Web Design and Marketing

I've got extensive knowledge of design, project and product management, community engagement, operations and security management for Internet software systems and cloud services, and I have learned to navigate and drive the business aspects of IT, DevOps and Development teams working for many famous corporations: Microsoft, Symantec (and their respective large customers), and more. I have worked at Microsoft on enterprise/cloud products and services till 2015.

I do like technology, but most of all I like the potential of interconnecting people and sharing information. I left the 'big' corporate world as I was tired of the hype for each 'next cool thing' built just for making money.

I do anyhow still like to lend my IT skills to work part time or consult for organizations or individuals who contribute to a good cause and want make the world a better place; I can help small companies get more visible thru their Internet and Social Media presence.

Some of the Websites I designed and I run for myself and family are shown and linked below as examples.

SanctuarySite

Sanctuary of Joy's blog

Plank

Saigopal

JyothiBlog

I use predominantly open source software for my sites: Linux, Apache, PHP, MySQL, WordPress – and others.
I have always done that.
My sites have been running for many years on Virtual Private Servers (VPS) by RimuHosting, even back in the days when 'cloud' was just used as a word to talk about the weather, not about IT.

Java and Linux VPS Hosting by RimuHosting

Photography

Since I started with the camera several years ago, my photography evolved from a form of self-expression: my portraits have become a therapeutic aid; they lead the subjects into seeing themselves differently and can help them find their true and most authentic selves.

[…] photography as an art… I don’t care whether or not you dignify it with a highbrow name. I think it is more important to find all life interesting than to seek out just the high levels.
– Dorothea Lange

I take professional empowering portraits at Sanctuary of Joy. I believe everybody is a good photographic subject: all people are beautiful, whether they know it or not. I am good at making you – and others – see your own beauty.

Below you can see some of the portraits I made over the years (from my Flickr account).


Arrotino

Light

Natale di Roma

Oma Gon

Light

Adriano

The Player's Gaze

Dineke

Roberta, Pianist

Hayven

Jyothi

Diana

Forza4

Growing up

Sita en Nico 40 jaar getrouwd

Saharan Woman ;-)

If you would like to see more of my photos, from the following links you can navigate to

If you are interested in engaging me to take your portrait, contact me at Sanctuary of Joy.

Three quarters of 2015, my IT career and various ramblings

September is over. The first three quarters of 2015 are over.
This has been a very important year so far – difficult, but revealing. Everything has been about change, healing and renewal.

We moved back to Europe first, and you might have now also read my other post about leaving Microsoft, more recently.

This was a hard choice – it took many months to reach the conclusion this is what I needed to do.

Most people have gone thru strong programming: they think you have to be 'successful' at something. Success is externally defined, anyhow (as opposed to satisfaction which we define ourselves) and therefore you are supposed to study in college a certain field, then use that at work to build your career in the same field… and keep doing the same thing.

I was never like that – I didn't go to college, I didn't study as an 'engineer'. I just saw there was a market opportunity to find a job when I started, studied on the job, eventually excelled at it. But it never was *the* road. It just was one road; it has served me well so far, but it was just one thing I tried, and it worked out.
How did it start? As a pre-teen, I had been interested in computers, then left that for a while, did 'normal' high school (in Italy at the time, this was really non-technological), then I tried to study sociology for a little bit – I really enjoyed the Cultural Anthropology lessons there, and we were smoking good weed with some folks outside of the university, but I really could not be asked to spend the following 5 or 10 years or my life just studying and 'hanging around' – I wanted money and independence to move out of my parent's house.

So, without much fanfare, I revived my IT knowledge: upgraded my skill from the 'hobbyist' world of the Commodore 64 and Amiga scene (I had been passionate about modems and the BBS world then), looked at the PC world of the time, rode the 'Internet wave' and applied for a simple job at an IT company.

A lot of my friends were either not even searching for a job, with the excuse that there weren't any, or spending time in university, in a time of change, where all the university-level jobs were taken anyway so that would have meant waiting even more after they had finished studying… I am not even sure they realized this until much later.
But I just applied, played my cards, and got my job.

