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Today at 4pm, I walked out of my office.

For the last time.

About six weeks ago, a former co-worker caught up with me as I was out on one of my constitutional walks around the parking lot. He wanted me to know that his company might have a new position opening up that he thought would be perfect for me, and he knew I had been thinking of looking for a new gig. After listening to the particulars, I sent him my resume, and told him to let me know. A couple of weeks later, he pinged me back to ask me when I'd like to set up an interview.

Two weeks ago, they offered me the job, and I submitted my resignation to my current employer. This was certainly a surreal experience. I went to work for this company fifteen years ago, when it was still a tiny startup and the Internet was only just starting to explode. As I leave, it is a well established player in its corner of the market, and in no small part it's success is because of work that I've done for it. I'm very proud of what I helped to build, and it's strange to think that as of today, I'm no longer an active part of it.

But the truth is, whatever my frustrations with my job are, the biggest motivator for me is wanting to seek new challenges. I'm going to be working in a market sector that is, I think, going to be exploding over the next few years*, so it's an exciting time to be joining it, and while there's a certain satisfaction that comes from being at the top of the game and the guy everyone comes to for all the answers, there's also something to be said for getting into a new one and mixing it up with a new team where you have something to prove.

My 40th year has been one of great changes. Some of them good, some of them less so, but I'm certainly going to emerge a different person to the one I entered as. I'm looking forward to the future.
autographedcat: (Default)
This morning at work, I was scanning through our tickets report to see if there were any open issues of interest to me, and the following notation on one of the workorders made me giggle uncontrollably for reasons that would probably not immediately make sense to anyone else in the office. A co-worker, indicating he was going to contact a customer to coordinate work on his cable modem plant, wrote:

"I am going to be getting with Charlie on MTA configs and upgrades later today."

Will he ever return?
autographedcat: (Default)
Oh yeah.  This hits close to home today. :)
Unshelved by Gene Ambaum and Bill Barnes:

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There's nothing quite like spending your day working on a ten-year-old OS to really make you appreciate how far Linux has come.

We have a couple of legacy apps running under Solaris 7. While there's active development of the next generation of these systems, which will be on a more modern platform, I meanwhile have to do my best to keep these systems healthy and happy. To this end, we've acquired a couple of identical servers, on which I am doing various recovery tests and preparing them to be hot-standbys.

Now, Solaris 7 was a fine, fine operating system. In 1998, when it was released. It had lots of cool stuff like support for 64-bit architectures and all that jazz. And back when it came out, there really were only a few "serious" Unix platforms to choose from. If you were an enterprise-level project, you were either going to be on Solaris, HP-UX, or AIX (or, heaven forbid, Windows NT). You could use a BSD variant if you were a purist or working in an academic setting, but the corporate use of it was pretty small. And then there was Linux...

I distinctly remember a guy we hired for tech support back around this time, who fancied himself a bit of a "leet hacker dood". He complained bitterly to me that we *ought* to be using Linux instead of Solaris, and I said, "Linux is a toy. It's interesting to play with, but it's nowhere near ready for commercial use."

Looking back, I stand by that statement. At the time, Linux *was* a toy OS, and it lacked both the tools and the support necessary to make it a viable option for business use. And it's sobering to realise how far we've come in such a short time. Today, $EMPLOYER is primarily a Linux shop, with only a handful of Sun servers remaining, and those are being aggressively phased out. We rely heavily on Open Source software, something that would have been dreamt of just 10 years ago.

Of course, the commercial Internet itself is only 15 years or so old at this time. (You can't really pin a precise date on when the Internet shifted from a mostly-educational network to a mostly-commercial network, but I recall things really starting to explode in late 1994 to early 1995, when commercial ISPs started to really proliferate and national media attention began to run countless stories on it. So 1995 is generally the year I consider the modern Internet to have been born.)

