2001 ,Svenson

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Week 01, 2001 ,Svenson

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2001-01-01  ,  Monsday      MMI-i


The years starts drab, with a grey sky and intermittent rain. The last remnants of snow melt and are washed away. To make the Autumn impersonation complete the wind picks up.
Current (22:30) temp is 12.9C in, 6.8C out.

I got bitten by a millennium virus. No, not a computer malfunction but a user malfunction. And the user that's me.
I don't use special backup programs, I back up things by copying. I guess I copied in the wrong direction yesterday, overwriting my December directory with an older copy. Anyway, this morning I missed the complete month. I could get most of my work back from other copies so I actually lost just a few files that I can recreate.
Yes Tom your file is safe.

As usual on new years day I ate and drank too much.
So apart from recovering files and showing my uncle how I print pictures from the camera I didn't do much. We had fun with the camera. He used to take classic pictures and develop them himself in a small darkroom in his basement. So he was quite impressed with the digital camera. He doesn't have a computer and he is convinced that computers are too complicated for him. And I don't think I can persuade him to try it out.

Feast : you start out with a stuffed turkey on the table and end up with ...
stuffed people around the table.


Kaptain's log. Kelshon, Guardian date 2001.1    

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2001-01-02  ,  Tuesday      MMI-ii


Another warm and grey day with various spells of rain. With just enough of a watery sun in the morning to remind us she is still there. It is about 10 to 15 degrees too warm for what I call winter. And with the wind and rain things look more like autumn than anything else.
Current (23:20) temp is 13.5C in, 8.7C out.

First workday of the new year so everybody runs around giving best wishes and shaking hands. I almost suffer RSI from that.
After that I start on the rewriting of the price-calculation. If I get that worked out it should be possible to request the price for a single line or item just as easy as it is for a whole order. The trick is to separate out all the routines that use the order and rewrite those. This is going to take quite some time to get right. Which is why I start on it now, even before the validations changes have been worked out completely.
You know keeping two balls in the air is more fun than just one.

There is no business like slow business.


Kaptain's log. Kelshon, Guardian date 2001.2    

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2001-01-03  ,  Wednesday      MMI-iii


Way to hot for the season, 8C at 6:00 is not acceptable for winter. I think I am going to return it and ask my money back. Nice sunshine in between the clouds though.
Current (23:20) temp is 15.7C in, 5.1C out.

A rather hectic day in the office. I started off by checking the Progress data-server maintenance programs (the V8-to NX conversion). And I worked out how to do one of the new validations. In between we had a serious problem with the database synchronisation between the Progress schema and the AS/400 database. We applied all the known tricks but still sometimes some files just couldn't be accessed. The only reference we find in the Progress knowledge base is something about the year transition.
Maybe a delayed millennium bug. Not unlikely because the 31 of December was the 366th day of the year while 2000 is actually a once in the 400 years exception on the once in the 100 years exception on the leap-year rule. I wouldn't be surprised that Progress closed the year after 365 days.
(The reported error is due to a mismatch in a checksum that uses the file-creation date.)


We ate the last of the cheese left over from new years day. With a glass of sweet white Jura wine.

Sometimes you make more progress by standing still than by running.


Kaptain's log. Kelshon, Guardian date 2001.0003    

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2001-01-04  ,  Thursday      MMI-iv


The temperature stays to high and the sun stays away. In stead we get a rainy grey day with a wind that is picking up.
Current (23:20) temp is 14.6C in, 6.7C out.

We did some deep digging on the Progress problem. And most likely we found it. Normally the database on the AS/400 is composed of physical files (tables) without key, and logical files (indexes) containing keys (one each). It is possible to include an key in a physical file but normally we don't do that.
Of course I did just that with the LOG_ The result seems to be that the file handled immediately following the keyed physical got mishandled. Another problem is that files ending with an underscore are a problem. In de p__index file that underscore gets stripped off so the file isn't recognised.
We spent about the whole day cursing and sweating on that.

Oh, I did sent a request for clarification to the people in Italy. They had a bunch of questions about the way we will handle their local adaptations. They didn't tell how they had implemented these local things in the old, OMSI-3, environment.


