ramtops: (horus work)
  • VAT return done and in the post

  • All suppliers paid up to date

  • Home utility bills paid

  • All business correspondence up to date

  • Business contents insurance renewed


That's enough work for today, I think.
ramtops: (horus work)


That was fun to manage. Pretty much settled down now, thankfully.

more tennis

May. 8th, 2008 07:39 am
ramtops: (wii)
1 hour 48 minutes last night, and my shoulder hurts this morning. Pushed my skill level up to 584, so pleased with that. Took my fitness age down to 74 (soon it'll be younger than I am), and ow I think I understand how that works I can get it down quicker, I think.

In other news, one of our sites has been - literally - Slashdotted, so there'll be an anxious day ahead while we watch that server carefully. Hits Tuesday, 33608, hits Wednesday 679595, first two hours of Thursday, 201772. Fun fun fun.
ramtops: (Default)
Which is a) not very couth, and b) something we haven't done in ages.

But it's worth it - photocena.com is now baby's first WordPress blog, and frankly I'm DEAD CHUFFED with it. So there.

Feel free to subscribe - it will be full of utterly uninteresting nonsense about the Jordans' culinary habits and adventures.
ramtops: (ook ape)
In the general drudgery of Monday to Friday, just now and again you get a day that goes really nicely. And yesterday was one such. In no particular order:
  1. [livejournal.com profile] perlmonger is not keen on making telephone calls, and he had a couple that he _had_ to make; I couldn't do them for him. He made them, and the outcome from both looks good.

  2. I sent an e-mail to a client explaining that their project had suffered from severe scope creep, and we would have to increase their bill by £1.5k. "That's fine", he quoth - "no problem with that". Why can't they all be so reasonable?

  3. stompy red boots!

  4. the new Show of Hands double CD, and DVD, arrived. We listened to the former last night. Might go and watch the latter in a minute

  5. pumpkin and apple risotto for supper; delicious - trust me

  6. a potential client with a mega e-commerce application has booked a meeting for 10 January. The downside of that is that the train fares cost me *£83* [scream] - the joys of catching the 8.11 from Nailsea to Paddington (they are in Edgware Road).

So that was all rather nice. Today we battled out in the rain to the greasy spoon, the greengrocer, the farm shop, and the station, to collect the aforementioned usurious tikkits.

Tomorrow, LibDem xmas lunch. The rest of the weekend is going to be spodding, I think.
ramtops: (eye)
I discovered that the errant server made it to Bristol by checking the ANC web site yesterday morning - no, nobody bothered to let me know.

I phoned up to ask if they could get someone to deliver it, and was told "they have no drivers on Saturday" which is utter bollocks. Thankfully, the depot was round the corner from Costco, which I wanted to go anyway, so I whizzed down there, and was extremely irritated (and a tad concerned) to be kept waiting 15 minutes, and watch two other people being attended to who arrived after I did.

The young lad offered to carry it to the car, and I rather childishly said to him that although I knew it wasn't his fault, I'd rather that ANC didn't touch anything of mine ever again.
ramtops: (scream cat)
We had to pull one of our web servers out of the rack at the back end of last week. In theory, it should have arrived back here on Tuesday, and been back in the rack on Thursday.

In reality, it is still stuck somewhere in the maws of ANC / FedEx ...

First off, FedEx phoned on Tuesday to say they had been to collect it from Docklands, but they had taken the name of the company down wrong, and so couldn't find it. We told them the right company.

The returned to Marsh Wall and collected it that afternoon. We waited patiently for it to arrive on Wednesday. Did it? Did it buggery. The twats tried to deliver it to our ISP in St Neots (who ordered the collection). They rejected it, and told them, literally and figuratively I imagine, where to take it.

Today, we waited. And waited. And got quite vexed and chased it up, to discovered that this useless bunch of wankers had somehow mis-routed it, and the bloody server is now in *Belfast*. They promise a pre midday tomorrow, but I'm not holding my breath.
ramtops: (horus work)
I'm working on a photo-diet project - basically you upload a photograph of what you eat, whenever you eat it, so you can review how sensibly (or not!) you're eating.

I will shortly be in a position to require more beta testers, so if anyone's interested please comment here.
ramtops: (horus work)
Sitting up in the study in the evening, writing code - not for paying customers, but for the new photodiet project thing I'm doing (coming soon, hopefully).

However, I think it's time to give up and go to bed, as I've just had an error message that says:
ColdFusion cannot determine the line of the template that caused this error.

Which means it's comprehensively borked; neither [livejournal.com profile] perlmonger or I have ever seen *that* one before ...

[Dear ColdFusion.
It's line 117.

