Vogon Constructor Fleet

We've just been messing around in the office (trying not to do any work) and I came up with the following rather stupid sketch…

If you are sad enough to be a fan of "Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy", you might see the funny side of comparing the US Air Force to a Vogon Constructor fleet… picture the scene…

US Warplanes appear flying over Bagdad…

"This is the United States Air Force speaking. Bagdad is going to be destroyed in 6 minutes to make way for a new country which we will help form and re-sell our arms to in order to repeat this destruction in 20 years time. Warnings have been circulated in the national news services of every country for the last 10 years so you have no excuse. Bombing will commence in 5 minutes 32 seconds. Thankyou…."

(closely followed by the southern sounds of Dubbya drifting through the halls of the white-house as he loads up the real time role-playing-game on his PS2 called 'United States President' – "Lock and Load…." )

Then later in the day, Dubbya is surveying the results of his work in front of the huge screens at Norad…

Dubbya : "Damn it boys, your version of my game has much better Graphics than mine – why the hell is that? Why don't I have it?!"

NORAD staffer : "Ummm… Sir… those are live feeds from the geo-stationary satellite."

The staffer then realises that Dubbya doesn't have a clue what he's talking about…

NORAD staffer : "This is a newer version of the game Sir."

Dubbya : "Can I get it for my PS2 too?"

NORAD staffer : "I'm afraid not sir"

Dubbya : "Shit… you even have bigger TVs too… can I have a go next?"


One Hell of a Week

This week has been like walking in treacle… whatever that might feel like!?

On Monday I was 30 years old. We went to London for the day because I have always wanted to visit the British Museum. It was a fantastic day out – first stop in the morning was the Tate Modern (gallery), which we got to via the new "Millenium Bridge". Do I have to admit to being really sad and thinking it's design was brilliant?

Next stop (at lunchtime) was the British Museum. As I said – I've always wanted to visit it, but the chance had never really cropped up. We walked in and immediately headed for the restaurant for something to eat (and the food was great), then shot off to look at the amazing things they have there.

Three hours later (and after seeing relics of Egypt, Turkey, Iraq, Greece and Rome, I came to the conclusion that while the relics are amazing, the entire building amounts to nothing more than a collection of stuff "Great Britain" has managed to get away with nicking from the rest of the world.

The picture formed in my head of our ancestors arriving in Greece at some point in the 1700's, spotting the magnificent Parthenon, stripped it, then left, leaving behind something that looked like a badly built Ikea unit…

We left London at about half five, hoping to arrive home in time to meet W's Mum and Dad in town for a pub meal.

Little did I know that for months (since before Christmas) my wife had been organising a surprise birthday party for me… I walked back into the house with W's Mum and Dad with their coats on ready to go out, and BANG – on went the lights and the party poppers… 50 people jump out from the various rooms of the house….

Needless to say an amazing time was had by all, and I can never repay my wonder wife 🙂 Apparently she had been stressing out for days about the final planning (along with a few of our friends).

I of course had no idea at all. I must be the most innocent, gullible pillock in the world.

The rest of the week has been a complete drag, but that's another story.


Emulators Rule (Today)

Last night I installed ZSNES and KEGA on the laptop at home (along with several hundred ROM images downloaded from alt.binaries). Oh what fun I had… well, I did once I got the USB gamepad working with the damn thing.

Guess who didn't read the instructions, and pluggedout the gamepad in before installing the drivers for it? Hahahaaaa – and then guess who had to remove it all and start again 🙂

When I did get it working the next conundrum was setting the button layout up to match that of the consoles mentioned – which would have been a lot easier if I could have been bothered to get off my backside and go fetch one of the real controllers from the other room.

In the end I got it working, and played a couple of levels of Super Mario World, and was quite amazed at how close the emulation is to the original machine – the same goes for Sonic 3 on KEGA.

Long live emulatorsto play on laptops 🙂


Pizza and Beer Rule

Today is a good day.

