7 Minute Miles


Posted Thursday, August 16th, 2018 11:23 am GMT -5 in Technology,Work at 11:23 AM

Everybody needs a quick recharge

Originally published by DK on August 16, 2018 at 11:23 am

Getting closer to https

Posted Monday, July 23rd, 2018 11:16 pm GMT -5 in Technology at 11:16 PM

Not as easy as I’d like, but I’ll keep trying…

Originally published by DK on July 23, 2018 at 11:16 pm

A Domain of One’s Own

Posted Tuesday, July 17th, 2018 09:35 pm GMT -5 in Mini Posts,Technology at 9:35 PM

This site has been my personal domain for a long time. This week, I learned there is a relatively recent movement afoot in higher education to let students pick a domain name and learn about the technologies and processes involved to maintain and create a digital identity that they own and take with them after graduation. Here are sample programs from BYU, Michigan State and Bryn Mawr.

As I’ve written before, this site runs on a Mac mini server at a data center in Las Vegas. I manage all aspects of it, which has pros and cons. It feels great to control what tools I use, choose the look and feel and know that I’m not at the mercy of some big corporation who might suddenly decide to terminate the service and/or account (although I’m still subject to the terms and conditions of the colocation contract). I also love that I can experiment with new technologies and stay current with coding, automation and design.

Given the political, technical and security/privacy news lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about the digital content I create, both on this site and on social media. 7minutemiles currently has automation in place to create posts from Twitter and Instagram, but that is always subject to changing APIs that can break at any time. I’ve thought about throwing in the towel on both of those services (from an automation standpoint), but the question becomes one of reach versus reliability and social media wins that battle hands down.

For now, I’ll work on adding https via Let’s Encrypt, modifying my theme to be more responsive and mobile-friendly and designing some custom data entry screens for runs, rides, golf scores and events. Once I’m back in good graces with Google’s search algorithms, maybe then I’ll look at going dark on those other services…

Originally published by DK on July 17, 2018 at 9:35 pm

Why I don’t run a mailserver

Posted Tuesday, July 17th, 2018 08:08 pm GMT -5 in Links,Technology at 8:08 PM


Originally published by DK on July 17, 2018 at 8:08 pm

New Saints WiFi vs. LTE

Posted Monday, July 9th, 2018 08:49 pm GMT -5 in Baseball,Technology at 8:49 PM

Some room for improvement, no?

Originally published by DK on July 9, 2018 at 8:49 pm

Cisco Live! Orlando 2018

Posted Wednesday, June 20th, 2018 03:08 pm GMT -5 in Disney,Family,Food,Technology,Travel,Work at 3:08 PM

Last week I attended my second Cisco Live! conference in Orlando (last year was my first in Vegas; next year will be San Diego). It blows my mind how much it must cost to host 25,000 people in a facility like the Orange County Convention Center – setup, food twice a day, video production for keynotes and sessions, utilities, staffing, etc. And then there was the customer appreciation event Wednesday night at Universal Studios, which not only included exclusive access to the original park for four hours, but also had free food and drinks everywhere and big name concerts from Leon Bridges, Cake and Sam Hunt. No wonder my annual maintenance bill never goes down…

Speaking of bills, I needed to do this trip on the cheap, so I stayed with my brother and his wife and leaned on them for ground transportation (along with some 25% off Lyft rides). He took me to Animal Kingdom on Sunday night after I arrived so I could check out the new(ish) Avatar stuff. Na’vi River Journey has the cool Audio-Animatronics Shaman of Songs, while Flight of Passage lived up to the nearly two hour wait. We had dinner at the excellent Satu’li Canteen, which really elevates the whole theme park food quality experience, in my opinion.

My conference pass this time was a new intermediate “Imagine” badge, so I didn’t get access to all of the sessions (or a T-shirt or backpack). It did get me into all of the keynotes and Innovation Showcase presentations, though, along with the “World of Solutions” trade show, the party at Universal and free food for breakfast and lunch each day. I found most of the sessions to be useful and not just a week-long sales pitch to buy new stuff (like you get at some conferences). I learned about a lot of new technology trends, including improved security techniques, software-defined networking and container-based development, along with the evolution of the Cisco platforms and products we’ve deployed at the stadium (which thankfully I don’t need to replace right away).

