The more accurate diary. (Old stuff)

Warning: These are old.

July 3rd

Went out for a meal with the usual gang last night. Carefully arranged seating so that I and the other non-geek were sitting next to each other. Didn't save us totally, but it helps. Conversation ranged from the inevitable "Linux on lawnmowers" (and yes, I know there's a mailing list for it.. Wince) to the benefits and drawbacks of cookies, which had a sotto voce accompanying murmur of "Cookies? Biscuits? The ones you get from the shops?" "I don't think so, no, do you...?" "No. I know he likes that sort" from we two baffled real people, for whom cookies are something you eat, boxes are made out of cardboard, and cores are found at the centre of apples.

Bizarrely, no palmpilots or Psions were harmed during the making of the bill.

Note for those people who have expressed interest in our Beeblebear (the two-headed, three-armed teddybear with an eyepatch, inspired by a certain character in a certain comedy series..) - they're still available. You have to be a member of ZZ9, the UK-based "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" fan club, but it's only a few quid to join. (Eyeing the logs of daily visits here, I'd better add: this is a small group, run by volunteers, and I doubt that they'll have more than a few of the things in stock at any one time; I also suspect the turnaround on responses is not going to be as fast as, say, Amazon, or something.) A very good friend of mine at university was a member of this group (which is how we came to have a Beeblebear in the first place) and used to come back from weekends away at conventions bubbling about the fun she'd had.

July 2nd

Oh dear, this page is getting big again. Time to chop soon, I think.

First, a thank you to the kind soul who sent me the Goldilocks in COBOL program, and to the three people who provided links to various transcriptions of it. I have all the copies I need now, thanks.

Weather has been horrible all week until today. Today Alan has been musing about radio modems again, so he can sit on the beach and hack whilst gazing out over Swansea Bay...

Apart from that, I haven't seen much of Alan this week, so I imagine he's been doing constructive things. Like...mmm, portals with very bad puns as names. And.. urr, oh yes. COBOL compilers.

But he got up before ten thirty (am) three times this week. Whee!

June 26th

Got ready to meet some friends for a night of camping and picnic. Sent the email containing maps, mobile phone numbers and stuff to the printer. Refilled the printer with paper. Printer burped (literally) into life. And started printing out an Alan-file. A very very very large Alan-file. Scowled, looked at the queue, discovered my phone numbers were number six on the list and that Alan had about 100 sheets' worth of printing queued. (We do not have 100 sheets of paper.) He'd sent one job twice, too. Couldn't delete the queue, cos it's Alan's machine and I only know half the root password. He types too quickly when I watch :(

Not impressed. And it rained on our picnic. But at least I got there. Without phone numbers, but I got there.

Alan thinks the fact I couldn't delete the printer queue is funny. Sniff. He had beaten me back to home and by the time I arrived "only" had another 800 emails unread. He has not yet had time to find me my games, though. I fear I shall have to do it myself. Alas.

June 25th

Alan up relatively early but by no means _that_ early, and headed off to brave British Rail. I had a nice busy day with no thumps, printer clatters or unexpected reboots of machines I was editing files on. (A lot of my stuff is still on his machines, which he forgets I use when he reboots to test.)

Surprise birthday party for a friend in the evening. She was very surprised. Her birthday was almost six months ago. Between Christmas and New Year is a very bad time for birthdays.

June 24rd

Exactly why is Alan messing about with COBOL? I have had to endure all the "it's wordy because it was designed by a woman" jokes recurring again, and have realised that I have lost my copy of "Goldilocks and the Three Bears" in COBOL, which is hardly a tragedy but makes me wonder what else I deleted in my space-saving escapades earlier in the month. (The number of files I have from 1993 and earlier is a testament to how much time you can waste on USENET.)

For my part, when not looking at the garden, washing, or wondering how long the printer will last and when the filing cabinet is going to move, I have been learning that I am very bad at sensible bug reports. Oh well.

Alan has promised to find my games for me. I can do it myself, but I like him to feel useful. He is also going to do his slides for his talk. Mmmm.

June 22nd

When I returned from my sister's house, Alan claimed that he had started keeping sensible (my definition) hours. I tried very hard to believe this, but all I can say is that it clearly didn't last.

June 21th

Much email on the subject of the garden. I appear to have left people with the impression I live in a toxic waste zone. It's not quite that bad, really. The depleted strawberry plants are bearing fruit, and the two unidentified plants ("the orange flowers" and "that purple stuff") are going strong. On the other hand, the number of slug destruction tactics I now know about is most impressive: I can even strangle them with "spare hair", apparently. I'm sure I know someone who can supply this, should I feel particularly murderous towards the beasties.

