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31/05/2004
[09:45] Yes it's a bank holiday and yes I'm in work. I took off the last bank holiday so it's only fair that she takes this one off. She nearly didn't as there are all kinds of things happening with the DoD that could have required her attention. As it is I have a note from her which I think she did on Saturday (she came in) which should allow me to do everything necessary to stop her from needing to come in today. It's a bit of a shame I can't take the afternoon off because there are friends coming to town today and everyone else has the whole day off. Still, maybe I can duck out earlyish. It looks like a lovely day, too.

If you're wondering how the interview went then I'll try to give you a bit of a run-down. I got changed in here (don't think anyone saw) and cycled over to the place as gently as possible. The previous interview candidate was just leaving so I pretended to be just another visitor for some reason. Spent some time drinking water while the panel deliberated over that candidate then was shown in by Shaun.

The panel consisted of people I knew so it was a fairly relaxed affair. The introduction to what the place did was first, even though I knew 99 percent of it. The general question came next which I think I did fairly well on. I know my Oracle knowledge is a bit slim on the ground (read: fairly useless) and so I completely fluffed up the few Oracle questions I was asked, even though I think in one way I got the easiest right, kind of, rather than not knowing the answer at all. Serve me right for reading the 9i documentation rather than anything else. Anyway, the only sticking point from my side is the pay. If they offer me the job I'm going to have to ask if they can push up the pay to the next scale, and if they can't it'll be time to hit the accounts and see what's what.

I think I came across fairly well, the opportunity is tremendous but the down sides are fairly numerous too. It's a poser and no mistake. Elaine having a good job would probably ease some of the decision (as she could more happily contribute a bit to the running of the house). I'm looking forward to having her in the house. It's going to be a whole new part of my life and possibly the best yet. I won't deny that it's also going to be very weird given what's gone before in my past experiences, and there'll be hiccups, but when someone's willing to do what Elaine's doing you have to accept that there's something special going on and it deserves to be given the best possible shot at succeeding.

[09:55] For the moment I'm going to get my head around the mail merges I have to do so that when it comes to doing them this afternoon they go quickly and by the numbers. Maybe then I can get out of here and actually have a social life while the sun's shining.

[13:00] And there we go. All mail merges done, all stuff squared away, the right tapes in the machines and generally everything seems to be where it needs to be so I'm going to eat my lunch and get the flock out of here.

28/05/2004
[12:45] Well today is interview day. Obviously I don't feel like I've done enough revision/boning up on Oracle or Solaris/linux, but then you never really feel like you're going to nail an interview; there's always something you've forgotten. About the only thing I can say is that if I don't get offered the job, I still have a well-paid one I can be getting on with and there's bound to be another one along eventually.

Otherwise I've been dealing with the Databases of Doom (MS Access) this morning as this is a non-PFY day. She's got Monday off too and there are some important things that need doing. I need to get in contact with her between now and then to make sure I know what I'm doing.

[14:30] Getting close to time to change from BOFH-in-shorts to DBA-applicant-in-trousers-shirt-and-tie. The things we go through. If you're watching you may see me in a state of undress. I don't really care, you probably don't either.

27/05/2004
[15:20] Afternoon all. Another one of those days, I'm afraid. We started the major rollout of Meeting Maker 8 still without any long-term license registrations and still with the denial of service problem I discovered a few weeks ago. Some rapid resposes from someone at MM have furnished us with a trial period extension for another month so we can get on with getting people to use it at any rate.

Otherwise we've been dealing with supplying items for various meetings, messing with databases and generally trying to work out where things are going. I spent lunch time with Shaun discussing things database and financial and having a think about how easy it might be to take a less well-paid job for a few years while having Elaine help make up the shortfall on mortgage payments. Incidently I filled in and submitted my tax return last night (or was it the night before?). All you gits who keep buying my T-shirts have cost me a ton of tax again this year. I still think there's something deeply wrong about paying tax for your own creativity. Still, it happens to everyone.

Did I mention that Elaine has a job interview? I did, didn't I? Anyway, I'm still pleased as anything and still hoping very much that she gets a job offer from them. Other than that I think I'm going to try and duck out of here early today and head over to the beer festival. Not to drink beer (don't actually like the stuff) but for the interesting cheeses, the hog roast and some of the ciders.

