One More Thing
Posted in General
First watch, 2 bells (9:25 pm)

Voyagers is probably one more show I remember quite well that my wife has never heard of. I remember it as somewhat cheesy, somewhat preachy, but fun TV.

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Losing Steam
First dog watch, 1 bell (4:56 pm)

This has been an exhausting week. Computer troubles galore, there must be something in the air. The past two days I've woken up with a sore throat, possibly due to all the stress I've been under.

Last night a change I was ultimately responsible for broke our software for about three hours. The change wasn't my fault, but I still should have caught it. A #define directive was renamed in our main code branch and integrated to my "utilities" directory. When I recompiled the server-side code, there was a problem which should have clued me in to the bigger problem hiding behind it.

Anyway, there were a lot of failures in processes along the way. I think the biggest problem is that nobody knows the "whole picture" of this project.

But we learned a good lesson, and the impact (from a bigger perspective) wasn't nearly as bad as it could have been.

On top of all this, we've had computers crash. One, on Monday, just stopped working. The motherboard, power supply, CPU, and hard drives were all dead. We basically had to replace the whole thing. Another video card (just this morning) literally blew up. Three of the capacitors just exploded in the case! A UPS had a melt-down and blew the power supply out of another machine at one of our remote locations.

I tell you, there is something in the air. Back up your data if you don't already. Really, go do it right now.

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Seattle in the Future
Posted in General
Afternoon watch, 6 bells (3:11 pm)

I may be in Seattle on May 11th. Just FYI. Ben. And maybe Scott, if you come here.

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Happy Birthday, Jared!
Posted in Warm and Fuzzy
Forenoon watch, 5 bells (10:33 am)

Today is my oldest younger brother's birthday. Have a good one, Jared!

Letter to Best Buy
Posted in General
Forenoon watch, 6 bells (11:19 am)

Dear Best Buy Store:

If you carry computer cases and power supplies, you should carry motherboards and CPUs.

The end.

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Twitter Weekly Updates for 2009-04-26
Posted in Twitter
First watch, 8 bells (12:03 am)
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Busy Saturday
Posted in General
Last dog watch, 8 bells (8:22 pm)

For some reason it seems my Saturdays are just as busy, or busier than my weekdays. I think this is very sad. Today I was nice, though, and helped out a cow-orker hang drywall in his house and do some framing. I also set his wireless laptop up to print to his network printer. I'm just that good.

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Best Compiler Error EVER!
Posted in Code
Afternoon watch, 8 bells (4:23 pm)

I had this happen just a little while ago, and busted up laughing after I read it. I had to walk away from the computer!

Error on line 404: function prototype not found

I thought it quite profound that the error about not finding the function prototype happened on line 404.


Turns out I changed the header file but forgot to make it an unsigned int in the cpp file.

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It’s a Word, I Swear!
Afternoon watch, 4 bells (2:04 pm)

While taking a break and tweeting I noticed my browser was underlining a word it didn't recognize.

Should've is a word, I swear!

I can't believe that isn't in my local dictionary…

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Knit Hats
Forenoon watch, 4 bells (10:15 am)

I want two knitted crocheted hats:

FSM Hat and a cunning Jayne Cobb hat.

Suggestion: Make the noodles fall to the sides, not down the front. It could be a pull-over hat instead of a tie-under-the-chin hat.

Early Grind
Posted in General
Morning watch, 7 bells (7:47 am)

I came in to the office early today, left home before it was even 6am. In the slightly over one and a half hours I've been at work I've gotten more done than I did all day yesterday. At least that's what it feels like. What felt like a week-long job is now looking like it could be accomplished today. I should do this more often…

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More Evil
Posted in General
First dog watch, 3 bells (5:32 pm)

Phones went down again today. Not for very long, but it was unexpected and right in the middle of the day. I am very unhappy about this. Verizon is really starting to piss me off.

I'm also now under the gun to get a project finished by tomorrow that I just got started today. Time to pull off a miracle.

