Thursday, February 28, 2002

I miss...

Well, a lot of things.

I've been having a lot of dreams about Australia lately. I must live there, someday, hopefully soon. It's hard to describe, really. Just that, on my visit last year, I felt right at home.

I miss late night chats with Caltech friends on the rooftops of random buildings. I miss eating at The Pantry in downtown L.A. at 4 am. And singing, with Donna playing the piano. And all the other intense wackiness of that atmosphere.

I also miss having my own electronics bench. And having access to the EE stockroom, 24/7.

I'm longing for wide open spaces. Pittsburgh, aside from being miserable and dreary, is much more closed-in than it needs to be.

That's all for now.

Tuesday, February 26, 2002

I didn't really read this, did I?

E-mail I got in response to a question I posed about the design of our core software...

Dave Cuthbert wrote:
> I'm not sure what neoCellRefreshSchematicInfo does. Are you caching the
> results from _lxElaborateSchematic? (This isn't a good idea, despite
> its slowness...)

Yes, it caches the results from _lxElaborateSchematic.
Each example function calls neoCellRefreshSchematicInfo
at the beginning hoping that a user does not modify the
schematic while the function is being executed. ( which
isn't so bad I think. because most functions can be
finished in a few seconds at tops )

We're hoping the user does screw up to ensure the correctness of our software?

. I'm just reaffirming that our NeoCell team can't design its way out of a paper bag.

Monday, February 25, 2002

Bleh. I'm hungry, and I should go grab lunch, but I can't get motivated to move from my desk.

This is odd.
Well, got out of that meeting without it being held.

To recap: I interviewed someone on Friday for a position in my group (which currently consists of two people, myself and my manager -- we're looking to expand). Had the basics of the knowledge we were looking for, but in-depth was less certain. He also lacked some of the basic programming knowledge we generally expect, sending up a few red flags.

On the other hand, he seemed fairly bright and adaptable, and was generally a nice guy.

Since he was interviewing for my group, my opinion weighed a bit more than others. Generally, I have a pretty good idea of whether someone is a thumbs-up or thumbs-down. In this case, I was quite uncertain.

I don't like having so much influence on someone's future without being more certain. I especially dislike telling nice people no.

In the end, enough people gave him a thumbs-down to make the meeting unnecessary.

Next meeting (10 am): Angry-ish manager does not like our imposing of a deadline (Rodney, my manager, has decided that I need a firm date by which my work with this other group will be completed, so they can't keep tacking on requirements and getting my labour for free). At the moment, I'm hoping to duck it. We'll see.

Friday, February 22, 2002

Ahh... Friday...

Did one of those four hours of sleep things last night. Which is luxurious for you college folk, yes, but I'm an old man, see...

Summary of the last 24 hours:
7 pm - 4 am: alternate between researching scripting languages, watching the women's figure skating finals, and writing slides for my talk.
4.30 am - 8.30 am: sleep.
8.30 am - 9.15 am: get ready for and commute to work.
9.15 am - 10 am: solve a number of build issues (seems like a number of people's systems decided to barf at the same instant).
10 am - 11 am: beat laptop and projector into submission.
11 am - 12 noon: interview someone.
12 noon - 1 pm: give successful talk (with projector going on the fritz midway through).
1 pm - 2 pm: more build issues.
2 pm - 2.30 pm: post talk on web site.

Hectic. But I survived, and it actually went fairly well. Yay me. :-) It's just good to know that I still have what it takes to do a kickass job even when sleep-deprived and under a lot of pressure. Every now and then, the ol' self-esteem likes a boost like that.

Monday, February 18, 2002

I couldn't resist...

I Am A: Lawful Neutral Elf Ranger Mage

Lawful Neutral characters believe in the triumph of law and order above all else. It does not matter whether the leader is for good or evil; the leader will be followed, because the order they provide is the most important thing.

Elves are the eldest of all races, although they are generally a bit smaller than humans. They are generally well-cultured, artistic, easy-going, and because of their long lives, unconcerned with day-to-day activities that other races frequently concern themselves with. Elves are, effectively, immortal, although they can be killed. After a thousand years or so, they simply pass on to the next plane of existance.

Primary Class:
Rangers are the defenders of nature and the elements. They are in tune with the Earth, and work to keep it safe and healthy.

Secondary Class:
Mages harness the magical energies for their own use. Spells, spell books, and long hours in the library are their loves. While often not physically strong, their mental talents can make up for this.

Find out What D&D Character Are You?, courtesy of NeppyMan!

Advance Australia Fair!

Yay! Our second gold medal, won by Alisa Camplin in aerials! Good on ya, Alisa!

(Ok, I'm not really Australian... but that doesn't mean I can't celebrate, dammit.)

Sunday, February 17, 2002

Must... get... out... of... Pennsylvania... before... it... sucks... my... life... force... out...

Thursday, February 14, 2002

Almost all mistakes are correctable. Some corrections take time, others cost money. Mine cost $430 today.

(Blew up my processor last night due to mishandling while transferring it back and forth between motherboards. Bought two processors from CompUSA (ugh) so that I don't repeat my mistake. Paid too much, but they're the only ones in the area who carry stuff like that and aren't fly-by-night. Why don't we have Fry's here?)

(Oh, and for the curious: I blew up a Duron 850; replacements are a Duron 1200 and Athlon 1800XP).

Friday, February 8, 2002

For some reason, the thought popped into my head this morning: "Hmm... it might be a good idea to go back to grad school and get that PhD." This happened shortly after I woke up, and hasn't dissipated from my mind yet.

Am I going to be bothered by this until I either die or get that ", Ph.D." appended to my name? Why do I care? I shouldn't, and I keep saying I don't... but deep down, there's something in me that does.

I actually do have a few good ideas for a thesis, and, if I had Rob as my advisor, I'd probably get done with it in 2-3 years (I've already gotten an M.S., so a lot of the basic stuff has been taken care of). And I could continue to get a paycheck from Neolinear while doing so...

Anyway... Tamara's going skiing today. She wanted me to come, but... oy, do I dislike the activity. Something about the idea of throwing myself from the top of a hill with large sticks strapped to my feet that turn in every direction except the one I want them to be in, where the object is to attain some deadly speed... eaugh. And don't get me started about the ski lifts. The height is fine... it's the whole getting off bit that I have problems with.

Friday, February 1, 2002

Oh, and we're getting some freaky weather here. It started off around 60F today, and is now down to 42F. Intense winds (I'm watching some birds having trouble coping right now). Sunny earlier, but now it's completely overcast.

Even more odd: the fierce winter storm that plowed through the Midwest and is now hitting New England missed us completely.
Being able to shower at work when you feel kinda scuzzy is rather nice.

Today's Friday. I haven't written a line of code this week. Combined with the end of last week, that amounts to [thinks] 8 consecutive days of zero useful productivity.

Oh, I did generate work. Lots of pages of stuff that I was required to do, actually. Just nothing useful in my mind.

Ah, well, lesson learned. Avoid interacting with the NeoCell team at all costs. You will be Dilberted if you do so.

OTOH, I have been writing code for some of my other hobby-projects. I also have something in mind for Carn... heh heh :-)