I chatted briefly with Scott by phone this afternoon; he was going to see Sonic Youth play in Berkeley this evening with another friend of ours, Angela, and wanted to catch up with me by phone before I went home on Friday. I was still at work when he called so it was a short conversation.

This evening, my boss and I drove to Berkeley and met his wife for dinner. We went into the restaurant and down a corridor and there was Scott, leaning against a wall. He and Angela had gone into this random restaurant to use the rest room.

We were surprised. Scott and I initially met in ’90 or ’91 through mutual friends in Philly. We hadn’t seen each other after I moved away from Philly until the day I moved into Zeitgeist when we ran into each other at the door as I entered.

Both of these situations were wild; seconds either way and each connection would have been missed. Eventually we would have run into each other at Zeitgeist if we hadn’t met at the door, but it was cool the way it worked out. So maybe that’s way our relationship will go; we’ll just keep running into each other.

Dinner with B&W was nice. Of course, I worked with W at the Red Menace and have known both of them as friends for years. They’ve visited in Vermont. We’ve all been hiking several times. Of course, they were instrumental in getting me looked at by my present employer and it certainly must have been due to B’s strong recommendation that they hired their first telecommuter, let alone one from clear across the country. Anyway, it’s not the usual boss dynamic and I think it will work out fine.

BART back across the bay, and I’m again back in my room.

My current project is fascinating, by the way. I’m writing an SMS gateway. I wish I could tell you what it will do but I can’t. It’s fun playing with phones and I must admit that I get a thrill when something I send from a phone shows up in my program’s queue, or when my li’l programmie sends a message to one of my phones. Hello, world, indeed.

The thing is written in C#, a language with which I had very limited familiarity. I’m liking it pretty well; it’s nicely Java-esque with some thoughtful additions and the .NET library is quite complex and rich. My gateway runs a zillion different threads with very little management coding. Two zillion.

The IDE is Visual Studio 2005. It is really cool in some ways and very aggravating in others, much like any other Microsoft product.

I’m up to three phones. They are all on different networks (AT&T, US Cellular, and Tracfone). I use them all for testing. Unfortunately, I have carried each of them for a while as my primary cell so different people know different numbers. I have a GrandCentral number; I will start using that. The GrandCentral system is in beta right now and the call quality is sketchy, so I’m waiting for a bit before I start to use it.

GrandCentral is a cool service in theory; they give you a number in a region of your choice (my number is in South Woodstock, Vermont). You add your own phone numbers via a web interface. When someone calls your GrandCentral number, all of the phones you have selected ring. The phone that answers the call first gets it, though you can then transfer the call to a different one of your numbers if you choose.

The problem is that since your outgoing calls are direct, they have the caller ID of the phone you are calling from rather than your GC number… So other services that depend on reading your number to figure out who you are are then tied to one particular device rather than your GC number.

Post my little post
and off I go for a pint.

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