26/05/2004
[11:05] What is it that means when one of my users tries to get a plugin to work with IE and it doesn't work, but when I do it, it does. I'm getting rather annoyed with this now. I guess that's cryptic, but frankly I don't care at the moment. I'm a bit tired as I woke at 04:00 this morning again for some reason. I was probably hungry. Anyway, I'm in work today and trying to get stuff done.

[14:15] Today won't be a total washout if I don't do anything else today as I think I've solved a disply-and-print problem that was the main point of the above paragraph. For some reason turning off browser integration for Acrobat Reader seems to have made it start working, which is nice. I think I'll do some more reading on Solaris this afternoon. Oh, damn, I need to install some Meeting Maker clients and get something sorted.

25/05/2004
[26/05/2004 10:10] After taking home some Solaris course material last night to remind myself of some of the more esoteric parts of the operating system I made myself some food and went to bed. Around 03:30 I was praying to the porceline god, again at 05:00 and not feeling great at 07:00. Food poisoning of some kind. I spent most of the morning in bed and was staggering around for the second half of the day before settling in front of the laptop to learn a bit more about administering Oracle. I know more about initialisation files, server parameter files, control files, instance makeup and security than I did before at any rate.

What perked me up more than anything else was the news that Elaine has a job interview with a company here, on the Friday after we move her down here, which is really really great.

I lasted until 22:00 before heading to bed after a little toast and water. I don't actually remember putting my head on the pillow.

24/05/2004
[12:35] Talk about a fun and crammed weekend. Elaine arrived on Friday, early due to swift action on train platforms. We were both fairly tired but had an enjoyable evening. I walked down to the station and then given the wonderful weather we walked back again.

Saturday morning we were woken early by the sun. I really need some better curtains for the summer months. Or some blackout material that still lets air through. We decided that it was time to go punting for the first time. We grabbed a bus in to town, picked up some food and grabbed a punt. Given how early it was the river was deserted and we made good time upstream in the sun.

Stopping for lunch I let Elaine have a go and despite what she says I was impressed with how well she controlled the punt. We didn't hit the bank, which is a good start.

As the day moved on I took us back and we caught a bus home again to relax. The only problem was that on opening the front door there was more than just the usual leaflets from the Conservatives asking me to vote for them. In fact there were two pieces of wood that looked like they'd been pulled from a fence. The were lying right inside the door. From what I can guess someone with small hands (a thieving kid) had put his hand through the letterbox and tried to trip the Yale lock with the wood. Suitably worried we headed out for a curry with Keith and triple locked the front door (leaving through the garage). Keith had a spare BS3621, some chisels and a hammer so, after admiring his clean and be-shelved garage and a pretty good curry which left me barely able to waddle, let alone walk, we headed home.

The following morning I put Elaine on my bike and ran all the way to Homebase (about 2.5 miles) to pick up some more locks, some shears (for the hedge) and some drill bits). After some water and a Calippo and the shopping I ran all the way back again. Good exercise, if a little hot.

I have to admit up front that Elaine did most of the stupendous work on the mortice lock we fitted in my front door. It took quite a while but at the end of the day we were left with a really rather well-fitted lock and a door that can't be opened anywhere near as easily by miscreants as it could be before. Now all I need to do is something for the garage door and I'll be a happier camper.

Funny thing. I got a job interview offer this morning, which is cool. Oracle plus Solaris. More on that later on, but I'm hopeful and a little wary about the changes it might make to the way things are. In other news Elaine has nine more days of work to go (including today) before she moves down. Last stop for current life. All change, please, all change!

[15:30] I'm worried that if I get offered this job it won't be paid enough to cover what looks like rising interest rates (and hence mortgage repayments). I wasn't particularly worried until this morning when the news hit that there'd been some talk of it. Never mind the fact that rates may not double and instead may only go up to 5.5%, that's still a hell of a lot more than what I'm paying at the moment and with less money in my pocket every month it becomes a bit worrysome. Right now I guess I don't need to think about anything other than doing well at interview, but on the face of it it may take me a minimum of five years to even get back to the same point on the salary ladder I am right now, let alone improving my prospects any further. Elaine moving down may offset some of the increase, but still it's all a bit worrying.

