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Feb. 4th, 2009


Snow pay! [UK]

Apparently some employers have been a little "victorian" about the recent weather and threatened to deduct pay for staff who can't get in to work safely.

I agree with my union, it's important people are informed about their rights on this one, BBC has a reasonable article explaining your rights:


Feb. 2nd, 2009


It's cold inside...

That's the second time in a week the heating's broken in this building at work.

Jan. 19th, 2009


On Call

So that I can get paid for the hours when I need to fix things outside of work I'm now on the on call list at work.

There's something a little silly about how they tried to contact me on Sunday though... They texted my work landline, to tell me the internet wasn't working. Couldn't have done anything about it as I don't have the passwords for the fwsms and don't really know to speak much cisco. But texting my work landline was just plane comedy for me when I got in this morning.

Dec. 9th, 2008


It's cold outside...

Went to lock the doors this morning, only to discover that the padlocks had frozen. So this morning there was the comedy scene of me stood on the back of the boat waving a tealight underneath the padlocks waiting for them to defrost.

Nov. 14th, 2008


BOFH guilt

It's 5pm on a Friday, I'm about to leave. One of our automated systems catches a phishing scam coming from another university, and can be 95% certain it's a compromised account.

I phone up one of their SysAdmins, I feel sorry for the poor guy, I've just caused him a significant fraction of an hours work, last thing on a Friday. But on the other hand, they're still going to be able to send email come Monday morning when they get back to work, not having to spend several hours getting them selves off blacklists.

I have to credit the phishers, they've spotted a lucrative target, academics may be good in their field, but half of them don't have the common sense to just ignore phishing emails, and universities tend to have a rather large bandwidth to abuse. That doesn't mean I don't have a desire to apply a significant quantity of explosives to their nether regions, but they are at least showing some intelligence.

Oct. 25th, 2008



Yay, hsdpa, I have intarwebs at a reasonable speed! Just not when Im at my usual mooring.

Oct. 10th, 2008



When you discover that the UNIX team (my team) are running several databases which are almost as critical these days as the Database team, it's time to start handing them some responsibility.

"Last time I looked the RT DB was ~ 7 to 10 Gig. Oh, I stand corrected, it's not: it's now 28 Gig"

It's apparently about as big, if not bigger, as the main university databases. And sufficiently normalised that it actually has the 10+ million row tables that they don't.

Our RT server is becoming a victim of its own success. The number of new tickets has doubled every year... We'll probably hit 1 million tickets by the end of 2010.

Good afternoon, good evening and good night.

I really should stop answering the phone with "Good evening, Unix team" at half past 10 in the morning...

Oct. 5th, 2008


Two places at once

I keep finding myself wanting to be in two places at once.

The fireworks company I work with are doing a big show this weekend and it was the Rugby League final.

Since I don't see that much of my parents these days I want to the rugby. Saints lost, hopefully NL will do slightly better in the fireworks. On the plus side I didn't end up spending the day wiring up explosives in the cold.

Sep. 10th, 2008


Redhat's EPEL

PulseAudio for RHEL 5 (CentOS 5)


How much testing does it really take to establish that "pulseaudio --help" doesn't even run!

*bangs head against desk*

Before I get comments about Pulse, for the SunRay stuff I'm doing it's bl**dy marvellous I can redirect the "default" ALSA devices into the Funky OSS device that gets created on the SunRay server. Audio JustWorks(tm) for the vast majority of programs, although I've ended up with custom ALSA builds and stealing PulseAudio from a random repository whose build actually works.

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