The reasoning behind this ( www.theregister.co.uk/content/7/15759.html ) article in The Register?
Lawyers, lawsuits etc are about the law. Law is a form of Codex. Codex comprises Code. Programming is all about code. So money thrown at lawsuits is a natural phenomenon in IT.
Logic < SG > (sad grin)

BTW, Aloha Dan, check the Thursday wallpaper (click on the owl) :-)

How does anyone type in Java Script ?


Kaptain's log. Kelshon, Guardian date 2001.0004    

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2001-01-05  ,  Friday      MMI-v


It is 1 degree cooler than yesterday. Wow. To compensate for that lost degree it rained. All day. Sometimes hard, sometimes light. And the wind that started picking up yesterday remained fairly strong.
Current (23:00) temp is 14.8C in, 7.2C out.

We worked out the solution we reasoned up yesterday for the Progress problem. And it actually worked.
After that I more or less finished the documentation for the Progress maintenance programs. I did find a bunch of orphaned programs among the lot as well as some that seem to be plain wrong (probably orphaned as well).

Then I got a mail from Norway.
Sounds like they get a problem each January. Last year it was with contract prolongation. This year the program for manipulating maintaining price lists crashed. Hard. I spent the afternoon on that but whenever I tried it worked flawlessly. And yet I have some core dumps as proof of the problem.


It really looks like I turned back the clock one year. Last year on the 21th of January, I tested out a motherboard and a chip for a Linux box. Today I actually started assembling the box.

Is this www.theregister.co.uk/content/6/15809.html a business opportunity or yet another initiative bound for nose-landing?

Combine this www.theregister.co.uk/content/7/15813.html with the article I mentioned yesterday and you will notice a hard time coming for lawyers.

To do lists can be classified as some sort of plant
they grow when you aren't looking


Kaptain's log. Kelshon, Guardian date 2001.0005    

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2001-01-06  ,  Saturday      MMI-vi


To warm still but with a frigid wind blowing. And practically no rain. Almost no sun either with clouds racing by, chasing away the few short breaks.
Current (23:00) temp is 14.5C in, 1.6C out.

Shopping. Neither the English version of Windows (ME or 2000 whatever arrives first) nor the network kit have arrived yet so I only bring home some wine, cheese and fruit.

Rest day as usual so I don't do much.. Well I did pick up the new box I started on yesterday. I didn't get far though.
The intention is to make it into a firewall. It is based on an old AT chassis. A true steel case with the top that hinges up. It has a 200W power supply with the on/off switch on the right side like the original IBM PCs. I threw all the rest out. The drive chassis (true lacquered steel) come out easily. I added an old 2.1GB Quantum Fireball and a Maverick 12x CD drive and a brand new 3.5inch floppy drive (so now I have a 160MB Kalok hard disk, pre-IDE, and a good 5.25inch 1.2MB floppy drive on my collection of spares). I installed a Soyo motherboard with an AMD K6-200 and 64MB memory. Then I noticed I didn't have any AGP cards ready and only one PCI network card. I don't need AGP graphics (and I have a few PCI card spare) but the board only has 3 PCI slots which would/will be taken all when I get the second network card.
I'll try to install Linux tomorrow for a test. Then I need to learn how to make a firewall out of it.

I changed the layout and I removed the redirection on my site. I didn't get any comments about it so either nobody noticed it or the changes are appreciated.

A pedestrian is a driver who found a parking lot.


Kaptain's log. Kelshon, Guardian date 2001.0006    

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2001-01-07  ,  Sunday      MMI-vii


Cool, not cold, with a fair bit of wind throughout the day. After a beautiful coloured sunrise that sun thinks it has done its job and promptly she retreats behind the clouds. Getting a bit shy I think.
Current (23:20) temp is 2.5C out, 14.7C in.

Cool enough with a good refreshing wind for running. Well, at about 2C I think this is the ideal temperature. You cool down well enough and yet nothing (fingers, nose, ...) freezes off.

