Older blog entries for djs (starting at number 8)

Decided to take the plunge today and upgrade my GSM mobile to a Nokia 7110, with WAP, irDA port and internal modem (is that the right term?).

Went to the shop, spent ages waiting to be served, spent ages again waiting for Orange to register the upgrade then finally got back to the office. Immediately stuck phone on charge and started reading up on how to actually use the thing.

Curiousity got the better of me, so I decided to stick my current SIM into it and give it a go. I pulled the battery off a bit too vigorously and just in my peripheral vision I saw a small black thing fall towards the floor. Bugger.

I looked around for candidates and concluded that it must have been the plastic SIM card holder. A good hour later, everything has been turned upside down. I searched my clothing, my desk, bags... everywhere I could think of to no avail. I was just contemplating how to explain this back at the shop the next day (without sounding too dumb) when a thought hit me. I popped in to see a colleage who owns the same model. It doesn't have a plastic holder. It was the end of the charger lead that I saw fall. Argh.


People like me shouldn't be allowed to touch real hardware.

Sometimes I really dislike computers.

Particularly PCs.

A nice shiny new PC arrived containing a PIII/650 and 256Mb RAM. Unfortunately the BIOS was convinced that it actually only had 128Mb RAM, even though the big 256 DIMM was definitely in there. So after much fiddling we decided to install a BIOS update.

Naturally BIOS updates require DOS boot disks. *sigh* Much hunting around trying to find a DOS or Win9x machine later, we remembered about FreeDOS. The machine booted into the DOS variant and the reflashing utility started up. The util plastered dire warnings about catastrophic failure should the machine be powered off during the update all over the screen, so we pressed <ENTER> and crossed our fingers. During the 60s that felt more like 60years, I noticed that the utility was alternately loading data from the disk and flashing the chip. You'd think it would load all the data in first, and then flash it as quickly as possible to minimise the chance of disaster. But never mind.

Flashing complete, the machine was reset. And naturally it failed to boot at all. Oh well.

Today is the day that most of my friends who are still students finally graduate. Now that they've been handed one of those little A4 pieces of paper most of them will cross the reality checkpoint and enter the Real World.

It's sure going to be quiet round here :(

Hmm.. interesting.

The Bike Ride is marketed as a charitable event- the application forms are covered in adverts for a Breast Cancer charity, causing people to assume that a portion of the £9.50 entry fee actually goes to a charity. Apparently tisn't true. The question is, why pay some company all this cash (about 20 of us are planning on going) rather than just donating it to the charity directly? They don't supply transport or refreshments. They do sell T-Shirts (just more profit for them). What is it that they actually do to earn this money? It's all very strange.

Must remember to fill in my entry form for the London to Cambridge Bike Ride coming up in July. Should be good fun- the advertising blurb says:

A beautiful 58 mile ride through gentle countryside and gorgeous villages to Midsummer Common in Cambridge. There are plenty of pubs and refreshment stops along the route to keep you going, and when you reach the finish you can relax and soak up the festival atmosphere.
As long as it doesn't get too hot (hah, in the UK?!) ... and the countryside really better be "gentle" :)

Caught a very silly bug in the IDL compiler today. It's only triggered if you declare an exception called "e" - it seems I forgot to escape a variable name, causing a clash. D'Oh!

I also discovered that the Java VM running on the Psion 5mx is capable of running MindTerm, the excellent Java ssh client. Pity some of the AWT dialogs are a bit too big for the screen and the refresh is a little quirky... nothing a bit of hacking can't fix though! Much kudos to the developers :)

Hmm I wonder what it uses as its source of entropy... (healthy paranoia...)

Wow. I'm very impressed.

At 3am on a sunday morning, exhausted and suffering from extreme caffeine poisoning I briefly mention in my Advogato diary that some way of running test suites on a cluster of workstations would save me some time.

The next day jmason posts a diary entry with lots of excellent ideas on the subject.


Right. Time for coffee (me? obsessed? never :)


It's almost 3am on sunday morning, and my small IDL test set is compiling without making the IDL compiler itself fall over. There's almost no chance the outputted C++ will itself compile however :(

I think I'll leave it compiling the large test sets overnight.

I need some way of parallelising all these tests. Maybe something like mozilla's tinderbox? Lots of hosts continually taking jobs off a queue and recording the results on a webpage somewhere. Could be a nice use of CORBA + python bindings (like omniORBpy :) ... Then again in the time taken to write and debug that, the IDL compiler would be perfect. Oh well :)

Ahhhh maybe today is a good day for science(TM) after all!

I can think so much more clearly now after a good nights sleep. Really must sleep more often :)

Hmm.... must find a way to get hold of recordings of the cartoon series "Dexters Lab". Everytime they show an episode on local TV it's always in the middle of the afternoon (bah) and I never spot it in the listings in time to set the video. It has to be the funniest cartoon ever.

Hm. My first diary entry.

Definitely not had enough coffee today. I've really got to get some code rewritten asap, but I know if I don't think about it enough beforehand it'll cause me endless pain later. *sigh*

Maybe my lack of enthusiasm is because of the time of day? When I was a student (seems soo long ago) I never worked in the afternoons. Evenings were much better. Much easier to think clearly.

Oh well... back to work I suppose... but maybe I should check the state of my planetarion planet first? :)

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