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June's Journal
August's Journal


31/07/2003
[11:40] Annoying morning thus far. Had to fix a front wheel puncture from a bit of glass last night when I was cycling to the supermarket. Ended up taking more time and effort rather than less (the reason I'd gone on the bike) as I had to carry it back too. So I fixed it this morning and was late for work, not that that mattered particularly, but still. Once in work we couldn't find the drivers to get the PFY's new machine to recognise its USB2.0 ports for ages (now done).

Now I have all kinds of problems with the polo shirts I ordered for an event this weekend. They were due to be delivered on Wednesday and now aren't going to be anywhere useful until tomorrow morning. Now I have to see if we can get them delivered to a farm in the middle of nowhere in time to be sold.

[14:00] I have to say that chicken tikka sandwich filling is really rather nice. Coupled with a couple of french rustic rolls, some oranges and a yoghurt they make a wonderful lunch. Now that I look I see that someone is downloading the journal.html page every hour at fifty-three minutes past the hour, twenty four hours a day. I must say, I'm really not that exciting guys. Get a life. Or alternatively, email me more often so I can respond to things you say.

[16:40] Secondary computer room now set up and in operation. Everything seems fine at the moment. We've got six (down from twenty) machines up and running on a 100Mb hub (which is fine, really) with a printer. Everything's auto-negotiated down correctly and things look fine. Now all we need to do is completely refurbish the room and suffer the complete downtime of the building towards the end of August. I'll let you know nearer the time, but it looks like it'll be the bank holiday time (23rd-27th).

[17:10] Damn, my free SMS service seems to have stopped delivering. That's not good.

30/07/2003
[11:00] Went to London last night and met up with a few different people. Ended up climbing with Hild for most of the evening after bouldering for half an hour or so. We did some tough climbs (mostly 5c) and I managed to do my first decent 6a with only one stop (to actually find the next hold, they're that small). In the end we ended up on the bar doing pullups until we couldn't hold on any longer. I got an early train home, made my phone call and went to bed.

Uhnsurprisingly I was still tired this morning. I think it's something to do with pushing myself last night. Still, I'm pleased with how well I did. So far today I've done very little, but I know I can get a whole load done very quickly as soon as I get in motion. Which I'm going to do as soon as this entry is finished. Which is now.

[16:50] Stuff done, rain come down in buckets, nearly time to go home. I've just given in and downloaded the Retur of the King trailer. If nothing else, the music is rather nice.

29/07/2003
[11:00] Feeling a good bit better this morning. I got home yesterday and just sat down on the futon and watched some television (something I haven't really done in almost a week). Cormac and Steph came round later in the evening and we went to Cormac's house for some decent home-cooked food. I have a small bit of advice for you, if you have nothing better to do than sit around waiting for navel fluff to accumulate, you still can fill your time better than watching Ghost Ship. It's dire, the horror is unsustained and extreme in places and, frankly, isn't worth the effort. It still made me feel vaguely ill at one point early on though, which is impressive these days.

I've still not managed to get the new keyboard and mouse onto the last server (requires a reboot) but there's only one machine still in the NT domain now and it's the PFY's machine. Once that's gone we can move the communal shares off it, uninstall the last of the Dr Solomon's Management Console guff and reinstall it as Windows 200 Advanced Server. This'll allow us to use full-on RAID5 fury again. Plus it'll spread the load over a few more machines than the poor PowerEdge 1400 which is carrying most of the building at the moment.

Not sure where I'm climbing this evening. It all depends on what our driver is up to.

[15:35] Right, climbing in London tonight. Am ghosting machines this afternoon in preparation to get out a few more configurations and achieving the homogenous look-and-feel to the whole place. I'll try to get out of here around 17:00.

28/07/2003
[14:40] I don't feel very good. Headache, tired, dizzyness. I don't think it's anything I'm coming down with, I think it's the humidity/heat today, the frantic pace I was dashing about at this morning ghosting three machines (I figured out what was wrong with the Dell GX1 that wouldn't take the image properly, I needed to turn on ACPI in the BIOS for some reason, I don't know why) and doing the post-configuration stuff on them. I really can't concentrate. The PFY's in today and I've done a fair amount of stuff today. I think I'm going to go home and try to relax a bit.

We still need to get the new keyboard and mouse onto the server which is serving pretty much everyone now (poor thing). Then we can move the communal shares across, take off the last of the Dr Solomon's Management Console things and then reinstall the main server in preparation for migrationary things. My brain is in no fit state to do anything sensible this afternoon so I'm going home. Maybe I'll take a better stab at things tomorrow.

