tumbling around…

I’m due for another semi-annual update or some such.

Work is good; progress continues on the "Calendar and Contacts Server", which is unfortunately the official name of the open source version of our CalDAV / CardDAV service. I’ve been enjoying my rather multi-functional role on the team – fair amount of sysadmin work, some light coding / bug fixing, involvement in some architecture / planning decisions, occasional doc writing, and ‘playing well with others’. Big focus lately on scalability and performance, so I’ve got a few more tools under my belt for diagnosing and quantifying performance bottlenecks. A fair amount of the job involves engineering-level support of our internal iCal Server deployment, which is probably also the biggest iCal Server deployment – after all, it’s not really expected to run this software at enterprise scale, although it is possible with a good amount of tweaking (and lots of memory and storage).
Even though there are no Mac or IT tracks for this year’s WWDC, our team will still have a presence in the labs – though I’m not yet sure when. Cause I guess iP[ad][hone] people might wanna talk about CalDAV / CardDAV or something. For my particular gang of associates, this year’s conference theme is not the most exciting possible one. For that reason, in addition to the relatively short notice this year, I think my clique will have a smaller than usual turnout. I’m sure there will be some interesting stuff to see and do at the conference, but with no mac or IT focused stuff, I definitely feel a lot more like an outsider. To this day I haven’t done any iPad or iPhone development – not because I can’t, because I just don’t want to. The sort of stuff that a non-developer learns from mac developers and IT pros can often be fun / enlightening, because the mac platform is full of nooks and crannies to explore, and there are lots of ways to apply that knowledge. On the other hand, the stuff that a non-developer learns from iPad / iPhone developers is mostly only useful as a means of learning how to write apps for iPhone OS – which is great if that’s your goal.

Let’s see, what else… in about a month, headed out to PA for the yearly family get-together / BBQ affair; those are always enjoyable, and are usually the only time I see much of the extended fam (though I don’t go every year). In August, headed down to Vegas for another BBQ with the world of warcraft guild, like we did last year.

Ex-guild, I should say. After 10 years together (of which I participated in about 1.5 years), the guild leader decided to call it quits after extended and extremely painful attendance problems. But, we’re all adults, so no drama. Most of the members bailed for other realms and joined other raiding teams; a few stayed and went back to their former guilds… I stayed, and am currently retired. Actually the timing was just right, because we still made it through almost all of the content in the current expansion, and I was really ready to take a break – if not retire from raiding permanently. Having the 8 – 16 hours / week back is pretty awesome. Plus, I really got what I wanted out of the experience. At our peak, we were in the top 1% or so of guilds worldwide, and pulled off a realm first in the tier 9 content (ToC), beating out another guild that’s ranked around 50 worldwide. Anyway, I continue to play casually, and may pick it back up for the next expansion… but in the mean time:

Starcraft II beta finally made it to the mac, and it’s great fun. Also got on the Steam mac beta, and although it’s now live, Team Fortress 2 has yet to be released to non-beta customers. I’ve been playing that like CRAZY because I’m a sucker for a great first person shooter, especially after all the time spent in WoW. I was pleasantly surprised that even on day 1 I was pretty damn competitive, which is probably due to all the quake3 / quake4 / urban terror experience.

As far as the real world goes, I have been paying attention more and more, although sometimes I’m not sure why. A lot of it is probably due to the fact that I have to listen to *something* on the drive to / from work, so it might as well be public radio. Also, as a huge fan of stu-BEEF, it’s hard not to follow the breadcrumbs around. I’m becoming increasingly frustrated at the way people sometimes behave when in large groups, doing things that are clearly bad for the well-being of themselves or others, and which have far-reaching effects and implications. Whether this is due to natural tendencies of ‘people’ in general, or whether they are successfully manipulated by power holders, or for other reasons… I can’t really say, but it sure does seem obvious that it’s happening. The facade of democracy is more transparent with each passing day. Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure our government is less corrupt than many, but we’re by no means the shining light of civilization that a lot of Americans seem to think we are. I can’t shake the feeling that if we were truly interested in our long-term survival as a species, we’d be trying a lot harder with respect to problems like energy and pollution. I’m afraid we’ll have to wait for ‘the market’ to get us where we need to go… which is not an inspiring thought, for me, because I happen to think the market is fucking crazy. I expect it to fail, to keep failing, as long as there are greedy assholes taking bribes.

None of that keeps me from enjoying my time, though… Sinking feeling, yes… but one of those long-term ones. No immediate danger.

After years of thinking about it, yesterday I bought a super fancy chair. For somebody who sits as much as I, this makes good sense. It was expensive, but considering the 12 year warranty, it comes out to less than $100 / year… which is more than it costs to buy a regular chair every few years, but this is a *much* better chair! In general, I live so far below my means that I don’t really feel bad blowing some coin on the few luxuries I go for… pretty much just computers. And now the chair.

Regarding music… haven’t really dug into much new stuff lately. I need to go on another hunt. Also haven’t really composed anything myself of note, though I do sometimes enjoy playing my alto or tenor recorder, or my bongos, or my roommate’s electric bass. I’m not sure when it happened, but at some point I really just got super tired of music software. There’s no physical connection at all with a mouse and keyboard like there is with a musical instrument.

See you in 6 – 12 months, LJ…

About dre

I like all kinds of food.
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