The more accurate diary. Really. Old stuff.

Warning: These are old.

August 2003

August 31st

I strained my back a while ago, and lifting the laundry has not helped. Ow. Grr.

Alan grabbed the latest pile of updates to the RH beta. Then installed them all on my test box without telling me. Then admitted that he had got rid of my test accounts without checking that I had my normal account on it. To be helpful.

August 30th

Justin picked up half our pile of recycling and took it (and me) up with the rest of his. Great fun sending them all smashing into the bottle bank. Got totally lost in the giant supermarket which has the recycling stuff. There comes a time when there is just too much choice.

To Justin's in the evening with the usual suspects for a meal.

August 29th

I have been complaining for months that I have not been able to do the backups onto tape, and so instead I have had to hunt about for a box with enough space and then tie up the network with rsyncs. Alan has finally given up on fixing the tape drive and instead has presented me with some USB..thing, onto which I can do the backups. Something tells me that I shall regularly receive Please back up /kernels/very-important/ and ~alan/ now.

Long conversations on #i18n in the evening. Made Alan cook because I was busy talking. He took revenge with a meal entirely of veggie-burger, veggie-nuggets, waffles, and not a single real vegetable to be seen.

August 28th

Not a single complaint about the diary page of yesterday. Either no-one read it, or no-one could find the email all the spammers find, or no-one disagreed. Amazing. Apparently the vote has been delayed, so time to write letters on real paper.

Finally: the Gnome 'essential' packages are completely translated into Welsh in time for 2.4. No Pan, no Evolution, no Galeon: they're not in the essentials group. They're mostly in the extras group though, and Evolution is well on the way. Hearty thanks to everyone involved. I think I shall make a complete list, since I know there have been dozens of people involved. Daf has now been conned into co-ordinating the rest of the Welsh Gnome effort. Hee.

August 27th

Good job we saw Mars the other night. It's all cloudy here now.

Wales finally won a rugby international. I am happy now.

August 26th

Back home despite the best efforts of Virgin Rail, who sent a four-carriage train instead of an eight-carriage train on one of their longer journeys (Penzance to Glasgow) and announced that all reservations were void as a result, and capped this by stopping just short of our stop to wait until our connection was gone. Cunningly, we stayed on an extra stop to catch the next fast train and arrived home only slightly late.

Drowned reading email. Gnome essentials are almost at 100% in Welsh. On the evening update, we expected it to be official and were already partying. Then it updated. Six fuzzies. Damn.

August 25th

Callously abandoned Dom to out-of-hours cover and headed off with Alan and Deb to the Eden Project which is absolutely amazing. Equally amazing was the number of people without hats. Appreciated my hat: the sun was hammering down. The tropical biome was only barely hotter than the outdoors.

Remained there in the evening for a concert by Show of Hands which band I may just have mentioned before. Once or twice. Perhaps. Found a brilliant place to sit for any future concerts, and am not telling anyone else where in case they get it :)

Lost Alan for a bit. Apparently he had been sidetracked by one of the many bands playing sets dotted around the Eden Project: Dalla. I foresee more web-based financial transactions in his future.

Eden looks absolutely amazing by night. I am disappointed that I saw no icecaps, but that's what you get for watching Bond films. (Eden was used as a set for the one involving Iceland.) And we think that on the way out we saw Mars in the sky. We don't usually see that in Swansea.

August 24th

To a local.. well, not so much a castle. More a castle-ette. To a local Location (ahem) which has tours and shows and so on for sister and her other half to dress up for mediaeval reenactment and demonstrate the Arming Of The Knight (this takes an age), the battle tactics of a motley band of mercenary-types (this was brief but violent and very exciting to watch) and the special seasonal Gasping For Water (it was very hot).

Apparently this place is the most haunted in Britain. Luckily we were there in daylight. I omit the name not through tact, special request or anything else, but because I was too busy being excited at seeing St Michael's Mount to notice the signposts for where we were actually heading.

August 23rd

Stage 2 of the round-bits-of-Britain-tour: down to Cornwall to visit sister and her boyfriend. Sister's cats have apparently taken to life in a more rural location with a vengeance. The threatened shrews did not make an appearance, but I had to rescue a frog from their antics in the evening.

August 22nd

Alan has forgotten his dad's birthday present, which was part of the point of the visit.

