Monday, June 25, 2007

I have upgraded

I bit the bullet and upgraded to Vista

I am almost happy about it. It was an easy and safe install, it runs much better than XP, every picture seems to look better than before.

But I can't get Battlefield 2 to work. So I am a little upset. I've tried new vid drivers, and running it as the administrator, but I got no where. The next thing to try is uninstalling and re-installing all over again.

Wish me luck

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Bitching about work

Hey friends...

I have a minute to breath... barely

This is a rant... feel free to ignore it. I just need to vent.

My experience with the Iowa group has been fairly limited. We try to support their software configuration management needs, but I was happy with just letting them stay status quo until we move them over to the tools we use in Denver. That's not happening soon enough. Their SCM server is crapping out on them. Locking developers out every day, sometimes multiple times a day. It is a Linux box.

A few weeks ago we decided we needed to change out that server. They wanted to move from a Linux box to Windows. Sounded easy enough, but me and my crew are not too familiar with the tools they use. We got it all set up except for one add-on that send e-mail out every time a file is checked in. I told them they may need to go without that tool. They said "NO WAY!", they had to have it. About a week or so ago I asked why getting spammed from the source control tool was so important... that was a big mistake.

Well they use this tool in a VERY unorthodox way, and also do software releases in a very odd way, I came to find out. Apparently, when a customer finds a bug in the software and declares it an emergency, the group in Iowa fix the code and check it in. This generates these e-mails that identify only the lines in the code that are changed. The Iowa group then forwards that e-mail to the client. When I was investigating this I though "Why the hell would they care what lines of code were changed?". I came to find out that the customer has our source code on-site (This is bad, VERY BAD!), and when an emergency bug needs to be fixed they take this e-mail and make the changes on-site instead of just getting a new release from us. They then rebuild and redeploy locally. I think the words that came out of my mouth were, "You got to be fucking kidding me". Not only that, but the client has the "option" of making changes we don't know about, or not implementing all of the fixes we send them.

Let me explain something here. My title is Manager of Software Configuration Management. It is my responsibility to be able to control and recreate any software that has either been deployed internally or to the customer (ESPECIALLY to the customer). I had no idea this was going on. The project manager that told me this said she knew that this was a bad way of doing it, but this was needed due to customer expectations. I told her this was going to have to change.

I could not keep this to myself. I wrote this up in an e-mail to my boss, he is the head of Systems Engineering, and to the head of Product Engineering, and the VP of Software Engineering for our division. What suprised me is the speed in which I got a reply. The first came from the VP. She was in shock. So much so that she followed that up with another "less volatile" response. Unfortunately she told me that I had to get that fixed.

This is an issue way beyond my group, which is way I threw it up the ladder. I don't interact with the customer, and if I was to tell the customer that this practice is no longer going to work I know I would have my head on the chopping block. I let everyone know that the customer relationship needed to be worked to get them to understand the change to the process, and it should be done by someone that already has an on-going relationship with them.

I think the VP agreed, but she never told me. I was trying to understand how to unravel this mess when my boss came by. He was laughing and shaking his head. I told him I don't want to look under any more rocks in Iowa, "can we just nuke 'em from orbit, it's the only way to be sure". That was a movie quote (I know... such a guy thing). Can anyone guess the movie?

Well the responsibility is no longer on me to fix this. It has been handled at the VP level. More than one VP had to be involved because a different VP handles the customer facing stuff (I was right... YEAH!).

Sorry for all the process talk. I know it's not exciting.

So now we're moving them over next weekend to the Windows box without the e-mail add-on. Another weekend ruined with work. There are going to be a number of ruined weekends coming up shortly. This was just one of the things stressing me out.

I haven't even been playing much as far as computer games go. My BF2 installation needs to be redone. So I've been playing a little World of Warcraft. Sometimes with Chrissie. I like how her character dances for mine.

Little League is over, but Kevin is also on the freshmen team at the high school. That goes for a couple more weeks. I've been spending a lot of time at the ball parks.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Too Damn Busy

I know I'm not around much. My work is kicking my ass. Many deadlines that may not be possible. I have lots to blog about, just no time to do it.

I hope everyone is doing well.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Movie Junkie

Stole this from TG

Check which movies you've seen, and keep count along the way.

Out of 239 movies: HOW MANY HAVE YOU SEEN??

