Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Working for the Weekend

Work went ok today. Moved around a bunch of hardware and prepped new development environments for the CS project. Going to visit the client tomorrow to get the nickel tour of their lab setup, so we can start using their build. Also working on the transition of Dan's stuff over to me since he is leaving for Israel on Thursday. Reviewed Peter's Solaris port of dagent, and it looks pretty solid.

After work, met up with Marty in New Brunswick for Round Grill. Then went back to Netilla and helped him out with a few problems they were having. Talked to Paul briefly on the phone. Ran into Reggie on the way out.

Turns up I missed the train by two minutes, and ended up standing on the New Brunswick platform for an hour. It was cold.

Just got home. Need sleep since I have to be at work tomorrow at the normal time.

Only one more day until my three day weekend starts.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Done is good

So I wrapped up at the client today and got back to the office by 4pm. Worked a few more hours and then had dinner with Shamoun. I will probably have to fix a few bugs over the next week or so. I'm taking Friday off.

On my way home I walked past the diner down the street from my apartment, and realized that I have not bought a meal in 12 days. Not a single dinner. I guess that's one of the perks of working twelve to fourteen hour days.

Dan is going to Israel on Thursday, so I'm trying to get up to speed on what I missed when I was out of the office. Will have to keep the Clarity project going while he is gone. No big deal.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

So tired!

So I got to work at 10:30am, and left at 11:45pm. Yeah, I'm tired. And yes, it's Sunday.

The demo is tomorrow, so all three of us worked to pull the thing together. The final reconcile process is running overnight. If all goes well, tomorrow will be my last day onsite.

Didn't get to watch Grey's Anatomy tonight. It's on Tivo though, so perhaps later in the week. Cable is set to be hooked up on Friday, and I think I can use a day off.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Work (again)

Spent the day back on Wall Street (yes, it is Saturday). Because the Manhattan-bound R line was shutdown at Steinway Street, I had to take an R in the opposite direction to Roosevelt Avenue. Then I took the E to 51st street. Then I took the 6 to 42nd street. Finally I took the 4 to Wall Street. What a pain in the neck.

Worked until 5:30. Went to Barnes and Noble. Then got dinner at Cosi. Walked around in Union Square. Came home and watched Great Expectations.

Been trying to figure out how to fix the CSS problem with my livejournal. This is why the calendar is at the bottom of the page instead of to the right. I don't have any custom CSS, so this is a bug in a default Livejournal theme. Looking at the support site, it looks like some other people have noticed it too. Filed a support request last week, but so far all I got back was a stock response saying the issue had been escalated. I'm too lazy to just debug the CSS myself.

Will have to work tomorrow as well. I tested the Oracle 10g reconcile function and found numerous bugs. For example, it destroys the wrong database! I told it to destroy database 2 and it destroyed database 1. Good thing this is just my test environment, or else I would be really pissed if I were the client. Most of the other bugs look pretty shallow, but it means I have to retest tomorrow. When did I become a system tester again? Sent them some patches for the easy stuff.

Speaking of System Test, I should really get in touch with Marty and see how life goes with him. I've been wanting to invite him to hang out in the city but work has been pretty crazy and I just haven't found the time.

Friday, February 24, 2006


Another long day. Got to client site at 9:30am. Left at 9:45pm. But Eric, Matt and I got Oracle 10g integrated and unit tested, so tomorrow I have to go in and do the reconcile to make sure it all works together. Will hopefully not kill more than three or four hours of my Saturday.

Was up until 1:30am this morning talking to Naomi. She was telling me all about her new boyfriend and her hickey (hickie?). Too funny.

Working onsite at a bank is a pain in the ass in that I can't check my gmail from there (firewall). I guess perhaps the reason I got so much work done lied in the inability to service my email-checking compulsion.

Had dinner with Patrick and the manager from Opsware. Had a good conversation with Matt in the shared cab ride home.

Off to watch Numbers (this being the first TV I have watched in a few days).

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Work on Wall Street continues...

Continued work on the project. Got to the client site at 9:30. Left at 9:30. Got some dinner with Matt at a sushi place near the office.

Successfully built an Oracle 9i home and an Oracle database within that home. Also think I successfully destroyed the Oracle home (which contrary to how it sounds is exactly what I wanted to happen). Tomorrow I need to start the db, stop the db, destroy the database, and finally destroy the home. Eric is set to integrate and work on reconciliation. Also going to start work on Oracle 10g (started to read the docs tonight).

The way things are looking, I'm going to have to work over the weekend. This whole thing is supposed to be done on Monday. Even with me, Eric, and Matt going full bore, I'm not sure we will make it.

