[10:40] End of the month. Another month has rolled by. Fairly soon now I have
to make a decision. It's going to be a tough decision made more difficult by
the actions of others. I really don't know what I'm going to do. Ah well, I'm
sure it'll all work out soon, or in a few years, or by the time I'm thirty.
I've begun to realise that in some ways it's almost easy to deal with
the life you have; you just do it, improve what you can and ride out everything
else. I'm not sure how it'll work out, it's a mystery.
I'm away from this afternoon to Gatwick and thence to the Netherlands for the
weekend. I'll be back for Monday, in case you were worried (you weren't, I can
[11:35] These new HP DeskJet 3820 printers really look like breadbins. Quick
though. I imagine they stop sucking up paper like all the others after a year
or so, though.
[11:50] No PFY today. This afternoon I roll out what will hopefully be one of
the last NT4 images I ever have to do. Even with WindowsUpdate for NT4 (ick)
it's still plain to see that W2K (despite it's overcomplexity in places) is
streets ahead of it, especially in the area of Plug and Play. Shame really.
Standard Thursday this evening. I could just do with a pizza. Brother made
actual food in my kitchen last night. Real vegetables and everything.
Healthy food's all well and good, but it's no substitute for MSG, melted cheese
and various types of meat.
[15:45] Looks like (touch wood) the Ghosting of the new image went smoothly and
by the numbers. I like it when that happens. Time to update the web pages to
reflect the fact there's new software available.
[27/02/2003 - 11:45] Nice day out yesterday with parents and brother. We drove
out of town, went to have a look at at a cathedral and walk by a river. Ate in
a pub for lunch and generally pottered around. Most relaxing. Took plenty of
photos and stuck them up on Fotopic. Felt odd having the house full of sleeping
family. Still, kept the place warm.
Anyone who was watching the cameras yesterday may have noticed that the PFY
had her child in the office. I hadn't suddenly lost a few years and most of my
[11:15] Not a wonderfully long entry yesterday. I doubt anyone cared. The day
was taken up getting EndNote to work properly with romaing profiles and the
locked-down setup I have here. I'm pretty sure I got it nailed with some
funky use of login scripts and such. Ended up going climbing rather than
sitting at home for the evening. Someone fell on me. I ended up mentoring her
and her freind for the evening. They'd just been on the 4-week introductory
course and last night was their first time there on their own. I was rather
impressed with just how good they were. Unlike me they seem to be much more
reliant on skill rather than strength. It was actually a relief to concentrate
on someone else as I seemed to be way off my best.
This morning I'm ghosting back the new image I've done to the same machine to
make sure it works properly. Then Thursday should be roll-out day. I'm not in
tomorrow as my parents and brother arrive this evening and I've been ordered
not to go into work. I think I can manage that.
[15:20] Everything is just so complicated sometimes. Life didn't used to be
this hard, I'm pretty certain. I've got to juggle so many things now. Not as
much help as I used to have.
[11:00] PFY came in rather frazzled this morning.
[11:15] After a coffee and a sit down she seems a bit more settled now. Hmm.
Life busy, weekend rather good with the party and all. Parents visiting this
week. Let's see if this week can be better than the last.
[10:00] Saw the Wicker Man for the first time all the way through last night.
Even in full it's damned odd and reminds me of the Fenlands of Cambridgeshire in
terms of insular, inbreeding, wary-of-strangers attitudes. Of course, there's
no pagan worship in the fenlands...
A lot of people I know at the moment appear to be getting ill, and in some cases
seriously. I won't jinx myself by saying anything. I would like to help, but
what's not asked for can't be given.
[11:10] No sense in looking back, I guess. Things continue to continue, the
good and the bad. As always, I try to to make the best of them. Just
sometimes it's a little hard.
Today, well today we attempt to create a new NT 4.0 image for the
plebians downstairs. I would be giving them W2K but the infrastructure
(read: servers) aren't ready yet due to cascading requirements. Given that
we're about to (read: this side of the Apocalypse) completely gut the room and
make it actually look like a room that people might want to work in, I think
that'll be the time to do it, when nobody can complain that the machines are
out of action.
Theoretically it's Thai for lunch. Always good. Must wrap that present this
[14:40] Friday afternoon. I'll find something to do in a bit.
[11:30] Not feeling terribly pleased with life today. But that's nothing new.
Attempting to compensate... Compensating. Starboard power coupling seems to be
holding for once.
