[16:05] Because I can:
http://www.lost.eu/4d05c, so there. Go
on, do me proud.
We rescued the Sun E3500 and associated A1000 from one of the other server
rooms this morning and transported two new servers (rack mount rather than
floor-standing) there at the same time. The taxi driver on the way there was
a lovely beautiful woman and the the guy who brought us back was a fat,
annoying man who considered us all to be postgraduates and fancied himself as
a computer know-it-all. Telling him it was a 6CPU, 12GB SPARC II
processor-based box used for Oracle database work using an external
SCSI-attached A1000 RAID array seemed to shut him up.
Loathe as I am to talk about work colleages there's someone here who's done
something stupid and is compounding it by not knowing what the hell he's going
on about and making all kinds mistakes and Not Listening To Me. It's...
infuriating. Anyway, no more.
The PowerEdge 2500 I picked up yesterday I now have an add-in RAID card for...
only the SCSI cable from the hard drive enclosure now doesn't reach to it from
where it was previously attached to the motherboard. This is annoying as I
don't have a longer cable and neither, it seems, does anyone else. I will
have a go at solving this conundrum when I return from my cycle ride across
... Which, incidently, I start tomorrow. TOMORROW! Where has time time gone?
It wasn't so long ago I didn't think I'd make it to now (in all kinds of
senses of the words) still, here we are. I need to pack tonight, or tomorrow
morning and maybe even tidy the house a bit. It's a shame I haven't had time
to watch the new (finales of) Heroes and NCIS, but they can wait. That's the
beauty of recorded TV.
So, no journal next week (not that you care), but probably some photos and
some kind of writeup on my return around 4 June. Everyone have a rather
lovely weekend and think of me pedalling every day.
[16:10] So today has been another lovely day. Which is nice, if a little sad
considering I've been indoors all day. Not so last night when I was a the
Beer Festival with Andrea, Keith, Kat and Sam. Andrea and I wandered down
there for 17:00 and everyone else turned up some time around seven or later.
Plenty of cider and white beer for me, also some hog roast and even some Thai
green curry and rice. Not much to tell other than a lovely warm and pleasant
evening, tons of fun chat and a generous lift home from Sam for Andrea and I
at the end of the night. I tried to keep my eyes open past 23:30 but both
girls outlasted me (I don't normally drink, OK?) so went to bed to let them
gossip all night.
I think it's fab how much everyone likes Sam. Definitely a great addition to
the group and certainly someone I hope is around for a long time.
Today I've been updating more disaster recovery documentation, updating the
actual files which're used in the DR situations and trying to get
developers not to litter the live servers with development Resin applications.
Also collecting an old Dell PowerEdge 2500 with a chunk of good RAM and some
disks but no hardware RAID unfortunately. Oh well, I think I can fix that
with an add-in card tomorrow.
Anyway, right about nowish (20 minutes or so) I'm off for a drink and then
pancakes and Pirates 3. Which I'm expecting to be fun fluff.
[16:40] Fantastic weather here today. Didn't go for a cycle last night after
all owing to Jenny's knee being swollen for no readily apparent reason. We
picked up the bikes (spanking new and working properly now in Jennys' case)
and then went home, before popping out to one of the greens for some reading
Jenny'd left something at her house so I cycle-sprinted over there and back
while she got pizzas and we munched and chatted until it got dark. At which
point; bed. Got up this morning without any excitement and headed in to work
in the brilliant sunshine. I've been 'on call' for the two companies that are
here today troubleshooting our new HR saoftware project (the software company
and the load and volume testing company I've talked about before). Other than
some chat about infrastructure I've not been called on all day. Which is
Spent some time outside over lunch thinking about some things and then came
back and laid out some truths to someone. It went as well as could be
expected given the gist of what I said, hopefully things aren't unsalvagable.
Other than that I'm off to a Beer Festival this evening where I hope there
will be cider, perry and hog roast. Also two friends, one early one late. I
[16:40] Went into town with both bikes this morning (mine and Jenny's) so that
they could be made ready for the cycle. Cycling with two bikes isn't as hard
as you might think (if you were). Guy there was happy to see me and we
chatted about my new bike a bit before I walked to work in the blazing
sunshine. Lovely walk actually, I need to do it in reverse in a little while.
I've spent the day juggling social things, doiung Nessus scans of recently
patched Solaris 10 boxen and generally catching up on a few things. Climbing
last night was... OK, I guess. I think I'm either getting weaker or heavier.