Investigated the mysterious clicking of the radio aerial (Alan's dad is not only a radio ham but seriously into the black arts of aerial-building, so this is more of a mast and probably required planning permission to erect). Conclusion: there is a mysterious clicking of the radio aerial.

Also informed them of Alan's latest academic plans. Apparently they read neither the kernel list nor Slashdot.

August 21st

Ugh. This latest incarnation of the Sobig virus has swamped my mailbox. I am very far from impressed. I'm just glad that I don't pay by the meg for email traffic.

I think in the last month that address has had two legitimate emails. It's been getting twenty or thirty spams for every legitimate email. And now in addition to the spam (thank goodness for spamassassin), I have had almost one hundred My details, Thank you!, That movie, Approved and Wicked screensaver emails in twenty-four hours. I think it may be time to abandon that address completely. I've been using it for years, though. Sniffle.

Escaped to Devon on the train with Alan to visit his family.

August 20th

Alan broke the news about vanishing for a bit and unleashed much chaos. It must be a slow news day. It even made Slashdot. Seeing people speculate about someone you know can be quite unsettling.

LUG in the evening. Found an excellent off-licence just down the road from the LUG venue. Mmmm.

August 19th

Hit 90% comfortably. More building work, this time at the back of the house but not requiring Alan to invade the rest of the house. We are running out of house parts which have not already been built, rebuilt, repaired, removed, inserted, painted, fixed, revamped and otherwise messed with. There can't be much further we can tinker with.

August 18th

Alan got his official acceptance back to university. I am looking forward to seeing how he deals with getting up for morning lectures again. The first time round, he made so few appearances as 08:30 lectures that I am told that he once got a round of applause just for showing up.

August 17th

And lo, Alan had right on his side, and the network connection did descend. Just as I was editing something complicated. Yay.

August 16th

Coo. Apparently my attempt (and it really was a dreadful one) to exchange a CD at the Eisteddfod worked: the right one showed up in the post. I am happy now.

Alan has decided to upgrade the mail server, but forgot to mention it to me. Wondered why it seemed to be a quiet mail day. Apparently tomorrow it's the turn of the gateway box which lets me connect to the outside world. Fun, fun.

Wales lost some more rugby. Here we go again.

August 15th

Suddenly the north American power blackout has begun to bite: the bot which runs a game I play on IRC apparently lives in Toronto. Oh no.

Packed picnic and we were off to see The Tempest in front of Oystermouth Castle. Didn't see anyone we knew this time, but Alan did. Last year the cast spotted the picnic and scrounged one of Dick's chicken legs off him as a prop (there was a scene over a meal) but not this time. Still carried an awful lot of food back. I shall be living on camembert and melon for the weekend, I think, and everyone else on hard boiled eggs. Definitely better weather than last year. It's fun seeing something outdoors, with actors having to shout (erm, I mean project) rather than rely on stage acoustics and facing the perils of aeroplanes or flocks of birds overhead.

August 14th

Grr! A reversion in one of the developer-libs modules took us down from 100% to 99.97%. Boo hiss.

Roofers were doing things to the flat roof today, which meant it was too noisy for Alan to work in his office. He came downstairs into what is normally my domain and sat unobtrusively (he thinks) or got in the way (say I) nearby. And caused trouble almost immediately when I said I wanted to put on some music. So long as it's not some of your weird rubbish stuff.

Then he decided to come shopping with me in the evening, taking over the trolley, racing around aisles, attracting awed looks from small children who are consistently told not to do anything like that, and adding strange things to the shopping.

Went to sleep after the blackouts on the east of the states were beginning to bite and after watching as much surreal coverage as I could stand. The BBC had a reporter explaining how the lights had gone out and then they'd looked out of the window and realised it wasn't just their building and that Something Was Up. I'd never have imagined that is what a power cut is like, no. Was reminded of a bug report against Gnome in 1.0 days which commented This may have happened because the power failed three times as I was installing. Our power is not very reliable here and of a number of places where power failures are a way of life. Bet they couldn't imagine it either. Subsequently the BBC managed to spell Canada's capital city as Ottowa, which as Alan knows is a surefire way to irritate its residents. I gather the BBC also got into trouble for mispronouncing Toledo as, erm, well, how the Spanish town of Toledo is pronounced, but I can understand that one. I had no idea that the US one was any different either :)

August 13th

Yay! The early hours came and went and Welsh reached 80% of GNOME translated so assuming people honour the string freeze (ha) we are safe to crow. Now to fill in the remaining fifth. All the hard stuff. Ugh.

