March 30, 2005

Training in Austin

Filed under: Places,Technology — Cory @ 10:19 pm

Today Todd and I attended the first half of a Software Testing and Quality Assurance training session at the University of Texas at Austin. It was a really good session, although we were probably the youngest people in the room by at least 10 years. Of the 22 people at the session, only 4 (including us) were developers. All the other organizations that were represented there actually have full-time testing and quality assurance specialists. Throughout the day several things about software development became clear to me. Although it would seem obvious, the concept of division of labor is as important to software development as it is to anything else. The instructor did not mention the division of labor, but as she discussed “filters” between the different stages of a software project, I noticed that none of what she suggested for a testing process was possible when a single person has a role in multiple stages. It is important that the people that collect requirements are different from those who write the code, and that different people test the product. If a single person, or a small group of people, tries to perform all of these duties, the product will only represent a single perspective of the solution (and the perspective of a developer, at that!). By forcing the software to flow through people of different skills and perspectives, it is easier to discover points of confusion that could impact end users. End users are often sufficiently confused with software anyway, there is no need for that situation to become any worse.

After the session Todd and I visited Eurway to check out some furniture, and then headed over to Chuy’s for dinner. We decided to drive downtown to try to find a coffee shop with wireless. We came across Austin Java, a super cool little coffee shop/restaurant/hangout that had everything we were looking for:

  • Free wireless access (they even use Airport Extremes :) )
  • Beer for Todd
  • Coffee and Tea for me
  • A great atmosphere

So here we are…

Tomorrow we will be attending the second half of the training session and heading back to San Antonio. I am really exciting about getting back to work to put together a mini presentation for the rest of the team about what we have learned here.

• • •

March 29, 2005

A Cure for Cat Allergies

Filed under: General — Cory @ 12:09 am

Finally, someone has come up with a solution for those of us who are allergic to cats. It really sucks that I can only hang out for a couple hours at friends places when they have a cat. Sometimes those cats are even nice and I would like to pet them, but right now that is a death wish for me.

• • •

March 28, 2005

The Duncanson’s are in Town

Filed under: People — Cory @ 10:41 pm

My aunt Zo and uncle Dee, along with my cousins Erin and Reid, are visiting San Antonio this week. I met up with them down on the Riverwalk tonight for dinner at The County Line BBQ. Everyone was very full after the beef ribs, so after dinner we walked around downtown San Antonio. The weather was almost perfect. Tomorrow they are going to rent a car and I will take them around to see the rest of the city .

I really love this PowerBook.

• • •

March 26, 2005

A Matching On-line Photo Gallery!

Filed under: General,Technology — Cory @ 2:04 am

After playing around with Photon, an application that uploads images from iPhoto directly into blogs, I thought it might be neat to see if there was an application like that for Gallery. Sure enough, there is such an app: iPhotoToGallery. So I downloaded and installed Gallery and started working on a new site skin for it so that it matched my blog. CSS is so weird, but eventually I got it close enough for government work.

Once I was happy with the site, I opened iPhoto and tried to upload my pictures from New York. Everything worked perfectly on the first attempt, I’m just not used to that happening.

Anyway, the URL for my photo gallery is Since it is now extremely easy to post photos, I will probably be uploading them as soon as I take them, so check back often for updates.

• • •

March 25, 2005

Red Herring Article about Rackspace

Filed under: General — Cory @ 5:21 pm

Red Herring Magazine has written an interesting article article about my employer, Rackspace Managed Hosting.

• • •

Popularity of Names, Through the Decades

Filed under: General — Cory @ 1:20 pm

Strunk just sent me this link that shows you how popular a given name was during the past ten decades. Pretty cool to see.

• • •

Cigars and String Theory

Filed under: Friends — Cory @ 1:47 am

Brandon came over last night for our second evening of “cigars and string theory.” A few months ago we invited him over for dinner, along with Todd, another friend of ours, and after dinner Alana and Todd went to see a movie while Brandon and I stayed at the house and smoked cigars on the front porch. Two weeks ago we were able to hang out again, and after enjoying cigars we decided to begin watching The Elegant Universe, which I had recently bought on DVD. Since these evenings are so much fun, we decided to try to hang out more often. So last night we grabbed a Double Dave’s Pizza, a few good beers, several Punch Maduro cigars and headed for the front porch to relax and talk. After several hours and many great conversations we came inside to begin watching the second episode of The Elegant Universe, which is an introduction to String Theory. Mind boggling stuff, but extremely fascinating. I really enjoy this “guy time.”

Tonight I went over to Pepper and Ethan’s house to play dork cards, another weekly ritual that I enjoy. Jason and Josh were there again this week, which is great because everyone is really funny and we always have a great time making fun of how dorky we are being.

• • •

March 23, 2005

Back to Work

Filed under: People,Technology — Cory @ 1:38 am

It was really good to get back to work. To make things even better, Dave Roth prepared Shrimp Mole as lunch for the entire team, what a guy!

A couple weeks ago I discovered a bug in Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4, which was just released a week or two earlier. As it turns out, the MySQL-python package was linked against a different version of the MySQL libraries than the php-mysql package, which is a problem when both are accessed via Apache at the same time. The Red Hat crew is on it, but for the time being you can’t run a mod_python site that accesses MySQL in the same Apache instance where a MySQL-enabled php is running.

It’s great to be back in Texas.

• • •

March 22, 2005

Back in San Antonio

Filed under: General — Cory @ 1:23 am

We arrived back in New York from Philadelphia at around 2:00am and got to sleep around 2:30, just in time to wake up at 5:00am to drive to the JFK airport. I was exhausted.

We made it back to San Antonio today around 2:45, after an hour delay at JFK and a quick (10 minute) layover in Detroit. Northwest Airlines actually held the flight an extra 10 minutes so that we could arrive from NY and make the connection. I’m still not impressed with them, on the 3+ hour flight to S.A. the only food they had to offer was a “snack pack” that we could buy for $3. The last time I flew Northwest they cancelled 3 of my 4 flights, and the compensation voucher they gave me included:

  • A five minute calling card
  • A promise of $5 towards food, but I had to send them my receipts and they would reimburse me later
  • A coupon for 100 Northwest miles

I hope to never have to fly on Northwest Airlines again.

With the lack of food and sleep, by the time we made it back home I was really, really sick. April took me to lunch, and then dropped me off at the house, where I passed out until around 9:30 when Alana got home from work.

I’m ready to go back to work.

• • •

March 20, 2005

More from New York…

Filed under: People,Places — Cory @ 2:57 pm

It’s been an interesting few days. Alana’s best friend, Brandi, came in from New Paltz to meet us in the City for an evening. We decided to grab dinner after she arrived, so we went to a place called Kate’s Joint in the village. As it turned out, we sat at a table next to Moby, so that was pretty cool. :)

We walked around for a bit more and came back to Ilana’s apartment until it was time for Brandi to take the train back to New Paltz. Alana’s friend Mickey was supposed to pick us up from the apartment, but he decided not to, so we were stuck. Anyway, we ended up staying here at Ilana’s again (she has been really great to us).

Tonight we are driving to Philadelphia for Alana to dance again, and tomorrow morning we are flying out of JFK to go back to Texas. I’m ready to get back to the warm weather.

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