Sunday, May 28, 2006

Sunday night...

So I have been at home all day because we still aren't finished with this project. At least I was able to work from home and didn't need to go into the office. Instant messaging and multi-party chat is your friend.

So I got some Tivo watching done.

So checkout this article:

Oracle exec hits out at 'patch' mentality

This so makes me think of the saying, "Those who live in glass houses shouldnt' throw stones".

So I didn't get to go to the Heitmueller family barbeque. Very annoying. I really would have liked to have gone.

Saturday, May 27, 2006


Got off to a bit of a late start. Didn't get into the office until 1:00pm. Worked until 9, and then met up with Carter to see X-Men, except she said she had bought the tickets online and actually had not, so they were sold out and I didn't get to see the movie. She can be such a flake some time.

Had some dinner with her, and then went back to work until 12:15.

Left the office, and as I was running to grab a cab I discovered Vikki was standing outside my building -- with carrot cake and Kiwi Strawberry Snapple! Super sweet of her!

Home now. Tired. Have to work tomorrow. So much for Memorial day weekend.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Back from California

Team California

(L-R Me, Matt, Jason, Shamoun)

Took the redeye back to JFK. Got back home by 7am, and crashed until almost noon. Went into the office and helped Dan debug the remaining issues that we had to demo this afternoon.

Met up with Vikki and we had some dinner at French Roast. Then we went over to 55th and 8th to meet up with Patrick and Karen at a Karaoke bar. But they threw us out because all of us weren't willing to buy alcohol. Quite rude. We ended up at a lounge next door. Got some drinks. Vikki and Karen discussed graduate school while Patrick and I talked about the x86 model for paging and segmentation.

I'm still tired and jetlagged. I was originally planning on going to South Jersey on Sunday for a barbecue at Richie and Aggie's (it's Memorial Day weekend), but I don't think I will be able to go down there because we have to deliver an appliance on Tuesday and it has to actually work.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

California: Part Deux!

Yesterday did not go as well as we had planned. There were a number of issues with the automation scripts and we basically burned the whole day. On the bright side, the installation of the software only took a single command (except somebody forgot to purge the postgres database before we came out here).

After work, we went out for dinner (Mexican). Not bad. Not "On the Border" either. Came back to the hotel and had a quiet evening to myself.

Not confident we are going to get this thing done today. Don't know what that means yet. We'll burn that bridge when we come to it. :-)

We drove past Tivo Inc. yesterday (the building with their logo prominently displayed). Also ran across the usual Silicon Valley suspects (Intel, Yahoo, etc).

It's 0715 local time here now. Been up for about half an hour reading mail, catching up on news. Need to shower now and iron clothes.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

California Day 1: Getting there...

Got into Oakland last night. The flight wasn't bad. Turns up Jet Blue has 36 channels of Direct TV, so naturally I spent it watching reruns of Stargate SG1 for four hours.

Shamoun rented a 'big honkin SUV'. It's the cheapest car they offered. Could be because California has the highest gas prices in the country.

After getting checked in the hotel, we had to go find some dinner. We went to six different places before we found a Chili's, which wasn't closed at 10:00.

Got a descent night's sleep. It's now 6:30am local time (9:30 EDT). Have to check in with the office and see if everything is kosher and if there are any last minute gotchas I should be aware of. They were there at 3am last night still working on it, so I hope everything is in good shape.

Found a flyer in my hotel that said "Batman Begins" is on HBO in May. I found this a bit funny, since I had wanted to see it and I actually have HBO in my apartment in New York City.

Have to iron my clothes now. It got me thinking about this time that I was at my father's on the weekend and he let me go on the bumper cars in the Palace. I got graphite all over my white sneakers. I remember how panicked I was at having gotten myself dirty and what my mother would say, so he had to find some white shoe polish to attempt to rectify the problem.

On the bright side, Matt rigged up his laptop in wireless peer mode, so I can get wireless Internet access from the comfort of my bed.

Monday, May 22, 2006

California, here I come!

Off to California on business for a few days. Will probably not be any posts until I get back.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Birthday (almost)

So today is my big birthday dinner down at Mom's. I have to go to work first this morning though, since Shamoun and I are flying to California on Monday to demo this whole thing and it doesn't quite work yet.

For the last few days Vikki had scheduled for me to get out of work at 7:00 on Friday. Turns up she got tickets to see Avenue Q. Good show. Lots of Fun. It's the first time I had been to a show since Jen/Jon/Lauren and I went to see the Blue Man Group a few years ago. The notion of muppets having intercourse is a bit disturbing, I have to admit though. :-)

The guys at work surprised me with birthday cake yesterday (brownies actually, but there were candles on top). Quite unexpected, except for the part where a half hour earlier I was working at my desk and heard the following dialog:

"Are we having cake today?"

"Nothing to see here..."

Oh, and Vikki gave me Oatmeal Raisin cookies and legos from the Times Square Toys 'R Us.... Very cool.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Busy weekend

It's been a busy couple of days. On Saturday went down to New Brunswick to hang out with Kyle. Lunch at Olive Garden. Refrigerator cake. Badminton in the side yard. All good fun...

On Sunday went down to South Jersey to surprise Mom for Mother's Day. Hung out with Jen/Jon/Jayden. Saw Grandma, Richie, Aggie. Dinner with Mom, Rick, Suzy. Missed my train so I Lauren very kindly drove me to the Little Silver train station at 6:30 on Monday morning. Wow, I forgot what it was like to wake up that early.

