Thursday, April 27, 2006

The Streets

Tonight Bruce and myself went to see the streets at the Apollo Manchester. I quiet like the Streets though their new material is a bit more of the same the original album was great as was most of the second.
The Apollo is always a good venue I much prefer it to the likes of the MEN so I was looking forward to a great gig. The supporting act was some rapper he was ok got the crowd worked up made a rap about kazza being bizarre and wrong but I dont think ill be downloading or buying his album!

There was a long pause for the streets to set up, to be fair they had an amazing stage setup with really cool lighting lots of led animations and visual tricks.

Mike Skinner was either drunk or high he seemed to love the audience applause but couldnt remember the words to any of he songs to start with and could bearly string together a song, Leon was all too eager to carry the show and was really annoying me fortunately after drinking a couple of mugs of some liquid (it was in a tea cup but I dread to think what is was) his voiced picked up and doing some of the crowd pleasers like 'could well be in' and 'blinded by the lights' his voice improved and crowd went wild. To be fair to him once he warmed up he was great at stirring the crowd a little too much as some people started throwing beer about and Bruce and I took a direct hit.

All in all a decent night entertainment some excellent songs I wish I could have seen him a little more sober / less horse though.

Jon sent me an excellent funny site link of some Manchester rappers ;-) I nearly died laughing after hearing the little one sing 'got on the bus wiv ma day-sa-va!'

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Coal + Water = BADNESS!

Dispite all the work which had already been done on the house on corner of the living room the damp problem was refusing to shift we couldnt work out why. So the builder Paul proped the wall on arcos and a steel bar so he could take out some bricks. What we found was rather amusing, pre 1960 the house was modeled in a different way the bit underneath the stairs was a coal store, thought its not been used as that since then the remaining dust mixed with moisture to produce sulpuric acid which has been turning the bricks into sponge. You can see the discolouration of the brick its black.
Ever the chemist my dad rushed out bought bicarbonate of soda and threw it on sure enough it fizzed and bublled neutralising the acid. Posted by Picasa

Diggin it

Today I ache really really ache I feel like my back is sore all over, why you might ask should I feel this way on a sunny Sunday afternoon in Manchester?

With he lan being cancelled Jo Bergers asked us to help him dig up his garden, I assumed rather naïvely this meant a little digging of topsoil and general gardening however it turned into a mammoth all day digging session removing about 9 tons of soil from his "garden". To put it into context Jo lives in a small Victorian terraced house in Levenshulme, his back garden was a little patch of grass it looked ugly and as he dosnt have a shed he dosnt want a lawn mower. Also the grass are was raised about 1.5 feet from the ground surrounded by a little wall.

A few things were far from optimal about the job the first skip was so small we filled it in an hour and a half (it holds 3 tons thats a quiet a bit of earth) the wheelbarrow was flimsy and started to fall to bits under the heavy load. To make matters worse a previous occupant or builder had modernised it but simply buried a lot of rubbish in the garden including the old window frames which had been burned and a whole load of bricks and rubble.
In all we worked from 11 - 5 with a few breaks in total we shifted a small skips worth (3-tons) and nearly filled a larger skip in total I think about 7-8 tons of soil. It was hard going fortunately Jos neighbour lent us a decent wheelbarrow.

The rewards was a curry and beer :-D Ian managed to avoid the hard work and turn up for beer a nice move think Ill try that next time. Hopefully the exertion makes up for the curry beer and breakfast at Jos thanks to drinking too much.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Leamington Spa

Just got back after spending a few days with Paul in Leamington Spa the origonal plan had been to go to London but things changed. Paul has quiet a nice little flat in Leamington since I was there last he has converted the spare room into a recording studio thouhg I think he spends more time on Myspace than recording. Though he did play me a few of his new songs which I must say I enjoyed. I also went with him to his dads studio complete with the sickest apple computer I was in my element playing with it chilling out listening to some of Pauls tracks. His dad is really easy going so it was quiet a chilled out afternoon.

Paul introduced me to magners an Irish cider drunk with ice, its pretty refreshing but I dont recomment drinking large volumes as Paul and I did. Howevr it you do choose to drink a lot there comes a pint when you can tolerate no more, I recomment fosters as the beverage of choice at this point.

During the time I was there he was sorting out some things currently he has a few options on the table for getting a recording deal, I really hope things work out for him.

It had a really good time chilling out listening to music and listening to stories from New York, its been too long since I last saw him. Shame I still havent met Pippa though. Paul seemed bored with Leamington and kept extoiling the virtues of London to me. Havent been to London serveral times I still fail to see why its so great, last time I was there sat on the tube surrounded by people all talking in different forign langagues I felt really weird, it was almost like being on the Hungarian underground. I also found London dirty busy and the people generally rude and unhelpful. I know Manchester isnt great but where I live is nice and given I dont lead the artistic lifestyle that enables me to sleep in late go out to bars and clubs everynight I can live without London for the time being anyway.

