<<< ecosystem (New Yorker - 03/02/09)


pathologist's cockpit >>>

Friday,  02/27/09  04:30 PM

I'm sort of over my funk, thanks for asking.  Sort of.  Today was a better day, didn't have to fight an unplanned IT fire, and was able to bear down and get some stuff done ahead of deadline (that always feels good).  And had two different calls with customers planning large multisite systems, really interesting (and that always feels good).

Oh, and we're about to leave for dinner with our friends from Ottawa at the Venice pier, and that should be fun; looking forward to it...  and I have to hurry...

So, an update on my weird disaster (wherein my Kestrel road bike was nearly destroyed by a coat hanger)...  RoadRunner Velo have completed the repair (!) and claim it all went swimmingly, and have mailed it back to Westlake Cyclery, where it is being reassembled.  I should have it in rideable condition tomorrow!  Now that's a reason to feel happy, right?  I will be very interested to see 1) how well the repair turned out, and 2) whether I still like my old Kestrel, after having ridden various other brand new cool spiffy bikes in the meantime. 

It has now been six weeks since the disaster, wow.  What will I blog about now?

In the past few days I've posted a few cartoons and magazine covers and such, and it reminds me I've been meaning to sing the praises of my five-year old little Canon N1240U scanner, which "just works".  And when I say that, I mean it works and works and works; I probably scan five things every day.  My colleagues and friends know I legendarily "hate paper", and have everything in electronic form, and this little scanner is the reason.  It has a Photoshop plugin so I just scan right into Photoshop, edit a little, and poof I'm there. It's fast, the quality is excellent, and it just works. 

Ever since I began linking my blog posts into Facebook I've been spending more time there, and although it isn't the time-sink for me that it [apparently] is for others, I do enjoy it.  In a few cases I've reconnected with old friends, and that's cool, and in others have become closer to friends I was connected with, and that's cool.  Some friends post a lot of pictures, especially old ones, and that's really cool.  But one badness is that everyone seems to have more friends than I do!  Maybe I have a lot of friends which aren't on Facebook (well that's definitely true) and maybe I don't connect with everyone I've ever known (that's also definitely true).  But still, I do feel a little sad, like I'm missing out somehow :) 

This was exacerbated recently when a friend who shall remain nameless noted he'd exceeded the Dunbar number; that is, he now has over 150 friends.  And with just 45 I'm sitting here thinking wow, I have a lot of slots left!

A beautiful QTVR panorama of the Compact Muon Solenoid at CERN.  Big Science might be expensive and arcane, but it sure is impressive.  (If this is the "compact" solenoid, I wonder what the full-size on looks like :)  [ via Boing Boing

Jeff Atwood discusses paying down your technical debt.  The general idea is that as you build software, you accumulate inefficiencies due to design trade-offs and have to go back and fix them later.  It is an interesting concept; for me the idea is to have a sufficiently good design that you never accumulate too much debt.  Going back to rewrite stuff due to architecture is usually a bad sign (doing it because of changing customer needs is different, or put another way, better understanding of customer needs).  I find most of the time people have to go back and fix stuff is because of performance, and a lot of the time that's because they used the wrong tools in an effort to deliver functionality faster. 

ZooBorns of the day: A barrel of Tamarins.  They look like trouble :)