Valid XHTML 1.0!
Valid CSS!
<< August 2003>>
2728293031 1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30
Collapse Entries    Expand Entries    Change Collapse/Expand Icons in Entries    Revert Collapse/Expand Icons in Entries
Admin Tools
Azrael's Weblog

Show entry for 2003-08-01 Friday 01 Aug 2003
Friday 01 Aug 2003
Had my first 'meeting' today. It was just a weekly meeting the helpdesk people have, and I was invited along so I'd learn more stuff, faster.

I've been set up with some databases that I need access to, and spent a while filling in course bookings into the course bookings database. It seems pretty obvious, so no trouble expected with it. That's one more mental tick in my 'getting to grips with the job' chart.

Just to show how nice people are at work, today at the meeting, I was given breakfast, a bacon and egg muffin sandwich type thing.

The sneaks at Mandrake released Mandrake 9.2 Beta 1 without me noticing!!
Hide Entry

Show entry for 2003-08-02 Saturday 02 Aug 2003
Saturday 02 Aug 2003
Today is the first time in ages that a weekend day actually feels different to me than any other day of the week. One more bonus from being in the ranks of the employed?

16:30 South Africa just declared on 682-6. With England on 173 all out this puts SA 509 runs ahead. This is only after the 1st innings each, so England have to now get more than 509 runs, and get SA out for less than the difference, or stay in bat for 2+ days. The weather is predicted to be excellent for batting, so no rain... looks like England will lose.
Hide Entry

Show entry for 2003-08-03 Sunday 03 Aug 2003
Sunday 03 Aug 2003
England have been batting all day, and have put on a very brave display. There has been virtually zero chance of even drawing, however they seem to be playing for personal respect. One of my favourite players (Flintoff) made his 2nd ever test century, his first at Lords, and played an awesome match, making a personal best score. Even if his bat did split down the middle at one stage.

17:05 England all out for 173 & 417 vs SA's 1st innings score of 682. SA win by an innings and 92 runs.

However England's 2nd innings performance shows some hope for the rest of the series.
Hide Entry

Show entry for 2003-08-04 Monday 04 Aug 2003
Monday 04 Aug 2003
It's quite embarassing that I can't get the printer sitting 1 metre away from me to install on my computer. It's a network printer, and I have no idea what its network name is. I feel foolish having to ask for help with such a trivial matter. How am I supposed to build up a reputation as an uber geek if I can't get a printer installed?

My printer worries are all over, and self-solved too! My uber geek status is coming along great!

WOW Novell is buying Ximian!! I'm a fan of Ximian's gnome desktop, however XD2 isn't available for Mandrake 9.1, I wonder what the chances are that Novell will particularly care about Ximian support for Mandrake releases.
Hide Entry

Show entry for 2003-08-05 Tuesday 05 Aug 2003
Tuesday 05 Aug 2003
Interesting comments on 'Where is Raed?':

[...] everyone has his small little weird demands. But the problem was that the guy who doesnít like Saudi meat because it is not slaughtered by Shia muslims is the head of an Iraqi human rights committee. Yeah, all humans are equal but some are more equal than other, arenít they?
Where is Raed?

In discussion it has been suggested to me that the religious practices of a shia muslim should be respected and not used as a point of criticism. In theory I can understand that view point, however in practice there's so much religious intolerance about that any hint of it, especially in such a time and place, more so by someone who is responsible for human rights.. that it doesn't sit well with me. Nor, obviously, with some of those that are represented by this person.

I suppose it is only fair that I also add that I abhor organised religions in any shape or form, and the only thing worse than religion, is sectarianism within religion. If you're going to go around murdering people of another religion, at least make things clear cut and pick a different religion, and actually support those of other sects that fall within your own. Then again it is probably easier to hate those that differ from you by a small amount than those with many differences, lets you focus your hatred onto a small number of issues and saves you having to learn about a whole new religion.