Visited sister at the weekend, leaving Alan at liberty to terrify cats and take endless pointless photographs of Swansea. My sister has a Furby. I have decided that Furbies are cool. You can turn them upside down and they cry. Showed sister Furby dissection site. Not sure this was a good move. Told Alan about the Furby. Alan thinks turning things upside down is cool (this includes me, unfortunately), but he's still not convinced we need a Furby.

Longest day today. So Alan might see the sun!

June 15th

Alan finally let me play with his digital camera. Complete with warnings of, "And this is the strap. Put it around your arm. Don't drop the camera". I don't think he trusts me. Sniffle. Took pictures of the things actually growing in the garden, when I'd found some.

Surveyed garden. This garden, I had better state, started off with a few disadvantages, so it's not all our fault. It was once a back garden. Then it had the outside toilet and the coalshed levelled, and some of the rubble ended in the soil. Then sand was spread on top. Then it was paved over. We unpaved it, discovered the headquarters of the Woodlouse Expansion Front (argh! arthropods! argh!) and tried to persuade birds that they wanted to sing here. It was, yes, a bit of a losing battle.

I rang up the local organic gardening society, who rather implied, "Centre of the city? You want to garden organically? This is a joke, right?" and told me off for not having killed the one plant I could identify. It seems it makes cows ill. I havent actually seen any cows here recently, but apparently this is a bad plant as a result. So, because my idealistic dreams of perhaps one day growing a whole potato and getting to eat it would be rather spoiled by knowing the names of the chemicals I'd sprayed onto it (and anyway, there's so few birds here that the idea of attracting them with the corpses of pesticide-ridden food seems a little unkind), the organic gardening here has rather been of the form, "Pick up the snails and slugs (ugh! gastropods! ugh!) and lay them out in a row for the birds." This doesn't work, by the way. They escape.

In the light of all this, I am hoping I can claim that the failure of most things to thrive is not our fault and the survival of a honeysuckle (aphid-ridden), some strawberry plants (depleted) and two profusions of unidentified flowers (from a packet of butterfly-attracters some years ago) is in fact some kind of decent batting average. Ahem. Honest.

The fact that we have together proved capable even of killing grass (!) is neither here nor there. But we do have a thistle. Or we did. We seem to have lost that, too, last time I looked...

June 13th

In the middle of his hacking (about 40 hours) and gardening (about 40 minutes), Alan also offered to backup my computer. And broke it. Grr. It works again now, but I think I shall have to learn how to do that myself. The 'proper way', rather than the 'well, I wonder if we can do it like this' way. Except for when I've been using Alan's machines and he's recompiled and rebooted and forgotten to tell me before doing so, I've never actually seen Linux crash before, so this was a new one on me.

Alan found me playing with windowmaker, GNOME, and themes, and said he could see I was well on the way to 'Mac-ification'. Not quite sure what this means.

Watching the European election results and discovering that turnout was so low that my vote is effectively worth four times what it should be. So much for democracy. (In some parts of the country we barely hit double figures. We don't even have the Portuguese excuse of "It was wonderful weather so we went to the beach instead": it was gloomy and overcast here.) Discovered on IRC that the UK's apparent opinion of how important Britain is to Europe ("Tell you what, you try this Euro thing out and if it's any good, we'll join in and help you run it sensibly") is not actually shared by the rest of Europe.

The commentators at the BBC aren't taking anything for granted. They are actually explaining "how proportional representation works" to the population with the aid of large graphics. Dear me. At this rate, next year's Budget coverage will be explaining how to balance a chequebook.

Alan's gardening has unearthed large numbers of woodlice. Yuk. I am staying inside for a bit.

June 11th

Alan persuaded to leave the computers alone for an entire five hours this evening whilst we went to a double birthday party. Two friends totalling their birth dates to produce a 'joint sixtieth' party. Looking forward to a non-geeky evening with no Linux talk.

Ours was the only non-Star Wars present. And large parts of one conversation I overheard were about NT.

More cheeringly, caught up with a couple of friends I haven't seen for a long long time (years). This was good. Alan forgot to take his new and exciting and efficient (et cetera) digital camera. I thought this was also quite funny. :)

June 10th

Alan cooked a really tasty chilli tonight. I am dead impressed.

June 9th

A friend we hadn't seen for a while visited. And brought me flowers. I am very impressed. Alan is making excuses on why he never buys me flowers. I agree with a lot of them but the accurate one of "I forget" doesn't seem to feature.

