Tuesday, July 30, 2002

I've given up trying to use the Sun workstation on my desk at work. It's painful. Sun equipment used to be prime stuff; not anymore. The cheap PC next to it is much faster.

Though not as fast as it could be. I opened up the disk defragmenter, but, surprisingly, it didn't look like there was much fragmentation. Well, at first. There were only a few spots of blue on the "Analysis Display," while a good 95% of it was solid red.

Then I saw the legend: "(Red) = Fragmented files (Blue) = Contiguous files". Heh... oops.

Monday, July 29, 2002

My headphones broke today. This wouldn't normally be a newsworthy event, except (a) they were a gift from my parents, and (b) I quite liked them, as they were very comfortable to wear and produced a nice sound.

On the up-side, I think I can fix them with a dab of superglue.

I seem to be in a devil-may-care attitude about work as of late. Not that I don't do it. Just that the code I'm writing is architecturally clean, and I'm refusing to bend to our product teams' demands to pollute it so they can integrate it more easily.

Saturday, July 27, 2002


How cool would that be?

Friday, July 26, 2002

Mm. Rain. I like a good rainstorm. Though I might shut down my computer after I write this, since it's a thunderstorm.

Purchased a cheap GPS unit today (should arrive Tuesday-ish). I've wanted to do some mapping for awhile now. Combined with the old laptop I acquired at work and some home-brew software in the works, I should be able to make my own maps, figure out where I got lost, etc. I enjoy wandering.

Not much else. I'll spare my few readers the usual rants about the screwed-up-ness of the NeoCell team and corporate life in general.

Friday, July 19, 2002

The Dow Jones is down more than 250, and was down 300 at one point. Gulp.

Yet I reaffirm my position by putting in a buy order (in an index fund which tracks the market). Either Tam and I will profit at others' irrational market fears when this all blows over, or the U.S. will collapse and any money we have will be worthless in the market, in the bank, or in our pocket.

When viewed this way, there's no question about what to do. Buy. Why everyone else is selling puzzles me.

Anyway... back to work, and no more day trading today. :-)

Thursday, July 18, 2002

Solaris to me: "Idiot. This disk doesn't have the magic number."
Me: "Um... ok. Put it on."
Solaris to me: "Sure. Which of the 27 format commands would you like to try?"
Me: "Well, uh... how about this /sbin/fdisk thing?"
Solaris to me: "WRONG ANSWER!"
head hurty worse
Me: "Uh... how about /sbin/fdisk /dev/rdsk/c0t0d0s0?"
Solaris to me: "WRONG ANSWER!"
Me: "Uh... how about /sbin/newfs /dev/rdsk/c0t0d0s0?"
Solaris to me: "WRONG ANSWER! Seeing a pattern here?"

Wednesday, July 17, 2002

Been awhile since I've posted. I've tried a number of times, but never quite got the motivation to finish an entry.

Anyway, finally got the wedding invitation paper. Now the onus is on me to get them done. Which means we need to figure out wording, finalise guest lists, etc.

I wanted to go visit my brother in Germany some extended-ish weekend in August, but it looks like the >$1500 plane fares will prevent that. Blah.

On the other hand, I did get my ticket for San Diego today. Well, almost. I have a voucher from USAirways for $105 (from a ticket I purchased but never used). You would think that USAirways' booking would be able to deal with that. Nope. I have to go to the ticket counter at the airport today. Bleh.

At least the voucher brings down the airfare to a reasonable level. USAir has the only direct flights from Pittsburgh to San Diego (by virtue of Pittsburgh being one of their hubs), but they charge quite a bit extra for them. It would've been cheaper ($340 vs. $475) for me to fly through Chicago on a comibination (!) of United and American flights. With the voucher, the difference is only $30, which doesn't bother me. I like direct flights, but not at a 30% premium.

Oh. We (Neolinear) made money last quarter! A lot ($1.7M). This surprised us, given the economic downturn. And we didn't even have to cook the books. :-) Even our stingy CFO said it was a good quarter.

On the downside, I've managed to crash Cadence about five or six times between yesterday and today. That's worse than our tool, and they (supposedly) have a real product validation team. EDA tools suck. We make Microsoft look good. Heck, we even make Sun look good.

Thursday, July 11, 2002

I win. For once.

Yesterday, I received permission to use a private Cadence programming interface. This allows me to write code that is better integrated with their stuff and saves me about 8 months worth of work trying to hack together my own equivalent interface.

Today, I just got an additional pair of golden handcuffs slapped on me. Apparently, we had an excellent quarter so they tossed a few thousand stock options my way. It's all on paper, we're not publicly traded, and I don't fully vest on this new set until July 2006, but still... this pleases me.

Monday, July 8, 2002

Sometimes I feel like I'm the only one who appreciates a clean, consistent architecture.

If the NeoCell team were to build a house, you would have the most immaculate, well-built hallway ever. Every right angle would be 90.0000 degrees. The ceiling would be exactly 10 feet. The walls would be Pantone White 773, with the lighting set so that you could see where you were going, without a dark corner in sight.

But every room off the hallway would be in a different style, with trap doors looming, gaping holes in the ceiling. Doors would be broken off of hinges. To get to the master bedroom, you would need to enter the bathroom, crawl through the medicine cabinet into the kitchen, watch out for the exposed wiring near the sink, and open the refrigerator door to get there. When you finally got there, you would find that someone had parked their car on the bed.

The ironic bit is that the subcontractor for each room would be extremely proud of his work. There would be no inspection; after all, each subcontractor was hand-picked and to have his work second-guessed would be an insult and a wasted expense. A year down the line, the general contractor would wonder why he can't seem to sell that house.

Saturday, July 6, 2002

Grr... Injured my left middle and ring fingers today, making it difficult to type.

Tam and I had fun swimming, though. We were out on Lake Arthur, and came across a huge slab of concrete about four feet below the water. We puzzled at first: was it an old parking lot, or boat ramp?

Tam finally figured it out: it was old U.S. 422. Yep... they just made the lake right over it, without bothering to remove the highway itself.

The injury came while I was clearing away algae trying to find the yellow diving line... I jammed my fingernails right into the slab. Ouch.
Tam and I went to Moraine State Park yesterday and went swimming in Lake Arthur. Muchos fun.

And then I went to Dick's Sporting Goods today, because they were having a sale. And bought, of all things, a wetsuit. Hopefully, this will enable me to continue swimming through September or even October. Oooh...

Well, not this October. I'll probably be frazzled with last-minute wedding stuff. But, eh, it'll be there, waiting for me... :-)

Monday, July 1, 2002