(x) Rocky Horror Picture Show
(x) Grease
(x) Pirates of the Caribbean
(x) Pirates of the Caribbean 2: Dead Man's Chest
( ) Boondock Saints
(x) Fight Club
(x) Starsky and Hutch
(x) Neverending Story
(x) Blazing Saddles
(x) Airplane

Total: 9

(x) The Princess Bride
(x) AnchorMan
(x) Napoleon Dynamite
(x) Labyrinth
( ) Saw
( ) Saw II
(x) White Noise
( ) White Oleander
( ) Anger Management
(x) 50 First Dates
( ) The Princess Diaries
( ) The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement

Total so far: 15

( ) Scream
( ) Scream 2
( ) Scream 3
( ) Scary Movie
( ) Scary Movie 2
(x) Scary Movie 3
( ) Scary Movie 4
(x) American Pie
(x) American Pie 2
(x) American Wedding
( ) American Pie Band Camp

Total so far: 19

(x) Harry Potter 1
(x) Harry Potter 2
(x) Harry Potter 3
(x) Harry Potter 4
( ) Resident Evil 1
( ) Resident Evil 2
(x) The Wedding Singer
( ) Little Black Book
(x) The Village
(x) Lilo & Stitch

Total so far: 26

(x) Finding Nemo
( ) Finding Neverland
(x) Signs
(x) The Grinch
( ) Texas Chainsaw Massacre
( ) Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning
( ) White Chicks
(x) Butterfly Effect
(x) 13 Going on 30
(x) I, Robot
(x) Robots

Total so far: 33

(x) Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story
(x) Universal Soldier
(x) Lemony Snicket: A Series Of Unfortunate Events
(x) Along Came Polly
(x) Deep Impact
(x) KingPin
(x) Never Been Kissed
(x) Meet The Parents
(x) Meet the Fockers
(x) Eight Crazy Nights
(x) Joe Dirt
(x) KING KONG - only the original

Total so far: 45

( ) A Cinderella Story
(x) The Terminal
( ) The Lizzie McGuire Movie
( ) Passport to Paris
(x) Dumb & Dumber
( ) Dumber & Dumberer
( ) Final Destination
( ) Final Destination 2
( ) Final Destination 3
(x) Halloween
(x) The Ring
( ) The Ring 2
(x) Surviving X-MAS
(x) Flubber

Total so far: 51

(x) Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle
(x) Practical Magic
( ) Chicago
( ) Ghost Ship
( ) From Hell
(x) Hellboy
( ) Secret Window
( ) I Am Sam
(x) The Whole Nine Yards
(x) The Whole Ten Yards

Total so far: 56

(x) The Day After Tomorrow
( ) Child's Play
( ) Seed of Chucky
( ) Bride of Chucky
( ) Ten Things I Hate About You
(x) Just Married
( ) Gothika
(x) Nightmare on Elm Street
(x) Sixteen Candles
(x) Remember the Titans
( ) Coach Carter
( ) The Grudge
( ) The Grudge 2
(x) The Mask
( ) Son Of The Mask

Total so far: 62

(x) Bad Boys
(x) Bad Boys 2
( ) Joy Ride
(x) Lucky Number Slevin
(x) Ocean's Eleven
(x) Ocean's Twelve
(x) Bourne Identity
(x) Bourne Supremecy
(x) Lone Star
(x) Bedazzled
(x) Predator I
(x) Predator II
(x) The Fog
(x) Ice Age
( ) Ice Age 2: The Meltdown
( ) Curious George

Total so far: 75

(x) Independence Day
(x) Cujo
(x) A Bronx Tale
(x) Darkness Falls
(x) Christine
(x) ET
( ) Children of the Corn
( ) My Bosses Daughter
(x) Maid in Manhattan
(x) War of the Worlds
(x) Rush Hour
(x) Rush Hour 2

Total so far: 85

( ) Best Bet
(x) How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days
(x) She's All That
( ) Calendar Girls
(x) Sideways
(x) Mars Attacks
(x) Event Horizon
(x) Ever After
(x) Wizard of Oz
(x) Forrest Gump
(x) Big Trouble in Little China
(x) The Terminator
(x) The Terminator 2
(x) The Terminator 3

Total so far: 97

(x) X-Men
(x) X-2
(x) X-3
(x) Spider-Man
(x) Spider-Man 2
( ) Sky High
( ) Jeepers Creepers
( ) Jeepers Creepers 2
(x) Catch Me If You Can
(x) The Little Mermaid
(x) Freaky Friday
( ) Reign of Fire
( ) The Skulls
(x) Cruel Intentions
( ) Cruel Intentions 2
( ) The Hot Chick
(x) Shrek
(x) Shrek 2

Total so far: 108

( ) Swimfan
(x) Miracle on 34th street
(x) Old School
(x) The Notebook
(x) K-Pax
( ) Krippendorf's Tribe
(x) A Walk to Remember
( ) Ice Castles
( ) Boogeyman
(x) The 40-year-old Virgin (funniest movie ever made)

