Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Puzzles huh?

So as part of my recruitment into Holomove, I had to go through all these puzzles. The founder of the company was all about puzzle so it's part of the company "ethos." Okay. But today while looking in the his office for some kind of inspiration (the office which is still completely intact which I find a little weird) I find this crossword puzzle.

Now Dr. Gough was supposed to be this big puzzle guy. But he's got this super simple puzzle on his desk. I am feeling like these guys built him up when really he just liked to do crossword puzzles in his spare time. I guess that's how myths start.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

More from the inside

Just another video from around the office.

How I got my job (part 3)

Wow. I really need to get it together. I was supposed to post this weeks ago. Anyway, this part took me a little longer anyway, just not that long. My explanation is below (highlight to reveal):

It took me a while to figure out what was going on with this punch card. I assumed that they would expect me to have access to an old style computer or card reader. And I wasn’t about to use a key punch to actually duplicate the pattern on the card to see if it meant anything. The old “work smarter, not harder” eventually paid off. It wasn't until I was staring at it and noticed how the top couple of rows looked like binary, just 0's and 1's, that I figured it out. The whole damn thing is a string of binary code:


If you decode the binary into the alphabet, you get:
An experiment in serendipity

After a crazy amount of searching, I figured out that the phrase is what this scientist Dennis Gabor called his work. He’s known as the Father of Holography and he even has a his face on a stamp. In Hungary, but still. I want my own stamp. Gots to get me one of those.

Anyway, so I respond with saying “Dennis Gabor” and “holography.” Then I get another reply (at this point I’m both intrigued and a little annoyed).

Who was responsible for taking Gabor’s work into another dimension and what was required for him to do it?

More searching. I reply back with “Dr. Emmet Leith” and “lasers.” This was pretty much the last puzzle I was going to solve. After that, I finally got the “send us your resume” and the next day I got a call. How’s that for a pre-screener? Crazy, right? And I’ve been hearing about some developer challenge in the works so I bet these guys aren’t done. They are trying to out Microsoft Microsoft and out Google Google.

Job: check. Now to get to those other pesky items.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Live from the office

Well, it was live when I shot it anyway. This is my new boss. So you can imagine I have no trouble coming into work. I’m trying to get her to warm up to me. Time to apply the old Bozeman charm. She’s not so buttoned up that she doesn’t have myspace page. The internet stalking stops there.

I think I’m already getting in her good graces cause she's taking me to a conference (InterOp) to help man our booth. Back to Las Vegas, baby. For business travel. Not as exciting, but I’ll take it.

Zealous Autoconfig

I love you xkcd.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Two post in one day? Welcome to crazyville.

It's a quick one, but I'm pretty excited. They are finally trusting me to work on something bigger than minor debugging and upkeep. Things are looking up my friends.

My Life in a StartUp , now in Technicolor

Ok, in my (renewed) attempt to document the life and times of a developer in at a start up, I’m going to kick it multimedia style. Here’s a video from inside Holomove. I promise, I am going to update more regularly. And less typing and more live action.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Coding for 24hrs straight?

Hackontest. 24 hours of coding. Non-stop. In Switzerland on Google's dime.

Hackontest is a 24 hour programming competition between teams of three open source software projects. The event takes place at OpenExpo on September 24/25, 2008 in Zurich, Switzerland.

There are some pretty interesting projects already registered. I would guess you'd have to be a pretty solid team to be able to work under that pressure all night. Just the time difference alone would mess with my head.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

1 week in

Yup, this my first full week at work, since I started on a Wednesday. The weekend was spent getting things arranged in my apartment. I think I’m pretty settled now. Sorry, in addition, to that I was dealing with some family issues of late, so posts have been more sparse than I hoped.

After interviewing and orientation, they finally let me know that Dr. Gough died in a scuba diving accident last year. It's horrible and I was really hoping to meet him. It would be nice to have a mentor around who knows how to stick to his guns and stick with it when he has a good idea. Sounds like he was a pretty focused guy. Here’s a little clip they played in orientation.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Another gorgeous day in San Diego

Finding it harder to unpack the last little bits when it’s so pretty outside. And the lack of internet access also helps me not stay inside. Just for comparison, take a look at the average temperatures of the last few places I’ve lived compared to San Diego.

Average Temp in Newport News

Average Temp in Troy, NY

Average Temp in San Diego

San Diego is a serious upgrade.

Some pics of the place:

Friday, April 18, 2008


Still not much to report. They are still trying to get me up to speed on all the projects so they can determine what is the best fit. And they are kind of “need to know” around the office, so they seem slow to show me anything. I guess they need a little while to figure out how Nate-tastic I am.

Looking forward to getting unpacked all the way and being done with the whole move in. It’s always when moving you realize how much crap you have.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

First day at work

Nothing too big to report. Orientation. Forms, forms, forms. Checking out the office in more detail. Checking out my desk set up. Per my request, they got me a sweet Dell XPS M1530. With pretty much the max configuration. I couldn’t get them to spring for the Blu-Ray, but I convinced them of everything else.