After the conference wrapped up, I had a little extra time to kill before flying home (I wish the standby rules for Delta were more customer friendly). I spent some more time checking out all the changes at Disney Springs, where I had had dinner earlier in the week with my brother at Art Smith’s wonderful Homecomin’ restaurant. World of Disney was half-closed for remodeling, but I still managed to find some things for people. It was interesting to see retail additions like UNIQLO and the dining scene continues to impress with the likes of Morimoto Asia, Jock Lindsey’s Hanger Bar and The Boathouse (in addition to all of the old favorites). Also caught Deadpool 2 at the AMC and made a quick trip to Tampa to check out the very impressive Seminole Hard Rock Tampa complex.

See you in San Diego?

Originally published by DK on June 20, 2018 at 3:08 pm

Innovation Showcase

Posted Tuesday, June 12th, 2018 02:56 pm GMT -5 in Technology,Travel,Work at 2:56 PM

Lots of interesting presentations @ Cisco Live!

Originally published by DK on June 12, 2018 at 2:56 pm

Florida NerdFest 🤓

Posted Monday, June 11th, 2018 08:58 am GMT -5 in Technology,Travel,Work at 8:58 AM

Cisco Live! 2018, Orlando

Originally published by DK on June 11, 2018 at 8:58 am

MySQL issues on High Sierra

Posted Monday, May 28th, 2018 11:16 pm GMT -5 in Housekeeping,Technology at 11:16 PM

Just a short post to document an issue I needed to troubleshoot the past few weeks on my web server in Vegas (Go Knights Go!). I’ve been running Homebrew versions of MySQL for some time now with no issues, but recently was receiving quite a few “Can’t connect to MySQL server” errors on all of my virtually hosted WordPress sites. It was particularly difficult to troubleshoot at first because it wasn’t an all or nothing situation – some database calls would go through, while others would not. All I knew was that the old “brew services restart mysql” command would clear things up for a few hours before the flakiness would return.

When I first started looking at the web server logs, I found a lot of error messages like this:

WordPress database error Table 'wp_termmeta' doesn't exist

There were a ton of these – guessing this was relating to the earlier database corruption issues I had related to InnoDB. Turns out that table really didn’t exist and I found this post that had the required SQL to properly recreate it. I wasn’t really sure if any of the themes or plugins that were looking for this table would actually re-populate the table with data (it doesn’t appear so), but the error messages in the logs have gone away (and everything seems a little faster now). Unfortunately, this did not have any impact on the MySQL connection issue.

Going back to the web server log, I found a number of mysqli errors:

PHP Warning: mysqli_connect(): MySQL server has gone away
PHP Warning: mysqli_connect(): Error while reading greeting packet.

These made me think it was on the database side and not an issue with Apache or PHP. I had tried messing a little with the my.cnf file, but it didn’t seem like any of the changes were having any impact. When I started looking for Homebrew MySQL tips, I first decided to reinstall MySQL while keeping the data directory in place (brew reinstall mysql). That seemed to work fine, keeping users and permissions in place while just recompiling the latest MySQL. All of the virtual sites came back up, but the can’t connect errors reappeared later in the day.

Next up, I was fully prepared to follow these instructions to blow away every sign of MySQL and reinstall from scratch (dumping all of the tables first using the awesome Sequel Pro). While looking at the /usr/local/var/mysql directory, I realized that Homebrew MySQL stores a local.err log in that same directory, which I hadn’t looked at (since Console doesn’t include it by default). This log was chock full of lines like this:

[Warning] File Descriptor 1024 exceeded FD_SETSIZE=1024

That lead me to this excellent post by Derek Jones that had me change a number of lines in the my.cnf file (specifically interactive_timeout = 300 and wait_timeout = 300). Some of the comments in this thread were also useful. I restarted the database server yet again and so far it’s been up and running for 24 hours straight (fingers crossed).

So to summarize troubleshooting 101: read all your logs, Google the errors and be thankful for those that blazed a path before you (and took the time to document it online).

Originally published by DK on May 28, 2018 at 11:16 pm

Thanks, Bill

Posted Monday, March 12th, 2018 09:42 pm GMT -5 in Business,Technology at 9:42 PM

How did Microsoft ever get this big?