I completed all the connections on the firewall and everything got recognised, booting straight into DOS off a diskette. Well I did have some problems because the power supply had no 3.5inch floppy power lead, after ransacking my spares cabinets (notice the multiple) I found a four pronged power splitter with one small connector. So everything works, he.
Well not realy.
old AT case with new mobo (118k)Old case
As you may notice on the picture (a bit dark but with full flash it was to light) just on the corner closest to the camera there is a heat sink fitted on a voltage regulator. Of course this is sticking out almost a full centimetre too high to fit in under the drive cage. So I have all the right bits and pieces working nicely with a good and almost silent power supply. And it just won't fit the box. While pushing, trying to get the thing fitted anyway I did break the CPU fan.
So, firewall project canned. (till next week maybe :-)

How can you call it a Sunday when that sun don't shine?


Kaptain's log. Kelshon, Guardian date 2001.0007    

Week 02, 2001 ,Svenson

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2001-01-08  ,  Monday      MMI-viii


Cold again, well only just freezing. Mist coming up last evening and freezing this morning means I get to remove the result of a micro ice-age from my car. And some spots on the roads were affected too. After a nice sunrise clouds march in bringing the expected rain. The Maas which last Friday was on a normal level burst it banks over the weekend and looks about three times as wide now.
Current (22:50) temp is 3.4C out and 11.3C in.

I finally tracked the Norwegian problem down to corruption in the database. I expected that because I couldn't reproduce the problem on our own system nor on their test database. I did loos most part of the day (and of Friday) looking on the wrong side of the problem. Iwan had reported that he got this dump "when he tried to update a record". So I tried all possible updates that start from the screen he sent me a picture off. The actual problem was not what happened when he tried to update something on that screen but at the moment that screen got opened. So not when he tried to update a price list line but when he tried to update the price list itself.
And then the corruption was not in a file related to the price list at all but in the item master file. Some un-displayable character in an item description. This did not only crash the price list stuff but almost everything where the item got displayed.
Anyway that got solved.


Microsoft's XBox is launched . Of course in this day and age product launches have no relation to product availability. Shipments are expected to start in the autumn. The big question is not whether it will sell or take on the PS2. The real question is how many viruses and security exploits will there be by the time it ships.

A good take-up about Advertising at Bobs site ( bottom of Sunday ).
I think the problem is not that advertising doesn't work because it does work. A bit. Just like normal adds very few of them work directly. Yet being on the web and click able they are supposed to actually work and instantly generate a stream of income. Normal ads work more at bringing a brand name in focus and keep it there.
When Ford puts up an ad about their new Mondeo they don't expect people to run out and buy that car, they are more intent on people remembering that Ford makes cars and that it still exists. That is of course not necessary for people that know the sector but rather helpful for people that just enter a sector or that are looking for a new purchase. Ex I am into computers so I know all the big players but I need a good radio for my car and I don't know much about that. I am much more likely to buy a 'known' brand.
That is one of the reasons it is sort of inefficient to put loads of ads up for computers on computer sites. It is silly for IBM or Intel to advertise on Anand Tech for example. But it would be more appropriate to advertise in say Scientific American or on a newspaper .
Computer sites should look for their advertising income at non-computing advertisers.
So advertising will not dry up entirely. Still, as Bob say, subscription payments will be coming.

"We must do all we can to support free elections in America and allow democracy to gain a foothold there,"
from the Onion


Kaptain's log. Kelshon, Guardian date 2001.0008    

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2001-01-09  ,  Tuesday      MMI-ix


Same temperature as yesterday but no frost. Probably thanks to the clouds. The rain certainly comes from the same batch of clouds.
Current (23:10) temp is 2.4C out and 12.3C in.

After solving yesterdays 'problem' in Norway I mentioned, as a friendly gesture, that he could always mail me if he had problems.
I regretted that today.
Got a different problem passed. They had copied a price list but the result was highly unsatisfactory. After some searching we found that they had used the wrong copy function.
You build a price list by adding items to it and than matching various prices to the items. An item can have different prices for different order quantities (anything up to 100 pieces costs x, while up to 1000 pieces of the same get a lower unit price).
If you copy from one price list to another all that information is copied.
The alternative copy function, of course the one they used, serves a different function. This will place all items from the item file (corresponding to a selected type) in the price list with a single price point. That is fine when you start a new price list. If you run this on an existing list and you specify replace = Yes you lose all the existing prices.
Not good. At all.

