Wednesday, July 28, 2004


I can't believe I've got to spend over £200 on my teeth under the NHS. What happened to "free at the point of delivery"? (Still it's £400-£600 privately).

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

UK Linux dot NOT!

I've been using a account for my web site and e-mail since it started (about the end of 1999 or early 2000). Dial-up has been variable with them, and I discovered that my cheap 'phone call company, The Phone Co-op offered cheap internet dial-up (even then, the quality has been variable, and I've fallen back on Tiscali when I've had to - only twice in two years).

However, I've always wondered where my UKLinux money went - they say it went to support Free Software, but how? I've read Jason Clifford's account of what went on and I'm pretty pissed off. I also feel rather sorry for him - he's a nice bloke who was a bit naive; it's not that the rest of the UKLinux crowd are evil - they've always been nice to me and have given good service. But where did my money go?

So anyhow I've signed up to, and I'm going to register a domain name. Everything changes, I suppose, but I've used the same e-mail address for 4 and a half years (along with my one which I've used for about 7 years) so it's going to be a bit of a change for me, my many contacts and e-mail subscriptions. Scary. It's the geek equivalent of moving house!

Diary of a drugs cheat

Dave Millar's sorry tale. I actually feel sorry for him - at least he feels guilty for what he's done. I suppose many pro-cyclists and other athletes are in the same boat - too much pressure, too young. But if cry-baby Virenque can come back after cheating then why shouldn't Millar if he wanted to?

Friday, July 23, 2004

Bore de France or Tour de Pants

What a boring Tour.

  1. Every other contender to Lance Armstrong has dropped out.
  2. Great cyclists that used to do really well supporting Lance Armstrong in US Postal can no longer keep up with him, when previously they could pace him up every hill.
  3. Lance Armstrong is the best cyclist of our time - a true sporting legend that will never be forgotten because of his dominance in this one race.
  4. Lance Armstrong is drug free.

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

My next machine

My home PCs have gone from Pentium 200MMX (+SCSI) to Athlon 700 to Athlon XP 2100+ (1733MHz).

By my reckoning, my next PC should be badged as a "6300" (whatever that means, oh and Intel are dropping such a naming convention). Whatever, what I really want is x86_64 (Athlon 64) and HyperThreading (Pentium 4/Xeon). Will that ever be available? Who knows.

As for disks, I still can't warrant the expense (or noise) of decent SCSI disks (let alone FC-AL ;-). I hope SATA is running at 200 or better by then.

CD Writers

Man I've just had to upgrade my CD writer at home, a 24x4x4 device. Perfectly adequate I thought (and cost £ 170 some years ago). Until today that is.

I used a 52x32x52 writer in my machine at work (thanks you, boss) and was blown away. I burned 2 copies of RHEL ES 3 (4 cds ea.) in next to no time. So I ordered a new writer from for under £ 25 (incl. p&p).

I am such a techno-junkie loser. ;-)

Monday, July 19, 2004

Tour de blog: boredom

With all the main contenders dropping out apart from Lance Armstrong, the Yellow Jersey competition has become boring already this year. The KotM prize always is thanks to super-cryboy, cheat, Virenque and no-one cares about the team prize. Which leaves us with just the Green Jersey as the only interesting thing in the tour. I can't believe I said that.

Oh and kudos to Thomas Voekler, the youngster who has done the Yellow Jersey proud by rinding at 150% since he gained it. What a guy.

Tour de Blog: Virenque deux

So it turns out that Richard Virenque can only climb well for a day now that he's not a cheating dope user. Oh well, so much for my being nice to him in a previous post.


Thursday, July 15, 2004

Tour de Blog: Virenque

I've never been enamoured with Richard Virenque. He's always ridden with the bunch and then gone for the KotM points at about 10m before the line, with no challenges. Not exactly the "super climber" he thinks he is. Then we had the Festina team drug scandal, where all the rest of his team put their hands up and said "OK - we did it" and he, the team leader, cried and cried and said it was so unfair because he was innocent.

