IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - January/February 2013 - (Page 48)

Stop Run An eclectic take on the mainframe world Organically Hewn In woodworking—and mainframe security—Spera focuses on the possibilities and the details B Y S A R A A A S E leg for a drop-leaf desk. Spera grew up in his grandfather Peter G. Spera’s woodworking shop in Queens, N.Y., hammering together small boards as a toddler and, later, apprenticing there with furniture makers from Italy, Germany and Poland. “I remember my father [F. Paul Spera] walking through the shop and calling the smell of sawdust ‘perfume,’ ” Spera says. “If we needed a piece of furniture, we never went to the store.” Although Spera didn’t go into the family business—choosing instead to earn degrees in chemistry and computer science—he set up a full woodworking shop as soon as he was able to buy a house with a basement. It’s equipped with every tool he might need to turn raw or finished wood into desks, shelves or cabinets. The drop-leaf desk, for example, (pictured right) he made for his wife, Diana. For Spera, the appeal of woodworking is that each piece of wood is different—not only the nature of the grain, color or a knot that a woodworker must account for, but it also can offer surprises. “You can be in the middle of project that you have mapped out and then something about the wood surprises you,” Spera says. “The smaller pieces may warp or bow in ways you weren’t expecting, and you have to adapt.” Another appeal is the way he can “see” what a piece of wood could become. “Sometimes I’ll just buy a piece of wood because I know it will become something W hen System z* Security Architect Peter Spera picks up a block of wood, it’s already becoming something else in his mind: a child’s puzzle, a screwdriver or a spindle Peter Spera is shown here in his basement workshop. special, even though I may not know what it is yet.” The way Spera sees possibilities in a piece of wood is similar to the way he can envision possible security flaws in a system. The attention to detail woodworking requires in building a functional, beautiful piece of furniture is another skill he uses daily as a security architect. “Attention to detail is critical in my work on system integrity, cryptography, and security architecture and design,” Spera says. “It’s not a field where errors are tolerated.” Flaws in woodworking, on the other hand, are an inevitable part of the craft. “Maybe something is just one-sixtyfourth of an inch off, or maybe I can feel a tiny blemish in the finish that says I went a little too far with the sander,” he explains. “In every piece I’ve made there’s a small flaw I see that nobody else can, and that’s a weird thing to live with.” Sara Aase is a Minneapolisbased freelance writer. 48 JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2 013

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - January/February 2013

IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - January/February 2013
Table of Contents
Editor's Desk: How Do You Sleep at Night?
IBM Perspective: The Foundation of the Modern Data Center
Insider: Look Beyond Cumbersome Processes to Move Technology Forward
IT Today: Where Do System z and a Legendary Rock Band Intersect?
Focus on Storage: Easy Tier and DS8000 Are Two of Many Storage Innovations Driven by IBM's Vincent Hsu
Case Study: Rooms and a View: Marriott stays ahead of the competition by maintaining an agile IT environment
Cover Story: More Than Secure: The zEnterprise EC12 raises enterprise security while boosting analytics and cloud performance
Feature: Safe and Sound Insights: The System z ecosystem protects vital enterprise information assets
Tech Corner: Enabling the Predictive Business With Analytics on System z
Solutions: Legacy Mobile; zLinux-in-a-Box; Zen Application Gateway; MQSonar; Serena IT Dashboard; TinyTERM ITX 3270; Storage Director 4.0
Advertisers Index
Stop Run: In Woodworking-- and Mainframe Security-- Spera Focuses on the Possibilities and the Details
Reference Point - Global Events, Education, Resources for Mainframe
2013 Mainframe Buyer's Guide Index

IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - January/February 2013