Tag Archive | BBN

I Am Finally On Facebook, For REAL, Due To The Insistence Of Itzik Nosatzki.

fboldsadsafafdAnura Guruge December 2014 thumbnail
by Anura Guruge

Other Related posts:

>> Search ‘Sony’, ‘Panasonic’ & ‘camera’  for other related posts >>>>



I had, for YEARS, adamantly refused to maintain a Facebook account. Deanna, an avid Facebooker, maintained some pages for me because everybody tells you that you have to have a Facebook presence. Yes, in 2006 or 2007 I tried Facebook for a few months and did not like it at all, at all. I deactivated my account! about 18 months ago I re-activated it BUT had it battened-down, as much as I could, so that very few people would see it. Very occasionally I set up ‘Web presence’ for people, typically lawyers, and when doing so it helps to have an active Facebook account to get various things going. So that was the reason.

Then last Friday, September 25, 2015, Itzik, his delightful wife, Iza, and his youngest 3 kids came to visit, for dinner — they having come over from Israel, for 2 weeks. Itzik’s first visit to the U.S. in 22 years and the very first for Iza and the kids.

reenginererI have, in my “Reengineering IBM Networks” book (published 1996), referred to Itzik as my alter ego in the Holy Land. Itzik and I go back to 1992. He is in the ‘Top 5’ of PIVOTAL figures in my life! Itzik changed my life (for the better I like to think (maybe hope)). Itzik was the one who convinced me to QUIT corporate life and go off on my own as an INDEPENDENT consultant/analyst. My ‘parents’ had tried to get me to do that for years BUT it was Itzik, in the end, who made sure I did. Moreover, he managed to get me to do so the VERY WEEK my son, Matthew, was born. He, along with another GREAT man, Ed Grace, came to New Hampshire in May 1992, checked into a hotel in Nashua and told me: “Yes, we know your wife is having a baby. No problem. You do what you have to do. When you have time come and see us.” They meant it too. So the day after Matthew was born, with my wife’s permission, I had breakfast with them.

My Danielle, 1992, aged 3. Yes, she was at the White House! Click to ENLARGE. Recognize the Lady in Red.

I quit my rather cushy job with BBN, as their ‘Principal Consultant’, two weeks to the day of Matthew’s birth! My wife, after a long career at Wang, had quit work 3 years earlier when my daughter, Danielle, was born. So now with two kids I set off with no guaranteed salary, health insurance or other benefits. It worked out. Thanks to Itzik.

Itzik, the founder of the Israeli ‘GoDaddy’, Interspace.net, is one of the cleverest men I know — and I have been very fortunate to know a few. Plus, he is hugely successful and 3 of his kids are megastars! So I listen to Itzik.

So when Itzik BEAT ME up, the way that only Israelis can do (and I have been ‘beaten up’ by quite a few of them given that I have done a TON of work for Israeli companies), that I was NOT on Facebook I finally relented. So … 

On Saturday I started afresh on Facebook and signed up Itzik as my first friend. That was apropos. Itzik and I go back a long time.

I hope I have done the right thing. I am still not convinced. SMILE.

2015 Autumnal Equinox In U.S. East Coast Will Happen, Atypically, During Yom Kippur.

Anura Guruge December 2014 thumbnail

by Anura Guruge

Related Posts:
++ 2015: Easter & Passover
on same weekend

++ 2015: Father’s Day on Summer Solstice

>> 2015 Autumnal Equinox
>> 2014 Autumnal Equinox

+++++ Search for ‘equinox’ for lots of other posts with tons of pictures & diagrams  —>>>

I am indebted to my ex-colleague at BBN, many decades ago, Larry Denenberg for this information. I would not have worked this out IF not for a detailed e-mail about this by Larry this morning. Larry is also the one, who twice a year, informs me as to when it will be the earliest/latest sunsets in New England — which are NOT necessarily on the same day as the solstice.

