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Next in the continuing saga of one office's struggle to maintain a comfortable ambient temperature about its working climes...

One of the guys from Estates has just come into the office to tell me that the radiators were going off 'now, as we were told'.


It transpires that all the radiators are to be fitted with thermostatic valves, which, given the sweltering thermal onslaught we had to endure yesterday, can only be a good thing. Would've been nice to have had some kind of warning, but it's still good news.
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I may have mentioned before that Work II's heating installation is a little sub-optimal. Indeed, it doesn't even seem to be a digital installation (it'd be either ON or OFF). Oh no, my friends. We get ALL HEAT ALL THE TIME.

Colleague S has grown a little concerned about this, fearing that spending all day in a slow-cooker isn't the most comfortable of accommodations, so he's brought in a nursery thermometer, so that it's possible to keep an eye on things.

Which is how I know that the office was 24°C this morning, which after the walk in through an admittedly mild December morn, felt plenty baking enough, thank you.

I have therefore taken the executive decision to activate the cooling cycle by opening the window. Unfortunately, the windows don't like being open, so we have to prop the thing using a spare PCI riser card (Geeks R Us™) - colleagues similarly afflicted elsewhere in the building use empty milk cartons, magazine racks or screwdrivers. There's an irony to the fact that we have mumble-thousand pounds worth of kit strewn hither and yon, yet we have to prop open the windows (to compensate for the lack of operational thermostats) with whatever junk we can find to avoid melting into pools of goo at our desks.
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This is me logged onto my work PC from the confines of Castle Fox...

The advantage of this is that I can work from home (such as now).

The disadvantage of this is that I can work from home (such as now).

Anyway, this is the reason that Ione is now running Windows 7 rather than Ubuntu - the client software I need for the VPN doesn't play nicely with Linux, which is a pity. Windows 7 runs OK, though (bearing in mind this is an atom-based nettop, and not a remotely 'serious' computer), although I've turned off all the prettification, and am trying to get it to ape Windows 2000 as closely as I can.

This PC (the work one I'm kinda-typing this through, if not at, exactly) is still running Windows XP, although I hear we're moving to the promised land of glorious 7 some time in the New Year.
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Today is one of those days where, from about lunchtime onwards, everything needs to run exactly to schedule if I'm going to achieve everything in time.

I've got my appraisal this afternoon, which is a little bit weird, because it's going to be with New Boss, who still doesn't really know what I do day to day, nor has he been in touch with Old Boss/Effectively Still Acting as Boss to find out said. Hmm.

Anyway, that's scheduled to end at 4pm. Which is fortunate, because I then need to pick P up from school, so that I can get the two of us back to Castle Fox to walk Mali, eat (speed dining FTW!), possibly take Mali out for Walk 3, and then amble across to the KC to watch Hull City take on the mighty Everton in what will be P's first evening match.

I've only been to one floodlit game before now, which had a less than optimal outcome for the Tigers, so I'm kinda hoping for better things tonight.

I'm currently reading Rachel Caine's second Morganville Vampires book, Dead Girls' Dance, which is... not quite as much fun as the first instalment, but is certainly readable. Proper review to follow on completion.
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I share the office with two colleagues, S and J.

Colleague S recently-ish took delivery of an all singing, all dancing huge tower machine to run various virtual boxes on. Said PC also came with 5.1 surround sound, so much testing of said was done when it initially arrived (for a work PC, that thing's surprisingly loud), but the pertinent part for this tale is that the system thus was shipped in a veritable plethora of boxes.

This was a fortnight ago.

The boxes are still here. So Colleague J decided that a hint that the packaging should be cleared out was in order, and so now the office has its own art installation: Cardboard S, whereby a cardboard man bipedal object has been constructed against the whiteboard. It has legs (monitor and some other flat box from within the assembly), torso (the actual PC's box), arms (keyboard for the left, some unfolded packing card for the right) and head (I'm guessing that's the subwoofer's), all topped off with Colleague J's fez (no good office should be without one), and a beaming happy smile courtesy of a series of PC screws.

Cardboard Man

All in all, quite a feat of artistry/engineering/sculpture!
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It's the Residents' Association AGM this evening - for the 2008/2009 year; yes, it's a tad late, principally because the initial such was abandoned when hardly anybody turned up. My hopes for a significantly higher turnout today are not that great; once the one-way system had been implemented around the Dukeries, interest in the Residents' Association didn't so much dwindle as collapse.

Somewhat over-busy at work - I do find, though, that in general I'm more productive over here in Work II than in the former location, and that's no bad thing, for sure.

