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austin_dern

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Dec. 15th, 2012

So, work. I came back to New Jersey in part for a big meeting, with specialists in the field I'm more or less working in, but also so that we might maybe see some concentrated effort made on several projects. I'm not convinced that time was needed, particularly as it would mean I was expected in for 8 am, and have to get up horribly earlier than that, but on the other hand it'd be ridiculous to fly in the day before and out the day after, and the boss wants to see me in the office some.

But there's some advantages to working in the office directly, not least that there's this inherent lag working over logmein which makes it harder to do fiddly little bits of experimentation. And it's easier for me to get up to phoning people when I need to if it's from the office, possibly because it feels so much less like I'm calling on my own. And I have needed to do a lot of that.

See, the company is trying to put out a project involving some new technology created by the company which, in the past, let me waste six months trying to follow their gibberish directions without getting anywhere near successful completion of the basic installation because they sent me the wrong software and never understood my objection that not one word of their documentation matched one word of what they showed. That was years ago, but not to worry. They've changed radically, if by radically you mean, not much at all.

It wasn't that bad, this time, mostly. We spent several weeks going around and around trying to get the license, and access to a data set, all of which would follow various people who weren't me signing contracts I didn't see, none of which ever was quite done. We did get a license to use the new technology, finally, and I used the examples given in the Quick Start Guide to find that ... they didn't work. Not just didn't work; the didn't even compile. And looking it over I didn't see how they possibly could compile.

So for Thursday I finally pinned down one of the programmers who --- admitting that their documentation was really bad --- tried to help me out and discovered that their own documentation on their internal Wiki was somehow missing. So were the example files. He hacked together an example, though, based on the next generation of the software and after a couple hours at this we finally, finally got the equivalent of ``Hello World'' to run.

Trivia: London's Knight Rider Street, south of Saint Paul's Cathedral, is believed to contain the line of a Roman-era circus used for gladiatorial and equestrian display. Source: Albion: The Origins Of The English Imagination, Peter Ackroyd.

Currently Reading: The Light That Never was, Lloyd Biggle Jr.

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