It's mostly clear in the morning. With a layer of ice on my car. I love cold, even freezing weather but I hate getting the white stuff off my car. The frost is caused by a lack of clouds and that same lack results in a nice day.
Current temp is 12.5°C in and -4.7°C out.
I don't think there are problems left after the move. I didn't get any calls about it anyway. Well not counting a query that miraculously repaired itself while the user was calling. Of course there still are normal problems, like uncooperative printers and forgotten passwords and missing orders etc.
Dinner is Asparagus soup. With a toast and cheese on top. Not bad.
Because the free ISP dropped my account again last week and my ADSL line was still not activated I opened a new -free- account with Belgacom. Then during the weekend I switched computer. Well I copied over all my normal data and kept both boxes running side by side to copy and compare the settings (email accounts, browser settings, etc). Also an ideal moment to compare the boxes. With rather disappointing results.
The old box is an AMD K6/2 running 400MHz with 64MB memory and two slow disks (2GB + 6GB) it's using a ZOOM 56Z modem on the serial port. Not a bad box five years ago, nice enough when running Win98 and a single app. Running Opera and Thunderbird (browser and mail) requires more than 64MB so it's almost constantly trashing the disk for virtual memory.
The new box (not really new: 2004) is a Celeron 2.4GHz box with 256MB and a generic 40GB disk (Samsung) and a Sagem USB modem. It runs Win2000Pro. It runs the same browser and mail without hitting virtual memory. It's not a fast box of course, I bought it as cheap as possible (399€ with WinXPHome included ~299€ they mentioned was only available if you also bought another boxed version of Windows, they didn't sell naked boxes on the promotion~ ).
Still it's six times faster with four times the memory and a faster disk. So it should run rings around the old one. And it does. As long as you don't ask it to do real work. Opening a word processor or spreadsheet goes faster, spell checking or recalculating goes faster. But on the web it's not. It is actually slower.
It could be that Win98 is faster then Win200Pro but I don't think that, On the web I let the box multi-task, getting pages from various sites, fetching and filtering mail etc. and I am pretty sure Win2000 is better at multitasking than Win98. I suspect the modem and display. While the modem is rated at 56K and connected via USB it doesn't speed up the line but being a Win-modem it does demand extra effort from the processor. The old modem is a real modem so it asks just a minimal attention from the processor. The difference is that on the old box bits tend to flow in at a steady rate, with the new box I see the byte counter jump as if it catches a few thousand bytes and then pauses for a couple of seconds. (Maybe that's what Intel means by NetBurst technology?). The other noticeable problem is the screen. It's a cheap box with integrated video. Integrated video -not from nVidea tends to be rather low performing on top of being coupled to slow system memory. And that becomes visible. The old box had a nVidea TNT64 card in it, not super but still a bit faster even though it's over five years old (and it wasn't a top performer then).
Friday 2005-11-18 (Remarks about 628 words)
Tons of mist developed overnight and it remains hanging about all day. Thinning a bit towards the afternoon but never completely going away.
Current temp is 12.7°C in and -0.9°C out.
Shopping as usual. But without the wine cause I go to my brother's place first ~putting the laundry in the drier~ and then I don't pass the wine shop. I still have got more then enough wine in the house anyway.
Shopping and laundry take the morning, cleaning takes the afternoon. General slow-surfing takes the evening.
In between that I cook some dense general soup. Well, the remaining celery in the garden suffers frost-bite so that needs to be harvested and the still usable parts are ideal for soup. I used to store chopped celery leaves in plastic bag sin the freezer but those bags tend to to tear open and spill their content all over the place. usually when I take something else out. So in stead of storing them 'fresh' I make a super dense soup with them, I normally use the celery in soup or sauces. So I freeze the broth in small portions, a bit like ice-cubes. Now when I need a sauce I just melt a cube for starters, Or I dump a couple of cubes in a pot with water for soup.
For dinner I use the last of the fennel from the garden with chicken and tomatoes. Fennel suffers from frostbite to though the bulb itself remains good for a while.
Saturday 2005-11-19 ( Remarks about 273 words)
Just a tiny bit of mist remains, most gets drizzled out in the early morning. Without mist the grey clouds are better visible but they are shy, once they become visible the stop dropping rain, holding up their water till they move over the horizon.
Current temp is 12.1°C in and 0.7°C out.
