[10:25] Happy birthday to my ex-girlfriend who is twenty-five today. Hope she
has a wonderful day.
Came in this morning to find that one of the secretaries who works on another
machine late in the evenings had had another crash. Lost her work
again and was in a Bad Mood. The Badly Written Note of the Secretary was under
my door and the door of my Admin Officer. I made sure to see him before she did
and we're hoping to have a meeting this afternoon at 14:30. Not really what I
need at the moment, but still. I don't know what's up with her machine. It
might be the documents she's writing, or the installation of Office 2000 or NT.
It might be the fact that HP printer drivers have been know to do all kinds of
strange things to PCs before now. What I do know is that it's not my fault.
[12:40] About to go for lunch, boring morning. The PFY's been unable to get
the digital camera we have here under NT working. Neither of us knows why.
[15:35] Listening to 147lockdown.mp3
at the moment. It's a good tune, even if you forget about the fact it used to
be the theme music to the Snooker on BBC2 way back when. Chilled.
[11:25] Colder this morning. I think the wind's shifted.
[11:45] Today I'm working on polishing my shell scripting talents. It's always
good to learn something extra. There'll be another job I can do along at some
point and decent CV-filler is an excellent idea. I suppose I should learn awk
and perhaps sed as well. Just wish there was a need to do so.
[09:55] Was here for pre-08:00 again. No laughing at the back.
[10:15] Will try and book some driving lessons today. Probably ten hours of
lessons initially. It's a lovely day outside. Don't know what I'm doing this
evening. I should probably look at my bills and actually cook a meal for the
first time in a while. We were climbing again last night. I think I need an
evening off to recover as I think I've overstretched some muscles.
Tonight's probably an opportune evening to take off as my 3Com XJACK PCMCIA
network card arrived late/early this morning. It should have been here on
11/06/2002, but then was rescheduled for 23/06/2002 and then 08/07/2002. So it
turning up today is actually better than I was currently expecting.
[11:15] Joined a union this morning. Seems like sensible thing to do, should
have really done it years ago. Comes straight out of my salary at £10.50
a month. Not cheap, but probably worth it. I can save that a week by doing
some other things, like buying my own harness and joining the climbing place.
If I go ten or more times a month I'll save that tenner back.
[14:40] Driving lessons (two hours at a time) booked for 01/07/2002, 02/07/2002,
08/07/2002, 11/07/2002 and 15/07/2002. 08:00 start. I'll see where I am after
that. I'm also giving blood for the first time on Monday 1 July. That should
be an experience. In fact Monday is shaping up to be a busy day all in all.
[16:10] Well that OpenSSH vulnerability was a bit of a storm in a teacup. I
hope Theo has some bandages for the huge gaping hole in his foot.
[08:10] So I submitted my passport renewal application yesterday lunchtime. I
paid the extra £4 for it to come back a bit quicker. Don't know as I need
it, but it'll be nice to have the option to go on holiday at some point.
Went climbing last night and met up with (what do I call her?) her and
someone else. Frankly I had an amazing night on the wall; did things I haven't
ever managed before. They were impressed, hell I was. Nothing more. Headed
back to my place afterwards to watch the season finale of Enterprise with a
Chinese takeout. We met someone else, met another friend who needed some
comforting and we all spent a few hours not thinking about anything but helping
her feel better. They left, I went to bed.
Today is driving theory test day. I need to do some last-minute practice and
then head over for an 11:45 registration. Hopefully it won't take too long, I
can get the result and head over to spend a nice lunchtime with my peers.
[09:25] Climbing again this evening, hopefully.
[14:10] Turned up to the theory test centre for 11:20, started the test at,
11:25, finished the test at 11:33. Including the practice session. Result:
full marks and a poxy little certificate I'll need to hang on to and take to my
practical test, whenever that is. Still, one down.
[15:15] Nice payslip arrives. Huge amount of money about to go out again come
the beginning of the month.
[10:20] Got my application form for renewing my passport this morning, on the
way into work. Should be able to submit that at lunch time when I go to make an
appointment for my driving theory test. I think that's going to be a doddle as
I've been running through all the questions and very rarely get one wrong. It's
the practical lessons that are going to a) eat up some money and, b) be
difficult in the first instances. Still, it's a skill I should have.
