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September's Journal
November's Journal

[11:35] Today has been very busy, I've loved it. From the moment I came in I've been doing small and medium tasks which have all seemed to come off without a hitch thus far. Insofar as this never happens, I'm worried. But, for the moment, I'm just going with it. I've swapped in the new printer (giving me back a cubic meter of space in the room here), updated everyone with the new printer driver seamlessly (which is great), done some updates to the Administrative Installation of Office 2000 (just about to test that they're rolling out O.K.) too.

[14:15] So my workstation crashed for the first time. I blame Web JetAdmin (which I've just installed) and Sun's JRE not getting on. The reboot's allowed me to check that the Intellimirror stuff's worked (it has). I really think that Web JetAdmin is a real step down from the original JetAdmin as it's much slower and has too many options. It's also reliant on a stateless protocol which really annoys me in places.

[15:10] Obviously it couldn't be that easy. The printer is refusing to accept jobs which it thinks are sent on Letter when all the setting people can see are set for A4. It's Pcounter's fault I think. As it is I've sent the PFY down to take a look and make a list of the things that do and don't work and the order in which they cause things to mess up.

I have to head off at 16:30 today to get some shopping in and then spend some time with the Landlord going over the house's inventory. It's also Thursday.

[12:10] My Babylon 5 DVDs arrived this morning, which is stunning. The picture quality is amazing and not only that, the DVD menus are stunning too. I've had to pack them away to take home because I know that I'll just start watching the episodes here at work otherwise.

Climbing last night was good. The train down was a nightmare as it stopped at every single station between here and there. Luckily I wasn't more than half an hour late. I met up with the people I was there to see, and also some friends I've made at the wall, one of whom showed me a challenging on-hold problem on the bouldering wall. Amazingly I managed it once and then later on when I was much tireder almost again. The new addition to our climbing group is doing very well; coming on in leaps and bounds (no pun intended) and should get her own kit some time soon, I imagine.

The train home was slightly less fraught that the one on the way out and I got home some time around midnightish. This morning has consisted of trying not to watch Babylon 5 and doing more printer configuration.

[15:45] One printer emplaced, another connected to two machine at the same time and now I'm working on the deep voodoo that is Windows Registry to work out how to move people to a new printer without them noticing.

[16:30] The more I look at this, the more I think it's either going to be really easy or a nightmare from hell.

[10:20] I have no desire to do anything this morning. I'm suprised I made it into work. I've fixed a printer, installed a workstation and am about to so some other stuff. But I really can't be arsed. Where am I going with this? Why bother?

[11:15] When Mr "Video In" and Mr "Audio In - Left" are confused the magic box will not show you funny shapes. It's suprising how many people don't have the linguistic or literary skills to understand simple labels. Even when read out to them.

[14:30] Climbing this evening. Means I have to check the trains to make sure I can get there and back again O.K. but I'll be with people, having a good time and exercising.

[16:15] Too dark too early. Time to head off while there's a chance that the trains will be sensible.

[13:55] Don't get me started on trains in the UK. They were fine on Friday when I travelled down to Wokingham. I had an excellent time in Wokingham with friends including going to see Sim0ne (good film, nothing special, but worth a watch) and a gorgeous pub dinner on (what we thought was) the last evening. On Sunday morning I headed into London to meet people in Leicester Square to go to Tokyo Diner. The storms on Saturday night causes a lot of train disruptions and I only just managed to get to the place for about 13:25. Eventually everyone else turned up and we ate and headed to The Castle via the Tube. Climbing was good but on leving the pub afterwards we found that there were no trains out of Kings Cross in the direction some of us wanted to go.

We headed out of London the way we'd come in, and through a series of changes at cold stations we got back to the places we'd been staying the night before. This morning I got up again, left with the people who'd been kind enough to let me stay another night and spent the next four or so hours making my way back to here. A quick stop off at home to open a load of bills and things which just depressed me utterly I headed to work to do an hour or so's firefighting and then collapse and wait for the meeting which happens in about an hour. I have to get it together enough to cogently argue for my budget for the next year.

