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Life, the Universe and a small fish and chip shop
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22nd-Dec-2008 09:15 pm - As part of the clear out
As part of the clear out and deciding what to put in storage, I have been testing out the various computer systems I have picked up over the last view years.

The first test was an old server that I did have in a co-location but is now back at home. Nice kit and so I have kept it. (P4 model), but I thought I would try out a couple of CDs on it first.  First was the latest version of the OpenSolaris distribution from opensolaris.com, which  after I put some more memory in the system, it booted from the Live CD but it could not handle the low spec graphics card. This to be honest is not suprising as the distribution is a desktop distribution and not designed for low graphic servers.

I will try this out on some other systems as it boots up fine on a laptop and a Desktop I have. It has some great features on it that I want to try out (Timeshift is one of them takin advantage of the ZFS snapshots)

So the next CD is was PBX in a Flash, a distribution based on CentOS that provides a PBX. CentOS installed and it was ready to deploy the latest stable version of the Asterisk on the systems (although since I did not have the system connected up to the internet it failed at this point, but at least it proved it would boot up and run some software.

Now to pack the server away ready for storage.
22nd-Dec-2008 08:30 pm - It is all change now
Well about a month ago, I handed in my notice. Two days later of course SUN announced that is was going to make 6500 redendant across the company, but I have not heard anything more about that (And I know that I am in a division that make money and is growing at over 30% a year in the service industry) so redendency is not on the cards for me.

But why have I handed in my notice. Well about a year ago we bought a motorhome, and now we are going on a trip around Europe. Leaving all behind and heading off at the end of Feburary. The only plan we have really made is that we are starting the mainland element of our trip in Northern Spain and will be back in the UK in time for the August Bank Holiday.

I have been doing the same job (and I do mean the same job) for 10 years now. The division has changed names and grown in size from a UK to European to Global. Different reporting structures and managers, but I am still doing the same Pre-Sales support and Post Sales delivery support role that I was when I first help setup the UK division.

So it is time for a break,  I am leaving Sun Microsystems and doing this trip, and then upon our return to the UK finish of a few details and then emigrate to New Zealand in 2010.

Big adventure time, and all change. May be in 2010 I will work out what I want to do.
21st-Jun-2008 09:27 pm - Zombies and Yardbirds
Well last night, the Zombies and the Yardbirds  were performing in Basingstoke, and they played a classic gig. Some old songs, some new ones. The Zombies did a few numbers from Argent ( Hold your head high and God gave Rock and Roll to you).  I have to say that Rox and I were some of the youngest people in the audience but that was not an issue.  The Yardbirds have a excellent guitarist playing for them these days. A 25 year old called Ben King, handled all the Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page solo's with ease.

All in all an excellent night
10th-Jun-2008 05:30 pm - The great white hunter
Been a while since I blogged, hardly get time to sit down in front of a computer these days and do non work related stuff. The weekend that has just been was a welcome break in the routine.

I went diving down at West Bay in Dorest, 1 wreck, the St. Dunstain, sunk in 1917 when it hit a mine. A steam dredger. Laying in about 30m of water. My deepest dive yet. And the other two were drift dives over a couple of reefs that exist in Lyme Bay. (At depths between 10m and 24m)

Taking advantage of the location, the last drift dive was over the Sawtooth Reef, which has scallop beds all around. So a few were gathered in passing, checked for size (and any small ones returned to the sea).

Returning home, Rox and Myself had a cook off, comparing the diver gathered scollaps (4 hours out of the water), with some scallops picked up the day before from a West Bay fishmongers.

Now whilst the purchases scollaps were very nices, the very fresh ones were stunning.

Not much a claim to have been hunting scallops (They don't run very fast), it was still 24m under water with a limited air supply, I still caught, prepared and eat my own food....... Mind you I missed out on a plaice and a large brown crab. The dish of the day was a massive spider crab, but no one was prepared to go near that beast, it advanced towards the group of divers I was, with a "come on then if you are hard enough" approach to its pinchers.

Excellent time, and excellent weather. Just need to learn to use less air when diving.
The Marine Conservation society is running a campaign to get Gordon Brown to stick to an election promise, below is the letter/email that is going out at the moment. Personally, I think it is a great idea. Two reasons and both selfish, I will admit. (a) I like the SCUBA diving and seeing the wild life under the water and (b) I happen to like seafood. A sensible marine bill for the UK would help both cases

Rt Hon Gordon Brown,
Prime Minister,
10 Downing Street,

Dear Prime Minister,

We need a UK Marine Act in 2008

I am writing to urge you to include the Marine Bill as a priority in this year's Queen's Speech, in order to take urgently needed action for our seas and to fulfil your manifesto commitment.

