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i Can …. Learn New Things and Plan for Today

May 4, 2010

We all know the COMMON Conference is an educational event. Yesterday was a very busy day for me and attending an extra session to learn about something new was not part of my plan for the day. However ...

Yesterday got off to a surprise start that hadn't been part of the plan for the day. I was heading down to the fitness center and ran into someone that asked if I was going to run the 5K – so I decided, on the spur of the moment, to participate in the COMMON 5K Charity Run/Walk event. There was a good turnout for the event – and as we were waiting to start, I pondered …. walk fast? Or try to run? You see, while I exercise on a regular basis, I have never been a runner. I decided to give running a try. I surprised myself by running the whole way and finished in 33 minutes! I think I might have to try this again.

Yesterday's Opening Session was well attended. While at the Opening Session, I also learned something I had long wondered about … where did COMMON get its name? There must be some significance to the name “COMMON.”  Ross Mauri talked about the IBM 1620, one of the computers being used when the user group was formed back in 1960, and how Fortran was its programming language. Apparently, Fortran has something called a “COMMON” area, and the fledgling user group used that as its name. So for those of you who aren't at the conference, and have wondered about COMMON's name, you too now know.

Finally, while working at the Expo yesterday I made a couple observations … I was working at the IBM Systems Management pedestal, and the interest in IBM Systems Director is increasing from what I've seen in the past. Partitioning is very common and there's a growing use of AIX in IBM i shops that is causing people to look for a better way to manage all those partitions and operating systems. 

Looking forward to today, the conference agenda is full of educational sessions in many areas – in fact, too many to review or highlight. But there are three things on the agenda I'd like to mention:

“Become a Speaker at COMMON” – If you're at all interested in sharing your knowledge with others and perhaps speaking at COMMON, attend this session and learn more about it. My first time speaking at COMMON was in the late ’90s. Looking back, I was horribly nervous and wondered why I volunteered to do this!

“Power Tips” – IBM is trying another way to create and share educational information about IBM i though what is being called “Power Tips.” It's a way for the larger IBM i community to share tips, techniques and best practices with others. It's very easy to do and won't take much time – I encourage you to share your secret tips.

“IBM i Q&A” – I know I mentioned this session in yesterday's blog, but I wanted to point it out again today. This is a great opportunity for you to ask questions about IBM i.

For those of you who are unable to attend the conference, I hope you find these updates interesting and helpful.

Posted May 4, 2010| Permalink