Our Flat in Aberystwyth

As promised, here’s mine and Faye’s flat in Aber!

My new work area

Well it’s been a while since I last posted here.  Though it’d be right that I come back with tales of new desks, screens and computers!

So what’s new?  I’ve left Camberley, worked for the MoD over the summer and am now back in Aber living with Faye (hopefully a film of the flat coming soon).  Since being in Aber I have bought a new desk, a new chair (which is annoyingly not here), a pair of new monitors and a new shiney computer.

Let’s talk about the monitors to start off with, two 22” things from Samsung (SyncMaster T220 apparently), here they are:

As you can see from the picture, a nice wide desk that is also quite long.  Plenty of room for lots of crap!

So, that are these screens attached to?

  • 2 x Quad-Core Xeons (5500)
  • 6GB of RAM (DDR3 1066MHz)
  • 3 x Hard drives, (1 x 640GB, 2 x 500GB)
  • NVIDIA GeForce GT 120
  • 2 x DVD±RDL/DVD±RW/CD-RW drives
  • Wi-Fi & Bluetooth Guessing that you’ve either heard me shout it about, or have guesst that, yes, it’s a Mac Pro!  Here’s some pics of it:

I do love it,  I’ve quickly found that 6GB of memory isn’t very much at all, not once you start ripping DVD’s and starting up virtual machines….I’ve found that the 64-bit apps do run quite a bit faster, and don’t really take up much more memory than their 32-bit equivilants.

I still have my trusty MacBook, I’m running ChronoSync to keep the two machines in check, though I’m hoping to develop an open alternative in the next year or two.

Some last pictures before I finish this off, one of my main desk, and another of my desk from last year:

Camino 2.0 is on the way

Yesterday while surfing the web, a pop-up notified me that the Camino 2.0 RC was available to download and install! Heading over to Camino’s web site, I found the team thanking all the beta testers.

Looking at the preview page, it still looks like they are plugging the beta.  However, I guess if you download the beta it will ask you to update to the latest version.

All in all I can’t see much difference to the fourth beta, though no doubt it’s more stable, etc etc etc…

The fourth beta came out 18th September this year, a month and a half later and we get the RC.  Hopefully Camino 2.0 will offcially be along shortly.

Snow Leopard ships!

I pre-ordered my copy on Monday at work, and this morning was greeted by this:

How exciting!  I may get it around Tuesday (fingers crossed), so that’ll mean I’ll get to install it before I go back to Aber next Friday :D

XP doesn't do relative links

At work I’ve got a situation where I want to store a load of files in a central location, and then scatter links accross the rest of the file system (for reasons best not explained here).  The file system will be picked up and moved at some point, and indeed everybody accesses this file system through different addresses, so a relative link is exactly what I wanted. Under UNIX, I’d do something like this: $ pwd /var/tmp/test $ ls -l drwxr-xr-x 1 user1 other 7 29 Jul 08:00 link_test -rwxr-xr-x 1 user1 other 29 29 Jul 08:00 foo $ cd link_test $ pwd /var/tmp/test/link_test $ ln -s ../foo bar $ ls -l lrwxr-xr-x 1 user1 other 7 29 Jul 08:01 bar -> ../foo I know that I wouldn’t be able to do this in Windows anyway, adding the fact that the command line here is off bounds to everyone there was no chance.  But Windows users don’t touch ‘cmd’ anymore, right?  That’s why Linux is for geeks…So, there must be a way to do this in the GUI.  Give it a go, you’ll get an error.

I wrote to the technical team who, after 24 hours, told me that it couldn’t be done.  The worlds most common* Operating System can’t perform this simple operation.  They did give me two work arounds: > The usual work around for this is to create a shortcut to the command prompt executable cmd.exe with a switch to start a program or open a file, i.e. cmd.exe /start ..foobar.exe And: > Create a simple VBS script and run this instead of the shortcut. The code would be as shown below, create a text file and rename the extension to .vbs to execute the code, obviously changing the path as needed. dim objShell set objShell = CreateObject("Shell.Application") objShell.ShellExecute "..foobar.xls", "", "", "open", 1 set objShell = nothing I was very dissapointed ,and now we have to settle with duplicating files to achieve the same thing (the work arounds didn’t work on our system).