Saturday, April 15, 2006


After a recent crash of one of the partner systems I receved a very very biarrare email explaining what went wrong
The problem occurs when a configuration diverges and sets common workflow pipe elements in different parallel flows, a situation can occur where the convergent activity fails to evaluate correctly. When this happens an overlay cache copy of the workflow pipe remains in the convergence cache, which ultimately builds up to a memory shortage. Because convergence is a new feature some of the existing configuration is causing some unexpected results.
Our suggestion to overcome this issue is to provide a timeout for the convergence cache to do a controlled garbage collection.

Clear as mud then! I think he is trying to say there is a timing issue when memory is short but I really cant say for sure.

Lan cancelled :-(

I spend most of today rebuilding reinstalling and copying data back onto my pc. I always forget how long its takes all the little utilities and programs I need.

On the plus side games like Counter strike are running really well. Its certainly a heck of a lot faster than my old XP2400 and the 7600 whilst cheap seems a perfectly capable graphics card. Unfortunatly howevr Martin, David and Kev have dropped out of the lan with Bruce having to go to a stag do it means there simply wont be enough people to make running a lan viable.

Jon Cotton begame the latest customer for the server, I think he will take me into the break even stage only a couple more and I might be able to start affording to expand and pay for a new server :-D He is working on sme interesting sites I hope to leanr some PHP and have a go at doing some customisation of them it could be a potencial source of revenue in a not too distant future hopefully.

This evening I went round to Philip's house with Bruce we coudlnt get my laptop to output to his tv so we ended up watching Bruces favorite film who dares wins. Its wasnt as bad as I feared especially after a few beers.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

New PC

Over the last couple of weeks I have had problem after problem with my PC. I tried replacing the hard disks only for the motherboard fan to fail causing everything to overheat. I finally reached the end I needed to work on something in windows and I couldn't get my PC to stay on for more that 5 minutes so I have finally bitten the bullet and upgraded.

Scan were doing an offer for 2ghz processor motherboard and 1gb or ram for £209 which seems a pretty good deal and my dad was kind enough to go down and get it whilst I was at work. So I am now the proud owner of a 64bit computer, kind of strange really going back I used to run a 64bit Sun ultra 5 a few years ago its takes years for the x86 world to catch up. Once I get Windows running Ill be interested to find out how well Linux runs :-)

Work was pretty good today thanks to Easter weekend everyone was chilled out looking forward to a nice long weekend or in fact a week off for me I cant wait. I have arrange to go and see my friend Paul for a few days. I even went for a pint after work with the IT crowd a rare treat indeed.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Its Just Computers

I was woken up this morning way too early by a phone call from David, due to my lack hangover from the comedy night it took me a long time to work out who in the heck I was talking too, eventually the penny dropped. David is the father of the ex owner of Woodford post office he occasionally calls on me to fix up his pc, this time he was having issues with security updates and wanted some help. As I try and never turn down work despite the fact my own computer is in bits spread across my room and I have a raging cold I offered to sort it out and did only took and hour.

This evening went out to see Sandbox at the academy and was chatting to Emily about her job in London and life with a mouse (thats a whole other blog entirely). She asked me what I had been upto and nothing much really sprang to mind, despite the fact I feel like every minute is filled with something or other I dont seem to have done anything worth talking about in years (unless your the sort of person interested in my chatting about the Samba server I configured as a windows PDC today?) Somehow although each day seems to drag an eternity the weeks and months seem to fly by at a rapid rate. Before I know it I have spoke to people for weeks and our lives have moved that bit further apart. I really need to start making more of an effort to keep in touch with people.

Anyway I thought Sandbox were really good though Andy didnt seem too pleased I guess he is just being perfectionist about the whole thing. The roadhouse seem to have put in a new mega powerful PA system it was nearly blowing my ears out and the American band was really rather dull but I enjoyed myself.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Cube World

I spent virtually the entire day trying to get my dads pc rebuilt with XP after replacing his hard disk in between loaders going back to look at my PC which seems to not want to play ball regardless of what I do. My so called quiet case well isnt, its not helped by the fact that one of the fans is going whining bearings sounds very knarly.

My room is a complete tip bits of computer spread all over the place and my mac has decided to go weird key chain no longer works all the passwords have disappeared and my mail store is corrupt (fortunately most of my email is on imap).

