March 2004 Archives

All this while it is sunny outside...

I dropped off papers at two addresses today, then drove over to Puldercity to pick up my dads "old" PC because it needs to have a harddrive replaced. I'll be starting work on that soon, although I'm not too sure how to go ahead with it.

If it were a data-drive, there'd be no problem, but it's the disk containing the windows 2000 install, so doing an easy copy/paste seems to be out of the question. I guess that I'll have to mirror the disk completely and then swap the bootsequence (or something like that).

While I thinking about that, I'm making backups of my own machine as well - I picked up 50 blank CD's for the time being and they should last me until I buy myself a DVD writer.

Update : at the rate I'm burning CD's now, they won't last me till the end of the week! I've used 12 so far, and only a few hours have passed. I'm formatting the replacement drive for my dad's PC, after I've copied everything that remained on it, to another drive. 95% of the data was not much use anymore though.

Close up of the machine I'm working on - click for larger image The mirroring and verification process - click for larger image

The mirror process is completed and I've removed the old drive from the case. Everything seems to work fine, the only thing left is to update some programs and then I can return the machine to my dad on sunday. Another task accomplished!

Wow

This is going fast. I've taken my exam yesterday, and today I got a call from someone over at Group 4 Falck to discuss a job offer as a static guard. I'll be meeting with him this afternoon. I'll keep you all posted as to whether or not I accept it and what the details are.

Being busy

Just got back from the dentist, so my mouth feels as if it was made from rubber. Next appointment is wednesday, april 7th. I would have liked it earlier, but he was booked full.

As I came back, I stopped at the bank to check my accounts and to my suprise I had over 600 euro extra in my account. My tax return has arrived! Yay for tax returns... Now I have to decide what to do with it - I wanna save it, yet I want to spend it as well, what should I do?

Poor Cowgirl

An elderly couple is vacationing in the West. Bob always wanted a pair of authentic cowboy boots. Seeing some on sale one day he buys them, wears them home, walking proudly.

He walks into their hotel room and says to his wife "Notice anything different, Martha?"

Martha looks him over, "Nope".

Bob says excitedly, "Come on, Martha, take a good look. Notice anything different about me?"

Martha looks again, "Nope."

Frustrated, Bob storms off into the bathroom, undresses and walks back into the room, completely naked except for his boots.

Again he asks, a little louder this time, "Notice anything DIFFERENT?"

Martha looks up and says, "Bob, what's different? It's hanging down today, it was hanging down yesterday, and the dang thing will be hanging down again tomorrow."

Furious, Bob yells "AND DO YOU KNOW WHY THE SON-OF-A-GUN IS HANGING DOWN, MARTHA? IT'S HANGING DOWN BECAUSE IT'S LOOKING AT MY NEW BOOTS!!!"

To which Martha replies, "Shoulda bought a hat, Bob".

Stick it in!

| 6 Comments

I've just come across this nice article : Doc backs nose picking and I don't care what you think about it, I think it makes sense.

I've totally forgotten about my dream this morning - well, it's still there but I'm too lazy to start looking for the correct words to both express my feelings and moods as well as the facts and things that happened in it. Let's just keep it at "it was a weird dream and I woke up before we could/should/had to save to world".

Oh, I passed my exam. Two fellow students failed (one of them quite badly, the other one has to retake one class) and everyone else passed with rather good grades, although none of them came close to my 89% grade. I know grades don't matter and only a pass is needed, but still... it's nice to know :p

Scary stuff

I just had one of the scariest dreams ever. I don't know how all the elements got together, or where I picked them up, but it wasn't cool at all.

I've been awake for 5 minutes now, and the images are already fading, but I'll try to tell you what was going on. We were at a dinner party, organised by some company that I don't really know. I was invited indirectly and showed up with Little Wabbit. As we were at the party, they started a demonstration of their newest invention/techniques and people immediately became very enthousiastic about it all. I wasn't too taken away by it all, yet not sceptical yet. Only after we started to check certain things during the presentation, we noticed that it appeared to be a fraud of some kind, yet we were the only ones to see through it all.

Then E. turns up and she is one of the two people that have agreed to test the new techniques, something that Little Wabbit and I are not too pleased with, for various reasons.

I gotta go now, so I'll try to complete the story when I get back home after the exam

Erm...

| 4 Comments

Shouldn't I be studying?

Things I gotta do

| 1 Comment

This weekend :

1. saturday "morning" : do laundry, wash dishes and shop
2. saturday afternoon/evening : food & theatre in Puldercity
3. saturday/sunday : catch up on sleep
4. saturday and sunday : entertain the ferrets (and clean their cage)
5. sunday (all day) : study about 220 pages

Next week :

Monday : last class (morning) and examination (afternoon)
Tuesday : morning appointement with the dentist - scrub floors - shop for gift
Wednesday : fill out and send job application(s) - win lottery?
Thursday : follow up financial statements and expenses - Demo party from Lucid Lights at Carr� with Joco & Eef (evening)
Friday : meeting with "client", party with fellow students in the evening
Saturday : I might go to the Amersfoort Tattoo convention and meet with Free and Sleeve
Sunday : birthday party in Puldercity

Wrong profession?