On the cab ride home we went past ground zero. I had never been there, and was unexpectedly surprised at how large a site it is. I guess I never had an appreciation for the scale until I saw it in person.

Ate more thin mints tonight. I'm going to make myself sick.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Square peg - round hole

Went to the big client this afternoon. Had to push really hard to get Harry's stuff to the point where I could deploy it. Matt and I arrived on site and got it all setup, and I started doing integration with Eric's scripts. Looks like I may be spending the rest of the week there. Getting me involved seems like brute force. Like crushing a wine glass with a cinder block.

Afterwards, Matt and I went over to the bar where Dan was celebrating his birthday. There were a bunch of people there, but I just felt like I didn't fit in. Everybody was standing around and talking, and I couldn't get myself into a conversation. So I left shortly after arriving.

Did Chipolte for dinner after the bar. Have to be back on Wall Street at 9am tomorrow.

Lying in bed eating the thin mints I picked up in New Brunswick on Monday, wondering why I feel isolated and alone.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Deployment tomorrow

Worked late today doing integration with Harry on the Oracle automation project. Supposed to go with Matt to the client tomorrow afternoon. Still testing and isolating the bugs. Also did some good work refactoring the way custom attributes are loaded from the Core.

Got home at 11:00. Watched Boston Legal. I have a feeling this is going to be a long week, even though we had Monday off.

Got an email from Vikki. She got into the doctoral program at La Salle University. Will hopefully get together with her some time this week.

I have to iron clothes for tomorrow.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Presidents' Day

So we had off today from work. I arrived at 12:00 and worked until 3:45.

Went down to New Brunswick and met up with Kyle. Dinner at Chili's. Took a stroll through Barnes and Noble. Got some ice cream from Thomas Sweet.

Got home at around 10:15. Watched 24. Now I'm ready for bed. Tomorrow should be fun...

Sunday, February 19, 2006

The Happy Conductor

Spent the weekend at Mom's house. Played Sequence and Uno. Visited Jen and Jon (Jen is now VERY pregnant). Had dinner tonight with Marc and Gerry. Installed a new handrail on the stairs to the second floor.

No work tomorrow, but I should probably go in anyway. This thing I am working on is getting installed at the customer site on Wednesday. Should really do more testing and work out the glitches.

So I was coming back on the subway, and I think I have come across the happiest conductor/announcer on the subway I had ever heard. At each stop from where I got on at 34th street and where I got off, the announcer not only said the station name, but also gave some piece of random trivia about the station. I'm used to the Ben Stein style of monotone announcement, whereas with this guy it would be like "Now arriving at Queens plaza, which I am proud to announce is wheelchair accessible. This station connects to ...."

It was good to see the family. I had only been down there once since Christmas.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Devin does the Checkout girl

(no, not like that. Get your mind out of the gutter)

So I had this dream:

I was working in a food store as the checkout clerk. Except it is not a modern food store with a conveyour belt and a laser scanner. But rather a 1980's style K-Mart where you have tabletops and a cash register where you have to type in prices (which I have absolutely no training in). And there is no backspace key. And the customers are impatient; the line of them is growing. And they are bringing stuff over already in brown paper bags, so I am getting confused with what I have already rung up. And then the customer hands over a loaf of bread, and I'm trying to figure out how the electronic scale works and end up adding $1400.00 to the bill (which they happen to notice is not correct). I hit a button labeled "assess price", which I thought was the "=" key and a big red light starts to flash over my head so the manager has to come over.

So being a failure as the checkout clerk, I get moved to a department where it is my job to fold people's clean laundry. Except, as in real life, I can't really fold laundry. Every article of clothing I have ever folded ends up looking like crap, which is why I pay for wash-dry-fold service. And the customers are complaining about the quality of my folding. And they have me trying to cram large piles of folded clothes into a tiny suitcase.

And then I woke up.


What a bitch

So work today was kind of a pain.

I set out to finish the work I have been doing for a couple of days, and got a bit distracted. I forgot they were moving all the equipment from the colo datacenter back here to the office. So I had to shut it all down so it could be tranported. And then just as they were driving back to the office with the equipment, I looked over at the wireless thermostat on my desk and noticed that it was 79 degrees in the computer room. It is usually about 70 degrees (averages between 69 and 72). This means that the air conditioning is broken and it will be 110 degrees in about half an hour. So I opened the door, put a fan in the doorway, and spent the next hour shutting down non-essential systems.

