I’ve averaged at least 70 hours a week over the course of January. I actually got home at about 12:30AM Tuesday morning, after getting into work at 8:20AM Monday. Things are OK, however I’m focused on finishing some deliverables for our team. We’ve run into random problems throughout the last couple of days, so there’s always something to debug. Work, overall, is going well. I’ve stepped up a bit, and am now coordinating efforts of multiple colleagues. I’m relying heavily on each of them to work independently, and deliver quality software on-time. So far, with one exception, that’s worked out well. I’m also relying on my management team to keep me moving in the right direction, as this is the first time I’m responsible for more than just my own individual contributions.
Although I’ve probably had dinner in my own house maybe once per week in the past week, management at work has been buying us dinner, and usually gives us at least one healthy option. Woo. Sort of.
If only I got overtime. This new position is certainly a “growth experience.”
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to everyone! Some of us are doing our own thing this time of the year; some are with our families, and some are enjoying just another day.
I’ve had a remarkable year that’s flown by, with successes and failures, ups and downs. I’m glad that I have the friends I have through all of that. Work has been fulfilling, and some of my efforts are starting to pay off.
The house is still standing, though at dinner last night, someone did manage to bend the sliding screen door on my back porch. It’s all good though. Aside from that rather humorous moment, it was a great evening.
Have a great holiday, no matter which one you’re celebrating!
As of this morning, I’m 26. The last few weeks have been hectic, thanks to some impending checkpoints at work, and additional responsibilities I’ve picked up. On top of my “day job” I was accepted into what is essentially an apprenticeship under one of our Distinguished Engineers (essentially a VP of Engineering, the second-highest technical rank at IBM). Part of the deal with this opportunity was that I would still meet all my prior commitments and deliverables, so essentially I volunteered to work an extra four or six hours a week. In addition, I just returned from a recruiting trip to OU, so I’ve got a few days’ worth of catch-up work to do between now and Monday.
So I’m off to work (remotely) for the morning, and will go see a movie with some friends this afternoon.
On a completely unrelated note, I found this graph a bit amusing:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Itanium_Sales_Forecasts_edit.png . Itanium launched nearly ten years ago, and was supposed to take the enterprise server market by storm. The plot shows the sales predictions for the Itanium year-by-year. Notice how the slopes trail off as the years go by…
As most of my friends from OU recall, I used to fly fairly often (and still do to a limited extent). Through most of my life I’ve flown Northwest, and gotten to know the quirks on various aircraft. For example, seat “6D” in the first full row of coach on a DC-9 gets four feet of leg room, since the airplane goes from 2-2 seating in first class to 2-3 seating at this point. In other aircraft, the emergency row may give you extra leg room, but the seats are stiffer, and they may not recline.
SeatGuru.com has tips like this for many of the major carriers. The site shows interactive maps of each aircraft’s cabin, along with tips on which seats are most desirable, and which seats should be avoided if possible. Take a look next time you book your tickets, or check in and are given an option to change your seat location.
This site is yet another example of the power of “crowd sourcing.” By consolidating the knowledge of the masses of frequent fliers into a single, easy-to-use resource, each of us can make more intelligent decisions.
Time for me to fly home for the weekend. Unfortunately the CRJ I’m flying on has no “good” seats… just seats to stay away from. Adios!
Oops. I’ve been busy recently between work, the house, and actively Doing Nothing, so here’s a summary of the last six months.
I’ve picked up some additional responsibilities at work, which mean that I get to see the systems I’m working on at a system level, as opposed to focusing on one or two very small pieces of the overall picture. It’s fascinating to see how everything fits together at a high level, and also map that into what we, the developers, actually implement. Since my last update, Power 520, Power 550, Power 575, and Power 595 have shipped. Check this video tour of the 595 (I know Pat!) and the Power 575 Supercomputer PR Video. I had the pleasure of contributing in some way to each product. Now I’m back out of the lab and focusing on design work for the future systems.
In other work news, I got a promotion last October, was awarded an “Outstanding Innovation Achievement Award” for my contributions to IBM’s EnergyScale technology this Spring, filed seven more patent as of June, and was rewarded with a trip to the National Society of Black Engineers Conference in Orlando in March.
While in Florida at the NSBE conference, a friend from work told me about Warbird Adventures. When I had a free hour Saturday, I got to fly a World War II T6 “Texan” aircraft, complete with acrobatic stunts! I’ll post a video as soon as I edit the 30 minute flight down to a good 2-minute video.
The house is great, and it’s been about a year since I moved in. I’ve gotten to know a couple of my neighbors, and like the area. The back garden is a lost cause until October, when I can clear it (again) and replant it. I’m annoyed with my home warranty folks, but I’m waiting until the warranty period is over before I write an entry about them.
