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30/06/2004
[10:35] I'm tired. I have the presentation to run through again, I have some odd messages in one of my Windows 2000 DC's event logs and I really can't be arsed at the moment to do anything terribly complex.

[12:15] Elaine's popped in because she needs some stuff from town. She also got a letter this morning from the company she applied to, an 'unfortunately'. I think it's because they don't have room at the moment, rather than because she didn't do well at interview. Now we begin looking for other things.

29/06/2004
[12:15] And so it begins. I've just uploaded the entire 2004 Journal to LiveJournal. I can't think of a sensible way of automating it so I'm doing it by hand for the moment. If anyone can write something that'll parse my HTML files and send them to LJ in the form of one entry per [time] entry for each day, then they'll earn my eternal thanks and some kind of funky mention. I may even see if I can get them something as a prize. Otherwise this is going to take a long, long time.

I spent some time this morning going through my presentation I have to give at my interview on Thursday morning. I think it's going to be reasonably OK, even if the technical part it going to be embarassing.

Elaine and I went climbing last night in London. I think it was a mixture of being tired, out of shape and not having climbed for a while but it wasn't a great session for either of us. A Burger King on the way home helped.

28/06/2004
[10:55] This morning I've been reading this story on a small part of what's happening in Iraq at the moment. All you really need to do is change the names and places a little and it could have been an article from Vietnam a few decades ago. The news came in this morning that Iraq has been granted its sovereign rights again earlier than planned. As far as I can see it's part of the US plan to get the hell out of there as soon as possible and leave Iraq to fall apart while they whistle.

[11:45] Cut that monologue short due to needing to do some work. I may come back and make more comments on it later if I can be bothered. At the moment I'm getting upgrades for a user who has RSI (RAM, microphone, software) and working out how someone in the UK can deal with a company in China who've nicked their website wholesale. Compare and contrast http://www.servercity.co.uk/ and http://www.blueie.net/english/index.asp.

[14:15] Currently trying to figure out how to use a LJ client to put old dates on old entries, rather than the one at time of posting.

[15:55] I've settled on jlj.pl for the moment. It's commandline driven and with a bit of tweaking it seems to do what I need. I'm not sure how I'm going to keep these two things in sync, we'll have to see how things pan out. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

25/06/2004
[12:05] Late in this morning for one reason or another. No-one really noticed. I've done pretty much everything on my to do list for the moment and all I have left is to have a go at installing Debian on one of the boxes we've swapped out in place of a newer machine. It's been a long time since I installed this particular OS so I'm keen to find out what's changed. We were going to be going climbing this evening but things have conspired against us. If things go well we may go on Sunday instead. I'm in Hinkley tomorrow looking at the hotel we're going to be using for the Discworld Convention 2004 (same as the one for the 2002 Convention) and the coming to home to Elaine, which is always nice.

So, on with the install.

[14:35] I have to say that Debian is still as annoying as it was previously. I still have major issues with dselect. Still, I'm currently installing 277MB of apt-got packages.

[16:15] Tired now, going home.

24/06/2004
[10:30] Bah! Bloody ISC dhcpd holes. And no RPM for my RedHat 6.2 box. Time to use the Source, Luke. Still, it keeps me in practice. Not much currently on my plate this morning, but I'm sure there will be soon. I've just cleared my inbox down to thirty messages (almost a record) and stared at the switches which were misbehaving last night. I've got backups to check, antivirus updates to check and a machine which may or may not have a stealth Tomcat installation on it (isn't that special?).

[12:15] There's a wood chipper outside that's now been running for three hours and fifteen minutes. Maybe I'll go and make up a steel bar to look like a log and leave it nearby.

[14:50] I gave myself twenty minutes to swap out a stack of two SuperStack II Switch 1100s, move some patch panels, put in new fibre and mount the new 4400s. I did it in nineteen minutes. For the first time ever we're now 100Mb/s throughout the entire building. It's a happy day.

[17:15] Just swapped out one of the slowest machines in the building for the other new box. Just bringing it up to date with stuff (which I can do from my desk) and then I'm off home. Well, once I figure out why my web server seems to be stuck on 1.3.29 rather than the 1.3.31 I thought it was.