Then I made the fatal mistake. I instructed Vlad to power off Sun02 and Sun03 (which I had already issued shutdown commands to). Unfortunately he hit the power switch on Sun01 and Sun02. Now these are not your ordinary PCs. These are big-iron multiprocessor enterprise servers. And let's just say powering off one of these puppies without the proper shutdown procedure can cause pretty big problems. And that's exactly what happened. The root partition was screwed up on Sun01 and It took all afternoon to backup the data and get the system back on-line.

And then a little while later, four developers simultaneously screamed "what the hell??" as their sessions were terminated. Turns up Ben pulled the wrong power cable and knocked out seven servers. Ouch. The irony of course is that we had redundant power on the chassis and he unplugged both power cables leading to the servers.

Ok, enough bitching about work. Apparently GridApp has a three day weekend. This was an error. The CEO only found out last week and was literally like, "what do you mean we have off for Presidents' Day??" Too funny. We have been assured that we should not expect to get off for President's Day next year.

Had dinner with Ben at the Thai place I like on 20th street. Good stuff. I think it's the only sit-down restaurant I have come across in Manhattan that has $8.95 entrees. It's a nice restaurant with white tablecloths, candles and dimmed lights, but the food is inexpensive.

Afterwards I met up for drinks at Broadway Station with Dan, Matt, Jeff, and Dan's old roommate.

Not sure how I'm going to spend my weekend yet. Was hoping to get together with kdb but it looks like that isn't going to happen. I don't think she's pissed at me, but just genuinely bored/unenthused about the idea of hanging out.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Devin does Da' bash

So I got sucked into this project yesterday helping out with some bash scripting. It's taking longer than I expected. I'm churning out code quickly, and I am hoping tomorrow is the last day I have to work on it. I have too much to do on my own project to let this distraction suck up my time.

Got together with Carter after work and hung out. Made brownies. No, not special brownies. Just regular ones. Got home a little while ago and will probably just go to bed.

Damn it's hot in my apartment. May have to play with the radiator.

I finally called and ordered cable. Yes, I have been living in my new apartment for almost five months and only get four channels (fuzzy at that). Will hopefully get it installed the weekend of March 3rd.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006


Got to work at 9:30am. Left at 11:30pm. This afternoon I got switched over to the Opsware project to fill in gaps in some bash code. Should be done tomorrow. I'm doing cleanup work as I go, so it should not only work but be easier to maintain too by the time I am done.

Felt like I got alot done today. Guess actually writing code can do that.

Naomi IM'd me tonight. Didn't get much of a chance to talk to her since I was working. Will have to IM her tomorrow.


Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Valentine's Day

Another fun day at the office. Spent large portion of day trying to organize the GUI work that is upcoming. Upgraded the hard drive in my PC and demonstrated that with 2 GB of RAM and VMWare I can run a full instance of both the manager and an agent (with a full Oracle database) on a single workstation. That would suggest that if we buy the RAM then every developer can have his/her own sandbox.

I'm now responsible for filling out the vacation sheet for the development team. Shamoun was against me having people email me when they take time off, under the notion that I will be able to just keep track. Unfortunately, this won't tell me why people are out of the office and people aren't really in the habit of informing me (vacation? sick? personal day?). Also there's an accountability issue. At least if I demand that people send me an email when they are out I have some record to correlate the tabulation against (so it isn't my word against the employee's).

Got home around 8:30. House is on tonight. Wohoo.

Oh yeah, and it's Valentine's day. Can't help but not notice that I am spending it alone (and not because on my walk home I noticed how busy Victoria's Secret was for a Tuesday night).

I should have called Grandma today but I didn't. Will have to call her tomorrow. It's Dad's birthday.

Peter spent a good portion of the day trying to tar -xvf a file on his Solaris box. I am concerned. Please tell me I didn't hire Chris Riley all over again...

I should email Paul tomorrow and make sure he didn't have any trouble with the kernel. I guess no news is good news but it wouldn't hurt to make sure there isn't anything he needs.

Monday, February 13, 2006


Spent a large portion of today in meetings. Stayed until 8:30 and figured out why the command line interface is broken on the new build. This isn't really much of an achievement, but it is something that needed to get done. Now Ibrahim should be able to continue development. Also gave me a chance to fix some warnings/bugs that were filling up the PHP logs.

Peter started today. Spent almost two and a half hours going over Clarity and what would be needed form him in terms of the Solaris port. He seems to be picking up pretty quickly. Must be the Ph. D. from Princeton.

Came home and watched 24. Caught some news. Trying now to figure out what I am going to do with the website in terms of content.

My list of stuff to do is getting longer by the day. It's a bit frustrating since I still have to get it all done by mid-March.

Sorry, no juicy gossip tonight....

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Snow! (Blizzard, in fact)

Looks like we're going to get a bit of snow.

