Journal For Week of September 11, 2000

Last Update: Sunday, September 17, 2000 08:01 PM


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Monday September 11, 2000 

I really dislike having to work on power supplies. It never fails when I pull the connectors off the power switch I always cut my knuckles on the case. Today I managed to ding the knuckles on both middle fingers and leave a nice bloodstain behind. Once I had the power supply out of the case, I opened it up, removed the dead fan and installed a new fan. Once the new fan was in I had to solder the new and old wires together, cover the soldered ends with electrical tape and put the whole works back together again.

Learned a new trick today. I had to reinstall Windows 95 overtop of an old OEM install. The only problem is that the original OEM install by DELL requires the EULA number from the original install which I didn't have. So I renamed the file in c:\windows to win.bak and tried the reinstallation using a retail copy of Windows 95. No problems with conflicting EULA numbers and Windows now boots up again.

The days when there is any measurable day light remaining when I get home from work are numbered. So tonight I made an effort to get out side and enjoy the sunshine after supper.

Ever notice the older we get the more responsibilities we have thus the more we have to schedule our lives... up at 6 to work by 8. Head home at 5, go for walk/run, read computer book, pay bills, supper, then to bed and start it all over again. Ya I missed listing a lot of things and the order is screwy but I am sure you get the idea.

Shit the schedule says time to brush my teeth and get 40 winks. I can hear Mr. Sandman coming so I had better go.



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Tuesday September 12, 2000

This morning I really needed internet access but there were some problems with the backbone the ISP I use at work connects to. Once that was fixed the ISP's routers got swamped making for spotty connectivity.

Not a productive day at all. Fighting with laptops which refuse to believe they are networked. I know the resolution for one of them but it won't play nice, and the other is just being a major pain. NIC drivers install nicely then it comes back and says files are missing. 

What all this means is that I have no time for my Linux project which would tie in really nice with some other things next week, but it won't happen. The way things are going I think it will be the end of the month before I can get everything together and working the way I want it to.

Over the lunch hour I did spend some time with Linux. First my mouse will not work correctly under eServer so I needed to find the key stroke commands for KDE which with poor internet access took a while. Then I tried to get my mouse configured but had no luck. Everything worked under eDesktop but eServer doesn't like something in my PC.


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Wednesday September 13, 2000

Morning post: Not looking forward to going into work to face those stupid laptops. Now I should explain that the laptops I have to work on are not company property, but the sales people buy their own laptops and I have to support them. So I can't just reformat them and start over again with a fresh install. I have to work with things as I receive them as they put all kinds of garbage on their laptops which I can't reinstall. There are a few exceptions where the laptops are company owned, but they are few and far between.

I see frost on the windshield of my truck so I had better get going as I will need an extra minute or two so I can clean the frost off before my commute. 

Post from work: I have about 10 minutes to kill before the computer I am working on out on the shop floor finishes Ghosting so I have some time to kill. The PC controls a nailing machine and some time during the day it crashed and on reboot NT fails to load due to file c_1252.nls being corrupt. I bought a copy of NTFSDOS thinking that I would just boot to a floppy and copy the file off a floppy and be done. No dice as I found this file is used by NTFSDOS somehow. I tried running repair off the setup disks and ran into other problems. That left me with one recourse which is tore-image the PC.

Well by the time I post this and march across the shop Ghost should be done. I may post again from home, and then again I may not.

Evening post: My timing was good. Got back to the nailer control PC and Ghost had finished. A few minutes of quick testing showed that all was well and I was done and could head home.

I found out that not all 3Com dongles work with 3Com PC Card NICs. The dongles all seem to connect correctly, but will not provide a link light indicating that the NIC sees the network. 

A sure sign that the season are changing. Not only was the morning dew rather frosty this morning, but I also saw flock of geese making their way south this morning.


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Thursday September 14, 2000

Morning post: I am not adapting mentally to waking in the darkness every morning and having to turn on the head lights for the morning commute. I am going to have to make an effort to get outside on my lunch break today so I can checkout what daylight is all about. The clocks will fall back an hour soon so that will give me a bit of a short reprieve from the darkness.

