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September's Journal

SETI@home units: 1422 requested, 1469 returned
I hate everything. Slashdot has ruined my life. Not only does it fill up /var (I never expected a 101Mb log file), but when I move the Apache logs elsewhere the server dies, the camera quite literally bluescreens and I can't restart httpd. I've been trying to imagine what Brian Boitano would do.

[5 min later] O.K. So now I have ServerRoot pointing to the right place. I've changed logrotate.d/apache and things look to be O.K. again. I've lost access data from the 17th to the 30th of August, but to be honest it's the content, not the number of accesses that I like.

Today is moving day! Throughout today you'll probably see me shifting heavy boxes, piles of books and things like that. I shouldn't be doing it, but the building custodians are short handed due to football injuries.

SETI@home units: 1419 requested, 1450 returned
I've been away most of the day. But I've come back to find that /var filled up without me noticing on the 27th. This meant that there was a truncated log entry in Apache's access_log (which, co-incidently, was 101Mb because of the Slashdot Effect) and Analog wasn't displaying any access data after that.

To be honest, I've been so busy with other stuff here I've neglected sorting out Frankenstein's logrotate settings. I think it's set on something like 52 weeks at the moment. I never thought the webcam would become so popular that 52 weeks' worth of logs would fill up /var. Guess I was wrong. There's a stupid hole in the stats to prove it, now.

I've been away all weekend, been to an Austin Powers themed barbeque, seen the girlfriend's parents and watched South Park on a Sunday morning. So the question is... What would Brian Boitano do?

27/08/1999 - Post Slashdot Special Edition
SETI@home units: 1401 requested, 1395 returned
[ Hello to the good people of Unix Support! I hope everything is to your satisfaction? If you don't like the Javascript, please feel free to offer alternative suggestions ]

Anyway! Good morning to everyone else (especially any new readers out there). As you may have noticed, I've shaved. Proof of communication in action. Now quit bugging me.

I'm not entirely sure what happened yesterday. Here's what I can piece together (all times are server-time (BST))
A quick look at the stats is fairly depressing. I'm assuming the link saturated fairly rapidly in accordance with the Slashdot Effect...

[10:00] Feck! Here was me thinking the Effect had stopped all traffic... Let me explain, I use Analog for my web access processing. Normal running time is around seven min when cron starts it overnight. I came in this morning and checked them, only 625 accesses for 26 August, not many more than other days, fairly dissapointing really. Checking now it appears that Analog took three hundred and ninety-one minutes (and twenty seconds) to process yesterdays logs. Here are the relevant stats:

Weekly Report				Daily Report
-=-=-=-=-=-=-				-=-=-=-=-=-=-
week beg.:   #reqs:  pages: 		     date:   #reqs:  pages: 
---------: -------: ------: 		---------: -------: ------: 
 2/Aug/99:   31817:   6188: 		23/Aug/99:    9126:   1748: 
 9/Aug/99:   50820:  10187: 		24/Aug/99:   10228:   2116: 
16/Aug/99:   90268:  19490: 		25/Aug/99:   11563:   1784: 
23/Aug/99: 1092814: 158020: 		26/Aug/99: 1061813: 152364: 

Daily Summary				Hourly Summary
-=-=-=-=-=-=-				-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
day:   #reqs:  pages: 			hr:  #reqs: pages: 
---: -------: ------: 			--: ------: -----:
Mon:   80207:  21184: 			 0:  18001:  4197: 
Tue:  125329:  32439: 			 1:  14927:  3811: 
Wed:  138267:  36601: 			 2:  12954:  3267: 
Thu: 1205156: 190442: 			 3:  13076:  3351: 
Fri:  122396:  33301: 			 4:  12796:  3357: 
Sat:   56077:  16534: 			 5:  14116:  3595: 
Sun:   35512:   8498: 			 6:  14841:  4087: 
					 7:  17443:  4776: 
					 8:  23342:  6477: 
Monthly Report				 9:  30724:  8579: 
-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-				10:  45698: 12804: 
					11:  42613: 12030: 
   month:   #reqs:  pages: 		12:  41405: 11520: 
--------: -------: ------: 		13:  48913: 13593: 
Feb 1999:    6424:   2286: 		14:  53948: 15009:
Mar 1999:   49690:  13069:  		15: 204568: 35581: 
Apr 1999:   46829:  11845: 		16: 209356: 36573: 
May 1999:   88773:  24881: 		17: 194850: 33280: 
Jun 1999:  215388:  70375: 		18: 181898: 30955: 
Jul 1999:   89608:  22589: 		19: 165036: 27031: 
Aug 1999: 1266232: 193954: 		20: 132653: 21811: 
					21: 105926: 16787: 
					22:  91388: 14594: 
					23:  72472: 11934: 
So there you go. Thanks to everyone who came and gave me a heart attack, I guess some people only came once. Those of you who want to hang around, frankly I'm amazed, but I'll try and keep my wit and sarcasm up to scratch. When I get the time (and the PFY gets back, hmmm watch the stats rise again then folks)) the CO-LARTers pages will be updated and the last shoddy piece of gif imagery will be replaced with something a little more shiny.