Working on this project this morning does remind me that I wouldn't want to go back to this level of tech on a regular basis. The tools really *have* improved that much, but I admit I'm feeling a little nostalgic for the early days, when everything seemed possible and it was all so new and exciting.
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Thanks to everyone who commented on this post.. My friend read them all and wishes me to thank you all. She's very grateful for all your concern, support, and suggestions, and when she was feeling overwhelmed, she'd come back and reread your comments and take strength from them.

After the stress finally became enough to make her physically ill yesterday, she took a sick day to consider her options, and had a long talk with Boss. The end result of which is that she plans on tendering her two-week notice today, and begin looking for employment elsewhere.

It's a big, scary thing to do, but I think that it will ultimately be the best for her. I'm glad she's going to soon have this madness behind her.
autographedcat: (people are noisy furniture - dilbert)
I have a friend who works as a librarian for a small private Northeast college. And she's utterly miserable, because her boss is insane.

I don't mean to say that she's insane in the way that everyone's boss is insane. I mean to say that she's clinically paranoid, irrational, inconsistent, and expects her charges to be both superhuman and mind-readers. Consider the following:

  • Boss expects to be told about every single thing that happens, preferably in real time. That means that if a student asks to use a stapler, make a photocopy, or have a tissue, she expects an email reporting this fact. Apparently, nothing is so trivial that she doesn't want an alert about it.
  • She is convinced that students who come in to ask questions are actually being sent by higher ups to report back on the quality of service, and as a result wants to know what each of them asks, and what they were told, and carefully scrutinizes what information was sent out..
  • She doesn't want work-study students to do *anything* other than sit and do their homework and "be a face" at the desk. They aren't supposed to actually help anyone, re-shelve anything, or interact with patrons. They are occasionally trusted to count the number of patrons in the building once an hour. but one gets the feeling she begrudges them even this.
  • She forbids the librarians from referring students to resources outside the library. Any resource or information that comes from beyond the walls of the institution is suspect, and finding out you've done so will invite a severe reprimand. They *certainly* aren't allowed to use the Internet as a tool for finding information.
  • The librarians are forbidden to participate in professional mailing lists, and have been told that if they find themselves in a place with other librarians, they aren't to talk to them, because she doesn't want other libraries finding out about their "secrets". (Hey, lady, I have news for you. You don't have trade secrets -- you're a *library*. And even if you did, you'd help people research what they are. You know why? Because you're a freakin' *library*.)
  • On being told by friend that she didn't know how to perform a particular task, Boss replies, "You're a reference librarian. You should know how to do that." (I suggested that "Well, I know how it would be done in a real library, but how would you like it done here in Bizzaroland?" would probably be impolitic, satisfying though it might be.)
  • Boss frequently issues reprimands to friend in front of co-workers, which makes her feel even worse about things.
  • Boss doesn't want the librarians to talk to each other any more than absolutely necessary. She was incensed when one of friend's coworkers sent her a report that friend had requested, containing information that friend needed for the task she'd been assigned to do.
  • Now that friend has been 'exiled to Siberia' (read: the other campus), Boss is wanting *hourly* status emails about what's going on.
  • My friend was promoted, shortly after being hired, when the person in the vacant position quit without warning. My friend protested that she didn't really have the experience for the job, and was promised she'd be mentored at every step of the way and allowed to grow into it. Subsequent to being promoted, she had a huge amount of stuff dumped on her that she didn't know how to handle (mostly related to instructional classes that needed to be planned, organized and taught.), was told to "just deal with it", and then yelled at when the results didn't match her expectations.
  • After valiantly trying to cope with this stress for weeks, friend finally went to her boss and said "i can't do this. It's too much." Since then, she's been treated like an incompetent toddler, despite the fact that she was never given the support and direction that was promised her.
  • Last week, friend was asked over to the main campus to attend an instruction tutorial session, with Boss and two co-workers. Upon arriving, Boss told her that *she* was teaching the class, a task she had not being given any opportunity to prepare for. Boss seemed quite irked that my friend wasn't capable of teaching a class she'd never taught before on a moments notice without preparation.