Anyway, look at it from the lamb's point of view. Not only has it been killed, but it has been slaughtered in some sort of religious cult way so that it can be eaten by the 'chosen of god', perhaps the lamb is honoured in some way to meet such a noble end, anyway, it gets served up to one of those it is intended for, and then it's worthiness is questioned, what an insult! If I were that lamb I'd leap off the plate and throttle him!
Hide Entry

Show entry for 2003-08-07 Thursday 07 Aug 2003
Thursday 07 Aug 2003
Yesterday I started working on an Online Booking Form for the Staff Training courses I am supposed to give at work. I completed it today. It's done in php, and lets people fill in a booking request, which then gets e-mailed directly to me. Also all bookings are automatically stored in a csv file which I can shove into a spreadsheet. Was fun, I hope it comes in useful.
Hide Entry

Show entry for 2003-08-08 Friday 08 Aug 2003
Friday 08 Aug 2003
Such a hot day today, too good to be indoors, but not much choice. Though for lunch I did go out to sit on the grass in a nearby square. I'm also going to hang out with friends in Regents Park later, let's hope I can stand to have so much fun in one day!

I won't pander to complaints and invert the entry orders. But I have created a link that automatically takes people to the latest entry. This code is dirty at the moment, and relies on the latest entry being of the days date. Will fix this later. Those that wish can bookmark http://www.azrael-uk.f2s.com/az/personal/weblog/latest.php
Hide Entry

Show entry for 2003-08-09 Saturday 09 Aug 2003
Saturday 09 Aug 2003
I gave Mandrake 9.2 Beta 2 a whirl a few days ago, a full new install. Didn't get networking to work, so switched back to mandrake 9.1 final today. I am considering now upgrading to the beta, see if it keeps my current networking. Might not work, but will be interesting to find out what happens.

On an aside, I am really enjoying 'Dead Like Me', I think it's a really funny, uniquely themed, original programme.
Hide Entry

Show entry for 2003-08-11 Monday 11 Aug 2003
Monday 11 Aug 2003
Yesterday hit record temperature in Britain, and I measured outside temperature where I was at 37.5 degrees Celcius.

Just done some improvement to the latest.php page. Set a series of decrementing 'for loops' for year, month and day, so that it checks for the latest entry, working backwards from the current date, until it finds a valid entry. I've not thoroughly tested it yet, but appears to work.
Hide Entry

Show entry for 2003-08-12 Tuesday 12 Aug 2003
Tuesday 12 Aug 2003
Fixed the latest.php today, and learnt that the scope of variables in php isn't the same as in c++. That's a weird thing to get to grips with, especially when you don't know it. I was having the strangest bug without understanding what was wrong. Of course, in a c++ sense, nothing was wrong. That highlights how much I have to learn about php idiosyncrasies.
Hide Entry

Show entry for 2003-08-13 Wednesday 13 Aug 2003
Wednesday 13 Aug 2003
I went out today (during my lunch hour) to buy a 10m aerial cable, and an aerial signal booster device. The closest/best place to look was Tottenham Court Road.. and the prices there are through the roof in most of the shops. I wasn't too surprised, I've browsed/shopped there many times. However Maplin Electronics, on the same road, had the same products (different/own brand) for much cheaper; £4.99 for 10m co-ax as opposed to £12.99, and £17.99 for the booster device as opposed to £22.99.
Hide Entry

Show entry for 2003-08-14 Thursday 14 Aug 2003
Thursday 14 Aug 2003
I can already hear the groans of any sport hating readers, but today is the start of the third test match between England and South Africa, I hope it starts well.

I found a field position guide, and it tickled me that the heading was:

Check out all the fielding positions with this easy to understand field plan.

I understand the rules, and field positions, but this image is very complicated and over-loaded with information, not as good as the one at wikipedia.
Hide Entry

Show entry for 2003-08-15 Friday 15 Aug 2003
Friday 15 Aug 2003
Annoyingly I got to work to find that a lot of internet access fails. I can't access the cricket over real player, nor can I ssh into my box at home. However I can listen to the cricket using windows media player. So some ports must be blocked, and others not. I hope this is a result of the worm infection that is all over this place, and not a new firewall policy. Though as port 80 (www) is open, I'll just switch my ssh service at home to use that port if this keeps up.

11:26 Just a quick summary of yesterdays cricket. England had an unfortunate start, losing 2 early wickets, but finished the day on nearly 300 runs. They are currently on 322-4.

