[sangeek] Newsletter Volume 1 Edition 4

Hey everyone-
How goes it?  Really great here.
First, it has been a while since my last newsletter.  Lots going on.  Thought I would share.  First off, I had a great time down with my wife’s family in Colombia, South America.  Saw and did a lot of things.  Since this is somewhat of a technology newsletter, I figured I would share with you those aspects along with certain things that I saw down in Colombia.
Colombia – Road Trip!
First off, the month of December was one of the rainiest months in Colombian history.  A lot of the major highways were rained out and a lot of people lost homes, etc.  Do to its mountainous nature, Colombian roads are mostly two lane highways going up and down the mountains.  Very dangerous by U.S. standards, I got to experience them on our 20 hour bus ride from Bucaramanga (in the East) to Armenia (in the West).  In between is Bogota (the capital).  Luckily we had a professional driver because we were driving on some of the most dangerous roads.   For example, one of the routes we took went two hours up one side of a mountain and two hours down with hairpin curves, minimal guardrails and a lot of blind passing around corners.  Also, GPS systems are not that popular there yet (more on the techie stuff in a bit) and several areas were re-routed due to the aforementioned rain in December.  Once you look beyond the differences, you can see some of the most beautiful countryside, mountains and scenery you can imagine.  Colombia is truly beautiful.  It’s people, culture, and things it has to offer are amazing and I am fortunate to be able to travel and enjoy it.
Coffee.  My Favorite Thing
So what was this roadtrip?  Well the family decided to rent a bus to go to Armenia, Colombia.  This is where the National Coffee Park is located.  It is amazing.  Tropical birds, banana trees and of course, coffee.  For those of you that know me, I drink a lot of coffee.  So for me this tour was very similar for that of a wine lover traveling to Napa Valley.  We got to stay in a wonderful all inclusive resort named “Decameron Panaca”.  We ate like kings and queens and saw a ton of things.
Bucaramanga and Technology
Bucaramanga is Colombia’s fifth largest city.  It is located in Santander (one of Colombia’s “States”).  Primary industries include healthcare, energy (natural gas), mining and education.  Of course, it is also my wife’s home town and most of her family lives there.  So like any good IT professional, when I come to town it is quite the event tuning up everyones computers and bringing the latest gadgets for them from the United States.  It has been two years since I have been there and for the most part technology is really catching up.  Of course, in some ways it is a bit better.  For example, my Mother-In-Law pays about US $30/ month for cable TV, phone and internet.  I think Time Warner has some lessons to learn!  My Sister-In-Law has an aircard through one of the national cell-phone carriers and Blackberrys are very popular.  So in a sense they all have pretty much what we do.  Even the internet cafes that I saw two years ago a lot of now are replaced by corner coffee shops and bars with free WiFi.  Really neat to see the transition.  Even pollution is almost gone thanks to the new “Metrolinia” a city-wide bus system that replaced most of the private busses in town.
Overall, my trip was great.  If you want to learn more please let me know!  I should have pictures processed soon as well.  Would love to share them and I probably will post a few on my new blog.
Which Leads Me To…
My new Blog! Located on the intertubes at: http://www.thesangeek.com
Most of the content there will be somewhat work related and also fun stuff that I hope to build on.  For the newsletter, I still need to try to keep it a bit personal with some other content thrown in there.
Storage stuff!  Wow a lot of new stuff coming out of EMC.  I’m going to Unified Storage Days next week in RTP and hope to talk to the engineers again about the stuff they work on.  Great group of people that work there and I’m glad that I live so close to where the software development happens for Mid-Range storage products.
As always, please forward this to people that might be interested in reading it.  I love having new subscribers too!  Please reply with comments and suggestions if you have any. Hope you enjoyed this latest edition!
Have a great weekend.
-Brian P. Boyd

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