Category Archives: Itinerancy observations

Collaborative walled gardens

Collaborative platforms are all the rage at the moment – every company wants one, has one, lives and dies by one. Cisco’s CEO John Chambers blogs, Michael Dell is on Twitter, Microsoft is selling Sharepoint by the truckload (well, figuratively speaking) and every software company in the world is busy putting 2.0 behind their offering, from backup to presentations.

I am worrying that all these platforms will lead to less collaboration, not more.

First, a personal observation: I am what Malone and Rockart in 1991 termed an intellectual mercenary. That is, I think of myself as a company of one, working for many organizations, but I am never member of only one community, and never, for a number of reasons, a full member of one. Sure, I have been on the faculty of the same business school since 1996 and had relationships with more or less the same set of people in the consulting world since 1994, and currently I am in year three of what I hope will be an 8 year research project on information access technologies. But that doesn’t change the fact that I am not a full member, at least not technically speaking, of any one of them.

My base job, as an academic, has a technical infrastructure geared towards a physical presence at the campus (at least on a regular basis) and a lack of visibility outside campus. The school has an outdated infrastructure, but since most of the faculty thinks this is just fine, since it works, few things change. So I have to have my own web site and email to project a less antiquated face for the rest of the world. Fine. Then I work with two companies (one mostly in the States and one mostly in Norway) on various projects. In case of their technical infrastructure, it is more modern, but tightly integrated around a different platform than what my main place of work is using.

The interesting thing, of course, is that as long as communication took place via email and collaboration was done sending Word documents around, everything was hunky dory – I could use whatever I wanted. Now each collaboration partner has their own collaborative platform, with integrated calendaring, Twittering, email, directories and Turing knows what else – and I find myself fighting new user interfaces every time I need to do something.

Software evolves from application to platform to standard. The problem is that we do not yet have standards for collaborative activities, only for the end results of those activities: Reports, teleconferences, single emails, and presentations. If you want integration, you have to belong to one organization, and that organization only. Which is fine for most people, but not for those of us who wants to contain multitudes, and do.

At the current state of collaborative software, it strengthens intra-organizational collaboration but weakens inter-organizational collaboration. We are back to the days when some companies used Wordperfect and some Word, and everyone fiddled with translations between them. Now we have to find ways to maintain a personal creative space (in my case, Evernote, Word, and Windows Live Writer) while injecting and extracting the results from various collaborative platforms. I find myself yearning for something that will maintain my collaborative activities in much the same way Live Writer (along with Live Sync, the best product Microsoft has come up with in a decade) allows me to suck down and load up posts to my various blogs. (A bonus would be if you could update the various Wikipedia articles you care about as well, but I digress).

An alternative is a shared platform, such as Google Docs, but again, that forces you to work in a different interface (though it is very similar to Word), does not bring the work inside your own space (where you are reminded about doing it) and forces everyone else to move out of their space. What we need here is some serious standard work in XML, and a recognition by the platform providers that a substantial amount of collaboration (and, I suspect, much of the innovation) comes from those that jump between platforms.

So, here is my message to the collaborative platform vendors: Tear down the walls before you have erected them! Do it by offering APIs or facilitating cross-platform synchronization. While we are at it, some software company with a stake in keeping their operating systems dominance should probably take me up on creating a cross-platform personal collaboration client.

I want my PCC revolution now!

Aging actress blues

I am on the United Airlines flight from Shanghai to San Francisco, which is surprisingly enjoyable, since I am traveling business class and the airplane is new, with seats that allow you to stretch out with your feet high enough that you avoid swelling and pain. Which is something that happens when you are a man and you reach middle age, like I have done.

When you are a actress* and reach middle age, however, something else seems to happen. I am (intermittently) watching Nights in Rodanthe, a really forgettable (and very predictable) movie with Richard Gere and Diane Lane, a middle-aged romance of sorts. And it is a disconcerting, because Diane Lane is a great actress: One of my favorite movies is Indian Summer, and she is brilliant there, with a natural humor and fetching wickedness of expression achieved signaling subtlety and wit. This is not the case in this movie, however, because somehow her face has lost its expressiveness. And its wrinkles. And that, honestly, is a loss – both to acting and to beauty.

