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From Ralph Goers <>
Subject Introduction
Date Sun, 07 Nov 2004 18:08:44 GMT
Well, as I now have an account it seems that this is an appropriate time 
to introduce myself to you all.

I am a California native, born and raised just outside of Los Angeles. 
When I started college I was Physics major, but when I took my first 
class in computers I was hooked. I received a Bachelor of Science in 
Physics and Computer Science from California State University Northridge 
in 1977. A few years later I went back to school and earned an MBA.

While I was in college I got a job working for Litton Industries in 
their computer center operating IBM mainframes. After my graduation I 
was promoted to be a CICS systems programmer (hopefully, more than a few 
of you know what CICS is). A few years later, in 1984, I left to join 
Candle Corp. (recently purchased by IBM).

Candle’s bread and butter product was called Omegamon, which monitored 
the performance of the Operating Systems that ran on IBM's mainframes. 
Later the product line was expanded to monitor distributed systems. The 
piece of the puzzle I worked on was the central server that performed 
all the data gathering. Clients would query it using SQL. The engine 
would convert the queries into requests for real-time data and would 
either collect it or communicate with remote agents to do so. This was 
all written in C and C++ and ran on MVS (a.k.a. OS/390 and z/OS), 
Windows NT, OS/400, AIX, HP/UX, Solaris and eventually Linux. One of my 
primary tasks was writing and supporting the portability layer that made 
it possible for this code to run on all these disparate platforms. In 
addition, I became heavily involved in internationalizing the product 
and wrote and maintained the code that did that.

In 2001, after 17 years at Candle, I was laid off along with a lot of 
other talented people. In short order I landed a job with Digital 
Insight in their architecture group. Digital Insight is an ASP that 
provides internet home banking services for over 1600 financial 
institutions. I specifically took the job because it allowed me to 
transition from C/C++ to Java. I had taken a single class in it while at 
Candle and loved the language.

Working for an ASP has provided a different perspective on building 
applications. Our primary concern is always around making the product as 
easily customizable as possible, in addition to the “normal” concerns 
about performance, ease of maintenance, etc. In our investigations we 
looked at various alternatives but kept coming back to Cocoon. As time 
has gone by I have come to appreciate the extraordinary work you all 
have done. It is truly amazing.

Lately, I have gotten involved with the Cocoon Portal. We are using it 
in ways that were probably never thought of by its authors, but its 
architecture makes it an ideal framework for many things we want to do.

As for what I do when I am not sitting in front of a computer, I spend 
most of my free time with my wife. We like to watch the home improvement 
shows on TV and always seem to have some project going on in our house. 
We are also traveling more these days. My daughter is currently 
attending school in Utah, my stepdaughter is in college in Seattle, 
Washington, and our grandchildren live with their mother in Idaho. Their 
father, my stepson, is currently in the military and is stationed in 
Germany. So far we haven’t made it out to see him – it is a little far 
for a weekend trip.

Once again I’ll mention that I am located in California, which seems to 
be quite a few time zones away from most of you.

I am truly looking forward to working with all of you. Hopefully my many 
years of product development will be of benefit to the community.

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