Evening post: Days like this shake loose the complacency I have build over the past two years working jobs where I did not have responsibilities which impact the ability of the business to operate. First the connectivity at the Edmonton office went down the tubes. They say we can't login so the server must be the problem, I say but wait if you go to the console you can see the server is running and not hung. After some trouble shooting it seems that the hubs took a shot of electricity and stopped working. Other strangeness is that not all live network cables will generate a link light at the hub. Swap the cable for another one and the link light appears. Very strange.

Also found that I cannot ping the Edmonton server because it's IP setup does not include the address for the gateway. I am not sure if this was done intentionally or not. I also need to see if there is a security risk if I reconfigure the IP setup so I can ping the Edmonton server.

Then just as I am about to bite in to my sandwich the phone rings as the BAAN/Oracle consultants are all worked up about backups having not been done and lack of disk space which when the next process runs will cause the server to crash. The backups not being done is a political thing which is being resolved and I fixed the disk space by moving files temporarily to one of the Novell servers.

The interesting projects are starting to mount too as I have found that I have to research remote access via the internet for the the transfer of sales order data. Security issues abound to figure out and I have much to learn if I am to do this project correctly.


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Friday September 15, 2000

Morning post: Ordered "Building Linux and OpenBSD Firewalls" by Wes Sonnenreich and Tom Yates last night so I can learn some firewall theory which should come in handy with some of the projects coming down the pipe at work. Trying a new book source by ordering through CopperFields which is located in my home town of Winnipeg. This book comes highly recommended by Shawn Wallbridge " It wasn't a glowing review it was a 10 million candlepower review. It is one of the best computer books I have ever read!".

Not sure at the moment where I will find time to read this new book. I have one Linux book on the go and several others in a stack waiting for me. Guess I will just have to make time. Anyone have a good recipe for making time??? I know how to kill it, but how do you make it?

Not sure if I have mentioned it before, but I get a fairly steady average of 100 - 110 page requests for my web site every day. There are some days when it drops to nil, and others when it is much higher. Must be a group of people out there who find something interesting in what I write here. Thanks to you all for dropping by.  I enjoy putting this site together everyday, and plan to continue to do so for a long time.

Evening post: I got confirmation that my firewall book has been shipped. I am actually surprised that it was in stock. I thought that such a non mainstream book would have to come from a warehouse somewhere.

The Baan project at work looks like it is going to go live next week come hell or high water. Should make for an interesting week. Likely to also put pressure on me to get my Linux project up and running as it ties into the Baan project somewhat.

Well I'm beat and am going to go relax for a few hours.


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Saturday September 16, 2000

Morning post: I have been researching Personal Digital Assistants (PDA) for my own use. One thing I have always thought should be a feature for these devices is to be able change the display from portrait to landscape. Well I see that for the Microsoft Pocket PC ( Windows CE ) devices that Pocket Internet Explorer may get this feature as seen here at the bottom center of the page.

Time now to get my day started.

Evening post: Once again poor Olympic coverage from my point of view. To see the cycling coverage I have to watch the CBC french channel, the english channels barely acknowledge that we have athletes in cycling events. Then while we should all support our athletes, I hate it when a reporter proudly reports that one of their countries athletes fought the good fight but did not medal, then puts on a big attitude about a Australian athlete only getting a silver medal.

Been feeling rather worn out today, thus I haven't done much beyond some web surfing, a little email, watch some TV and have a few naps. I am feeling a little guilty about having done nothing but be a lump on a log. Oh well tomorrow is another day.


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Sunday September 17, 2000

Seems the Canadian Cycling Federation had a change of heart of sorts. My friend Jim Fisher went to the World Cycling Championships in 1999, but did not finish well enough to earn an Olympic berth. I didn't think there was any other way to qualify under the Canadian rules so was rather surprised to see in the paper that my friend Jim finished 8th on the velodrome in the kilo event at the Sydney Olympics. Congratulations Jim.

I got to watch some of the qualifying for the match sprint on the velodrome. The Australians have a beautiful indoor 333 meter wood track. Saw Canadian Tanya Dubnicoff qualify in the top 3 for the match sprint which puts her in a good position for the first few rounds of competition.

Copyright 1999, 2000 John Doucette. All Rights Reserved


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