Apologies (to anyone who is actually reading this) for not updating for a while. Have been in San Francisco, hanging with Berlin buddy Stan and Melbourne buddy Fiona. And lots of other old friends. So many interesting things: Stan took me to the Noisebridge Hacker Space, full of lots of bits of junk and a chromatically arranged selection of O’Reilly books which I’d have completely devoured in 1997 (except for the ones about Ajax that wouldn’t have been invented yet). Have been experiencing serious waves of computing nostalgia, discovering old copies of the Apple HI guidelines (ironic given I never write anything that interacts with users) and name-checking all the exits on the 101 and 280.
I have to look back on my calendar to remember what we’ve actually done. Stan has been a generous chauffeur, taking us out to dinner in Palo Alto with a lot of the Apple crew (including Umesh, ex-NeXT, who I first met in ’97), as well as James, George and Love who I worked with more recently. As usual it’s hard not to get excited about the possibility of writing less music and more code, and I suppose I do have a few little ideas for another summer project (no doubt to be fueled by the winning combination of condensed milk and a double espresso). I do get the feeling though that Apple has become a really, really big company, whatever that means.
Came back to the South Bay the next day to visit the Computer History Museum – I’ve been there before, but this time we got a guided tour from an enthusiastic analog engineer, including a demonstration of the Babbage Machine. I then got dropped off at VMware for a meeting where I struggled to remember anything about some code I wrote back in 2009 (one line of whiteboard writing, some furtive staring at vi, etc). Then Dale (VMware, ex-Novell, ex-TurboLinux) and Joe Little (still at Stanford, but ex-Turbo, and someone I met in my very first few weeks here in 1997) grabbed some dinner. A few more interesting stories (well, not that interesting), but I’ll save those not for the blog.
After that, went into Stanford with Joe, had a bit of a chinwag about Software Defined Networking (and the lack of security in that space), then something of an extended lunch with some Apple folk (if anything I was responsible for making a few engineers less productive this week!). Lovely to see Marc, who I first corresponded with as a final year high school student whilst he was at NeXT. Still the same great guy. After than, Caltrained it back to the city (love that train, the thundering double decker), took loads of photos and then dressed up as a Construction Lion (or, as I call it, 10.7 Beta) for a Halloween party. Not quite as impressive as Fiona’s picnic poncho but hey, I took the bits and pieces that were available. We discovered by accident a pretty nice little street party.
Today, we are going on a guided tour of the Internet Archive (that’s where they store the internets!) and are going to a senses-themed geeky art installation. Off to LA tomorrow to see Al and some of the ASCAP film scoring alumni. Al’s apparently organised a little house concert for us on Sunday at this keyboard player’s place who I know of, who has a seriously scary discography. And a freshly tuned Steinway B.
Anyway, I’d promised to help Stan with some Objective-C stuff, so I’d better get back to that.