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June's Journal
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[14:45] Whoops, mislabeled yesterday's entry as Saturday's. And no-one said anything. Thanks. Looks like discussions at O'Reilly are still on-going with regard to my pages as there's been no response as yet.

I've just been interrupted again by a man in a florid shirt from downstairs who's under the mistaken impression that I'm the Fax Repair Dude. If it was legal there would be so many ways I could disabuse him of this notion.

[09:55] I'd like to thank all the people who turned up to OScon in my T-shirts. Apparently there were a good few people getting in Tim O'Reilly's line of sight. I know this because he's replied to my email of last week. I can't tell you what's in it for a number of reasons, not least of which is that it's private email correspondence. Suffice to say that things are looking positively neutral rather than negative at present.

The weekend was hot and I did some stuff. Nothing exciting. This week is more Office 2000 stuff, getting the swipe reader on the front door fixed and installing updates of Eudora on people's machines.

[10:15] And the bloddy front door swipecard reader's packed in. This isn't so bad as people can come in via the first floor door which has a ramp up to it. I will be calling Chubb, anyway.

[12:29-13:45] We hates powercuts, precious. We hates them so much.

[16:00] I also don't like really slow machines which take an absolute age to install Service Pack 2 for Office 2000. And also lock up hard when you try to start the new Eudora you've installed. Still at least I can blame that on the power cut.

[17:30] Too hot, going home.

[08:30] I got an email from O'Reilly last night. Unfortunately I wasn't at home to read it until close to midnight. It boils down to this; O'Reilly don't think my newer O'Really pages are right. They seem to be breaking various copyright and trademarks and the 'virus' in the description of 'Writing Word Macro Viruses' (which is neutered and is text, rather than an actual virus) caused some worry. I've reassured them that I will be co-operating to the fullest extent I am capable of because a) I don't want to get into a fight and, b) they're almost certainly right and I was breaking some laws somewhere, unfortunately. I've also told them that the 'virus' isn't. I've reverted to the previous version of the pages (still with an O'Reilly look on the actual pages for each design) and removed the word "O'Really" from all the gifs because it looks too much like "O'Reilly". I really hope that's enough.

It's not much fun reading an email just before you go to bed, replying with an apology and a promise to get stuff done in the morning just as soon as you've had some sleep, and then not sleeping much at all. Getting in at 07:25 and trying to find a backup of the old pages to put in place, juggling with gifs and then firing off a slightly more coherent email just add to the feeling of impending doom. I can't co-operate any more at the moment, though. I just have to wait for the good folks at O'Reilly to wake up and take a look at what I've done.

I hope it's enough.

[12:10] I believe O'Reilly is a nice fair company with a sense of humour. I believe this stems from Tim O'Reilly himself. As a result I've sent him a rather lengthy email detailing just exactly what the state of play is, and a plea to find out what his opinion of the matter is. I'm not circumventing the person I've been dealing with, I hope, just telling Tim what's happening and seeing what he thinks. Good idea or bad? It doesn't matter, I've already sent the email...

[16:35] And it's International Sysadmin Day today. Not that anyone here cares. And I've been too busy to tell anyone.

[12:10] Not only did someone on asr mention WIcked Weasel designs but someone on Freshmeat has brought out a new new for dingOS called 'tits'. It just goes to show how depraved I actually might be. It doesn't come out much in these writings, but I have a terribly dirty mind and have been known to lower the tone on more occasions than I can comfortably remember.

There's a Sun Users Group meeting this evening I may attend. Depending on how I feel. And I need to send a card as well. Don't let me forget.

[16:10] Still no delivery of the new DVD player I ordered on my debit card for work. It was due two days ago and the despatcher at ANC doesn't seem able to tell me why it's not getting here. She keeps saying it's on the truck, but the truck never gets here.

[12:40] Here too late last night installing Office 2000 on more machines. And it had to happen; a machine this morning refused to have Office in it and threw a fit every time the primary user tried to start up an application. We fixed it by making them a member of Domain Admins briefly, then leaving the CD in until the application had registered and started.