Helping a friend buy a mobile phone this afternoon, and then looking for a first
birthday present for a friends' child to whose birthday party I'm going this
weekend. Cake and icecream, and paper hats and everything! A legitimate reason
to go into The Early Learning Centre and play with the trains is always good.
[14:50] Now have present for small child and helped friend purchase first mobile
phone as I was helped in June of last year by someone else. I consider this a
kind of pay-it-forward (no, I have not and will not see(n) the film).
[10:00] Yesterday got a bit busy. Reinstalled a few machines, did some other
Hmm, argument in my office between PFY and secretary. I think she's holding
... ended up staying a little too late (went climbing) to get something ready
for someone tomorrow. Getting to The Castle was odd. Getting off the train at
Kings Cross was 'fun' as the platform was nine deep and there was some serious
shoving of people. Also raised voices. Got on the Tube and found myself in the
middle of a huge amount of Ajax supporters heading to Arsenal. Somewhere just
outside of Caledonian Road a lady just down from me was assaulted by some idiot
supporter. She pulled the Passenger Emergency Alarm (first time I've heard it
used) and we waited in the station while there were scuffles. Police arrived,
man removed, train departs.
[11:45] At a technical seminar this afternoon on creating RedHat packages. May
not be back afterwards. Final Stargates this evening. Popping round to see it
with some friends. Chocolate, wine, food, and apparently custard. Don't ask.
[12:10] Appear to have broken the corner off a printer. Not so good.
[10:45] Friday evening was O.K. Ended up playing Nuclear War and having a
pretty good time. In the end I got home at about 00:30 and stayed up to build
my futon. It kept my mind off things and meant that I actually got to sleep as
soon as I went to bed. The mattress is... rather thick, which is nice I'm
sure, but it makes the seating position very high. Far higher than I remember
from other people's futons of the same style. Maybe it's just not been squashed
enough. One person sitting on it for a few hours per night isn't really going
to make an impression very quickly. Still, that's how it is now. I mainly got
it to give me some head support when sitting in front of the television but for
the moment I don't think it's going to work.
The march on Saturday morning was rather impressive. As a paid-up member of
the Liberal Democrats I and a few friends opted to join that contingent (seeing
as how, in the event of unfortunate actions it was unlikely that the Lib Dems
would be part of it. We congregated at the Festival Hall and after some milling
around and an indecypherable address by Charles Kennedy we were off. Slow
walking seemed to be the order of things so we toddled up in a contingent of
about seven thousand to Blackfriars bridge and over. Up the road to Westminster
we headed, occasionally stopping as the march backed up. Occassionally we
mingled with other groups; Socialist Worker, etc. Now and again we were
re-segregated. Right at Big Ben and down Whitehall. We moved as a mass, now
and again a wave of sound rolled from behind or in front of us up and down the
solid mass of people. It was hard not to join in sometimes. Winding through
London we passed by various landmarks including Nelson's Column and the
Cenetaph. By the time we arrived at Hyde Park the numbers were thought to be
somewhere around the one million mark. We didn't stay to listen to the speakers
but instead decided it was time to eat. With the Central Line being closed we
walked all the way to Leicester Square and Tokyo Diner. Sitting was a pleasure,
eating doubly so.
Splitting up into smaller groups and meeting with others we tried to find a pub
but there was nothing suitable, or empty enough so we decided to call it a day
and headed home.
Sunday consisted of trying to catch up on some sleep followed by a kick-around
with a football, a nice meal in a pub and Daredevil at the cinema. Definitely
a good film with some odd turns of plot. Marvellous music.
[15:20] It's pleasing that the PFY seems to be getting a lot of people depending
on her for stuff now, I think it's really good for her development. Just a
shame she appears to be busy with other stuff when other people come looking.
[12:40] Just going for lunch. Busy morning doing more comparisons of online
photo gallery sites.
[14:35] My futon arrived this morning (which is why I was late in to work this
morning). It's kind of flat-pack, so I'll be assembling it this evening, or
tomorrow morning before I go on the march. Yes, I'm going on the march, the
first one I've ever been on. If you want a reason to go, try reading this
article from the Daily Telegraph
by Armando Iannucci.
[16:35] Yes, thank you to those people who emailed me about what today
is. I was trying not to think about it. Neither of them. No, I'm
not so great, but there's nothing to be done but smile and show the Face. It
takes two to tango. As it is I've got far more important things to think about
than that, at the moment. And if I succeed it's going to be close to the best
thing I've ever done for someone.
