Rock, Scissors, Fire

It seems like all engineers like to name things in clever ways along a common theme.  Most often, this manifests itself in the names of computers.  All of the servers in a given server room or individual rack might get named after Simpsons characters, the seven dwarves, the seven deadly sins, the nine greek muses, … Continue reading Rock, Scissors, Fire

My last cable box had pushbuttons

Today a couple of different people at work commented on the screensaver I currently use. It is xanalogtv from the xscreensaver package. It simulates switching channels on an old boxy rotary-channel-selector television, complete with snow, image ghosting, wiggly vertical sync, and all of that. The author of this screensaver put in an impressive amount of … Continue reading My last cable box had pushbuttons

Have you tried switching it off, then on again?

I wrote briefly about it before, but many years ago I used to work as a low-level tech at a virtual reality company. When I wasn’t operating or hacking the system, I was repairing it. These repairs were sometimes a little complex, but 99% of the time, they boiled down to two things. Reboot. If … Continue reading Have you tried switching it off, then on again?

Boost C++ & Operator Overloading

As you may or may not know already, I recently started a new job.  The new company makes a lot more heavy-duty use of C++ than the previous one did.  Among the C++ code is the 3rd party Boost C++ library.  I had peripherally heard of Boost before, but had never looked too deeply at … Continue reading Boost C++ & Operator Overloading

Money vs. Culture

There is a great guy named Merlin Mann whose work I have been appreciating for years.  He is pretty much a time and productivity guru, although I am not sure you’d be able to catch him using the word “guru” to describe himself in any way.  He invented the Hipster PDA and Inbox Zero.  Earlier … Continue reading Money vs. Culture

The Neo-Victorian Cubicle

If you’re going to do something, do it big.  Make it spectacular.  Whether it’s a fantastic success, an amazing effort, or an astounding failure, make it something people will talk about for a long time. A couple of weeks ago the office in which I work did a bit of a reshuffle. We ran out … Continue reading The Neo-Victorian Cubicle

Wikis and notepads and text files, oh my!

The other night, @verso tweeted a question about running a little wiki on a home file server. I responded with TiddlyWiki, which is a whole wiki contained in a single HTML file. It actually may or may not fulfill her needs, since there are huge concurrency and remote access issues — it’s designed to be … Continue reading Wikis and notepads and text files, oh my!


You may or may not have seen my tweet/twitpic about learning to whack a couple of days ago. It was from a flier that Human Resources (presumably) left sitting on the color printer. This morning, while waiting for our stand-up meeting, someone thought to track down the source. A quick Google search later, we had … Continue reading WHACK it!

900,000 Chutes & Ladders per hour

Every Thursday at work, during our lunch hour, several of us get together to play board games. We play a different game each week, and aside from a few tries at new games, we tend to rotate through the same three or four games each week. In an attempt to add a little variety, we … Continue reading 900,000 Chutes & Ladders per hour

Brian’s Ten(ish) Songs

At work we’ve been organizing little unofficial fun activities. (And by “we,” I mean a coworker, Helen.) This includes things like Friday lunches out with the whole department (some of us eat out more frequently than that, but even the brown-baggers are now going out with us on Fridays). There is a weekly lunchroom board … Continue reading Brian’s Ten(ish) Songs