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Javva The Hutt June 2004

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Back to newsletter 043 contents | All Javva's articles

Interplanetary Roadside Assistance

Did you see this absolutely fascinating article about the Mars Rover crash recovery? It reminded me of some of the times I've tried to track down a performance problem. Even with all the current application performance monitoring tools available, sometimes a performance problem is just soo difficult to identify. You end up going round in circles just like these guys, until finally some seemingly obscure piece of information triggers you to follow the right investigative track.

Diary of a Hutt

March 10. Drowning in work. Problems are just like busses, wait ages for one, then a whole bunch come along at once. I can see that's not news to most of you though.

March 24. Still swamped. On top of which I have personal issues to deal with - pleasant ones, but nevertheless time consuming ones.

April 14. Heh. I got caught out along with all the rest of you, or at least a good chunk of you, on Jack's April fool ( The Commando Pattern). Sent off an annoyed email to Jack complaining that he should not be emphasizing as a pattern what I would consider a bad practice. Felt really sheepish when he pointed out that it was an April fool. Re-read it, and it was obvious, I can't see how I missed it first time. Still, I guess that's the art of a good April fool - believable, until you take a good look at it. Though who got fooled by the famous Swiss Spaghetti Harvest mystifies me, though I guess spaghetti was not as common in 1957 as now.

April 21. Not going to JavaOne. Again. At least Weevil isn't either. Can you believe it, Boris wangled it. Only one person from my team is allowed to go, and much as I tried to fake the choice, I couldn't. Boris and Brainshrii are too used to my "economies of truth", and insisted on an independent draw. Used Sympathy since they figured HR had no axes to grind and no favors owed. And used little bits of paper drawn from a cup, with us well out of reach. Annoying. I had built a transparent short easily understood Java program to do the draw. Of course the classpath contained my own personal Random number generator. Do you have any idea how complicated it is to create a program that scans voice input for particular key sounds to act on? I had to get the sound input connected; use a third-party voice-to-speech transformer; scan the resulting output for particular words; test the whole system and train it so that it had no problem with my trigger keyword. And after all that I didn't even get to use it! All those late evenings working, wasted. My talents are wasted here, but then I'm not exactly sure where they would be appreciated.

BCNU

Javva The Hutt.


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