Won't that be fun, kids? The wheel keeps turning and sometimes it's through mud.

[16:55] O.K. that was totally crap. A two hour meeting at which nothing is achieved, I end up tired, annoyed and depressed. This is despite the fact that I managed to convince the quorum that I deserve the lion's share of the monies for the coming year in a stunning tour-de-force of reasoning and outright terrorising of the other committee members. It didn't even feel that good to be honest. I'm sure I'll care later on.

With the clocks having gone back this weekend it's now pitch black outside, which is quite depressing also. I think I will go home and watch some DVDs and try to deal with the problems at home next. Odd as it sounds I'd prefer to be helping with the problems of others at the moment. There are people out there from whom I would gain pleasure and satisfaction from helping, but sometimes you cannot go there without permission, and changes to the way things are. I hope they know I care. Maybe one day the wheel will turn.

[12:10] In work briefly to do brief work things. Like change the backup tapes and come back from the fire meeting (we have strikes here in the UK coming up soon). Once I've done everything I'm off home again. Probably to eat and watch some DVDs. This evening I'm heading to Wokingham to see some friends, stay up too late and then do something active. Sunday should be eating at Tokyo Diner and climbing. Frankly I don't care if I'm well or not by then. I like climbing.

More later from home. If anything interesting happens.

[23:50] Just sneaking this in under the wire today. I took the day off due to feeling like crap when I woke up. Spent the morning in bed, took a call from my parents on the cordless phone the house comes with. When I got up I wandered over to my PC and spent the rest of the morning chatting to people.

Around about 12:00 I went out and gave a shelf's worth of books to a charity shop, ordered two bean bags from Argos and then wandered home sniffling. Should have taken some tissues with me. The afternoon then consisted of crafting my email invitation to the second housewarming (for all the people who couldn't make the first one) and getting the house ready for the Thursday evening session.

The plumber turned up around 17:00 to fix the toilet cistern and we spent about an hour just chatting about stuff. Probably the most intelligent and pleasant plumber I've ever had the pleasure to meet. Around 19:00 a few people turned up, but far fewer than normal. It didn't matter as someone I hadn't seen in a while came alone and we all drank wine, ate pizza and watched films.

I think it's time for bed. I'll head in tomorrow, change the backup tapes and then come home again.

[09:00] Rather more ill than yesterday. I don't think I'll be here past lunch time. Only really in to get the budget done for the committee meeting at the end of the month. Once that's done I'll probably go home and try to spend some quality time getting well.

[10:40] Those of you (un)lucky enough to be watching about five minutes ago will have seen me strip off to don my new The Register printed 'Practical UNIX Terrorism' (2nd Edition) T-shirt. It's really rather good. The screen printing quality is excellent and the only thing it's missing is the "O'REALLY" off the back of the neck, like the Copyleft ones have.

Budget time.

[12:10] Budget done, scripting to be tested. Lunch imminent.

[12:45] Testing complete, 'pause' removed from batch file, live run commences tomorrow morning when the machines reboot. All should be fine. I'm about to go to lunch and then home. Unless I can't be arsed and I come back to work. This seems likely, but not probable. If you get my drift.

Tonight I get to pick up my vacuum cleaner from the old place. The last bit of my stuff that's still there. I'm aiming not to go inside unless I can help it. This is why I put it near the door. I don't live there any more.

[10:00] So I felt so ill yesterday afternoon I took it off work. On the way home I decided to share my germs with everyone else and went to see Triple X. It's a good film. On the way out I felt so fine again that I went home and did some work from home. In fact I felt so good that I went climbing in London. I was suprised how good I felt as compared to the morning. As it was I had a good time, set myself some targets for the next time I go and came home with a few blisters on my fingers, which is a first.

Naturally I'm very tired this morning. I find it odd getting up in an empty house still, spending large tracts of my time alone. I think it's going to be helpful in the long-term though. I may move to the new PC this morning. That should prove to be exciting.

