April 3rd, 2003

Zoner en fuego!

One of those days

Actually it started a few days ago... I got my hours flipped over the weekend, so I couldn't sleep Sunday night and ended up getting maybe 2 hours before work Monday. I made it through the day just fine, but Monday night I crashed hard and overslept Tuesday so I was later to work than I'd been in a while. I'd actually been doing pretty good about getting in around 10AM (my official start time). But I was pissed with myself about that.

Well, after a maddeningly hectic day I went home around 10PM to find my neighborhood dark. This is the 3rd power outage in a week, the 2nd one that lasted for several hours. Saturday night drove home from Joe & Ren's housewarming at about 2AM to find my neighborhood totally dark. Since I wasn't going to be able to cook much in the dark I went to Denny's and took my time, I got home again at some point after 3AM and the power was still out. It was out until after 4AM I think. When I got home it had been out long enough for my laptop, which I generally leave on, to have drained the battery and shut down. That takes many hours.

Last night I got home at around 10PM to find the power was out again. Fortunately I'd given into a Taco Bell craving on the way home and picked that up instead of cooking when I got home. So I had tacos by candlelight and crashed around 11PM, with the power still out. Which meant no alarms that I could set - so I was late this morning. Though not as late as yestersay - I actually became concious around 9:45, and it took me a bit longer to get out the door than normal, but I was still in before 11. Not bad since I set my alarms at 8 to be in by 10 - I'm a DEEP sleeper, and I usually end up taking an hour to pry myself out of bed once the alarms go off. (Note I do mean alarms, I have 2 - one isn't safe with me.) One of my co-workers lives within the same blackout zone and she said the power went out around 8:30 and didn't come back until 3:30 in the morning. I know that when I got home my laptop had drained the batter halfway, so that's probably a couple of hours, and the UPS for my TiVo and cable box had drained completely. (I need to find a way to have them NOT beep when the power goes out. Either I'm home and I KNOW it is out, or I'm not home and the beeping probably just annoys my neighbors as it goes on for HOURS on the units with no real draw - two of them were still beeping when I got in Staturday, and it had to have been out over 4 hours at that point.)

It also means that the forum catch-up and the homework for a certain beta I happen to be involved with didn't get done last night.

Today at work was nucking futs. I didn't get one single thing done that I was supposed to do today. Not that I wasn't busy, just that I was totally running in interrupt mode. NCR needed to get a new software build to us today, and they use FTP to upload to our server. The server we took offline over a week ago since no one was using FTP. We took it down because it was FTP on a Windows box which had some critical applications on it (yeah, I know, but the software is Windows only) and we didn't want a security risk like FTP on the box. So FTP in DNS was repointed to another server - the linux box I run as a server. I'd never bothered it actually install ftpd on it, since I had no intention of actually using FTP for anything. But this was an A1 emergency, and I'm the only one here who knows how to do it, so I installed FTP.

Now, I want to say that RedHat's GUI FW configuration tool is weak dick. If you use a FW configuration tool and tell it to enable FTP, you kind of expect it to, oh, ENABLE FTP! Not just enable port 21. How about the data channel, dipshit. It isn't like it only enabled ACTIV and not PASSV, it didn't enable 20 at all. Ok, I want PASSV only anyway - but how? The man pages didn't help much, and I've never actually configured iptables for FTP before (because, well, I don't normally INSTALL FTP). I spent a while Googling and found some things that pointed me in the right direction, so I enabled the kernel modules for connection tracking (ip_conntrack_ftp? Something like that) and figured out the stateful inspection rule for iptables to make it work. Wrestling with iptables took longer than anything else - actually installing the daemon and adding an account for ncr wasn't hard at all.

What else? Some more time spent answering some questions for the developers on the new corporate website, since I know browsers and JavaScript fairly well - and I probably know non-IE browsers better than anyone else here. Time going over candidates for the job in our department with my boss, so we can hopefully start interviewing this week. I still didn't finish going over all the details. I guess I could count that as something I was supposed to do - only YESTERDAY, not today. Random time sink conversations with engineering about things - not bad or unnecessary, just time consuming so I wasn't doing other things. Handling the usual flood of emails...

Then our Norton Ghost disc went missing. And those who know me know that when I'm stressed I can really fixate on things and I just can't *un*fixate until I resolve it. Misplacing something does that to me often. So I probably spent an hour tearing apart my cube, the cube next to me where our test box is, and my boss's office. Repeatedly. On the nth search I found it stuck to the bottom of my boss's MSDN case. He must've put it down on top of the CD's sleeve and static did the rest.

Norton was to attempt to backup an image from the kiosk we have. This is a reall, 2200 pound, uberATM that will be in 7-Elevens. We have one here for development and testing. It runs a hacked-to-hell version of NT4 - all kinds of special NCR code for it to handle the special I/O devices like the bill accepter, money order printer, check cashing slot, touch screen, special keyboard, etc. Well, it also has a special bios and other lock down shit, which means, over 3 hours and 4 attempts later, it didn't work. I've been here 13 hours, I feel like I accomplished nothing today. Objectively I did a lot, but my To Do list isn't any shorter!

Oh, and last night as I was leaving I set off the alarm. On my way out I heard someone else in their office, so I didn't turn it on. But I hit the men's room. Apparently in those few minutes *they* left, and turned it on. I just turned it off and back on and left, I didn't feel like waiting for the cops.

I can't believe it is 00:29... I'm tempted to not sleep tonight, I still have things to do. I haven't been working ALL night - while I was waiting to see what Norton did I started catching up on LJ and such, so i'm not completely crazy.
  • Current Music
    Cowboy Bebop: Future Blues - Gotta knock a little harder