Our seas are home to a wonderful diversity of habitats and species that are of local, regional and global importance. They are also critical to the energy, transport, health and food needs of all UK citizens such as myself. A Marine Bill is urgently needed to provide the planning framework within which sustainable development of our seas can be achieved, as well as setting aside zones for nature conservation.

As a maritime nation, please find space for the marine half of the UK in the next parliamentary session. A Marine Bill will provide win-wins for industry and conservation. Without this framework marine industries such as renewables and gas, as well as conservation will lose.

Yours sincerely,

19th-Aug-2007 08:45 am - SCUBA Diving training continues
Well it has been sometime since I have post any thing here. LIfe as a whole has been remarkably business. The vegie patch has provided a fair amount of food, (although no leeks). On the SCUBA diving side of things, I am now a BASC Sports Diver. I took a friday off work a couple of weeks ago and finished the final modules at Vobster Quay.

I have also done a boat dive off the coast near Lyme Regis, on a Wreck about 18 metres under the surface.  That was fun and I am looking forward to do it again.
10th-Apr-2007 10:53 am - The quest for better food.........
Well this Easter break saw us outside running the children around to take advantage of the good weather, but also it signalled the start of phase one of lets get some better food by growning some at home. Rox went to check on the honey supply as she has a number of bees to look after. It appears that they lasted the winter and she has enough to start up a second hive Yes we have bees so it looks like we will be having a good supply of honey this year.

The next phase was to dig over some of the garden space we have in to a veggie plot. This has been done and it just needs a second dig to get the added topsoil and compost into the mix

The plan is to grow the following

Broad Bean - Express
Dwarf Bean - Tendergreen
Leek - Oarsman F1 Hybrid
Calabrese - Belstar F1 Hybrid
Sweet Corn - F1 Jubilee

(The above list is more of a memory list for me so I can do some taste testing and record the information). We plan to grow more than the above, but that is the starting list of seeds. We have some Tomato growing on the window sill at the moment which will need repotting later today.)

So all in all a good Easter break in our view
22nd-Mar-2007 10:16 am - Wildlife in Aus
Not all the Kangaroos in Aus are roadkill. Saw this, about 2 miles outside of Melbourne Airport, near a small farm. I really need a telephoto lens for these shots, as wild Kanagroos tend to have a bad temper and the fence between me and the roo was not big enough if it decided I was close enough to attack.

15th-Mar-2007 10:04 am - Back in the UK
I landed back in the UK on Friday evening, long flight as usual, Melbourne to Hong Kong to London. Slept the first leg as the flight took off at midnight, Flims watched: The Black Dehlia, The Departed, Rassle Dazzle, Deja Vue and a couple of tv programs.

At the weekend in Melbourne, I managed to do a bit of SCUBA diving and then visited the dry countryside of the State of Victoria. Saw a number of kangaroos but they were roadkill, Didn't manage to spot any wombats.

Visited a few more customers around the city of melbourne and then managed to spot a living Kangaroo on the road to Melbourne Airport (Managed to grab a picture, this and others will be up on flickr at some point soon).

Back in to the office running as I had to attend a trade show on Monday and Tuesday and a customer meeting on Wednesdays. Finally I have a quiet day to catch up on expenses and actually do some of the other work.
2nd-Mar-2007 04:25 am(no subject)
Well I am now in Sunny Melbourne (and they are gasping for rain). New Zealand was fun. Wellington has the Cuba Street Carnival at the weekend and it was full on party time in the downtown area. Had a delayed stag night with my brother in law whilst I was there. (He only got married two years ago but I was babysitting, as Rox was on the hen weekend away.)

Arrived in Melbourne on Sunday, and on to the office on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Multiple meetings and then the staff drag you "kicking and screaming" to a Belgium beer pub (Customer meeting which finished just past midnight ;-)), or to a team meal (finished close to 1am). Wrap up a few more things in the office, couple of conference calls back to the UK and then it is time to explore a bit of Victoria.

World Superbikes on Sunday so I might pop down to Philip Island to watch that. And currently just near where I am staying they are fencing of the street circuit for the F1 race in two weeks time.

The trip continues (but it does seem to be a far more sensible pace of life out here).
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