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Yearly Archives: 2015
Todd Mahoney is a Technology Engineer 4 for BIT. He has been a member of BIT for two and a half years. Before working for BIT, Todd had over 20 years of experience in the Windows-based technology industry, most recently working for a South Dakota software reseller in Sioux Falls. In his previous employment he worked with agencies across state government, supporting their migration to and implementation of the state’s standard Imaging service, FileDirector. Through his years of experience selling and supporting FileDirector, Todd has developed deep knowledge in the inner workings of not only imaging technologies, but also the inner workings of the vendor who developed the state’s standard imaging system.
One of Todd’s passions is automating system-level work and tuning. Together with his BIT Imaging partner, Ken Hutchinson, he led the recently completed detailed integrity review of 12.3 terabytes of imaging data as part of the migration to the newest version of the software. This work was required as the file formats changed and every migrated imaging file needed to be checked to assure its integrity remained intact after its move. To accomplish this monumental data review, Todd drew on his years of system automation, programming experience, and relationship with our vendor to partner with Ken and our vendor to automate an integrity checking process.
While that process was a key component to proving data integrity had been maintained during the migration, FileDirector has always also been a large consumer of backup resources. Knowing this, Todd also took advantage of the integrity work being done to look for ways to optimize backup and recovery. Using tools provided by the vendor, he aggregated hundreds of millions of image files into a specialized storage format that dramatically reduces the time required to run daily backups. As a result, daily backups now run faster and more efficiently.
Most recently, Todd also played a key role in automating the search of hundreds of thousands of imaging files to detect and redact PII data before it is subjected to a final human verification and made available to citizens. It’s reasonable to assume the task would have consumed thousands more hours of people effort without the automated process Todd developed.
Todd’s years of work as an imaging software reseller and support technologist have put him in good standing to support his team in speaking up about the value and effective use of imaging at the state. These qualities among many others make Todd a valued member of BIT and the Data Center.
Two of Todd’s hobbies are darts and hunting. Most recently he went with some family to Idaho on a successful black bear hunt (you may want to ask him yourself whether his darts skills came into play on the hunt, he’s been very quiet on this aspect of the hunt). Where the resulting bear rug will reside in their residence is, apparently, a delicate subject at home.
Todd grew up around the Parker area in South Dakota and studied at South East Technical Institute. Most recently he lived in Beresford before coming to Pierre and BIT. Todd, his wife (Michelle) and son (Soren) enjoy life in Pierre with a few family pets, a Great Dane (Emmitt, and yes, the name does in fact reflect that Todd is a Cowboy’s fan) a Basset (Bailey, named after a Bronco’s player), two cats (Peyton–after Peyton Manning, and Carter, of course named after Cris Carter).
Jordan started as an intern with BIT Development team 2 in May and was hired as a full time Software Engineer after two months of interning. Since joining BIT in May, Jordan has been working on the DENR 37 FoxPro System rewrite project and has excelled at everything he has been working on within that project.
Prior to the 2015 calendar year, the project previously had eight systems completed in a course of two years. Within the 2015 calendar year alone, there is projected to be 17 new systems completed. Jordan has been a driving force in getting those systems completed this summer which involved not only his GIS skills, but android development, in addition to his overall software engineer skills. His skillset is very advanced.
Furthermore, Jordan has taken the lead in migrating several DENR FoxPro systems into .net/sql with GIS integration including: Observation Wells, Lake Level, Lake Information and Ground Water Monitoring. He was able to build interactive hydrographs into both Observation Wells and the Lake Info/Level applications for DENR. The hydrographs are active on the website to allow zooming and hovering over specific points to gather data, as well as the ability to remove erroneous data entries. The hydrographs can also be exported along with the data for offline use or reports by DENR.
Additionally, Jordan took it upon himself to learn how to code in android so that the Observation Wells and Lake Info/Level Tablets could be updated to work with the new system and update well and lake data over the internet. The old process involved manually emailing/copying a .csv file and importing into FoxPro.
