Menu Members Guests LTQ
BOFHcam navigation bar

BOFHJournal

1999 | 2000 | 2001 | 2002 | 2003 | 2004 | 2005 | 2006 | 2007 | 2008 | 2009 | 2010 | 2011 | 2012 | 2013 | 2014 | 2015 | 2016 | 2017

June's Journal
August's Journal


31/07/2007
[17:05] Argh! I've developed a seething hatred of Sun Fire V20z front panel operation. It's so incredibly obtuse and broken and... argh! I am so annoyed. And this is after having had a good day installing the new x4200 M2 servers around the city at the other two locations, making it back in time to get my lunchtime burrito and also getting to my hair cut on time. Not only that but I've managed to update one of the V20z servers' SP and BIOS eventually via NFS and the stupid Java application you have to use. Damnit, now I don't know if I've buggered up one of the live load balancers or not. I wish we'd set up service processor IP access to these boxes before now.

Oh well, I don't care until tomorrow morning. Off for a cycle and a walk in the sun I think.

30/07/2007
[15:00] Coming up to the end of another month. Fewer and fewer weeks remaining until it's time to start thinking again. Again. It's not a surprise; it's not like I didn't know about it.

Anyway.

Friday evening was good. Not only did Jenny's boat bump, I also got some excellent shots which I've put online for the crew to download. We headed off to a barbeque afterwards where I got to meet a fair number of people in a rather lovely house. Amusingly the bookshelves were almost book for book the same as mine. Saturday was mainly about relaxing, hoping that Cormac would show up with the hedge trimmers (he didn't) and going to see Transformers at the cinema. Either I'm getting too old or some of the scenes in that film were far too fast. Perhaps it was to hide ropey CG. But I doubt it.

Sunday was even more relaxed with not getting out of bed before midday. After going into town for a map of the Peleponese which we didn't find I went home to order one online. I think I read for the remainder of the day while being mildly peeved about the cold I was developing.

Given the cold's onslaught I didn't sleep especially well last night and have been drinking like a fish today in an effort to try and shove it through my system as quickly as possible before I head off to Greece next Sunday. This means I'm pissing like a racehorse which is extremely irritating. Hopefully I should still be able to climb this evening, but I'm not running this week in the hope that stressing my system less will give it more strength to get better. I have five days.

Today I have been doing things with Nessus and generally catching up on things and stuff. Also preparing for tomorrow's move of two x4200 servers to the other two server rooms in the city. I should get on with things, really.

27/07/2007
[16:25] A very windy day here today. Still, no rain as yet. I've been doing bits and bobs, odds and sods and not much of anything today. I did cycle to see Jenny at lunch but didn't stay long in the end. I'm a little bit tired from reading too much of my book when I went to bed last night. Already tired I should have just switched the light off, but the book was interesting so I decided to finish it. Didn't take long and I think I'm the better for doing so as it meant my head was settled when I finally turned the light off.

I'm off to watch more rowing this evening once I've been to the gym and cleaned myself up. Little bits of fun here and there this evening. I'll fill you in on Monday. In the meantime there's a hedge to hopefully trim (or at least start), a film to watch and some fun to be had. Have a good weekend.

26/07/2007
[17:10] Jenny's team did very well last night, and I think I got some reasonable photos too. Once I've taken some more tomorrow (can't go tonight, for the usual reason) I'll stick them online somewhere so they're available. I nearly lost my voice shouting encouragement on the two and bit kilometres up stream. Still, tons of fun.

Today I've mainly been fiddling with Rackmonkey and getting to know the server racks here in excruciating detail. Also installing incorrect UPS software on various machines and having to fix that. Otherwise I did my 6km at lunch time and now feel truly, truly ravenous. Pizza shortly, I think. Although I must go via Tesco for some Gu too.

