Older blog entries for MikeCamel (starting at number 21)

From tomorrow, Catherine and I are on holiday. We're off to Skye, where we intend to do very little. We've both got a bunch of books to read (some novels, some trust and p2p related books, and some MBA coursework for me - not sure what Catherine's got), and we'll go outside if it's not too horrid.

One of the sets of people who were flooded out are staying in our house and looking after the cats, which is great, so we don't need to worry about that - or evil Badvogato people looking at this entry and deciding to find out where we live and taunt the feline population.

PhD preparation is going well, and I'm pleased to see people responding to my article (see the front page of Advogato, peeps). I'll check things out when I'm back. It's really wierd knowing that I'm going to miss people's diary entries - I've become so used to reading them over the past few weeks. Issues for PhD:

  • find a university and college (done)
  • work out what I want to study (pretty much done)
  • get references (got several)
  • find a supervisor (found two)
  • write a proposal (not the slightest bit done - haven't even got a clue how)
  • get funding (looking into this)
  • submit proposal (see above)
Have I missed anything?

See you soon, folks.

Hi, Denny!

Go on, then, Ilan.

Just posted my first article, even if it is a bit self-serving. It's about finding funding for OSS-related projects. Go on, go to the articles page and have a look. You might have something to say.

My altruistic run towards jtrix continues, as I forward niksilver's request for a developer to a bunch of friends. He's going to have to send me a cheque through the post some time.

I spent most of Sunday afternoon wading around in floodwater in my wet suit and Akubra (yes, I know, and no, I don't think there are any pictures of it) carrying children across, helping people wade, ferrying their shopping, etc.. Two sets of neighbours who we'd never met before ended up staying at our house as they were flooded out. We were fine (we're quite high off the road), but felt glad that we could help out. We did sandbag duty, and moved furniture as well, of course. Little rain last night and almost none today, so it looks like we're going to be spared any more floods for now.

Feeling pretty awful today, so turned back nearly half-way to work and stayed home. Catherine's been around all day, which was nice. Yesterday I finished "Managing Open Source Projects - Sandred" - quite good, though halfway between trying to be academic and trying to be a popular book. I think that Wiley wanted to sell to the masses, and changed the format. At the same time, there's not quite enough there to make it a real academic book. It's a bit of a mishmash, and I wasn't sure who it was aimed at. If you're interested, drop me a line, and I'll tell you about it.

Started a heavy sociology book: "Trust - Piotr Stompka(sp?)". Pretty good so far.

Wrote my first real content for www.p2ptrust.org - a mini-essay scoping my interest in trust, which was largely prompted by an email exchange with niksilver. Next time, I can just point people at that, rather than having to write long emails. It was useful, though, and hopefully I'll get some time to expand on it at some point. I'd really appreciate comment on it from anyone in the Advogato community: is this interesting? Is it important? Am I missing something? Who else is writing about this?

Bed, now, I think.

16 Oct 2001 (updated 16 Oct 2001 at 12:55 UTC) »
jtrix looks interesting, and I've mailed niksilver with some questions. Given that it's in Java, it might actually give me an opportunity to be involved at a coding level, which would be pretty fun. Hopefully, there might also be chances for management-type things, too - but I don't want to step on the current team's toes, so we'll wait and see what they'd like help with.

update: Well, had a nice email from Nik, friendly and encouraging, and I've mailed him back, too. They're based in London, which is nice, 'cos it's in the UK, and gettable-to if needs be. I'm going to read through some of their docs and try to find out more. I gave him a phone call, too, which surprised him. He was very pleased to have had jtrix mentioned on these pages, so we know what that means: to make people happy, reference them in your Advogato diary! (That'll be a fiver, Nik.)

A comment - if you don't have a decent CD and pair of headphones at work, then get them. Your computer ain't good enough, and it's worth it if you care about your music. IMHO, obviously.

  • Vivaldi - Il cimento dell'armonia e dell'inventione: Fabio Biondi and Europa Galante. Marvellous new recording, including the Four Seasons. Astonishing new insights - it's a long time since I bought a Four Seasons recording, but this one is knocking me sideways
  • Bare Naked Ladies - Gordon. Just started it, so no views as yet.
  • More Bonzo Dog Band. LOL!

