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It's Time

Why Grandfather clocks?  What links are there between IT and clock movements?

Earlier, I disclosed my deepening fascination with Grandfather clocks and their finely machined movements. Something just seemed to strike me as important in those tall machines.

Since then, I've been researching horology--the study of clocks and clock movements. Did you know that clock making was considered high tech at one time? Did you know that each country protected clock makers and their clock making industry?  

The more I researched, the more I became fascinated how those finely machined parts created processes, miniaturization processes, that would advance so many other industries. Need someone to develop hardy and reliable gun mechanisms? Clockmakers found ways to keep bits lubricated and running well, despite the smokey, abrasive air in old homes.  

One nascent industry enabled by clock making were those "calculators" or "reckoners" whose gears and dials would  rotate and become counters, incrementors that would foreshadow true computers to follow. One of my most fascinating experiences I've had was viewing an early 20th century mechanical computer, one that the Life Insurance company used to calculate premium sufficiency for 80 years, with something like 8 significant digits...

It was Swiss-made, a shiny, brassy massive bodied set of springs, dials, and gears aplenty. And that is how clocks are tied to IT:  before Turing's machine, the Lovelace calculator would require decades of finesse, machining finely toothed gears, computing tangents, and keeping bright & brassy rods moving inexorably to a conclusion.

Time and IT are still linked, with the addition of a leap second on June 30th leading some to predict computer chaos.  It was still done because it was a needed change, one perfected with adequate planning and preparation.

Similarly, I will soon retire from my company, having accepted their offer to incentivize my early retirement. Why? Why walk from an opportunity? It's time, time to accept a new set of IT and Information Security challenges.  

The pendulum has swung. InfoSec is less about high level theory and more about practicality. I've earned three pentesting certifications in the last 14 months. Doing so has convinced me that it's time for a new, more direct and practical approach to security. More on this later, but for now, it's time to complete one stage and prepare to launch my fourth career. Why do that?  

IT's Time.


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