Journal For Week of October 09, 2000

Last Update: Tuesday, October 17, 2000 08:07 PM


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Monday October 09, 2000 

Plight of the Navigator

My shortcut cut me today. There I was mindlessly driving across the province using the secondary roads I usually use, and managed to miss my turn. Never knew I was lost till I came to an intersection I did not recognize. All the time I am suppose to save went down the drain. Worked out fine as I didn't get too lost and my new route ( had to make a new route as I had no idea of how to back track ) put me in a good position to stop in at the office and change the backup tapes.


Rancher by Mistake

On Sunday we went to check on the cattle and inspect the new water system which is gravity fed from the spring on the property. Somehow the water flow got slowed to a trickle and the cattle had run out of water. To add to the mess one of the bulls had jumped the fence surrounding the spring and we would have to get him out and back on the pasture.

After several tries we managed to put together some plumbing and get the water flowing into the trough again and water the cattle. It was interesting to see the thirsty cattle push and shove their was to the water so they could get a drink. One bull drank for a good 5 minutes before he came up for air. He must have sucked back quite a few gallons of water. Our first attempt to herd the bull that was inside the fence to a gate failed as he was able to out run us and go past the gate. Our second attempt during which we planned to out maneuver the bull so he would not get past the gate only half worked as the bull jumped the barb wire fence before he even got near the gate.

This morning was adventure number two in ranching. Several calves needed to have some medication injected. This required us to identify which calves get which medicine and put them in a chute so that they don't move too much while being injected with medicine. Getting the calves to the chute was easy, getting them faced into it was another thing. Every time we pointed them towards the chute, the lead calf would turn just before the chute and end up pointed the wrong way. After some prodding and pushing we got the calves all pointed in the correct direction and into the chute. Then one at a time the needle was loaded and injections administered using the appropriate medication.

As you can see my weekend was quite the adventure. No computers, mostly low tech, manual labour, good food and friends. A highly recommended prescription to help maintain your mental health in in my humble opinion.


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Tuesday October 10, 2000

Back to wage slave duties today. Actually I shouldn't say that as I like my job and for a change didn't have any trouble getting going this morning. I am not a morning person and it would be much more natural for me to start work at 10 or 11 am.

Today is the 3 month anniversary for my current job which means it is review time. My boss gave me some paper work to do and we will meet and got through it on Friday. Basic stuff, plus I have to got through the goals that the department has, see what I have for goals for the department and the business. Also have to suggest if there is any training I should be taking. The only training I can think of will depend on what we decide to use for our new email system. Exchange has been tossed around mostly because that is what most people have heard of and are somewhat familiar with. There is little doubt that the business will want to use Outlook as a client, but I am not sure what functions they want beyond email. Not sure if they know either.


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Wednesday October 11, 2000

My Casio E115 was delivered today. Since the unit was already charged up, I started to play with it a bit over lunch. Took a look at most of the applications and while doing a Windows 98 install I read "The Emperor's New Cloths" which came included with the Reader program.

Once at home I installed the Active Sync software. I need to clean-up and organize some of my data in Outlook to get things working the way I would like them. I then downloaded MS Reader for the PC plus the Reader file creator. Converting files to be used with Reader is not working out all that well. I have tried using various file formats and programs to create source data from my test document and have not come up with an easy solution. I am going to have to do some testing to find a workable solution.

Saving Word 2000 documents to Pocket Word format seems to work alright for basic documents. I saved the IP address documentation for work and synchronized it to the Casio which worked out well. I copied a 250 page document onto the Casio and Pocket Word did open it, though not quickly. If you change the zoom percentage for a large document it takes some time for the Casio to refresh the change. But you can still multi task while Pocket Word is doing it's thing.


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Thursday October 12, 2000

I have some recurring appointments in my calendar which unfortunately will not sync with the Calendar on the Casio. Luckily I can create one appointment and copy it to all the days it is needed in Outlook 2000 and they get synchronized to the Palm PC. A bit of a pain but manageable.

Well my notes from work seem to be sitting in email purgatory so i'll just have to wing it as best I can:

My Linux project is moving on to the next stage. The people who supplied the bar-coding system are going to come in next week to verify that the RF barcode readers can logon to the Linux server. Once this set is settled to their satisfaction we will look at recompiling the software on the SCO Unix server to run on my Linux server.

