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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Half Day!

Hiveminder says it's that time again, so a'bloggin' we will go.

I had a half day today, don't think I've said that since grade school. It wasn't even because of the snow either. The Raymour & Flannigan repair guy came over today to look at our damaged couch, and I had to be here to let him in. He gave me a window for 12 - 3, which basically cut my work day in half. I woke up a little early, got to work about an hour early, and left work at 11.

I've been getting good work done here, although I probably have about an hour or more to do before the day is done (that is, if I want to break even for the day, which I don't necessarily need to do).

Had a bit of a snafu last week that has started to manifest itself as a problem this week. Last week there was a site install for one of our new customers. The morning of the install, when our engineer was on site (in the snow and the cold, as he reminded us frequently), it was decided that we had to update our software for the new units. I don't generally like to make last-minute changes to anything, especially when there isn't sufficient time for rigorous testing. But, the man ws on the ground and it was time to make things work. One of the changes I had to make was to add a feature to our satellite messages that we had never used (and never tested) before. I drafted a change following an example I found, did a quick test or two to verify that things weren't blatantly broken, and shipped them out to the installer.

Well, it turns out that there was a problem with the data we're getting, so we need to redo it. There are two options: Go back to the site and update the software, or send updates over the air. The first method always works, but is costly. Plus, it's the week of thanksgiving, and getting on a plane is going to be unpleasant at best. The second option is untried and untested, but theoretically possible. So, I spend all yesterday testing and planning, and I spend today sending out experimental commands over the satellite and trying to verify the result. It takes about 10 hours, on average, to send out a command and verify the result (and it seems to have only about a 50% success rate per attempt), so it's slow going. But, I'm proud to say that it is working. When people are reminiscing years from now, nobody will remember the year Andrew used a satellite and high-technology to save Thanksgiving.

Dana and I are doing easy (read: frozen) dinners this week to save some energy for the big turkey day. I've got some pizza to throw in the oven later, and some pierogies from last night to reheat. Le Gourmet has taken the week off, apparently.

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