[14:15] Today I've been playing with HP Web JetAdmin. It's odd, but usable.
I've also been connecting to TinyTIM because it's an old MUD (MUSH) which turns
out to be just two months younger than UglyMug (which is the primary MUD I use).
Other things I've done today is take a futzed laserprinter to Hardware Support
for someone to fix and some HTML. Not much else really as it's Friday and I
don't intend to start anything difficult right now.
[15:10] Well, HP's Web JetAdmin is horribly usable. The interface is slow
because it's web, but it's fairly clean and usable. It's a departure from HP
JetAdmin and some of the functionality has been lost, but I think what's been
gained is an improvement, overall. Download it and check it out. I'm about to
do the BUGTRAQ boogie to find out what needs patching.
[17:50] I'm now officially pissed off at SNMP and SMTP as implemented by HP's Web
JetAdmin. Thankfully it's time to go home. So I'll work on it on Monday. I've
emailed all the people who've Code Red'ed and Nimda's me today, I think it's
time to get the hell out of Dodge.
[10:55] Almost didn't drag myself out of bed this morning. We washed the duvet
a day or two ago and so we're using the thick one at night. I don't like heat
so I've not been sleeping too well. The girlfriend also came back late from
watching Moulin Rouge last night, so I was woken up when she came in as well.
Not a good way to start the day; in a mood.
This morning I've done nothing but clear some floor space in the office as we're
starting to get too many old PCs and printers in here again. Time to have a yard
sale-type affair, I think. The PFY's off this morning so I've been shifting
machines myself as new desks are being delivered for some of the staff.
Naturally some of the desks are incorrect, as they always are. This means
another round of shifting when the new ones arrive.
Feel like I'm at a loose end at the moment.
[13:55] Sorry, hectic morning this morning. Started off trying to get a DVD
player to fit into a hole not large enough for it, then realising I'd have to
make connecting cables until I could buy a SCART and digital coaxial. Then it
was on to swapping out a monster laserprinter for another one and configuring
all that needed configuring.
Once that was done there was some emergency HTML to be done, as well as the
on-going stuff I'm doing at the moment in another window. We went to the gym
this morning so I didn't have any breakfast and I've not eaten lunch yet. So
[15:30] Quality game of the day goes to
http://www.dcs.qmul.ac.uk/~hanin/kwirk/. Needs Java, but worth it in this
[09:05] And those problems are a) a requirement to reinput an order into our
accounting/financial system and have it tie up with the order I placed previously
but the system crashed later on and lost, b) order ten systems from Dell and
work out where I'm going to store them, c) talk to the custodian about how we're
going to fit a DVD player into a space too small for it (and incidently work out
how to tell him I haven't configured it yet, ordered the SCART lead or the
speaker stands) and, d) the numerous other small and consequential things which
have built up over the last two days of me not being at work.
[19:15] Back to work and straight into a 19:30 home time. Been installing
Windows 2000 on a Vaio. The poor thing, it was crying out for A decent operating
system and I cut off its balls and tied its hands behind its back. Still, USB
continues to impress me rather a lot. I think I'll go home now, and play with
[25/09/2001 - 09:00] I should have also done this on the day, but I didn't. Like
any of you cared anyway? Checked my email now and again, solved an email problem
for one of our users, but didn't implement it, pottered about the house, watched
some television. I actually relaxed. Of course, by the evening I was thinking
about all the problems facing me on my return in the morning.
[25/09/2001 - 08:55] Should have done this on the day, but I decided to make a
clean break from work for the four days. As it was I didn't do that much; slept
late, checked my email, did some fun stuff with Small Rockets'
Star Monkey (paid for it, for a start) and tidied the house in preparation for a
convention committee meeting on Saturday.
[11:45] Installed a new machine this morning. I still like Ghost a lot. It
makes really dull things very simple and quick. Repatched some phones too. I
also took the opportunity to clean my keyboard. This wasn't a good thing, except
that I now have a cleaner keyboard. And I wash my hands too! Some of
the keyboard belonging to the people upstairs are rank.