One of the home users brought in their machine to have the modem properties changed so I too the opportunity to update Office and Quicktime and the virus stuff and some other gubbins. Now the application they installed without telling me doesn't work. I don't know whether to try and get it to work, or not. It's for their child, and probably doesn't hook into anything problematic, but still...

Freak site of the day is

[13:36] And the Total Freaking Muppet award of the day goes to This fool. I leave you to work out why. I also wonder how often this actually happens...

[11:00] I've updated that link I gave you to The Register vs Steve Gibson a few weeks ago. Here's the link again, anyway.

Today we do the first of the user installations of Office 2000. The PFY, to her shame, is discovering all kinds of new things in Access 2000 which may improve the Databases of Doom even more. Which I suppose is good. I will not be telling people that Internet Explorer is now install and making sure that Netscape is the default URL handler. At least until we get Windows 2000 and I can patch it more easily. Which reminds me, must look into the way in which you distribute Windows Updates centrally.

[16:50] Been updating people's machines with Office 2000 Professional today. It's not a very exciting job, but it gives me time to read. I'm burning another CD right now with Service Release 1a, Service Pack 2 and the RTF Macro fix on it as well. Makes for easier installation.

[11:08] Came back from kayaking absolutely knackered. Managed to get rolled over by getting in front of a Canadian canoe and taking one hand off my paddle. Of course the canoe went over the top of me so I couldn't roll back up. Popped out in the end. Into the Thames. Luckily I dont' seem to have come down with Weil's Disease yet. Which is nice. Spent the Sunday relaxing and then getting the train home.

The PFY's back today. This fact alone almost stopped from from going into work early, but I had to because of the fact that this week is the beginning of the "upgrade to Office 2000 and Eudora 5.1" jag. It's going to be 'fun', I imagine.

Still loving the mouse. It's great. Almost a pleasure to have to take my hands off the keyboard.

[16:40] Trying to install a Tron-like game called Armagetron. I know it kicks ass because I've played it under Win98. Installing it on NT or 2000 is turning out to be a bit of a hassle, though.

[15:15] Someone sent me another webcam today. A Phillips ToUcam. It's fairly O.K., I've got it hooked up to the Spotlife website thing, for a laugh. I'm still enjoying using the Optical Mouse and imagine I'll be sticking with it from now on. I'll also be testing the other ones at home next week.

Statistics on the Userfriendly LOTD yesterday aren't high. Perhaps I'm just not people's cup of tea. Anyway, this weekend I'm kayaking for the first time in a good few years. I think I'll do a few high-brace turns (in the high-Telemark position, because I'm a rebel) and some rolls to get back into the swing of things. Not that they'll work first time. Must remember my elasticated band for keeping my glasses from ending up in the "briny deep". Not that we're sea kayaking, I don't think. Of the other three people going, two will be in an open-topped 'Canadian' canoe and the other'll be in a kayak like me.

[15:55] Oh, the third camera is visible here on Spotlife. It's not very exciting, but you get to see some more of the room. Additionally I've had 66 requests for "Code Red" infection to my non-IIS servers since July 15. Which makes me feel kind of special, really.

[13:20] Humourous link of the morning (when I saw it) is this one. Why is it that people think that because a know a little about computers it also means I'm the Fax Repair Guy as well?

Of course the two young women who are temporarily here and using the fax machine appear to have developed both some kind of fixation on and seem to laugh at me in equal amounts. Which is odd.

[13:35] I've also got myself a new mouse. Actually I've gotten three; the Wheelmouse Optical, the Intellimouse Optical and the Intellimouse Explorer. I have to say, now I've had optical I don't think I can go back.

[16:50] Just been told that I'm on Userfriendly's Link of the Day for my O'Really stuff. Which is nice. What is also nice is the few emails I've gotten from people saying how they like the site and will be buying the T-shirts from Copyleft...

