Commentary: December 2004 Archives

2004 Year in Review

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  1. What did you do in 2004 that you'd never done before?
    Met someone whose blog I read
  2. Did you keep your new year's resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
    This year I made up a Bible reading plan that I managed to stick to, for the first time ever. I read the entire New Testament and a third of the Old Testament. For next year I'll be continuing my effort to be more relaxed and happy
  3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
    Yep, Jodi at work
  4. Did anyone close to you die?
    No
  5. What countries did you visit?
    USA and Canada
  6. What would you like to have in 2005 that you lacked in 2004?
    A boyfriend
  7. What date(s) from 2004 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
    Probably the 16th May, which was when we left for the USA (the day is also the anniversary of when I settled this place, and my friends got married, and I hooked up with Vic, and my brother moved into his place).
  8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
    Probably switching over to w2k3/active directory
  9. What was your biggest failure?
    File server disaster, with a corrupted file system and hours of down time
  10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
    I got sick twice, once probably from some old cheese, not sure about the other time. No flus which was awesome. Only real injury was a snowboarder wiping me out at the snow
  11. What was the best thing you bought?
    My Sony DSC-F828 camera
  12. Whose behaviour merited celebration?
    um..
  13. Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed?
    Probably my father's
  14. Where did most of your money go?
    On the trip to the USA
  15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
    Probably the trip to the USA :)
  16. What song will always remind you of 2004?
    Double Trouble
  17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
    Happier or Sadder? - happier I think
    Thinner or Fatter? - much the same, maybe slightly fatter
    Richer or Poorer? - much the same, the trip to the USA kept me fairly even
  18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
    Sleeping
  19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
    Complaining
  20. How will you be spending Christmas?
    This year or next year? Silly question to ask for an end of year quiz
  21. Who deleted question 21?
    It wasn't me I didn't do it
  22. Did you fall in love in 2004?
    If you count crushes on Jason Isaacs and Dave.. otherwise no
  23. How many one-night stands?
    None
  24. What was your favorite TV program?
    Survivor or ER
  25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
    No
  26. What was the best book you read?
    Probably Prisoner of Azkaban, although I'd read that twice before
  27. What was your greatest musical discovery?
    Yvonne's keyboard
  28. What did you want and get?
    A new camera
  29. What did you want and not get?
    A dvd recorder
  30. What was your favorite film of this year?
    Peter Pan
  31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
    Went down to me little brother's place for lunch, then went to a dance party in town. I turned 31
  32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
    A boyfriend
  33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2004?
    Jeans and a tshirt
  34. What kept you sane?
    dvds
  35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
    Jason Isaacs
  36. What political issue stirred you the most?
    The US election.. even more than our own federal election, go figure :)
  37. Who did you miss?
    Dennis and JC, they don't post nearly as often as they used to :(
  38. Who was the best new person you met?
    Dave!
  39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2004.
    um..
  40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
    "Something gotta go wrong cause I'm feeling way too damn good" - story of my life - whenever I'm feeling happy something will come along to make me feel grumpy

So another year over. Another year older. I spent far too long rereading this years blog entries to get highlights and lowlights of the year. Strangely there were more highlights than lowlights. The lowlights tended to be just ordinary day-to-day rants. The only big disasters I had this year were the file server disaster, where we lost files and had daytime downtime for hours; and Faiele in Italy stole a big chunk of my money on ebay, and ebay refused to help.

At work, we upgraded our domain to windows 2003 with active directory, which we managed to acheive without too many dramas. I setup quite a few servers during the year, but my favourite was later in the year when I migrated our main production notes web server to new hardware in a total of an hour and a half from pulling out of the box to being live. We also got audited while I was overseas, and felt very happy that I'd done detailed documentation for all the servers before I left, which probably saved my boss. Lunches with Jim and John became the norm this year, as it was a lot easier to coordinate four people with Luc in our office than when he was elsewhere.

My cia work mostly dried up, after they hired Nhat to take care of Gamera. He had his trial by fire shortly after he started, having to rebuild the machine in the middle of the night when there was a multiple disk failure in the raid array. The relief of me not having to stress about the box anymore was enourmous.

My lego obsession kicked into high gear this year, with the completion of the classic space lego collection, all the Harry Potter sets, tonnes of plain bricks for making mosaics (of which I made four instructed ones and four of my own design), and later in the year getting Yoda and the Imperial Star Destroyer.

I had several fish losses during the year, but didn't really replace any. I did however get a tankful of baby kribs which was very exciting.