25/07/2007
[17:50] We actually had a nice evening's weather yesterday. Taking advantage of this meant going down to the river to see people doing things in boats. Which was quite amusing. Jenny's doing things in boats for the remainder of the week so I'll be off down there tonight and Friday to see what I can see with my camera. However, she wasn't doing anything boat-related last night so we watched other people, enjoyed the weather and then went home via a Tesco. Somebody then probably got into trouble with her team-mates by not going out for a curry with them later. I blame the beer. I'm very glad I had a run and stuff at lunchtime.

I have to admit, the book I bought recently seems to be having a talismanic effect even before I've read much of it yet. Certainly things are better than they were.

Anyway, I woke this morning feeling more rested and certainly happier than I've been in a while. This was fortuitious as the fourth x4200 M2 was still misbehaving when I got in. After getting very little joy from either our supplier or Sun I took it upon myself to compare BIOSes and discovered that that one server had a very slightly different build of the same BIOS! Flashing it and the SP firmware on the machine didn't seem to fix the RAM reporting issue until I decided to flash all the other machines to the newest revision also. At the point at which I plugged the troublesome server back in to flash its RAID hardware also I discovered that it was now reporting the correct amount of RAM. Go figure. So now I've flashed all the other servers' SP, BIOS and RAID hardware and everything seems to be fine. I've also kickstarted the now-untroublesome server and handed it over to the DBAs for application loading.

The rest of the day has been spent doing a crash course in postgresql so that I could get a copy of Rackmonkey working. Was that ever more trouble than it should have been. Still, I know the developer so I've passed on my comments and he seems pleased to have received them. I'm off now to get my camera and take some pictures... if it's not raining too heavily.

24/07/2007
[17:15] Managed not to achieve something last night, which was frustrating. Still, if I actually think about it, in the grand scheme of things it's not really that important. In other news I've ascertained that there is definitely something amiss with the fourth server. Swapping all the RAM from another server removes the DIMMs Manufacturer Mismatch errors but the box still only reports 15.5GB. I think "this warning message is seen with all supported Qimonda DIMMs and is caused by the presence of a new JEDEC manufacturer's code. The new code is the result of Infineon spinning off its DRAM unit into a new company named Qimonda. The server BIOS has not yet been updated to recognize the new manufacturer's code." Therefore there are probably Qimonda DIMMs in this box. We've called the supplier to see what they can do about the other issue.

Other than that I went for a run today and managed to get my running partner under the magical 30 minute barrier for 6km. Next up is 29min30sec. We also went out and got Mexican burritos for lunch, which was fab. I'm off now to eat my own weight in some kind of food because I'm famished. Back tomorrow.

23/07/2007
[16:55] I'm having an issue with the last of the x4200 M2 servers. It's reporting 156.5GB of RAM, rather than 16.0GB. This is irritating. Especially as taking out half the memory reports 7.5GB. And then putting the half which was taken out in place of the half remaining still reports 7.5GB. I don't know what is wrong. Whether or not the machine is actually having an issue with some of the DIMMs or simply that there's a BIOS setting somewhere which is reserving 0.5GB.

I have to leave at 17:10 today so I'll quickly tell you about the weekend. Saturday I got to see Jenny just before she got her Ph.D awarded. I then went to Ellie's barbeque on my bike and had a rather nice relaxed time. I got to cycle Cat home too, at around midnight on account of Keith being too drunk to cycle safely. Sunday was spent in the houe, playing games, relaxing and doing house work. Oh, and cycling to the cinema to find out that the place was sold out for viewings of Transformers.

Oh yes, and on Friday I and Jenny and her parents went to the Duxford air museum thingy (somewhere I've only been once before) and had a lovely time looking at planes and things. It rained, heavily (as I think you might remember if you were trapped in it) but it didn't put too much of a dampener on the day (ho ho). We also went for a pub meal down by the river, which was great.

Sorry this is rushed, must get on.

19/07/2007
[16:50] Managed to go climbing last night at the last minute when Jenny offered to take me. We had a pretty good time until I think I ran out of good mood. Shortly after that we decided to go home. Jenny continues to come on in fairly good leaps and bounds (no pun intended). Given I was feeling a bit down She (wo)manfully decided to stay the night and look after me, which was nice.