Tell you what, though. I really need a new job. There's not much left here now
and I need somewhere that gives me a challenge. I think having to work would
give me less time to dwell on stuff and greater confidence. I'm on the hunt now
but for the moment I'd like it to be within the Institution, for reasons of
keeping things less complicated for a bit.
[14:05] Just booked my driving theory test for tomorrow at 12:00. Yes it's fast
but I think I'm enjoying having to deal with many Changes at the moment (not all
of them obviously). I'm doing it and I think I'm going to try to go with them
again. It may be the making of the me I've been wanting to be for the last few
years. Oh yes, I booked it because my provisional license had arrived. But
you'd figured that out.
[11:15] Last night was really rather good. Much better than I thought it would
be. I think part of it was the fact people turned up and didn't make an issue
of everything. Another was the excellent films we watched. I'd managed to
snag a copy of Real Genius, a
film I hadn't seen in a good few years, and also the old favourite
Grosse Pointe Blank. I ended up
staying awake until 03:20 talking to a friend who stayed over. Made some
decisions which I should try and stick to for the moment.
Last driving simulator hour today. I don't think I'll do any more until I get
my provisional license in, unless it's not here by Wednesday of next week. In
which case I'll do another hour, to keep the stuff fresh. I want to get out in
a real car and actually get some physical feedback on what I'm doing.
[16:15] Reading about Microsoft's Software Update Service this afternoon. It
requires IIS5 or more. This is a problem. I am working on a solution. I'm
also going climbing this evening as well as going to help some people with their
problems. I would like to repay people for the help they're giving me. I'm up
and down at the moment.
[09:20] A new Office 2000 patch. It's just going into the Office 2000
administrative installation on the 2000 servers which seem to be behaving at
the moment, I'll head round the machines on NT4.0 (everything else other than
two testbed machines) and install it. Shouldn't take too long and
it'll keep me busy. Next driving simulator at 12:00-13:00 today. Must
[14:15] So I went, remembered how to start and pull away but came a bit unstuck
on hill starts (uphill). The simulator has some really odd failure modes which
don't reward careful drivers who return the controls to safe before the
beginning of the next exercise. I'm wasting minutes every time I do what I
think you should do anyway before sitting back (like setting the handbrake,
changing to neutral and turning off the ignition).
[15:25] Fun and games with ePolicy Orchestrator this afternoon, aside from
updating MSSDE 1.0 to Service Pack 4 I've also installed the 2.5 update and the
2.5 Service Pack 1 update to the base ePO installation. Then there was the fun
of convincing machines which had the agent from the last time I installed ePO
that they should use the new agent from the new ePO server (which still has the
same name). I think everything's sorted now. Just waiting to see if the
AutoUpdates are getting pushed out O.K.
[10:17] Climbing last night was good. Came back, had people over to eat Chinese
and watch some Family Guy episodes. They left and I pottered about before
facing up to bed.
Today I'm killing time this morning before my driving simulator thing at 13:00.
I'll do something more constructive this afternoon, I hope. At least the
weather's nice. Although it'd be nice to have lunch with someone. I'm off to
see Spider-Man this evening. That should prove distracting.
The PFY's getting the flu, oddly. I hope he lasts until the end of the DoD
period. I can order him to have some time off then.
[14:55] The simulator was odd. The demonstrations and the time taken over
spelling things out really used up the time (1 hour). Still at the end of it I
could nine times out of ten start the car, select first gear and pull away
without stalling. The accelerator is a weird pedal, very sensitive. And the
clutch. I really hope you don't have to push it in all the way all the time,
it seems like a very large movement compared to the accelerator's. Other than
that, I'm probably on track. Bought a copy of the Highway Code and booked two
more sessions tomorrow and Friday.
Posted off my provisional license application yesterday. As soon as that's back
I can start booking lessons on the road.
[11:20] Said goodbye to my mum this morning. She's gone home. From tonight
I'm on my own. Going climbing this evening. Hopefully get back nice and late,
turn the radio on in the bedroom and listen to Radio 4 until I fall alseep (it's
on a timer set for 00:30).
Central are working on my ongoing Windows 2000 DNS issues. They've replicated
what I do and finally gotten the same A record registration error I see. It's
to do with authoritative control over zones, etc. I'm sure we'll get it
eventually. Until then I've stuck the RegisterDnsARecords 0 registry entry
back in on the two machines running Windows 2000 Advanced Server here.
At 12:20 I'm off to meet someone who's going to help me buy a mobile phone.