More cleaning and rearranging in house first. With a visit to my uncle in the afternoon. Normally I call on Friday or Saturday before going but But I always got a busy signal ~once there it became clear he had not replaced the handset well after his last call. So it was a bit of a surprise visit. Also a surprise was that he had his kitchen redecorated with wallpaper and paint ~not really surprising cause he told me last week on the phone. Well, not personally he had someone else do it ~he is 80+ and while pretty fit he is not stupid enough to do it himself~ and of course that warranted a long and agitated story about how people don't do good decent work anymore. We helped them put some things back in place.
Dinner is fennel and chicken stew.
The ADSL line got activated and the userid-password arrived in the mail last week. So I hooked up and started crawling over the internet. Strangely it didn't seem to be much faster than using the normal phone line. Connection was instant and contacting/finding sites was a bit faster but page loading just sucked pebbles.
I was late so in stead of investigating I closed everything down to go to my uncle.
Six hours and a dinner later I boot up again. And pages zoom in as fast as they used to come from my hard disk on the old box. Typical windows, you got to reboot when something gets changed.
There is still a small blank-window delay while the site is being contacted but then the pages load very fast indeed. I used to do a quick scan for interesting links and would open those in new tabs so they could load while I was reading the original page. I am still doing that but now the pages are all loaded and waiting when I get to them. There still is some delay on big graphics but I don't think I'll go browsing without graphics as I sometimes did to speed up things.
Of course the computer doesn't get faster with ADSL, but now that there is no WinModem to eat CPU cycles and trash the CPU-cache things move faster. The only slowdown I notice now is that the box sometimes becomes unresponsive when some graphics are loading. Integrated video with shared memory isn't good enough.
Sunday 2005-11-20 ( Remarks about 480 words)
Lots of grey clouds again with a few thinner, whiter areas and even a few cracks of blue.
Current temp is 11.8°C in and 0.4°C out.
No more problems so It's back to the normal support grind. Of course with the fix out of the way I have nothing to do anymore. A few days slack are welcome though for cleaning up some odd stuff. Slack doesn't mean I am twidling my thumbs.
Running. And I start out uncertain. The whole day (actually the last couple of days) I've had an ache on a tendon in my right knee, no real pain, it's just that I feel there was a tendon there. But the moment I start running the pain is gone.
I am running with W these days, in the beginning he was not a good runner and then he slacked off a bit. But at the end of the summer he joined q start to run course in an atletics club. The aim is to get people running again with regular training and a clear goal. To run 10 kilometer in under an hour. Not to difficult but it's aimed at untrained people. Well he finished the course so now he easily runs ten kilometer. So I set a pace that I could expected to keep up for about ten kilometer. Ten kilometer is about three rounds. But we stop after two rounds, finished in a bit under forty minutes so the pace was perfect. We stopped early because after having trouble with his motor bike we started almost an hour later than planned.
Dinner is the rest of the stew because I forgot to shove it into the freezer.
I think I finally get bothered by pop-up spam and adds. Disguised as system messages indicating, for example, serious problems in the registry. With the old box I never got those probably because they only target Win2000 and later (the real 32 bit stuff). Also apparently neither AdAware nor AVG catch them.
Monday 2005-11-21 ( Remarks about 347 words)
It's freezing again, quite seriously so with -6.4°C, so the ice on my car needs some entertainment before leaving. The open air not only results in iced over cars but also in a beautiful sunrise and a clear blue day. And a new stary night (with new ice setling).
Current temp is 11.1°C in and -5.5°C out.
Another slack day. With a bit of support and mostly amusement. Ps amusement is programming for the sheer fun of programming. I am trying out a few new things and code constructions on some humbug library.
Dinner is salmon with leeks and cheese sauce. But I was too lazy to peel and cook potatoes with that even though the sauce begs for them. Next time the potatoes will be included.
Sometimes people confuse Body-Building swith Fat-Sculpturing
Tuesday 2005-11-22 ( Remarks about 141 words)
Yep another ice-age on my car. Less dense than yesterday though so it washes away easy. And just like yesterday the clear frosty morning is followed by a clear sunny day. Well till the afternoon that sis then everything gets a bit hazy. And misty by evening
Current temp is 11.1°C in and -5.4°C out.
Still enjoying the slack at work. But I do get most of the cycle-count stuff noted down so I can start adapting that.
While changing the backup set I noticed a new box in the computer room. Basically we run the business end of the company on an iSeries server (825) (old AS/400) with a whole battery of Compac/HP Citrix servers providing the desktop environment. The current iSeries server is close to it's maximum capacity and there is a plan to replace it with a more recent rack-mounted version. So my first thought was that it ~or part of it~ had arrive. But it's just a eServer p5 (a 550), a Unix box. While we are not a Unix company. Curious.
