April 22, 2003

Painful upgrade, sad layoffs, and silly bellies

Posted by Scott at 09:57 PM

I do have a big bunch of pictures from Easter and Abby's birthday waiting in my camera but I was not in a mood to work on them tonight. I was up rather late last night. So much of the weblog software development I have planned seemed to be requiring me to upgrade my version of perl -- the language the weblog is maintained in -- from version 5.6 (which is what Apple ships with) to the more up-to-date 5.8. In doing the upgrade, I had about an hour or so where anything more than a simple "hello world" program would crash due to software library issues. It took about an hour to find the specific perl module that needed to be updated. From there I did a little other work but in the end I was up till midnight. I don't want tonight to be a repeat.

Near the end of March I mentioned how the end of the quarter always makes us a bit skittish with regard to layoffs. Even though Q1 of 2003 was better than Q1 of 2002, it wasn't better than Q4 of 2002. Subsequently we had a small reduction in the workforce that was announced about a week ago. Tomorrow we have a going away lunch for a co-worker(Grace) and also for the founder of VAutomation (Eric). Eric is the man who hired me four years ago this month when I was losing my mind with my brief stint at Unique Technologies down in Burlington, MA. It was less than six months ago that the VAutomation co-founder was let go as well. Between losing the two, it's been devastating to morale at the Nashua branch of ARC. I guess it's pretty common that when a little company is acquired by a much larger company, founders don't last more than a couple of years. I think the same thing even happened to the founders of Cisco, a company that a few years ago was worth a mind boggling amount of money in stock. It's sad because it was these two founders that gave VAutomation its fun character.

I did want to pass along a cute website to Alyssa, now that she's in "the final countdown" to delivery. It's a website of belly art. Who would ever have thought of such creative uses for pregnancy bellies?! Tell Tom there's still time for you to come up with a submission for the website. With his artistic abilities, you'll certainly make a front page picture! :-)

In closing I'm thinking of branching this weblog by having two sublogs. One would be where I write about the technical things I'm dealing with. The other would deal with issues with the Church and Catholicism. I would keep this one more focused on family, pictures, and local events. That way there should be less eyes glazing over when I talk about something like how our wireless adaptor arrived for our TiVo today. And you wouldn't have to roll your eyes and say "there he goes again" when I write about how the National Organization of Women doesn't want Scott Peterson prosecuted on a double murder charge because it could provide an opening for pro-lifers.