Geeking and Girlfriending – yes the two really can co-exist, just about

Today I got up early caus lauperr was coming round. She turned up bearing gifts of dognuts, creme eggs and Guinness which made me feel very guilty caus I don’t have an income with which to buy her things πŸ™ – wish she’d stop spending all her money on me πŸ˜› On the plus side I now have some Guinness to last me through to new year, yey! Had a wonderful time with laura and we’re meeting up again tomorrow afternoon to watch a film before New Year goings on.

My debian installation is definately starting to take shape and I’m very pleased I took the plunge because I’ve learnt a hell of a lot over the past couple of days through setting it up.

Note to self:
* Still need to install gaim, xcdroast and grip and probably quanta and amaya
* Get USB working with hub, external hard disk and possibly web cam and infra-red port for phone
* Get TV card working and possibly infra-red remote setup and dvbstream server over network
* Find out if anyone’s written a driver for Live! drive yet
* Install GKrellM plugins
* Pursuade mplayer to get a more decent picture from DVDs
* Sort the dictionary
* Copy rest of files from backup and sort fstab and symlinks
* Find out how to add a powerdown command to fluxbox menu
* Get a life

Freeserve have realised I’m not paying them any money and cut off my email again :S bar stewards.

School isn’t really something I want to think about at the minute, but I’m going to have to get back into it all soon or I’m doomed to failure. Well, failure in someone’s eyes anyway.

mchicago had calmed down today after his unfortunate day yesterday and was discussing future plans which I find pretty exciting, but don’t tell him that. There’s a kind of romance in not having a clue what I’m doing next year… and it’s also frelling scary. Someone give me a job, please? Just for one year, that’s all I ask.

DeepDown is coming along quite well considering certain… setbacks and I’m still wishing I could be more involved. I’m trying to convince myself that doing some PHP/MySQL work for DeepDown would be good practice for my Coursework, but time is a little short for that I think.

This small text is starting to hurt my eyes now because I’ve been supping whisky. Goodnight.

two days

Sunday I was supposed to see lauperr at around 2pm but when I got up in the morning I texted to delay it until 4pm so I could get my debian installation finished and out of the way. First big mistake of the day.

bouncykaz had a go at me for having my priorities wrong so I logged out of IRC, picked up my coat and got on my bike. Had a lovely time with lauperr and watched AntiTrust as well as having my second big meal that day. We then went off to the pub quiz as planned, had a game of pool first. Mr C turned up (yey!) so we won free drinks. djkoa couldn’t make it because of interesting theatre work he’d been doing.

Anyway, when laura realised I was planning on biking back to Bourne at 11:30pm she said it was too dangerous and asked her mum if I could stop the night. That made me feel awkward as I wasn’t really properly invited and I sensed the sleeping arrangements might cause friction. Anyway, when we got back to her house, laura was desperate for the loo and while she was distracted I grabbed my bike and set off into the night. Second big mistake of the day. It honestly seemed like a good idea at the time, but looking back it was very rude and stupid.

A two and a half hour phone call later and lauperr no longer wanted to cause me physical harm and we were chatting happily again. Phew. (can’t wait for the phone bill!)

Today (Monday) was mainly spent breaking Linux installations but I did leave the house twice, shock horror! Once was to go to the opticians to get a free eye test while I still can. Apparently I have pretty much perfect vision. Possibly very very slightly long sighted. Considering I was expecting to come out needing glasses, I was pretty pleased when I could read most of the bottom line of letters in the smallest print.

Watched The Green Mile with the family and did more Linux hacking, this time with a bit more patience which means I’m getting on quite well witha debian installation (mark III).

Tomorrow lauperr is coming round so I’d better get some sleep.

A day of Linux

Didn’t wake up until about midday today*, I think I must have been up late last night. I’ve spent most of the day switching between talking to relatives and trying to install Debian on Frell, my main PC.

I didn’t get very far with the installation as I’ve been trying to find places to stuff my backup all day. I tar’ed up a load of mp3s and tried to upload them to reubs’ Knoppix box but it ran out of hard disk space. Kept running though, which Windows wouldn’t have done!

asher_francis re-installed Windows XP and has started learning to program VB which is cool. Until he breaks something.

Talking of breaking things, I’ve just spent the past half an hour trying to get tralk to boot back into X. I downloaded mchicago‘s java client for DeepDown and tried to run it and suddenly X died on me. At this point I started cursing at mchicago which i should apologise for as it’s pretty unlikely the java client actually caused the crash!

He fiddled with tralk for a while for me but to no avail. It was trying to start KDE by default and there was an error in the configuration which I couldn’t pinpoint. I wanted to start fluxbox which works. Then I started trying to get to xdm or gdm so I could select which window manager to use as there didn’t seem to be a script to start fluxbox that should be there. At that point something VERY odd happened – I got xdm and gdm running simultaneously on the same screen overlapping each other and it was NOT pretty. The cursor just didn’t know where to go…

I got back to a shell and killed about a dozen instances of kdeinit manually along with xdm and gdm. Then I ran gdm and logged into fluxbox, phew.

