Tuesday, February 22, 2005


Just got back from an amazingly beautiful weekend in Seattle. After the rough week here at Sun last week, it was good to get away for a few days. We stayed with a couple of my college friends at their new house - very impressive! Lots of eating, drinking, walking and shopping occurred, along with the obligatory trips to Pike Place Market and the Space Needle. As always, meals out in Seattle were fantastic. We went out to the People's Pub on Friday night and tasted nearly every one of the outstanding beers they had on tap, Saturday was the Snappy Dragon and Sunday was half price wine night at Calypso. The jerk spiced ribs at Calypso were delicious! The only, um, odd note is: don't trust the new public toilets on the water front. The sensors for determining if they are occupied or not do not always work, and there is no button at all for *closing* the doors if they are opened at an inopportune time. *hmpf*

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Email, sleep and a couch warming party

Had an interesting weekend, looked into mutt for mailreading again, alas, it doesn't meet all of my needs (most importantly, being able to have more than one active composition open at the same time), so I'll stick with dtmail & pine for now. The search for a much less lame mailreader continues.

Saturday started out with an incredible lecture on sleep and the brain at Stanford, featuring Professors Dement and Kushida. Wow! I never would've thought sleep could be so interesting. Both speakers were energetic and interesting.

Dr. Kushida extensively covered obstructive sleep apnea, different types of insomnia (including things to help treat this yourself - like, you should never lay awake in bed for more than 20 minutes. If that happens, get out of bed and do something in a different room that will make you drowsy and only then return to bed), narcolepsy and violent somnambulisms (sleep screaming, running, driving and killing).

Dr. Dement is a pioneer in sleep research and is the doctor who actually discovered REM sleep, which he noted is common in all mammals. There was a lot of information about REM and what happens to the brain after you fall asleep. For instance, the brain keeps sending signals to your body - it's only due to REM paralysis that you normally don't act out your dreams in the real world. He also covered, in depth, the concept of "sleep debt". Simply stated, sleep debt accumulates the more days you go without a full night's sleep, and one good night's sleep does not make up for all of your missed sleep. I've always felt that this was true, but so many of my friends said that it wasn't possible to accumulate a lack of sleep. Dr. Dement presented some very compelling evidence (including a study done at NIMH that accidentally proved his hypothesis that sleep debt existed), so I'm going to follow his advice and try to get just a bit more sleep every night.

And as a strange highlight this week, I went to my friend Val's house for her "couch warming party," where her Swedish friend, Lina, made us delicious Swedish meatballs, mashed popotatoes and herring pie. I was surprised, the herring pie was really good! At the party, I ran into a fan of Professor Dement who has now loaned me the book "The Promise of Sleep," Dr. Dements attempt at educating the general public about sleep and why it is so important.

Update 1 is rolling right along, still generating tons of emails. Most of the features targeting this release have been reviewed and are just "soaking" waiting to integrate. There will be a few driver updates later, but it's still exciting to see things progressing this far. It's a lot of work being a tech lead, but very interesting.

Tuesday, February 8, 2005

Trail Etiquette

So, I was riding on St. Joseph's hill this weekend, and as I was about to overtake a couple of walkers, I called out the standard "On your left!" Well, the walkers didn't move and continued to take up the majority of the trail. I was afraid I'd clip one of them as I passed, so I called out again and slowed down. Yet, as I got closer, neither of the walkers had moved, so this time I yelled out "On your left!" One of the walkers turned to me and shouted, "We heard you the first time!"

Hmmpf. In case it's not obvious, faster users of a trail not only announce their presence as a courtesy, but also for everybody's safety.

Still, had a great ride. It was much more difficult than it should've been, which means I need to get out more.

Wednesday, February 2, 2005

Email and Updates!

Working on a Solaris update generates lots and lots of email. My poor inbox is swelling and it's giving good old dtmail a run for its money. Now before you get on my case for using such an outdated mailer, let me explain: I like dtmail's WYSIWYG interface (it doesn't do any editing after I hit "send"), ability to open links in messages, plain text reading (I'm not forced to look at disgusting porn images from spammers), sorting with views, and ability to be editing multiple messages at a time. Now I do need to use pine every now and again to go in and delete tons of email to get the quantities down.

I hear Evolution has come a long way since I first gave it a try a couple years back. Perhaps I should give it another try...

S10 update 1 is moving right along - we're in the middle of our second build and all is still going smoothly.