Well the Autumnal Equinox for 2015 is at 4:22 EDT on Wednesday, September 23, 2015. Yom Kippur, a.k.a ‘Day of Atonement’, the holiest day of the year in Judaism in 2015 begins in the evening of Tuesday, September 22 and end in the evening of Wednesday, September 23. Thus, definitely for the U.S. East Coast the Autumnal Equinox will occur during Yom Kippur.

The time for each and every equinox is FIXED and invariable across the globe. So Autumnal Equinox for 2015, across the World, happens at 08:22 Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). That is physics and astronomy and there are no local variants. Not so with Yom Kippur. The timing is based per LOCAL sunset. So Yom Kippur in Alton, New Hampshire starts well ahead of Santa Barbara in California.

Larry doesn’t tell me, explicitly, as to when we last had this, though it appears that there was a good chance that it might have happened in some places on 1947 and possibly 1939. Yom Kippur, per the Gregorian calendar, can fall between September 14 (as happened in 1899 and 2013) and October 14 (as happened in 1967 and will happen again in 2043). So that is quite the spread. Larry, however, does point out that in 2034 the Autumnal Equinox will start at 6:38 PM U.S. Eastern time and as such could coincide with Yom Kippur that starts that evening.

You can try and check Larry’s Website for more information. Larry, like all the others that worked at BBN during my short tenure, is quite the intellectual.

Click to ENLARGE.


Winter Solstice 2013 In New Hampshire (And All Of New England) Will Be At 12:11 P.M. On Saturday, December 21, 2013. Rejoice.

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.

Anura Guruge

Related posts:
>> 2013 Shortest Day — Dec. 8, 2013.
>> Winter SolsticeDec. 20, 2012.
>> Summer Solstice — June 20, 2013.
++++ Search ‘solstice’ for other related posts >>>>

Click to ENLARGE.

Click to ENLARGE. The ever delightful Dartmouth, N.H. common … Friday, December 6, 2013.

There is a veritable TON of SOLSTICE related posts, diagrams and pictures on this Web.

I am not going to waste ‘Web’ space by reproducing them yet again.

PLEASE do a search on ‘Solstice’ or ‘shortest/longest day’
to access more stuff than you ever knew that you wanted to know. 

Winter Solstice And Shortest Day In New Hampshire For 2013 Still 13 Days Away, But Earliest Sunsets Right Now …

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.
Anura Guruge

Related posts:
>> Winter Solstice — Dec. 20, 2012.
>> Summer Solstice — June 20, 2013.
++++ Search ‘solstice’ for other related posts >>>>

The shortest day of the year, the Winter Solstice, MY favorite day of the year (since it heralds the coming of Summer), is on December 21, 2013.

But, the rate at which sunrise and sunset varies, from day to day, going towards the Solstice and coming out of it isn’t symmetrical.

So, right now we are in THE period of the EARLIEST sunsets. That doesn’t mean that these are the SHORTEST days because sunrise happens ‘earlier’.

So in terms of daylight hours we still have 13 days to go before we see the shortest day.

But, for those that don’t see sunrise (in the winter) these are the shortest days because the sunset is earlier.

I know, this is kind of obtuse. Not immediately obvious. Though I understand it, each year around this time, I still have to stop and think about it to make sure it is clear in my mind.

The following tables will explain. Study them.
The top two are from our U.S. Naval Observatory.
Third is from ‘Time & Date‘ an excellent resource.

In the mid-1990s before I went on my own I worked for a couple of years, as the ‘Lead Consultant‘ at Bolt, Beranek and Newman (BBN) — THE place where some of  ‘the Internet‘ was invented, and NO, Al Gore never worked at BBN. Amazing place. I have never seen, not even at Cisco, IBM, Northern Telecom, just a inescapable concentration of raw, vivid intelligence. I used to be in awe. I always felt that I was the ‘Token Dummy‘ they had hired — and I had this exalted title! But, I repaid them in my own little way. In my first year there I got about 20 articles, with the BBN tagline, printed in trade journals. They loved that. Plus I was sure that I was the only uncircumcised person (thank God) on the whole campus — separated by the railway tracks leading to North Station in Boston. So, I also felt that I was the ‘Token Gentile‘ — and I wasn’t even a Gentile! There was a genius there who tracked sunset and sunrise for Boston and sent us e-mails reminding us of the various flavors of ‘shortest days’. I still get these e-mails from him … which is what reminded me to go check the times for New Hampshire. BBN was a great place.

