Work Journal For Week of April 10, 2000
Last Update: Sunday, April 16, 2000 09:06 PM
Monday April 10, 2000
Tuesday April 11, 2000
I never got around to putting up a post last night. Being sick all day at work wore me out, and when I got home after work I was very tired, plus had a headache that would stop a bull moose. Tylenol had no affect on my headache, but a full dose of Contact C for my cold symptoms knocked out the headache and allowed me to get a full nights sleep.
Hopefully tonight I will have enough juice left to get back into study mode, and weather permitting get in my first bike ride in a week.
I have been sick more in the past 4 months that I think I have been in my whole life. Don't know if it is just bad luck, stress, or the building I work in. I sure hope I can put these constant rounds of illness behind me.
Interesting in how the habit of writing everyday has it's benefits. I tend to edit my notes for the day which I make at work before I add them to the web site. Lots of what I write that doesn't make it here, as it is my thinking out load, and putting my thoughts down on paper. This I find has many benefits. When I think of problems, ideas, do self examination etc and run through them just in my head, by the time I finish, I have forgotten much of what got me to my conclusion. When I type these things out I capture all my thoughts, and get to read through my pontifications from start to finish when I am done. This review enables me to see where my train of thought fell apart or my logic ceased to flow. I have some writing of this type at home from years past which I occasionally stumble across when I am hunting for one thing or another. Very interest to read day, months years later and be able to look back and see how I thought about something and what resolution I came to.
Must be feeling better, I have an appetite and am hungry for the first time in days. Since Friday I have not been hungry and have only eaten cause I know I need to, to keep my strength up to fight this bug which has made me sick. Off to lunch now.
Not much happening at work as usual, moved some PCs in the morning, and the manager I have to see this afternoon about an Outlook 2000 synchronization problem is still in a meeting.
Nice to see companies like Novell and Sun putting their money where their mouth is. Novell, Sun and CMGI have put together a partnership to create CMGion which will use Novell data cache and authentication software, and Sun hardware to create data caching centers located in several spots around the world. ZDnet has the story here. I think Novell has the most to gain and nothing to lose in this venture as it will put their frontline products to test in a real world environment for everyone to see. It is one thing to show these technologies working in some lab in Utah, it is quite another thing for it to work successfully in the real world of the internet and everyday PC users.
Well no bike ride as I went and picked up my racing bicycle from the shop. I took it out for a shake down ride around the neighbourhood to make sure everything is ship shape before I take it out on a longer ride. The spokes pinged a bit as they seated after the wheels had been trued, the gears shift better than they have in a long time. They even managed to get the saddle position just about right after installing a new seat post ( the saddle mount on the old one was cracked ). The saddle position is good enough for now, I will fine tune it over the course of the next few weeks.
Looking through my tools for a punch ( which I never found ) but did find may other interesting things. A clutch lever perch for a motorcycle I sold years ago, an engine oil drain stop for a motor cycle I sold even more years ago ( I didn't sell it without an oil stopper, but had installed a magnetic stopper ). Gasket cement which dried up eons ago, and fasteners of metric and standard measurement which I have no idea where they came from. Some nice sunny lazy day I should take my tool boxes out in the backyard and clean them out and toss the stuff that now of zero value to me or anyone else.
Wednesday April 12, 2000
Kind of a fun day today exchanging email with a buddy. I got a little creative with my writing and was able to keep him entertained for the day. Rather enjoyed playing with words and metaphors to convey different messages, though he referred to it in another way. He called it "rambling".
So much for locking up computer equipment being a good security measure. A user had locked their port replicator to a desk and lost the key. I had expected the hole in the case where the lock goes to be a part of the metal base for the replicator. It was not, with a few pounds of force I was able to break the lock off the replicator and hand the hole works over to the user. I figure the cost of a lock smith is more than the cost of the replicator, which generally is locked up in a draw and never used. There is a lock on, and for the laptop which hopefully is much more effective than the one I just removed from the port replicator.