In other news, I'll be trying to get the afternoon off today so I can head east to visit the girlfriend's parents. Getting taken out for meals and not having to stare at a computer screen is definately recovery. The library is nearly finished having its new Cat-5E (They kept changing it from Cat-6 and back again) plumbed in, I have to go fix a printer which is 'curling the paper' and I didn't bring a drink in today.

Still no leopardskin pants, people. Suffer.

SETI@home units: 1394 requested, 1370 returned
And here was me thinking that we didn't take Bank Holidays off here. Seems like I do get Monday off after all. This means that me and the girlfriend are off to her parents to do some packing and be taken out for meals and suchlike.

As you saw, the girlfriend was back in again yesterday working on her own journal (with pictures) of her trip to Canada and the States. This is for her grandmother (who she was escorting) to have something physical to remember it.

I phoned the cable company in town yesterday afternoon too. They currently feed me television and phone. Having already been told the new place was servicable, the new person had to dither and then call me back to tell me the same thing and when they could arrange to move the services. I left the girlfriend to sort it out, she likes that kind of thing. When I have work to do I don't really like to exert any mental effort on other things.

Gah! Just remembered. Trying to order two printers from a company yesterday the line was terribly quiet, and with building work going on at the same time outside my window I could barely hear the woman on the other end of the phone. So I asked her to speak up. She wouldn't.

Have you ever got off the phone after a really hard time and found that you're really hot (temperature-wise)? Weird feeling.

Anyway, today should be mainly HTML (yeah, how many times have I said that and then been out of the room all day?), some telephone stuff and a dread feeling that I'm going to be asked to go down into the basement and figure out where the hell half the new and old cables are going/have gone.

Did I tell you about the renumbering fiasco? The building used to have a comms rack on every floor. Now it has one on the first floor, two on the third and a new on in the library. Because of this (and the addition of new wiring over the years) there are runs of numbers which are the same, like 01/022 appearing twice in the same room. According to the people doing the wiring at the moment. A renumbering excersie would cost around £600. Which the AO won't spring for at the moment.

I can but hope.

[16:00] Mentioned on Slashdot at 9:58am EDT (about 15:00 here). Within minutes I was having to slap httpd.conf into shape. MaxServers of 100, 200, 250 in a matter of minutes. Frankenstein seemed to take it all in it's stride, never getting above a 2.50 load. The only bottleneck seemed to be the 100Mb/sec link.

Stats on today's little adventure will be posted tomorrow as I'm too busy to get things done at the moment. With luck things will calm down by tomorrow. Hopefully though I should have a few new readers. More later.

SETI@home units: 1372 requested, 1356 returned
SETI came back up this morning.

The girlfriend came in yesterday afternoon (she's in again this afternoon) to do some typing and not waste my phone bill with modem calls. I was in and out of the room yesterday all day doing heavy lifting, teaching and frantically trying to find free phone lines for people moving offices. Everything seems to have reached a status quo for the moment.

I'm moving offices in a few days. During that time I'll try to keep BOFHcam downtime to a minimum. You'll like the new place I think. No carpet for the moment, that should come in January. I dunno. I'd kind of got attached to this place, but the AO's all for the administrative staff all being on the 4th floor. More stairs in the morning.