Serves me right for running X on my web server really. But I was booted into Windows on Frell to copy backup files to my mp3player hard disk at the time and needed a Linux box.

I’m going to Laura’s tomorrow after I’ve installed debian. I am determined to actually get there which means I need to get my ass moving and get up at a decent time to start bodging through the installation. Somehow I have to sort out my 6 partitions across 2 hard disks into something more sane!

*I should explain that if it’s around 1 or 2 am and I say “today” what I really mean is “yesterday”.

A geeky christmas time

Each year the magic of Christmas shrinks a little further, but I still get excited in the morning and had a little trouble sleeping Christmas Eve.

Mum was up at 6am as she was having trouble sleeping. The rest of us were up by about 7:45 apart from dad who always misses the stockings presents part. We all had a few cups of tea and coffee and managed to lag out present opening for several hours! I hate the idea of writing out “what I got for Christmas”, but I feel the geeky nature of some of the presents (quite a lot of them actually) warrants a mention.

I got the Debian GNU/Linux Bible, a t-shirt reading “there’s no place like”, a t-shirt reading “Code Poet” (the t-shirt that teddy wears in Antitrust), a *binary* (well BCD actually) clock which I can’t use yet because I need an adaptor to give it a 120V, 60Hz power supply for the transformer or 9V AC direct – and a luminous “eluminx” keyboard that lights up in the dark and is just generally cool! (despite the American layout) *breathe*. All but the book were shipped from in America – hence the problems with power and layout.

I got a wonderful three part present from lauperr, books, two DVDs… wait I’m listing presents aren’t I? I said I wouldn’t do that. Let’s just say thanks to everyone, I loved them all. I guess the DVDs and the gyroscopic toy count as a little geeky…

Each of us spent some time on the phone to Grandparents, Cousins and Aunty Karen but we had no visitors all day which meant relaxing πŸ˜€ Generally a very relaxed, loving atmosphere with the family with messages from friends, food, drink and chocolate. I was feeling pretty lucky.

There wasn’t a complete rest from geeking as I struggled to get alsa to stay working for reubs’ sound card (yes I was asking technical questions on IRC on Christmas Day) and setting up dad’s new freeview set top box with the TV and VCR.

I watched one of the DVDs, Shawshank Redemption which made me cry like the first time I watched it at Kes’ house. The other one is The Green Mile which is set to make me cry even more! A casual chat on IRC with the iMen clan and the Only Fools and Horses christmas special used up most of the rest of the day.

Now I’m settling down to my third pint of Guinness before bed. Life doesn’t get much better than this. I suppose I could be snuggled up with Laura instead of typing this like a sad muppet πŸ˜›

Now we got all that happiness out the way I have a load of schoolwork to worry about for the rest of the holiday. Same old routine.

I still maintain that Christmas is just an excuse for people to get all their being nice out of the way and indulge themselves, so they can be generally horrid for the rest of the year. I don’t “Wish it could be Christmas every da-ay”, but I do think people should have good will all year round, not just on Jesus’ alleged birthday. Now bed before I get any more bitter and ruin a perfect day.


Penguins and Presents

Pretty quiet day. Biked to lauperr‘s and spent most of the day there which was nice and relaxing.

Got home and took some paracetamol ‘caus I had a headache and I’m sure I’m catching lauperr‘s cold just in time for Christmas. She *made* me kiss her damn it! πŸ˜›

Laura was in a shockingly cheerful mood after and gave me a ring again. I was highly amused by her stories of the customers at Rainbow, then she seemed perfectly happy listening to me singing along to songs over the phone πŸ˜€ Wuv you sweetie.

Reubs wants me to wipe Windows XP off his computer and install Linux… !!! He’s fed up of getting virus’. I did suggest he went for a dual boot to start off with as he might get frustrated at first, but he’s insiting he wants rid of Windows completely πŸ˜€ I’m downloading the latest version of Knoppix, but I’m reluctant to do an HD-install because it’s a bit nasty. I’d really like to install Debian but Knoppix comes with a reasonably up to date kernel and all the applications he could want. It’s also a hundred times easier to install than Debian, and I’d like him to be able to install it himself (and re-install when he breaks it). OK so there’s the myth about a chicken(?) being able to install Debian… but, well Reubs is not a chicken. He has no feathers, is considerably larger and is more likely to try and make intelligent decisions and break something! I do have the SuSE disc sitting here but I don’t fancy that much. I also have Fedora Core 1.0 which is a tempting option… but I don’t think I’ll go for that either.

