Monday, April 26, 2004

I am definitely a San Diegan.

I've been back for three days now, and I'm much more relaxed. The sun has been nice and bright. A bit warm -- today it was 100°F, but I still find that much more tolerable than 85°F in Pittsburgh thanks to the lack of humidity here.

The wedding was nice. I got to see a lot of people whom I only get to see every few years or so and usually not at the same time. Also ran into someone I hadn't seen since 6th or 7th grade (!). That's ~18 years for those keeping score...

Yesterday I took Tamara to the airport (our vacation times don't quite overlap, so she had to get back to work today) and then wandered down to San Ysidro to explore the border a bit. Didn't actually cross, though; to really see anything in Mexico you need to get away from the border, farther than one can go on foot alone. Taking a car into Mexico is not a trivial matter (I would have had to buy Mexican insurance and, since I was in my parents' somewhat flashy SUV, I decided this wasn't a good idea). I explored Border Field State Park [official site, random visitor's site] a bit; it's nicknamed "California's Ugliest State Park." Actually, I couldn't get into the park itself because the road is closed. So you'll have to be satisfied with the pictures others took.

Then I drove up the Silver Strand to Coronado and across the Coronado Bay Bridge because (a) I had never gone up the Silver Strand, (b) I wanted to go across the Coronado Bridge, and (c) there's no toll going from Coronado to San Diego.

I also bought random computer equipment that my dad wanted/needed, including a scanner/printer combo and a home firewall box. The fact that the firewall box is also a wireless access point, allowing me to type this from my laptop, was, of course, completely incidental.

Did some gardening today, mostly watering plants and the like. No real plans for tomorrow or the rest of the week, but, hey, I didn't come here to make plans.

Thursday, April 22, 2004

Oh, dear. The machines are starting to attack...

Trapped boy rescued from superloo [BBC]

A young boy had to be freed by the Fire Service after becoming trapped inside an automated public lavatory in Devon, it has emerged.

The boy, thought be 10 or 12, became stuck inside the so-called superloo in Plymouth's Central Park on Saturday.

In a statement, the owner of the facility, JC DeCaux, said it do not know why the door failed to operate.

The firm said children aged 10 or under should not use the kiosks unaccompanied as they are weight sensitive.

A member of the public heard cries from help from inside the toilet kiosk which is situated in Plymouth's Central Park.

The fire service was called and the door to the facility was forced open.

The boy was said to be quite distressed but otherwise well.

JC DeCaux said without the full details of the incident it was impossible to be sure of exactly what happened.

Wednesday, April 21, 2004

Our file server apparently came back around 6:00 pm (after I had already left work).

However, I am now missing all my data that was on that server (a few GB), and IT says it wasn't backed up. Most of it is stuff I can recreate (downloads of free software and recompiles) but getting all of this stuff back together the way it was before is going to take weeks.

I give up. This just isn't worth it. This is sheer stupidity.

I'm going to go work on new stuff, though still within Cadence, that has nothing to do with the shitpile that is the former Neolinear.

Down *again*?!

So... I'm posting this from links. Which is actually fairly navigable, especially compare to lynx.

But why am I posting from links as opposed to Mozilla, you ask? Well, see, when I got in, I went to my (open) Mozilla mail window, clicked on "Get Mail"... and watched the whole thing come crashing down. Hm. Annoying, but, hey, Moz does crash every so often.

I click on the icon to launch Mozilla... nothing happens.

Ok, that's a bit odd. Go to a shell to kill off any errant Mozilla processes... it dies.

Then my desktop starts disintegrating... window fragments all over the place, stuff disappearing... like something out of a bad sci-fi movie. Eventually, I find myself logged out.

The cause of all this? Oh, well, see... our IT folks had our applications file server set up in such a way that it didn't provide notifications when a drive went down. Apparently, one drive had died who-knows-how-long-ago, and a second died this morning, taking the entire server with it.

Ah, yes. So we now have ~60 people sitting idle, doing stuff like posting to their LiveJournal, while the ~1.5 TB raid array gets rebuilt.

Monday, April 19, 2004

Wow. I don't think I've been this bitter since Tech. Even a cup of strong, black coffee is comparatively sweet. I could donate enough for two liver transplants and still have plenty left over.

Thursday, April 15, 2004

Hm. I seem to be prolific with the papers as of late. They're not going to prestigious journals, though; at least they are refereed. Ah, well.

Oddly, it's easier to submit a paper at Cadence than it was at Neolinear. At Cadence, I just need my manager's signoff. At Neolinear, I needed all the managers in the food chain up through and including the CEO plus the CTO to signoff.

The abstract I just submitted is titled Integrating Mathematica with OpenAccess for Advanced Circuit Analysis, for the International Cadence Usergroup conference in September. Yeah, not exactly light bedtime reading. :-)

Wednesday, April 14, 2004

In the span of a couple hours, I've gone from having a lot of interesting stuff on my plate to having almost no job responsibilities. Amazing. :-(

Why they don't just lay me off... I'm not sure. Hrm... perhaps that will happen during the round of layoffs for this quarter. Still, it would be cheaper to get rid of me before the acquisition completes. Ah, well; it's not exactly in my interest to point this out...

I started looking for other jobs within Cadence, but it's hard to tell what departments will still exist. Most of the jobs are in India and China, anyway.
Ah, Shirles (a friend from Caltech who's always smiling and full of energy and is one of those folks who brightens any room she walks into) just pointed me to the Nokia N-Gage QD gamedeck/phone/electronic device with a multiple-personality disorder. She was responsible for usability engineering on it... it all looks quite the cool! Makes me curious to fiddle with it when it comes out.

Monday, April 12, 2004

I have a great idea. Let's forget anything we know about the process of debugging software and just focus on the end result: making Dave's life miserable.

It's too easy to just debug using the latest build. Instead, let's start a session and leave it running for a few days. Then, while the program is still running, let's uninstall parts of it, overwrite some of the internal libraries and configuration files from a newer build (because newer is better, right?), and, hell, why not run an electromagnet around the hard drive a few times for good measure.

Then, when the whole thing comes crashing down, file a bug against Dave, point him to a core file which he doesn't have read permission on, and claim that his software is lousy.

Yeah, this Monday is shaping up real well...

Sunday, April 11, 2004

I just realised... I haven't the foggiest what my new job title means. I'm a "Member of the Consulting Staff." Umm... ooookay.

Does this mean I can show up, uninvited, to various meetings, tell people stuff they already know, and then charge them unseemly amounts of money? "The fundamental problem in your department is a failure to economize on leveraging your synergies across all platforms. That'll be $500,000."

Not that that wouldn't be cool. At least the money part. But somehow I'm doubting that's what I'll actually get to do.

Tuesday, April 6, 2004

Monday, April 5, 2004

Lots of changes at work today. Huge changes. Unfortunately, I cannot post them here (yet).

However, I can say that:
  • I still have a job.
  • I will not have to relocate.
  • The amount of money resulting from this is more than what I had feared, but not as much as I had hoped.
  • The golden handcuffs have been taken off...
  • ... and replaced by golden leg irons. :-P

Still trying to figure out what this all means. Also trying to slog though the hundreds of pages of legal documents that have been thrown my way.

One casualty: Kanga Design Automation will be put on hold indefinitely. Maybe some other time.

Thursday, April 1, 2004

American Science & Surplus is going to be my undoing.

[Edit: deleted, sorry. Can't reveal this anymore.]