Viodi View – 02/18/2009

Steve Farber giving the keynote at NTCA's 2009 Annual Meeting and ConventionDo something to change the world and you will make a difference. That was more or less the message that I heard from Steve Farberat NTCA’s 2009 Annual Meeting and Expo in Long Beach. CA last week. It was somewhat timely when, a few days later, a friend described how he is trying to change the world with his latest project. It was obvious from my friend’s passion that he loves what he is doing. The timing of Farber’s message with my friend’s actual example reinforced the importance of being passionate about one’s work.

Love was another closely related attribute that Farber cited as a reason for success of individuals, regardless of whether the organization they are working with is business, religious or community-based. My experience with independent telcos is that they have a love for what they do and consciously or unconsciously, they are changing their worlds; whether these worlds represent the communities they serve or the telecommunications industry where they so often introduce technologies and services that are merely images on slide decks of the larger companies.


ViodiTV at MTA - A Primer Video of a century of connectionsViodiTV @ MTA – A Primer Check out this brief video that gives an inkling of the 100th anniversary celebration planned for the Minnesota Telecom Alliance’s 2009 Annual Convention. Sponsored by the MTA Associate Committee, this video gives a preview of the type of ViodiTV coverage we will have at this event. Click here to view coverage from past MTA conventions.


Back to the Future – Software as a Service and Managed Service Panelists at the Software as a Service Panel at NTCA's 2009 Annual Meeting and ConventionSoftware as a Service (SaaS) is a popular Web 2.0 buzzword. It struck me, while listening to a panel at NTCA 2009 Annual Meeting and Convention, that Independent Telcos have been providing a sort of Software as a Service, really a Managed Service, since their inception. Independent Telcos are starting to add Software as a Service and Managed applications, such as network/cloud computing, disaster recovery services and telemedicine applications, to their first SaaS application; POTS.

Click here to read more and to get to get a glimpse of one company’s approach to providing network computers for Independent Telcos’ customers.


ACLU Northern CA:  Cloud Computing – Storm Warning for Privacy? by Alan Weissberger One consideration for people putting their data in the “cloud” is privacy. Alan Weissberger points out in this article that consumers’ data might not be afforded much protection once it is in the cloud. Click here to read this very important post regarding how individuals’ privacy rights might be compromised and their due-process short-circuited.


WSTA Marketing/PR Roundtable Summary – Polka Videos & More by Roger Bindl In this brief video interview, Dave Gee of Sales Sherpas provides a summary of the marketing roundtable from Day 2 of the WSTA 2009 Marketing/PR Seminar. He explains some of the marketing best practices that were shared among the attendees, including the creation of polka videos by one Wisconsin Independent Telco.  Click here to watch the video.


Hot Air Affair 2009 by Roger Bindl After the WSTA Marketing/PR Meeting, Roger traveled to Hudson, WI for their annual “Hot Air Affair”. Roger has been covering all aspects of this multi-day event for years now, but this is the first year that he got high; in a balloon, that is. Click here to check out the cool footage he took over the Wisconsin country side.


Click here to see a slide show of images from the 2009 Annual Meeting and Convention

Images from NTCA and Long Beach To see a brief slide show of some of the images from NTCA’s 2009 Annual Meeting and Convention, click on the image below. This image is somewhat special to me as it took me back to the last time I was in Long Beach, when I was a kid and my dad pointed out the many tropical islands off the long beach. Anyone Viodi View reader wishing to guess what occurs on these isles, please comment here.


The Korner:  In Memoriam – John P. Messmer

John Messmer had a passion for engineering. A Cal Tech graduate and someone 13 years my senior, I looked up to John. Messmer was never interested in money or material things. His passions were books and electronic device design. His seemingly contradictory anti-establishment and conservative viewpoints definitely provided me with a more nuanced view of the world than the black and white world I often saw in high school.

John was never satisfied with his own work and always felt he could do better. This probably ate at him, as his intelligence allowed him to see imperfections that others couldn’t see. This quality helped him produce quality work, but probably made it difficult for him to be satisfied with his accomplishments.

His design feats are mostly history these days, thanks to ever decreasing life cycles of electronic equipment. The memories of these devices, such as the Tomco ADS1000, Automatic Non-Duplication Switcher or the PT 3000 Programmable Event Timer, are fading even for those of us who had a small hand in their creation or production.

No, John’s real legacy was the people he touched, whether consciously or not. John could be surly and I remember being quite nervous when he gave a 16 year old Ken Pyle a lecture on producing quality work and the importance of not assuming anything, except, in his words, a 5% loan. That conversation and others we had helped me become a more conscientious worker.

John was always generous with his time and would mentor anyone. I remember him reviewing and providing a very helpful critique of my college application letter. I still try to follow his advice of setting aside a draft for 24 hours before completing the final version. His writing was quite good, which probably was a result of his book habit.

I always admired Messmer’s integrity, straightforward nature and his honesty. He judged everyone equally and had an open mind. It is somewhat ironic that this guy, who spent much of his life devoted to the design of electronic gadgets, made his biggest impact through the people he touched and loved.  He made a difference.  Thanks John and tell Dave hello.

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