Rhymes with “Snowing”

DeIcer Prototype

I’ve been working on a pretty cool prototype of DeIcer. I doubt that any code from this will actually make it to the final version. But it’s kind of fun to play around with some ideas.

It’s also been frustrating learning Java and trying to implement it right away. It’s an overly comprehensive language with more than one, or even two, right ways of doing something. This causes issues when I use multiple learning sources as each source has a different, yet equally valid, way of performing an action.

Java is also a ridiculously OOP driven language. Something that I have some experience in, but not this much. As I said ridiculous.

Note: This wasn’t posted until 6/12/2006. I needed to review it and didn’t have time until now.

[tags]boeing internship, boeing intern, boeing, intern, internship, java[/tags]


It’s All About the DNS

Domain Name Servers (DNS) might be considered the single most important aspect of the Internet, yet many people don’t know what they are and those that do probably don’t know how they work. In the end, this ends up being a good thing. But over the last week or so, they’ve unknowingly been the bane of my internship.

Domain Name Servers really serve a single purpose: they take a domain name (such as AndrewFerguson.net) and return an IP address (such as In reality, there are many DNS which talk with each other and share information and (usually) ensure that you get to the website you’re trying to reach.

But what happens if a DNS goes down? Or actually: What happens if the person responsible for add the names of a half dozen DNS to your TCP/IP settings fails to do this? Short answer is: You can’t do any work. Long answer is: you spend days trying to figure out why you don’t have permissions to access a network share despite the fact that permissions aren’t the issue.

So yea, all fixed now. Today was probably one of my most productive days yet. I started playing around with some code to get a proof-of-concept design for DeIcer and made some great headway on that.

Java’s so weird.

In case you really want to learn more about DNS, check out HowStuffWorks and Wikipedia.


Computer Issues

One of the “perks” of working at a company as large as Boeing is the efficient network infrastructure that is in place. Just about everything at Boeing is done from the Intranet, which is cool because it saves on paper and I get to spend just that more time on the computer. But, there’s quite a process to be a part of that system, a system I have been attempting to be part of since I started.

Today was the end of the line in terms of being to do work that I didn’t said system for. I spent well over an hour with C., D2., and K. to try and get it fixed. And nothing. The Suck.

Hopefully tomorrow will be better.

[tags]boeing internship, boeing intern, boeing, intern, internship[/tags]



Peter Gibbons: Let me ask you something. When you come in on Monday, and you’re not feelin’ real well, does anyone ever say to you, ‘Sounds like someone has a case of the Mondays’?
Lawrence: No. No, man. Shit, no, man. I believe you’d get your ass kicked sayin’ something like that, man.

Today wasn’t so good.

D. is at Red Flag down at Nellis AFB (this is all public information, so I can tell you this without having to kill you later in your sleep ;-)). That would have been fun to go to. I digress.

Since D. is out, I’m pretty much on my own for now. I had a meeting with M., my manager, to go over goal settings for my Internship. I completed the rest of my training, and did some random stuff in Java.

Not really too exciting.

[tags]boeing internship, boeing intern, boeing, intern, internship, red flag, nellis[/tags]


Hawaiian Shirt Day

I wore my Hawaiian shirt today,mostly because it seemed appropriate to wear it on a Friday. I also finished Introduction to Java. My brain is really fried. There was an event this week that people were a part of and there’s another one at the begining of next week that D. and others are going to be a part of, so work was kind of slow on Friday as said people were gearing up for those.

I ended up just doing a bunch of required training online which really just takes lots of time. Most of the questions asked in the training are what I like to call “Oh, duh” questions.

“Oh, duh” questions are written in such as way as to make recognition of the answer rather easy, sometimes even without the actual question needed.

But I gotta do ’em, so I’m doing ’em.

Our group went out to lunch, as yesterday was payday, although I didn’t get paid because I hadn’t been cycled in yet, next time though.

I’m still working on getting caught up in the project so I have a clear idea of what the heck is actually going on.

Note: This wasn’t posted until 6/4/2006. I needed to review it and didn’t have time until now.

[tags]boeing internship, boeing intern, boeing, intern, internship[/tags]



Program requirements for DeIcer were never set and so at our meeting yesterday, we were pretty much coming up with possible scenarios and then going, “but like we said before, we really don’t know what the requirements are.”

So today saw two more meetings, one in the morning to discus the requirements with the proper persons; and again in the afternoon to go over those requirements and get some ideas down on paper.

It was a great exercise for me to figure out how to build a program for someone, as most of the programing I do is mostly for me. One of the biggest things I’ve learned is how to limit the scope of the work. That is, how to do just what’s required/needed and not build an all encompassing application. It’s amazing how fast grandiose ideas get inserted into programs.

