Monday, October 31, 2005

My name is John and Im a computer repairman

Once upon a time it was seriously uncool to know abount computers, I remember being at primary and high school, people though computers were these crazy weird things only true nerds with beards used.
Somewhere about 2002 the internet suddenly changed all of that computers were a big thing, now even my anti the biggest luddite I know uses a computer. Unfortunatly due to viruses and the complexity of the damn things all of a sudden instead of hiding computer literacy for fear of being called a geek now I hide my knowledge for fear of being asked to look at someones pc....
On which note some people I know needed there computers fixing this was the hax0red laptop and the dell comp I upgraded the memory in. Tonight I got reminded why its a bad idea fixing things for people I gave back the dell working to the best of my knowledge two days later its back here apparently it crashes all the time now :-S Im pretty sure it was fine all I did was remove some programs defrag and update windows, av install anti spyware, oh and upgrade the memory it should be fine ho well I investigate tomorrow. ThoughI have a million and one things to do like Ian and Pauls websites oh well the money for these pcs at least paid for my graphics card upgrade.
Tonight I watched Kung Fu Hustle which was a great fun full of chease and some grat kung fu and Batman Begins which I expected to hate and actually really enjoyed.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Terminal Tournaments V

Ah the sound of fans wirring, glow of leds and smell of pizza it must be a lan party!
This is the fifth lan we have run under the terminal tournaments banner, and the first one to feature a competition with prizes. The competition worked well even though I got knocked out in the second round by eventual winner Leon. I was upset that we didnt get any new people but 13 is a good turnout by any standards. I think perhaps we were not as organised as we could have been, I hope next time we can sort out a more professional gaming session.
Disorganisation aside it was a good lan with plenty of fragging especially by David B and Leon aka Bezza.
My new graphics card proved to be nice and slick for playing quake four and counter strike source, though Bruces 24 inch lcd monitor proved to be the biggest crowd pleaser.
Martin O seemed to be down I think he is having girlfriend troubles poor him, whilst Martin G was in a fine mood recieving many text from this new girl Charlotte. Whilst I am really pleased for him I do feel down that increasingly I am the only single person of my friends. I might join yahoo personals see if I can meet anyone new hopefully it will be better than the disaster that was loopylove.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Replay / Endo

Just got back from a night out in Manchester Martin, myself Phil and Martins friend Endo went to watch Sandbox the Academy Four. It in the club underneath the Manchester University Student Union. It wasnt a very good gig for sandbox although the club is all nice and new with a nice PA the levels were wrong there was feedback and it was too loud, upsetting really considering seeing Sandbox at Academy three was excellent. Oh well, after the gig we neededd to give our ears a est so went for a curry in Rusholme. Endo is a fun guy even more laddish than Martin bit much at times but seems a nice guy, he has just finished a year travelling round the world. Phil was convinced he bought our Oz van though I think the chance is fairly remote is would be a amusing.

Recently I have been thinking a lot about going travelling, but I cant decide whether I want to run away from my problems or that I am too afraid to get out on my own. I showed Liz's final email to Lulu she thinks I should act more confident and stop being so negative about myself, I am trying its just I always seem to fall short perhaps I just dont understand how to be happy?

Bought a new graphics card today a nice new geforce 6800xt. After seeing how well Bergers worked I felt it would breath some life into my aging PC. When I saw it was on today only at scan for 96 pounds I decided I ahd to have one. Just in time for the lan too :-D I gave the old one to my dad I think he was happy its (radeon 9600) got a nicer refresh rate than than his old radeon 7000. Scan computers is next to Bolton arena and that reminded me of the Coldplay concern and Ironically Bruce sent me some phots from his phone taken at the concert

As a side note I went through Pauls Blogs and removed the mass of comment spam he had accumulated and turned on the picture verification so hopefully it will put a stop to it.

Monday, October 24, 2005


Another fun day full of computer related crap. After not being able to sleep last night I felt like exhausted. I had to get up an hour early to as I wanted to do a couple of things before the masses arrived. I made it in early enough to take a copy of the live system onto training. It seemed to go smoothly, I even managed to find the bug which had been causing the PSD to fail in transformation.

Only problem is as I feared the data has not been completed by the advisor's correctly so now Julie and I will have to go through about 40 cases and correct the details :-S

Sometimes people really annoy me, they ask for advisor when things go wrong but never listen to it. Dispite my best efforts they install crap software don't update and get their PC's into a real mess. The Doyle's PC's both have virus on them the laptop was by far the worst, an un-patched XP system with no anti virus it was heavily compromised having all sorts of weird networking services IRC bots and backdoors on-board. Netstat showed huge numbers of connections going out mostly to other (probably infected computers). Oh dear :-(
The other machine was only slightly compromised as a much more secure XP SP2 computer with anti virus the only problem I could find was a rouge active x control. I hope they arn't too upset when I tell them, though I wish they had bought an Apple Mac like I suggested!