It's about time I had one. I just need something that's functional without
being a brick and doesn't cost the Earth per month. Also getting some new
passport photos taken for a new passport (the old one expires on 3 July) and to
send off for my Provisional License.
[17:00] I now have a mobile phone. It's not great, but it works. I bought the
handset outright and now just pay for calls that I make (I don't think I pay for
calls to my voicemail though). Should be fairly cheap, I hope. I'm going
climbing this evening, I go home, get ready and then go out.
[10:45] I split with my girlfriend on Friday, early in the morning. By 10:04 I
was on a train to Leeds to see my parents for the weekend. Please don't send
emails concerning this subject as it's fairly private. I only write this here
so that you may understand why I may change in tone, etc. from now on. Any
emails sent may or may not be read, and none will be replied to. Thankyou for
any concern or wishes you send my way, if you want to do anything, send magic
brain-O-vibes to her to let her know that one day things may work again between
us again, from scratch.
I'll try not to mention it again here.
In other news, the place didn't fall apart without me but I have a mountain of
email and a Windows 2000 setup that's totally fucked. More work on that today.
[11:30] My Administrative Officer here is a really nice person. He's understood
completely how I'm feeling at the moment and is prepared to make allowances.
He now also knows that I'm after another job at some point in the future, so it
won't be as much of a suprise if and when I find somewhere that'll take me with
my current skillset.
[14:00] I've just booked my first hour in the BSM simulator.
That's on Wednesday at 13:00. Should be a lot of fun, so long as I don't crash
[15/06/2002 - 07:35] I hurt.
[07:40] Yes, I was here at 06:30. No, don't ask why.
[08:15] O.K. I'm installing Windows 2000 Advanced Server on the two machines
from yesterday. The girlfriend and friends set of really early for Thorpe Park
this morning and rather than try and go back to sleep, I came in instead.
Getting a lot done, which is a change.
[09:00] I'm guessing that the reason I'm not being presented with the "Do you
want to make this Windows 2000 Advanced Server a Root Server? (i.e. the first
DNS on the network)" question is that initially I'm not setting up my machines
correctly to look for another DNS elsewhere (possibly outside the subnet I'm
in). If I do that then perhaps it'll realise it needs to ask.
[16:35] Came back from seeing someone about a job, which didn't work out. Went
via Central's tech support unit where I got to use a spare box to do some test
installs which helped me figure out (what I think) the solution to the Windows
2000 DNS problem is.
Once back here I did some quick installs and it seemed to work. Only after an
hour of happiness it looks like the errors are back again. I have no idea why.
[18:05] Sod it, home time. It's going to rain too. Wish I'd gone to Thorpe
Park with the girlfriend.
[11:40] The last few weeks I've been feeling in a rut at work. I'm not learning
anything new, I'm not implementing anything much at all and the whole place
isn't coming apart. We have almost perfect status quo here. And it's driving
me mad. I've procrastinated so much over anything really big like a
migration to Windows 2000 because I firmly believe that the technology isn't
mature for the desktop yet (Service Pack 3 is what I'm waiting for). I know
more than enough to roll it out, it'll just mean so much more work than I'm
doing at the moment and, frankly, I've done so little recently that doing
anything at all is getting hard to do. I remember this feeling from my Masters
degree where it was six months of nothing followed by a real struggle to get
started. I did, and I passed, but it was hard.
I want a new job, one where I'm required to learn to actually get by. Here I
can do whatever I want and it's more than enough. I need someone to require
something other than a Windows box that doesn't crash randomly. All I do there
is Ghost it again and copy their files back.
I thought doing nothing at work was what I wanted. It's not, I want to be
excited by what I do, I want to know more and I don't want to feel like an idiot
when people are discussing stuff in the pub at lunchtime. I guess I could learn
some more Perl, or do something funky with linux, but the two boxes I have to
play with here are doing fairly useful things and I don't want to break them.
I think I'll find another box from somewhere and start doing something with it.
I'm on the lookout for a new job at the moment, but I want to move internally,
within the Institution as I like it here. I expect things will brighten up for
me here eventually. I just need to get myself into a project or something.
So a machine kept crashing on boot this morning, looks like McAfee's AV Console
causing problems again. Couldn't fix it, so I Ghosted it and will keep it here
for a day to see what happens.
[18:15] Working on Windows 2000's excuse for a DNS this afternoon. It's hard.