Unix support bloke got the key for his new place (the one he's renting to us) last night. We went round as upcoming tenants rather than prospective meta-buyers and had a look at things. It's going to be a great place. And when the girlfriend starts pulling in some money each month (she starts work at the beginning (6th or so) of September we can start getting some decent A/V kit in place.

Aliens Special Edition is... impressive on DVD.

Must order some printers and check where the remote I ordered is. Other than that, I've got to start figuring out how to move the Electricity, TV, Phone and Water accounts to the new place, as well as contacting all the people and places that have my old address and getting them to take the new one.

SETI@home units: 1360 requested, 1328 returned
SETI server is currently down.

My DVDs arrived. Alien Legacy (NTSC, Region 1) consisting of Alien, Aliens Special Edition, Alien 3 and Alien Resurrection. Not bad, considering I ordered them from DVD Empire on the 16th and they were dispatched on the 17th.

[30 min later] Just been doing some frantic moving of furniture and juggling of telephone patch cables to make room for a new chairman's phone, chairman's PC and chairman's printer. All we need now is the chairman. Of course, guess who has to teach him how to use NT.

The phone system here is a little bit complicated. I won't bore you with the details (this Journal is supposed to be a kind of Recovery), suffice to say that even with a fully Cat5 system, there are still things I can't do from here.

Now, what to do today. Perhaps I'll just loaf. Maybe do some HTML.

SETI@home units: 1347 requested, 1312 returned
Had a good weekend. Went shopping on Friday afternoon and spent over £105 on food in Sainsbury's. Drove to Leamington (got lost, took over three hours) and stayed with friends. We had the most relaxing weekend in ages; got up when we want, ate when we want, slept when we were tired.

Saturday we went to a 'computer fair'. Basically, this is a sports hall crammed full of stalls selling computer bits and pieces (many labeled as 'Must be packaged with a new product', or similar) at anything ranging from rip-off to bargain. WHen the gamut runs from K7s to parallel port hubs and Madge token ring cards, you know you're in for some interesting things. If you wanted to build a P60 system with a number of 540Mb SCSI and IDE drives, this was the place to be. For all the dodgy dealings and so forth we came away with only one purchase; a £22 CD-ROM (24x) for someone else. I get the feeling the girlfriend wasn't going to let me buy anything else just for the moment.

Sunday was slacker day. We slacked.

The AOs back in town today. She's going to be faced with any and all the complaints the office staff have been storing up concerning the re-shuffle upstairs. [10 min later] Just had a meeting with the AO and amanged to wow her with 'all the work I've done' since she went away. The new style web pages should serve to keep her sated until I actually do something worthy of my pay packet.

As requested vlinks are now a different colour to links. HTH, HAND.

SETI@home units: 1280 requested, 1250 returned
Hmmm, trawling through my access logs with Analog (good program that) I thought I'd share with you some of the better computer names I've come across.,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

In a strange way I find some of them quite worrying; that some people in quite high-paid and important jobs are wasting valuable (and possibly) essential time looking at me and mine. Shame on you, and keep watching. Also that some people have the weirdest imaginations. I suppose it goes with the job.

[13:20] Woohoo! Half day today. I'm outa here come 14:00. Everyone have a good weekend, whenever it starts.

SETI@home units: 1258 requested, 1220 returned
Lots of additional wiring going in today. I wish I had a digital camera so I could get some images of the library filled with cabling and the poor poor state of the current witing number system.

One of the computers given to outlying members of the institution came back yesterday afternoon. It's a PII-300. Within about ten minutes of it being in the room I had a toy RedHat-6.0 installation going on it (after checking for incriminating Netscape caches) to see how it ran. Today I'm going to try for my first FreeBSD installation. I think 3.2-STABLE sounds like a good number. I dd'ed the floppies and had a think about partition sizes. It's pretty much a 4GB disk. What do you think? 2GB for /, 128MB for swap, 1GB for /var and the remainder for /usr? Opinions would be useful.

Hopefully I'm taking Friday afternoon off (tomorrow) so the car the girlfriend has hired for the weekend (we're going visiting) can be put to use restocking the food shelves of the house.

