I worked a total of six and a half hours at the client site today. Five of the hours were between 8:45 pm and 1:45 am. I think the client is pretty stoked that I’m happy to work nights at my regular rate so that his factory’s productivity is not affected by my work.

I set up a few new machines. I fixed a few broken ones.

I seem to be an agent of change at the factory; the boss respects my opinion and I’m not shy about telling him my views regarding the impact of technology on worker productivity. I’d say there are at least thirty PCs there, some dedicated to specialized hardware. Half were 98 when I arrived; I’ve stamped out almost of that stuff. Only two machines are still 98 and their days are numbered… For now, they require 98 to run some archaic processes. Of the rest, I’ve pushed more than half to XP on new hardware. The workers and staff like me, too; I fix the nagging annoyances that were never addressed before and I’m focused on improving ‘user experience’. Since I’ve been there, we’ve moved from a single Windows 2000 Server machine supporting mail, database, printers, and network drives to a much more performant setup; the W2K server just handling some shared drives, an XP box serving the printers, and a Windows 2003 SBS server running mail and database functions. Compared to when I showed up in April, everything is quite speedy. Plus, they now have shared calendaring, instant messaging, an intranet site, automated spyware detection and removal, online bug filing and tracking; all new since my arrival. I scored huge points by putting Firefox on everyone’s desktop weeks before the boss’s wife’s son told the boss’s wife (head of sales) that Firefox was the new cool browser that she should be using.

Ayup. I’ve got my own key to the place.

I listened to the State of the Union via streaming CPAN while I worked. Ah, the wonders of modern life. I was down with most of it though I had a few choice words during the ‘guest worker not amnesty to fill jobs Americans will not do’ part of the speech. Get a clue, guy.

I poked the cat earlier tonight. She’s getting old and her kidneys are failing; now she needs subcutaneous fluids. Somehow I got elected; I’m not sure, but it might have something to do with my upcoming EMT-Intermediate training next month. A few days ago, the people at the vet’s office showed me how it was supposed to go and gave me a bag of lactated ringer’s solution (shades of Emergency 51, there), some tubing, and a bunch of needles. This evening I had to put it together and stick the cat all by myself. It was a bit freaky, though she and I got through it somehow. claims the experience will help me when it comes time for IV lab; frankly, I’m much more concerned about my lab partner’s technique than mine.