Monthly Archives: September, 2016

Letters to the Power Plant #20 — Dell-lightful

After I left the power plant and went to work for Dell on August 20, 2001, I wrote letters back to my friends at the plant letting them know how things were going.  This is the twentieth letter I wrote.  Keep in mind that at the time when I originally penned this letter I didn’t intend on it being posted online.

01/24/02 – Dell-lightful

Dear Sooner Friends,

For a person that has been doing this type of job for their whole adult life, this may not have seemed like a great week.  I, on the other hand, have found this week to be fascinating!!  First of all  —  Or “Last of all”, we have a meeting with “Michael” tomorrow.  —   We call Michael Dell, “Michael”.  It gives us that chummy feeling, like we are all one big happy family.  (I’m sure you know the feeling — The “One Big Happy Family” feeling).

Anyway.  We have a meeting with him in the morning.  I’m not sure what he’s going to talk to us about.  My guess is that he’ll bring Ben Curtis along with him (The “Steve” Dell Dude on the Commercials), and do something to cheer us up.  I don’t think we really need cheering up.  We seem to be doing real well.  (Of course, I can’t say anything about how well we’re doing  — That Insider thing you know.  —  At least until our next Quarterly report comes out).

I figure that “Michael” will bring the Dell Dude guy along, because he has been doing that around the company lately.  Especially during the Holidays when we were swamped with so many orders, that I can’t tell you about, that people had to work a lot of overtime on the manufacturing floors.

Anyway.  Tomorrow he wants to meet with the IT guys around here, so we will all get in some tour buses and take a trip into Austin and go to some convention center meeting place where there will be some kind of a presentation.  —  More on that to come, since that will be tomorrow.

The rest of my week.  That is, the part that I’ve already had, (I guess I did that backward.  I did “First of all” and told you about the last part, and then said “The rest of my week”, and now I’m talking about the first part),  has been kind of slow.

I’m between jobs, and I’m in the Stabilization mode, as I have mentioned before.  So I have been studying those computer languages that I told you about last week.  —  Well, this has been great.  I have been reading away, and learning, and taking it fairly easy.

Then today, a guy came to my cubicle and asked me if I knew why some new hires were not able to log into a particular Database, and could I help him out, and so, instead of studying today, I have been helping install new users on servers and installing users on computers, and since they made me a Mail Exchange Server Administrator the other day, I even installed people’s e-mail systems for them.  —  This is not my normal job, but it was fun.  — You guys know how I enjoy fixing people’s computer problems.  I almost like doing that as much as I like writing programs.

So I had to contact Server Administrators, Database Administrators, install programs, run back and forth, smile at my customers, apologize to the Database Administrator for asking them to do the wrong things, run back and forth, write a bunch of e-mails, write trouble tickets to get things done, and say “Your Welcome” when everyone said “Thank You”.  —  So, you see, every once in a while, I have to do the same sort of stuff I had to do at Sooner Plant.

It just kind of reminded me of the days when I was at Sooner Plant, and Darlene would call me and ask me if I could run by the tool room because she was having trouble with her SAP, and Linda would call me on the radio and ask me if I could drop by her desk, because she was having trouble with her Outlook, and Jody would call me and ask me to drop by the foremen’s office, because he was having trouble logging on, and Gene Day would call me and ask me to drop by the Control Room for a few minutes, only to forget why he wanted me, when I finally arrived.

Note to Reader: For more information about Gene Day and jokes I would play on him, see this post:  Power Plant Humor and Joking with Gene Day.

Oh yes, and Jasper would call me and tell me that, “We decided that no one at Sooner plant needs access to the Internet except Jim Arnold and Summer Goebel and only then to use e-mail”, and Jim Arnold would tell me that it doesn’t matter what you do, it is impossible for a computer to use more than 640K of memory.  (yes.  he said  K, not Mb or Gb —  That was when he got mad at me for calling him stupid – Some people just get mad for the funniest reasons).

Note to the Reader:  for more information about these stories, see this post:  Power Plant Quest for the Internet.

Anyway.  Yesterday it was 80 degrees.  Today a cold wave moved in and it’s getting down to the 40s.  Brrrrr.  There’s even “Wind” today!!!!  What’s going on?  And me in short sleeves!!!!  At least I’m inside all day.

