My Blog

Welcome to, the home page of Gregory Neil Hill. Please, call me Greg. There isn't a lot to this page, just a blog, a resume, and a portfolio. I may add more sections in the future as whim strikes me. Feel free to browse around, and contact me with any requests/complaints/admiration you desire.

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Back and forth

Submitted 7/10/2006 11:37 AM

So, the vacation was super fun. We didn't do anything particularly noteworthy, but it was enjoyable to hang with the family and check out the beaches and stuff. Most importantly, it was relaxing. We got back Saturday, and Heather arrived last night (Sunday). And today, I started my new job at United Online. So far, I've mostly been setting up my computer and filling out paperwork. Ah, the first day at a new job, so boring. I'm waiting for access to the development server before I can do any actual work. That's about par for the course. Heather's going to be staying for about 10 days, or until we go insane from having her kids around, whichever comes first.

So, yeah, things are good. Rachel's school is going well; she was worried she'd come back to having her teammates having not done anything while she was gone, but it turns out they did do some stuff.

So, that's about it.

Last day at Noni

Submitted 7/3/2006 10:36 AM

So, today is my last day here. I'm a bit sad to be leaving, but when I really think about it, I'm really glad as well. No more worrying about hours; just worrying about doing a good job. That's how it should be. It's too bad that the department head here is so blind to that and so untrusting of his employees. I know of a few others who are looking to move on soon as well. But, I will miss the coworkers. Pretty great bunch of guys they are.

Tomorrow we're headed out to California for a much-needed vacation. The whole family is gonna be there (including Heather and her kids). Should be loads of fun. I start the new job next Monday.

Oh. I finally used the gift certificate James gave me for my birthday last year. It was for a massage. Holy crap did that help my hips!! I'm definitely going to start getting those more frequently. It totally removed my limp for about a day (and it's only been gradually returning since then, much slower than expected).

What else... Rachel decided to take the 2nd summer term to get a couple more lower-level classes out of the way (they were prerequisites for a lot of others). She's not too impressed with her teachers this time around, as they give very little indication as to what's expected of the students. But, I'm sure it'll all work out in the end.

My linux box crashed again. I think maybe the hard drive has issues 'cause it's always the filesystem that dies. Kind of lame. Hopefully I'll get my newer linux box going sometime soon (maybe my birthday, if all goes well). Anyway, that put a delay on getting anything done on side projects for a bit.

I stole my job back, and demoted Garth

Submitted 6/15/2006 12:20 PM

Just kidding, I didn't demote him. However, I did accept an offer to go work with him. It was a hard decision to leave Noni because for the most part they've treated me well (except for the being anal about hours stuff, which always rubs me the wrong way), and I've only been here for 9 months. But, I can't pass on this opportunity. So, starting July 10th, I'll be moving over to United Online.

Rachel's almost finished her first Multimedia class. It's been a fun and challenging experience for her. She'll continue in the Fall.

That's about it.

Tahitian Noni makes the front page of local newspapers

Submitted 5/26/2006 4:26 PM

...for laying off 100 people. Two people in my department, Jer and Dylan (who both sat near me) were among those axed. But, hey, the annoying guy who bugs us all the time to waste inordinate amounts of time making a pointless website for the cafe, he's still here. Nevermind that he's useless and we've only got one web designer now. I'm constantly amazed at how these decisions are made. We could've done ok with losing a programmer, though I feel bad for Dylan losing his job, but having one designer for all of our websites is nuts. At least half of the people were in the bloated support department. There was at least some logic to it all.

Anyway, I'm done ranting now, but it just irks me how these things are done. At least they got severance, unlike how IDI treated its people. But hey, we gotta look better on the books to go public. The almighty stock price has spoken.

Besides that, everything is peachy. Rachel's enjoying her school, and her photography is actually picking up a little. I always enjoy how excited she gets when she learns some new photoshop trick. Tickles me pink.

My websites are all doing well. Librarius Metallicus is picking up steam, and I've been working on it fairly regularly to add new features and streamline things. One of these days I'll get back to the Star Wars site. I think I may redo it with Ruby. The project with Garth has yet to begin as well... maybe I'll bring it up again.

We had lunch with Blake and Bennion from IDI today. Fun to reminisce and catch up with them.

That's all there is.

Garth took my job

Submitted 5/9/2006 9:49 AM

Ok, not really, but he did get a job at the place I interviewed last year and was turned down. Sounds like a pretty sweet deal, too. I'm jealous.

Rachel's going to school again, studying multimedia. One day she'll make better websites than me :(

I'm doing the same old stuff; not really anything new to report.

iMode phones and tiny websites, oh my

Submitted 4/7/2006 3:17 PM

We have a site for our Japan office that is built to work on these iMode phones that are hugely popular in Japan. The problem is the browser on these phones is only like 120x100 pixels and supports very little html, no javascript, no cookies, and no css.

