December 6th, 2003

(no subject)

I was looking for a job, and then I found a job, and heaven knows I'm miserable now

Actually the job is turning out to be pretty cool. Better than I expected. Its with SAIC which is a big company, that does lots of govt contracts. But I'm in a small division of 10 people, in the same incubator building I used to be in with Endogeny. So I actually go to work in the same building I used to. My job is to be the bioinformatics guy and help to design a tool to identify the presence of various organisms in a sample. So this will be a way to detect ecoli, anthrax, and dozens of other little beasties. To do so there is the need for some heavy duty computing. A previous developer built something, but its estimated that it would take about 18 months to do the job. So I'm figuring out what kind of a machine to purchase, then rewriting the code to take advantage of it. The hope is that the runtime can be brought down to less than 3 months.

Imagine that I was a car guy, instead of a computer geek. Its like being hired by nascar and being told "Go figure out how to make the fastest car possible, then build it". Sort of a dream scenario.

So it seems I'll be in DC for a while after all. How long, no one knows, but at least through winter. And winter, my friends, is here. Tonight is the second day in a row its snowed. And I know was a dirty brown sludge its gonna be in a few weeks. But right now, its fun. I haven't lived where it snowed, except one winter here 5 years ago. And since I grew up in Miami, snow is still sort of exotic.

And now, for some serious geek cred. I now run my own primary DNS. DNS is the tool the translates a name like www.yahoo.com to the numeric address that computers actually understand, the IP address. The magic here is that there is no single list of these name to address translations. That would require a central authority, which the internet just doesn't have. Instead there is a database, which is broken down hierarchically, and is maintained by lots of people independently.

So when you ask for www.yahoo.com, your computer sends out a request asking 'who knows about .com?' Then it takes the address given as a response, and asks that machine 'who knows about yahoo.com?' Then it takes the address given as a response and asks 'who knows about www.yahoo.com?'. Then it sends you to the address given as a response.

This means the folks in charge of yahoo, can handle all the different www.yahoo.com, mail.yahoo.com, and news.yahoo.com machines. Then different people can do the same sort of work for msn.com, or google.com, or cariaso.com.

So I'm now the guy who maintains the DNS entries for cariaso.com. Isn't that exciting?

*chirp* *chirp*

hmm, I guess its a geek thing.

Anyway the site is up, and since I'm the admin I'm able to do lots of things that were impossible with my old setup.

The coolest one is Phobase. Phobase is software I've written to display all the photos I've been taking for the last year. No, not just the good ones. All of them. Currently 3000+ are online, and MANY many more are coming.

Why? Because sometimes certain people want to see all of them from a particular time (example: everyone who was hanging out with for
halloween
). But most people only want to see the good ones, if that.

And I'm Lazy in the way that only a programmer can be. I was too lazy to spend the time to cull out the good from the bad. So I wrote software that will let you help me do this, just by visiting the site, and viewing the pictures that interest you.

There are bugs yet to be fixed, and features yet to write, but the system is usable. And if you like it you're I'm happy to share it with anyone.