1999 November 3

Caught up in the avalanche

Whoa. Okay, what's happened in the week plus since my last entry? More than I could possibly have time to write down. This is definitely a problem with the journal format -- the more interesting my life is, the less time I have to write it down. Poor readers get stuck with navel-gazing passages written in the boring times.

. . .

I've accepted the job at revbox. I met with the guys at both revbox and aD San Francisco (Oakland at the moment, actually) on Tuesday, and decided Wednesday morning. I think what decided me was something like this: revbox just seemed more exciting, even if it does mean I wind up working in an office full of bankers instead of hackers. In a way, it felt like my choice of major as an undergrad all over again. Then I considered computer science but went with physics because I couldn't quite bring myself to think of programming as an end in itself, but as a means to an end. I think ArsDigita reminded me of nothing quite so much as CS grad school with better pay, and you have to produce stuff that works once in a while.

Put another way, when I visited aD, Karl Goldstein was working on some silly site called PogoPet.com, and was jazzed by the nifty dynamic content system he'd written to support it. I have to agree that his scheme was pretty cool, but I think I'd get depressed quickly working on sites like PogoPet.

Why is that different from working on revbox? Basically here I'm going to wind up caring more about the code than about Extended Service Contracts, too, but it seems different for some reason. I think in fact it may be because I'm not going to be kicking it out the door in a month or two, so it is worth my getting a bit invested in.

. . .

Anyway, revbox is cool. In San Francisco there's currently ten people working out of the CEO's apartment, which is in a nifty new building overlooking Golden Gate park. The work room has a whole wall of south-facing windows, which actually makes it uncomfortably warm on sunny days but I'm not complaining. We're still working on getting all kinds of stuff sorted out, like getting my visa through so I can actually legally work there. I'm also currently winding up using Jonathan's computer most of the time -- we've ordered more hardware, but for the moment there isn't enough.

Monday we officially launched the site. It's at a sort of minimally functional level, but we've got a lot more work to do. I can't say I've really done much yet to contribute to the first launched version of the site, but I was here. Yesterday they got a cake from Just Desserts to celebrate, and Jim brought out a couple of bottles of champagne. And we all got t-shirts.

. . .

I went to a pretty cool Halloween party Saturday, at Emily's prompting. Among many other things, they had a Darth Maul pinata.

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