Arghhhhh I am going crazy I cant sleep, my mind is totally awake. Stupid rain its hammering on my roof my room is humid, I am too hot then too cold what's wrong with me? I have been working on Paul's website its not very good, yet, I find sometimes it takes so long to do what should be a simple task just because I am out of the habit of web design, not that I was ever really that great. I suddenly have load of work on Ian's additions craddy site and now two more PC's to fix for the Doyles. The reminds me I must contact Steve Wilson and pick up my cable in time for the lan.
Liz was playing on my mind she sent me an email quiet a damning one, and she was right in a way but it dosn't really change the fact I need to sort things out on my own and I cant do it with someone so possessive. I am not sure if I should reply to her.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Im still here

Its been so long but as usual not much to post about really dont want to bore you guys, my life has been like usual work, gym pub.
Last night I met Phil and Martin in the Legion in order to put up some posters for the lan next saturday. It was a pretty good night I needed a few drinks after another week of annoying bugs, challenging co workers. Martin and Martin O were discussing doing an AV install in the legion while Phil and Myself got progressivly more drunk. It was actually a really nice chiled out evening and a nice way to end the week.
I went to the gym earlier for a cardio session, they always seem to have stands set up for some sort of promotion of another as you walk in, today it was mobile phones. The women pestered me as I walked past asking if I liked bacon sandiwches, apparently I most guys said they didnt like them! Insane it my favorite snack, lovely chrispy bacon with some brown sauce just the job.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Rain and Comedy

Ah Stockport in the rain is there a better time to see your beauty? Martin needed a bulb for his sisters car and I needed some new trainers so along with Phil we decided to go out to to Stockport, oh depressing city I can hardly believe how much time I havve spent over my life walking round its crowded streets, even with the recent renovations its a mash of 1960s concrete with a bit of a facelift where the period features have been restored like hilgate its still th same crap sex shops and pubs freqented by the dregs of society. I couldnt find any trainers that fit me stupid wide feet Martin got his bulb or free, oh and I bought a chin up bar and a radio controlled switch for my fish tank lights. True to form the switch dosnt work with the tanks lights for some bizzare reason and the chin up bar has an end missing :-S Sometimes I think I was born under an unlucky star.
I finally made it to the gym for an hour of cardio it really made me feel better even if it did make me late for tea and cause another argument with my parents.
The evening was reserved for a Woodford legion comedy night which was very funny except for Martings constant audiance heckles.
Watched episode 3 of lost season two things getting more and more surreal by the minute in fact I am kind of losing interest a little oh well pleanty of time for things to improve.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Movies and Curry

Today I felt tired after travelling to London yesterday, I didn't manage to get much done really started writing a piece about yesterdays excursion which will be published on Then went into Manchester uni to backup the server this turned into a bit of a major pain as my apple laptop didn’t not want to share out a USB hard disk I had to download a little utility from the web in order to do it. However finally got hold of a decent backup which makes me feel a lot happier about the system also managed to clear about 500mb of space off the home partition, I was chatting to Bruce and it basically time to get another server in start building n some redundancy and better backup procedures.
Spoke to Liz she has started her own blog at (link removed due to liz's request) it was kind of weird not quiet sure who to behave wiht her yet I guess time will tell.
Another Friday night another night in watching movies and eating curry, this time not my house though. Last week I fixed the laptop which belongs to Jo Bergers girlfriend Holly, it had spyware and some sort of unknown virus. I didn’t have the time or these days really the skill to take it apart and fix the problem so I copied off the data and reinstalled everything from scratch not a difficult job but a slightly tedious one. In repayment Jo and Holly threw a video night round at there house, we watched The Hudsucker Proxy a quirky Coen brothers film and the 80s vampire film lost boys.
Oh and yes you might have picked up on the amount of junk food and lack of exercise this week well I don’t intend to make a habit of it and I will be making a trip to the gym tomorrow. I am now many workouts behind on my plan so many I am actually starting to feel like Ill never be able to catch up. Well I should get some sleep.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Linuxcon and Apple Store

Today Bruce and I took the day off and caught a train down to Lonon, then a tube then another tube and finally fonud ourselves at Olympia 2 for LinuxCon. I wasnt entirly sure what to expect from the show, I decided to go as the tickets were free and I thought I might learn something.
You can read our little review of it on Bruces server room site
Heres a neat pic of the Apple Stores Demo area its like a cinema bit where they do free demos how cool!

