April 14th, 2012

Where'd The Week Go?

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Where’d the week go?  I managed to implement an async RPC call based on UDP packets; that was kinda slick.  Its more-or-less stateless, so I can re-send the call or re-send the ack+result repeatedly without anybody getting confused.  I added an HTML RESTful Get/Put API, plus some Key surfing.  Based on this+Paxos, I have the starter bits for a distributed K/V store!  Seems like everybody has one of these, so I figured I’d better go make one also.  😉
Then I tried my toy on Linux…it’s been running great on Windows & Mac with 3 to 5 machines.  Linux should be a piece-o-cake!  Or not so.  First stumbling block was Java network self-discovery is painful on Linux: lots and lots of network devices are enabled but few are actually connected to the network.  Then I ended up enabling an IPV6 device… I’m not quite IPV6 ready (close, but not there).  Also, I kept finding loopback addresses.  Then I hit Java signed-byte issues (gah!  a COMPLETELY ridiculous language design decision; bytes are 99.9% used in an unsigned fashion).  Took me another day to pull out all the bugs… then we immediately ran and demo’d it!  (shakes head)   There’s like 1 week’s worth of work in there!  I’m not sure what to make of it all; we were completely upfront with where the product was… and the end-user is loving it.
We ran back to the office High-Five-ing each other and stared at our big empty room.  And then a friend of Sris called: an unrelated startup in S.F. has stumbled and is selling off new office furniture at firesale prices.  We ran to a U-Haul shop & got a $20 box truck (plus $1/mile … that adds up fast).  An hour later we were stuffing desks and chairs into the thing.  We got 6 desks and 6 nice ergo chairs for $1500…. and that is fantastically higher than our rent… I think I’m losing my sense of money here.  (shakes head again)  We ran away with our booty and an hour later were unloading into the not-so-empty office. Those desks have slick wheels and the floor is good and the room is big; after I got up a good head of steam I hopped on the desks for a ride across the room.  Brings new meaning to the word “execu-glide“  Holy moly!  The office is starting to look… office-like.  Needs a microwave (but not a coffee machine; the coffee press came in the building with me on that first visit; must have priorities).  I left Sris to return the truck, and I ran home to a long promised date-night.  Made it just in time and a nice romantic dinner was had, complete with thunderous rain and lightning (umm, excuse me Mr. California?  I pay my cost-of-living taxes!!!  It’s mid-April… where’s the warm sunshine we were promised?)
Next day was mostly spent doing paperwork.  And I’m only doing the new employee paperwork – Sris’ got the backend of this mountain.  Sigh.  Startups are 90% perspiration, 9% inspiration and another 90% paperwork.  Health insurance, payroll, building insurance, PGE wants to be paid, the office water got shut off (fixed now), W-4’s, I-9’s, 401K’s… the list goes on and on.  My home printer died.  My SO’s netbook died (fixed by pulling the battery and power-cycling to drain the caps so it REALLY got a cold-start).
Happy-not-sigh: my kids came back from their mom’s after a week-long spring-break vacation.  More Halo with the boys, more stupendously silly dinner conversation.  The refurbished bathroom looks amazing, and everybody got to apply giant fish stickers on the walls.  Today I am playing taxi-Dad and taking one kid to Sea Scouts, then taking the others shopping for giant monitors, hacker keyboards and Magic-the-Gathering card decks.

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