Mmm... This Port is quite good. Quite.
So here it is, my first day of work. Being sent off like a child on the first day of school, with the tears of a sad woman trailing off behind me. She isn't really crying, she's handling it ok. Well, she's sleeping, and quite deeply.
I'm pretty excited, and this job is quite important to me. You see, it's a start-up company ran by one of the few people whom I actually trust to run a start-up company. He's done it before, and been successful. He's a really smart guy. In fact, everybody is really smart. This just makes me feel inferior, because these guys have already succeeded. Me, I'm just masturbating my own ideas hoping they climax at some point before my 30th birthday.
They also are into racing games. To me, this is just like the ultimate sign of character. Mind you, it's not because there is any logic or reason to it, it's just because I like racing games. I was going to invite the prez on over sometime to play some XBox PGR2 or Need for Speed Underground in the theater, except some jackoff decided he could configure the theater better than a paid professional and instead forced it into not working. So, they have to schedule that paid professional to come back out and fix it. I've been really dying to play some XBox in that theater, and now it's like a damn high school cock-tease waiting to.
This internet connection is great, however it decides to start lagging to hell at some points. Seemingly arbitrarily. So, I'll be enjoying some nice Desert Combat (red5, shadowspark, where the hell are you guys?) and then suddenly get kicked because for about 3-5 seconds my connection pings at 400ms. Then it's back down to 40ms or so. That's a whole great big crock of shit, that one. But, it's a $25 T1 shared amongst not that many people, so I can't bitch too much.
Morning, a good day, and my "vacation" is over.
Join me now in a moment of Woo...
Voice over IP?
So, in our new apartment our cellphones work better as a marital aid than a communication device (not that I'm aware of any of that sort of usage, just saying it's more functional in any capacity other than it's intended design.)
So, we need to get a home phoneline, and I'm looking at voice over IP. Or calling AT&T and telling them they need to get a signal in this neighborhood, which you know, is right in downtown. How can I not have cell reception in this block. It literally is a block, where we happen to live... I can go down one block in either direction and be at least at 75%... Even if I go to the roof, I get a great signal. I'm not really going to walk to the roof just to make a phone call. My friend has TMobile, and my contract is up for grabs, but my phone is locked. Still have the womans contract which is going to expire in about 10 months. Woo.
So, what are your experiences with VoIP and what provider is good? Most likely be used to call to Japan, because other than that, I don't think I want to talk to people.
New Year Moves
In a nutshell, got moved in, just got the computers setup, and had a great New Years. The UHaul trip up was a pain in the ass, after we are supposed to get started at 8am and the UHaul is adamant about not starting, which is contrary to the point of getting a truck to move your belongings from point A to point B.
After the slowest UHaul repairman in the world got to our apartment very quickly (about 35 minutes from the second call to the Breakdown Hotline) he spent 15 minutes unhooking a battery and hooking a new one up. After swapping the batteries out 4 times, and doing miscellaneous stuff, the truck came back to life. So, I'm pretty pleased about that, and we got on the road and we were only 2 hours late.
Luckily, the movers were cool about rescheduling and we got everything up in the apartment in 2 hours. We've spent the last two days just getting everything arranged, and finally this morning had the furniture in a finalized arrangement so I could start doing the computers and network. Right now I just have the router and my workstation up, but it's a good start. We've omitted the dining room table from being placed, because it would just make everything too damn crowded.
After it's up and pimp, I'll take some photos. Anyway, I'm here, and happy fuckin' new year.
It's not just for geriatrics!
Found a great apartment in First Hill. Lots of hospitals, and I mean that in the most bizarre way I can. There are more hospitals there than old people, which says a lot.
6 blocks from my work. Includes T1 internet access, parking, satellite TV, sewer, water, garbage, theater and some other stuff. Great times.
I will be having an XBox party in the theater when I get settled. Probably the second weekend in January. Life is good.
Move over Mix a Lot, Seattle has a new pimp in town.
