone else to pre-sort and dump the junk.

You ask where the time has gone - we came out while you were in the UK and have been here a little under 3 weeks but it feels like we only landed last T|hursday and we leave this Wednesday!

Glad to see you blogging again, I enjoy reading Sue's blog but am a bit of a techie so enjoy your periodic more tech oriented posts.