I have two DCs. Machine 1 was the first server in the entire Windows 2000
infrastructure. Machine 2 is the only other Windows 2000 server in the
Machine 1 was happily providing DNS to two Windows 2000 Professional
machines, but with all kinds of hacks to get around the fact that at one
time I tried to install the DNS as a root server because I didn't know any
different. Every time I uninstalled and tried to reinstall later I wasn't
presented with the option to make the DNS installation _not_ a root server
(that page of the wizard never appeared again as a friend will testify). As
the machine now thought it was an authorative server for domain.name.here it
would keep trying to register the A record domain.name.here in the DNS, and
failing. Naturally, I'm not authorative for the domain.
I set the registry setting to RegisterDnsARecord 0 (don't) and added the
global catalogue A record under gc._msdcs.domain.name.here for the IP of
Machine 1 by hand and everything was fine. No more errors appeared.
Fast forward to today, thinking about adding a second Windows 2000 server
(Machine 2) I decided to sort out the DNS. Having been on a W2K course
and seen that it was possible to have an MS DNS and have it not complain
about registering domain.name.here A records I decided to uninstall and
reinstall the DNS on Machine 1 again. On reinstall I was still not
presented with the option to make my machine NOT a root server so I
uninstalled again and went hunting through the registry for the option. I
couldn't find it but obviously made a mistake somewhere as the next time I
tried to install DNS on Machine 1 I was presented with loads of errors and
it wouldn't install.
I installed Machine 2 with W2K Adv. Server, set up DNS on it in the hope
I'd be able to install DNS correctly on it. I would then migrate
everything across to it, including the special stuff that Machine 1 might
have on it as the first machine in the Forest/Site/Domain/etc. and then
reinstall Machine 1 and add DNS to a fresh install.
For some really odd reason, when I installed DNS on Machine 2 I wasn't
given the option of not making the DNS on it a root server either!
Any ideas why?
At present I have Machine 1 as a DC and the GC server (I assume, as I
haven't demoted it or anything yet) and Machine 2 as another DC with a full
copy of the ADS on it, as you'd expect, it is also providing DNS for the
_underscore domains. These are all set up as Standard Primary zones.
Machines 1 and 2 and the two Professional machines all look to this DNS
as their primary source.
I want to fix DNS.
This involves either:
It never rains, but it pours.
- Making Machine 2 the server on which the entire ADS can rely if Machine 1
is switched off, then reinstalling Machine 1, added it to the ADS again
and installing DNS on it again
- Fixing the DNS on Machine 1 (and Machine 2, which is showing the same
unable to register A record error as I remember from a few months
ago) and making it a secondary to Machine 2
- Working out just why I need to do all these cheap hacks to make up for
one tiny mistake over six months ago when I chose the wrong radio button
option when installing DNS on Machine 1 for the first time
[09:55] Nothing much happening today. Feels like a nice day.
[10:50] WAP11 arrives on time, all present and correct. Ten days plus the
weekend until the XJACKs arrive.
[15:00] Fiddling with ePO, NetShield and VirusScan again today. Specifically
the Alert Manager stuff. I really can't see what's making the Alert Manager on
the single Windows 2000 server stop from publishing itself to the Active
Directory. I also can't see how to stop it publishing itself if I actually
don't want it to do so.
[09:20] Fun thing of the morning.
[11:35] Woohoo! JMS himself has stated that Babylon 5 will be coming out on DVD
in a boxed set format this autumn! Here's the information from the great man
himself, direct from Google Groups.
[15:10] Apparently my WAP11 Access Point is due to be delivered today.
It's not here yet. Also there's an ETA of 21 June for the 3Com cards. We'll
see how likely that is come the day.
[15:50] Alison at WStore has been knocking herself out today trying to find out
where my WAP11 actually is. It's not on delivery, it's due tomorrow, not today.
Not that it really matters with the cards not due until the end of the month.
Still, it bodes well for future orders.
The PFY has finished using the first of the Databases of Doom, so he gets to sit
down for a few minutes before he carries on with the other three.
[10:50] Gained permission from the person with the most money sense in the house
last night to buy the wireless LAN kit I want (the 3Com XJACK and the WAP11).
Only now I'm not sure I should do it right now. Although I think the price is
the best I'm going to find.
[14:25] Blow me, we won a World Cup game against Argentina. Well I never.
