Older blog entries for pjdowner (starting at number 48)

Pain: Was not at all well on Friday, I managed to guess that having a doctor recoil in shock as she looked into my throat was not a good thing. Was sent home after being told that the thing that hangs down in my mouth had turned blue and I had a swollen spleen, not good. The bus journey home was not plesent, hopefully will be back at work on monday but I have to go for a blood count test first.

Mail: I now have an IMAP server which is nice, what was not nice was spending almost a week (about an hour a day was wasted) trying to find out why login.defs would not change the MAIL environmental variable. It was then that I discovered that ssh doesn't look at login.defs and actually connecting a monitor to the box and logging in locally would work perfectly.

New Toys: Bought a webcam this week, I'm not all that interested in putting pictures from it on to the web I just intend to use it to play with gnome-meeting.

LinuxExpo: I've put a write-up online here

nodnoL Spent a week in London recently and had a fantastic time managing to fit in time for both of my main passions in life. Spent the first three days skating, in total I spent about 17 hours on 8 wheels, starting off with the friday night skate and then spent Saturday and Sunday in Hyde Park as well as spending Sunday evening in Trafalgar Square skating with people I'd met in Hyde Park.

LinuxExpo The rest of my time in London was spent running the Gnome booth at Linuxexpo, I did have help from a few others (most natably Michael Meeks who turned up with Ximian monkeys and leaflets) but 70% of the time it was just me and my laptop manning the booth. As an added bonus I got on well with dpash who was manning the KDE stand (we also both helped build the debian stand when Phil Hands turned up) and lots of people were amused that at times when we needed breaks KDE would look after the Gnome booth and vice versa. Anyway Telsa has asked me to write a report for gnome-events, so I'll link to that when it's done.

Ended up at a Lonix meet on the wednesday which just turns out to be lots of computing people in a pub shouting at each other in order to be heard, I think I prefer the smaller scale swlug meets, met up with Alasdair at the meet and ended up going for pizza with a few others whilst Lonix went for curry.

Fun was had helping to dismantle the Debian stand, especially watching wookey try to fit it all in his van.

I also met up with Davej who had Victoria and John in tow, ended up spending Friday night round at his flat as well as wondering around various parts of London with them in the day.

SWLUG Another meeting in Swansea this week which was quite fun, we seem to be invading a Cyber Cafe in Cardiff for the next meeting which will be the first time we've not held a pub/restaurant meeting in a long time.

SWLUG: It was a good meet, quite a few people turned up , I spent some time looking over a laptop that someone had given away playing the guessing game. 'That must be the right screw to remove that cover to get at the hard disk' etc. it was a strange laptop, early compaq pentium with an external battery and option for an internal battery apparently the keyboard bios was dead but we had no power lead to test this. I also spent some time chatting with Telsa about hard disks, it turns out that her 40gig IBM had died but according to Alan could be repaired by updating the firmware and using IBMs repair tools. I, ZX64 and Robot101 followed Telsa and Alan home after the meet to pick up the almost dead hard disk and various other bits of strange hardware. It felt strange taking a night time tour of Swansea with Telsa pointing out local old churches/buildings that had been exploding in the early hours of the morning over the past few weeks.

Pain: Went Ice Skating the other day, started off a bit shaky but soon progressed to jumps spins and other advanced tricks. It wasn't too difficult to get used to, the only thing I don't like is the floor which despite being wet and cold was sharp enough to rip three chunks of skin out of the back of my hand.

New Hardware: I got a call from a friend whilst in work telling me that Lidl (Supermarket chain) had Nokia data cables in their bargain bin. This meant a diversion on the route home to pick one up for 10ukp which is 20ukp cheaper than a phone shop. I also got a smart card reader given to me which will be fun to play with when I get spare time.

Old Hardware: Was woken up on Saturday by a loud noise coming from the Gnome2 box 5 metres from my bed Leapt out of bed fearing dead hard disk. Immediate shutdown, removal to a kitchen work surface (to the absolute delight of my parents) and diagnosis revealed faulty PSU fan. Disection of PSU and removal of dust resulted in fully restored and working PSU/Fan. Reinstallation of box in bedroom and power up resulted in different loud noise, this time it was the 30gb hard disk (sigh). An e2fsck -cp resulted in a booting system but I no longer trust the disk.

Hacking: Spent Sunday playing with a gnome Bubblemon applet and trying to port it to Gnome2 untill I found a version http://g2as.sourceforge.net/ that already works on gnome2. It is however different and the person that I was doing the other port for still wants it done so time was not wasted.

