The Growing AIXchange Rate
Rob McNelly reflects on his experiences blogging for IBM Systems magazine.
By Rob McNelly07/16/2019
After 12 years I guess it's inevitable, but this blog is no longer the only AIXchange in town.
Occasionally I do web searches on "aixchange" to locate my old articles. But over the past year or so, these searches have led me to a number of other things. There was the 2018 conference on AI, a tour agency offering excursions to Europe and India, the Facebook group for residents of AIX-en-Provence, France, and whatever this company is.
I suppose it's not surprising that the name would pop up elsewhere online. But on a symbolic level at least, I like to think it means that this particular AIXchange, the blog I've authored since July 2007, was in fact a good idea.
I'd already been contributing articles to IBM Systems Magazine for about three years when Evelyn Hoover, the publication's content director, approached me about doing a weekly blog. While I don't precisely recall how we settled on the AIXchange name, I found some old emails where this was discussed. Rejected names include AdminExchange, IT Calibrate and AIXexchange. Gee, that last one is kind of a tongue-twister.
At first I was pretty apprehensive about writing every week. I wondered how I could continually feed the beast, as it were. But I soon realized that coming up with ideas isn't that hard. Going in depth on IBM announcements or sharing my experiences helping resolve client issues is natural fodder for this blog. I'll also get personal from time to time.
Mostly though I just keep note of interesting information, whether it involves AIX, IBM hardware or really, anything with technology. At any given time my inbox will contain several article drafts. Eventually I'll finish them up and send them to my editor.
On that note, I should add that this has always been a team effort. I'm grateful that Evelyn thought of me in the first place. And my editor, Neil Tardy, whose feature articles can be found elsewhere on this site, has been with me from week one. After all this time we've developed a shorthand that makes the editing process pretty simple. While we have our occasional back and forths, I generally go with his suggestions because each week, he makes me look good.
One reason I love doing this is it forces me to pay attention to new products, announcements, tips and tricks, etc. This blog allows me to document things for me to rediscover later, and it allows me to connect with many of you as you seek clarification and/or voice your opinions about my writings.
So thanks to everyone. Here's to another 12 years—at least.
Rob McNelly is a senior AIX solutions architect doing pre-sales and post-sales support for IBM Premier Business Partner Meridian IT Inc. More →