Click to ENLARGE.

Hours of Day in December in Concord, New Hampshire.

Sunrise & Sunset Times in December for Concord, New Hampshire.


This weeks Sunrise and Sunset times for Concord, New Hampshire in detail just to understand the variations.


And to end, lets all ENJOY ‘Sunrise Sunset’ from ‘Fiddler on the Roof‘ … one of my favorite musicals.


Click to access the YouTube video … ENJOY.

More Tips On MASTERING E-Mails: The 3rd MOST Valuable Piece Of Professional Advice I Received.

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.

Anura Guruge

Related posts:
>> Getting your FACTS RIGHT re. e-mails — Nov. 2, 2013.
++++ Do a SEARCH on ‘Alton Central’ from Sidebar search trench for other related posts >>>>>

Click to ENLARGE.

Click to ENLARGE.

I was told this, one morning in 1981, in Cockfosters (I kid you not), N. London, by Chris James, my 2nd-line manager (actually a Director) at ITT Data Systems (U.K.) [by FAR the BEST and FUN company I have ever worked for and I worked for quite a few including IBM, Wang, Northern Telecom & BBN.]

telex-largeChris, who went onto become a mega success in networking was a remarkable man; beyond clever, very funny and extremely kind. He taught me a lot about a bunch of things — plus some very valuable pointers I never forgot about how to fill in expense reports, ‘correctly’, so that they would never be denied! In my youth, I really was blessed. I had some AMAZING bosses who went out of their way to help me — given that I needed as much help as I could get.

In 1981 there was no widespread e-mail per se (though I had started using a very primitive messaging scheme at IBM in 1976 to communicate with R&D peers at a sister IBM Lab. in Japan about the new 3270 system we were working on). Instead what we had was TELEXES — ITT a leading provider of Telex solutions. Telexes were a grandiose form of telegrams. It was all paper and paper tape. I still get very nostalgic when I think of Telexes — since, as you might have guessed, I was a huge user of telexes. At ITT we had a Telex room with a bunch of very nice young ladies. We also had Telex forms. You wrote out your Telex on a form, with the ‘To:s’ and the ‘CC:s’ AND their Telex phone numbers, and then took it down to be typed; BCC was a bit difficult with Telex. In my case, given that I would have a long distribution list and my propensity for resending stuff etc. etc., the girls wouldn’t bang it out and transmit it (there being a small amount of memory to retain a copy). They would first transcribe it onto paper tape. Then they could reuse it! It was very clever.

So on that day I was sitting in Chris’ office and he got a long Telex delivered. He started reading it … That is when he looked up, with his habitual grin on his face, and told me the above … The next few days I put it to the test. Chris, as ever, WAS RIGHT.

Even today, 30 years later, as soon as I get an e-mail the FIRST thing I read is the DISTRIBUTION LIST.

Ditto when I send an e-mail. I check the distribution list carefully BEFORE I hit send. I might forget an attachment BUT rarely, if ever, do I screw up when it comes to who I send e-mails.

The 2nd most valuable piece of professional I got was also at ITT, Cockfosters. This time it was by my 1st line manager, Steve Kane. Steve was amazing. He had a degree in philosophy and was incredibly astute. He really understood who people thought and as such knew exactly who to deal with them. Steve was VERY GOOD TO ME. He made me the U.K. Customer Support Manager for ITT Data Systems (U.K.) the night before my 27th birthday — so that I would be able to boast that I became an ITT Manager at 26! That is Steve. Always thinking of how to motivate and reward people.