21/05/2004
[11:45] Stupid users.

A Word document that has tables in it is not 'a database'. Saying such will confuse my barely clued secretaries who then proceed to confuse me when they say they're sending a database that can't be open by a Mac user at the far end with an ancient copy of Word for Mac.

In other news I'm throwing out old equipment here and generally tidying up. New printers are being installed and I'm binning or giving away deskjets as fast as I can. If anyone has a solid citation for the need to install DNS on every DC in an AD-integrated DNS ADS then please, let me know. While I have a system set up that gives no errors and is all happy and stuff, not knowing quite why is annoying and doesn't sit well with me.

[13:35] Bloody annoying installation thingy. It's taken me over an hour to get a USB printer working correctly. I have no idea why HP think it's sensible to package Tomcat with their printers these days to provide 'web access'. Bah!

Apparently I'm also having lunch at 15:00. I have no idea why.

20/05/2004
[13:50] This morning has been fairly full. First off the PFY added the freshly reinstalled server back into the ADS (successfully) and we watched the replication topology work itself out nice and smoothly (if a little slowly). I then headed off for an hour's worth of getting things sorted and came back to find that the four printers I ordered yesterday (which was buggered up slightly) had arrived. I'll be setting them up this afternoon.

[16:15] One Windows 2000 positive thing is more than balanced out by a Windows 2000 negative thing. I'd decided not to reinstall DNS on the server we just brought up. Only this seems to be causing problems somehow. I don't really want every domain controller to be a DNS as well, but it may be the only way unless someone knows of a reason why you can't point a DC at another DC running DNS and have RegisterDnsARecords 0 in the registry and it still not work.

[17:30] Well it looks like installing DNS on the DC has fixed it. Wish I knew precisely why.

19/05/2004
[11:20] I need to learn how to worry less. I find something to worry about and it takes over much of my thoughts for the next few hours, etc.

[12:40] However, problems with a secretary's Office installation has taken up all my remaining morning time (stress, stress) so I'm off to lunch. More this afternoon.

[16:35] Absolutely nothing has happened this afternoon apart from a nice sunny lunch time and some problems ordering some printers from Misco. Still, that seems to be sorted and they should be arriving tomorrow. That'll get rid of three of the remaining ten deskjets in the building and hopefully leave us paying less overall for new ink. I'm hoping to go kiting this evening in the sun as well as staying out to get some stargazing done (not sure on that last bit yet). Hopefully food-shopping too, while I have someone with a car at my disposal.

18/05/2004
[15:20] It's been a fuzzy day today. The weather's been pretty good and I had a nice long lunch outside in the sun after getting some money for another psychology experiment, but I've not really got much work done, to be honest. I think it's the heat, and the humidity. I was going to go for a cycle this afternoon after work, but I'm not sure I can be bothered at the moment.

The RAID array rebuilt last night in just under two hours. There's no way to control the rebuild rate (did I mention that before) on the PERC 3/Di controllers so you just have to plug and wait, really. This afternoon I'll mostly be doing draft policy documents for the use of laptops, personal software and some of the computer rooms we have in the building.

17/05/2004
[14:45] Caught a sequence of well connected trains home from Sheffield this morning and was back in the office by 12:00. I worked out why no-one had been seeing journal updates for the last few days of last week too. Sorry about that. I ahve a meeting in a bit so I'll fill you in on whatever I have in my head at the moment.

When I arrived in Sheffield on Friday I checked my email and found that I and others had been fooled into paying money for licenses we were told we had to renew when this was in fact not the case. I sent some emails to the PFY in the hope she'd get something moving today (she did, we're getting a refund). Saturday was all about relaxation, in the end we did go for a walk around Graves Park (which is much larger than we thought).

Sunday, even though the weather was absolutely stunning, we went climbing at The Edge. Hey, if we had a rack, a few ropes and the ability to to lead climbing at Lawrencefield or Stanage we would have done, as it was we had the wall to ourselves, which was nice. It was also nice not to have to rush around in an effort to be at the station in the evening. All in all the weekend was really rather nice and an opportunity to let off some pressure that'd been building up.