In 2005, BIT began looking for someone with creative talent, graphics skills and great website design abilities. Miguel was selected from a pool of great candidates, and quickly developed an outstanding rapport with agency staff and webmasters, working with them to solve their development problems and improve their websites. Currently Miguel serves as a security engineer for BIT and was nominated for EOQ based on a request from Public Safety. This request is unique in the case that an agency had been so impressed with Miguel’s outstanding service that they felt compelled to request that he be recognized for it. Below is some text attributed to Miguel from Maria King of Public Safety.
“I would like to nominate an employee for the BIT quarterly employee recognition employee. Miguel Penaranda was a lifesaver for me in getting the CLIPS software scanned that SDHP and Huron State Radio are now using as part of the Zuercher consolidation. It took a bit more time to get a few of the bugs worked out, but all 3 dispatch centers throughout the state are now using the same Zuercher system for CAD and maps and use CLIPS for NCIC records maintenance. “
“I also wanted to relay how important this part of the process was for the entire consolidation. I wanted to let you know how much I appreciated Miguel’s dedication and patience in getting this scan taken care of for DPS/SDHP/State Radio and this email just brushes the surface of how complicated this process was and how much Miguel’s efforts helped in that process. “
There were hacker’s a surfing. Nerds? Yeah, you bet.
The e-mails were stacked by the modem with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there.
The newbies were nestled all snug by their screens,
While visions of Java danced in their dreams.
My wife on the sofa and me with a snack,
We just settled down at my rig (it’s a Mac).
When out in the Web there arose such a clatter,
I jumped to the site to see what was the matter.
To a new page my Mac flew like a flash,
Then made a slight gurgle. It started to crash!!
I gasped at the thought and started to grouse,
Then turned my head sideways and clicked on my mouse.
When what to my wondering eyes should appear?
My Mac jumped to a page that wasn’t quite clear.
When the image resolved, so bright and so quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick!
More rapid than mainframes, more graphics they came,
Then Nick glanced toward my screen, my Mac called them by name;
“Now Compaq! Now Acer!”, my speaker did reel;
“On Apple! On Gateway!” Santa started to squeal!
“Jump onto the circuits! And into the chip!
Now speed it up! Speed it up! Make this thing hip!”
The screen gave a flicker, he was into my “Ram”,
Then into my room rose a full hologram!
He was dressed in all red, from his head to his shoes,
Which were black (the white socks he really should lose).
He pulled out some discs he had stored in his backpack.
Santa looked like a dude who was rarin’ to hack!
His eyes, how they twinkled! His glasses, how techno!
This ain’t the same Santa that I used to know!
With a wink of his eye and a nod of his head,
Santa soon let me know I had nothing to dread.
He spoke not a word, gave my Mac a quick poke,
And accessed my C drive with only a stroke.
He defragged my hard drive, and added a “Dimm”,
Then threw in some cool games, just on a whim!
He worked without noise, his fingers they flew!
He distorted some pictures with Kai’s Power Goo!
He updated Office, Excel and Quicken,
Then added a screensaver with a red clucking chicken!
My eyes widened a bit, my mouth stood agape,
As he added the latest version of Netscape.
The drive gave a whirl, as if it were pleased,
St. Nick coyly smiled, the computer appeased.
Then placing his finger on the bridge of his nose,
Santa turned into nothing but ones and zeros!
He flew back into my screen and through my uplink,
Back into the net with barely a blink.
But I heard his sweet voice as he flew from my sight,
“Happy surfing to all, and to all a good byte!”
Hannah Booth, daughter of Development Manager Deanne Booth, is a 17 year old junior at T.F. Riggs High School who has been on the school’s oral interpretation team for the last three years.
