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Friday, July 18, 2008

First Week

The first week of work ended about 30 minutes ago. I stayed a little bit later then usual today to help Steve (on of the senior engineers that I work with) to modify some of our satellite doodads for the weekend.

What Ionx does, in short, is to create little wireless sensor networks that can be retrofit onto existing railcars. These sensors measure stress and strain, wear and tear. They have GPS locators too. All this data about the railcars is collected and beamed to some kind of communications satellite, and can be looked up (possibly for some kind of subscription fee or something I think) by our clients. Because these devices are intended to be bolted onto a rail car, and because railcars can go to all sorts of remote places, our devices need to be pretty robust and reliable. For this, we do a lot of testing. "Testing"--at least at this stage of the game--involves loading the devices with the necessary software, turning it on, and setting it outside for a while. Each device can be configured to report back to us at intervals between about 10 minutes and 6 hours. Actually, we can set reporting frequency to be as little as once every 30 days, but that's hardly useful for testing. What I was doing at the end of the day today was setting up a series of test units for their operations over the weekend.

All in all, it was a pretty good week and I'm enjoying the job pretty much. None of the work I do really relates to the topics that came up in my interview (C, programming, etc), but it is fun to learn new things.

Tomorrow we're heading out to Dana's sister's house to pick up some accutrements for her wedding dress. She and her sister are likely heading out to do some craft shopping too, and I'm not sure yet what I'm going to do with myself while they are gone. I'll likely bring my laptop, just in case.

Sunday, Dana's set up our first appartment-shopping appointment. We're looking, probably in the 1000$ range initially. I would like it if our rent wasn't too large a percentage of our income, so that we can save money for an eventual down payment on a house. As far as I am concerned, lack of a down payment is the only reason we aren't house shopping right now. Talking to Jason today, he suggested that there might be grants or programs or leniencies afforded to first-time home buyers such as ourselves. It's an area where I need to do a little research it seems.

Anyway, the weekend is nigh, so it's time for me to get off the computer.

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