I think heavier due to muscle mass and not strong enough to lift it at the
same time. Time to keep the weights down and increase the repetitions I
I'm feeling a bit peeved about the house at the moment. It's a bit grubby in
places, there's no food in and it feels more like a place I go to rather than
my house at the moment. This isn't going to be helped by being away for
another week shortly. I think in not to large amount of time I'm going to
spend some time bringing it back up to scratch and even investigating kitchen
planning again. If nothing else, giving it a spring clean and washing some of
the walls of smudges and smears and foot marks (like in the entrance hall).
Given the temperature I'm a little worried about the cracks in the rear of the
house again. Hopefully they won't get any worse this year. Other than that
I think I just need to start being a little more house proud and spending some
time and money on it rather than galavanting around. Bets on whether I
actually do anything quickly? Yeah, thought so.
Anyway, must be off. Bikes to collect, girl to meet and cycle to do. Also,
maybe a drink. I really need to sort some other things out socially as it may
be possible I'm headed for some major issues shortly unless I clean things up
a tad. Still, we'll see. Time to walk to the bike shop.
[17:00] So, where've I been since Wednesday? I've been in Devon. Pretty
close to Wellington's Monument. Mostly I've been out walking on parts of
Exmoor. The weather has ranged from shocking to really rather pleasant and
everything in between. The travel down there was flawless, even passing
through London. Things were up and down once I was there. There's an issue
I hope can be addressed fairly rapidly which is some cause for concern but on
the other hand a trip to Dunster and a visit to some public gardens perked me
up no end. Fabulous, beautiful and rather fun.
Otherwise a ton of walking, some excellent Cornish pasties (well there had to
be) and some early night and late mornings. Some interesting people met,
including Jenny's parents and sister.
The trip home was spoilt by a one hour wait at Broxbourne while overhead power
lines were fixed. Also extreme tiredness. However I was able to cycle home
on Jenny's bike (having left my spare one there for her to use, which she
didn't in the end, today) and get to bed fairly early.
Today has been about tuning Nessus and Windows servers so as not to down them
when doing a simple scan. Hopefully things are in place now and all I need
to do is work out a way to script scans out of hours. As for right now, I'm
off to do some climbing!
[10:20] All five machines that needed rebooting have been rebooted.
Everything looks like it's OK. Hobbit (Big Brother) has cleared itself up and
I even got to reboot one of the other machines that'd been annoying me as
well, so it's all to the good. Getting up early after last night's fun wasn't
enjoyable though. Still, an interesting evening was had by all even if it
wasn't as logistically complicated as I'd hoped for (don't ask).
A text this morning has put a damper on what was already possibly going to be
a less than completely exciting trip for the remainder of the week. Still, I
figure lowering expectations is pretty much what my life is about these days.
At least at this point in things. It's not the first time. In other news I
have a lunch date which could be interesting, so long as the weather doesn't
take a turn for the worse. It hasn't rained yet, and I hopefully it will
continue to hold off... well, for the rest of the week!
In other news, a Nessus run against a single Windows 2003 server with five
concurrent scans appears to completely hose the box. Floored it utterly. I'm
trying again doing one scan at a time. It looks like Dell's OMSA (for
Windows) is at fault. Something to do with the fact that it opens a ton of
ports for various purposes and Nessus tickles them all, repeatedly, I imagine.
[16:55] Lunch was interesting, if a little stilted. Not sure that'll happen
again any time soon. Happily though it turns out over 1400 people are using
the Dell PERC Big Brother/Hobbit script I wrote (and updated again in January
of this year). Which is nice. Less happily is the fact that I managed to
delete the entire set of scans of Windows, linux and Solaris boxen I'd
painstakingly constructed recently. I was able to reconstruct it fairly
easily and learn a vaulable lesson about what is and isn't good about the
I think it's time to go now. I have a train to catch. Back on Monday.
[17:05] Huh? What? Damnit. Sorry, nothing to report today. All quiet on
the Western Front. Busy day tomorrow though!
[17:25] Hurm. Quiet weekend. I actually played some FarCry, something I've
not done (other than a little while ago) for ages. Stuff I was hoping would
happen didn't, but that was pretty much expected to be honest. I'm trying not
to hope that things turn around later on this week. I think it's probably
better if I don't expect anything and see what happens then. Of course, I'll
still have to be the one who makes something happen, but... ach too
complicated to explain. Everything's fine, just frustrating given what I want
to be happening. In other news I have my very first pair of padded cycling
shorts (feels like I'm wearing some kind of nappy) which I haven't tried yet
although I'm sure it'll be comfort itself. I've not work lycra in a good few
years and I'm pleased to say I don't look entirely hideous. The material
still remains a privilege, not a right.
