Guus Bosman

software engineering director

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It's snowing

Snowman in front of our apartment building.Yesterday evening we went to do some shopping, and when we opened the door we were surprised by snow.

It's a very gentle snow -- not so strong as a last week but it covered the world in a nice white layer.

It's been a very productive weekend for both of us. Yesterday I arranged a lot things that I wanted to do for quite some time, such as getting my photo ID, getting a haircut and wrapping up some paperwork. I've also set up a new backup system for my website. All the same it's a very relaxing weekend; a great combination.

This afternoon I went to the office to arrange some things for about two hours. When I left I took some pictures of the "snow world" around our apartment building (see below).


Virginia Photo ID

Virginia Photo IDYesterday I went to get a Virginia photo ID. A photo ID is a state-issued pass, the size of a credit card, that contains your picture and personal data.

Even though it's not mandatory to carry an ID, unlike in Holland, it is still very useful to have a form of ID with you.
There are quite some times that you have to show your ID, such as when buying alcohol. Until now I was always carrying my passport, because that's the only official type of identification I have. But carrying a passport is a bit scary -- if I'd loose it, there would be a lot of paperwork to replace the passport and my US visa.

Most Americans use their driving license for identification in daily life. Since I don't drive a car, I got this "Photo ID". Just like a driving license, it's issued by the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles, or DMV, that deals with driving and car registrations.


Goodbye, Vrije Universiteit

Recently I discovered that my university computer account no longer works. I graduated a long time ago, but my e-mail account has never been disabled. I didn't really use it anymore, but I regularly read the newsgroups and university news online. Last week I tried to login, and received "Access denied", and my old homepage has also been deleted.

I guess the Vrije Universiteit and I are now completely separated.

The only thing I was still using a VU server for was to create a daily backup of my website. Now I'll have to (quickly) find an alternative for that; I'm now back to my old habit of manually downloading backups on my own desktop. I must say having the script-based automatic backups to the VU felt a lot more secure.


Photo project Jaap

Jaap's photo project.My father started a photo project a few weeks ago, and since then he placed a new picture every day.

Many of the pictures are pictures about Middenmeer and other places I know, which makes it even more nice to see the daily addition to the site.

Visit Jaap's photo project, and for the Dutch visitors: be sure to also read the accompanying blog.

Work Arlington 2006


Today I spent all day making sure that our applications were deployed correctly on the test servers.

The systems that they were being installed on worked fine with the old version of the software (we did a very nice baseline check a few days ago). However, the new version has a lot changes that were also reflected in the configuration, so it took quite some time. But we made it. At the end of the day all the applications that I wanted deployed for today were deployed, and the last two will be ready by tomorrow. In the mean time the testing team started testing already, and they found the first bugs.

It's a nice thought that we're going to the testing phase of the project. When I started on the project there was uncertainty (at least for me) on what we should, and should not implement. Figuring out the scope of the work has taken a fair share of my work so far. Being able to go to testing means that an important first phase has been completed. Now up the next step: we're ready for bug fixing.


An old bar

On the road from Court House to Rosslyn, Clarendon Boulevard, there is an old bar. The place is run down and seems to be no longer in use.

The commercials and outside decorations are still there, and an eye catcher is a car that's standing with its front in the air.
The car a curious sight, and it's a strange idea to see a closed nightclub: people had a lot of fun there, and now everything's gone.

However, when I looked on internet for "Dr. Dremo's", the name of the place, I found out that the bar is not closed at all. Only the patio is undergoing "winterizing". The day after I read this, I went to look at the bar and indeed, what I had seen so far was only the backside: in front there was another part that was fully lighted and in full use.

It said in the Washington Post that they have an extensive beer collection with a lot of beers on tap. So, it might actually be a nice place to visit once, but probably only in the summer, when it won't look so terribly desolated anymore.

Work Arlington 2006

Preparing for testing

The piece of software that we've been working on is ready for testing.

The testing team is almost ready for it, and the software is good-to-go, so now I'm making sure that our software gets installed correctly on the right places. I'm also verifying that we have all the down-to-earth things in place, such as a bugtracker repository, and a testing and deployment schedule.

I really enjoy the work I'm doing: it's interesting, fun and I am learning a lot. The walk home from work is a nice way to leave the hectic work behind and arrive home with a 'fresh mind'. Cooking is also perfect way to relax and slow down; tonight I made couscous which turned out to be quite nice.

I went to the bank the other day to ask about my PIN code. The lady told me to wait for a letter with a new, different PIN code, instead of trying to use my old one. I am pretty sure that's not what they told me initially, and I haven't seen a letter yet. I'll wait another day or so and then check with them again. In the mean time I'm still paying with cash everywhere (my current card only works in the bank's ATM, not at merchant's registers).


Aged Sumatra

Aged Sumatra.Since a few days Starbucks has a new coffee on display: Aged Sumatra. Every now and then they have packages of special coffee beans for sale, and I was really curious about this one.

The beans of this coffee have been aged five years, which gives a taste. It is supposed to have been discovered when the Dutch V.O.C. ships transported coffee beans from Indonesia to Europe, which took many months.

I asked if there was a way to try the coffee, without having to buy a package, and when I came in in the afternoon when it wasn't very busy they custom made me a cup of coffee from these beans. They used a French press for it (which I believe is known in Holland as a Turkish' coffee machine).

I liked to coffee a lot, it has a very special taste: a more mellow and smoother flavor than regular Sumatra, and far less acidity. It was nice, but I don't think I'll get a package of this for at home. I prefer the regular blend in the mornings.


After the snow

Rosslyn after the snow.The snow from yesterday has covered the whole city in white. The bright sunshine makes that it's very shiny outside, and it's almost time for sunglasses. The major roads and footpaths are cleared of snow, but it's still slippery because of the melted snow and ice.

I worked again today; in the morning from home and in the afternoon I went to the office. It's not to bad to work on Sunday, because the work is really fun. We've made good progress this weekend.

I received my new ATM card today, so it really took only one week. However, when I tried to activate the card in the ATM the machine said I was using a wrong PIN number. I'll have to visit the bank tomorrow to find out what's going on because I'm pretty sure I used the correct one.



Rosslyn in the snow.This weekend is a working weekend for me and my team. Today I was in the office. Originally we all planned to come in, but due to the weather my colleagues stayed at home and worked from there.

It's been snowing all day, and that's big news in all the media. There's an official "winter storm", and a "sever weather warning" is active. When they announced that on the news last week I thought it would really storm, and snowing 50cm per day, but it turns out to be a moderate snow, nothing as dramatic as been shown in the news. We just saw more than 5 different news channels, and they all had specials on the "severe" weather.

But even though it's not as bad as all the warnings would have you believe, the snow has a big impact on people's lives here. Traffic is going very slow because the snow is falling so quickly that it's hard to keep the roads clean. Many shops and buildings are closed too, even the Kinko's near our apartment building that's usually open 24 hours is closed untill tomorrow morning.

Yesterday evening Sasha and I went out for dinner together, which was great. Later we briefly went to a birthday party in a bar at Adam's Morgan. On the way back the driver of our cab was a lady from Romania, who had rather interesting views of the world.


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