New Year, New Possibilities
Vaccines and Virus
More Crypto Work
Hoping for a Better One
New Year, New President, Optimistic
Glad to see 2020 in the rear view mirror. Nasty bit of a year with cancelled vacations and shelter in place. Hoping that with a new, competent group in control at the national level and vaccines rolling out that we’ll see a better 2021.
I was very happy to see how well working remote went this year. I suspect that once things start returning to normal that I’ll revert to being in the office, but opens up options that weren’t really there before.
Work has been the expected sequence of steps forward and unexpected (or somewhat expected) issues. Dug into TLS-PSK rather than X.509 based TLS to address performance issues. Key rotation is an interesting challenge all around. This year we’ll tackle securing multicast communications. I inherited a partial solution but things have evolved since then and we’ll be working through those issues. Very interesting work and I’ve taken a passing interest in cybersecurity to a whole new level over the last year.
Lots to look forward to this year and hoping it makes up for some of the mess that 2020 threw at us.
Cybersecurity and the Onset of Covid
It has been a strange stretch since the New Year.
I’m well into the cybersecurity work that I became involved with as 2019 waned. Good things going on, challenges being surmounted. Getting ducks in rows 🙂 Working for a company that cares very much about the well-being of its workers and in a role where I can work from home nearly as effectively as I can work in the office has been a wonderful thing.
I miss the in person brain storming that can happen with everyone in one location. We’ve been working around this with tele and video conferencing and that has worked pretty well. At this point I’m not inclined to make being back in the office full time a thing until we have this pandemic (at least mostly) behind us. We’ve reached the point where things are working quite well using the remote resources we have available.
The home front has been a bit choppier. We’ve cancelled all vacation time that we had planned this year. We lost the chance to see Alyssa in Orlando for some time as she’ll be on deployment next year. Florida has become a nightmare of pandemic denial and viral spread along with the problem of getting from here to there without getting on a plane with people who won’t wear PPE. At this point we’re staying home and staying safe until we get vaccinated (which needs a vaccine first).
Home projects have mostly ended up shelved. The craziness out there is pretty distracting and I haven’t gotten started on any more C# or Unity work since the year rolled over. I did have a failed Vive sensor box that needed to be replaced. The replacement worked fine. I’m hoping to get back to doing some coding in the near future. The blog will tell as that gets started…
Challenges and possibilities in a new year
Moving into a cyber-security development role at Dräger. Picking up loose ends and trying to forge a design that is secure, easy to use and implementable on existing hardware. Interesting challenge (and challenge seems to be the theme at the moment).
Trying to get back up to speed on the VR work I’ve been doing after six months of leaving that aside to deal with other issues.
Blender is front and center with a return to the Cluster game once I’ve gotten blender to a point where I can do useful things with it. Thinking I may go after a simple single player implementation with a machine opponent first before looking at networked play. Still thinking that UI/UX is the biggest challenge here…making a complex game design playable and easy to use.
Into the fall and new challenges…
Ended my time at KMC Systems this summer and moved on to a new role at Draeger. Pulling myself out of a slow summer and trying to get some Unity and other related work going as we roll into fall. Need to get my SLR serviced and get back to some serious photography along the way. Alyssa is doing well on the west coast and will soon be a Petty Officer Second Class…proud of her.
Headed into summer
We’ve reached summer weather and are on the cusp of the fourth of July. Still plenty of photography work to get to, but the recent vacation is complete. I do still need to upload many of the photos as I’m having trouble getting my web hosting to reliably pull in batches of pictures.
Slow going on the VR game cluster as I’m in the dull but necessary part of the work building PHP code and SQL schemas to handle the server side processing and the storage of game state for the multi-player aspect. Once I have this fully sketched out I’ll post the details on my career site (technical bits) and some overview on pandamallet (fun stuff).
Post-processing of photos is ongoing
Vacation is over and I’m working my way through photos from vacation. I’ve done the (small) first day and the first cruise day at this point. I’ll get back to the boat tour and zoo days sometime soon, but this stuff takes time (always more than I expect). I’m hoping to get to some of the boat tour shots before the end of this week…
Vacation is over
Vacation is just about over. Had a great time at Cocoa Beach and on the Disney Dream. It is going to take some time to post-process my photos from the trip, but I will get that rolling as soon as I can and provide links here once I have pictures up
Had a great time on the Island Boat Lines tour around the islands at Cocoa Beach. Captain Norm and Rochelle were amazing at seeing and pointing out manatees, dolphins and birds as we passed through. Lots of fun (and just Lorna and I on the boat this time around). Got lots of photos to share once I have a bit more time for post processing. I’ll post a link here on the landing page when the time comes.
Wonderful four days on the Disney Dream to wrap up vacation. Particular shout out to our server at Palo, Ricardo from Portugal. Wonderful service, good conversation and an amazing surprise dessert (chocolate souffle) for Lorna at the end of brunch. He made a wonderful pair of meals even more enjoyable.
I will also be posting shots from our days on the Dream as they are ready. I’ve been previewing some on facebook to our cruise group and my main feed over the weekend, but sharing them here and linking down provides access to a wider audience so I expect to shift over that way shortly. I’ll provide a link from here when I get started and likely link the chain of posts together as well.
Lots of things to get back to now that vacation is over. I’m going to get back to VR focused work and some simple motion capture tracking soon and work on broadening my scope with some PHP work to allow games to network and blender and unity step up to make things look better along the way…
We’re into the spring. Work around the yard competes with sandbox software efforts. The VR coding is on hold a bit (along with the mo-cap stuff) as I build out a few software tools I need for more prosaic purposes. WPF and MongoDB are on the slate. Expecting to do some PHP/MySQL coding when I get back to the VR side to get the web connections for the VR code framed out.
Alyssa is back in touch for the moment with her deployment well past half over. Looking forward to having her back on land and in regular contact. Missing her as she does her duty and spans the globe.
Work is pretty quiet. I’m mostly wrapping up defects and tying off loose ends on things. Hoping that a new program with more complex work spins up soon or something else comes along to present some more interesting challenges to tackle. For now I’ll be finding my challenges in sandbox projects here at home.
Heading towards the end of winter I’m moving towards getting some more creatively oriented sandbox projects moving forward. I’m playing with the Unity toolkit on flat screens, DayDream VR and my Vive. Early days yet, but the tools look pretty capable and progress is reasonable. Look for updates on the career blog and pandamallet.
I’m probably going to shift things a bit going forward with the ninecrows.com/blog page being more of a personal blog and shifting more creative content over to pandamallet.com. It it likely to take a little while to get that done…I do expect to keep the photography on ninecrows.com/blog with appropriate filters though. Once the new section is ready, I’ll add an entry to the navigation page above here that will get you there…
Working on the house and yard, cleaning out the basement and trying to move various technical sandbox projects forward. Work is getting busy again. It looks as if it is going to be a very busy fall and winter tying up all of the loose ends. Looking forward to Alyssa coming home for a visit before she’s off on deployment. Currently far more ‘hunker down and keep things moving’ than ‘exciting and optimistic’ but sometimes that’s what is needed to make progress.
Tonight while waiting for the Magic Kingdom fireworks and castle light show we chatted with Rudy, the honorary eighth dwarf and a Disney legacy employee. It was great talking with him and my wife became his latest ‘victim’ getting photographed with him before the show…More shots from the castle light show and fireworks to come after we get home…flying home tonight.
Many more pictures from the fireworks and castle show to post-process but it is around midnight and I’m not likely to get to them until I’m home (and there I’ll have better monitors and faster computer hardware to boot).