Oh yes, my subwoofer's arrived too, so I can go and collect it this afternoon.
Or at the very least, go and listen to it and decide if I want it. I have a
reasonably good reason for going too, from a work point of view, the building
needs some speaker stands.
Still no bits for the web server yet. We've had the box without the right parts
for nigh on three weeks now. Which is annoying.
[14:10] It's been raining heavily all day, I can't see how I'm going to get the
subwoofer home successfully. Maybe I'll see if I can get a friend to drive it
round. I'm also having a long overdue holiday tomorrow and Monday. Naturally as
there's always the chance that something will go horribly wrong I'll be available
via email and telephone. I may even do updates from home for the two days.
[13:20] I really don't think this is the way to spend an entire day. Walking
round the building very slowly installing Internet Explorer 5.01 SP2 on all the
machines which have Office 2000 installed on them is not right. I'm doing this
because of Nimda. When I installed Office 2000 I had to put a copy of
Internet Explorer on. Because we use Netscape here I denied them access to it
(removed their shortcuts, you'd be unsuprised how well this works) and simply
left it at version 5.0. Because the users use Eudora here and it's grown to be
less secure I've decided it's worth upgrading it, even though no-one uses it.
This is taking a while.
[11:00] Bothersome morning this morning. Lots of email when I scanned it on
Monday evening. Couple of machines going broke (some just proclaimed so by their
users), a few more HP DeskJets refusing to pick up paper, etc. stuff with the
door to sort and dealing with the backlog of orders we've needed to place since
the accounting system went titsup at the beginning of last week.
Then there's the fact that the girlfriend's boss is leaving, dropping her
slightly into the crap. Add to that a odd quote I'm having to wrangle with, the
HTML that was interrupted by the weekend and the fact that people are moving
rooms this week and next and it's all a bit all over the place at the moment.
[17:15] Whee! Our domain's just been hit with the Code Blue. Luckily I'd
prodded CERT here a few hours ago when I saw an attack and they were in the
middle of notifying people about it when things began to bog down. Hopefully it
won't cause too many problems, again. We could do with people being forced to
register their IIS boxes, in much the same way that known criminals are forced to
register with the police when then enter an area.
[18/09/2001 - 10:55] So on Saturday morning I get an email from someone who sent
it at 04:00ish. Seems the front door was unlocked. The maglock hadn't engaged.
I went in at about 10:30 and had a look, cycled the locks a few times and every
one of them seemed to work correctly. I went home again.
We went to Wales for the funeral of the girlfriend's grandmother on Sunday,
stayed overnight and came home on Monday at about 22:30. Went to bed.
[13:10] Stayed up far too late last night. The girlfriend was up far longer.
Something like 03:30 this morning was when she trundled into the bedroom. I know
this because she woke me up.
Today I've replaced another person's old, decrepid computer with a spangly new
1Ghz overpowered fiend of a machine. This means I have to start selling machines
as the room is beginning to fill up again. Today is also the day I start on the
mammoth HTML task that the PFY is eating away at from the other end. Great.
[18:11] There's a little BOFHBOF this evening which I may travel to. I should
see if I can find anyone to take the journey with me. All this afternoon I've
been doing HTML and my brain is full of greater-than and less-than signs.
I may not be here on Monday on account of going to a funeral in Wales. More
about that on Tuesday.
[12:30] So the PCs I ordered from Dell arrived, and also the replacement parts
for the new web server. Only they're the incorrect replacement parts. We
initially ordered a machine with two 10GB 7,200rpm discs and a CD-Rom. We got
one 10Gb 5,400rpm disc, one 7,200rpm 20GB disc and no CD-Rom. Today we had a
new 20GB 7,200rpm disc and a CD-Rom for the small form-factor machine (in black).
We are decidely not impressed with Dell at the moment.