I’ll probably start work on layout of program functionality either tomorrow or Monday.

Note: This wasn’t posted until 6/4/2006. I needed to review it and didn’t have time until now.

[tags]boeing internship, boeing intern, boeing, intern, internship[/tags]



I got into a VanPool today. This is good because A) I don’t want to ride an hour each way on the bus; and B) I don’t want to pay $120/month in gas to drive in. The VanPool meets at the Greenlake Park and Ride and leaves promptly at 6:35am (6:34am rolls around and the doors shut. All eyes are on the clock. 6:35am and the we take off pronto). It costs $55/month, but Boeing has a shared ride subsidy that effectively cuts that in half. So I end up paying about $30/month.

Here’s my typical schedule:

5:30am – Wakeup
5:40am – Get out of bed/Take shower
6:10am – get out of shower/get dressed
6:25am – Leave for Greenlake P&R
6:35am – Leave Greenlake P&R
7:05am – Arrive KSC
12ish – Lunch
3:40pm – Leave office to meet VanPool
3:50pm – Leave KSC
4:25pm – Arrive Greenlake P&R


Today was more Java programing. Just about halfway there. Intense though. Had two meetings today and my role is starting to develop. Looks like I’m going to be working on developing a software application from scratch which will be pretty cool. There isn’t a internally assigned name yet, but I’m going to reference it as Deicer for the time being (although it has nothing to do with de-icing). Requirements still aren’t set yet, but that will be taken care of tomorrow with my first conference call.

Note: This wasn’t posted until 6/1/2006. I needed to review it and didn’t have time until now.

[tags]boeing internship, boeing intern, boeing, intern, internship, vanpool, metro vanpool, rideshare[/tags]


My Real First Day

Monday was Memorial Day and I had the day off, which was kind of interesting because at Mines, we don’t get any days off. A three day weekend before my first real day was pretty cool. I was going to take the bus, but I decided to drive in because I really didn’t want to bother with parking in Downtown Seattle. I was able to get down to KSC rather quickly, about twenty minutes…a far cry from the hour or so it was going to take via bus. I spent most of the day meeting people, getting door access, and then learning Java.

Java? Yea. I’ve done C++, PHP, mySQL, and a handful of other languages, but I never got around to learning Java. So D. gave me a thick “Introduction to Java” book. I was able to get through 13 of the 54 chapters today and my goal is to get through the entire thing by the end of the week:

(4 Days) x (8 Hours/day) = 32 hours


(16 weeks) x (3 days/week) x (50 minutes/day) = 40 hours (but take out some time because the third day of class is usually for labs, thus little or no new instruction is given).

In short, I’m taking an entire semester of Java and compressing it into 4 days. My brain is going to be fried this weekend.

Note: This wasn’t posted until 6/1/2006. I needed to review it and didn’t have time until now.

[tags]boeing internship, boeing intern, boeing, intern, internship, java[/tags]


Where’s Drake Collier?

Narrating Boeing training videos! Long story short, I used to listen to Mr. Collier when he hosted the 9pm-1am slot on KIRO 710 back “in the day”.

Note: This wasn’t posted until 6/1/2006. I needed to review it and didn’t have time until now.


Getting to Work

While I can’t (and by “can’t”, I mean that I won’t…not that someone told me not to) tell you what I do, I think it would be fun and even beneficial to share some appropriate office antics.

As I said before, I was all done with orientation and union stuff just after 12. I headed down to the Kent Space Center and promptly began looking for my building (I’ll call it building 18, even though that’s not it. All building at KSC are prefixed with 18). I can’t find the entrance that I wanted to get in, but I found the one next to it. So I go in and drive around and finally find building 18.

I park and walk up to the glass doors and I’m looking for a place to wand my card over so I can get in. I don’t find one, so I just start pulling on the doors (from right to left). The third door is open, so I walk in and the fire officer (think building security, but for fires instead) is there. I explain to him that I’m an intern, I’m just starting today, and I really have no idea where I am. Could he help me?

We start walking through doors, walking down hallways, looking at signs. Holy crap is this confusing. We walk in circles within building 18, trying to find my office. We eventually find it and I meet D, who I’m checking in with today because M is out of vacation. The first thing D shows me is where I am, where the entrances/exits are, and how to get from point A to point B. We spend some time walking around and D shows me where the office supplies are introduces me to some other people, both in my group and in my division.

We get to my desk. It’s a Dell, with not one but two screens. Widescreens at that: 1280×1024. Awesome.

My first order of business: Install Firefox (if I can). I search the Boeing Intranet for Firefox. Looks like everything should be kosher. Awesome.

[tags]boeing, firefox, kent space center, intern[/tags]