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Azrael's Weblog

Show entry for 2003-07-01 Tuesday 01 Jul 2003
Tuesday 01 Jul 2003
Not much went on today. I received a contract to sign, the one pertaining to my new job. I still don't have an actual start date other than 'mid-July' but at least now I know the exact salary being offered.

I have been watching Babylon 5, series two, and there is a quote from it I do enjoy:

No dictator, no invader, can hold and imprison a population by force of arms forever. There is no greater power in the universe, than the need for freedom. Against that power governments and tyrants and armies cannot stand.

The Centari learnt this lesson once, we will teach it to them again. Though it take a thousand years we will be free.
G'kar - Babylon 5 2x20 The Long, Twilight Struggle

I'm not going to suggest any association with current global events, as that would go against my views on them. But I do suppose there are some who would find relevance.
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Show entry for 2003-07-02 Wednesday 02 Jul 2003
Wednesday 02 Jul 2003
Decided to add a progress meter to the side that indicates page loading. It dissapears once the page is loaded to remove any visual clutter.

I did do more than that today... honest. Just.. not much more.
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Show entry for 2003-07-03 Thursday 02 Jul 2003
Thursday 03 Jul 2003
Made a visit to my bank today. I want to send someone a cheque in the post, and as sods law dictates I am out of cheques. My bank happily ordered me a new book, which will arrive in a week - too late. However it is possible for one's own branch to issue you a cheque there and then, however this local branch is not my branch, despite me a year ago trying to make it so. No, they told me, it's not possible, and also not worth it, we can do everything that your own branch can do. Except it seems this one thing. Sods law again, why am I not surprised. Seems I will have to do a direct credit transfer, which will have to be done in a branch of their bank, which just so happens to be closer to me than my bank. I could have saved myself a trip.

In searching for my P45 (for new job) I found my old cheque book... one I thought I had lost and just canceled earlier at the bank. Oh thank you sods law, thank you! It's not all bad news I also found some more 'poems' that I wrote at university, and have updated the corresponding page. The 'new' ones aren't as good as the original few verses, but most were written in a hurry and I decided to immortalise them on the web as they were.

Listening to the cricket online again, why can't BBC or C4 get it? I forgot to mention on the 1st that there was cricket on (England vs Zimbabwe, but the match wasn't finished and the result was 'No Result'. That will probably end up favouring South Africa if they can complete all their matches. And so far today they appear to be beating England. But as England haven't finished batting (let alone SA) it is probably too early to say for sure.

18:27 For the record, England 223-7 50 ovs.

22:03 South Africa just won by 7 wickets with 227-3 off 47.3 ovs.

I need to find some way to officially review computer hardware so I can get free samples.
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Show entry for 2003-07-04 Friday 04 Jul 2003
Friday 04 Jul 2003
To continue yesterdays story, I went to HSBC today to make this direct bank transfer, but it turns out my local HSBC has no cashier services, and I'd have to go to the closest one with them, in Greenwich!! Needless to say I am really cursing the law of sod.

A friend of mine was telling me about his brand new job which starts in a week. He's fulfilling his dream of being a games programmer. I am very jealous, I wish I could get a programming job.
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Show entry for 2003-07-05 Saturday 05 Jul 2003
Saturday 05 Jul 2003
South Africa vs Zimbabwe today and the result was:

South Africa beat Zimbabwe by 9 wickets.
BBC Sport news

This pretty much leaves England in a situation where they have to beat Zimbabwe tomorrow to have a chance at reaching the final.
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Show entry for 2003-07-06 Sunday 06 Jul 2003
Sunday 06 Jul 2003
14:05 England vs Zimbabwe today. Zimbabwe batted first and got 92 all out off 24.5 overs. That's an awfully bad score, but England aren't doing too well either, and are currently 22 for 3 off 7 ovs.

14:12 England now 25 for 4.. this is painfull, yet exciting!

England did win eventually, quite comfortably too, by 6 wickets with 95 for 4 off 17.5 ovs.
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Show entry for 2003-07-07 Monday 07 Jul 2003
Monday 07 Jul 2003
There's no triangular cricket on today, so I'll have to find something else to fill this space. I suppose I could start by apologising for spending too much time on reporting sports news, but tough, I'm not going to.

Received confirmation today that payment for my new kvm has been received, and it should arrive in the next few days. A KVM switch allows you to connect a single Keyboard, Visual display unit, and Mouse to multiple computers, and looks like the image below.

KVM switch
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Show entry for 2003-07-08 Tuesday 08 Jul 2003
Tuesday 08 Jul 2003
My KVM arrived this morning, and I can now flip back and forth between my 2 PCs happily. I have installed my DVD burner into the windows PC, and burnt my first data DVD. It all works like a dream. I am happy!

