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Azrael's Weblog

Show entry for 2003-11-01 Saturday 01 Nov 2003
Saturday 01 Nov 2003
Had a miserable cold the past few days, but woke up today feeling quite a bit better, probably passed the peak of it and on the downwards slope to recovery.

As usual the start of a new month revealed a few bugs in my weblog code. So I made a few changes to latest.php and to the per-entry comments system. Hopefully no more bugs were introduced. I still haven't gotten myself a 1-click system to initiate a month change-over yet, so I still need to do it manually.. meaning about 4 files being edited (though very small edits needed, nothing complicated), I can live with it, but it's certainly not optimal. On the bright side, I only need to do that 12 times a year, and it keeps me peeking into the code so I don't forget what things do.

I've been reading about some of the changes in php5, and came across one change that I really do like, lets see if I can properly explain. I believe that currently the scope of a variable is limited, so that if it is defined outside of a function, and then used inside a function there exist two different variables. The change in php5 is to make the scope of such variables to be more like in C++. If anyone reading can correct me there, please leave a comment.

Show entry for 2003-11-02 Sunday 02 Nov 2003
Sunday 02 Nov 2003
England vs Uruguay, one word: rampant

Show entry for 2003-11-03 Monday 03 Nov 2003
Monday 03 Nov 2003
My linux machine is still having probs, even with the new hard drive in. Some files are getting corrupted, and so I pondered the possibility of RAM errors or faulty IDE cables. I switched the IDE cables, for some old spares.. the BIOS complains about them, but they work for now (will buy new ones today). However still had a problem last night. memtest86 identified 1 ram error. As I have 3 ram modules I should be able to switch them around, trial and error, to see which one the error occurs in. Of course, it could be that problems are in the CPU L1/L2 cache instad, or on the motherboard somewhere. I'm not exactly sure how to track down the cause of my computer's symptoms - other than switching in new components, which could get expensive.

Show entry for 2003-11-04 Tuesday 04 Nov 2003
Tuesday 04 Nov 2003
memtest86 found a memory error at 318MB approx. As I have 3x256 (768) the error must be in module 2, I don't know what order they are numbered, but with only 3 modules, it's a pretty good guess it's the middle one (I should really run memtest86 again to see if any other errors are reported). I pulled the middle one, fitted new ATA-133 IDE cables, re-arranged the devices on controllers, and reinstalled my operating system. I'll now pray for no errors to present themselves.

Show entry for 2003-11-05 Wednesday 05 Nov 2003
Wednesday 05 Nov 2003
I'm quite excited this morning, I may be getting a 17" iMac on my desk.

During lunch I was reminded of one of the good points about working where I do. It's really close to my favourite shops, and on the way back from eating I wandered through the British Museum, I really do like the place - the great court still impresses me.

Show entry for 2003-11-06 Thursday 06 Nov 2003
Thursday 06 Nov 2003
Another PC crash today. I have put some more thought into what could be wrong (trying to think of anything other than the motherboard) and it could be a PSU problem. With that in mind I am going to borrow a PSU from work, and test it over the weekend, and if i can, I'll try to borrow some SDRAM too. If I still get problems, then I can point at my mobo and give it it's marching orders.

Show entry for 2003-11-07 Friday 07 Nov 2003
Friday 07 Nov 2003
PC crashed again today, but as I hadn't made any changes to it at all (other than reboot) yesterday, this doesn't come as a surprise. I'll make changes tonight, and see how they deal with the weekend.

On Wednesday I bought myself a copy of 'Wired' magazine, I've never bought it before.. and I just finished reading it. I really do think it ought to be re-named to 'Adverts' because it's full of them. Paying 4.25 for the privilege of reading page after page after page of adverts makes me feel ripped off. And while it had a funny quote in it, do you think this is worth the price?

Do you think my girlfriend would get mad if I tried my coworker's breast milk?
Wired, Nov 2003

Show entry for 2003-11-08 Saturday 08 Nov 2003
Saturday 08 Nov 2003
Fiddled with my computer again, and ran systematic ram tests until I worked out that every ram slot worked fine with a piece of working 64MB ram. Then 2 of my 3 pieces of 256MB ram worked in all slots. So 1 piece of 256 ram is faulty. I then re-installed my operating system, and will see how it goes.

Show entry for 2003-11-09 Sunday 09 Nov 2003
Sunday 09 Nov 2003
England beat Wales.. even though Wales scored more tries. Was a scrappy victory, and England need to improve a lot before they face France.

Show entry for 2003-11-10 Monday 10 Nov 2003
Monday 10 Nov 2003
Spotted an interesting article today, about allegations that Israel knew about the 11/9 Twin Towers attack before it happened. The article is recent (dated 2nd Nov), but until today I hadn't heard about this at all.

