Random Musings

New starter:   Last week, we finally took on a new systems manager. This is a weight off my shoulders as I have been supporting the shop all by myself for the last five months or so. It was getting so bad that I had to stop working weekends as I couldn't be guaranteed that I'd get any time off in lieu. Working six days a week is not something that I relish. Now all I have to do is to get him up to speed before I go on holidays... (88 words, 0 comments, 0 pings)

What's on:   At present, I'm wrapped up in duplicating a lot of data and working closely with a couple of developers to make sure that when we duplicate it on production, the duplicate stays separate from where it originated from. This seemingly simple task has consumed 95% of my time all last month. (118 words, 0 comments, 0 pings)

Thought for the day:   Liam Fitzhugh in "The Eternity Artifact": "The evolution of secular human governments is based on finding ways to increase individual freedoms while maintaining societal order. On balance, technology widens freedoms. Wider freedoms threaten the limits required by theocracies." (38 words, 0 comments, 0 pings)

Production support woes:   I haven't posted here for a while. That's because the guy that was doing most of our production support decided to retire and the vast majority of production support tasks got dropped on me. I'm sure you don't want to hear about the joys of manually entering 400+ locations that will be undergoing stocktake in the next few weekends... (249 words, 0 comments, 0 pings)

The known universe:   This video gives a view of the universe with all depicted objects accurate to currently measured scientific data. Rather amazing. Via Jason Kottke. (53 words, 0 comments, 0 pings)

40th Anniversary of Apollo 11 launch:   It's the 40th anniversary of the launch of Apollo 11 today. Neal, Buzz, and Mike sat on top of the biggest candle in human history while it blew up (fortunately, in a very controlled manner). Here's the video of the launch from youtube... (71 words, 1 comments, 0 pings)

Element extinction:   An article at Asimov's makes for interesting reading. Robert Silverburg talks about the death of gallium, pointing out a report by a materials chemist at Germany‚Äôs University of Augsburg, who is predicting the death of a number of elements. (170 words, 0 comments, 0 pings)

Congratulations, Phoenix!:   Congratulations to all the people at the Mars Phoenix project on a successful landing of the spacecraft. I'll be watching the project website with interest over the next couple of months. (31 words, 0 comments, 0 pings)

Send your name to the moon:   NASA is inviting you to send your name to the moon aboard the LRO, to be launched later this year. (58 words, 0 comments, 0 pings)

HP download speeds:   Is it just me, or are download speeds from HP's primary web server for OpenVMS dead slow? I went to download the source code for CSWS this morning, and was getting appalling average speeds of 2 to 3 kilobytes a second. To check that it was just the HP site, I ran a speed test to Speakeasy's servers in Palo Alto and achieved download speeds of 377+ kilobytes per second. Come to think of it, the web server seems slow in general (i.e., just loading pages). Has anyone else noticed this? (91 words, 5 comments, 0 pings)

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