As Customer Support Manager, with about 6 top-notch software engineers working for me, and a client base that included Xerox, Exxon, Ford, British Leyland, British Petroleum etc. etc., I used to have to deal with a whole bunch of ‘problems’ on a daily basis. One day I was getting beaten up, badly, by Ford. We were having a problem and we just didn’t have a quick fix. So as the Support Manager they were unloading on me. I was 27 and was getting ‘upset’. Steve calls me in. He then basically told me, his training in philosophy again at the forefront:

“Anu, there is really NO POINT worrying about work-related problems. If you want to worry about things worry about stuff that is not work-related. Work-related problems come and go. A year from today I can call you in and ask you what you were worrying about ON THIS DAY — and you will NOT REMEMBER. In the same way IF I asked you what you were working on a year ago today you won’t remember unless you go look it up. So, REMEMBER THE ONE YEAR RULE. You will not remeber work-related problems a year from now. So don’t let them bother you.”

Yes, of course, I know that there can be exceptions. But, this made sense — like nearly all things Steve Kane would tell me. I paid heed. I even, given my then very good, semi-photographic memory, tried to keep track of work-related ‘problems’ on a year basis. In those days I never maintained a paper appointments book or diary BUT would remember 3 weeks of travel, appointments and meetings in my HEAD (to the annoyance of all, especially my dear Secretary). My memory was that good. I or my secretary wrote all my commitments on a huge, purple, wall chart in my room. I would look at it when I was in my office and I could then SEE IT in my minds eye just like a photograph! But, even with that memory Steve Kane’s 1-year rule was good.

In the ensuing 3 decades I have conveyed Steve’s words of wisdom to hundreds of others.

Many have agreed that it made sense — and that it helped them.

Thank YOU, Steve. So that was #2.

The very, very BEST professional advice I ever had, and I would NOT BE HERE if not for it, was from my 1st ever boss, the inimitable Les B. of IBM Hursely.

I have told this story in print a number of times, so I am going to keep it short.

I joined IBM on August 27, 1974 — exactly a week ahead of my 21st birthday. It was my very 1st job of any sort.

A couple of months into the job a uniformed security guard came to see me and handed me a REGISTERED CONFIDENTIAL document — one of the highest levels of secure documents at IBM, hence the personal hand-delivery by a uniformed guard. WHY I got that Registered Confidential document that day is still a mystery! I think it was a mistake. IF I believed in spiritual stuff I would call it providential.

The document was about something called ‘SNA‘ — and that henceforth it would stand for ‘Systems Network Architecture‘ as opposed to ‘SINGLE Network Architecture‘. This had to do with the anti-trust law suit that plagued IBM in those days and influenced each and every decision.

I was NOT working on SNA. I had never heard of SNA. I was still brand new.

I went to see Les. Les was the epitome of an ‘open door’, very relaxed, VERY SOCIAL manager. I walk in with the document in my hand … and start: “Hey, Les, I just got this about S.N. …”

I never got to get out the “A”. Les, waving his hand dismissively, cut me off.

He said:

“Ahh! Forget about it.

I was 21. I had been a rebel for the last 5 years. I might have got my hair cut (after 2 years) and was wearing a tie — but the rebellious instincts were still there.

Something told me that this was my destiny.

I walked straight out of Les’ office to the Hursley Library — which happened to be nearby. In those days before the Internet, I used to spend a lot of time in libraries. So already the Head Librarian knew me well. I went up to her and asked her to order me (as all of us IBM employees were allowed to do) any INTRODUCTORY manuals that IBM had on SNA.

Two weeks later I got, in an envelope, a thin 32 page, RED covered “SNA: An Introduction”. I read it in one go. Made sense though I wasn’t sure what it was all about!

Over the next 30 years SNA made me what I am.

SNA from the early 1980s to 2000 was HUGE.

It was THE networking scheme prior to the Internet.

Thanks to Les’ advice I was, the uncontested, ‘Mr. SNA’, during that time.

Google it.

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