Well, well, well, Open Source NSA.
Thanks to The Register .

Cell Phones, great for inmates


Kaptain's log. Kelshon, Guardian date 2001.0009    

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2001-01-10  ,  Wednesday      MMI-x


Same temperature again and no frost. No clouds either but some high mist. It is a bit strange because close to the ground there is no mist at. Later the mist transforms itself in low clouds making a soft landing (all day drizzle).
Current (23:10) temp is 2.0C out and 13.4C in.

We had a nice somewhat mysterious lunar eclipse. Thanks to the strange mist nothing could be seen sharply but we could follow the dimming and overlapping of the moon as if played in some Bilitis sort of unfocused film.
No stars or other celestial bodies could be seen trough the mist. And while normal mist has a diffuse glowing aspect (thanks to the street lights reflecting and refracting by the mist) this mist was totally black once the moon was hidden. I tried some photographs but I think I need a slightly stronger flash for this type of distance.
before during after .

I got all the extra validations added to the Validations program. And they work. So now it is Ronnies turn to add the tests to TeleSales.
Related to that we worked out a method to open a browser with a defined web page from inside a TeleSales program. Well that may not sound great but Ronny thought it was not possible and looking in the manuals he didn't find anything that actually worked. This was asked by the French for their special warehouse selection methods. It could also be handy for our own functions.

Microsoft is 'innovating' again. http://www.theregister.co.uk/content/4/15961.html . And by the next release it is integrated and inseparable from the Windows.

Yesterdays post did not arrive on the server. Not even after several tries.

Women don't make fools of men
most of them are the DIY types.


Kaptain's log. Kelshon, Guardian date 2001.0010    

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2001-01-11  ,  Thursday      MMI-xi


In the morning it's 2C, no mist and no rain. Lots of clouds though and they stay all day. Which mean we don't see the sun all day.
Current (22:50) temp is11.5C in and 1.7C out.

Ronny is busy checking out problem reports for TOS. Happy job. He has to find the problems and decide if they are bugs or specification problems (note that we don't have the specifications). But he is not allowed to alter the coding in any way. The problem is of course that TOS was build by some people from Progress and it has a lot of problems still in because the estimated time needed for completing the project, and specified in the contract, was too short. Of course. Because the contract stated delivery of a functional package all the bugs must be repaired free of charge. Of course if we change anything in the coding the people from Progress can claim we introduced the bugs. Everybody knows this would be a cheap excuse but everybody also knows that this will happen. So we can look but don't touch.
Because he is busy with that he cannot put the new validations in the TeleSales files so I do that. Not difficult per se but it's the first time for me. I do succeed (with a hint from Ronny) and promptly find some bugs in the validations.


CPRM is being converted in a moving target, hanging out in a misty twilight zone. theregister.co.uk/content/2/15979.html

Some weeks ago (on 2000/12/28 ) the Lexmark printer stopped working with the 'paper jam' indicator on. No mater what I did I couldn't clear the jam. There was no paper in the printer anyway. I intended to tackle the problem during the weekend but of course I didn't find the time for it. I still haven't found the time but sometimes you must make what you don't find so ...
I took the printer to the attic (since the firewall project got (temporally) cancelled there is about half a square meter of space on my side bench) and took it apart as far as I could without breaking things. I didn't find any obstacle in the paper path. I also didn't find anything that looked like a paper-jam sensor.
Disappointed for not finding the problem I reassembled the thing (and had to start over because I found a part laying around after the first assembly). Of course now the problem is gone so I can say that I solved the problem without actually finding it.
Sounds like the software I write. <G>

Time is one of the few things you can lose even if you don't have it


Kaptain's log. Kelshon, Guardian date 2001.0011    

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2001-01-12  ,  Friday      MMI-xii


Ha, winter. Light frost (-2C) in the morning (with my car frozen over) leading in to a nice cloudless and dry day. Not to warm during the day and a light but chilly wind.
Current (23:05) temp is 9.7C in and -3.2C out.

