One of the things I tried to do better than on any of my previous projects when developing RoSE was: write better error messages. I've developed a whole theory about this. They need to make sense at the user level (as opposed to the programmer level), should tell someone not intimately familiar with the software what's wrong and whether they can fix it -- and, if they can fix it, how.
On my way to work, Brian calls me about one of the error messages where I followed almost none of those rules. What the hell was I thinking? Fortunately, there's only one thing the error message can mean, and I'm able to fix the problem over the phone in less than a minute. But I should have done it right in the first place.
I've come in to do another TV interview. This one's with a couple of students from Glendale Community College; the best production in the class will apparently be shown on CNN. (And the interviewer is a beautiful young gray-eyed blonde, so that's nice.) This time I do much better; I talk a little too fast, but I keep it at the right level, and I'm relaxed and open and confident. I think it helps that we're standing, so I feel a little less trapped than I did during the seated interview the other day. It also helps that this isn't my first TV interview, so I feel a little more like I know what I'm doing. I did well, and I'm happy about it.
Today also brings a continuation of an email exchange I've been having with Susan Kurtik. In my last message to her, I'd written, "'Weekend?' What is this ... 'weekend'?" Today she wrote back: "A 'weekend' is when I use my computer at home to do work instead of the one at JPL."
[Speaking of which, this is where I started taking my days off, uh, off. The flight software upload was going on during this period anyway. So the next entry will be Sol 99's, on April 13.]