This is by no means a complete list. I spend a great deal of time alternating between gobsmacked disbelief at this crazy woman and frustration that my friend, who is quite dear to me, is stressed nearly to the breaking point over this incredibly irrational work environment. When she took the job a few months ago, she was so excited about it. She's good at what she does, and was looking forward to the position. Now, she's trapped in a miserable job with a crazy boss, no openings in her area to try and apply to, and financially unable to just walk away. (Though the latter option is looking better and better to her, it's also generally not a good idea to just up and quit a professional position. This isn't retail.)

I'm sharing all this with you because....well, because it's just amazing to me, and I had to share it with someone. Though I'm sure my friend will appreciate any sympathy or encouragement you have to offer.

Weekend.

May. 8th, 2008 01:41 pm
autographedcat: (sysiphus sign)
Weekend started out lousy, got better, then got much worse.

Friday night, WoW date with [livejournal.com profile] catalana was scuttled by Internet troubles. Spent some time with Comcast on the phone, then they were going to send out a technician on Sunday. Bah. Borrowed a cup of wireless from a neighbor, which was good enough to surf, but not to do anything that required long sustained connections like WoW or ssh.

Saturday, went to the library book sale, and scored a lot of fun books (including a 1974 "Encyclopedia of Love and Sex" that should be worth at least a few giggles) and an eclectic stack of CDs. From there, got a call from Comcast that they'd found and fixed the Internet problem (which was a neighborhood outage and not specific to my apartment. Went to a housewarming party a friend was having, where we gathered quite a few more books from a recent warehouse clearing.

During the party, got a call from a co-worker that we had a server down and she was going to investigate it. Called various up-line people to inform them, but figured she had it under control. She checked it at various times...but was working close with the vendor support staff to try and recover.

Came home and had my online date that had been canceled the previous night. Much fun had. Then...

Another call from co-worker. Things still going badly, needing me to come pick up for her, as she's been on this for over fourteen hours and is getting cross-eyed. I ended up working 32 of the next 48 hours.

So the bookends of the weekend weren't very good, but the middle was lovely.
autographedcat: (oh you - house)
Sometimes, a person manages to have the perfect snarky comeback at the perfect time. Today, that person was my co-worker Jason.

I had gotten a spam message touting pharmaceuticals with the subject line "Basically, I can't live without it." The specific drugs listed for sale were Viagra, Xanax, Valium, Cialis, Phentermine., and Ambien. I mentioned this, and it led to this exchange:

Me: So apparently, this message is targeted at an overweight insomniac with an anxiety disorder and erectile dysfunction.
Jason: (deadpan) Typical American.

FTW.

Bah

Mar. 7th, 2007 09:01 am
autographedcat: (sysiphus sign)
Today, I am teh cranky.

Had to get up at 3am this morning, ostensibly to do a mysql upgrade on our mail system, but things didn't go smoothly, and now I'm at work, tired, and irritable.

So, cheer me up? Tell me what's wonderful and brilliant in your life?

Ugh

Sep. 15th, 2006 02:01 am
autographedcat: (bad day)
My work day began at 8am yesterday. It's now 2am. There's an end in sight, I think....and then sleep.
autographedcat: (swear word)
This weekend was the weekend of unexpected expenses.

It began on Friday, while I was at work. My group has inherited the MIS functions of the local office at work, and towards the end of my day, I was underneath a desk setting up a new computer for one of the VPs. Being slightly unable to reach the spot I needed to plug in one of the cables, I rolled slightly onto my side, on top of the carry case of my phone. Unfortunately, the case has one of those ball-in-socket clasps, and it concentrated all of my weight onto a single point. I heard a muffled crack, and my heart sank. A quick check of the phone revealed that yes, the screen had cracked.

Now, my phone is more than just a phone. It’s also my PDA, and a remote Internet device, and it’s something that I really rely on for work. Being able to get on the net from anywhere, anytime I need to, being able to track my meetings and task lists, all in a handy single place. It’s my portable brain, and I feel somewhat adrift without it. Unfortunately, phones that can handle all these functions well tend to be relatively expensive. I had been previously using a Sidekick II, which served me well, but had a variety of annoying features.

