Friday Jun 25, 2010

Blog Continuity

Well I didn't think I was going to be living this myself in such short order, but as noted in my previous blog entry ">So long, and thanks for all the fish :), I am moving on to new things.

On Monday I will officially become the CTO of Asset Science LLC.  We will be doing mobile and wireless sensor based applications, along with some ERP and factory automation for Cell Phone Refurbishing.  The web site is at, but there is not much there.  We are working on it :)

So the mobile and wireless sensor applications part makes sense to most people, as I've been doing mobile applications for the past 10 years, and have been doing wireless sensor based applications for the past 3 years.  This should be clear by my blog entries over the past 3 years :)

But the Cell phone refurbishing business is a new one.  It turns out that this is quite a vibrant business.  At first I thought these companies took our old dead phones and tried to make them work again, in order to resell to markets where cheaper phones were needed.  Well I was wrong.  The phones being refurbished are the ones that people return as part of their insurance plan with companies like Asurion.  So these are recent and hot phones.  To give you an idea of volume, for just one model of phone, this one company refurbishes 30K of these per month.  Its pretty amazing.

So, in keeping with a post on my personal blog Blog continuity plan, what's that you say ?, I am doing my last blog entry as a pointer to my next gig :)

Thank you for listening, this is Eric Arseneau signing off for the last time. 

Thursday Jun 24, 2010

So long, and thanks for all the fish :)

It is rather unfortunate, but this is likely my very last blog entry, as I have resigned from Sun/Oracle and tomorrow is my last day.  Here is an e-mail I sent out about my resignation

I was trying to build up a list of people I've had the pleasure of working with for the past 6.5 years, and the list just got too long and I thought I would be missing some key people.  Therefore I decided to send to all.  After all, what's the worst that could happen now :)

My experience at Sun/Oracle has been a pretty incredible one.  I've had the pleasure of working with a great number of people in all parts of the Sun/Oracle organization.  From working in the tools organization to working in Sun Labs, I've had the chance to do some pretty amazing things.  The amount of support I have had over the years from fellow co-workers and management at all levels has made a lot of my projects possible.

But change is the only constant in this world.  I have been presented with an incredible opportunity to create my own startup and grow my own engineering organization, which I could not pass up.  I am sure that I will be using a lot of what I have learned throughout the years here at Sun to good advantage.

Special thanks go to Roger Meike, James Gosling, Craig Gering, Octavian Tanase, Jeet Kaul, Bob Sproull, Bob Brewin, Roger Brinkley for putting up with a significant amount of crazy projects that I feel did good for us as well as the community itself.

I wish you all the very best with your current and future endeavours, and look forward to our paths crossing again in the future.

I am available on LinkedIn, my personal e-mail is eric at

Thank you,

Friday Jun 11, 2010

Anyone remember what a "sneaker net" is?

I still remember the days when networks were token ring, so complicated that you couldn't transfer data between computers even though they were connected.

What good is it to store all your data if you can't back it up, find it, or make any use of it? 

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Friday Jan 29, 2010

My desktop is secure, why should my web app worry?

I can see the convenience of a web app for most people.  It can be really nice to run anywhere and get access to functionality and data.  So now, why then would people insist on making web apps so hard to get into? If you want to make a web app like a desktop app, why not do so?  Don't force me to login every time for starters.

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Wednesday Aug 12, 2009

Being a 2009 JavaOne Rockstar AND a Kid :)

I may be turning 42 years old shortly, but I can still feel like a kid.  My co-author got this really cool little toy and I wanted MINE.  Well mine arrived at the prompt 2:15 FedEx delivery.  Its small, cute, a toy and not very big deal, but it is still making me grin like an idiot :)

If I could find more "simple" things like this that made me smile this much, I could revert back to being a total kid :)

Update: It comes apart!!!  Oh what fun I can have now :)

Friday Jul 17, 2009

It’s important to keep the electrons in it moving occasionally?

I've been reading in various places about how the battery in my laptop and my cell phone should be maintained to maximize battery life.  Here is an extract from an Apple site (

Standard Maintenance
For proper maintenance of a lithium-based battery, it’s important to keep the electrons in it moving occasionally. Apple does not recommend leaving your portable plugged in all the time. An ideal use would be a commuter who uses her MacBook Pro on the train, then plugs it in at the office to charge. This keeps the battery juices flowing. If on the other hand, you use a desktop computer at work, and save a notebook for infrequent travel, Apple recommends charging and discharging its battery at least once per month. Need a reminder? Add an event to your desktop’s iCal.

I don't know about the rest of you, but I like being able to use my computer's at their full capacity.  This means that when I am at home, I leave my laptop plugged in 90% of the time.  This gives me a couple of things

  • I get full CPU and IO power to have the computer service my every whim as quickly as it can.

