My 3 Week Birthday Extravaganza

I got everything I could ask for this year! I am at a place in my work where I wrapped up a few ongoing tasks, and it was time for a break. Kristin and I headed up to Gatlinburg last week.

We came back for me to open my presents from Kristin. She surprised me with many many flavors of Bubble Tea in a complete kit, as well as coffees and teas. I was introduced to Bubble Tea through my weekly Vietnamese dining experience with Matt. I love the treat, but it is about $4.50 per glass. That means I am out drinking what I am eating, and it isn’t even alcoholic.

Bubble Tea

I treated Matt to lunch in exchange for his company on my b-day, and we really had a good time. Contrary to him feeling bad about the circumstances of who bought who what, I would have probably skipped lunch altogether had he not gone.

OITS has just blown through the notorious end of the fiscal year budget, and I am the proud owner of a new Dell Latitude D830 (completely pimped out). Regretfully, Vista is complete crap, so I haven’t used it much at all. I am not kidding when I say it runs slower than my Inspiron 4150 circa 2002. I wonder how soon I will slap Ubuntu on that beast… I also convinced Tom to explore ASP alternatives for web based applications, specifically Ruby on Rails. He has purchased a Rails book by Dave Thomas (not the hamburger guy!), as well as Dave’s famous Pragmatic Programmer. Thanks to Matt Todd for turning me on to this wonderful publication.

In other OITS news, I convinced Tom to move to a web based repository locally developed by the HUB to meet our needs. He was hesitant at first, but once he saw the numerous advantages over a plain-ol’ network share, he was quick to adopt. We have been fighting for a few days on some of the “gotchas” of deploying a new instance of this codebase. The work will immediately pay off for both departments however; Admin Systems saves time on what would be re-inventing the wheel, and the HUB already has patches coming back for its code. (Already 5 changes by me!).

Debye and Matt have talked about the possibilities of Matt and I co-developing some code for a school website. I have looked forward to working with Matt on a project since he started Omnia several years ago. However, due to deadlines, staff shortages, and other interruptions, I never got the chance before leaving the HUB. It looks like now, I might finally get my chance.

Tonight, we just got back from Daruma, a Japanese steakhouse in Conyers. My folks extended the offer for Kristin’s family to join us. I really had fun seeing everyone (it has been a while). It was good company, and presents for me!

Thanks to everyone who wished me a Happy Birthday!



  1. Bullshit he started that damn thing. He may have evolved my work, but it was my doings that got a web based file sever in place. No, it wasn’t pretty. And yes, it needed a lot of work when I left. But he certainly didn’t “start” the project.


  2. John says:

    Actually he, Matt, did start it. Yes James, you wrote the aplication we used before, but this one uses a grand total of 0 lines of your code and was not based on Nothing at all. This is not to say that you didn’t do an amazing job with development, and that is wasn’t a great application. It was. But do not try to steal his thunder because you wrote a file application server for the HUB too. As far as I can tell the whole idea was that of a Mr. Alvin Gore who actually invented the internet in the summer of 68 while touring with the greatful dead. All joking aside, Matt did start the Omnia project and did a fantastic job getting us to a whole new level of web application development.


  3. Ben Simpson says:

    James, he really did write Omnia. It is a complete change in codebase. The only thing that remains is the concept, and references to the name “Nothing”. He did take a lot of the ideas from Nothing, and these are incorporated into Omnia, but I have to say the framework is his creation.


  4. I was talking about the overall project/concept. I did say he might have evolved it. I don’t know; I do not have access to it.


  5. John says:

    SOAB! Is this thing still going? Ben said “since he started Omnia.” James, I understand you want credit for what you did. You did a great deal of work for us and I have made sure that no one takes credit for what you did. But Matt did start Omnia. Technically I started it and fed the idea to Matt who was the project lead for it. It came from a desire to have our own Flickr site, but instead of photos, it was files. I will completely defend your code that is still in use though at the HUB, but I refuse to let you say you started Omnia when you didn’t. Matt deserves the credit because he is the one who brought it to life on top of a complete web application framework he wrote called canvas. Damn it. Did you f’n invent the web? downloads? php? web applications? No. Please do not try to steal someones glory when you had no hand in it at all. Now if Ben had said that Matt started the idea of an internal file repository system, then I could see your point, but that is not at all what was said.


  6. Matt Todd says:

    Happy birthday, Ben! I can’t believe I forgot about it.


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