January 15th, 2005


Home Alone

The plan was to sleep off the last of my cold, then go to Furcon and charm, bribe or beat my way into the Board Room coffee klatch with Alan Dean Foster who is one of my 10 favorite authors. I first fell in love with his writing when someone told me if I liked Kurt Vonnegut Jr.'s Cat's Cradle I would love Foster's Slipt. And I did. Other books which display his off-the-wall and very clever ideas are Quozl, Into the Out Of, Glory Lane, Cyber Way and Codgerspace. He is also known for his Spellsinger series (which I have not read) and the Flynx books. On top of that he is one of Hollywood's leading writers of novels based on other people's screenplays. The Alien series, The Last Starfighter and a host of Star Trek logs.

But instead my cell phone woke me at about 10:30, and the rest of the day till 5:30 pm was spent, almost non-stop, in conference calls as CNN went live with a system I had installed for them last summer.

I don't think I even had clothes on until about 1:30. This did not help my cold.

I found the problem, it was a limitation in our code which they had found weeks ago, but either had not bothered to ask me about or I had not recognized as important. It should have showed up in their testing, but didn't because the person who wrote the interface software apparently never ran a real-world test. The problem only shows up if they schedule a video capture, and no video is sent for 35 minutes. In their tests they always sent video within a few minutes of the scheduled capture, but in real life it can be 90 minutes between the start of the session and when actual video gets sent.

Once we figured out the issue, they put a work-around in place, and I started our chief engineer working on a real fix.

Just in time to see the last few plays of the Jets/Steelers game. CNN is in Atlanta, and the Falcons were playing at home across the way from the CNN building, so I imagine some of the staff managed to get to the game and see the home team whomp the Rams. But maybe not, since some of them had pulled a 25-hour shift.

LJ went down just before I started customizing my page layout. So I did some tweaking tonight. They did okay bringing everything up, but it took too long for their co-location service to put up a spoof machine which told user what happened.

Plan for Sunday is to see what happens at CNN. I should know by 10 am. Then if I'm feeling well enough, take the camera and go to furcon, otherwise sleep and self-medicate.
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    Tired -- Pearl Baily