I'm sending the cycle computer I got in Munich to a friend who lives there today. It's a Sigma Sport bc800 with RCS (that means it uses a radio link rather than a thin wire round the brake cable). When I bought it I went to sit in the 'English Gardens' to have a play with it. Only then, on the Saturday afternoon when the shops had closed at 16:00 did I discover that there were no cable ties (used to attach the base unit to the handlebars) and the most delicate part of it had a disconcerting rattle of broken or loose components inside. As I was leaving on Sunday, it was a bit of a bind.

Luckily Gabe (fellow sysadmin, denizen of the Monastary) lives in Munich and has agreed to go and exchange it. What a guy.

[11:50] Oh yeah. I was fiddling about with Frankenstein last night and realised that the time was well off. Checked xnptd; not running. A quick /etc/rc.d/init.d/xnptd restart and suddenly it was back. Only then did I realise that I'd never actually configured it to look for a stratum-1 server.

Cue forty-five minutes of frustrated hacking about with xnptdc until I realised that what the man pages were saying was true; xntpdc is a bag of shite that only it's programmer could love. Thirty seconds later (including the time it took to find the config file) I've restarted the daemon after editing the config file directly and the clock is syncing nicely.

SETI@home units: 1247 requested, 1207 returned
[13:30] First day of doing the backusp myself since before the PFY came on board. No, I didn't have any problems.

Spent the morning trying to figure out just how much cloth the old sysadmin here must have had in his thick head to let the wiring be done in such a ludicrous manner. I can't belive that the small PoP cabinet we have hasn't been changed for a 42U model (thus cutting down on the massive amounts of heat being pumped out), that there are places where the numbering is duplicated, places where the numbering/coding makes no sense and generally it's right fecking mess.

If I stay here long enough maybe, just maybe I can get to a stage where everything is in its place.

SETI@home units: 1219 requested, 1180 returned
I've just learned a huge chunk or Oracle. The main part of the Institution is starting to move budjetary control out amongst the masses. Which means the Great Unclued are having to get to grips with a DEC terminal emulator and not using the mouse.

It's painful to watch their right hands spasm towards it every so often as they try to elicit some kind of point-and-click response and I say "Nooooo." Today I try to make an impression on the backlog of news I have to read from last week. Apart from that I took the opportunity of a BSoD to do a quick Pentiumdectomy with one of the newer machines in stock, moving a fan here and a fan there and upgrading Luggage to a 450Mhz PIII.

I'm also on the lookout for a Matrox Millenium II (Not a G200) with as much RAM as possible but still with room to fit a Rainbow Runner expansion card (which the girlfriend won in a competition and we have sitting around at home). With this I should be able to create some BOFHshows, or something.

[15:05] The PFY has now just left for her two week holiday in France. I know many of you only look to see her, but if I promise to wear more revealing clothing you'll stay won't you?

Bizzaro luser problem of the day: someone in a farish flung part of the institution of which I am responsible is having problems with a floppy drive. It seems that on occasion the drive puts up a retry message and makes a 'whirring noise'. His opinion is that the case is defective and it's badly lined up. Now, not having seen it I can't comment, but is sounds like either his disks are a dodgy brand or the drive's simply give up the ghost.

I'll take some time out tomorrow to have a look.

SETI@home units: 1206 requested, 1165 returned
And that's the holiday almost in it's entirety. There was some more shopping on Saturday, I bought a wireless odometer for the bike and then found that there were no retaining straps to keep the thing attached to the handle bars and that there is a really loud rattle in the radio receiver which could be really irritating when it's attached to the bike.

I hope someone here sells them so I can maybe get a replacement. We left on Sunday morning and booked in really early on the offchance we might get an earlier flight. Not a chance. However, when we got our scheduled flight three hours later and arrived at Stanstead our luggage was nowhere to be seen. As we waited everyone else left. We wandered over to the baggage enquiries point and spotted them on a carousel which might have been used for the earlier flight. So even though we didn't make it on the earlier flight, our luggage did. We couldn't find anyone willing to be bugged so I didn't admit to having smuggled something back.

Quid pro quo.

[17:30] Today at work has consisted mainly of reading email, reading the BBS I stick with and getting up to date with what the PFY has been doing. We had a dodgy CD-RW that was packed with 400 images for the images database that the guy in charge of it has managed to corrupt in some way. Central Services can't help so that's screwed, he's going to have to do them again.