What's not so nice is the idiot who's taken a trawl through the site, seen all the references to "BOFH" etc. and decided to dob me in to Simon Travaglia as obviously I'm operating a site with the words "BOFH" and "PFY" splattered liberally across it without asking his fricking permission first. How dumb does he think I am. Jesus!

Admittedly it wasn't the first thing I did when the site went live back in 1999 but still, give me some credit. When the site started to become more popular and I was wondering about putting up the PFY stories and then later the T-shirts I would have been mad not to talk to him first. For those of you who haven't ever read it, please take a look at the disclaimer and rest assured I have permission to be doing this.

[10:40] I have a startlingly bad headache. I was here until about 21:00 last nigth shifting the servers back and other assorted gubbins. Got home, had tea, watched Braveheart on cable and went to bed. Getting up this morning was not fun.

The headache started before I even got into work. Cycling through traffic with pain behind one eye (it seems to have moved from behind the left to behind the right while I've been typing this) isn't good.

I should do the rest of the unpacking today, and go to the gym this evening and do all kinds of other stuff that is semi-important. Only I don't want to. I think instead I'll order some stuff from MISCO.

[14:15] Proof that the moon landing were faked!

[17:25] Apparently some of you can't get to this image. Well, tough. I've just found out that the new carpet tiles are not happy with people kneeling on them to get to machines under desks, unless you're wearing trousers. Which I'm not.

[15:40] Started moving stuff back in to the office this afternoon. Would be nice if the PFY was here but she's got the week off/is on a course. I'll get by without her.

[18:50] About fucking time! Finally both cameras are back on. The PFY came in to have a look at the carpet tiles and I got her to help me move the colour laser printer and some other stuff, then sent her home. I moved my two linux boxes and found that the primary box wouldn't recognise the eepro100 in it. Luckily I didn't have to piss about with it as I had a spare which I dropped in and it worked. The other one probably came loose in transit. The other camera was locking its box up hard everyt time I tried to configure it for the right input. It's working now though. Eventually.

The last thing I'm doing today is moving the main work servers back into the room. Once I've done that I'm heading home. The boxes of books and such can just wait until I'm ready.

[09:00] Came in this morning to move some more servers before people came in and lo, they decide that this is a Monday when most of the department will come in well before 09:00. Have to do it this evening then. I know most of them are clock-watchers so will go home after they've done the equivalent of the 9-5.

I'll be turning off the BOFHcam servers some time today and may or may not put them back up again. In fact, I think I will, but the cameras won't be working. There will probably be no Journal updates until the machines are back in their positions in the room.

[10:50] Servers moved successfully, now all I have to do is move my personal box and help the custodians move all the furniture in here.

[12:00] I really, really hate moving servers around, finding the RAM you've just put in doesn't match, dealing with the dust puppy material inside and having to defrag the partitions so the new pagefile will fit. I really, really hate it.

A lot.

And it's still not over yet. I'm this )( close to not keeping the BOFHcam machines on while they're not in place. But I'll probably do it anyway as there'll be nothing else to concentrate on. Now I think about it, the problems with the patch panel can be solved through the use of a hub, maybe. Then again, the backups are rather bandwidth demanding.

Anyway, room nearly cleared. Do some more this afternoon.

Verry little left in here now. My linux boxes, the two workstations and the main server. Oh, and the main UPS. Other than that it's all furniture. Over lunch (Admin person's 40th birthday) I managed to horrify a load of people by stating that I don't take all of my alloted holiday. They couldn't seem to accept my reasons. Numbskull secretaries. I shouldn't expect them to understand, really.

The last things I'm doing today are moving the PFY's machine downstairs, and then going home to help a friend move his television to his new house. While it's not as heavy as mine, it's still a two-person job.

[09:50] Lara Croft Tomb Raider: oh dear.

[12:45] All this morning I've been working with the PFY to empty as much cruft from the room as possible in preparation for her being away next week on a Windows 2000 Server course and the floor being done out in carpet tiles. With luck the only things I'll need to do is move out the servers on Monday night (including the BOFHcam machines and my personal box) and help the custodians move the furniture out on the Tuesday morning.

