Work Journal For Week of May 22, 2000

Last Update: Sunday, May 28, 2000 09:05 PM


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Monday May 22, 2000

Did four days worth of posts last night, and brief posts at that. My mom has been in town since Thursday morning visiting, and generally turning my life upside down. Not a bad thing, just a major change of pace.

We have been doing fun things like hanging pictures, sorting out my lack of a filing system for bills etc. and getting my investments all listed in Quicken. 

Spent some time fiddling with the software she has to connect to the free internet providers she uses. One is dreadful, and the other from Excite is quite useable, just too bad they block SMTP traffic to other ISPs going through their network so using Outlook to send mail is a bust. 

Been anxiously waiting for a delivery from Amazon, so when I went to the mailbox condo at the end of the street to check my mail on Friday and found a key to the package delivery box, I expected to find my book there. No such luck, it turned out to be a package form Novell. Thinking that the Novell package was my CNE 5 certificate, I set it aside. Well when I did open the package it turned out to be a CNA 5 certificate which surprised me. A quick check of my certification status on the Novell site showed that they had now added CNA 5 certification to my stats, as well as CNE 5 certification which is what I wrote the exam for. No where have I read that the upgrade exam I wrote would affect my CNA as well. Not a big deal just a bit of a surprise.

Just in time for my return to my venture into learning GroupWise, I find another hidden source of GroupWise information on the Novell site. The problem is now as other times, I come across good information, but I know I will not need the info for some time. How to remember where it is, or where to copy and paste it for a later date. I need to figure out a way to manage this type of information.

Another project I need to work on is building a new router/firewall. No problems with the one I have other that it does too good a job by not letting me use newsgroups. This will also give me an opportunity to delve into Linux some more.


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Tuesday May 23, 2000

Back at the morgue ~ oops, that should read "office" after a long weekend. It's Tuesday but feels like Wednesday or is that Monday? I can't decide! The server people inform us that only a dozen emails were filtered and captured due to the NewLove virus, mostly jokes. Very quiet at work, except for the advertising services building where only one person is in for work, the other is off recovering from surgery of some sort. I drove by the building this morning after dropping my mother off at the airport. I even thought of popping in for part of the day. I am sure there is one person wishing I had. As it is my manager has asked if I will drop by advertising services tomorrow. I volunteer, but need to learn to say no, as with all the road construction it is a pain going there and costs me extra $ transportation wise which I don't get reimbursed for. I am going to try and get geared up tonight so I can bicycle instead of driving or taking the bus and train.

This editorial is the best I have ever read on the state of IT training and much of what says explains why the quality of staff on help desks is slipping.



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Wednesday May 24, 2000

I have had no new messages on my voice mail at home for sometime so I thought it best to test the system today as I wouldn't want to miss out on a job opportunity because of a lost message. I left myself a rather rude sounding voice mail as a test and forgot about it. Later when checking my voice mail, there was a message which was a rather disgusting sound. I was not amused till I remembered that I made that sound as a test message, which made me laugh. Oh the things I do to amuse myself at work!

Novell user group meeting at a local IT shop where their BorderManager Guru is going to make a presentation on BorderManager. I am going to try and make it, as I would like to learn more about BorderManager which provides authentication, VPN, and security services. 


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Thursday May 25, 2000

The Netware Users meeting was very good. Good turnout of people, and a good presenter. He covered the two varieties of NAT BorderManager provides, IP and circuit level filtering, and authentication. Properly configured BorderManager, when it fails, fails on the side of shutting down all internet access, which is a good thing.

When I left the meeting I found that my truck had been towed, which killed my good mood in a heart beat. It took trips to two different ATMs before I could get cash for a cab and the impound fee. There was a line up of people collecting their vehicles as well as a steady stream of tow trucks bringing vehicles into the impound lot. 

I gave my truck a good inspection before leaving the impound lot and all I could find was the air dam on the from bumper had taken a small hit on the curb. Not enough damage to to argue over, I just pushed the dam back into place.

