Wednesday, June 30, 2004

A little victory

So we've had a small victory in the workplace: the standard desktop browser has been replaced with a choice of Firefox or for some strange reason, Netscape. This is due to the permanent number of serious security holes in Microsoft Internet Explorer.

So a little Open Source victory on the desktop, but we're still losing the war at the moment.

Sunday, June 27, 2004


Wow - I'm using the company's laptop and GPRS card. Now for you broadband or WiFi hotspot users this may not seem great, but for me this is actually faster than my landline at home.

Plus the ability to sit here in some car park in Bristol and VPN and SSH into a computer at work and fix it is pretty damn kewl. In fact, amazingly kewl.

I'm turning into one of those old gits who is permanently impressed by new technology!

Friday, June 25, 2004

Scorched Earth

Talk about a blast from the past (hopefully with a funky bomb): I downloaded xscorch (FC2 RPM).

The last computer games I played and enjoyed were Commander Keen (various versions), Wolfenstein, Doom (various versions) and Scorched Earth. Scorched Earth rules because it was great fun to play with many players - loads of laughs.

Wednesday, June 23, 2004


Been playing with Interchange today. It's pretty damn powerful, ridiculously huge (I'm joking - it needs to be) and keeps consultants in business with its near-infinite number of options.

Pretty nice, once you get into it.

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

American bikes

Despite my love of Italian things, I've got a bit of a crush on American bikes. I've got an old Specialized Allez Epic (in fact, manufactured by Giant in Taiwan, but that's another matter) and the 2004 S-Works E5 Road frame is gorgeous.

I've also got a bit of a thing for those fat-tubed Cannondales. In fact, seeing one on the front of Cycling Plus (issue 13 ?) was one of the things that got me back interested in cycling as a grown up.

Don't get me wrong, I'd love a Cinelli or a Colnago but they are flaming expensive. I figure an American frame with Campag on is the way to go.

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Wireless Success (again)

After many painful months using Mandrake 10, I installed FC2 on my laptop and finally got my Netgear WG511 card working again last night. (The last time was in December on FC1).

Dear Sun Microsystems...

Dear Sun Microsystems,

your patchPro product is rubbish.

Please work out a decent way of applying patches to systems (see Red Hat's RHN for an example).

Yours, as ever,


I'd just like to give a big congratulations to Specialized for their crash-replacement policy on helmets.

I cracked the back of my King Cobra helmet the other week (the "Brain trust" bit), so I popped into Total Fitness and they told me to contact Specialized directly.

Dig this: I could send my current (useless) helmet back with £32.99 and get a brand new 2004 S1 (I chose a red and white one). That's damn good value! Basically this means that once you've invested in a Specialized helmet, you've got cheap replacement helmets for life - nice. I posted the helmet back on Saturday and received my new one this morning (Wednesday).

Specialized - your customer service is exemplary, I take my hat (or helmet) off to you.

Thursday, June 10, 2004


I decided to join the EFF. Mainly because of Software Patents but also for the right to copy my own media.

For example, I bought a "CD" from which turned out to be an import with copy-protection. It is not a CD-DA disc.

I can't play it on my computer. I can't play it in my car. I can't copy it to have a copy in my car (I don't usually take original CDs in the car - I take CD-R copies instead). So it's fucking useless.

Wednesday, June 02, 2004

Mr Floppy

Mr Floppy-Drive that is (as opposed to anything else).

I finally, after 10+ years in computing, found a real use for a floppy drive. I haven't really had to use one since I worked out how to make El-Torito CDs (about the time of Red Hat 6.0).

Kickstart installations. I did them some time ago (about Red Hat 7.x) but forgot all aboput them. Now that we've standardised on hardware (HP Proliant DL series) and OS (RHEL 3 and 2.1) it's become an easier task to do. An NFS install is as fast as a CD install (or faster, just) and I can go off and do other things, safe in the knowledge that all the installs are guaranteed equal. (Don't try FTP installs - they take an age and are unreliable).

The Senior Windows Monkey also uses floppy disks to automate installs. If I get any higher in the organisation, will I have to use punch cards?