I'll be celebrating (not celebating, I know it isn't a word) New Years in Seattle. Got the good job, really really happy about this. I'm excited about working up there, and a bit nervous about the move. We're going to be living in downtown (Belltown, hopefully, I got my eye on a really nice apartment there) because it's a lot easier than me trying to commute. Me commuting will result in getting lost for the first month (not because I'm bad with directions, because I like to explore. Like Tim Allen) and possibly assaulting some stupid driver. It's just better for society for me not to commute, and I save gas.
I start after the New Year, and probably won't be on much (I haven't really been on lately anyway) because I'm freaking busy. Anyway, just wanted to share the good news.
Seattle, here I (may) come!
I have an interview up in Seattle for a company I would love to work for. Cars + Code = Heaven. Good stuff, and I'm really excited about it. Interview is on Wednesday, and I'm already pretty amped about it. I think it will be a really fun position, and the guy I spoke with on the phone sounded pretty cool, and he likes Toyota/Lexus, too.
Moving to Seattle will be a transition that will take a while to get used to. Luckily it's only 2 hours north, so I can still come down and visit my friends. Being unemployed is just way too boring for me.
I like to think I know a lot of things in life. Don't confuse saying that with knowing everything, or even just knowing a lot. I know a lot of things. I know, for instance, what the cause of a malfunctioning adrenal cortex is. Not for any particular reason, I just do.
Sometimes, something will just sneak up on me that I didn't know and smack me in the face. Much like the way a big, prison going fellow would smack Michael Jackson in a few weeks. Today, I had one of those smacks. It came after a wonderful morning. We woke up this morning, opened the window to reveal a winter wonderland. A great snow-fall coming down, coating the ground with a whiteness like cocaine. Not that I know what cocaine looks like.
I insisted on driving my girlfriend to school, because as we all know she is asian and asian females shouldn't drive. I mean that in the most non-bigotted way possible, but it's just the way life goes. Fun drive, got to play in the snow a little bit. On the way back, I got stuck. Who would have thought a Lexus SC300 didn't do well in the snow. Luckily, I could rock it out... good thing the light turned red on me during this experience.
I'm still in a great mood. It's a great day, the snow is beautiful, work is going well and I got a side job that was a bit of fun. I got the IMAK SmartGloves, and these things kick ass. My wrists still hurt, but nothing like they were. I would suggest spending the $30 for a pair, if you have anything that resembles pain in your hands or wrists.
Now that I've been long-winded, here is what I learned. If your car is under snow, in freezing temperatures, and you have a really good heater in your car, do not do this. Do not get it going nice and hot, then switch it to the forward defrost vents.
You know what happens? Your fucking windshield cracks. I have this nice little arch going 4" above each vent, from one end to the other. I knew that this would happen with glasses, like if you pull one out of the freezer and pour boiling water in it. A car windshield is a whole different story, and I'm sure I just had some crack that I couldn't see before that caused it. At least I hope that is it, because otherwise I will lose faith in Toyota Motors for a long time. Lowest estimate for repair is $355, so far. Good thing I lost my job, otherwise I could pay for this with these pieces of paper called money. I'm not going to Japan this winter, I'm still pissed about that. And now this.
I mean, damn.
On a side note, pointing out that something is broken doesn't constitute complaining. This is for you SlashChick. If you have ever wondered why I don't use your hosting service and recommend others, let me answer this for you. Because most of the time I read one of your posts, I can't help but think that you are just a touch immature and a touch too emotional to manage my servers. Maybe Slashdot is a personal thing for you, but when trying to whore your business out, act professional.
Some new code, nfScraper
I had to write it up for a short-term contract, and it's pretty slick. I'm going to package it up and post it on nerdfarm tomorrow if anybody is interested.
It's an easily scriptable screen-scraper. I found the ones already existing just didn't have the ease of use that I was looking for. I needed a quick macro-based web-browser. You just pass it commands and it does it, but it is very picky about errors. Anything over 399 (404, 500) will just abort the script.