Watched jdub coax Michael into creating an RSS feed for his diary. jdub wants them for Planet Gnome. Most of the diaries are much more Gnome-related than mine. Also, most people are using this newfangled blogging software which does things like RSS for you. I just type it all in by hand because there was no blogging software when I started (and anyway, this is not a sodding blog. So there). It is generally valid -- and fairly simple -- XHTML so it should not be hard to parse, but I can see I would have to start putting a lot more meta-information in, in order to avoid leading the intrepid explorers of Planet Gnome into becoming lost in a thicket of discussions about why the Matrix is rubbish or what I have broken now.

Michael has a perl script for creating RSS now, but perl scares me. Apparently Miguel and I are some of the last hold-outs. I am constantly coming up with great plans for the diary, but none of them happen (get all the old pages using the same DTD; use XSLT to create PDA-friendly little pages; have a non-stylesheet'd version for people who do not understand that my colour choices are cool; try to create a stylesheet for text readers...) I don't think this one is going to happen either.

Was bin day and we forgot some bits. Alan volunteered to turn the eat now collection into a meal. It was less exotic than I had feared.

August 12th

Guests departed early in the morning and we wandered off to revision lessons and to discover more joys of mutations and when to use mo in all its conjugated guises.

The essential parts of Gnome 2.4 are sitting at 79.81% translated into Welsh and have done for two updates. We are sure there's another 0.2% in there somewhere, but no-one is staying up into the small hours to see it arrive.

August 11th

Aha. Caught the mouse.

Out onto Gower in the morning. Pondered doing the scramble out to Worm's Head (the causeway was exposed, and it only happens for a few hours a day), but it's too hot for too much effort. Headed up to Arthur's Stone instead and then into the shade of a convenient pub.

Horrors. Apparently to be supported in Gnome, we might need 90% of the essential strings translated rather than 80% in future. This is particularly galling because that's what we thought we needed in the first place and 80% was a nice surprise. 80% is alright for 2.4, apparently. Which is good, because we are hovering on 77% or so.

August 10th

Already hot by sun-up. Hung about wondering whether everyone else would have the same plan of hiding in local caves as we had. Eventually switched to plan two: find a cinema with air conditioning. Watched Pirates of the Caribbean. Highly silly (and way too long), but Johnny Depp stole the show completely, despite the presence of what must have been the Orlando Bloom fan club (they cheered every time his name appeared in the credits -- oh, and there's an extra scene after them, but it's about two seconds long. You have been warned.) I have no idea what the accent Depp was affecting was, but it did seem to fit in with the rest of the character. Great fun. Deb, who can figure out any plot from the Mousetrap to Memento long before the end (she had the Mousetrap worked out from the interval and speculated accurately on Memento's ending after a powercut ten minutes before the end of the film) has found at least two hooks for any subsequent sequel and is now trying to come up with explanations for a plot hole. Must get her to watch the Matrix and take that apart one day..

All the reviews seem to be saying that audiences have been longing for a good pirates film for years. If that's true, why did Cutthroat Island get panned? I loved that, but apparently I'm the only one.

Managed to fit in trips to Joe's Icecream and to the Anarkali as well, so a successful day all round.

August 9th

Pootled around tidying a bit. Alan zoomed around hoovering. Impressive. Hung about waiting for sister and boyfriend to arrive. They got caught in very heavy traffic and arrived many hours late. Sent men out to do their own thing for a while and had a women's night in. The men returned asking Is it safe? I don't know what they thought we might do.

Wandered into the kitchen to wash up last bits and saw a shape streak along the workspace. Argh. Another bloody mouse. Much chasing it around the kitchen until it retreated into an impossibly small space and vanished. Out with the mousetrap again.

August 8th

Morning: realised that if we were going out in the evening to an open-air play, I should start doing the picnic. Afternoon: buying stuff for picnic. Evening: discovered that the play is next week.

Not my finest hour!

August 7th

Much recovering and catching up with email and what's going on. For the first time, two people have independently been working on the same translation. Argh. Resolved now.

