Bog Roll ::

It's Not Magic, It's Work!

29 Oct 2004

New Server

I've started to configure my new Debian "Sarge" server at home. So far I've got the base OS installed, and some of the basic services running.

I've mostly got Apache2 and mod_Perl working now, so most of my development web sites, are now functional. Once it's all up and running okay, I'll move this site over on to the new hardware.

27 Oct 2004

Linux At Work

IT installed another Linux box this week, without being asked. They wanted a firewall/VPN router for a specific purpose. Initially they messes around with an antique version of SUSE, but that didn't do what they wanted, so I suggested SmoothWall which turned out to be perfect.

25 Oct 2004

Size Change != Weight Change

For the past 12 months I have been trying to eat less junk and take more exercise. I've lost about 1Kg per month over the first 10 months, but my weight has been stable for the past two. Technically I should decrease my weight be an additional 10Kg for my height...

Though my weight has remained constant for the past two months, my shape hasn't. I'm now able to wear trousers two sizes smaller than before. This is most useful, as I know don't have to buy any new jeans, some of my older ones now fit perfectly well.

22 Oct 2004

Setting up CUPS

Today I started the process of setting up my new Debian Sarge server at home. I've added two extra hard disks to the chassis, and got the basic partitioning done, so it's been physically put in place, and I don't intend to take it out again in a hurry.

My main tasks for the machine are to get the USB Epson printer it's attached to working, and then share that over Samba. My current server/desktop system runs old style BSD printing, and Samba, but for the new system I thought I'd try CUPS. So far it's not done much yet, and I can't say that I've found the documentation that much help either...

21 Oct 2004

Windows 3.x

Today while waiting for my train I watched the computer in the cab of South West Trains' brand new Siemens Desiro trains boot up. After a few seconds of text I saw to my utter amazement the old Windows 3.1 logo* appear, then Windows started, and finally some "Trains for Windows" application started.

It's scary enough to think that banks are stupid enough to run ATMs on Windows, and run the connection over Internet, but to think that trains run on Windows 3.1 is utterly terrifying. I only hope it's a non-essential system...

It could be NT 3.x I wasn't close enough to see, but it looked like an old DOS boot sequence first.

18 Oct 2004

Pumpkin Pie v Training

I'm trying to get some training sorted out at work, so I posted an entry in my use Perl journal, to two local LUGs and to one perl M[ou]ngers group.

For quite a while I got no feedback, then a few helpful comments started to trickle in, though hardly a flood.

One flippant post to use Perl regarding Pumpkin pie, has generated quite a lot of useful and "on topic" responses. Strange...

14 Oct 2004


I'm trying to get some Linux training at work. We run Red Hat Linux on a number system, so Red Hat training is logical, and their training is well regarded, and apparently the certification is actually worth something.

The LPI offer a non distro specific set of exams, that various people have developed training courses to match.

While I agree that a "piece of paper" proves nothing, and can actually be an artificial barrier, PHB types like "pieces of paper".

13 Oct 2004

Another use of Blosxom

At work I've set up another Blosxom "diary" to help the project manager distribute news about the project. It's a simple affair, but it's something that Blosxom is ideally suited to.

Another use of Blosxom

At work I've set up another Blosxom "diary" to help the project manager distribute news about the project. It's a simple affair, but it's something that Blosxom is ideally suited to.

12 Oct 2004

New Boxen

I've got a few old IDE 3GB disks to put in the Compaq Deskpro 2000 that work gave me, and sometime this autumn I'll complete setting it up as my new home server, running Debian Sarge.

I've got another machine I'm going to set up for my father, and two more that work offered to get rid of that I've found homes for. I'll then have to get rid of two even older boxen, a P133 Dell, and a P75 Tiny. I'll either give them to someone in HantsLUG or to the Jamie's Computer Club, a local charity that refubishes old computers.

10 Oct 2004


Yesterday a neighbour in the village gave us a bag of apples from a tree in their garden. They had run out of things to do with them, and so they were glad to get rid of them.

Today I've been turning them into jam. I peeled and cored them, removed the various blemishes, and chopped them up (1.5Kg) and added 1Kg of Fair Trade sugar, a knob of butter and a dash of lemon juice. The whole lot was then boiled up in a nice French cast-iron pan, and once it had gone nice and mushy I bottled it up.

It's not common to see is apple jam/jelly, but I've done it before, and it's quite nice on toast for breakfast.

08 Oct 2004

Spreading The News

Today wasn't a normal day, so I got to meet new people and people I see less often than normal. So on the train this morning I tried to convert a friend of a friend to the idea of FOSS computing. Even if he doesn't go out and install Linux on his PC tonight, which I doubt, I have scared him off Internet Explorer, and he may try Mozilla Firefox out.

Later on, while having my CT (aka CAT) scan, I discovered that my radiologist dabbles with web sites. He is still using IE, so I suggested he try Mozilla Firefox or Opera, and as he is still on dial-up, the advert blocking and faster technology in these browsers should help improve his browsing experience.

03 Oct 2004

Debian on Compaq

I managed to get Debian "Sarge" up and running fine on both the ancient Compaq Deskpro 2000s that work gave me. Alas one of them had a bad Compaq (Intel) e100 Ethernet card, which I had to substitute with an old and slower 3Com Etherlink III card I had lying around.

One of them is running KDE and quite happy, and will be configured up for my father. It just needs a modem adding, and final config, and it will be ready for him.

The second will replace an old Dell system I have, and become my new "home" server. I've got to get another hard disk in the case yet, and complete the install of Debian on there. Once that is done I'll decommission the old Dell, and give it away.

Once the new Compaq is integrated, I'll move over all the server functions currently on my desktop system, mostly just web and printer serving. I'll then be able to upgrade my desktop system from Debian Woody to Sarge, and reclaim some performance by not running any unnecessary services.

01 Oct 2004

Compaq Deskpro 2000

Work gave me a pair of ancient Compaq Deskpro 2000 desktop systems. At the moment I'm coaxing Debian Sarge onto one of them for my dad.

The second machine is earmarked as a new server for home, though it's got some hardware issues I need to figure out first. If there is something terminal with it, then I can easily get another box from work - they are just toxic waste as far as work is concerned.