Damn... Just got back from the dentist and I thought he'd actually do some work today, but it turns out this was just a damage assessment visit. 6 cavities sounds like quite a lot, and I agree... it is a lot, but when taking into consideration that the last time I've seen a dentist was about 5 years ago, it's not so suprising if you ask me.

Anyway, on tuesday we start working on everything needed and will continue for a couple of weeks. If I can manage to get it all done sooner, I'll definitely push for that option though. I'd like to waste as less time as possible, because that really is the only reason I always postpone visits to the dentist : time. I don't mind the actual work, and those who yell "but it hurts!" are either wussies, or have a bad dentist. The worst part of it all is the actual sedation being applied, and the rubbery mouth afterwards.

He gave my teeth a quick tooth plaque cleaning though, resulting in my teeth looking even worse as before my visit. Pretty strange if you ask me. Anyway, my point is this : a job where you can charge 51 euro for under 30 minutes of work, I'd like one of those ;)

Fire, walk with me

| 1 Comment

It's been quite a long day... getting up at 05h30 had something to do with it I'd say, I hope I don't have to do that again anytime soon. I'm so much more an evening/night person instead of a "get up at sunrise" dude.

This morning we've had lots of theory about fire, what different classes of fires there are, and how to deal with them (basic stuff, nothing big at all - we're being trained for first minute fire control and not to be professional firefighters) and what kind of extinguisher to use on which type of fire.

Have you ever thought about the 4 different types of fire? I certainly never did!

Class A fire : solid goods
Class B fire : liquids
Class C fire : gasses
Calls D fire : metallics (magnesium, natrium and such)

and they all have their recommended fire fighting solution. In the afternoon we went out in the field to turn the theory into practice. We started off by handling/ending a kettle of burning oil, and after we all successfully completed the task, got a demonstration of what happens when you use water to try and extinguish it : disaster!

Then we moved on to extinguishing solids (in this case a computer that was burning, although helped a bit by gasoline poured over it and being lighted) for which we used CO2 extinguishers. That wasn't too much of a problem, although you need to "get" the technique to do it properly.

After that, we moved onto handling a firehose (a 45mm one, so it's pretty small and has low pressure) to know what it feels like. Then a quite large bassin filled with water was covered in gasoline and set aflame. Damn hot, and very spectacular as well. We use power based fire extinguishers to end the fire, and once again we were shown what happens when you try to handle burning liquids with water. Two volunteers took the 45mm hose to the bassin, and tried using it to put out the flames. While it seemed to work at first, it soon proved to be rather hazardous because the flames kept on crawling back towards them, often totally unforseen. The blazing fire was then put out using foam.

Final in-the-field exercise was getting stuck in the "smoke room" where you later on had to find your way through and exit. It looks easy, but it certainly is not. I made it through the room alright (I did notice the other door in the room when we first entered it) but in the corridor after the room, chairs and tables were place strategically to throw us off guard. When I reached the end-point, I somehow managed to completely miss the door that lead to the exit. So I returned on my steps to check if I had missed something vital in the corridor itself.

While going back, I met up with a colleague who was also proceeding in the exercise, and we exchanged a few quick words to make sure we didn't miss any exits along the way. I was convinced I didn't miss anything, to I started going the same way again, and when reaching the end, I did find the exit this time. It wasn't scary at all, and gives you a good indication of what it is to be in a room filled with smoke, although it's still far from the real thing.

It's been a busy but enjoyable day, where I did learn some very good and usable things!

Oh, did you know that during a fire, not the flames themselves are the most dangerous element, but the smoke is? It might sound a bit strange, but believe me : after your been in the smoke room and seen what the result is of an overflash during a fire, you'll think about smoke in a completely different way.

Zzzzz interrupted

| 1 Comment

I don't give a flying shit what anyone says, or for whatever reason it is, but waking up at 05h30 is way too early, period.

*Rubs eyes and still doesn't see anything. How about turning the lights on? I'm so smart.*

Kicked in the head

| 4 Comments

Today was definitely more fun as last week. I just got home and I'm still feeling quite fine, even though we've been pulling, pushing and clamping down all day long. The "real life" situations were very interesting to enact (like a doorman preventing access to a customer, asking people to leave the premises when the party is over, and more of those things) and I certainly picked up some things.

In the afternoon we had a bit of one-on-one sparring time, and I got a very nice kick in the head. It was my own fault though I'd say, as I should have seen it coming and either avoided it or deflected it. Ah well, after the kick I moved in and had my opponent ready for a nice nice throw, when the "fight" was stopped. It was fun to experience how people react and actually fight when confronted with agressors.

