Diary of a geek

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Andrew Pollock


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Saturday, 27 November 2004

Everyone needs a Planet

I finally got around to setting up planet.andrew.net.au so I can aggregate all the feeds I read (and ones I haven't been reading) into one place. I have to give big fat kudos to Scott and Jeff for making it so easy to set up.

Now I just need to make it look sexy...

[19:48] [geek] [permalink]

The week in review

Well, the first week back at work has been… hectic.

It's been quite the shock to the system going from full-time Uni student back to full-time employee. 8 hours feels like forever.

I was issued a laptop on my first day, which was rather impressive. The problem was, it was installed with Windows XP according to the new company SOE, which may be well and good for one of the sales people, or someone who worked in one of the company offices, but I'm working out onsite at a client, with a LAN that is nothing like what the SOE expects.

I have two LANs that I can connect to: a management LAN, which has DHCP but no Internet access, and a filtered Internet accessable LAN, from where we can VPN back into the office LAN so that we can read our email, and surf the web and whatnot. This LAN doesn't do DHCP.

Problem number 1 is that as I don't have local Administrator access to my laptop (Power User would probably suffice), I can't statically set an IP address, so I can't get onto the Internet LAN to VPN into the office LAN, so I can't read my work email, and I can't submit my timesheets.

Problem number 2 is that on the management LAN, we have to set a few static routes to access a few networks, and as I don't have local Administrator access, I can't do that. So this SOE is making it extremely difficult to do my job. I'm currently using another random clunky laptop that was spare as my computer on the management LAN, and my work laptop in Linux on the Internet LAN for general Internet access, however as the smartcard software only works under Windows, I'm unable to VPN into the office.

Finally, I can't install software, so to start with, all I had was Office and the VPN software. I needed at least PuTTY, preferably Firefox, and probably VNC to be reasonably productive. There's also a few firewall GUIs that I might need installed. The SOE is generally quite unworkable.

My boss' boss' boss has unofficially told me that I can "take whatever steps necessary in order to do my job". I think that's going to have to entail hosing the laptop and reinstalling it. I'd really like to tow the company line (I'm the first person out on this client's site to be running the new SOE) but it's just not going to be workable for me in its current state. I'm just trying to make sure I'm not going to get myself into trouble company-policy-wise, or license-wise.

[03:51] [work] [permalink]

My first bug squashing party

With Sarah away for the whole weekend riding to Mount Kosciusko and back for the Hartley Ability Challenge, I thought I might as well pop up to Sydney for the bug squashing party.

As it happened, it was also a SLUGCode Fest, and there were more people there code festing than there were DD's bug squishing.

I ended up working mainly on setting the maintainer to the QA group for orphaned packages, but I fixed at least one RC bug in the process. I found it a bit distracting being in a room full of other people. In hindsight, I probably would have achieved more by going somewhere with network access (like the University library) and just dedicating half a day or the whole day to doing Debian work.

[03:18] [debian] [permalink]