[15:15] Ordered the wireless kit. Was a bit happy to see that the stuff was
due to be delivered in two days. Somehow it wasn't to be that easy. A friend
contacted me to ask me to order a second 3Com XJACK card so I rang up to see if
I could get it added onto the order. Things got a bit more complicated due to
money issues and stuff but I think it's all sorted. I'm just waiting
for them to ring me back to tell me it's O.K. They also told me none of the
stuff is in stock after all, which is annoying even though this is what I was
lead to believe in the first place.
[17:15] They haven't rung me back, but some fiddling with their web site shows
that the order's been updated (replaced, actually) and the stuff is still
allegedly in stock. It's not, but I'd like to dream.
[11:40] I've opened an account on WStore
as it appears to have wonderfully low prices. Not that anything I want is in
stock, but that doesn't matter at the moment.
Someone's suggested paintball sometime soon. That'd be cool.
[16:25] Just updated my SSH2 keys. The fun never ends. Oh, forgot to mention
that on the way back from lunch (where I had an interesting talk on relocation
of harware assets) I cycled over what looked like a large bit of gravel which
stick in the treads of my off-road tyres. It turned out to be the rather
dirty head of a cable tack. You know; the things you use to tack cat-5 to the
skirting board/wall with. A 1cm pin with a U-shaped moulded plastic head. I
didn't realise this until I'd yanked it out. Much hissing ensued. I've
arranged a lift home with the bike. Just have to fix it before tomorrow
morning. This is annoying as I'm busy this evening. And it's the rear wheel.
[09:40] Back to work today and one of the people who do the administrative side
of the DoD has decided that like a small child, if he does a really bad job of
the washing up no-one will ask him to do it again. Consequently the secretaries
and the PFY are having to do the job for him. Personally I'll give them all the
help they need as I know how hard the job can be.
I intended to go climbing this evening.
[16:25] Komplett are still lovely people.
I asked them about stocking the 3Com and Linksys gear I want and they've already
gotten the XJACK card up. The Linksys is going to be a bit harder apparently.
I then need them to drop the price a bit.
[17:25] More house news. If I didn't mention that our vendor has found a house
to buy and that house's owners are moving to rented accommadation then you know
now. Apparently the paperwork to allow our solicitors to start the searches
was received last week. They expect everything will be back next week. We
then go in to have a meeting. Oddly, they haven't received a copy of our
mortgage offer yet, from Virgin. We're going with a Virgin One mortgage, by the
way. That page has Flash on it, sorry.
[17:45] Just had to eat humble pie due to a mistake I made a few months ago when
a machine needed reinstalling and I didn't take a copy of the Netscape bookmarks
before I reghosted it. Today is the first time the person's needed to use them
and they're not there. I've been made to feel bad.
[05/06/2002 - 09:30] Excellent day. Yesterday I spent the afternoon over at
somewhere else fiddling with MySQL and Perl. Entertaining and totally
work-free. Came home, went over to watch Enterprise with someone and then
Coupling. Went to bed late.
We got up early and drove with a friend who'd stayed over to watch her compete
in the Hammer at Bedford (Big2002). Some fairly good names were competing but
we left after the Hammer and the 100m sprints had completed. Ended up back in
town just in time for another barbeque round at a friends and then back home
again. Nothing too strenuous, although working in front of a very hot barbeque
was a little hard and I ended up with a bit of a red face.
[09:00] I'm in work on the first bank holiday of the Queen's Jubilee. Don't ask
why. I do have tomorrow off though. There basically needs to be coverage here
every day this week and unfortunately this means the PFY and I only get one day
off each. I've chosen tomorrow so I can go to a barbeque and split the week up
a tiny bit. I don't imagine I'll be doing much today as a) it's too hot already
in here, b) by wrists hurt, and c) I really don't want to.
[12:20] This morning I have mostly read one of my Sharpe (Bernard Cornwell)
books (Sharpe's Revenge, if you're interested) and researched prices for 802.11b
networking kit. That's wireless, in case you're not up on the terms. For the
base station I'm looking at the Netgear ME102, the 3Com Access Point 2000 and
the LinkSys WAP11. For the PCMCIA card (don't need the workstations on wireless
at the moment (this is for home)) I can't see anything better than the 3Com XJACK
802.11b card. You've got to love that hide-away antenna.
[14:45] Nothing happened here over lunch, which was leisurely, long and
food-filled, so I'm off to 'help' people with Perl and not do much. I am still
in work, just elsewhere in the Institution.