The more accurate diary. Really.

Warning: These are old.

On with the diary. If the fonts are wrong then this may explain it.

February 2002

March 1st
Before anyone else asks you, cwtch is a word I got from my dad and Google (ye gods, I'm turning into a free advertising service here, so I shall forego the link) knows about it.

Daffodil day here, also know as St David's Day. Excellent day to do the shopping. Cooking demonstrations in the market (followed by a smell of burning and then a smell of air freshener), many small children in national dress, most other people wearing daffodils, and two temporary marquees with a ton of stalls in them with local produce have appeared.

This local produce was noticeably skewed in certain directions. I am now possessed of the indisputably useful information that there are twelve vineyards in Wales. This is only slightly disconcerting. Far more disconcerting is the realisation that I think I managed to try alcohol -- largely the distilled kind -- from all of them.

Floated home to a Gnome desktop I have managed to destroy. (Here's one I destroyed earlier.) Got the cards in aisleriot to display two different sets of numbers simultaneously and gnome-terminal to start with random fonts. My word.

Installed some remarkable themes that make Gnome (and sawfish, and windowmaker, and xmms, and..) look like the Mozilla modern style. Beautiful. Very large screenshots (be warned) at the usual place. But since my gnome-terminal madness does not look likely to resolve itself, clearly this is a sign that I should just install the Gnome-2 betas on this box rather than some testing box I then only use a little and see what happens.

February 28th
Alan up early today to catch the train to London and talk at people about how Linux is useful. He bumped into Michael, who enthused about profiling (memory use, not people), and Dave Jones. Whilst looking for Dave's homepage (which he appears to eschew) I got a wonderful sponsored link for him on google: search for dave jones suse linux with a browser that shows the sponsored links (Lynx won't) and admire Are you a code poet? showing up. (Actually, on trying that again, it seems to cycle through several, but I thought the code poet one was cute the first time).

Google made it into the Guardian newspaper's corrections and clarifications column the other day, too. I hope they don't start checking how to spell colour and centre with that now: the US spellings are bound to outnumber the proper ones.

February 27th
Remembered to remove the new battery from the Vaio before it too died in the same fashion as the old one. Thank you, Sony. For those who don't know: leave your battery in whilst the machine is connected to the wall socket and eventually your battery will retain charge for just long enough to boot up, to log in, and to type startx. So now I have a new battery and a long time of attempting to drain the old one totally flat, recharge it, drain it flat, recharge it, drain it flat.. (rinse and repeat).

Threw a bunch of old vegetables out. Sigh. Throwing food out irks me. When I say old, I mean bought this week. The potatoes survived, but are all striking out for any nearby soil that may happen to exist in the cupboard. I am quite sure that when I was little, the potatoes we bought from the greengrocer would last somewhat longer than three days. My dad has memories of buying potatoes by the hundredweight in autumn and storing then in the outside cwtch and then eating them until spring when he was young. Of course, they were proper potatoes then.

February 26th
The scaffolding disappeared over the course of the morning (due to builders, not weather). House now looks strangely flat when viewed from the front.

Bought some business card CDs because I had a cunning plan. Got them home. Forgot the plan.

Alan decided that it is my job to back up the ogg collection. 8.2Gb. Joy. Next thing to learn: incremental backups :)

No wonder it was loud last night. Local news said we had record-breaking winds here, and more floods are on their way. Having seen footage of the floods in La Paz last week, though, I think we've come off pretty lightly.

February 25th
Caught up on mail, then wandered off to collect a visitor from the station. It rained. The wind blew. A police car soaked me as it went through a puddle on the road. Welcome to Wales.
February 24th
Alan up early for radio rally. I decided to accompany him to supervise. Found laptop bags which were so tiny I wasn't sure even my tiny Vaio would fit in them. That was about it. Lots of radio stuff (well, it was a radio rally...) and lots of junk which Alan no longer buys because he can get it cheaper on Ebay. (I could wish he just didn't buy it, but oh well...)

Returned via Tesco, to Alan's disgust. Conned into shopping! I think I win.

February 23rd
Justin rang and informed Alan of a radio rally (amateur radio people getting together to sell each other what I call junk and what Alan calls useful kit) which might have a pile of computer equipment. Alan is looking for some small obscure item, so he was very happy.