Have made a start on Haruki Murakami's After Dark, which seems pretty good, so far, and has the same feel as Hard Boiled Wonderland, A Wild Sheep Chase and some of the others.

Because I need to remote desktop into work machines from home, and work don't support doing so from within Linux, I've had to install Windows 7 on Ione, the home nettop/pc, which is basically a netbook masquerading as a desktop PC. Work only had the Windows 7 upgrade media - the trick with a clean install, then, is to do an initial clean install from the upgrade disc, but not to type in the product key.

Log into Win 7, then run the installation's Setup from the DVD, to 'upgrade' your Windows 7 installation to, er, Windows 7. And then you put in your product key. So far, this seems to have worked, but I haven't risked online activation yet - I want to see whether Ione actually has enough power to realistically run 7 before committing the product key to it.

ETA: props to [personal profile] glittertine for the linkage, Top Gear S14 Trailer is AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :D :D :D


Nov. 10th, 2009 05:34 pm
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Not much to say - busy couple of days at work, more of the same coming up.

Have managed to exhaust my dog-walking podcasts for the day, though, so I need to find some more listening material to pad out the week (tend to get a glut of things in the later half of the week, but given that I tend to go on something of a listening/Mali-walking splurge on Sunday evening, by Tuesday I'm all out).

Got a note through the door of Castle Fox from a courier company - they couldn't deliver a parcel today, so I contacted them to arrange picking up from the depot.

Except, I discover, that the depot is in York, and is only open from 9am to 7pm. No way can I get there in that time frame, so I'm going to try postponing the next delivery attempt to next Monday, and take said day off. All the time that the courier depot is in Hull, home delivery's not too much of a hassle, but trekking out to York and back isn't my idea of 'home delivery', somehow :-/


Nov. 6th, 2009 08:33 am
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Kinda screwed up at work, through, um, misprioritising some work, and through a further misunderstanding between me and boss, the fallout sort of escalated way high before coming back down.

Not irrecoverable, but decidedly unfortunate - it galls me to be remembered for the things I get wrong.

Long day

Oct. 28th, 2009 04:58 pm
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It didn't help that our network connection got chopped mid-afternoon, but today's been a bit of a mad scramble.

I'm supposed to be on leave tomorrow, but it's looking like I'm going to have to pop in at least briefly in the morning to fix some import issues that I haven't been able to resolve today.

Flash Forward 4 )
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I can barely think straight - have been working more or less flat out since 8am this morning (lunch excepted), trying to write a collection of 12 user reports that have never been done quite this way before.

The urgency stems from the fact that they were requested on 5 October, but Project Manager didn't pass them on to me until 5pm on Monday. They were due on Tuesday, which quite simply couldn't be done.

Anyway. They're done now, 24 hours late. User not impressed.

My brain is fried.
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The Chair of the Residents' Association has emailed me the draft of the latest news letter, which is a good thing, because a few things have evidently slipped past the spell-chequer.

My particular favourite is the use of 'intimated' for 'intimidated' - it sort of changes the whole tone of the article about the brothel in one of the streets!

One of my new office colleagues (from an office of four, I'm now in an office of three) is something of a plant afficionado - we have a veritable wall of foliage around the desk, which is kinda awesome to behold. I do wonder how quickly he might notice if more plants were added on a surreptitious basis; have this vision of the entire floorspace ending up covered with a dense forest of yucca, ferns and cheese plants :-)
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This entry comes to y'all from my brand new different office. Yep, yesterday finally saw the phone line being connected in my target abode, so I shifted across to take up residence in the new office. The transition's been mostly seamless: still awaiting the phone extension to be mapped - the phone itself is live, but has a different extension to my old office. A request is in for the latter to be mapped to the former, so that I end up with no change, but for the time being I'm coping with the lack of telephonic contact, rest assured.

The new building being at the opposite end of the site to Castle Fox, walking home and back during lunch to check on Mali has become impractical - it was borderline before, but the extra 5+ mins each way pushes the logistics firmly into indulgent territory, so I'm back on the bike. However, secure parking is something of an issue, and I may need to investigate my options on that score (I'm explicitly forbidden from bringing the bike into the building {Reg 4(e) applies}).

The only other downside is the lack of a printer. Since we are hardly ever required to print, and really I only ever print out the daily Killers, I'm not sure how much fuss I can legitimately make... might make more sense to get a printer for Castle Fox, but the trouble then is that I find that any printer gets such insufficient use that the cartridges dry up before they run out.

