took advantage of hosting, wow

By elf February 13th, 2008, under stuff

I got fed up with the latency and random stalls associated with hosting this site on my virgin broadband connection, so i finally took the plunge and decided to move this blog and gallery to be hosted on OzHosting Solutions.

it took a while to transfer the ~800mb worth of gallery photos, and i had to do some funky SQL backups from wordpress the old server onto the current hosting server, but it is worth it – now everyone can load the pages and view the photos much faster 😉
I still have the email being delivered to my local server though… gotta love the greylisting and custom SA setup.

Oh and did I mention that OzHosting Solutions is a little venture that the three of us run? 😉

I reactivated my WoW account again the other day, and have promptly upped my blood elf paladin from level 36 to 47. Not exactly a hard-core gamer, but i sure do like the 2.3 changes that were recently made so that 20->60 levelling goes much faster.

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moral of the story?

By elf January 28th, 2008, under stuff

badgers x 12
mushrooms x 2
repeat.

SNAAAAKE!! OMG IT’S A SNAKE!

A brown tree snake, to be precise. This is the only photo I got – streched out along one of the rear supports of the couch… photographing it properly wasn’t on my list of priorities that night!

click to see full size

So there I was, in the middle of having dinner in the candle tv light, looked down onto the floor and saw this 3-foot specimen slithering under the long couch adjacent to me! And it was kind of dark, and all sorts of things were going through my mind – eg red-bellied black? king brown?… Much jumping around ensued; a torch, broom and a rolled up umbrella were my weapons, and i think i sweated a litre or two.

3 hours later the missus was home, and we ended up calling the local snake catcher guy. $70 kthxbai.

Here are some relevant links for the little critter:
Rainforest-Australia
Qld EPA
Australian Reptile Park

I dislike the wikipedia entry for this snake; it seems too americanised… too focussed on the Guam infestation.

Moral of the story: don’t leave your doors open even a tiny bit when you live next to the australian bush!

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landslide… wheeee!

By elf January 8th, 2008, under stuff

we had a bit of a downpour a few days ago; parts of the GC and northern NSW got flooded, pottholes reminiscent of meteor impact craters, etc.

there was a veritable waterfall beside my driveway. our neighbour up the hill had recently cleared their land in prep for building, and unfortunately they hadn’t put up any runoff barrier guard stuff. So all their water basically drained onto ours – thankfully when we moved in we put in about 50 meters of that black plastic drain that goes up the length of the driveway and doglegs up the side along a gardenbed and basically meets where the water runoff from the neighbours enters our property.
So basically it was a waterfall down my driveway. Water was gushing up on the 45-degree c0rners of the guttering, and it washed away a little bit of garden bed (only about 1 or 2 square feet of bark though thankfully)

But i’m not complaining – At least it wasn’t as bad as what happened to these folks down the road (photo taken from my loungeroom)… i wonder what they’re going to have to spend to on the cleanup and the inevitable retaining required from this episode?

landslide small

(click to view full size img – 2666x2441px, 850kb)

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there’s a word for this…

By elf January 4th, 2008, under stuff

decided to rebuild my server the other day – again… unfortunately I forgot to backup this site’s layout (hidden away in /usr/share/wordpress/wp-content/…), so i’ve spent a few hours over the past couple of days re-creating the layout. Hopefully things are pretty much back to normal. Also forgot that the user mail is stored in the normal /var/mail instead of the /home/user/mail area… damn imap
Now i’m having fun setting up vncserver with xfce 😕

I think the word i’m looking for is ‘masochistic’

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i feel so dirty

By elf December 28th, 2007, under stuff

ok ok ok, I caved in to popular demand and added some of what i think are the more popular social bookmarking links at the end of each post… 🙄
who knows… maybe I’ll actually get some visitors to the site? 😯

besides, it appears to add a little splash of colour to the site.

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christmas, server relocation, and work

By elf December 28th, 2007, under stuff

quite an eventful week!

We hosted christmas at our house this year… so quite a lot of the family descended upon us, with the wife’s family also staying in our guest rooms for a few days prior to and after the day. It all went off without a hitch, and I was also unexpectedly delighted at seeing the wife’s new Eee PC (running xandros) performing well with a video Skype call to her sister in New Zealand! Never having used skype before, it appears to have worked quite well, and the internet speeds kept up just fine.
We also seemed to get the most amount of presents this year, too… about half a dozen in fact, which is quite odd seeing as the present-giving procedure for this year was to be of the ‘secret santa’ kind in which everyone should have only received about 1 gift. I’m still trying to figure out how it worked out like that.