Ronny was struggling with the TOS problem reports. Today didn't start off any better. Then Theo joined him and together they went over the list again.
The final result is that over half the problems get returned to Pieter because they are either too confusing or not a problem at all. Of the others a few were already solved or placed on a low priority to-do list. Many problems that Pieter reported are likely due to the setup of the 'Portal' site. This was intended to be the web server containing the style sheets and JavaScript files but also running some special security and redirection software. The whole Portal functionality is being reviewed because, after several months of promises and some deliveries and returns, the whole thing still doesn't work.

I spent half the day testing the validations. I didn't find anymore problems but that is no guarantee because for a special validation I got to check out an ordered situation against a contract but there are countless ways to make a contract. I did pass the buck to Jan.
And started on the error log cleanup procedure.


Jacob Nielsen has a point in his latest collumn. He does however drops an equally important point.
Minitel was proprietary all the way. GSM and the later generations are not proprietary.
WAP is an interesting experiment, failing on standard mobile phones. But that doesn't mean that the mobile network cannot be used by other devices.
If Minitel had not been proprietary it might well have prevented the web from evolving as it did. Maybe the web in use today would have (some of) its roots in Minitel.
The point he has is that mobile phones will not be the basis of a mobile Internet. My bet is that most people that use a Palm or PocketPC also have a mobile phone.

Hummm, 3.2Tbps. Just what I have been looking for. www.theregister.co.uk/content/5/16055.html

A journalist arrives at a dairy farmer and request to have a few questions about Mad Cow Disease ( BSE).
"Of course" says the farmer, "what would you like to know?"
"Well," says she (clicking on her recorder), "What do you as dairy farmer think about BSE?"
"Ah, I milk my cows twice a day." answers the farmer.
"Oh, but I asked what you think about BSE." says the journalist.
The farmer : "Yes, and I have them 'served', ye know, once a year."
She is getting a bit nervous and says : "ok, that is all nice to know but What do you think about the Mad Cow Disease?!"
To which the farmer replies : " Well, let's put it differently. If your husband plays with your breasts twice a day but only 'serves' you once a year, you'd get mad. Wouldn't you?"


Kaptain's log. Kelshon, Guardian date 2001.0012    

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2001-01-13  ,  Saturday      MMI-xiii


Nicely cold, -5C. Everything is frosted over of course, even the sun feels like being frosted over. Doesn't push the day temperature up much that way even though there are no clouds. It could of course be the sharp wind and the snow-dust that is flying by at times that is keeping the temperature down.
Current (22:57) temp is 12.4C in and -3.1C out.

Shopping. Wine, fruit vegetables as usual. And some clothes. The wireless network stuff still hasn't arrived. Typical for Masset, if you order something uncommon and he doesn't have it in stock you can wait a long time for it, it is often better to cancel the order if it hasn't arrived in a week and get your stuff elsewhere. I am not in a hurry though. He doesn't have normal network card in the shop either.
So I only pick up a display card. An unknown (A-TEK ?) Riva TNT2 card with 32MB RAM. Should be sufficient for a 'spare' card :-)

Back home I make asparagus rolls. During the season I had bought some extra, cleaned and stored them in the deep freezer. This didn't affect their taste at all. No wonder I ate too much.

So I rested for the rest of the day.

The rest of the time is obviously intended for resting.
The remainder of the time is to make sure you don't go away.


Kaptain's log. Kelshon, Guardian date 2001.0013    

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2001-01-14  ,  Sunday      MMI-xiv


Another cool day starting at -5C and climbing all the way up to 1C. With a sharp cold wind picking up. So while the sun is nice she is not spreading much warmth.
Current (22:24) temp is 11.2C in and -4.8C out.

Running in this temperature is ideal, no need for water cooling.

Short post. Really.

If we have "no time to waste" greanpeace
Where will we find time for recycling?


Kaptain's log. Kelshon, Guardian date 2001.0014    

Week 03, 2001 ,Svenson

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2001-01-15  ,  Monday      MMI-xv


The nice weather continues. Nice that means cold, around -5C, and dry and sunny. Only just a little bit of frosting because the air has been freeze-dried already. Because it stays close to 0C throughout the day and there is no wind there isn't much moister getting in the air.
Current (23:20) temp is 8.3C in and

Theo called in sic.