Feels weird starting work on a Wednesday, but they were in such a hurry, I guess it makes sense. So far, so good. I’m stoked.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

So I been thinking

Tomorrow’s my first day at the new gig. I have been thinking of the spiel they gave me during the interview about visionaries and pushing the boundaries of technology. And this guy Dr. Gough, who is the founder. I actually met him at a lecture way back when and was pretty impressed. They went on about how they’ve studied what makes a good start up and what makes a bad one (told me to look at this post).

Their philosophy on startups is big part of why I choose this job over the other offers out there. They really believe they are going to push technology forward. Not by an inch, but by leaps and bounds. I’m thinking Dr. Gough (who I didn’t get to meet at the interview) is like the guy working on the SkyCar. Having an idea, working hard, building your dream. That’s the way to do it. What’s not to love? And let’s not forget the perks of a well-founded startup. Student loans, you’ve been put on warning.

Somewhat inspired by the My Start Up Life, but with start I am going to try to record my experience of working in a start up. It’s probably been done a hundred times before, but this one will be different. Cause it will be me. Hopefully it will be interesting to someone besides me. But no promises.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

How I got my job (part 2)

As promised…

After some sleuthing, I figured out the answer which is below (highlight to reveal):
Alan Turing and the Analytical Computing Engine (ACE)

Of course, that wasn’t then end of it. Once I replied with the answer, I got this in return:
Same question - Who was he and what was he building?

Attached was this picture:

It’s one of those old-fashioned punch cards. How happy am I to not have to use those for code. Okay, get cracking.

Friday, April 11, 2008

San Diego!

I’m in. The apartment is pretty sweet. It’s furnished. But no internet yet (waiting for the appointment…) yet so I’m up hooked up here in a coffee shop. Just grabbing some food and checking my email and then I gotta get unpacking.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

How I got my job (part 1)

Now that I have a little down time (most of the packing done), I will explain the strange way I got my interview.

So I found this card after talking to some recruiter at SXSW. The recruiter was pretty vague, but seemed nice (read: hot) enough to take a look at the company. So I went to the site, but it’s gone now because apparently I have the right stuff. I copied the puzzle, which was:
Even people who break new ground have precursors and inspirations. Here is a “shopping list” from one of mine. Who was he and what was he building?

The final equipment as now envisaged will comprise
(i) One master clock involving about four valves.
(ii) Four electronic commutators involving 124 valves.
(iii) Ten transfer gating sources involving about 300 valves.
(iv) Distributional system for Items 1, 2 and 3, involving about 25 valves.
(v) Two hundred dynamic storage units involving about 1600 valves.
(vi) Fifty temporary storage units involving about 400 valves.
(vii) Two input organs involving about 64 valves.
(viii) Two output organs involving about 190 valves.
(ix) Two logical control units or programmers involving about 230 valves.
(x) Four selector trees involving about 3,000 valves.
(xi) Three adders involving about 30 valves.
(xii) Interconnection system of all units via Item 10 involving possibly 250 valves.
(xiii) Hollerith tabulator for input and printing.
(xiv) Hollerith card puncher for output organ.

In addition, he set three goals for his new creation.

(1) The speed of the machine is no longer limited by the speed of the human operator
(2) The human element of fallibility is eliminated, although it may to an extent be replaced by mechanical fallibility.
(3) Very much more complicated processes can be carried out than could be easily dealt with by human labour.

Reply to

Not exactly your standard “submit your resume here” form. Now I could tell you the answer, but what would be the fun in that? I’ll post the answer later.

Never doubt Mr. T

This was too good not to post.

Mr. T brought boy out of coma


Thursday, April 3, 2008

Your Vegas album out

Saw these guys in Austin. Seriously, check out their new album “A town and Two Cities” on iTunes. Put together pretty well for a debut album. My iPod will be rocking this album on repeat.

Here’s an acoustic version of my favorite song so far if you’re iTunes-phobic.

Now if only someone would fix their website.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Gainful Employment, Baby

That’s right ladies and gentleman. I just faxed over my acceptance as a developer at Holomove. I start in work in two weeks! This is all going so fast. They wanted me to start earlier and have offered to have me moved. I took them up on the moving help even though I don’t have that much stuff that I’d want to take all the way to California.

There’s also an apartment waiting for me. I can keep it and start paying the rent in May, or I can just use it as a home base until I find something else. It seems pretty sweet, and I hate apartment shopping. So I might be lazy enough to just take it as is.

This is crazy, but I have a good feeling about this. I’m ready to move outta the house and my parents are stoked that I’m not “wasting my life away” anymore. So I am going to throw caution to the wind they say. San Diego, here I come.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008