I've been updating RHEL4 boxen in anticipation of Wednesday morning's mass
reboot to new kernels today. Also scanning the entire linux server farm with
Nessus in its new "non-networking-killing" configuration. It's going to be a
hectic day as I'm off for the rest week from Wednesday evening. I need to
reboot three machines in a certain sequence, then another two straight after
that. The rest of the day will probably be spent troubleshooting OMSA and the
bespoke applications on the boxen after they've come back up. Along with that
I imagine I'll need to write some fresh emails to some people I've been
talking to, and work out when the hell I'm going to do the other work I've
been needing to do for the past few weeks.
Oh, I went to do a psychology experiment at lunch time. I'd have been paid
more, but I finished the tests far faster than the person was expecting so I
only got the money commensurate with my time, rather than the expected full
amount. If I'd known that I would have taken more time over things!
Hum, not the best journal entry in a while. I'm probably a bit distracted at
the moment. I blame the weather and stuff. Off climbing now.
[16:30] The rain's been hammering down all day here. Luckily not as I was on
my way in and hopefully no on my way to the gym this evening, but otherwise,
well there's been a lot. Makes a welcome change for the vegetation around
here I think. It'd started to brown every so slightly. So, great for the
plants, not so good for me if I get soaked leaving work.
Work has been eventful today. We solved the mystery of the Nessus portscans
which killed the network. More details if anyone's interested. Otherwise I
seriously doubt you care so much. Other than that I've been looking at the
consolidation of some documentation into fewer pages on the Wiki, making
things a tad easier to find in the event we need to invoke Disaster Recovery,
or other things in extremis.
Not sure what's happening this weekend. I just hope it's nice, and relaxing
and has some fun in it somewhere. The more the better given how I'm feeling
at the moment. Anyway, gym now, then shower, then relaxing.
[17:25] Hey, I did things today. Got the new disk array powered and noticed
by the machine it's connected to, got Nessus screwing over the local network
again (need to look into that) and got a machine talking to its monitors
again after thinking it'd just lost all idea of what refresh rates are. So
not too shabby on that score.
Jenny on the other hand may not be quite over her illness and has been put
back on antibiotics again for a few days. Here's hoping they definitely do
the trick before we both go nuts. Me more than her in some ways. Otherwise
I had issues with my home desktop PC this morning after downloading a photo
for someone else from my camera. Seems there's an issue with svchost.exe
pegging the CPU at 99-100% if certain conditions are met. Hopefully I got it
sorted before I left for work. Can't have anything interfering with my
FarCry play now, can I?
Usual other fun conversations with people online today. However I'm feeling a
little flat today for various reasons so they didn't have the same vim and
vigour as yesterday. Maybe tomorrow will be better. I should head home now
and get the place ready for the invading masses, although I don't think
there'll be many tonight.
[17:25] Bah, it's raining. Still, I managed to get out and cycle five miles
each way to a lunch meeting with Jenny at the other end of town. I swear I'm
getting faster. Either way I think I'm in target to be ready to carry two
panniers full of kit across the country and a third of the way back again. At
least without dying when I do it. I also got to fit a handlebar bag for
Jenny which should fit all of our on-the-move things like wallet, camera,
I've added another diskpack to our much beloved V120 which already has a D1000
attached. The addition of an A1000 means it has something like 32 disks
associated with it now. This means we can have a ton of fun with Solaris 10
and ZFS when we get around to doing something with it.
Otherwise I've been pootling along and getting things done today. Had some
interesting conversations online as I made the effort to chat to a few people
I've not been keeping up with recent. Speaking of interesting contacts with
people, I had a bit of a surprise last night. Wasn't expecting that at all.
I should head off for climbing.
[16:50] So it was a bank holiday weekend. Most of it was spent being rather
relaxed and sedentary. Jenny's pretty much better now, just a little tired
still, probably from not having eaten much in the last week. Friday night I
went over to help prepare some food and keep company. Saturday I felt the
tinges of cabin fever so much I went for a seven or eight mile run just to
stay sane. Of course this caused my right knee to go silly again, which was
annoying. I really must remember that anything over six miles is a no-no.
The rest of Saturday was fairly quiet, although I do remember that I was
feeling pretty restless and generally down for most of it. I seriously
considered heading home on Sunday and having some alone time to get myself
back into some vague approximation of a smiling person but I seemed to come
right again on my own. However things seemed to take an upturn on Sunday and
we ended up taking a car drive to Tesco to get some supplies and ingredients
for a carrot cake. That was amusing (the drive, not the cake-making).
Towards the end of the day we decamped to my house for the evening and had a
nice simple meal of Indian food followed by a fairly early bed for all
involved. This meant that there was plenty of time on Monday for a) talks to
be written, b) computer games to be played for the first time in a long time
and c) Other. Other was good.
