September 06, 2007

Quick update

A quick update as I've dropped off the radar a bit recently...

I finally started work at Citrix on Monday — woo hoo!  I spent the day setting up my two PCs; I have two because we get one as a "corporate workstation" (emails, Internet, etc.), and one for development. The first is a bit above "standard configuration" — dual core, 2GB of memory (IIRC), WinXP (although Vista was offered, I politely declined; I'm not going anywhere near it until Vista 2.0 — also known as SP1 — is out) — the second is for development and is a beast with a total of 4GB, count them: 1 2 3 4GB of memory, also dual core, running Windows Server 2003.  Unfortunately, it's running the 32-bit distribution due to support for 64-bit distributions being non-existent, so technical problems with memory addressing could potentially be encountered.  I hope not. 

There's still a fair amount of work to be done on the development machine, as the original one had some issues with installing Server 2003 — the machine would hang when the installer started searching for previous versions of Windows, so it's likely that it was an issue with the hard disk or the hard disk controller.  Luckily, Citrix is the sort of company where if there is this sort of issue impacting your work, they'll happily run a replacement machine up to you.  

Monday afternoon was met with a call from HR at Chalfont Park (near Gerrards Cross, west of London), stating that I was required to attend a two-day induction there on Tuesday and Wednesday.  So I hastily arranged a lift with some other new starters, cancelled my attendance at the Cambridge Phil's rehearsal, and headed down to Gerrards Cross.  Today was the Citrix Summer Party, also held at Chalfont, so for my first week at work, I've done very little work!  I will resume my tasks tomorrow before settling in for the weekend. 

The weekend will be interesting; I've unfortunately had to cancel my trip to Leamington this weekend, but I think I will try to spend it doing more unpacking, and I might try and get into Cambridge if the weather is nice and just spend some time wandering around.  The last few have been too task-oriented to properly enjoy — particularly the trips into Cambridge — and I hope to be able to relax a bit more this weekend.  

Plus of the day: TV's now available on iTunes, and Apple are releasing an iPod version of the iPhone (i.e., an iPhone without the phone, or an iPod with a touch screen and Mac OS X).  These both rock.  Minus of the day: TV episodes are £1.89/episode, ~£20/season.  Rubbish.  


- 5 comments by 1 or more people Not publicly viewable

  1. Tim Wardle

    Apple will never beat BitTorrent!

    Sounds like you’ve got some nice kit at work. I’ve got three machines but none as high-spec as yours. Are they running their web server on Win2003 then? I hope they’re still using Apache and not IIS for your sake! I’ve been setting up an Ubuntu test server this week which has been interesting. Can’t wait til we can get our proper servers but I think it’ll be a while yet.

    So what is it that you’ll be doing at Citrix? Is it mainly front-end HTML/CSS/JS or is their back-end programming too?

    07 Sep 2007, 09:10

  2. Ben Hymers

    Oooh, I didn’t know you had a blog, Alastair! I shall add it to Google Reader. I see it’s hosted by Warwick uni – don’t they know you’ve left yet?

    I’m jealous of all the computers my friends get to use at work, hopefully I’ll get some equally spiffy equipment when I find a job! Glad to hear you’re working so hard ;)

    One last thing:
    Anti-Spam Question:
    What came first, the chicken or the egg?
    egg
    Error: The answer you entered for the question is incorrect

    08 Sep 2007, 13:43

  3. Tim: I totally agree. There’s nothing quite like it, in performance, quality, or, well, anything.

    The kit is very nice, yes. I found out today that the workstations (development machines) have NVidia Quatros in them! Citrix are very closely tied to Microsoft, so yes, we run IIS and Windows all over the place. I’ve been playing with Longhorn server (Server 2008) the last couple of days, and it’s… not as infuriating as I’d expected and definitely better than Server 2003. However, they do have some UNIX machines around, as some customers don’t like Windows… Sounds like your job’s working out too, and that your Ubuntu set-up is going quite well. I am quite jealous; I keep having to mess around with Windows’ command line, and keep going for ls instead of dir. Argh.

    Most of my work at Citrix will be back-end stuff, but there may well be some HTML/CSS/JS in there too. Thing is, I’m not so good at that stuff, so I’ll be happy to leave it out ;)

    Ben: No, they don’t yet. Well, they do, but they let you keep your blog if you want. I’m thinking about moving away from Warwick Blogs to a full-on site (probably Drupal) at some point in the near future, as I want to do more than just blog (e.g., post up an online CV and stuff). How’s the job search going?

    I wrote the anti-spam question so that the answer was contained within it ;)

    11 Sep 2007, 18:52

  4. Ben Hymers

    I can recommend Wordpress, it’s absolutely brilliant. I know you’ve got a thing for Drupal though :) Do you have plans for your site beyond blogging, then?

    The job search seems to be going well, apparently a MEng from Warwick is quite a bonus. Just this morning I had a rather excellent offer (even more than Tim’s ridiculous starting salary…), but I’m not sure about it yet. I need more time to look!!

    12 Sep 2007, 12:08

  5. I’m mainly intending to blog, but I want to post up some static pages too (e.g., my CV). Most of all, I don’t want to be limited to the blog format by using a package such as WarwickBlogs for too much longer. Having said that, WB does have some nice features, such as the review entry type – you pull the details off Amazon and rate it out of five. Bet you can do that in Drupal too, though ;) I’ll look into WordPress, though; Citrix use WordPress MU to host their corporate blogs. I tried MoveableType before moving to WarwickBlogs, and it was quite complex and not a huge amount of fun. The other issue about building my own site is a need to use a decent template, or write my own… Ugh, that brings me back to HTML and CSS again…

    I’m glad the job search is going well; I always new the four-year MEng would be a good idea! :) It’s very different from many other Universities’ courses, in terms of content and qualification (most people haven’t heard of an MEng in Computer Science, it seems). And it sounds like you’ll soon be in the highly advantageous situation of being able to play two (or more) companies off against each other; then you can get the salary, etc., that you really want! ;)

    12 Sep 2007, 21:12


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