Thursday, March 31, 2005

Awesome Interview Question...

I've heard stories about insane interview questions and tactics from the likes of Google (impossible programming tasks) and Microsoft.

I flew to New Orleans this week and on the way up, I noticed how many baseball fields there are in the NY area from above. For example, I counted 28 baseball diamonds in Central park alone!

The next time I interview someone, I'm going to ask them "How many baseball diamonds are there in the United States?"

I've heard variations of this like "How many gas stations are there in the U.S." as well, but I like mine better.

I did a google search for this but didn't come up with anything.

Friday, March 25, 2005

I Think I Stole a Wish

So our servers are finally up... and I hope I didn't (but I think I did) steal one of my daughters wishes to get it back.

As I was leaving for work this morning, she showed me a "gold coin" she got from school and said that it was from a pot of gold. She told me you could wish on the coin and handed it to me. My mind immediately thought.. "Well, I'd wish for the servers to be back up." But what I said out loud to her was "Honey, I won't use one of your wishes."

But it was too late. I did it. In a microsecond... I selfishly stole one of my daughters wishes to get a stupid server back online.

By the time I got to work... the servers were back and my web sites up and running. So you know it was the coin that did it (well, that and 4 full days of consultants and geeks running around).

I'm a horrible person!

Databases, Consultants, and Marketing, OH MY.

The Web sites that I'm responsible for marketing have been down for 4 days. We're almost back up as I type this - and as a marketing guy who is dangerous enough to fake his way through a conversation with techies, I'm about baked.

Sunday at 3 am we crashed. Not an unusal occurance for our site but still a problem none-the-less. Monday comes and I find out we lost a (some?) hard drives in an array on a cluster. Blah blah blah.

Monday night is here and I've managed to survive by sending emails to my entire company, thereby sealing my fate as the tech, web guy. Did I mention I'm a marketing guy yet? Never coded an original program, never loaded a database, never even saw an Oracle table. She was good in the Matrix though.

Tuesday, still down. No relief in sight. An array controller is broken. Get a new one! Not good enough.

Tuesday night, Wednesday morning, Wednesday night - still down. Can't sleep, can't breath. What's so hard? I hate technology. I'm in marketing for god sakes... I'm not even supposed to be here today!

Thursday comes - not up, still down. Still down. Still down. I'm babbling.

We get something called an array controller for our array, which is different than our cluster, which OF COURSE is NOT our database server. It's not db1 or db2 and it's nothing that is making any difference at all. We're still not live.

I'm building pages by hand, planting redirects because YES - we have radio ads hitting this week. URLs galore, web traffic like mad... angry emails, consternation from the corner offices. Just get the site up already goddamn it. Why is it taking so long?

Friday Morning..., 12:14AM... after midnight... almost up... supposedly so. 30 minutes - just hang on...

The geeks are handling it or so they say.

Still down. Still down. Still f**cking down G**d**n it! Why the F**k can't we get our site back up and running? Why? Why? Why?

Thursday, March 24, 2005

My Vulture Gus


vulture
Originally uploaded by msirkin.

This is a photo of the turkey vulture that sits outside my window, perched at the top of my office building. I've named him Gus, mostly because that's a cool name for a turkey vulture.

His lovely friend Constance is around too.. but I didn't get a pic of her. She was busy chasing down some dead meat for a snack.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

CRASH


Click the photo see more photos of crashes.. just like our database server did more than 2 days ago.. and is still down.

Saturday, March 12, 2005

Library's, CD's, MP3's and Napster

I have no idea if Napster really hurt record sales, but I do have a significant observation. Lately, I've been getting CD's(and DVD's) out from the Library (they have all the new stuff the kids are listening to!).

Here's the interesting thing - when I was using Napster/Grokster/Morpheus/Hotwire, IRC & etc...) I never downloaded an entire album. I'd grab the one song I wanted, then most likely go buy the album. In fact, this is exactly how I ended up buying Wallflowers & Green Day albums in particular.

Over the past few months, I've gotten more than 20 CD's from the library and have totally stopped using any online music services. Is this smart? Dumb? Am I a thief? Not sure... but in my mind... I bought more music when I was using Napster than I'll ever buy now.

Add the fact that most/all online services restrict how you can use your music and the scene continues to be frustrating for consumers. Why can't I listen to music I bought from buy.com through my Tivo or freely copy them to my other machines?

I can't wait to see what happens with DVD's once we have enough bandwidth.

SCIFI.COM | Battlestar Galactica Podcast

I remember seeing a movie URL for the first time (batman.com) way back when. It felt sort of wierd and cool. I had the same feeling last night while watching Battlestar Galactica. I had heard that there was a BG podcast which I thought was a neat idea (real time director commentary) but when I saw it promo'd on the show I was blown away. How cool is that!

While Podcasting really is just downloading MP3s, when it's attached to a TV show and done with this sort of immediacy - it feels like the beginnings of something very new and very cool.

SCIFI.COM | Battlestar Galactica