Older blog entries for Denny (starting at number 22)

13 Oct 2005 (updated 28 Dec 2008 at 17:19 UTC) »

Wow, life's moved on a lot since I was here last.

I got nearly killed by a careless car driver (pulled out in front of my motorbike without looking) in summer 2003. Spent a month in hospital, and a year in bed, still can't really dance - I miss clubbing.

Got 'made redundant' while I was still bed-ridden a month or two after I got out of hospital, which was pretty low of them.

Once I was back on my feet, found a new job, in south London, and moved to the area - near Wimbledon. Been there a year now, they seem very happy with me, got a small raise at my first annual review, so that's nice. I really like working there, it's a nice atmosphere/environment - we even have a pool table in our offices :)

Haven't done much personal coding since the accident - got into an online game called Kings of Chaos, and ended up leading the biggest alliance in its history - I got pretty good ranks in Age 1 and 2, came 2nd in Age 3 Beta, 1st in Age 3, and 2nd again in Age 4. I retired at the end of Age 4, which was last weekend... I'm hoping to spend some of the Copious Spare Time that I should now find myself with on more useful activities, maybe do some extra-curricular work-related coding and tidy up some of our in-house tools.

I guess that'll do as an update for now. I don't particularly plan to update here frequently, as I'm not coding much right now, but I thought it would be nice to catch things up while I drifted by.

16 Dec 2002 (updated 28 Dec 2008 at 17:17 UTC) »
New Manglement

Got asked to join one of my more senior colleagues for a meeting today, purpose unspecified. Turns out I've been reasssigned from my old line manager to him. This is a Good Thing (tm) as my old line manager is holding a serious grudge against me ever since I pointed out that a lot of our code was hideously uncompliant with W3C standards. I didn't realise his wife had written it.

As a side-effect of this reassigning it looks like I'm going to be given a reasonably chunky project to get on with again, instead of doing odds and ends fixes on our existing codebase. This will work much better for/with my frame of mind. I like the sense of achievement you get from pushing a new project along. Plus, it means I can do it properly (i.e. standards-compliant!) from the start. :)

I won!

IwonIwonIwonIwonIwonIwonIwonIwonIwonIwonIwonIwonIwonIwon IwonIwonIwonIwonIwonIwonIwonIwonIwonIwonIwonIwonIwonIwon!!! :)


Ahem. I'm quite pleased about that...

Tomorrow night the website I originally wrote YAWNS for is in the finals for a 'disability friendly' award - due to the standards compliant output from YAWNS making all the pages on the site work with screen-readers and easier to navigate for the motion impaired, etc. Quite excited, even though I'm definitely the long-shot candidate...

17 Oct 2002 (updated 28 Dec 2008 at 17:19 UTC) »

Not written much code lately - been busy with that Real Life thing.

2 Aug 2002 (updated 28 Dec 2008 at 17:20 UTC) »

Moving content around between various blogs and journals. This post went elsewhere.

16 Jul 2002 (updated 28 Dec 2008 at 17:21 UTC) »

Moving content around between various blogs and journals. This post went elsewhere.

19 Jun 2002 (updated 28 Dec 2008 at 17:22 UTC) »

Checked into a few of the Observer level people I happened to notice in the recent diary entries list and marked them up as Apprentice as they seem to be working away at various open source / free software projects - well done those people.

I almost didn't cert one person as they had already certificated themself as a Master, which seems less than humble to me (I've never been a fan of self-promotion). However, the person in question is running a fairly neat sounding project, albeit 'pre-beta' at present, so after giving it some thought I set them to Apprentice in the end.

Speaking more generally now, I've never understood why anyone certs themself on Advogato - personally I don't think anyone can pass accurate judgement on their own standing within a community? Maybe it's just me... *shrug*

This quote (from the Hacker How-to) might be relevant: "when you play the hacker game, you learn to keep score primarily by what other hackers think of your skill (this is why you aren't really a hacker until other hackers consistently call you one)"


I haven't done anything interesting to YAWNS for ages, I've been too wrapped up in 'real life' which has been frankly unpleasant and extremely energy-consuming. This seems to have drawn to an end now, so maybe I'll get back into hacking soon... I hope so.

3 May 2002 (updated 3 May 2002 at 15:06 UTC) »

Working again, yay!

The interview for the company mentioned below didn't work out. The second interview focused on people skills, which I never claimed to have :)

They said they'd call me back within a week, and they emailed me about a month later to say 'oh by the way, no thanks'. Well thankyou for your prompt rejection...

I can't say that I was that upset actually - they were a shirt-and-tie, nine-to-five kind of company, and I'm not that kind of person - I couldn't see it working out, but I was financially in a position where my options were looking fairly constrained.

Then one of those nifty 'we do all the work for you' job sites actually came up trumps - I got an email saying 'this job matches your criteria', and did it ever!! Ten minutes from home, required skills list a letter for letter match for my key skills list, salary slightly in excess of my last salary, urgent requirement. I rang the agency within minutes, had an interview at 1pm the next day, and had the job confirmed by 3pm. My sincere thanks to the people who run www.it.jobserve.com (and my bank manager's thanks also, I imagine!!)

The place I'm at now is flexitime, casual dress, and gave me a brand new Sony Vaio the day after I started... I like them lots :)

In other news, I have (a) been dumped by my girlfriend, (b) ordered ADSL, and (c) had an incredible amount of trouble with my co-located server, some sort of memory leak thing. A mixed bag of life, to be sure...

It all seems to be settling down now, with my ex-girlfriend now being civil to me again and a possibility of us getting back together, the ADSL going live sometime this week, and the server problem being possibly traced to a bit of bad Exim configuration on the part of the guys who originally set it up... which will teach me to never take over sysadmin on a box someone else built and configured!

On the whole though, all else is overshadowed by the joyous 'not totally broke any more' feeling of getting back into work... although the intervening three months did no favours for my already dubiously large mountain of debt. I refuse to worry about it, or I'd never get to smile :)

Still no job. Had an interview last week and been invited back for a second (salary haggling, I suspect) next week. Also been a few potential contracts flying around, which tempts me to try and pursue freelance work instead of going back into the wage-slave system.

YAWNS is coming along nicely, with all this 'spare' time on my hands... I've written most of the admin features (had a load of code contributed for user admin stuff which was nice) and it's almost at the stage where I'm going to fork off a stable branch with just bugfixes.

You know that chinese curse, "May you live in interesting times" ? Life's been like that recently...

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