Friday, March 12, 2010

Playing Hooky from GDC 2010  

two laptops for two jobs

Today I'm playing "hooky" from GDC 2010. I look forward to GDC every year, where I see friends, catch glimpses of new games, and learn more and more about artificial intelligence and games. But for various reasons (cost, cats) I don't have a hotel this year, and have been driving up to San Francisco from my house in the South Bay.

It's fun seeing the gang, especially the always engaging Neil Kirby, and fun watching the speakers, especially the entertaining R.A. Salvatore. But yesterday I spent four hours in the car - two there, two back - a grueling experience in the morning in which I not only missed breakfast, missed the Starcraft talk but almost missed the NEXT talk, and an equally grueling experience in the evening racing home to the Saint Stephen's in-the-Field Vestry meeting.

I'd have lot more time in my life if I didn't work two jobs - one by day at the Search Engine That Starts With A G, and one by night as a science fiction author - and so things pile up. By the time GDC rolled around I was already worn thin working and prepping my novel, and then after the drive up and back each day I was totally exhausted, so at the end of each day I'd just feed the cats and crash.

So this morning, I got up, earlier this time, in more than enough time to make the first talk ... and said, "screw it."

What a relieved feeling! Felt like the best decision that I'd made in a long time. I cleaned house, did laundry, played with the cats ... and then popped open the work laptop around the time I'd normally LEAVE for work and worked for a few hours. Yes, that's right ... I took a break from my vacation to work. Not that I want to, but there are things that need to get done that take a lot of "wall clock" time but not lots of programming time, so I answered some email, submitted a changelist, fired off a Mapreduce ...

... and then took a two hour nap on the futon in the library with a cat on my chest.

It was a pretty good day ... so far. And it isn't over yet.

-the Centaur

ok i decide to go out now u wait for me ok

Pictured: the two-laptop setup I use to keep my work and writing life distinct (just change the cables to give a different computer the main monitor) and Gabby, my very most computer literate cat.

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