Picture taken at 9:45am:

Carter Called and wants to hang out. I asked if she looked outside yet. She said she would call back. I would be happy to do a movie day if she wants to come out here, but I'm sure as hell not going out there.

Saturday, February 11, 2006


Had kind of a lazy Saturday. Met up with Patrick for lunch at Uncle George's. Came home and watched some TV, caught up on some email. Did some more work on prepping the bathroom floor (with the expectation of putting down the new tile tomorrow).

Patrick and I went and saw Underworld Evolution at the movies. It's not really my genre, but as Patrick put it, "It's Kate Bekinsale, in tight leather." Also had Scott Speedman for all you Felicity fans.

Expecting a blizzard overnight. Between nine and fifteen inches by tomorrow afternoon.

Carter called. Perhaps we will get together tomorrow night, depending on how much snow we get.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Gold Star

Gold Star for me. I got the stuff I've been working on all evening working!


Spent most of today in meetings, so I don't feel like I got much done. Went over GUI stuff for the CS project. Did a little more research into LSB compliant initscripts, so I can have a single LSB compliant script that works on both Red Hat and Suse.

Work provided lunch (pizza).

Dinner with Dan and Ben after work. Watched Numbers and last night's CSI. Glad the weekend is here.

Thursday, February 9, 2006

Manager Build on Suse 64 bit LInux - Check

So I locked myself in the computer room today and did the Suse port today of the Manager. Dmanager, GUI, Postgres, Apache, Authorization, all working. Amazing how much I can get done when nobody is bothering me. Just need to tweak the packaging a little and I should have builds now that work on both Red Hat and Suse 9.

Saw Vikki tonight. Went to the same Pizza place in the Village that I went to with Patrick and the guys from Opsware a couple of months ago (a coincidence). If there were any doubts about whether this was going to grow to more than a platonic relationship, well there aren't any now. She got back together with her boyfriend, and spent a good portion of the evening telling me all about the last few days they have spent together. Of course I'm happy for her, but admittedly a bit saddened to know for sure that there's no chance for us. It would have been nice -- we seem to be in sync on such a wide range of views on religion, politics, life and relationships. Plus she's so damn cute.

Tomorrow is Friday. Thank goodness. Perhaps I will go down to Jersey this weekend. Haven't decided yet.

Wednesday, February 8, 2006

Website work

Another day where I didn't get any closer on my development work items, and yet I didn't spend the day playing Solitaire either. I spent the majority of it helping Benny with the reporting engine, or Kavitha in getting Bugzilla/Subversion/ViewCVS setup. MUST get code ported to Suse!

Consider the following:

You have a sysadmin who came to you yesterday because she could not SSH into a newly built Red Hat server. You look at the box and notice iptables is enabled. You explain this to her and you stop the iptables service. The next day she reboots the server and then asks you why she can't SSH into the server. Question: Is she brain-damaged?

Had dinner with Shamoun, which was good. Thai food on 19th street.

Did some work on the website (now that I'm confident that Geocities isn't going to clobber it). Hooked into the Livejournal CSS so that it has the same look and feel. Also cleaned up the content a bit. Would like to get some more pictures on there. I was going though my iPhoto and found a ton of stuff that might be nice to include.

Still have not finished the floor in the bathroom. I have all the tile, but just have not had the willpower to get on my hands and knees and put it down.

Supposed to meet up with Vikki tomorrow night after work.

Tuesday, February 7, 2006


Geocities finally fixed my website. So now http://www.devinheitmueller.com has the same content as the old site. Now that everything is moved over, I can finally start modifying the content.

Work went ok. Another day where I feel like I got nothing done. I did get a base RPM build for the Manager, but didn't get into actually loading any of our software onto it. Also helped Benny and Naoum get their new code tested (which revealed some new bugs). So not a complete waste of a day.

After work met up with Dan and Matt for some dinner/drinks at the Broadway Station bar. Just now realized that I used to hang out at the Broadway Diner in Red Bank, and now I hang out at the Broadway Station bar in Astoria. Strange coincidence.

Off to watch House.

Monday, February 6, 2006

Work work work work

Got Oracle 10G single instance running on Suse Enterprise Linux 9 SP3. About friggen' time.

Still working on project schedules for Project CS. Also had a really good meeting with Dan and Shamoun about how auditing and CMDB events will be reported back to the manager (and ultimately the external database).

Started cracking on porting the Manager build to SLES. Should only take a few days. Probably need to do a bit of cleanup on the Red Hat build so they are more consistent.

Dinner with Carter. Watched 24.

Sunday, February 5, 2006

Got Windows?