[14:55] So this is the first journal entry from the new PC. It all seems to be going fairly well at the moment. Just need to make sure the Windows 2000 domain is in fact correctly configured.

[17:40] I think I've done enough damage for one day. I'm using the Windows 2000 DNS, gotten Office 2000 installed via managed software means and have my machine as set up as I think I need it to be, at least for the moment.

Incidently, I've been told that people are suprised I'm in today given that I'm ill. I hope this counts as kudos points when I actually do need them.

[09:50] I think I'm getting the flu. Marvellous.

So on Friday I went to Reading, had an excellent time in a bar called Walkabout near the train station and headed back to someone's house at about 02:00. In the morning it was bacon for breakfast followed by a drive back to my house to get it ready for the housewarming in the evening. I worked for most of the day and people began to arrive in the evening. It was a quiet start to what turned out to be a monster evening peopled by great people having a cool time. Most of the crowd headed off some time around 02:15 with everyone else crashing out in my newly tidied spare bedroom. Oddly there were people watching the Dr Who omnibus on UK Gold just before I shooed them out of the door. Freaks.

Sunday morning was a delicate affair with more bacon, sausages and orange juice all round for those staying over. With the help of one of them I tidied the house before they wandered off and I took some much needed time to chill. An hour or so later someone turned up to head to London with for climbing.

I wouldn't say I was at my best while climbing, I think I'm coming down with something nasty. I'm in work today to do some budget things. I doubt I'll be here all day.

[12:25] What a bunch of arse is life. And yet, through it all the wheel keeps turning. There's no stopping it, at least in any satisfactory way. Don't get dragged behind, just roll with it.

[09:40] Really must get in a bit earlier. Traffic patterns from the new place are rather different to those from the old one. I'd rather get in when the roads are clearer. As I'm still in shorts I'm going to have to go home again some time today to change into trousers as I'm out this evening in Reading saying goodbye to someone who's off to New Zealand for six-plus months. I'm also out for lunch today and have an appointment elsewhere from ten until eleven-thirty. As the PFY's not in today it's going to leave the building without support for a lot of the day. Sod 'em.

It's my housewarming on Saturday. I think it's going to be O.K. I've cleared the spare room so that people can sleep on both of the beds and I'm actually expecting a fair number of people to come around. I should be back in town some time around midday on the day so I can pop to a supermarket and get a load of munchies and stuff.

[15:40] I hate preparing new workstations for myself. There's so much comfortable furniture you have to relocate as well as the opportunity to bin a whole load of crap. Kind of like moving house, really.

[10:45] "Do they turn the web off at night to save electricity? Is that why it sometimes doesn't work when I get in early in the morning?" Seriously, sometimes I weep for the future.

[12:30] Busy, me? Why would you think that? Perhaps it's the fact that I've gained bags under my eyes during the working day, perhaps?! Or just the fact that I've not been able to type anything on this keyboard since 10:47.

[15:30] Still busy here, shifting boxes, ordering PCs and generally trying to have a life outside of work. It's tiring.

[16:30] I'm going to head home soon. Get the place ready for the first Thursday in the new place. Do a bit more clearing away, see how things go.

[16:00] O.K. so I forgot to do my entry before I left for the day. Sue me. Last night I got soaked heading to the station to go climbing. Really really soaked. A lot. So we got on the train, headed to The Castle and had a great time. Headed back again about half past nine, grabbed a Burger King and I listened to mp3s of I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue all the way home. Got in, moved some desks around and got my PC set up (not the router, my actual muscle box).

This morning was fairly dull. Got some conversation in, sorted a few more things in my head, I hope, and prepared for tomorrow's usage of equipment in the building. Hopefully we'll deploy the new uberprinter tomorrow as well. Registry files in logon scripts and everything.

After lunch I headed to a technical seminar on Microsoft's Software Updates Service. I can't believe I may have to run IIS in the building. Got talking with some of the other sysadmins afterwards, there's rumours that Apache/Win32 will deal with what we need, with a little tweaking.