So, if you need a quick easy-to-control screenscraper, check out nerdfarm tomorrow. I would package it now, but it's running it's second major batch and I want to make sure it is still good through this before releasing it. The code is ugly, and should be re-written. I wasn't planning on having it be a release or a flexible system until I got more specs on the project so it just grew in a fashion of discord.
I'm done trying to say that I support the actions of my country. I supported, and still do, removing Saddam Hussein. This shit that is happening now is a sign, in case the higher-ups haven't figured that out and are reading this. You know why it's a sign? Because you greedy, money-grubbing assholes are so busy giving contracts to American companies that Iraqis realized the US isn't a savior, just trying to make some green and get some peace as a by-product. This war wasn't about oil, it was about the billions in contracts that can be handed out. We would still have to pay for oil, but these contracts are free money from the tax payers to everybody else involved.
The people getting fucked in this arrangement are the US tax payers and Iraqi civilians trying to make a living. The people benefiting are the Good Ol' Boys club. While I sit here without a job, unable to get a government loan to start up a service that will promote the restaurant industry working more hours than I should, these fat pigs are getting fed even more to provide inefficient services that don't even benefit the local Iraqi economy and makes them be reliant upon the United States.
I never agreed to an occupation. I never agreed to The United States of Iraq. I never agreed to a 51st state. You have disappointed me, and the millions of people who have died to allowed me to say these things.
Knowledge Bases and Customer Satisfaction software.
This market is tapped for commercial products and is extremely lacking in the open source arena. Email (that capitalization is horrible) management is just one piece to it, the other parts is a quick and efficient interface for the agents. No sense in separating the two out, as most problems are easily resolvable by viewing the knowledge base. Then, you sound like a total asshole if you just point customers to the knowledge base, so you have to integrate it into a personalized email.
This makes an interesting situation, one that I will start playing with and releasing open source after my current project starts operating. I'm "writing" an exim+courier+mysql email management system off and on, and by writing I mean that I'm just scripting some stuff and putting a wrapper over the database so it's easy to maintain. It's pretty cool, and I call it Mr. Mail (It's fun to say, try it.) so when it actually works, you guys can see that up on nerdfarm.
So, since this is going to be a full-blown open source project I'm just putting the feelers out if anybody has any particular knowledge base or email management system in the open source (or even proprietary) realm that they like and enjoy the features. Also, if you want to help code or do UI stuff, send me an email or IM, or just reply, and when I get time I'll give you the rundown on MagicBox and the MB::Templates. The basic syntax is pretty easy, just <% macro [condition]/%> or <% macro [condition] %> CDATA <% macro end %> -- nice and easy to work with.
Something that will probably start happening around Thanksgiving or so. And I'm sorry to say that all work on QShogi has stopped for the time being, which makes me a touch sad because it's a fun game. I haven't even played Shogi on a board in weeks and weeks. It's all worth it, though.
And my wrists are feeling better after taking the last couple hours off and getting a massage (I love my girlfriend, thank you.)
Hands of doom
3 weeks, and my projects tarball is 700k. About 200k is images. Do the math, and I am surprised I produced that much. Most is not auto-generated by anything (90%) so I have produced, in my estimates, about 400,000 characters in 3 weeks. That is a lot.
My wrists let me know that tonight. You can't index-type when coding, unfortunately. So, I'm curious what remedies you all can recommend. Unless you are buying, new equipment is out of the question. Also, typing less is right out.
Cheers, 70% feature-complete.
This is the first time I have accomplished anything. I mean this is the greatest, grandest scheme of things. I have functional software, that with another week or two of work is ready to make money. It's no longer a technical problem, but a business one. I'm ready to go out and demo it, and I will in a few hours. I'm nervous, my palms are sweaty and I'm in a place that I've never been. I have more support than I thought I would, but it doesn't sooth the nerves. A freshly made double-mocha doesn't help this either, but it keeps me alert and sharp. I'm sleeping enough, but I can't not think about this.
These are the moments that life is made of, because these are the moments I feel the most alive.
Comments disabled because this is for my own benefit, not yours.
