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August's Journal
October's Journal


30/09/2003
[09:45] If you're after the last few days worth of Journal entries come back in a day or two when I've had time to get them off my Palm and cleaned up for HTML presentation. If you absolutely, positively must know what I was doing then you can look at the Gallery for lots of pictures and some potted explanations of what we did each day.

[11:10] Ripping a new Hybrid CD. I really should listen to it on the actual CD before putting it away in a cupboard and not every using it again. Lunch out today. I realised this morning that I've put on a smidgen of weight over the past few weeks (too much rich food on holiday). Time to start the extra exercise again and turn some of the thickening skin into muscle. Climbing this evening should be a good start.

[14:10] Having a tiny lunch as my first food of the day has really meant that I tasted everything strongly. I went to Dojo with Cormac and had a little of what was on offer. Lovely.

29/09/2003 - Holiday Special
[01/10/2003 - 18:30] It being a work day Elaine was up fairly sharpish in the morning so to show solidarity and basically because I had to leave at the same time I got up too. After a quick breakfast we cycled into work where we said our goodbyes.

As I got to the station I received some news and headed back to chat to Elaine for a few more minutes as my train wasn't due for a good forty minutes or so. The journey was uneventful and allowed me to catch up on some reading. One day I might actually go on a holiday that doesn't mean I'm moving the whole time and I can get some reading done. Maybe when I'm forty.

I cycled home from the station and straight away decided to get my photos online. Sad perhaps, but I knew that if I didn't do it quickly I'd probably not get around to it for ages. Like doing this Journal. Anyway, once they were up I relaxed for a little while then invited some people over to watch Stargate (the new series). A few people came over and we had some fun pointing out the similarities to the last act of Star Wars: A New Hope.

28/09/2003 - Holiday Special
[01/10/2003 - 18:00] Neither of us slept terribly well so we got up feeling a bit dazed. Having packed the night before proved to be a rather good idea. We did a quick last check of everywhere and were pretty sure we'd packed everything so we locked the place up for the last time and freewheeled down the driveway to the keyholder's house.

Freewheeling down Coggers Lane to Hathersage we ended up in Outside looking at and trying on climbing trousers and hats and things like that. Owing to having altogether too much fun we missed getting a Longlands Special by about two minutes and had to sit around absolutely famished until 12:00 when the kitchen reopened. It gave us time to chat about all kinds of stuff though, which was marvellous. When the food was there for the ordering we settled on some sausage and chip butties which went down in very little time.

Back down in the shop Elaine had her eye on a SIGG water bottle so we wandered across the road to CCC who were selling them for 50p less and in a colour she liked more. Unsure of the times of the trains on a Sunday we took a quick cycle to the station and found out when the next one was. Having about an hour to wait we went looking for somewhere to sit down and spent two minutes in a tea shop before realising we had our own food and drink that we'd already paid for which was just as nice so we sat on a grass embankment opposite the petrol station and enjoyed some more food.

When the time was right we wandered back over to the station and jumped on the train back to Sheffield. While neither of us was relishing the ride home, it proved to be far better than we'd imagined. We had planned to leave the bikes at her work place, but it being a Sunday there wasn't anyone to let us in to the bike shed.

Once we got home we unpacked a little and then just vegged out.

27/09/2003 - Holiday Special
[22:00] In an effort to get the most out of our last full day in the Peaks we got up a little earlier this morning. A quick cooked breakfast (I'm having far too many of those) we managed to be out of the house for 12:00. From the Hall we walked almost due North and ended up at the bottom right hand corner of Stanage Plantation. Again this was somewhere I'd been before (during my first climbing trip to Stanage) so I could lead up through the trees to the Edge proper.

Once there we watched some climbers for a while and witnessed a 4m fall which didn't seem to do the guy any harm, except maybe to remind him that when you're double-roped you should use both a little more often to protect your ascent.

We found an easy way up and climbed to the top of the Edge. From there we could see all the way back to High Nebb and along past the Unconquerables, the place was heaving. We took a gentle stroll along watching those people who were setting up top-belay points until we found somewhere nice in the sun to eat lunch Given we'd only just eaten we didn't have much and, feeling rather tired and reminding ourselves we were still on holiday we wandered down past some millstones, onto the road and back down to North Lees Hall.