Did anyone use the knowledge we gained during the 12 hours of training we had? Not that I noticed, but it would suprise me if anyone did. It's not because you get trained for a short while, that you can use those techniques right away. It takes many more hours to let a technique become instinct like, so you can perform it perfectly without thinking.

Tomorrow is a long day, playing with fire. Bring it on ;)

3.5 days till the exam...

Torture Week

I really don't feel like going to class today - if it were "optional" like it was back in the days when I studied, I'd turn around and sleep in. Unfortunately, it's not an option.

Why the title? See for yourself :

Monday : 6 hour class in criminal law
Tuesday : 6 hours of self defense (painful)
Wednesday : starts at 08h00 in Asse. This means getting up around 0h530
Thursday : dentist appointement
Friday : nothing torture like planned so far... but I still got time!

I wanna go back to bed, but being the good boy that I am, I'm going to class.

Something for you all

| 2 Comments

Borrowed from Shelley - who probably got it elsewhere.

If you...

1. ...owned a restaurant, what kind of food would you serve?

Oooh... that's an easy one I think. I'd open a restaurant that offers a multitude of foods, but all of them cooked in a wok. I can't help it, but I find a wok one of the most useful inventions ever. And it doesn't really matter what you cook, fry, stir-fry or bake in it, since the method itself has hardly any limits.

I'm thinking stirfried vegetables, shrimp, all kinds of meat, tofu, whatever my clientele desires really.

2. ...owned a small store, what kind of merchandise would you sell?

This is a hard one. I think I'd sell services rather than goods. If people came in, looking for something in particular, if I wouldn't have it in stock, I'd be telling them where they could get it, or how they should proceed. It would be a mixture of physical objects as well as ideas and creativity. Whether or not my little store would make a profit is another question, but if it means I got to do what I like to do, and earn enough to put something on my plate, I'd be happy.

3. ...wrote a book, what genre would it be?

That would depend entirely on the mood I'm in, and as my focus changes way too soon, I'd either be writing 5 books at the same time, or write one huge book that takes the reader on a journey through my life and mind - not really knowing where it leads.

4. ...ran a school, what would you teach?

I'd teach "common sense" as a major and "retrieving information" as a minor. With those two things, you've got an excellent base to make it in this world if you ask me.

5. ...recorded an album, what kind of music would be on it?

This would go the same way as the book mentioned above, although I think it would be mostly industrial mixed with angel like vocal tracks to have two totally different styles. Would it work? If I liked creating it, it worked.

Box maintenance

I've been keeping myself busy yesterday with updating a bunch of programs with newer releases - of course after making a backup of the previous and working versions - and today I moved on to installing new sound drivers (WHQL), I flashed my BIOS, which got a tiny bit scary when it reported incorrect BIOS settings after returning from the update, but I fixed it easily, and I installed the latest version of MSI Live Update.

While one can argue that both KISS and Don't fix what ain't broken are very good rules to live by, I like to stay up to date as well. The only thing left now is to download and install more recent videocard drivers. If only the damn download server was faster - Note : it's much faster when downloading through a direct anonymous FTP connection.

If you're looking for a new motherboard anytime soon, check out MSI and their excellent tools for updating drivers and BIOS.

Once upon a waste of time

| 3 Comments

During a long break in the table soccer tournament yesterday, we decided to hop over the the cinema and watch a movie to pass some time. Since there were 4 of us it took some time to find a movie no one had seen yet, and we ended up getting tickets to "Once upon a time in Mexico".

Man, does that movie suck or what? I think it's a top 5 contender in my all time "movies to avoid" chart, that's how bad it was. Sure, it's got tons of "famous" actors (Johnny Depp - Antonio Banderas - Salma Hayek - Mickey Rourke - ...) but that doesn't mean the movie is worth watching.

If I'd have to give a wrap up of the plot, it would be something like this : a drug kartel leader want's to assasinate the president to take over power, while the CIA (or was it the FBI?) is after the kartel leader so they recruit some Mariachi singers as hitmen to kill someone else. Then suddenly everyone starts doublecrossing everyone else and lots of mexicans are killed. Add plastic surgery of a kartel leader to the mix and throw in a hot body (Salma Hayek as the daughter of... erm... someone) to complete the confusion.

It gets a 5.9/10 rating on imdb, but in my books it would be more like 2/10. A total waste of time and money.

Excuses? Maybe (not)

I've really been lacking the time - and the drive - to update regulary the past week. Being on this training course all day long really changed everything, and I'm still wondering what truck ran over me - multiple times - on thursday. Well, I know for a fact that is not what happened, yet I totally feel like that.

Next tuesday is another day of torture, followed by a long day out in the field on wednesday... I'll be dead before I get to the examination part! I'm so tired right now, that I can't do anything else but search my bed, drop in and sleep like a log.

Oh, as I was zapping on the telly, I ran into Beavis and Butthead and for old times sake, I stuck around and watched it. Suprisingly the stupid humor still works in some cases. Sure, it's not as funny as the top quality British dark comedy (think Black Books, Bottom or the Young Ones) but it wouldn't be fair to compare the two. B&B had "Army of Me" by Bj�rk on the playlist - that songs still rocks!

