haven’t written a thing

I’ve been playing too much with OSX I guess.

The Gimp is a bit of a marvel. It’s absolutely marvelous that ANYONE would consider it to be a competitor with Photoshop or even Color It. Unbelieveable maybe because, frankly, it’s pants. And at 190MB it represented about an hours waste of time.

Been playing with XTools quite a bit – especially with ethereal. good fun stuff – that’s what XWindows was invented for. Little sexy binaries that just work.

As for Crucible? Seems that the guys are pissed at something. Haven’t had a single response to any of the emails I sent and none of them have commented about the meeting last week which I was unable to attend. I’m also not at liberty to say why which makes things difficult. Add to that – I’m not going to be at next weeks gaming due to maybe popping up to see Osarius’ setup. i’m also MEANT to be writing a training course as well as finishing off Testament, getting stuck into the meat and bones of Syzygy and doing some minor doodles for “the superhero game” which is, as yet, unnamed. I have some nifty concepts…

Anyway. I’ll keep you posted. I’ve got some neat things to share with you over the coming months.

working on a IIci

A friend has a problem with his IIci.

The IIci was introduced in September 1989 which makes this baby almost 12 years old. The model was discontinued in February of 1993 which means it was actively being sold for almost four years. Incredible.

Anyway. When I started out as a mac techie it was the IIci, the Quadra 650, the Centris 650 and the PowerMac 7100 which were the workhorses of the day. Even then some of them were old – in 1996 – when I started – the Quadra was already three years old. Even the 7100, a veritable workstation, was released in 1994 which meant that our best machines were two years out of date.

Anyway, so I’m working on this IIci. The disk seems to be pooched so I’ve attached an external SCSI to get a system onto so I can get it booted in some sort of stable config. I’ve pulled out all the stops – and quickly discovered that as I stopped working with older Macs every day I let that side of things slide a little. I’ve still got loads of kit (bootup disks etc) but it was hard finding stuff. I’ve never had a IIci boot disk but I knew that a Quadra 650 Disk Tools disk would boot it. Could I find one? Of course not. I lucked out however – a 7100 disk wouldn’t do but it turns out that a powerbook Duo disk will – go figure.

I’ve created a bootable zip disk – thankfully the iomega stuff doesn’t need drivers – with Norton and Techtool and all sorts of goodies. Had to track down Norton 3.5.1 from my software collection. My hands are all dusty now!

It’s slow progress but it’s fun doing this. Brings it all back to me. I remember the little quirks and ways thinks worked with the older hardware. I think I may have preferred the old days…I love my Pismo and the new G4 hardware thrills me but things seemed better then. I remember thrilling to the stories of the PowerMac 8100 which ran ..at..over..a…hundred…megahertz…

Anyhow, it looks like this machine is booting from my hastily built system folder on a zip disk. Heh heh.

My eyes are tired – I know because I get a twitch in the eyelid of my right eye. I really should get that checked out at the doctors as it is a little irritating but I think it’s just due to fatigue. Obviously I should be able to survive with six hours sleep…

Well…it failed the first test. Nothing can see the disk – looks like something is seriously wrong with the hardware of the disk. Otherwise the machine is fine – the hard disk – which is between 8 and 11 years old – seems pooched.

I’ve torn apart a 7100 and fired the disk into it – that should tell me whether it was something related to the IIci hardware or whether it was related to the disk itself. I’m certainly beginning to suspect the latter.

Anyway, I’ll finish this later. I’ve moved onto trying to scan the disk using SCSIproble and SilverLining. The latter has spotted it but I’m trying to get a driver written to it – who ever said life was easy.

back in the saddle

I’m back in the real world right now. Got some good news, got some bad news…

Bad news?
Over six hundred emails in my account (not including work emails) and huge numbers of them were various pissing contests on the various mailing lists I’m on. Culprits? InfiniteLoopList, MacOSXTalk and CrucibleDesign. Thankfully the GoldenHeroes and Tekumel lists were noisy but nice.

Good news?
Demo of OSX 10.1 seemed to be received well but some moaning SOABs are complaining that although it’s a free update you have to pay $20 shipping and handling. $20!!! Damn whinging gits. More about that later…

Also new iMacs (just faster), new G4s ( a ?1199 733MGz G4, a 867MHz G4 with a SuperDrive for ?1799!!! and a Dual-800 with accelerated twin-2MB Level 3 cache).

Also interesting to some: Microsoft Office 10 for OSX demoed, Virtual PC 4 for OSX Preview released, DAVE 3.0 Beta released, Giants: Citizen Kabuto announced for OSX only (ported by those smarties at the Omni Group), iDVD 2 for Mac OS X only, Quark Xpress, InDesign, Illustrator and GoLive all carbonised, ViaVoice carbonised, Tony Hawkes Skateboarding, Warcraft III, Toast 5, Canto Cumulus, VectorWorks, 4-Sight Fax, Eskape Labs…the list goes on.

Anyway…I’m scouring the ‘net for info on OSX 10.1…

Later people.

hell breaks loose

I’m pretty disgusted right now. Last night I receive a phone call that in my absence (while I’m stuck in London without net access*) there has been some infighting and general malady within the cheery bunch of friends called Crucible Design. Fact is, I guess, if we didn’t care we wouldn’t argue so much but the end result is that CD has now been dealt a pretty harsh blow and I don’t know if it will recover. Not that I have any say over it as I’m only hearing things by proxy and haven’t actually seen the email mess that started this whole thing. There were harsh words said. I didn’t think it would be something like this that would kill CD – I’d thought it would be me being a primadonna or something like that – after all I’m the most vocal and usually the most abrasive. I also tend to be moody and frankly hell to be with most of the time.

In other news, watched CNN last night (I’m bored and in a hotel) and there was a report on fuel prices. Americans pay, on average, $1.51 per gallon and in some places the price is as low as $1.16. I pay, on average, 79 pence per litre. 79 pence is…about $1.29. So…I’m paying about the same for a litre of petrol as the yanks are paying for a gallon. Damn!


*wondering how I’m updating this if I don’t have net access? yaxJournal is a kewl offline journal writer…

Cash, Challenges and Dreams

I’m tired.

I don’t think I feel challenged at the moment. I’m also gaining interests in areas other than straight networking. I started teaching part-time two years ago and I’m getting real interested in training as a career. I still like the “work” aspect of IT but training would give me more time – I think – to do the stuff I want to do.

I think I want my own company. The current save-a-penny,waste-a-pound nature of my current employer is getting on my nerves. I don’t spend money needlessly but getting cash for a tiny run of fibre is next to impossible.

Ideally I’d like to do training and consultancy. I’d keep a small staff all using Mac OS X. I’d also hire at least one Cocoa-capable programmer who would split his time between doing “work” projects and the rest contributing to Mac OS X-related open source projects. I’d like that a lot…especially the last bit. It’s a bit of a dream I have.

With the current outsourcing murmurs and the terrible fears of closing sites and whatnot I’m beginning to feel nervous. I don’t want to be outsourced. I was ambivalent before but now I’m pretty convinced that it’s a bad move despite the bonus they pay. If the site was closed I’d be looking for another job anyway. I’m not sure what’s out there – or even if I can command the same salary from another company. My current employer needs me while they have the site open. A new employer would have to get to know me I guess.

Pretty depressing huh? The upshot is that I’d take a lower salary if the working conditions were right…not that I know whether or not I can afford to take a lower salary…due to the house and whatever else.

Back to dreaming.