[17:40] That meeting went on far longer than I was comfortable with. If there hadn't been biscuits I might have fallen asleep, as it is I'm off home now to see if I still have a home, or if it's been burgled.

14/05/2004
[11:35] The disks I swapped around yesterday and now rebuilding on the machine that's recently been RAIDed. Only it's a 50GB array and there's nothing on it yet. I can't cancel the rebuild for various reasons so I'm stuck watching it happen and twiddling my thumbs. I do have a CD to burn with Virus Scan 7.0 and some MP3s though, while I wait.

[13:40] RAID scrubbing takes too long. I've had lunch, I've got W2K Adv. Server installing and the office is tidy for Monday. I'm out of here in 20 minutes. Have a good weekend.

13/05/2004
[13:30] It's been an OK morning. Thus far nothing has currently gone wrong with the downgraded server I did last night. As a reward I went via Sainsburys on the way home and bought some good food to have. Because I was tired this ended up being one of their really nice 'cook it yourself' pizzas, some good cheese, some chorizo and a few other things.

[13:55] So when I got up this morning I was feeling in fine fettle, and not too worried about how things were going to be looking at work. Happily nothing had gone wrong. We dcpromo'd the server that's getting RAID (that started the whole sorry debacle) down to a member server around 11:30 and have been waiting for the ADS to settle down before we start the reinstall. I've also been arranging masks for the Ball Elaine and I are going to and working out how we're going to move her down here soon. I love my dad, he's great for things like this.

[14:20] Had I more driving experience I'd do the driving myself, but a full van, on a motorway? Nope, not this time.

[17:55] The PFY and I have been juggling hard drives all afternoon to make sure all the servers have the same spindle speed and access speed drives in their RAID5 arrays. This is far less traumatic an exercise than what I was doing earlier. We've also installed RAID in the Power Edge 2500 and found enough 10K U160 disks to make a four disk RAID 5 array. We also have two spares in the event any disks die in any of the (now) four RAID servers. We should buy a few more spares, but not right this moment. I think it's about time to go home and entertain now that the rebuild on one of the machines we just did a swap on has finished.

12/05/2004
[10:40] When I arrived this morning I wasn't looking forward to opening the event logs on the servers I'd been working on last night. The server I'd done the rolled-back Embedded Server Management firmware upgrade on was fine. The NT4 server that I'd rebuilt the array on was also fine (remember I put the old ArrayManager software back on before going last night), so I think the drive I swapped out is actually fine and I'll be putting it back in come the move to Windows 2000. Unfortunately the server I'd done the planned upgrade of ArrayManager, driver and firmware (for RAID also) was throwing up timeout errors all night. I advised everyone I was rebooting and tried newer versions of driver and firmware. Thus far everything seems to be OK... We'll have to wait and see.

Happily there are no Microsoft patches to be installed this month (I'll bet there are some mid-month) so all I have to deal with is a printer that doesn't recognise that its toner is actually an HP one.

[12:10] I've just filled in a job application. Not sure anything'll come of it given the kind of people who'll be applying for the post beside me, I'm not even 100 percent sure I'd do the job very well to begin with (and end up fired) but I'm damned sure I'd learn pretty quickly. All I know is that it's getting time to leave here and I want to go somewhere where a) I can learn again, b) is fun and c) I can support something that gives me a sense of achievement. Actually it was time to leave two years ago, but then I was a little preoccupied at the time.

I'm delivering a modem to someone at lunch time, it's the second one I've passed over but it helps me too in a round about way, so it's all to the good.

[14:10] Everyone's having problems today it seems. Maybe this is balancing out for the fact Microsoft aren't sending many patches out. I need to drop the RAID controller firmware, drivers and ArrayManager software back to the original versions this evening. I can't do that until everyone's gone home either so it kind of screws up the whole day. I only hope the machine doesn't screw up in the meantime.