Originally published by DK on March 12, 2018 at 9:42 pm

Real life Black Mirror

Posted Monday, February 12th, 2018 04:55 pm GMT -5 in Links,Technology,Video at 4:55 PM

Originally published by DK on February 12, 2018 at 4:55 pm


Posted Friday, February 9th, 2018 10:26 am GMT -5 in Football,Links,Technology,Work at 10:26 AM

Fans use 16.31 TB of Wi-Fi data during Super Bowl 52 at U.S. Bank Stadium

Originally published by DK on February 9, 2018 at 10:26 am

My partner in crime

Posted Tuesday, February 6th, 2018 10:53 pm GMT -5 in Football,Friends,Technology,Work at 10:53 PM

He’s the secret weapon

Originally published by DK on February 6, 2018 at 10:53 pm

Not my best side, but OK

Posted Tuesday, February 6th, 2018 02:36 pm GMT -5 in Football,Links,Technology,Television,Work at 2:36 PM


Originally published by DK on February 6, 2018 at 2:36 pm

Enjoying my promotion to CIO

Posted Thursday, February 1st, 2018 11:48 am GMT -5 in Business,Links,Technology,Work at 11:48 AM


Originally published by DK on February 1, 2018 at 11:48 am

For all that extra free time

Posted Wednesday, January 31st, 2018 10:43 pm GMT -5 in Games,History,Pop Culture,Technology at 10:43 PM

Donkey Kong Country sure seemed prettier back then

Originally published by DK on January 31, 2018 at 10:43 pm

Volunteering CPU cycles now

Posted Saturday, January 27th, 2018 02:32 pm GMT -5 in Links,Technology at 2:32 PM

Originally published by DK on January 27, 2018 at 2:32 pm

So. Much. Easier.

Posted Wednesday, November 29th, 2017 08:54 pm GMT -5 in Housekeeping,Technology at 8:54 PM

Took a bit to install, but I already like it a thousand times better than the old model

Originally published by DK on November 29, 2017 at 8:54 pm

One Week with iPhone X

Posted Saturday, November 11th, 2017 05:22 pm GMT -5 in Technology at 5:22 PM

As an Apple Upgrade Program subscriber, there really wasn’t much of a reason for me to not get an iPhone X last week. My iPhone 7 Plus was nearly as expensive last year, so the monthly payments were about the same. Apple really made the trade-in and pre-order process easy this time, so the only issue I had was not noticing the pre-order time was Pacific and not Central (which meant an alarm for 2am instead of midnight).

There are reviews all over the place (this Ben Lovejoy one for 9to5Mac is similar to my experience, although I wouldn’t say I love it as much as him), so I’ll just send you to Apple’s round-up page here for full-blown reviews. For my site, let’s just blow through a few bullet points:

  • I love the size compared to the Plus – the old phone was just too big for my hand (but I want the extra pixels).
  • Never really had a bad iPhone screen – this one is beautiful too.
  • Swipe up for home took about an hour to learn and now I hardly ever make the mistake of pressing that area of the screen trying to get home.
  • Face ID was easy to set up and works at about the same success rate I had with Touch ID, but it’s usually slower (sometimes a lot slower). I do like the private lock-screen notifications (until you get verified) and it’s nice you can just click on a notification and go right to that app once it sees your face.
  • Haven’t had a chance to take the new camera to a concert yet to test low-light conditions, but other shots have looked great. I’ve never been a big user of the “selfie” front-facing camera, so I haven’t really used the new portrait mode or other TrueDepth camera features yet.
  • Animojis: tried a couple to annoy my daughters, then accidentally sent one to a group chat. Karma says just stop now.
  • Yeah, this is an expensive phone. Unfortunately it is what it is (for all manufacturer flagship models, not just Apple).
  • I’ve always been a “no case” fan, but it scares me to think of dropping a $1K phone (even with the AppleCare+ that comes with the upgrade program). I don’t want something super bulky, as I usually carry my phone in my front pocket. Hoping Minnesota-based Twig Case Co. comes out with a line for the X soon (they were reportedly sighted at the Uptown store on release day).
  • I don’t have a wireless charger yet, so I haven’t tried that feature. Will probably wait for the Apple AirPower thing, as it would be nice to set the phone and my watch on the nightstand (plus Colleen likes her AirPods, so maybe I’ll get those eventually too). Also curious to know if it works with a case.
  • Restoring from my iTunes backup was pretty smooth – just had issues with songs, ringtones and playlists not coming back. Since then, I’ve decided to subscribe to 2TB of iCloud storage for backups, so next time I’ll just use that.
  • Most of my favorite apps have already updated and optimized for the X, which basically just means designing for “the notch” that everyone was so concerned about (including myself). Turns out I hardly notice it now and guess that will just continue to grow as app developers get used to optimizing for it.
  • Not sure if I’ve been impacted by the supposed cold weather screen issue, but I do occasionally have issues in Two Dots with actions happening that I didn’t intend.
  • Unrelated to the hardware, the “I” bug in iOS 11.1 was a pain in the butt – a situation that made an already bad auto-correct situation worse (which A ⍰ didn’t think was possible).