25/07/2003
[11:00] Well, the older ghost image didn't help. I'm going to be investigating between now and 13:00, when I get out of here for the day. I'm heading out of town for the weekend. Hmmm, cheers on the building site. Odd.

Anyway, this morning I've been working on getting the last of the moved machines in place, and for some reason very little else. I got in really early this morning and now I think about it I've done very little. How odd. In fact today has been really odd, generally. Maybe it's something to do with being Sysadmin Appreciation Day.

[12:15] Printer swapped into place, drives mapped, emails sent (none returned) and web pages updated. It's a bitty morning this morning, but I think I'm getting things done.

[13:00] Right, time to head off. It's raining here, hope it's not raining elsewhere. Still, minor panic now abated.

24/07/2003
[13:00] There are seven pneumatic jackhammers at work on the building site next door. I've had to deal with three MS security problems this morning, every time I leave the room I'm accosted by the secretaries who're still moving rooms. I need lunch. I've already secured our MSDE 1.0 installation and provided information to the central IT service on what I've done. This afternoon we may even do the last four or so machines that're still using our original NT4 domain and then we can look at migrating services off it, too. Right now though, I'm going to lunch.

[16:20] Lunch was fun. I sat out on the grass and threw away my sandwich owing to the meat smelling funny. I read my book for the rest of the time in the sun. Coming back I was required to do some cable poking to get things into place for one of the secretaries. I then went downstairs to get another machine ghosted and found that there was something terribly wrong with the machine. I've brought it upstairs now and have swapped the hard disk. This means I'm not pegging it up and down the stairs all the time starting and stopping Ghost sessions.

With luck the session that's going on right now and finishing in a few seconds will mean the machine will boot into Windows 2000, rather than starting and then recycling endlessly...

[16:21] And it's not worked. I'm trying an older ghost image to see if that fixes it.

23/07/2003
[16:30] My day has consisted of coming in at high speed and getting sweaty because I realised I needed to be in 'early' so I could remove PCs from two offices to allow the custodians to move the furniture to get things into other offices. Don't ask. I then get a call from the guy from Estates Management and Building Services (EMBS) to discuss power and data socket locations for the refurbishment of the computer room. Finally having time to do so I change the backup tapes and taking a moment to look happily at my new 15" LCD monitors attached to the servers. Broken from my daydream I'm asked to reinstall the Deputy Librarian's machine with Windows 2000 and have half an hour's trouble with the printer attached to it, which I now seem to have sorted.

I then had lunch and watched two Family Guy episodes (a weakness of mine, it creases me up). This afternoon I've carried about five monitors downstairs and aim to let them be stolen (they're free, I'm giving them away). This took a while as the lift is out of order, remember. Good bit of exercise. I've also had a go at tidying some of the shelves in here which are full of old kit we don't need any more.

I don't know what I'm doing this evening. I should email some people and see what's happening I suppose. There's a bit of wind so I might take the kite out otherwise.

That's about it, really. Fascinating life I lead, don't I?

22/07/2003
[13:00] Had a good morning this morning after a bit of a false start. Feeling a lot better about some things now. Have managed to get rid of another PC too, to the PFY. She's also taking a printer as well. The new black 15" LCD screens, the keyboards and mice have also arrived and the PFY and I will be putting them in place this afternoon. The room will look a whole lot better after this change, I think. I should go and have some lunch soon as I'm off to The Castle this evening. Hopefully I'll get home reasonably early this evening. I still need sleep and decent food but this article means I can still have my pizzas on a Thursday. It's a medical necessity. I have to say that getting more sleep (although I'm still waking up at 04:00 and 06:00) and eating a bit more sensibly has had a good effect on my mood. Or maybe it's because I'm sorting out some things a little more. Who knows?

Lunch time, anyway. I'm going to watch Family Guy and eat my food.

[15:35] I'm just watching the PFY sweep and polish away five years of dust and grime from behind the outgoing CRTs as we replace them with lovely LCDs. It's amazing what this machines have to put up with. I wish we had a clean room for them. Still, looking pretty spiffy here now.

21/07/2003
[10:35] Really nice weekend just gone. Had a friend down who came climbing on Saturday with me in London before meeting up with Andy (over from America) with Meri and Dunk and his new lady Liz. Sunday was spent having a fat-bloater of a meal at a place called Henry's. Marvellous.

[14:45] Have been installing Service Pack 4 on the machines which were ghosted pre-SP4 release. It's soul-destroying work and it's still not done yet. Still, when it is everything'll be as up-to-date as Microsoft claim you can be and we can get on with the last few machines being converted.

