Tuesday, February 26, 2008

A Few Firsts

Monday had some pretty interesting firsts for me...
  • First day with a 30-second commute, instead of a 30-minute one.
  • First day where getting to my desk didn't require a badge and several security checks.
  • First day writing software for citizens instead of soldiers.
  • First day writing free software full-time.
  • First day working for Novell.
Yes, the rumors and tabloids are true: I've joined Calvin's accessibility team. I'm really psyched with this turn in my career. It's a nice change to support a cause that is more aligned with my own values. Not to mention that I'll be working with a bunch of engineers that I really respect, and from whom I hope to learn a lot.

Plus...I've always wanted to take my dogs to work! ;-) Working from home is...interesting.

Oh, and another first: this is the first day where I've been allowed to take a picture of my work area! Behold!

Just imagine a bowl of cereal by my headphones, a dog under the desk, and OpenSUSE on my awesome company-provided 24" LCD, and you'll see what I see right now.


Saturday, February 9, 2008

Hackergotchi Me, Please!

UPDATE 3.14: Thanks to Manuel for my new hackergotchi! Woo hoo!

P.S. Thank you to Bart and Dave Neary for their versions, which were also quite good.

Previous text:

I appear to be in need of a floating head. Anyone willing to give it a go? I think this would be a good picture for it...but I've been wrong about this before (click for full resolution version):

[Picture removed...it was huge! Thanks everyone]

I'm really enjoying My Own Kind of Freedom. I'm about 12 chapters in, and I'm amazed (but never surprised anymore) at Brust's ability to put me right back in the Firefly 'verse. I think I'm most pleased with his Jayne and River POVs. The style is just perfect.

UPDATE: Book was great. Can't wait to reread.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Brust Releases Free Firefly Novel!

One of my favorite fantasy authors, Steven Brust, wrote a Firefly novel some time ago, but was unable to get it published due to licensing issues. Well, as promised, he has published My Own Kind of Freedom as a free download on his website.

I haven't read it yet, but I'm eagerly looking forward to it. Brust never disappoints in style or characters, so I can't wait to see what he's done with the crew of Serenity.

Like most writers, Brust is basically a starving artist, so if you appreciate this or his other works, please consider donating a bit on his website.

Spoilery discussion is going on in the comments of this post at Steven's blog.

Lessig on Obama

Thanks to Chris Ball for linking to Lessig's Obama video. I often feel, after watching a Lessig presentation, that he has taken thoughts and feelings that I harbor but have been unable to express, and crystalized them into a digestible format.

I find the republican candidates unacceptable, and since Clinton and Obama do not differ significantly in their platforms, the only criteria for choosing are character, experience, and potential for support (ie, ability to follow through on the platform).

Obama clearly wins on character in my mind (and in Lessig's). I do not feel that Clinton's experience is particularly useful or applicable, though I could be wrong there. And although Clinton's political prowess may enable her to gain congressional and popular support, the optimist in me hopes that Obama's character will be able to achieve similar results without sacrificing his (and our) principles.

Now I just need to register to vote...