Tonight went to the comedy night, it wasnt as well attended as the last couple, Martin got the dates mixed up and when I texted him to ask if he were coming he replied yes, I then texted him in the first act to which he replied shit I thought you meant next week. It had some great comics the scouse compare was on top form taking the mick out of everyone Bruce got well attacked as did Becky.

Phil got back just before the comedy night and turned up for about an hour until jet lag got the better of him. Sounded like he had an ace time in Japan, he brought back some pretty cool toys for Bruce and myself these little cube toys which you can plug together and little stick men interact. I was well impressed with the animations going to take them into work for my desk.

Lulus having to work this weekend it only seem five minutes since we were chatting on skype but its already a week ago, I hope it wasnt too bad for her, she sounded stressed out last time we spoke. A little like I was feeling a month ago, my advice is try not to take it too seriously and make sure you arent taken for granted, I try and live by that myself, its not always easy though.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Recommendation of the week

Its a rainy dull Thursday evening and I am feeling especially tired, had an arguement with my dad before, I see him make all the same mistakes again and in a way it highlights the bad things in my own life the feelings of underachievement. I just wish I could do something, but in the end I can only help myself I cant make him buck his ideas up.

In one of lifes subtle ironys way this arguement was kind of given a new slant by the excellent film I watched this evening called Goodbye Lenin. Ostensibly the film is about the end of the communist era in East Germany but it plays out in a beautiful way. After being deserted by his father as a child Alex<'>s mother devotes her life to the socialist ideal. Years later in 1990 after a shock Alex mother if in a coma during the fall of the wall, when she awakes afraid that the shock the new capitalist era will be the death of her Alex maintinas the socialist republic or at least a idealist bubble of it. The direction is excellent though you can believe Alex not only need to hold onto the past for his mother but also its becomes imperative for Alex to hold onto the past for himself the lie becomes snowballs and becomes the truth.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Vote of Confidence

Martin Flower came into work today, he apologised for the lack of communications and set a loads of issues straight which was really good of him nd it certainly made me feel a heck of a lot better. I even got praise from people whom always gave me the impression they thought I was totally useless. Given the recent working environment I had really started to question whether I was really achieveing anything at all so sometimes its really great just to be told yeah your not useless in fact your doing a really great job. Hopefully I might either be able to scam a pay rise or get some training / benifit in return for my hard work we will see after the annual review at the end of the month.

This evening I went round to Bergers he bought himself a new sound card which has better midi support and he wanted me to fit it. He also told me about his latest scheme to buy and run a club, in theory I can see it could be great but somehow it seems a little pie in the sky the sorts of investment he was alking about seem rather extream for a first venture.

Also caught up with Bruce his evening he seemed in fine form dispite the problems he has had working weekends to finish a building only to find only 6 of the planned 90 staff start there this week. I think I would have been a little be more upset with the revalation.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006


Today was a bad bad day at work, after a very stressful period working on the workflow project the end was finally in sight the last major update was to go live today. It did, I was also asked to put some work of Mikes live, it didnt work :S Basically there was another older mod hiding in the code and and it went live everything fail the call centre was titups oh dear. To be honest recently I have really been pushed to the limit by the demands on my time and abilities I am suppose to be a trainee not in charge of a site the size of Freedom, I dont think I have felt so pressureed before its not a good feeling. Martin is apparently going to be in tommorrow so hopfully I can vent some of my frustration.

This evening I went round to Martin Gs house to play with Myth, finally got to grips with LVM, managed to make the Nvidia card do TV output and even got the remote control working. I think I understand a lot of things better now, hopefully some time in the future I will put some sort of guide or link to all the various guides we hav used in getting it all working.

Monday, April 03, 2006

I just dont know what to do with myself

Its Monday Phils on holiday Bruce is working, my pc is dead and I am bored, the front room is still a mess so I can't watch any tv.
Ended up looking into something my dad put together ages ago for the gear calculation system.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

arghh Hard disk pop!

Oh dear tonight the hard disk in my pcs expired, its about 3 /4 years old now so it wasn't too much of a surprise. I had been doing some work on Glenfern's website when a smart warning popped up advising me to that the disk was about to fail and that I should backup immediately, so I opened nero to do the back when clunk disk gone bsod :-S Oh well it wasnt that long since my last backup its not too much of a disaster. Ive got two new disks on order on £60 for 250gb sata II with 6mb of cache, I aslo decided that it was time to downsize my case, having a pc thats so big is ok except going back and foward to lan parties is a big of a pain carting it around, so I decided to get myself an Antec 180 which apparently is very quiet as well as looking rather nice. Unfortunatly thanks to this disk crash and the isa deadline I am now back to square one saving up for a new monitor so Ill be sticking witht he 17" IIyama for a while.