I have been hearing mutterings about the company looking at some bigger iron to run Bann and Oracle on, as apparently even after all the upgrades and tuning our current HP Netserver running Windows NT is not providing enough performance. My boss mentioned today that one of options being talked about is an IBM RS6000 running AIX Unix. Seeing as this info came from my boss it is more reliable that my other sources. This news also comes with the information that if we bring in a new Network Operating System that it will definitely include training for me. Looks like the computing career maybe taking some unexpected turns. 



  • Element Name: WOMANIUM
  • Symbol: WO
  • Atomic Weight: (don't even go there)
  • Physical properties: Generally soft and round in form.
  • Boils at nothing and may freeze any time. Melts when treated properly. Very bitter if not used well.
  • Chemical properties: Very active. Highly unstable.
  • Possesses strong affinity with gold, silver, platinum, and precious stones. Violent when left alone. Able to absorb great amounts of exotic food. Turns slightly green when placed next to a better specimen.
  • Usage: Highly ornamental. An extremely good catalyst for dispersion of wealth. Probably the most powerful income reducing agent known.
  • Caution: Highly explosive in inexperienced hands!


  • Element Name: MANIUM
  • Symbol: XY
  • Atomic Weight: (180 +/- 50)
  • Physical properties: Solid at room temperature, but gets bent out of shape easily. Fairly dense and sometimes flaky. Difficult to find a pure sample. Due to rust, aging samples are unable to conduct electricity as easily as young samples.
  • Chemical properties: Attempts to bond with WO any chance it can get. Also tends to form strong bonds with itself. Becomes explosive when mixed with KD (Element: CHILDIUM) for prolonged period of time. Neutralize by saturating with alcohol.
  • Usage: None known. Possibly good methane source. Good samples are able to produce large quantities on command.
  • Caution: In the absence of WO, this element rapidly decomposes and begins to smell.


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Friday October 13, 2000

I felt like crap when I got up this morning. My head was all stuffed up and I was a bit achy all over. My mind was foggy enough that I even forgot to shave before heading to work, which I don't think I have ever done before. Good thing it is casual Friday so my unshaven face is less noticeable.

My Casio keeps growing on me. I am getting the hang of the hand writing recognitions which surprises me after my experience with demo units I have tried at store displays. I get about 85% accuracy, and if I concentrate on making sure I draw a character correctly I get 100% accuracy. I find I have to make sure I close a letter like "d" or I end up with a "o"

Getting more practice with writing notes on the Casio as I work on my Samba configuration this morning. I had to shut down Samba the other day as it was taking part in Windows NT browser elections and caused a few minor problems. So today I configured Samba so it will not be included in elections. I also had to reacquaint myself with the testparm command which I then added to my Linux notes which I started on my Pocket PC. Now in the future I won't have to go searching through my memory or some book, but will simply have to look at my Linux server notes on the Casio to find commonly needed commands and info.

I finally have settled on a calendar view that works for me. I looked at some 3rd party add-ons but from what I see of the layouts they don't add anything useful for me calendar wise. The task list is another story though. I would like to use tasks but am not really happy with the implementation. One 3rd party add-on I saw looks like it may do the job, so I may give the 30 evaluation version a try.

Had my 3 month review and everything went well. I didn't have much to comment on as many of the ideas I have in the back of my mind for improving things can't be done now as there are more important things going on to deal with. Additionally more work and learning coming my way when we get corporate approval for Cytrix and a Virtual Private Network. Likely no budget for a high end email solution which my boss agrees with me that, that may not be what the company needs anyways. I made several suggestions of inexpensive solutions which he liked. I am now a part of helping to scope out the project so I can help flesh out what the companies real requirements are and can make suggestions as to how to meet those needs.


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Saturday October 14, 2000

Morning post: By supper time yesterday I was feeling better and thought I had the bug that had bit me beat. No such luck! As the evening progressed the bug bit back and this morning I am once again all stuffed up and feeling run down.

I have been playing with tasks and appointments on the Pocket PC and found that I can create recurring tasks and appointments on the Pocket PC, but just like when I create them in Outlook 2000, they will not synchronize between the PC and Pocket PC.

Well time for some chores and work at beating off this bug that has me operating at less than 100%.

Evening post: After several naps throughout the day I am getting my energy back. As a part of my recovery I have broken out the home made pickled beets and Deer meat sausage I picked up last week at the farm.


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Sunday October 15, 2000

No post today.

Copyright 1999, 2000 John Doucette. All Rights Reserved


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