MyPrecious became MyPreciousX and I’m happy…

Originally published by DK on November 11, 2017 at 5:22 pm

Toys in Uptown

Posted Thursday, October 26th, 2017 01:40 pm GMT -5 in Shopping,Technology at 1:40 PM

Christmas in October

Originally published by DK on October 26, 2017 at 1:40 pm

Web Server Struggles

Posted Saturday, October 21st, 2017 07:34 pm GMT -5 in Housekeeping,Technology at 7:34 PM

It’s been a long time since I wrote a longer post here, which actually wasn’t caused by being busy. I’ve been battling technical issues with my web server for months, which is a co-located Mac mini in Las Vegas (now at MacStadium since their merger with Brian Stucki’s excellent Macminicolo). I created my own perfect storm by trying to remotely upgrade the OS (which was two versions behind) *and* moving it from the old Macminicolo data center to the new MacStadium data center across town. Somewhere along the way, I also ended up corrupting my database backups and discovered my old backup processes weren’t working the way I thought. Thankfully I didn’t lose any data, but it wasn’t the best example of being a good sysadmin.

With work being work, I haven’t had time to focus on fixing these issues, so it’s been little bits and pieces here and there to finally get back to a semi-functioning site. I messed with moving to AWS for a little while, but decided to just rebuild my mini server from scratch. I use Homebrew versions of Apache, MySQL and PHP for the core stack, which I’m now familiar with enough to mostly breeze through those configs. I learned that over the years, my MySQL data got split into MyISAM and InnoDB islands, which caused some major problems with restoring the InnoDB side. Then I found out that I had MySQL collation setting issues, which created a bunch of weird characters (and a loss of emoji support).

This site uses a number of WordPress plugins to help automate things and several of those plugins stopped working due to the issues mentioned above. I needed to blow away both WordFence (security) and Intagrate (Instagram integration), reconfiguring both from square one. I’ve also had some general response issues with the server, which was mostly fixed with an ARP patch from MacStadium. I still need to go through the web server error logs to clean up a few other performance issues, but those are a little harder to research and isolate (wordpress termmeta doesn’t exist, anyone?).

So now that I can reliably post from the mobile app and have Twitter and Instagram integration working again, it’s almost time to get back to my enhancement wish list:

  • Recreate my Coda web development environment on the new iMac
  • Add Backblaze support to the server
  • Rewrite and test my database backup scripts
  • Move to https with Let’s Encrypt (this should help)
  • Create data entry screens for golf scores and runs
  • Make my default theme more mobile-friendly
  • Add a video post type
  • Make my header photos retina-ready
  • Update the about and biography sections
  • Bring back more of the old photo gallery pictures

As always – thanks for visiting!

Originally published by DK on October 21, 2017 at 7:34 pm

Should I be happy about this?

Posted Thursday, October 12th, 2017 06:18 pm GMT -5 in Design,Games,Technology at 6:18 PM

Stupid time sucks…

Originally published by DK on October 12, 2017 at 6:18 pm

Best. Camera. Ever?

Posted Wednesday, September 27th, 2017 12:50 pm GMT -5 in Photography,Technology at 12:50 PM

Nikon D850 Review

Originally published by DK on September 27, 2017 at 12:50 pm

What are you waiting for?

Posted Friday, September 22nd, 2017 12:15 pm GMT -5 in Technology,Work at 12:15 PM

Seriously, WTF takes this so long? Every. Single. Time.

Originally published by DK on September 22, 2017 at 12:15 pm

The no-fun iPad 

Posted Thursday, September 7th, 2017 06:15 am GMT -5 in Schools,Technology at 6:15 AM

What’s the right line to walk?