I did a bit of research and determined that the best option for what I really wanted was finally available from T-Mobile. Long ago, I’d wanted a Treo 600, until I actually got my hands on one. I didn’t care for the way it felt in my hand, and though the keyboard was too small. The Sidekick had the substantial feel i wanted, but was hamstrung by a non-extendable OS and some very peculiar design choices that were frustrating. But finally, someone has made the all-in-one PDA Phone that I’ve always wanted, and it’s name is the T-Mobile MDA.

The MDA is a Windows Mobile device, which means that there are are a huge variety of 3rd party apps for it, and it has built-in Bluetooth and Wi-Fi for the maximum amount of networking capability. Some of the reviews criticized its phone performance, but I had an hour-long call with [livejournal.com profile] catalana last night and it seemed clear and strong to me, even with only 1-2 bars of signal. I’m still playing with it and figuring out its idiosyncrasies, but I think that I’ve found the perfect (for me) phone/pda/portable brain.

Saturday, another unexpected expense bit me. [livejournal.com profile] kitanzi and I were playing a bit of City of Villains, when suddenly my computer froze and the monitor switched off. When nothing I did seemed to be getting it back, I powered everything down, then back up. All I got was a white screen with pink pinstripes spaced about an inch and a half apart. Muttering profanities, I shut everything down, opened the case, and poked my finger about for a bit. (Note to my female readers: guys do this with computers, appliances, and automobiles whenever they break. It doesn’t accomplish anything, but we don’t want to admit yet that we have no earthly idea what’s wrong.)

After some checking of connections and the working-ness of fans, etc, I managed to coax it back to booting, but it was clearly an unhappy PC. I got a windows error that it blamed on the video driver, and some odd artifacts just after the boot-up was complete. Then it seemed to settle down. I checked e-mail, surfed a couple of web pages, then fired up CoV again. Within 10 minutes, the display with splotchy, then crashed the entire machine again.

At this point, I was reasonably certain that this was a video card failure. Its often hard to prove that, since you cant’ do a lot of troubleshooting on a PC you can’t see anything on the screen for, but it was the most likely of the three likely components to have failed (the other two being the motherboard or the power supply). So it was off to Best Buy to replace the vidcard and hope that I’d made a proper diagnosis. (Luckily, this isn’t House, or my first diagnosis would have nearly killed the computer and it’d have taken three more tries to find the real problem just before the last commercial break.)

Unfortunately, the replacement of the phone the day before meant that I really couldn’t afford the super gee-wiz-bang top of the line graphics card my gamer’s heart truly desired, because gosh they’re way too expensive still. I had been pondering upgrading said card sometime in the next few months when the price dropped down, but for now, I settled for a BFG GeForce 6200OC, which is still an upgrade on my old 5500FX, and means I don’t have a large powerful useless computer on my desktop, which would have made me very cross.

Unfortunately, these unexpected purchases put us back at least a month on our debt-reduction plans, and mean that it’s highly unlikely, barring a sudden windfall, that we’ll be making it to ConCertino. (It was highly unlikely we were going to make ConCertino anyway, but I was keeping out hope until the last minute, because, dammit, wanna....), and I’m not even really sanguine on ConCarolinas, which at least has the virtue of being local. We’ll see about that one. Meanwhile, back to the drawing board on the whole “paying off the debt” campaign. And the war was showing such promise!

Ugggh.

Nov. 18th, 2005 02:03 pm
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Today, my office had its annual Thanksgiving day potluck dinner. Everyone brought yummy food, and we all ate and drank and were merry.

I. Ate. TOO. Much. Fooooooooood.

Ugh. Want to go lie down now.

Conversation from a few minutes ago:

[livejournal.com profile] eloren: At least there was no turkey. Then we really wouldn't be able to stay awake.
[livejournal.com profile] autographedcat: Yeah. Although, Tryptophan Coma would be a good name for a band....

