This weekend

This weekend, WWE is at the point in Dublin. I wasn’t planning on going, but Joans dad can’t make it so it looks like kelly boy is gona be there.

We’re planning a big birthday bash around the whole weekend. It’s Mairead and my birthdays this week so we’re going to have loads of friends gather. Someone mentioned down under, which is an auzzie bar, for pints. Jim has it in his head to drink carton cold, this I can’t wait to try as they never shut up about it.

26?

My 26th birthday was yesterday. I don’t blog very often, but the whole buzz in the industry around blogs has me thinking about maybe doing it more.

I recently broke up with my girlfriend of 4 years, so I’ll have a lot more time on my hands to do the things I want to do, when I want to do them.

work

Work has been good. Its been getting better and better since we moved into the new offices. There are a few odds and ends to tie up there which were/are annoying. The bin people forgot to send us our bins for the first 6 weeks … rather annoying/smelly. We had arranged with a guy to come and build shelves who has ret to come and make them.

I’ve got some new toys in the office and in our .NL facility to play with recently. Various bits n bobs like cisco switchs, apc masterswitchs etc. Most if not all can be controlled by the new noc management software we started using the in the past few months. The last build of it has been fairly useable and as such I have started to add all the servers from dublin/ams into it. A daunting task it is because there are close to 600 IP’s to manually assign to customers/servers.

We’ve been working on the whole vps product aswell, I will hopefully be able to write something that will compare Xen vs UML in the coming weeks in terms of stability, scalability, ease of management etc

sweden!

Just a few weeks ago I went to visit Sue in sweden. It had been 6 long weeks since we had seen each other. I tell you it was no easy 6 weeks. Besides that it was also the first time I’ve flown anywhere on my own. To make myself feel even more stressed I had to get two flights to get there and two flights to get back. It was actually fairly plesant. I got tickets via flynordic.com – round trip cost me 288 euro in vat + taxes.

Sweden is a fantastic country. Despite it being 1000’s of miles away and mostly north of Ireland it was actually warmer there than Ireland was when I left. It was also bright .. very bright .. infact it was bright more than 20 hours a day.

The food was good (if expensive), drink was also expensive. Tried some local beers/ale’s. Lets just say they didn’t go down very well. Most european beers were similarly priced to Dublin. Guinneass was about € 6.50 .. but who would drink guinness in sweden? 🙂 Vodka and other spirits were where it hurt to go out, it was € 7.50 for a vodka with any mixer.

The actual landscape, the buildings, road ways etc were all fantastic to look at. Hugely different to anything I’ve ever seen before (first hand). People cycle everywhere. We cycled to a close by lake and to shops etc. It is pretty hilly as you would imagine and my assed was well sore from the saddle.

For those of you who like the cinema etc, some poeple like to visit the cinema while on holidays if for nothing else but to meet people, in sweden they show the films in English with Swedish subtitles. Handy, but the odd guy/gal who can read fairly fast sometimes burst outloud before the actor actually says the funny saying/scentence etc.

issues …

Mostly I don’t comment on issues within our industry in public. Sometimes it best to keep your thoughts to yourself. However a matter has come to my attention that is quite disturbing. It infact makes me fear for our industry. One of the _worst_ and I mean this from a customer point of view, as so many have come from them to us, have been appointed as a .eu registrar. Quite frankly its a farce. I’ll laugh hard when the screw it up and are unable to actually do what needs to be done.

clustering ..

I’ve been working on a new project in work to increase the overall efficiency of one of the services we provide. Typically its always a single stand alone server and then you just add more stand alone servers etc. It works well, but makes management and billing very difficult.

Last week I rolled out a new cluster of servers to manage the task of a single server. This isn’t a huge undertaking right now, but has the potential to have 10+ servers all for one particular product offering. Depending on the need. We’ll put to market with this in a few weeks, once we’re sure its all going to work and scale as we move forward.

cars .. follow up

Right.. the car lives once more. In a state of flux now my thoughts are. Some people are saying “get a new one, flog it while you can”. Others are saying “you have spent so much on it now, you might aswell keep it”

I’m not entirely sure what to do, this time it cost 350 euro to get it fixed. New timing belt, head scraped and 8 new valves placed in it and various other bits n pieces. Its running fine again. On another car related note, i am going to join the AA this week. I’m damned if I am getting stuck on the road side again if the car breaks down.

Other side of things, sue seems to be getting on well in sweden. Got herself a bike to get around, still no sign of her broadband though. They are being extremely thick about the whole thing, they wont accept cash or credit cards. Like what company/person won’t take cash?

cars

Well today i went to dublin to collect one of the new guys thats going to be working with us in our new offices. I was driving from home to dublin. The temp was around 24C and the humidity was fairly high. I got to dublin no problem. Got lost trying to get to Conolly station. Still not a problem, as I got myself sorted eventually.

However on the way out of dublin we were doing about 50Kph and the engine just calved. tried to restart it and there was a very nasty noise coming from the car. The timing belt snapped. Bollox. Needless to say, stuck on a dual carrage way, in todays heat beside a broken assed car was a smidgen upsetting.

I had to pay 80 euro for a guy to come out to the car and say “yes thats fucked” and to tow it back into town. We left it at the top of Gardiner street beside a fairly busy public park. Safe. I arranged for Greg, a living saint, to come and collect it. I brought Jon to eddie rockets for a bit of dinner and we awaited for Greg. Due to its weight we couldnt do much more than 80kph on the main roads in Gregs jeep. I just got home around 1:40am after leaving for dublin at 3pm on sunday.

Apparently because the timing belt was only changed in the past 6 weeks, there is a good chance I’ll be able to get it fixed for nothing. I practically spent 220 euro getting it back to carlow, between the tow into town, food, paying greg etc . Not happy considering I spent 1000 euro on it in April between servicing and a new head gasket. Needless to say once its fixed, its gone. I’m sick to my toncils at this point with it. So its bye bye out the door for it.

office moves

hmmm not sure I’d like to ever have to do the following again in a hurry:

a) prepare an emtpy office for use by an entire company. This entails a lot of things, small things like kettles, coffee makers etc to big things like furniture, comms equipment the physical network, phone system etc. I basically just spent the last 6-7 working days preparing our new office space.

b) moving everything from one office to the other.

We moved everything on wednesday of this week to the new office including the bodies, Niall and Michele etc. 🙂 It went nice and smooth, no snags really. Oh well one snag, someone emailed every supplier/customer etc our new phone/fax number but mixed them up. Not a happy place for a while. No matter its all up and running nicely and we are beginning to settle in.

Graig …

What a nice wee town …. It is actually a mad place to be, it is beautiful to look at. One MAJOR flaw, the people. Anyway Graig, or Graiguenamanagh. Its where I grew up, where I had many firsts. 🙂 – a town of approx 2000 people with 14 pubs! A town such as Leixlip in Co. Kildare has about 22,000 people and has 7 pubs. The numbers simply don’t add up.

That aside I went down to meet ‘Doc’ one of my mates for a drink, louise came out for 1 aswell. So we had a few games of pool a few beers … then I had coke … ugh … minerals in the pub. I felt weird, sort of like when you were young visiting a local pub with a grandparent or something. Finished off the night in the chipper … ‘wooyeah’ I hear you cry.

I’ll be meeting some mutual friends of Sue and mine from Dublin on saturday night there. They were doing an all Ireland architectural tour. Basically they made a list of buildings that may be old but were ahead of their time when they were constructed. The tour ends in graig, beer + food + fun.