How I Spent My Summer Vacation

Here is what I did while I was not posting during August and September:

I broke my leg.

During a soccer game, I made an aggressive move toward a 50/50 ball at the edge of the box, looking to score.  Unfortunately, it turned out to be more like 49/51, and I lost, getting kicked solidly in the right shinguard as the ball was cleared.  I pulled myself out of the game and tried to walk it off, and though the pain did not subside, I went back in and finished the game despite my “nasty bruise”.  However, after a week of hobbling around with little improvement (and funny discoloration), I went to get an x-ray and found that my leg was actually broken.

We lost the game by a couple of goals but still finished the season in 3rd place (out of 7 teams) with a 7-5 record and a +27 goal differential.  Thanks for asking.

The actual injury was an anterior malleolus fracture to my right leg, which is a break to the tibia (the larger, weight-bearing bone).  While it is technically a broken leg, the doctor said to think of it as a badly sprained ankle.  Essentially, the ligaments in the inner ankle are so strong that instead of tearing, they actually pull a piece of the bone off.  The cool bit is that x-rays are now digital, so I have a CD-R with images of the original break (but I’m not sharing).

I was initially on crutches, and then used a “rollabout” (which was an out-of-pocket expense because our insurance would not cover an “upgrade” from crutches, despite the prescription) for three weeks.  It is amazing how quickly one loses muscle mass in an unused leg; my calf became the smallest it has been since I was in middle school.  I spent three more weeks in a boot/cast, and at the end of that time was told that my break had healed “perfectly”, though I am still facing many more weeks of exercise to get “back to normal” (whatever that is).

Our web server was end-of-lifed.

We found out, in the most inconvenient way, that our Ubuntu (Linux) web server had been “end-of-lifed”, and was no longer viable.  All support for that version was pulled, so a standard package reinstallation failed, leaving the whole system non-functional.  I had to spend a couple of days rebuilding and reconfiguring the system with a newer version, and it was painful.

This episode is exactly why Linux will never be able to challenge Windows or Mac OS X for the general desktop market.  Despite all of the amenities that make it more consumer-oriented, Ubuntu still requires an operator to be a fanboy to avoid such issues.  Nothing ever told me that the OS would be orphaned/abandoned in 2009, and it took more than an hour doing web searches to even figure out what had happened, nevermind finding the solution.  (In contrast, the NT server box OS has only been upgraded once in 13 years, from NT4 to Win2K, when the hardware failed.)

More succinctly, Linux could not survive without Google.

We reassessed our entire marketing plan.

Our marketing plan is defined very broadly, and it incorporates not only the standard concepts associated with the word, but also general business strategy.  We reconsidered the balance of the various aspects of our development, the status and priority of current projects, and future opportunities.  We evaluated and devised/updated plans for new technologies, platforms, and markets.  This updated blog is just one tangible aspect of our far-reaching plans for success.

Two words: World Domination.

I worked (hard).

In the midst of everything else, I was doing loads of development work.  I made a good breakthrough and huge progress on a major project.  We are now in that “10% of the development takes 90% of the time” phase, though, so things are seeming to be (though not actually) slowing down a bit.

Now that Fall has well and truly arrived here in Michigan (although not before just one more trip to the beach, broken leg and all), and in spite of all that life is throwing at us now, it is the right time to really get things done.  We have our plans, our goals, and our ambitions clear, so all that is left is to execute.

That should be the easy part… 😉

5 thoughts on “How I Spent My Summer Vacation

  1. Ouch about the soccer injury. The atrophy sets in that quickly? Yeesh. I joined a league recently myself. I hope I fare better. B-)

    You don’t mention which version of Ubuntu you were using for a server, but https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Releases pretty clearly says what the EOL for each release will be. Were you paying for support, or did you try to run a web server yourself without looking at security bulletins, known support issues, and other things that a server admin would do? If the former, then bad on Ubuntu for not letting you know that the support was ending.

    Microsoft EOLed WinNT, which pretty much required an upgrade, and since you have no choice but to pay for it, it is probably pretty obvious what you have to do.

    “This episode is exactly why Linux will never be able to challenge Windows or Mac OS X for the general desktop market.” How does a distribution’s server EOL handling have any bearing on the general desktop market? When do desktop users have to worry about EOL issues? Especially when the software tells you when updates and upgrades are available (being an Ubuntu user myself)?

    As for the server room, Linux-based distros already does well in terms of making headway into Microsoft’s turf, regardless of Google’s existence, although it does help. Your experience with Ubuntu shouldn’t paint all Linux-based distros and services with a broad brush stroke. I don’t blame all of Microsoft when an Xbox crashes after putting a DVD in it. B-)

  2. >The atrophy sets in that quickly?

    Believe it. After three weeks of no use, my right calf was significantly smaller than my left and, worse, what was there was mostly flab, not muscle. It was very disturbing, to say the least. (Right now, walking up stairs is still awkward.)

    BTW, one of our premier Pretty Good Solitaire players actually posted an ode to my injury: http://www.goodsol.net/forum/messages/19/6636.html?1254940871 🙂

    >You don’t mention which version of Ubuntu you were using for a server, but https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Releases pretty clearly says what the EOL for each release will be.

    True, but my point was that one has to know about that page in order to get any benefit from it. When Gutsy Gibbon died, APT-GET just threw out connectivity messages, and it took over an hour to even figure out the problem. There is no unified source of information, so it requires one to proactively follow the “Ubuntu community”. This is a far cry from “It just works.”

    >Microsoft EOLed WinNT [4.0]

    … after 8 years, not 18 months. 🙂

    >How does a distribution’s server EOL handling have any bearing on the general desktop market?

    It requires active maintenance; desktop users do not do active maintenance.

    >Your experience with Ubuntu shouldn’t paint all Linux-based distros and services with a broad brush stroke.

    Aww… You are taking all the fun out of my mini-rant. 😉 Seriously, though, I found that Ubuntu seemed the best Linux available, and it does a good job most of the time, but when things go wrong, they go way wrong. In my opinion, it comes back to the community support model, where the buck stops nowhere and, in the worst case, “what do you expect for free?”

  3. Yesterday was my first league game.

    And the first time that I pulled a hamstring. B-(

    I was told that Athletico does free evaluations of injuries, but they’re not open on Sundays. I’m going to try to go in today before I go to the Day Job.

    I’d blame you, but only out of amusement. B-)

  4. >Yesterday was my first league game.
    >And the first time that I pulled a hamstring.

    Bummer. 🙁

    >I’d blame you, but only out of amusement.

    I feel for you; I really do. I hope that it is simply one of those injuries that requires only ice and ibuprofen for a while.

    Our first indoor game of the new season is in only 10 days, yet I have not kicked a soccer ball in two months. I have some work to do.

  5. Update: We had a scrimmage last Thursday night, and though I had not even kicked a ball since breaking my leg, it (the leg) held up great. In fact, I was not the only one who was out of shape since the summer outdoor season. Our first real game is tomorrow night, against the same team, and we are hoping for the same (victorious) result.

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