Older blog entries for ajh (starting at number 8)

Damn high-limit credit cards! Damn them to hell!

I would like to thank Bryce for today. I'm not entirely sure how it is his fault but it will make me feel better just knowing that it could be.

Things have gone from Interesting to hellish. I found out today that my landlord is putting my apartment up for sale and for dramatically more than it was worth when I moved in. Personally I think he'll have trouble at the asking price, but new owners may not want to keep leasing it.

With this in mind I need to figure out how I'll move the 55 gallon marine tank if it does come to that.

In an attempt to raise some towards the potential upcoming downpayment (I really don't want to go through this again) I've listed some items for sale at my website. Most of the items are pretty large and will probably only be of interest to people local to Ottawa.

Now off to keep working on evaluating the OLS2001 paper proposals. Looks like a great batch again this year. Even the NSA has submitted a proposal.

So far this week has been rather interesting. Last week I started actually keeping track of my food intake, cutting our horribly unhealthy foods and trying to increase healthy ones. Since then, I've had rather bad insomnia, to the point that I'm really only sleeping every 2nd evening, very strange.

So to make use of all those extra hours I've decided to re-arrange my apartment... all while my wife is sleeping. :)

Decided TV sucks and that the internal TV speakers are perfectly suitable for watching it. Move my Nakamichi AV-1s into the office and setup my old rear speakers in the living room and the loudspeakers in the office. Very nice improvement in sound quality. Even the tiny $50 speaker set I was using as rears sounds good driven by this amp. Also decided that RCA cables suck and need much better shielding around computers. Looking for a sound card supported in Linux with RCA or XLR outputs now.

Did misc marketing planning for new company. Now looking at hopefully going to see Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.

8 Jan 2001 (updated 8 Jan 2001 at 08:53 UTC) »

2001, finally. It is 3:30am and I have a strong desire to keep my diary up to date this year.

Last September I setup a 55 gallon aquarium, and somehow was possessed by insanity and decided to make it a salt water marine tank. No matter how many times people told me that keeping a marine tank was a great deal of work, expense, and very difficult I refused to believe them. I would like to appologise to everyone at this point in time. It has been quite an adventure, and I would not have a hobby any other way, what fun would it be if it were not a challenge.

Woke up today to find that my Scar let Cleaner Shrimp had molted. Apparently this is a good sign of a healthy decapod and I'm a little more optimistic about my water quality. You may have heard in Bryce's Diary that my first Cleaner Shrimp lasted about 30 minutes and died a horrible death. This was later determined to be a problem with the salt concentration in my tank being too different from the store tanks. So far I haven't lost any other livestock in about 3 months so I'm more optimistic. Since Bryce was here I've also added 4Tur bo Grazer Snails 2 Tiger Snails, and 2 Red Legged Hermit Crabs. Since these were added they've just about decimated the hair alge I was having trouble with.

So looking forward, we just got about 60 paper proposals for the 2001 0LS on a wide variety of topics. The proposals are out with reviewers and we should be announcing the accepted papers on Jan 15th as scheduled. So far things are going according to plan, this is troublesome.

I've also taken a very active organisation role in the Ottawa Linux Users Group steering the group towards improved content, community involvement and corporate evangelism. We're always looking for good guest speakers, if you have something to say let me know!

Been planning something big in Linux development for some time now, with the cooperation of several key individuals the time when I can make an announcement is drawing near.

Ok, I'll try to catch up more tomorrow and keep up to date into the future, honest. If I don't, I'll try not to blame Bryce... it's not his fault.

It has been quite some time since my last entry. This year it seems that OLS is taking up even more of my time. Bigger, better, and a whole lot more work.

On the bright site, it is about 35 days away and things are about 92% sold out. Once it's full, no more registration worries, no more paperwork, and no more trying to make sure everyone important to Linux knows about the event. Yay!

Been selling more and more rackmount Linux and FreeBSD boxes. Seems people ARE looking for cheap 2U systems. After spending a few days a week putting them together, finally hired some people to handle assembly and sales. Yay!