That proved quite challenging to make a version of our retail and wholesale stores to work under those restrictions. But, I am done. It's pretty sweet, in an old-school, stripped-down sort of way.

One week I'm working on ultra-modern, javascript-heavy, css-rich sites, the next on bare html, non-interactive, black-and-white plain sites. Makes for a nice change of pace, but I'd have to say I prefer the javascript-ified sites. You can do so much more and make the site so much more useful.

Too bad those phones don't use Opera mobile. Anyhoo, not much else is new, except Garth and I figured out the site we want to build and decided to use Ruby on Rails to build it. It may be a fad, but I'd like to check it out. People smarter than me (and others who are not as smart) are raving about it. No details yet... don't want someone to steal our idea :)

Oh, and Rachel is seriously considering returning to school. Maybe starting in the summer, or next Fall. Not sure yet.

I'm out.

After the dearth comes the flood

Submitted 3/30/2006 9:18 PM

Not really, just a single update for now. Not much to say. Work's been steady; the project was finished on time and it was well-liked. Finished up a couple smaller projects since then. Got some more coming up. As for personal projects, Librarius Metallicus is coming along well. Fixed lots of bugs, made lots of little tweaks to improve things. Lately I've been refactoring the javascript for it, and so far I've been able to cut it down quite a bit (it was originally done in a hurry). I even started working on the Star Wars RPG site again, but mostly just working out higher-level ideas at this point. Over the next month or two I should be able to knock out quite a bit of stuff for it, so I'll provide an update when there's something to show for it.

Rachel's doing well. Her parents are in town, so we're going to have a dinner/party with all her family tomorrow night. She painted her office and finished up some other home projects that she was working on.

Garth's been itching to work on a project with me, but we haven't nailed down exactly what to do. I think I'm going to ask him that we program it in Ruby so I can finally force myself to learn another language. I'm thinking of learning Python as well. Just need to broaden my horizons a bit.

I'm sure I am forgetting something, but that's all for now.


And, without further ado...

Submitted 3/1/2006 11:46 AM

Rachel's uploaded enough photos now to link to her site. There's still some minor issues in Internet Explorer, and a couple pages are not yet complete, but you'll get the idea.

Feel free to let me know what you think.

I've got my code working with Apache 2 now, albeit with a few lingering issues to resolve. Hopefully I'll be updating the server this weekend. It won't make much difference from your perspective, except that things may load a touch faster (I hope). Work's busy. Putting the finishing touches on a long project that was supposed to be done last week. D'oh. It is going to be presented next week, so we have to get it done today. Just waiting on some images before I can finish my part...

Rachel's got some family photos lined up, so that'll be fun. So, things are generally good. I guess it's been that way since I met Rachel. I need to add my new sites to my portfolio... maybe I'll do that this weekend after I upgrade Apache.

Woot, boo-yeah, and various other illiterate celebratory exclamations

Submitted 2/22/2006 12:29 PM

I finally finished Rachel's site. She hasn't uploaded her photos yet, so I will wait until she has to provide a link to it. But, the programming is done, barring any unforeseen issues. Now, back to Librarius Metallicus to fix a few issues, then on to upgrading the server. Yay!!

I've been getting back into music again lately, which is good for my ears, but bad for my pocketbook. A friend of mine sent me a CD full of mp3s of stuff I hadn't heard. Curse him!!! Not really; I'm really enjoying a few of these discs.

We watched a documentary last night called "The Corporation". Very interesting history of corporations in America. Obviously, there was a lot of bias in the presentation, but the factual information was interesting, to say the least. I think everyone should at least see it, even though they will likely not agree with every point made. My question is, if a Corporation is legally considered to be a person, then why aren't they considered a person when dealing out criminal punishment? Every stockholder should be given the punishment for any crime committed by the corporation. It won't ever happen, but I imagine that such an idea would prevent a lot of the criminal disregard for life that corporations have embraced in general. Stockholders would keep a much more watchful eye on the companies and hold them more responsible for things other than profit margins if they risked imprisonment for investing in a criminal enterprise.

And your little dog, too!!

Submitted 2/10/2006 11:46 AM

Well, I didn't finish up Rachel's site quite as quickly as predicted. I got sidetracked by my thirst for world domination... er... Civilization 4. But I have made lots of progress. I will likely finish it up this weekend. Look for an announcement soon. There are some things I need to rethink on Librarius Metallicus, too, as they aren't as user-friendly as I'd like (I discovered this by actually trying to add some new bands for once, haha). I guess there will always be something that needs attention. Still, I think the new site is going over pretty well overall. Work's going well; I'm almost done with the big project I've been working on for the last two months. It's pretty slick, but sadly you'll never get to see it. Unless you become a noni distributor, then you might, not that I'm recommending you do.

Rachel's been working hard on her photo business. She's got business cards coming and her price list is almost ready. She had a potential lead that fizzled out, which was frustrating, but it wasn't due to anything within Rachel's control. Once we get the website up, we can hopefully attract some customers.

Hmm... can't think of anything else.