Silicon Patch Work Journal

Journal For Week of November 27, 2000

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Monday November 27, 2000

Election Day here in the Great White North while legal wrangling still goes on in the U.S. I will know before I go to bed tonight who won the Canadian Federal Election. God only knows when things south of the border will be straightened out.

Had to wait out in the snow for half and hour before getting in the door to cast my vote. Would have moved a lot faster if they had a second line for those of us who had already registered to vote. When I got in the door I was able to go straight to a table and pick up my ballot. Mean while the majority of the people were in another long line with ID in hand to register.

A log file I found on the switch that gave me problems last Friday shows that one port had been overloaded. I am thinking that possibly what ever overloaded the port flooded the switch making it inaccessible. No clues yet what overloaded the post but I have inquired about a PC and internet use policy document so when I tear ICQ and other garbage off users PCs I have management backing me up. I am also going to check if the router which connects the company LAN to the internet can block ICQ and other non required services. If it can't, I'll see if management will let me put a Linux box in to act as a firewall.

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Tuesday November 28, 2000

Made a second attempt at making a rice casserole for lunches last night. Preheat the oven to 350 F, add one cup of rice, a cup of frozen corn, a tin of spicy tomato soup, and a cup of boiling water in oven safe dish, and cover with a lid. Mix then place in the oven for 30 minute. This worked fine last week less the corn. This week I used a different rice which didn't cook as well. I ended up mixing in a bit more water and putting the whole works back in the oven with the oven turned off to let things slow cook and bit more as the oven cooled. Worked out OK. Divided up nicely into four servings which gets me through the week lunch wise.

Days like today make me want to hate computers. Spent most of the day trying to get the correct drivers installed and working for the Dell Power Vault 120T tape drive and auto loader, and the hardware working with Backup Exec. Well the documentation is wrong and the drivers they say work won't even load. Ended up using a driver I had originally tried to use before with the addition of a driver for the auto loader. Both the drive and auto loader now show up correctly in Backup Exec. Ran out of time to do any testing, which time permitting will happen tomorrow.

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Wednesday November 29, 2000

Oh dirty word, oh dirty word, what a morning! Just got in the door, hadn't even had a chance to get my jacket off and was told that there are people having connectivity problems. I walked into the server room to see the switches lit up like hyper Christmas trees from all the activity on the network. The servers were working fine, those who could login were finding things slow. I disconnected the internet, made sure all the switches were up and try to locate a problem PC in one of the areas we think have been a problem before. No dice! Then we try to find the network monitoring software that the old sysadmin used but at first fail. I later found it as a part of HP Openview and find that the traffic off a port on one switch is very high and track it down to a database many people are trying to use. By this time the main Novell server has abended once, and the network traffic seems to have settled down. So basically all morning I chased ghosts and found none. But next time I will know where to find some of the tools I need.

Been working on my notes for the tech support web site at work again. I really have to reign myself in as I tend to go too far in what I put in the PC use policy section. I am hoping that when a copy of the existing company policy makes it's way to my desk that it will provide a good frame work which will keep me on an even keel.

The day ended up on a fun note though. A manager had asked me to look at the PC of one of his employees, cause even though he had deleted the executable file for Internet Explorer, the employee could still browse the net by typing a URL in the address bar of Windows Explorer. I verified that the executable was gone and that the user was not running the executable off the network. Not sure how IE 5 was running without the executable, but fixed it by pointing IE at a fictitious proxy server, then locking the PC down with some registry hacks. While I was at it I did some clean-up and found porn files on the PC which I deleted. Why people have to look at his smut on company time or any time for that matter is beyond me. Any ways I get some perverse pleasure from cleaning up some users mess and keep them off the internet.

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Thursday November 30, 2000

Kinda strange how as it gets busier at work I like being busier at home. First I started making up lunches in advance, now I'm making meat loaf. Trying something different by cooking it on a cookie sheet instead of in a casserole dish. Got the idea from one of those TV cooking shows that happened to be on one day while I was cleaning house.

Oh just call me chef Jean. Fresh meat loaf right out of the oven hits the spot. Not sure if it is the Alberta beef raised by my buddy, the over abundance of onion, the wonderful smell of fresh cooking in the house, or the fact that this is the first real non pre-processed meal I have made in a while.

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Friday December 1, 2000

Oh my! Have we really started a new month! Looks like we are now in the home stretch heading towards Christmas and New Years Eve.

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Saturday December 2, 2000

Morning all. The day started with a beautiful sun rise, proceeded by an over cast sky. All par for the course when a chinook rolls in from the west. Well I had better get at planning out my day. I want to go by work to for a while, do some shopping and at some point go play in the snow on my bike.

Oh the pain of retail in December. After I finished things off at work I headed off to pick up a couple of new hard drives, one for a gift and another for myself. Well the store was down to cash only transactions, unless you were willing to wait for untrained staff to do manual credit card purchases including verifying your card via a verbal phone call. I spent more time purchasing goods than getting someone to get the drives out of the lock-up.

The first store I went to which is right by the office had a mostly empty parking lot, and I parked where there was lots of room, thus no need for any one to park by me. Well I exited the store to find some IDIOT had parked so close to my truck that they had to ding my door with theirs when they exited the vehicle. I would have had to fold the mirror on my truck in, to be able to walk between the two vehicles.

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Sunday December 3, 2000


A Blonde walks into a bank in New York City and asks for the loan officer. She says she's going to Europe on business for two weeks and needs to borrow $5,000.

The bank officer says the bank will need some kind of security for such a loan, so the Blonde hands over the keys to a new Rolls Royce parked on the street in front of the bank.

Everything checks out, and the bank agrees to accept the car as collateral for the loan. An employee drives the Rolls into the bank underground garage and parks it there.

Two weeks later, the Blonde returns, repays the $5,000 and the interest, which comes to $15.41. The loan officer says, "We are very happy to have had your business, and this transaction has worked out very nicely, but we are a little puzzled. While you were away, we checked you out and found that you are a multimillionaire. What puzzles us is why would you bother to borrow $5,000?"

The Blonde replied,"Where else in New York can I park my car for two weeks for 15 bucks?"

Copyright 1999, 2000 John Doucette. All Rights Reserved


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