To those who think running Windows CE on their cell phone is a good idea, check out the billboard I saw in Times Square today:

For those of you who might not get the joke: if you click on the image to see it full size, you will notice that the display on the cell phone is a crashed copy of Microsoft Windows. Irony? You betcha.

Devin does Da' Met

(not to be confused with "Debbie does Dallas")

Went to the Metropolitan Museum of Art today. Saw the Egyptian Exhibit and American Wing.

Walked through Central Park. It was a nice day, but I think I will enjoy it more when it gets warmer.

Came down with a headache later in the afternoon, so came home and took a two hour nap. Feeling better now. Watched Grey's Anatomy.

Supposed to get together with Carter tomorrow for dinner. She's going to come by the office.

Vikki called me today when I was at the Met. She apologized for not getting back to me and wanted me to know that "she wasn't avoiding me". She's been working every night last week and will be out of town through Wednesday. But she said she wants to get together on Thursday.

Didn't finish the bathroom floor. I pulled up all the old tile, and bought the adhesive remover. But apparently I left my 20" box fan in Mom's garage, so I couldn't vent the room (and hence I couldn't use the adhesive remover). Going to ask around the office to see if somebody can loan me a fan.

Paul emailed me tonight. He had questions about upgrading the Netilla kernel to support a new hardware platform. I wrote a long email explaining the process and hopefully answering his questions. If that isn't enough, I can always SSH in and lend him a hand.

Friday, February 3, 2006

More adventures with Yahoo Geocities

So Yahoo Geocities got back to me today. They said they are working on the problem. I have gotten an email from them almost every day this week, so I am somewhat optimistic that they will actually fix the problem.

Also discovered something wonderful. I frequently debug multithreaded core dumps, and up to this point never could figure out how to dump the stack trace for all running threads in gdb. Well, I was reading about debugging Evolution (the mail client, not the alternative to intelligent design). And I found the following:

from http://live.gnome.org/GettingTraces#head-4b4da22f50bb987bd4fde47844ff8e7821867891

thread apply all bt

This command will do a backtrace on all threads. Wohoo!

I knew all along there must be a way to do it.

Isolated my problem with getting SLES9-SP3 to build on my Opteron platforms. It was something non-obvious, and I wish they would have pointed it out in the Release notes.

Also did more project scheduling for the CS project. For the first time ever, Dan and I left and Benny and Naoum were the only two people left in the office. Very strange.

Oh yeah, on Wednesday Vikki said she would call tonight and didn't. :-(

Off to watch Numbers now.

Thursday, February 2, 2006

Tomorrow is Friday!

Couldn't get going this morning; didn't make it into the office until 9:50.

Work went ok. Turns up Suse 9's service pack 3 breaks their AutoYast build process. So now I can't build servers that will meet the Oracle prereqs.

After work, some of us went out to a bar on 15th street to celebrate the three year anniversary of when GridApp got it's first office space. Also to celebrate Groundhog day. Also just because.

Got home a little while ago after splitting a cab with Dan/Matt/Jeff and grabbing Tacoria with Matt. Watched CSI.

In order to get Yahoo to fix my account, they asked for all sorts of really personal information, and demanded I send it in unencrypted email. Does it make any sense that I should be handing over the following to some random technician at Yahoo?

* Yahoo! ID
* Domain name
* Zip Code
* Alternate email address
* Date of Birth
* Last 8 digits of the credit card used to bill your account
* Credit card type

Now alot of this stuff is already publicly available, but to put it all in one nice place is just asking for identity theft.

Wednesday, February 1, 2006

Today is Wednesday, right?

Didn't sleep well last night. Kept waking up in the early morning (3, 4, 5, 6am). Kept thinking about work.

Work went ok. Did some more planning for the CS project. Gave Benny the intro to Dmanager development. Didn't realize he had never used gdb. This is going to be interesting.

After work, met up with Carter with dinner from Wendy's. Took a crack at fixing her laptop as we watched American Idol. She made brownies in gratitude.

Called Vikki tonight. She got into two grad schools, one in Philly and the other in the Bronx. Will perhaps see her Friday or this weekend.

Went to lunch with Shamoun. Kind of a performance review, if you will. He had all good things to say. We discussed my role, in particular given the probable hiring of a new Director of Engineering (who I met yesterday).

I got an email from Yahoo Geocities. I'm so impressed, given the horror stories I read about on the Internet after I started having trouble. They thanked me for pointing out that their page for submitting support requests was broken, and offered to help me with the real problem I was having which prompted me to file the request. I emailed them back. Will hopefully get the issue resolved in the next couple of days. At this point, I'm just impressed they got back to me at all.