  • When I need to go mobile with my laptop, my battery is fully charged

If this goes against the recommended way to work with a laptop, WHY don't laptops come with utilities and ability to discharge the battery while they are plugged in?

If I had such a utility, and I knew I was going to be at my machine for the better part of the day, I could just start the utility and let it do its magic.  As it stands, I am stuck unplugging and using the machine in its less than optimal settings until the battery dies.  I don't like it, so someone please fix it.

Note, with the new 17" Apple Mac Book Pro, the battery lasts a long time.  Meaning I get to spend more time in this less than optimal state.  I understand that I can maximize my power savings settings to decrease the lifetime of the battery.  But then, what to do when I am on the road and want my power savings to maximize the lifetime of the battery. 

Monday Jul 13, 2009

Tim Horton's in NYC? Starbucks on every corner? Recession? World nuts, yes!!!

Being a Canadian, I have to say I LOVE Tim Hortons, Tim Bits anyone?

BUT, with a Starbucks on every corner and a supposed recession going on, this blew my mind

Tim Horton's a Canadian doughnut place that, ... [Tim Hortons]
For some reason I just had to share this with everyone :) 

Tuesday Jul 07, 2009

Include a software update service with my OS please?

Here is a rant, why doesn't every OS provide a software update service?

I may be the only one, but I doubt it, but the idea of having MANY small little services that are running to check for recent updates.  Even worse are the ones that check as I launch the app.  Has anyone told these people that when I want my document/App, I want it NOW.  If you go off and check stuff every time you launch, it seems absurd to me.

I have and am using various ones now, App Fresh and Version Tracker. These are cute and do mostly work, however I need to regularly run these apps to get my updates AND not all applications update the same way, so I have to manually have to do the upgrade anyway.

Now, provide a registration service on every OS. Each application must provide a URL to get access to information about latest releases.

Why is this not being done already? If it is, then why is it not on my OS of choice yet :(

Wednesday Jun 17, 2009

The Interview Question You Should Always Ask

It has been way too long since I last blogged and forget how easy it can actually be.  So here is a thought I wanted to share with all, what is a good interview question.  Well this article seems to like "What do you do in your spare time?"

The Interview Question You Should Always Ask

Even if you had learned about all of Captain Sullenberger's activities, you might have considered his obsession dysfunctional. Wouldn't you rather hire someone well rounded? Someone who has interests beyond the particular? Someone who might be a better communicator?

But people are often successful not despite their dysfunctions but because of them. Obsessions are one of the greatest telltale signs of success. Understand a person's obsessions and you will understand her natural motivation. The thing for which she would walk to the end of the earth.

Maybe its due to the fact that I am  somewhat obessessive that this rings true to me, your mileage may vary :)

Thursday Dec 04, 2008

Have Blog, have picture id :)

Just ran into an interesting use of my blog just now.  I have just started using the online system for our local library to reserve and renew books.  I took out my wallet, got my library card out, logged in and renewed some books.  I had a couple of books that I could not renew and so had to return them.  So I got in my car and drove to the library.

Once at the library, I realized that I had left my wallet on my desk :(  Picture ID was required in order for me to make some changes to my online account, for some reason the library system will not let me set my notification e-mail online.

With no ID, the librarian was unable to allow me to make changes to my account.  Then I had a eureka moment.  Asked the librarian if she had internet access, which she did.  So I asked her to go to, where she would find my blog containing my full name and picture.  Presto, I had an online ID !!!

So BLOG!!! You never know when it will come in handy :) 

Wednesday Dec 03, 2008

Is Email = Efail?

Coding Horror blog comes up with some fun stuff on a regular basis, Is Email = Efail? is a good one,

What we can to combat the email = efail problem? Take Tantek's advice: whenever possible, avoid sending email. Not because we don't want to communicate with our peers. Quite the contrary. We should avoid sending email out of a deep respect for our peers -- so that they are free to communicate as effectively and as often as possible with us.


    1. Channel that private email effort into a public outlet. Discussion boards, blog entries, comments, wikis, you name it. If it can be indexed by a web search engine, you're in the right place -- and many more people can potentially find, answer, and benefit from that information.

    2. If you must send email, make it as short as possible. Think of it as Strunk and White on speed. Can you reduce your email into a single paragraph? How about two sentences? How about just the title field with no body, even?

    3. Remember the theory of communication escalation. Email is just one communication tool in our toolkit; that doesn't mean it is always the right one for whatever situation is at hand. Take advantage of phone calls, instant messaging, text messages, and so forth, as appropriate. Scale your choice of communication method to the type of conversation you're having, and don't be afraid to escalate it (or demote it!) as the ebb and flow of the conversation shifts.

So if you've emailed me, and I haven't responded in a timely fashion, I apologize. I know it may sound crazy, but I've been desperately clawing my way out from under this mountain of pebbles. 