I'm home now, trying to do some work on the house.

[10:10] I unpacked the kitchen last night. Made some room by shifting the stuff that's in there into storage boxes and packing it more tightly. Hopefully as and when I leave that place to go who-knows-where I'll be able to seperate my stuff from the house's stuff. I don't think the house is too big for me. At least, that's my thought. I'm trying to keep the other bedroom as empty of my stuff as possible, if nothing else so that other people can stay over if they feel like it. Who knows, I may want a house-mate one day...

[10:20] I would say that the place is livable in now. I'm still finding boxes and boxes of Stuff which I thought was essential before but now I think I could just put in the bin, sealed up again. I'll make sure I don't bin anything too important. Maybe.

Off climbing in London this evening. Happily, other people I know are going this time so I'll get to do some roped stuff. The other two who're going aren't quite up to my standard but they're close enough that we can go on the same routes without too much disproportionate effort.

My new work PC has arrived. It has XP Professional pre-installed. It sucks so much I've decided to revert to Windows 2000 Professional. I have to run Windows on the desktop so I may as well have something that I can actually tolerate for more than ten minutes at a time.

[16:10] Didn't get the PC set up this morning due to being busy with the new printer. Bit of a beast. Still it needs to be as the people here ran two LaserJet 4000N cubes into the ground in three years. We can't afford anything spiffy so it's just another LaserJet 4100TN. Hopefully it'll last until I get away from this place.

It is really raining outside. I wasn't too badly caught on the way to lunch, but on the way back after a website discussion I was shit on from a great height by a sea with small holes in it. I'm now in the office with the door closed trying to dry out before I head out again for the trip to London. I'm glad I wear shorts.

[15:55] So I moved on Saturday morning. Packed everything remaining into boxes as much as I could, from 07:00 onwards. People arrived around 10:15 and we began the mammoth task of loading up a Land Rover Defender (long wheelbase) with the stuff. After about four trips another few friends arrived with a Land Rover Discovery. Things went a bit faster after that.

I have so much shit.

When I've finished getting settled in the new place (not sure how long that's going to take) I'll start a second process of binning stuff. As it is, when my parents come to see the new place they're getting a whole load of stuff back. I've had it, I used it, it's still in the same nick it was when I got it, now it's time to give it back. As it is I have too many desks in the house (it's completely furnished, and I mean completely, including cutlery, etc.) and lots of other stuff is duplicated. Don't even get me started on the amount of glasses, mugs and crockery I have that the place already contains. With that and the excessive number of desks (and the fact that I've relocated one of the bookshelves) I'm not sure I'll be able to have someone else come and live here, unless they're a spartan/minimalist. Maybe I'll try living on my own for a while, see how the bills stack up.

[16:30] So this weekend, once I'd moved, I stuck the fridge and freezer food away and headed to London to get away from it all. Had a good meet in the Green Man with a load of other people before I went to someone's house to the night. On Sunday I Tubed into the center of London and then out to The Castle again. As there was no-one there to climb the roped routes with I only spent three hours totally tiring myself out before getting the train home.

It'd rained all Saturday as I was moving (figures), and was still raining as I walked home from the train station. Deciding not to face the pain of unpacking for too long I called someone as I was walking home and we went for a curry and a pint at the local non-smoking, no music, no mobile phones pub which is really very good and may become my Local. That'd be nice. Gorgeous bar staff, too.

[16:40] Tonight I think I'll connect the electronics up (TV/DVD/video/amp/speakers) and balance the sound for the new room accoustics. I'm not sure how it's going to even out but I think the asymmetrical walls are going to play hell unless I can get the angles right. No I'm not totally anal, but with the stuff I have it's worth paying a little extra attention to make sure things sound reasonable. Also that the person next door (deaf as a post but probably feels subwoofer notes) will need tweaking. I also don't want to make the windows rattle.