Today has been another really productive day. I've got a bombproof kickstart + post install configuration setup for the Sun Fire x4200 M2 servers which is right now being chewed on by the second box of the four I've got to play with. The development box has already been handed over for the DBAs to play with. In a few minutes I'll get to see if the second box has built correctly. If it has I'm going to go home a happy bunny.

I'm not in tomorrow on account of showing Jenny and her parents around an air museum for the day, which is going to be excellent, I think. Thursday tonight so lots of nice company, food and DVDs to be had. Just wish the book I'd ordered a few weeks ago would arrive...

18/07/2007
[17:00] Today I have been mostly doing lots of fun things with brand new Sun Fire x4200 M2 servers. They're so great. Really. Really great. I love them. Also, all the hard slog I put in on Sun's v20z model is paying dividends. So it's all good, really. Really.

Other than that I ran again today (did I mention I ran yesterday too?) and went to the gym last night. I'm really starting to feel that slightly hungry all the time and a little bit fitter feeling I remember from a few months ago. It's great. Oh yes, and Jenny came over because her rowing was cancelled. Late though, so I had plenty of time to do houseworky things for the evening.

More exciting x4200 shenanigans tomorrow! Also: Congratulations to Dunk who hasn't been made redundant after all. Or was, but now isn't again.

17/07/2007
[16:55] So last night a few of us went driving. We meant to go climbing but exploding caravans meant that we didn't get more than ten miles out of town before we had to queue for over 45 minutes before turning off and going cross country to find a) another wall (that I used to go to, which wouldn't let us climb) and b) our way home. The whole day was a bit of a washout really, for some people. Having Jenny come over later on, peeved at her Netball captain was a plus for us both considering the day each of us had had.

This morning I cycled in in brilliant sunshine and it looks like I may get to cycle to the gym in the same weather. During the day however we've been dumped on multiple times by torrential downpours. This included one when I and the Networks guy were out doing our second 6km of the week. Still, we also discovered that a favourite Mexican eatery is doing a mobile kitchen just down the road from us every Tuesday, so we may very well be going there this time next week.

I'm off gymwards now, then home to get cleaned up. With luck I won't get rained on (too many times).

16/07/2007
[17:20] Headed into London on Friday for climbing with Jenny who'd had a beast of a day queuing for her visa for America for most of it. As a result, even though she'd suggested it, she didn't do terribly much climbing and after making sure I'd stay to get my money's work, went home. This put me in a bit of a slump so I didn't stay more than another hour or so before heading home and getting in late.

Saturday we drove to Oxford to celebrate a 1st birthday party (AKA a posh shindig organised by the grandparents) at Mansfield College. That was rather nice but seeing as I only knew Jenny and Alex I wandered into town a few hours before it finished and installed myself in a book shop to read one of the few Christopher Brookmyres I still didn't own. And then bought it when Jenny and Alex came to find me after the party finished.

Once we'd driven home we ended up going out to a semi-local Japanese place for some sushi and noodles. That was fabulous. Having come home and generally feeling rather full and hot (it was very muggy here over the weekend) we headed to bed fairly quickly and tried to sleep some.

Sunday - we'd promised ourselves - was to be a day of rest. As a result we didn't really stir much before ten and after that it was just for Jenny and I to head out to Tesco (closed) and Asda (open!) to get some of the bulkier items I'd not been able to transport home on my bike last week. We also popped into TK Maxx (don't ask) to get some very nice cutlery to replace the horrible blue-handled stuff I've been using for years. That was a lovely present from Jenny, which was exceedingly nice and very unexpected (even though she'd told me she'd get me some a few months ago).

Most of the rest of the day was spent dozing and/or reading, as far as I can recall before I was dragged out of the house to see the new Harry Potter flick. It wasn't dull, but it really wasn't anything to get excited about. I got the feeling that the book too had been something of a windup for the last two books in the series in terms of plot. Still, the day wasn't a complete loss as I got to make panini for two beautiful girls and have a lovely time generally in the outdoors, and stuff.

