The more accurate diary. (Old stuff)

Warning: These are old.

October 31
Goodness. Tescos stuff arrived. I'm rather shocked.
October 30
Catching up with house day. Took the plunge and ordered a washer-drier, since we have nowhere other than radiators for drying. Observed the pieces of buddleia bush sailing around what passes for the back yard and decided today was for indoor jobs. Went on the hunt for wireless doorbells. There are too many rooms and closed doors for one chime to be heard everywhere. Nowhere local sells them, so resorted to the net. Eventually found them on a site which also advertised region-unlocked MP3-playing DVD players. Used up some book tokens on another site. Got carried away and decided to do the Tesco shopping-via-the-net thing for a laugh (and anyway, if I don't have to carry them, think how much beer and wine and other heavy bottles I can get).


To cut a very long (most of the evening) story short, this has resulted in two new bugs in Mozilla's bugzilla, dragging out old communicators I didn't know I still had, discovering I can't get fortify to work on navigator 4.75 (what on earth did I do?) and going through the same collection of browsers with different version numbers on Alan's machines. At one stage I even contemplated getting the latest Lynx which is alleged to have some javascript support but I can never get the SSL into it without pain. It also involved staring in disbelief at the site (about which Bobby the accessibility-checker had a few things to say: one frame alone was missing over forty alt tags, to my incredulity), giggling at "The site wants to set another cookie. You already have seventeen cookies from this site. Accept this one?" and Alan eventually downloading the entire shopping page and editing the frame sizes on it to be usable (and putting a penguin into the junkbuster'd space which I thought was quite cute).

I had seen my sister use the site with ease earlier, but she has IE on Windows. The site is various versions on IIS on various flavours of Windows (thank you, Netcraft) so perhaps it works better that way.

One we'd finally sent the order off (this is after the site crashed but before the browser died) we got a blank email back. Somehow Alan managed to get a more reasonable email back afterwards. We are now eagerly awaiting the delivery of -1 items tomorrow.

I think we'll be walking (or, if the weather persists, wading) in future. It's faster.

October 29
Confused mozilla utterly. Long time since I've been able to do that.

Decided that my head hurt and despite the weather not improving I needed a walk. Alan asked whether I had seen the weather (he's the one using an applet to check it: I have a window for that) and then elected to come along too for laughter value. Not fifty yards down the main road a drain had blocked and water covered the width of the main road. Cars were coming down the hill, slowing, and then throwing up a shower of water all over the pavement. Watched Alan proceed along the pavement, laughed as he was drenched by a car which didn't slow down, and failed to notice the bus behind it. I then got very wet: buses throw up a lot of water.

Given the wind and rain, and Alan's claims of "hail expected" (but he got that from the net, so it was probably the forecast for Mombasa or something), decided the beach would be a bad idea.

Channel 4 were evil and put Scrapheap on early, but we caught most of it. Including the "here, a book to help you with all our strange nerd words". Hackers dictionary. Robert Llewelyn is now fascinated with the word "frob".

It is now 1.30am and there is a man wading down the road with a large drain-unblocking vehicle (or so I assume) following him. I don't know why: the forecast is for more of the same.

I have not dared check the water level in the cellar.

October 28
Apparently Alan does not like rugby league. He omits the fact that we could have gone down and watched the (untelevised) match but it was raining (surprise!) and there was all that email to deal with. Our one trip into town was hindered by driving rain and window and several abandoned and ruined umbrellas. (Umbrellas are pretty pointless when it's windy around here: they turn inside-out.)

Very windy night. No windows broke, thankfully. The not-yet-replaced ones rattled a lot, though.

October 27
I did the catching up on email thing. Rather to my surprise I had not run out of disk despite forgetting to set several lists at /dev/null whilst away.

Watched news and was glad we'd come back when we did. Apparently the trains are not going to improve.

October 26
Returned from visiting sister, no thanks to the rail companies and Railtrack. I am getting paranoid. Every time I use the trains for even a remotely long journey, there is a fatal rail accident in the week before. I am almost scared to book tickets now, in case someone else dies.

On the visit itself:

October 19
Went to visit sister. Cleverly forgot powercord for laptop so was unable to catch up with some documentation I meant to do. Woe. Alas. Horrors. I was very sad about this. You can tell.

October 17
It was very cold today. I noticed this particularly since we still had no hearting and were waiting for the nice man at many pounds per hour to come and make it all better. The nice man arrived at 10pm (at least he warned us) and told me, in effect, not to worry my little head about it. I couldn't hear his explanation, I asked, and, "It's alright, I was talking to your other half, not you". Grr.

