Bitcoin’s early Christmas gift…

After spending a week preventing the company from going bankrupt, and probably several other big businesses, and several boring meetings of “what can we do to prevent this happening again?” (The answer is nothing because it was not our fault), I think I could use some change of scenery.

Remember Bitcoins? It’s not like it has been making headlines for the past couple month. Anyways, a long time ago I had invested a small amount into it. I was hoping to explore where I could spend my newly earned crypto-currency and discovered that there was not much I could do at the time. I figured that I would probably hold until the price had gone up and make my investment back, which I did. Little did I know that it would be a terrible mistake.

Now, if you were to lazy to make the calculation yourself, had I not sold back then, my investment would have been worth nearly $3000!! AGGHHHHH!!! Why did I sell? How could I not have foreseen that the price would explode over a year in the future?

Joking aside, I did not sell all the bitcoin that I had. There was 0.029 bitcoins left over that I had not converted, and that was now worth $450! Nice. But what could I do what that? Well, $450 is enough to get you an Nvidia GTX 1070 TI graphics card, and turns out that Newegg accepts Bitcoins! Miracle!

So, what do you do with a nice graphics card like that? Virtual Reality of course! My current graphics card, AMD’s RX 480, is capable of VR but I figured that it was worth future proofing my computer a little bit. This upgrade was also perfectly timed with the probably the biggest VR release of all time, the most anticipated Desert Bus VR! Oh, and some game called Fallout 4 VR.

The upgrade in graphics card, despite the fact that that 1070 TI is far better than the RX 480, does not make much difference in VR. Everything feels subtly smoother but it is hard to quantify. The only game that I have ever seen lag was Space Pirate trainer when multiple drone exploded at once and that seems to have gone away with the new card.

I think the best part of this story is that effectively I only paid about $5 for a $450 graphics card. I could have had a whole new top-of-the-line computer, but what ever. Anyways, thanks bitcoin for getting me an early Christmas gift.



We nearly ruined the Holidays for millions of people…

You know things have taken a very bad turn when, as you arrive at the office on a Monday morning, there is already a stack of empty pizza boxes. As a matter of facts, it was probably the worst issue we had in probably five years. This made my bug feel like a walk in the park.

As it turns out, someone from a big credit card association decided that they were above petty things like system stability and not messing up Christmas season, and proceeded to create a massive bug in their system. For nearly two and a half days, transactions did not included the information for what currency in was made in. Was it in Indian Rupee? Maybe it was in Euros? How about Mexican Pesos? Nobody knows!

I pulled three consecutive 12 hour stints to help people more knowledgeable than me make our system work. It was not fun… Things were rather bleak on Tuesday night when the decision was made to dump half the files we received that day. We also decided to dump a whole day of the test environment. There was one brief moment of levity when, while skimming through a file to check data integrity, I found a transaction for a Youtube Red subscription. That was funny.

The most perplexing thing was the way managers and executives interacted. When the executive were in their conference room, the mid managers were all optimistic and soft, telling people that they understood that we were dealing with complicated system and “take your time” and all that. Then they would leave for five minute, come back surrounded by suits and start yelling at everyone and tossing everyone in charge under the bus. I have no idea what they were trying to achieve, because all the happened was a lot of wasted time.

Last I heard, we were back on track and processed everything and only once, so good on us. Clients are going to be pissed at us for a while, especially since the card association guys told our clients that it was our fault that they were not getting paid because we could not process their garbage transactions…