Taken for Granted

ESL, embedded processors, and more

Not taking a country for granted

Filed under: Uncategorized — July 7, 2008 @ 1:35 am

In the “good old days” of business trips, before the internet and cellphones, sometimes a business trip could actually include a large element of travel. That is, in between the meetings there might be time to actually see some interesting historical or cultural sights in the cities and countries one was visiting. With a fortuitous schedule and a few cancelled meetings, a fair bit of sightseeing could be managed.

Such is not the case with today’s business travel. Between jet lag, the internet and cellphones it is all too easy to fill 100% of all your waking time (and given jet lag, sleeping time too) with meetings, emails, phone calls and being “on” all the time. At 2 AM there is always one more project to start or finish, one more email to respond to, one more crisis to manage.

As a result, in the last few years the only way I have been able to really see a place is to take a holiday there – without cell phones and computers. The last 1.5 weeks my wife and I were fortunate to visit Kyoto in Japan, and we had an extremely interesting time there. Kyoto has what seems to be hundreds of temples and shrines, museums and historical sites, and it’s also very easy to take trains from there to other sites (one that we particularly enjoyed was visiting Himeji Castle).

Old painting of Himeji Castle

While travelling in Kyoto and other parts of Japan, I did my best to totally wipe my mind clean of embedded processors, ESL, system level design and everything else to do with work. While I didn’t totally succeed, it was a very relaxing vacation.

Now that I’m back, I’m slowly re-immersing myself into everything embedded and ESL (noting that the Cadence-Mentor takeover battle did not make any real progress while I was away, and reading the very interesting series of blogs that my colleague Steve Leibson posted on the MPSoC 2008 conference in Maastricht, and writing a few comments on them too).

Back into the swing of things tomorrow, and I’ll write a more substantive comment when I have something to say! In the meantime, I heartily recommend vacations….


  1. Robin:

    3 weeks.

    3 weeks is how long your holiday needs to be for you not to be thinking at all about ESL by the end of it.

    Smart blog btw, been reading for a while…

  2. Grant Martin:

    I agree, 3 weeks would have been better for wiping the mind clean………..I’m already 1/2 way back into working mode and its just 9:08 AM PDT where I am! Thanks for the nice comment.

  3. Patrick Madden:

    Welcome back; Japan is a great place to clear the mind. I did my sabbatical there, and most people think I wiped it completely clean!

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