I'm sure many are sick and tired of the cricket by now, but even though England and South Africa are through to the final, there are 2 matches left to play. England have been playing SA today, and have been doing quite well. SA were restricted to 198 runs, and England seem to be well on their way to making that total easily within 50 overs.

21:50 Final score:
England beat South Africa by 4 wickets
BBC Sports news

This puts England top of the table, though doesn't change who plays in the final. And SA would go back on top if they beat Zimbabwe in their next match.
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Show entry for 2003-07-09 Wednesday 09 Jul 2003
Wednesday 09 Jul 2003
Nephew is visiting tomorrow, so lots and lots of cleaning had to be done today. I tried to get out of as much of it as possible Click me I'll take a snap with the digital camera tomorrow and let you all see how my nephew looks.
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Show entry for 2003-07-10 Thursday 10 Jul 2003
Thursday 10 Jul 2003
I know that 'Best Viewed In' logos are technically evil... but I decided to add one anyway. This site will view correctly in any standards conforming browser, and even display sufficiently well in other browsers, such as Internet Explorer. However it really doesn't look as nice as it should when using IE, and I don't want people to think it's just badly designed. Then again one could argue that failing to make it look right in IE is a design flaw, but I see no reason to design to IE when I can instead design to standards which means it views perfectly in such browsers as Mozilla, Netscape6+, Konqueror, Safari, Galeon, Epiphany, K-Meleon, etc.. Ok, ok, so this is just 2 different rendering engines, gecko and khtml, but no need to get pedantic!

As promised yesterday, here's a picture of my nephew.

My nephew Zoom Picture
He thinks the tv remote is a telephone and he's trying to talk to his mum.

For the record, SA beat Zim today by 7 wickets.
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Show entry for 2003-07-11 Friday 11 Jul 2003
Friday 11 Jul 2003
Woke up this morning to find my nephew at the foot of my bed chattering away. He'd been sent to wake me up, and it was very early (as far as I'm concerned). A few hours later he was asleep in my arms for his mid-morning nap. Once he woke up we went for a nice long riverside walk, there was lots for him to see and do. He had fun scratching his fingernails against stone walls, each to their own.

Just a few reasons why this site doesn't display right in Internet Explorer. IE does NOT support transparencies in png images, nor does it support the CSS position:fixed style.
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Show entry for 2003-07-12 Saturday 12 Jul 2003
Saturday 12 Jul 2003
South Africa vs England in the triangular series final today. England won the toss and decided to field first, and bowled SA all out for 107 runs off 32.1 overs.

I just read a very interesting report by an Iraqi in Iraq who writes articles for The Guardian Unlimited. I must admit I am always proud to read about the British forces doing things better than the US forces in Iraq.

The other reason why it feels like you are going into another country is the British presence in the south.

As we were entering Basra we encountered a small convoy, just a couple of vehicles escorted by the British equivalent of a Humvee. On the top sat a soldier with a BIG gun.

In Baghdad that gun would be pointing either at the car right behind the military vehicle or at the sidewalk, scanning the buildings. But the British guy wasn't pointing at anything, he was just looking around with the gun turned in, at an angle that would have shot him in the foot if it had gone off by accident.

You appreciate this only after you have been driving behind an American Humvee and praying that your car doesn't backfire or make strange noises, because the US soldier has that gun pointing right at you.
Guardian Unlimited - Baghdad Blogger

15:33 England just won by 7 wickets with 111 for 3 off 20.2 ovs
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Show entry for 2003-07-13 Sunday 13 Jul 2003
Sunday 13 Jul 2003
I have been thinking about possible career avenues.. and I have decided that I should be either a billionaire philanthropist or a benevolent dictator. Now the only thing I need to work out is how to become one of those.

The weather this weekend has been VERY hot.. summer must be here.
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Show entry for 2003-07-14 Monday 14 Jul 2003
Monday 14 Jul 2003
I am working on a set of tools that allow simple web-based editing of my weblog. And so there are a few problems with the whole site at the moment. The most obvious being the ordering of weblog entries.
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Show entry for 2003-07-15 Tuesday 15 Jul 2003
Tuesday 15 Jul 2003
I didn't like the way textual links in the left hand margin looked. Yes textual links can more easily explain their purpose, but images look prettier. Alt and title attributes on the images provide the textual description of the links now. And anyone using the site for more than a few minutes will get used to the red button collapsing all weblog entries, the green button expanding them all again, and the document link image leading to the comments page. The tools icon only has any value for those with permission to admin the site .. which is currently limited to myself.