I haven't even touched news yet. I downloaded a weeks worth, looked at it and shut down the reader; only so much in one day.

The new accounts package gets its first roadtest tomorrow morning so before I go home I'll move the machine the PFY set up last week up there. How was your week? What did you see?

Oh yes, you might want to change your bookmarks etc. to point to now. My partner in crime Erin has purchased said domain and has given me the root for this little parody. Thanks, man.

13/08/1999 (The Eclipse Holiday)
We went to the Zoo today. We saw a lot of animals. The penguins were funny and I had an ice-cream. The weather was hot and we rode on a train. Tomorrow we are going to go shopping for things that we might like.

We had eggs and yoghurt for tea.

The End.

12/08/1999 (The Eclipse Holiday)
Thursday was visit a castle day. We took another train (suprise) to Chimsee, wandered through the town, caught a boat, saw a lot of fountains and a big house. The others all enjoyed the place, frankly I thought the pizza we had in the evening was the highlight of the day. That's why today's entry is so short. Deal with it. If you wanted an indepth review of someone else's trip to a big house, why the hell don't you either a) go there yourself or b) get a life.

11/08/1999 (The Eclipse Holiday)
Day of the eclipse. We planned to be outside of the city for the event (no crowds for us) so up we got at a horribly early time (about eight in the morning) and caught the train to some small town slightly north and east of Munich, keeping a weather eye on the clouds which weren't really playing ball.

The German response to the eclipse in most places outside of the city was lethargic to zero. Where we ended up was a bridge over a stream somewhere and felt quite alone until people began wandering over to look at our telescope's projection of the event. Unfortunately the clouds looked likely to spoil any chance of the eclipse and all we could do was watch and wait and hope.

Luckily the clouds cleared enough for us to get a long glimpse of the clouds corona-ing the almost totality and then there it was. Totality, the string of perls was visible, the sky was dark and there was an almost ethereal silence and tangible tension to the air. Within about a minute the cloud close over again and by the time it had moved off sufficiently totality had passed. It didn't matter, I'd seen an eclipse in person for the first time, and I'm hooked. I might just make it out to Australia for the 2003.

We didn't bother with the second half of the event (once you've seen totality, it's not worth hanging around) and caught the train back into Munich to have a look in some more shops. Not knowing exactly where we were we ended up in a CD shop somewhere and submitted to about seventy pounds of CD buying.

Extracting the girlfriend from the place we were sucked into a large department store where our friends bought some frighteningly cheap boots, the girlfriend parted with even more money purchasing a CD player and I managed to resist getting anything even though the widescreen televisions were to die for.

When we finally got back to the hotel there was enough cold rice to whip up some home-made organic egg-fried foodstuff to stave off hunger till morning.

10/08/1999 (The Eclipse Holiday)
Tuesday morning was one of those slacker mornings you sometimes get. Your eyes open you consider the pillow as a close friend who's seen you through think and thin, you close your eyes and return to your dreams.

Some time around eleven we rose and managed to get some half-way drinkable milk from the shops.

We ambled out of the place and caught the commuter into central Munich. The public transport system in Munich may just have been arranged in such a way that it was useful for us, but as a way to move about the region it was fantastic. We took it all the way to the Olympic park and wandered up the tower to have dinner in the revolving restaraunt (good view, bit windy). Because we were tourists doing the tourist thing we wandered over to the BMW museum and tried to make sense of some of the exceedingly strange films being shown on some of the displays.

Eventually we tired of lots of steel and chrome and wandered off into town to have a look at the main shopping street of Marienplatz and Karlsplatz. Vowing to buy later we went home.

Owing to massive amounts of laziness on everyone's part (plus the fact we hadn't bought anything to cook with) we had Chinese. They didn't mention that most dishes come with rice so when we ordered egg-fried rice with things the man in the take away looked suprised. We didn't realise why until we'd got the stuff back to the rooms.

09/08/1999 (The Eclipse Holiday)
Again, this is going to be a kind of retro-active short version of the trip I and friends took to Munich to see the eclipse. I haven't got much more holiday time coming up so there shouldn't be many more interruptions. I'll also be updating this through today (16/08) so check back every so often.

