Thursday, April 28, 2005

Useless surgeons

I have a supposed ganglion cyst in the tip of my middle finger. Not everyone can feel it, but I can feel it all the time. It bothers me when I open the refrigerator. It bothers me when I'm driving. It bothers me sometimes even while I'm typing. I saw a nurse about it about a month ago at Kaiser (CA based HMO), who referred me to a surgeon to have the cyst aspirated. I finally got into see the surgeon and after a very long wait, and this resident examined the finger and started sticking a syringe into it. We're all naturally raised to not question authority, particularly doctors, so it took all the nerve I had to point out to her that she was not injecting the syringe anywhere near where the cyst was. It turns out, she hadn't felt the cyst at all during the examination! She was just jabbing my finger randomly, hoping to hit that thing I was complaining about! Exasperated, she begrudgingly agreed to get another syringe and try again.... and she missed again (but this time insisted that she didn't). She told me I had only two remaining options: surgery, which has a high risk of nerve damage (not a good thing for a finger!); or ignore it. Hmpf. I think I'll wait until my doctor is back from her maternity leave and ask for a referral to a *different* surgeon.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

First game of the season - a win!

So, I'm too busy this summer to actually commit to any softball team as a full time player, but I am a sub on two teams. Last night was my first time playing with the Menlo Park 'Freaks', and besides being very cold outside, it was an excellent game. My fielding didn't totally suck, and I actually got a hit *and* got on base *and* progressed a runner (instead of one of us getting out). Pretty amazing. All the same, I need to get to a batting cage if I'm going to play anymore! My hitting was ... well... subpar. Fortunately, this was a really cool team to play with and everyone was very supportive. That's critical for me, because I'm not a serious player (obviously) so I'm only playing to have fun, and fun it definitely was. We won, 18-10. Yippee!

Other than softball, I've been riding my bike a lot. Just rode it 5 days in a row, at least 20 miles on each day. I need to get close to 60 before the big Bike 4 Breath ride at the end of May.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

RTI Madness!!

We've got a major build closing tonight, and I'm up to my ears in RTIs (Request To Integrate). This is a good thing :-)

Ooops... Never actually *posted* that last night. Anyways, all went well and I did finally get to leave the office about 11.30PM.

My mom's cancer

My mom is a lung cancer survivor and she sent me a link to an online (for now) comic about one family coping with their mother having lung cancer, simply put as My Mom's Cancer. My mother was lucky and hers did not spread to her brain, and she's also a nonsmoker (never has smoked, but she's been around it her whole life), but there are so many parallels to this guys story.

My mom's cancer was also found by just dumb luck. She had a fall and broke her leg. Considering it was not a bad fall, her doctor was concerned that she may have been osteoperatic (she is) and may have broken other bones, so she went in for a series of x-rays. The leg was the only bone broken, so she went home to heal up.

Months later, she went back to work. Because she is a nurse and happens to work in the same hospital where her leg was set, she asked to look at her own x-rays just out of curiosity. Looking at her chest film, she noticed something strange in her left lung and found notes from the radiologist suggesting to her primary care physician that follow-up was needed about the discrepancy in her lung. It was cancer. Her doctor had never mentioned it.

Suddenly her shortness of breath and repeated respiratory infections made sense.

Because of the broken leg and my mother following up on her own x-rays, the cancer was found very early and it was operable. Sounds easy, doesn't it? Not really. Her oncologist removed half of her left lung to make sure nothing spread or was missed. That's a very invasive surgery, and even 4 years later my mother still has nerve pain. The road to recovery was not short or easy.

Anyways, reading that comic sort of brought all the memories back. I was living far away from my mom at the time, so I was only there for the surgery. My sisters were there for all of the other very difficult times, and I'm so glad for that. I'm doing a bike ride this summer to raise funds for the American Lung Association - hopefully money I raise now can help prevent more people from having to go through this.

Monday, April 11, 2005

Solaris Cryptographic Framework - Demo providers

The news just gets better & better!

We've just released the source code for some sample providers for the userland cryptographic framework. If you're interested in developing libraries to plug into uCF in Solaris 10, this is a great starting place. The demo provider has source code for a lot of the basic PKCS#11 stuff, like session management, and skeletons for the rest of the crypto stuff.

You can get the providers from the Sun download center.

Other sample code is available from the development guide (click on Solaris Security Examples).

many thanks to our intern, Susan, for all her hard work making these demo providers a reality. We hope they'll save Solaris developers lots of time getting started making providers for the Solaris Cryptographic Framework. Let me know what you think!

Friday, April 1, 2005

Solaris Cryptographic Framework Whitepaper published!

Ok, this took entirely too long, but I've finally gotten the whitepaper I wrote on the Solaris Cryptographic Framework published externally! Finally, in Solaris 10, access to optimized cryptographic algorithms are brought to the general user. Now you can read all about it on BigAdmin: Solaris Cryptographic Framework

Let me know what you think, or if you have any questions. There is also a Kernel API/SPI that is touched on briefly in the paper. We're working on stabilizing the kernel interfaces so we can publish those as well.

This paper also contains my first piece of externally published source code that I've written for Sun. It is a combination of Sun's strict c-style and RSA's PCKS#11 style. Certainly not the most challenging work I've done for Sun (that would be SunScreen's NAT or itself). Go ahead and try it out on your s10 box now.