I've just noticed the launch of the Mozilla Foundation, a body to actively coordinate the development of the Mozilla codebase and also promote the distribution and adoption of Mozilla applications and technologies. Mozilla should have done something like this a long time ago. There have been times in mailing lists and bug reports when I've bumped into the Mozilla wall of 'we don't develop for the end user', an attitude I believe pushed onto them by their Netscape connections. This foundation will hopefully launch Mozilla finally as an end user targetted application.

As I slowly convert my weblog to be more image based (see 1st paragraph of todays entry) it becomes more and more language independant, and icon oriented. Maybe I'll be able to one day replace all my musings and textual chatter into simple pictures, never needing to write again. However there is a good chance that every entry will simply be most suitably represented thus:

Rubbish Icon

23:28 Just read that AOL is sacking all of its Mozilla developers. Obviously Mozilla lives on, especially in light of the Mozilla Foundation announced earlier. But it's a sad day for Netscape to die (?) .. and for those that have lost their jobs. But Mozilla was always a bargaining piece for AOL with MS, and I believe AOL always held Mozilla back from being targetted to the end-user, so that Netscape could be. Without being held back in that way now, perhaps Mozilla will spring up from the ashes of Netscape.. sorry for the obvious Phoenix/Firebird pun.
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Show entry for 2003-07-16 Wednesday 16 Jul 2003
Wednesday 16 Jul 2003
I could start my job in 2 days time. That's the first possible starting date of 3 I was given. If no-one gets in touch with me today though, I'll have to contact them and actually ask if they have a firm starting date for me yet. Just a little disorganised.. and slightly annoying. Though I am of course looking forward to starting.. only a little bit nervous at all the new things I'll have to take in quickly - but then that's the best thing about a new job, getting to grips with new things. Once that's done, it becomes boring tedium.. usually.

Stephen Donner of (Netscape/AOL) has an interesting comment on the Mozilla/AOL/Netscape issue, in the style of a Book of Mozilla verse.

And they watched as the beast cast off its chains, and with a terrible roar burst forth and slew those who had bound it. And for days the rivers ran red with their lifeblood.

- from The Book of Mozilla, 7:15
Stephen Donner's Journal

It was with extreme annoyance that I finally decided to try and make my weblog look better in IE. So I switched some of my pngs to gifs. It feels rather dirty to make that switch. However the css change required to show the top left widgets neater in IE wasn't too bad. The regular css makes it fixed, and an import statement recognised only by IE overrides this to simply absolute. It doesn't appear as it should in IE (fixed) but at least it appears neatly (absolutly positioned). This better be appreciated by IE users out there. They can leave me nice messages in my comments section.
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Show entry for 2003-07-17 Thursday 17 Jul 2003
Thursday 17 Jul 2003
Got word that I don't start work tomorrow.. yay.. a few more days of freedom.
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Show entry for 2003-07-18 Friday 18 Jul 2003
Friday 18 Jul 2003
I have finally had a confirmed starting date for work: Wednesday 30th July, that's down 2, left 2 on my little calendar widget up there.

As I can never stop tinkering, I added a blue and yellow button top/left which change all the eye images to green/red circles for expanding/collapsing individual entries (blue), and back to eyes again (yellow). It was mostly just so I could try and work out which was better to use as the default. Remember, you can leave comments if you wish.. god.. someone leave a comment!
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Show entry for 2003-07-19 Saturday 19 Jul 2003
Saturday 19 Jul 2003
A list of the programmes I have an interest in watching currently:

A funny:
When "Spooks" air [sic] in the U.S. (under the name "MI-5"), the original hour long episodes (from the U.K.) will be trimmed down to roughly 44 minutes here in the U.S., allowing commercials to air.
TV Tome

I have no idea what Spooks would be like with a whole quarter edited out. I hope they don't make a complete mess of it.

There are too many things drawing power in the apartment, because the fuse tripped earlier, cutting my computer off and making me scream and jump up and down. It always annoys me to think about how much damage is being done to my harddisks every time there's a random powerdrop like that.

Found a funky logo today:
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Show entry for 2003-07-20 Sunday 20 Jul 2003
Sunday 20 Jul 2003
The Dr David Kelly fiasco take on a new twist as the BBC admit he was their principal source in a report claiming Downing Street "sexed up" an Iraq weapons dossier.

This is of course after Dr Kelly's apparent suicide on the 17th July (body found 18th, confirmed identity on 19th).