"Good Will" Advertising
Ok, so I have an idea for advertising my company. It's getting to that point "Real Soon Now." My software functions, in the basic form and is in "Icing on the cake" mode. I'm really over-using quotes today and I'm enjoying it.
I still need to add another view-point, but it will probably only take another week to code up and then I'll be in full blown beta mode by December, which is a very good thing. The hard part of this business is really getting the advertising and word-of-mouth out there. I've been thinking of several ways to go about this, and after talking with a few people a lot of them agree that seeing if I can get people to just hand out brochures to my target audience it will be the most effective way.
So, I was thinking that I want to compensate people someway for this because you will effectively be marketing for my company. Since I don't want to cut you all checks for a buck fifty if that's all you get, I was thinking of a "Good Will" advertising campaign. It breaks down like this: Each brochure packet that I send out will have a unique code on it for that person. It's a referral code so I can keep track of who delivered it. For every person that signs up through your referral, I will send $10 to any 503(c) organization of your choosing.
This can be the EFF, or anything, as long as it is a taxable charity. I really want to help out the world, and help myself out. It's just an idea I'm kicking around and would like to get some feedback. Ask your friends what they think about it, and have them ask their friends and post in here. I don't want to give money to the people doing the referrals for a few different reasons, one is that I don't want to start up a "WORK FROM HOME!!! MAKE $5,000PT!" type fiasco, or get into 1099 payments or anything. Legalities are too overwhelming, but donating to a real charity is a pretty easy thing to do.
Update: Sorry, at the moment this is U.S. only! I will be adding other countries, but not right now, so if you aren't an American you can bugger off!
All in a days work.
This has been my project for the day... really, it's weekend. My goal is to get nerdfarm.org, and get the business plan in a very workable format. Granted, they aren't related at all, but it's a good break between artistic, code, and business.
nerdfarm.org, version two point oh, in effect. I still need to get the user signup stuff going on, the download links, a cleaner journal entry system (but you can't see it cause you aren't a member, bitch!) It's getting there, and it's a thousand-line day and I'm freaking done.
I will release the nerdfarm code as a sample site for MagicBox, if anybody is interested, because there is still virtually no documentation for MagicBox.
Sorry -- I am an idiot. I fixed the redirect, and now you know my development network is the TLD '.dev'
Clever, isn't it?
Update - IE6 is apparently broken. I'm not sure what's wrong with it, but it seems very unhappy. I don't do shit on IE, but it works fine on Konqueror and Mozilla, so if anybody can help me out with why it's broken, I'd appreciate it.
Update - Thank you, BofKentucky! Telling me in polite terms I'm an idiot, and I didn't close the tag. Also, fixed the valid stuff, so now it validates as xhtml and all that. So, it works under IE but there is one weird rendering issue with the title bar. I hate IE.
The Joe Schmoe Show
Watching the season finale right now. Just a quick note for those who watch it:
You know why they had to pick a nice guy?
Anybody else would have kicked their ass, especially Ralph. I know I would, but only if I could have still kept the $100K.
So, here's a poll for you guys, too. Fuck off, Em.
Is Joe Schmoe:
A. Worth it
B. Kill em all
C. Funny as long as it's not me
D. Molly is hot
E. Ashleigh is hot
F. Kip isn't gay?
George Carlin was right, life should go backwards. It should end with 9 months in the womb, and the grand finale being an orgasm. But it isn't.
Live life like it's the only one you have. Never say you are bored, before you do, get up and improve your life. Indifference is what makes being old so sad. When you look back a few years back and realize all the time you wasted, your life flashes before your eyes. That isn't what I want, and I doubt it is what you want. It's like what they say, "Nobody says they want to be a junky when they grow up."
I've wasted enough time in my life, and I hate every minute I did. I'm in a race to finish this software to start a company before I find a job. The only thing I can think of is that I should have done this when I was 21. Or 20.
The reality is that I couldn't do it then, because I had to waste that time to learn the lessons that make this time a possible success.