This morning the weather was fairly OK and in the spirit of having a 'fit' week I brought my running stuff to work so I could go out with Ben over lunch. I think I'll try to do the 6km route he's been doing every day this week (and perhaps next week, etc.) and see how my energy levels and fitness are affected. Couple that with climbing this evening, gym tomorrow, maybe a cycle ride or something on Wednesday and lots of walking on Friday and... well I might just be dead by the weekend.

13/07/2007
[14:30] Well, I'm getting to leave early today as I was in earlier than normal and I need to get to the station to buy a train ticket and discount card thingy so I can get to London. I'm climbing for the first time in a long time at The Castle again. I know it's hellishly expensive, but it's a great indoor wall and the opportunity to go outside hasn't really presented itself this year (at least not when I'm going to be able to take up someone's offer of transport anyway).

Resultingly today has been mostly about doing things which won't get in the way of a prompt departure around 15:45. Last night we watched one of the most awful films I think it has been my misfortune to experience. How Helen Hunt, Samuel L. Jackson, David Caruso, and Nicholas Cage managed to combine their talents to only come up with something like that I will never understand. Suffice it to say that we poured scorn mercilessly upon Kiss of Death for what seemed like far longer than the scheduled 96 minutes of running time.

I suppose it was keeping with the best traditions of Thursday: 'entertainment' but that was very nearly beyond the pale... Anyway, I couldn't sleep after everyone'd gone home so around midnight I came back downstairs and watched an episode of BSG which turned out to be one of the overly poignant ones which meant I got to go to to sleep pondering.

Sleep wasn't good again, I have no idea why. Here's hoping tonight is a little better. Maybe some frantic exercise will see me right. I should get on so I can get off on time. Have a pleasant weekend.

12/07/2007
[17:15] Well I didn't get to go for a run last night. What I did instead was really, really good. I think it comes under the description "fab". I burned the pizza though. Still, aside from being completely famished for the rest of the evening I think the day went very, very well.

Unfortunately sleep was... odd. I ended up being too hot I think. The window was open but I was probably under too much duvet. Felt kind of logey this morning. Still, work today has been light (I think the whole week will be) and I've been able to get my head around some subtle and intricate issues which I can take a stab at getting started tomorrow. Mainly documenting the Nessus procedures I do. Tonight is Thursday: as per so I should probably head home while it's not raining quite so hard.

11/07/2007
[16:05] A general feeling of malaise last night pervaded through until 09:00 this morning when I arrived at work. Not even forty minutes of hard run on the treadmill and some rather killer situps managed to shift it. Adding in a short cycle and a reasonable walk along the river seemed to do much to shift it. In fact, not even eating the Gu pud type I finally rediscovered yesterday at Tesco seemed to shift the grayness.

Still, things are looking up today. The duck and apple pate I've been eating is fabulous (it's the small things sometimes), work has been very easy (even our operations manager has been saying things like "it's totally dead around here today") and the online conversations I've been having have been sparkling and witty (no comment). As it is I don't think anyone here would mind if I left a little earlier this evening to get home in time to do some important things before going for a run (if I still have the energy). For now, it's time to do some server room tidying!

10/07/2007
[16:20] Last night I dashed from work to see Die Hard 4.0. There were four other people in the cinema and two of them chose to sit one seat away from me. I mean really, were they going to be scared and wanted some company? The film was funny, atrocious, amusing and excellent escapism. I loved the bit where Willis looked at the devastation caused by his run in with the still-not-actually-in-service F-35 and paused to laugh to himself and how he wasn't dead yet given the unlikely sequence of events that'd taken place. Very much a nod to the "Yes, this is totally silly" commentators in the audience. Following the film I toddled off to Tesco and managed to transport pretty much everything I needed (that was available) home using two panniers, a rucksack and my handlebars. My reward for this feat of balance was a rump steak baguette and a large glass of milk while I watched some more Battlestar Galactica.

