I let my bosses talk me off the ledge last week. I was feeling really burned-out but one does have to go on. At least we're a little more on the same page with some of the deadlines.
One of the most deadline-driven projects keeps growing on me, not all for the worse. It started out as an improvised answer to a government mandate and as they have added requirements, I've added layer after layer of gadgetry. The latest addition was the last straw and not jut for me; there are times of day when the thing can be bypassed and we're going to do so. This is all well outside the function of our core devices, so I have had to put the thing together from various functional blocks. With a bypass added, I will be able to check and adjust them offline.
Project number two is a "Robinson Crusoe" project. The goal is, say, "build a canoe." But you can't build a canoe without a tree. You find a tree, but you haven't got an axe. So you find flint, knap a hand-axe and chop off a suitable branch for a handle, but now you need some way to fasten the axe head to the handle. So you find fibrous plants, bind the head to the handle, and cut down the tree. You can rough shape it with the axe but you need an adze to scoop out the inside, so you go back to the flint and make one, and so on and so on. This project, I need to make some changes to a device, but to do so, I must update the firmware. But I can't update the firmware without the interface program, and that must be downloaded from the manufacturer. They sent me e-mail with a "download now" button, but my employer's security software suppresses the link.... And this is all before I load it onto an available Engineering laptop (IS has most of our desktops screwed down tight: users can't add or remove software, period) and try to get it work. I got as far as getting the interface software from their ftp site, after a little "what do you mean, the button doesn't work?" with the support guys. Any day now, I'll have that canoe finished!
T. R. MCELROY'S STREAMLINED TELEGRAPH KEYS
8 months ago