Jury Duty Today

I have to report for jury duty today. It was kind of a surprise.

Over the weekend I finally got around to opening all the mail that accumulated for me while I was in Europe. Among them was a jury summons. Starting the next day.

Oops.

Fortunately, I wasn’t required to report in on Monday, just phone in. And then the same for Tuesday. But my number came due last night, and I have to report in this afternoon.

I’m actually interested in serving on a jury. It’s a civic duty, and beyond that, if a “jury of peers” is to have any meaning, all citizens need to participate, not just those with nothing better to do.

God knows I have “better” things to do, with a product launch in two weeks. If only I had read my mail sooner, I could have requested a deferral…until the next horrible time to have jury duty.

I think it’s like a bandaid, you need to just do it, suffer a bit, and then get on track again.

Where’s Michael?

Why there haven’t been any posts in more than two weeks.

So, I haven’t been posting because I’ve been bouncing around Europe on a business trip, and I never got around to setting up remote posting on this weblog.

A two-week all expenses paid trip to Europe sounds like a lot of fun, but it wasn’t. “Grueling” is a much more appropriate word. I hope I never take another trip that long. I don’t like being away from my wife, cats, and house at all.

Anyway, I’m back, and mostly recovered from the brainburn, so I expect I’ll be posting regularly once again.

Looking Back at 2001

God knows we’re glad 2001 is over but, in retrospect, it wasn’t all bad.

Rochelle and I are both glad that 2001 is over with. It’s not as though a calendar can mark the boundaries of luck or experience, but as much as the date shouldn’t matter, you can’t help summing a year up into a theme. And 2001 sucked for lots of people.

But it wasn’t all bad. Rochelle and I were fortunate to be able to spend almost two months together, 24/7, and come out on the other side having more fun with each other than ever. It’s good to be married to a good partner.

Both Rochelle and I experienced job changes we hadn’t intended, mine because my company died, and Rochelle because her boss wasn’t right for her. Now we’re both in jobs we like better than what we started with last year, and which are overall more financially rewarding to boot.

We replaced the nasty carpets in much of our house with wonderful hardwood floors. The floors bring joy to us every day, and may go down as the best investment we made in 2001 (not that the others were hard to beat).

Inspired by the success of the floors, we got serious about lighting, and replaced five existing lights with 4 “new” (to us) period fixtures (this was the source of my Fun With Electricity postings). The one that gives me the greatest pleasure is in the office, which replaced a ceiling light and a 500-watt halogen lamp, lighting the office about 20% better using half as much electricity.

We also started in on our water closet renovation, but have stalled on that, because we decided that getting all of the excess crap out of our parlor and office was more important. Both of these jobs will be with us through most of 2002, I predict.

We threw or attended some really good parties, the best of which was Rochelle’s birthday, and the most impressive was David’s birthday. (One of these days we’ll get the food photos from that up on our site.)

We took some nice trips, including Mexico, Texas, and LA. We ate a whole lot of good food on those trips, most of which we photographed, and most of which we’re behind on publishing. A resolution for 2002, surely.

I bought a new Mac and transitioned entirely to Mac OS X. This is something which gives me pleasure daily, for a whole lot of reasons, one of which is that it enabled me to start this weblog.

I said goodbye to Tex, whom I miss dearly, but who is certainly living a better, happier life in her new household, where she’s the top kitten, with cat companions she likes, neither of which was true in our house.

Rochelle and I both made tremendous progress on our crap reduction and abatement programs, though we clearly have more to accomplish in 2002 (another resolution).

I’m sure we accomplished many other things we’re happy with in 2001, and my feeble mind can’t remember them. That’s why one of my resolutions for this year is to regularly update this weblog. I’m a little behind at this point…

Liquidation of History

Today’s auction of Be Incorporated’s assets is the opportunity to purchase computing history. Unfortunately, the market said they were mostly evolutionary dead-ends.

This morning I’m headed down to Menlo Park, where I worked for three years at Be Incorporated.

It’s been over two years since I left Be, and in the time that’s passed, so has Be. Today they’re just another victim of the economic downturn, and their assets are being auctioned off.

I was at Be during some of the most exciting times, including the first public release of the BeOS, being invested in by Intel, and the public offering.

Be was a special place to work, and BeOS is still unmatched by any other operating system in some areas of functionality and technology. Be, the BeBox, and BeOS have a place in computing history, and it’s a tragedy that it will be as curiosities, evolutionary dead ends, rather than as an important turning point in the computer industry.

