Peak 4 Announced

We announced Peak 4 today.

Posted under Work

This post was written by awk on April 7, 2003


Finally we’ve been able to get DSL installed at the BIAS’ offices in Petaluma. For the longest time we’ve endured an IDSL connection which offers little more bandwidth than a piece of wet string. Now we can move forwards with good ‘ole’ DSL and megabit speeds !

The irony in this is that a stones throw (well the other side of the 101 freeway) are the offices of Cisco (formerly Cerant), Alcatel, Gluon Networks, Mahi Networks and Calix. All of whom, given their roles in telecom systems, probably have more bandwidth than we’d know what to do with !

Our service is done with Sonic (who also host our co-located server) – it’s cheap at approx $50/month with 4 static IP addresses. Installation was painless ONCE we had worked out which phone line in our building was suitable and dealt with Pac Bell. The problem was that we have a centrex phone system and many of the lines we have are part of the centrex bundle even our office fax line (which was our first choice). We had elected to use the fax line and then had to wait a week for Pac Bell to tell us that ‘yes the one week installation period had ended without service’ since they had cancelled the order earlier because the line was incompatible and hadn’t told anyone !

We then found a second number that we were paying for and was assured to be compatible – however no-one knew where it was ! A little bit of head scratching in the phone closest and tugging at cables and we traced it to a spot right in the middle of office network hub – perfect ! The service went live on Friday and a brief hour of plugging and configuring on Saturday morning and things are working fine !

Posted under Work

This post was written by awk on April 7, 2003

Collar & Tie

Courtesy of the BBC “Man wins tie sex ruling”

Dress codes are pretty (ok very) relaxed in the software industry in most places. However working in Hong Kong for two years meant that I did see the ‘other side’. All of my colleagues wore a collar and tie (usually a suit & tie) all of the time – casual Fridays didn’t exist either. Whilst I’m fine with more formal attire when the situation demands it (say customer visits) I really wasn’t too keen to wire suit & tie in the office five days a week.

My compromise was to wear ‘french collar’ shirts (i.e.. a banded collar) which don’t ‘support’ the ‘attachment’ of a tie, and waistcoats (usually bright ones – I have quite a collection 8-) It was either appropriate or my management just couldn’t quite work out how to say anything since no-one ever commented.

Posted under Work

This post was written by awk on March 11, 2003


I’ve been wanting to improve the preferences dialogs in Deck so that instead of 3 (or more) individual dialogs with lots of options there is one dialog with a toolbar. Something similar to the Preferences in most other Mac OS X apps (such as Mail or System Prefs). However I can’t just use Cocoa since Deck is an entirely Carbon C/C++ app and integrating this much Cocoa would be a pain. And besides the Jaguar HIView classes include a fully customizable toolbar view you can use from Carbon.

It took a little bit of headscratching but I got there in the end, and I created a sample app you can download here. It’s based on the Carbon Toolbar sample Apple ships with their developer tools.

Posted under Work

This post was written by awk on March 8, 2003

Sakoman joins Apple

Widely reported around the place this morning is the fact that Steve Sakoman (part of my management chain when I was at Be) has now rejoined Apple. He’s not alone at Apple, there are at least three other former Be employees (or former close associates) who’ve been at Apple for between 1-2 years.

Of course now we’ll have lots more wild speculation about what Apple’s up to, mostly I predict it’ll be centered around handhelds since Steve most recently worked at Palm, and during his last tenure was part of the original Newton team. However we should not forget that Steve’s time at Palm was after the initial development of Palms current crop of handhelds and we’ve yet to see what product will be directly developed from the technology Be developed, furthermore Steve’s original vision of the Newton was not the Newton that eventually shipped. He also spent some time at Zenith, and SGI working on the N64 project.

It’ll be interesting to see if other former Be employees who moved to Palm now feel it’s not the place for them either and also leave (either to join Steve or simply to do something else new).

Posted under Work

This post was written by awk on March 5, 2003

Joi Ito’s Party

Like about 150 other people I too was at Joi Ito’s party in Palo Alto on Sunday night. In yet more evidence of just how small the tech world truly is ‘degrees of seperation’ collapsed around us that evening. Frank had invited me and is one connection to Joi but at the same time Brewster Kahle (MIchele’s boss at the Internet Archive) is also a friend of Joi’s too.

Frank mentions talking to Lisa Rein for too short a period – I had the better fortune to spend longer talking to her, mostly about Grateful Dead queuing mechanisms and the Supreme Court ! In other words attending the Eldred hearing at the US Supreme Court for with the Internet Archive had filed an Amicus Brief.

Most of all it was a good chance to catch up with Frank, Michael, and Hiroshi and talk about new things and what other people from our old Be days are now doing.

Posted under Personal, Work

This post was written by awk on March 4, 2003


It’s time for NAMM (National Assoc. of Music Merchants) show in Anaheim.

Usually this show is just like one very large hangover – even if you don’t go to the parties !! Dry Orange county weather and too much loud music means that it only takes a few hours before you have a very bad headache !

Sadly this NAMM show there really isn’t anything standing out as a new and cool product announcement. Most of the big news in the software space are updates (Logic 6 & Protools 6). Protools 6 has been so heavily trailered over the last six months or so it’s not really news and whilst Logic 6 has lots of logic users happy it doesn’t seem to have anything really new.

If there’s one thing that’s become more apparent is that there are lot more people either committing or at least talking about supporting Apple’s AudioUnit standard – with the acquisition of Emagic last year by Apple and the acquisition just before christmas of Steinberg by Pinnacle this year could be a very interesting one. It wouldn’t surprise me to see a real plugin battle occur during the year !

Posted under Work

This post was written by awk on January 19, 2003