Obviously more tired than we realised we ended up falling asleep soon after we got back and roused ourselves for an evening meal around 18:00. Stuffed with food we relaxed with some Glayva before I watched Elaine fill the remaining spaces with toasted marshmallows.

Given that we had to be out of the building by 10:00 in the morning we thought it best to pack now and get an early night, but ended up not really sleeping until well gone 23:00 due to talking about things on our minds.

26/09/2003 - Holiday Special
[27/09/2003 - 21:20] Owing to one thing and another we got up rather late and had a nice leisurely breakfast before leaving the Hall at around 13:00. We cycled down the hill and turned right to head towards Hope. Through Hope we took a quick look at a Pinfold (photos of that in my collection of climbing photos from August), past the chinese Cormc, Steph and I go to when we're climbing in the Peak and on we went until we reached the far side of Castleton.

At this point we noticed Winnits Pass. It's a 1:5 gradient for about a mile and a half. Blue John Cavern is at the top of the pass. We started cycling and took a brief rest outside Speedwell Cavern (somewhere my family visited hen I was very young). We considered stopping there but were strong. We were going to reach the top.

Unfortunately neither of us really had the legs for that much steep up hill and we ended up pushing the bikes most of the way. About half way up were were passed in the opposite direction by two downhill mountain bikers going about fifty miles an hour. It looked fun, and not a little dangerous. I looked forward to doing it myself later in the day.

Once we got to the top it was just a short downhill stretch to Blue John Cavern. Of course, it being fairly safe I nearly came off my bike when going too fast on a corner. Absolutely starving we ate some sandwiches and cereal bars and found we were currently the only people awaiting a guide. Talking to the man who was going to take us down he seemed like a nice genuine kind of guy and it looked like we were going to have a good time. A few more people turned up and we all decided to head down.

It seemed that as soon as the guide was out of sunlight is ability to be a normal person just vanished. He was forced-jovial, uninteresting and clearly running through a well-worn routine. There was very little of interest and his style of presentation caused Elaine and I to want to crush his head in with a chunk of Blue John mineral. Even so the cave system was extraordinary and is well worth a vist if you are in the area.

We rose back to the surface in the end and watched the place close up as we drank some hot chocolate. The weather was beginning to clear even more as we considered cycling home again. While it'd been a short day we'd covered a fair aount of distance and we were on holiday.

As part of our preparations for heading down the pass we checked our brakes throughly and improved the performance of my back brake tremendously. A good thing too as for the most part it was the one I used the most in the exciting and rapid run back down to Castleton. We must have covered the mile in well under two minutes, even with the corners. It's an odd feeling to know you can't go any faster due to wind-resistance.

Either we were all fired up, the weather was with us or it was downhill all the way home, whatever the reason we were home much more quickly than expected. We collapsed on the sofa and fed each other Maltesers before lighting the fire as something to sit in front of while we ate dinner.

On the way back through Hope we'd stopped at the Spar there and so had actual marshmallows to toast in front of the fire. Just after returning we'd wandered out and lopped a few long twigs from a tree to use as prongs. They worked wonderfully. Once we'd eaten them all it was pretty much time for bed.

25/09/2003 - Holiday Special
[26/09/2003 - 12:30] Back at Elaine's we did some unpacking, some washing and some food shopping before settling down to an early night. We'd meant to go shopping but were too tired so did it this is morning. After planning what we were going to have for each meal we trotted over to Tesco and got what we needed. It was tough not getting everything but we knew there was a Spar in Hathersage and that the cool bag/rucksack we had wouldn't fit everything.

Once we had everything we headed back, packed and then realised we were a little late for the train so walked down to the bus stop and collected the bikes from Elaine's workplace before cycling to the station. The train arrived at 14:14 and dropped us in Hathersage about twenty-five minutes later.