Started sunny and clear, became rainy and typical, and turned into bitterly cold when we went out for a wander in the evening. Pretty normal stuff, but there isn't much else to say...

February 22nd
Still desperately trying to sort out accommodation (which is turning into a nightmare) and travel (which is expensive but at least not chaotic and confusing) for GUADEC III (or GUAD3C, it seems) in Sevilla. I suspect speaking Spanish would help a lot here. Thankfully, some people on IRC are more organised than I am. Now I have a place to stay. (If you don't, start looking: for some reason there's a lot of full hotels.) I just need to find cheap travel now.

Back to the return of Return to the Forbidden Planet because Alan hadn't seen it. What a disaster, I had to see it again too :) Distressingly empty theatre: and people who book aisle seats for that particular show and then don't get up and dance at the end should feel ashamed, since I had to get past lots of people. It's not often you're actively encouraged to do that.

Alan updated his diary without prompting. Wow.

February 21st
Alan's horrendous hours are finally destroying mine. I'm not entirely happy about this: mornings are for getting stuff done without hackers underfoot. He was eventually woken when I took a phone call about the public lecture he and Dick are giving in March. UK folks (and anyone visiting :)), If you mean to attend, reserve a place. Taliesin isn't small, but the jokes about packing it out are looking less like jokes now. The details are on the top page.

Alan should have said this but his diary is out of date again. I am not allowed to be too rude about him though because he has apparently taken my Why did you think I needed a tape drive? plaints to heart and, to make up, has bought me something he thought I might prefer. A furry mouse striped in pink and cream like Bagpuss (an old children's programme). He's so sweet.

February 20th
Oh dear. Overslept. Still up several hours before Alan though.

Alan has still not removed the broken laser printer from my room. He snaffled the working one some time ago. He's very lucky I forgot to put the bins out or it might have gone out with them.

The email pile is disastrously high. Apologies to those waiting for responses.

February 19th
Alan is still acquiring bits and pieces of electronic junk. But I forgive him all for today, because in digging around in the junk heaps he found a very ancient backup tape from the mail machine which had most of my mail archives which I had subsequently lost. I am very happy about this.

Out to the theatre with friends to see Return to the Forbidden Planet for about the sixth time. Alan couldn't go because he was in Cardiff, so I think I may get a seventh visit in by the end of the week.

February 18th
As the rain came down more heavily yesterday, we had to shut the door when it seemed to be mostly dry. This morning it took quite an effort to get out of the house and now we have a white stripe down the door where the paint on the door frame stuck to the door.

Decided to ignore it, loftily. You can't see it from in here, after all...

Spent most of the day running around in circles and achieving nothing. Skipped LUG to get some work finished, and failed to finish it.

February 17th
Door jamb got painted which meant the door had to stay open for hours. Which meant someone had to watch the hall. Which meant I had to keep the door downstairs open. Which meant I got very cold. Because it started to rain again. I knew nearly a week of no rain was too good to be true.

Asked Alan to keep an eye out whilst I went for more clothes and some coffee. He got bored rapidly and started digging through the box of junk he had earlier claimed was all my rubbish (which I threw back at him a while ago). He dragged out a white box in triumph and announced, It's a motion-detector. Of course it is. Just the sort of thing everyone has lying unused at the bottom of a heap of electronics. (Not that I can complain: the only thing I ever wanted to build out of Maplins catalogues was a Geiger counter. No, I have no idea why.)

At first it responded to police cars and gusts of wind, but eventually it worked more sanely. Well, I think it did. I didn't hear any unwanted visitors taking anything away, at least..

February 16th
More sun. More building. More rugby. Wales lost again, but this time it was much more exciting to watch. Alarmingly, Ireland, who flattened Wales, were in turn demolished by England. I fear embarrassment when Wales play England.

Alan had a noodle eruption in the evening. I came in to find him picking bits of noodles off the floor. Apparently they flew out of the cupboard at him. Yes, Alan.

February 15th
More sun, more building, more leaving the front door open. It may be sunny but it is also cold. Brr.

The optician has a new trick now. When trying on new spectacle frames, a computer camera takes pictures of you. Then you put on your working glasses and look at the pictures whilst able to focus. Cunning. My eyes are not improving, alas.

February 14th
Warning: linkfest ahead.