Thanks for keeping in Touch.  Congratulations to George Clouse.  (I guess he’s to be congratulated, — The poor guy).

I’ll write later,

Kevin James Anthony Breazile

______________________

Kevin J. Breazile

Programmer Analyst II

Dell Computer Corporation

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Letters to the Power Plant #19 — The Young Dell Dude

After I left the power plant and went to work for Dell on August 20, 2001, I wrote letters back to my friends at the plant letting them know how things were going.  This is the nineteenth letter I wrote.  Keep in mind that at the time when I originally penned this letter I didn’t intend on it being posted online.

01/18/02 – The Young Dell dude

Dear friends from Sooner,

I have had a pretty good week.  I am in what is called, “Stabilization”.  That is what happens after an application starts to be used, and you have to sit around and see if it breaks.  So I have spent the week learning new programming languages.

The new languages I have been learning are:  VB.Net, ASP.Net, ADO.Net, and C# (Pronounced “See Sharp”).  Hmmm.  Well the first list with all the Nets in them seem to have something to do with Tennis or Basketball or fishing, but that C Sharp one definitely sounds like something to do with music.  Well, these are the new languages that I will use when I write applications to use with Windows XP.  I think the XP stands for “Expensive”, but I’m not sure.  It’s pretty neat anyway.

One thing I noticed today while I was sitting in the front lobby waiting for someone that was taking me to lunch, is that unlike Sooner where the average age of the employees is somewhere around 47 years old, here at Dell, the average age of the employees must be somewhere around 25.  This makes for quite a different atmosphere.  I had a conversation with a fellow Dellite while I was waiting, and it went something like this:

“Hello Man!  Howsit goin?”

“Fine.  Everything is going well.”

“Rad man.  That’s really Tight.”

“Oh.  Well.  I suppose so.  How are things with you?”

“Like, cool as a mombo jombo dude.  It doesn’t shake any more foam than this.”

“Oh, well.  That’s great.”

“Say, man, weren’t you the dude that had that bucket man?”

“Oh.  Do you mean that bucket in my cubicle?”

“Yeah, man, like I freaked when I spied that man.  I thought I was like dreaming or spacin’ man.  You should have seen me shakin’.”

“Oh.  Yes.  I do seem to remember that now.  I was the guy that helped you to the rest room.  Remember?”

“Remember?  Remember what?”

“Oh…  nothing.”

“Say man.  I was just thinkin’ that this floor looks really shakin’.  Look at how those stones go that way, and these stones do that square thing, like that.”

“Oh.  Yes.  I see what you mean.”

“That took some wild talent.  You know it did, ’cause someone must of been dreamin’ to come up with that man.”

“Yes.  — I suppose it did.”

“You know it man.  Real talent.  Talent, that’s what it took.”

“Well.  I’ll see you later.  Take it easy.”

“Sure man.  Stay cool dude.  Yeah, that bucket thing.  huhuhuhuh.  That was great man.”

Does that sound anything even remotely similar to conversations at Sooner?  I sure don’t remember any like that.  That’s one computer language I haven’t learned yet.  The one where you communicate to each other in some foreign language that remotely sounds like English.  I would try to learn it, but I haven’t found a dictionary or a book to teach me what it all means.

Everything is going well here.  It is good to hear from you guys.  Keep writing.  I’ll write soon.

You Friendly Dell Programmer,

Kevin James Anthony Breazile

______________________

Kevin J. Breazile

Programmer Analyst II

Dell Computer Corporation

(512) 728-1527

Letters to the Power Plant #18 — Project Update at Dell

After I left the power plant and went to work for Dell on August 20, 2001, I wrote letters back to my friends at the plant letting them know how things were going.  This is the eighteenth letter I wrote.  Keep in mind that at the time when I originally penned this letter I didn’t intend on it being posted online.

01/11/02 – Project Update at Dell

Dear fellow Soonerites,

Well, last night my new program went into production.  That means that people actually started using it today.  I thought I would go by the cubicles of those people that use my application just to see how things were going.

It seems that I overlooked a crucial aspect of one of my features.  I had put in a feature that turned on a snoring sound when the application sits idle for a few minutes.  — That means, if no one uses it for a few minutes.  Well.  It seems that someone went to use the facilities and while they were gone, their application started snoring.