Started yet another document. Unlike 90% of my started documents, this one has a chance of being finished because I have a co-writer, and he gets things done.

Out for a meal with Alan and Daf in the evening. Two meals out in a row. Oops.

August 6th

Up early, and off to the car hire place to collect a car. Then Gareth, Daf, Chris, Alan and I piled into it and set off for the unknown territory of north Wales and the National Eisteddfod to surprise some of the translators of other applications.

Powys is a very long thin county with lots of zigzag roads around inconvenient geography. We got into the bottom of Powys and as soon as we crossed the border there were signs to the eisteddfod which is right at the other end. The sign people must have been working overtime. Good job this car had air conditioning though. We are in one of the few weeks when it was needed. Alas, whenever we switched it on, the cold air came out, hit the windscreen (which was baking), and condensed.

Came over a rise and saw hundreds of tents. Aha. That must be it then. Then Gareth decided that since we were at the thing Reit, 'te, dim ond Cymraeg o hyn o blaen (Welsh from now on) and my conversational skills plunged down into my boots.

Spent the day wandering around the main field. Managed to swap a CD I had bought off the net (it was the wrong one) -- at least I think I did -- bought stuff, listened to music, ate, met several people we knew in the learners' tent, giggled as the others met tons of people they knew too, and varied between understanding almost exactly what was going on and being reduced to the state of announcing that we seemed to have won someone (I meant lost. It's an easy mistake, I swear.)

Okay, it wasn't completely in Welsh, but it was mostly that way.

And yes, finally met Dewi, Rhoslyn, Delyth and David, at the Bangor university stand, who were celebrating the completion of a first draft of OpenOffice and Mozilla translations. They had both running on demo boxes there on a Mandrake box with lots more Welsh-speaking software and on a Windows box. Also at the stand was the author of CySill which alas, is Windows only. Shame, because people keep saying it's handy.

Eventually piled back into the car and to Aberystwyth. I haven't been back for years. Didn't realise we were on Penglais Hill until I was told, and then filled the air with surprised words. That's a hall of residence? When I was here we called it Bluebell Woods and so on.

Meal at Rendezvous followed by standing out on the prom looking out over the bay and Constie. Then the drive back to Swansea.

August 5th

Much IRC plotting in the day and LUG in the evening. The plotting resulted in Daf and Gareth staying over for an early start the next morning. The LUG resulted in two others staying over too. Something to do with trains. Half the LUG were later than expected: the last ten years of what might loosely be called maintenance on the railways has left us with a rail system that can't deal with heat very well. Not many miles south, the heatwave is fierce enough to be killing people, but strangely, Europe's trains don't seem to be creeping along for fear of damaged tracks.

August 4th

Surreal fact of the day: of the eight people sitting on the gnome-cy channel on IRC, all are left-handed. What on earth are the odds on this? We have changed the topic to Gnome for left-handers now.

Put out to discover I can't watch the last episode of Spooks a week early on BBC 3 tonight. I was just beginning to think the channel had a use.

Just for Jordi, who maintains I cannot avoid mentioning it, I must note that the weather is starting to get hot and horrible again. Even gweather has noticed.

August 3rd

More book-sorting. I can now see the floor. I don't like the carpet. And I shall not be able to find the right book for ages now.

Printer's colour cartridge is dead. Printer refuses to print with just the black and white one in it. Grr.

Alan's much-vaunted technical ability failed me today. I was doing the washing up. He was standing around getting in the way. (In fairness, he had cooked.) So I asked him to open some wine. Alan cannot work a corkscrew. Not on that bottle, at least. I had finished the washing up before he had opened the thing, after resorting to a back-up corkscrew and still getting cork in the wine.

I keep threatening to buy a left-handed corkscrew. If I do, I foresee much fun ahead.

August 2nd

Alan is tired of falling over books. And since he has finally put all his on the bookshelves, he has been insisting I do the rest. Boring. Raised much dust. Found more candidates for the second-hand shop or for Bookcrossing.

August 1st

Now I have paid for that dratted crossword, the printer is dying. I am cursed, obviously.

Backups are done so I am sorting out space. However did I end up with a 300Mb dotfile of some .avi thing? Why have I three copies of the same tarball? Why does OpenOffice think it has a right to append itself to my personal .mailcap file? Not the one in /etc, the one in my home directory. How dare it?

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.)