Although I don't totally subscribe to what he says, my volume of e-mail is definitely really high.

I don't delete a lot of my work e-mail as I use it to search for information and decisions made.  I have over 12K e-mails just for this year alone, that I have kept.  I am still working out how to organize them all, as searching these can work, but it can get tricky to get the right search incantation.  I now have an Info inbox in which I place e-mails I have searched for and found the exact information I needed, a kind of history of successful searches.

I have sent over 14K e-mails since Oct 2005.  The last time I did the math, it was something like 12 e-mails/day 7 days/week, WOW!!!

After reading Is Email = Efail?, I decided to try and reduce the volume I send out by blogging more and see how that works out.

Overflow: The Dangers of Excessive Focus

An article at Tools for Thought blog, titled Overflow: The Dangers of Excessive Focus, caught my interest. Here is the quote that got my attention

Focusing on a goal is only as worthwhile as the goal itself, and mindfulness requires that we periodically reexamine our goals, making sure that they’re still meaningful in light of what we’ve learned since we first defined them.

I find myself distracted quite a bit these days, doing this blog entry while in the middle of coding for example.  There are times where I find that the only solution is to go to the extreme of shutting everything else out.  I've found over time that this causes issues that I could never quite put my finger on.  Well, I think this article points out some of these.

Monday Mar 24, 2008

Autonomous Robotics Competition, Sign up !!!

Sign up for robotic competition

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Tuesday Jan 31, 2006

CableCARD certification rules out home-built Windows MCE boxes, possibly other DIY solutions

This is really weird, I am not a very politically oriented person, however I am finding myself forced to point out certain things that I just find astounding within the political arena these days.

Read this article and see what brainless schemes people can come up with :(

I have been dreaming of building myself a mythTV box to have my own DVR as well as creating a library of all my daughter's DVDs. But it looks like there are some issues with CableCARD that may make this a not so useful exercise. It was already bad enough that you could not get PayPerView type of content with the current iteration of CableCARD, now to add on the fact that I will not be able to use it in a system of my choice :(

For those of you who can vote and affect how things are done, please help put some common sense into the syste. Having CableCARD controlled by CableLabs which is in turn controller by a consortium of Cable companies seems like a VERY bad idea. The whole point of the CableCARD was to remove our dependency on lockin into Cable set-top boxes. Only to find out that the new system is still crippled and will not let me build a system of my choice :(

Hopefully my next entry can be about something more GEEKY than this :)

Friday Jan 27, 2006

VMFA(AW)-121 Green Knights Change of Command

This is totally off topic for technical stuff, but I really had to share my thoughts on an event I attended today.

I attended the Change of Command Ceremony for the Marine All Wheather Fighter Attack Squadron 121/Green Knights. I am not a person who is really for war, however something came to light today that I really wanted to share. The key thought I had was that ware involves people, however obvious that may sound, until you really get close to some of these people and what their lives are like, I think it is very dificult to understand some of the implications.

I saw an impressive display of dedication and of course REALLY cool planes today. I had TWO F/A-18 Attack Hornets take off about two 400 feet away form you is quite an impressive display of power and NOISE. The traditions involved in this ceremony were very evident, but also seemed to make sense even for an outsider such as myself.

In all of the discussions I have seen from the two sides, those for and those against the war, I have yet to see anyone address the following facts and their importance:

1) The decision to go to war was made my a few key people. So arguing pros and cons and reasons for going to war should be had with these people, and not the people who are "doing" the war. You think it was a bad decision, blame President Bush, not the people who are doing the war.

2) The people doing the war are in a situation where their commander in chief, the President, has decided that we should go to war. These people are doing what they been commanded to do. Blaming them for the war just does not make any sense to me. Blaming the President, yes, the people doing there jobs, NO !!! These are people doing their best of a bad situation. I now believe that having a "Support our troups" sticker on my car is a very appropriate thing to do. I would go one step further and have an additional sticker that would indicate my feelings about the war itself. The two are totally distinct issues.

3) The people who go to war, have a family's at home. Family's that must persevere through a lot worry and support for their "warriors". Having their loved ones purposefully in harms way must take a very strong person to handle the worries every day. I am very impressed not just with the people doing the war, but the people back home who keep their lives and homes together for the eventual return of their loved ones. Providing support for the people back home I think is just as important as supporting the warriors. They may not be in harms way, but they have to deal with the implications of having their loved ones in harms way.

I hope this did not come out as a political discussion. It is the warriors and their family that I am writing about. The choice of going to war, right or wrong, is/was not my intent here.

Lets SUPPORT our TROUPS !!! Then figure out what we want to do with our thoughts on the rightness or wrongness of war.

Thank you for your patience in reading this.




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