Haven't posted anything in a few weeks, and that always makes me uneasy, so here come a few of those "whatever springs to mind" posts in case some people I haven't spoken to need to be filled in.
I have a new job. In San Antonio. The commute is long and dreary. Lots of quality time spent with podcasts, however. The job itself is for a simply massive behemoth of a company which is involved with providing banking and insurance services for military veterans. The money is solid and I have full benefits again, although when you price out weekly gas mileage, wear and tear costs on the car, and eating out more often than I'd like, the value of the salary drops considerably.
Also, my official title is "senior developer," and the hiring manager specifically said that this job is training me up to be lead developer on some new projects after six months. So, as much as I hate commuting, I think this was an important move that will give me some more exposure to leading web technologies, while also giving me leadership experience that my career needs.
Lynnea and I are considering getting a place slightly south of Austin, which would work well for her also since she works downtown. This step would not only shorten both of our daily drives, but also mark the "moving in together" rite of passage. Needless to say, we would not take such a step if our relationship status was not fabulous.
I bought a new laptop. The laptop I bought for school in late 2006 gave up the ghost long ago, and I haven't had a working one since I worked at McLane and was allowed to take home my work PC. My desktop is about four years old, which qualifies it not as a dinosaur but more of a trilobite. Sure, it's been tricked out with more RAM and extra hard disk space, but it still creaks with age.
The new laptop arrived on Monday, and... well, DROOL. It was actually a budget item, only running $800. However, the specs (see this item) are still a massive jump forward from what I've had before. It has a dedicated graphics card with 1 GB of dedicated RAM, 4 GB of conventional RAM, 320 GB of hard disk, and Windows 7, about which I currently have no complaints.
Of course I can ramble about how important it will be for getting Serious Work done, but you'd know I'm lying, right? Web surfing and games, baby! World of Warcraft runs smoothly in every environment with the graphics settings cranked up to "high" (though I have not been brave enough to try it on "ultra" yet). Left 4 Dead runs smoothly at full res. The box warmed up a bit after a couple hours of gaming, but it wasn't even uncomfortable enough to remove from my lap while sitting on the comfy couch.
I haven't installed Eclipse yet, but I plan to do some recreational programming with it as well, I swear.
Basically the reason I decided I need this NOW is because I'm planning to save myself some hours of driving time and rent a hotel room once or twice a week. I get home very late and go to bed as soon as I can, while Lynnea works odd hours that bring her home at 11. So frankly, we'd "see" more of each other online if I could stay up a bit later due to not getting up so awfully early.
More to follow...