Rough summary of events.
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Show entry for 2003-07-21 Monday 21 Jul 2003
Monday 21 Jul 2003
the UK planned to bury 10 huge nuclear landmines in Germany
New Scientist

Sounds a bit more dramatic than it really is when quoted out of context like that, but it's fun. Click me

Just discovered a bug in Mozilla Firebird, if you view the source for the above smiley it appears correctly in the full source view, but incorrectly in the partial source view after highlighting part of the page containing it.
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Show entry for 2003-07-22 Tuesday 22 Jul 2003
Tuesday 22 Jul 2003
Spent a very long time collecting pictures of my nephew from all the various computers and folders they are distributed in, so I can make 1 single definitive collection, and then convert it into a web-gallery. Tedious, time consuming, but ultimately rewarding.

22:00 Update on the picture sorting. I've not finished.. but at least I have all the pictures on one computer in one folder now.
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Show entry for 2003-07-23 Wednesday 23 Jul 2003
Wednesday 23 Jul 2003
Chocolate!!!! But it was a cat's tongue.. ick!!!
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Show entry for 2003-07-24 Thursday 24 Jul 2003
Thursday 24 Jul 2003
Test match started today. And it's being televised!!!!

17:45 SA are 387-1 .. so far not good for England.
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Show entry for 2003-07-25 Friday 25 Jul 2003
Friday 25 Jul 2003
Rain all day, no play at the cricket. Probably for the best.
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Show entry for 2003-07-27 Sunday 27 Jul 2003
Sunday 27 Jul 2003
Yesterday didn't see much play, was quite a bit of rain, and England were doing so-so, good under normal circumstances.. but as they are chasing 594...

Anyway, today, England are still doing well (for normal circumstances) and it's probably fairly evenly matched at the moment. England have today and tomorrow to bat, and will probably hold SA off for a draw. Currently, 17:06, the score is 276-4. Vaughan and Stewart are in, but Stewart is injured and having trouble.
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Show entry for 2003-07-28 Monday 28 Jul 2003
Monday 28 Jul 2003
11:29 England are all out (1st innings) for 408. This is fairly magnificent considering they were chasing 594 and had to deal with rain over 2 days, and they still managed to save the follow-on. There is now less than a days play, SA need to get fast runs and put England back in, and get them all out. All England need to do is keep it tight, slow down SA, and then try to bat the day out. Could go either way, but it's going to be fast paced and exciting.

14:15 SA declared on 134-4. So England need 321 to win from 65 overs to win, or just to stay in and draw.

Bad light stopped play with England on 101-1 off 28 overs. Finally the game was abandoned due to bad weather, thus producing a draw. Hussain, the England captain, resigned.
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Show entry for 2003-07-29 Tuesday 29 Jul 2003
Tuesday 29 Jul 2003
I start work tomorrow, so have lots of last minute things to do, like.. for example... start getting early nights so I can wake up on time... hmm.. I wonder if it is too late to start.
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Show entry for 2003-07-30 Wednesday 30 Jul 2003
Wednesday 30 Jul 2003
Wow.. had my first day. There was so much to take in. The lady I am covering for made a very large and detailed manual of the job, in order to give me as much as possible to go on. No one else there knows all her 'stuff' as well as she does, and her direct manager has left, and no replacement has been appointed yet, leaving me in a little bit of an isolated position. However everyone seems very nice and should be easy to work with. It was a bit of a shock to wake up so early this morning, and by the time I got back home, I was exhausted, to the point of needing to go to bed not much after 22:00.
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Show entry for 2003-07-31 Thursday 31 Jul 2003
Thursday 31 Jul 2003
10:00 This is my first proper day at work, been here for an hour looking over the things I have to learn how to do. I'll pop in on the helpdesk a bit later, to start getting the relevant permissions I need to do certain things.

12:26 Woe.. England are 73-3 of 20 overs in the 1st day of the 2nd test match against South Africa. And I'll take this moment to respond to a comment I have received asking for less sport and more thoughts: I think ... therefore I am. Right... back to the cricket.

12:37 *sigh* England 85-5 off 21 overs, poor Vaughan is having a bad time in his first test match as captain.

14:15 England 112-8 off 33 overs.

15:20 England are 169-9 but Anderson (no 11) seems to be playing out of his skin, and just brought up the 50 partnership for the last wicket (with Gough). And only a few minutes later, Gough skied the ball and was caught, leaving England 173 all out. That's not really terrible, it's a modest total, but the tail certainly wagged to give a hint of respectibility to the score.

Been reading up all day on my duties etc.. and I am getting a grip on at least the core of the job. Most of the vital tasks don't need to be done for a few weeks, so I have time to get to grips with some of the more complicated admin tasks that I'll have to do but don't yet know: so more reading up in this 'bible' I've been given.
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