Today I solved problems. I finished tasks. I walked to work in the sunshine. I ate Pizza. I drank beer.

Today is indeed a good day 🙂

You know, it's only after you've felt like sh*t for a few days that you realise how good it feels to be healthy again. This morning I left the house and walked to work (mainly due to my mountain bike's imploding rear hub tricks the other night) in the sunshine. The sun was shining, the birds were singing. Winnie the Pooh would have said it was a "hummy kind of day".

This evening I'm kicking things around on the internet and basically having a laugh. Indychick's sat in the lounge playing "The Sims" on the laptop. We really are the geek family from sad-city 🙂

Let's have a count-up. Two desktop machines in here – one configured as a Linux server and networked to the one I'm using. Over on the side is an old(ish) laptop which gets upgraded tomorrow if the bits arrive, and of course Indychick has the shiney new laptop to play the Sims on. Across the hallway lies gaming nirvana – a SNES, a Megadrive (Genesis), a PS2 and a Spectrum Plus lie in wait for mammoth gaming sessions….

I feel good. The world feels good. And ThoughtCafe seems to be running well 🙂


Pausing Between Reboots

Today I am at work and I'm not really sure why. I feel like crap (I did all weekend), and can't really concentrate properly.

I had Friday off work and sat at home wondering what to do with myself, but not having any energy to get up and do anything. It's the first time I've had a virus in ages actually (he says looking for some wood to touch).

The whole of Saturday and then Sunday morning was pretty much taken up with tidying the house up (i.e. go to the tip or jam stuff in the loft), then last night I attempted to get the Linux server up and running properly.

I'm trying to make one machine connect to the internet, as well as act as a router for the network at home, and perform DNS, DB and File serving functions. It's kind of getting there, but for some reason it just won't connect to the net – I think it's because I've arsed the connection sharing up (I tried out the mandrake wizard).

Ah well. I'll take it apart tonight and see where I get with it doing things manually.

Indychick's out tonight at her reading group, so I get the whole evening to basically kick my heals and do what I like. Normally this would be a chance to buy lots of Pizza an beer, but I'm kind of Pizza'd out at the moment. Perhaps I'll pop in somewhere on the way home to get something to eat.

Anyway – work goes on in the office – I'm preparing a virtual machine to do a change request on somebody's system. It's taking ages because the machine needs Win2K Pro, SQL 2K, E-Work and FileNET Panagon installed… kind of a rebooters dream 🙂



A Rather Busy Day

Today was one of those days that started out quite quietly and got faster as the day went on.

It all started with a big problem getting out of bed this morning. I swear that some little demon or other had removed all will to get up from my brain a few moments before I woke up. For some reason I recall having a really good dream too, but it escapes me what on earth it was about… can't have been that exciting then.

Work started quietly too – starting the programming on a new project. Things rapidly twirled out of control however (as they usually do) when a help call came in – and then another help call came in on top of that.

The rest of the day was spent trying to explain to my project manager a problem with the system HE wrote the technical specification for, so really he SHOULD have understood what was going on. I ended up writing him the text for HIS email to the client… go figure.

I really am starting to wonder if the office I work in really is the one from the dilbert comic strip. At times the likeness is scarey.

Later in the afternoon the second help call turned into a change request which I probably have to implement next week… but of course in between I spotted an email from my project manager to the client telling them I'll be visiting on Friday to install some changes to their system – surely he knows I haven't coded the changes yet? Surely he realises he hasn't told me to do it yet? I'll leave it until mid morning tomorrow to ask him 🙂

Aaannnyyyway – I just finished fixing some bugs on ThoughtCafe, and am thinking about going to bed now. Tonight has been a pretty quiet night of telly watching and pratting around on the net. Ho hum. What a boring life I'm leading at the moment (I believe I've said that this week already).

I do hope all you people out there in internet land have better things to be doing that reading this.


Drifting Along

I'm bored and trying to think of what to write.

