Author: seasoned_geek

Roland Hughes started his IT career in the early 1980s. He quickly became a consultant and president of Logikal Solutions, a software consulting firm specializing in OpenVMS application and C++/Qt touchscreen/embedded Linux development. Early in his career he became involved in what is now called cross platform development. Given the dearth of useful books on the subject he ventured into the world of professional author in 1995 writing the first of the "Zinc It!" book series for John Gordon Burke Publisher, Inc. A decade later he released a massive (nearly 800 pages) tome "The Minimum You Need to Know to Be an OpenVMS Application Developer" which tried to encapsulate the essential skills gained over what was nearly a 20 year career at that point. From there "The Minimum You Need to Know" book series was born. Three years later he wrote his first novel "Infinite Exposure" which got much notice from people involved in the banking and financial security worlds. Some of the attacks predicted in that book have since come to pass. While it was not originally intended to be a trilogy, it became the first book of "The Earth That Was" trilogy: Infinite Exposure Lesedi - The Greatest Lie Ever Told John Smith - Last Known Survivor of the Microsoft Wars When he is not consulting Roland Hughes posts about technology and sometimes politics on his blog. He also has regularly scheduled Sunday posts appearing on the Interesting Authors blog.

Cop Stories

With all of the holiday driving coming up, conversations at my current client site naturally turned toward cop stories. This reminded me of two stories from nearly two decades ago, so I thought I would write them down. Cop Story #1 I worked with a really strange consultant who told me this story. His sister was driving on 294 one morning only to find herself selected for driving instruction. I never met this woman, but if she looked anything like him she was as ugly as a three car wreck. She got all flustered and hyper when the cop came up to talk with her. In a high speed conversation which nearly had to be played back in slow motion…

Disposable Management

In the days of old, in order to get into upper management you had to start off at the bottom of the company and work your way up to the top. Companies hired individuals straight out of high school (sometimes before they graduated) and started them off at the bottom. For companies with large office buildings, this was usually in the mail room. When the company was construction or heavy manufacturing it was which ever job was deemed the dirtiest and most disgusting. There was a philosophy and a wisdom to this methodology. Nobody wanted to stay at the bottom. They would try and work their way up. The wisdom was even brighter when it came to the most disgusting…

Java Write Once, Run a Few Places

For decades now, the IT industry has been searching for the ultimate portable language. Each new language thrust upon us promised to be the ultimate in portability. FORTRAN was supposed to let a programmer work anywhere…until you had to pull your data from tapes and files. COBOL had similar problems, but really jumped the shark when CICS user interfaces got added to the mix. BASIC was supposed to be the first language every programmer learned. Some platforms, like OpenVMS gave this language unprecedented power. Then Microsoft got a hold of the language and really ran it into the ground. You can’t even run Visual Basic code across multiple MS operating systems. Nice Job guys. After learning some hard lessons with…

Independence Day Ritual

Those who know me well know that at least every other year, if not every year, around the Independence Day holiday, I set aside time to watch “Gettysburg”. Now that there is a shorter version on DVD instead of the 4 tape VHS 8 hour set, it is not as huge of a time constraint as it used to be. Still, I watch it. Over the last few years it has been more important to me to watch it now than before. Besides being an incredibly well done movie with high quality performances, it’s of amazing historical and cultural significance. The cultural significance for me is not the issues of the war at the time, but the will of the…

H1-B, The Untold Story

What I heard the other day from a colleague isn’t the first time I had heard such a story. What is impressive is that all of the news media appears to be paid to ignore it. His current place of employment has been bringing in a rash of H1-B workers because some in upper management believe cheaper is always better. Over the last couple of years, those managing the projects and doing the accounting have learned that cheaper is never better, and rarely even adequate. The line of failed projects has been getting kind of long. Ah, but that is not the point of this story. This little company, like most every other company using H1-B workers these days, got…