After a quick squizz at the map we cycled off through Hathersage, found the Spar and then realised that Cogger's Lane was pretty much vertical in places. With all our bags it took a little while to make it to North Lees Hall, but after a good few stops to take photographs, catch our breath and admire the scenery we stopped for a nice conversation with the keyholder at Bronte Cottage before trudging up the steep drive to North Lees; we had arrived.

I'll describe the place a little in the next few entries but the photographs in the gallery will do a much better job. Suffice it to say it's a lovely place.

We quickly unpacked our bags and panniers had a through nosey around the place and took stock of what we had and still needed. Even though we'd just cycled up the hill we free-wheeled back down again at a rapid rate of knots and parked in Hathersage. After popping into the Spar and the grocers we decided to take a look around Hathersage and ended up finding the parish church and Little John's grave. The church was a lovely example of construction and had been well looked after.

Feeling hungery after the day's activities we headed back up the hill to the Hall, had some nicely cooked dinner and collapsed on the re-arranged sofa in front of the fire to watch it burn for a while.

24/09/2003 - Holiday Special
[15:30] Bit of a frantic morning this morning. A quick bit of packing took place as soon as we woke up before we headed to an emergency dental appointment at my dentist (for Elaine). Although it took about half an hour it wasn't too expensive for what actually was done. Coupled with the bonus of not having to worry while we were on holiday it was a morning well spent.

When we got home we finished packing, did some washing up and made sandwiches for the journey north. I packed both panniers balanced the bike and made sure everything was secure before we cycled slowly and carefully to the station.

The ticket guy at the station was obviously news became it took ten minutes to buy one return to Sheffield and book two bikes. Everything all worked out we wandered onto the platform and boarded the train. After the first change we settled into some seats and ate some of the delicious pork and apple sauce sandwiches. As this was slack time I decided to catch up on Journal entried on the Tungsten and now, here we are up to date. Time to relax again and read a book.

23/09/2003 - Holiday Special
[24/09/2003 - 15:20] Yet another late morning, but this time we decided that the pork really needed to be cooked off. If nothing else we could use it for sandwiches on the train back up to Elaine's on Wednesday. Shaun and Linda had offered to host us for the afternoon and evening on Tuesday so as soon as the pork (and stunning crackling!) were cooked, cooled and cut we jumped on the bikes (me using my panniers for the first time) and headed out to the village where Shaun and Linda live. The ride out was quite windy and the heat had really begun to leech from the days. It certainly feels like summer is coming to an end, never mind what the weather feels like now and then.

At the house we sat and chatted for a while before wandering out to see something of the countryside nearby and to pick blackcurrants on the old railway line between the village and the town. Taking Tom in his 'all-terrain' buggy/pram was an experience as was watching Elaine give an in-depth critique on the old railway bridge we encountered.

Dinner was absolutely wonderful and after a huge bowl of fruit crumble and icecream we cycled carefully through the freezing cold night back to the house where we dived into bed as soon as possible. My house is kinda cool really; in summer it's always warm outside and pleasantly cool inside and and when it's cold outside it always seems to keep the heat, even when the heating's not on.

22/09/2003 - Holiday Special
[24/09/2003 - 15:25] Another lazy morning followed by lots of episodes of Family Guy. By 13:00 we were out of the door and headed for a train down to London for climbing at The Castle. It being the middle of the day the train, the Underground and the wall were all utterly deserted, which was nice for once. A session which started off with us both feeling kind of lethargic soon livened up and we came away feeling satisfied with the three or so hours we'd put in.

The decision on whether to have the pork joint or to have a chinese meal in London's chinatown was never going to be much of a choice and we found ourselves in my favourite place (the Golden Dragon) soon after leaving the wall. Duck, soup, egg-fried rice and shredded chilli beef and sweet and sour pork basically filled us to perfection and enabled us to remain happy and calm in the face of delays on the line owing to a fatality earlier in the afternoon. While it was amusing to watch people froth and complain at those who had no power to influence the trains it would have been nice if those people could have remembered that, rather than upsetting hard done by staff.