At first, the person in the next cube over thought it was funny, until the snoring sound made that person tired, and they actually fell asleep.  Then their application started snoring, and other people started falling asleep also.

When the first guy came back from the bathroom, —  Oh, I mean, “Using the facilities”, the whole area of the building that was using my application was full of the sound of snoring employees.  Not only from my application, but from the users as well.  (Users are people that use programs, we also call them “Business Partners”).

So, I ran back to my desk and quickly brought up my development tool. (That’s what I use to write programs).  I made a few changes to my program and uploaded it to the production server.  Then I went back up to the cubicles to see how things were going.

Instead of hearing snoring sounds, there was the sounds of busy employees typing away at their desks, like good productive employees should.  —  Oh, they were still asleep, but at least now it sounded like they were all working.  I changed the snoring sound to the sound of typing keyboards.

Boy.  That was a close call.  It was a good thing that Michael Dell or someone like that didn’t walk by and find the whole group snoring away.  —  I guess the next time I put an extra “Perk” in my program I’ll test it out on some business partners before I actually put the thing into production.

Anyway.  It all turned out all right, and I was able to get it done a couple of days ahead of schedule.

I just thought I would let you know how things are going down here,

Write to you later.

Kevin

______________________

Kevin J. Breazile

Programmer Analyst II

Dell Computer Corporation

(512) 728-1527

Letters to the Power Plant #17 — Project Dell

After I left the power plant and went to work for Dell on August 20, 2001, I wrote letters back to my friends at the plant letting them know how things were going.  This is the seventeenth letter I wrote.  Keep in mind that at the time when I originally penned this letter I didn’t intend on it being posted online.

01/09/02 – Project Dell

Dear Sooner Buddies,

I hope all is going well with you, and once again, I hope everyone of you had a great holiday.  —  I forgot to tell you that last month when I climbed on my roof to fix a burned out Christmas light one night, I looked north toward Oklahoma, and I thought I could see Randy Dailey’s Christmas lights lighting up the horizon.  NASA said that during December they didn’t need to use the Global Positioning Satellites, they just pointed their view finder toward the easily recognizable Ponca City, and they instantly knew where they were.

Note to Reader:  To learn more about Randy Dailey’s Christmas Lights, see this post:  Power Plant Christmas Star Shines over Ponca City.

Well.  Tomorrow night my Big Project goes into Production.  I’ve been working on this one since the beginning of November.  Since I have had two whole months to work on it, I was able to add extra features that weren’t called for in the original specifications.

Things such as:  When you double click the third letter in the first word on the main menu, then the web page starts playing the Star Spangled Banner and two people who look like they are getting on board of Air Force One popup and wave at you.

Second Note to Reader:  To learn the significance of the two people boarding Air Force One waving goodbye, see this post:  Power Plant Final Presentation.

If you leave a page open too long without doing anything with it, it starts to make a yawning sound.  When you are about ready to save your data, it asks you if you are sure, if you quickly click “Yes”, then it comes back and asks “Are You Really, Really Sure”.  You know, those things that make an application seem more like real life.

I even made the application work like a typical upper level supervisor.  When you click to make certain small changes that don’t really matter, the application randomly (that means just sometimes) comes back with a message that says, “No.”  If you click “Continue”, then it comes back and says, “I don’t need a reason.  No, No, No.”

Anyway.  I get to demo my new program in front of a bunch of high level guys next week.  —  I can’t wait to show them all the extra features that they didn’t ask for.  They will get a great big kick out of the way that I put this whirlpool in there with the picture of someone’s head being sucked down into it.  —  Don’t ask me why I did that. —  Ask Ray, He may be able to give you some insight into that one.  I just hope it didn’t use too much “resources”.

Third Note to Reader:  To learn more about the person in the whirlpool see this post:  Hitting the Power Plant HR Cardboard Ceiling.

I have had a lot of fun developing this application.  I’m sure everyone has been wondering why I’ve been giggling in the Project Issues Meetings.  —  Of course, they may think it’s because I’m on the fun committee and I’m trying to show everyone that we are having fun.  Which, of course, we are.

It has been good hearing from you guys.  Thanks for writing.  Keep me up on all of the good gossip.  I will write soon.

Your friend from down under,

Kevin James Anthony Breazile

______________________

Kevin J. Breazile

Programmer Analyst II

Dell Computer Corporation

(512) 728-1527