Replacement for piece of string arrived. I looked (says Alan) like a mountaineer with about 40m of ethernet cable looped over my shoulder, feeding it up to Alan as he balanced precariously on fragile chairs attaching it to the ceiling. His ethernet installation method is a little idiosyncratic, but it works -- despite the fact that it is currently hanging off the cable that the ppp stuff ran on. Attached by paperclips.

Managed to "lose chequebook" and thus have Alan pay the bills a while ago. Finally, he sulked, and I had to find it again. Drat.

Took machine apart - again! I am getting used to this!- and inserted ethernet card into it. And a soundcard. And, somewhat unfortunately, the screw which attaches the card in. And someone (Alan) dropped the screwdriver in, too. Retrieved the latter two items. Eventually.

Tried ftping big files from upstairs. My link to upstairs is now 90 times faster. Shame we can't do this to the modem, too :)

June 8th

Alan up early again! Well, earlier. Someone rang wanting to come round earlier than planned. I agreed cheerfully and and then sped upstairs to share the good news. Alan didn't think this was good news at all. But he got up.

Received a file off a friend I wanted to print. Discovered that first, I had to be able to read it. Came to conclusion that MS Word is not a document format but an encryption algorithm (with impressive compression facilities: it zipped from five megs to six percent of that size: what on earth is in it?) and should be treated by the American government as such, thus sparing at least some of the world from having to deal with it.

Many, many ways of dealing with this, but this is the first time I've actually wanted to read the contents, so the usual solution (open mailbox, hit 'd') was out for once. 'strings' wouldn't show the more unusual characters. Word-reading software told me "This is the Wrong Sort Of Word". Said several wrong sorts of word myself. Eventually got it resent in a slightly different "standard format" (!? I really can't believe I'm typing that. Standard, when different versions of MS Word can't necessarily read each others' output?) and read it. Sent it to printer. Whee!

Alan wincing at amount of paper, and regretting printer purchase already, I can tell. Brilliantly, he has placed it on the floor, where all the rubbish and dustpuppy eggs can get into it. I fear an early retirement for that printer, too.

As well as much work (I assume, although one of his windows has what I now recognise ten feet away as Civilisation in it), Alan cooked tonight. Yum. I get to wash up. Yuk.

June 7th

Printer and "exciting" digital camera toy arrived early this morning. Signed for them, and then looked for somewhere to hide the camera until Alan made the printer work. Alas, he awoke like one of Pavlov's dogs at the sound of the bell, and came thundering downstairs to play with it and make the flash go off in my eyes.

Admired the plugs the printer came with: one each for the US, Britain, Europe, and Australia.

Later in the evening, fell asleep over the crossword. Awoke to find Alan had scribbled possible answers into it. Considered killing him, but answers turned out to be correct, so he lives for now.

My piece of potential ethernet (a ball of string) is too short.

June 6th

Up early despite late night. Then fell asleep again, waking up at the same time as Alan. Oh, the shame.

Still getting email about sites all over Europe and general "non-America" which I can download stuff from. I am supplied now with enough for a lifetime. Eep. And I now have a working Lynx (2.8.2) with SSL, which Alan was going to put somewhere useful for non-US types. I have also disabled caps lock (hurrah!) and didn't have to learn about xmodmap after all, after someone told me about Jamie Zawinski's xkeycaps program. It's wonderful.

Now engaged in measuring the distance between my computer and Alan's with a piece of string. Alan says I have to, to make it go faster. Also stacking lots of boring pieces of paper in chronological order, which is extremely boring.

My piece of string was too short. This is going to be a long cable.

June 5th

Finished both the books I bought yesterday. Oh dear. Visited in the afternoon by two mad people who came to collect the gigantic monitor and computer (the ones that got stuck in the door many months ago) and take it away to someone who will do useful stuff with it. (Not that I'm overly bothered about that part. The key thing is that they took it away.)

More people turned up, timing their visits to meet Matthew and Ed, the monitor-removal men. Tried to lock everyone in the house until they moved the filing cabinet for me, but it didn't work.

Rained all morning, so we decided the beach party would have to be indoors. Went to the party. Cooked all the sausages under the grill, then found some brave and foolhardy souls were on the beach anyway. So went to beach after all, minus sausages. Despite Alan's tragic lack of a digital camera, various others in evidence, so a lot of white flashes in the night, and one green glow, which was a lightsabre. Ahem.