I saw David Bowie in concert which was phenomenal. Been waiting fourteen years for the chance, and it was very moving for me. Also saw the Lion King stage show which was fantastic. Quidam was good but not as good as Alegria.

Crushes included a massive one on Jason Isaacs, a little one on Dave, and the ongoing one on Jim. No prospects of any boyfriends tho.

Three decent trips this year - a short one at Easter to my uncle's wedding in Queensland, a six week adventure to the USA and Canada, and a three day skiing trip in September. The USA trip was amazing, probably the biggest highlight of my year. I took 3800 photos and movies on my wonderful new Sony camera, which I still haven't finished sorting out!!

The weather this year went Summer, Autumn, Autumn, skipped winter, went straight onto Summer, and now Spring.

And now I have to get ready for tonight's general partying. Happy new year to everyone!! :):)

Been there

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One of the rare times on the Amazing Race that I can say "been there" - the final episode, and they were running around Denver airport, and catching the little shuttle trains they have there.

Silly really :)

I'm Sold

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Thanks to Trainman, who recommended IrfanView. It's quick to load the program, it'll do batch resizes of horizontal *and* vertical images, letting you resize to the longest side, and it'll do redeye (with the downloadable plugins) without changing file date/timestamp. Rotating images is slightly more fiddly - you have to shift-j to do lossless operations, and then choose the rotation and hit start. Could get used to it though I suppose. It's also a little slow flicking between images. Acdsee seems to preload images for faster scrolling through images, and I can't find a way to do that in IrfanView.

So I'll probably use acdsee to browse and rotate images, and irfanview to do redeye and resizing.

Strange Postscript

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Further to the previous FridayQ entry, Strange, I have a couple of things to add to the strangest thing I've seen.

All you have to do is stay up late watching tv.

In this case, Video Hits Uncut.

First, we have the eighties blast from the past with Feed the World. Go the mullets and 80s fashions. Followed by Bette Midler with From a Distance. Then some Christmas song I'd never heard of which I glanced up at and saw a parallel guitar (two sets of strings next to each other) played by two people - one in front playing one set, and someone else essentially hugging the first dude, with arms around him to play the other set of strings. Strange! Then The Little Drummer Boy performed by what looked like a drag queen. And now for Dave, we have a Depeche Mode song.. Personal Jesus.

And on that note, it's midnight.. Merry Christmas!!

Backups

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So in the process of clearing out my home directory on the server, I thought I'd download the logs for my various sites so I could delete the archives. Not watching what I was doing I overwrote some of the files on my machine and then removed them off the server. No problem I thought I'll just grab them off the last backup (I back up my machine every night to another machine with windoze backup). Except that I couldn't catalogue the file. hrm this is not good. If I can't restore my backups, then what's the point of doing them. Until I realised by looking at the timestamp on the file that it shouldn't even have that time. Then I realised the time on the computer was almost a day out (I turned it off the other day during a thunderstorm, it must've gotten confused), and was running an active backup. Phew. Test on one of the other backup files, and it's all good. But it does mean to get those logs back I'll need to restore a previous backup from tape, which I keep at work. Still, it's a good test to make sure I'm doing my backups right. :)

Anatomy of a hacking

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Well Campbell found the site last night that had been compromised (running phpbb). Somehow, not sure how, it's then trawled through the file system on the server looking for files that were group writeable (all ordinary users are in the same group, so any group writeable files are writeable by everyone else on the server). Generally files shouldn't be group writeable by default, however MT in its default wisdom seems to generate all its files as *world* writeable. *sigh* It could just be the way directories get setup by default, will have to have a play with it - sorry if I break anything in the process :) Fortunately Campbell was online last night to mount the backup partition for me, and I got back my non-blog files that had been overwritten. If anything, it's a good motivation for me to clean out my home directory, as it's totally full of crap.

And on that note, I'm off to bed.

Notes

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Oh yeah, and the other thing I did tonight was move a notes server at work to new hardware. And it was the least amount work I've ever had to do to setup a server.

Total work involved included:

  • Ghost server from an image I'd created for another server, and rename. Total hands-on time, about ten minutes
  • Fix up a few other minor issues, and install lotus notes to get the service and environment variables set, about ten minutes
  • Saturday night, while watching telly, shut down notes on the old machine, copy all the files across to the new machine (that's 72gb of data files, give it a generous half an hour to copy everything), then rename the servers and set ip addresses so they're swapped, and start notes. Total hands on time, half an hour while waiting for the copy, and half an hour to fiddle and test.