Messed around with various travel sites on the web. Discovered that they all lie about prices and when you ring the people up, it's twice the price. The machine survived all these insane sites despite their attempts to kill Mozilla with mad web design (they failed). It did not, however, survive my attempt to go and close all the gnorpm bugs that Alan and Malcolm Tredinnick fixed.

Alan seems to think if he closes any in RH bugzilla, someone else can do the relevant ones in the gnome-bugtracker. And of course, there's a lot more in the gnome tracker...

So I wrote a generic "closed because... update at.. thank you for reporting.." response. And fished out Alan's "mail lots of people a file script" to fire them all at the bugtracker so in theory the bugtracker would send each reporter their own copy of the close note and put the note onto the webpage for the bug number, and close the bug.

Many jokes about Alan being a proto-spammer ensued, but it emerges he wouldn't be a very good one. He forgot to put a sleep in the loop that did the actual mailing, I wondered about it, tried it with a small group of people, the machine seemed okay with it, and then I fired off the big one. It got most of the way through mailing the messages and then top became nothing but sendmail, sendmail, sendmail, everything started going slowly, the disk began going "gronk, gronk gronk", top dumped core when the load average hit 23 and then I ran out of file descriptors. Yay.

I panicked a great deal about whether it would kill the bug-tracker, but it didn't (wow), and then I realised that the old maintainer and not Alan would still have got all the notifications (oh dear, bet he loves me now) and then I started getting all the replies -back- from the bugtracker and I ran away.

October 16
You can tell Alan's on holiday. He has spent ages messing around on the computer; he has turned my almost-goulash into some kind of mush ("What are you doing?" "I'm adding the tomatoes I chopped to give it some more liquid, it's dry" "Oh" [Long pause whilst my back is turned until I discover...] "What are you doing!?" "You said it needed more liquid, so I was mushing the tomatoes up for you." Argh); and he decided to redeem himself by bleeding the radiators. Oh dear. It emerged there had been a lot of air in them: he proudly announced that we had had the equivalent of two entire radiators full of air rather than water, and then he noticed that losing that had dropped the pressure to half of what it had started at. Argh. So we needed to get more water into the allegedly-closed system (closed, as in: all that air got in s omehow, but..) I banned him from attempting to fix it (especially given that the pressure overflow is still not safe), although he did remove parts of the new kitchen (argh!) to get at the boiler.
October 15
There's a list of the three hundred most powerful people in Britain making the rounds of the Sunday papers. There's always some list like that circulating in one of the papers: the thing that made me notice this one is that Steve Case is number four, and amongst numerous IT-related names are the heads of Sun, Oracle, Cisco and MS... and one Linus Torvalds. Oh yes, and JK Rowling makes it in, too. Whee.
October 14
Efforts to awaken Alan in time for shopping were completely wrecked by the fact that by the time he surfaced, it was time for the rugby on television, although I am pressing the point that we could have gone to the ground to watch it if he'd got up at a sensible time (and done the shopping first). Swansea beat Stade Francais with fourteen men (lesson here: if kicked, do not retaliate when the ref is watching, apparently) and something I have never seen before: uncontested scrums. Most strange. I think the weather helped, actually: I am not sure how used the rest of Europe is to Welsh rain...

Next time, I am not waiting for Alan to rise from slumber, and I'm going anyway.

October 13
Memo to self: never, ever, ever, upgrade both software and hardware simultaneously again. If you do, do not grab all the errata and dump those on without checking everything else out first. Because when things start to fall apart, you have no idea what's at fault. The only thing I could rule out was "I got the wrong updates" because I had at least got into the habit of checking keys before installing.

It took most of the day to fix, and we haven't actually fixed it: the problem has just mysteriously gone away. It could be the broken I created, it could be the new RAM which got taken out and put back in again, it could be the changes I made to XF86Conf, and by now I don't care so long as it doesn't come back and I never have to see memtest again.

Oh yes: other fact learned: to my disgust, I begin to suspect that hardware only works if Alan puts it in. Even if he watches me do it and pronounces it good, something still goes wrong. I find it unfair that I tie my hair back and run my hands along the radiator and act with painstaking care, and he justs rips the machine apart and bodges it back together and the wretched thing boots for him but not me. Whose machine is it, anyway?

The washing machine and fridge-freezer have not yet migrated back into the kitchen, and I fear they're going to grow roots where they are. This would be very bad.