Wednesday, October 05, 2005


Finally got round to nicks today to sort out his alarmnit went really well. Managed to get a free curry out of him too :-D

Let it go

Today was hell after two weeks of pain trying to get loads of differng people happy about a range of documents, with work being overwritten people misunderstood and a lot of pressure this morning I sat in work at 7am putting all that live it took most of the day and is probably the biggest thing I hve done so far. I guess I should think of it as an achievement. It has taught me a lot about the calculations that go on aprs, ppp, interest and fees. Guys always ask for the TAR (total amount repayable) then deduct the origonal borrowing that tells you how much its acutally costing you to borrow the money its a fairly frightning figure!
Since sunday I have been putting something off dreading talking to Liz I dont believe its would work out but I find it hard to make the break but sometimes when you like something the best thing to is to let it go. Though its not always an easy thing to do. For a while now I have been seeing Liz, I say seeing but in fact I only saw her a few times I always seem to be too busy or tired, I know it ws getting to her and on Sunday she basically had a go at me about it. I guess bubbling away is the thought that I dont like me very much so how can anyone else, there must be something wrong with them to like me. It strange I know, but I guess she isnt the one for me or I would care more deeply, she sounded pretty hurt which was bad. She is a nice person adn dosnt deserve that, unfortunatly I'm not really a nice guy I appear to be I care about something and feel guilty but that dosnt always make me do the right things.
To make myself feel better I went out to see Collin he was looking well its probably a year since we last saw each other he left BLEL before me and I left well over a year ago now. There was something about that place, in between the skiving and the dubious work there were some great people (some awful people too) but it was all just a bit larger than life.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Jabez Clegg

Seems like this is a long weekend of music for me Sandbox on Friday night and Paul Tonight, they were both playing as part of the "In the city" fesitval of music in Manchester.
I went down with phil and met up with all the usual suspects Danny, Woller, Sandbox turned up. I arrived in time to catch "The Great Blind Degree" a kind of razorlight esc indie rockers they were talented but Im not sure there music said very much to me. The PA was a bit more powerful than the room the sound uttlerly deafning.
Next on was Vijay Kishore, a singer songwriter like paul, he had an incredibly powerful and captivating voice he put so much sorry and energy into his songs I think a lot of people/ women have screwed him over.
Finally Paul, I though he gave a good performance not the best I have ever seen but he seems to have developed some of hi songs adding a few little touches that were nice.

Unfortuantly as I was working early had to shoot after the gig, Paul seemed somewhat subdued and upset with his performance, which is a shame but I guess artists are a highly strung bunch. I managed to get a few decents photos before the battery on Phils camera died I think I would like to get an SLR and take more photos but I am not sure how I would feel about walking round with such an expensive toy, and I still want a new pc as well :-S All these desires and Im only bearly out of debt going to have to keep a handle on my desires.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Cafe Club

I am totally worn out after a long and highly stressful week. For the last two weeks I have been working on some new lender documents which need calculations for early settlement of the loans, its actully quiet a task to calculate the future settlement of a loan you have to calculate the effects of compounding over the period and if the loan rate is varible (which most are) the figures will be inaccurate.
Also all the documents need new merge field creating this ranging from the simple (inserting data direct from the database) to the more tricky processing data using called programs then inserting into the printing gateway. Ive done about a dozen of these fields for the new docs, at this point I guess you are wondering why I am blithering on about this well here we go, on Friday afternoon about 2pm I had finally finished about 90% of the work, by 4pm I was back to the start again why you ask well thanks to Mike overwriting my entire workload thats why cheers mate good work there :-(
I thought Friday was going to be a total washout I got home from work late having to stay late and try and redo as much work as possible, that meant I had to rush to get changed as I planned to catch the 8pm bus into Manchester where I would go see Sandbox's latest gig. In typical Manchester form it was pouring down I waited for the bus from 7.50 till 8.15 and it was no show I was about to cry when I got a text from Bruce he was driving down yay! The gig was excellent Andy Lenny and Righni totally on form, I guess touring has really helped them out they even gave away a live cd nice one chaps.
Saturday my head felt bad I shouldnt have drunk at the gig I knew I had to get up in the morning, oh well. Today Bruce Phil and Myself were to set up an internet cafe in the Birmingham International Conference Centre, I was helping Phil brother Jim out. Jims company ATOV were doing a conference setup with a 40metre projection and had been asked to set up an internet cafe as well Jim knows nothing about PC's so he asked us guys to do it, it was quiet a laugh really and the end product was pretty suburb 24 laptops and a smoothwall firewall and proxy 12 laptop on each sode of the confreence hall. The only thing count really believe was the price of everthing £900 for three days internet connection! That pales into insignifcance though when compard to the £1200 for power!!!! Phil did a good job getting the laptops made secure and setting up the smoothwall box, Bruce and I were mainly just manual labour really except for some faults (a switch failed as did some cables). I think Jim was happy with the setup it certainly looke the part one ot the sparkies tested it for us checking the football results.


Got back from Birmingham about 7 just enough time for Chinese and a few beers in the farmers :-)