Work yesterday went ok. The project is behind schedule, but we are doing our best. I so knew this was going to happen.

Ever have one of those times when you need to make sure the screen saver doesn't kick in? My suggestion was to use a DLP-245M USB development board and write a bit of firmware to emulate the HID interface for mouse devices. Well, Shamoun and Eric cooked up their own clever little solution.

If you look closely, you can see that they taped the cord of the mouse to the fan. As the fan moves back and forth, the mouse moves, preventing the screen saver from kicking in. I have video of it working, but don't have time to upload it now.

Thursday, May 11, 2006


Pretty good day at work. The Technology department all went out after work tonight to shoot some pool on 11th street. I didn't realize how out of practice I have become.

Received an interesting email today from a recruiter. I haven't been looking for work since I started where I am now, but I still periodically get emails from recruiters who I suppose can't figure out that I haven't had my resume on for eight months. This one was unique though, because I received it on my Gmail account. I have only had my Gmail account since August and I haven't done any public posting. Also, all of my job hunting was done using my Yahoo account, so it raised an eyebrow when I received email from a recruiter on my unpublished Gmail address.

The person signed the email identifying himself with a title of "Executive Recruiter", and claimed that "my name came up in a recent conversation specific to technical leaders in the area of Linux-based products". Again this is unusual because this is the first recruiter to specifically seek me out because of my Linux development background. He wants to have a conversation and provided his phone number.

Now I'm a bit curious. So what else do I do? Google him of course... The phone numbers are in California, which is odd because I had limited the scope of my previous job search to New York. A search on the person's name yielded that his most documented recruiting job is with Google.

I kind of look at Google like the girl that got away. When I decided to leave Netilla, I had posted my resume on Monster, and I got the usual flood of recruiters wanting me to interview. But I am really picky about where I work, so in the end I only sought out and interviewed with two companies: the one that I now work for and Google. Although I did three phone interviews and one onsite interview, I didn't give the Google opportunity the time required to see if it would work out. I had the job offer in hand from my current employer, I really liked the culture and the company, and so I took it. Part of me wonders how things might be different today if I had played out the whole process with Google.

For one thing, I wouldn't have had to buy my own goddam 24" monitor. :-)

It would be funny if he is in fact from Google. I really like where I am now. I think back to when I was first searching for work, and Google was at the top of my list. I would have left Netilla in a heartbeat for Google. But with my current job, I'm not sure at all. Things could really take off here, and I feel like I have become part of the family. I have a personal interest and attachment in seeing this thing work, and looking at the opportunities in the pipeline it could be an amazing ride.

Of course, I'm not going anywhere today. But it's interesting to ponder what would drive me to leave.

Tuesday, May 9, 2006


Yesterday was pretty nice. Got absolutely nothing done at work (meetings all day). But I did get to meet up with Vikki and her friend Michelle and get some Mexican food. A bit pricey and not the best Mexican, but it was still nice to go out. Afterwards we went back to Vikki's and played Scrabble. I lost. I would include the scores so I don't sound like a hippocrite who only puts up the scores when I win, but I don't remember what they were (I lost by twenty or so points).

Got some more work done today though. The pressure is on pretty hard to deliver and Shamoun is applying same. Feeling reasonably comfortable though that we will have it wrapped up by the end of the week if I push Tim and Jim.

Vikki and I got Indian food from Whole Foods tonight. Going to be early.

Sunday, May 7, 2006


Woke up reasonably early today. Finally got Suse 10 installed on my home PC (worked out the issues with the DVD burner). Looks like a really sharp OS. Got some more work done on the patching subsytem. Should be back in the main tree by COB tomorrow.

Met up with Vikki. Spent the afternoon in Washington Square Park, playing Scrabble. I won by six points (237 to 231). Went to Red Bamboo for dinner. Quite yummy.

Came back to Astoria and we rented Shop Girl. Pretty good movie.

I don't want to go to work tomorrow. Have to schedule time off for Thursday the 18th.

Saturday, May 6, 2006


Had a good day today. Spent the afternoon with Vikki. Had a really good dinner at a place called Arte Pasta in the Village.

Came home. Talked to Kyle for a couple of hours. Watched a bit of TV.

Worked on getting my computer working. I copied the Suse ISO from Jim a couple of weeks ago, and I bought a few dual layer DVDs last week, and I only today tried to burn the DVD. Of course it didn't work. Google revealed that others with the same problems had to update their firmware. To make matters worse, the NEC firmware upgrade tool is only for Windows (and I actually don't have a Windows PC at home). Fortunately I'm not the first person to have this sort of problem and some clever chap wrote a tool to do the firmware upgrades from Linux.

Have a busy few weeks coming up. Work is having an outing on Thursday to play pool. Makes me glad I brought my cue back from Jersey. Supposed to meet up with Kyle on Saturday for lunch. The following Thursday is Vikki's graduation. And she and I are going down to Jersey that Saturday to celebrate my birthday with the family. This is all on top of the things going on at work (all of which are REALLY good but keeping me very busy).

DVD burning now done. Off to install Suse onto the PC...

Monday, May 1, 2006


Long day. Worked until 8. Found the memory leak in my loader and discovered with Peter's help that we had uninitialized variable warnings disabled in the gcc compiler. Turning them on an re-enabling the optimizer revealed seventeen bugs. Wohoo.

Met up with Vikki in Union Square after work. Brought back Indian food from Whole Foods. Watched the Daily Show.