Fuzzy - not just a name, a way of life

Monday, December 26, 2005

Cyclone season starts early

As reported on Over the Falls, the whirlwind that is Cyclone Santa continues to track north over Oz. Here at Chateau Fuzzy, a half dozen friends gathered together to shelter from its onslaught. We saw first hand the wreckage it wrought. To wit, one dismembered turkey, ham, pudding ... and 25 bottles of wine. (Honest, we don't know how that last bit happened. Might have had something to do with the fact our christmas lunch ended up going for 11 hours. A record, even for us :-) ).

Fortunately, we were still in high spirits this morning, for our day on the harbour to watch the Sydney-Hobart start. And it was fan-bloody-tastic! Nothing like watching 100 yatchs tack madly to and fro in a box the size of a few football fields, and then bang! race on! If you haven't seen it before - do it.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Way to go, Mal

Turns out my brother-in-law, Mal, has started hacking Ruby as well. And of course, in his usual style, he's already whipped up a script to help pick up girls. Way to go, Mal.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

All in a day's work

The lead up to christmas is usually slow - but not this year. Today (the 20th) is the first slow day I've had. And it gave me time to do a bunch of little things

First, I built two Solaris 10 virtual machines, which I'm now busy trying to get behaving on a host with limited RAM. (Yes, yes, too much time on my hands, I hear you say ... see para 1)

Second, I dabbled with some more coding of my data builder/stress tester/performance killer for doc management systems. I extended the utility to make PDF documents. Yeah, so what. Well, it makes 1000 per minute all with random titles and random content, and shoves them into the doc management system. And if I run 5 clients in parallel, that means I can load 18 million PDFs into the system every day. And I'm about to go on leave for 14 days ... so when I come back, I should have 250 million PDFs in the database.

(That of course will never happen. While the PDF engine is an excellent open source one, we are talking about my code - buggy to be sure, and Billy G's .NOT programming world will almost surely decide nothing is garbage, leaving me with no memory in a matter of minutes. Oh, and I'll run out of disk space ... even on my EMC SAN).

I wonder if I'll see the smoke from home?

Monday, December 12, 2005

Blast from the past.

Adelaide Qantas Club. Usually that brings up thoughts of a tatty, crowded little room of forelorn and weary travellers, eeking out the passing hours waiting for Qantas to deign to open their flight. But not tonight.

I strolled to the bar to partake of the Qantas club's one saving grace ~ Coopers ~ and on the way saw an old but familiar face. John Mason and I had both enjoyed the trials and tribulations of engineering at UC, and here we were some 15 years later, older, wiser, but still happy to talk about old times.

We talked about how the degree we both did was once ranked one of the most prestigious computer science/engineering degrees in the country, and how it had changed to be an also-ran that last year was consigned to the dust-bin of academic history.

Perhaps most surprising was our exchange of anecdotes about our friends from the time, and what had happened to them. The usual moving, jobs, etc. etc. for most of them. Except Bill. Or (as I now know) Willamina as she prefers to be called nowadays. I think I spat beer half way across the room in surprise. Best of luck to him/her!

Funny how a disproportionate number a these posts are written in airport lounges. Probably just the combination of soothing [and free] alcohol, and more spare time than I'm used to.

Time for more Coopers ;-)

Saturday, December 10, 2005

I Blame ...

Gordon! ... for tonight's web design madness. If he wasn't forever revamping his blog, I'd be happy with the somewhat dull blogger template. But after his recent refresh, I thought what the hell, I'll get stuck back in to some web design stuff. So for a brief hour, you could have seen this site transformed with embedded CSS to squash all text to 2% normal size, using magenta as the colour, unless you were a lucky p tag with the id "spare me", in which case you got to be VERY big indeed.

Sanity has returned (and I seem to have collected adsense stuff along the way) ... let's see if I can make the design a little more pleasant :-)

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Return of the Son of Broadband.

Having dabled with iBurst wireless broadband, we've just switched over to iiNet ADSL2+. And the verdict? "Vrrrrrrrrrroooooooooooooooooooooooooommmmmmmmmm!!!!!!!!!!" Bloody fast. Lindsay's podcasts, that would take all night to download (OK, she was downloading a few hundred meg), now take a few seconds.

In fairness to iBurst, our house seems to be located in a "local anomaly", which meant even though we were within spitting distance of a hot-spot, we got shit performance. I took the box on the road several times (to the Sydney CBD, and North Sydney), and got much better speed.

Now, I'm off to download a few thousand copies of War and Peace.