On the up side, on February 24, 270, Valentine was clubbed, stoned, then
beheaded. So that's not so bad.
[11:40] Made a schoolboy error this morning with regard to someones mail
accounts. Lots of looping, not good. All fixed now.
[12:00] Some sample T-shirts arrived today. So I'm wearing one, just to try it
out, you understand. We'll be ordering some directly for our paying customers.
[15:10] Gosh! And indeed, wow! Just had a reply to an email I sent about two
years ago, back when times were happier. Email from someone I haven't set eyes
on in more than five years, I think. Amazing. Really nice person, someone I
really should have kept in better contact with. Anyway, Clare, if you read this
(I did point you at this) "Hi there", do try to stay in contact a bit better
This afternoon I'm attempt to coerce another few people into letting me make
their machines Windows 2000 installations. Suprisingly, it's for the best.
I've sent out this week's Thursday: email. Shame no-one tells me how good (or
crap) they actually are.
[17:55] Just taking a look at online photo gallery web sites for comparisons
with Fotopic.net and finding that it's
really rather good, especially compared to many of the competition out there.
[15:50] Finally, finally, finally shipped the bedamned eMac out of the office
today. This gives me room to get two machines reinstalled at once, which is
helpful as we may be about to shift up a gear in a week or so to get
the administrative staff done quickly.
[16:10] It's been foggy and dull outside all day. Still, went shopping at lunch
time and got a top for climbing in the sauna which is The Castle (this evening).
I've been accused of 'showing off' (it's sleeveless), well bollocks to you, I
[17:00] Off to climbing, and stuff. Thursday tomorrow, how exciting.
[15:25] A very busy day. I've learnt a lot of things today and not all of them
are good. In fact some of them are really rather sad. But, as they say, shit
happens and now there's only me to deal with it. It's the way things are.
Part of me'd like someone to split the stuff I'm dealing with with, but perhaps
this is for me to take.
Upgrading some of the Windows images today, given enough hotfixes have come out
to make it worth my while. Also thrown in a newer, shinier sysprep.inf as well
to make things go more smoothly.
[10:20] Karting is great! Absolutely wonderful. But more on that in a few
lines. On Friday we all headed into London to the TGI Friday near Covent Garden
and met up with a load of people. A good time was had by all. Staggering home
was fun. On Saturday we all met up in one place and in two car-loads drove out
of town to a karting track. After dressing in one-piece jumpsuits we stood
around for about an hour and a half being queue-jumped before being shown to
our karts. After a few moments of being seated we were off. The steering was
extremely heavy but climbing seemed to have given me the strength to wrestle
with the wheel through the corners. I haven't had so much fun in a long time
and was quickly screaming round the track.
There were a good few collisions, a broken axle (sparks everywhere) someone
lost a petrol cap and got splashed with two-stroke and there were a few
personal grudges, but is was great. I think I won, I lapped everyone a good
few times and I don't think I was passed. By the last few laps most of us
were screaming round and I was powersliding round the hairpin. Great stuff.
[10:55] So it's Monday again. Same old lows, still feeling the pain. Missing
stuff. Meeting this afternoon, some things planned for the week ahead. Welcome
to the next week of your life. Please mind your head.
[18:10] Been setting up that eMac this afternoon, finally. I've come to realise
just how much I re-hate the MacOS 9 interface and the lack of more than one
mouse button. What were they thinking off? Anyway, that's pretty much done
except for the printer and some other stuff like copying all the files from the
old Performa across. That's going to be the tough part as the user isn't much
good at keeping things tidy.
[11:10] Things are going to get harder before they get easier. Luckily there's
always a bit of brightness, even when the rain's at its strongest.
[11:55] I've just read this time of year's Journal entries for the last few
years. How odd are the things that have changed and that have remained very
much the same. This Sunday, BOFHcam will be four years old. I've been keeping
this Journal going for four years. I never thought it'd last this long. I
actually never considered that I would keep it going. I think when I start
something good I never consider stopping, I just enjoy what effect it has and
slowly make it better until it's an integral part of me.
Barring accidents, changes of job where I don't have the ability to keep the
machine up or something I just haven't forseen yet (given the turn of events
in my life, this last one is the most likely) I'd imagine it'll be going for a
bit longer. I don't think I'd want to stop, now.
