Jul. 29th, 2008 10:25 am
nathanjw: (Default)
We're now publicly announcing and shipping the product I work on here at ThingMagic, an integrated RFID reader with PoE and 802.11 capabilities.

Astra (press release).

Only $995 MSRP! Mount one near the door and track your pets! Install them throughout the house and never wonder where you left your keys!
nathanjw: (work)
When I mapped the location of my hotel here in Calgary, I looked at the grid and figured it looked nicely city-like. It would seem that I missed a couple of levels of zoom, though. Good thing I opted to rent a car. I did manage to see hay bales and a nice long train within a mile of the airport, though.

The hotel is kind of... concrete and hulking. There was a car in the parking lot with what looked like just-married ribbons on it; the idea that someone is either getting married here or honeymooning here is kind of depressing. Also, while it makes perfect sense for a parking garage to have height-limit barriers, it makes less sense for the top deck (at ground level) to also have them, seeing as there are no other things to bump into. Perhaps it's a weight limit/truck deterrent by proxy?

For no apparent reason, I'm on the "Club Floor". As a result, I have a fully-stocked minibar. Still a rip-off, and the beer includes scary Canadian brands I've never heard of (Kokanee Glacier Beer?). Also, wouldn't it make more sense to have the mounted bottle-opener somewhere near the minibar and its bottles (inside the console, maybe), rather than in the bathroom? There must be some traditional reason to have it there; I've seen it in other hotels and I didn't think it made sense there, either.

Charging separately for wired and wireless internet access - both of which are available in the room - feels like a scam, especially since they give you a password to re-login to their system.

As I drove through the strip mall/auto mile between the highway and the hotel, I was starting to despair of the possibility for food that was at all different from home. Burger King? Chilis? Come on, how about some local tacky chains, at least? However, at the last minute I spotted "The Cattle Baron - Alberta Steakhouse", which seems like it will do nicely for a sort of local color.
nathanjw: (fuzzball)
I hate this feeling, which has been coming more and more often lately, that the thing I'm doing doesn't work because there's just one more global enable bit somewhere that I need to turn on.
nathanjw: (fuzzball)
Here I am, deveoping and debugging a system built in 2007, and the best mechanism I have for loading software onto it is XMODEM.
nathanjw: (Default)

  • - Total mall-ville. Local directions are relative to Ikea, Starbucks, and TGI Fridays.
  • - Most roads don't have sidewalks.
  • +/- Hotel provides "trolley" bus service to go 0.4 miles from here to the major mall.
  • - Local indoor mall is 100% predictable.
  • + Local outdoor mall is only 80% predictable.
  • + + Brewpub in local outdoor mall has both good food and good beer.
  • - - - Maryland still permits smoking in bars.
  • - Wayfinding from mall to strip mall to hotel is nearly impossible. Especially after the brewpub.
nathanjw: (Default)
Okay, the right answer to "What do I do Tuesday night in San Jose?" turned out to be Corteo. It was great. I had good seats in the VIP section, without paying VIP prices, and I made a new fan out of the consultant we're working with here. I loved the mininal nature of the Cyr wheel. I got to volley the tiny baloon-supported woman into the air as she drifted near my section. It was all stunning, in good ways.

I want my funeral to be like that.

Afterwards, however, things went downhill. Finding a taxi to get back to our respective hotels was more difficult than it should have been; the first one we'd called didn't show up at all, and the second one (which we called from a different company about when the first didn't show) was 10 minutes late arriving and only showed up after I noticed the light rail a block away and started plotting to take that (which would get us to his hotel but not me to mine). Upon arriving at my hotel, my cardkey didn't work. That was a bad sign. Due to some miscommunication, I'd originally been booked for one night, but extended it this morning; something about the cardkey system didn't reflect that [*]. Once I did get into the room, I discovered that the stuff I'd left behind - clothes, a book, toiletries - were missing. The front desk thinks that housekeeping wouldn't normally do that, even if they did think I was checking out, but they also didn't find them in the lost and found. They now have to wait for the day staff to arrive to ask them what happened. The only things I would really miss if this stuff disappears are the boots, but it's still quite annoying.

I could use a beer. Sadly, the hotel bar had last call while I was waiting for the desk to tell me if they knew where my stuff went.

Oh, yeah, and there were business meetings today. I guess they were okay.

[*] Are hotel room key systems online, with the doors wired in to a central system? Or are they merely timekeepers, and the cards contain the allowed dates for the room? Or something else? Knowledgeable people, inform me!
nathanjw: (Default)
Today is a great day to be a telecommuter. Unfortunately, it's not a great day to drive to the airport on the tail end of rush hour. 35MPH was "take your life in your hands" speed on I-91. I saw half a dozen cars that had run off the road in one direction or another, and my wipers got a serious workout every time someone changed lanes in front of me and covered my windshield with brown goop. The economy parking lot at the airport wasn't plowed, or if it had been, it got another four inches of snow since then. I skidded into what I hope turns out to be a legal parking spot, and the shuttle was having a difficult time getting around as well.

