Older blog entries for Al (starting at number 83)

Disproved the myth that there is no such thing as a free lunch by having one. Someone else paid for dinner too.

Back to work. Boo. Starting the process of migrating all the sendmail installs to exim. It's amazingly simple to do... why I put up with the issues with sendmail for so long is a mystery to me.

I finally completed my OU assignment. That's it for normal assignments for this year but I have one final mega-assessment due in October.

Finally got around to reading Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone in preparation of the film later this year. It's an excellent book, I was about to buy the others when someone leant me Them: Adventures with Extremists which is rather odd but strangely compelling.

26 Aug 2001 (updated 26 Aug 2001 at 23:15 UTC) »

Back from Edinburgh. Had an amazing week.

Saw loads of really good shows (will try and dig out some links tomorrow) and did lots of walking and eating and watching. My knees suffered somewhat (seats rarely made for people 6 foot 3 :/) frankly it was worse than being on a plane.

Many new books and CDs too. Madness. Caught up with Mr W, though Mr B is still on his hols.

Need sleep, right now.

I wonder if me and Bryce could do a show... It has been suggested... I should talk to him and Alan :)

Pissed off with Amazon. That's the second time I've ordered books early in the week expecting them to be delivered in time for me to go on holiday and they've taken 4+ days to deliver something that's "usually ships within 24 hours". Gits.

The train up from Bristol was delayed slightly but I discovered the relative pleasures of travelling first class and so a extra hour on the train didn't bother me hugely (I got more free drinks). Arriving in Edinburgh was a joy. The bus to the campus wasn't bad and the rooms are fine. Pub in the evening.

Woo. Friday evening at last. The last couple of days have dragged somewhat - probably something to do with impending holiday :)

Most of my time in the last 24 hours has been spent trawling through documentation for the 9110 trying to work out how to make it work as an modem for my laptop. I figure I can't go on holiday without a network connection. Anyway turns out that if you set the baud rate of the cable to 56K at both ends and various bits of ritual sacrifice you can now get it to dial in at 9600 (the max for data calls on all but the Orange GSM network).

Lots of packing to to do. Tomorrow morning at 10:40 I get the Virgin Train to Edinburgh for a week. Superb!

I always find it hard to focus at work when I'm about to have a few days holiday! This is made even harder by the boss being away as well.

Sendmail is a pain in the neck. Sendmail in a Cobalt Raq is even more of a pain as I can't be dealing with the stupid frontend but the admin tools kept overwriting my changes. Anyway this machine we're co-locating came to us with some interesting sendmail configs. I shoud have checked it for open relay but it seems I forgot. MAPS didn't. I remember now why all the other machines are moving to exim.

Lots of holiday planning. I'm off for 10 days at the Edinburgh Fringe as of Saturday morning and to use up my holiday days I've just booked another short holiday to harass Bryce in NC.

Meanwhile my brother is off to Canada for two months traveling in the Rockies so we had a sort of farewall meal at a restaurant near my parents place.

12 Aug 2001 (updated 12 Aug 2001 at 01:48 UTC) »

Today is Mr B's birthday and so we (the usual group) head down to the bowling alley for a few games... interupted several times by obvious faults in the game control software... "What can you expect, it runs on NT!" said the manager... amazing! We got some extra free games out of that.

Dinner at TGI Fridays (a US themed restaurant near the bowling place) which was a lot of fun but rather loud. It's the first time I've been to that one in Bristol (there are two) since the incident with Alan and Bryce... hopefully the poor girl didn't lose her hearing... I would feel most bad.

Afterwards we saw The Parole Officer which was very funny indeed. I doubt it will make it to the US though.

Oops, a weeks worth of stuff nearly...

I was pretty startled to discover on Monday that a mis-configuration on my ISDN Lan Modem meant that inbound traffic was not, as I had thought, being rejected but was in fact being rewritten through the NAT to my Linux box. Various bits of security testing, verifying, and trawling through logs have convinced me that there was no compromise... but I've not paid nearly enough attention to the security of the box. I found this by chance as I attempted to see how the NAT handled SSH traffic in (better than I'd imagined!). Since I need to SSH in I've secured the machine somewhat now :) Various problems with 3com intelligent NAT were overcome in the process.

On Thursday I managed a very uneventful (and remarkably timely) trip to to London to see Ted T'So talk about the past, present and future of Linux as he sees it. It was an entertaining evening and I got to see a few UKUUG conference faces again.

This weekend I have to spend catching up on OU work and perhaps some house hunting... if I can be bothered. If I can't I'll learn some more Java and Exim (which is soon to replace Sendmail on all the machines at work)... oh and it's the balloon fiesta so I'd better go and see some of that too!

Seems I'm still going to London for the UKUUG talk which will be by Ted Ts'o rather than the scheduled talk by Tim O'Reilly.

Figured I'd have a bit of a play with the newly arrived free SimCard from Genie/BT Cellnet. Free SMS and WAP might be nice but I'm reluctant to change from my current provider Vodafone.

Between watching the last ever episode of Voyager I tried to install JBuilder.

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