[17:30] So I'm off home now. Thence to play some LAN games, go to the pub and then have roast duck (home made!) at a friend's house. Not bad! Then I use the phone. Which is always good.

18/07/2003
[11:10] No matter how I'm feeling Ferris Beuller's Day Off always raises a smile. I showed it to Bob last night and he was most amused, when he wasn't reading my Bob the Angry Flower comic books anyway. Cormac and Steph came around at about 21:30ish but we just sat and talked for an hour or so before I shooed them out to get another early night. Unfortunately I woke up at about 04:55 this morning for some unknow reason. Probably the heat and the light. It's another lovely day outside again, but with a bit of cloud cover. Not too bad really. There was a good chunk of wind as I cycled across one of the open spaces in the city on my way in this morning. I may fly my kite this evening for a little bit.

I did a whole load of tasks this morning in the first fifteen minutes of being here and I feel rather caught up on a lot of things. Electrical subcontractor stuff for the computer room refurbishment has arrived on my desk and I need to make some decisions about loop alarms and such. Luckily it's my turn for a Thai this lunchtime so I'll be off from about 12:40 until just after 14:00. Not sure what's happening this afternoon. I may do another Windows installation this afternoon.

[11:40] Damn. Network connectivity just dropped out. This isn't good.

[14:35] Network came back in fairly short order. I've worked out why and it wasn't anything I'd done. Went to lunch for Thai with a load of the guys from all over and had a damned good decompress.

[16:10] It's a slow afternoon so I'm upgrading apache to 1.3.28 just for something to do.

17/07/2003
[12:25] I went for a run last night. On the fairly sure assumption that nothing else was happening and the weather was getting more and more humid I got home, changed into a light set of clothing and set out for an hour's run. About five minutes in the heavens opened and I got drenched, it was marvellous. I ran for the remaining fifty minutes and got home to have a damned good stretch. Oddly I hadn't felt too hungry and had only eaten a few sandwiches before going out. I may treat myself to a pizza this evening as I've not had takeout in a while now.

My new debit card hasn't come yet and as the old one's cancelled my DVD order for Family Guy Season 3 hasn't worked. I'm also worried that the money for a cinema ticket I had refunded isn't going to work either, now. I guess it's only a small amount, but still.

[12:40] Lunch time, anyway.

[17:10] Another machine flawlessly converted from evil Windows NT4. Now I go home to eat pizza and watch telly for a bit.

16/07/2003
[13:00] Have spent the morning dashing around trying to get people to agree that we can lose network connectivity to the building at the end of August for up to a week while certain parts of the comms. network are completely rejigged and new cabinets are plumbed in. I don't like it, for one because the BOFHcam will be out of contact for a long time, but also because it'll play hell with all kinds of other things. Luckily by then we should be using my internal DNS rather than relying on the external one so people should still be able to access the internal filestores and the like. Even so, bad news for Blanke.

Lunch time, I'd wager. Make the most of the good weather as things are said to be changing some time soon.

[16:45] According to UMIST we're in the firing line for some serious thunder and lightening some time today or tomorrow. That should do something about the incredible humidity and the temperature here.

[17:30] Home time, and pasta.

15/07/2003
[14:00] Got a T-shirt design going on at the moment. Hopefully get it taken to the printers today. It's not an O'Really, and it's a one-off, so you don't get to see it. At least, not yet. Bloody hot here again. Fans on, windows open trying to do very little.

The Librarian had her machine reghosted this morning. Not much of a trial, but there were some annoying extras we had to fiddle about with before all was good. We've had no complaints as yet, so maybe we've gotten it right.

[17:05] Right, got to go and do some climbing and stuff. Far too hot. Time to get the hell out of here.

14/07/2003
[10:05] I opened my post this morning and a debit card 'fraud' I've been dealing with has gotten more serious as the bank have sent me copies of the transactions and they're definitely not mine. I've rung Domino's and checked, they bring out the card reciept for you to sign, not someone in the shop when ordering over the phone. This means that those signatures should have been mine. They aren't. Annoyingly this means I have to cancel my card, for the second time. I was defrauded a few years ago, too. That one was dealt with much more easily, even though it was for much more. Still, I'll get this one settled too in a few days I think.

[10:50] Still feeling dreadfully tired and low on energy. It's affecting my mood. I'm not eating wonderfully at the moment, that's going to have to change. I'm also going to try and get early nights all of this week. I'll even close the curtains, even though that's anathema to me. It'll also cut down on the air-flow through the house. Still, I may sleep later than 05:00 for a bit. Unfortunately I've booked to see The Animatrix at a cinema this evening and it starts at 23:00ish. I'll see if I can cancel and get my money back or get some sleep between work and it starting. I don't really want to waste the money.