*taken from the W3C page, here

RSS & Google Reader

Yes, it would appear I’m becoming a little more Web 2.0 compliant…I now use RSS and Google Reader.  For years I couldn’t understand why you would want RSS, I had bookmarks and could click on them and look at the site myself, but there’s something about having everything in one place which is very nice.

I tested it all out by subscribing to The Register and several BBC News sites (Science and Nature, Technology and Also in the News), after a week or so I was happily checking up every few hours, to see what had changed.  It’s not perfect, articles from the BBC appear multiple times if they are published into multiple categories, and often not at the same time, so I have read the same article several times.  But even that is a small price for the convenience of being able to skip the tosh and easily skip through everything.  Thanks to James for pointing out (a long time ago) that Google Reader uses Vi key bindings to scroll up and down, somehow it does seem a lot easier.


I’ve finally managed to get my blog to update twitter for me :D

Now you can follow me on twitter, clicky

How cool is that!?

Sun – Week Fiftytwo

After a long and hectic weekend, Monday arrived.  This Monday is special, because it is my last day working at Sun Microsystems :(

I woke up early and left the house at 7:30, walked to Tesco and bought some Krispy Kreme donuts :D  I waited for the bus, hopping on at Blackwater station, I met Ali at Camberley as he jumped on the bus.

I had packed my badge away over the weekend by accident, so I had to go to reception and pick up a general badge.  The detour didn’t bother me too much, it meant I could go to goods-in and give them a box of chocolates, thanking them for handling personal mail over the course of the year.

After this, the day started, it was a slow morning, working to get tickets done, having a laugh with various people, etc. Liam had started back today, it was good to see him back, I’d missed him on the couple of occasions he’d visited. We went across to the mean hall behind the Crown and Cushion (almost opposite work) for lunch which was nice.  After that we got back to have the usual Monday afternoon meeting, good byes were said, and I told everyone about things I needed to get done. After the meeting we gathered and Paul gave me a card which everyone had signed, people asked me what I was up to for the summer and what I was planning to do for my final year project, and also thanked me for the donuts :P The afternoon passed quickly after that, I swapped a system board, but that didn’t fix my problem :(  Lastly, I transferred my last three tickets back to the main queue for others to finish off.

Monday evening, after a little more packing and cleaning, I went down to the town for a last few drinks with everyone.

A sad day leaving Sun, it’s been a great year, I’ve met some great people and have learnt so much from them all.  If anyone wants to know what an industrial year should be like, read this blog, look at what Sun gives you and what you have to put in, I think my year was th definition of the industrial year (though I guess everyone else will feel the same about their years too :P )

The rest of the week has been sorting through stuff back home.  New job next week…

Sun – Week Fiftyone

I’m on earlies this week!

Monday I came in after only having two hours of sleep and being scared by a milk float which came down the road at 3:20am! I picked up a load of tickets and started work on the most urgent ones, namely a ticket to insert some cards into a v480, reattaching some storage to the network, and battling with the 25K to net boot.

Tuesday I woke up very late, ten minutes before the bus was due to leave in fact! Not a very good week I don’t think! I carried on with work from Monday mainly. It was also Tom’s last day…He is off to Peru for the summer, so we had donuts and biscuits and the like to wish him farewell…

Wednesday was odd, no Tom, David had some time off, and Ali was on his course.  It was quiet forst thing, but when people started to trickle in I started doing some ticket work in the lab.  I had a look at a few machines which weren’t behaving and got some other work done.

Thursday was much the same as Wednesday, trying to work down my ticket queue, nothing really interesting.

Friday was much the same again, I did battle with a KVM box, but after finding a transistor or something had broken off, it seemed a moot point…I alsohad a look at a v445 which had some disks in, I wanted to play with upgrading a mirrored zpool with bugger disks, I found out how, and asked on opensolaris.org discuss too :P

Exciting times

Well, I’m setting into my new hosting well, I’ve been playing with the Wordpress plugins over the last few days and I’m pretty happy with the results.

I’ve installed Akismet, the SPAM filter for posts, stats, ‘share this’ tiles (at the bottom of the post) and I’ve hooked it up to twitter! Who’d have thought it!? Follow me now for updates on when I post! Also, browse here on your iPhone or other mobile device, and get my blog served to you in a freindly, mobile format!

I’m still fiddling, if I break stuff, I’m sorry, just giggle to yourself when things go wrong :D