23 August, 2008

Captain Acronym

Angelina still acts like a squirrel on crack. I suppose she will for quite some time. I don’t really mind except when she decides she must attack the shoes I just shined or climb the pants I just pressed. It is such a switch from the beat-up and terrified little kitten I rescued from the police station. It is a nice switch.
We play fetch; it is one of her favorite things. It also allows me to study while also giving her attention. A balled up piece of paper thrown out into the hall results in her pattented sprint-pounce-attack (A+⇒ ,then X+Y, for those playing the home game), followed by a severe disemboweling. Then, after the wily crumpled paper beast is subdued, she drags it back to me for the next round.
Brenna gets into it once in a while, but she is more of a grappler. She dominates Angelina on the ground. Sometimes I can’t tell if the grooming she is giving is a punishment or an act of neighborliness. I had my face cleaned violently like that a few times when I was a kid. Didn’t make me feel loved.
The job is going pretty well. Most of last week (minus the orientation) was spent trying to get ramped up on networking procedures. I am assigned to the product qualification department of the carrier network division this term. Before they release a new version of firmware for their products, PQ builds huge test (simulated residential grids) beds in order to verify that the new version doesn’t break. After we build the grid, we populate it with varying levels and types of transmissions by writing scripts to simulate the traffic the network is supposed to be able to handle. Then we measure throughput and do it all over again.
They are getting ready to roll out a new version of the TA5000, which is my product line. It is a DSLAM, or a dedicated subscriber line aggregation module. A DSLAM is one of the components you see in those big grey boxes the cable and telephone company have in the neighborhoods.
Simply put, it multiplexes signals going out of the district and multiplexes signals coming into the district. It also provides dual tagging of the IP packet so that the server can provide different levels of service over the same line. It serves other functions, as well, but those are the ones I think are primary.
Most of my learning is coming out of books right now. Next week they will have all the specs they need to start building, and I will start my hands on learning, for which I am quite excited. I don’t mind reading books, but I like doing even better.
The company itself is a good company, and I think I will like working there. Dedicated, intelligent, and laid back. They are pretty socially responsible, also. I don’t fool myself that they are not ultimately after a profit, but I believe that a company can do both. Actually, I think that a company can make a more sustainable profit if it treats its customers and employees with respect and dedication.
One of the things I did not know about Adtran before the orientation was that, back when the tech bubble burst about a decade ago, Adtran management all voted to take pay cuts instead of laying a single employee off. That was pretty impressive, to me.
And they gave out free ice cream sundaes Friday, which makes them very popular with the Lollipop Guild as well as myself.

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