Much more computer talk around the fire this year, which is a new development. I'm not sure it's a great development, but such is life. Alan and various others headed off early, being "tired".

Stayed till about 2.30, carefully husbanding the fire after some people thought "let's throw everything on it!". Got another few hours' worth out of it, though. Ha. Came back to house, and Alan was still awake, hacking. What a surprise.

June 4th

Despite the non-appearance of printer and camera yesterday, meaning that they might arrive today instead, Alan's fortitude failed him and he didn't emerge until rather late. (Surprise. Something to do with getting to bed at about 5, I suspect.) And when the doorbell rang, it turned out to be something worse, from my point of view, than a silly toy. Another computer. A "small" (ie: in emergency can be manouevred by one person) one. Small. Mmmm. Yes.

To my glee, it came with a plug for Europe, which of course has different plugs from here. So Alan can't plug it in until he finds the adapter. Poor Alan.

Several people sent me interesting ftp sites and things to add to Lynx, (thank you!) and I am working my way through them, and through a list of things to do to make my keyboard Telsa-friendly. Alan won't help with the latter after he tried to "just borrow" my computer and forgot that the mouse buttons were left-handed. (It's not usual to see Alan get confused and start peering perplexedly at the screen...). But he has agreed to help with lynx, after we went shopping and he realised that even if I couldn't order from Amazon or Thinn's or wherever, there was still a bookshop in town, so not helping wasn't necessarily going to stop the book numbers from rising. Lots of Star Wars stuff in the bookshop. It doesn't even open in Britain for another month and a half. And I am being warned by all my friends not to breathe a word of the plot or I won't survive to see it open here. Life is very hard sometimes.

It was very sunny and bright in town, and I was making "Bright light! Bright light!" gremlins noises at Alan, but he just said "Paaah." And lots of people gave us funny looks. Odd, that.

Popped into the comics shop for Hellblazer, and was confronted by an entire wall of Star Wars stuff. Had flashbacks to America. Asked about it, and was told it was outselling half the stuff in the shop. Shiver.

It then started raining again. Which does not augur well for an outdoor party on Saturday. Alan seems to think that retiring to the house of a friend with computers and a net connection will be a good thing. I have my doubts.

June 3rd

Alan up with the larks to await eagerly the delivery of the new printer. So he said. Only he mispronounced the word printer, being unused to such early hours, which I queried. After some evasion, it emerged that alas, my reminders about "We need a new printer!" have had an unwanted side-effect. Alan found a "buy printer, get digital camera free" offer. He tried very hard, but it wasn't too hard to guess which of the two objects he actually wanted to see.

Discovered to my horror that upgrading yesterday meant that my old Lynx with SSL stuff that a friend made and I copied now no longer worked (something to do with libraries, I gather). So now I can't order books online again. Alan not overly sympathetic to this turn of events. "Can't buy more books? Oh dear, what a shame."

Checked I hadn't somehow deleted the SSLeay stuff, grabbed the latest Lynx cos it looked cool, looked for patch to glue 'em together and got stuck. Only sites I can find with it are American. And very boring with legalese they are, too.

I shall just have to use my local bookshop more whilst I figure this out. The one with big comfy chairs. (And a beanbag in the children's section, but the wretched kids sit on it. Grr.) What a shame.

June 2nd

Having got to bed at some ludicrous hour, Alan switched my alarm clock off. Thanks, dear one. Yawn.

Decided to upgrade a bit and pretend I actually use the computer for anything more complicated than editing files, playing games, and sending email. Guessed wildly ("I dunno, have I got a SCSI device? Urrr....") and it all came back to life apparently intact. Got the mouse to behave left-handed, which has had the side-effect of appalling Alan, who is now lost. Can't make X turn my caps lock key into a control key, but I have hopes.

Once he'd finally got up, Alan was busy upstairs for most of today as well. He did come down and laugh at my poor flowers, though. They are all sad and droopy after the rain.

June 1st

Burnt tea. I was rather hoping Alan would be too busy to notice, but this doesn't work. He was rather busy, but still noticed.

My plans for a nice quiet evening in foiled by some obnoxious bug or other. I would have thought that if free was good, "double free" was doubly good, but apparently this is not the case when it occurs in programs.

May 31st

According to the local paper, Swansea is officially Britain's wettest city. I do not find this hard to believe. I still prefer it to North Carolina, though.

May 30th

Sister has returned home to delight her workplace with Linux coffee mugs.

Bank holiday. Obvious day for sleeping in for some (like Alan). This plan foiled by visitors, to my secret delight.