23/06/2004
[11:15] I met up with Elaine straight out of work last night. The PFY and I had been looking at the DoD all afternoon and into the evening and about the time we were finished it was time to meet Elaine in town. I'd left her a text which she didn't pick up but as I was cycling down the road to find her she rang me as I was approaching her, which was nice. Elaine thinks the interview went fairly well. Apart from a hairy moment when she was asked to drawn a bending moments diagram and perhaps got a little bit wrong it seemed to be a fairly good experience. So on the bus she got in her nice suit and I cycled home.

This morning I've been doing DoD stuff that was left over from yesterday. This includes some vaguely in-depth fiddling with the database proper and getting some new information out of it. That's gone fairly well so I'm now getting on with doing the backup tapes, swapping some processors around and working out which PC we take out of commission (read: becomes a play machine) to replace with the Dell GX270 I think I now have a handle on for Ghosting purposes.

[15:35] Argh, more statistics. I hate statistics. In other news, I have another job interview. This one's for a Unix support post within the Institution. I have to do a five minute presentation at some point within the interview. They only provide you with a flipchart and pens. I was really hoping for an OHP or LCD projector. I'll have to see how I can tailor my idea to fit those props.

22/06/2004
[10:30] Well, just under two hours spent fettling Ghost 7.5 to use new executables. Turns out that Ghost keeps some kind of watching brief on what files it needs to use for things like ghost.exe, ghstwalk.exe and gdisk.exe which means that even if you move them to another directory and change their name Ghost will still have references to them where they are now. In the end I found two documents on Symantec's site which helped me. The first at http://service1.symantec.com/SUPPORT/ghost.nsf/pfdocs/2003032512525325 tells you how to get around the problem if you don't have the new version of ghost.exe to put in place. The second at http://service1.symantec.com/SUPPORT/ghost.nsf/pfdocs/2003072210200725 tells you how to update the system on which you have Ghost installed to work with the new files. Hmmm, I've just realised I need to do some new boot partition images with the new executables in for when I do a batch of Dell GX270s. Remember, you won't tickle this particular error unless you have Intel 875/865 chipset machines which have support for SATA on them.

It's a very important day today. Elaine has her job interview with the company she would most like to work for here. It's not until 17:30 so if anyone has a free moment around then to send some good will her way I'd be most grateful.

[11:10] That's nice; Central have taken my information for Ghost and distributed it globally within the Institution on the off-chance that other sysadmins might be suffering the same problems I was.

[17:20] Well, just spoke to Elaine. She's off to her interview now. I have all my extremities crossed for her. In other news I've had even more stress with Ghost today. You know those three new executables I got? Well they were 'unregistered' and the badly worded tex instructions with them said you had to run them in the same directory as ghost.env to make them register. What they didn't mention is that you need to copy them one by one to a bootable DOS disk and run them from an DOS session and then copy them to the right place on the Ghost server. That took a while to figure out. Then there were all kinds of weird and transient problems with the e1000.dos packet driver drivers for the Intel 1000/MT NIC on the Dells. I think that's fixed too, although I can't promise anything. Suffice it to say, if you need help troubleshooting your Ghost boot disks, I think I'm your man. At least until something else bumps that information out of current memory.

Do I go home or do I wait for Elaine and find her after her interview? I hope it goes well, I really do.

21/06/2004
[09:55] Sometimes when you read things you realise that perhaps your life isn't as full as it could be; that you're not pushing yourself nearly as much as you could and that the thing about moving on in life is that sometimes you don't go in the direction you thought you would and you lose things you hadn't even had at the time (by this I mean the potential to experience them). Maybe I'm just not cut out to be gregarious and stuff. Maybe part of it is being busy with the house, money worries and the overriding importance of helping Elaine settle in to a new life here. Whatever it is, I don't think life is as rich with varied experiences as it could be at the moment. I'm doing tons of important things right now that are essential to Elaine's and my happiness, which is where my head should be now. But I still have a niggle when I think about and experience things connected with the past. That's got to be a part of it. I think when I get back in to doing some sports again (climbing, and maybe Karate again some time soon) things may look up again. I think it's just a feeling of being cut out and cut off from experiences. Whatever I'm feeling I know that here and now I've never been happier with someone with whom I'm sharing all my thoughts and feelings. It may be hard sometimes, and painful at others but overall there's such a feeling of rightness and comfortable natural fitting (shush at the back) together that in the end I think everything's going to turn out alright.

