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July 21, 1999
a year ago
two years ago

Bug Hunting

Frantic running about today. Only two more days until things have to be done for the first viewing of the prototype by people outside the group that's actually working on it, and I was feeling like I was running out of time.

Part of the problem was the all-hands meeting that reported the public announcements of Xilinx's profits for last quarter. The problem was the meeting, not the contents thereof. Xilinx had a record quarter, best ever again in revenue and margins, and, therefore, profits. Our profit sharing checks were going to be bigger because of that, which was very welcome by everyone. It was good to go and hear it but, constantly, I was worrying about the stuff I wasn't getting done.

So John and I brought the whole problem up at the engineering meeting, hoping that we could brainstorm some over what might actually be the problem. The oldsters threw ideas on the table wholesale while the new folks just kinda watched, a little glassy-eyed, especially when we went into detailed possibilities, from system DLL's to how things were built to what might be systemic to what might be general. I don't really blame 'em, but it was kinda odd to have that happen. Cary, however new to the system, threw in his two cents worth as well and it was useful stuff having to do with the OS's themselves.

It was okay. It basically meant I was chasing the same things, though, afterwards, as before.

The good thing, though, was that I got all of engineering to install the new overlay and try things out. It turned out that for most of the new folks that installed it, it also didn't work. VC++ 6.0 also wasn't installed on any of their machines. So I had Jim install 6.0 on his machine just to see what would happen.

After starting all that, I couldn't do a thing, so I went off and rode the exercise bike for twenty minutes, hard. It felt really, really good, and I had the motivation from the earlier part of the day, so it was very good to ride it and use it for what I really needed to do. It also cleared out my head pretty well. So I showered, bought a sandwich, and went to my desk.

Mario showed up telling me that his worked and he hadn't installed 6.0. Then Jim said that his *still* didn't work. Which completely tossed that theory out the window.

Hunting bugs is like a mystery. You find things, test them, then see what happens and with the new data, you try and figure something else out. In this case, however, I had completely run out of theories when Mario came up and said, "Hey! When I deleted this file, like the instructions said, it stopped working!"


Turns out the files that replaced the necessary things that were deleted when that file was deleted weren't in the overlay, yet. ProjNav couldn't deal and so died. Yeesh.

But it was really good that Mario found it out and it was even better when, in the next five minutes, I got everyone who was broken up and working again. That felt very good. Even better when we got our checks. By the time we were going home, eventhough my legs still itched like crazy, I was really happy with myself and with life and the fact that the one thing I was most scared of had finally been resolved.

I guess I'm into resolutions, into things falling into place.

I didn't eat my lunch until about 3:30, when it was all settling down. Ooops.

Dinner was leftovers as I didn't have the energy to cook and the crab cakes needed to be eaten. Really! They did! I could hear them crying out. Okay, maybe not. The custard tarts were soggier after a few days in the fridge, so I'll have to remember to make the pie only when I'm just about to serve it to people.

Then spent a lot of the rest of the evening just writing with my quills. They now work, pretty much always, which was a real treat. The funny thing is that I really, really started to think that today was Thursday, that tomorrow as Friday. Felt like it was so close to the end of the week, and I'd actually resolved my biggest hurdle. So some of my brain was really glad it was going to be weekend soon, and some part of my brain was fretting that we hadn't bought all the things we needed for the BBQ on Saturday and we had to get a lot of things cooked tomorrow. Advanced cooking is always an easy way to prep for large numbers of people. Cook stuff, fridge it, and then heat hot with sauce when folks want it is my general plan. Hopefully that'll work out.

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