This is my personal home page, available to the public. From time to time, I'll update it, but it is seldom updated. At the top and bottom of the page is a bar of quick-links. I'm more likely to keep those up to date than this thing.
University of Michigan - DNA Sequencing Core
The DNA Sequencing Core is part of the University of Michigan Medical School's Basic Core Research Facilities, located in the University of Michigan North Campus Research Complex (NCRC).
It's been a LONG time since I've worked on campus, in a research environment. (My early days with
Merit Network Inc. were like that.) It's great to be in a research environment again, surrounded
by very smart people involved in a very
No recession this time (although the effects of the Great Recession linger on.) The Rabid Right Wing in Congress did try to sink the government and economy, but fortunately their form of political and economic terrorism blew up in their faces instead of ruining life for the rest of us.
A brief interlude
My last day with ITS was September 27, 2013, which happened to be the day of the ITS All Staff Picnic (at the Crisler Center). I had mixed feelings about attending it, as it seemed a bit presumptious to do so, but a good friend and co-worker told me that it was to celebrate accomplishments over the past year (and ignored the whole "future" thing.)
So I went.
And I couldn't resist wearing a name tag that proclaimed:
Under the circumstance of leaving ITS Shared Web Hosting, it was very, VERY appropriate. Not geeky or tacky at all. Not a bit. Really.
Got to talk with a lot of people at the picnic. I'll miss them - even if they're located just to the east of my new digs. It was a beautiful autumn day. A wonderful going-away sort of party!
It's a wonderful thing to move to a new job while still employed. Given my long history at Merit, this was a first for me. Oddly, it gave me a great deal of energy for my old job.
And for what it's worth, the opportunity (and compensation) at the DNA Sequencing Core was something ITS couldn't match.
University of Michigan - ITCS and ITS
A funny thing happened on the way in to work ...
Once again, I worked for The University of Michigan, although rather more directly than in the past. I was hired as a Database Analyst by Information Technology Central Services (ITCS) unit, in particular the Web/DB group that's part of the U-M Computing Environment (UMCE).
That's when I learned that ITCS was merging with MAIS - Michigan Administrative Information Services (and ITSS — Information Technology Security Services) to form ITS — Information Technology Services. This is all rather weird to me - when I first joined the University of Michigan as an employee, it was with the Computing Center (cc), which shortly thereafter was merged with Data Systems Center (dsc) to create the Information Technology Division (itd), and at the same time the University decided to own and operate it's own telephone system (UMtel) instead of using Michigan Bell (later Ameritech, then SBC, now AT&T)'s Centrex service. Incidentally, that was during the recession years of the Ronald Reagan's first term.
Deja-vu all over again, eh?
In any case, it's good to be there, to see many old friends and to make new friends too, as well as (in my own way) helping make the world a better place by assisting researchers, teachers, and students in advancing the frontiers of knowledge.
I keep copies of my web pages at the following locations:
For less important information, there's this little directory:
I am a real person who has had the same e-mail address, email@example.com since 1987. (But, please don't use this link without changing the subject!). This means that the spammers and virus writers and other low-life slime have long since harvested it and send tons of e-mail purporting to be from me. (I know, I get and ignore the bounces.) It also means that I'm a stubborn fool for not retiring it.
Now that the University of Michigan has Gone Google, I have a Google+ URL for firstname.lastname@example.org, https://plus.google.com/u/0/116817838207976933145. Given that I have so many other ways to have a presence on the 'net, I don't know what I'll use it for. It's my "corporate associated identity" not my personal one.
I'm old school on the 'net with personal web pages, etc. I'm also very old school in social networking - so old, that it's all "Been There, Done That." But I do have a presence on social networks:
I've had a Gmail account Richard.Conto@gmail.com account for some time
There appears to be another Richard Conto in the United States, although as best as I can tell, he lives in the western states. Unfortunately, he has provided my Gmail address as his to Dell Computer and they keep pestering me with customer service garbage for a machine I never bought.
I am Richard S. (for Samuel) Conto. I have never lived west of the Mississippi River. Accept no substitutes.
I used to have the following e-mail addresses, but they have lapsed for various reasons:
My e-mail preferences used to be strictly plain US-ASCII text, and I still favor it. However, using Apple's Mail application for OS/X, I've finally joined the 20th century. I try to write in (I hope) US English, with as few mispellings as I can manage. I know where the Shift key is, and even the Caps-Lock key is.
I am a graduate of the University of Michigan College of Engineering (BSE Computer Engineering, 1987).
If you don't know my name, but still wish to contact me involving something not involving body parts, drugs, insurance, morgatges, be polite about it.
If you send me e-mail, please obey the following rules:
For instance, if my name was "John Smith" and my e-mail address was email@example.com, then you should try to force the To: field to be something like:
To: "John Smith" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
I expect you're smart enough to do this correctly with my real e-mail address and name. If you're not, be very polite.