Sunny again. The word discombobulated (scroll down; if that doesn't work, this might) springs to mind. As if by magic, builders appeared. Scaffolding to go soon. However will I direct people to the house now?

Val Henson got interviewed on Newsforge. Cool.

February 13th
Amazing. A UK official body Lynx-friendly website which validates. Shame about the rest of them...

Apparently the builders got bored waiting for the sun. No rain yesterday. No rain for the first couple of hours of today. So it's lunchtime and they are here in hope.

Giggled a lot at the invitation to LCA 2003 (which took a long time to download: the README and mpeg are mirrored on among other places). Alan promptly grabbed the mpeg because he had been looking for a PAL mpeg and thought it would be amusing to submit as the sample mpeg for a bug report.

February 12th
Stole CD back from Alan. Ogged it. Found out later he'd already done it. I didn't know, because he forgot to tell me that Oggit the Ogg Server (naming scheme, what's a naming scheme?) was dead. I thought he'd firewalled me off it. Luckily, all the oggs now live on another box.

No rain all of today. I only need another two days and we can have the outside of the house finished. On past rain-free day counts, this seems unlikely.

Went through a box of Telsa-rubbish Alan has left lying about. Extracted 10% of it , and put the remainder back in his room. It's not mine. He can have it back.

February 11th
My You Slosh albums (well, album and a half) arrived. Danced around to them in the shower, in the kitchen, and up and down the house. I am happy now.

Five minutes after that, Alan stole the CD.

Also arriving was a new battery for my Vaio. I managed to destroy the old one. I had two pieces of advice on batteries: always keep them in when the power is on; or continually charge, drain and recharge them. I followed the first as the easier option, and was left with a battery that lasted long enough to boot up the laptop, login, and type startx. This is not very good. I would try to blame Sony for this, along with the amazing pop-out keyboard, the non-standard screw sizes, and the non-documentation, but I think on this one it might be my fault.

Alan updated his diary. So that's what he's been doing. It makes no sense to me.

February 10th
Perhaps if I stop watching for rain, it won't rain.

Broke xconfig. The make xconfig sort, not the setting-up-X sort. I've sure there were never so many options before. Alan told me to use it, and then told me it was broken. Sigh.

Alan tidied up a bit today. He has made room for the working laser printer in his room. The broken one is still down here.

Alan is keeping ridiculous hours at the moment, and has been coming to bed at about 4am for a week. Unfortunately, this is wrecking my schedule too, and I keep finding myself awake at 2am and not wanting to get up in the mornings. I don't like this. Mornings are cool.

February 9th
Started off with no rain, and I had hopes we might get the first of three rain-free days again. Alas, by the time we set off to Justin's in the evening, it had been raining again.

Justin's thirtieth seemed a good excuse for a party. Lots of people from all over the place, some of whom I hadn't seen for years. Much catching-up. It's really strange how there are one or two places that seem to have employed lots of people I know over the years: there was a NTL reminiscence session at one stage, and then two people who had never met discovered they worked for the same company and had travelled up separately.

Alan disgraced himself by browsing Ebay from Sharon's computer during the party. We got back home and he disappeared into the computer room. I fear I know what he was doing there.

February 8th
Interesting fact of the day: too much pearl barley in left-over soup can set it solid. I do not consider this a feature, although I suppose it would make a good sandwich. Will test this theory on Alan tomorrow.
February 7th
More parcels for Alan. And one for me from family. Alan had to answer the door for that. Hah.

Alan has been playing with the printers (plural) and with a computer downstairs. I have been playing and singing along to oggs. I'm not sure he appreciated the singing, but I don't care.

People keep asking me about the building. The penultimate update (I hope): the inside is done. The decorating to cover up the inside is done. The cellar pump is on order. And we are waiting for a few consecutive rain-free days for the final stuff on the outside of the house. We have been waiting for a while on that last one...

February 6th
Yes! Finally, I have You Slosh albums on the way! Either that or I just gave my credit card details over the phone to someone who is about to steal my life (and have a nasty shock when he gets it). The website of Celtic Music, who have You Slosh albums is very very out of date (for a start, I used a different phone number), but apparently there are about fifty copies of the thing left. Had I any sense, I'd have asked about the chances of making mp3s or oggs, but I only thought of it after putting the phone down.

Today is just wonderful, and it's only just half-way through.

