Diary January 2001

Wednesday 31
Got fed (rather a lot of) free pizza at lunch time because a department I have no significant association with over achieved last year. Can't complain. Trouble is, it meant that all I felt like doing in the afternoon was curling up in a big bloated ball and falling asleep, which made it kinda hard to be very productive. One of our NT boxes stopped talking to the DHCP server and lost all its networking. While it had unsaved work and locked locks and things on a network drive. Much stealing of other people's IP addresses ensued until we found one of our own static ones that didn't ping. The box still won't talk to the DHCP server even after a couple of reboots, but now it doesn't care. It talks to everybody else, as does the DHCP server. Very odd. Wrote DONE on another big paper chart, 3 times, and still managed to leave work at something approaching a reasonable time. *Bounce*.
Tuesday 30
Wrote DONE in big red letters on one of the big paper charts from yesterday. Very satisfying. Made the paper pile a little larger. Considered moving next door to make more room.
Monday 29
Covered an entire wall with big paper charts listing all the things we need to do and what we know about them. This sort of "planning" is a really good way of appearing to be busy without actually doing anything. The figures we want are still IBM confidential. They magic guy who knows everything about everything still isn't in, but now we have an appointment to see him on Wednesday. Found another guy who expects to know some stuff about something sometime soon. Oh, and a bird who probably knows everything about something but is on holiday. People are a pain. Generated a gargantuan mountain of paper to add to the already rather large mountain of paper. Also did a faily significant amount of useful work. Hmm. This diary entry looks very long considering its lack of interesting content. Didn't leave work until gone 6pm.
Sunday 28
Went round the San Jose Tech museum with david. It hwas a cool thing outside the group entrance with lots of balls and cunning wibbly bits that do cool stuff. Yes. Go see it. There appeared tobe some random parade type thing going on in the middle of San Jose for no apparent reason which was a little bizarre. Spent ages driving around looking for good eating places and ended up concluding that you have to know where they are and eating at david's hotel.
Saturday 27
Met up with David and went for a walk by the sea. Sunny and nice. Had a long argument about whether or not the sun always goes red at sunset, so sat on the beach until it was patently obvious that the sun was going red. Came back through the mountains. Had a rather delicious steak in the middle of San Jose.
Friday 26
Fairly uneventful day, all things considered. Ended up reinstalling windows twice trying to install the nameless product from yesterday. Got phoned up to be told that the IBM confidential stuff from yesterday is still IBM confidential, but might not be soon. FSVO soon. Ate rather more Penguin Mints that I should have considering I was meant to be buying them for somebody else. Broke sound on my laptop, but got some cool feedback effects in the process. Finally got everything to actually work at 4:32. Left before we had time to break anything else. The caffiene-enhanced cheer got comments from the next corridor. Oops.
Thursday 25
Started raining again in the early afternoon. Spent most of the day attemting to install a certain product that will remain nameless. Got into all sorts of fun with the prerequisits which were sort of installed but not actually there, leading to hours of confusion. Had two meetings organized, one of which eventually happened an hour late (and gained no information but a few contacts), and one of which never did happen. Another impromptu and extremely interesting meeting just sortof happened, but the results of it are IBM confidential until further notice which is a pain in the arse. Discovered that the routing from the web server just up the road back to here crosses the Atlantic 4 times for some obscure reason - to get to the PC next door it goes the obvious way. Investigated shopping not quite on the route home again, and got Penguin Mints.
Wednesday 24
Still raining in the morning, but cleared up in the afternoon. The paper mountain is growing, and is now topped by a coffee cup tower. Oh dear. MindTerm is still green. AIX box misbehaved in an interesting an different way. It refused to read or eject or do anything with its cdrom drive, even on insertion of a pin (well, a straightened paperclip) in the emergency eject hole. Power off and on fixed it. Very odd. /var sudenly became mode 644 with odd effects. I think this box is terminally braindead. Investigated shopping on the route home, and spent a grand total of $0.00 on two :CueCats.
Tuesday 23
Started raining. Generated a significant amount of useful work, and still found time to be bored. Made MindTerm display in green. Not quite sure why. This project looks awful big for the 3 and a half weeks there are left to do it...
Monday 22
Finally got told what we are meant to be working on. Generated a significant mountain of paper, and a little useful work.
Sunday 21
Explored the mountainy things between here and the sea. Found a fantastic little road that is a shortcut (in distance but not in time) from here to some of the better beaches. Missed having a vaguely decent car. Got woken up at 8:10am by a parent phoning (from Texas). Was not impressed.
Saturday 20
Slept lots, watched some TV but there was nothing worth watching on. Went shopping, largely unsucessfully. Nobody seems to sell penguin mints anywhere. 5pm on a Saturday is a really bad time to try and do shopping in a large Wal-Mart. Oh well.
Friday 19
Spend the day installing another AIX box, and concluded several things about AIX, mostly connected to large numbers of goats. Really quite a boring day.
Thursday 18
Another letter from my ISP saying that since I only subscribed in December, I am "fully entitled to apply for a pro-rata rebate" so I did. You never know, I might even get some money back one day. Ho hum.