Originally published by DK on September 7, 2017 at 6:15 am

Had at least five of these

Posted Wednesday, July 19th, 2017 02:56 pm GMT -5 in Food,Games,History,Technology at 2:56 PM

The throw-back games wall @ Hot Plate

Originally published by DK on July 19, 2017 at 2:56 pm

Sinofsky on WWDC 2017

Posted Tuesday, June 13th, 2017 11:31 am GMT -5 in Links,Technology at 11:31 AM


Originally published by DK on June 13, 2017 at 11:31 am

NASA, HTTPS and Let’s Encrypt

Posted Monday, May 29th, 2017 10:04 am GMT -5 in Links,Technology at 10:04 AM


Originally published by DK on May 29, 2017 at 10:04 am

Bruce on Elections

Posted Wednesday, May 10th, 2017 03:23 pm GMT -5 in Links,Politics,Technology at 3:23 PM


Originally published by DK on May 10, 2017 at 3:23 pm

Work road trip

Posted Wednesday, May 10th, 2017 12:21 pm GMT -5 in Technology,Work at 12:21 PM

Mall of America and CiscoVision

Originally published by DK on May 10, 2017 at 12:21 pm

20 Minutes to Secure WordPress

Posted Tuesday, April 25th, 2017 02:28 pm GMT -5 in Links,Technology at 2:28 PM

20 Minutes to a Secure WordPress Website

Originally published by DK on April 25, 2017 at 2:28 pm

My Current Top 7 Blogs

Posted Monday, April 10th, 2017 12:15 am GMT -5 in Disney,Food,Reading,Technology at 12:15 AM
Originally published by DK on April 10, 2017 at 12:15 am

I love my office

Posted Thursday, April 6th, 2017 11:20 am GMT -5 in Golf,Technology,Work at 11:20 AM

IBM doing their thing at the Masters

Originally published by DK on April 6, 2017 at 11:20 am

Courtside is intense

Posted Saturday, April 1st, 2017 02:56 pm GMT -5 in Sports,Technology,Travel at 2:56 PM

Looks like we need some wires in the middle of the field

Originally published by DK on April 1, 2017 at 2:56 pm

My Top 7 Online Publications

Posted Tuesday, March 28th, 2017 12:52 pm GMT -5 in Business,News,Politics,Reading,Technology at 12:52 PM

* paid subscriber

(Also just resubscribed to the print edition of The Economist)

Originally published by DK on March 28, 2017 at 12:52 pm

Cisco wallpaper & ringtones

Posted Thursday, March 16th, 2017 05:21 pm GMT -5 in Technology,Work at 5:21 PM

Figured them both out today

Originally published by DK on March 16, 2017 at 5:21 pm

Ever? Never ever?

Posted Wednesday, March 15th, 2017 12:28 pm GMT -5 in Food,Technology,Work at 12:28 PM

Nerds crack me up

Originally published by DK on March 15, 2017 at 12:28 pm

So. Much. Wire.

Posted Friday, March 10th, 2017 08:20 pm GMT -5 in Technology,Work at 8:20 PM

Visited all 46 IDF closets today for inventory and documentation 

Originally published by DK on March 10, 2017 at 8:20 pm

Saving Pixar’s Butt

Posted Friday, March 3rd, 2017 09:58 am GMT -5 in Disney,Links,Movies,Technology at 9:58 AM


Originally published by DK on March 3, 2017 at 9:58 am

Recharged and ready to go

Posted Monday, February 6th, 2017 03:56 pm GMT -5 in Running,Technology at 3:56 PM

Applies to both (old) me and the iPod

Originally published by DK on February 6, 2017 at 3:56 pm

That new scoreboard though

Posted Monday, January 9th, 2017 11:33 pm GMT -5 in Business,Sports,Technology at 11:33 PM

Nice job on the remodel so far

Originally published by DK on January 9, 2017 at 11:33 pm

Apple Watch Nike+ First Impressions

Posted Saturday, January 7th, 2017 08:27 pm GMT -5 in Running,Technology at 8:27 PM

When the first Apple Watch came out, it didn’t appeal to me due to the lack of built-in GPS. The only way I could really justify spending that much on a watch would be if I was replacing my Garmin for running. The thought of requiring your iPhone to be close in order to get accurate mileage defeated the whole purpose of having a watch, in my mind. Then Apple announced the Apple Watch Nike+ right around the same time my Forerunner 610 died. A colleague offered to pick one up for me to try and I’ve been wearing it daily ever since.


  • The animated Mickey Mouse watch face makes me smile (every single time).
  • Battery life is better than expected – I recharge nightly, but have never used more than 25% in a day.
  • Unlocking my laptop when the watch is nearby works well and saves time.
  • The personal tracking features (pulse, daily “circles”) are handy and should help me improve overall health.
  • Once fine-tuned, the notifications between the phone and the watch are generally useful and reliable.
  • The Nike+ watch band is easy to put on and is more comfortable than my old Garmin.


