It's my birthday today. Cool. I registered for the draft today. I seriously think the only reason they tacked "System" onto the end of "Selective Service System" is so they wouldn't have a government agency with the initials SS. Heh. People are so stupid.
I'm having fun. Seriously. The "date parsing" in the Java API sucks eggs, so I'm writing one that lets you input a date in whatever format, and the computer actually figures it out. My class can output it in any of a bazillion formats, too. For the parsing, I'm getting to play with regexps. I just love writing code that makes the computer seem a tiny bit smarter.
The FriendlyDate class is done, and I am pleased to honor it with the position of being the first member of the quadium.net Toys Collection. There's an applet to play with too, so knock yourself out.
Okay, I forgot to give the Toys Collection a version number, so it's now 1.0. I also included a couple other tweaks, like handling extra whitespace. If you got the previous version, you should get 1.0 now.
SQL is great! It's almost like it was made for doing relational database work...
I just watched Star Trek: Voyager, "Random Thoughts" according to the TV listings. This was one of the rare few that didn't display the cosmic suckiness that is so much a part of Voyager. Granted, it was a little formulaic, but what story isn't by now? They also managed to be genuinely surprising several times, which I like.
I think the only other Voyager I really liked was the one where Chakotay was drafted into that alien army, and they kept changing who the good guys and bad guys were. Good episode, that. Most of them are just "the further adventures of the U.S.S. Politically Correct" with the same lame Borg plots every so often. Not that the Borg (or certain drones) aren't fun to watch though... =)
Oh yeah, bought a car yesterday. It's an '84 Saab, with a really ugly coat of old red paint. Runs fairly well, though, and it's got that cool turbocharger turbine thingy. After I get the paperwork taken care of, I need to get it a new windshield and a coat of paint. I'll take some before and after pics and post 'em.
Woohoo! I just got moderator access on Slashdot for the first time. I was fairly proud of myself -- I managed to spread my meager 5 points out over the space of, um, an hour, instead of blowing them all at once. =)
Today was fairly satisfying. I hit the 25-point threshold on Slashdot, so now I can post with a +1 bonus if I want. Yippee.
The string to my yo-yo broke. I was walking down the hall and sleeping it when I felt all the weight disappear. The yo-yo itself rolled all the way down the hall until it hit a wall. It's one of those light-up yo-yos too, so it the little red lights were lit up the whole time. I'm replacing the string tomorrow.
I got a haircut this afternoon. I started out with a half-inch on top, then I decided I wanted it shorter, and then a little shorter. The lady doing my hair had to go through like 3 or 4 different attachments. I gave her a bigger tip to compensate for the trouble that weird people like me cause her.
My friend Josh and I went swing dancing. He has his license, which is really cool, because we could do things like, um, go swing dancing. I forgot 99.9% of the steps I used to know, though. I need to get them back. I got this girl's phone number, too. Cool. We'll see how that works out.
I'll be leaving Sun and moving back to California shortly. I accepted a job offer from a Redwood City startup. It's a very interesting story how it happened, actually. I was reading my email when I found a message asking whether I would be interested in working for them. I didn't give it much thought, because I get a lot of random job offers from "Bob's New Linux Dotcom" and such. When I read further, though, I saw that it was from none other than Spencer Kimball, co-author of the Gimp.
He's a co-founder of this company, and apparently he saw a message I had posted on IBM's Java message boards and decided I would be a good person to contact. Which is funny, because as far as I can recall, all my message said was, "I'd like to see IBM's JVM on FreeBSD too, as I have a box I'd love to run some servlets on." (The box in question was glimmer, my i-opener, BTW). Anyway, we exchanged a few mails and phone calls, and on Tuesday, I flew out to San Francisco for an interview.
Which is when the whole thing got a little more unconventional, because apparently Spencer's car had broken down like a week ago, so he gave me a ride to their office on the back of his motorcycle. I talked with a few people, and my interview with Patti, a WeGo (Wego? weGo? WEGO?) recruiter, consisted of playing pool with her. Anyway, they ended up offering me a great environment, a considerably higher salary than I'm making now, and some nice stock options. I accepted yesterday, and Rachelle (my current manager) and I are looking at me being finished at Sun by the end of the month.
I'm really looking forward to the new job. I don't want to burn any bridges, and some of it isn't really anyone's business anyway, so I'm not going to go into a lot of detail about what happened at Sun. I've had the privilege of working with a lot of great people, but I've also seen that a lot of people there seem to spend their whole day burying their heads in the sand. The big thing, though, is that with my new title of "Associate Software Engineer", I'll be right on the front lines, so to speak, designing and implementing stuff. And I know if I develop something good, it will get used, because WeGo has nothing to do but improve its services.
Oh, and I fixed an off-by-one error in my copy of pilot-mail.
My life is way too hectic. I'm leaving Sun tomorrow, and I'm frantically trying to educate everyone on the stuff I'm leaving behind, finish coding a few improvements, and clean up various packages.
Anyway, I've just finished putting together a splash screen for somebody. In the process, I made a minor improvement to SPLASH (you can use arbitrary Lisp forms as commands to be executed from buttons), so it's sitting at 1.1 now.
I finished taking the GED yesterday. I would have gotten it done Tuesday, but there was an essay question, and they made me allow 2 hours for it. I just took the tests in the wrong order, I guess. I'm not allowed to mention the topic of the essay, but the answer was "yes". Also, one of the sections involved reading about the Enhanced 911 system, which of course made me think of Operation Sundevil.
I cleaned out my cube today, after just managing to finish up the servlet that's been my biggest project all along. I was at work till 8:30p last night, and I worked until literally the last minute today. But I got it done, and I'm rather pleased with myself.
I don't mind working late, or frantically. In fact, I don't think I can really have fun programming unless there is some kind of time crunch. (Not "deadline", "crunch". A deadline is what Clueless People assign you; a crunch is just when something needs to be ready and should get done by, if you work your butt off.) Plus, it helps keep me focused, which I enjoy in moderation.
I think I would have finished sooner, except that much of yesterday was spent in writing pages of Lisp code at the last minute, and then running into a problem (unrelated to my code) which ended with people following the recommendation I made months ago. But it worked out.
There's an internal mailing list on Sun's Broomfield campus called "forsale", ostensibly for exchanging "I wanna buy X" and "I wanna sell Y" mails. Frequently, however, it morphs into a breeding ground for flamewars of the most interesting variety. So I sent one last mail, just to fan the flames:
Subject: STUFF FOR SALE
D00dz! You th1nk u'r so e1337 with yer SELLING and BUYING but i have to say m0st of this stuph is pointless! HAHAHAHAHA
really there should be more connversat10n and stuph about prarie d0gz and tramp01n35, u know? that would make it more INTERESTING
k33p the phlames g01ng 4ever ppl! BSD r00lz! Linux forever d00dz!
Last modified: Fri Jun 30 22:55:02 MDT 2000