21/09/2003 - Holiday Special
[24/09/2003 - 15:10] A late start to the day as the body began to finally relax and not wake up at 07:00 as per usual (not to mention much, much earlier). We slobbed about the house for much of the afternoon blaming our inability to move on Sky One's seeminly inexhaustable supply of sci-fi programmes. In the end we decided to go for a cycle to get some fresh air in our lungs and took a ride downstream to the place I normally run to when I'm in the mood. Rather than turn around at that point we carried on, interrupted every now and then by phonecalls from my mother asking for tech support to deal with virus-laden emails. We took some photos of the setting sun and made use of the self-timer on Elaine's camera before cycling back. I'd chosen to wear my tinted perscription glasses so by the time we got home my view of the world was almost pitch black.

20/09/2003 - Holiday Special
[24/09/2003 - 14:55] Given the amount of things we needed to do before going away, Saurday was spent organising things and buying the things we needed. I introduced Elaine to the concept of cycling in town (not really the best day to do it, what with all the lemming-like pedestrians) when we went to buy some cycle panniers for me, before coming back to drop them off and do some more working out of things.

Cormac dropped his car off to go and visit some friends in town so we took the opportunity to wander off and do some food shopping at Asda. Tea was a sandwich affair while we watched Pump Up The Volume and The Usual Suspects on DVD. It was actually quite a long day all in all, so we went to bed.

19/09/2003 - Holiday Special
[24/09/2003 - 14:43] Basically waiting for Elaine to arrive I spent the morning tidying the house before heading out to meet Brian (a friend visiting from Ireland) in town. We pottered around trying to find somewhere to have lunch before settling on different food each and sitting on the wall overlooking the weir.

After food we decided to keep walking around and I ended up walking him through the grounds of a few of the nicer buildings in town. By the time we were tired (and he had people to meet) we were near enough to a pub to pop in for a few drinks. Conversation was good, it was nice to have someone to share my time off with.

Back at home I did a final round of washing up, tidied a room or two and then cycled to the station to pick up Elaine (with bike this time). We came home and did some planning on what to do over the weekend.

18/09/2003
[15:00] Not been up to much today, slept in, pottered around, did some reading. It's been nice just to relax and not think about much at all.

17/09/2003
[13:45] Just popped in to do the only SSHd upgrade which failed to go smoothly. Of course, it was on the most important box. Still, all done now, and with the new, new version of 3.7.1p1. I really should upgrade the kernel so I don't have to dick about in config.h so much. Maybe one day. The SSH mailing list is a gold mine of useful information. I hope I can help someone else with stuff some time.

Anyway, off to lunch. Maybe another update later on this week. Or maybe not lunch with people, looks like they're busy but we're going to go and piss about on boats later on instead, which is just as good.

16/09/2003
[17/09/2003 - 13:42] Travelled home on the train this morning and took my time over everything. Weather's still marvellous so once I was home I simply took a shower and then slobbed out for a bit. I'm very slightly getting used to not being at work, but there's still a bit of a niggle there.

Oh great, an SSHd alert for OpenSSH. I'll upgrade to 3.7p1 in the next few hours or so.

Damn, one of my machines has failed to work. I can log in with the new daemon, but then it dumps me right back out again straight away. I'm looking for reasons now.

15/09/2003
[17/09/2003 - 13:40] Decided to stay another day up in Sheffield. Wonderful weather but I stayed in the house all day, got up late, ate very little and basically just tried to wind down in the face of my body and hind-brain thinking I should be at work. Had an extremely pleasant day and a very rewarding evening discovering good and bad about all kinds of things.

12/09/2003
[09:10] Got a few things to do this morning before I head off for 12:00. This includes a few software installs, a user configuration and a few housekeeping issues. With luck I'll head for a Thai, then get on the train for the North. I'll keep some kind of journal (not that you're interested) and upload it when I can (probably some time on Tuesday).

[11:45] Right kids, I'm off. There'll be updates... now and then in the next two weeks. Have a nice time doing whatever it is you're doing right now and if you're Really That Interested I'm sure you'll see me again in a few weeks. Be safe.

11/09/2003
[12:15] O.K. this morning has gone by really, really quickly. I was in for 07:30 this morning and patching was almost finished by 09:00. That's rather nice. I'm hoping nothing terrible happens while I'm away next week or I may pop in. If something happens the following week they're going to have to deal on their own, though. I'm not coming in then.