May 29th

Thank you to all the people who read the Expo account and emailed to tell me that Terry Bisson wrote "Bears Discover Fire". I know now, thanks :)

Barely seen Alan, but today I found out that (a) he's finished Civilisation on the easy version, and (b) the latest kernel patch he produced says the system "stands up fine to the Civilisation test". Uh-huh.

Still experiencing jetlag: I want to get up and to sleep at horrible hours, though not as horrible as Alan's, of course.

Some smashing storms since Thursday night: cracks of thunder rather than rumbles, and all the lights flickering ominously. Being the responsible souls we are, did we power down, have a UPS installed or anything like that? Of course not. Sat on IRC with local friends saying "Wow, that was a good one! Did you see that?".

Sister visiting. Loaded her down with penguin toys to start colonising her home area. Went out for meal, and a miracle happened: Alan did not have a dessert.

Alan finally persuaded to shift "important computer bits" from bedroom into computer room (we switched the rooms round last summer). Shifted them into two very small boxes to keep and three extremely large boxes to go into the bin. All sorts of detritus unearthed: everything from an Amiga box and a 20cm SCSI cable to twenty feet of ZX Spectrum printer output (it really does look like silver toilet paper) and certificates stating that Alan is safe to ride a bicycle on his own and can swim 40 feet.

I have done a deal with Alan over space and must lose my record player. If anyone would like a mono record player that's about forty years old and plays four speeds (33, 45, 78 and 16), please let me know! It's not very big, and it works better than his (but his is stereo, so we keep that). It is also eminently fiddle-with-able.

May 26th

Okay, the Expo story (which in the cold light of day looks completely uninformative) is now at Expo 99: the non-technical version. And now I know why I woke up at about 6am this morning: it's when Alan's Civilisation-building collapsed.

He started playing it, incidentally, at about 11pm. No comment.

May 25th

Alan has written half an account of Expo, I see. I've done a quick run-through of the easier half: the non-technical stuff, and he's going to put it somewhere on the other side of the modem as it's a bit long. 35k. Whoops. When he gets around to it, I'll stick the URL here.

Remarkably, Alan was up by noon. I am in shock.

May 24th

Came back from Expo. Was lots of fun. More when Alan has written something I can comment on and when I'm properly awake. There's quite a bit to fill in. Star Wars, hot weather, many bars and a dancing robot (ahem). Also, sushi, a trip to the zoo, glow-in-the-dark drinks glasses, one copy of "Cryptonomicon" and two reels of film to develop. I think I shall put them on a site that has better bandwidth than this, if any are any good. There may even be Linux-related stuff, too.

May 14th

Set off for Expo. A bit early, yes. Set off at 2am UK time. Arrived 9pm US time (don't ask me to translate the two). Slight panic when we realised there was no room service for food, but luckily there was a place to eat that was "just within walking distance". 200 yards away. Ahem.

Many apologies from Doug and Jessica, who met us, for the "bad weather". (It was drizzling a bit.) It's very hot here.

May 13th

Packed for Expo.

May 11th

That'll teach me to make silly comments. Alan got back at 2.45am. By the time the train got to Newport it was an hour late and just in time for a bomb scare further up the line at Cardiff, so he ended up in a taxi.

As I remember he said something about "Various people said hello to you, but I can't remember who at the moment". And then he fell asleep. So: if that was you, then hello.

May 10th

Alan has stolen my train vouchers for netproject tomorrow. Re-reading the apology letter that accompanied them, I perceive some minor errors. I still have a copy of what I sent, but I'm beginning to believe no-one ever read it.

The envelope should have warned me. They got my surname wrong. They got the area of Swansea I live in wrong. They got my postcode wrong. My handwriting isn't that bad, but all of these were printed on my letter to them to avoid precisely this problem. Looking at their reply, I find that my complaint about a journey from Swansea to Exeter via London Paddington has been responded to with an apology for my journey to London Euston, a place I have never (knowingly..) been to in my life (unless they took us on the scenic journey, I suppose...) And the whole thing begins by referring to my "recent correspondence received 2nd March". Recent? This thing's dated 3rd May.

This approach to time, of course, explains a lot about the Virgin timetable.

I begin to doubt Alan's chances of arriving in time for his talk tomorrow.

I was going to scan in my letter and the reply, but I can't, because Alan hasn't tested things since he moved things round in the machine room (he does this every two days, at a guess), and such is his faith in the stability of Linux that "he doesn't want everything to break if the scanner sulks". So he claims, at least. Looking at the heap of junk on top of the scanner, I suspect it's more that he might have to return some of the CDs to downstairs, put the Jolt bottles in the bin, and find out where he's supposed to be putting the heaps of paper...

