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buckaduck (2978)

buckaduck
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Journal of buckaduck (2978)

Monday June 24, 2002
11:08 AM

It's my last week at work!

And so begins my last week of work at BASF. Our site shuts down this Friday, and then I get to spend the summer searching for gainful employment.

The good news is that I'm allowed to take stuff home with me for little or no money. So I finally get a Sun Ultra of my own to play with at home. And also several UPS boxes to keep things running.

I actually got to do some Perl recently. A friend wanted a program that periodically checks a drive for new PDF files, and then does something to those files. It seemed somewhat detailed for a simple "find" command, so I wrote the skeleton of an example Perl program in a couple of minutes. My friend used my code verbatim and it worked perfectly! I'm very pleased, but actually a little disturbed. I'm going to have to remember how easy it is for code to take on a life of it's own.

Thursday June 13, 2002
11:53 AM

Burn, baby, burn...

Wow, my first journal entry...

I've got two weeks until I'm out of my UNIX SysAdmin job. My company was bought by the BASF Corporation ("We don't make the things you buy; we make the things you buy better") and now they're closing down our research facility here in Princeton, NJ.

It's a sad time for all of us here. This was my first job out of college, and I've grown comfortable here. But maybe too comfortable. I've already fixed all of the major computer and network problems, and I've developed several great software projects. Perhaps it's time for something new and challenging again.

But in the meantime I've got two weeks to get everything shut down here. That includes making CDROM archives of all of our data -- so I'm burning hundreds of discs with a 2x burner. Thank goodness the burner lives in a CD jukebox connected to a UNIX, so I've written a series of Perl programs to automate the CD burning and some post-burn checks. I should be done with the data this week.

"Why use hundreds of CDROMs, when the data would fit on a few tapes?"
That's what I thought, too. But I'm not just making backups; I'm making permanent archives. And our IT staff considers CDROMs more reliable than tapes for permanent storage.

"Why not use DVDs instead of CDs?"
Actually I do have a DVD writer, but there very few DVD readers in our company. What's the point of making a data archive that nobody can read? Sigh.