[10:50] Otherwise it's business as usual here. I happily found a solution to the Dell GX270/Ghost 7.5 issue I was having when I went home on Friday. That put a real downer on the evening. Turns out that the Intel 865 chipset and ghost.exe don't get on too well. That and SATA on the motherboard.

I've got a support call in with Symantec through Central and hopefully we'll get build 384 of ghost.exe by the end of the day. For the moment I've slapped -fni on the end of the line in autoexec.bat and that seems to be doing the business.

[11:50] New image now being Ghosted to the server for storage. All I need to do then is reboot the machine, install some bespoke applications and let the user know they're getting a new machine. It should be the work of a few minutes to swap the new machine in and we'll be up and running.

[17:20] Not only was the machine which we swapped out to replace the one downstairs with a PII slot rather than a PIII socket, but once we'd done the requisite extra shuffling and ghosted the machine we wanted to put back in place I realised that the Endnote connection and filter files someone'd asked for weren't in place. Still, all sorted now I think. I fiddled the WoL stuff for the replacement machine as well, which is good. I think it's time to go home. I spent lunch time showing Elaine around the buildings on the site as a bit of homework for her interview tomorrow with a structural engineering company. I really hope she gets the job off the back of this interview. I know she's perfect for the place and can offer them so much in exchange for employment. I've been hoping all the positive karma I've been accruing over the last few weeks can be passed on to her for tomorrow at 17:30. If she gets this job life could become quite a bit better for us both very quickly. If she doesn't then we'll just keep on looking and hoping for the best.

18/06/2004
[12:20] Just spent the morning sorting out HFNetChkPro with a backup of the file we needed. Looks like something got corrupted and we ended up needing to go back to the previous version we had (luckily) to get any job. Symptoms were a nonstarting application and the error log claiming we were using the SQL database backend rather than the JET one. Still, all fixed now. We know which machine we're going to be sacrificing to replace the one in the room downstairs now too. I'm in the process of setting up a new machine to replace it and then we'll be cannibalising the old one to make it the same.

Right now I'm off to stick my head in a big electromagnet for an hour in the name of science and furthering research into brain imaging and things like that.

[15:45] Now I've removed my from a 3 Tesla electromagnet where all I did was listen to some distant clangs and bangs and doze to Dido I've put a few images up on my gallery for you to see. Compare and contrast Elaine's medical MRI and my 'industrial' MRI. The MT-RJ to ST fibre cable's arrived. This means we can install the new switch stack any time we like. I'd imagine it'll be after the DoD are finished with and things have settled down a bit.

17/06/2004
[12:15] Slowly but surely I'm working my way through this morning's backlog of stuff to do. I got in at 08:30 this morning and started on the machines which had lost network connectivity over the last day or so. After those it was a few hours helping someone deal with a badly r00ted Windows XP laptop (still in progress, awaiting a call back) as well as needing to ring Dell, install RealPlayer for someone, install a new floppy drive, do a BIOS update and set up the new 3Com 4400 stack we have here. Of course no-one thought to mention that the switches use MT-RJ fibre connectors rather than ST/SC type any more so I've just asked the PFY to put through an order for an SC->MT-RJ cable (1m). It's all go here. I left Elaine in bed this morning (she looked wiped out). I'm hoping she'll make it in to town for lunch so we can get her registered with the doctor in time for her MRI scans to come through to the right place.

[15:30] I've been madly connecting to all the machines in one of our clusters over lunch to copy in some EndNote filters and connection files that apparently absolutely, positively have to be on there yesterday. So they are now. Good job I forgot to make lunch this morning. I've also been playing with our new 3Com SuperStack 3 4400 pair. It's really rather funky. It's all ready to go now and just needs the right fibre cable (I really hope it works as it's supposed to), to be placed into the rack in place of the Switch 1100s and given the old IP. Once that's done we'll finally be on fully-switched 100Mb throughout. Only a decade or so behind the rest of the world.

This work seems to indicate that I've done the last thing on today's To Do list, which can't be right. Oh I know, I have to drop in those EndNote files to the Windows 2000 image and redo that too. Surprise. I should stick up Elaine's MRI photos too.

