One of those days.

The morning was an interview with a company in the Waterloo area. I had high hopes for them. It turned out to be a cramped office, with no partitions or offices. Just the kind of thing that Peopleware warns against.

The interview was a programming test. It annoyed me for several reasons.

Firstly, I was shown to a laptop with a normal mouse attached. I hate laptop keyboards. Before starting I detached the mouse in order to make room for a normal keyboard, and used the laptop mouse left-handed.

The spec was intentionally vague: At one sentence I asked “what’s this supposed to mean?” and was told “It’s part of the test – you work it out”.

For example, there was a description of 4 different data formats. After that, small print saying in effect, to ignore all except the first one. In retrospect, it was based on childish, underhand tactics.

They insisted on a paradox table. I have never used paradox before, and spent half an hour working though unhelpful error messages.

At the end I was not in a very good mood. When shown the desired solution, my reaction was instantaneous: “Bollocks” I said. It was a obviously crap design choice that I had dismissed out of hand earlier.

The evening was better – Jeff Mills in techno concert at the royal festival hall. The first opening acts was Mechanics of Destruction: A guy who made a frightful mess breaking stuff, sampling it and loping it into techno rhythms. His tracks were standard anti-globalisation polemics (e.g. “McDonalds” he announces, an a happy meal is produced. Sounds are made by banging it against the mics and binning the burger. The noise all sounded the same, and what it lacked in structure it gained in volume. His (literal!) deconstruction of TV was arguably the best – lots of hard surfaces for the hammer to hit.

After the debris has been swept up, a guitar & synth band called supercollider came on. They were Ok.

This was followed by a screening of Metropolis – a fairly short edit of this move, well synchronised to Jeff Mill’s soundtrack. The techno-loving audience gave a cheer for each up-tempo piece.

After that, Jeff took to the decks to DJ live, which was wildly popular. There was dancing in the aisles, and periodic stage invasions were thwarted by the bouncers. His style of techno is less minimalist than what I have heared under the “techno” label in Cape Town. I woulkd love to hear him DJ a dance venue where I can like, get down.

This ended at 11:15pm or so, and on home to bed.