  • Just don’t like wearing watches every day (but don’t want to lose tracking data).
  • Haven’t had a lot of outdoor runs yet, but the Nike run club app doesn’t seem very accurate for pace, sometimes doesn’t draw the on-screen route and has had issues synching with the Nike website.
  • Indoor treadmill runs are way off – I manually add miles to my run log and just wear the watch to earn the exercise circle time.
  • Speaking of the circles, right now it just creates anxiety about filling or not filling all three daily – don’t really need something new to remind me all the time about how I’m falling behind in my health goals.
  • The special exercise awards are a great idea, but when you fail to award them when earned, people will get pissed off (looking at you, Thanksgiving award that is still missing).
  • The watchOS seems to be a little flakey, restarting at odd times.
  • Siri is Siri – I’d even take 50% accuracy at this point.

Looking at the latest Garmin products, I probably would’ve spent more and had less in terms of total features and future growth options. The reduction in features might actually be a good thing, but the Apple Watch should get better over time via software updates. I don’t really use any third-party apps right now (outside of the Nike app), but new ones get released all the time. Once I start running and biking outside again, I’ll report back…

Originally published by DK on January 7, 2017 at 8:27 pm

More good stuff from Chuq

Posted Wednesday, January 4th, 2017 02:43 pm GMT -5 in Links,Technology at 2:43 PM

Apple’s 2016 in review

Originally published by DK on January 4, 2017 at 2:43 pm

Important tech goal accomplished

Posted Thursday, December 22nd, 2016 10:49 pm GMT -5 in Games,Technology,Work at 10:49 PM

Super Mario on the big board

Originally published by DK on December 22, 2016 at 10:49 pm

Rich and John in the news

Posted Saturday, December 17th, 2016 08:20 pm GMT -5 in Football,Friends,Links,Technology at 8:20 PM


Originally published by DK on December 17, 2016 at 8:20 pm

Networking in Seattle

Posted Tuesday, December 13th, 2016 12:14 am GMT -5 in Food,Technology,Travel at 12:14 AM

Jack’s Fish @ Pike’s Place

Originally published by DK on December 13, 2016 at 12:14 am

Code is Power

Posted Wednesday, December 7th, 2016 11:24 pm GMT -5 in Housekeeping,Personal,Technology at 11:24 PM

When my automated Twitter plugins stopped working last week, I started thinking about ways to replace the tweet section at the top of 7 Minute Miles. Twitter Tools and Social used to pull in the last 7 tweets automatically, but the plugin authors decided to stop supporting them back in February (RIP Alex King). Twitter also seems to change up their developer connections from time to time, so all plugins will break at some point if they aren’t maintained.

Since the updates stopped, I learned that my wife and dad both read that section regularly for information instead of visiting Twitter itself. I looked at a lot of other Twitter WordPress plugins and couldn’t find anything that did exactly the same thing as Twitter Tools, so I looked at other ways to incorporate tweets into this site.

What I’ve decided to try is a new, automated post for each tweet. I’ve installed the Import Tweets as Posts plugin by Chandan Kumar and modified it to change the post format to “status.” It’s set to look for new tweets every two minutes and assign each post to a new “tweets” category.

I had to modify my functions.php file to add status to the post-formats array and wrote some new code for the homepage to style the display of these new tweet posts. The plugin even supports URL links and sets attached photos as the featured image. I’ll still need to find a way to automatically send links of full posts to Twitter, but this works for now.

Code rules…

Originally published by DK on December 7, 2016 at 11:24 pm

A full year of stadium life

Posted Wednesday, November 2nd, 2016 07:34 pm GMT -5 in Football,Personal,Technology,Work at 7:34 PM

Today is my one year anniversary as IT director at that little building in downtown Minneapolis. This timing also corresponded to an all-staff task of writing individual reviews of what we’ve accomplished in the past year and I found the exercise a fun way to self-reflect. It’s really amazing how much progress has occurred, both physically with the building and professionally with our team.

There are still many things that need to be done, but I’m happy with where my group stands right now. We learn from every event and will get better and more efficient as we gain knowledge from what are some really unique and exciting experiences. It’s stressful and time-consuming, to be sure, but it’s also rewarding in ways that are unlike anything else I’ve seen during my career.