October 12

The someone came back and laid lino on the kitchen floor and we are now very happy. We have one complete room in the house. Whee. Only all the rest to go. Argh. We've been here a month and I have stopped noticing the holes in two walls where the fires were removed and the fact that half the ground floor skirting boards are neatly stacked up against a wall. This is bad.

Alan wanted to retrieve a network card from my machine, and after I discovered he had burned some RH 7.0 CDs (we have a CD burner? Since when?) I decided it was a good idea to upgrade my main machine and give it some more RAM at the same time. I have learned a valuable lesson now. See October 13th for it.

October 11

Someone came and smeared goo all over the kitchen floor and told us not to walk on it. I was very proud of myself for getting the kettle and coffee out of there first, but I forgot to switch the heating off, and couldn't reach it without walking on the floor. The weather started to brighten up then, of course.

Michael "I'll be wearing a red hat for identification" Tieman visited briefly. Alan wore one, too. Just to be helpful. I hate to say it, but more than one person with matching red hats is quite a funny sight. The taxi driver was most puzzled at it.

My hat isn't red, but it's a much cooler hat. It has a scarf. And tassels. So there.

Weather was most amazingly wet. I tried to convince him that parts of Swansea were quite pleasant, but since you couldn't see any of it, I don't think it worked, although I think he liked the local beer.

Eventually remembered to switch the heating off. Must figure the timer out. Or stop having days where I can't walk on the kitchen floor.

October 10

Moved the fridge-freezer and the washing machine out of the kitchen into the building-site room so someone can do and do things to the kitchen floor. Alan was macho and started moving the washing machine on his own. It bit him and he has a purple toe now.

October 9
Alan noticed the kitchen handles but not, apparently, the New Bedroom Order to do with clothes living in cupboards and not in boxes or on the floor. He also announced that he is on holiday, which I suspect means he won't do anything which I consider useful but he is catching up with email, destroying his keyboard. The 'a' key keeps falling off and his comments on IRC become a-less before he stops to hunt the key from the floor. I can't help but think that this is why he has started tidying the machine room up already.
October 8
Counted hours until Alan expected back. At about the right time, he rang, and the rest of the day was punctuated with "I am now as far as this place and something else has gone wrong" calls. Eventually he returned. Whee. I no longer have to do the daily woodlouse removal pre-coffee.
October 7
Months ago, Alan and I got tickets with a bunch of friends to go and see West Side Story at the theatre. Alan didn't seem very enthusiastic at the time, and I forgot all about it with the passage of time. Then friends rang up to remind me it was today and I realised Alan's timing of his escape from the theatre was deeply suspicious. Rang around and left various "want a ticket?" messages on answerphones. The only person I could catch was my sister, who would have loved to come but was 300 miles away. She did sing me snatches of it down the phone to demonstrate it was worth hearing. Thanks, Deb :)

Meal at Heather's, much perfect dinner conversation courtesy of friends who have recently had their first child (well, perfect for a hospital equipment manufacturer, a pathologist, and a nurse: not sure what the others thought about the whole thing), large quantities of wine, and one fun musical. Nice night, and Alan should not have run away to Denmark, or wherever he is.

Friends laughed at my tales of "I keep hearing noises when I'm on my own" but checked the house for monsters in the cupboards under the pretence of seeing it for the first time, and I was much reassured.

October 6
Located phone by ringing it endlessly. It is over six feet up on top of a rack. I am just over five foot. No wonder I didn't see it. Thank you, Alan. To add insult to injury, a lightbulb went 'plink' and flipped the fuse switch. It emerges that the fuse box is nine feet up the wall, and in such a position that the ladder is hard to place.

More Alan packages (missing racking bits?). Apparently the delay was due to the fact that the parcel had his name and the road name -- but no house number. Pah. Excuses.

October 5
Kitchen handles arrived. Finally. I no longer need to leave half the cupboards ajar to get into them.

No Alan, still. I wish he'd told me where he'd hidden the phone in the machine room. I hear it ringing, bound in, hunt the noise, and people ring off whilst I, having given up, am bounding down the stairs to the phone which doesn't move.

I am not sure that this is what 'mobile phones' is all about.

October 2
Alan gone away again :( Sniffle. His racking (or parts of it) arrived and he spent a merry several hours building it. I have instructions to watch the post for a number of other things whilst he is away, which is a nusisance, as it means I can't go away until they arrive.

Wandering around the new house, jumping at noises still. Eep.

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.)