Saturday, November 29, 2008

Temporary Office

Yesterday, Friday, was our last day in the office on Baker Street. As of Monday, we'll be in another managed office, down near Victoria station. We've got a huge new office near Shepherd's bush, in a brand new building, but it's still being finished, so we won't be moving into it until January. It's exciting to be in a company that's growing enough to need a new office. It reminds me a bit of my InTouch days, when we moved into a bigger office in Richmond, and spent the weekend pulling cat-5 cable so we'd have networking on Monday. The company I'm with now is big enough that the network & systems team is handling all that stuff this weekend, instead of needing to just use developers that know a bit about networks.

It's a managed office as well, so a lot of the basic infrastructure is in place already. I certainly hope it's more well managed that the on we're leaving. The bathroom is frequently out of hand towels, or have freakishly hygroscopic kitchen paper towel instead. More often than not, one of the two toilets is out of order, and the urinal smells like they only clean it once a day, even though it desperately needs it more often, as can be seen from the patina of crusted yellow dried urine all over it. The bathroom stinks, partly due to the urinal, partly because the automatic air freshener has been empty for months, plaintively beeping an "fill me" notice every ten seconds.

Come January, we'll all be packing up our laptops and screens again as we move into the "new new" office, as we've been calling it. As nice as it will be to have a shorter commute, it looks like the lunch situation could be pretty dire. The office is in a small new office complex, much of which is still being built. There are no shops around, and the canteen in the building is in the half of the building that only the building owners' employees have access too. They have half the building, and the other have is being rented out to tenants such as ourselves. I can only hope that the eventually, and soon, realize that they could be making more revenue if they open up the canteen to the rest of the building. Across the motorway from us is Westfield mall, an enormous new shopping mall, which I'm sure has plenty of food shops, but it's a 20 minute walk, due to how far away the nearest crossing of the motorway is. I'm not sure yet where I'm going to get my lunches, but I'm sure I'll figure something out.


I've finally got tickets to Monty Python's Spamalot musical. I saw a poster for it in the Shepherd's Bush tube station last week, saying that it ends on January 3rd, so I decided I should really get on it, and go see it before then. I just finished waiting out in the cold for half an hour in the lineup outside the Leicester Square half price ticket booth, but I've got tickets for the 3:00 show, three hours from now, in my pocket, and I'm out of the cold now, waiting in a pub for my tea and breakfast to arrive.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Adobe: Resolved

I just thought I should post an update, so my now-resolved frustration doesn't remain standing as the last word on the subject. I've now received my licence key for Adobe Lightroom, after using my credit card directly, instead of paypal.

As I mentioned previously, I'm a fan of Lightroom, and I love the plugin stuff they've done with the new version. I really love the flickr plugin and metadata viewer preset builder that Jeffery Friedl has built.

With the tagging in Lightroom (and the way it writes the tags in the EXIF metadata of the image itself), the non-destructive processing, and the flickr upload, it makes everything so much easier. I love it.


It's been quite cold the last few days. It's been down below zero overnight a couple times, and there's been frozen rain/snow on the cars outside in the morning. London seems to be at least 2 or 3 degrees lower than Vancouver, at the same time of the year. My flat doesn't hold in the heat very well, and being on the ground floor, it's the coldest room in the house, so I finally broke down and bought an electric blanket on the weekend. I haven't yet figured out what to do with my kitchen/shower room, because it leaks heat like a sieve, so I keep the door to it closed, to keep my room warm, but that means the shower is freezing cold in the morning. If I leave the door open, to keep that room warm, then my bedroom cools down quite a bit.


Update: I've since received my licence key, after purchasing with my credit card directly, instead of using paypal. See my more recent post.

I'm getting so frustrated with Adobe. I've tried out the demo of their Photoshop Lightroom 2 software, and I'm really really happy with it. It makes the process of offloading, organizing, processing, and uploading my photos so much easier. It's the part of photography I've always enjoyed (and thus postponed) the most, because it's so time consuming, and frustrating, because I never had a good way of doing it all. Lightroom just makes it so much faster, and less painful, so I decided to buy it.

Easier said than done. You'd think that when you want to give a company $300 for a piece of software, not even for a box, just to download it, which costs them virtually nothing, you'd think they would be tripping over their feet to take your money and give you the software. Of course not. I've tried purchasing it three times now. I'm still waiting for the third attempt to work or not. The first time, their billing address form had "United States" as the country, and I couldn't change it, so I couldn't enter my billing address to pay for the software. The second time, the next day, the country field was magically correct, so I went all the way through, and paid for it with paypal. It took them two and a half hours to finally email me back, saying "Unfortunately we were unable to approve your order in the Adobe Store." I've tried again now with my credit card, and I hope it works this time, because I have a bunch of photos I want to go through and get uploaded.

In contrast, when I've wanted to spend a mere $20 on some independent developer's game, I've had a "Thank you, here's your license key, and here's where to download the game" email within 5 minutes every time.

For all the complaining they do about software piracy, Adobe needs to get their act together on the sales side. If it's taken me hours of trying, and three tries, for the privilege of giving them money, and a fair chunk of it, for their software, it's no wonder people pirate it.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Bizarre dream

I had a really bizarre dream last night, which I remember a surprising amount of. I don't know why, but for some reason my right leg had been amputated just above the knee. I was still here in London in the dream, and everything seemed to be going pretty normally, the fact that I needed crutches to get around didn't seem to have affected my life much, in the dream. However, I was upset to the point of bawling my eyes out about losing my ability to drive a manual transmission car. I was, of course, just devastated about not being able to drive Bianca any more.