A large quantity of snow has been forecasted for Calgary over the next 48 - 72 hours which had talk of missed days of work going around the office. I believe the unofficial consensus is that the majority would enjoy being snow bound at home for a day. The City has put most of the snow removal equipment and operators on stand by. It is starting to look ominous out as high wind gusts blow dust and litter, light sprinkles of rain can be felt. The north sky is very dark with heavy snow laden clouds which are rolling slowly towards the city. I hear rumbling like thunder but it is not coming form outside? The door bell rings and it is one of the local kids selling chocolates for a fund raiser. I certainly don't need any candy but I can't bring myself to not support kids for camp, sports, what ever, so I buy a box. It's over priced as usual, but it's for a good cause. Also gave me a chance to see how much closer the clouds are to dumping their contents upon the city. Soon, very soon! I'm in the basement and can hear the wind howling. Oh! it is suddenly very quiet all I can hear is computers running. Time to make sure I have everything that I have on the go saved and go upstairs and take a peek out the window. The wind has changed directions, the cloud ceiling has dropped dramatically, and the temperature has dropped. Almost 11 PM, there has been some rain, a littel snow but so far no big dump of snow. The big work stopping type of dump of snow that some are hoping for, and other predicted may not be coming to Calgary.
Thursday April 13, 2000
Well not even close to enough snow during the night to shut the city down. Wishful thinking on some peoples part. Though now that I am at work the snow is coming down at a fair rate of accumulation which should make for an interesting bus ride home at the end of the day.
Looks like there will be lots of PC moves in the coming months as Telus consolidates real estate holdings which is going to lead to lots of shuffling of people from building to building, and floor to floor. Should keep some of us busy for a while.
Trying to make good use of my time today. I keep checking other peoples queues for things to do but it is quiet on all fronts. Then this morning I got a message that I was running out of storage space on the Exchange server so I cleaned out all my Outlook folders to make more room for future in and out going email.
Old habits die hard, I have what I think is a good habit in that I save my work often so that it will not be lost if for some reason my PC crashes. Well I have been working in Outlook more and more lately and I keep going to try and save my work as I compose emails. Ctrl - S is a valid save command but it doesn't seem to do anything. Now that isn't true I find. If I hit Ctrl - S then close my email message I am not asked if I want to save changes for my draft email. Looks like my habit of saving often is not wasted on Outlook after all.
Mid afternoon and the cloud cover is thinning, but the snow keeps falling, but not near as heavy as this morning though.
First tier support people have to be good communicators, it only makes sense since they are the first line of contact for the users. Some users make this difficult as they are not always good communicators. It is the support persons job to find away to pull information out of the user so that they can help them or document the problem and pass it along to tier 2. I got a call in my queue today in which the description was so vague that all I could tell was that it had to do with viewing tasks in Outlook. The user is in training for the balance of the day to they can't clarify things at all. So I reread the description in the call very slowly about 10 times and was able to read enough between the lines to figure out that the user wants to be able to have the preview pane open by default when she selects Tasks under Folder List in Outlook. This way when she clicks on a specific task, it's contents are shown in the preview pane. I know this user and she is not hard to work with at all, I think the support person either knows nothing about Outlook, is having a very bad day, or should not be doing tier 1 support.
Friday April 14, 2000
Booked the day off work so I can get some personal stuff done. Can also be stated as a "Mental Health Day" away from the drudgery and boredom of the office.
Found my donation receipt which I was missing when I went to see the accountant last week. Need to fax it soon. Two rounds of studying done and number three coming up shortly. Got my rhythm this morning, 45 minutes of studying, 15 minutes of doing dishes or other house hold chore, then back to studies for another 45 minutes. Short burst of studies combined with a short break help me keep my brain from turning to mush and usually allows me to get more quality work done.
Ran out of gas as far as studies go around 3 PM. So I called it a day as far as studying goes and went to work upgrading the Novell client on my test PC so I can run ConsoleOne locally.
Saturday April 15, 2000
Winter still doesn't want to set go of Southern Alberta, more light snow and freezing temperatures today.
Did some light studying, watched a few technology news programs and some sports.
Sunday April 16, 2000
Sunday night already, where has the day gone, for that matter where have the past 3 days gone. As usual I have not gotten nearly enough work done, but I am nicely rested for a change.
Watched the NASCAR race today, lots of torn-up sheet metal, and luckily no injured drivers.
Ran through an exam simulation tonight. Configured a sample exam quiz to give me 70 questions ( just like the actual Novell exam ) on all material and I scored in the low 90s. From past experience I know when I can do this I can write and pass the real exam. I am going to put off writing my exam for one more week as I know there are a few areas I am still rather weak at which I would like to work on, plus I need to do some more practical work so that I will be more confident if I have to do any simulations as a part of the exam.
Now time for laundry and maybe go see a movie.
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