[12:20] Box office opened at 12:00, ticket cancelled. I'm going to go home this evening, have something like pasta and then go to bed. I'll stick my phone by my side in case someone rings me, otherwise it's lights out.

[13:00] I'm off for some starch/carbohydrate goodness. The start of my decent food drive (at least for the moment).

[14:35] Unfortunately the food place was out of potato-wedge goodness so I had to go and get a bacon and egg sandwich instead. It didn't quite fill the hole but it'll serve until I get home. I fell asleep on the grass and only just remembered to turn over so as not to burn one side. Back at work now and really hoping to get home before I fall asleep again.

[16:40] Only twenty minutes until I can get out of here for the day. A quick stop by Borders for a book and I'll be fine.

11/07/2003
[14/07/2003 - 10:00] I took the day off.

10/07/2003
[10:30] Well all of the servers appeared to survive the night. Unfortunately when I got in this morning there were three new hotfixes to be applied. Such is life. The eternal struggle to keep up to date with the monsterous holes in Windows products.

[12:15] We're trying to work out how to make the room work better here now. First of all we've moved some of the empty boxes out to another room but space is at such a premium here at the moment that we're having to be rather sneaky with where we relocate stuff to as it is. We have too many monitors. I think I will try to sell some.

[12:45] We also need to sell some old printers, a really old 486 DX2-66 and some LaserJet 4000N boxes.

[13:20] I think, given the weather at the moment we're going to go out this evening and have some kite-flying excitement as the wind seems to be up at the moment. It's the first time in a while so it could be kind of fun.

[14:10] Off work tomorrow. The weather here is stunning and I wish I'd gone out at lunch time but I have had things to do, calls to make and configurations to update. I want to get out of here at 16:30 today and go do much more fun things.

09/07/2003
[10:05] I'm feeling O.K. but I think I'm very tired. Too many late nights, etc. I'm not doing anything this evening in an attempt to try and catch up a bit. I also need to think about things less. My brain just keeps churning and churning all the time when I'm awake and being tired doesn't help me keep my thoughts in order quite so well.

I was extremely forgetful about things yesterday and even forgot that the PFY wouldn't be in today. I think I need to cut back on stuff and just stay in for a while. Get to bed before ten for a few nights, rather than one in the morning.

[11:35] Have arranged to meet a good friend and his newish girlfriend the weekend after this one. Should be a great time to catch up on all kinds of gossip that we've been missing for a good long time. With luck and a following wind we should be able meet up with Andy (US immigrant, host for my US trip in May) who's in the country for a few days.

[14:45] Lunch good, met up with Shaun whom I've not seen in a long time owing to the fact he has a newborn taking up much of his family's time at the moment. Must think of some things to invite them all to so they get a chance to have some fun outside the house rather than at home. Change the scenery a bit, etc.

[15:00] It's far too damned hot in here again. I want to go home.

[17:15] Just upgraded the work web server to Apache 2.0.47. It appears to work, so that's helpful. Sometimes Windows .MSI files are actually nice to work with. I think I'll go home now.

[17:40] No, screw it, I'm going to install Service Pack 4 on all my Windows 2000 servers because I won't get a better time than right now. Life on the edge, it's the place to be.

[18:25] One down, one to go.

08/07/2003
[12:00] Tired again this morning. Had to use the shower on cold to wake me up sufficiently to function. Work consists of waiting for people to stop using their machines so we can reinstall them. The real fun will start when no-one is using the Windows NT server any more (one of many) and we can reinstall it and move some of the services off the one machine that people are getting moved to at the moment.

Some good news this morning (just in under the wire) which I'm partly responsible for. It's always nice to help someone move forward with things. With luck I should have most of the machines here moved to Windows 2000 by the end of July. That'll give me some leeway for playing with things over the summer when the computer room is closed.

[17:30] Busy afternoon, finished with moments to spare. Home, then climbing, then Chinese. Argh, too much to do.

07/07/2003
[10:35] Absolutely bloody knackered. Good weekend. Went shopping on Saturday for some climbing gear after a lie-in for the first time in a while (about a week in fact, tough time with with PFY being away). Spent the rest of the day pottering around. Had a good old-fashioned butty tea for once. Sunday was climbing day followed by a diversion to Leicester Square (may as well use that Travelcard for something other than a trip to and from King's Cross every time) for a meal at Tokyo Diner, one of my favourite meal places in central London.

