April 7, 2002

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Winter into Spring

Dear Family,

I'm attempting to get into the habit of letter writing again.  This past winter was more than usually busy for me, but I still took pictures from time to time.  I've gathered some of those pictures here along with brief bits and pieces of what has been happening to the NC Daniels.

Two projects have taken the bulk of my time, and kept me away from things such as these letters.  First, I've been working on loosing weight.  Health and travel permitting, I am attempting to get to the gym daily.  I've lost a bunch of weight, but it takes a steady commitment of time.

The second project has been a TPC benchmark.  My colleague Dan Morgan and I spent many long hours on this project.  I've been working on this project since I started at NetApp in February of 2001, but the it didn't become that intense until last November.  From November until the middle of March, the benchmark really took over my work life and intruded into home and family life as well.

Hundreds of disks, all linked back to one computer Dan does surgery on the computer Dozens of small but powerful Linux systems that drive the main computer
Late night meetings to discuss the day's progress
The day's progress
The main system, up until the end of 2001

These pictures were all taken in the fall of 2001.  The effort continued through many convolutions and changes of gear until we published on March 13, 2002.

Publication is a very formal event, requiring massive documentation, an independent audit, and formal peer review.  The official published result can be viewed here.  The documentation is supplied as a couple of links at the bottom of that page.

Last January I won the "RTP Rocker of the Month" award for this work -- entitling me to a plaque and a month's use of a nice parking spot.  The award was presented by NetApp's CFO, Jeff Allen, who was visiting at the time.

We did eventually, and rather much to my surprise, accomplish our goals and publish the benchmark.  Hopefully much revenue will result, driving up the stock price.

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