technik is currently certified at Journeyer level.

Name: Ross Lonstein
Member since: 2000-12-12 14:39:53
Last Login: 2009-01-13 17:55:09

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  Who am I? Code wonk, technology junkie, tinkerer, motorcyclist.

  How did I get here? Studied Humanities, tinkered endlessly, found a niche.

  What am I doing? Varies- Middleware Engineering, Unix SA, Programmer, sometimes Network Mgr., occasional Windows or NetWare Admin. Project Management because someone has to do it. Currently working with Middleware for an investment bank.

  How old am I? "Old enough to know better..."

  Where? New York City.

Recent blog entries by technik

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A coworker recently remarked on my diary entries. To my current colleagues: No, none of the comments involve our current employer. Funny that miserable situations all sound similar.

Where did this month go?

Work: More of the same. Tweaked and twisted the builds and our code to get a sane Java2 release then spent the month fighting a morass of delays and complications to migrate software. Internal efforts to block our use of Weblogic in favor of the Big Blue product have resorted to making an apples to oranges price comparison of the former's enterprise cluster software to the latter's single server edition. They wrung a big (>30%) discount from the latter while taking the first discount (<10%) from the former. This could derail an entire year of testing and configuration. Worse it justifies declaring WebSphere Studio the standard IDE. I can't even guess what these people think they are gaining... maybe nothing but proving that they can. All of us will move to a new floor Friday and there are already signs that it will go badly.

Play: DSL installed. Excellent! Configured the router and my OpenBSD firewall. PF is good and I'm getting used to the changes from IPF. Reconfigured my wireless access point and renumbered the network and can now get hacking on NoCatAuth. Netbooted OpenBSD on a headless SS5/70 and set it up running Apache and redirected to it from the firewall. Amazingly, I was swept by two whisker scans in less than 14 hours from some unnamed addresses (probably in Europe, maybe in .nl). Worked on and off on nothing in particular. Tweaked Jproxy. Messed around with POE, again. Used the gift certificate my wife gave me to buy motorcycle gear, it should be here in a few days. I can't wait for spring and oh, how I want this as my next bike!

Spent Saturday messing around with sockets and threads under Java. Didn't have my all reference books on hand (left them at work, I should get duplicate copies of everything useful...) Went searching for examples and put together a logging port-forwarder which outputs traffic in the classic offset/hex/ascii format. GPL-ed because the examples I looked at from were under the GPL and it's a pretty trivial hack. Registered it on Freshmeat anyway. Whee.

Sunday was beautiful, one of those rare perfect days. Maria and I took the car out, put the top down and drove backroads to Lambertville, NJ. We heard it was a cute town and had antique stores. We heard right. It's on the Delaware and the place reminds me of the Hudson river towns but much more dense and generally in better condition.

Slept badly, kept Maria up so now she's grumpy. Dread going to work.

The grind continues. $BIGCONSULTING is rampant. Interestingly, the emphasis on software maturity level is out of favor- that was quick! -and is considered a side-effect of organizational changes. Layoffs to be announced 1/17. Bonuses, if they exist, are rumored to be announced 1/18. Our group is apparently behind on two projects (very large scale software infrastructure changes, not seen by customers) because we provided assistance to other teams (real products, seen by real customers) and delayed to avoid collisions in production (which is also seen by customers). So we are refocusing on our own tasks and are instructed to not help other teams. The exception is if we can get their tracking codes for billing or the include our work in their estimates. I see the need, but question the benefit.

Making a list of priorities and what I personally need to accomplish. Get a sense of direction. Maybe I'm fledging. Anyone hiring?

Discovered two links on the wonderful wikki:

  • DeveloperMaturity
  • LifesJustTooShort
  • Long time, no post. Seems like I have been very busy, but I can't recall what I was doing. Been going to the gym at least two to three times a week (but not this week). Hacked on my Perl script a little, found a bug, added logging. If I get around to it I'll upload to CPAN but it looks like I'll not get time until January. Visited friends in Virginia a couple of times- They had a baby and Maria is now the God-Mother (heh). At work, we're in the end-of-year grind to push everything into production before the cut off date and things are crazy. Also took part in a three-day Change Management and Leadership program which, other than the "drink the Kool-Aid" enthusiasm of the trainers, seemed fairly useful. I've added a dozen new jargon terms to my repertoire.

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