Rolling out a few more machines today, doing a big automated Ghosting too, if we can get the time. If not then I'll do it tomorrow morning. With luck and a following wind I'll be off from lunch time on Friday until maybe Tuesday lunch time (if I come in at all next week).

[17:20] Right, I've booked the 29th off as well as getting back from where I hope to be, with a bike, on a Sunday was going to suck tremendously. This means more time with Elaine, which is marvellous. Oh, did I not say? She's coming too, which is nice.

10/09/2003
[10:30] So the Dell Technician turned up and initially only had a replacement motherboard rather than the CPU I knew needed replacing. Obviously as the CPU was fried this didn't really help. Once he'd gone back down stairs for the CPU (remember the lift's still out of order) and swapped that in we got somewhere.

In the end I kept the new motherboard and had the new CPU on it, reinstalled the machine and am doing burn-in on it until tomorrow morning. At that point we'll redo the entire cluster with the image I've just updated.

[12:00] In other news it looks like I'll be here until Friday lunchtime. This is better in a way as it means I can get a whole load more stuff done before I go away for potentially two weeks (chances still slim to none).

[16:55] A rushed lunch and then a trip to a seminar on anti-virus stuff was what happened when you couldn't see me. Today has been rather bitty in terms of things I've needed to do. It looks like the benching's finished in the Computer Room. I'm having kittens over what's going to be happening while I'm on holiday so I need to really, really go over what the PFY has to keep an eye out for, when she comes back tomorrow. I've been shifting machines, finding more printers that Just Don't Work and installing monitors. I've not had time to make an important phone call and I really want to make it. Hopefully the person at the other end will understand.

[19:00] Great. Bloody marvellous. Another RPC patch. Good thing I caught it this evening. I've got all the servers patched already.

09/09/2003
[14:10] It's been an odd morning here at BOFHcentral. Another machine sneaked under the Naichi detection screen so I actually had a full-blown infection to remove. Luckily it's very simple and the machine was already patched by the time I found the infected files so it was just a case of removal and rebooting.

[14:20] I'm beginning to worry about going away at the end of this month now. There are things to do and the stuff with the computer room downstairs that I really should be around to deal with. I'm going to have to get as much as I can done in the next few days to make sure all the bases are covered as much as possible. I know the PFY can cope perfectly well, but I'm the boss and some things need my attention, really. I'm off climbing this evening so hope to be out of here on the dot of 17:00. Chances of this are slim.

08/09/2003
[10:25] I'm suffering time dilation effects at the moment. I keep thinking there's another week in September than there actually is. Anyway, suffice it to say when I work out how quickly I'm going to be on holiday I get a little smile on my face. I haven't needed some time off this badly in a long time. I'm just so tired at the moment and I thought I'd managed to get back on to an even keel with the sleeping thing, but no. Last night was one of the worst nights in a while and I woke up with a really dodgy stomach. I don't think it was the curry I went out for last night with Andrea (who was passing through town on the way home after an athletics meet), I think it was the fact that I woke up too many times and for too long in the night. Still, after a bit of a lie-in this morning I was capable of getting up and getting to work in reasonable time. My DVD of Pump Up The Volume (something I haven't see in years) turned up this morning too. I think I'll save that for the next time I'll have some company that'll appreciate it.

Today I'm giving away a whole host of old stuff that has been clogging up the cupboards here for far too long. I thought we'd hold on to it until it was worth something, but that's so long from now I really don't care any more. That and the fact that it's good to clear out now and then and we have far too much worthy stuff to hang on to. Must get on and do the news posting before I trip over half the stuff sitting in the middle of the floor.

Oh, and with luck I'll be out of here at lunchtime on Thursday and not back again until Monday lunch time. It's possible that I'll have network connectivity on Friday but what I have to say in the Journal might be boring, so I may just wait until Monday afternoon to update things. Who knows.

[14:00] Want to take the rest of the day off? Have a look at these.