I really cannot understand this. Why is it that beautiful women – or, for that matter, any woman – injects Botox in their cheeks and silicone in their lips to "hide" their age? Yes, they look less wrinkled and, at least for a while, younger. But it seems to be a really slippery slope, a kind of addiction, where they very quickly become scary, like Jessica Lange in Broken Flowers, with their plastic faces and bovinely bulbous lips. The end result is the vacant expression of a storefront mannequin, great for stills but somehow alien as as soon as the picture starts to move, while the face (at least from eyebrows to upper lip) does not.

The really scary thing is that this madness is now infecting younger and younger women, with teenagers getting implants and 20-year-olds getting facial adjustments. Eventually, I suppose, all women will look the same, hiding their personalities and expressive capability behind a sleek and photogenic facade. What a loss for the male part of the population – no variety, no quality, everything palpably mediocre in its perfection.

It is deeply ironic that this movie has an subplot involving a doctor with a patient dying during a plastic surgery procedure. That is the ugly little forgotten detail – that any kind of surgery has a risk, however small, of failure, with loss of health or life as a result.

Dying to look like everyone else, in other words….

*Yes, I am aware that this happens to aging actors as well. But it is (normally) less visible, though not less reprehensible.

Morning plane reflections

I am on the morning plane (06:10, no less) from Boston to San Francisco (where I will continue to Shanghai.) One of the nice things about this trip is that the sun comes in from the back of the plane gradually catching up, since the plane is slower than the earth’s rotation. This means that all landscape features are lit so they come out in bas-relief, making every wrinkle and crevice stand out, when not obscured by clouds. The angle of the sun actually interplays with the landscape – on the east coast and past the great lakes, the sun is low and serves to illuminate the modest undulations of the plains, but as we come over towards the more mountainous areas the light reaches a little further down in the valleys.

And what a spectacle it is.

I have never understood those who take aisle seats on flights across the US – the landscape is infinitely more interesting than any neutered in-flight movie or vapid magazine the inside of the airplane can offer. The roads and cities of the east, factories and irrigation circles of the mid-west and increasingly dramatic mountains of the west rolls out like a long and harmoniously unfolding symphony, complete with the dramatic crescendo of the Rockies (and, if luck may be, the Yosemite) and the restful and glittering finale of the Pacific. Along the way id an endless array of meandering rivers, towns next to dams (suitable for morbid speculation on the nature of American infrastructure investments,) intricate patchworks of agriculture and suburban sprawl, ruler-straight roads over desert plains, and strip mine pockmarks. Occasionally, a meeting airplanes will streak across the window, trailing condensation smoke and making you realize just how fast you are going.

I keep thinking that some day it would be fun to drive across all this, to have time to take it in and fully understand the vastness of the distances and the variety of  landscapes (and relative sameness of the signs of human habitation) along the way. As it is, I will have to settle for high-speed version, but it is not a bad substitute. Or perhaps not a substitute at all: Like watching the Sopranos in burst mode, the faster speed and broader views will let you see the long storylines of the landscape in a way you can’t from a car window.

I certainly makes the hours flow along, for one thing.

And did make the 12-hour flight from San Francisco to Shanghai across a clouded Pacific seem rather long in comparison…

Acer Aspire One experience

Before going to the FastForward 2009 i bought a netbook, an Acer Aspire One, with 1Gb RAM and 160Gb harddisk, running XP. The idea was to use this for notetaking during the conference, since the machine is small and has good battery capability (I got the 6 cell version.)

A funny thing: When I went to buy it, the salespeople tried very hard to get me to buy a subnotebook instead – which would cost upwards of $1000 instead of $329. Margin call? Anyway, a true sign of a disruptive technology is when the salespeople sneer at it, so I predict a great future for these machines. (That being said, I would have liked to get the Sony Vaio P, but it was not yet available and the interesting version was more than $1100. In other words, I can get tree Acers for one Vaio..)

So far, this thing is working very well. Its wireless network access is not as good as my Lenovo X61 – the speed is lower and it seems to not be as good in keeping the connection. The processing power is lower, but as long as I don’t have more than 4 big applications open concurrently, and make sure I quit Firefox about once per 12 hours (it is something of a memory hog) it is just fine.

The keyboard is surprisingly good for such a small size, and I do pack a real keyboard and a mouse in my large travel bag. I do make a few mistypes occasionally, with somewhat unpredictable results, but mostly touch typing goes well, though I would not want to write a dissertation on it.

