13 Nov 2001 fuzzyping   » (Journeyer)

Guess I'll throw in a little history for those interested (sick?) enough to read my l'il 'ol diary.

I'm currently a DNS Admin/Monkey-boy for Digex in Beltsville, MD. Most of my time, thankfully, is spent working on pet coding projects for my boss. The rest of the time is spent performing DNS mods for our customer base. :-P

Previously, I was a Systems Engineer for Cidera, formerly known as Skycache, in Laurel, MD. Talk about your kick-ass, never- forget-it type of job. It basically amounted to performing whatever needed to be done to get this startup off the ground. Primarily, this focused on scripting different projects for monitoring, babysitting the networks, SysAdmin'g our uplink servers (FreeBSD/Alpha, NetBSD/Sparc), etc. Very fun stuff. I really miss working with the folks over there... Mag, MikeD, Lisa, Julie (Lisa's evil twin sister), Jack, Cliff, Dana, Bert, Todd, Moose, Brad, Mark (yes, even you Mark) and Keith (sorry if I forgot others... I know I did).

I managed to stick around to the 2nd round of layoffs in April of 2001. By that point, the company realized their burn rate would far exceed their capital reserves (VC go-go juice). They've since had a 3rd round of layoffs... they're now around 30 headcount (down from over 300 at the peak). I'm still fairly shocked, even with the market conditions. They had a tear-shit-up type of product... they just didn't have the business sense to get it moving (charge the customer? what's that?). The president/owner is Doug Humphrey, the same Doug Humphrey responsible for the original Digex, before it was sold to Intermedia and carved up like last year's Thanksgiving turkey.

Really, it was/is a really sweet product. For those outside the industry, it doesn't make much sense. For those that really "get it", it's a downright groovy idea (given the cost of land-based connectivity). They managed to integrate a caching solution with a peering arrangement, delivered via multicast feed over satellites. In layman's terms, they are able to feed a full Usenet feed, web cache hits, A/V objects, etc. over a satellite feed (approx 45M or the rough equivalent of a DS3), distributing to all the receiving dishes at the same time. From what I heard, it was nearly a 90% savings over an equivalent terrestrial solution. Pretty cool, eh?

Ok, I think I'm done with that.

Right now I'm busy hoping the economy will turn around by 2002 Q2. I'm starting to see hints of the economy turning north, although it might just be your typical fluctuations in customer spending and/or the onset of the holiday shopping season. I went on Dice the other day and was disturbed at the decrease in the volume of job postings. I remember not_so_long_ago that the total count was well into the 6 digits. The other day? Approximately 38,000. Scary.

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