It's a small world...
By alanc on Jul 06, 2004
I grew up in Ely, a small town in eastern Nevada of around 5,000 people (among several other places). Since leaving in 1990, I don't often hear much about it - I occasionally check the website of the local paper to see what's up, but otherwise rarely hear much about it or see it in the news or on other web sites.
So you can imagine my surprise when I was reading Rich Burridge's blog right here on Sun's blog site and found out that the Millenium Clock project plans to build their clock near there. I had heard of the project before, but not that they'd chosen a location so near my hometown - it took a coworker who came from the other side of the planet to let me know about that.
Of course, Rich is a bit more than just a random co-worker - even as Rich moves from group to group inside Sun it seems he's always nearby. We are both members of one of Sun's architectural review committees, and have both put in many hours the last few months working on projects for Solaris desktop support on the upcoming, semi-announced Opteron workstations.
And since we've both joined the Sun blog craze, I've learned Rich wrote one of my favorite programs when I was first using Unix — faces. It provides a icon for each user in your inbox or logged into the machine. It used to be quite popular on the main Unix machine of the CS undergrad group at Berkeley. Users provided their own icons, and you can see here what I came up with given my lack of scanner and artistic talent to serve as mine.
Quite a few of us used it as an early form of "buddy list" to see who was logged in - we used the standard Unix "write" and "wall" commands on that machine to communicate with each other (and eventually a customized version of write called nwrite which we found more suited to heavy use as a chat facility). This was of course long before all the current instant messenger protocols now in use, though IRC was starting to get popular at that time - but even today there's still people on that machine using the old tools.