The touch pad is a tad bit sensitive, I will need to fiddle with some of the settings – it is quite easy to hit it and inadvertently increase the size of the font in Firefox or to accidentally delete large parts of text in Live Writer or Thunderbird. Ctrl-Z is very useful. I would prefer a navigation knob such as is available on the Vaio or the Lenovo computers – more control, fewer accidents.

The thing comes with a camera which I haven’t tried yet and a various other ports and functions which, presumably, work (and were one reason I got this one rather than the HP Mini, which lacked a few.)

So far, so good. Excellent note-taker and internet device, not strong enough to be your main machine unless you are either doing very simple stuff or mainly working online, in which case it is surprisingly good. And it does fit on the tray in economy class, which is a bonus.

Update Feb 10: I find that, with the small screen, I tend to use all applications in full screen mode and switch between them using alt-tab. This is a little bit of a throwback to the mid-90s, when I used DesqView on a text-based DOS machine in the same way. Works fine, though. And the battery worked the whole day yesterday, from 9 to 17 with a small 20 minute charge at the hotel room – which I must say is rather good for a machine at a third of the price of a regular notebook.

Out of town news is out

image Another sign of the future of the traditional newspaper – Out of Town News is disappearing.

In the six years I lived in Boston and frequently walked by Out of Town News, I never bought anything there. Too expensive for a doctoral student’s budget. But I like the idea of a print-on-demand shop there, though I doubt it will be viable from a business standpoint.

Starbucks, methinks. It’s inevitable.

(Via Doc Searls.)

CAMRB

Mary Beard wants a campaign for real bookstores, and solicits suggestions for "real" bookstores. Here are my favorites (and woefully incomplete, I know):

  • image The Harvard Book Store, Harvard Square, Cambridge, MA. A must since Wordsworth disappeared. Good basement with used books and remainders.
  • The Harvard COOP, Harvard Square, Cambridge, MA. Managed by Barnes and Noble, but with enough sophistication and volume both for staff and clientele that the selection is good and the advice competent, unless you happen upon an employee from the days before B&N took over.
  • City Lights, San Francisco. A bit of a legend and a tad long in the underground tooth, but excellent selection and very knowledgeable staff (even if you arrive in a business suit.)
  • Tronsmo, Oslo. Small bookstore with interesting books (and really good on cartoons, which is not my thing). Truly independent, good for a surprise every time you stick your head in.
  • Blackwell's, OxfordBlackwell’s, Oxford, UK. Enormous and somewhat disorganized, but selection, selection, selection.
  • The Jeffery Amherst Bookshop, Amherst, MA. Only been there once, but liked it a lot (and so did my elder daughter.)

Other suggestions (or, by all means, leave comments over with Mary.)

A Swiss army knife for the traveling techie

As anyone with some technical knowledge is keenly aware of – at the mere hint of some computer familiarity, you are instantly transformed into the local help desk. I frequently am asked to "take a look at" the PC of some neighbor or more or less distant family member. In most cases, it is a question of cleaning up disks and removing viruses and installed programs.

I am not sure if I really want to do this, but loading this little collection of software onto a memory stick seems like a good idea. Except then you get asked to look at even more barnacled computers….

(Via Stephen Downes.)

Ubiquity interviews Vaughan Merlyn

John Gehl of Ubiquity fame has interviewed my pal Vaughan Merlyn, a stellar IT management consultant and all-around good egg who shares some of his experiences and views. Vaughan writes a fine blog and is extremely good at navigating the rather tricky no-mans-land that still lies between business and IT. He has spent much time and effort extending and deepening some of the strategic models of IT supply and demand that we rely on in this business, in light of advances in technology and IT savvy (or, as Vaughan calls it, IT maturity) in large organizations:

When I say business IT maturity, that is a short hand way of saying business demand maturity and IT supply maturity. I think that in the majority of cases, i.e., more than a half of the situations we see – there is a reasonable degree of similarity between the business ambition and the IT ambition. For perhaps a quarter of the cases, there is a CIO who is well ahead of business. And those are the most frustrating cases. The other case is where the business is well ahead of the CIO. And that usually sorts itself out pretty quickly because sooner or later there is a change of CIO.