We left horribly early in the morning and walked to the train station (about 1.5 miles away) and jumped on the train as it sat in the station. The train was uneventful, the standing around in Stanstead Airport dull and the flight (even at 1.5 hours) too long.

Travel in europe is so easy nowadays, we stepped off the plane, onto the S8 and off to Pasing. Only when we tried to understand the commuter map for the first time did we miss the train to Westkreutz (our destination) and have to wait twice as long for the train as the journey eventually took.

At the Gasthaus im Forum we checked in (having booked by email) and tried to find something to eat, including some breakfast for the morning. The place we were staying was a self-catering place so there was a tiny kitchen in the room as well as a fairly funky bathroom and lounge bedroom. A word of warning to people who like milk. Make sure you get the homogenised milk, anything else is likely to be more than you bargained for. We discovered this after the Penny Markt we'd shopped at had closed. Not having been well prepared we simply had some cereal for dinner and crashed out.

There will be no updates to the BOFHJournal between the 9th and the 13th August. Normal service will resume on Monday 16th August. I'm on holiday. The PFY isn't, so you can always watch her (and email me if she does something wrong). I'm currently on holiday for a week, recovering from work in teutonic Munich. While I'm burning my eyes out watching the eclipse on Wednesday, you may want to tell me what you did on eclipse day (if you're under the path, or even if you're not) so that when I come back I can tell you how much better the view was from where I was standing.

SETI@home units: 1011 requested, 973 returned
Yes! The new computers have arrived. After them arriving on Tuesday, and the courier deciding that the building work on site meant that the building was closed and took them away, this is good news.

I have two leaks in my flat. One started a few days ago and coes down the wall and almost runs over the electrical sockets in the kitchen area. The other started last night while I was out watching Austin Powers 2, and drips from the neon strip light onto the ceramic hob. This isn't good. Luckily the Landlord seems to have got back from holiday and replied to my semi-frantic phonecalls this morning at 07:10. As it happened I was just emerging from coma (a lie-in for me) and was able to sound like I had a brain. Almost.

The next PFY story is stalling, slightly, I'm a little too busy to get the right amount of vitriol into the narrative. Don't worry though, I haven't stopped.

In case I haven't mentioned it before I and a few others are off to Munich next week to see the eclipse from the center of the totality line. You may get some photos and stuff scanned in next week.

As soon as the AO gets back from holiday and the moving stops happening upstairs I'm going to update the co-larters page. I've figured out how to do the nice fading round the edge of images now with masks (something I should have learnt a long time ago) so it'll look less tacky.

Be sure to watch the BOFHcam anyway next week and fill the [email protected] mailbox with any interesting things you see the PFY doing. It's always interesting to see what she's up to while I'm not here.

SETI@home units: 981 requested, 944 returned
Huzzah. Thanks to Kurt's suggestion and Visual Domain's Remote Selector (v1.6) I now have a Region Free DVD-ROM (Creative 5x, firmware version 1.30, that's RPC-1) and a DXr3 decoder card that doesn't mind what Region the DVDs it deals with are. On my investigations yesterday I found some alarming information suggesting that Windows 98 (I haven't got round to installing a *nix yet) has some Region protection in it as well.

Also installed Half Life. Wish I had enough room to make playing it more comfortable. At the moment me and the woman are living in a flat nice and large for one person, a little claustrophobic for two. Unix Support Bloke's buying of the new house seems to be going ahead again, slowly. With luck we should be able to move in, come the end of my current rent contract at the end of September.

There's lots of work to do here at the moment. I've been up and down the stairs helping the secretaries with piddling little problems all morning. And one of the printers refuses to acknowledge that its DNS name has changed.

[11:20] Gah! Suddenly realised that you can in fact telnet to, as well as use a web browser to configure LaserJet 4000N's. Thirty seconds later and everything is fine and dandy.

[14:40] They're jackhammering some stairs away to make part of the building 24 hour access. If the noise keeps up I'm going home.

SETI@home units: 966 requested, 928 returned
Quick week this week, everything seems to be happening fast again. The new SETI machines are chugging away. Room moving yesterday was confusing as people didn't tell me which ports used to be phone and which used to be data. I think I have it under control at the moment.