This past weekend, all of Hannah’s time and effort paid off at the 106th Annual South Dakota Oral Interpretation State Festival in Sturgis, South Dakota. She won “Superior” awards for her individual performance of “Why A Good Book Is A Secret Door” by Mac Barnett in the non-original oratory category and in the duet interpretation category for her performance of “Peanuts” with partner, Judah McKinley.
Hannah’s individual performance was inspired by the below TED talk. The original orator, Mac Barnett, explained “I write children’s books, and there’s a quote from Pablo Picasso, ‘We all know that Art is not truth. Art is a lie that makes us realize truth or at least the truth that is given us to understand. The artist must know the manner whereby to convince others of the truthfulness of his lies.’” Throughout this 17 minute clip, Barnett incorporates humor and light-hearted stories as he unpacks this concept and urges his audience to never lose their childlike imagination and sense of wonder.
Hannah’s oral interpretation coach, Ms. Boone, recommended she watch the performance by Barnett. She liked it so much that she decided to replicate his performance in her oral interpretation piece. Obviously it was a hit with the judges!
Deanne exclaimed, “I am very proud of Hannah and her ability to make the oral interpretation pieces she did look so easy. She is a blessing to me and my shining star! :)”
Over the Thanksgiving holiday, Kaitlyn’s parents came to visit her and husband, Ozzy,in Germany! Compared to previous years, this Thanksgiving was a little different being that Germany does not celebrate the holiday. She explained, “Since we don’t have an oven in the apartment, cooking a turkey wasn’t really an option.”
While her parents were there, they visited Rothenburg – the full name of this city is Rothenburg ob der Tauber, which translates to Rothenburg on the Tauber (river) – as well as Dresden, Wernigerode, and Berlin.
Kaitlyn explained Rothenburg as being a fairly old and historic town. It was found in the Middle Ages. Since its establishment, the town has endured a few wars, such as the Thirty Years’ War and WWII. Both wars left parts of the city in rubble. Today, the city has been restored. In addition, they also went on a tour of the city with the night watchman, who was able to provide his own interesting flair of the city’s history.
In addition to exploring Germany, Kaitlyn has also enrolled in a German class. She explained that the class is going well, but is getting more difficult as time passes. Evidently, German words have feminine, masculine, plural, and neutral cases. She said compared to learning Spanish, German is much harder!
With Christmas just around the corner, Kaitlyn is excited to spend time with her husband Ozzy’s family. Since Germany does not celebrate Thanksgiving, Kaitlyn said that Christmas shops have been open since around that time. While touring the shops, Ozzy tested out some “hot wine” (essentially just warmed up red wine), whereas Kaitlyn just stuck to the hot chocolate!
Microsoft has announced that support for versions of Internet Explorer prior to version 11 will end on January 12, 2016. As a result, Microsoft will no longer provide security updates or technical support for older versions of Internet Explorer. Failure to properly upgrade end-of-life software in a timely manner may potentially subject an organization to a higher level of risk, thus increasing the likelihood for compromise.
“It has been a pleasure working with my sister through the years. We have worked at different companies in different jobs together. Although I’m sure I was a trial to her growing up (Mom wouldn’t let her kill me), we have always been supportive of one another in the ups and downs of our adult lives.” – Crystal Drummond
“The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them.” Albert Einstein
“In the long run, men hit only what they aim at.” – Henry David Thoreau
“The quality of a man’s life is in direct proportion to his commitment to excellence, regardless of his chosen field of endeavor.” – Vince Lombardi
“Look at a day when you are supremely satisfied at the end, it’s not a day when you lounge around doing nothing. It’s when you’ve had everything to do, and you’ve done it.” –Margaret Thatcher
“Few things help an individual more than to place responsibility upon him and to him know that you trust him.” – Booker T. Washington
“The trouble with most of us is that we would rather be ruined by praise than saved by criticism.” – Norman Vincent Peale
Stephen R. Covey. Great Quotes on Leadership and Life. Franklin Covey Co, 2013.