I’m sitting here awake at 5:36am, waiting for my newly nuked breakfast to cool down enough for me to eat. This is by no means the first day this week that I’ve been awake at this time, but this is the first day this week that I’m awake because I’ve just gotten up. My sleep schedule has been all messed up lately; I’m hoping this is the beginning of “go to bed early, get up early” because even though I’m a night person by nature, I find that my productivity increases dramatically when I can keep an early morning schedule.
I have enough projects coming up at both work and home to ensure that increased productivity is a good thing. When I realized I was wide awake this morning, I heard a little voice in my head telling me to use this time as a gift.
Speaking of gifts, I was given a rather substantial gift certificate to Newegg because I helped a friend out with his upgrade from Exchange 5.5 to Exchange 2003. I came extremely close to ordering a new motherboard, CPU, and RAM so I could upgrade a server; I’ve been dying to get my hands on an AMD Opteron (64-bit architecture with 32-bit backwards compatibility; perhaps not quite as much raw horsepower as an Intel Itanium, but the ability to run 32-bit code seamlessly more than makes up for that), but couldn’t quite justify it. I ended up deciding on the following:
- A new 17″ LCD flat panel for Steph ($235!! dang, these things are getting cheaper). This will allow us to move the decent 19″ tube she has to the kids’ computer; their monitor sucks mightily. Everyone has a decent monitor at that point, except for my rarely used monitor back in the server area, and that just needs to be legible enough for me to do the occasional bit of maintenance on it.
- 802.11g (54Mbps, backwards compatible with the 802.11b 11Mbps standard) wireless network gear to replace my current 802.11a (54Mbps) setup. I love 802.11a and not being on the 2.4GHz band, but being on the 5GHz band comes with a downside: it really does not like being inside a house. 802.11a wants a clear line of sight because 5GHz gets quickly soaked up by most common building materials. The 2.4GHz band does not. I also want my wireless network to support Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA, the successor to the horribly weak WEP standard) and the 802.1x standard (the access point will not process packets from a new device until that device can mutually authenticate with a trusted source on my network). I’m getting a new access point, PCI card for my desktop machine, and PC card for my laptop. Finally, I’ll be able to have the wireless network configuration I’ve been planning in my head all along.
- Something silly but cool: a USB MIDI cable with MIDI software. I have not been doing enough music lately; a large part of that is because I can’t really use my MIDI keyboard with my current machine, thanks to old software and an ancient MIDI cable. This should fix that, which means I’ll have fewer excuses. Looking forward to it.
Another gift I cherish: I turned in a paper for work early Thursday morning and got back high praise from my boss (“top-notch”). One of the many cool things about working for 3Sharp is that the three partners are not at all shy about telling you when they think you’ve done good work. I’ve been there two years and I still absolutely love working there.
It is incredibly nice to wake up and have plenty of things to be thankful for. Things aren’t perfect, but some simple gratitude goes a long way towards soothing my worries. It’s a nice balm for the soul.