Lara Croft Tomb Raider was terribly in an exciting kind of way. Plot holes you could fit her breasts through, plenty of explosions, an attractive protagonist and some nice cinematography, barely any meat, so to speak. An entertaining evening, at the very least.

[17:30] O.K., that's it for the day, almost all the 'moveable right now' stuff has been dealt with. Tomorrow I'll move some of the furniture and the PFY's machine (she's on a course next week, remember). That leaves the servers and the desks for Monday evening.

[09:00] I went to the gym this morning, and there was a party here last night so breakfast is profiteroles, salmon, eclairs and samosas. Start the day as you mean to go on.

[14:30] And the same for lunch I think. The girlfriend and I went into town this lunch time to buy a tent, which we did. I also bought some tortilla chips as well. The fun never ends!

[17:15] This evening I go to see Lara Croft Tomb Raider. "Entertainingly terrible", "boom and bust (tits and arse)" are just some of the possible reviews I've heard. Who cares? It's a night out.

[09:30] Left work last night and went to the girlfriend's work place where she was having a spot of bother with Mail::Mailer. Aside from causing a good few bounce messages on the internal network she's on, she was also not able to send emails via her CGI. From the command line it worked perfectly. Rather than try to understand her Perl which, while clear and clever, was too involved for me, I showed her Net::SMTP which is much purer in my opinion and gives a greater degree of control over the whole thing.

It seemed to work and she's now using my code in the developing system. This is pleasing in a way; some of my code actually being used for something important. Cool.

Simon Cozens, columnist for the Perl Journal is doing a tutorial on Perl Internals at the O'Reilly Perl 5 Conference and has agreed to wear some of my designs while talking. This is called 'Product Placement' I think. I give him T-shirts, he wears them, and people ask him about them. Given it's an ORA conference and there will be people who wear these kinds of T-shirts there, I'm hoping it may get me some more visitors.

I feel so dirty.

[16:35] Probably a bit overloaded at the moment but I reccomend you take a look at at some point. He has some nifty ideas you might like to tell your users about for data recovery, etc. Oh yes, it's not in English.

[11:10] Just humped two LaserJet 4000Ns about the building. The one on the first floor has finally decided that paper is not what it does. So I dragged a similar machine down from the fourth, pulled out the JetDirect cards and swapped them over, before dragging the other one up to an unsuspecting secretary's office. She uses tray 1 (front loading) anyway, most of the time. It gives me some breathing space to get it fixed, anyway.

[11:55] I'm listening to which is a recording of the 'confrontation' between Steve Gibson and Thomas C. Greene of The Register. Interesting.

[14:35] Listening to the Wimbeldon Men's final on RealPlayer this afternoon. Shame Henman's not in the final, but this is exciting enough.

[10:00] I know for a fact that the others won't be in before midday. Even though I was drinking less than them, I had a longer journey home and frankly if I was up and about by 08:00, they can be too. Still, one of the group bought Quake III Arena for linux from Tuxgames yesterday and asked me to carry it home/into work this morning. His loss, my gain^Wproductivity loss.

URL of the moment is which is a little odd, but hey, why not. It links to and from there to Don't say I don't do anything for your education.

[14:00] This afternoon, with any luck, I will be mostly installing and playing Quake III: Arena elsewhere on site. And, by gods, it's Friday afternoon. My working week is over. Although, in all actuality, it was over pretty much on Tuesday afternoon.

[16:20] Ooh, two more IBM Buckling Spring keyboards. I do love people who don't give depreciated assests back to companies and just 'bin' them in my office.

[06/07/2001 - 09:55] Came in briefly this morning to change the backup tapes and make sure the public access machines were all O.K., then dropped some paper off and got the hell out of Dodge.

The trains in to London were getting cancelled left and right but we got in eventually and took the Underground to Olympia. It was hot in London and the air-conditioning in the exhibition hall wasn't up to the task. Not with a few hundred excited sysadmins wandering about trying to find freebies.

