Archive

Tag Archives: career


This coming Monday is my last day at CBRE.

I’ve enjoyed working with smart people for the past year, building a new internal tool for CBRE’s brokers and managers. A new chapter begins for me in a couple of weeks, but right now I’m amazed at how productive a small motivated team can be. I’m thankful I could be a part of it.


Here’s a complete printset of the Venus Ibox, from 1984. It includes Ibox block diagrams, module and MCA block diagrams, and schematics for the MCAs and modules.

I’d bet my bottom dollar that there were ECOs after this version. But this hardware ran VAX/VMS and oodles of software.

Most of the page tops are faded. 75% of it is due to fading in the originals, and 25% is due to less-than-meticulous copying by FedEx.

Venus Ibox 1984-08-18


May these tidbits be helpful if you’re contemplating a job search in the tech market.

The search

Like last time, I wanted to stay in Seattle but considered as far north as Vancouver, B.C. and south as Portland. I wanted to work in the Python ecosystem and in open-source, in a technical or managerial position.

I think I’m more discriminating (read: picky) than the average job seeker. My technology preferences eliminated almost all of Microsoft, and every company using .NET. In Seattle, that’s a lot.

Read More


I contacted six recruiters in my recent job search.

Four of them disappeared after only a couple of days. As a friend likes to say, “For most of them, we’re just baubles. They forget about us once the shiny wears off.”

Two recruiters were head-and-shoulders above the rest. They got me into great interviews, stuck with me for the entire search, and were especially supportive during unfruitful periods. I highly recommend them for Seattle tech job seekers.

Matt Chung, of West500 Partners. He was great in my 2014 job search, too. He got me one interview I was very keen on.

Ray Zambroski of Rooster Park. Ray lives in California but is in-the-know about the local tech economy. He got me two great interviews.

(One and two interviews don’t sound like much, but the savvy job seeker values quality over quantity. These prospective employers were spot on and the positions were beautiful. More on this in another blog post.)


I’ve resigned from Solinea. The Christmas company holidays made this a little awkward… My last day is Monday the 28th, but we have the previous Thursday and Friday off.  Not sure how much I’ll get done on that last isolated day.

I worked on Goldstone, which is an über monitoring and configuration platform (i.e., it does lots of stuff out of the box, and you can install extensions) for OpenStack . And maybe other things, eventually.  The technical work has been challenging, and the Solinea folks are all very knowledgable about OpenStack, and deployment technologies such as Docker.

Notwithstanding that, the company direction isn’t what I bargained for when I signed on. So I’m moving on to something else, which I’ll write about in a few weeks.


In a comment on my Thoughts on DEC post, Tom Miller offered a rat’s ass if I scanned in my VAX 8600 (Venus) Ibox microcode listing.

Well, here’s Venus Ibox microcode v3.73, generated on 7-May-1984. Tom, you owe me one rat’s patootie.

This ran on Venus through the end of 1984. I had transferred to Alan Kotok‘s Simplified Architecture for Fast Execution (SAFE) project, where I was looking into VAX-11 emulation. Large VAX Engineering’s senior management called an “all hands on deck” emergency, and everyone needed do whatever they could to help Venus ship on time.  So, I informally returned to work on Venus and ran one of the lab debug shifts. It was equally exhilarating and stressful… An, “I wouldn’t trade those memories for anything in the world,” and, “I hope I never go through something like that again,” experience.

This version ran VMS and oodles of VAX programs.  I don’t know if there was a later version; if so, I never heard about it.

BTW, here’s a nice paper about why DEC went down the tubes.