So, as is quickly becoming common knowledge -- but not so common that I don't have an urge to write a Me FAQ -- I'm leaving Concordia where I've been working for, well, forever, or four years, whichever comes first. This shocks people, but that's probably because as far as they know I've always been in Montreal, because before I was in Montreal, I wasn't on the 'net.
I was on FidoNET, though. I think being on FidoNET should get you a bit of cred. ARPANET gets you cred. FidoNET gets strange looks, most of the time, or sad nods. I can't even remember my node number anymore. But I digress.
Right, so I'm going to go work at e-smith -- or what was e-smith but is now a division of Mitel -- which means moving to Ottawa. I haven't had to move house in six years. That's the longest I've ever lived in one place. This is a complicated story that I will only explain in person. I'm sort of glad to get out of this apartment, which has always been less than spectacular. But it's the boxes and the packing and the lifting and the moving and the driving the truck and the cat and what am I going to do with the cat? and the subletting and the apartment-hunting.
And the surprisingly deep reliance on the computing facilities of my soon-to-be-former place of employment.
I've spent an entire weekend logically moving. Going room (server) to room (workstation), packing up boxes (tarballs) and loading them into trucks (other tarballs) and moving them all to a new home (friend's colo -- wankel++) and then unpacking (Guess.) and taking all of this stuff from a handful of machines and shoving it all in one place.
What's frightening about this is that we're not just talking about a home directory here; rather, mail for three domains and half a dozen people, a half-dozen websites including the ever-amusing forums of -- and I quote -- Chiff and Fipple, the Poststructural Internet Tinwhistle Experience -- and a running news server. I think it's the news server that made it surreal. It's sort of like moving house and then the movers see all the safes.
But it's done. Or at least the presentable bits are; just like a physical move, my logical move involved unpacking all of the stuff other people see and then hastily shoving a bunch of unpacked boxes into the closet.
They could shut down my workstation now and I wouldn't know. Weird feeling.
Whoever thought that one could hunt for apartments over the Internet was wrong. You can kind of get an idea of what might, possibly, have been available sometime in the last year or two, but if I see another "Last updated June 1998", I'm going to scream.
But I realized something. My current place sucks.
My current apartment is on a ground floor with the bedroom up front, facing a street that has a lot of trucks on it at 6am, a block away from a major commercial strip that's busy on clubbing nights. It has signs of attempted breakins, had the ceiling nearly collapse before the landlord got around to sending someone, once had mice, and is in a neighbourhood in which junkies are beginning to appear.
But mostly I don't mind it here.
This suggests that I won't have a great deal of trouble finding an acceptable apartment in Ottawa.
I've also observed some things about Ottawa. First, everyone has been prepared in advance what to say when asked for relocation advice:
Man, the vacancy rate is 0.2%. And stay out of Vanier.
Interestingly, the vacancy rate tends to move around by an order of magnitude. There was a brief scuffle on #ottawa today about whether it was 2% or 0.02%.
This would be much easier if I were in Ottawa, which should happen soon. The joys of having to sublet will come in later entries.