What I do
I’m a technology-in-business expert, currently managing implementations, deployments, and conversions of computer and network systems for businesses throughout Vancouver’s Lower Mainland. My passion and focus is systems integration and planning, taking cues from a client’s vision and their business needs to develop and deploy the systems and infrastructure needed to carry them into the future.
I recently opened up the fantastically tech-heavy Shangri-La Hotel Vancouver as Director of IT, and before this ran the IT department for the beautifully modern Westin Grand Hotel Vancouver. Prior to these I was Systems Manager and Internal Operations Manager of IT at NewspaperDirect, a very smart, future thinking company that is transforming the newpaper industry.
I’ve been bridging IT and business for over 25 years. I know what doesn’t work and wastes money, and I embrace what works and saves money.
I don’t like to waste a lot of money on tech, I don’t think anybody needs to. As a result I spend very little on tech stuff but still do great, amazing things. I guess this comes from when I was 13 and wanted my computers to do lots but had very little go work with. While I was lucky enough that my parents bought me a Tandy TRS-80 Color Computer 2, and after our house was emptied by thoughtful robbers, an Apple //c, aside from the owners manuals that came with them I had no resources to buy software, books or accessories. I did scrounge up enough money to buy a book called something like Assembly Programming on the 6502 Processor. My Apple had a 65C02 (running at a whopping 1.023 Mhz), so I figured this was close enough.
With a determination only a nerdy 13-year old boy has, I dug into that book and made my little Apple do what I wanted it to. I memorized memory space addresses for the graphics pages, PEEKs and POKEs that made the CPU do odd and magical things, and got ten times more out of that machine than I ever expected. I could do math in hexadecimal in my head, I was that obsessed. Those lessons stayed with me for life — every piece of technology you have can do heaps more than the manufacturers will ever tell you. And a little reading can go a long way.
Case in point: My latest toy, admittedly an expensive gadget I had a really hard time convincing myself to buy, is an HTC Magic smartphone running the Google Android operating system. Out of the box it is spectacular: It is designed for and works extremely well with my Google Apps account that my superjens.com domain is now tied to. It makes every Blackberry look like a stone tablet and chisel. I no longer miss the iPhone that my wife dropped in the sea.
Loaded up with some easily available applications, and using a combination of online services, I’m now using this phone to make free local and long distance VoIP calls. I even have my own phone number based out of Los Angeles through these services, go ahead, call me at 213-254-5367 anytime. No more will I have to pay roaming charges, and if I travel overseas all I need to do is connect to a wifi network and calls won’t cost me a dime.
None of these tools or services are things I created myself, but a bit of reading and research opened up a whole new world of functionality for this phone that you would never hear about from your phone dealer, the manufacturer, or the cell service provider. Why would Rogers want to educate the public on how to use this phone to make free phone calls?
Aside from VoIP calls, its built-in GPS and Google Maps and Google Latitude means I can update my location online in real-time (click here, see where I am right now). Without having to cough up $500 for a separate GPS, this also gives me step-by-step driving directions. On top of that, Layar is an Augmented Reality app that displays real time info over whatever my camera is looking at. That you have to see to believe, check out the YouTube video.
The point is this: I dig into tech things and understand their limits and possibilities. Sales pitches and glossy brochures go in one ear and out the other, I prefer to get my hands dirty with the support manuals and quickly get to the point.
Don’t buy the wrong software.
Don’t buy the wrong hardware.
Don’t assume your vendor is telling the truth or has all the answers.
Do consider talking to an impartial third party whose passion in life is getting the most out of there is, who can read between the lines, and who can turn your business needs into reality with the right technology without wasting money, time and effort.
Call me anytime to talk tech, my ears and casual advice are free.
Onsite support in Vancouver’s Lower Mainland: 2 hour minimum, 15 minute increments.
Remote support anywhere in the world: 30 minute minimum, 15 minute increments.
Desktop / workstation software and hardware support
Server and server-based software support
Network design, deployment and troubleshooting
Systems / Infrastructure design
+1 213 254 5367
jens [at] superjens.com