[17:30] The server hasn't done anything since 12:12 to make me think I need to downgrade it, but damnit, I'm not happy. I just need everyone to go home and I can get it back to a point where I know things work and I can leave it alone for a while. Until then I'm going to be nervous and unable to start playing with the new RAID kit for the other server. Looks like another late evening.

[18:05] Right, I'm going to be here until 19:00 this evening, at which point everyone should have logged off and I can start work.

11/05/2004
[10:50] I was famished last night when I got home from giving blood. Incidently it was probably the best session I've had to date. The nurse was OK with my irrational needle thing and stuck it in quickly and professionally before telling me it was her first day on the job. The drain wasn't terribly quick but within my tolerance limits. There were also loads of good looking women all around doing the same thing so it was a pleasure to lie there. Elaine SMSed me just as I was feeling a bit paranoid about the needle hurting and gave me just the boost I needed.

Food-wise last night Cormac cooked bacon tikka masala which was really quite nice. I'll have to make that myself sometime soon.

[18:50] Busy afternoon doing all kinds of things. I've upgraded a couple of things and as a result we appear to have a pending RAID disk failure. I'm tempted to leave things as they are for the moment but maybe I really should replace the disk. I don't actually know what's wrong with it, but it looks semi-serious. For some reason I can't seem to just whip it out and put another in. Time to investigate.

[19:30] I'm so sure I've buggered something up somewhere. I'm an idiot.

[19:50] ETA of 20:16 for the rebuild to finish on the NT4 server. I think I've fixed the problem on the W2K box where I upgraded the firmware and driver with the install of ArrayManager. I know I planned this carefully, it just looks like the best laid plans of mice and sysadmins don't always come to fruition. The fact that I've managed to pull things back together again is the one thing that I'm pleased about. I'm a bit worried that the machine I've replaced the disk in is giving errors on the other two disks in the array of three. Now either there's nothing wrong with the disk I've just pulled, there's something wrong with all three disks or there's something up with the RAID card or the new software. For the moment I'm just going to replace this one disk and go home and see what happens in the morning. This machine's due for a reinstall soon, but not just yet. Maybe it's something to do with the work I've done on the other disk. I'm tending towards the new software not playing well with NT4.

[20:50] Rebuild worked. Still getting errors. Have decided to rollback to the old version of ArrayManager for the moment. The machine's being rebooted soon anyway. The old version doesn't appear to be giving errors, so maybe it was a version incompatibility. Either way I know how to do a RAID rebuild on a live server with hotswap now, which is good. I'm going home.

10/05/2004
[12:35] It's wonderful when you can Fool some of the people some of the time, and with such a literary bent, too. It was a good weekend with Elaine here. Friday was spent decompressing after the week and in the end we went to bed fairly early. Or did we watch something, you know I was so tired and worn out I don't actually remember. I do remember that it was nice to have someone in the house again. Now that Elaine's handed in notice on her flat we're looking to have her here for the beginning of June which is pretty much one year almost to the day after we started seeing each other. I think it has a certain sense of appositeness to it.

Saturday we were up at a reasonable time and after getting in to town and buying some supplies were on the train for Guildford around 14:00. The trip down was fairly uneventful and the only strain was the walk from the station to Donna and Jon's house. The party was relaxing, the food (especially the sausages) great and the company fun, as always. I was introduced to FarCry which I've now downloaded the demo for and intend to play for the next couple of evenings. It needs a bit of a beefy PC though, which I think I can supply.

Elaine and I stayed over at Dunk's after the party began to wind down. Elaine got some 'furry lovin'' from Monty and Amber (Dunk's cats) before we went to bed as well as some in the morning. Dunk dropped us off at Twyford station for the return journey and we were back at the house for about 14:00. After some food and relaxation we headed back to the station once more for Elaine's trip back to Sheffield.

Two minor things of note over the weekend; one was that the place I go climbing nearby has decided to close its doors to public sessions, which sucks. The other was that I got to make someone's day by giving them Elaine's bus ticket on the way home. Striking back against Stagecoach any way I can.

Today I've currently been trying to fight against the rising tide of paperwork here and have managed to bin an imperial buttload of out of date and unneeded stuff thus far. I may get around to some work this afternoon. I'm also hoping Elaine gets some joy on her wisdom teeth which appear to be making a more concerted attempt to appear this time around.

