Older blog entries for richieb (starting at number 45)

Went back to work today after a week. It's a little weird to be downtown Manhattan. The place is full of police and soldiers. During lunch we walked down Broadway and peeked at what's left of World Trade Center.

It's still doesn't seem real, except that every now and then someone finds out about a person they knew, or a friend of a friend who is still missing...

I've been home for the past two days. Downtown Manhattan is still closed and I have no idea when I'll be able to get back to work. From speaking to other people, it appears that I was very fortunate to leave the city as soon as I did. I just was in for a very long walk (nearly 10 miles) and today my legs still hurt (it's the old age and not enough excersize).

At 9 o'clock on Tuesday we were standing in the window of our office building looking at the fire in the first tower that was hit. I now realize that we saw the "exit wound" which did not look that bad. The fire was only on one floor. It was an odd scene, as office papers were floating slowly in the air towards our building.

We are actually less than 1/2 mile from WTC - a 10 minute walk. It was then that we saw the second airplane come in and hit. The scene had a unreal, movie quality. I think that fact that we were behind glass and there was no sound at first. We saw the airplane banking to the left, as if to make sure that it would not miss, then it just went in and a huge fireball engulfed the top of the second tower. A second or so later we heard the muffled sound of the explosion.

At this point it was clear that this was no accident, so we just ran to our desks telling everyone to get out. We are on the 48th floor of a building that's right on the edge of East River - wide open to another attack. If there were two planes, there could have been more.

As elevators were packed, we took the stairs. Running at first, but slowing down to a walk after a while. It takes time to go down 48 flights.

When we got out of the building we walked to Battery Park to get away from all the buildings. At some point at Battery Park I was able to reach my wife on the cell phone and tell her I was OK.

We lingered by the water for a while. I thought of trying to catch a subway to get out of the city, but I was afraid to go underground - I expected subways to be closed anyway. So instead I decided to walk across the Brooklyn Bridge. My mother-in-law and my parents live in Brooklyn.

We started up Water Street and my friend, Jason, decided to stop by our old office on Wall st and Water. He wanted to hook up to the internet and get his email, I just kept walking.

Few minutes after I got on the Brooklyn Bridge we heard what sounded like an explosion. I turned around and saw big pieces of the World Trade Center tower start falling down. It created a huge clound of smoke/ash that slowly filled lower Manhattan. As the wind was from North West the cloud did not cover the Bridge. I just hanged my head down and continued walking.

Jason was in the office when the collapse occured and he told me the whole building shook and he ran out of there as fast as he could - leavinag his stuff behind.

My new boss was stuck undeground in a subway train when the buildings collapsed. The train was only couple of blocks from WTC. Fortunately the subway tunnel held and the train was backed out of there and everyone was safe.

A brother of a friend from an old job is a NYC fireman. He was among the first fireman on the scene. Today he is still missing.

Like I said. I'm very fortunate to have gotten out when I did...

I was in my office on 48th floor about a mile from the World Trade Center. I was standing at the window looking at the fire in the first tower, when I saw the second airplane come in and hit.

Enough said....

8 Sep 2001 (updated 8 Sep 2001 at 02:11 UTC) »

Well, I just finished my first week at a new job. I'm slowly customizing my work environment. Can you say Cygwin is your friend? Plus the development Sun machine has "bash" and "emacs". I'll have to get the admins to install Xemacs.

Living on a corporate network is a pain though. I can't telnet out, my home page is filtered out (!!!), so I can't read my home email. On the other hand my home web server is visible, so I had this "brilliant" idea - why not write a web application that allows you to read mail from some other POP3 server. Guess what, about two dozen people had the same idea, as a quick search of Freshmeat showed.

So, I got Webmail - a Java/servlet app - to read your email. And it's GPLed too. This weekend I'll set it up on my home web server and I'll be set. Talk about scratching an itch....

BTW, work is OK so far. The people I met so far are really nice, but I still have lots of learning to do...

To pull my mind in a completely different direction I started to read Linux Device Drivers...

Since my last diary entry, I got the Abra example to work with PostgreSql. I just had to install PostgreSql 7.1. The earlier version had bugs in the JDBC driver.