Tomorrow is a table soccer tournament (where I'll be participating, unless I'm totally confused) and on sunday I really should review the course notes I made over the week and check some of the chapters we've covered so far, just to stay up to date. Although there have been references towards it a few times this week, none of us have been interviewed or been offered a job just yet. Maybe next week, or after the exams, who knows?

Ouch

| 3 Comments

Your body is a strange thing, ain't it? You know that you've got limbs, toes, fingers, a back, arms, head and such, but unless you hit your finger with a hammer, you don't experience it's existence in a fysical way (apart from when you are using it of course). What I mean to say is : you always have your body and it's there but you don't realize it that often.

I just got back from a training in what is often referred to as "self defense", and believe me : I know that I've got a body, it consists of a lot of small parts, and each and every one of them hurts.

I'm off to bed early, believe me, but now that I just got home, I'm gonna have a long shower - if I can stay on my feet that is - and tomorrow I'll count all the bruises, nicks, dents and scratches all over me. Self defense training is fun, don't get me wrong, but throwing in a nearly 5 hour long session if you have no recent background in it, that hurts.

Did I learn something that I can use if needed? I probably did, although it's hard to tell right now. All the moves, grips and actions should be a second instinct if you want them to be useful in case of problems - a full day training doesn't do much else but give an insight into what is and is not possible.

Shower, here I come!

Shakes head

I can't seem to get my eyes open properly today, I'm still very sleepy. Yawn. Off to pack my bag with training gear.

My day so far...

Just another busy day at the training course, although we've seen some interesting stuff today. Tomorrow is psychological and physical conflict management, should be fun too.

I just got my Front 242 Geography Limited Edition 2CD pack in the mail and I'm listening to it right now. For all fans that missed it, sorry... it's sold out! I'm the owner of number 829 of the 4000 that were available.

Content below not fit for minors

If you like XXX movies, keep an eye open for Gina Blue aka Genna Blue. She's from Hungarian decent and performed in I'm your slut 2 and Hardcore Training #04. Definitely one to keep close tabs on!

La La Land...

I can't say enough thanks for all the cards, mails, calls and IM's that I got from people all over the globe - some of people that I've never even met in person, yet have known for a rather long time online. Who said the web makes people antisocial? Here's proof that it can be different :

8 birthday cards from all over the world, not counting the e-versions

Most of my morning was spent studying law and regulations - it's about as much fun as it sounds - and in the afternoon we got a brief introduction to bomb detection, alarms and security procedures. That was more interesting, even though we've only seen the top of the iceberg. I wonder what'll be served to us tomorrow?

For those wondering about a birthday bash or something like that, I don't think I'll be doing something like that this year. It'll be more like a fun night out with a couple of close friends and family instead... after I finished my training and when I manage to find a suitable date - which can be hard, looking at what is on my agenda already so far.

Off to bed now, it's early but I'll be reading the new Humo and C'T Magazine that both arrived today, before I drift off to lala land.

Weirdos!

| 5 Comments

Just got a call, a few minutes past twelve to wish me a happy birthday. It were my dad and Hilda and dad jokingly asked me if he was the first one to wish me a happy one, lol. Of course he was, it being 00h03!

Anyone else wanting to call me, you can do so tomorrow (tuesday) morning from 07h15 till 07h45 and then after I get back home - that should be around 18h00 at the latest I think. Or just leave your congrats in the comments here.

I gotta thank Little Wabbit for the nice e-card, and the bunch of international birthdaycards I got from IAM/BME friends (YoungMom, amberosia, Hhrut, fishywoman, LipBiter, Bella and doldrums) and the very nice card I got from Vanilla, although that one wasn't birthday related but still mighty sweet.

Thanks everyone!

Interesting stuff

The first day of training was quite enjoyable, although I find the content of the syllabus rather vague. Maybe it'll get more specific when we see "Observation and Reporting" tomorrow morning or "Legal specifics and laws in regard to guarding" in the afternoon. Then wednesday has more of the observation and reporting course and on thursday we move on to "psychological conflict management and physical self defense" (full day). Friday brings more observation techniques and conflict management to end the week.

Monday we start off with more law and criminal law, tuesday focuses again on psychological and physical conflict management and on wednesday we'll have quite a lot of field work when we get a crash course in fire, bomb alarm and disaster management techniques (full day). Thursday is yet more law and in the afternoon we see communication skills, as well as on friday morning. Friday afternoon is wrapped up with more observation and reporting.

Monday morning is the last course (even more law) and in the afternoon we take the exam.

I hope to get rid of this terrible headache that I've been having the past days though, as it'll allow me to concentrate much better during class. Good thing classes are kept pretty short : 09h00 till 12h00 and 12h30 till 15h30, with the exception of the fire, bombs alarms and disaster management field day when we start at 08h00 till 17h30.

