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Well, that was quite an LJ hiatus. Between Facebook and Twitter and how pervasive my GMail account is becoming, I sometimes feel quite overwhelmed. Especially given I still prefer to collect my thoughts on unlined paper using a pen and inkwell. Ah, me.

Still, there are people I've completely lost touch with through neglecting LJ, so I'll try to hang around more in future.


Well, it's been a while. I've been doing some thinking. A lot's happened to me, and I've had to grow up over the last few years. I don't think it's a good idea to grow up without noticing yourself do it.

I got married last year, and we made our one year anniversary very happily. I'm so lucky to have such a great marriage.

I guess this milestone got me to thinking about other milestones, and what the future might hold. Kids? My family has started asking. Maybe; Nio and I have talked about it, but just keep coming up with 'not right now'. If we want kids, though, we can't leave it TOO long. Can I see myself as a Dad? I don't know.

And of course, this got me onto thinking about who I am. This is what I'm throwing out there; lately, I've been feeling like I'm too much 'what I think people want me to be' and not enough 'what I want to be'. Can you end up building your life up into something that's not at all what you want, because that's what family/friends/society expect you to be? Or worse, because it's what you think they expect you to be? Can you end up failing to be true to yourself, but ending up being true, instead, to your misconceptions about who other people think you should be? Convoluted, and overly simplistic, but I think I've let this guide some things about who I am.

Take religion. I grew up a Catholic. I had a few internal worries about Catholicism, but I never really questioned it until I went to uni. I fell in with the Protestant crowd, and it answered some of my questions; far from all of them, and it actually raised a few, but it seemed like I'd be letting the people around me down if I didn't agree that it 'made sense', and I started calling myself a Protestant. What am I really? Neither, I think. I believe what I believe, but there are Big Things in all streams of modern Christianity that bother me. I feel like I'm letting people down by saying it, but it's true. I've spent so long knowing that I 'should' be a good Christian who fits into the 'hip' version of Christianity (whatever that is at the time) that I've failed to define my actualy beliefs as what they are: not in line with any Christian church (and differing on Big Things, not little stuff). But that's not the point.

My career. I really never wanted to end up in IT. Unfortunately, I was good at computers, and people my whole life have been telling me that I'll make a great programmer. Family, teachers, friends. By the time I was picking a degree it never occured to me to do something else. I really wish I had.

Just wanted to get these musings out.

Apr. 17th, 2009

Now, I'm not normally a geek (well, maybe I am), but I just have to pass this on. James Bond Data Centre. That's some cool stuff.

Looking for work...

Well, my brief foray into working for a marine engineering company has resulted in me finding out that it wasn't really an engineering company. And it couldn't really pay me. So...

I'm looking for work again. Teh Sucks.
Hmmm. Somehow, I let my journal become my geek-pride armband. Now, I am proud of my geekiness; but seriously, are geeks that boring? I think not.

I think I'm gonna go play the piano.

Yes, I do own something that doesn't run on 240v. SHUT UP.
Augh, it's been one of those ... gaps I have. You know? You post, and post, and then you're just reading your flist mostly, and then ... Have you ever 'lost time', like Sara from Zak and Sara (listen to more Ben Folds, kids)? Well, my LJ's definitely lost time lately.

I won't try to bore you by catching up. My life is variously too boring, and way too awesome, to try to cover ... oh, how many months? in one post.

I'll try to keep you all ... uh, posted.

Job opening

Okay, we have another job opening at EMerchants. I finally get another C++ coder! However, our response from Seek hasn't been quite what I'd hoped, and after previous experiences with recruiters, I've had the word from on high that this position must be direct-hired.

So, if anyone knows anyone interested, please please PLEASE send them my way.

We're offering a competitive salary, and the chance to work in an interesting field with a small, friendly team. The position will involve maintenance and new dev work on our transaction processing app, as well as the chance to work on other payment-based technologies (including encryption modules, payment terminals, etc.)

We will provide some on-the-job training, and are currently building a PD program. We have brought in external trainers in the past, and I imagine you'd see the opportunity to take courses from time to time.

Our requirements are:
At least 2 years commercial C++ (or equivalent open-source project work)
Knowledge of database systems
Experience developing for unix systems
Solid communication skills

Nice to haves:
Experience with Oracle, Solaris, Redhat
Experience developing for Windows systems
Experience with secure coding, high availability systems, and mission-critical systems
Any financial experience

You'll also need to have a police check done and not show up anything like money-laundering or fraud convictions.
This is why the DMCA is bad. Under the DMCA, it may be a crime to reverse-engineer this type of device, in order to demonstrate that it does not perform as promised.
Any more of this, and C# is going permanently on my resume. I'm not sure if that'll make it more, or less, attractive, and I'm mostly concerned that it may result in my getting a full-time C# position.

Seriously, the main difference between a class and a struct is that you can't specify a default constructor for a struct (actually, it's that a struct lives on the stack, and an object on the heap, but the former is the most BOGGLING difference). Oh, and that's because the compiler writes a default constructor that initialises EVERYTHING to 0, false, or null. You're free to write non-default constructors (with parameters), but must then initialise EVERY field (you cannot leave anything uninitialised, however much it might make sense to). Oh, and as far as I can tell, you can NEVER have a reference to a struct, only a copy.

Why? Because programmers can't be trusted, and structs exist on the stack.

Oh yeah, you can't have a reference to ANYTHING ON THE STACK. If you create a reference to a local variable with a primitive type (which will be on the stack), it COPIES the value to an object on the heap and creates a reference (this is called "hand-holdingboxing"). So if you change the original variable's value, the reference will not update, because it's a reference TO A COPY. WHICH DEFEATS THE ENTIRE PURPOSE OF A REFERENCE.

What about references to GLOBAL primitive-typed variables? Oh, they don't exist. As far as I can tell, you CAN have a reference to a primitive-typed variable declared within a class, because the class will be stored in the heap, and we're allowed to play on the heap. Just not on the stack, because, you know, SOME programmers think security is the responsibility of the local locksmith.

I can use C-style pointers, but must declare any routines which use them with the keyword 'unsafe', which has the unfortunate side-effect of implying that things which DON'T use pointers are inherently safe, which Princeton's failed DARPA Grand Challenge team might disagree with.

I'm going back to play in my C++.



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