[11:35] Last night was excellent. Had almost a full turn out by the contingent (two people missing), about six to seven bottles of wine consumed, a lot of popcorn created and liberally distributed about the room and I think we watched some films at some point. Lots of people had some fun, everyone enjoyed themselves and the only problem was that I remembered that it was the last time we'll all be in there like that. Although it was sad that it was the last one at that house, we went out with a bit of a bang. I hope the new place is just as good. I'm going to need some more beanbags. I think four more will be fine.

Also much kudos to a friend who drove a good few dozen miles, just to get pissed. You gotta love that kind of dedication. He is a bit of a muppet to drive home again when he's so tired.

[13:10] I do the last of my packing this evening and tomorrow morning. That's going to be interesting. What will be even more interesting is getting 65kg of widescreen television down a staircase with a ninety-degree bend in it which didn't seem to fit the thing up in the first place. Gosh, that was such a long time ago.

[17:10] So, the end of the week again. I'm off home to pack the last of my stuff. See if there's anything else I can throw out and decide what I'm going to eat for my last evening meal in the house. Probably something from the freezer. Your next edifying entry will be one of either fun and amusing anecdotes concerning heavy televisions, or something to do with a claim to the insurance people and possibly a deep glass cut...

[09:45] The last Thursday in my current house. I'm beginning to get stressed about the move. Even at the best of times things like this can get on your nerves. I've got some good friends helping me so that should make things at least go a little more smoothly. This evening there's a 'wild party' for all the people who come (or came) to Thursdays. Hopefully it'll be great. We'll see how things go.

It's only 10:00 now and already I've been innundated with problems and requirement from people. I hate this time of year. Especially now.

[10:25] Today is already turning into a day from hell. One day I'll get on top of things. Will be out of the office between 10:50 and some time after 14:00.

[13:50] I'm evilly planning to innundate the pizza delivery place with pizza orders this evening. Hopefully we'll order enough that we can get a discount.

[16:35] Today has been so busy it's untrue. The kind of day you want to tell someone about in the evening. I'm sure I'll cope. Picking up the keys for the new place this evening. Once everyone's gone I can pack all the remaining stuff (glasses, plates, etc.) and then work on the clothes (pad the glasses and things). Why do things have to be so complicated?

[11:20] Climbing last night was quite cold. Autumn is starting to draw in now. Still, got some good climbs done even with stiff fingers and an extreme amount of hunger. We came home and rang the pizza delivery people from the car when we were thirty minutes out. A time was arranged and we expected it to be there a few minutes after we were. It wasn't. It's very informative to see how people change when they have The Hunger. Suffice to say that when the pizzas did arrive they didn't stay long.

Got sent an mp3 for a pager company which when bankrupt back in 2000. I think the moral is to fire your current staff and get someone in from a temp agency to do the recordings. Otherwise things go a bit wrong.

[14:25] Went to lunch. Came back a new way which cuts about five minutes off the journey time.

[16:10] Long conversations online really help your typing speed.

[10:00] Stayed up far too late last night watching cheesy science fiction (Starship Troopers). Had a hard time dragging myself out of bed this morning as a result. Got a few more addresses changed, will do some more later today. I'm down to one or two to still ring, the rest are ones I have to go in and say things to. Damn them.

[10:50] Moving utilities suppliers should be easier than this. But it's not.

[15:50] Done a whole load more address changes. Off climbing this evening but there's only three of us going this time due to illnesses and general lack of transport.

[08:55] Well I have no idea what happened there, except that the last picture taken on the BOFHcam was at 18:25 on Friday. The thing pinged but there was no other activity other than that. No SSH no HTTP, etc. There was a weirdo error message which had scrolled up the console window and which I'm looking in to this morning, other than that nothing. I've had to reset the box, watch it fask for a few minutes and now everything seems fine. Will bear watching I think.

Started packing on Saturday, which was odd. Not something I've ever really enojoyed doing and doing it on my own this time around is no exception. I've thrown out a lot of stuff, and I imagine when I start unpacking at the far end I'll throw out some more.

