Saturday, April 10, 2010

Whiteboard Jungle: My Week

I just finished my first week at my new job. Yes, I am once again gainfully employed. This time I'm at a large Internet company. Of course, they tend to take it easy on you the first week, and you're mostly dealing with new hire bureaucracy, but I'm feeling good about it so far.
  • Commute is easy, less than an hour each way by bus.
  • Fridays are generally telecommuted.
  • The things I'll be doing are somewhat different from my past jobs, even though some of the skill set is the same. I'd been getting bored with the same-old systems stuff after all those years. While there were always new technologies to learn, and I liked that, it was also a lot of monotony.
  • The engineers actually seem to get respect, rather than being treated like interchangeable automatons. (Not that I'm, uh, saying things weren't that way, at, oh, a place I may have fled in recent memory.)
So, I'm pretty excited. There is one thing that bothers me, though. My laptop is a MacBook Pro. While many people are envious, I had barely touched a Mac (at least not for more than 2 minutes) in, oh, almost 20 years.1 "But Karen, Mac OSuX is based on Unix!" "Yeah, then I'd rather just be running real FreeBSD. No self-respecting OS builds in a GUI!"

Yeah, the multimedia stuff is nice, but I'm not a computer illiterate and I actually like being able to go in and tweak low-level things by hand, without a GUI dictating what I can and cannot do. At least we do have VMware Fusion, so I can and will have some Linux and FreeBSD virtual machines as those are the main platforms I'll need for development and testing, but they're still limited by what is my biggest complaint about Macs: Why the hell haven't they built in the second (let alone third) mouse button????2

P.S. And I had to turn off those damned bouncing icons. The Yahoo! Messenger smiley face kept looking like it was mocking me somehow.

1The only real exception being at my job at a computer animation company about 10 years ago. Mac OSuX was in, well, basically alpha, but as they were porting animation software to it, we were "testing" it. I'm not even going to go into the brokenness of the most basic things. (Ok, for starters, the loopback network interface was broken. Alpha-release or not, how the hell do you show a Unix-like OS to anyone without the loopback interface working? (For computer illiterates, you don't unless you don't expect the computer to do, well, anything, even if you don't expect it to talk to other computers.)) Um, yeah. What a headache.
2Yes, I know there are ways to simulate a right-button click on the touchpad, but that's a pain in the ass. Many Apple cultists refuse to admit it, but Steve Jobs is as dictatorial about how we will use his computers/phones/toys as Microsoft. If not moreso.

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