16/06/2004
[10:20 - 17/06/2004] Today was Elaine's MRI scan day in Sheffield. We dragged ourselves out of bed at 07:00 and were out of the house by 08:00 everything packed. On the train we relaxed watching Family Guy (season 3) on DVD on Elaine's laptop while sharing earphones. At Sheffield we jumped straight on a bus and were perfectly timed at the hospital. Once all the forms had been signed and all metallic items removed from our persons Elaine was slid into the scanner and both of us equiped with ear defenders (although hers played Maverick FM at her). Scans of 30 seconds, 2.5 minutes, 5.5 minutes and 6 minutes followed while I watched (nothing much happening) and smiled at her as she lay perfectly still. The room was impressively bare and obviously designed for one purpose.

It was loud, but not too frightening and once it was over I stood outside the Faraday Cage and took some photos for posterity. Turns out I'm the first person ever to do it. We're probably weird. We walked in to town for a spot of lunch, then headed to the old flat to finish tidying. Bob rang while we were enroute with problems with his father's Windows laptop and I spent some time getting him sorted before deciding to carry on the next day while I was in work.

The gas men came to close off the fire (which was illegally unvented for the entire duration of Elaine's tenancy) and we left for the train station. The bus we caught suddenly developed a failed compressor so none of the hydraulics (like the doors) worked so we were shunted off to another bus. By the time we got to the station we were hot and tired and just wanted to sit and read books. The journey home was uneventful and warm but tolerable. It was nice to be back home and cycling the last few miles to the house. Food from M&S in hand we settled back to watch some West Wing (end of season 1) before going to bed.

15/06/2004
[09:40 - 17/06/2004] When I got home from work I took a quick shower and we both got ready for the ball. After some faffing around, some photos and things like that we walked in the hot sun up to Keith's house where no-one else was ready. Enjoying the chance to relax, take more photos and admire each other's clothing we waited before wandering out to take taxis to the ball. The queue was long but we'd timed it just right and it began to move around the time we joined it.

The ball was pretty good, plenty of food, drink and things to do. I won't go in to details because a lot was happening. Suffice it to say the comedians fell very much flat but the food was great. Elaine and I left early (don't say it) and were home and in bed by 03:00. I think I'd just had too long a work day and wasn't able to keep myself awake.

We slept through the morning and got up around midday. After regaining some sense of humanity we wandered down in to town to meet some other people and go punting again. Rather than go upstream we headed down and chatted about things and stuff. All rather vague really as we were still a bit pooped.

Cormac and Steph invited us to go for a Thai meal nearby so after looking at the official Ball pictures we cycled home and waited to be picked up by Cormac. After collecting his father we drove to the place, had some good food (I had the duck) and chatted with Steph's brother and his girlfriend. Food eaten we went home and fell back in to bed again.

14/06/2004
[13:00] Hmmm, another one of those mornings. Elaine was woken in the night by noisy neighbours so ended up sleeping elsewhere. I got her back in to bed this morning before I left for work. She's out and about at the moment looking for last-minute Ball stuff for this evening. Her hair appointment's at 14:30 this afternoon.

Over the weekend we got quite a bit done I think. Friday evening we did some unpacking of Elaine's stuff. There's a lot to go, but we're beginning to make a dent in it. Saturday was shopping for a new dress shirt for me and some things for Elaine. We got home just before it began to rain, hard. Saturday afternoon seems to have gone into a bit of a haze. I'm sure we did something. On Sunday we did a bit of tidying, watched plenty of television and Elaine ran up a wrap for the Ball from some material she'd bought and the thread I found in her stuff. Once that was done Elaine mowed the lawn (something we'll have to do more often) and trimmed a bit of the hedge. I tidied the downstairs rooms and did some washing up. All very domesticated, even with the roles seemingly reversed.

In an effort to get some other exercise and make use of a stunning bit of weather we cycled out for an hour or so along cycle routes I haven't tried before. Other than some damned fool kid trying to run me off the track it was a wonderful way to spend an evening. As a reward for having such a great weekend we stopped off at the chinese for a take away and then watched some West Wing. Domestic bliss.

This morning I've been upgrading BIOSes, finding dead floppy drives and worse still, dead motherboards. Only one of those luckily, but the machine is out of warranty so we're going to have to find out the damage before we think about replacing it.

I think I'm at a purchasing group meeting this afternoon so I won't be back in the office until Thursday morning. I'll write up the journal then and also put up some photos from the Ball we'll be at tonight.