Job Opening

Aug. 4th, 2005 01:53 pm
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My employer is currently looking to hire a telcom engineer. If you or someone you know fits the qualifications and is in the Atlanta area (our offices are in Alpharetta), please contact Buddy Bertram or Scott Helms at 678-507-5000, or send me your resume and I will pass it along.

Qualifications:

Required:

1. Extensive experience with DSL networks, including installation and configuration of DSLAM's and troubleshooting. BRAS experience, Redback, Shasta, Cisco, Alcatel, etc a plus.

2. Experience with digital loop carriers AFC, Adtran, Lucent, etc with more preference given to NGDLC's like Occam, Calix, Zhone, Ciena (Catena),Telstrat, etc.

3. Theoretical and practical understanding of how phone systems work today. Central office experience is a plus as class 5 switch experience. Experience with class 5 soft switches will be highly regarded.

4. Understanding of SONET, ATM, Ethernet, and IP is a must, practical experience is a plus.

5. Ability to learn new technologies rapidly and a desire to find solutions.

Desired:

1. VOIP experience, understanding of MGCP, SIP, H.323 and other VOIP protocols.

2. Practical experience with VOIP based systems, either in the PBX sector or common carrier networks.

3. Cisco router experience.
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When last we left our intrepid ACat, it was the week before Christmas (and all through the house...) and I had intended to write another post within 24 hours that caught everything up to the current day. Having failed to do that then, I shall endeavor to do it now. Isn't this so much better than six geese-a-laying?

Well, keep the receipt, just in case it isn't. )
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Wow, i really did disappear. I didn't mean to, honest. And for once, I can't say that the reason I haven't been writing is because things have been boring and nothings going on. Rather the opposite, in fact. So, rather than try to write six weeks worth of LJ in a couple of hours, which would probably bore us both to tears, let me explain.

No, there is no time. Let me sum up...

  • OVFF was all kinds of fun. By this point, most of my enduring memories are going to be rather dull to the majority of you (and tend to fall mostly in the category of "Mmmm, she's snuggly"), but I did have a marvelous time surrounding myself with the music, and even played a little more during the weekend than I usually find myself. The pirate hallway circle [livejournal.com profile] alymid, [livejournal.com profile] joecoustic and I started was an especial highlight.

    There were some people I had wanted to spend a little more time with, and didn't get to for a variety of reasons, but on the whole I had a marvelous time and miss everyone terribly already.

  • [livejournal.com profile] kitanzi and I attended the first meeting of a proposed monthly Atlanta poly discussion/support group, which was both entertaining and interesting. We've really enjoyed getting to know some of the people in the local poly community ever since we discovered there actually was such a thing. New friends are always a blessing, and and many of these folks are just plain fun to be around. I'm glad we've met them, and look forward to getting to know them even better as time goes by.

  • [livejournal.com profile] khaosworks came over to spend the weekend with us over Thanksgiving. [livejournal.com profile] kitanzi prepared a rather impressive spread of food, including a delightful Chicken Roulade stuffed with apricots and cranberries, ginger sweet potatoes, broccoli and cheese, chestnut stuffing with gravy, and yeast rolls. There was easily enough for 6-8 people, so we had leftovers for a few days. It was all kinds of yummy. We played a lot of City of Heroes, watched a lot of Sex and the City and Dead Like Me on DVD (we're only just watching both series, the former thanks to Netflix, the latter because I bought it after many recommendations).

    [livejournal.com profile] khaosworks also brought along several of his Dr. Who DVDs, giving me the chance to see "Tomb of the Cyberman" for the very first time. I always was a big fan of Troughton's Doctor, and this is one of his finer stories, only recently restored after being recovered in 1992. Great fun.

  • Went to a party at the home of [livejournal.com profile] baiku and [livejournal.com profile] celticmoni, which was a lot of fun. The invitation asked us to bring Christmas music, so I burned my entire Christmas music folder of mp3s to a DVD-R -- slightly over 2 gb of songs. I hope they get some use of it, since we never did get around to playing any of it at the time, but there was good food and company, so it was well worthwhile.