We wandered about the place and I met a few people in Adminspotting T-shirts, one of whom (Hi Robbie!) recognised me only when I turned to present my left side to him. I saw two other people wearing my designs (strangely enough only the first three designs were in attendance) and two people also asked me where I'd gotten hold of my T-shirt. Naturally I wasn't going to tell them I was the designer and just pointed them at the Co-LARTers section, and Copyleft obviously.

We had a really late lunch in a purple Italian place across from Olympia before heading back for some more information on thin clients and some talks by Borland. Borland? More like 'boring'. Twenty minutes and they'd not managed to actually say anything. We left. And headed for Leicester Square. After going to a Weatherspoons a few hundred metres from there and watching half of our group of five get a little merry (there'd been wine with lunch too) we went to the Tokyo Diner just behind the Warner Brothers cinema on the Square.

I've been a good few times and I think it's time I said GO THERE, it's GREAT. Not only is the serving speed excellent, the food is amazing (Japanese). They don't take tips, instead they ask that you bring your friends. So I'm tipping big. Go, and enjoy the food. Tokyo Diner, behind the cinema. Anyway, after the food we got onto the Sake before watching the heavens open and warm rain come down by the bucket. Being hot we wandered outside in the rain, said goodbye to one of the group (four left) and headed for TGI Friday. Once there many large ("Ultimate"-sized) cocktails were drunk before we staggered to the Underground heading for the train station for 23:15. Luckily I was still able to cycle home in the small hours and fell into bed.

[12:10] I was about to write a huge document on installing Apache under Win32 with SSL, then realised I wouldn't have been the first person to want to do this. So I looked around and found which is just what I needed. Saved me a morning's work, at any rate.

I've managed to find cover for tomorrow's trip to LinuxExpo in London. With luck no-one will need to call the person, but apparently I have to make the effort.

[17:10] Going to see Shrek this evening. No spoilers tomorrow (for the hour I'm in the building), and probably very little other than a place holder so I've got an entry. I may even fill it out retrospectively on Friday. I wonder how many problems I'm going to cause by not being here tomorrow...

[14:30] Vendor presentation this morning; 3Com, ExtremeNetworks and HP. Lots of buzzwords, some PowerPoint and a prize draw I didn't win anything in. Damnit. Anyway, the food was good. Plenty of sausage rolls, sandwiches and profiterole. Came back to work, fought the few fires that had broken out because I wasn't here and answered some emails.

[16:50] And now it's off to Maplin to buy some jeweller's screwdrivers so I can take the Dell Latitude LS H400ST's apart to put more RAM into them.

[09:15] First two URLs of the month are Changing Your iBook HDD and How to Annoy Professional Unix Sysadmins. I went to the gym this morning, and had a shave. I feel almost human for a change. Perhaps it's the stunning weather.

We went to London on Saturday. Had a wander 'round the British Museum's Asia, Egyptian and Greek exhibits. Pretty interesting stuff. Then we went on the London Eye. Not an 'exciting' experience, but well worth the money. We only had to queue for about 30 minutes once our 'time to board' had arrived. Good view, plenty of time to see everything, and the weather was nice too, so the view was pretty spectacular.

[11:50] I'm beginning to quietly loathe 3Com's AirConnect equipment. I upgrade all the firmware, I installed a fresh copy of Windows 2000 and all the required drivers, and still no joy.

[12:05] O.K. now I have 40-bit encryption working. But that's tat because you can break it in Real Time nowadays. 128-bit's the target.

[12:30] Mmmm, you can almost taste that full-on 128-bit encrypted goodness. It's a case of resetting certain bits of kit whenever you change anything. This afternoon (after I go to lunch to celebrate someone's funding for a postgraduate degree) I'll be popping out into the grounds to "stress test the connection equipment". This may take a while depending on whether I fall asleep under a tree.

[16:40] Ordered another 2GB of RAM in the form of SODIMMs for the laptops. That should make the image of Windows 2000 run a little less sluggishly.

[17:30] And the weather's to hot to stay here now, so I'm going home soon.