Waaaaaahhhhh

This is early to be awake! Off to the shower.

Household chores - yikes

| 2 Comments

Yesterday I did two machines of laundry and I should really get my ass in gear and do some ironing, but that is quite probably the one chore I simply hate with a passion. That results in letting the stack of clothes that need to be ironed getting huge, and as it grows, the drive to do ironing becomes virtually non-existent.

Remaining on the to-do list : vacuuming, washing windows (which I might do, since the weather is quite good today) and scrubbing the floors.

Ah well... I think I'll do a part of it today, before I'm off to Joco and Eef. I won't be going to the erotic fair coz I got other things to do. Tomorrow I start my training and I'm looking forward to it.

Hip hip

Went out, played last tablesoccer competition match and although we lost 11-7 overall, I managed to win one game, and draw another. Not bad at all, even though most of the work was done by the excellent front player Rene.

Had tons of fun and laughs with the group of friends they all have become and I really enjoyed it. Took some pictures for our publication to go with the tournament that we organize next week, and mailed them off to my sis, as she's doing the layout for the publication.

Dunno yet what I'll be doing tomorrow - I might head off to the mega-erotica fair, but I ain't sure about it - or I could postpone that to sunday and see if Joco decides to join me. It usually is not that interesting and the € 15 entrance fee is rather steep for something that's basically a waste of time, but hey... who knows, maybe some things catch my attention. Sunday evening might be spent watching "24" at Joco and Eef's place, but I shouldn't make it too late since I start my training on monday morning.

Today has been good to me - I'm pleased.

Movie Review : Gothika

It's been trashed and struck down by critics in the USA, but I found it enjoyable. Sure, the plot and storyline is not fabulous, but the special effects and dark atmosphere make up for a lot. Without giving too much away the plot comes down to this : I see dead people - where did I hear that before?

I'm gonna rate Gothika, which stars amongst others, Robert Downey Junior, Pen�lope Cruz and the wonderful Halle Berry (always good for an extra point in my book) as the shrink that loses it completely, as follows :

Plot and story line : 1
Special effects : 2
Atmosphere and moods : 3
Extra point for Halle Berry : 1
Total : 7/10

Yawn

| 2 Comments

Few minutes past seven - man that's frigging early for me. This course - and possibly the job - better be good!

Lol, I'm doing a test drive todat to see how much time it'll take me to get there. I'd rather not wait till monday to come to the conclusion that it takes me an hour longer as expected, although one can never be sure over here. Traffic is a pain in the butt lately and with all the preparations going on to prevent a complete traffic cardiac arrest in June, we get a small cardiac arrest daily instead.

I've taken a quick look at the map and I don't think that I can reach my destination without getting stuck in a building site somewhere along the route. Oh well, that's why I like to be prepared.

After I've reached my destination, I'll turn around and head for the gallery that framed my prints and pick those up. I'm excited about seeing them, but not so excited about actually transporting them, coz they could end up being quite fragile. Let's hope I get them home without too much trouble.

Update : I made it home safely, and the prints are great. The 'test drive' didn't really give me a lot of information though : it took me 25 minutes to get there, but I think traffic was really easy, no real bottlenecks anywhere. I think I'll be departing at 07h45 again on monday and then adjust depending on the outcome of the drive during a rainy day, with lotsa traffic.

Connect the dots

Got a call from someone, whe had kinda good news, and that pleases me. Off to measure the trunk of my car now, coz I gotta pick up the framed prints tomorrow and I fear that they won't fit in my car. And since they're pretty fragile, it's not just a case of push and shove till they fit.

I'll get food too, that sounds like a good idea, don't you think?

[The title doesn't make sense, so don't worry about connecting any dots. Unless you got the Dolly Dots there, or someone wearing an itsy bitsy teenie weenie yellow polka-dot bikini. In that case, you can play connect the dots as much as you like, although at your own peril.]

Mail, mail and more mail

| 3 Comments

I just got up - slightly slept in today, wasn't really my intention - and went down to open the mailbox and to my surpise there were no less than 4 envelopes in it. This is very much when compared to the amount of snail mail I receive over a full week.

A quick glance told me the new papers for the car were in - good, but not terribly exciting - there was a letter from a store called "Vis ta Vie", located in Tielrode and after I opened it, turned out to be a "personalised" invitation for a private sales session. That can very well be, but I don't recall ever hearing of a store called Vis ta Vie, nor being in Tielrode, or knowing the owners (Tris D'Hulst and Koen De Bie).

This leaves only the option that somehow I got included in some mailinglist that I don't know of, or they mixed me up with someone else. Anyway, if anyone here knows Tris or Koen, or know why I should know them, let me know, will you?

Next letter was from Huisvestingsmaatschappij Antwerpen, in regard to a job application I did on January 26th. They regretted to inform me that the position for which I applied was already taken. Oh well... at least they have the courtesy to reply - which puts them much higher on my appreciation list than all the companies that seem to think jobless people apply for jobs for fun and entertainment - and thus don't need feedback on their applications.