Annoyingly I left myself logged into yahoo and msn messenger at home, with auto-reconnect enabled so I can't log on anywhere else. So that's another pair of applications I can't use from work today. Oh if only I could ssh to my home box and kill the apps.

15:21 England 445 all out (146 ovs). Not a bad total. I've managed to get real player working after windows media player stopped. Some strange things going on with our firewall I assume.

This weekend might not see much 'blogging as tonight straight after work I am off to visit my sister for a day or so.

At the end of play SA are 84-2, and one of those is Smith.. thank god, the other is Gibbs, that's both opening batsmen out for 35 and 19 respectively.
Hide Entry

Show entry for 2003-08-17 Sunday 17 Aug 2003
Sunday 17 Aug 2003
Yesterday had lots of fun visiting my sister and nephew.

Today, the cricket isn't going to well. England lost lots of early wickets in their 2nd innings, and are 197 runs ahead of SA right now. That's not too much for SA to chase in their final innings.. so the game is poised.

England managed to only get 118 all out, SA need 202 runs to win, and have 1 session today, and all of tomorrow. The wicket is a bad batting surface, but the England bowling attack probably won't be able to keep SA to under 200 runs.

I should probably eat my own words, the England bowling attack was tight and effective, and at the end of the day SA were 63 for 5. Tomorrow will be an exciting finale, England are once again on top, let's hope they can remain so.
Hide Entry

Show entry for 2003-08-18 Monday 18 Aug 2003
Monday 18 Aug 2003
Another day at work, and today I decided to track down where my missing keys are. They were sent to me about 2 weeks ago and still haven't arrived, and without them life is annoying. I do have an office key, but I am missing a 'fob' that lets me swipe my way through a bunch of electronically protected doors. I was unable to find the letter in the whole department, nor in the post room. Grrr!

Additionally the firewall appears to still be strictly enforced, I can listen to the cricket, but can't access my home box yet.

11:12 England get an early wicket, SA 71-6. That's the top 6 all out, now fully into the middle/lower order.

11:19 England get another (Pollock - who got 62 in his first innings, and 0 in 2nd), SA 80-7.

11:23 SA 81-8.

12:29 SA 126-9.

12:35 South Africa have been bowled out for 131 runs off 56 overs. England win the test match, and level the series 1:1. The match winner was undoubtedly Kirtley, on his debut. He took 2 wickets in the 1st innings, and the English bowling figures for the 2nd innings are below.

Bowler O M R W
R J Kirtley 16.2 7 34 6
A Flintoff 17.0 4 54 1
S J Harmison 11.0 2 24 1
J M Anderson 12.0 4 17 2

BBC News Sports
Hide Entry

Show entry for 2003-08-19 Tuesday 19 Aug 2003
Tuesday 19 Aug 2003
Firewall still excessive at work, but I'm running ssh on a different port on my home machine, one that is open from work, so once again I can happily monitor my home pc.

Not quite as happily as I expected, the ssh connection keeps dropping now and then, all too regularly.. frustrating.

Just got home and: OMG THE BARGE IS GONE!!! Such amazingly good news. Some of you will actually know what this means.
Hide Entry

Show entry for 2003-08-20 Wednesday 20 Aug 2003
Wednesday 20 Aug 2003
I've been asked what I mean about the barge. This pleases me, shows that someone actually reads this. The apartment block next to the one I live in was built only a few years ago, and after it was built a barge was moored outside it, by the builders, to store the scaffolding in. They never bothered to move the barge and left it moored there for what must be a few years now. I should note that the apartment I am in overlooks a river. And up until yesterday, it mostly overlooked an ugly barge instead of a river. The only downside, is that local kids can't play on it and kill themselves. None have killed themselves so far, but I was hoping....

My problems of yesterday re ssh on port 80 dropping all too frequently, have been fixed by running ssh on port 110. I put this down to firewall rules at work that probably define port 80 connections as being very short lived, whereas this rule is obviously not on port 110 connections. Either way, I am now happy on the ssh issue. Still wish the bt ports were available though ;)
Hide Entry

Show entry for 2003-08-21 Thursday 21 Aug 2003
Thursday 21 Aug 2003
England and South Africa face off in the 4th test match today. England strike early and get Smith in the first over (2-1), and also in the second over, with the wicket of Gibbs falling (2-2). It only took 9 more overs for England to take their third wicket (16-3). In the 15th over, Kabir Ali (on his debut) got a wicket in his first over. SA now 21-4.