Possible thanks to BOFHJournal reader Kurt who pointed out Visual Domain, a possible source for a way to make my DXr3 decoder Region free (or at least Region setable). I'll let you know tonight. I may even pay the registration fee.

I really have to get to the shop today and buy the answerphone and extension cord for one of the secretaries this lunchtime. I also have to get some more HTML done. I also have to get home so I can try this shareware out.

On another note. One of my compatriots from another part of the Institution (specifically, the place I used to work) has reported a strange break-in. Seems a Gentleman Cracker found an open SMB share and decided to put some kind of DOS box warning up and changed the login screen to the NiTWiT version. I dunno, kids these days, warning people about security holes and not causing problems. What's the world coming to?

SETI@home units: 940 requested, 901 returned
Broke the nine hundred barrier today. I'm guessing the fifteen new P100's should stagger through a unit once every 24 hours or so, maybe. I've been battling with Creative's DXr3 decoder card for DVD playback. Seems when I installed I had the option to set the Region five times. At the time I chose not to set it, given that I wasn't sure if I would be buying Region 1 or Region 2 DVDs. Now though I think I want to go with Region 1 DVDs. I've already played back a Region 2 DVD (Enemy of the State) and have a friend who has a number of Region 1s. Unfortunately I can't find anything that might enable me to change the (harware) Region. Any ideas would be appreciated.

In other news, it's back to the HTML this afternoon, like I said yesterday, I've got 62 pages to do before I can even start thinking about the so-out-of-date-it's-not-true content. Luckily I have some fresh mp3 tunes to keep me going. The girlfriend bought the soundtracks to Blade and SW: TPM while she was in Canada so I've ripped them both as well as a double CD of the music from the travel prgramme Lonely PLanet (first season). Owing to a chronic shortage of Zip disks this morning, All I've brought in is the Lonely Planet and the SW: TPM stuff. Like this has any meaning for you.

Thanks to Kurt for pointing out a tiny, tiny flaw/typo on the main entrance page. It's pedants like you that make this whole parody thing worth while. No really.

[11:50] Oh yes! How could I forget. Long time contributor and generally peeved person Erin is possibly going to be purchasing, and he's offering me free use of the root for redirection to Frankenstein. Isn't that nice of him? I can't say yes or no at this stage for a number of reasons. But it's nice to see that someone appreciates the hard work.

SETI@home units: 925 requested, 886 returned
Good morning one and all. There was a power cut on Sunday. Of course the Institution announced it as been a possible interruption, nothing to worry about, but still one of the secretary's hard disks now sounds like someone poured broken glass into the spindle.

The resources room is now closed for a month while access to it is changed, this means I've installed SETI@home on the fifteen P100 machines in there, they should churn out a few units before time's up.

The girlfriend arrived home last night. Which was good. All I have to do now is get used to two people in the house again. It shouldn't be too hard, I'm still so tired from Friday and Saturday that things like that won't bother me.

Friday afternoon I had lunch with a friend then cycled the thirty-eight or so miles to the CCDE. Owing to one thing and another which I won't go into I then spent the night in a damp tent and quietly slipped away at 5:00 to cycle the same distance home again. I figured this was best given the fact I'd cycled in the hottest part of the day.

I'm off for about an hour now (it's 10:15) to go buy a new hard disk.

[15:10] O.K., so now I feel like a luser. Turns out that when I put the new drive in the noise was still there. This meant that it wasn't in fact the drive that was at fault. Five seconds of probing brought up a large (previously undiscovered) fan right next to the drive's housing which was ill. By this time, hot from the cycle ride and having bought the damned thing, there was no way I wasn't going to use it. So in it went (giving me the chance to get at least one PC set up how I like them to be set up).

This gives me a spare 2.16Gb drive. That everyone thinks is u/s.

Gods, it's too damned hot. Even with the airconditioner it's still 31 degrees centigrade in the room.

[18:10] Well, that's another huge chunk of HTML restyling done. I've got exactly 62 documents left to restyle, then I go to work on the intranet pages of which there are currently ony 28 documents. I figure I'll be done with the 62 by the end of the week and the further 28 sometime early next week.

Note to self: buy answerphone for secretaries on extended lunch break tomorrow.