Here is some hard-won experience on what advisory consulting is all about:

[…] I often find that what [clients] think is the problem they are looking for help with is quite different from the actual problem they are experiencing. And very often I find some of the most important work that we do happens before the engagement begins. I think it was Jerry Weinberg, one of the great wise men of the early IT days pointed out that one of the problems with project management is when a project officially starts, it’s already been going several months. It just hasn’t yet been called a project. So there is a lot of baggage already there. I think similarly, when you sit down with a client to frame up an engagement, I find the actual act of getting clarity on what is the issue, what would the outcomes be if we successfully solved this issue, that often is enormously helpful for the client – obviously it’s important for the consultant because you can easily spin wheels trying to solve the wrong problem. But I have seen the light bulbs go on with my clients – not just little glimmers of Christmas tree lights. I mean massive flashbulbs go off as you take them through a process of issue clarification. And they realize that perhaps the problem that thought they had isn’t the real problem. So I think that is a value that a good consultant brings to the table – helping to clarify what the real issues might be.

Budding consultants, take note!

Aloha

This is written from a 747 somewhere over the Rocky Mountains. I am on my way to the AACSB Annual conference in Honolulu, Hawaii. It is a conference on business school management, which is interesting in itself, and Hawaii, of course, is a new destination for me.

But the real reason I am on my way is because I am on the board of Masterstudies.com, and startup company offering a Web-based search-and-match service for business schools and prospective business school students. (Check our the website – and for all my colleagues out there – we are getting good reviews, send me an email if you think this might be a good way to generate leads for your school.)

Anyway, the VP of Business Development is going over to sell our services, and I am tagging along to translate between academese and marketing and (I suspect) as a guarantee that this is a serious business. I am quite looking forward to it – it will be interesting to see how other business school are competing for students in an increasingly global market. It will also be interesting to see which way the market moves – I suspect a movement towards more and more franchising of well-known schools, more tailored education (tied to knowledge profiles and career tracks in large corporations) and, of course, more use of technology both in marketing and execution.

Testing Windows Live Writer

This is a test post (testing Windows Live Writer at the behest of Paul Kedrosky).

Testing Norwegian characters: æøå ÆØÅ

Testing special characters: {[]} $#&%"@

Incidentally, Windows Live Writer (an off-line Blog editor) is a pretty nifty product: Standards-based, simple to use. One especially useful feature is that it fixes a persistent problem with AJAX-based editors: That the text entered since the last save disappears if you happen to refresh the page or commit any other fumble-fingered unfortunality. Of course, off-line blogging is also useful in itself, for those long plane rides, but if I only needed that, I could just use Evernote, which stores text in a format where links and simple formatting makes it over into Movable Type’s AJAX-based editor screen.

The empty luxury stores

This interesting review in Access Asia’s Weekly View on Asia may be the explanation for a phenomenon I had a hard time understanding: The last few times I have been in China, I have been surprised at the number of luxury brand stores, and also by the complete lack of customers in them.

Both in Beijing and Shanghai, there are real Armani, Gucci, Coach, and what have you stores, with prices equal to or even higher than in Scandinavia (and that is saying something.) Luxury stores sell fantasies, of course, and not products. But even so, I wondered how the stores in the shopping center of the basement of the World Trade Center in Beijing could survive – the only customers I could see were those following their kids to the indoor skating rink, having a drink or a meal, or buying toiletries at the one convenience store.

The tourists were nowhere to be seen – they go to the Pearl Market to match their bargaining wits with the seasoned pros selling Pashmina scarves and yes-Sir-we-will-change-that-Gucci-belt-buckle-for-a-Docle&Gabbana-one leather goods.

(Hat tip to Cory Doctorow, who was in Beijing at the same time as I was)

Vacation slouching

One of the really great aspects of vacationing in friends’ apartment is going through their bookcases. In this case, this is a little like reading boingboing on paper – and discovering small treasures such as Calvin Trillin’s American Stories. A collection of New Yorker articles that never, ever would have been published in a Norwegian magazine on account of being more than 10000 characters long.

Anyway, it is now noon and all I have done so far is read while the family is waking up (some of them returning from an early morning shopping jaunt.) This is life. 

The talented immigrant’s new choices

This is the kind of commentary that makes me remember why I continue to subscribe to the Economist. Especially since I am writing this from a campus in India.

I miss the US when in Norway, and Norway when in the US. The same, I suppose, is true for every other person with international experience. The Namesake seems to capture it perfectly. On my list of must-sees.

Update April 6: Elder daughter Julie read The Namesake six months ago. She had her formative years in the US, and saw the book as a pretty good description of herself. I’ll leave it to her to eloquently enunciate the details.