P6 Blade’s gone out the door… My team’s contributions were highlighted on the 4th heading, “Go green by becoming more energy efficient…”
This weekend I finished the installation of recessed lights in my kitchen. I suppose those years of stagecraft and lighting design did come in handy. The 6″ cans were arranged to highlight the center island, and also provide general task lighting in the kitchen. Placement is accurate to within 1/8th of an inch. The house itself wasn’t built to that precision, since certain walls aren’t quite that straight.
The original light was a simple translucent plastic fluorescent fixture. The day after I closed on the house, I pulled the fixture just to force myself to actually do the work. Wires dangled from the ceiling for a month until I moved in and got fed up with the lack of light. The existing fixture was wired through a 3″ opening centered on the ceiling, but not on the island. Since I had to enlarge that opening, I did shift it slightly before installing the first light.
Since an opening already existed, I had very little choice in placement of the center light over the island. Since I did use this one, I was able to harness the existing circuits already wired in for the old fixture.
Items needed (total cost ~$100):
- Drywall Knife ($5)
- Drywall Circle Cutter (recommended, but not required… $8, eBay)
- 6″ IC-rated Recessed Light Kit, 6-pack (~$35)
- 6″ Baffle Trim ($40)
- 12-gauge 2-conductor + ground wire ($10)
- Buy a drywall circle cutter. I like the Stanley “Goldblatt” Drywall circle cutter. This can easily be had for $8 shipped on eBay. This model only requires a single hand, and is incredibly easy to use.
- Buy more wire than you think you need. 25 feet was just barely enough to wire up the 5 lights I have installed.
- Wire lights from below, prior to installing them in the ceiling. Stripping wire and tightening wire nuts in an extremely hot, dark attic while standing on support beams and balancing a flashlight gets hard after light #3…
- Buy expensive-looking baffles, but be 100% sure they fit in your fixture! This is the only part of the light that’s visible… the ones I purchased attach with springs which should fit most well-designed housings.
- Don’t forget the amount of heat your new lights will generate. 5 65-watt lamps has raised the temperature in my kitchen a few degrees.
- Consider buying a laser level to get “true” alignment on the ceiling, rather than relying on measurements off of imperfect wall edges. If that’s not possible, use painter’s tape to mask off lines for alignment, using a square to make sure the angles are true.
- Wear gloves when handling insulation.
- Consider how shadows will be cast. In my case, my stove is well-lit because two separate lights illuminate it from the sides, even when you’re standing directly in front of it. However, my sink is dim because a person standing at it blocks the light, since the fixture is positioned over his or her shoulder.
- Be sure to use “IC-rated” lights that are safe for contact with insulation.
- Once you have your light placement marked on the ceiling from below, drill small holes and poke wire hangers through the ceiling so that you can know the exact placement of the fixtures, and move any obstructions that might be in the way (like AC ducts).
Next up? Under-cabinet lights. I have to repurpose a “dishwasher” wall switch, which might actually require a real electrician since I might need to mess with the breaker box to pull a new circuit…
Last year during the 2006 election season, I got roughly a dozen autodialer calls, urging me to vote for my favorite democratic candidate. I’m slightly annoyed by these, for the following reasons:
- All of these candidates are running for election in Memphis, TN. I don’t live in Memphis. I haven’t lived in Memphis in three years.
- Campaign staffers aren’t able to take me off of the dialer lists.
- The dialers are calling my cell phone, using up minutes.
I tried calling the TN election commission, and was lost in bureaucracy. I tried calling various campaigns, and encountered clueless campaign staffers and volunteers. I even spent hours scouring TCA last year to understand whether it was legal. Anyone have any ideas?
I fear that the autodialers are starting again… anyone else have these problems?
PowerExecutive software, part of the IBM Systems Director portfolio, will now be available across all IBM systems and storage. Originally designed from IBM BladeCenter and System x, in November 2007 IBM will roll the free energy management technology out across IBM System i, System p, System z and System Storage. It is the only energy management software tool that can provide clients with a view of the actual power used, as opposed to benchmarked power consumption, and can effectively allocate, match and cap power and thermal limits in the data center at the system, chassis or rack level. By enabling power capping, clients can effectively run their systems on cruise control.
POWER6 has several different design features that lets us do things like this natively without having to resort to external measurements or approximations. Since IBM designs the entire system, we have hooks in the processor, system planar, and its management firmware. We also own the entire provisioning stack above that, so look out for interesting products that harness these underlying features in the future. As we begin to ship products, I’ll highlight some of the important technical features, and where applicable, explain how it was done.
Work’s great, especially when a customer that buys your product saves money in the long run. Oh, and it’s good for the environment too.