This weekend, we picked up a new toy for my better half: a new Toshiba Satellite laptop from the local CompUSA. 2.2GHz, 512MB memory, 60GB hard drive, CD-RW/DVD-R, 32M Radeon video card, 15" display, and a pretty good set of speakers. What a weird experience; I'm so used to the idea of building my own machines (or having machines built to my specifications) when dealing with desktops and servers, that the idea of just walking into a store and buying a system without at least taking it apart first seems...odd. Yes, I'm a control freak, why do you ask?
As a part of the little shopping trip above, I managed to find a digital camera I've had my eye on for a while at a very good price; it's a Nikon Coolpix 2000, 2 megapixel (1600x1200+ resolution), with a 16MB compact flash card by default. It handles 20-second movies pretty well, although that's not really what I bought it for (although, 14 seconds is all I need for a 1/4-mile track run). I'd actually been looking at the 2500 model, but the only difference (besides $100) was the little flippy camera thingy. Feh.
So I'm back to cleaning stuff up documentation-wise, and I had a mental "ah-hah!" on the train this morning regarding inter-object calls, which will no doubt result in a flurry of typing on the train home. Python rocks. Every time I think I've reached an impasse, I always find that there's a way to do what I want (in this case, call object methods as though they were functions, with a modified "self").
Still busy. I'm the backup admin for a "business-critical" (insert any other frightening phrase here, such as "highly visible", "management-intensive", etc.) project/environment, and the primary is out this week, so I suspect my time will be spent doing a lot of juggling of business teams until he gets back. Gah. I never thought I'd hear myself say it, but I did: I miss working in small startups. Crazy deadlines included.
I finally made another trip to the track, and while my 60' times were dramatically improved, my 1/4-mile times were only a tenth better than before, mostly due to the incredibly hot weather and the lousy gas I was running. Hopefully, the next time out will be a little more encouraging. A local performance shop held a BBQ on Sunday, and I spent most of the day chatting with a fellow DSM enthusiast (and professional engine builder) that I'd met at an autocross event a month or so ago. There are more parallels between an engine builder and a programmer than you'd think; the best of both are passionate about their work, opinionated, and have a sense of style about "how it should be done" that those outside the field just can't grasp. The pride he takes in his work is almost infectious, and it's the same kind of feeling I get from anyone who is passionate about technology. Every field has its geeks.