The drive home helped me relax, and a after a bit of supper I was nice and relaxed. Now if my book order from Amazon would just get here so I can get some work done.

I'm tired, time to go read a few pages of fiction and call it a day. 



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Friday May 27, 2000

Talked to the rep at the agency today, and there maybe an opportunity coming up that maybe suitable for me. It is short term 4 - 6 months, but if it gives me the chance to move away from being basically a software installer as I am at present, it would be a good move. No details yet.

With one person off sick and the other on vacation I am stuck filling in at the advertising services building today, and also have to go on call for the weekend. 

Strange words from my manager via an intermediary, she inquires if I am comfortable working at advertising services. Not sure what to read into this, but if they want to transfer me I have no problems with that. Several good reasons to transfer to advertising services, free parking if I choose to drive, clean change and shower facilities if I cycle into work, more variety of work thus more chance to actually learn something new, better people to work with, better cafeteria food for those days I forget to bring lunch, a small/medium business feel to the place which I am more comfortable with.

Lovely cycling home in the rain. I can't recall the last time I got caught in the rain while out cycling. I was covered in dirt off the road by the time I got home, and could barely see through my sunglasses. Always a toss up as to whether to remove my glasses or leave them on. Either way my vision is impaired.


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Saturday May 28, 2000

I think I may have found the opportunity the agency rep mentioned yesterday while job searching on the web. Looks interesting, network administration and policy development.

A few opportunities in the Saturday paper, some are local, others out of town. It is nice to see job opportunities coming out of the wood work again. It has been too quiet for too long. 


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Sunday May 29, 2000

I am fed up with the postal service both in Canada and the U.S. My pay cheque from two weeks ago is still floating around Calgary in a mail bag somewhere and has yet to find it's way to my mail box. The same goes for my Amazon book order. There is no reason for a package to take over 2 weeks to travel from a major U.S. center to a major Canadian city.

The next time, if there is a next time, I will pay the few extra dollars to upgrade the shipping for my order from Amazon. I have ordered bicycle parts from the U.S. before and had no problems, why a book can't ship in a reasonable time I cannot fathom. As for my pay there is little I can do. I usually pick up my pay in person, but they accidentally mailed it, and even if they did cut me a new cheque, I have not had time to make a trip to the agency office to make a pickup. In fact I called them yesterday to mail my current cheque as I may not be downtown again in the foreseeable future.

Cool day with a threat of rain. Cut the lawn for the first time this year, and did a little raking to try and spruce up the areas where the lawn is short and packed down with mulch from last year. I can sure tell that I don't do enough upper body work. After only a little raking my arms are beat. Need to hit the gym or the pool to work my arms I think.

I think I have my Linux references in order now. I have Linux Installation and Getting Started by Matt Welsh, which is available free online here. I also made a trip to Chapters and picked up Linux Desk Reference by Scott Hawkins. Between theses two pieces of reference material, I have all the Linux commands covered plus installation, networking and much more.

I never cease to be amazed by how the selection of computer books keeps evolving at the local Chapters outlet. The Cisco reference material is growing as is the Unix, Linux and Solaris section. Novell is making a minor come back, with Windows 2000 barely represented. I also noticed that there were only a total of two O'Reilly books in the rack, and that the Coles Notes people are now making computer books.

I got an email today from a buddy who started a new job last fall, seems just like me, he has found that what on paper, and in the interview process looked like a good position, never lived up to it's billing. Both of us are trying to remedy our situations by job hunting. This weekend I have sent of two sets cover letter and resume, one of which is for a position in Northern Alberta which would require me to relocate. I keep thinking that I would relocate for the right position, but have still been reluctant to apply to jobs outside of Calgary. Time to try for any and all opportunities, and deal with the relocation question and all it entails when and if the time comes.

The out of town job opportunity is in Hinton Alberta, which is 3 hours east of Edmonton. The job looks interesting and I have always thought that I would enjoy living in a small center ( Hinton's population is 10,000 ). 


Copyright 1999, 2000 John Doucette. All Rights Reserved


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