The weather, which had been uniformly overcast or raining for most of the
weekend (great for running) cleared late in the evening allowing us to go for
a walk before Jenny headed home and I caught up on housework, television
(something I barely turn on these days) and those friend online and off with
whom I should be keeping more in contact. Apologies to all, but especially
recently to Sam. Sorry girl.
Today it has been so hot and stuffy in the office I've achieved very little.
My head has been so full of clather and fug that I've basically only managed
to sort out a working Kickstart USB key again and updated the Kickstart area
for RHEL4 U5. Well that and some documentation, and updating the load
balancers for recent Solaris 10 patches, helping my mother with weird Firefox
interactions, dealing with bad backup scripts and generally trying to get my
head into a state where I can get my teeth into something... substantial here
I think I'll go to the gym and try again tomorrow.
[16:40] A day of mini minor achievements. Sort of. I've also racked up
another eight miles going to and from Jenny's house (via town for supplies).
She's on the mend now I think, just tired and hungry. With luck I can get her
out for a short walk around the park some time over the weekend.
I'm off home very shortly to tidy up the remains of last night's Thursday
(small, perfectly formed; Serenity and two episodes of Neverwhere), have a
general clean up and then head on over to eat mangoes and things. Also
Work was mainly updating documentation, reparenting wiki pages and patching
servers. Next week will be more of the same followed by some disk pack
I had an interesting conversation with someone today online. It's nice when
you meet someone who has the potential to help you out in interesting ways. I
shall have to keep an eye on that. In other news another good friend seems to
be getting over her recent unhappiness well. Which is also nice, if a little
envy-making. I should go, things to do this evening. Have a great bank
holiday weekend and I'll be back on Tuesday.
[17:35] When I left this morning Jenny was without pain for the first time in
days. This was good. When I arrived at lunch time she'd been asleep all
morning and was groggy for most of the time I was there, which was a little
sad as I don't get to see her again until the same time tomorrow. Still, with
luck she'll be very much more on the mend by then and there'll be a chance we
can do something a little more energetic than watch DVDs and natter. Not that
it hasn't been fun to have a captive audience.
Today has been a complete non-event, workwise. I mean, I've had a damned good
look at what's happening with regard to the update of RedHat 4 to Update 5,
but other than that I've been pretty much unable to get anything done. Dunno
why. I'm damned sure I'll get something done tomorrow. Not that I was going
to be here tomorrow, I was going to be in Gothenburg living it large. Plenty
of time for that later in the year though I guess. Well, not too much later,
but there you go.
Despite having pasta for lunch I'm frantically hungry at the moment. Really
famished. I wonder if it's the fact I'm cycling seven miles every lunch time
at high speed...? Pizza hopefully this evening, and something shooty-bang on
DVD. I'm in the mood for something active.
[17:00] Jenny's still ill. In fact I don't think she's a whole lot better
today than yesterday. Still no more vomiting (which is a good thing) but
aches and pains in the back and abdomen. I popped over for lunch and got her
to move downstairs for a while which seemed to neither harm no help, but at
least it was a change of scenery.
I'll pop back over there again this evening with more dinner of some kind and
keep her company a bit more. The Sweden trip is now very much off the cards
which means she won't get to give her talk at the psychology conference and I
won't get to go out and see something of Sweden. Still, chances are we'll go
over at some other point in the few months we have left. I mean, I bought a
guide book and everything.
Today's achievement of note was getting some log rotation working with Zeus'
ZXTM virtual servers logs. We were very close to filling a file system until
I got that in place. Of course the way I set it up meant that we instantly
lost about 25G of logs (oops) but no-one looks at them anyway really.
Sometimes I wonder why we have logging turned on at all. Anyway, it's there
I am so so tired at the moment. Two nights of being woken at 02:30-03:00 must
be a very gentle version of having a small baby to care for. Still, it seems
like I'm doing some good by being there for her so I'm not really that
bothered by doing so. I should head home, get some fresh clothes on and grab
something for dinner. It's another fabulous evening after another wonderful
day, so maybe I'll sit in a garden and read a book.
[12:20] So I woke this morning about five minutes before Jenny rang, from 3m
below me in the spare room. She'd had some sleep and was generally feeling in
pain but not terribly so. Given one of her housemates is working from home
today I've taken the opportunity to come into work for the day, although I am
just about to head into town to pick up some cocodamol from Boots and deliver
Work seems to be going well. The load balancing software company sent me an
email yesterday saying, basically "Either Sun need to fix their SNMP stuff or
Microsoft need to fix theirs." Great. Anyway, sun's shining. I'm off to get