July 28, 2004

Management talk

Today I had the meeting with my department leader.

Initially it was planned for one hour but after a bit more than two hours we decided to continue on friday.

The chat was quite informative for me and also for him because I now know much more about what's going on in the planning and management levels and he knows more about how the situation and impressions on the development levels are.

All in all most many of my questions and concerns are worked on somewhere in the management but below them only few know about that.
He now knows, that this is an issue here.

It was noted that some more information about what's going on with us should be communicated down to us developers. In my opinion this would help much to lift the mood and I wouldn't have asked quite some of my questions.

Some more on that on Friday, currently I'm quite satisfied with the answers I got and I think we both are benefiting from the talk.

Clinton's speech on Democrats day

On the bostonDparty - 2004 Democratic National Convention Blog I just fount a transcript of Bill Clintons speech on the Democratic Convention.

I like this speech very much because it summarizes Bushs effects on America and the world and how Kerry wants to face them.

Just one note.
Clinton says at the beginning of his speech: "... Therefore, we Democrats will bring the American people a positive campaign, arguing not who?s good and who?s bad, but what is the best way to build the safe, prosperous world our children deserve...".
But later then he counts up point by point what Bush had done in the past and what was the result of his actions.

But this is my only point critic, the rest is just great.

I hope, that this convention gives Kerry the boost to take over the presidential role in autumn and do a good for the whole world.

July 26, 2004

Virus out for Google?

BBC NEWS | Technology | Virus blamed for Google problems

Finally there seems to be a trace what was going on with google. Currently it's working again.

The worm MyDoom-O seems to use Google for searching valid targets, causing extreme load.

The Google down effect

Whoa, the Google outage heavilly affects the other search engines.

Lycos is completely down (ranges from "unable to connect to server" to "HTTP/1.1 Server Too Busy") and Altavista and Yahoo are extremely slow on searching and both have to cope with sporadic server errors.

Google is still offline, but providing it's error lightning fast ;)

Meanwhile the other search engines are getting in server trouble more and more.

Well Google, today you are loosing many of your customers...

Google down???

I just read the news about Google telling its share value when I see that Google is down.
On every search you get the result:

Server Error
The service you requested is not available at this time.
Service error -27.


HDD desaster

Only hours before I went on vacation two weeks ago, my HDD on the main development machine failed. I started a backup then which was finished by my group leader on monday.

Today my replacement HDD began making noises too, a quick S.M.A.R.T. check showed me, that this one was failing too.

And now I'm backupping again, second time in two weeks. Something is seriously wrong with my working equipment...

July 23, 2004

Freecraft is back

Last year I mentioned that Freecraft was shut down.

Now I found news at LinuxDevCenter, that Stratagus is the resurrected Freecraft, just de-emphasizing WarCraft compatibility.

July 21, 2004

Answers delayed

So far I have not received any response on my mail. The talk today was delayed until next week when both responsible people are present and have time for me.

On the meeting today my mail was shortly mentioned on a point that the corporate communication has to be improved because the CEO has "received a mail with many questions, good questions, where many have a quite simple answer and shouldn't have to be asked when communication would be right".

And of course, some of my questions got a partial answer during the meeting but there are enough left.

I also talked to more of my colleagues and showed them my mail and all said that it's written a bit "aggressive" but nevertheless hits the reality.

July 19, 2004

Raising dust

Yep. I'm moving something.
I sent out my questions for the All Hands Meeting two hours ago and I just got a call from my team leader that the management level of our company is currently quite busy and thinking about what to do with my mail.

My department leader who is on vacation too got calls from several positions and now he is afraid that my mail can affect the whole development department, I'm told.

Well, on Wednesday when I'm back at work, just right for the meeting on that afternoon, he wants to talk to me.

I got another call from my group leader and then from the department leader. Seems, I'm really causing some confusion in the upper levels of the company. And I'm causing much stress for my department leader. He isn't really angry on me but he said I shouldn't write such mails again without consulting him before. Tried that today, but he didn't pick up the phone... Next time I'll try to get such mails ready earlier.

And I'll invite him on a beer as soon as he's back from his vacations.

July 16, 2004

Bad english? Naaaaah...

Today a friend of mine who looks into this blog from time to time told me that my english is sometimes a bit strange (to say it in a nice way).

Well, while I think that this can surely be true, I also think that I'm way off of being absolutely incomprehensible.

I think it's caused because during my development I only need telegram-style english and in other areas I barely ever need proper english.