When I went to sign it, they also reminded me they expected hard work at the simplest and humblest level: I would have to fix PC's, printers, help users with networking issues and tasks like those – at a customer of theirs, a big company.
I was ready to roll up my sleeves and help that IT department however I would be capable of, and I did.
It all grew from there.

And that's how my IT career started. I learned all I know of IT on the job and by working my ass off and studying extra hours and watching older/more expert colleagues and making experience.

I am not an engineer.
I am, at most, a mechanic.
I did learn a lot of companies and the market, languages, designs, politics, the human and technical factors in software engineering and the IT marketplace/worlds, over the course of the past 18 years.

But when I started, I was just trying to lend a honest hand, to get paid some money in return – isn't that what work was about?

Over time IT got out of control. Like Venom, in the Marvel comics, that made its appearance as a costume that SpiderMan started wearing… and it slowly took over, as the 'costume' was in reality some sort of alien symbiotic organism (like a pest).

You might be wondering what I mean. From the outside I was a successful Senior Program Manager of a 'hot' Microsoft product.
Someone must have mistaken my diligence and hard work for 'talent' or 'desire of career' – but it never was.
I got pushed up, taught to never turn down 'opportunities'.

But I don't feel this is my path anymore.
That type of work takes too much metal energy off me, and made me neglect myself and my family. Success at the expense of my own health and my family's isn't worth it. Some other people wrote that too – in my case I stopped hopefully earlier.

So what am I doing now?

First and foremost, I am taking time for myself and my family.
I am reading (and writing)
I am cooking again
I have been catching up on sleep – and have dreams again
I am helping my father in law to build a shed in his yard
We bought a 14-years old Volkswagen van that we are turning into a Camper
I have not stopped building guitars – in fact I am getting setup to do it 'seriously' – so I am also standing up a separate site to promote that activity
I am making music and discovering new music and instruments
I am meeting new people and new situations

There's a lot of folks out there who either think I am crazy (they might be right, but I am happy this way), or think this is some sort of lateral move – I am not searching for another IT job, thanks. Stop the noise on LinkedIn please: I don't fit in your algorithms, I just made you believe I did, all these years.

Microsoft Way

Microsoft Way

In the last couple of weeks we have been driving thru America from the east coast (New York) to the west coast (Seattle).

I figured out I needed to show my family the Microsoft campus too. Of course they know I work at Microsoft… but having only seen the office of a subsidiary – the one in Rome, with about 250 people at its max – might not have given them (especially the kids) an idea of the actual size of the company.

Burning Audio CDs with Media Player on Windows 2008 requires elevation

Yesterday, when trying to burn an Audio CD (to listen to music in my car) starting from MP3 files by using Windows Media Player 11, I kept getting this message "connect a burner and restart the player" and the “Start Burn” button was greyed out, like if the program was not able to seeing that my CD/DVD Burner is actually capable of writing CDs:

image

But I knew the DVD/CD burner was connected and working, because I had used it the very same day (with another program) to burn an .ISO image, and it worked from there!

I searched all over the place for this error message, and there are many posts in forums with this message, which suggest you to do the strangest things, from changing your computer, to deleting important pieces of the registry, to reinstall the whole system… most of them are bullshit.

I went to my wife’s PC to test…with her PC it worked. It looked mostly the same: she’s running Vista, not 2008 (but it really is the same kernel, isn’t it?), she has exactly the same DVD burner installed as I do, the same motherboard, both machines and OS’s are 64bit, we both have installed Internet Explorer 8 (and keep it with “protected mode” turned ON), we both have Media Player 11, we both keep UAC enabled…

But then in the end I tried using elevation:

image

And here we go, it worked:

image

When running the process as administrator, Windows Media Player is able to query the hardware to determine if we have a capable device on Windows Server 2008. It remains a mystery to me at this point why this works on my wife’s Vista machine without elevation, though…

It sure is not a problem to do this operation “as administrator” when needed – but it just took me a minute to figure it out, for some reason.

Songs

This page features some of my songs. Sore are hosted on SoundCloud, some from this server.
Most of the songs are played with the guitars I build and/or restore.