Debian Mirror Leant a 17" monitor to a friend for a week on Sunday evening and picked up 10 cds whilst round his place. The cds contained 2 day old Debian Sid (unstable) debs and I'm using them to build a local debian mirror as my connection is too slow to download them all. I haven't had this much fun disk swapping since the old days of 15 disk Amiga adventure games, I think I'm being spoilt by using an OS that can be fully installed over a network.

I have bandwidth throttling now thanks to squid, which means I can leave dist-upgrades running through the day without parents complaining about slow access.

Sat in on the debian commitee talk about gnome2 today, learnt a few things about gnome1/2 debian related problems. I eventually got bored of the repeating of issues and tuned out, but they did seem to fail to figure out how to deal with the fact that the Gnome2 desktop is a replacement for the gnome1 desktop and not an upgrade.

Arranged this weeks SWLUG meeting in Cardiff which will hopefully go better than the last Cardiff meet.

'This week I 'ave mostly been programming in Perl' due to the fact that I got fed up with some simple tasks in work taking far too long. I did try and then fail with batch scripts before I installed the win32 version of perl. I then subsequently spent time improving my perl.

The trip to Ireland was good fun, spent time playing Freeciv, trying to beat wine into working on my laptop and watching dodgy zombie movies and Kevin Smith's New Jersey Trilogy. There was also some time spent drinking beer, I did however freak out when I realised that I was the only person in an Irish pub drinking Guinness. The Stenna Line Ferry sucked, quite exactly what anyone who is not into watching dodgy comedians and bands is supposed to do on a 3 hour journey is beyond me. They used to have cinemas on board, all I can say is thank $deity for 6 hours of laptop battery life.

My patch to make Googlizer run on Gnome2 was accepted by Alan, which I'm happy at but I really should have sent it at him earlier as it's been sat here since June.

Started off the day playing with gnome2 which I'd been rebuilding from cvs this week. One or two nice new features and found out a few things about Nautilus that I never knew before.

I then eventually (the Hunagrian Grand Prix distracted me) went back to porting some applets to gnome2 until disaster struck, when grepping the source to some other applets my hard drive started making a loud grating noise. Turns out my 30gb IBM drive has developed some bad blocks an e2fsck -c (thanks to robot101) seems to have sorted it out though and ide-smart (cheers for pointing this out zx64) doesn't seem to think it will fail anytime soon.

This week will probably involve me updating my website a bit more and getting ready for a trip to Ireland on Friday and possibly the purchase of a non-IBM hard disk.

I've been playing with squid and IP tables and other stuff in the last week because I'm finally going to replace my Smoothwall box with a Debian machine. This is because the Debian machine is acting as an Access Point for my Wireless Network, I am amazed how well^Weasily it worked. For the interested few I have a netgear Ma301/401 using the HostAP_plx driver.

Found out today that the company I am contracted to does actually have some Linux software, well they supply code to download images to the devices they sell which they say compiles on Linux so I'll have to take my laptop to work and have a play I think.

hmm, ok so up until Thursday I was having an ueventful week. I had been casually looking for work to replace my NTL job, then suddenly the agency that put me in NTL and who I haven't heard from since November, contacted me at work. I have been told I start a new job on Monday doing embedded C. What can I say, I'm stunned, after all I've been trying to break into C programing jobs for a while. More news will be posted on Monday when I know exactly what I'm doing.

With regards Linux related stuff I haven't done all that much this week, what with work etc. I've mainly been trying to get Gnome2 working after giving up on compiling from source I have been trying the vicious build scripts but they seem to have been failing at the glib compile. I'll look into it when I have more time.

The only down side of this week, well next week really, is that my new job means that I doubt I'll get to Swansea for Alan Cox and Dick Porter's talk. Still I guees I'll catch up with a few people later at the SWLUG meet.

so another interesting day, woke up too late to seriously play with anything before going out. Played with my parents friends p133 and sorted out a few problems, then spent the rest of the afternoon reading up on cvs. I then lost in a game of badminton and returned home to play with cvs.

CVS woes: I'm playing with cvs in order to check out gnome2, so I was dumbfounded when I was refused connection to anonymous cvs at gnome.org. I tried cvs from my other machine - connects fine convinced it's a config problem I try playing with the settings. Four hours later when my other machine gets bounced trying to log in to cvs I realise that the machine I'm tring to log in from has cached the ip adress of a borked server, change the command to use the ip address of a working server and I'm in first time. Ah well live and learn, prehaps had I known cvs on this machine works then I would have noticed straight away but this was the first time I'd used cvs on it and another server a friend had pointed me at had also refused me.

I'm now too tired to actually bother checking out gnome2 from cvs, I'll leave that for tommorow I think, well I've got to have something to look forward to whilst I'm at work.

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