No Love
Me].
ramtops: (scream cat)
[livejournal.com profile] perlmonger and I set out at the crack of 8.15 this morning to go to Gloucester, for a meeting with a potential new client.

I can't abide being late, but even I think that arriving 24 hours (and 15 minutes) early is probably not a good idea. God knows how I managed to get the date wrong, but they had another meeting scheduled (for someone else who is pitching for this work), so we had to turn round and come home, and shall return tomorrow.

arrived back home to find a snitty e-mail from our accountant, saying that our internet banking transfer hadn't arrived. There was also a bank statement, saying that it had gone out as it should have done, so I fired up a browser to see what had happened. And I'd sent the money to the wrong bloody account!

tortuous navigation of Yorkshire Bank's appalling telephone banking system (getting cut off three times) brought me little joy, but while looking at the account online I saw that the money had been returned, so presumably the details I entered didn't exist, thankfully. As YB didn't sound terribly helpful about getting it back ...

screenshots now sent to accountant, showing that I did try, honest, but was just inept, and I've done it right now.

what else can go wrong today? (this is a rhetorical question)
ramtops: (elephant)
we spent most of the weekend working, as previously detailed. I don't think we've had a full day off for about four weeks, and it's starting to show ... making silly mistakes with server config files and flailing formed a large part of yesterday afternoon :(

which meant that the Complicated Cooking I'd planned fell into abeyance - it will have to be Duck with Lentils and Ceps tonight. Anyway, we scoffed a full english for brunch, and all we could manage at the end of a long afternoon was a bag of Kettle chips and some chocolate raisins. Very healthy. I was thwarted in my probably foolish desire for a last half glass of wine by finding that the bottle I'd put in the fridge was in fact *red*, due to [livejournal.com profile] perlmonger's inability to put the white wine in the left side of the wine rack. Probably just as well.

caught up with Dr Who (huge fun) and the second episode of Jekyll, which I am enjoying enormously. Best line, most definitely: "I've got my pride" - I'm still chortling.

in other news, Liessa is not mending as well as we'd hoped, and is now on 5mg of steroids a day. And not enjoying it, and neither are we. The first pill went down reasonably easily, as we had surprise on our side; yesterday, not so good. We got it down her, but we are scratched quite badly, and she is extremely suspicious. Not quite sure how to deal with this ... kevlar, possibly.

mu har har

Jun. 24th, 2007 07:11 pm
ramtops: (horus work)
after some nifty footwork by [livejournal.com profile] perlmonger, scumbags people hotlinking direct to my images will see:



we finally decided Something Must Be Done when the image hits from Myspace et al were reaching five figures a month ...

and also, we needed to do it for a new client site ...
ramtops: (ook ape)
and here's the rest of this story:

wonderful, eh? And, to add further fun, the Mill Tracking server has buggered its NTS so comprehensively that it now won't even ping /itself./ And we can't rebuild it because a) it's not man enough for the job anyway, and b) it's running a bespoke app, and nobody knows how to reinstall it and set it up.

the OS/2 "server" [giggle] yesterday started displaying signs of a bad hard disk. It refuses to back itself up, and every chkdsk brings forth new bad clusters - I give it days, frankly. And nobody knows where the OS/2 install disks are, or how to set it up. (this OS dates from 1992, IIRC). And it's running a Gupta SQL database for OS/2. It's now become a matter of some urgency to redevelop the application. In Access 8. Oh dear.

today, it transpires that they've /lost/ the NT 3.51 CD(s), and so can't install new printers for those who need them. They have no idea what licenses they have for stuff, or how many people are using said stuff. Their security shares are a mess.

I'm looking for a new contract - when the heads start rolling, I'd like to be well away from the tumbrils.
ramtops: (ook ape)
I posted this in a conference on CIX in October 1998, and was reminded in an IRC conversation with [personal profile] syllopsium

and I thought I'd seen it all . . .

after a conversation with a certain Dane (that was [livejournal.com profile] landsmand of this parish), I was encouraged to tell you about the place I'm currently contracting at. It's an ex British Steel Company site, consisting of about six manufacturing units
operating under a holding company. A multi-domained NT server site, with a few odd machines included (when I say "odd", consider that a mission-critical app is running on OS/2 v1.3). At least, when I say /operating,/ I'm amazed that they ontinue to function at all. In no particular order, we have:

1) Internet e-mail (via MS-Mail - no Exchange here) which relies on somebody instigating a manual dial to Demon at 8.00 a.m., 12 noon, and 4 p.m. (this is the one that made Henrik collapse in hysteria)

2) across the two companies with which I'm involved, two NT domains, incorporating 6 NT servers. One of which doesn't have much on it, and can't browse the network - no, I don't know why.. The /meatiest/ is one running 3 huge SQL databases - P120, 160-ish Mb RAM (of which SQL is grabbing +/-115Mb). This is, astonishingly, generating huge amounts of error messages . . .

the PDC is a P100. The BDC is a P75. All of the servers have had their swapfiles reduced, as they're short on disk space.

