Looking at Towns

I drove home via North Reading and Reading this evening. North Reading seems a little like Lincoln it’s mostly a houses on larger size lots and seems (in the dark at least) like there’s plenty of open space around. However like Lincoln it doesn’t really seem to have a town center, so it’s probably not a candidate.

Reading does have a town center however it’s not really ‘cute’ or ‘quaint’ so again I think it’s probably not on our list of candidate towns. I’ll be checking out Andover and Newton at the weekend.

In other news: I’ve managed to fix 3 bugs today and one of them successfully passed the check-in-test rules Avid has in place to try and make sure that the code shared between so many engineers stays in good shape.

Posted under House Hunting

This post was written by awk on March 8, 2006

One Week

Well I’ve been here one week – and it’s not snowed ! Or rained ! It has been pretty cold though.

In fact it’s a good thing it wasn’t snowing or raining today since the fire alarm at work went off and we all had to go stand in the parking lot for 15 minutes. No smoke so it was either a false alarm or just a test – I never did find out.

I finally worked out the fix for my bug – but only after attempting what my colleagues and I agreed was at best a ‘workaround’ (at worst a ‘hack’). The attempted workaround made things worse in some cases but also revealed the true cause of the problem I’d been trying to identify and a fix was quickly made. Tomorrow it’s on to the next one (and my queue isn’t getting any shorter 8-)

Posted under Work

This post was written by awk on March 7, 2006

Orientation Day

Today was indoctrination orientation day at Avid. Since I’d already been at work for three days it was a bit of a non-event. There was only two of us there and all I really needed to do was go over all the benefits forms I’d filled out and make sure there weren’t any mistakes.

My bug from last week remains unfixed and is also a mystery to a couple of us know – so we’re expanding our talent pool to other engineers. It’s sort of nice to have other people who know that answers instead of being the one who everyone turns too, of course that just reminds me how little I know and how quickly I need to know a lot !

I watched last nights oscars but don’t really have much to say since I’ve not seen any of the major movies nominated (children !). I have seen Wallace and Grommit and March of the Penguins (children ! 8-) and they both deserved their awards. It was a good night for Avid – one or more of our products was used in everyone of the winning movies in some ways. For the sixth year running every single nominee in the Sound categories had used ProTools from Avid’s Digidesign subsidiary.

Posted under Work

This post was written by awk on March 6, 2006

Concord and Lincoln

I went out to some open houses this afternoon in two more towns on our list of candidates : Concord & Lincoln.

Concord is one of the oldest towns in Massachusetts and has a lot of history relating to Independence, The Minutemen and battles with the British. It’s as a fairly large town with a nice downtown and a reasonable selection of houses in our budget. The open house I went to however wasn’t attractive – frankly a little expensive for what it was and not to my taste It was an older house from 1937 I’d prefer to look at houses that are either really old (and in Concord that can actually mean 250 years old) or pretty recent (10-15 years). The stuff in the middle is often not to Michele or my tastes. However whilst Concord has a nice town center it doesn’t seem like there’s a lot of trails for running so it might not meet Michele’s criteria. There are more photos here. I went to second open house in Concord too – it was a much nicer house, larger, more to my taste and only 15 minutes walk from the town center. However it was expensive, had association fees of $400 per month and had next to zero yard. It also had one of the worst realtors showing it I’ve come across. She spent the entire 20 minutes I was there on the phone to someone else (I doubt a customer she was speaking French) and completely failed to attempt to engage me in any sort of sales dialogue ! Driving time from Concord to Boston is about 31 minutes and from Concord to Avid is 30 minutes

Unlike Concord, Lincoln has a lot of running trails – according to the (much nicer) realtor I spoke with there some 40% of the town is conservation land and has a large network of trails around the town and extending out to nearby Walden Pond. I would estimate there’s some 20-30 miles of trails. Unfortunately Lincoln has next to zero town center , just a handful of stores near the commuter rail station. The house I looked at was probably too small for our needs but had a nice level 1/2 acre lot. Newer houses in the town have a minimum of 2 acres according to town zoning laws. Driving times from Lincoln to Boston is 27 minutes and from Lincoln to Avid is 35 minutes.

Posted under House Hunting

This post was written by awk on March 5, 2006


I went back to Peets in Lexington this morning for coffee and to take some photos.

