Quite a Day

Today our project finally moved out to Microsoft. We’re in Building 124 and temporarily in this area called the “Bat Cave”. You can see a picture of it here. It’s this little area with one long conference table that the majority of our 13 person team sat at. I’m working off of a fold up table; the kind you’d see at a family picnic. We had one Ethernet jack for all 13+ of our machines (40MB down! and gigabit switches). So, we were lucky that we had about 3 switches on hand to spread out the ether and extra power strips to share the electric love with our laptops. All in all, it could have been worse, but the two industrial strength air conditioners above us and the large sized water heaters were a sight to see.

Since it was our first day on campus at Microsoft that meant only one thing… time to join the REDMOND domain. There are two options, you can try to be a hero and just try to join the domain, or you can do a network install of an XP image. In this case, the heroes always die and those that are smarter take optiontwo. This is all and great, when you have credentials that work. On Monday I needed to call the help desk and get what is called a network password reset. Basically, some guy in India resets my password and then calls my manager to tell him what my new password is. Yea, I have to call around the world to get my password sent to a guy across the street. The passwords are really random (e.g. 4Cc+ZdRg!) and sometimes they just don’t work at all. That’s what happened to me, it just didn’t work. This resulted in me calling the help desk again and getting it reset again. I got my password at 9am and was ready to finish configuring my machine after being at work for 2 hours already.

Seeing that we were going to lose about a half day of work setting up our machines again we were asked to be to campus by 7am. So, I was up before 6 and picked up a fellow teammate from Capitol Hill whose car was in a wreck this week and we headed over. There is no traffic on the side streets at this time in the morning, but 520 was beginning to get congested. When arriving at 7, that’s when we setup our network infrastructure (which we’d take down when we left), and began to re-image. Party. Party.

During this time, the guy that I took to work today had a feature demo at 11 and it wasn’t working around 10, so we booked it back to the Avanade office in Seattle. We made it back in time, but his machine was hosed and couldn’t talk to the server he needed it to, and the demo was scrapped for later in the afternoon. Meanwhile, I’m trying to do what I can to be productive, but since I’m now off of the Avanade domain I can’t really access any network resources, like the Internet. Here’s where having a smart phone with a data plan is great. I just set it all up to be used as a modem for my PC and I was connected, albeit at 115kbps (very slow–think dial-up).

We finally leave and head back to Microsoft. Now it’s around lunch time and I’ve yet to do anything really productive. But, we head over and grab some lunch, head back and finally start working. I got a bit done in those last five and a half hours, but it was a long day. I was out working from 7 until almost 6. So, I’m drained, but it’s looking like I got done what I needed to by today and I just hope that I don’t have to make many of these Redmond to Seattle back and forth trips too often, it really cuts time out of your day and just drains you.

So, here’s to being back at Microsoft and wanting to poke my eyes out everyday I drive home on 520.