11/06/2004
[10:30] Right, so yesterday I kept meaning to write but things kept cropping up and in the end it was time to head off. It was too hot yesterday. By the afternoon I was having trouble concentrating until I happened to realise it was lunch time. Elaine came to town and we had lunch with Keith and Julian on the grass by the river. I'd spent the morning removing GPO settings for the best way (I thought) of getting information to the users on login and changing it to a read-only file coming up in Notepad once the Desktop loads. This gives the opportunity to put more text in and get it arranged much more sensibly. We can even change it to use WordPad if we need (hope not) bold, italic or underline.

Anyway, after lunch I was getting dozy until I popped down to see what the temperature was in the comms cabinet on the first floor. Thirty-eight degrees centigrade is not a happy place to be. I grabbed the PFY and we wandered down with the new fan tray and had a go at installing it. Suffice it to say it was very hot, very fiddly work and it took us about half an hour longer than it should have due to having to de-cabletie much of the fibre to dismount patch panels to get the thing in place. The screwing of the tray to the rack wasn't much fun either, but it's in now. It's not too noisy and it has taken over ten degrees off the temperature in there. I think this is good. I only wish I'd had the foresight to buy one at the beginning.

Once that was done I headed home where Cormac drove me to the hi-fi shop to pick up my newly drivered Rel Q150E subwoofer. After popping to Tesco we headed home and the three of us made a cold dinner before watching the Battlestar Galactica pilot on DVD. A very interesting interpretation. The acting was a little too... feature film-like to translate to an episodic format but I'd look forward to seeing more.

This morning Elaine is in interview. In fact at this moment she's about thirty minutes into it. I do hope she does well. It'll be such a relief for her to be in a job doing what she's good at so quickly after leaving her old post to come and live here.

[12:10] I don't think the interview was particularly great. The company seems a bit odd from what I can tell, far out in the sticks and she'd probably end up doing Highways again which isn't what she trained for at University. We'll see what they say next week or something. I don't want to be here now, I want to be relaxing and getting used to Elaine being around now.

[13:00] Happily though I seem to have solved the mystery of the non-booting Windows 2000 machines with Wake-on-LAN packets. A quick installation of 3Com's diagnostics utility run as "TCAUDIAG.EXE -A" (to get the important options) has enabled me to get it working again. I'm great me, sometimes.

[15:20] I'm pretty sure the final version of the image for the last of the Windows NT4 machines that'll become Windows 2000 machines is now done. I've rolled it out a few times, fiddled with the Ghost server so it actually creates the computer accounts and generally compiled a list of the things we need to do to the machines (workstations) to get them ready to go.

[16:25] What really gets my goat these days is people who don't seem to appreciate who and what I am now, or what I'm capable of both socially and professionally. I must have done something terribly wrong around the time my previous girlfriend left because at least two dozen people I considered reasonably good friends now neither give me the time of day, nor include me in on things that are happening and treat me with the kind of off-hand rudeness that you'd expect from someone who didn't really consider you part of their social group any more. It's more than irritating, it's hurtful and frustrating, and I wish I knew what I'd done to precipitate it so I could try and seal the breach that's been created.

10/06/2004
[16:05] Sorry, busy day. Remind me tomorrow to tell you about the logon scripts, the fan tray installation and the lunch. I'm off to get my subwoofer from town and then have a cold shower.

09/06/2004
[12:15] I'm going to a Ball in a few days and I've only just got around to getting my dinner jacket out of the wardrobe to get it dry-cleaned. I need a new dress shirt, and probably a cumberbund (although I've never worn one before). I think I've thickened a little around the waist area because the trousers are a bit more snug than they used to be, too. Still, I have the weekend to get something sorted. The hifi shop has informed me that my Rel Q150E subwoofer has had a new driver installed so I need to pick that up on the weekend too for great thumping soundtrack justice.

Apart from going back in a week Elaine's finished in Sheffield and is now on a train, with her bike hopefully, to here. After that the real fun starts.

[15:20] After some mind-numbing DoD stuff I was on my way back to the office when my mobile phone rang. Elaine was waiting outside of my office door. Always a welcome surprise. Of course now I want to go home but I can't while I'm needed for the DoD.