A walk around Infosys’ Hyderabad campus

As part of a three-week visit at the Indian School of Business, I saw Infosys‘ campus in Hyderabad last Friday. It is extremely impressive, with park-like surroundings. My friend and colleague Ramiro Montealegre and I met with a group of managers in the Enterprise Solutions practice, as part of a joint research project. We then joined a group of ISB students for a presentation of the Hyderabad operation and a tour around the campus.

The Hyderabad campus houses 8,000 employees (or "infoscions", as Infosys terms them) and last year did export business to the tune of $250m. The campus (which by no means is Infosys’ largest, that is in Bangalore and Mysore) has training facilities with on-campus accomodation for 700 students. There are two large food courts, the obligatory cricket ground, mini-golf and all kinds of recreational facilities for the increasingly hard-to-recruit engineers (though they do receive 1.65 million resumes per year.)

I will let the pictures speak for themselves – it is quite a complex. 

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Fill in the form, ye huddled masses….

Interesting op-ed in FT yesterday, about how the bureaucratic and seemingly unfriendly immigration services in the US is seen as creating problems for industry. Bill Gates has testified before Congress that the best and brightest now have a choice – and that the US needs to grease the skids a bit, so to speak.

Personally, I have found that the best vehicle for rapid entry into the US is to have a 6 month old baby with a US passport and an American flag jump suit. Smiles all around. Too bad she has grown older and less mobile as a ticket in…

As for unfriendliness – yes, the immigration officers can be a hassle, but so they are all over the world (with the possible exception of the UK and Singapore.) But factor in the work environment: Dealing with an endless stream of jet lagged, hypoglycemic, disshevelled and supremely self-important passengers making fun of your sacred forms, and even the most patient mind will start growing spikes just for self-preservation. See it from their side….

The Mile High Blogging Club

I am writing this from an SAS flight between Copenhagen and Beijing, somewhere over Siberia. Boeing’s Connexion service is available (though this is an Airbus A340) and since it is free for now, I just had to try it.

I don’t know about you, but I think it is pretty damn fascinating that you can read and send email messages 10000 feet up in the air somewhere east of the Ural mountains. The response time isn’t that bad either, and the sorry excuse I have for a mail server actually sends the messages from up here, as opposed to from the Copenhagen SAS lounge, where I spent a few hours delivering i talk via videoconference.

Anyway, I am on my way to Beijing to teach at the Ericsson China Academy, four days on IT management (with a translator, since only half the class understands English.) Wish me luck. I’ll need it.

Blogging a mile high. I just can’t get over it…. 

Changing, not ending business travel

Seth Godin thinks new security requirements (no laptop, no hand luggage, no carry-on liquids) will cramp business travel. I don’t think so. All the airlines need to do is install in-seat terminals in business and first class along with in-the-air Internet connections. Throw in some decent food and you have a much lighter and more satisfactory flight.

Goodbye laptop, hello Gmail, Thinkfree and Skype. Looking forward to it. Not to mention reading books and blogs online, rather than buying them at the airport Dan Brown outlet. Yay.

Favorite things Boston

This is outdated – there is a new post here: Things to do in Boston.

I have lived in Boston (or, strictly speaking, Arlington, MA) for six years, and go back there occasionally. Since there are many universities and conferences in that part of the world, I am often asked by colleagues and others what they should do when they are in Boston. This is a list of my very personal recommendations – your mileage may vary:

Harvard Square, uterestauranten Au Bon PainI will start at Harvard Square, not really Boston but in neighboring Cambridge. The Square is in the middle of the constantly encroaching Harvard Campus and is one of my favorite places (though, as a slew of critics like to point out, it has become less personal and more mall-like over the years:)

