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Joel on Software


by Joel Spolsky
Tuesday, September 11, 2001

Michael and I tried to give blood, but the hospital had loud announcements on the PA saying "keep away from the hospital, please do not mill around outside." Volunteers told us that the blood donation centers were overloaded anyway and we should come back tonight or tomorrow.

Up here on the Upper West Side, about 5 miles north of Ground Zero, I saw streams of people in business clothes walking home. I saw people planning to walk all the way up to the George Washington bridge and then across to New Jersey where they lived.

All mass transit was stopped completely. The streets were very quiet around here, there was very little traffic. Many streets were completely closed to traffic.

Friends in Brooklyn reported watching the buildings burn. Many people who lived in Brooklyn were stuck in Manhattan. We heard a few subways are running now. My friend Lisa had some business downtown today. When she got out of the subway, she saw all the chaos and went back down to the subway. She came to visit me uptown and is now trying to work her way home to Park Slope. (She made it. About half of the city's subway lines are running.)

Jared (my boyfriend) is stuck in Connecticut for the night. He works there, in Old Greenwich, and all bridges into the city are closed, so he's spending the night with a friend from work. I'm going out to dinner now with some friends. It looks like tomorrow the city will be completely shut down, too.

8:00pm I spoke to a policeman in a restaurant. He said that 400 policemen and firemen were killed when the buildings collapsed. They were in there rescuing people. He said he will always remember the screams he heard from trapped police over the radio.

(He also said that Israel was attacking Afghanistan. Police think the weirdest things.)

Have you been wondering about Distributed Version Control? It has been a huge productivity boon for us, so I wrote Hg Init, a Mercurial tutorial—check it out!

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