08/06/2004
[10:00] I had real trouble waking up this morning. We were all in separate rooms to try and keep the heat down. All the windows were open and we were all sleeping under sheets. I don't think I slept well. Elaine wasn't feeling terribly good and my dad was out for the count. I think yesterday took more out of me than I thought. I made some packed lunch, forgot to have breakfast and made my way in to work. Elaine and my dad are going to make sure nothing is visible inside the house and then drive back to Leeds via Sheffield to drop Elaine off to take the van back. Elaine's going to cancel all of her utilities and other things today and tomorrow as well as rescuing her bike from the work bike shed and cleaning the flat from top to bottom. I, on the other hand, have to survive a day in work when I'm hot, tired and really not capable of doing anything terribly productive. Elaine comes back tomorrow at some point.

I forgot to bring my DJ in to work today to take it to a dry cleaners, but my West Wing seasons 1-3 box set arrived today, so that's OK. Some photos of Elaine's move are going up in a bit on my gallery, for now I need a drink.

[12:05] I've been on the scrounge for fans around the building. We need at least one to point at the servers and keep them cool(ish). Also the UPSes which are currently at 38 degrees centigrade. I've put a price request in to the company who installed one of our comms cabinets for a fan tray as I don't think 38 degrees centigrade is good for the kit in there.

[14:40] According to the thermometer I just 'borrowed' from the corridor it is now close on 32 degrees centigrade (90 degrees farenheit) in my office. I'm not pleased.

[17:05] The UPS logs show peaks at 43.2 degrees centigrade. I'm leaving the fans on overnight.

07/06/2004
[08/06/2004 - 09:50] We woke up from our last shared night in Elaine's flat as soon as the sun rose (far too early). Most of the flat was packed, there was only a little to go. I'd arrived on Friday quite late in the evening after Elaine'd been out for last day drinks with her work colleagues. I was already tired so we headed home and probably did a bit of packing, I don't actually remember.

We barely slept the night due to being hot and restless. In the morning we went out to do some errands such as getting Orange to actually credit us both for Elaine moving to them from O2, something else I forgot and then getting out to Meadowhall for Elaine to buy a very expensive but very nice wool suit from Austin Reed. As a reward to ourselves for the upcoming frenzy of packing we tooks some time to see The Day After Tomorrow. It's a shame they used the same name as a little known but reasonably enjoyable short story by Heinlein, but the film was a fun diversion for a few hours.

We headed home and began packing again. Given the space constraints I tended to keep out of the way most of the time, helping with big things, or keeping the lounge reasonably well stacked so everything would fit. By late on Saturday night most of the stuff was done and it was time to go to bed.

Sunday was all about packing. I kept out of the way a fair amount again, got some good reading done on my 'surprise WH SMITHS' vouchers book (Context, John Meaney) and generally tried to keep Elaine going. We had the D-Day celebrations on the television on a box in the corner which stopped us from getting too cabin feverish. Details are hazy as to what happened that day. I do know that we hoiked out the old sofa (from the storage cupboard, I had to take the door off to do it) and single bed and dumped them outside in preparation for moving them to the tip when my dad arrived. Other than that it was all about the packing. By evening we really had to go for a walk so went looking for boxes as well as having a chat about how things were going to change soon. All sorted out and box free (damned non-24 hour supermarkets) we headed home, did some more packing and went to bed.

Unfortunately we'd taken the curtains down in the bedroom so at about 04:30 in the morning Elaine got up and rehung them, kind of. As a result we weren't too awake come 09:00. Even so we got up, had some breakfast and I went hunting for cardboard boxes. Netto provided me with some Wotsit (cheesy maize snack, almost) boxes which did the trick.

By 15:00 we were done and awaited the arrival of my dad with a Transit (short wheelbase, standard roof). He arrived around 16:00 and we took a trip to the Tip before beginning packing the van. Elaine was in the van, my dad from van to first floor and me from first floor to inside the flat. I think I had the best deal with regards to keeping cool on what turned out to be the hottest day of the year to date. In about three hours we got pretty much all of it done, even though my dad came down with a very mild bout of heatstroke. After a rest and some water we finished off, admired Elaine's amazing packing skills (possibly better than mine) and with plants in the cabin we drove away for the last time (although Elaine goes back on Tuesday to clean the place and do utilities things).

The drive down was uneventful and quick (for a full Transit) and we arrived soon after 23:00. We all pitched in unpacking into the garage, kitchen and lounge before Elaine (bless her) started on some food (grabbed from the 24-hour Tesco on the way in). Probably not the best choice we had korma before I rolled in to bed at around 01:00.

