Sylvie lost her first tooth !

Sylvie’s been complaining of a ‘wobbly front tooth’ for a few months but it’s really not been that loose. However in the past 4-5 days it’s gotten visibly looser. I had expected that yesterdays sledding in the snow would have had enough trauma to knock it out. Which if it had happened would have been very traumatic for every one since we would have need to hunt through the snow to find it for the Tooth Fairy.

However it actually came out very calmly in school today – and of course she was very excited to tell me and show me when I got home. Right now she’s concerned that the Tooth Fairy won’t find it in the gold jewelry box beside her bed – so she wrote a note (to make sure the fairy didn’t need to wake me up and ask me where it was) and attached it to the box.

Posted under Sylvie

This post was written by awk on January 15, 2008

Commuting Options

I’m still trying various options for getting to my new job – recently I’ve been driving (which frankly sucks) but once I get back from vacation in a couple of weeks I’ll switch to taking the train (VMware covers the cost of the train or a monthly parking pass).

Of course if I do feel like driving I could perhaps consider something like this :

Remember Jeremy Clarkson is 6 feet 5 inches tall – he’s unable to sit in his favourite car (the original 60′s Ford GT40) with the doors closed because his head sticks out the top of the roof and the gullwing doors won’t close over the top !

Posted under Personal

This post was written by awk on January 15, 2008


Via Boing Boing I found R Todd Kings wonderful photos from the various snow and ice festivals that occur in Harbin each winter.

Harbin is a city in the far north east of China (Heilongjiang province), it’s actually further north than Vladivostok. I visited Harbin twice in 1996 when working in Hong Kong. My first visit was in April just as the city came out of deep freeze, but my second was in December (just a couple of days before Christmas) when the mercury was really dropping. If I recall correctly it was 10 to 15 degrees below zero farenheit (-23 to -26 degrees celsius), actually not too bad for Harbin winter temperatures and luckily not windy (it’s so flat around there that 30 – 40 mph winds are not uncommon and they really drop the effective temperature).

Unfortunately I wasn’t there at the right time for the Ice Lantern Party (probably a good thing – even 11 years ago it was popular enough to sell out all the tourist/business hotels in the city), and the snow and ice world didn’t start until more recently.

I’d like to try and go back sometime – I’m sure the city has seen some remarkable changes over the last decade (horse drawn carts were still very common when I was there, even though I was installing a multi-million dollar computer system for the local phone company). Harbin also has some fascinating architecture thanks to it’s Russian influences (most people in the street would try and speak Russian to me – it was more common to see a white Russian than a white European).

Posted under Personal

This post was written by awk on January 14, 2008

Another Snow Storm

For some reason the poor weather this year seems to like to happen on Mondays ! I think this is the third or fourth Monday that we’ve had either snow or really bad icing !

Today’s Nor’easter is dumping several inches of snow in the Boston area – you can see some of my pictures here. It’s also of course a snow day for the children ! Even better Michele left last night for a trip to Europe (she ran out early to get ahead of the storm – she was supposed to leave tonight), so I get to clear the drive on my own whilst making sure the children don’t get too hurt sledding down the front garden.

The snow from the past storms had mostly melted – but there definitely still a few piles both on the edge of our drive and the rest of the neighbourhood. It’s supposed to stay coldish this week, and there’s another storm forecast for the end of the week – whether it’s rain or snow remains to be seen 8-).

Posted under Personal

This post was written by awk on January 14, 2008

Movin’ On

Today was my last day at Avid.

On Monday I start my new job at VMware.

Avid has been a great 21 months – but VMware gives me an opportunity to do something a little different. It’s both exciting and a little ‘scary’ at the same time. I’m still going to be writing software but no longer will it be products for creative people in audio, video or 3D – which was what I’ve been doing for the last decade.

The position at VMware gives me an opportunity to work on some technically very challenging issues and improve some skills (it’s not easy for me to say much at this point about precisely what I’ll be doing). It’ll also be interesting because I’m not moving back to California (VMware’s head office is in Palo Alto), Michele & I  and the children like it too much here to move again ! VMware has a pretty large office in Cambridge right across the street from MIT, in fact it’s literally across the street from Michele’s office at MIT. Although there are over 100 employees in the Cambridge location (and vacancies for more to join 8-) the rest of my team and my manager are in the Palo  Alto office which will be something new for me too. There’ll be some trips back and forth as part of my work – so people in the Bay Area I’ve not seen for some time (particularly in the valley and south bay) might get some visits !

I’ll try and blog some more about what it’s like starting a new job in the coming weeks.

Posted under Personal

This post was written by awk on January 4, 2008

Snow !

Snowy House

We had a snowstorm yesterday afternoon. It started snowing around 1:00pm, by the time I got home at 2:30 we had 2-3 inches. Since I haven’t yet invested in a snow blower I went out again at 4:30 and cleared about another 3-4 inches of snow. It finally stopped around 9:30 last night. Measuring the snow on the patio table this morning it looks like we had 11 1/2 inches of snow in the 8 1/2 hours. Today’s a nice sunny day (cold this morning – but supposed to warm up).

Snow on the DeckSaturday night/Sunday morning is supposed to be another fairly large storm, and probably not so pleasant with a mix of snow -> ice -> rain and probably high winds too. Unlikely to be anywhere near so photogenic.

Posted under Personal

This post was written by awk on December 14, 2007

Led Zepplin

My little brother was amongst the lucky crowd for the reunion gig last night. He wrote it up here.

In fact he was ‘extra lucky’ since he got his ticket in the second lottery drawing they made after the first gig was cancelled due to Jimmy Page’s finger injury.

Posted under Personal

This post was written by awk on December 11, 2007

Awesome Presentation by Larry Lessig At TED

Earlier this year Larry Lessig gave a presentation at the TED conference in Monterey.

The video of the presentation is now available :

It’s a great presentation that ‘nails’ in about 20 minutes so much of what is wrong with the current stances on copyright and creativity.

Posted under Personal

This post was written by awk on November 6, 2007

More on the ‘Software for Individuals’ meme

Hulu started it’s beta testing yesterday.

Hulu is NBC (and other media companies) attempt to provide video programmes to individuals outside of the iTunes environment (in other words this is NBC’s answer to it’s break up from iTunes).

The Hulu blog post on the opening of beta testing has some particularly choice comments.

It seems like this service (rather than iTunes) is not designed for the individual – rather it’s designed for the corporate entity that created it, poor implementation details, and geographical restrictions on what you can watch depending on where you’re connecting from.

Posted under Personal

This post was written by awk on October 30, 2007

Why I don’t ‘do’ Enterprise Software

Jason Fried has a nice article on ‘Why Enterprise Software Sucks‘ with which I agree entirely.For the last 10 years I’ve worked entirely on projects that individuals use – indeed the lack of the individual focus was why I left two previous employers. If I decide to move on from my current position I suspect that a shift away from focusing on the individual will be part of the reason why.One of the great things about the iOnTV project is that it’s entirely individually focused and I think this is also a driving force behind many of the ‘indie’ developers out there today for the Mac. I really don’t think Gus Mueller had the large art department in mind when he wrote Acorn, and Wil Shipley clearly doesn’t design Delicious Library for ‘libraries’. Both of these folks (and so many, many more) are focused entirely on the individual. 

Posted under Development, Personal

This post was written by awk on October 29, 2007