Jrwz.net is James R. Williams Zavada


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And this just in...

Here's the part of my site where I get to tell you what I've been up to, what I'm currently doing, what I may be into down the pike, or anything I might feel like expressing in a somewhat public fashion. If you see something here and have questions or thoughts that you'd like to communicate to me, you can use my contact form or look up my contact info here.

Note that dates and times for posts are listed using the U.S. Eastern Standard time zone, and times are listed in 24-hour format (e.g. 7:04AM is 07:04, 7:19PM is 19:19, etc.).


A lot to catch up on...

I've been meaning to update my reading list for quite some time now, and in going over the backlog I also realised that I've not posted anything newsworthy here for quite some time. I need to fix that! A lot has been happening to me, and I want to keep track of some of it in a public sort of way. So I'm considering this a sort of promissory “note to self”, that I will be posting here again soon!

Broken As Designed is BAD

I was having an IM conversation today where I accidentally came upon an incredibly awesome acronym. Ever since I started working with computers, I've used the the phrase, broken as designed. I love using it because it so perfectly describes so many things in this world that are quite literally broken as designed. And to inject a current events element into this, as I'm writing, the new U.S. government's healthcare.gov website comes to mind. Anyways, back to my serendipitous discovery. Here's my bit of the conversation (edited to protect the guilty):

Me: it is so going to be fun when it becomes obvious most of [censored] processes in [censored] are BAD™ = Broken As Designed lol

Me: and Dang, dude, I just came up with a real Bad-ass Acronym!!!! rofl

What I find hilarious about this, is first of all, I had no recollection of ever having heard or read the the phrase before, to say nothing of the acronym. So I thought I was being ever so clever. Until I googled it, that is. Using “bad broken as designed” as my search terms, the very first hit to come up was this entry in Eric Raymond's Jargon File :

BAD: /BAD/, adj.

    [IBM: acronym, “Broken As Designed”] Said of a program that is bogus because
    of bad design and misfeatures rather than because of bugginess.
    See working as designed. 

Imagine my disappointment! I felt like I'd uniquely invented an acronym, though, if only for a brief while. Ay, asi es la vida. :(

UPDATE: Curious about whether or not I might have subconsiously picked up the broken as designed phrase from the Jargon File, I found an archive of historical versions. I started using computers back in 1987, and the first version to list the phrase is version 2.4.3, dated 24 January 1991. The 2.4.2 version is missing from the archive, so I can't check its date. However, the 2.4.1 version is dated 14 January 1991. So it is entirely possible that I came up with the phrase on my own, especially given that I wasn't even aware of the BAD™ acronym until today. Fascinating!

Busy, busy, busy.

It seems that my friends are frequently the motivating factor for major updates to my web site. A few months ago, my friend Tommy told me about using business cards at job interviews. I realised that if I was going to do this, I ought to have a web site already prepared. So I re-configured my dot com domain so that instead of redirecting to this one, it now hosts its own material.

Also, I've been revamping this site. I've started using a lightweight blog software, that is much better than using the quick-n-dirty custom kludge I started with. Much less fuss now, as I no longer have to keep it all in a single file, and I don't worry about the timestamps any more.

Another bit of news: I've added a reading list and a wishlist to the web site.

Layed Off!

Hmm, I guess I'm doing somewhat better at keeping this up to date, being an entire year hasn't gone by yet since my last post. :) Quite a bit has happened though, so I really need to catch up here. On the 8th of this past December, I was laid off at iContact, along with three other guys from the same work group, all of us on the same day. The layoff consisted of three Sysadmins (including me), a Senior and a Junior Database Admin, and a Database Engineer. They kept the Junior DBA and the most-recently-hired Sysadmin, and let the rest of us go. In November they had laid off one of the IT group guys, and they later let another one of them go in January, from a group that had grown to a total of seven people. As I write this it occurs to me at eight out of thirteen people, that is more than half of the two groups laid off from iContact in less than three months time!


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