I also performed an upgrade of my server from Ubuntu (with xfce) 7.04 to 7.10… the proper way (using “do-release-upgrade”) didn’t work at all – it kept spitting out some errors, which was probably because of my mandate to use a new BigPond repository to retrieve the gutsy upgrades from, which didn’t have the Feisty collection (only Gutsy and Hardy)… its strange how that official upgrade program works in that it doesn’t allow you to specify a special/different repository to get the new files from – only the existing apt repos.
So then I resorted to an “aptitude dist-upgrade”… which worked reasonably well; downloaded ~600mb worth of stuff, and all-in-all it seemed to work fairly well. Until I rebooted. It didn’t come back up! 🙁
So then I had to drive up to Brissy today to fetch the box; I didn’t bother looking to see where it had stalled, I just took it home with me, plugged it into the virgin modem, etc. According to the output, GDM was crashing repeatedly… had to disable that for the moment, not sure what the issue is.
SpamAssassin was uninstalled for some reason, and the included upgrade to wordpress (2.2.2) managed to break this site spectacularly until I fixed up the config include paths and widgets. Had to change the outbound mail server relay obviously.

It was announced last week (verbally – absolutely nothing written) that our contact centre will be servicing a new client, progressively ramping up support from January onwards. Excellent; i think we’ve all had a gutful of this current client.
They’ve advertised for staff to apply for the new client… so instead of asking people, they’re forcing people to update CVs and compete with eachother if they want to see greener pastures.
I have some issues with this approach:

  1. I’m currently a senior tech, employed to do everything these specialists positions will do. This smacks of them asking me to re-apply for my own job.
  2. The entire centre will be servicing the new client eventually – why force us to apply for the roles? Shouldn’t management simply re-assign staff that are interested?
  3. Legally, they must provide me with a like-for-like job when the time comes to switch clients; whats the fucking point of me going through the CV prep, being grilled in an interview, with the outcome possibly being negative, or if in the end I will end up there anyway?

Therefore:

  • If management want me, they can fucking ask me; management know how good I am at this role, and my peers all appreciate me too.
    If they don’t want me, then they must be prepared to either:

    • offer me a like-for-like job when the current client winds up, or
    • offer me a redundancy.

I’m not after redundancy – not at all. I just wish management here treat staff the way we are deserved to be.

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damn script kiddies… heh

By elf December 16th, 2007, under stuff

lol ok, so a week or two ago i got a msg from an associate of mine on msn that he wanted help with finding out the contact details of someone he needed to “bust” for causing him/his company ~$5k worth of excess usage fees. He told me the that the culprit was a fool on austnet (my associate is an oper there too), and told me what the guy’s nickname was.
Fair enough, so I referred him to Grey Pages. All good.

Then I went on to austnet and basically said to him “lol you’re going to be sooo busted” (or something to that effect). No more was said then.

Lastnight, i was minding my own business on austnet when the guy made contact with me. We had a short conversation; he asked me to explain; i mentioned no names or anything, but basically that he’d been silly and that he might be getting busted for it. He took it badly. After a few minutes, i got pinged twice by someone who i think was also in one of the same channels as he was. That’s when i quit. I guess they were sniffing the packets, as shortly after that I noticed the latency getting out of hand.

This was all done remotely via my box on my parent’s bigpond connection. The kiddie retaliated; I ended up getting ddossed offline (and by offline i mean i shut down my server for a while just in case), and now my parents are throttled. ~5.5gb worth of flooding.

Now it’s back online – with a different IP – and now we’re all good again (albeit running at 64k/64k).

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apathy, work, life, and… did i say apathy?

By elf November 21st, 2007, under stuff

Over a month since the last post on here… I guess the whole ‘cool blog’ feeling kind of wore off. If anyone asked me to my face why I hadn’t updated the site recently, i’d probably say “i’ve been too busy”… well, that’s kind of true, but mostly bollocks.

Here’s a rundown of my daily life:
wake up.
watch tv (if working late) / go to work.
Work. Experience another 8 hours of uncertainty of what client i’ll be servicing in the near future. Express – ad infinitum – my professional grievances with respect towards our current client. Meetings, and other time-wasting activities. Write some code here and there.
Go home and read a book or watch tv.

Rinse and repeat.

if its a weekend, remove ‘Work’ from the equation.