[17:30] I'm in a rut. I've stopped learning, I've stopped picking up new information and I've stopped doing anything interesting. I need to get out of this job before it's too late. I want to move into something a little more cross-platform. Not everyone who works with Unix is also willing to work with Windows and I even understand the stuff and like parts of it. I need to get back on with advancing and learning things again, like I did when I arrived in this job four years ago. My only problem is that I don't have enough practical experience of working with the things I'd like to do to get a job that'll support me, let alone allow me to live comfortably. I can learn! I'm so frustrated right now I would happily put in the hours to learn. I'm the perfect person to employ right now, I'm eager to pick stuff up and there's no-one at home during the week that I have to be getting home for. But can I find a job at the moment? No.

I'm sure a job'll come up eventually, but unless it's reasonably paid I won't be able to take it. I would like to stay where I am; I like the people I know here, that I work with and the institution I'm part of, but the chances of someone offering me a job seem slim to none at the moment. I know I can improve my chances by working on stuff in my free time in my current job. BOFHcam was a step in this direction, but when there's no requirement to implement what I've learned actual work stuff gets in the way and I don't have time to do anything more with it.

Enough pointless ranting.

05/09/2003
[11:20] I waited forty-five minutes to see a doctor this morning. I arrived fifteen minutes early it's true, but then had to wait a further thirty. Still, once I saw the doctor it was fairly productive. With luck and a following wind I should start sleeping normally again in a few weeks. About bloody time.

There's no Dell technician here now. This is annoying. I hope they don't turn up between 13:00 or 14:30 otherwise I'm going to be Most Displeased. Oddly, it's my go for Thai again today (don't ask), and Shaun's bringing a friend, so that's cool. There's also Shaun's barbecue tomorrow at his place. I hope the weather keeps up. Elaine turns up this evening so the weekend should be fairly relaxing.

[12:55] A simple request for comments on an article in a Windows magazine has turned me into a ravening ranter with regard to patching. I really should turn down my reactionary side when talking to people who're a little less technically orientated. Still, Thai soon.

[15:35] It's sad what we have to do sometimes to keep our networks running.

04/09/2003
[11:20] Administrative Installation of Office 2000 now patched and primed for redeployment. I'll reboot some machines throughout the course of the day, see if it actually works or just makes machines fall over in a heap.

[13:20] Well, by necessity I've had to move a machine destined for someone else to, well, someone else. Everything going smoothly though. Rebooting the machine installed the updates to Office and it all seemed to go fine. The Dell which didn't want to boot will boot in CPU compatibility mode, which means that the Level 2 Cache is buggered. Someone's coming out tomorrow morning to replace both motherboard and CPU. I've got a doctor's appointment to see if we can do something about my waking up in the middle of the night thing in the morning, so it my be the PFY who has to deal with him (or her). I'll send a quick email and then go and find some lunch somewhere.

[17:10] Right, great. Damn. That machine no longer boots. I was moving it between "Normal" and "Compatible" to allow booting between NT and Ghost (Ghost won't boot if the CPU's set to "Compatible") and now it no longer boots at all. It'll power on, but it won't do anything else like give me the BIOS or even show the startup "DELL" thing. I've rebooked the visit tomorrow to also replace the motherboard as well as the CPU. Frankly I think it's just the CPU that's buggered, but we'll see. Hopefully I'll be back from the doctor's before the guy arrives.

[17:20] So I slightly wiggled the network socket for the main file server while I was replugging some power sockets. Cue Windows 'synchronisation' and having to restore all kinds of files from last night's backup. Stupid thing.

03/09/2003
[12:10] I've been packing machines ready for transit this morning. That and working out where to put the new cable management trays that arrived yesterday. Tons of packaging, very little content. Still, it should mean the PoP cabinet is going to be looking spiffy very shortly and a credit to the building. Not like it used to look before which was, frankly, shocking and surprising that anything actually worked at all.

Did I mention I downed the old BDC for the old NT4 domain recently? I checked the service tag on the back and it's only four numbers away from a machine we recently recovered from a distant part of the Institution. I imagine they're the same specification (the same as my shell box and the BOFHcam server). Useful for linux and not much else. I may just flog them on.

