2006-09-10

Ways + Means

Folks keep pointing out that I'm not updating my blog. This is kind of cool, really, as it means people are reading it. :-) Hello, people!

Contrary to popular belief, I am still alive.

I've been out of commission for a few weeks with a back injury. I'm largely better now, but I'm still taking things semi-easy. (It was the same issue I had in early 2005, when a bone in my pelvis went out of alignment and made my life generally shitty. It was rather worse this time, to the point that I could hardly walk. I've managed to find a good chiropractor in Mountain View, and he's beaten me into shape.)

Life is pretty good, other than that. Jeannette and I are getting along marvelously, going to the beach and nerdy museums and so forth. (This is a great area for nerdy pursuits.)

At work, I've been promoted after six months, which once again demonstrates that I don't interview well. :-) I'm now a notch short of "senior," which is the position I'm shooting for at the moment. My team, charged with the review and processing of all incoming ads, has moved into the corporate spotlight in recent weeks — though unfortunately, it was due to a pretty serious bug in some legacy code we maintain. But it's worked out for the best: we've gained some energetic new engineers, and done some internal reorganization (no, heads didn't roll — for once, I'm using "reorganization" quite literally). We're now better prepared to kick ass and take names, which is, roughly speaking, our job.

I've been charged with some higher-level design tasks, and will be semi-leading some of our new projects. (I say "semi-leading" because there's a distinct "lead" title that I don't currently hold.) Things are going well.


I've been hanging out with the Silicon Valley Patterns group, who are currently hosting a "language buffet" track: every few weeks they pick another programming language, try to wrap their (generally quite large) brains around it, and see what it has to teach them. This is right up my alley — its' been a hobby of mine for years — so I'm attending as much as I can and trying not to talk too much. :-)


As a side effect, I've been putting renewed effort into my programming language, still code-named Mongoose. I've been inhaling hard-CS papers, which are very frustrating in the way they use 20-page formal proofs to demonstrate something that's pretty freaking obvious to long-time programmers. (My strong predilection for working prototypes over academic proofs is probably showing through here.) Some of the research I'm doing would probably make for good papers, but I don't use enough Greek letters to be accepted by their little clique. I'll just release my code on the net instead. :-)

(For a domain with the word science in its name, Computer Science seems to involve a lot of math and industrial engineering, and strangely little actual science.)


My family's coming out in September, which should rock. It's a little early for the leaves to turn, but Mountain View is still beautiful. I find myself still ill-equipped for leading tourist expeditions into San Francisco; I'll probably have to pick up a tourist guidebook and read it when they're not looking. :-) At the very least, I know most of the interesting bits of Mountain View, and I can direct my dad to the Computer History Museum. Judging from current patterns, I'll update sometime in early October and report on that.

2 Comments:

At 8:50 AM, Anonymous Theja said...

Dear Mr Biffle,
Let me introduce myself. I am a junior year EE student at Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur. Instead of beating around the bush, let me get straight to the point. A group of students here are working on a vision based autonomous robot. They need a OV6620 camera module, which unfortunately is not available in India. If you could help us in getting one, we will ever be indebted to you. Sir, I am not spamming, but we would be really happy if you could help us.
T Theja
http://users.domaindlx.com/theja
iitstars@gmail.com

 
At 1:31 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do you even reply sir?

 

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