Niall’s virtual diary archives – October 2003

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24th October 2003

What to do in the future?

Friday 24th October 2003: 4.22am. It's late, and after I write this and archive off the older entries I'm going to bed. I have a long day ahead of me tomorrow cleaning showers, sinks and toilets as two friends of mine from university are coming to visit next Tuesday. Given my recent lack of contact with anyone other than my sister and father, this is a good thing.

Speaking of universities, the chances are that as of August 2004 I'll be back at university once again. I spent much of the past week trying to get hold of Enterprise Ireland and when I did, they pointed out that the two main failings that I have with my proposal (lack of proof of concept & lack of team) are fatal in the current climate. Therefore what I need to get this idea done are proof of concept (ie; write it) and a team. Where do you find business execution intelligence? Well, coming from an academic background, that says to me an economics degree.

I should take some time to justify this, as I'm already having difficulty convincing myself. Quite frankly, I don't know many business types. Those I do tell me that good businesspeople with expertise in software are extremely rare in Ireland, and I'll probably need to import one from the UK for a small fortune. I don't want to be CEO particularly as it's not my thing though with a good PA, I'm sure I could withstand it even into the long-term. However, in all this one is still making things tough for oneself by going this precipitous route - far better to go make some serious business contacts, indeed surround yourself with businesspeople, and surely, with some luck, you will find one or two outstanding candidates willing to take a stake in return for a team. And that is where you get outstanding candidates without paying a lot of money.

Now as it happens, my father has been very keen for some time that I should go get my "proper" degree so in that, I am in luck since he would be the one paying for it. Furthermore, as he is nearing retirement and has the mortgage paid off he's flush for the first time in his life, so it's actually less of a burden than it was first time round. I should lastly add that it had been my intention to return to university sometime in my early thirties as I too had ideas of getting a first class degree and a wife, indeed I may possibly have written about that in here sometime while I was still at Hull. Hull was for the degree in maturation (and in this I feel I got a first class honours) - indeed, even in first year, people were amazed when I said I wanted the worst possible grade and wasn't going to go to lectures or do any coursework!

So where would the next university be? Well, none other than my original second choice, St. Andrews which is a much quieter university, has the highest private school taking of any in the UK (and likely Europe) and some frightening proportion of its graduates marry each other, sometimes with less than genetically desirable results. Best of all, it has steadfastly refused to increase its student numbers despite Whitehall pressure and so doesn't suffer the cancer eating away at most of Europe's third level institutes. Also of course, I am considerably less overtly radical in my more advanced years than those of my teens and thus, especially with the different goals I would have set this time round, I should expect to do brilliantly - especially as I now have first-hand experience of what works in getting high grades (usually researching what the lecturer's pet likes are, and regurgitating their own research back at them - or better, slightly but not too much improving on it).

So, rationally, this looks the course. Of course this is countered by no shortage of arguments about leeching off my family still further, going there much sooner than would be preferable etc. but ultimately if I'm going somewhere (the project), I need to fill those fatal gaps. I know it more than anyone. And selfishly, this course of action addresses those gaps if in a somewhat overkill fashion.

Thinking of the project, the v0.4 release continues to elude me. Right now it's a problem with argument translation when traversing the python/C++ boundary - I have altered it so I can insert a thread state stacker which permits multiple python interpreters to be chained into one another plus correctly managing the python global interpreter lock (GIL). However once fixed, assuming there are no more problems, it's done.

Right, dunno about when the next update might be, expect it when you see it - and y'all be happy!

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