It’s a little more expensive than other areas but probably still within reach. According to Google maps it’s a 27 minute drive to Avid and 23 minutes to downtown Boston.

Definately a candidate town but I’m not too sure that there’s a lot of ‘green spaces’ for Michele to go running.

Posted under House Hunting

This post was written by awk on March 5, 2006


There’s one Ikea store near Boston – in Staughton, about 35 minutes south of where I’m staying.

I needed some furniture and bedding so it seemed like the best option. However this Ikea has only been open 4 months and so it’s a total mob scene. It took 15 minutes to find parking and the store was packed with people – many of home didn’t seem to ‘get’ the Ikea one way system which caused things to move very slowly.

It took a while but I ended up with everything I needed. I bought a new mattress at a local store too, and that gets delivered tomorrow so I won’t have to sleep on David’s futon any longer.

For dinner tonight I took a short drive over to Lexington – it’s a very nice town. It has a decent ‘main street’ with a Peets ! and an excellent Indian restuarant where I had dinner. I drove through a couple of neighbourhoods and the properties seem pretty much in line with what were looking for. I’m going to head back there tomorrow in daylight to take some photos.

Posted under Personal

This post was written by awk on March 4, 2006

Movie Night

Since I’m on my own I don’t have to worry about a babysitter if I want to go see a movie.

So I attempted to use my TomTom to find a movie theater near the Avid offices, and although it had a listing for two neither actually seemed to be located near where the TomTom directed me ! Rather dissapointing since it’s usually really good !

I did eventually find one of the two theaters somewhat by accident but by the time I arrived the next scheduled showings were over 90 minutes later and I didn’t want to wait that long. So I drove back towards home and went to a theater nearer home (TomTom guided me without problems this time).

I saw “16 blocks” with about 10 other people in a pretty large screen (room for probably 200-250) which was pretty surprising for an openning night of a Bruce Willis movie (not a good sign for box office success). I have to say it was pretty good – not your usual sort of Bruce Willis plays a cop movie. Far more like Sin City in that Willis’ character is pretty washed up but achieves redemption through the course of the movie (which almost happens in real time – it spans about 2 hours of time). Certainly worth a rental – but it’s not going to get any oscars next year !

In other news I’m making progress (of sorts) on my bug – but I got about 5 others assigned to me today ! Monday is orientation morning (where HR tells me how Avid is supposed to work – after three days of my new colleagues telling me how it really works).

Weather – no snow today, it’s supposed to be getting warmer next week (maybe 40 degrees !)

Posted under Personal

This post was written by awk on March 3, 2006

For Sale

Our house in California is now listed for sale – the online pages for the house are here.

The brokers open was today – but I’ve not yet had a chance to speak to Michele to see how it went.

In other news – I have my first bug to fix in Media Composer. A rather scary thing involving ‘off by 1 or 2 frames’ during punch-ins under some circumstances. We’ll see how long it takes to fix !

Weather – it was supposed to snow 1-3 inches this afternoon. It’s not snowing yet, but it’s now expected to snow tonight.

Posted under Personal

This post was written by awk on March 2, 2006

First Day

First Day went well – I have all my requisite hardware and even managed to start the process of syncing the latest codebase to my PC so I can build it. At that point I went home since my new colleagues told me that ClearCase can take a couple of hours to do the initial sync (I’m assured that subsequent syncs are much faster).

Not that it was a short day by any means – I even got a ‘architecture review’ meeeting done and met a ton of people. Not bad – I expect that tomorrow I can try my luck with a build and also setting up the build environment on my Mac.

Posted under Work

This post was written by awk on March 1, 2006


Tuesdays flight was pretty uneventful – a little delayed but I made it to Michele’s cousin’s (David) house by 8:00pm. TomTom was really helpful with the navigation ! It even guided me through the chaos that is the tunnel/freeway system out of Logan airport and onto the Mass Pike.

It’s a 35 minute drive from here to the Avid offices and it’s a reverse commute so hopefully the traffic won’t be too bad for my first drive to the office.

In one of those ‘small world’ moments one of David’s other housemates is the VP of Marketing for Archivas a company specialising in data archival solutions similar to Michele’s work at The Internet Archive

Oh – and the weather here ? Currently : Sunny 21 degrees

Posted under Personal

This post was written by awk on March 1, 2006