Downloaded Mozilla Thunderbird today to go with Firebird. I’m not sure why Mozilla’s products are splitting off into different projects like this, but I’m definately glad they are because both are excellent. I’ve also heard news about Lindows funding the development of the Mozilla Composor to make it a serious alternative to Front Page or Dreamweaver in the propriatory world. Well it has a long way to go, but the best of luck to them. I’ve been trying to say there’s a gap in the WYSIWYG HTML editor market in Linux for a long time, but every time I say it I just get flamed and have vim shoved up my rear end. I wish they’d have a split screen mode instead of separating WYSIWYG and source views by tabs in Mozilla Composor – if they do I’ll stop trying to help the Quanta Plus development and support them instead. Is it just me who cringes when I hear that Lindows is funding something? Not sure why.

After reading some more of Linux Format, it seems that there isn’t a particularly brilliant sequencer for Linux yet either. What I’d really like is something like Steinberg’s Cubase, but I can’t see that happening in the near future. Still, I seem to be booting back into Windows much less recently. I think the only things left that I use Windows for are my TV card which I just don’t have the time to fiddle with in Linux, sometimes Dreamweaver but not much any more, today I used Flash in Windows because I needed fonts that weren’t there when running under Wine and of course my USB hard disk – but I’m sure I can get that up and running with a bit of effort.

It’s christmas eve tomorrow and I still haven’t wrapped anybody’s presents! I need to get up early and do that, so good night to you all my blogging friends and casual observers… (there aren’t any, are there?).


Pfft, Brian from next door just complained about the dog barking. I wanted to say “OK, I’ll do you a deal. If you get your son to stop having parties until the early hours of the morning playing very loud music, then I’ll ask Penny to keep her voice down…”.

First thing yesterday I got letters from Birmingham and York University.

Birmingham were confirming their offer and sending the usual gumph, York wrote to tell me my application had been put on “hold” and would be decided on between January and March.

Went into to town to meet lauperr and to buy some credit. I also got hold of my first Linux Format magazine which was quite expensive but very interesting – although I did scare myself at one point when I thought the SuSE Live! CD that I’d just booted my computer into wasn’t a Live! CD at all and was trying to install itself with no user intervention. Luckily my fears were unfounded.

Had a drink with lauperr in the Angel and hung around for an hour chatting and generally annoying the staff by not buying anything πŸ˜› discussion ranged from Christmas shopping to whether the guy at the bar was wearing a wig…

When I got back home, mchicago helped me set up a dancer-ircd server on which is now connected to the imen irc server so you should be able to find me in #imen – as long as we’re not experiencing a net split because my ADSL internet connection keeps dropping now and then. mchicago sorted the timestamp issue that we always had with Narc (RIP) by breaking the time on tralk πŸ˜‰

Later on lauperr rang for a few hours! Whilst talking to her I managed to do a tiny bit of coding for DeepDown for which I now have access to the server files. Hopefully I can do some actual useful coding on this one.

Amanda and Jack
Here’s a photo of Amanda and baby Jack. Don’t they look lovely.

On a semi related note, when Reuben bought a new Virgin Mobile phone the other day it came with something that looks like a condom packet and says on the front “Have fun with me, but let’s used protection”. Inside is a little leaflet about phone insurance. Yet another reason I like Virgin Mobile (they have a great tarriff too!). A while back they sent out a book of comments from all their customers – we’re talking a proper paper back with all sorts of different glossy textures throughout with very personalised pages from a whole bunch of customers – I thought it was fantastic (you really had to see it). Incidentally, if you’re intereseted joining up to Virgin Mobile, let me know because I can get you joined with glue. (translation: I can make money).

Right, off to lauperr‘s I go. She just got an offer from Derby, w00t!

P.S. I really need to change this template to one without a fixed width caus it doesn’t work on the hippygeek front page on small resolutions…

Christmas Shopping

Today was Christmas shopping, all in one go. It took four and a half hours including a Maccy D’s with djkoa during his lunch break. Quite impressive, no? The shopping centre wasn’t actually as busy as I’d expected in the morning, although Argos had gone through 1002 transaction tickets between 10:00 and 10:45am which is quite frankly shocking! After spending 20% of my bank balance and collecting an impressive array of carrier bags we returned home in the car. (eek)

Amanda (an ex gf) visited with new born baby Jack which was a little scary, but he’s lovely. Picture to follow. There was something quite uncanny about his full name as well…

Had a phone conversation with bouncykaz which put my mind at rest in a big way. Then lauperr rang and I listened while she tried to set mouse traps in her room but was doing a better job of trapping her fingers than any cute furry rodents. Hilarious (for me, that is.) Poor laura has the lergy and is in need of some TLC.

Talked about some interesting stuff with mchicago before he became to drunk to make any sense. My cornflakes are now thoroughly soggy and I’m shattered, so off I go to bed.

where did the day go?

I’m not entirely sure where today went.

I got up pretty late and have been on the internet and reading most of the day – mainly geeking and reading about Iceland (the country, not the shop). Adam came to visit and we caught up. The gas man fixed the gas leak in the kitchen (eek!) and I fell asleep. Had a nice chat with Ruthy online. Got a conditional offer from Birmingham for Computer Science, they want three Bs.

Time for bed.