[12:10] This morning's work has been fun. I've had one user (who deals with
some very important stuff pertaining to the state of the world Right Now) come
in with a buggered laptop and ask me to secure his data while I get him a new
one. Another user's bed-ridden in Germany and can't return a machine we really
I think I'll go to lunch, get some shopping and come back to another Windows
installation. Maybe end the day with some Windows Updates. There's some
celebrations in London tonight, climbing and potentially go-karting over the
weekend. Should be excellent fun.
[14:55] A slip of the fingers online has come back and bitten me.
[16:35] Oh well, I live and learn. And another machine done, just about to
drop it back into place.
[17:40] I think I need to find 'A Tribe Called "Quest"', I'd forgotten how good
[11:15] Another Internet Explorer cumulative patch. How surprising.
[12:00] Lunch at 12:30 today. A cycle ride away. Have been trying to do some
updates to Windows but I think man+dog is attempting to secure that piece of
poo web browser at the same time.
[15:20] Productive afternoon talking people through moving email clients and
servers. Coupled with the move to Windows 2000 (slowly, slowly, catchie monkey)
things will become a lot more stable and sensible here shortly. Not much time
for anything interesting at the moment, hopefully tomorrow will be more
Speaking of interesting, I heard some news this lunchtime. Very odd in its way.
'Surprising' would be a word I could apply. Still, it's life. Just got to keep
on toddling on. (That nice and cryptic for you all? Not quite sure how many of
you read this damned thing anyway I'll just take a squiz at the logs... hmm,
about 120 of you a day)
[15:37] The "first to respond" award goes to Mark who demanded an explanation
at around 15:35. Well done.
[16:40] So more information comes down on which room we're going to be planning
on putting permanent multimedia equipment in. Water now well and truly muddied.
[15:10] Spent the morning at a technology briefing for Sun and Veritas. Had to
sign an NDA so nothing much I can tell you other than there are some fun things
coming. Hopefully I'll get a job in a while which'll be connected with them.
Had lunch, came to work, replied to my email backlog and am about to go and get
another machine or two to install with Windows 2000. If I get some time I'll be
doing a Solaris 8/Intel installation at some point. Also looking into MySQL and
integration with Apache. Just for something to do.
[16:55] Hmm, well that sucked. Just tried installing Litestep. It installed
cleanly, but I seemed to confuse it in some way and it barfed up a lung at some
point and left me without a shell. Luckily I was able to salvage it and I've
uninstalled for the moment. Will try it on a sacrificial machine next time,
rather than my personal work box.
[09:45] Cold this morning.
[11:00] I typed the time at 10:50 knowing it'd take me ten minutes to come up
with something. Still haven't thought of anything to write. I think I'm going
to set up a RedHat 8.0 box and do some investigating of bits of software I
haven't used much before.
[15:10] Working on documents for the Resources Committee meeting coming up.
Accounts, budget specs. for the equipping of a room or two with full-on
audio-visual goodness (plus some secure cabinets for same). Just have to run
the stuff by the Administrative Officer before it's included in the documents
to be dealt with.
[16:45] Well that seemed to go fairly well. Prices on LCD projectors have
fallen through the floor recently, which is nice. Means I can do what I think
we need fairly easily.
[16:50] Oddly, for the first time in years, I'm writing poetry. It still sucks.
I think I'll go climbing in a bit.
[09:25] If I didn't know better I'd say I was paying off karma at an accelerated
rate for something bad I've done in a previous life. The unfortunate and
distressing loss of the Shuttle Columbia and her crew on Saturday is a terrible
tragedy, it also puts paid to most of the reason I was going to Orlando in May.
I don't know, I imagine I'll still go.
Saw two good films over the weekend (I Spy and The Transporter).
Aside from feeling a bit queasy between them and causing myself a few problems
it was a great day. Sunday consisted of getting up late, trying to repair some
of the problems and going to The Castle for some cathartic climbing.
I've become an instant fan of Joe Simpson (Touching the Void,
The Beckoning Silence among others) who writes the most engrossing books
about climbing, mountaineering and ice climbing. With no frills, no
embelishments of the facts and situations, he creates such a realistic image of
the events an actions that it's hard not to feel the ice under the axe and the
snow in your face.
[10:10] Must remember: haircut at 16:30.
[15:45] Another machine done, would have done two today only there are still
people here doing stuff that requires some extra fiddling.