In other news (quite literally), congratulations clearly due to [personal profile] yvi on the 300 support points that [site community profile] dw_news announced in the weekly update! :D

My unwatched DVDs are starting to build up: I've got BSG S4 and Prison Break S3 to watch, plus True Blood S1 should be arriving next week - Comradette K DVR'd the first episode of True Blood for me a couple of weeks back, and that on top of the bookses constituted sufficient evidence for me to plump for the discs there and then. Flicking back to BSG and Prison Break, both of those will then have only a single season outstanding for me before canon is closed, so it sort of makes sense to complete the set...</justification>
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There are many reasons why I totally <3 Ione (have I mentioned this before?), but the moment were she and Tranquility broadcast Greetings to the Jupiter consensus with just a smidgen of smugness is most definitely amongst them.

That said, The Naked God is not such a fun read as the first two instalments - I think this may be a psychological thing, where I'm trying not to get to the bit where it all goes completely stupid too quickly. I mean, it's not wholly without redemption, obviously, but it does very definitely feel a step below what went before.

Whereas the Pandora's Star/Judas Unchained duality is pretty consistent with the rocking all the way through.

In other news, it's Sunday evening in Hull (and, I concede, elsewhere across most of Europe), and Mali and I suffered a mild sprinkling of rain on our last perambulation about the Avenues. It gets dark early, y'know, and that only gets worse next week :-(

Having been meant to move office for some time now, as part of our shift to The Brave New World, I'm expecting that this coming week will see the transition finally effected. But then, I was expecting that of last week, and we know how that turned out...
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Huh. Overnight jobs failed to find the destination FTP server, which means that the payment files weren't downloaded and processed.

This may, or may not, be related to the server dying yesterday, so waiting to mug the DBA upon arrival...
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Colleague H faces something of a struggle each morning, in that to make the day's first coffee, full alertness is required. Yet, ironically, full alertness seems elusive when Colleague H isn't wholly caffeinated.

Thus today the plunger on the cafetierre was, um, plunged, firmly, when it wasn't quite seated properly.

Man, that can spray coffee gloop over a wide area... The clean-up continues.
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In anticipation of our office move, we've been clearing out the vast accumulation of papers that both ourselves and our predescessors had built up in the office. The record, so far, would seem to be a set of papers from 1988... 21 years old, I'm figuring that they can be safely shredded/recycled.

Dust everywhere, and although we seem to have broken the back of the task, now, there's still a fair bit more to do. And unlike home, for example, where clearing out has a sort of therapeutic feel to it, the office just looks more and more impersonal the more stuff we excise...
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[ profile] brundle has upped sticks to move across to our new accommodation. I'm hoping to move before the end of the week, panic-jobs outstanding willing. A Brave New World beckons, notably one that's at the other end of the grounds to my current position.

Had lunch cake with [personal profile] cynthia_black yesterday at a new(ish, to us) coffee place on Newland, which is a sort of second-hand bookshop/coffee bar. With free wi-fi, too. Definitely the sort of place one could hang out in for a while, but I do wonder whether the economies of this kind of enterprise really work out - can you honestly generate enough income from selling coffee for the relatively small number of tables/chairs to cover rent/staff/materials/wi-fi/overheads for the week? This, alas, is why I'll never be an entrepreneur - too timid to take such risks (and also, too devoid of imagination to come up with such concepts).

Scott Westerfeld's Leviathan, ordered on Friday, arrived yesterday - that was speedy service for free delivery! For more YA Steampunk, I've also been pointed at The Hunchback Assignments. But it's Leviathan first.
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Work's busy and I'm not here tomorrow because I'm going to old school friend's funeral :-( So I haven't caught up with my flist/reading page, but hope to manage to do so somewhen.

We had our first rain for what feels like a while today, although it's cleared up somewhat now, and remains surprisingly warm. Our office move has been pushed back to 'the end of the month', or possibly November. Was over at The New Accommodation for a meeting just now, and saw that the desks were being built and cables were being routed, so it's looking like the logistics are being sorted.

However, we've still got to weed out the current office, which isn't a task that particularly fills any of us with glee. At least the drift towards online documentation means that some of the manuals can be junked without a second thought (the one I picked up this morning was dated 1991 - that's eighteen years ago).


Oct. 2nd, 2009 11:19 am
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Quite a bit of stuff to do today, workwise, so not long post from me. Need to amend an existing set of intertwined frames, userclasses and database tables so that the respective result can manage a solution it was never designed to cope with.

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Colleagues H and J are both off on holiday whilst it's looking like Colleague N's off ill.

So 's just me in here for the duration.


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