ActiveBlog

Space thoughts
by David Ascher

David Ascher, May 24, 2006

So we moved two months ago or so. Phew. It's almost surprising how in this virtual age, a simple thing like a change of address still involves lots of network infrastructure changes, new hardware, new ISPs, etc. Hopefully, we've kept...

So we moved two months ago or so.  Phew.

It's almost surprising how in this virtual age, a simple thing like a change of address still
involves lots of network infrastructure changes, new hardware, new
ISPs, etc.  Hopefully, we've
kept the changes invisible to the outside world, but the number and complexity of the
internal changes surprised me. In part, of course, it's because we couldn't just move things, we had to make them better.  The improvements in our systems will give us a great deal more flexibility and reliability in the future.

That's a theme.

One of the most satisfying aspects of our new independence is that it's forcing
us to review "the way we do things", realize that no one is telling us
how to do things, and that we have no reason not to improve as many
systems and processes as we can.  So far, the biggest changes have been
on our internal systems, and thus invisible to the outside world.  Soon,
you'll see some long-delayed cleanup in our online store, and
improved performance on our public services (bugzilla, email, PPM,
ASPN).  Oh, and there will be some cool new software too, which I'll
mention as soon as it's ready for testing.

Hardware, networking, and software aside, the biggest change at
ActiveState has to be the soft stuff.  Little things like a kitchen on
the floor, more breathing space between desks (& people!), enough
meeting rooms, and light, glorious light.  When we moved into the
space, we had about a hundred (100!) fluorescent tubes taken out (we needed the watts for the servers and the AC!), and
instead we're living on new-fangled solar photons.  Given the view,
and the weather we've been having, I end up spending a fair bit of time
looking at the mountains across the bay and the float planes flying by (oh, and working, too, really!).

Speaking of the "space", the least planned room in the office is also
my favorite. It's what we call the "play room", and as such is, of
course, the room in which I've done my best thinking so far.  It's got
a couch, some toys, some books, and enough informality to it that it
ends up being a really good discussion space.  It's where we can break
out of the constraints of habits, stop staring at LCDs, wonder if the
seagull on the neighbor's roof is really nesting there, and be both
creative and cooperative, two of my favorite activities.

So, with apologies for the long blogging gap, I'm back.   More news later.

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