Friday demos and farewell, Nicole.

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Mike Bree ordered lunch for us on Friday, and afterward I noticed Nicole helping Mike out with the dishes, even though it was practically her last day at VendAsta and she was dressed up all fancy (skirt and high heels and everything) for her going-away party.

Nicole’s been with us since the summer of 2008, when we were still in our old offices on the other side of the river. Now she’s going to seek warmer pastures on the west coast. I repurposed this old drawing of Nicole (from one of the Spokesmonster cartoons) for her farewell card, but Allan thought the tone was too negative.

Farewell, Nicole

“It seems like she’s saying that anyone who still works for VendAsta is a sucker,” Allan said.

“You misunderstand,” I said. “She’s saying that anyone who still lives in Saskatoon is a sucker.”

In the end we went with a different picture for the card, a shot of Nicole doing a high-kick with an expression on her face so goofy she’d probably high-kick me if I published it here.

Good luck in Vancouver, Nicole. We’ll miss you.

Nicole Stavness
Nicole and her farewell umbrella.

Phoenix, ML, Nicole, & Mariatta
VendAsta's shrinking female contingent.

Champagne corks popping.
Champagne corks popping.

Jeff Read
Jeff fends off the paparazzi.

Two demos on Friday. Shawn’s was accompanied by a PowerPoint presentation with the title, “Finite State Machines Implemented With Task Queue”. I have no idea what it was about. He referenced this article by Jilles Van Gurp and Jan Bosch of the University of Karlskrona in Sweden, whose abstract begins,

Finite State Machines (FSM) provide a powerful way to describe dynamic behavior of systems and components. However, the implementation of FSMs in OO languages often suffers from maintenance problems.

Too deep for me. But the technical folks seemed pretty spellbound. Blair asked, “Have you thought about how to handle recurrent transitions from same-state to same-state?” I tried to take down Shawn’s reply but it had some acronyms in it and I got lost. I think he also used the word “pickle” as a verb. Someday I’ll have to ask a techie to explain that one to me.

Anyway, Jason (our CTO) seemed pretty jazzed about this Finite State Machine business, so I’ll probably be hearing more about it.

Then it was Tavis’s turn. (Going from one of Shawn’s demos to one of Tavis’s is like going from Gravity’s Rainbow to Charlotte’s Web.*) I’m still unable to speak openly about the project that Tavis and his team have been working on for the last couple months. But it’s nearing completion. I’ve been told that maybe next week I can start to publicize it.

Anyhow, Tavis showed us a web page and invited us to offer criticism. The consensus was that the button didn’t look buttony enough. Tavis said he’d take care of it. Phoenix raised an eyebrow. “Well,” Tavis added modestly, “I won’t take care of  it myself.”

PS. Tiffany has been posting other pictures (including some more shots from Nicole’s farewell party) to the VendAsta Facebook page.

* Gravity’s Rainbow and Charlotte’s Web are both extraordinary works of literature, but one is a little more challenging than the other. That’s all I’m sayin’.