Tagged: Nevada Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Michael Krakovskiy 2:23 am on March 19, 2008 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , car builders, , Cook, , , , , , food runners, Julia Child, Linus Torvalds, , Nevada, , , ,   

    Developer Life, Yo 

    These days there are a lot of documentary shows on TV about various professions. I am somewhat addicted to them – I watched whole seasons of shows about hairdressers, crab fishermen, lobster fishermen, tattoo artists in Florida, tattoo artists in Nevada (but not the one about tattoo artists in LA), restaurateurs ice road truck drivers, custom motorcycle builders, custom car builderscorrectional officers and inmates, and the Philadelphia meter maids.

    My own profession is mostly untelevisable. Mostly. Well, maybe some TV network might make a show out of Aardvark’d: 12 Weeks With Geeks. I also think that there could be a tiny market for a heavily edited “looking over the shoulder” video on the code writing habits of colorful  alpha geeks like Linus Torvalds, Donald Knuth, Brad Fitzpatrick, Dries Buytaert, and maybe even  JWZ. I’d buy that for a dollar.

    I found that there are two occupations that are unexpectedly similar to that of a software developer: prison inmate and line cook. Both of these are heavily male dominated, involve a disproportionate amount of minorities and are very stressful.

    I recognized offices in which I worked all my life in prison layouts.  The common criminals usually live in a common area in the center of the prison. This is exactly like a common area of an office, except with bunk beds instead of desks. Some actually have semi-private cubicles. Inmates organize into gangs, just like departments. Gang leaders are usually placed into single or double cells that line the perimeter of the common area to cut down on the communication between them and their reports.  Even there you have to be a manager to score an office.

    Restaurants are a lot like developer shops. You have your front of the house: waiters (sales people),  hosts and managers, food runners (analysts). And then you have your back of the house: chefs (architects and lead developers), line cooks (developers) and  prep cooks (producers). There’s no good equivalent for dishwashers in a typical developer shop.

    People often assume that a chef primarily cooks and a lead developer primarily codes. Do you know the title of Julia Child’s awesome show? Well, she was neither French nor a chef. Chefs do surprisingly little cooking, they are more like conductors in  orchestras. They create menus,  divvy up the tasks, check quality, train and supervise cooks.  Best chefs, just like the best lead developers do find time to cook, but still spend more time organizing, tasting and researching.

     
  • Michael Krakovskiy 3:01 pm on July 4, 2003 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: B-52, B-52 Stratofortress, Boeing, , , KC-135 Stratotanker, Leonard Nimoy, line products, Nevada, , Straton, Stratosphere, Stratosphere Las Vegas, , , Wonder Stories, Zenith Electronics   

    Up There In the Stratosphere 

    Today, when we think about science fiction, we think of rocket ships and outer space. But things were different in the 40s and 50s. Back then the blue sky was almost as exciting a frontier as the black void of space. Hugo Gernsback’s magazine Air-Wonder Stories and TV serial Zombies of the Stratosphere featuring young Leonard Nimoy were all the rage.

    The word “stratosphere” was considered and became a futuristic branding element a bit less common than “o-matic” and “o-rama”. It seems to me that Boeing started this trend : B-52 Stratofortress bomber , KC-135 Stratotanker and 377 Stratocruiser. But then the marketers caught on to the hipness of everything “strato”: Sheaffer Stratowriter pen, Fender Stratocaster guitar, Pontiac StratoChief car and probably many other things that I don’t know about. Prefix “strato” was usually applied to top of the line products.

    And you don’t really get any more “strato” than Zenith Stratosphere 1000Z console.

    Considered by some to be the best vacuum tube radio ever produced, it is also one of the rarest. It was top of the line and cost $750 when it was made in 1930s. Times were tough, and there were not enough customers to purchase these amazing and beautiful radios. Only 350 sets were ever made, 40 are known to survive. Today 1000Z is a wet dream of any vacuum tube radio enthusiast.

    What attracts me to 1000Z? Well, first of all I am a fan of vaccuum tube sound. The absolutely stunning art deco design is just gorgeous, especially the airplane style tuning dial. It looks like it belongs on a starship. This is how I imagine Henry Kuttner’s “twonky” device.

    There is an interesting thing about the ads for 1000Z. As it can be seen in this ad, there is a art deco porcelain cat sitting inside the concave area of the cabinet of the radio. This led some collectors to believe that the cat was sold together with the radio. But apparently it was only used for the photo shoot. Still, people lucky enough to own a Zenith Stratosphere try to buy a cat statue to go with it.

     
  • Michael Krakovskiy 6:21 am on January 23, 2003 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Chemical warfare, , , Hydrogen, Masks, , Nevada, , The Mask   

    You are Not a Cold Warrior Until You Have One of These 

    I was looking for more military silverware and found this:

    Would you like to own a gas mask that belonged to “one of the lt. colonels taking part in hydrogen bomb tests in Nevada in 1951”

    It’s a nice mask.

     
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