Pockets of Blue

musings of my mind

Month: December 2006

The End of a Friend

Today my iPod died.  It is a sad day in the land of portable electronics, for my most beloved portable has bit the dust.  Today at work I put on my headphones and started my iPod, navigating to Music->Playlists.  There were none shown.  Usually there are hundreds.  So I backtracked and looked at the settings:

  The aPod
  Songs: 0
  Capacity: 9.2 GB
  Available: 3.3 MB

…hmmmmm….I thought.  That’s no good.  Where’d my music go?  So I plugged it in to my iBook after work and got the ‘ol ‘Disk scan’ icon.  Nothing new there, I see that on a monthly basis.  Except this time, after finishing I clicked the center button and it just repeated the process.  I tried again several times and could never get it to negotiate a connection.  Seems the file system’s hosed.

So, naturally, I took it apart.  It is now in four pieces hanging on my wall:


…and yes, it still works.  Well, if by works I mean you can play the stupid brick-breaking game.  That’s about it.

We’ve been everywhere, that thing and I.  London trains, Austrian bunkhouses, New York subways, we’ve seen a lot together.  It has lulled me to sleep on flights home from Vegas, allowed me to steal people’s reserved seats on trains from München, and made me nod off on drives home from college. (errr, well, until I put something louder on)

But it’s time to move on.  After figuring out my finances I will decide what the next iPod will be.  Currently I’m looking at one of the newer 30GB models.  I don’t care about having video capabilities, so I may look on eBay or something for a deal.  I was feeling cramped with 10 gigs though, and it’ll be nice to not have to restart it every week when it gets hung up on a song.

It gave me almost three years of service, so I got my money’s worth.  It’ll be a shame to throw away the various accessories I picked up along the way (namely my integrated power adapter/FM transmitter) but they won’t work with any of the newer models.

Bon voyage, señor aPod!


A screenshot from my laptop.  Draw your own conclusions…


Chew Toy

Ever get the feeling that you’re turning into someone’s chew toy?  Well, before this month, I hadn’t.

Last monday my employer informed me that I would be no longer employed after two weeks.  This was a bit of surprise, but I guess it shouldn’t have been since I hadn’t had any real work for several weeks and was spending each day working on a personal web site.  Anyway, "employed" isn’t really correct since I am technically a contractor (more like a glorified co-op).  They had offered me employment at the end of the summer but I turned it down because I didn’t want to make the commitment.  (Looking back, I doubt anything would have been different had I come one as en employee anyway.)

So over the past few days I’ve been probing various colleagues about the cause for all the layoffs (at least 4 people in Rochester and 2 elsewhere were being canned).  Apparently one of our customers cancelled a service contract with us and it was a pretty big hit, so they couldn’t afford to pay so many people anymore.  But the unique thing about this company is its size (60-70 people).  Most of the time when large companies do layoffs their oldest, most expensive employees are the first to go.  In this case they are just getting rid of all the contractors and one new hire (who was a rather sub-par developer anyway), while all the oldest, more experienced people will stay.  My reasoning for this is that the company is only 3-4 years old; I doubt the most senior developers are making much more than the newbies. 

Another problem involved project management.  In my case, I was one of three developers who rolled out the first version of one of our web apps.  This was finished by late October, the next few weeks were just bug fixes and minor adjustments due to requirements changes.  After that, there was supposed to be a rather large "phase II" to the project, but nobody could agree on the details of the requirements so I just sat by idly.  Finally, yesterday my boss handed me the requirements for this next phase of the app.  I sarcastically informed him of my being canned in three days and he responded with a "well, we can keep you on for another week if that’s ok with you."  By that point I had very much accepted my situation and responded with a "yeah, ok, whatever."  So I am employed until the 22nd, which isn’t bad timing for the pending holidays.

So what’s next?  Well, I might take some time off, but it’s too early to tell where I’ll be next so I won’t speculate.  I’m looking forward to a healthy raise wherever I end up.

But for now I’d better go clean up all this saliva and teeth marks…

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