I’m headed down to Menlo Park to collect my piece of that history. Some momento of what it was like to work there, what it meant to me, what the company accomplished.

I’m taking the credit card. Don’t tell my wife.

On to the Next Thing…

I finished the project at work that I was procrastinating on by working on this site. So you’ll probably never hear from me again.

Yesterday afternoon, the marketing analysis I have been working on for the last four weeks stopped being a pile of shit, so I sent it to the people who need to review it.

I have to present / defend it on Monday, so I’m sure I’ll be working over the weekend…and procrastinating on that by writing here. Depending on how the presentation goes there may be more work to do on my MRD, but it won’t be so urgent, or monumental — there’s nothing so intimidating as the blank page.

But I’ve been posting to this thing for the last month, so maybe it’s become a habit. If not, I probably won’t post again until I have another big project I’m avoiding.

Then again, I may end up hacking away on the code that runs this site, so I can add pictures more easily, and things like that. Which would give me another excuse to write.

We’ll see.

Been There, Done That — It’s Better the Second Time

Once upon a time, I worked for Be, of BeOS (semi-) fame. I miss BeOS, but have found an acceptable substitute: Mac OS X.

Once upon a time, I worked for Be Incorporated, of BeOS (semi-) fame. For those who used it, BeOS (an operating system for desktop computers) was unique, and special. But Be is officially no more, and BeOS has been dead for a while.

What made BeOS so useful was a wonderful, responsive graphical interface on top of a powerful, Unix-like environment. The marriage of the two was unique at the time, and the work of some engineers who truly had magic powers.

For a lot of reasons Be didn’t make it, and BeOS died when the company did. It would remain a curiosity of computing history, and a tragedy for those of us who cared, except that some of the ideas live on.

I write this posting on a new Macintosh G4, in a Web browser that is the most beautiful, graceful browser I’ve ever used, OmniWeb. When I click the Save button, the information I’ve typed into a lovely GUI application gets transfered to the web server running a PHP application, which saves the text to a database (MySQL), so that you can read it later.

This relates to BeOS in that all of the software used to run my Weblog application is running on the same machine, running Mac OS X. It’s a lovely graphical interface on top of a true Unix-like environment, which allows the use of both a beautiful Web browser and the Unix-based Web server, PHP, database, and the other Open Source software upon which this site depends.

So, BeOS has died, but some of the most important ideas live on. Mac OS X isn’t for everyone, but for those who give it a whirl and can harness its powers, it’s truly magic.

Yet Another Waste of Time

Announcing the launch of my personal weblog, for better or worse.

Yes, another weblog. I guess I’ve been wanting to keep some kind of a journal, and provide some kind of ongoing news for friends and family.

From another perspective, I’m doing this because I’m a geek, and I had to install MySQL on my new Mac OS X system, and then once it was installed, I had to do something with it.

Still another way to look at this is I am procrastinating on a project for work, and decided that spending a few dozen hours getting a bunch of software set up, writing, and fiddling, would be a “productive” way to do it.

Anyway, for better or worse, I’ve started a ’blog. We’ll see how well I stick with it.

Dot.com Daze: End of Daze

Today will probably be my last day going into my job. So ends my Cymerc daze…

Today will probably be my last day going into my job. I’ve cleaned out my desk, packed home my stuff, and pretty much just want to use the printer and copy a few things onto Zip disks. And so ends my Cymerc days.

We are going on a bender tonight, my former co-workers and I. One last hurrah, and all that…

Dot.com Daze: Accounting Knows More Than You Think

I heard today that our controller, who had known that our demise was immanent, was completely drunk at the all-hands meeting where our CEO announced that we were dead.

I heard today that our controller, who had known that our demise was immanent, was completely drunk at the all-hands meeting where our CEO announced that we were dead. Poor George, knowing what was coming for weeks, he could not tell us. It must have sucked.

Dot.com Daze: Spoils of War

My Aeron chair, should I choose to purchase it at the “fair market value,” is going to be around $500. It’s one of those badges of honor, or something, from the dot.commer experience. I think, even though I’m currently unemployed, that I’m going to buy it.

My Aeron chair, should I choose to purchase it at the “fair market value,” is going to be around $500. It’s one of those badges of honor, or something, from the dot.commer experience. I think, even though I’m currently unemployed, that I’m going to buy it.

Follow-up: the company’s landlord chose to “purchase” a large percentage of Cymerc’s physical assets (furniture), including all the Aeron chairs, in exchange for outstanding rent, or something. Our CEO “forgot” I wanted mine, and I hadn’t properly labeled it, so I lost out. Oh, well…