Older blog entries for MikeGTN (starting at number 54)

Employment and Frustration

A long interval without posting masks a pretty turbulent time - lots of insane job stupidity culminates in me being politely asked to leave at the end of February. This results in a crazy application-frenzy, which still goes on. Somewhere during this, I managed to somehow not get my dream job - absolutely devastated by this - but the need for some kind of financial security means I'm still applying - often for stuff which I thought I'd never do again (there is a strong possibility that I will need to take up an offer of a position in a local supermarket - effectively creating a complete circle back to my evening job of 15 years ago!).

Other Stuff

...which seems less important right now, but keeps me ticking over. Have been building GNOME2 pretty regularly and attempting to provide useful feedback. My limited time means that by the time I find problems, they've been fixed or reported - so despite being relatively pointless, I feel like I'm helping.

A few patches, translations and testimonials have sparked my interest in Gtkdial - its actually tragic that a dial-up utility remains relevant in the UK in 2002, but still - it keeps me busy.


Looking forward to getting the Eurostar to Bruxelles for FOSDEM - I guess I'll always be a trainspotter at heart. Otherwise, wondering if I will have the means to get to GUADEC this year?

I'm trying hard to resist 'review of the year' type posts here, and indeed everywhere. Life goes on much as usual. Porting Gtkdial to GNOME 2 has proved stupidly hard. So a rewrite seems more appropriate/fun/simple (delete as appropriate). Work is silly - lots of duplication of effort is frustrating and silly. Otherwise, I'm ending the year much as I started it.

I'm going to FOSDEM.


Awaiting exciting work news in mid-Jan, but until then the full force of local government politics seems aimed in the direction of our team right now. Reorganisation, cost-cutting, yet the ever-present pressure to maintain services. Its always a strange time of year - we live on goodwill, but there is precious little left.


Finally found a pair of Converse All Stars in a tiny shopping centre in Weston - after trailing all around the UK for them. Not sure on the status of the company, but despite people's best efforts to convince me they are evil, I will continue to buy their shoes which fit me nicely.

Real Life

Hmm, choices everywhere... History repeats its own conceits

30 Nov 2001 (updated 30 Nov 2001 at 07:58 UTC) »

Dublin trip was a great deal of fun, and a much-needed chance to relax. Ate and drank way too much, but still made it to Alan's talk - unlike some other younger, fitter types :-)

GNOME Foundation Elections

Provisional election results are out - perhaps few surprises in the line-up. Personally wish some others had got in, but there will be other years. The perceived RMS threat was averted, and despite my network problems and blind panic, the process went smoothly!


Every day I feel more optimistic about GNOME 2. Being a simple sort who has little impact on the direction of the platform, my involvement is limited to prodding, tweaking, breaking and complaining, along with occasional attempts at porting things. This week I've felt like there really *is* a GNOME2, which is a good thing to feel.


My work situation took a further turn on my reappearance this week - a cancelled IT project further up the organisation means a cascade of surplus staff heading down the food chain, the ripples haven't reached me yet - but they're coming.... I've also decided to document the bizarre surroundings we now work in.

Since my ISP's mail facilities appear to have died for the evening, a chance to update the various diaries, webpages and other detritus I have scattered around the web.

Managed to stay pretty much in trouble at work, by virtue of some disagreements between me and managers about how acceptable it is to use me to do other people's jobs. As ever, the promises of support in my endeavours melted away and left me extremely exposed. You'd think I'd learn?

Some time off now - a day to sort lots of stuff out tomorrow, follwed by a few days in Dublin, for what has been dubbed GUADEC 2b. It will be good to get away, see a city I've long promised myself a visit to, and to meet some people I've not seen for a while.

Life-wise, much changes but much stays the same. Sometimes the important things have been under your nose for a long time.

Hmm...its been a while since my last entry...

Vague feelings of panic at lack of candidates for GNOME Foundation elections. Four days to go until the deadline.

Otherwise, life has been quiet and reflective here lately. Trying to come to terms with new priorities.

Looking forward to Dublin trip in a couple of weeks time.

October is always a strange time for me - and never stranger than this year. Lots of weird stuff happening at home, at work and elsewhere, so I've been lying low and trying to avoid the world a bit. But today is my birthday, which traditionally ends the silly season. Nothing major planned - but a day off work (to avoid any unwelcome surprises) means I might be able to play with some of my own projects for a change.


Al: just finished my ECA for T171 too. Agreed it was drawn-out, and for financial reasons I only too one course this year - leading to me being complacent and lazy. Likewise, I'm not proud of my ECA submission, so I'm relying on good grades earlier in the course. Next year - Microprocessor Controlled Systems and some basic maths


Its over a week since our controversial move. It's made the papers, and a thick fug of negativity still hangs over the new temporary offices. The threat of industrial action is still present, and people expect me to *enjoy* this because of my political past. Interestingly, most people in our office don't appear to realise that you don't get paid when you are on strike!

27 Sep 2001 (updated 27 Sep 2001 at 20:46 UTC) »


I've lived with TMJ syndrome for most of my life. I sympathise, but must confess that as I've aged, its become less painful less often - or perhaps my joints are just wearing out?


Today we moved our office from the abandoned residential home they sold out from under us to a portakabin on a vehicle depot. There is no room for most of our secure and confidential data to be with us, and general things were badly planned and even the management didn't know what was happening. Spent an afternoon showing various top people around the new accomodation, and shockingly they displayed total horror and seem to be doing something about it.

Nevertheless, the trade unions are involved and at 8am tomorrow there will be a protest and possibly industrial action. It's been a long while since I've stood on a picket line (actually it was 1995 when I was arrested for fly-picketing a postal depot!).


The shoddy mess which is gtkdial escaped into the world last weekend, and has been well received in general. I want to totally rewrite things next. My ISP is extremely unhappy with the bandwidth consumed by downloads - imagine how upset they'd have been if I hadn't doltishly misspelled the URL in the download link?


My interest in music has been rekindled lately - partly by the new Kingsbury Manx LP, which I love very much. Looking forward to the UK release of A Silver Mount Zion's next effort...

22 Sep 2001 (updated 22 Sep 2001 at 22:50 UTC) »


Preparing to move office to a woefully inadequate portacabin on an industrial estate. Still, remaining philosophical here. I could still be working in dodgy circumstances in central Bristol


...and gwvedit are currently with translators awaiting 0.4.0 releases. Plans for 1.0 are finally afoot.

The Rest...

I've refrained from comment about events, since I'm almost certain to upset people. However, someone using the World Trade Center tragedy to justify our move to bad accomodation seemed undignified and wrong. Why do people assume it's theirs to use as they will? I suppose I can be smug - me, and everyone who is important to me is living, walking, talking etc.


Finally tried it last Monday, and yes, I liked it a lot. To everyone who wrote to me expressing surprise and dismay, you have no idea what life is like when you're convinced cheese is horrid! Still, now I have another reason for getting even fatter!

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