There's also a lot of room changes happening this week and next, plus an imperial
butt-load of HTML work to be done. Some of it's not that urgent,
Tonight, hopefully people will make their way to the house and we'll watch
WarGames (drinking game being planned) and Grosse Pointe Blanke.
[09:40] Nothing going to be said on the World Trade Center incident.
Today is Ghosting day, that starts at 12:00ish. With luck we'll have it done
within an hour or less, unless something goes wrong. Once that's done we can do
the antivirus gubbins on the server (involving at least one reboot), then send
out the configuration from its repository to the recently ghosted machines.
[11:50] User comes in again to have his laptop (and this time his printer too)
checked. Managed a BSoD under Windows 2000 last night so is worried "dump of
physical memory" means all his files are gone. I don't think the ghosting is
going to start on time. Which is annoying.
[14:30] Indeed, we've been delayed by another American wanting to print out a
book they've spent four years slaving over. On watermarked paper, no less.
There was a brief bit of panic to make sure the watermarks were the right way up
and the right way around. We're up to about five hundred pages of 'Letter' right
about now, and still going strong.
[17:30] Well, a mixed bag with regards to the afternoon's work. The ghosting
went perfectly well on sixteen of the machines. The remaining four seemed to get
stuck at the essential point of updating their SIDs and becoming other machines.
This was fixed by sending the PFY down to do some quick typing at them.
Once reghosted they joined flawlessly, as the other had. All we then needed to
do was the Dr Solomon's Shuffle of dumping NetShield 4.0.3 et al. on the
server, 'Discovering' it on the main Console, applying the new configuration,
uninstalling the old console, doing a reboot (because the uninstall for the
Console doesn't a) delete any files or, b) delete the shares), creating the
mirror repository and adding in the machines in its NT domain. A few 'apply
configurations' later and all we're left with is a few machines which haven't
seemed to update their DATs correctly. That'll be fixed tonight.
Probably the most hair-raising event today was the running of The Perl Script.
This thing was very simple, yet could have caused major major problems. It
didn't and I get to go home almost on time feeling only a little frazzled.
Rather than still being here at 20:45 and sweating.
New Stargate SG-1 this evening.
[11:40] Order/accounts system at central is still broken, so no ordering this
morning. Had the rep from Pars Computers come in this morning to press the flesh
and say hi. I excited him by asking for a quote on two small footprint machines
for use with barcode scanners. Got him out of the office, anyway.
I'm working on a third design to go with "Practical Unix Terrorism" and "Why You
Can't Find Your Unix System Administrator". It's not finished yet, so don't
bother looking for it.
[14:10] World goes mad.
[13:00] The girlfriend's grandmother died last night. It wasn't unexpected, but
still upsetting for her. The funeral will be some time early next week.
We had a good weekend nevertheless at the girlfriend's mother's sister's 25th
wedding anniversary. Slept in a tent. Today I've been getting pushed for web
page updates. I've done the most I can (this is work, not the BOFHcam) and am
fairly proud of the result. Validated first time. Also getting printers coming
back in and having to order new machines and such. Busy, busy, busy.
[17:10] Accounts system developed a fault during the day so I haven't been able
to place any orders. A visiting person came in to have some printer drivers
installed, I got a piece of fan-mail about the T-shirts and I've worked out a
plan of action for the second of the major ghost sessions which is happening this
[09:50] Last night went well again. Chat, DVDs, food, more chat. Someone drank
far too much white wine and had to walk home a little tipsy eating massive
amounts of bread as he went. Seems fine this morning though.
The PFY wasn't here when I got in this morning and had left a message for me to
ring her at home to find out why. Now, for the past few days, almost a
week and ahalf I've had the idea that she might be pregnant. So I rang and it
turns out that she is. Which is great news. She was very suprised to find out
that I pretty much knew already. Them's the breaks for being omniscient.