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Much Quieter Day
Posted in Tech
First dog watch, 1 bell (4:38 pm)

Today was much quieter than yesterday. Despite the fact that I didn't get to sleep this morning until well after 2:30am and I was awake before 7:30am, it wasn't such a bad day. I spent a good part of the day in debriefing mode, starting with some early phone calls with our service provider. I talked to Norm again, and explained the whole thing to several people around the office.

I was disappointed at 5:30 this morning when I tried calling the office that our lines were still down, but I knew John (my IT minion) would take care of it. We ended up forwarding all calls to the VP's cell phone (I'm sure AT&T appreciated that), he averaged more than a call per minute, but it was only a half hour or so before we were back up completely.

I really tried to get a little more sleep, but it just didn't happen. I'm bad enough once I wake up, it's hard for me to just go back to sleep. When I have a big problem like this hanging over my head it's just that much worse.

But thankfully everything was quiet today. Well, except for the phones—they're ringing again!

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Long Days
Posted in Tech
First watch, 7 bells (11:59 pm)

I just got home from work—it's been a long day today. If you follow me on Twitter you already know. It started out okay, but around 2:30pm today our phone system shut down, right in the middle of all calls. After a quick sanity check that determined it didn't look like it was our problem, I called XO Communications, our service provider. At this point, it was about a quarter to three.

A trouble ticket was set up, and a technician called about 20 minutes later saying she was going to test our line. She called back just before 5pm and told me there are CRC and framing errors on our PRI. She said the only thing they could do was to set up a trouble ticket with Verizon and have their techs fix it. She also said it couldn't be done until some time after 8am tomorrow.

When I talked to my boss about it, he said it was unacceptable, which I agreed to, but didn't have much of an idea how to get it done. So I called my sales rep at XO to get some help and maybe accelerate the issue. I couldn't get through to anybody. Probably because it was just turning 5pm.

Anyway, finally I broke down and called the local XO technician's cell phone. Yes, I had it all along, but I don't abuse it. He is an awesome guy, and I really didn't want to call him unless I had exhausted my other options. He berated me for not calling him earlier! Anyway, he got the ball rolling with Verizon's support through his own channels. All I had to do was wait for their tech to call me and set up a time. Norm (our XO guy) said to call him back when the Verizon tech was going to be there so he could show up at the same time, just to make sure our problem got fixed. Like I said, he's a champ.

Anyway, an hour and a half go by without a call, and just as I'm about to call Norm back he calls me. He says "If you have a direct line to God now would be the time to use it." I was a bit worried. He said it has been one of the most difficult tickets he's ever had to work on. Finally, he pulls out the stops and calls Verizon's tech directly (just like I did by calling Norm). The Verizon tech had trouble getting his own office to release the ticket to him, so they had no idea what the hell was going on. Amazingly, this has not diminished my opinion of Verizon. But only because my opinion was already at rock-bottom.

Anyway, Norm gets the tech to stop by before his 10pm call elsewhere. He shows up just after Norm, they do their thing, and find that it's not a problem at the demarc (or d-mark, or whatever they call the place where all their lines come in to our building), but it's between the CO and us. That points them to a repeater that they've had trouble with before. Apparently it flooded and shorted out some electronics.

But before we tried to get that fixed, we thought we'd just jump on to an old T1 line that was provisioned for a company that used to be in our building. After they tracked that down from several different geographic locations, they had to give up because the line was came down from Hayden Lake where they couldn't get to 24/7. So we had to go back to plan A, fixing the flooded repeater. Verizon's emergency crew was dispatched to pump out the hole and replace the equipment.

At this point we'd done everything possible, and had to leave it in the hands of the emergency crew. They promised to get us up and running before we open the doors tomorrow morning at 6am. I really hope it works out, but in the meantime have worked out a new plan B with John, my cow-orker. We can forward our primary DID (where all our 800 numbers are routed) to a new number, such as a cell phone. By putting a voicemail message explaining the outing, we can at least let people know what's going on instead of them just getting a busy signal.

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ASP/VB Array Stupidity
Afternoon watch, 2 bells (1:18 pm)

This is what pisses me off about ASP/VB. It's bad enough I have to write in it anyway, but come on! Dimensioning a variable to 5 should mean you can only have 5 elements, not 6!

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