I'm just lacking practice, but feel free to tell me all my errors :)

July 15, 2004

Vacation illness

Yeah, I've got the jackpot. I'm on vacation and became ill. Yesterday morning I woke up with a quite hurting throat and a bloody handkerchief next to my bed. Must have been up at night, blowing my nose and blood coming up my throat.

Hope, I'll be okay again until the 21st, when the All Hands Meeting will take place.

July 11, 2004

Free week

I'm on vacation next week, don't know if and how often I'll update here.

On the 22nd or 27th there will again be a company wide meeting, like the last Town Hall Meeting, but this time it's called "All Hands Meeting".
I'm currently setting up an email, which I will send the companies heads a few days before the meeting, describing the actual situation for developers and asking a few questions.

Perhaps I'm getting uncomfortable for some people but that doesn't bother me. What I want to reach are better conditions for all developers, better product engineering environment and a higher motivation for everyone.

Keyword "motivation": It has been quite low for some weeks now and it doesn't help that again a few people left our location last week theirselves, one being quite a (frustrating) key-position in one of our top-projects, the other one wanting to try something new.

But what I also expect is, that our company will be unable to change conditions in the short term because we have a lack of qualified engineers resulting in developers burried into work.

Anyone out there searchig a job? Work conditions are generally quite good if you don't care on some questionable managements decisions and are resistant against rising stress-level near the end of most projects (which I think is the case in any company out there anyway).

July 7, 2004

License bullshit

Would anybody on earth be so "clever" and sell a product to a large-scale provider with "unlimited licenses and unlimited machines"?

Well, if you are in contact with one of our sales(?)-men, you can get something like that.

Some days ago a contract went out to a customer containing exactly this clause.

So, if this customer ever wanted to spread all over the world and gather millions of customers with our product, we would still have to be happy with the ~70.000 bucks we earned with that contract. But we would have to maintain all the systems the customer needs to be able to host millions of customers. Clearly a no-win situation for us, regardless of which perspective you look at it.

Dammit! And such people are in the UPPER levels of our company! Why do sales people always have to think only how to get a signature below the contracts and never think of the future?

July 5, 2004

Wikipedia on DVD... uhm, no?

The last two days I lost two DVD+R's in my effords to burn the english Wikipedia on them.

The first day I failed in even getting to the point where it actually accesses the DVD burner to look for a medium.

It seems, that there is no DVD burning tool somewhere out anywhere, which can burn a filestructure with >560.000 files and ~1600 directories.

Aheads Nero already encounters an "Out of memory" during creation of the filesystem in RAM way before it asks for a DVD+R media.
Just to note, you can change the error to "Encountered an unexpected exception" if you switch the filesystem from ISO to UDF ;)

Pinnacles "Instant CD/DVD" lets you generate a DVD image but asks you for a 6.5 GB sized media, if you use ISO/UDF or just UDF filesystem, but in the preview calculation it says it needs 4.5 GB. If you only use ISO, it really just needs 4.5 GB.

It even manages to burn the DVD and everything looked alright in the first place, but soon I discovered, that only the file index was complete. There were randomly files missing on the DVD... "Unable to open star_trek.html", et cetera.
Then I tried to write an ISO image to HDD (which Instant DVD is capable of) and then burn it with Nero.
Generating worked, burning worked, opening? Nope, can't even view the directories, "Media in drive is not formatted, do you want to format it now?"

I have to get my hands on a DVD+RW, so I can erase the misburned tries again, should be much more cost effective than throwing DVD+R's out of the window.

And in every application, importing the files in a project takes eons... From starting up the burning-app to the final burned DVD it tooks at least 4 hours, 2 hours importing files in the project, 10 minutes checking the DVD burning parameters, 2 hours burning. Can't burn with higher speed, the burning cache would buffer underrun because of the massive amount of small file handling.

July 3, 2004

Kosi alone at home

This weekend I'm completely lonely at home. My grandmother is in hospital, my parents are in a uncle's house in the alps and my girlfriend is on a town-party with a friend of her.

So I invited a friend and now we're playing a bit in a small LAN.

July 1, 2004

Attendance event

Yesterday evening I got a call from our maintenance team on the attendance phone (I'm responsible this week).

A customer had problems with our product.

After some initial investigation (all by phone, because I wasn't at home) it was clear that it was a problem with the database (of course *sigh*).

We fixed the problem within 15 minutes. To my own surprise I knew enough of the database interna to tell him what cause lead to which problems and where to look for further informations.

It was somehow the customers own fault. He has some problems in his network which we have told him for months now, but the customer had no time (or didn't care which I think is a better cause) to fix it.

Well, now it has been communicated over official lines and I hope, they fix their problems faster now.