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Name: Erik Stambaugh
Member since: 2002-02-17 04:40:55
Last Login: N/A

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Homepage: http://dasbistro.com/~erik/

Notes:

By trade, I'm a sysadmin, I think.
I am currently working a short-term contract as a consultant for a rather big semiconductor company. I'm writing scripts for them that break high-bandwidth telecom gear.
Here is my resume.

Most of the stuff I generate is for personal projects that have yet to be released only because their code is not yet ready for review.

At this time I have an OpenGL project I am working on.
I maintain a Familiar (iPAQ) package for robotfindskitten.

I also occasionally post articles to Das Bistro.

I post to dasbanter about as often as anyone else. I also occasionally pop up in places like crackmonkey. I lurk on dozens of other mailing lists.

Recent blog entries by squinky

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I'm not sure if I'm really cut out for this.

I got into the computer business because it was fun and something I have a talent for. Now, seven or eight years into my career, I'm doing moderately well, but I can't help but feel like this isn't what I should be doing with eight hours of my day.

I've never gotten to the point of using terms like "ADHD" or anything. In school, teachers and counselors just called me lazy. They told me in the most exasperated tones they could muster about their confoundment at my "choice" not to be a good citizen and apply myself. They liked to remind me that I was choosing not to participate. I could never explain why I did things the way I did then, and I can't now.

Hummingbirds stick around longer than I do.

I feel like I went to bed one night as a mullet-haired 12-year-old and woke up at 25, a college dropout working the last three weeks of his programming contract at a big damn microchip company. And now I have just started to take a look at things and realize this kind of work isn't for me.

Maybe it is. I don't know. Some people have told me my code is pretty good. I don't know if they're blowing smoke or what, but the one thing about my work that I can measure is how much time I spend goofing off instead of working.

I'm really not sure how to go about explaining it. I'm not the victim of anything, and I'm not trying to make people feel sorry for me, but after twelve years of public school counselors telling my my inability to focus was by choice and that somehow I insisted on doing the wrong thing, I get a little defensive when the subject of my productivity comes up. Sometimes the things I am supposed to be doing become grating and painful, like fingernails on chalkboard, and the way I seek relief is to go read some mailing lists for a while or stand outside and stare at traffic.

A couple of years ago I found out about how the school psychologists wanted to put me on Ritalyn. My parents stuck up for me and told everyone at the schools (a) they were not going to medicate their child's personality, and (b) precisely where they could put their Ritalyn. It's good to know that my parents believed in me when I was a kid, since a lot of what I heard was how much of a disappointment I was. But once in a while I wonder if those sit-down-johnny-and-behave pills would have fixed things as well as they claimed.

Even now. I spend 80% of my day doing things that are unassociated with my job: walking around and bothering people in nearby cubes, surfing the web, staring at the ceiling. But apparently I get about as much work done as everyone else. I have tried to justify my actions in my head by saying it's better because I end up with the same amount of work by the end of the day, but I still feel like I am stealing 80% of my paycheck.

Now I am starting to think that I have to find something more exciting than programming to sustain myself. Or maybe programming something besides network testing. The suspicion still occurs that no matter what I find myself doing I'll end up unable to stick to it. It's kind of depressing.

Sorry about ranting. I guess I should get back to work.

Last week I was given the final date on my consulting contract, which is June 30. For several days I was unsure exactly how to feel about things. I felt more inclined to sit and stare out the window than to get a decent amount of work done. I feel awful about it.

So, I am back on the job market. I'm so excited I could cough up blood.

I got a moderate amount of work done on mmo. I'm back to where I was before I started writing any of the code for it: scribbling little 3D algorithms down on paper.

One thing that seems to bother me is how cavalier people writing other 3D engines seem to be about throwing in incredible amounts of computation for small little effects. It's like, "I got realistic reflections and all it took was tripling the polygon count!"

Of course, I'm still at a very early phase and I may yet have to triple my own polygon count.

21 Apr 2002 (updated 21 Apr 2002 at 20:58 UTC) »

I have put together a 'projects' page which has more frequent updates:

http://www.dasbistro.com/~erik/projects.html

I have one or two moderately fun things there that I'm doing there. Not a whole lot of source available yet, but I'm the kind of person who doesn't want anyone looking at my code until I've taken all of the embarassing stuff out.

So this is my first entry.

I'm working on getting OpenGL under my belt. Progress can be viewed here. Don't expect anything spectacular for a while.

The tech-sector fallout's effect on me is (hopefully) near a close, as I start a job with a Really Big Well Known Corporation in about four days. Joy.

 

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