And that’s about it really… occasionally I have to do such things as mowing, shopping, etc… but rarely do I ever sit down at the computer (or use the laptop infront of the tv) and *relax* like I used to… and that the thing, before married/defacto life, my form of relaxation was nerding it up on my pc with IRC and/or ‘fun’ unixey type activities. I was never a big gamer (and still can’t really justify the expense of WoW, come to think of it). I wasn’t really into music that much. In fact, recently my main non-work PC use has been in operating the media center software on my htpc (vista).

Now, with married life, I find that my PC activities have shifted more towards the non-geeky, non-consumer kind of use – use a pc when i need to, take advantage of the ‘consumer’ offerings (home theater), and thats about it. Before, I used to have a vast MP3 collection, and a pretty decent movie collection too, which I’d listen to/watch while chatting on the net or researching (playing / self-education) internetworking stuff. And now?

Apathy.

I’ve lost the enthusiasm I once had for the personal IT lifestyle, and I don’t think i’d ever quite get that back… which is probably a good thing. I recognise that that was a bachelor nerd’s lifestyle, not a married responsible husband’s life. And I don’t resent that… really!

My feeling at the moment is not one of complaint, just one of… apathy. As long as my emails and domains and media activities work fine, I don’t really have anything that pulls me towards any PC-based activities anymore. And it doesn’t end there.

The front gardens on my property need planting, and I guess they will be done before christmas. The gardens around the other sides of the house aren’t even garden beds yet… it just goes from mown grass to weeds. Talk about procrastination! The will is there – if i had the money, i’d pay someone to do it – but I can’t find the effort to do it myself.

In coding terms, i feel as if i’m in the middle of a ‘while’ loop which hasn’t finished yet. I’m waiting for a condition to be met before I can move on. Something needs to happen for things to change, and I dont know what it is… I need to be motivated to “get on with it”, but i’m not sure what aspect of my life needs changing… professionally, personally, recreationally…

I love the idea of doing the old nerdy stuff that I used to do, and I love the idea of new things too – currency trading, CreatioNova, etc – but… *shrug*

The expectation is there, with no apparent method of fulfilment; Its like i’ve just taken a deep breath, but my body doesn’t know how to exhale.

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it’s only October you retards

By elf October 18th, 2007, under stuff

so there I was yesterday driving through one of the streets close to my house, when I saw the objects of my current disgust: A certain house (which, last year, went over the top in this regard too) has ALREADY BEGUN TO PUT UP THEIR CHRISTMAS LIGHTS. Un-fucking-believable. It’s the middle of October, for God’s sake!

Those of you who know me well enough by now would understand why this kind of foolishness typically ticks me off, however let me also add another point to the argument :
I’m convinced that the excessive use of christmas lights around the world during the silly season (and that is exactly the right term for it, I might add) contribtes tons of extra emissions into the atmosphere by the powerstations required to supply these goons with the juice.
Think about it… you have all the private homes behaving this way to varying degrees, and corporate offices doing their thing too, but then you also have all the commercial stores and malls and town squares and goodness knows what else trying to out-do eachother every year in what seems to be a competition to see who can light their tree/premises the most without actually causing permenant eye damage (public liability insurance costs lots you understand)

I want to see a graph of the typical power station’s electrical output over a 12 month period, and also another graph showing average power usage over the 24 hours of the day for, say, September compared to December. I bet $2 (i’m a stingy bastard) that :

  1. any downturn in power consumption due to the christmas holidays is needlessly offset (to some degree) by the use of lights, and
  2. world power consumption in the evenings during December would be higher than any other month of the year (i’m talking about the ‘net’ consumption, after taking into account seasonal (winter vs summer) heating/cooling requirements in both hemispheres, etc)

I’m gonna call Al Gore, and please won’t someone think of the children?!

(i’m reminded of the National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.)
the snow would melt in 10min

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all hail the mighty forester

By elf October 11th, 2007, under stuff

This has been a week of relatively wild weather on the Gold Coast… 4 days in a row of severe thunderstorms! I wish I had taken some pics, but my ranks in forethought are rather limited. Banger did though! Gotta love these pics.

i’m somewhat bemused at the thought of what the mathematical probabilities would be of getting cought on the highway in the same suburb in a hailstorm – twice in less than 12 hours. This happened to me! On tuesday afternoon we were on our way home after purchasing a new bed for the guest room, and the hail started pelting down on Nerang. I drove around a few streets franticly looking for cover, but none was to be found. The next day, driving to work through Nerang again, the heavens opened once more… this time it was almost purely ice, not much rain, and the hailstones were a little bigger this time; I was convinced the forester wouldn’t fare to well. When we got to work though, after a quick inspection – wonder of wonders – no dents!
Naturally, I have come to the conclusion that my Subaru Forester is invincible.

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