14:36 The 5th SA wicket has fallen (116-5).

15:27 Flintoff gets Boucher (142-6).

SA fought back and ended the day with 260-7.
Hide Entry

Show entry for 2003-08-22 Friday 22 Aug 2003
Friday 22 Aug 2003
12:27 After a valiant first session battle, SA lose their final wicket and are 342 all out. Perhaps putting them on top for the moment.

England finish the day on 197-3, probably just taking the advantage back from SA. Bearing in mind SA batted for 4 sessions for their total, and England have only had 2 sessions so far.
Hide Entry

Show entry for 2003-08-23 Saturday 23 Aug 2003
Saturday 23 Aug 2003
14:15 England 307-ao off 87.2, 35 runs behind SA. They probably needed to be level or ahead at this point for the game to swing in their favour, so SA can be counted as ahead. But it's still poised to swing either way. Note however SA needed 114.4 overs for their total, so England picked the runs up faster, which perhaps bodes well for batting last. But it all depends on how far SA pull ahead in their second innings, and on if English bowling can be effective.
Hide Entry

Show entry for 2003-08-24 Sunday 24 Aug 2003
Sunday 24 Aug 2003
Was out playing Shadowrun today, and in the meantime England got SA out for 365, and in their reply have made 165-5. Things are looking bad, and a miracle will be needed for tomorrow, the final day.
Hide Entry

Show entry for 2003-08-25 Monday 25 Aug 2003
Monday 25 Aug 2003
England started the day needing 401 to win, with only the tail to go. Butcher and Flintoff got out in the first few overs, meaning it was only a matter of time before the match was lost, which it finally was at 11:32, with 209 all out.
Hide Entry

Show entry for 2003-08-26 Tuesday 26 Aug 2003
Tuesday 26 Aug 2003
Well, back to work again. Had Friday and Monday off for the bank holiday, so a nice long realxing weekend. Woke up exhausted this morning, go figure. But there's nothing hectic on today, just swotting up on the material I have to present tomorrow in the first course I'll be giving or this job.

Been watching too much 'Nip/tuck' at work, and a great line from it is:

A tight ass might make money for her, but not for us.

Said by one doctor to his prudish partner to persuade him to take a porn star client.
Hide Entry

Show entry for 2003-08-27 Wednesday 27 Aug 2003
Wednesday 27 Aug 2003
Had my first course today, it was a pre-sessional induction course. 2 of the most important things I was supposed to demonstrate were missing from their desktops (and mine) so I couldn't really show them. A little bit of a fiasco, but I wasn't too worried about it.
Hide Entry

Show entry for 2003-08-28 Thursday 28 Aug 2003
Thursday 28 Aug 2003
I decided to experiment with my arrival at work time in the morning, seeing what is better in terms of traffic etc. Started at 10am today, and traffic didn't seem to be too much different to starting at 9:30. Nothing at all like departing, the difference in traffic if I set off at 5 or 5:30 is vast (earlier being better).

I've just been offered an all-in-one style iMac (not the lamp style) for £50 from the departmental to-be-gotten-rid-of stockpile. I may well take up the offer. Obviously I have no urgent need for another computer, especially not an older out of date model. But I would have fun installing YDL on it.
Hide Entry

Show entry for 2003-08-29 Friday 29 Aug 2003
Friday 29 Aug 2003
I checked out ebay (UK) for the model of Mac I think it is I can get my hands on. Most prices seem up around the £100-£150 mark. That's with keyboard/mouse and differing amounts of software. So £50 for one doesn't seem as obscenely cheap as I initially thought. though it is still a very good deal. More so if I can pass it on to someone else who wants it after I have had a few weeks play from it.
Hide Entry

Show entry for 2003-08-31 Sunday 31 Aug 2003
Sunday 31 Aug 2003
I'm strangely proud of having cleaned the oven. It's almost sparkling.
Hide Entry

Best viewed with a standards compliant browser

Default | Alternate | Large fonts | Print