October 26, 2009

New job pt 2: the art of handwaving

Having beaten the first couple of levels, now things get intense. Casual mode is yesterday’s news, now we’re in to Hardcore territory, and coming up to the first real boss. No raid to support you through the actual fight, this is a single player game. The phone interview Phone interviews are wonderful entry points to new companies, since they can’t spring exam-style technical tests on you or put you on the spot by asking awkward knowledge-based questions. ... Read more

October 26, 2009

New job pt 1: foot in the door

Every journey begins with a single step, and for jobs, that’s getting your CV to someone who cares. I’ve been very lucky to have had some excellent advice regarding my CV: I’ve queried several employers who’ve had me for interview if there was anything they’d change on it, and universally the answer seems to be ‘it’s absolutely fine’. After some early false starts, I’m confident at this point that I look good on paper, so it’s just a matter of getting the paper into the right places. ... Read more

October 2, 2009

A refrain

Success. The demon has been banished from my hardware and I am finally able to reliably record at 48KHz 16bit (native resolution for a SB Audigy2 Platinum). Having two bootable Linux installs meant there were a lot of variants to work through. The final result was to boot up in my usual install (not Ubuntu Studio, amazingly) and ditch X. A blog reverse nod to Richard for putting me on to the fact that the nVidia drivers play merry havok with recording latency. ... Read more

September 24, 2009

A musical interlude

Being a natural born tinkerer isn’t a good attribute when what you really want to do is finish something. The past few weeks I’ve been working fairly hard on music and trying to get some recording done. So far I’ve managed 3 minutes. That’s about a minute a week, or 0.0099% of one week. Fair enough, I do multitrack recordings, so my actual play time is song time * tracks, but even if I had 15 tracks, that’s still only 15 minutes a week. ... Read more

September 1, 2009

Normal service to resume

While the hob is still laying outside in pieces, I am at least back up and running with my PC. Most importantly, with all my data still intact, just where I left it. So what had happened? I’m still guessing as to the exact cause of the failure, but the problem was a blank partition table on the disk, and a corrupted MBR. Under a hexdump, the ascii in the boot loader looked really wrong, and more like a snippet of my Xorg start up log than lilo, but the real killer was the fact that where the partition table should have been was just a lot of zeros, meaning I couldn’t mount any of the partitions to rerun lilo to fix the bootloader. ... Read more

July 21, 2009


What started out as killing time at work has actually gone past the “That’s cool” barrier and into something practical. To start at the end first, the template you’re now looking at is in a Git repository that’s linked to my local development version. Two clicks and I can have what I’m actually working on synchronised and deployed to this shared host without trying to remember what files have been changed and what I can skip uploading again. ... Read more

July 2, 2009


Welcome to the farm! This dokuwiki installation is now part of a wiki farm that also contains http://pam.pesartain.com, http://www.src2pkg.net and http://pq.pesartain.com. One core wiki serves that lot, and whatever other wikis I chose to create on the way. What I wanted was: One wiki to rule them all, for centralised maintenance - /farmer One wiki at the root of this domain - / As many wikis as I like located at /<subdir>, accessed by <subdir>. ... Read more

June 22, 2009


Catching up on some RSS subscriptions this morning, I found myself reading Kent Beck’s blog about the Open/Closed Principle. Flipping back through his past posts, the talk Ease at Work really grabbed me. I recommend you watch it. I especially like the comparison between joy and fun at about 24 minutes in (4min into the 3rd part). The idea of being at ease with yourself put me in mind of MacGyver, and how he’s always very content to be what he is, doing what he’s doing. ... Read more

June 3, 2009


Interview over. I walked out feeling like that was a total fail. It didn’t help that I got a bad case of the nerves just an hour before I was due to start. Anyway, the technical test was interesting. Turns out I revised all the wrong topics. There was a confusing recursive program (as they always are) which contained a snippet similar to: {% highlight c %} if (a == 1) if (b == 1) printf(" ... Read more

May 28, 2009


This is what it’s all been leading up to. I have a good shot at it providing I don’t screw up the C test and subsequently stick my foot in my mouth. 1pm Wednesday 3rd June. But that’s not why I’m writing today. No no. Today, I am writing because this is a post that I lost after Firefox crashed and because it’s related to interviews. Speaking to a friend recently (TLW is getting quite a cast, I wonder if I should start including a cast list? ... Read more

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