D*mn, but I'd forgotten how good the Bonzo Dog Band (or Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band) are. Cornology (their collected hits) arrived today, and it reminds me of happy hacking days. It's witty, but listenable music, which I find great for coding. Pity I'm not doing any at the moment. Most of it written by Neil Innes, who also wrote lots of the music for Monty Python, so you're assured of quality. The guys in the band are great, too.

Some titles:

  • Cool Britannia
  • Can Blue Men Sing The Whites
  • My Brother Makes The Noises For The Talkies
  • We Are Normal
  • Monster Mash
  • Mr Slater's Parrot (British readers will know this from the 90's adverts for Cadbury's Creme Eggs, but don't be put off!)
  • Trouser Press
  • 11 Mustachioed Daughters
  • King Of Scurf
  • Humanoid Boogie

Phoon - two things: 1) kick that caffeine habit! 2) 5000 Americans. Not just Americans - don't forget that.

andrewsj - crypto beautiful. crypto lovely. you learn. (-8

I don't care. No - I really don't. technik - I'm with ya, buddy (unclear goals, wasted time, not making a difference, fatigue). Problems, though:

  1. I've only been @ $JOB three months (next week)
  2. they do cool stuff - only I don't, and to do cool stuff, they expect me to have won my spurs - why can't they realise just how talented I am?
  3. I want to be in a smaller company (not 46000 people - yes, that's 46k persons)
  4. recession (I blame the Yanks...)
If only I weren't so d*mn hot. (-8 I'm so pleased that no-one @ $JOB is going to be clued up enough to read this. And if they are, they won't be management so they'll a) understand and b) not be in a position to sack me. Don't you love it?

in case anyone cares...
... and I'm not sure I do anymore - the MBA exam went OK. I think I probably passed, but I won't know for at least another month. Everything now seems much less stressful, and I've started ploughing (that's how it's supposed to be spelled, people) through the O'Reilly P2P book. I finished the Queen Victoria biography the day before my exam!

Oh, and...
... has anyone done any work on the therapeutic gain provided by a blog or similar? I do find advogato very useful in that respect. And I don't think I'm alone. Care to comment, mirwin, my friend?

Another way to get into projects - this is a little chip on my shoulder, so stick with it - make use of managers. Not all managers are bad, and some of us embrace Open Source, even if we don't feel that our coding is good enough to contribute in that line. And I, for one, am good at making things happen, prioritising features, working to deadlines, understanding the bigger picture, and negotiating with people to get the boring stuff done, as well as the interesting work. In fact, the role that was outlined for the teacher/assistant professor was partly that of a manager. Now, in some projects, you'll have a talented lead developer who's quite capable of doing all of this, and may even want to, but in others, you won't - so why not use people who do this for a living? You'll find some older thoughts in earlier diary entries. Give me a call if you think I could help - before I call you (-;.

Apart from job woes (what should I be doing? how do I convince people to use me better? etc.), and my exam (see below), I've got a bunch of reading I'm really looking forward to. A sociology book on trust, some p2p stuff, some security stuff, and some general reading. It's going to be great. Hopefully, I'll then be in a position to put a littler more work into http://www.p2ptrust.org/. DVD player turns up soon (I got bored of watching them on my computer with DeCSS), having been sent back, and there are a few films I haven't seen at all. I've also just ordered Alan Partridge on DVD. It's going to be fantastic.

What have I been listening to? Kate Rigsby, Stereophonics (Enough Imagination to Perform), Bach (Brandenburg), Stunt (who's this by?).

Tomorrow is my "International Enterprise" MBA exam. I'm not sure how I feel about it - I've spent this evening watching some TV and turning to my notes from time to time, to remind myself of something here or there. I don't think I'm going to learn much more at this stage, and I think that I've got a decent chance. My main problem is that for this course, the markers really seem to want you to quote the names of the people who thought up the concepts, whereas I'm much happier applying the concepts: why should I tell you whose they are, if I understand them and can use them? Exactly.

pphaneuf - you need to be careful when talking about underwear: "spread out over time" could have some awkward (and/or painful) connotations. (-8

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