Today in history

It’s a bit hard for me to comprehend that 20 years ago today I started my second post-graduation job, joining Uniplex as a team leader. As I noted on my résumé site, my team had the fun task of porting Hewlett-Packard’s X.400 email server (OpenMail) to 25 flavours of UNIX as part of an office application suite (similar to MS-Office).

platespinner When I say it was fun, I mean it – it was like spinning plates, trying to keep all the systems running as we brought on new environments and having to make changes as we discovered how different they can be whilst still being standards compliant. For me it was a great combination of technical challenge and leadership role.

Sadly I was only there 2 years before the company was sold and stripped right down (almost everyone was laid off) but from there I went on to join Systematic and really get into Agile, so it’s not all bad. 🙂

Busy week

I haven’t blogged since last weekend’s Grand Prix, or even posted any photos, because it’s been a busy week. We visited Kerri’s family last weekend and I’m still working on those photos. Since then the phone has been ringing almost non-stop with recruiters wanting to talk to me about a few opportunities – there was quite a bit of repetition (different agencies but same job), but a few interesting possibilities have come out of it. Interviews with one company are progressing well; it’s heartening to see some large companies that are committed to Agile, as well as the smaller organisations that more naturally adopt it.

Hopefully I can post some new photos tomorrow, but in the meantime check out my most viewed photos (which Flickr calls the “most interesting” set) and the other albums @ http://www.flickr.com/photos/pah57/sets/; since April (summary post) I’ve posted a few new sets.

If you’ve only got time to look at one or two photos, check out my “best of” photoblog @ http://paulsphotos.org/ – I only post one picture per week, give or take, so I try to pick a recent shot that I really like.

Excuse me while I whine

There’s the Distillery District blues festival this weekend, as well as the Toronto dragon boat festival at Centre Island, a friend’s party tonight and another friend has tickets for tomorrow’s baseball game … but I’ve got a heap of work to get done. I’m not giving up my Formula One, but I don’t have time to do everything else. 🙁 Hopefully it’s only going to be this insanely busy for the next couple of weeks … because if it keeps going like this, I can’t!

A piece of history

I didn’t realise (until I saw it on TheGreatGeekManual.com just now) that yesterday was the 30th anniversary of the day the Apple II went on sale. Whilst it wasn’t by any means the first computer I used, it was the one I used at my first real job.

Before I went to university I worked for a company that made particle counters (now Beckman-Coulter) and my main task was to get the state of the art (this was ~1985!) counter talking to the Apple, and then create a stats & charting package.

Model ZM
Particle counter

I can’t find any photos on Google of the full system so I wonder if I’ve still got some old brochures somewhere. I was very proud of it – just getting the counter talking to the Apple was a challenge, and the stats/charting package apparently was a huge boost for sales because before that the analysis was all done manually!

Oh, and when I say “I”, I do mean me – the team IT/programming team was me! I worked in a lab with a bunch of people who understand particle counting theory, the Coulter machines and how they were used in labs, but I was the only techie! It was definitely good experience before I went to university, as well as funding the purchase of my first computer. 🙂

Not an omen, I hope

Catching up with LifeHacker.com just now and I spotted two recents posts: yesterday was “How to write a resignation letter” and then today there was “How to predict you’re going to get fired“. Hmmm. I hope this isn’t an omen – I like my job, even if it’s running me ragged recently.

LifeHacker.com also pointed me at Uncluterer.com: “the blog about getting and staying organized. A place for everything, and everything in its place is our gospel.” Sounds like my kind of blog but I might drive Kerri crazy … even more so than I usually do!