End of work

The end of a workday. Spring is approaching.

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Barrie Speedway

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Barrie Speedway, a set on Flickr.

Last summer, I was lucky enough to be invited along for an expensive day playing with big boy toys – Nascar race cars.
It was Dan’s birthday and what better way to celebrate getting old than driving really fast cars very fast at very hard walls and turns.
It was an amazing (and loud) experience.

Click the photos to see the images or enjoy a video at YouTube

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Valentine’s Day with The Tragically Hip

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20130214-TragicallyHip, a set on Flickr.

I’ve been a fan of The Tragically Hip since I was a teenager. In highschool in the early 90s, I went to concerts, small venues, outdoor football stadiums, Fort Henry, etc. Being from Kingston, it wasn’t hard to see the Hip in concert, or see them around town. Once I started at Queen’s University, Bobby Baker even lived down the street from me and it wasn’t a rare thing to see him out in the neighbourhood.
Over 20 years later, there’s still the same magic about hearing those songs. I missed a couple concerts in recent years and I swore I wasn’t going to miss another one. When I found out they were touring again for their new album, I ended up getting some amazing tickets and it was worth every penny.
If you’re a Hip fan, enjoy the photos.

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A new day

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A new day starts, a fresh start ahead for today and this year. Focus set.

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10 years

10 years. A significant milestone. I started work at Sitraka in July 2002. It was my second time working there. The first time, the project I was working on was spun off, sold, then later shut down. I went to a couple dot-com shops and was back to Sitraka in July 2002 and have been there ever since. Until yesterday. Yesterday was my last day and it was a tough decision to leave a place that you’re happy at, you know the work, and you’re comfortable.

But in terms of career progression, being comfortable and knowing the work aren’t always the best thing. I knew I needed to challenge myself with something new and unknown.

When I found my new job, I knew it was going to be something new and definitely a challenge. And one of those companies that people say “wow!” after I said where I was starting. I’m going to be working as a Project Manager at IMAX. IMAX! The company that filmed space from the shuttle! The company that makes your blockbuster films so big. There’s a lot of great heritage and great tech there. I’m going to be doing software again, as well as hardware projects. I’m pretty excited for this new change. It’s cool to walk into the office and see the trailer for Dark Knight Rises playing on screens there. The hardware is new and interesting, something I missed from my days in manufacturing engineering. There’ll be lots to learn.

Leaving Quest Software was a hard decision – changing anything after 10 years obviously would be hard. It’s a great company with great people and a great environment. I’m hoping to find the same at IMAX.

Change is good.

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This is what 10 years of work notes looks like.

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Images

Setting in the field

Setting in the field

Oakville, Dundas Road West.

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Retina Macbook Pro on order

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In March of this year, my 2008 Macbook Pro died. Absolutely died. I had it powered down, threw it in my backpack, drove a couple hours, and when I tried to power it up again, there was nothing there. A push of the button, a whir of activity and immediately shutdown. Not a good sign. I tried a few things, took it in to the Apple Genius and he confirmed it – logic board. I’m assuming a solder joint popped on the board somewhere after 4 years. It’s a shame since I could have gotten along fine with it for at least another year. It was slowing, but still the best machine I ever bought. All my data was intact, I actually popped open the machine, pulled out the drive into an enclosure and did a firewire boot (awesome feature) with another machine. And I’ve got Time Machine and Superduper backups of it as well – data integrity is fine.

My options were: 1) replace the logic board for $600+ and see how long that lasts 2) get a new machine. A hard decision – I didn’t want to throw away good money as $600 is no small amount and that it a good chunk of a brand new machine, which I was planning to purchase within a year. But, I didn’t want to purchase a new machine as I knew from reading the tech rumours, that a new update was around the corner – I just didn’t know how long. 2 weeks? 2 months? What would I do without my computer in the meantime?

I have a MBP for my work machine, so I could lean on that, but couldn’t use it for all my photo & video editing. General web/connectivity work was fine. I also have a 10″ netbook “Hackintosh” and that along with my MacMini server could give me some very slow editing abilities if needed.

Thankfully, the new Intel Ivy Bridge chips were announce a couple weeks later and I knew that was a good sign. The rumours for a new MacBook Pro started up. Lots of rumours of Retina screens, new size format, closer to the MacBook Air, etc. I dug in and decided to wait even further. Finally, the WWDC (Apple’s developer convention) was announced for June 11th. I knew there’d be lots of announcements and that would be the date.

Sure enough, the MBP update came, and then the new Retina MBP as well. I waited overnight to read reviews, contemplate the decision and the next morning I ordered. But now I’ve got a 4 week wait. Order expected July 5-10. I hope that date doesn’t slide any further. Quad-core 2.6 with 16GB of ram and 512 GB SSD. Photo and video editing is going to be amazingly fast. I just wish the manufacturing and shipping were fast as well.

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instagram – Bikes and bikes

from Instagram: http://instagr.am/p/JfBFb7HOyX/
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