Thursday, 11 February 1999:

Computers Are The Enemy

Lately, computers are not my friends.

Oh, it's nothing as bad as my mishaps of a year ago; just several little annoying things that have popped up recently.

First, we're apparently running low on server licenses on our servers at work, so the systems team has limited everyone on the main development server to two concurrent logins. Since I generally have three logins, minimum, when doing development, this is cramping my style somewhat. (And yes, I actually use them all. Usually I'm editing something in one, examining data in a second, and running code and examining other data in a third, something with other stuff going on besides. I could easily make use of a 20-inch monitor and five terminal sessions if I had the luxury.)

Second, we had a big rain storm today, and the power at Epic hiccuped twice. It's always kind of fun when the power hiccups, because everyone comes out of their office in short order and starts hanging out until the machines reboot. The second time the power was actually out for about 15 minutes (and it affected a several-block radius around the building), so we had some nice long chats. During this time, we learned that the overhead paging system is on emergency power, but the underground parking garage doors are not.

Third, probably also as a result of the storm (which apparently knocked out Madison cable TV city-wide in the middle of the day), I've been having trouble dialing up to my ISP tonight, getting a lot of busy signals.

That would be no big deal except that Madison's phone system now has the "callback" feature, and when you get a busy signal a voice comes on the line after only one beep explaining how to use callback (only 75 cents! Yeah, right). And either my modem or my software isn't smart enough to recognize the voice as part of a busy signal, so it just hangs until you do something. No more automatic redial. Gah.

Plus, it seems my ISP's Web server's clock is set about two hours ahead, since the date stamps on the Web log are all sometime in the future. Not sure why this is; it started happening a day or two ago.

Well, at least my Mac is working nicely. I'm just about to start cataloguing Superman in my comics database, which means I'm in the home stretch.

It's been busy lately, both at work and out of work. I'm making very good progress on my final project, and expect to move a big chunk of it forward tomorrow or Monday. It is a big project and is going to take a lot of testing. It's a lot of juggling of many pieces on both a macro- and a micro-level though. Takes a lot of thinking, although I think I'm past the staring-out-the-window phase.

Outside work, I went down to the SF3 social thing last night, which consumed a couple of hours. And I hit the comic book store before that.

And tonight we had the monthly book discussion, where we tackled John E. Stith's Reckoning Infinity, where we all had pretty much the same opinion of the book: Some worthwhile moments, but basically not a very exciting or engrossing book.

I hosted the discussion, so I had to clean, buy some food, and I baked cookies as well. We actually had a large turnout for the discussion, resulting in perhaps more people than I've ever had in my apartment at once before. (Okay, it was only 8 other than myself, but remember, I don't really throw parties - in part because I have a small apartment, plus there's not a lot of parking around where I live.) It's nice to host things once in a while, though.

The moving plans are progressing. Hopefully I'll get my airline itinerary tomorrow, and I can finalize a few more things. Actually, I should finalize them anyway, because next week may be too late. I am panicking just a little sometimes when I realize it's less than two weeks until I pull up my roots and head west. I just hope everything goes smoothly.

And yes, this journal is going to go on hiatus when I move. There will be at least a five-day hiatus before I even have access to the Internet again, and then I will only write sporadically (if that) until I find a permanent apartment and get hooked up to the net from home. I will probably collect e-mail addresses for some sort of notify list until things are back to normal. I'll let you know.

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