3) I was called down to the Lab today, because their IBM Ruggedwriter (what?) had stopped printing. It's running off a 386 with 4Mb, DOS 5.0 and DOS Shell (I kid you not), which hooks straight into an HP3000. The printer's printhead is buggered - maintenance? Don't make me laugh. And no other wide carriage dot matrix printer on-site. So the lab stops printing reports. This is a 365/24 site, right?

4) there's an IBM RS6000 on the network. An old one. Not Y2K compliant. They've bought a new one. From Computercentre (oh dear). It's been on-site for 6 months. Its OS is non-compliant. Its SQL is non-compliant. Its applications are non-compliant. The purveyors of its bespoke software now (as of yesterday) say that they won't be in a position to supply updated versions of their software for another three months. And this for a company whose lead times are in excess of 12 months (count the months until year 2000).

5) after a meeting with the MD yesterday, I discover he's not prepared to expend any more money on the WAN/LAN, unless *I* can come up with quantifiable figures. e.g. how much traffic /should/ the network carry over a given bit of wire, and what targets we're looking to hit with any changes we make. He's "fed up with seat of the pants stuff". He says that IT is the same as any other process in the purchasing loop - we must provide documented targets, and then prove that what we've done meets those targets. And there's no network analysis software whatsoever in place, and he won't sanction any expenditure.

I could go on, but it's the weekend - who needs it?

and I'm on a contract with a one-month rollover . . .
ramtops: (pete took this in the garden)
shame they got my gender wrong. It must be a sub-editing thing, because [livejournal.com profile] wendyg is well aware of my gurleyness.

/technology.guardian.co.uk/weekly/story/0,,2101819,00.html.
ramtops: (bear straitjacket)
since [livejournal.com profile] perlmonger and I got back from Dorset on Sunday night (and yes, it was very very nice indeed, thank you - see his post; I am currently sloughing like a snake, as I was daft enough to go on a boat trip without a hat, and my face got sunburned). Also, I propose an addon for TomTom that takes me to the nearest cream tea.

anyway, I digress. Since we got back, I haven't stopped. Apart from final LibDem leaflets to be PagePlus'd ($deity bless the shiny Macbook and Parallels), and endless liaising with deliverererers, there's been a big and fascinating potential project to investigate and cost, involving about 300 hours of video footage which needs to be tied to written transcripts. This meant I had to learn, in a hurry, about Flash, Actionscript, Amazon's S3 service, and lord knows what else so I could cost it. I hope it comes off, because it would be a fascinating and worthwhile thing to work on.

and then there's the company accounts, which are overdue at Companies House. We are changing accountants, and the papers need to be transferred from old to new. And there is a delay, which turns out to be because the person who _was_ looking after our accounts has actually died. You couldn't make it up, really.

then there's stuff to do for the local LibDem web site (which I made a start on at 6.30 this morning), and ongoing work to do for the maps site, and and and. I haven't even looked at my photos since I got back.

the weekend will be mostly delivering leaflets, I think, with a trip to see the excellent Phil Beer on Saturday night. Hopefully things will calm down a bit after next week.

sorry to those I owe an e-mail (yes, including you, [livejournal.com profile] purple_peril).
ramtops: (horus work)
like idiots, [livejournal.com profile] perlmonger and I a) got involved in the Parish Plan committee, and b) offered to do the data analysis. "How hard could it be?" we asked ourselves ... it's just some mySQL and some web forms.

we took it over to the Clerk to the Parish Council a few weeks ago, to show her how it worked, and she got in someone from Community Action to sit in (they fund Parish Plans in the County Formerly Known As Avon). They were both hugely impressed with it, and said that there was almost certainly a potentially very big market for it.

so we bought a domain and stuck some text on it, and ParishplanSurveys.co.uk was born.

we're very slowly developing the software - here in Long Ashton, there are 1600 surveys with 110 questions each, plus the Young People's one, so data entry will take a while, and we haven't done anything about analysing it yet.

but now we must - we have been invited by Community Action to demonstrate it to a group of ten Parish Councils, all of whom are fretting about how to deal with their data. And this is on 24th May [scream].

there are 10,000 parish councils in England and Wales. And these surveys typically get done every five years. If we could get just 10% of that market, I'd be very happy indeed.

[returns to coding]

hurrah!

Nov. 9th, 2006 11:55 am
ramtops: (weatherwax)
goat successfully mounted! )
you're going to have to look, aren't you ..

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