As I wrote in my review, this role is challenging on many levels: multiple partner organizations, political pressures, limited staffing resources, event-driven scheduling, a vast physical environment and multiple, complex systems. On the technology side of things, I get to work in familiar areas like networking, telephone systems, digital signage, mobile devices and workstations. But everything in the building is larger than life, so I’ve learned a lot about scaling and performance (especially with WiFi and cloud-based tools).

Technology is great, but I really feel that communication and customer service are just as important (if not more). With so many different groups in this project, it’s crucial that we manage those relationships properly to be successful. Everyone is important: the guests that pay to attend events, the state officials that entrust us to operate the building, the vendors that have provided the tools we use, the partner organizations that provide complimentary services, the team members on our own staff and, of course, the primary tenant that drives so many key decisions.

I’m very proud of the technology support team we’ve built so far. My one full-timer was a wonderful find (thanks Pash) and is rapidly developing into an all-star on par with the best I’ve had the pleasure of working with in the past. Our part-time event staff is vastly over-qualified for the tasks I ask them to perform, but it’s nice to know all that brain-power is there if we need it.

Lastly, I’m proud of the Skol Service pin I was awarded after a very long game day (see above). Staff recognition often gets overlooked, but even small tokens of appreciation like this can go a long ways in keeping people motivated and focused on providing excellent service. Excited to see what the next 365 days have in store…

Originally published by DK on November 2, 2016 at 7:34 pm

Nice to read Chuq again

Posted Tuesday, November 1st, 2016 07:46 am GMT -5 in Links,Technology at 7:46 AM

How Apple could have avoided much of the controversy

Originally published by DK on November 1, 2016 at 7:46 am

Cheater camera mode

Posted Saturday, October 29th, 2016 07:58 pm GMT -5 in Nature,Photography,Technology at 7:58 PM

Not sure how I feel about iPhone 7 portrait mode 

Originally published by DK on October 29, 2016 at 7:58 pm

We love the NFL

Posted Saturday, October 22nd, 2016 10:30 am GMT -5 in Football,Links,Technology at 10:30 AM


Originally published by DK on October 22, 2016 at 10:30 am

Security on Day Three

Posted Thursday, October 20th, 2016 11:34 am GMT -5 in Technology,Work at 11:34 AM

Last day of JNUC 2016

Originally published by DK on October 20, 2016 at 11:34 am

Muse was quite nice

Posted Wednesday, October 19th, 2016 12:00 am GMT -5 in Food,Technology at 12:00 AM

Loved the food from Crave too @ Code 42 JAMF party

Originally published by DK on October 19, 2016 at 12:00 am

Glad Chip still does JNUC

Posted Tuesday, October 18th, 2016 02:41 pm GMT -5 in Friends,Technology at 2:41 PM

Makes me happy to see good people do well

Originally published by DK on October 18, 2016 at 2:41 pm

Saturday Servers

Posted Saturday, October 15th, 2016 02:44 pm GMT -5 in Technology,Work at 2:44 PM

Now I just need a password and some network cables

Originally published by DK on October 15, 2016 at 2:44 pm

Three weeks with the iPhone 7 Plus

Posted Tuesday, October 4th, 2016 05:32 pm GMT -5 in Technology at 5:32 PM

For the first time ever, I actually stayed up until 2am to pre-order the iPhone 7, only to be locked out by server overload and limited stock. As a member of the iPhone Upgrade Program, this was a bit of a bummer. A few days later, though, Apple sent me an email saying they had allocated more phones to upgrade customers to reserve. A few clicks later, and I had a 10am reservation at the Uptown Apple Store to pick up a black 256GB iPhone 7 Plus.

Picking a model this time took more time than usual, as I had convinced myself that the 6 Plus was too big for my hand and that I would drop back a size next time. Then people started publishing pictures taken with the two-lens 7 Plus and I returned to the larger model. The extra $100 to go from 128GB to 256GB was a no-brainer. Picked black instead of jet black because I don’t use a case and know exactly how it would look after a few months in my pocket. While it’s nice to have more RAM and faster chips, it doesn’t feel all that different to me from my previous Plus (performance-wise).