Wednesday 17
Running 45 minutes ahead of schedule after the first 45 minutes (that should have been 90 minutes). This was down to 30 minutes by lunch. By 4pm we had finished everything we were meant to be doing today and tommorrow. Finished reading email and stuff by 5pm, so went home. HotMedia looks like it might be seriously cool, spent a while playing with it.
Tuesday 16
Still in the conference/meeting thing. I'm going to stop saying that now 'cos it goes on for the rest of the week. Late finish today. Did a study of the handling characteristics of wheely chairs at lunchtime. They corner better when lower, but break if the height is adjusted while cornering. Erm. That's about it really. Wibble.
Monday 15
Meeting all day, in which I learnt remarkably little, and kept wishing I was outside enjoying the sun. Not entirely unproductive, but close to it. Finished at 4:30, so spent about an hour catching up on 400 mails that arrived over the w/e. My ISP, RedHotAnt, has sent me a charming letter saying that they've gone broke, and thank you very much for that money you gave us, but we're not going to give you anything for it. So there. Oh, and by the way, sorry. I am not in the slightest bit impressed by this at all. You could even say I am quite pissed off. In fact, *grrrrg* *bludgen* *bludgen* *bludgen*. Yes. I don't imagine I'll do anything productive this evening, unless sitting in front of a TV counts.
Sunday 14
Got up mid afternoon, and went to San Fran. Less sunny and colder than yesterday, but still quite nice. Got horribly lost in San Fransico. There are some really nice bits, and some bits that looked fairly unpleasant. Unfortunately, since I was largely lost, I don't know which bits of it are nice and which aren't. Golden Gate bridge is, well, a bridge. I think I may have missed the point of it, 'cos I couldn't see any reason why it is more of a tourist attraction than any other bridge. Ho hum.
Saturday 13
Sunny all day, but cold. Drive down route 1 from San Fran to *mumble* where I got bored, turned round and drove back stopping at a few random quaint lttle places and Monterey on the way. Very spectacular scenery all the way. Burnt more than a tank of gas (oops). Didn't get back until gone midnight.
Friday 12
Didn't rain at all. In fact, got sunny by the middle of the afternoon. Spent all day in a meeting, without learning a huge amount, except some stuff about MPEG4 which looks seriously cool.
Thursday 11
Rained. All day. Varying degrees of heaviness, from pissing it down to absolutely torrentially pissing it down. Oh, I've said that before. Managed to car share successfully this time. Got in at around 9ish, and was promptly dragged off to a two day conference. Which is actually quite cool. Also meant I could leave work at a more reasonable hour. Did some shopping, and discovered that my bank lied to me. My cash card does not work in ATMs.
Wednesday 10
Rained. All day. Varying degrees of heaviness, from pissing it down to absolutely torrentially pissing it down. Its like being in England. Got into work at around 9ish. Spent the morning trying to fix a screwy AIX box, largely unsuccessfully. Ended up reinstalling it, which took the best part of the afternoon as well. Eventually got it to pretty much work, and went back to the hotel, without getting lost at not much gone 6.30. Finally managed to convince myself that I do understand American road signs. They tell you not where you are, not where you are going, not even where you've been. They tell you the name of the road you just didn't go along. Really helpful, that.
Tuesday 09
Was meant to be giving the japanese guy a ride to work. He didn't show, so I was 5 minutes late for my 8:35 meeting. This didn't matter however, as nobody else turned up until 9:05. Spent the rest of the morning moving servres around so that we have sometihng to play with. Got bitten by a particularly savage (and horribly broken) RS/6000. Spent the afternoon installing and configuring said servers, reading and writing email, updating this etc. Didn't leave work until gone 7.00pm. Therefore did very little of interest after work.
Monday 08
Arrived at Almaden research lab at around 8:30 in pouring rain. Met the administrator for the residency, and discovered that rather than the 6ish people I was expecting to be on the residency, there were in fact only 2. The other one is a Japanese guy with an unpronounceable name, and limited English. Moved to IBM SVL (or STL, as it is aparently now called) which, it turns out, is where I will be working. Met other people who have been working on the project. Back at the hotel by about 4ish (including getting lost again). Stopped raining by lunchtime and became warm and sunny again.
Sunday 07
First day in San Jose. Didn't get up until mid afternoon because there didn't seem any point. Explored hotel complex and local shops. Whether was warm (but not hot) and mostly sunny. Bought a 24 pack of pepsi and drank half of it. Not that I was dehydrated or anything. Nonono. San Jose is an absolutely wonderful place. The people are friendly, and the atmostphere is so relaxed its untrue. Driving is as boring as fuck, but at least places and ended up concluding that you have to know where they are and eating at david's hotel.
Saturday 27
Met up with David and went for a walk by the sea. Sunny and nice. Had a long argument about whether or not the sun always goes red at sunset, so sat on the beach until it was patently obvious that the sun was going red. Came back through the mountains. Had a rather delicious steak in the middle of San Jose.
Friday 26
Fairly uneventful day, all things co