I arrived in work on Monday morning (at a comfortable 11 o’clock as is my norm) to find that I was locked out of my Linux account. Another intern assured me that the administrators knew about the problem and were fixing it. So I settled into using Windows for the day. That slowed me to about a quarter of my usual work rate, particularly since that day’s work mostly involved pulling data from mailboxes and putting them into RDF. For the non-technical that means lots of text manipulation, and Linux has all of the text manipulation tools you could ever want. I actually did the work remotely on one of the servers so I could use nice things like grep and sed but the response was slow.

On Tuesday morning I stayed in there for a mere half an hour; long enough to find that the Linux login problem was unfixed and that the Windows policies are too strict and my home directory space too restrictive to let me work on Thunderbird under Windows. I wasted two hours on the bus to find this out. When I got home I emailed the administrator to make sure he knew about the problem. It turns out he didn’t, but he had it fixed within minutes and it only took him that long because he was at lunch when I emailed him. Gah. Oh well, guarantee it would work on Wednesday.

So today comes around and I’ve got much less done than I had hoped due to slow work on Monday and wasted time on Tuesday. So I stayed in later than usual, took a shorter lunch break—just long enough to eat—and things started to actually work. I didn’t get bogged down in stupid errors or dead ends or bad architecture decisions of the kind that have drained hours from my work thus far. This gave me a new motivation, a desire to get really stuck in coding. If it keeps up tomorrow I think I’ll have most of this week’s stuff done by Friday morning’s status check. Then I get a whole new pile of features to push through.