A few other random observations:

  • While I wait for Camera+ to formally support the new camera hardware, I’m forced to use the standard Camera app, which has been extremely buggy. Many times the lens won’t wake up, leaving just a frosted screen upon launch. When it does display an image, I’m often not able to press the screen-based shutter release to actually take a picture. When this happens, I have to shift my hands around so I can use the hardware volume buttons to take the shot. It shifts between modes seemingly at random, causing me to lose regular shots when it starts in pano or video mode instead. Most troubling: it seems to randomly reboot the whole phone for no apparent reason (usually when I’m trying to get a fleeting shot).
  • Not really a fan of the new button or taptic engine physical feedback.
  • The lift-to-turn-the-screen-on feature is annoying and probably degrades battery performance.
  • Speaking of battery, I really hope they make software improvements in the OS soon, because this brand new battery performs markedly worse than the 6 Plus.
  • Really miss the swipe to unlock motion (more an iOS 10 thing, but still).
  • The new second speaker is an improvement, but not by much.
  • Both Plus models I’ve used get overly confused by their orientation – I shouldn’t have to correct it as much as I do on a daily basis.
  • Low-light concert photos are not as improved as I had hoped (but I also need to test this more).
  • Transfer from my laptop-based iTunes backup worked great overall, just needed to relink music and photos from my old laptop to the new one.
  • The larger camera bump is still annoying when you sit it on a desk.
  • Could care less about the headphone jack (so far).

So in a nutshell, need to get comfortable with iOS 10 while I wait for updates to all the camera software. B-minus upgrade for me…

Originally published by DK on October 4, 2016 at 5:32 pm

Football nerds live here

Posted Monday, October 3rd, 2016 08:54 pm GMT -5 in Football,Technology,Work at 8:54 PM

Updating score bugs this week

Originally published by DK on October 3, 2016 at 8:54 pm

10K resolution is a thing?

Posted Sunday, October 2nd, 2016 09:38 am GMT -5 in Football,Links,Technology,Television,Video at 9:38 AM
Originally published by DK on October 2, 2016 at 9:38 am

Trucks in the house

Posted Sunday, October 2nd, 2016 09:30 am GMT -5 in Football,Technology,Television at 9:30 AM

Monday Night Football broadcast by ESPN

Originally published by DK on October 2, 2016 at 9:30 am

One entire year

Posted Friday, September 9th, 2016 08:59 pm GMT -5 in Casinos,Games,Technology at 8:59 PM

MyVegas daily bonus streak

Originally published by DK on September 9, 2016 at 8:59 pm

Hey, I know those guys

Posted Friday, August 19th, 2016 11:36 pm GMT -5 in Technology,Work at 11:36 PM

Minnesota Vikings Open U.S. Bank Stadium With Ambitious Video Plan

Originally published by DK on August 19, 2016 at 11:36 pm


Posted Monday, July 25th, 2016 02:59 pm GMT -5 in Technology,Work at 2:59 PM

The new permanent lines are now live

Originally published by DK on July 25, 2016 at 2:59 pm

First scanned ticket

Posted Sunday, July 17th, 2016 01:01 pm GMT -5 in Technology,Work at 1:01 PM

…at least at an actual gate.

Originally published by DK on July 17, 2016 at 1:01 pm

Putting that bandwidth to work

Posted Friday, July 15th, 2016 10:38 am GMT -5 in Golf,Technology at 10:38 AM

TVs may not work, but this will do

Originally published by DK on July 15, 2016 at 10:38 am

Video game flashbacks

Posted Thursday, July 14th, 2016 12:38 am GMT -5 in Games,History,Technology at 12:38 AM

Crystal Castles @ Up-Down Minneapolis 

Originally published by DK on July 14, 2016 at 12:38 am

That’s a nice touch

Posted Sunday, July 10th, 2016 07:11 pm GMT -5 in Technology,Travel at 7:11 PM

New hotel room phone = name on handset

Originally published by DK on July 10, 2016 at 7:11 pm

Nerd humor or Adele fan?

Posted Saturday, July 9th, 2016 09:09 pm GMT -5 in Music,Technology,Work at 9:09 PM

South Demarc @ work

Originally published by DK on July 9, 2016 at 9:09 pm

Some assembly required

Posted Monday, June 27th, 2016 10:11 pm GMT -5 in Technology,Work at 10:11 PM

Tiring, but probably good training for Afton

Originally published by DK on June 27, 2016 at 10:11 pm

The monitor shortage is over

Posted Wednesday, June 15th, 2016 12:56 pm GMT -5 in Technology,Work at 12:56 PM

So much gear

Originally published by DK on June 15, 2016 at 12:56 pm

Adios Levi’s Stadium

Posted Tuesday, June 14th, 2016 01:17 am GMT -5 in Football,Technology,Travel at 1:17 AM

Great hosts with excellent insight

Originally published by DK on June 14, 2016 at 1:17 am

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