For various reasons I didn't get to bed until very late and slept very oddly. Happily I wasn't terribly tired this morning which is good as we've been busy tracking down issues with one of our services and the use of IE. Eventually we've been able to ascertain that the problem is to do with their implementation of the gzip code for decrypting gzipped pages, etc. as it comes down over HTTP/HTTPS. This has involved some meetings and a lot of running between offices. As it is we now have a 'cause' and a way to 'fix' it. But we still don't know what solution to go for considering the knock-on effects the change we might implement could have.

Rather than think about it, I'm going to go to the gym and then have a cycle around instead.

09/07/2007
[16:50] I had a wicked weekend. Friday was wicked, Saturday was wicked and Sunday, well, it was the wickedest. On Friday, aside from having a really great idea which failed utterly and left me having to listen to Jethro Tull for forty minutes... and then having a poo session at the gym which started with an hour's hard run on the treadmill in an effort to shake off some of the anger I was feeling, well, the remainder of the day went quite well. I'll admit I'm not entirely sure what else went on, but I think it was good. It probably involved me going over to Jenny's by bike and then something else which completely escapes me. I do know that on Saturday we went to the French market and had some nice food before some other stuff. We ended up going for dinner in town which was fabulous and meant we got mildly squiffy on wine in the restaurant. Getting home and going to bed is something I don't really recall terribly clearly. Therefore we obviously went cycling on Sunday as the weather had remained excellent. Going via Cormac and Steph's we got to chat to them for a little while before cycling on and making it to an endpoint containing ice cream and cold drinks. There was even a brass band. Being tired and able to make adult decisions we took the train home and after a stop off at Jenny's house came back to mine around about six in the evening where I actually did some gardening (cut the lawn and trimmed the bushes a little). The grass looks a lot better when its been trimmed. I think the rest of the evening had a lot of fun in it even though we'd missed out on going to the cinema with everyone else. I was absolutely shattered and famished so probably wouldn't have made it across town anyway.

The weather's continued in a pleasant vein today which seems to have lead to very little work and an awful lot of chatting happening today. Seriously, I can't think of anyone here who's done a lot of work today. Proper work, I mean. I'm off to the cinema (free ticket) and then Tesco to get some goodies so I should go soon. Hopefully, after doing chocolate delivery duty at lunch time I may even reap a small reward this evening.

06/07/2007
[16:30] If I hear another bar of Jethro Tull before I die I swear I will commit bloody violence against the nearest person I don't care about. The story is long and a tedious so I won't tell you it. Suffice it to say, "argh."

Otherwise today has been a terribly dull day. For everyone. No-one in the office has done any work to be honest. I resorted to getting DVD playing working on my second linux box here and watching it as I tried to do some more documentation. It kind of worked. I think I'm going to go to the gym now and work of some of this frustration and so forth. Thank goodness it's Friday and I can (potentially) have some fun for the next two days.

Dull, dull, dull. Oh, last night was good, we saw the newest Wallace & Gromit animation and The Dark Crystal. Odd how a childhood classic can be rewatched in light of innuendo and taken in a completely different manner.

05/07/2007
[17:25] I've got a new bike pump from Wiggle. Only I didn't need to because oiling my old one with some light bike oil seems to have lubricted it a treat. Silly. Oh well, you can't have too many pumps (current count is three, don't ask).

Documenting what I do with Nessus within the Institution is proving to be harder to pin down than I thought. I know what I do, and what order I do things in, but actually getting it down on paper and having it make sense and be consistent is proving to be... harder than I expected. Of course, I have no idea why. I will soldier on. In other news I'm lacking the DVD box set I ordered recently, this just means I'll have to continue watching them on DivX instead.

The weather here is still abysmal. It's really horrible. Not good for anything outdoors other than getting wet. Still, home time is here again and I should get home and prepare for the evening's fun and jolity and quite possibly some more orange duck from the delivery chinese/thai/indian place. You know they gave us free wine last week for placing their biggest ever phone order? How cool. Anyway, I should go.

04/07/2007
[17:00] A much better day in terms of fristrating friends today. Also I've been part of the team which has solved some of the issues surrounding DNS lookups and Apache connected with our new HR system. Strike one up for people who do lookups for every access and base directory access permissions on those lookups.