  • We made it to the first Atlanta housefilk since before Worldcon in December. (Not that there haven't BEEN any...we just hadn't made it to any. Well, we tried to attend in November, but no one else showed up. But I digress....) Had a lot of fun swapping songs with [livejournal.com profile] mrpsyklops and [livejournal.com profile] hilfy and everyone else who managed to show up for a wonderful evening of food and music at Dave and Signe's.

  • JediMUD's coder retired on us in November, leading us to search for a new one. In the course of trying to work my own friends network to find possibly interested people, I asked a good buddy of mine if he knew anyone who might be interested in a coder position on a mud. Turns out, he was. So [livejournal.com profile] bardiclug is now in charge of the 1s and 0s at Jedi.

    We've been having some very interesting talks about the future, and what we want out of the game. The next 2 years should be quite an interesting time for us all, but I'm very excited about some of the things we're thinking of doing.

  • Work has variably stressy through this entire period. We finally got in some new equipment to alleviate some performance issues in one of our systems, which has resulted in my working 3rd shift for the last week and a half, as we transfer data to the new equipment in stages after hours when customers are busy sleeping and dreaming.

    It's funny, because I enjoy this sort of thing in small doses. It's quiet, I get to work from home, and I feel like I've accomplished a lot. But nearly 2 solid weeks of it gets tiring, and I feel disconnected from everyone. I'm hoping that tomorrow will be the last batch of this project, so that I can go back to normal hours on Monday. Especially since...

  • [livejournal.com profile] eloren had her baby on Saturday, and we all welcomed Rachel Shea into the world. When I talked to her on Sunday, both mom and daughter were doing well, and I got to have the fun of telling everyone at work on Monday when I went in for our department meeting, but it DOES means I'm going to miss her for the next few weeks while she is on leave and doing the whole new mom thing.

And that catches us up on the really big stuff, I guess, up to last week, and I think I'll break off here and try to start some more regular entries from this point forward. :)

Sorry to vanish for so long. I'll try not to do that again.
autographedcat: (Default)
Did you ever watch the Smurfs as a kid? Remember how they always used some varient of the word "Smurf" as a generic adjective/adverb/verb/whatever?

Are you familiar with Murphy's Law? Good.

I am having an absolutely murphtastic day.
autographedcat: (Default)
That's what I seem to have done this month. I had mean to write a bit about the family reunion back on July 4th, and about playing City Of Heroes and about myriad other things that have been going on, but I really just have been in "avoidance" mode lately, and I'm not sure why.

Not just avoiding here, either. I was politely informed by a mutual friend that someone I love deeply thought I was neglecting her becuase I had been so out of touch. The last two weeks, especially, I've been in a bit of a funk, and mostly being antisocial.

So, apologies on the absense. I'll try and be here more.

Yesterday turned into an unexpectedly busy day. I was on my way back from our data centre where I was reinstalling the OS on a server, when I got a call from [livejournal.com profile] kitanzi indicating that she found out if we wanted to get married next friday at the courthouse, we had to have our license arranged at least 24 hours *before*. So I took a long lunch and we ran down to the courthouse to file for that. We now have a marriage license, and on August 6th, at approximately 2:30pm, we will officially be married.

Picked up [livejournal.com profile] telynor from the train station after work, and got her safely to our home. We'll have her as a guest for a few days. It's really lovely to see her.

I started this entry with a notion to say something or another, but I appear to just be rambling, so I'll sign off now. Hope all of you are wonderful!
autographedcat: (Default)
You know how the Chinese give names to their years. Like, the Year of the Dragon, and the Year of the Monkey, and so forth?

This is the week of the Raid Failure.

Got a page this morning, waking me from what had been a fairly restless night, so I was none to happy at being dragged out of bed half an hour before I was due to get up. It was one of the network engineers, who wanted me to know that the server on my workbench was beeping loudly and was there anyway to make it stop. I had him log in on the console and shut the box down, as it's not in production and could stand to be switched off until I got to the office.

