Saturday, February 14, 2009

Bark: That was the week that was

What a week. It started badly and kind of tailed off from there, really.

I've worked something over 60 hours this week, leaving me little time for those general life niceties, such as sleep, cooking, relaxation and playing games. I also spent roughly half the week in crippling physical pain, as after spending nearly two hours driving home from the office in Portsmouth in absolutely horrible weather (heavy rain, fog and thick spray from the roads) I had to spend another two hours trying to stop my car alarm playing silly buggers, because I'd gone over a pothole on the A3 at 70-odd miles an hour (the pothole was new, caused by the wintry weather over the last couple of weeks, and the terrible driving conditions meant that by the time I saw it, I didn't have the time to dodge around it), the shock of which dislodged a switch at the front of the car, making the alarm system think that the bonnet was open when it was, in fact, tightly closed. It took four trips out into the pouring, cold rain to re-seat the bonnet so that the alarm didn't wail away into the dark, stormy night, pissing off the neighbours. The result of these moist excursions was that I had little pixies sticking electrified needles into the back of my neck every thirty seconds for the rest of the week (or that's what it felt like, at least). Not ideal when you have a job that requires you to be able to maintain a high level of concentration for many hours at a time.

So after the 13 hour working day on Monday, I had another one the following day at home; and this wasn't "working" from home with a 60 minute WoW session for lunch, this was M&S working from home: working straight through from 8.30am to nearly 10pm, working so late into the evening that I had to skip dinner, thanks to a recalcitrant database that urgently needed some medical attention.

Wednesday was more of the same, though I did finish earlier, almost approximating a normal working day, since I had to lie down to get some much-needed rest and try to make my neck conform to a shape more readily approved by nature. The relatively early night was necessary to get me into a good enough condition for Thursday, which was the bright point of the week, since I was trading in the single-core monstrosity of a laptop I was somehow expected to do software development with for something a little more capable of the job. Actually, that's a bit of an understatement - my new laptop is a beaut.

With an Intel T7800 dual-core CPU running at 2.6GHz (a huge step up from a 1.67GHz single-core), 2GB of RAM, a 190GB hard drive, DVD-RW, and 512MB NVidia Quadro FX 570, running XP Pro, it actually rivals my games rig in terms of performance. It even has a fingerprint reader to handle the power-on and Windows logins, which is totally beyond cool. But the best thing is probably the LCD - a 15.4" 1920x1200 widescreen panel, which is absolutely colossal in terms of desktop size. I can run three windows at a readable size, so should be awesome for debugging. So, despite another 13 hour day (left home before 8am, didn't get back until gone 9pm) at least I don't have to fight the technology I'm given to work with anymore - well, when I've finished setting up all my ODBC and database settings again, anyway.

Friday was yet another long day - probably the longest of the week, since barring a couple of hours spent having dinner at a lovely little Chinese restaurant just outside of Chobham in the evening, I was working until gone midnight, because there were database fixes that needed finishing before Monday morning - and I just happen to have next week off, since I'm going to be replacing the kitchen floor; just the recipe for a nice, relaxing holiday!

So, a testing week... fingers crossed it can only get better from here.
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