In the end he admitted that he was as guilty as the rest of them. Guilty of being a cheat. A dirty stinking cheat with no right to have worn the KotM jersey or be remembered. Cheats suck.

But now he's clean, and yesterday's stage was something of a revelation. Man that boy can climb. Providing he can beat Lance on a stage in the Pyrenees, or at least stay with the leading bunch we'll know whether he burned himself out or not on that breakaway. But for now, I've forgiven Richard Virenque. Anyone who can ride like he did yesterday, drug-free, deserves praise.

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

Tour de blog: Robbie McEwan

I could not believe the speed that Robbie McEwan approached the line in yesterday's tour stage. Shame he couldn't maintain it to the line, but still - he's got to be the fastest sprinter there this year (out of those who've shown their colours).

Monday, July 05, 2004

Tour de Blog: European bikes

Despite me gushing over American bikes the other week, after watching the Tour for 3 days, I'm getting all hot and sweaty over Italian framesets and the like in the Tour. Despite the American big brands really knowing how to make a nice-looking bike and Taiwanese giant, er Giant reshaping road frames forever, Europeans know how to make a bike with style; that's an important difference.

Tour de Blog: Not 1664

Remember the good old days when the Tour de France TV coverage was sponsored by "Kronenbourg Seize Cent Soixante Quatre [long pause] sponseur du Tour de France". Nice and French and totally in keeping with the Tour. Even last year we had Halfords who sell comodity bikes to "real" people - good for the Tour - good for cycling.

But now we have fucking yank piss sponsering the TV coverage. What the fuck is that all about? Why would any cyclist or francophile want to go drinking American mass-produced beer? Not the most relevant piece of advertising I've ever seen...

Tour de Blog: Skoda

The Tour de France is more than just a bike race. There's the scenery, the people, the bikes, the kit, the sponsors and the whole cavalcade.

One of the things that's changed this year is that we no longer get beautiful Alfa Romeo 166s as the standard tour staffer's cars, but now have utilitarian (although, in reality quite good, but not in any sense lustworthy like an Alfa) Skodas.

Shame really, but perhaps the Alfas were distracting me from the actual race.

More Fedora Core 2 stuff

Fedora Core 2 Tips & Tricks more apt/yum/up2date archives.


I'm considering re-implementing my web site in Smarty.

"Why?" you may well ask, when surely only 3 people ever look at it. In fact, my entire site could probably be written in shtml (although it does contain PHP parts that are far more powerful than you could do in shtml, and could be extended to do much more) but where would be the fun in that?

Tour de Blog

So the only sporting event that I follow has started. Unfortunately, the only "British" cyclist is not in it (doping...) and the incumbent champion is, as usual, being accused without any proof of being a drugs cheat. (I have ordered L.A Confidentiel

I hope that Lance Armstrong isn't a cheat, because he is a truly amazing cyclist. The last few years have shown him to be at a level beyond everyone else. I hope that this year he actually has some competition; Tyler Hamilton perhaps?

It's a shame about Lance's personal life going pear-shaped (and going out with a pop star - for heaven's sake). Mind you, he does have a bit of a tendency to act like a wanker.

I'm also looking forward to Cippolini winning at least one stage, and for his sake, actually finishing the Tour for the first time.

Vive le tour.

Friday, July 02, 2004

Harry Potter 3

This film is fantastic. The first film (Philospher's Stone) was the best children's move ever made. The second (Chamber of Secrets) was a great movie too (although I hate Dobby ;-). This film however is more rounded than the first two - there are darker sides to even the main characters. As the characters are that bit older now and being, well, teenagers, they're showing more adult emotions and going through a tougher time. I'm looking forward to buying the released DVD when it comes out and watching it again.

Thursday, July 01, 2004


Downloaded Novell (Ximian) Mono today. It reminds me very much of Java 0.9/1.0 - it crashes a bit.

The speed is better than Java in the old days though, but then again, my CPUs are 1.13GHz and 1.73GHz - not the 25MHz to 150MHz we had back then. :-)