Older blog entries for dwmw2 (starting at number 49)

My diary entries from OLS are a little lacking in detail.

Something seems to have caused short-term memory loss.

It's not an isolated phenomenon - many other attendees have reported it too.

Second attempt at editing cookie file so I don't have to remember my password. This time, I tried removing Bryce's cookie first.

Aaah - I feel myself again.

Have Levis, have DVDs. What else do I need to take home?

The beer here seems better after the fourth or fifth pint. No surprise there, then.

Unfortunately, in the excitement of hijacking Bryce's account, I appear to have forgotten everything else that happened.

Hmmm. Bryce found his extra diary entry and deleted it. Followed up by logging into my workstation and killing xchat, sawfish and something else I haven't missed yet.

<dhd>... and gay men are usually attractive.

She Who Must Be Obeyed was very concerned when I told her I was sharing my hotel room with "some bloke I met on the Internet."

The good news is: Ottawa has real beer.

The bad news is: They serve it cold and fizzy as if it wasn't.

<prumpf> jffs compression seems to work
<prumpf> I guess uncompressing it on read would be a good idea though

Argh - you see what I have to deal with!

BT still haven't managed to enable CLI on the ISDN line. Why do I bother?

Fucking Useless.... oh you've got the bloody idea by now.

Nothing to see here. Move along now.

There are definitely bugs in JFFS. If you get bored of waiting for it to move 14Mb of data around the flash, and pull the plug, it seems to get very confused when you later reapply power.

Not good.

Many random bugfixes and compile fixes in MTD code, along with a few new drivers, flushed to Linus for 2.4.0-test4.

Haven't had to deal with any particular telco stupidity today, only routine cluelessness. Called BT's ISDN helpline, who didn't really know about HomeHighway, but expected that it probably ought to be possible to make the voice calls visible on the S-bus. I said I might want to change to ISDN, so they put me through to sales. Business sales, who then refused to transfer me to the normal sales line, telling me I should call 150. I said "Even from a Cambridge Cable line" and they said "Yes". So I hung up, called 150, and surprise surprise I got CamCable sales.

I love BT.

The bloke from NTL did actually call me back, much to my surprise. Apparently the exchange technicians are now admitting that the wrong CLI really is their fault, and they're working on fixing it. When it was Cambridge Cable a year or two ago, they continued to swear blind that there was nothing they could do. NTL might be clueless, but at they seem to be better than CamCable were before the takeover. I wonder how many staff got replaced. Or shot.

I just remembered the other thing that was in the mail I sent to Vodafone a couple of months ago, to which I've not yet received a response. Vodafone, in a fit of intelligence, set up every new customer's voicemail so that you can dial directly into it from anywhere in the world, and they all share the same default password, which is 3333. If you dial any number within the ranges they assign to voicemail boxes, for example +44 778 744 50xx, I bet that you'll find that most of them haven't yet changed their password - so you can log in, listen to their personal messages, change their recorded greeting to something offensive and change their password :)

As if setting it up like that wasn't stupid enough, they're also being completely negligent and not bothering to fix it after being informed. As I said, I told Vodafone about this months ago, but they haven't even bothered to respond to my email, let alone fix it.

Fucking Useless Telco.

Hmmm. People didn't like my Config.in for the MTD stuff. Perhaps it was a little _too_ obvious that I considered it to be just a necessary evil which was required to get the real code to compile.

Was given a fix, which I submitted in turn to Linus, along with the JFFS fixes.

Got a letter from BT this morning.

Dear Mr Woodhouse,

Thankyou for your interest in BT Home Highway.

We need to speak to you regarding your order and have tried to contact you by telephone on several occasions, but without success. I am therefore writing to suggest that you phone us, so we can discuss the matter without further delay.

I had told them that the best method of communication with me was email, but apparently being a telco they're not capable of newfangled communication methods like that. So I'd given them both my mobile and work telephone numbers. They hadn't left a message on my mobile, and the Caller-ID box says that they'd never attempted to call me at work either.

So I'd love to know exactly what the failure mode was on the "several occasions" on which they'd allegedly tried to contact me. Excessive mindless drooling caused their phone handset to malfunction?

Intrigued, I called them to find out what they wanted. It seems they were having a problem with my request that they enable incoming Caller-ID on the ISDN part of the Home Highway installation. The conversation went something like...

- Oh yes, we wanted to talk to you because we'd agreed to enable Caller-ID, but in fact it's not possible to have Caller-ID on ISDN.

- Yes it is. ISDN provides a way for both the source and the destination telephone numbers to be provided at the time the call is announced. I don't mean that I want to plug a normal Caller-ID box into the ISDN hole and expect it to work - I'm not that dim.

- Oh - can you hold?

Pause for 2-3 minutes

- OK, that's fine. We'll enable it for you today.


Had they really been trying to contact me for days just so I can teach them to do their job?

Fucking Useless Telco.

Happy Happy Joy Joy. With prumpf's fixes, JFFS no longer appears to be reliably falling over on the toy. Now I just need to implement the buffer write command rather than writing 2 bytes at a time, and see if I can eke some vaguely respectable performance out of it.

People are starting to give me MTD code too, which is good - I now have a DiskOnChip Millennium driver, and code to support the "AMD/Fujitsu Standard" CFI command set.

Managed just a little bit of documentation for the MTD code in 2.4.0-test3 - Configure.help entries. Investigated DocBook briefly and went back to coding/testing. I will do it, I promise - just not today.

It seems that Bryce still can't spell properly - it's spelled with a 'u', like this:

Fucking Useless Telco.

Went to the UKUUG's Linux 2000 Linux Developers' Conference at the weekend. Was fun, although the promised fight between sct and Hans Reiser didn't happen - but there was a concerted effort at one point to take the roving microphones off the pair of them during the Q&A session after Luke's talk.

Luke showed me the ETRAX board which Axis have Linux running on - it's cute. Embedded Linux is definitely where the cutest toys are - none of this having to move house to fit them all in, like sct and _A_.

Also I learned how the Bonobo component architecture got its name.

Haven't had to deal with a telco this week yet, thankfully. Although I should perhaps chase up Vodafone, who haven't managed to respond yet to the email I sent them about two months ago.

Although the GSM standards lay out a simple way for them to turn on and off a dedicated voicemail icon on customers' handsets just by sending a specially-formatted SMS message, and although they already have three or four configurable options for customers to select how they're notified of new voice mail, they claim that they can't add the standard method to their list of possibilities.

The best they can do is send you a normal text message saying "Recall has $n new messages". Which you promptly read and delete, then dial up to listen to it, get interrupted and forget all about it. Proper GSM providers will keep the voicemail icon on your screen until you've actually listened to the message. This is one of the few things that Orange actually got right, but it seems that Vodafone can't.

Fucking Useless Telco.

Cool. Linus included the MTD code into 2.4.0-test3-pre4. Best write the documentation at some point, I suppose. And dig myself into a trench to prepare for a wad of silly questions.

Heard from NTL today. They claim that it's not their fault they're displaying the wrong Caller ID - BT are providing them with the wrong number and it's all BT's fault; so I should take it up with BT.

I pointed out that BT are providing the correct number to every other telco in the world, and it seems to be just NTL that get it wrong - and they persisted.

I pointed out that Orange had the same problem, and after briefly blaming it on BT they fixed it and admitted that it was a misconfiguration on their own switch - and still they persisted.

I said that if it's a signalling problem between BT's switch and theirs, then it's not something that I, as a customer, should have to deal with - they should talk to BT directly and get it sorted out. They said they were trying to, and they'd call me back.

I'm not holding my breath.

Fucking Useless Telco.

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