Now that the superstructure for the building next door has been done it looks like very little is going on there now. It's rather boring. All I get now is the smell of boiling tar as they coat the roof and things like that. Still, the camera's still pointing at it (not one I've mentioned, I don't think) so it's still entertaining some people. The other camera is showing very little (the one in the computer room we're refurbishing). I'll be watching it more next week I think as that's when the desking starts going in.

It's about time I redid the ghost image for the laptops we have here. If nothing else I can get them all Blaster certified. I think some of them are still at Service Pack 3 as well. About time that was fixed. We went climbing last night and I was yawning before we even got there. I managed to get a chunk of washing up done before my ride arrived, which was helpful. Oddly, given my lack of energy I lead for most of the night and did two climbs I've never attempted in that way before and one that I've never actually climbed at all before (as a lead). That was rather exciting. I should have cut my nails though as there was a nasty scratching on the bendcrete and my nails had that horrible texture to them by the end. We all (six of us) ended up in the curry house next door to Cormac's and ordered approximately an imperial buttload of food. Great time.

[12:50] Just uploaded the first set of photos which were on the BOFHcam gallery but not on Fotopic. It's the random BOFHcam images collection.

[16:55] The Dell GX110 from downstairs which seems to have gone tits up won't be ressurected by a change of HDD, OS image or RAM. It's got to be something on the motherboard. It keeps dying (NT4 or W2K) on the loading of C:\WINNT\SYSTEM32\CONFIG\SYSTEM. It's about the only think I can think of. Maybe the network card or something has died. The problem is that it's all on the motherboard, so I may need to get a new one. Thing is I doubt they have any any more. I've got my thermos of hot chocolate, rollmat, sleeping bag and wooly scarf. At this rate I don't think I'm going to get a response before 17:00 at this rate, even though I was in the queue well before then.

[17:20] Well apparently I'm going to get a new/replacement motherboard on Friday. I hope it's in the morning, otherwise things may be difficult to arrange as I may not be here.

[17:55] Just installed a stack-load of cable management trays in the comms cabinet downstairs. Everything's so neat. It's great.

[19:35] Decided to stay late this evening at get all those new Office 2000 patches installed while I have the opportunity to reboot all the machines while no-one's using them. I should write a batch file to do them all centrally. I may do that this evening in front of the telly.

02/09/2003
[17:30] In all the excitement I completely forgot to write a journal entry today. Well, here's a quick rundown before I head of for some climbing exercise. I slept badly again, but what else is new. I have big bags under my eyes, but I still seem to be operating at reasonable efficiency, so that's OK. Got in to work and fettled around with some machines which needed dealing with before updating another Ghost image. By lunch I was starving so ended up eating at my desk. After lunch the PFY and I headed out to pick up an old Pentium from an outlying part of the Institution. I may stick linuc on it later on, or just bin the thing.

The remainder of the afternoon I've been footling around, answering some emails which've been piling up and generally catching up with people online. Oh and trying to get to grips with some of the more esoteric aspects of Windows 2000's DNS implementation owing to a minor error on the part of Central's mail admin. Still, it's all fixed now, so that's O.K.

I should head off and do some washing up. It's been waiting a good few days to be honest and I think it might declare independence some time soon.

01/09/2003
[09:45] Hi there, and welcome to September. The temperature's dropped a little here but things are still looking rather good on other fronts. Had an excellent climbing session over the weekend and generally chilled for the rest of the time. Things are certainly continuing to look up at the present time and for once it's nice to just go with it.

This week there's not much happening in the new computer room, but I'm sure that when things start they'll come on at some speed. I've potentially booked the last week or two full weeks of September off for my 'summer holiday'. You'll know more as I do. Naturally there'll be full photo and journal coverage, so you won't miss a thing. Not that you actually care, but I like to keep a note of things that happen.

[10:25] Obviously I'm not putting out enough of my patented health pheromones yet. Hoping Elaine gets better soon. Keep warm.

[15:15] It's been a bitty day today. Got Cormac coming over this evening for DVDage, but thus far very little's been happening here. Updating our GX110 image (including Blaster protection) in preparation for a new round of people coming in soon.