3/11/2005 Ultrasound

Haven’t gotten the video back from James yet, but once we get that I’ll post it too. The little bugger was doing spins and backflips…really cool stuff!

Imagine software development as building a bridge. We have architects which design the bridge, materials used for construction, and construction workers who put it all together according to the architect’s plans.

In the bridge building world, architects hand their plans off to the construction workers, who then put the bridge together. In this world, changes to the design become more and more expensive as time goes on – it’s what we read about in computer science classes about traditional waterfall design. And it made intuitive sense, since we could see how it would be much harder to change a bridge design once construction got started.

However, there is a critical flaw in this analogy. Software costs nothing to build. If I have 50,000 lines of code I can compile an executable in a few seconds. I can make a 2 line change to that codebase, and in just a few more seconds, I can have a new executable. I can make a 10,000 line change to that codebase, and the cost of compiling an executable is still just a few seconds.

So if we want to truly understand our bridge building analogy, we have to imagine a world where I could have a bunch of construction workers put up an entire bridge in just a few seconds. Tearing down the bridge would also be nearly instantaneous. And I would have not material costs for the bridge, just as compiling an executable wouldn’t cause wear on my computer’s memory, or my hard drive, or my CPU.

In this wonderful new world of instantaneous construction, how would this effect the role of the architect? Well, instead of using scale models to get a feel for what the design is going to look like, I’d just whip up a new bridge every time an idea struck me. Instead of trying to precisely calculate how the bridge would react to its environment (weather, traffic, etc), I’d simply build the bridge I was imagining and test it empirically.

Now, when it comes to tests, there are also several alternatives. I could manually test it – getting in bigger and bigger vehicles and driving them over the bridge until it broke. Or, if I was really smart, I’d have a robot army of automated testers, who would drive over my bridge thousands upon thousands of times in exactly the same way. Every time I decided to put up a new bridge, I’d just click the “go” button on my robot army, and they’d do their job.

This isn’t to say that designing a bridge would become a trivial process. In fact, the big issue with software is that *everything* is design, and these designs are terribly complex. If we have 30 architects working on designing the same bridge, we need to be able to manage communication within the team. But unless we can adjust our perception of what “building” and “designing” software is all about, we fall victim to the limits of our imagination, and focus on the wrong problems.

Hey, for those of you who want to check out some of the music I’ve been involved in, look at the top and you’ll find links for TSB and Silvereign MP3s.

Share. Enjoy.

Zofran. 8mg/8 hours. $992/30 pills. $0 copay because we’re double covered by Kaiser Permanente.

Essentially they forced Amani to suffer through a rough night before they gave her the good stuff. The reglan and the suppositories didn’t do enough to keep her from throwing up a single bite of pancake, but this Zofran stuff is gold…and probably worth more per ounce!

Today we ate at the Hill Street Cafe, went shopping at Costco, and then had dinner at the Olive Garden, with only minor reports of the hints of nausea from Amani. Hopefully this will continue to be effective as we reach week 13, which supposedly is the peak for HCG levels which correlate with morning sickness.

Well, it’s finally come to it – suppositories.

We came in for a 11:20am appointment, and by about 1:00pm Amani was admitted to the FCC (Family Care Center) ward. They got her hooked up to an IV with a saline drip, she’s taken 10mg of reglan in pill form, and got one suppository of some other drug. She’s managed to eat a bit of jello, drink some juice, and eat a few crackers.

We watched a couple of episodes of Smallville and Alias, fresh off of bittorrent, but my damn Lois & Clark episodes apparently have some sort of codec I haven’t gotten installed on this box…which is odd, since they work on my desktop, and I pretty much installed the same crap in both places. Go figure.

We’re listening to the Police on amani’s laptop, just chillin’ now.

Cameron is over at Dick and James’ for the night (thanks you two!), and I’ll probably end up missing yoga tomorrow, since checkout is probably going to be right around 12:00.

So who ever would’ve thought you’d have to put something in your ass to keep yourself from throwing up? I mean, who was the first guy to think of it? I guess people have been doing odd things to their bodies since the first time we developed the opposable thumb, but jeez, horse pills in the rectum? Eesh. (As you can tell, I just can’t wait until my first proctological exam…)

Let’s see, in other news I got my performance review today from kaiser, and scored an eye popping 3 out of 5. Apparently this is par for the course for high achievers in the organization, due to a firmly denied yet strictly enforced curve. As a courtesy to the line staff in our organization, the managers “give up” their 4’s to allow them to be awarded to non-management staff. My manager was actually quite cool about it, and I certainly agree that it’s good policy to sacrifice one’s own rating in order to reward the people doing real work, but it still stings a bit. Hopefully upper management will start to realize just what a joke their performance management regime has become, but until then we just grin and bear it. Or we’ll just end up with under-rated over-achieving people leaving…what a wonderful strategy for improving performance and increasing morale, eh?

On the other hand, I can appreciate that fairly judging people across an organization is tough to do…one manager may be more lenient, another more strict…but if the problem is on that level, that’s where it should be addressed, by replacing the managers that don’t have teams that produce results.

Well everyone, Amani is feeling much better now. It seems like the combination of constant Gatorade and 10mg of Reglan every six hours is doing the trick. She’s keeping food down, is generally up and about, and I’ve even gotten her to laugh again.

In other news, Cameron’s momma J (as opposed to momma A) is visiting, and he’s getting spoiled rotten. We just saw the triplets of belleville (trippy movie, pretty cool), and are just starting Chicken Run.

With the help of Amani, I’ve endeavored to catch up on popular culture by downloading tv shows and watching them without the commercials. I’m almost done with all nine seasons of Seinfeld, and have managed to keep up with Smallville and Alias this season.

Of course, I’ll slit my wrists before watching Survivor or American Idol.

Well, monday was decent, tuesday was rough at work and my dear pregnant wife has been wrestling with nausea at home yesterday and today. I went ahead and ordered a ReliefBand, which supposedly will zap her wrist with electric shocks and help with the nausea, but that doesn’t get in until tomorrow.

It seems like life has turned into a great scavenger hunt here with the theme of “what can she eat and not throw up?”. So far the most stable foods are the typical ones…lemon water, apple slices, saltines, plain toast…but we’re looking for the miracle food that’ll make everything better.

Any suggestions, leave a comment for us.

-jere

Our Blastocyst

Well, we spent pretty much the whole day at Kaiser Sunset, getting the “real” test done, setting up prenatal appointments, doing blood tests, filling out paperwork, and then eating at Burger King.

Toast & Ginger Ale – rejected
Cream Of Wheat – rejected
4 saltines – rejected
1 saltine – rejected
Peppermint Tea – rejected
Apricot & Mango Yogurt – only one bare spoonful

Bowl Of Rice – ?

Boy, it doesn’t take much to keep me up till 2 in the morning. Argh.

Well, it looks like I’ve got most of everything up and running, but I’ll need to spend some more time converting toby’s site over to this new host.

Okay, so on Clayton’s recommendation, I’m trying out www.dreamhost.com. Pretty good deal. I have krischel.org, kauhane.org, and tsb.krischel.org (for when I move over tobysemainband.com).

Oh yeah, and my wife is confirmed preggers.

Confirmed

-jere