Slightly later: went shopping with Dick and Alan and managed to get Alan into the bookshop. Spent lots of money. Left book tokens at home. Whoops. LUG meeting later. Spent rather less there :) Still only one topic in some sections of Wales: overheard various people discussing the disastrous rugby results. Came back to find the coach had resigned. Or left through a mutual decision or something (the other deciders being the WRU, whose website has the only chatboard which is not calling for their resignation en masse).

February 5th
How many more disasters can our poor mail box have? Just going down briefly said Alan, and rebooted before I even had a chance to save and logout. Five hours later, he was staring at fsck forlornly and not responding to When will you want tea?.

Still raining. We need three days without rain before the builders can finish the outside of the house. The scaffolding is still up as a consequence. When it comes down, I'm not going to be able to find the house any more.

Some very helpful person found out how to order You Slosh CDs. After all these years, I can finally replace them. Alas, they do not answer the phone at 8pm. Tomorrow... tomorrow.. :)

February 4th
The inquest begins. Welsh Mirror has a front-page pic of a gravestone reading RIP Welsh Rugby. Western Mail has about twelve pages of commentary, little of it polite. Evening Post has a few words to say too. And one of the Welsh bookmakers is offering odds on Henry's (he's the Welsh coach) successor in the event he goes.

And an Irish friend was terribly nice about it all, too.

Got Alan to switch mail stuff so that another machine which thinks its called the same thing gets my email. Think it went well, but you never know.

Another parcel. Alan has despaired of the laser printer he acquired cheap on Ebay (it didn't survive the journey) and has bought another at a knockdown price. Now there are two of the things sitting in the corner of my room. Since it has not vanished upstairs, I have a suspicion that this one doesn't work either.

Too many rows, accusations and ill-informed comments on IRC, so watched the first quarter of I, Claudius on the telly instead. Now that's how to subvert and usurp and plot.

February 3rd
54-10 is all very well, but Wales were not supposed to be the side getting the 10. I think I foresee more doom and woe against Italy now, never mind against England. One of the rugby bulletin boards is now telling pods are for whales, not Wales and So in the training session, Henry shouts "Usual positions, lads!" and turns round to find everyone lined up behind the posts jokes. And that's the Welsh posters. I dread to think what they're saying over the border.

I have discovered what has happened to my old terminal. Alan swiped it a while ago, and it seems to be a serial console for what appears to me to be an Etch-a-Sketch toy. Alan assures me it's actually a computer.

February 2nd
Windy and rainy now. Crickhowell, where my dad comes from, is cut off.

Alan got up so late he missed the start of the rugby. Shame on him. France beat Italy. Italy seemed to have a game plan that involved being a man short at all times. England beat Scotland. The game was better than the very one-sided score suggests. Ireland/Wales tomorrow.

February 1st
More tar discoveries. The --exclude option wants leading slashes taken off it, I think. I can't find it in the man or info pages, but I have a list of bugs in the docs now instead. Turns out that if I don't include the oggs, /home goes from 4.9bG to 0.6Gb.

Tethys let me know where I'd messed up a stylesheet and showed me how to add pretties from CSS3 (do they never stop) so that at least Mozilla would see them. I have the terrible feeling that this ridiculous style I was playing with will turn into something pretty now.

It's getting quite windy here. The Six Nations rugby starts this weekend, and lots of Welsh fans are trying to get across the Irish Sea to Dublin. I hope it's more exciting that the morass Swansea have got themselves into.

Alan spent most of the day hacking until I dragged him out for a meal (reason we eat out so much: no computers at restaurants). It was a leave-the-hat-behind night. Alan's would have gone sailing off into the wind. I wasn't confident my woolly one would survive either.

January 31st
Alan got up before me today. When I asked why he'd got up (which is not normally his favourite option) he looked perplexed and then decided, Don't know in a puzzled tone of voice.

He has successfully put the laser printer back together but it still doesn't work. Naturally it remains in my room as a result. He has also created a Telsa-trap in his room. Yesterday I wandered in and stopped to find I couldn't get any further: huge pieces of machinery were blocking my way in. I had to call him to move it before I could reach him. He found this funny. Today there was nothing visible there, so I bounded in and then ended up on the floor saying very rude words after treading on a number of case screws in bare feet. He thought that was funny too. I am not sure I shall look tomorrow.

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.)