May 9th

Email slightly better. I can now run a mail-reader again, but although Alan is receiving his mail, mine is getting lost. Alan was eventually persuaded that this was interesting and fixed it. Sort of. Broke my editor for me, but fixed it.

Found an abandoned box of penguin mints, half-full. Hid it. Now I can't find it. Either it's in such a safe place that I'll never find it again, or Alan found it anyway.

May 8th

Started stacking filing cabinet. I fear this was a mistake, as Alan will now be inclined to regard it as a permanent fixture downstairs.

Decided windowmaker is nice. For some reason, though, something wasn't working entirely right. Found the source rpm, was very brave and spent 40 minutes watching it build, giggled at the messages "Checking for (specific thing)... uh oh", was about to install it, discovered I'd got the wrong version. Well done, Telsa. Got right one. Gnome still refuses to admit it's Gnome-compliant and won't give me a pager. Pooh!

A friend of Alan's came to visit, Jean, which seemed a good opportunity to go for a meal again. Twice in one week. This is fun!

Alan decided to upgrade email to fix something. This, for reasons best known to him, required upgrading everything else on the (rather old) machine that has the mail. Email went mad.

One of the two railway companies I complained to after the craziness of trying to reach London for netproject replied, with vouchers! Just in time for the next netproject...

May 6th

I can't believe Alan is commenting on the size of the gateau that arrived for dessert. He not only polished off three large courses, but finished mine when I couldn't eat it all...

May 5th

Alan had to get up by 11 today as a phone call was expected. To my secret glee, the phone call didn't happen, with the result that he was up all morning.

The other expected incident today was the arrival of a filing cabinet. I am so fed up of falling over lists of jumper settings, piles of PC case screws, screwdrivers, empty Jolt bottles, and documentation in what Alan calls "dead tree" form that when Alan arrived back from Iceland I told him I'd bought him a filing cabinet. Alan was not exactly overwhelmed by this, so I had to drag him to the shop on the excuse of looking at printers to demonstrate that it was quite a small filing cabinet, really.

Well, it looked small in the shop. When it arrived today, it looked slightly larger. The delivery guy was clearly sceptical that it would get through the door. I was chatting to a neighbour outside the door (good timing, I thought) whilst Alan and the delivery man manoeuvred the thing through the door. When I tried to get back into the house I realised that it was going to have to move from its place in the hall very soon.

Alan hadn't (of course) cleared a space for it in the Black Hole, so after some hilarious attempts at moving the thing, demonstrating again that a hacker's grasp of practical life is driven only by theory ("Well, if you take the weight on that end, then it will go onto the trolley. Simple principles of physics...Oh. Erm..." Long pause punctuated only by giggles on my part and head-scratching on Alan's), it's currently ensconced in the telephone alcove.

Getting it up the stairs will be a laugh.

May 4th

There is one good thing about the accountant ringing up in the mornings. Alan has to get out of bed.

Alan is now horribly busy trying to catch up with stuff and has left me in charge of "organising a new filing system". (Paper, I note, for those who think of filing systems as being something to do with computers.) This is going to be fun. Organising Alan is an interesting experience.

I have found gnome-pim after his foolish "but Telsa doesn't have this" remark, and in the hunt for it I found a rather promising looking GNOME program: gAlarm which has most definite potential. If "Get up!" doesn't work, I plan to find a sound file of a disc head smashing into the disc, as I'm sure that'll have him up in a hurry.

Note to all ISPs: the link going down at the same time as Telsa hits control-alt-backspace makes for a rather panicked Telsa.

Alan apparently had a great time in Portugal, and comments that at least a third of the Portuguese language involves waving one's hands about. I'll bet he fitted right in there, then.

May 3rd

Whee! He's back, the bag is in the middle of the floor, and he's apparently had much fun. And what did he bring me back from the land of wine and sherry? Four plastic penguin heads, that's what. How ... useful.

I've been asked for a more obvious feedback route. So there you are! But please note: This should be clear from the above, but: I am not a kernel hacker. I am not an anything hacker. "Is this diary true?" will get answered. (It is.) "I have a problem compiling the brainsplat module under the pre-sliced option terminator; I am using the mutability framewedger on the standard infernalisation build" will not. (Well, it might be answered in a similar vein, but for a real answer, look elsewhere. It's much safer.)