Back to the grind this morning. Oddly I appear to have lost my Aliens DVDs box set and no-one appears to know where it is. I'm sure I've lent it to someone, I'm just not sure who.

[10:50] Ah, the wonders of email, someone's reminded me of who might have them. I think I lent them to someone so they could watch them at work.

[12:35] So, so hungry. And I had a huge bowl of Coco-pops this morning.

[16:55] So there's a fundamental incompatibility between Sun's JVM and IE at least on my machine. It crashes my machine. I've disabled it for now and to be honest I'll stick with using Mozilla as it is. Tonight I've arranged for a load of us to watch Charlie's Angels 2: Full Throttle. I'm going knowing it's going to be absolutely dire. But that's the point. Suddenly realised I've not been updating the Journal owing to missing a link somewhere. Hope no-one's minded over much.

04/07/2003
[11:20] Currently updating the other major Windows image we have here in preparation for another two Ghosts. These'll be done concurrently in a few minutes or so. Once that's done it's time for a Thai! Two in one week can't be good for me, but I don't really care.

[12:05] Ghosting done. One machine ready for Intellimirroring, the other's on its way. I think I'll do them together. It feels good to be doing work, even if it's nothing very taxing.

[14:40] Another machine Ghosting now. It's good this work thing. Not sure if I can do any more given how many people are on leave at the moment. Still, it's all good.

[16:05] I'm just rereading the two-part article on Tranquility (part one, part two) and continue to think that certain members of the citizenry of the United States of America are just Too Weird.

[16:40] I'm going to watch The Matrix and then Matrix: Reloaded this evening. Hopefully I'll be wandering off to help someone build a shed this weekend (proper foundations and everything). If the weather's nice I might go out and get some sun and wind somewhere, rather than being cooped up inside.

03/07/2003
[10:50] Important meeting this morning at 11:00. Well, it's at 11:30, but I have to spend the half an hour beforehand making sure the new Administrative Officer I'm training knows what the meeting she's coming in to is all about. With luck things should go swimmingly. Speaking of swimming it's abysmally grubby weather outside at the moment. Not really inspiring, but then we went climbing last night and had a monster curry about half an hour before doing so. Given how much I've eaten it's not surprising that I wasn't at my best. Still, lots of fun. I was awake far too late last night and consequently feel a bit fazed at the moment. I'm hoping I'm going to be fine for this evening's usual Thursdayness, I imagine so but I'm going to get a reasonably early night anyway to try and get myself back in gear.

A phonecall just now tells me that the meeting is now at 11:45, rather than 11:30. I hope it doesn't go into lunch at 13:00.

[11:40] Well, meeting one has gone by and the brief panic I had has been happily assuaged by the staff whom I thought it would affect. Basically the ripping out of the old comms cabinet and a new, full-height 37U one being installed.

[13:05] Meeting just finished. More after lunch.

02/07/2003
[11:15] Feeling a bit phlegmy this morning. Still, the morning has been good anyway. Got some stuff done, got lunch to look forward to with friends and there's a good chance we'll be climbing this evening. Hope to do another conversion before lunch though.

[16:35] Nice lunch. Weather looks like it's about to close in again but so long as it's dry for a little while yet. Have decided on the spur of the moment to get the Optiplex GX1 image up to date with regard to Service Pack 4 and stuff I'm waiting for the world's slowest network to send the updated image back to the server to use elsewhere. The custodian (whose machine it is) has gone home rather than waiting for it to finish. Once that's done there's a fax to send and then home to go for a curry and then climbing. Climbing rules, you should all try it at least once.

I guess I should say "Come on Tim." (Henman) who might just, with luck and a following wind, actually progress another round at Wimbledon this year.

01/07/2003
[12:20] First off, someone pointed out God's Last Message. I can't be the only one to see it...

Other than that we're testing external Firewire drives here now and I've just set up a new LaCie 200GB model and am running it through its paces. Large data sets are a little hard to come by so I'm doing some... offsite backups. Lunch soon. Fruit only as I had a Chinese last night and it really didn't sit right. I'm hoping some decent food for the next few days should help me settle down and feel better about things. I may not even have a pizza on Thursday. But that might be going too far. The machine I moved to Windows 2000 last night seems to be behaving to standard levels and in a few minutes we should be all up to date with the latest DAT from McAfee. Theoretically today can't get much better, but I live in hope.

[16:00] Trying to get rid of a server free on the local newsgroups and oddly no-one is biting. Not climbing this evening so I'll head home and see about getting the house in order.