Thursday, September 21, 2006

Thursday Sept 21st

Second last day at Amazon. So sad to be going, it's really weird to spend five years doing one thing, then all of a sudden, everything is over.

My old manager and team came out to supper (thank you expensing), to an excellent Indian place called Roti in Queen Anne. It was a great supper, and the team did up some going-away cards.

The first one was a "Our Sympathy" card - trying to cut me off at the pass (no secret: I am very happy going where I am, and I feel a little bad about those left behind). It was great, I absolutely deserved all the sarcastic words. Great guys! - They are all men, it's a fact of working in tech! There are some women, all great, but not on my team.

The next card was serious, and it was pretty hard to read. I'm so lucky to have worked with great people who are just plain old awesome! I was surprised by a few words from some people I didn't realize I had such an effect on. That was very touching all in all.

Finally ... present time! What? Luckily my old manager is very set in his ways, and insisted on getting me a goodbye gift. He asked several times "what should I get for the person who has everything" - and he eventually found it - with it being the new Lego Mindstorms set. I guess bringing in all my lego last fall really made an impression on people!

But I must say, this set is very very cool. It's stupidly advanced, with bluetooth so I can program without USB, and really advanced sensors and servos. The "motors" are actually servos with a 1 degree accuracy on measurement. Meaning you can say "move the motor exactly 30 degrees" and you'll get 30 degrees. The sensors detect light, sound, distance and touch. Combined with a powerful ARM7 based controller, the whole package is surprisingly advanced! They even got LabVIEW to make a version of their software for them.

All this stuff just floored me, I really can't believe that I made such an impact. I worked in a very isolated part of the company and for quite a long time I felt I was not making as big impact as I could have, but it looks like I wasn't entirely correct.

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