The last letter was from VDAB, and after I looked at the envelope, I kinda knew it was good news. It had the VDAB Training stamp on it, as well as a prior stamp, which indicates they wanted the letter to reach me as soon as possible. I opened it up and it seems I was correct : I'm expected to report in on monday, March 15th, 09h00 for a first training session. Unless something changes quite suddenly, I should be busy with it till March 29th - that's a good thing.

Now I'm off to check on 3 MS security bulletins I received by email (nothing important though, as I don't use MSN Messenger or Windows 2000 Media Services) and then I gotta reply to some mails that need attention.

Oh, did you notice that Liky, the model on one of the prints I bought of Jerome found this website and even left a comment? How cool is that?!

Geek talk and Geek toys

| 1 Comment

I just spent nearly 4 hours working on a "client" machine because it needed an update of it's virusscanner. One would think it's an easy enough thing to do, wouldn't you? *Beep* Wrong!

It all started quite fine - go online, buy a new version of the scanner with a credit card and receive a download link. Start downloading nearly 20MB, over an ISDN line. As we were at about 82% I had the wise idea to switch to Outlook Express to see if the confirmation mails had already arrived, and what does OE do? It disconnects the modem and dials in again. Bye bye download!

OK.. shit happens, so I disconnect OE, close it down dial in again and start the download once again. The connection freaks out at 62% this time, and there is no apparent reason for it. Since we already wasted close to one hour, I tell the "client" that I'll forward the mail to my home account, drive home, download it over my kick ass DSL line, burn it onto a CD and return to his place. No problems there, I get home download the setup files (less than 3 minutes) and toast a CD.

back to his place, install runs fine, but when I start the scanner it complains that it can't find the registration key. WTF? The key is there! Back onto the web, read the FAQ, copy key to various positions, each time followed by a reboot (of a slow computer) so imagine the horror. Still no dice.

I uninstall the new version, manually remove all traces of the previous versions, reboot and install again. Finally the key sticks, phew. It's only been 4 hours of work to install a simple virusscanner. The worst part is that you can't charge a client for 4 hours of time when installing a USD60 virusscanner, so I cut him a deal and charged 2.5 hours instead. After all, it wasn't his fault that OE disconnected the first time, the connection fucked up the second time, or that the registration key went awol - neither was it my fault, but oh well... part of the job.

If you've seen the Powerball Gyroscope over at ThinkGeek but would rather like a European source to buy one, check out friends of mine that have the Power Ball (Nano) for sale in Belgium now : Power Ball Nano

What the fuck?

Did anyone see a gigantic billboard somewhere that lists my phonenumber with a plea to call me tonight? There must be something like that out there though, as I've been bombarded with phonecalls so far :

Call 1 : Diane, asking why MSN Messenger starts automatically, even though we turned that behavior off last time
Call 2 : Raveman, asking something about a failed harddisk
Call 3 : Diane, to complain that she can't get on the internet
Call 4 : Diane again, to ask how she had to close the dos window that I had her open during call 3
Call 5 : Filip, asking for an update in regard to the bankruptcy of ICT Assistance

Who'll be next? I hope it'll be this nice chick (another picture here), because she can call me anytime! Sure, she wears "fake tattoo" clothes, but that can be turned into a nice real full body suit. Yummy

P!nk Elephants in blue grass

| 2 Comments

Lemme see what happened since my last update? I dropped off the prints at a professional framing company and I'll be able to pick them back up next week (friday). Expensive, but probably well worth it.

Went to a music quizz yesterday and had tons of fun. Thanks everyone for the enjoyable evening out. Got home quite late, so I slept in till 13h00 today, although I was awake around 08h00 only to fall back asleep.

Had long phone conversations and spread advice around - as if I have all the answers?! I've got questions, just like you, but I think some things have been cleared up a little.

Now I've got a question for you, dear readers : how do you "get" friends? During the long conversation we reached the conclusion that we need more friends, although we're not sure that's the solution. So, how does one get more friends - it's not that the ones we got now are not good anymore, well on the contrary - but some "new blood" in the circle wouldn't be a bad thing.

Oh, just so you know : answers like "go out and meet people" are totally useless. If that's the only thing you gotta say, better shut up in advance.

Photo time!

| 3 Comments

The UPS guy just dropped of the long awaited package... I'll let the photographs talk for themselves. If you know me personally and want to see the prints up close, pop in after I've had them framed.

Shipment arrived Stacey, Montreal - photo by Jerome Abramovitch Stacey, Montreal - photo by Jerome Abramovitch
Large container Packed very well and professionally With extra business cards and free stickers
Liky, Montreal - photo by Jerome Abramovitch Stacey, Montreal - photo by Jerome Abramovitch Liky, Montreal - photo by Jerome Abramovitch
Liky, Montreal - photo by Jerome Abramovitch

Details :

Print 1 : Liky - June 2003 Montreal. Photographer : Jerome Abramovitch, chapter9photography.com. (Limited edition print, 1/30).
Print 1 : Stacey - March 2003 Montreal. Photographer : Jerome Abramovitch, chapter9photography.com. (Limited edition print, 1/30).

