The next chapter

For those of you who don’t know (which shouldn’t be all that many of you, since I’ve announced it several other places), I started a new job on Jan 4 2016. The previous gig started out as a 9 month contract-to-perm, but there was a lot of what seemed like confusion and hesitancy on the company’s end ot make me permanent. There were also several gratuitous insults offered to me, some of which I’m quite sure the company didn’t realize the extent of the insult they were offering, so I started looking around quietly. The new gig found me during this phase, and after a coworker conducted an especially egregious attack against me in a public email, I stepped up the contacts a little bit, and less than two weeks later submitted my resignation effective Dec 31 2015. Well, all that’s water under the bridge, and while I hope the old company has learned some things from my departure, I also hope they do well in the future.

My new company is a very small startup based in Chapel Hill – smaller than  thought at first, actually. I am employee number 7; a week after I started, they brought on employee number 8. We have three programmers, two customer service specialists fresh out of college, a training specialist, a business specialist, and me. We have no venture capital investments, which is actually a good thing in this case as we’re also profitable and growing.

Enough with the tangent. On to the point of this update. The new gig is a remote one – I’ve been commuting about 35 – 45 minutes for the two weeks I’ve been working there, and that will continue next week, but then I start working from home full-time. I’ll go in to the office if I need to, or if I feel like doing so for some reason, but the majority of my work time will be from my office in the basement. Which means, of course, that I need an office that has enough compute and display real estate to do the job, which means I had to upgrade the desktop. I had been working just fine, for the limited bits I used my office desktop, on a 2004-vintage Mac Mini. Honestly, if it had been able to drive two monitors, I wouldn’t have upgraded, but it can only handle a single monitor. I picked up a cheap BRIX from Intrex- Intel Core i3 chip in a form factor smaller than the Mac Mini, added 8 GB memory and a 250G SSD to it, and in all honesty I’m loving the new machine already. It doesn’t feel lightning fast, but it feels solidly capable. Best of all, the BRIX is designed to mount on the back of the monitor using the VESA mount. The only things sitting on the top of the desk are the two monitors and a slim DVD drive – and even the DVD drive will probably disappear soon.

Overall, despite the fact that I had to spend money (something that I really don’t like being necessary, though I’ll spend entirely too much money when I want to spend it), I’m pleased with the upgrade. The OS (Fedora 23) is installing / updating now, and I’ll probably finish setting up my environment tomorrow. Then I’ll wander in to the main room of the basement and do some more work on my model railroad layout. 🙂

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