04/06/2004
[14:40] Yesterday I ordered the West Wing Seasons 1-3 on DVD from Amazon and they're not here yet. I want them now damnit, even if I'm not going to be able to watch them this weekend dur to being in Sheffield helping Elaine pack up her life in preparation for the Big Move down to me. It's got to be plenty scary to give up your job, haul up sticks and move in with someone in a place you only vaguely know and attempt to restart your life. I did it once in moving here but that was out of university, not after almost a year in work. I'm damned if I'm not going to be worthy of what she's doing for us.

Getting back down to earth I've set up a room for the DoD for this year. Everything looks to be ready to go so the PFY should be able to show the temp how to do things on Monday when Elaine, my dad and I are tootling down the motorways towards my house. I'll be sure and do an entry for Monday when I get in on Tuesday.

03/06/2004
[09:30] Thanks to Mark who suggested this possible answer (the part on not using the GPO but using scripts) to my problem of yesterday. I haven't tried it yet, but it'll be something I'll be having a go at. As far as I can tell it'll require using a startup, rather than login script to work.

[16:20] A bit of a lacklustre day today. I saved the department about five hundred pounds by working out that an HP LaserJet 1200 can do a passible imitation of a PostScript printer and that we had a spare JetDirect 175x card that would work perfectly with it. Ten minutes later and I'm printing from the Oracle Financials system and looking good. Saved a lot of my own time too, not to mention not needing to have another type of toner in the building.

[17:05] We continue to roll out Meeting Maker clients to users in the building despite not having a response from Meeting Maker themselves on the DoS I reported to them on 10 May. I'm going to give them until 10 June and then start mentioning things like BUGTRAQ and see what happens then.

02/06/2004
[13:00] Tired this morning. I didn't go to bed too late either. I've resolved to get something sorted out today with the new image for the other open area. It's time we got on with that a bit and given that I won't be going anywhere for a while it's about time we got things in shape here. At the moment I'm fiddling with GPOs and why things aren't working quite how I want them to. On the plus side my adduser script is performing flawlessly.

[18:05] I'm slowly ironing out all the bugs in this installation, except the fact that I can't seem to get newline characters into the LegalNoticeText thing in the GPO for this OU. It was 'easy' under NT4. You just did some quick binary editing and away you went. Only it doesn't seem to want to do it this time.

01/06/2004
[10:15] The front door control failed again yesterday. And perhaps a few days previously again. I'm so sure it's weather-related. I've done some work on the DoD this morning, changed some printer cartridges and am just about to work out what happens next.

[10:30] I've put up a whole load of pictures in the Gallery so you're welcome to go and sift through them at your convenience. Comments are appreciated, as are votes in the new poll. Note also that there's an IRC channel (Java applet if you can't be arsed to configure your IRC client) on which I may sometimes be found. Knock yourself out.

[14:35] The trick to getting me to say something on the IRC channel is not to leave as soon as you arrive. Just because I don't greet you, doesn't mean I'm away from the keyboard. Say something and I'll respond. Anyway, in other news I didn't get the job. They've offered it to someone who's quite likely to take it barring accidents or a better offer. I guess it makes sense for me to be honest. I can get some stuff finished here, not leave the PFY in the middle of things and ensure that I have a sound financial base over the summer while Elaine's getting a job and the interest rates are looking to go up. Still disappointed (and unappointed!) but something else will come up, possibly in the next few months or in November time. Stay tuned for more riveting stories from my employment.

[17:35] It's raining and I want to go home. I know there are a few things I should be doing but at this juncture I really don't care. I'm going to try and make tomorrow a productive day and really make some progress on getting the last of the NT4 domains prepared for Windows 2000. I'm fairly sure pretty much all the pieces are in place, it's just a case of drawing them all together.

I really should go home and do something else.

[18:30] I don't know if I mentioned that I bought a bread maker on the weekend. I must have done but I can't be bothered to check last month's Journal. Anyway, I made my first loaf yesterday and it was great. A 2lb white loaf with a medium crust. And it's completely edible. And nice too. I made my sandwiches with it this morning and was gorging on it last night. So yes, bread maker good. Home time now, I don't think the rain's going to stop any time soon so I should just go and get wet.