Busy day

I think I did OK on the tests, although there really is no way to tell in advance. I know for a fact that I skipped some of the questions because I just couldn't figure out the relation between the various figures and opted instead of wasting more time to work on the next question. We'll see if that was the correct approach if we get a letter next week stating whether or not I got into the training course.

Ann was there as well, and she was happy to see someone she recognized too. These things are always easier to do when you kind know someone already. I have got no clue how the other candidates performed although one of them told me I was using "big words" when he asked what they meant with a certain question and I replied that they were asking for characteristics about himself (like "passive", "impulsive" and such). I wonder who wouldn't know those words or their meaning, but it's not in me to judge anyone although it does suprise me a bit.

Go figure... the one day I've got to leave the house for extended periods of time, UPS decides to show up to drop off the package. I'll have to call them tomorrow to set up a new delivery date/time. I tried calling them when I got home but their offices were already closed unfortunately.

Showered, shaved

| 1 Comment

and ready to go. This afternoon I've got to go take some tests to determine how screwed up in the head I actually am, followed by an interview. I gotta be in Zaventem between 12h30 and 13h00 so I'll be leaving around 11h00, to have ample time to deal with problems along the way (traffic jams etc).

When I checked the UPS shipment last night, it had arrived in Roisy airport, France and this morning it was checked in at Brussels and checked back out for delivery. This probably means it'll arrive here today, which is good - except I might not be home. Ah well, that's a problem we'll deal with when it arises.

I'm a bit nerveous because it's been years since I was submitted to the full range of psychological tests, and as far as I remember, you step in with all the answers but when you step back out, you're lucky if you can remember your own name.

Tomorrow is a music quizz with a bunch of friends, on March 27th a mixed group (friends and family) will be off to see a play written by Hilda. Was there anything else? Oh yes, my birthday on the 16th...

Workplace vocabulary (thanks Nadia) :

PERCUSSIVE MAINTENANCE - The fine art of whacking the crap out of an electronic device to get it to work again.
CUBE FARM - An office filled with cubicles.
SEAGULL MANAGER - A manager, who flies in, makes a lot of noise, craps on
everything, then leaves.
SALMON DAY - The experience of spending an entire day swimming upstream only to get screwed and die in the end.

*looks around*

It's still dark outside! I want to go back to bed!

(open curtain)

Oh my god! It's not dark outside at all! (Heads off to get windshield of car replaced)

*This post was brought to you by sleepy bedhead*

Update : windshield successfully replaced, although it turned out that there was quite some corrosion under the old windshield when they removed it. They cleared up the corrosion and applied an anti-corrosion coating before placing the new windshield.

Update 2 : just checked the status of my UPS shipment and it turned up this error, should I worry?

Mar 3, 2004 - 8:56 A.M. - PHILADELPHIA, PA, US - PROCESSING ERROR AT DESTINATION SITE;PKG HAS BEEN REROUTED TO DESTINATION.

They better don't fuck it up!

Update 3 : Just got a reply from someone I thought was working for UPS, it turned I was wrong... ;)

No I work for Fedex but I know what it means. Your package has joined the ranks of 20%+ of airline luggage and gone to da wrong place hehe. Rerouting means they discovered the error and have corrected it. You may get a fancy shmancy lable that says "Priority Routing" or something like that (not sure what UPS does) but it's just for show. Hope you get your package soon, and thank you for choosing FedEx Home Delivery. :P

Note to UPS : DON'T FUCK IT UP!

What a fucking joke

I just finished watching The Lone Gunmen, a spin-off from the X-files, revolving around the team of hacker/wizzkids that sometimes help out Mulder and Scully in the X-files. Well, I suppose the title says enough about my first impression about it.

Sure, the X-files was unbelievable sometimes, or really impossible to even grasp what they were intending, but The Lone Gunmen is just a joke. Just read the following :

We gotta hack into the DoD (Department of Defense) mainframe. Moments later they're in. They start looking for a file called Scenario 12-D, and they find it within seconds. When they start downloading the plain text file someone at the DoD starts tracing the intruders (them). In a fraction of seconds they are identified by IP address and connection method (DSL). Yet the download of the text file takes minutes to complete, get real!

The DoD starts more agressive investigations, and starts scanning all the files on the computer of TLG, finds a file called userdata.ini and starts reading it. Oh no! We can't let that happen, they'll know our address! Let's compromise the cookie! (Finally they end up pulling the power cable to avoid detection).

TLG supposed to be wizzkids, hackers, whitehats? ROFLMAO! Over a DSL connection even downloading 500kb would only 2 or 3 seconds, and a 500kb text file contains a huge amount of data. Cookies have got nothing to do with the thing they were trying at all, and a file called userdata.ini? Provided it would exist, what a sorry excuse for a hacker would you be if you allowed it to contain your true address? No to mention how stupid you'd have be to not prevent anyone from scanning files on your computer?

