Ok, most of you are fully aware that I am a geek. As such, I like geeky toys and whatnot. That said, I haven’t had much reason to buy anything suitably geeky in, well, forever. The technology has just never been cool enough in my opinion. A pocket PC I can also use as a mobile phone? Yawn, snore.

For years I have had this romantic notion of a personal area network (PAN) in my head. The PAN is the backbone of your own personal (some say wearable) computer which is always at hand (some say pervasive or ubiquitous). I originally thought the PAN would piggy-back on the body’s own electromagnetic field but when Bluetooth came out I decided it would have to do for now.

Continue reading PAN


Many of you know that I worked at a place called Cecil for quite some time. The source of a great deal of joy and a great deal of stress for me for quite a few years.

Leaving a position like that, in a job like that, part of you (the vindictive mean-spirited part of you) kind of hopes the whole place will fall apart without you. That somehow, without your incredible insight/skill/talent/charisma, the whole operation will grind to a screaming halt.

Of course, that didn’t happen, they soldiered on and seemed to go from strength to strength, I was almost offended when (in my absence) they started breaking all the “rules” I’d ever assumed about software development… Continue reading Vindication

Punting down the river

My family took me out on a “cruise” of the Waikato river, on a lovely little “paddle steamer”. Mostly in honour of my leaving for Texas. That is, if I ever go. Because the images are bandwidth intensive please click “more” for the rest of the images.

The image above is the whole group on the boat, from left to right, Scot, me, Susan, David (her husband), my mother and Arth!
Continue reading Punting down the river

All experience is an arch

This is a road we travelled on a little while back. We decided to travel slightly South-East of Auckland. Click the image for a large version. It’s worth it!

Anyway, I was feeling really frustrated today, I guess this yes/no hot/cold Texas business has affected me more than I want to believe. I can literally feel the tension in my body. My nose started threatening to twitch again, something I am valiantly resisting. I used to suffer from a nervous twitch in high school which earned me the endearing nickname “hampster”.

Continue reading All experience is an arch


I have been on training for the last 1.5 days. This is the first training I’ve had at Beca (I don’t count TechEd and Health & Safety training.. no, really, it doesn’t count). It’s the first time I have actually learnt something completely new in about 5 years (new programming languages don’t count, that’s just too easy). I am so excited I can’t contain myself, so many new concepts and moving parts that could go wrong, I love it! Most fun I’ve had in ages.

Link 16 is a tactical data link used in the military. It’s about 20 years old but it’s still considered state-of-the-art. I kind of like it, it’s cool. I would tell you about it but then I’d have to kill you :p

As for Texas…

There is even less certainty around whether or not I will be going to Texas. Katie from HR suggested I keep my South African citizenship so that they don’t have to re-submit my paperwork for visas etc.


Only, you see, the whole problem is: if I am a South African citizen (even if I have dual citizenship) I can’t have the technology exported to me. That’s kind of the whole point. Of course, Beca spent over 3 months checking my “security clearance” to see if I would be allowed to do the job in the first place. Um.. yeah, well, turns out that a a few weeks after they tell me to start packing, I am not allowed to.

So, my faith is rapidly waning. The window of opportunity apparently closes in the middle of next month. So either I am leaving by then or I am not. Although I do still hold out hope, what with the way things are going at the moment, I don’t think they’ll be able to get me much further than Sydney.

I feel most sorry for Sarah, but I will make sure she will be able to live where she is at least till the end of the year.

What will I do if I don’t go? Well, I guess I could do almost anything. I have always wanted to live in New York, just for a little while.

Texas may be an illusion

Well, doesn’t that just take the cake?

Thomas called me into his office today and informed me that there’s been a bit of a snag with getting me to work for L3 in Texas. Essentially, in order to be able to go to work for L3 either:
a) The US congress must pass a bill which allows L3 to “export” cool secret stuff to South Africa (that means me apparently), or
b) I need to become a New Zealand citizen

So, they are going to have to try and turn New Zealand’s 9 month citizenship process into a 1 month process. L3 have indicated that if it takes too long (2 or 3 months or so), they are probably no longer interested in having me, so we have to do it fast.

Now, I know what you’re going to say. Why didn’t they figure this out earlier? Well, to be honest, I haven’t the foggiest. It’s a mystery to me. I guess something didn’t happen when it was supposed to.

It’s a good thing I worked for the University for years. Working for the University gives you a deep appreciation for bureaucracy and a lot of tolerance for major screw-ups. I mean, they didn’t pay me for about 4 months when I got my new contract. I ended up having to verbally abuse the head of HR before I got my money.

It’s at times like these when you really have to sit back, take a broad perspective and laugh.

It’s a good thing I applied for New Zealand citizenship about 5 months ago. I didn’t receive confirmation of my application (as I had been promised) but apparently they are “very busy” and will “get back to me”. I don’t think I have even been assigned a case worker yet and I know they haven’t requested my paperwork yet. Technically, there’s only really 4 months to go before I should be able to officially consider myself a New Zealander, so greasing a few palms should prove effective.

Texas is imminent

I just received an email from HR telling me I will be leaving on the 22nd of May!

It seems they expected me to check my horoscope to find out when the date would be because they “assumed I already knew”.

Now, I have been known to possess incredible powers of deduction but that is beyond even me…

*runs around in ever decreasing circles*