October 4, 2007

I have a lot I want to learn

Filed under: Uncategorized — numist @ 3:36 am

It occurs to me that the point of school is not to teach you things, but allow you time to learn the things you want. While a lot of people spend it learning how to drink, find themselves, find someone else, or any number of other things, I spent it on working off tuition and in the company of friends.

But the ramp-up with learning is very steep. From learning how to program you get into data structures which gets you to resource contention which gets you to operating systems. More and more things come at you faster and faster that are each more complex than anything you’ve ever seen or done before. The fun part is chasing this until your free time runs out, you graduate, and you enter the workforce.

At least, for most people.

I’m in a bit of a situation where I have a lot of things I want to learn, more things that are more advanced than ever before, both as a result of work and play, and I don’t have enough time every day to satisfy my learning and productivity wants. As a result I’ve been going to sleep with a wired brain, which means I don’t get to sleep for a long time. When I wake up for work, my mind has usually solved a few things during the downtime, but it’s at the expense of only 4 hours of sleep and another 20 hour day ahead.

Anyway, after chatting with Micah I’ve decided to revamp Anna^’s architecture. Users won’t notice any changes for a while, but the result will be something special, and something that’s never really been done before (CIA would be the closest bot implementation as far as number of networks and channels it supports). That’s my free time right there. Gone.

At VMware I’m working on USB stuff. Three weeks ago, all I knew about USB is that you plugged things in, and they usually worked, and that the ports supply 5VDC somewhere between 100mA and 500mA. In the first day I learned the packet protocol in hardware, and how VMware virtualizes everything for the guest. Every day since I’ve been getting a crash course in a different specific part of this architecture. It’s a massive amount of data, and it exhausts my mind, and I don’t think it would be possible to move this fast without Micah at the whiteboard — he’s exceptional at explaining things.

So that’s where I am.

Now, here’s a few opinions on the business world that I’ve been mulling lately:

  • Congrats to LD for the Voyager. It appears to be a very fine piece of hardware. Yes you copied Apple. No, it’s not really OK. I forgive you only because you improved the design, and removed some of the barriers. Now I’m very interested to see how Verizon can ruin it like they do every other decent phone.
  • Boo on Microsoft’s business department. Not for releasing an expanded line of Zunes; I believe that an expanded line of Zunes was a good call. The boo is because despite this expanded line of Zunes, the 30GB original Zune was not deprecated. It was “joined”. Bullshit. No one’s going to buy it with the other options out there, especially after the release of larger and smaller Zunes. Stop making them. This is a classic example of old business models at work. The world is changing, try to keep up. (And that advice applies in more areas than just portable electronics.)
  • Boo on Apple for letting itself be blinded. I mean this in the most constructive way — I loved Apple and its products, but with the creep of restrictive business partnerships becoming more and more evident in the shipping product lines and an increasing commitment to keeping secrets not only from the world but from itself internally, it paints a picture that I am afraid of. At least the Mac hardware and the operating system continue to be very good lines of products that I will continue to support, purchase, and use.

Apparently I’ve become very opinionated.


1 Comment »

  1. Welcome to the club. (The one where people are opinionated.)

    Comment by D.J. Capelis — November 29, 2007 @ 2:31 am | Reply

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