Bradley's terminal A looks very nice right now. I had time to admire it while I waited for my extra-special security screening, probably a result of having purchased this ticket at 9pm yesterday. My computer can see two strong wireless networks (BDL and AMX), but neither one seems to connect anywhere, so it's GPRS for me [update - it's just very, very slow to hand out an address]. Supposedly, my 12:00 flight has only been delayed to 12:55pm, but the fact that there are people still waiting for 7:15, 8:30, and 10:35am flights is not encouraging.

I'm going to be in and around San Jose, and may have Tuesday evening free; anything I should be sure to do?

(I need a better userpic for grumpy , snowy, and/or work-related situations)
nathanjw: (fuzzball)
Bug N-1: Three bits in a register bit definition off by one. Result: writing into a reserved register and causing very strange things to happen. Three days to find .

Bug N: A set of macros converts register numbers from one number range to another (this device is sort-of compatible with a different device, but with the register numbers scaled differently. One place doesn't use the macros and thus was writing to the wrong register entirely. Two days to find.

nathanjw: (Default)
Today I finished the first and largest stage of what should be a big and exciting contract and delivered the result to the customer. That means slightly less deadline pressure in the immediate future, which is good. The project itself wasn't bad; the schedule was somewhat demanding for the variable task of debugging an OS on novel hardware.

I can use some free time, because DDR Extreme (US) is supposed to make it out to our hinterlands any day now. The living room has been cleared out in preparation.

It'll also be good to have more time to think about cooking, and to push along the process of getting a gas stove installed. It puzzles me that both the price I'm paying and the price in Consumer Reports are higher than the listed MSRP.

After the project was "delivered" (bah, Comcast uplink speeds), we went out for dinner. The restaurant, Judie's, was described by a review book as "aging gracefully". It certainly had a lot of 1977 still going on, mostly unashamedly. My feelings were mixed. What was a gustatory revelation in America in 1977 is not so exciting now. My dish was decent (lamb shank), though I'm not sure they know about flavors other than salt. They also claim to be "home of the popover". But in my heart, the home of popovers is the Jordan Pond House. I would like to go there again, but I hear that it is no longer as nice as my memory of it from 1983.

Finally, we went to see a movie - Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow. It was overdone, but I enjoyed it. It was so pulpy that it hurt. Retro-future is totally my genre of choice (see also my fascination with the Wasteland and Fallout games). The really evocative bits were towards the beginning - The movie went quickly enough that there wasn't time to dwell on any of the ridiculousness that went on, even beyond the things that are part of the pulp genre.

Spoilers )

At any rate, I have to go reread The Gernsback Continuum now.


Aug. 12th, 2004 10:47 pm
nathanjw: (Default)
I'm in Norfolk, VA for a business meeting (my company HQ is down here). It's not very exciting, really. The highlight so far might be discovering that the hotel has both a Gideon Bible and a Book of Mormon. New and exciting trends in hotel missionary theology!

The meetings have been OK. We're discussing a lot of Business Process, trying to address some of the problems that have been created as the company grows from twelve people and one group to thirty people, three groups, and a management layer.

Dinner out on the company dime is always nice, though; our CEO has good taste in restaurants. Dinner was interrupted by the *&^*&^*^&* weekly 9pm conference call (which will be done soon!), but it was otherwise a very nice night at "4 5 6 Fish".
nathanjw: (Default)
At 9:45pm, after 40 minutes of hold music and being repeatedly dropped off for inactivity, we conclude (in the company IRC channel) that the weekly, scheduled conference call with the other company is apparently not going to happen this week.

Nice of them to tell us.
nathanjw: (Default)
2.5 days of a conference in Boston. About half of it was cool, but it kept me from getting any real work done, and I had get up at 6:30 to get there on time.

Flying from Boston to Norfolk via Atlanta (excuse me? geography?).

20 hours of work meetings - or maybe just one very long meeting - in 2.5 days. Meetings started every day at 8am, had a "working lunch", and went until 6pm. Short break, large dinner with the same people from about 7 to 10, then hanging out at the hotel bar with coworkers. That part was fun, at least, if exhausting. No net access on the trip - probably good for the meeting, but annoying otherwise. Having more than half of a software company out of touch for three days doesn't really seem like a good plan. The meetings were productive, though, and I think we all have a better idea of what we're doing, and how hosed we're going to be.

Had a delayed flight back from Norfolk to Atlanta (fortunate, since our race to the airport was delayed by a dump truck that had smashed into the mid-road barrier and removed a large chunk of concrete) and missed a connection there. Five minutes is not enough time to deplane and cross six terminals. At least they didn't lose my luggage when they rebooked me.



Aug. 26th, 2002 12:38 am
nathanjw: (Default)
Vacation: Great. Relaxing. Over.

Work: Current project uninspiring. Coworkers stressed about something I'd like to be more involved in. Other projects more inspiring

Social: Low-key but cool.
nathanjw: (Default)
After a year of telecommuting from my living room and bedroom, I have an office! Well, okay, so I'm telecommuting from this office, too, but that's the nature of my company....

At the very least, this gets me and my machines air conditioning for the summer months. With luck, it will reduce the confusion about when I'm "at work" and when I'm not. Perhaps I'll even get more work done, with fewer distractions around.

And I have a whole new area to explore for lunch.


nathanjw: (Default)
Nathan Williams

May 2017

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