Sunday I got up a little later than normal and headed to London for more climbing at the Castle. I arrived much earlier than my friend and had done about an hour and a half by the time he got there. We climbed until 19:00 which really tired me out. Got the train home, spent too long online and went to bed.

Came in this morning, sorted the BOFHcam machine, and tried to compile a list of things to do today. Looks like Karate is off again due to the person I was going to go with having the monster cold that's going around. This week I need to start telling places about my upcoming change of address, reading meters and stuff like that.

[16:20] Got the form from the post office to do mail redirection for a month. Need to head in later this week with identification and stuff. Finding phone numbers for the other places I need to ring now.

[17:15] I swear if I'm on hold for mone more minute I'm going to tear someone's lungs out.

[18:00] O.K., a fair number of addresses updated. Twelve done, nine to go.

[12:00] Busy morning. Stuff to do. List crossing-off feeling good. Had to deal with printer arriving with no parallel port on it (for use with a Windows NT machine). Lunch sorted, Sunday afternoon planned. Nothing yet for Saturday.

[12:30] Maybe I should spend it packing up what I can and throwing out more stuff I don't think I'll need any more. It's very odd, planning to move somewhere on my own. The last few moves I've done have been with someone else.

[14:45] Extended lunch with fellow sysadmins turns into a bitchfest. How many times have we seen that happen? So this afternoon I need to order some PCs (although I should wait for the PFY to be back so she can see how it's done) and also work out what I'm going to do this evening.

[16:30] Just spotted that there's a 33-disc box set of Inspector Morse now available. I wish I could justify spending in the region of £160 on it. I'm heading of home soon. With luck something will come up to do.

[11:30] Life continues to continue.

Working through the list of things to do today I've already done most of them. Which is great. Popping out to the shops at lunch time. Have a suprise for someone. Thursday this evening. A few fewer people than normal, but still a stonkingly good time to be had.

[12:30] Annoying a whole slew of new Windows vulnerabilities have come out. I'm still waiting on the move to Windows 2000 to deal with most of them. Unfortunately dealing with the MSSQL 7/MSDE 1.0 has to be done now. Only I can't figure out how to run the .sql procedure once I've copied all the files into place.

[14:25] Naturally I figured out how to do that within two minutes of sticking the last entry up. All done now.

[17:00] Whee, busy all afternoon, how rare is that? And it was work which, in the main, didn't suck overly. Tremendous. It's great how sometimes things are actually almost vaguely reasonable. Hope the evening's nice too.

[10:30] Eventful night last night. Did some good climbs (didn't manage to lead blacks, but climbed them twice for good measure), including a short dyno set which has defeated me for weeks. So that was good. The drive home stuck in the memory because one of us was driving a Toyota MR2 he has on loan from his friend (while the friend drives his Land Rover Discovery to Scotland with his parents in it). Very soft suspension. I got photos of it for posterity.

[11:55] Got a big meeting this afternoon which will take up the rest of the day. Tonight is Stargate evening and also my friends coming round to do some washing. Fun-packed all around. Shame there's bugger all happening at work.

[11:20] Welcome to October. The tenth month. Shiny isn't it? See how it glows in the light of day? Don't you feel like you want to polish it with the heel of your hand covered in the sleeve of your top? Go on, get the fingerprints off it. Why not huff on it and then spend a few seconds getting the smudges off?

All done? Marvellous.

Spent a few happy minutes updating the Apache/Win32 web server via the dubious means of WindowsUpdate this morning. I'm sure no-one noticed the patchy service in the course of half an hour it too to install everything and go through a few reboots. Finished Mil's book last night. Nice one Mil, it's a great read. Should have bought my own really, but didn't get round to it.

[12:00] Required to fdisk my Solaris install today as I installed from the wrong CD yesterday and it's stuck a not-so mini-root on there which I'd like gone.

[12:30] Friends' washing machine is ever so slightly screwed so I'm providing backup facilities. Expecting tomorrow evening to be rather rotary.

[14:30] Getting hair cut in an hour. Oh the excitement!