Away Notice…

The last few days have been good. Last Thursday, I met up with Mark and Dermot, (two friends I was in school with) who are both back from the UK (where they are both doing postgrads) for Christmas. Last minute shopping turned into anecdotes over drinks, followed by more drinks and bumping into all sorts of people I know from college, proving the world is very small indeed.

Christmas itself was quiet enough, the usual family gatherings occurred and I got a few nice gifts, mainly DVDs from my Amazon wishlist, as well as the Bosco DVD (I’m an 80’s child after all… 😉 )

My main tinkering over the last few days has been to revert back to my plan of using Asterisk, since I was unable to get my VoIP phone to connect to Blue Face directly.

After a bit of hassle, I eventually got my head around the problems I kept encountering using the Asterisk port, I eventually worked out why I couldn’t get SIP clients to register and dial each other properly – the codec, protocol and action modules weren’t loading properly.

Shortly after this revation this afternoon, I had Asterisk trunking my calls over IAX2 to Blue Face. Now everything works except for incoming phone calls, which I think is a glitch at the Blue Face end. Horray! One less thing to do, particularly a rather large, distracting thing which has sometimes (well, often) been more appealing than doing my project and other college work…

Now, since I’m off to Venice as of tomorrow, I’m officially inncommunicado as of noon tomorrow until the 3rd of January… 🙂

Il Redentore

Hand scetching of Il Redentore, Venice

I got a Christmas card today with this picture on the cover. To fully appreciate the picture, it should be understood that it came from one of my clients, and is a hand scetching of a building in Venice, where Ciara and I happen to be going to next week for News Years. 🙂

So, have I anything newsworthy? Not really. Received a couple of toys I’d built up on my Apple Store “wish list” (ie saved shopping baskets), mainly a fancy new iPod (which doesn’t run out of power within 60 min – unlike my former one. It also seems to play video quite nicely. DivX are high quality, just quite small…) and an iSight, so I can play with things like iChat AV and Delicious Monster 🙂

Ah crap!

Dammit!

Blacknight will cut IE prices to Euro 30 for the entire month of January. Obviously this is to compete with the HostIreland offer of €10 a month with a hosting package. Not exactly the best news for me, who bought not one, but two .ie domains on Thursday and Friday. Oh well, you win some and you lose some!! I guess it’s the cost of doing business… 😐

Otherwise, nothing new to report. Slight concerns over the high level of procrastination currently, but hopefully a new leaf this week will fix that. I may try to find some time for dabbling a little, with some AppleScript to see if I can parse my FreeMind To Do list and stick it back into iCal.

I’ve also encountered a weird quirk with rtadvd on my new router running FreeBSD 6 with 3 NICs. Despite trashing and rewriting my rtadvd.conf many, many times, I keep experiencing the same behaviour – a single IPv6 autoconf prefix is advertised onto my 2 subnets, when I want a different autoconf prefixes on each subnet. I’m not the only one who’s seen behaviour like this, but I am experiencing additional symptoms…

*sigh* I can perhaps see a PR forming, although I should probably check with some FreeBSD and IPv6 gods first…

Finally, congradulations to Nóirín, who was has been offered commit access to the Apache Docs Project this weekend.

A Small Topping Of Clarity…

Hmmm, now it makes sense.

For years, ever since I was 12 and saw it in the cinema, I’ve been a fan of the film The American President. It has even been on my DVD Wish List for a while now. So, when I was out shopping this evening, I gave into temptation and bought it for myself. Then looking at the DVD box, things began to make more sense…

I knew there were a few stars from it who went onto becoming cast members of The West Wing, but I didn’t realise it’s at least 4 actors and actresses, not to mention the key – Aaron Sorkin, is responsible for writing them both. It’s all so clear now…

In other news, I finally (after 6 weeks of waiting) received my copy of Time Management for System Administrators this morning. By page xiii, the first page of the preface, it says “I’m trying to say that system adminsitration is not a job. It’s a lifestyle.”. Yes, I think I found the right book for me. I can acknowledge I don’t usually know when to let go.

I’m definitely going to be interested in the tips given in this book, particularly the email on managing your email… 🙂

Yes, I'm Still Alive…

I figured I should put something up here.

I’ve been quite busy in the last few days, mainly while college is wrapping up for 4 weeks over Christmas. I spent a significant part of the weekend fixing the upstream broadband connection and my file server at home. All is working again now thankfully, things are even new and improved. The file server issue was quite simple in the end, replaced the SCSI cable and the system disks appeared again. Doh!

Instead of having 1 FreeBSD and 4 Debian servers, I’ve consolidated them all into 2 FreeBSD servers, which will probably morph into 1 FreeBSD server and a FreeBSD running net4801 soon enough.

On the college side of things, recent coursework is all out of the way. Now I just have to focus on my project and an assignment due late January on Web Services (which I’ve decided to do using Perl, and maybe Python too 😉 )

Otherwise, I haven’t been up to too much. I am currently keeing an eye on the current mobile phone offerings though, my current V800 could do with being replaced, it’s starting to show it’s age at this point. The problem I’ve found is, there are no decent mobile phone at the moment…

All I require is a nice, business class phone with good battery life, bluetooth and iSync support. An email client would also be nice, but I’ve all but given up on that feature, since I can see myself within the next year getting a Treo 650 as a Blackberry-esque device, which will actually talk to my email servers as I’d like.

Of all the phones available, I can only find a few that meet my criteria, namely the W800i and the K750i. I’m not a huge fan of the modern Nokia phones, plus support for newer models in iSync is non existant. Both phones are nice, but since the W800i also doubles as a Sony MP3 Player and has a large MemoryStick card with it, I know I wouldn’t use one of it’s major features at all. So I guess it’s the K750i then.

Now all I have to do is wait til January, when I’m able to upgrade my phone…

Getting Out of a Rut…

In recent weeks, I’ve found myself doing very little when I’m supposed to be doing some work, whether it’s college work or real world work.

Since it was affecting my project, I decided to talk to my supervisor about it. He had a few interesting tips for me…

  1. Use a mind mapping tool (such as FreeMind) to keep my To Do List, so I don’t have to keep so much in my head…
  2. Keep a journal of how long I spend on different tasks, so that I have a record to stop any doubts
  3. Limit the time I spend in front of a computer, since I’ll always find something to do on it

The advice I got was good. I began keeping my To Do List as a mind map, which is quite interesting and something I’d never considered. In the spirit of no 2 and no 3, I also got myself a proper leather bound journal (I’m a bit of a stickler for such things – proper tool for the job and all – I am after all a self confessed perfectionist!).

So far, things have improved. The memory map is working, I don’t have to think about so many things anymore. Over time, I may even reduce the amount of things I forget to do as well. /me crosses fingers

No 3 is a tough one for me. I use my PowerBook for so many things, a workstation, a multimedia centre, a TV, a newspaper, etc. Hence I decided to not just use a text editor as a journal, but a proper, bound journal instead.

The real test for this new approach is this week though, I’ve a number of things to do in college, for work and my business, not to mention attending such things as the IE-NOG meetup on Wednesday and Gary’s birthday on Saturday. Yep, definitely a good test for this improved system.