Let's describe my desk…

On the far left is a bendy lamp, and a cordless BT phone just like everybody else has. It has an answerphone on it too. Next is a CD-ROM and the left hand speaker for the main PC, then a pot plant (which is just about past it's sell-by date). Next is a flat bed scanner, and sat on top of it is Indychick's filofax. She'll be looking for that in the morning.

In front of the scanner (and by my hand) is the O'Reilly "SQL in a Nutshell" book. Down the side of the monitor is another lamp, a webcam, and a weird Alien pen holder thing… oh, and there's a digital clock from ATG. Under the SQL book the Mandrake distro CD-ROMs are hiding.

The Daewoo monitor is next, adorned with sticky notes, and to it's right is a subwoofer and a bottle of shower gel, a block of sticky notes, and a calculator. Then there is a desk tidy (overflowing with junk), another speaker, and the monitor, keyboard and mouse for the Linux server.

In front of the keyboard for the Linux server is Indychick's British Census CD-ROM folder, and a pile of mouse-mats from where I work…and an orange hilighter pen.

Wow, isn't this exciting… what on earth did I do today?

Today has been a "drifty" kind of day. I took a Linux book into work with me to crack something I've been picking at for days (sendmail), and ended up spending most of the day piddling about with Word and Excel on a number of quotes and estimates for upcoming projects.

I will admit to having a quick game of "Speedball 2" on the gameboy advance at lunchtime, but these things are allowed, aren't they? 🙂

Last night I had my first real go at WRC2 Extreme on the PS2 – and found out that it's all rather easy – well, either that or I have some kind of innate ability with racing car games. I somehow have managed to win the Monaco and Sweden rallies without every playing the game before… I won monaco on the last stage of the last day by a few seconds, and walked away with Sweden after being half a minute faster on the first stage than anybody else… go figure.

Tonight W is busy playing "Shisenso" or something on the laptop (running Linux remember), and I'm busy pratting about not achieving much at all.

Is my life becoming boring or what?

For those that are intested in the banal tripe I put in this blog, tonight I had pasty, beans and chips for tea. Amazing stuff. Exciting. Riveting.


End of Another Day

It's getting near the end of the first day of the week (and as the HR department helpfully pointed out, a fifth of the way towards the weekend).

I just seem to be drifting along at the moment, not really having any interest in computers, the net or anything really. It must be the natural reaction from having spent every waking minute with them over the last few days… setting up Linux servers can be brain draining at the best of times.

I have so many things to learn – it all seems to be such an up-hill battle too. I've been putting books on my wishlist at Amazon, but they are so expensive. There are so many of them too – SendMail, Samba, Apache, SMB, HTTP, Bind, Regular Expressions… the list goes on. I know a fair amount about each of them, but have so many questions still to answer before I'll really be confident in doing things with them.

Ah well. Can't conquer Rome in a day as they say. At least I've figured out Apache, MySQL, and PHP. They turned out to be the easy side of the setup though…

I'm too tired to type this. Enough!


Windows Free Zone


All the computers in the house are now running Linux… goodbye to crappy old Windows. To be honest, I have been running Windows for a few years at home (and still have to at work), but have been patiently waiting for the day when Linux would be useable as a desktop operating system (I'm talking about Utility here).

I've been playing with recent distro's at work for a while, and they have been pretty good, which has led to me now running a Linux partition on each and every machine in the house – the Linux server of course knows nothing else, but then it only has WindowMaker on it, along with Apache, MySQL, PHP and Samba…

I must sound like I'm burbling. It's very late I suppose, and I'm just pleased to have got the main machine with the internet connection to connect through Linux. I thought I was going to have problems, but evidently it's all working out of the box 🙂

Hoorah! I say.

What else happened today? I bought the new WRC Rally game for the PS2 (well, it's not new any more, but I tend to read all the reviews these days before buying a game). I had a quick go on it earlier, but I expect I'll wait until the week to try it properly.

Tomorrow we're out at W's Mum's and my Brother's, so it's going to be a busy Sunday… christ – it's gone 1am… I must be mad.