After my morning meeting, I came back to my desk and fired it up to see what was up. As soon as it got to the SCSI initialization phase, it started wailing. I had a sinking feeling I know what that meant, so I escaped into the RAID controller's config screen to see. Yep, there's a bad disk. This box only has three drives, so it actually has no spare to pull in in case of disk failure; when you lose one, it is automatically in degraded mode.

I started a rebuild, and will now have to see about getting a replacement drive before I can wrap this project up. My only consolation is that at least it failed today, rather than this time next week after I had shipped it to the customer's site in Kentucky.

Apologies for all the work stuff this week, but it's what's consuming most of my attention the last few days. (Well, there's some non-work stuff, but I'm not ready to talk about that yet. <G>)

Tired...

Jun. 17th, 2004 04:59 pm
autographedcat: (Default)
I have no idea why, but I'm just exhausted today. I slept pretty well last night, and I've had plenty to eat, so I'm not sure why I feel run over and sleepy. And there's gaming tonight, so it'll be fairly late before I get to fall down, too.

This week in my work...skip if details of my job aren't interesting... )
autographedcat: (Default)
Ever since I officially got promoted to a more managerial position at work, it's has become painfully obvious to me that I needed some sort of external brain to keep track of all the things I need to be tracking. I can keep notes on paper, but its hard to keep everything organized, and my PC is easy to keep organized, but not portable. The solution was obviously to replace my long-abandoned Palm Pilot.

Back in 2001, i got a free Palm m100 when I bought my cell phone. It was a Best Buy promotion, and it was attached the phone I had already researched and wanted to buy anyway, so I regarded it as a curiosity. It was a useful address book and calender, but with only 2mb of memory it really couldn't do much. It was also large and bulky, and I eventually stopped carrying it around. Eventually, I gave it to [livejournal.com profile] telynor, but soon after that it stopped syncing up and became officially useless.

[livejournal.com profile] kitanzi and I had decided to get [livejournal.com profile] telynor a replacement Palm for her birthday in time for her to take it to London with her, so I had already done a significant amount of research on what was available, and I ended up buying for myself the same one I selected for her: a Tungsten E. The T-E really does have the best price/performance ratio of any of the units out there. (If the Zire 72 had Wi-Fi in addition to it's 1.3 mp camera, it might have been worth the extra $100. But at $200, the T-E is hard to beat.)

I had everything working beautifully at home, but at work I had a small problem: I don't run Windows, and Palm doesn't officially support Linux. But all I really need to have working here is the Calender and Tasklist, and Evolution will do that. All I had to do was get my Debian Linux box to talk to the Palm, and I should be in good shape.

Step one was finding out that my current installation had no USB support. I still had the kernel source from when I had to recompile it to enable multi-processor support, so I figured it'd be a fairly simple process. (Especially since I had great instructions from [livejournal.com profile] fleetfootmike on how to accomplish that). Unfortunately, the newest version of gcc appears to not like the 2.2.20 kernel source.

Well, I'd vaguely been thinking of upgrading the kernel anyway. Not that I had a pressing need to do it, but it was something I honestly had never really done, and horizons are for seeking. So I downloaded the newest non-development kernel, 2.6.6, and set to work.

I had a few rough spots, as I kept finding stuff that I had left out that I needed, but this morning I was able to boot, and a couple of recompiles later I got back networking and serial communication. :) Finally, after searching, I found a great website specifically aimed at demystifying what bits were needed to get my Palm device talking to Linux. One more recompile later and I was able to set up my Palm and sync it with Evolution. Yay!

I'm inordinately impressed with Debian's kernel management process. The last time I had do this, it was a much less painless procedure, which is one of the reasons I'd been putting it off for so long. Yet another reason I'm glad we're moving towards it as a platform for our work servers as well.

This was a pleasing way to start the day.

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