June 3rd, 2003


Pushing the rope

It's still relatively early in the week, so I have a bit of a sleep buffer that I can use.
Last night I was up late (11:30) trying to get some negatives scanned for a friend for her upcoming show. It's been a while since I have used the scanner, so it took some finessing, making sure all the cables were plugged in and other USB devices unplugged. I got about half the pictures scanned so far, and I'll finish the rest tonight.

I have to finalize the design for the lighting controller and get parts ordered. It's a little tricky as we're using fluorescents, and in general fluorescent lights don't like dimmers. The trick is that they don't dim, they are either on or off, but the on time is dynamic depending on how much off time there was. Never mind, it makes sense to me.

Meeting this afternoon at work for which I must prepare. Project meeting with everyone involved including marketing. The kind of meeting where they say "how long will it take" and I get to say "it depends on what you want". Seeing as the project hasn't really been defined yet except in marketing-speak and there is already a target ship date (i.e we know when it will be shipping but we don't know what we will be shipping), I feel no compunction to appease the upper-level folks.
Okay, it's not really that bad. The marketing guys understand that there isn't a concrete product plan in place yet, they just don't know the details. I'm at the very early point where there is no product specification at all, just a nebulous bunch of documentation. Although it is considerably less nebulous since I've been here; I now know what we don't know. And what we don't know is pretty big, like the format of the data coming from the vehicle. Send a command, get a bunch of numbers back. Meaningless unless you know what the numbers mean. Kinda by definition.

Which reminds me. I love when people ask me what I do. Most often they mean to ask what I do for work, and my response is usually "whatever I can". Because really, I can't fit what I do into a single category. And I know it helps people to compartmentalize and label people and things, because then they don't have to spend as much time thinking about them. Unfortunately, I defy compartmentalization. I rather enjoy evading artificial boundaries.
One of my favorites is when I talk to prospective employers. They look at my resume and the conversation goes something like this:

"I see from your resume that you have experience with both hardware and software."


"So are you a hardware guy or a software guy?"


"Yes, but which one are you?"

That has happened many times. Most interviewers will catch on that I can do both. I usually blow their minds when I mention the media production stuff. It's like they can't believe that anyone can do all of those things.

My Mom just tells people I work with computers.
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