Sunday, 16 December 2012


It seems that as you get closer to Christmas and the New Year, everything starts to run down like an old clockwork toy. Meetings scheduled for 2013 seem ages away, even though some are at the beginning of January. And phone calls so often find the person you’re ringing out of the office – whether that’s doing a bit of family shopping or attending the numerous party and lunch invitations. And as for e-mail, people seem to leave their out-of-office message on permanently!

To be honest, I’ve been closeted away trying to get the bulk of the Arcati Mainframe Yearbook 2013 sorted out. I’ve been calculating the numbers for the user survey – and very interesting they are too. But I’ll talk more about them next year. I’ve been busy placing articles and organizing entries for vendors and consultants in the appropriate sections. So, no partying for me this week. BTW if you wanted to be included in the Yearbook, e-mail me immediately here.

I’ve also been working away at a speaker programme for the Virtual IMS user group and the Virtual CICS user group. The first meeting is on 15 January when IBM speakers will talk about the CICS V5.1 - Portfolio Update. But, as I say, it’s in January and seems an age away! If you or your company are interested presenting to either group during the year, then let me know here.

It seems that no matter whether you’re Christian, atheist, agnostic, or a person of any other faith, everyone likes a present from Father Christmas (Santa). So what do you buy the IT guy who seems to have pretty much everything? Somehow socks just don’t seem to show any real thought. Alcohol is usually well received, as are things from the more expensive end of the catalogue. But I’ve got a couple of other suggestions.

I’ve been playing with a magic magnetic balls cube. It’s 216 small magnetic balls that you can shape into all sorts of 3D things. And then you can scrunch them all up and start again. But the really hard part, is getting them back into the cube shape. Remember magnets repel as well as attract. So you can play with them for ages.

I’ve also been working with a variety of organizations on social media – getting Facebook fan pages set up, starting using Twitter, and putting videos on Youtube. And I found the like and dislike Facebook-like stamps can be quite fun. Whatever happened to the paperless office? As documents pass across my desk, I can (mainly for my own amusement) stamp them with a Like or Dislike (thumbs up or thumbs down). You’ll probably enjoy doing much the same!

There are lots more ideas at, such as touch-screen gloves, iHat music hat, USB mug warmer, flying monkeys, a one million pound bank note, alcohol breath tester keyring, tap shower radio, and light changing glow ball.

And, for the mainframer in your life, you could try to get hold of a “Proud to be part of z” poster. You can see a copy here.

So, whatever you’re doing over the next couple of weeks, have a great time. See you next year.

No comments: