Mister Eclectic (howeird) wrote,
Mister Eclectic
howeird

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cATCHING uP

Big day Thursday (yesterday, local time). Finished the class I was teaching, stayed a little after to answer some specific-to-them questions from the folks from Latvia, Sweden, Japan, Texas and Oregon. The tough part is we make two very different products which work together, but also work separately. One is a video server, which plays movies over an Internet connection. The other is what's called "Middleware" in the biz - it's the server which displays the program guide on the TV set, monitors your remote control button presses, and when you choose a movie it tells the video server to play it to your TV, and when you select a broadcast channel, it tells the cable box which channel to lock into, and shows that annoying pop-up window describing the program which you selected. It also pops the window up when you're channel surfing, which is not so annoying.

Anyhow, I think the class was a success, the students ranged from bright to brilliant, and it says something that the last question I answered was for directions to Toys 'R' Us.

Afterwards, I went home for a light dinner, then out to Cupertino for a Photo group Meetup. During class I had copied my Nikon D-70 digital images from DVDs to my new laptop, just in case there was a lack of other folks showing their stuff. About 8 people turned out, one young fellow had a nice new powermac laptop and showed us his shots of U AZ campus. I was impressed - about 100 images showing excellent composition, interesting choice of subject and all worthy of sale at an art & wine festival. Some even better than that. It was nice to be able to honestly oooh and aaah. He really didn't need much advice - he asked how he could improve the colors in his shots. I told him "leave Arizona". That got a laugh, and then everyone else agreed - you're not going to find much color there, and when you do, the lighting will be too harsh anyway.  One of the regulars had some Ansel Adams wanna-be shots of a stunning mountain waterfall, in B&W. Ho hum. Excellent photography, but it's been so done. Another regular pulled out a portfolio of (gasp) prints, which also were excellent, the best of his best. More ooh and ah. Somewhere between Arizona and the waterfall, I showed a set of my pictures from northern Thailand, which started as an answer to Arizona's question about how he might organize his photos on the computer, and segued into an demonstration on how to get better color in your pictures - go somewhere colorful. :-)



Today was busy, I handled a couple of urgent calls, some server in Ohio just up and died. Won't power up, despite having three separate known-good power sources. The idiots who designed our redundant power supply scheme have all three power supplies plugged into the same backplane. So of course the backplane dies from overload, killing the whole system. Like the old concept that the purpose of a circuit is to blow, in order to protect the fuse.

Also found out that nobody had picked up a project I had tried to hand off when I needed to prepare for the class.

And apparently I'm on call this weekend. India was supposed to have joined the pager rotation, but boss hasn't made the effort to put his foot down and get that started. Expletive!

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