Mandrake 9.2 Upgrade
Mandrake really did a great job making it "User Friendly" -- and I think this is probably the best introduction distro to date. The upsetting part was rebooting and being met with a very fucked up KDE desktop. Somehow, the upgrade decided it wanted to mess my entire desktop up. Woo.
So, I fixed that pretty quickly and am running Mozilla 1.4. The font support in Mozilla 1.4 (I'm assuming is using GTK2) is great, and nice and anti-aliased. It looks very clean, and so far all my other "custom" builds are working flawlessly. I'm running Gimp-unstable, and that was a bit of a pain in the ass running under Mandrake 9.1.
So, if you are a Mandrake user you should definitely go ahead and upgrade.
This shit is fun!
I can't work in these conditions!
You remember that old adage that gets told, "Those who can, do. Those who can't, teach."? I think we need a bit of a revision for that statement.
Those who can, do. Those who can't, become recruiters.
I just got finished meeting with my agent at my contracting firm. Well, that was what I thought. She went on to Permanent Placement, and I was going to meet with her and her replacement. Except I met with her replacements replacement, and some woman from Cupertino, California.
I have an appointment at 3:30. In my world, an appointment at 3:30 means that I show up at 3:25 and you have me in an office no later than 3:32. Unless you have "M.D." after your name this is what I expect. If I pull in six figures of revenue for your company, I expect there to be coffee and pastries waiting for me. At 3:40, my brain was contemplating what the hell happened to this place.
At 3:43 my tetris game (Thank you modern cellphone) was interrupted by Steve. I would protect the innocent, if there were any. At which point, I get brought into a conference room where they talk about my previous job and where I want to go. My choices are this small ass town in Oregon or Vegas. Vegas, Baby. For less than what I make now. Coding PHP. No offense to the PHP coders around here, but I don't want to make a living pretending I can use references.
I thought their job was to give me jobs. I make them money, and I get some of that. That's the game, and they don't know how to play it. So, at about 3:51 I was on my way to the car shaking my head and chuckling at them. They'll still be in business, because the people they talk to don't have any idea they're stupid.
There are certain questions that can prove one to be completely out of their depth. While asking me about my work, I said I did quite a bit of Perl code for client/server communication and some web applications. He then asked, "Oh, so did you use Tomcat for your perl web applications?"
How the fuck is this monkey going to get me a job? "So, tell me again how it is you fed the bananas monkeys?"
"Sorry, Steve, I feed bananas to monkeys."
My project just got killed. It's not a big surprise that it got killed, but the manner of killing was quite a surprise. The CEO is an absolute dick, and an idiot at that. He can't manage his way out of a wet paper bag, much less a company.
The whole run down is that we had a very important deadline to meet. In August. I got my piece done, which was the end user software (and it's nice... I'm really bummed it wont see the light of day.) The people who are actually running the business are also idiots. This entire business is ran by idiots, but it's a child company. I sort of contract for the idiots, they pay my wages and I do work for both the parent and them.
Well, not anymore. The child company CEO has now ceased any further money going into the project which means that all contractors are now going bye bye. So, they don't get the "desperately needed" new software interface because I've been hacking on it while waiting for the data to get mostly correct. I made a huge change and am halfway through fixing it, and they cut it. The irony in that is really amusing.
I'm not quite sure what I'm going to do. I may sell my car and live off the money from that and try to start my company up full time. I may find a management position (almost 7 years in the industry coding now... I think I'm about ripe) or I may just do more code monkeying.
I'm really sad to see this project go, it was a really important project to me and I was really happy to work on it. Above all, a lot of the people I worked with were really great people (not the idiots in the child company, but in the parent company.) I'm going to really miss all of them.
It's been a shitty Friday morning, but I saw it coming for a long time now (Since July) so it's not a big surprise. This is the first time I've gotten my contract cut, so it's an interesting feeling. I was at a company until the last of it's employees walked out the door, and I have a feeling this company will be doing the same. It's a shame, because with the right leadership they could have done some great things.
The dot com bubble isn't completely dead.