[16:05] Off to give blood.

07/05/2004
[12:40] This morning I've created some kind of monstrous mutant script that binds batch scripting together with Visual Basic and LDAP manipulation to do something quite wonderful and automated to do with user creation. I really wonder how other sysadmins cope without resorting to scripting at some point in their lives. I just wish I got to do more of it, with more funky things. As it is I can now create users, set up printer accounting and give them SFTP access to their home directories all from one command. The rest of the set up is done with registry files on login and GPOs. I think it may just about work, if I don't forget anything.

We still need to do some dry runs, but we can't do that until the RAID parts arrive for the server and that's going to be at least another week. In the meantime I should order another copy of ARCserve and find out where our PCounter license is.

Other than that I'm finally going to get down to looking at Meeting Maker as well as popping in to town in about twenty minutes to buy Jon and Donna's house warming present.

[14:35] Well, I slightly screwed one of the servers just as I was about to go to town so I'll have to do that later. I got it fixed, but I have no idea how it was broken in the first place. I also rebooted a couple of the other servers to deal with patches that apparently hadn't been applied by HFNetChkPro.

Elaine's due here some time this evening so I'm going to be staying in work late and going straight to the station to meet her. I think I'll pop out, get the present and then come back. Makes the most sense and saves me a bit of money in the long run.

[18:10] I have the present (dashed in to town to get it in in the rain and then back here to work again), I have directions printed out and collated (we like Multimap) and now I'm just waiting for Elaine to ring me in a few hours to say she's close to town and I can cycle to the station to meet her. She's eating chips at the moment (greedy woman) and I'm starting to feel hungry.

[20:15] I'm tired, it's late, she's on her way. I should ring and find out where she is exactly so I can time my cycle through the rain.

06/05/2004
[09:45] Well the recording of 'Think the Unthinkable' was a low-key but fun affair. While it was a chance to see someone I've not seen in a year or so it was more about the comedy. They recorded two episodes, but I'm not sure when they'll go out.

This morning I've already had to deal with someone who lost icons for their Eudora, someone whose Mulberry isn't sending mails to large groups and trying to get on with Meeting Maker again. Don't even get me started on my journey in this morning which consisted of watching a very small girl on a bike nearly kill herself under the wheels of a white van, bad driving by a very heavy beer delivery lorry and stupidity from a cyclist who not only failed to respond to my imprecations, but who then proceeded to cycle through a heavily used red-lighted pedestrian crossing.

[12:15] Right, off to do two experiments and have some lunch. I need to get someone a housewarming present too, but that'll have to wait until tomorrow lunch time. Elaine's got a migraine again today (although it's the first in a long while). Hope it dies down soon. With luck moving down here should get rid of some of the stress she's feeling and they may decrease in frequency.

[15:10] Great. Interest rates have gone up again. This means more mortgage payments. Smashing. No really. And just when I'm thinking of taking a pay cut to get a better job. Wonderful. This means I may need to think about some upcoming plans and perhaps make some slight changes.

[17:05] Perhaps stupidly I've just taken my first tentative steps into the realms of ADSI, Windows Scripting and visual basic. It's horrible but it just might be what I need to automate adding users with certain attributes, to an OU, with the right settings.

[19:45] That has to be the most enjoyable and productive couple of hours I've had in a good few months. I designed, I wrote, I tested and I bugfixed a bit of code that should make the user migration from NT4 to W2K almost painless. There's still a lot more to do but I think it's going to be a whole lot easier now I've got my head around this part of it. Unfortunately I now have to go home and do a mountain of washing up and think about the fact that this is the second week on the trot when there's been no Thursday session at my place. I think most people were getting tired of it to be honest. I wonder if I'll do it again.

05/05/2004
[11:40] We're replacing all the backup tapes at the moment (it's about time) and I've decided to leave the PFY to do the labeling as my handwriting is terrible. I don't blame using a PC all the time, I just have scruffy writing.

I'd thought I might go climbing this evening in London but I forgot I'm going to a recording of 'Think the Unthinkable' at The Drill Hall instead. On the up side I get to see some people I've not seen since University or a few years later, which should be cool.