    So we're talking about an hour and a half to completely setup a new machine, and transfer 72gb of production notes server from machine to another, the majority of that time spent watching telly. I'd like to see anyone do *that* with exchange! I honestly did so little on it that's it's hardly even worth claiming overtime on it.

  • Christmas Party Number 1

    So Friday night was CIA's Christmas party. We went to Chan's Garden Chinese Restaurant in Burwood. Let me just say, if you're thinking about going there - don't! The food was ok, but the service was abysmal. We arrived at 7pm, but it was a full hour and a quarter before *any* food arrived. And then another three quarters of an hour before any food turned up for the vegetarians. So the entrees trickled out, and by 10pm we thought we were done. Then they brought out the mains. Yes, three hours after we arrived, and everyone had pretty much had enough to eat. Of course noone was hungry anymore, so we got a bunch of containers and took it all home. I have enough food for a week!

    Christmas Party Number 2
    Saturday lunch was a small gathering at James and George's. Very pleasant, and lots of food as per usual.

    Middle Harbour cruise
    After lunch, I trekked out to Mosman and went for a cruise on John's boat. We went all the way up Middle Harbour to Warringah Road. Was totally awesome. It's a pity he's planning on selling it :(

    Christmas Party Number 3
    After I got home, I sat down to eat dinner when Chris calls me up - party at his place. So off I head to that. Didn't think I was going to know anyone much, but a few people came that I knew. Managed to get myself a fantastic massage, best I've had in a long time. Also had a very interesting, if somewhat depressing, conversation with Alison. Got to bed about 2:30am.

    Afternoon breather
    Was planning to go to the parents, but plans were put off by the arrival of a thunderstorm which I wanted to wait out with appliances disconnected so that I could reconnect everything when done.

    Yet another dinner out
    Again at James and George's. Got counted as part of the family during grace *heh* Yet another yummy bbq.

    Finally made it home to watch the second last episode of Survivor.

    Bridget Jones

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    Bridget Jones

    Saw Bridge Jones Edge of Reason tonight with George, which I thoroughly enjoyed and found it rather hilarious for the most part.

    Recognised Moaning Myrtle (Shirley Henderson) instantly from her voice, and it was kinda strange to see her all old like.

    Also realised it's been years since I've been close enough to someone to have trouble communicating true feelings.

    Want to see The Incredibles, and the Phantom of the Opera, although George says she won't go see it with me cause I'm likely to sing along with it the whole way through :)

    What to choose

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    Didn't really get much done tonight after getting home late from cia meeting, watching Survivor, CSI, and the end of The Thomas Crown Affair. I did manage to get a few more days of my USA photos categorised though. I'm only just keeping ahead of the six month gap. And thoroughly enjoying seeing the photos again. It's like revisiting everything again, and really getting to appreciate the beauty of everything. Every so often I'll get to a group of photos that I have no idea how to categorise. Like tonight - there's some photos of an old railway line that was dismantled years ago. But what category? It's not really trains, or buildings, or tunnels, or even monuments. In the end I made a new category just for them - old railways - to be reevaluated later if I can think of anything better!

    John mentioned this at lunch today, and Mushroom posted about it also. Unfortunately I missed the show :(

    Last night on the ABC, they apparently listed Australia's Top 100 Favourite Books, as voted by viewers. Below is the list, with the ones I've read highlighted bold.

    1. The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkein
    2. Pride and Prejuidice by Jane Austen
    3. The Bible (Various Contributors)
    4. To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
    5. Cloudstreet by Tim Winton
    6. Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix (Book 5) by J. K. Rowling
    7. Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell
    8. The Hitch Hiker's Guide To The Galaxy by Douglas Adams
    =9. The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown
    =9. Catch 22 by Joseph Heller
    10. A Fortunate Life by A.B. Facey

    And the rest of the top 100 are:

    11. Dirt Music by Tim Winton
    12. 800 Horseman by Col Stringer
    13. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
    14. Zhaun Falun by Li Hongzhi
    15. Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban (Book 3) by J.K. Rowling
    16. Captain Underpants And The Invasion Of The Incredibly Naughty Cafeteria Ladies From Outer Space by Dav Pilkey
    17. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
    18. The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
    19. The Wind In The Willows by Kenneth Grahame
    20. The Catcher In The Rye by J.D. Salinger
    21. The Pillars Of The Earth by Ken Follett
    22. Magician by Raymond E. Feist
    23. Possession: A Romance by A.S. Byatt
    24. Dune (Dune Chronicles) by Frank Herbert
    25. A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry
    26. The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
    27. A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth
    28. One Hundred Years Of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
    29. 'Fighting' McKenzie Anzac Chaplain by Col Stringer
    30. Deltora Quest Series by Emily Rodda
    31. Tomorrow, When The War Began by John Marsden
    32. Perfume: The Story Of A Murder by Patrick Suskind
    33. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
    34. The Ancient Future Trilogy by Traci Harding
    35. The God Of Small Things by Arundhati Roy
    =36. Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire (Book 4) by J.K. Rowling
    =36. The Power Of One by Bryce Courenay
    37. The Shipping News by Annie Proulx
    38. Captain Corelli's Mandolin by Louis De Bernieres
    39. The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
    40. Anne Of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery
    41. Gone With The Wind by Margaret Mitchell
    42. Cross Stitch by Diana Gabaldon
    43. Persuasion by Jane Austen
    44. Ice Station by Matthew Reilly
    45. Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier
    46. Life Of Pi by Yann Martel
    47. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky
    48. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
    49. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
    50. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
    51. A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket
    52. Love In The Time Of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
    53. Rage by Steve Gerlach
    54. Alice's Adventures In Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
    55. The Mists Of Avalon by Marion Zimmer-Bradley
    56. Cafe Scheherazade by Arnold Zable
    57. The Bone People by Keri Hulme
    58. Jessica by Bryce Courtenay
    59. Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets (Book 2) by J. K. Rowling
    60. The Fortunes Of Richard Mahony by Henry Handel Richardson
    61. My Family And Other Animals by Gerald Durrell
    62. War And Peace by Leo Tolstoy
    63. Wild Swans by Jung Chang
    64. Mao's Last Dancer by Li Cunxin
    65. Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer
    66. Eragon by Christopher Paolini
    67. Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts
    68. Memoirs Of A Geisha by Arthur Golden
    69. The Riders by Tim Winton
    70. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
    71. Angela's Ashes by Frank Mccourt
    72. The Age Of Reason by Thomas Paine
    73. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
    74. Middlemarch by George Eliot
    75. Emma by Jane Austen
    76. Midnight's Children by Salman Rushdie
    77. The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje
    78. Matilda by Roald Dahl
    79. Zen And The Art Of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert Pirsig
    80. On The Road by Jack Kerouac
    81. The Bfg by Roald Dahl
    82. Animal Farm by George Orwell
    83. Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks
    84. A Prayer For Owen Meany by John Irving
    85. Boyz Rule by Phil Kettle
    86. Scarecrow by Matthew Reilly
    87. The Secret History by Donna Tartt
    88. Looking For Alibrandi by Melina Marchetta
    89. Watership Down by Richard Adams
    90. The Thorn Birds by Colleen Mccullough
    91. Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand
    92. Winnie The Pooh by A. A. Milne
    93. Harry Potter And The Philosopher's Stone (Book 1) by J. K. Rowling
    94. The Magic Faraway Tree by Enid Blyton
    95. Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh
    96. Heart Of Darkness by Conrad
    97. High Fidelity by Nick Hornby
    98. Goosebumps by R. L Stine
    99. The Magic Pudding by Norman Lindsay
    =100. Les Miserables by Victor Hugo
    =100. David Copperfield by Charles Dickens

    not that many actually. But then I never was into reading much. I haven't even *heard* of half of them! Funny that all five Harry Potter books made the top 100 .. :)

    Blink!

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    But it was only yesterday.. really it was .. the beginning of the year is so recent to me. Well especially the second half of the year. Six months ago I was half way through our trip through the US. Nine months ago I saw the Patriot for the first time. I've lost count of all the servers I've setup. The support dude from Dell called me today after having been in Phuket for a month. A month!! I can't believe it's been that long since our big disaster.

    Think we'll probably go with Double Take for replication. It seems to work well and manages failover beautifully. So just need to finish setting up the replica server, two notes servers, a cold fusion server, and switch over our file server documenation to a new database, all in 15 days :)

    Watching Peter Pan for the first time in weeks.. yummmmmmmmmmm :):)

    Kazza's "Boring Life Of a Geek" aka BLOG

    IT geek, originally from Sydney, moved to Canberra in 2007. Married to "the sweetie", aka Stu. Prolific photographer, Lego junkie and tropical fish keeper.

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