(I'm continuing a story; for the previous installment, look back to my May 7, 2006 entry below.) We developed these program libraries to enable customers to play audio/video and display slideshows on the Two Big I's fancy chips, finishing only a little more behind the final "wing and a prayer" schedule. The last part of the project took somewhat more than six months. It was a team effort, with five other programmers contributing, and it totally consumed my thoughts. After a few weeks coming up to speed, I was constantly thinking about what to do next, and making excellent progress with only a few sideslips. My concentration was as deep as it has ever been. But I'm not proud about that.
Software comes and goes. But what about family? My wife and kids assured me that during those months I was "not there" even when I was home. They were living with a zombie. This is not the best tradeoff I ever made in my life.