It turns out I have quite a bit to learn before I can really start contributing to the going-ons here at NetLearning. They've given me the task of figuring a way to get device activity from their servers/routers/whatever and producing historical graphs of that data so they can troubleshoot. A search on the internet for graphing tools produced a wonderful graphing library that does exactly what Ray wants, but needs to be deployed either in Visual C++, Borland Builder, Visual Basic.NET, C#.NET, or Delphi.
We decided to go with Visual C++ because a)They already had a license for it, and b)I don't know it yet, and I was born to suffer. :p. Actually I'm thrilled to have a chance to learn VC++. It's probably a good thing to have on my resume. Unfortunately, it's more convoluted than Borland Builder ever was, so it might take me a while to learn. Fortunately, I bought a book called "Learn Visual C++ 6.0 In 24 Hours" to help me out. 24 hours!!! Holy cow! With books like these, who needs a CS degree?
In addition to figuring out how to deploy this thing in VC++, I will eventually have to learn how to talk to the server and the databases. Then I can query for historical data and, eventually, hopefully, create an app that graphs server activity in real-time.
Now a lot of people would say at this point that I should be very very scared. They'd be right, but there's a coffee pot here at the office which I'm abusing as much as the one back at the IRIS labs, and caffeine is a sure-fire way to kill fear. I mean, have you ever seen a frightened, wired man?
Last I heard, there are still no camels in India.