If you want to hack into a secured system, there are a few ways of doing it, but all of them take at least a few hours, unless you want to get caught within 5 minutes after starting. You could social engineer yourself into the system, as in quite a lot of cases the human is the weakest link, or provided you'd go for a brute force or exploit based attack, you'd always want to put some systems between you and the target system.

A possible route would be (I don't know the DoD nor the setup of their systems, this is just logical thinking) : hack into the fire department systems, then hop over to the local police systems, from there one go up a level to federal police and finally access the DoD systems.

Go from an unsecured or weak system and use those as a base to start attacks to systems that'll get you what you need. This takes time and/or preparation, and while I know you can't show all that in a TV series, this just tells people that computers are unsafe or hackers can do anything they want. Both statements are false.

The series is a joke, really. Unfortunately, that wasn't the end of it... A plane was being hijacked by means of remote control, because someone uploaded an incorrect flight plan into the automatic pilot, and it couldn't be overruled. What do our Lone Gunmen do? They send a fax to the airline company and suddenly have a carrier into the flight navigation system. Right. Why not?!

They start hacking the system to enable the manual override commands, but they can't break the code because their systems ain't powerful enough. Luckily, another hacker had stolen a brand new chip called Opticon IV (which has lots of data and privacy intruding measurements built in, apart from lots of gigiflops of computing power) so they get her to give them the chip, and thanks to that manage with seconds to spare to hand back control of the plane to the pilots, who scrape the top of the World Trade Center.

How original. Apart from the fact that the Opticon sounds suspiciously like the Operton although I think they tried to make a reference to the Pentium IV, planes flying into towers doesn't fly too well with certain parts of the world I think. And slamming a totally new processor into your old system to get increased computing power? Sure, again : why not?

The Lone Gunmen serie is a friggin' joke for anyone who even has the slightest clue about technology and computers. Good thing for them that I ain't on a review board that decides about pilots of shows to be...

Dang

I just almost shit my pants while reading BOFH: We who are about to dial salute you (Episode 7). Maybe I shouldn't get out of IT and support at all?

Move ahead

| 1 Comment

Went to Zwijdnrecht today to pick up ferret food, litter and some cheweasel, then stopped at the Wijnegem Shopping Center to grab a bite to eat, had photograhps made (I look like an arse, why am I not suprised?) and got myself an oldie CD of N.E.R.D, called "in search of..." I'm listening to it right now, and it ain't bad, but not really the same style as the first track (that I knew before I got the CD) called Lapdance.

Just got a note from the artist that was supposed to ship my prints on friday morning and it turns out he only did so yesterday. Anyway, I've got my tracking number and right now my shipment is in a place called Louisville, KY, US.

Yay, finally!

What a day

| 2 Comments

I've been quite busy, if I say so myself. I got to Puldercity around 9h30, picked up the other volvo 440 (pictures available now) and exchanged necessary things like fire extinguisher, safety triangle, then got the papers out to check everything was there, called the insurance company to tell them about the change and after chatting with Hilda for a while I arrived at the technical control center (or whatever the correct name is in english) around 12h00.

I got back out at 13h30, € 33.5 poorer, but with a clean certificate. Drove over to Pulle to drop of the papers for the insurance and stopped at Puldercity again to exchange the new windshieldwipers of the old car to the new one. Maybe I should have saved myself the trouble, because as I was changing the passenger side one, the handle fell down, leaving a nice hole in the windshield. The small hole itself wouldn't be so bad, but the glass itself also cracked in various directions, talk about bad luck.

Anyway, those things happen and I accept them as they come, even if it was due to my own stupidity. Just went to a car center to ask what a replacement windshield would cost me, and for a quoted price of € 205 I'll be set. I gotta be there on wednesday at 08h00 sharp. While I really didn't have any intention to replace the windshield for the white spots at the top, the matter was literally taken out of my hands... the thing is being replaced.

Stopped by a photographer this morning but they're closed on sundays and mondays - bad luck. I'll see if I can do it tomorrow or on wednesday. Thursday is interview day in Zaventem and friday evening I'll be participating in a music quizz with (and organised by) some friends.

Up, awake and gone...

Checked mails (all spam), checked forums and new tech support questions (nothing that needed attention), checked messages (read and deleted) so 30 minutes into my day I ready to head out of the apartement and start working on my "todays things to do outside" list :

- stop at bank for cash
- get photographs taken (I shaved yesterday!)
- pick up other car
- call insurance company for temporary coverage
- get car checked for sale
- make copies of diploma's and certificates
- and some things I probably remember as I'm on the road

Laters!

Monthly Archives

Pages

OpenID accepted here Learn more about OpenID
Powered by Movable Type 5.13-en

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from March 2004 listed from newest to oldest.

February 2004 is the previous archive.

April 2004 is the next archive.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.