[11:50] Otherwise, the speakers the PFY went to pick up are here now, I've got some stuff to do and have arranged some more lunchtime mini-experiments. These're five pound-a-pop things where I go and look at pictures or listen to sounds and do what the experiment dictates and someone gets a Master or a Ph.D out of it. Many of the experiments have a medical background and could be used as part of the research into cures for things like MS. Or at least I hope so. I'm still waiting to do some of the big ones like fMRI scans and things like that. I just think that as a healthy individual I should have a go at helping other people have a good life too.

[17:00] An afternoon of faff and twaddle. I have managed to cross off some thingd for the impending user move that was beginning to worry me, as well as downloading and preparing the ground for the Meeting Maker trial service I'm going to be running soon. I can't say I've accomplished an awful lot this afternoon but it's been one of this bitty ones when you don't have enough to concentrate on.

In other news I had a productive lunch with Shaun which may lead to an interesting future in a few weeks/months. Elaine gave notice on her flat in Sheffield today. I can't imagine how odd it must be to decide to up and move to another city when you've actually settled. I had the advantage of not being settled when I moved from Manchester to here. To leave your job and stuff must be really strange.

I'm off to London now, probably back late this evening. Still, should be fun.

04/05/2004
[10:15] I was set to leave on Friday when I passed by the Library and noticed that all the machines there were able to see one of the Administration shares. This shouldn't be the case. I realised it was something left over from the changes I'd made to the profile of the restricted user and had to spend a further forty minutes correcting my gaff. It looks like everything's OK now though. Silly me.

I'm still waiting on Dell to ring/email me back and tell me whether they can get hold of a RAID Enabler Key for my PowerEdge 2500. I mentioned it last week as something they said they don't make any more, even though they appanrently do. It's becoming more essential that this machine be reinstalled soon and takes over fileserving duties for one of our clusters of machines. Hopefully something will happen soon. We've also just started to hear about the opportunity to purchase new Dell machines at a very cheap price per unit.

[10:40] Oh, we saw Kill Bill (vol.2) on Saturday night after walking back from the train station. While it definitely had some wonderful moments, I found it dragging on in places where it could have benefitted from tightening up and shortening.

[16:20] On the way to the train station last night with Elaine we looked out of the bus window to see someone playing a guitar from inside of a street bin. You know, those black ones with gold paint on them that sometimes have the city's crest on it? Freak.

[17:55] Bah, new account rep. at MISCO swears blind we're not allowed the cheaper delivery costs we've been getting for the last two to three years. Silly woman. I'm also looking for information on where I can get a grant or similar to help with my loft insulation. For the moment though I'm off home for the evening. I would have gone climbing, but I'm shattered.

03/05/2004
[04/05/2004 - 09:40] A pretty great weekend all round really. Elaine arrived on Friday but missed a bus to the house and ended up giving me some time to get some fresh air before she turned up. Saturday was spent climbing in London, going to Tokyo Diner for dinner and then falling asleep on the train home. Climbing was pretty good, I think I'm getting back towards where I was before I stopped going to The Castle. With a few more weeks I should be back to where I was. Sunday we took a trip out to Wimpole Hall and Farm with Shaun, Linda and Tom. They liked the place and may be taking Tom back as he gets older to see the animals at the farm and enjoy the mud. The weather cleared nicely and it was a chance to wander around and even carry Tom for a while in his all singing, all dancing papoose. There are photos, so I'll stick them up later if I get time. On returning we stayed round at Shaun and Linda's for a quiet, relaxed barbeque in the back garden before being driven home. Almost the perfect day.

Monday was absolutely dire, weather-wise so we walked to the Co-op and got soaked, bought lunch and dinner and walked back, getting soaked again. With the heating on and TV to entertain we relaxed and looked through some job adverts for Elaine's impending move down here. We're not sure when, but it's going to happen.

Given the state of the railways we got Elaine to the station for 18:00 and on to a train so she'd get home at a reasonably sane hour. I went home and tried to prepare myself for the morning. Security rang at 22:36 to tell me the front door had failed, again.