It's not actually installed in a rack so it is probably just a temporal resident. While we keep waiting for the new iSeries box.
Dinner is port with sweet-sour sauce and rice. Yummy
Wednesday 2005-11-23 ( Remarks about 225 words)
Yay, no more mist because it's raining. Under cooled drizzle. Which is one of the worst thing to get off your wind screen. Freezing rain, but the ground is still warm enough so commuting isn't an adventure yet.
Current temp is 11.2°C in and -0.9°C out.
Stupid computer. Can't even divide by zero.
On one of the machines (the oldest) we had a system problem. Disk-1 was sending a message ~one message every hour since the 25th of last month~ about a parity protection not being fully operational. The other nine disks had no problem. The parity protection is a kind of safety mechanism, even when it's not working the disk keeps working. A bit like when your car is saying your airbag isn't working, the car just keeps riding as usual. The CTO's solution to the problem? Turn off parity-protection (on all drives) and magically there are no more messages.
Not the best solution I s'pose.
Oh, yes, work. The usual stuff, bug catching and bug creation. What else would you expect from a programmer.
Dinner is ... eating out. A mushroom and bacon pizza. Not bad even though my own dough is better.
It's an expensive, loss making device, but you don't get a Blue screen of Dead. ( http://www.theregister.co.uk/2005/11/24/xbox360_bugs/ ) Cause now the BSOD is black ...
Thursday 2005-11-24 ( Remarks about 244 words)
Hu. It isn't snowing in the morning but there is some snow like slurry on and beside the roads. And a rather stiff and icy wind, a late autumn storm or an early winter storm.
Definitively a winter storm seeing that there are a few flurries of wet melting snow during the day. With some of the dirty-white stuff lingering till the evening. The strong wind g\keeps going.
Current temp is 12.0°C in and -0.9°C out.
Work as usual. A bit of support, a bit idling and a bit thinking. Well, I can either start a new long-distant sprint on a next stage of the sapification or I can pick up some new stuff. I am preparing both cause I probably will have to do both. Maybe not at the same time, but probably both plus some other stuff together.
I worked hard and developed a good speed so now they will expect this same speed and accuracy again. ^_^
Dinner is gilt head, cooked 'en pappilion' with baked cauliflower. Usually these days that means wrapping the fish in tin foil and cooking it in the oven. Of course I don't do things the usual way, I do it the old and traditional way. Tin foil is a very recent invention in all the long centuries before it's invention people used various types of dough in stead. So I use leaf dough, fold the fish in it and cook it for about twenty minutes in a medium hot oven (gas-6). The result is a cooked fish that is still full in taste with, thanks to crushed coriander, a bit of a spicy-nutty aroma. Most of the coriander remains stuck to the dough giving that a special taste as well even though it's not the intention to eat all the nicely baked dough.
Take care where you click. ( http://www.theregister.co.uk/2005/11/24/opera_nix_bug_fix/ ) And don't forget to a layer on your patchwork.
Friday 2005-11-25 ( Remarks about 344 words)
It,s been snowing most of the night, with hard wind included. a real winter-storm. And it keeps going on for most of the day though there is a lot of rain mixed in as well. In some placed the snow remains but most roads eventually get clear.
Current temp is 10.9°C in and -2.1°C out.
Shopping. Wine and fruit and groceries. All normal stuff. So why do why do people stare when I pass by? Something wrong with my tShirt? The only thing wrong I notice is snow seeping in my right shoe but they can't see that can they?
Well, it's wet all day, mostly with melting snow and freezing drizzle so I stay in all day. Cleaning and rearranging stuff.
Dinner is a meat-pie. I seldom make those. Basically cause I had to eat them a couple of times as kid and they were not good then. Typically if you are forced to eat thing as kid you develop a distaste for anything similar. And yet, the traditional local meat pies are not dramatically different from the traditional Italian pizza. It is basically a dough form with a topping or filling of left-over meat and/or vegetable. As tomatoes are not native here the traditional pies don't have tomatoes. For the rest the difference is minimal. The meat pie ~with bacon, egg, cheese and parsley~ isn't bad at all.
Very curious. We got a power interruption, which is very rare around here. And it lasted less than a second. Just enough to let the lights blink, and reset the clock on the radio. It also causes two computers to reboot. And it stops the ADSL modem. Both the computers and the modem come up again. The curious thing is that my new main system did not shut down or reboot, it just hangs. At first I thought it was just waiting for the modem to come up again (I was downloading at the moment) but even ten minutes after the modem is up the box still hangs. Just a reset later everything is normal again.
Saturday 2005-11-26 ( Remarks about 364 words)