Show entry for 2003-11-11 Tuesday 11 Nov 2003
Tuesday 11 Nov 2003
Armistice Day today, originally it was a memorial service to WWI dead, but as WWI survivors are dropping like flies it now encompasses all those that die in war for their country - that helps keep it relevant as the years go by.

Show entry for 2003-11-12 Wednesday 12 Nov 2003
Wednesday 12 Nov 2003
This morning, and yesterday, I woke up at 6:58am, 2 minutes before my alarm sounded. I'm not sure whether to be glad that I'm not having any trouble getting up for work, or to be annoyed that I'm missing valuable minutes of sleep. Especially when I end up getting to work at 8:45am when I technically don't need to be here until 10am.

My iPod arrived today!!!!!! Happy happy joy joy!!!!

Show entry for 2003-11-14 Friday 14 Nov 2003
Friday 14 Nov 2003
I was a little distracted yesterday, been more busy than usualy busy, planning next terms courses, selecting times and dates etc. I've made sure not to give myself too much, about 1 training course a week from the student programme, and I have yet to determine the staff training programme - but that will be about 1 or 2 a week. I'm not sure if I'll get away with it. It's not very different to this term, but this term I had trianing material to upgrade to office XP (from office 2000), and as this should all be done by next term, I'll have time left over to spare. Perhaps I should set myself some tasks, like learning a new programming language or something, any ideas anyone?

Show entry for 2003-11-16 Sunday 16 Nov 2003
Sunday 16 Nov 2003
France scored a very lucky, sneaky, but great try in the first half. England scored 12 points from kicks in the first half. France had a man sin binned in both halves. England scored 12 points in the second half, again all off JW's boot. France didn't score a single point in the second half. Final result: 24 : 7 to England. The final next week, Australia vs England.

Show entry for 2003-11-18 Tuesday 18 Nov 2003
Tuesday 18 Nov 2003
Strange day at work today. Had a lot to do, admin work for next term, but it's just too early to do it, and so I had to hold back. I'm not sure if this is good (ahead of schedule) or bad (forgetting to do other things). Time will tell.

Show entry for 2003-11-19 Wednesday 19 Nov 2003
Wednesday 19 Nov 2003
What's the air speed velocity of an unladen swallow? See for yourself.

Musical interlude:

Rewritten by machine and new technology,
and now I understand the supernova scene.


Video killed the radio star.
Video killed the radio star.
The Buggles

Rewritten by machine and new technology,
and now I understand the suprnova scene


Internet killed the video star.
Internet killed the video star.

Show entry for 2003-11-22 Saturday 22 Nov 2003
Saturday 22 Nov 2003
With only a minute or so to go in the final half of the match Australia score a penalty to draw level with England and take the match into extra time. During extra time, with only 2 minutes to go Australia again score a penalty to draw scores level. Then in the dying minute Wilkinson scores a drop goal to take England 3 points ahead and win the Rugby World Cup 2003 with 20 points to 17.

Although I had planned my outing for a few days, I still consider it somewhat of a treat for England's victory.. I went to watch the Matrix Revolutions, and although I had heard bad reviews, I do think that it was as good an ending as could have been expecting, and there was a lot of action to fulfill that requirement. All in all it gets a thumbs up from me, even though I wasn't as good as the first two.

Show entry for 2003-11-23 Sunday 23 Nov 2003
Sunday 23 Nov 2003
Today was a a wet and rainy day, and I spent it inside pottering around, doing things that needed doing. Mostly tidying and organising some of my things.

Show entry for 2003-11-25 Tuesday 25 Nov 2003
Tuesday 25 Nov 2003
A remarkable article from the BBC News website about a man who apparently hasn't eaten or drunk anything for several decades. Eat your heart out David Blaine! Er.. but not literally.. not unless it's another stunt.

Show entry for 2003-11-28 Friday 28 Nov 2003
Friday 28 Nov 2003
Been a few days since I posted, and in the meantime, several things have happened. The most important being that at work I now have a third computer on my desk, a lovely lamp-style imac running OS X 10.3 (panther) - yummy. Though after a few days of using it, I am once again reminded that using a Mac frustrates me. Not to say that it is worse than windows, just that when I use windows at work every day, I can't forget how bad it is, and by comparison OS X is a dream. But being used to GNOME at home, I just fall into Gnomish habits and miss it.

Show entry for 2003-11-30 Sunday 30 Nov 2003
Sunday 30 Nov 2003
I have made some changes which should make the new month roll-overs easier. The changes should mean no more manual editing of calendar files. Also automated the front page month-calendar so that won't ever need editing. I won't know until tomorrow if changes have worked. But at least they haven't damaged current functionality. I have only changed my normal entry adding system, not my sidebar version, so will have to remember to propagate changes if they work. Additionally, the year roll-over should now be handled by the new code - fingers crossed.

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