Sunday, January 27, 2008

My job at Spacely Space Sprockets

I pulled an all-nighter last night. I knew going in that it was going to be a rough night. One of my employer's clients was doing a software upgrade, and I was the one with primary responsibility for a big chunk of it. Actually, they weren't doing one upgrade, they were doing four in a row. They were four releases behind the rest of our clients, and finally decided to catch up.

We started at about 5pm last night. My portion finished at about noon today. And we were actually about eight hours ahead of schedule when I handed it off. (I did have two other people helping, but I still didn't get to sleep until 8am, and then only for about two hours.

So anyway, somewhere around 3:00 this morning, it hit me that we are living in the future. In certain areas at least, we have capabilities that science fiction writers would have dreamed up when I was a kid.

I mean, seriously - Here I was, wandering from the recliner to the kitchen, with my wireless laptop in hand. This laptop, the size of a small city phone book, was using a wireless connection to a router that then sent signals to a satellite in geostationary orbit around the Earth.

On my screen was a window that allowed me to control a remote computer desktop to run the software upgrade. 100 miles away was another person, who was viewing that same remote desktop, as we took turns controlling the mouse and keyboard inputs at various stages. The software upgrade itself, was actually running on a server about 1000 miles away.

Meanwhile, in another window, while waiting for various processes to complete, I was watching three hours of high resolution video contained on a small thin disk read by lasers. I paused the video for a while to switch to a third window, to chat with my friend in Mumbai, about 8000 miles away.

And in yet another window, I had the capability to find virtually any piece of information I might want (like the distance from here to Mumbai) in mere seconds.

At three A.M., it was a little mind boggling.

That, and the fact that they found Bigfoot on Mars.



At 1/29/2008 10:41 AM, Blogger Wendy said...

In all of the Peak Oil and Climate Change craziness, I'm holding out the hope that, while we may revert back to the covered wagon days in a lot of respects, our society will see the value in being able to "connect" to the world at large through the Internet, and that the high-tech sector will find a way to survive in the "life without oil" world we may soon be a part of. I depend on the Internet for about half my income, and I have two clients who live in California (on the other side of the continent from me). I have another client who lives in Massachusetts, and it's really cool when he calls up and we work on his website in "real time", making changes, which he can see immediately with one mouse-click with him sitting in his office 300 miles away from me in my office.

I'm happy making my own bread and sewing clothes and growing a garden and heating with wood and riding a bicycle, but I'd be pretty lost and isolated without the Internet. You know?

At 1/30/2008 1:10 PM, Blogger Chile said...

I agree with Wendy. There are so many things I learn via the Internet and many things I can share. Plus, when I need to know exactly how to put together those window quilts, it's nice to know I can look online to see the tutorial. It would be sad to lose that.


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