Bog Roll ::

It's Not Magic, It's Work!

26 Jun 2006

Back Pain

Over the weekend my chest pain has gradually migrated into classic back pain. It's also got gradually worse, and I can now feel it even though a large dose of Ibuprofen.

25 Jun 2006


Yesterday for dinner we had friends over. They have recently returned from a holiday in Brittany. While there they didn't have any galette or crêpes, which we thought was like going to Yorkshire and not eating at least one Yorkshire pudding.

Yesterday we had traditional Breton galette, with very nice Hampshire apple juice to drink, and for desert I made my fancy apple crêpes dessert with Breton Cider to drink.

First you peel a nice apple, I used traditional English Bramley's but they wouldn't be used in Brittany. You core the apple and thickly slice into rings. You then fry the rings in butter and good cider, you want them to be soft, but not mushy. Place your fried apple rings in the centre of your fresh crêpes, and fold to make a square parcel. Sprinkle on flaked almonds and grill until the almonds start to toast and the top of the crêpes starts to go crisp. Remove from the grill and add a scoop of apple sorbet (I used nice plain ice-cream last night) and a spoon of apple/pommeau jelly, serve while still hot and before the ice cream or sorbet has a chance to melt. My apple jelly didn't have any pommeau in, so I added a dash of calvados to it.

24 Jun 2006

Chest Pain

Yesterday I wasn't feeling all that bright. My chest hurt all over, front and back and both sides. Deep breathing was painful, as was stretching and twisting. I assumed I had slept in a funny position, and it would go on it's own.

Today it was much worse, so fearing pleuritis (aka Pleurisy) we traipsed down to the local A&E unit. A man presenting with chest pain must be a heart attack, so they did all sorts of tests and concluded that (as I suspected) my heart was perfectly normal. Eventually they sent me down for a chest x-ray, and that was clear - which is what I wanted to know, so they sent me home and told me to take a lot of Ibuprofen for the pain and inflammation (presumably muscular) and take it easy. If anything shows up I go back to A&E pronto.

23 Jun 2006

People Use Windows XP?

We have a friends Windows notebook computer at the moment. It's only got an asmatic little Celeron CPU and way too little RAM, but even so it's PAINFULLY slow! My antique systems with a fraction of the speed CPUs and less RAM are way faster. Both Debian Sid and Windows 98 are so much faster than Windows XP that's it's not funny.

I wouldn't mind but Windows XP is so ugly too, it's not as if it actually does anything useful that any modern Linux system can't. There is even little real benefit of upgrading from an earlier Windows to it - there are days that I do wonder what planet the voles in Redmond are on, it's not this one...


Sometimes I read spam, it's so laughable it's worth reading as a form of amusement. Spam is so bad that I can't believe anyone is stupid enough to fall for it...

19 Jun 2006

File Monitor

Someone in IT asked me to write a Perl script to monitor the behaviour of files in a particular directory on a Windows server. It's a bit of a "Heath Robinson" solution, and would have been much easier on a proper server, there being sane tools on Linux and Unix...

12 Jun 2006

AIX Virus?

Today we had an audit at work. The auditor for a top international firm of accountants wanted to know if we used anti-virus software to protect our AIX servers? He didn't understand the concept that only Microsoft's Windows family of operating systems have viruses, they just don't exist in the world of Unix/Linux.

I didn't volunteer Trajan Horses, worms or remote access vulnerabilities. They are the top international company, that's for them to find out about.

09 Jun 2006


My talks at my local LUG have been recorded and uploaded to Google. Other than checking that I didn't say or do anything to embarrassing I thought no more of it. It turns out that my Perl talk is the most popular talk the LUG has on Google at the moment. My 22 minutes and 27 seconds of fame!

06 Jun 2006

Eve's Pudding

My mother use to make an apple pudding called "Eve's Pudding" when I was a child. It's basically stewed apples with a sponge on top served hot with custard or ice cream. Since my mother passed away, I only left with her recipe book and memories.

The problem is that my mother's recipe isn't actually what she used, it's what she wrote down originally, over the years it got tweaked, and the recipe in the book didn't. Additionally it's all in antique Imperial units that I'm not old enough to understand, or even have scales that read in ounces.

After a Google search, some experiments with differing fruit, here is my recipe:

  • 0.8-1.0kg of sharp fruit, traditionally Bramley apples but rhubarb works too.
  • Juice of a lemon.
  • 110g plain flour.
  • 55g soft butter.
  • 55g sugar + some for the fruit.
  • 1 medium egg.
  • 10-15ml baking powder - more gives a fluffier sponge.
  • Milk or water.
  • Vanilla extract/essence.
  • Clean the fruit, and gently stew with the lemon juice.
  • Sweeten the fruit to taste - it should still be sharp.
  • Put the stewed fruit in the bottom of a baking dish.
  • In a mixing bowl melt the butter, and cream with the sugar.
  • Beat in the egg, flour, vanilla and baking powder.
  • Adjust the mix with water/milk to make sure it's not too stiff.
  • Scoop the mixture onto of the fruit mixture.
  • Bake at 180°C for 20-30 minutes.
  • Serve hot with custard or ice cream.

Easily serves 5

04 Jun 2006

All fiXed

I decided there wasn't much to break, so using dpkg I forcibly removed lots of conflicting packages. I then manually downloaded new ones, one at a time, installing them with dpkg. I manually resolved the conflicts, one at a time, and after a few were installed the hard way, aptitude was able to pull down the rest automatically.

In the process I wrecked my nvidia GLX settings. I fell back to the open source nv driver, which is okay for 2D, but useless for 3D. A few minutes to download the latest nvidia package, and module assistant fixed everything up for me. snafu...

Today I tried to upgrade my Debian "Etch" box. The upgrade fell over in a heap, and now X doesn't work. Thankfully the rest of the system is okay, only now apt-get/aptitude doesn't know how to fix it. Ho hum, the life of a tester is often fraught with difficulties, but I suppose I put up with them so that my better half doesn't have to!