Total so far: 114

(x) Lord of the Rings Fellowship of the Ring
(x) Lord of the Rings The Two Towers
(x) Lord of the Rings Return Of the King
(x) Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark
(x) Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
(x) Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade

Total so far: 120

() Baseketball
() Hostel
(x) Waiting for Guffman
( ) House of 1000 Corpses
( ) Devils Rejects
(x) Elf
(x) Highlander
(x) Mothman Prophecies
( ) American History X
( ) Three

Total so Far: 124

( ) The Jacket
(x) Kung Fu Hustle
( ) Shaolin Soccer
() Night Watch
(x) Monsters Inc.
(x) Titanic
(x) Monty Python and the Holy Grail
(x) Shaun Of the Dead
(x) Willard

Total so far: 130

( ) High Tension
(x) Club Dread
(x) Hulk
(x) Dawn Of the Dead
(x) Hook
(x) Chronicles Of Narnia The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe
(x) 28 days later
(x) Orgazmo
( ) Phantasm
(x) Waterworld

Total so far: 138

(x) Kill Bill vol 1 (unfortunately)
(x) Kill Bill vol 2 (unfortunately)
( ) Mortal Kombat
( ) Wolf Creek
( ) Kingdom of Heaven
( ) The Hills Have Eyes
( ) I Spit on Your Grave aka the Day of the Woman
( ) The Last House on the Left
( ) Re-Animator
( ) Army of Darkness

Total so far: 140

(x) Star Wars Ep. I The Phantom Menace
(x) Star Wars Ep. II Attack of the Clones
(x) Star Wars Ep. III Revenge of the Sith
(x) Star Wars Ep. IV A New Hope
(x) Star Wars Ep. V The Empire Strikes Back
(x) Star Wars Ep. VI Return of the Jedi
( ) Ewoks Caravan Of Courage
( ) Ewoks The Battle For Endor

Total so far: 146

(x) The Matrix
(x) The Matrix Reloaded
(x) The Matrix Revolutions
(x) Animatrix
( ) Evil Dead
( ) Evil Dead 2
(x) Team America: World Police
(x) Red Dragon
(x) Silence of the Lambs
(x) Hannibal

154 out of 239 movies seen!

Actually this has an aweful lot of lame movies.

Monday, June 11, 2007

What I did last night...

The concert was... AWESOME!

I saw them back in 1981 in Denver (my first concert ever), then again in 1983 in Phoenix (my first mega huge outdoor concert). This time blew those others away.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Interviewing and talking

No, things are not so bad at work that I am leaving. I have interviewed a couple of people this past week for my job opening.

I determined that both guys could do the job just from reading their resumes. Sure, people sometimes lie in their resume, so it's up to me to make a decision through talking to them.

I don't really like interviewing people. It's part of my social anxiety. I tend to talk to much because I am nervous. Mike, one of my guys that does interviews with me, said he is going to kick me the next time I start providing way too much detail. It was good to hear that. It keeps me aware of my rambling on.

The first interview was last Friday. The guy had been awake for over 24 hours due to a major software release from his current job. He seemed a bit wired. I wasn't going to hold it against him. He knows what he is doing, but he doesn't know the main tool that we use. There would be a substancial learning curve, but as he stated, he has always wanted to learn this tool. His expertice in other areas kept him in the running.

The next guy I was a bit skeptical about. I feel bad about this, but I am a bit apprehensive about hiring someone from India. I have met some great engineers from india, but I have also known a lot of mediocre and bad engineers. Some of the problems stem from the communication gap. Some people from india speak so fast that it is hard to understand them through their heavy accent. Other parts of my feelings come from the fact that a lot of people from India are very meek. I can't afford to have someone that doesn't step up and question why we do things a certain way.

This guy came in, dressed in a very nice suit. I was in my jeans and a Polo shirt. We're casual in the office. I had forgotten about the interview. Usually I'll wear a pair of Dockers. He was very articulate and extremely well versed in the tools. He had to do some extreme customization to integrate a couple tools together. He apparently did this all on his own. He was not afraid to speak up, and even interrupted me when he knew that I was going to ask a particular question.

Mike was with me for both interviews. Both of us had some hesitation about hiring the first guy. We both agreed he could do the job, but we thought his focus in a particular area caused him not to fit as well as we'd like. After we finished with the second guy I went over to Mike's desk to get a quick first impression from him. His exact words were, "HIRE HIM!!". I felt the same way. We made him an offer today. The recruiter and I are 99% sure he'll accept.

I had originally put in a bunch of stuff here about the discussion that MS and I had for the last few days. Suffice it to say that she needs to get her son back on ADD meds, and probably a sleeping pill (I guess he only gets a couple hours of sleep per night). There was also a lot of concern over our relationship. She is being VERY needy,a nd it concerns her that I am not.

Lots to think about.