She'll be in this afternoon. I now have to start thinking about what happens
during the time she's away on maternity leave and hoping that she doesn't leave
but instead comes back afterwards. Now I think about it, it's really essential
that I get her post upgraded to something more befitting her experience and the
requirements of the position she occupies here.
[12:45] Well she's here now and while contemplating maternity leave, seems keen
on coming back after that. Which is helpful.
[17:00] Oddly, HP appear to have dropped the 6xx line of DeskJet printers. This
is annoying. The lowest one I can get now is the 840C, which is a completely
different line. Bonkers.
[11:40] Hurrah! Your favourite loon and mine Gene Ray has updated the Timecube
site at http://www.timecube.com/. I love
it; he's completely barking. However, if you see any talking dogs
you're to kill them straight away. Just to be sure.
I went out last night so missed the repeat of the final episodes of last season's
Stargate SG-1. However I did get to sit in the pub all evening with friends and
then go to Pizza Hut at 22:45, which was nice as I was rather hungry. More junk
food tonight as it's Farscape plus feature film evening at my house again.
[18:00] Hmm, or possibly hurrah. I've succeeded doing something ugly and nasty
and quite clever with Windows 2000, FileMaker Pro 4.0v3 and Apache. Now I need
to go home and prepare for people coming to visit.
[13:40] Spent the whole morning shifting, tidying the cables for and generally
setting up PCs. Oddly, once they were in place, the Ghosting went off without a
hitch, the application of Virus Scan also. It's weird. I think I'm going to be
paying off that karma at some point in the future.
Speaking of which, an American left his laptop with me this morning for me to fix
and install gubbins and stuff. Only he's not given me any passwords, so I can't
do anything until he comes back to 'pick it up'. I may stay this evening to do
it so he can pick it up in the morning, or just tell him to come back tomorrow.
[10:45] Naturally the new web server is without CD-Rom. I've contacted Dell and
the problem was at their end. They're sending one "within 3-5 working days".
All I can say is that it's a good job we didn't need this machine in a hurry.
Naturally it's come incorrectly configured, but that's fixable. We're currently
debating Windows 2000 vs Windows NT (we have to run Windows to support FileMaker
Pro, unfortunately). I've also fixed the mouse I mentioned before. Probably
something electrical rather than electronic.
And now one of the two PCs I have nightmares about has died. Almost vomited its
hard disc out of its old and decrepit casing. I think I can just replace the
disc with another one (631MB!) which is only a little bit larger, but the
keyboard or the keyboard controller appears to have fried too. I blame the
electricians in the library pissing about with the power.
[15:55] Well, I've finally gotten into the BIOS for the machine with the dead
hard disc, but now that I've gotten it booting from floppy the genuine 3C509B
isn't being found by the Ghost installer stuff. Which sucks. I may end up just
running Ghost and ghosting the working machine's drive to the new one in this
one. Can't do that until after 17:00 though.
[18:45] Hurrah! I'm triumphant again. I've beaten DOS 6.22 into a cocked hat.
I'd like to take a moment to mention that Windows 98's faux-DOS is really
annoying because it's not compatible with DOS 6.22 and the MBR, etc. I won't go
into things because I don't want to and frankly I'm tired. Roll on a few months
from now when the machines get replaced by brand new boxes (thus making the LCD
flat-panel monitors perform to their recommended specifications) with clean
keyboards. They'll also not be running DOS, but at least an OS I can do
some remote management with.
[04/09/2001 - 10:40] Sorry about not doing this on the day, but I was in Wales
sorting out a family emergency on the girlfriend's side of the family. Personal
thing, nothing more I'm likely to say on the matter.
I managed to get hold of the PFY at some point late into the afternoon to make
sure nothing had gone horribly wrong for a Monday. The only things were some
kind of transiernt lockup on one of the switches which serve the ground first and
second floors (fixed by a power-cycle), a mouse which didn't work (replaced) and
a new user arrived (given a temporary account until she gets her user ID from
central). Oh, and the new web server finally arrived.