Saturday, March 27, 2010


Just had dinner at the Lazy Moe's at Tullamarine, on the southern approach to the airport. LM do a fairly industrial decor at the best of times, especially with the epoxy finished concrete floor, but damn this was LOUD. I installed a dB level meter on my phone, pretty constant 80dB. 10 hours of that would be permanant damage according to the tables....

Woo hoo!

Yeehah - I just got nominated for a senior recall tech position!
We're going to an afterhours recall function from late June, and a few senior tech staff will rotate through the role.  We get a laptop, bat-phone and RNA key, get paid recall rates just to be on call, and some serious recall cash (like minimum 4 hours at double time) if we even receive a call.
Best part - I don't even *have* to have the laptop.  We've discovered that if we install the Nortel Contivity VPN client on our home PCs and VPN in from there, then we can start a Remote Desktop session to our regular desktop PCs and do everything from there.  That means the recall kit can be as small as a phone, an RSA key token and a USB key with the software.....

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Gee, I wonder why?

Normally our queue runs around 40 tickets.  Between Cyclone Ului, the storms in WA and other factors it's now over 200.
Just chewed on some idiot from Manila who wanted to know why a customer's service had not been restored yet.  Perhaps because I've been at work for just short of an hour and a half now, and I still haven't even looked at the first job in the queue yet, because people keep ringing up and asking why their jobs haven't been done yet?  Do ya reckon maybe?

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Aw, fuck

My Pakenham train appears to have spontaneously turned into a Frankston train. Where the hell is *this* station?!?! Only consolation is the number of other suckers lined up for a run back to Caulfield with me....

Location:No fucking idea

The joys of trains

You know shastie, there is fun to be had on trains. These things
(a) dropping SBDs in the middle of absolutely crowded carriages in
rush hour.
(b) posting about it via iPhone while watching people try to hold
their breath all the way to the next station.
(c) repeating just as the train pulls out of the next station.... on
a 4-station express run....

A visit to the BUC

Ah, the dubious joys of the GOC BUC (back-up centre) at 300 Exhibition St.  Security here is *tight*, just merely having an ID badge clearly displayed and the fact you have a valid swipe card is irrelevant.  You *will* front the security guard and have your badge *really* checked and compared to your dial, and you *will* swipe in individually through the doors afterwards.

I'm here with one of the switching team leads and a transmission dude certifying our bug-out site as current for use if we have to bail from the GOC for any reason - power failure, someone bombs it, the Cyclotron next door goes critical etc, We have to test all of our group's PCs as workable, fix any faults, and fill out a bunch of certification paperwork proving the team can walk into it as a warm site and just log in.

Our BUC is a moderately grotty room in the administrative area at the bottom of the building, as usual with a fair assortment of junked kit piled in the corners - old SPARC workstations, managed 48-port 10Mbps hubs, busted chairs etc.  Frankly the busted chairs are the most valuable item of the lot.  Some of the paperwork looks like it dates back to the 1970s.  It's not quite the control room at Crystal Peak from the end of Terminator 3 but it's getting there.... just a little more brown required in the decor.

Workstations are at a minimum Core 2 Duo 1.86GHz Celerons with 2GB of RAM and twin 17" LCDs.  Not bad digs.  :)

Behold the site in all its crappy 2 megapixel poorly lit glory:

On the more interesting side, you might be interested to know that the upper floors of the exchange are effectively watercooled.  To maintain a particle-free environment the whole building is semi-seriously sealed, with closed loop air conditioning and real water cooling loops to some of the bigger kit.  So how big am I talking?  Here are two of the return lines from the upper floors.  Those are 18" pipes..... and they're by no means the only ones around the place.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

I just killed a mouse :(

Yes, apparently it’s possible to wear out the venerable MS optical intellimouse.


Unlike shastie, I did NOT biff mine, it died of old age.  I wonder how many clicks it did in its life.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Well, it's been an expensive weekend at archery.

Saturday – practicing 30m indoor with my Easton X7 arrows (flying telephone poles, max legal 23/64” diameter, but very, very thin walled).  CRUNCH.  Shaft clash from two close shots… one shaft collapsed.  Frack.


Sunday – I know, I’ll switch to the carbon X10 shafts.  Spend ages mucking about resetting the bow for the much smaller diameter shafts.  Tell myself that the carbons are at least 100 fps faster than the alloys, so reset my sights to compensate.  BANG.  Stare at sights, which I adjusted the wrong way.  FRACK.  Tool steel point embedded 2” into a large lump of redwood, which has much the same consistency.  Cue much buggering about with drills and chisels trying to release the point, all to no avail when it was discovered the carbon had fractured around the point.


Perhaps unsurprising, when an X10 normally has to decelerate from around 330fps to zero in about 12” of distance; that’s over 200g at the best of times.  Now have it more or less stop dead in 2”.


Did I mention that X10 shafts are $550 a dozen?


At least I got my point back… eventually… with the help of brute force, several power tools and a blowtorch.  This is a small consolation I assure you, they’re only about $5 each.

Friday, March 12, 2010

New Intel stock cooler

This is the new Intel stock cooler designed for the Core i7-980X Extreme Edition 6 core CPU.  Sexeh!

More pics here.  Don't bother trying to translate the page, trust me.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

I did gone electric

Took the plunge last week and decided to go back to an electric shaver for the first time in nearly 20 years.  It turns out that technology has improved since I last visited.

I'm quite impressed with the performance of the Philips unit I bought, it produces goddamn near a wet shave trim with no mess or hassle.  The best thing is that you use it while reading a web page, so my main objection - wasting 15 minutes in the bathroom - is eliminated.  It does take longer than a wet shave but since it's not downtime I don't mind, and it really is nice to be able to clean shave every day.

Heads are a wee bit expensive at $120 each new, but eBay already has that down to $48, so it's happy days.

Guide to fuse replacement

Monday, March 1, 2010


in other news.......

- kid is pissed off with text chat client.  explained that giveafuck<0, I'm not compromising the security of my network again so he can dribble shit in HTML.  can't do much about dribbling in ASCII, but dogforfuckingbid he might actually have to learn more than a dozen vagely grunted words and a smiley.  either way, he can't do much damage in text.

- lodged a deposit with the builder, locked in Feb 2010 pricing for a start in November or so.  need to talk to shastie about swamp cooling efficiency.

- badly fsucked up my maths with the bank, I need $30,000 spare later this week for a land deposit.  not my best demonstration of financial ability.  rang up this arvo, bailed on a term deposit, and paid the penalty exit fee.  pulled the cash I needed, reinvested the remaining $$ at current rates, result is a small profit AFTER the penalty fee is paid - win!

- got some new toasted french vanilla oak chips for making home brew, you soak for about 10-14 days and then use about 200ml as a base for bourbons.  bloody nice stuff.  I also watched the Dukes Of Hazzard again last night and decided to try a straight shot of the moonshine white spirit to see what it was like.  fuck me, won't be doing that again in a hurry.

- home brew shop pro is tempting me with their new uber-cool reflux still head, $750 for a 25 litre rig *but* it does produce 94% alcohol...... leaves something like 3% in the wash post still run.  not bad, watered to 40% ABV drinking levels it will make 7.3 litres versus 4 from the pot still for $50 versus $40 of ingredients.  also needs only 100 litres of water for the run, and you run that into your washing machine.  might have to investigate this, although it will also necessitate an industrial grade carbon column too.