  • Take a deep dive into The Harvard COOP Bookstore (the large and “official” university bookstore, much better after management was taken over by Barnes and Noble a few years ago) or the Harvard Bookstore (my favorite, an independent bookstore with great selection, competent staff and a used book basement. Make sure you get their stamp card, reduced prices after a while.) Spend time browsing (nobody will bother you) and wearing out your creditcard.
  • Have a burger at Mr. Bartlett’s Gourmet Burger Cottage (right next to the Harvard Bookstore.) No alcohol, but great lemonade, crispy onion rings and a huge selection of excellent burgers. Cash only, noise level can be high.
  • Have a late and large American Sunday breakfast at the breakfast restaurant (can never remember the name) [UPDATE 7/30: The name of the restaurant is Greenhouse, and I have reliable information that it is no longer as good as it used to be – seems you will have to go with Au Bon Pain instead] next to Cardullo’s Delikatessen, after first having purchased 6lbs. of New York Times Sunday Edition from the newsstand on the sidewalk outside.
  • Buy Harvard-paraphernalia for the kids and people back home at the COOP (cheap and good by Norwegian standards)
  • Have a coffee at Peet’s Coffee (worn locales but good coffee) at Brattle Square. This is the place to bring your newly purchased stacks of books and dig into them without feeling awkward.
  • Another alternative, especially if the weather is good, is Cafe Pamplona, more Spanish than many things found in Spain. Here, you escape the American “HellomynamisBrandyandIwillbeyourservertoday” restaurant culture – sit as long as you want.
  • Visit the “glass flowers” at the Harvard Museum of Natural History and spend an hour or more at the Harvard Fogg Art museum (one of my Norwegian colleagues, an art buff, characterized it as “small and selective, just great for a relatively short visit.”) [Update: Fogg is closed for renovations 2011/12, unfortunately]
  • Bring a bunch of friends and have a Tex-Mex dinner with much shouting and joking at the (ask for Bohemia beer, recommended by John Steinbeck) at the Border Cafe. The bar here is also good, try a Marguerita as an aperitif. No table booking, expect to stand in line.

Stata Center, MITYou can take the T to MIT/Kendall Square, where you can

  • (nerd alert!) visit the MIT Press bookstore (not to be confused with MIT’s branch of the COOP, which is on the other side of the street.) MIT Press Bookstore is tiny and on the right side of the street when you look towards Boston, at Kendall Square.
  • Check out the Stata Center, MIT’s newest building and an example of deconstructionist architecture. In my opinion, not very functional, but interesting shapes.

In Boston proper, you could

  • Newbury StreetIf you feel flush with money and want to impress someone, take a shopping (or, perhaps, browsing) round in the fancy stores on Newbury Street
  • Visit the Museum of Fine Arts and The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum
  • Stay away from Cheers, a bar that from the outside looks like the TV series. If you are looking for a real, Cheers-like, bar, try Rosie’s, which is at Porter Square in Cambridge about 7 block up Mass Ave from the Harvard Common). Or just go to any of the Irish bars downtown.
  • Have dinner in North End, the Italian district.
  • Have seafood at the Union Oyster House, USA’s second oldest continuously operating restaurant. It is regarded as a bit of a tourist trap by the locals, but it has been a huge hit with anyone from abroad I have taken there.
  • Walk around and explore – Boston is a city of culture, with interesting stores and restaurants. A car is not necessary.

Outside Boston: Pilgrim Monument, Provincetown

  • Go to Newburyport and Plum Island. Eat seafood from one of the food joints.
  • Visit Concord, have lunch at the Concord Inn and take a walk around Walden Pond (Where Thoreau wrote his book)
  • Go to Marblehead for an icecream, a stroll along the harbor, and some seafood.
  • If you have a weekend, rent a car and drive to Cape Cod, visit Provincetown (“P-town”, if you want to sound local) out at the tip of the peninsula
  • If you have an oval weekend: Go to Marthas Vineyard or Nantucket (the latter I haven’t visited myself, but I have heard good reports.) These are summer holiday islands southeast of Cape Cod, an interesting and very distinct part of the USA. It can be very crowded in summer, so make sure you have accomodation before you go.
  • If you are in the mood for some real shopping: Drive to the L.L.Bean store in Freeport, Maine. There are a number of other factory stores in the area as well. (According to their web site, L.L.Bean is about to open a store in Burlington, just north of Boston snart, so the long drive may not be warranted. The store in Freeport is, anyway, open 24 hours – it has actually been open continually since 1951, except for two Sundays.)

There are, of course, lots of other things to do and see, but these are some of the things I like. Have a great trip!

Russian Hamlet

Pas de deux - Russian Hamlet, VilniusAct 1 Russian Hamlet VilniusJust back from Vilnius in Lithuania, where I taught a two-day module in strategic management at the International School of Management. The school kindly invited us to see the ballet The Russian Hamlet at the Lithuanian National Opera. The performance was excellent and heartily recommended – an impressive feat of choreography, scenography and dancing.

Vilnius turned out to be a pleasant city of excellent restaurants, small streets, old churches and, rather surprisingly, a huge shopping center called Akropolis, with an indoor skating rink (the only other place I have seen that is in Dallas). Not a bad place to spend a weekend, escaping an Oslo digging out from another large snowfall.