Yep, we find ourselves in the chronological No Man’s Land that is the week between Christmas and New Years.  It is quiet…I mean REALLY quiet.  All the manufacturers, developers, and maybe even some of the hackers are closed for the week.  As such, there’s not very much available for an informative blog article, so, I’ll be doing what a good many others are doing this time of year, looking back at 2021 to some of the notable events that occurred around Roland, Schorr, and Tower.

Me first!

I have that privilege as the author!  There were several cool things that happened for me.  The first, and most important, was being awarded Microsoft Most Valuable Professional for the 24th straight year.  This is a big deal, I’m now one of the few that have made it this far and there is but a scant handful of MVPs who have been in the program as long or longer.  I’m here to tell you it NEVER GETS OLD and I’m every bit in as much awe as I was the very first time.

The next cool thing was the AltspaceVR sessions held during the Ignite conference.  One of the really glaring shortcomings of virtual events is the lack of one-on-one communications.  Are you someone who goes up to the lectern to ask questions of the presenter after the session?  Maybe you get together with folks out in the hall afterwards to chat about what you’ve seen.  All that is lost in virtual events.  Enter AltspaceVR!!  The Ignite folks decided to setup six sessions where one could recapture all this.  Each session had a number of subject matter experts divided up across three different rooms.  You entered one of the rooms, virtually walked around to find a conversation that suited you, and joined in.  Just like a normal room, there were several conversations going at once, the one in front of you and several others beside and behind you. You could move from conversation to conversation effortlessly or move to a different room with different experts and different conversations and jump in or not at your discretion.  I spent most of the conference in these sessions helping out and I’m here to tell you it was a BLAST!!!!!

My last cool thing happened just a few weeks ago while hosting a meeting for the Society of Broadcast Engineers on Amateur (Ham) radio.  I’ve been doing these sessions on the second Sunday of each month for the better part of 35 years; they represent a monthly chapter meeting for those who have an Amateur radio license, but not good access to in-person events.  Truth be told, a good many of us became broadcast engineers as an extension of this hobby, we just love to play radio!  This particular Sunday, I was in the member check-in phase when I received a call from a station with the call letters E51JD who had a good strong signal into Tucson, AZ.  The operator’s name is Jack Ditchburn and his location is Rarotonga Island, the largest and most populous of the Cook Islands, some 4773 miles from me in the middle of the South Pacific Ocean.  Folks, this also never gets old!

Tony Sollars, CTO

Tony had a couple of cool things occur in 2021.  The biggest of them was his new house, which he and his wife purchased and then renovated by themselves.  Tony did presentations on cyber security to a number of organizations including several SBE chapters and the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE).  He also reports that “With great partners and great tools we thwarted several attempts by hackers to breach our customers networks.”

Matti Roland Raihala, CEO

In his own words… “Mine is easy - The best thing I did this year was help to create a "mini-Tower" addition to the RST family.  Due sometime around July!”

John Di Rienzo

John’s report was simple and straightforward, “I got to work with an amazing team at RST!”

And that’s all I have.  My final thought…

‘Tis the week after Christmas
And all of here
Wish all you folks
A most joyous New Year!!