Monday, August 31, 2009

Career Development

This is the head of a Netapp Filer, without its brain. Its partner has taken over the cluster and the customers have no idea one half is down. I'm adding a fibre card without any downtime. This is pretty kewl stuff!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Yelp Seer

Does Yelp have enough of an API that I can tell who (even if it's anonymized) is giving what reviews to which places? See my problem is that I find bars and spots that I like, but invariably the word gets out and they get too popular to find a seat in. It's like deja vu all over again.

I want to have an app that lets me chart back from the (now overrun with people) places that I used to like going to, and figure out which "connectors" are the people who made the places so popular and crowded. Then I can go to the connectors' new kewl and undiscovered places while they're still new and undiscovered.

Friday, August 28, 2009


Making stuff makes me happy. I pulled apart a couple dozen broken PlayStation 2 controllers, for the five volt motors that they make their "rumble" effect with. But then I had the rest of the parts left over.

So, I superglued earring posts onto the buttons. They're a little big to really look right -- pro'ly need a 5/8 scale reproduction for them to really look right. Fun trying anyways tho!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

There, on the podium, is yet another MacBook that's running windows. It's the new fad for the corporate types, they get a MacBook and then install windows on it. Then they come over and ask for help with it, because they thought "Macs just work" or they're "supposed to be more reliable" or something. Hey, maybe run the OS that came with it, silly. Problem fixed.

It's the fricken fake Gucci bag of the modern office-dweller.

Monday, August 24, 2009


I have no idea why the appeal to me, but I seem to enjoy the fields of HPC and Media/Entertainment industries. I could try one as my next career. Maybe it's the sheer volume of data they deal with ... or that they're creating things ... dunno. Or it could be the scientists and artists involved. I wonder. Maybe it's just that both play with "what ifs" and visualize them.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Wearable Computers and Permit Requirements

It struck me the other day that here I am taking the MSF course and the only skills they can really test you on are things that someone standing still with a clipboard in-hand can see. They can't really see how you do at speed.

So I thought of this ... will wearable computing, or other persistent computing resources, allow the DMV to do permits differently in the future? The DMV waives the riding part of the M1 license, because in the class I've now had some practice with turns and stops and things. But imagine if they issued a key-fob that tracked me for a while and watched me practice on my own. Perhaps a web site would show me how to do quick stops, then the key-fob would track me as I practice in an approved off-street area. And perhaps it'd track the number of "smooth turns" I've completed and count down until I've done enough of them that they consider me to've passed my permit "test."

Just a thought.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Getting Around to It

This is my new bike. It's an '09 Suzuki Gladius. Scott and I took the MSF course over the weekend and we're almost legal to ride after dark and on freeways. Until then we'll take the long way to work.

I've been meaning to get a motorcycle since I was sixteen. It's resource efficient, and easy to park. It's funny how you can take so long to get around to doing something like this that you've been thinking about for a while. I wonder what other junk I've never gotten around to.

Pub Night

Nate showed up for pub night! Then Adam showed up! We had a remarkably social pub night and it was lots of fun. This is what the "talk with more people" and "connect people" stuff is all about.

Monday, August 17, 2009

New Guy!

The new guy started, today! There's been a really good O'Reilly book on my desk about Windows 2008 Server administration, and it's really interesting stuff, and a good read, but I am *oh* so glad our new SeƱor Windows Admin started today. It's nice to learn things because you wanna help out, rather than being on a crash course.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Musical Prehistory

These are flutes, dug up in southwestern Germany, which I was reading about last weekend. They're more than thirty-five thousand years old. Thirty. Five. Thousand. That predates beer by five thousand years (in Europe at least, though not Sumer).
Thanks to Hollywood, we think of early descendants of apes banging on percussion instruments in their spare time, when not preoccupied with food and sex. We smacked bones against rocks, sticks against logs, then finally bumbled into skin stretched over tree trunks. It took Modern Science (tm) to make "real" music.
But what if we're so innately, tonally musical, that some of our first "survival" tools were sophisticated musical instruments?

Friday, August 14, 2009

Tyranny of Process

I'm so meticulous about how I deploy systems and get things done, and yet I can't stand "official processes" for some reason. Odd. It's been on my mind since reading this blog post.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Happiness Report

I'm participating in a harvard student's study on happiness. So far I seem to be happiest when I'm working on something that requires concentration. So far.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Weeked Arduino Workshop

Here's a close-up of the stuff I crammed into a breadboard at a weekend Arduino workshop. I had been playing with LEDs to start, then I added in the on/off button and learned digital inputs ... then I added that photoresistor and learned about analog sensors. This is exactly what I meant by "play."

Tuesday, August 4, 2009


I have the word "travel" somewhere on my doodley-professional-development thing .. or "travel more." That's what I'm doing this week, I've been babysitting some installation techs who are putting in a bunch of disks. They aren't being as tidy or prompt as I'd like .. but you know my definition of "tidy."

There's something about business travel that seems to be beneficial to my professional development, but I don't know exactly what. Two things come to mind though. One is that when I travel I've got just one computer and just one book and some minor accoutrements ... which focuses me. The other is that travel exposes me to how *other* people do stuff in other places ... for instance the surfer vibe is absent in tech up here in LA, but so is the geek (I do this for fun) vibe.

More travel seems like a good idea, at least when it's just a couple days here or there.

Equinix El Segundo, Day Two

I have no idea why some colo employees refer to me as "mister clean."