Note that some of these files (at least the ones not offloaded to SoundCloud) take quite a bit of bandwidth off my server. While I share all my songs for free (and will continue to do so), if you like them and enjoyed listening to them, you might consider sharing/donating some change. Namaste.





2016

2015

2014

. Catullus' Carmen #51

. Old Friend

. Spider (instrumental)

. With Luca N.3 (instrumental)

2013

(re-edition of a song from 1996 – Lyrics and concept by Tommaso Cancellieri)


with Kymberlee della Luce

. New Year's Blues

. Where are the days?

. Introspective

. Ambient

2012

with Max Shehovstov

. Seemingly Dark

. Ballad

. Il Sole

This is a picture of my music corner (actually, the one in a old house in Kirkland once we had just moved to America – I changed and added a few guitars since then…):

My Music Corner

lately I have reconfigured to a more portable setup, to be able to also enjoy making my music in smaller spaces:

Portable music studio

Older songs

The songs below were made with some older software I don't use anymore and the quality is way worse than all the newer ones. In any case, in 2008 was when I started composing again, after many years of all work and no fun.

2009

. Impatience

2008

. Waiting

 

 
I have been making music since I can remember – played Piano as a kid, and had various bands in the '90s, whose memory – and recordings – are fading.

About Me

I am a husband and a father of three kids, and I have three cats. Me and my family have lived in 3 different countries so far. I compose music and I build guitars out of recycled materials. I take photographs and empowering portraits. In fact, someone once told me that he thought I could not take a bad photo even if I tried. I am also a Spiritual Life Coach and an Intuitive, and I read Tarot cards with my wife at the Sanctuary of Joy.

I also like Anthropology, Sociology, Psychology, Astrology, as well as all sorts of Music, Theater, Arts, Literature. I read a lot. I write a lot.

Most of all I am interested in the power of language, of sharing ideas, of telling stories.

I also have 18 years of experience in the IT world and a former successful career in that space: I've got extensive knowledge of design, project and product management, community engagement, operations and security management for Internet software systems and cloud services, and I have learned to navigate and drive the business aspects of IT, DevOps and Development teams working for many famous corporations: Microsoft, Symantec (and their respective large customers), and more. I have worked at Microsoft as a Senior Manager on enterprise/cloud products and services, till I resigned in 2015. I am not an engineer. I didn't follow any particular school or college to get into the IT world. I had actually started the first year of Sociology at the university, but quickly decided to drop out: it was 1997, everybody in Europe was getting onto the internet, and I seized the opportunity to start working in IT, starting from a very humble role that gave me economic independence from my parents, and eventually made my way up in the IT business by continuing to work hard in that field for over 18 years and gaining real experience of real companies and real projects from the 'bottom up' (my favorite way of learning: experience is better than theory).

I do like technology, but most of all I like the potential of interconnecting people and sharing information. I am also painfully aware of issues the over-use and pervasiveness of technology is creating – damages we are doing to the environment, psychological and physiological issues to individuals/societies, issues related to privacy and security, etc.
I think technology should be the mean to achieve something useful, but 'innovation' for the sake of it (and just for making more money) should not be the purpose driving it all.

The future of our planet and our children should be the most important driver for society, but we know there are issues: over-production (and waste) while poverty exists elsewhere, wars, inequality, pollution, global warming, extinction of flora and fauna while we get fed genetically modified food and get all sort of new 'diseases' due to stress and the insane speed we are trying to live at… these are hardly ever taken into account in the 'cost' of capitalist 'growth' that often screams 'innovation' for the sake of it, while making a desert of our home earth and emptying our souls. I am tired of that, and that's why I left the big corporate world.

I am currently running my own company that produces musical instruments (mainly guitars at the moment) out of recycled materials and I also read Tarot cards and take empowering portrait photos at Sanctuary of Joy, a holistic healing organization I run with my wife. I also like to lend my more 'modern' skills and work part time or consult for organizations or individuals who contribute to a good cause and want make the world a better place; I am not interested in the 'next cool thing' built just for making more money.

My thoughts and opinions often change. This weblog is intended to provide a semi-permanent point in time snapshot but you should not consider out of date posts to necessarily reflect my current thoughts and opinions (nor those of my former employers).