Otherwise the weather continues to oscillate between brilliant sunshine and torrential downpours. It really is very odd. Happily I was able to replace the inner tube on my newer cycle this morning so could pedal in without feeling like the rear was slipping out sideways. I don't know what it was, perhaps lower tyre pressure or simply less familiar tread patterns on wet road. Anyroad, I'm back in the saddle now (two puns in one sentence) although my punk siezed this morning so I've splashed out and ordered a new one.

Hopefully I'm off climbing this evening but it all depends on the state of the A14. I should head home and get some food inside me beforehand to ensure moods are kept high.

03/07/2007
[16:40] Sometimes I truly despair at the sexual health naïveté of some of my friends. It's incredible the kinds of things they get up to without using any kinds of precautions or even engaging in a bit of gentle investigation before going about doing fun things. Not only that, but doing it (pun intended) repeatedly over the course of many weeks and months. It makes me feel very sad, and angry. And then I have to restrain some of that anger and frustration when I try to impress upon them the sheer mind-numbing idiocity of their actions. And then stop myself from apologising when they complain I'm being too 'harsh' or 'forceful'. I wonder sometimes just how educated people can be quite so bloody clueless.

Otherwise I've had a pretty good 24+ hours since my last update. A quiet evening was upturned by Jenny coming over, which was nice. The day has been fairly uneventful with a good few things being achieved and me not managing to break anything. Oh yes, last night as I cycled home in the torrential rain I achieved a front wheel puncture from a piece of stone incredibly. This then required me to walk all the way home in said rain carrying my bike so as not to damage the now flat tyre. Luckily, even though I have puncture repair kits and a spare inner tube I still opted to use my old bike rather than deal with the puncture last night. I may do something about it tonight, if only swapping the spare tube into the tyre and getting it back on the bike again.

Otherwise I think I will watch more Battlestar Galactica (season 2) than man was meant to wot of and then go to bed.

02/07/2007
[13:25] OK, paintballing with stupid chavvy people you don't know who're stupid and cheating isn't completely fun. Don't get me wrong, It turns out I'm really not a very good paintballing person (for example, in game one I was out with a shot to the head in under 30 seconds, before I'd even fired a shot) but otherwise we had a pretty good time. Jenny didn't make it, nor to Steph's birthday thingy at my house on account of being tired and a little off her game. In her place Phil was a sterling replacement and even managed to get us (the red team) a flag in one of the games. The end result of the fab day's paintballing was three very painful hits to the head, one to the shoulder and three to the softer parts of my legs. All have bruised quite spectacularly, which is a testament to the force of the impacts as I don't normally mark that easily. The weather held off just enough that we didn't get completely soaked and everyone there seemed to have an excellent time. I can see how it would be very easy to rack up a huge bill for paint very quickly if you were a bad shot or trigger happy. I restricted myself to seven hundred rounds. Cormac managed to work his way through fifteen hundred.

After coming back from paintball and getting cleaned up Jenny came over and we settled in for the evening with film, food and fun in the shape of Cormac's obsession with Geomag. Which lead on to Sunday. Given the early morningness of Saturday I slept in late on Sunday before Jenny and I took a wander around town to find some things to purchase. Although we didn't actually get most of what we wanted we did end up with cookies and a good amount of walking done. Being able to settle in for the evening with a huge amount of roasted vegetables, some pan-fried chicken in honey and ice cream for dessert whilest watching Deja Vu was a nice way to end the day.

I'm pretty sure bed was fairly early but I didn't feel too good this morning. It may have been something to do with the fairly large (for me) amounts of beer we both drank last night. This may be a terrible admission but I think (other than when I've become throwing up drunk (two occasions only in my life)) my first proper hangover. Mild headache and lethargy. Still, it went away after breakfast.

Today we've been battling with the annoyance of a spurious redirect which is tied in with Apache, our Zeus loadbalancers and a 3rd party module which deals with web authentication. Right now we don't seem to have much of an idea as to why what is happening is happening. Here's hoping we do soon.