When I designed electronic circuits many moons ago, there was a sense of achievement once the circuit was built. You could hold it in your hands, power it up and watch it work and marvel that the thing actually worked as envisioned. The circuit in your hand was the culmination of creative thought and problem solving.
When you design software, the thrill isn't the same. When the software operates seamlessly, the lines of code are invisible. There is nothing to hold in your hand. All of the tasks accomplished by the software are virtual. (I was just struck by the thought of how much of our real world is virtual -- bank accounts, email accounts etc. That will be the topic of another blog entry.)
So I have been working feverishly on the high tech bus system, writing software etc. So when we went to the fleet management offices, I saw my electronic fare boxes lying on the floor. Some were being installed in buses while I was there.
There was the proof that my time in this tropical paradise wasn't just the very real things of swimming in the ocean, snorkeling, spearfishing, golf-ball collecting, flower photography, planting seeds, picnicking on our patio, going to restaurants, driving around in our Beamer, meeting interesting people, experiencing island culture .... ... ... .... ... ... .... ... ... .... ... ... .... ... ...
It was gratifying to see a physical manifestation of my virtual work.