At some point this month, my summer Post-OLS vacation kinda got mucked up. Looks like visiting Newfoundland isn't on the schedule for this summer. Though so far visiting folks and sights in Wales, Scotland and England seems to be on track. Yay!

At 17:00 EST on April 13th Paul Lahaie and I set off to take a short tour around the Upper Ottawa Valley on our motorcycles. I have a 1996 Honda CBR900RR, and Paul just picked up a brand new Suzuki SV650S he was eagar to bring into the upper valley twisties.

We arrived in Pembroke which is usually about a 1.5 hour ride away from Ottawa about 4 hours later. Several warming up breaks added to our travel time.

Friday morning came all too early and contrary to the weather reports, it was raining. Not just raining but raining at 4C outside. After about 4 hours of procrastination we left Pembroke to head south towards Kingston with the vague hope that the rain would stop and that we would see the high of 10C promised by The Weather Network.

Half an hour later we were wet. I don't mean damp as most of our gear is in fact advertised as waterproof. It is almost funny how even the lightest rain finds its way into every opening at 120kph. Most of our kit was waterproof, unfortunatly neither of us had picked up waterproof boots, or gloves. Had it not been 4C outside, perhaps this would have been a mild inconvenience, at 4C becoming wet makes a serious impact upon your level of comfort.

After 6 hours of riding, stopping, riding, stopping and even having our gear dried in a clothes drier at one restaurant along the way we finally pulled into Kingston. We located lodging and promptly hid from the rain and attempted to dry out our kit.

The next morning we thought we would be smart about the trip back. After a run to Canadian Tire to pick up a wide assortment of items including additional waterproofing materials as well as a number of products intended to prevent our helmet visors from fogging up we headed back to the hotel to prepare for the ride back to Ottawa.

At 3C no anti-fog product on the planet will function. At 3C it doesn't matter if you keep your gloves dry. At 3C and 120Kph there must be a -20C windchill. Imagine going skiing in the rain in -20C weather. For 6 hours.

Needless to say, the ride back into Ottawa was somewhat stressful. It also caused me to take a much more serious look at electric heated riding gear like Widder makes.

Things we learned.

  • Bring rubber overboots
  • Bring waterproof thick insulated gloves
  • Sportbikes do not provide any rain protection
  • Electric socks are not to be mocked
  • Never, EVER, trust a weatherman.
Well back to work. I wish I had photographs to include, it was certainly an interesting experience that neither of us will ever repeat.

Finally got the OLS announcement out the door. You can read a copy in the Press section of the site.

Finished reading Anvil of Stars, which after reading Forge of God was reasonably uplifting. Nothing like a novel about the destruction of the planet to cheer you up. If you're still optimistic after those two, I recommend picking up Half-Life a new novel by Hal Clement about the enevitable genetic decline of the human race.

I am now about half-way through building our office rackmount setup. Two days to build the raised platform for the racks and bolt everything together. It even looks good.

Finalised our second sponsor for OLS only to find out that yet again Ghostscript cannot properly parse their .eps logo. As soon as I can manage to get at the image, I'll be sure to put it up on the site.

Two down, only about a half dozen to go. Most of the negotiations are done with though, now it's just a matter of waiting for the lawyers to poke and prod at the agreements just to make sure I'm not actually attempting a hostile takeover.

So despite not having officially announced the site yet, and not having all the sponsors officially on board nearly 10% of the attendee space at OLS is now spoken for. It'll be interesting being sold-out months before the event this year.

After a week or so of spring-like weather, we seem to be getting snow again. Well, only expecting about 5cm but it's a good reminder that real spring is still about a month away.

Well, signed up for an advogato account yesterday, only to realise that I haven't had a personal webpage since about 1992. Spent a couple hours last night correcting this oversight. Now I at least have something that is not embarassing, although a long way from being personalised.

Another day, more email and phone calls with the potential sponsors for OLS working out the final details. Unfortunatly the .com companies don't move any faster than any other big business.

Finalised sponsorship with Helix Code Inc. who is now the first official sponsor. Yay!

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