Archive for November, 2002

London time again

Friday, November 29th, 2002

[ from the travel-is-good dept. ]

I am travelling down for the weekend, and stopping off for some business on route. While I am in the area I think I need to go shopping. Also, I am planning a State side trip early in the new year and am after some decent birthday gifts from me to me :-) [Read more]

The beginnings of a plan to visit California are underway at the moment, hopefully this would take place early in the new year. Some project research, some fun, one complementing the other (though in what order who can say). More details when I figure out exactly what is happening.

I am after an Ultra 5 or Ultra 10. I currently have a lot of 32 bit kit however need a non-emulated real physical UltraSPARC I/II to play with. These things are quite reasonably priced on ebay so I should be able to sort a box as part of a little birthday present to myself.

I finally finished some writing I have been doing and am catching up on general work as a whole. I went to an excellent talk on Grid technology on Wednesday in the department and there was a meeting for the new Computer Science Society. I am maintaining envolvement as an effort to keep things moving more than anything – it was a terrible shame that it was not easy to establish a society a long time ago, but things are looking good now.

I have been keeping strange hours again, this time running from morning until afternoon, sleeping, up most of the night and then down again. Thus the day now consists of 4 logical sections. Clearly this is screwed :-)


Light at the end…

Wednesday, November 27th, 2002

[ from the getting-back-on-track dept. ]

I have successfully managed to be in hiding for about a week now. Slowly I realise that this is because I have been feeling crappy – this culminated in severe headaches the other night which forced me to sleep for a long time.

The good news is that I feel better today [read on].

Today I feel much better. Having been up all night finishing off and catching up with a backlog of work, it leaves a positive attitude. I’ll probably sleep quite early today and hopefully be back to “normality” from tomorrow onwards.

I finally got the AUI adapter and now have an IPC which does not rely on “Hussein Technology”. The 3GB disk is rapidly filling with data my housemate needs to shift somewhere in a never ending quest for additional storage. I think I may get a few more disks over Christmas and set up a RAID5 array for increasing data storage requirements.

I was early to a lecture today (a sure sign I have been ill) and am catching up with email. If you emailed me recently then you will notice a longer delay in reply than is sometimes to be found from your local jcm. This will hopefully get fixed automagically over the next day or so.



Sunday, November 24th, 2002

[ from the it-is-not-funny-or-a-good-idea dept. ]

Today we learn an important lesson concerning long term exposure of fruit to the power of modern microwave ovens.

I will not set light to bananas in a microwave during a fire strike

I will not set light to bananas in a microwave during a fire strike

I will not set light to bananas in a microwave during a fire strike

We finally got a microwave for the house in Nottingham. It needed to cook something and we had a supply close to hand so, er, if you leave it more than ten minutes there is a loud noise as the plate breaks in two and you have burning banana to deal with quickly…


Take on me

Friday, November 22nd, 2002

[ from the oh-dear dept. ]

The new IPC (called arrow – 25MHz, 48MB RAM, 3.2GB HDD, 2xcolour SBUS framebuffers, 1xb/w built-in framebuffer) plays music. I have to encode it using the following sox string prior to playback using the SPARC playback utility called tplay (with command line argument -l for loop :-) ):

sox loopme.wav -c 1 -b -U -r 8000

The playback is not bad for such a wonderful machine. It is also running GNOME and various other applications which one might think would overload it – but then I seem to not care about the time required to use them :-) The sound driver spontaneously has issues with other kernel components and crashes the machine but that can be looked at to create the ultimate Debian SPARC 3.0 (Woody) IPC box.

I saw the new James Bond (Die Another Day) on Wednesday night. It is ok. I also just found the perfect location for using my laptop and working with mains access, network and coffee. No CSiT PAT testing required :-)



Tuesday, November 19th, 2002

[ from the ``we-were-in-London...'' dept. ]

Escaped for a few hours this evening to London. Went to Tottenham Court Road (TCR), Computer Exchange, and ended up meeting a friend by chance in the Costa within Paperchase. That’s a cool Coffee house because they have mains on tap and the coffee is reasonable too. Read more…

I used to like Computer Exchange. Now I think I am starting to think differently – I mean, 70 quid for a wireless card! Nothing particularly reasonable either. Oh well, I did at least get an internal SCSI cable for one of the IPCs. Did I mention I picked up another IPC last week? Well, I did, it used to serve an interesting function but became a paperweight so I managed to get it and now it will be yet anothet pointless Debian box in my room :-)

Wagamama was fantastic tonight, number 42 as per my usual. It was truly the best one I have had – I ended up thanking the staff individually for making it! Great stuff. I got a train back from St. Pancras at 20:55 and I am now curled up in bed with the Powerbook beside me – the wonder of laptops in bed. Yummy.

Go out and see 28 Days Later if you have not seen it already. If you do not like this kind of film – see it anyway :P New Star Trek film is out on January 2nd/3rd btw.


Penguins will take over the world

Sunday, November 17th, 2002

[ from the get-a-move-on-jcm dept. ]

On route to Reading for the remainder of the weekend. I need to get my review and article finished today/tonight. I am writing a review of Debian on Powerbooks and a largeish article on W2K Active Directory to Samba migration. Read more…

The penguin costume (pictures soon) went down quite well. I have collected quite a bit already but those who promised sponsorship should get in touch soon because I will be sending off the donations this week. Rumours that I will wear such a costume to the next OxLUG cannot be completely dismissed.

So I am on the way to London and to Computer Exchange for browsing, before a quick coffee in Starbucks and perhaps some Wagamama as I go through Covent Garden. Then from Paddington I can catch a Virgin train now on the newly introduced service and use a mains point on the train to charge.

I think I may well upgrade the Powerbook to a 1GHz model soon as it is now continually bothering me. While they continue to make it better, I will have to upgrade. I must have the best of the best of the best :-) Did you know that the Church Of Satan have an ongoing dispute with Apple over claims they are damaging Apple’s good name? It’s worth a look at their pages detailing what Apple is trying to do to them.



Friday, November 15th, 2002

[ from the continuous-upgrades-please dept. ]

You will think I am crazy (or alternatively you already think that I am) however I am planning how I would sell and upgrade the Powerbook to a 1GHz model. Plan of attack goes something like selling the old one for 1700pounds and then buying a new one at a cost of 400 pounds more. In the process I acquire a gain in Power, better graphics, double hard disk, internal wireless and double the system memory. Did I mention a slot loading DVD writer? Not a hugely bad deal really.

I will never be truely satisfied :-)