In other news I started a new job today. It's still Java, at a larger company and I'm stepping into the middle of the project. I'll have to adapt to somewhat different environment (like Windows 2000 on my desk) and more corporate rules - as this is a somewhat larger company. However, everything is still in early stages, so I should be able to work Linux into the picture somewhere. After all the production system will run on bunch of Sun machines.

Well, I got our new project posted on Sourceforge. After I posted my support request to the right forum, I got response within 30 minutes. And on Sunday night no less!

The project is called Abra and it's a light weight Java persistance O-R mapping library with some tools. So far it works with Oracle and PostgreSQL - although there is one small wrinkle with PosgreSQL with Timestamps.

26 Aug 2001 (updated 26 Aug 2001 at 01:54 UTC) »

I've been working on our new open source Java/Persistance library. I'm running into some problems getting it to work with PostgreSql. The version on RH 6.2 system has some stupid bugs in the JDBC driver, so that retrieving a Timestamp value causes an exception.

Meanwhile I've started s Sourceforge project, but I've messed up the CVS a little - so I'm waiting for the support people to fix the CVS before I attempt the upload again.

In other news there is some stuff happening on te job front, but it's too early to discuss it here.

I'm starting two week vacation today. Suprisingly I'm still employed and still getting paid, although the future of my company is not yet completely clear. In any case, for the next two weeks I'm not going to worry about it.

I just read Neal Stephenson's In the Beginning Was the Command Line in about a day. I had read parts of this book online, but it's more fun to have the physical book.

Meanwhile the eGTK project is showing signs of life again. A person volunteered to work the GOTE tool to generate Eiffel external declaration based on C header files. What we need is for GOTE to generate classes that work with ISE compiler and with the SmallEiffel compiler.

One of the cool things about the most recent version of the SmallEiffel compiler is that it now has a simple source level debugger.

Other than that we are trying to open source a Java tool we developed at work. This tool is a object to RDB mapping tool with related classes that provide a nice Java persistance layer. So far it works with Oracle and we almost have it working with PostgreSql. Perhaps I'll work on this during this vacation - when I'm not too tied up at the beach ;-)

Again I have not written much here for a while. I guess the most significant thing that happening now is that the company I'm working for is failing (it was a startup). I'm still employed as part of a core tech team, but it's not clear how long this will go on.

It's too bad, as we went live with an actual customer in the beginning of June. I thought we did a pretty good job, from nothing to production in about 9 months - with 5 developers.

Other than that my son started to learn Java. I showed him how to compile and edit under Linux and he wrote several applets. Mostly they were copied from a book, but he fiddled with them.

One of these when started displays a question: "Will I dream?" and has two buttons "yes" and "no".

I'm enjoying having fast access to Internet. I decided to switch my Debian box back to Red Hat. I simply don't have time to figure all the basic stuff out (like how to set sound, networking, X etc) and RH is so easy for me.

I almost bought RH 7.1 from Cheapbytes, but then I realized I could download CD images. I did it over two nights - started a download before I went to sleep and had the complete image downloaded in the morning.

Now on the RH 7.1 box I'm trying to get the CD burning tools to work. When I have some time I'll finish it up. I'd like to be able to burn CDs without having to boot to Windows.

One of my favorite tunes of all time is Charles Mingus's Goodbye Pork Pie Hat - a composition dedicated to Lester Young. You do know who Charles Mingus is, right?!

Anyways, I decided to create a CD of only this one song done by various artists. So far I have seven different versions. There are two by Joni Mitchell, one by Jeff Beck, several different ones by Mingus himself. I mostly use Gnutella to get these (I only have Joni Mitchell on vinyl) and it's faster to download the songs than to rip them.

36 older entries...

New Advogato Features

New HTML Parser: The long-awaited libxml2 based HTML parser code is live. It needs further work but already handles most markup better than the original parser.

Keep up with the latest Advogato features by reading the Advogato status blog.

If you're a C programmer with some spare time, take a look at the mod_virgule project page and help us with one of the tasks on the ToDo list!