Ronny keeps looking into the TOS problem reports. together we found a true bug (2 actually) in a JavaScript file.
The problem was that on a screen two dates can be entered. The report was "the from-date always reverts to 2000, regardless of what the user types in". And Pieter had put in an example where he typed "13/02/08" which the program converted to "13/02/2000".
After testing we noticed that when the user types in the full date, including the century the date was always correct. Even entering a year only went OK except for years 08 and 09. And for 012 and 013 and .... Well some dates went wrong.
Neither of us knows JavaScript so it took quite some time before we found the script with the date handling and then some more before we located the actual date validation routine. And then we lost more time actually finding the problem.
When converting alpha numeric data into strings (and reverse) JavaScript assumes that, if the number begins with a zero that it is an octal value. Of course 08 and 09 don't exist in octal. And 012 and 013 convert to 9 and 10 decimal.
While digging up the code we also noticed that the days per month are hard coded, with 28 for February. OK that is only a problem in four years time, when the program is most likely no longer in use (or not yet in use :-). But still it is a bug.

I didn't get much done on my own programs. Well not enough anyway.

One shouldn't expect to succeed where one doesn't try.


Kaptain's log. Kelshon, Guardian date 2001.0015    

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2001-01-16  ,  Tuesday      MMI-xv1


Could be the coldest day of the year. With -6C in the morning and -1C at noon. Perfectly beautiful weather all the way.
Current (23:10) temp is 7.5C in and -7.9C out.

At work we do some more of the same.
Even Theo is still off.
Jan is testing and gets a few details spotted which I iron out and some other problems for Ronny to sort out.
He also notices that validation 09 doesn't work anymore. A few days ago it still worked. Well, that is, a few weeks ago nobody had remarked about this problem. It is a validation to prevent clients from ordering too much, it probably is switched off everywhere. For testing Jan has switched on all the validations of course. While trying to find the problem I switch off a few validations, just to get the speed up a bit, and sometimes the bloody thing works as expected. I finally have to walk the code using the debugger and find out that the validation always works correctly. It writes a record in the error log when it has to. Only somewhat later that record gets removed. So I have to debug all the validations. I start with the most recently added ones.
And find that validation 29 uses the same error return code as validation 06. When validation 29 passes without error the error record with the associated error code is removed. Yep validation 29 removes the code from validation 06. It is no coding error, just a setup problem. And of course I did that setup myself (with nothing mentioned about error codes or text in the (non existent) specifications).
So I tell Jan what the problem is and how it can be solved but I don't know whether he will do it of if I should do it. That is anyone's guess. (So I will probably have to do it :( )

Of course all the searching time is taken from the logging-cleanup project which is slowly slipping.


Oeps, 7C on the attic is a bit cold for sitting at a computer. Even for me. Well, not personally (I am still up here in shorts and a short sleeved T-shirt, but with slipper in stead of barefoot like usual) but I am drinking a beer and for my taste it is too cold. Mind you I could oveclock my systems without supper dupper fans <g>

Now I am off to see in what way I can help Tom. I know wishes and prayers are not much bat that is all that gets over instantly. Money can follow soon afterward. But after that ...
I feel frustrated that I cannot give more help than that.
Heads up Tom, kids bones are flexible and mend fast. And he wil not forget how to run, maybe he will run a bit slower and look out (that is not running into things that often).

The warm fuzzy feeling of love comes from giving it unconditionally.


Kaptain's log. Kelshon, Guardian date 2001.0016    

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2001-01-17  ,  Wednesday      MMI-xvii


Great ! -10C in the morning. After a lovely sunrise and morning some high clouds sluggishly drift in around noon.
Current (23:10) temp is 9.5C in and -7.5C out.

I added yet another validation. I actually thought I had added that one some time ago but apparently I didn't. Or I lost it somewhere in between the actions.
I lost quite a lot of time before, after and in between that.


MS boasts W2K as stable. http://www.theregister.co.uk/content/4/16139.html .
Let's see 2893 hours is about 120 days. Wow, impressive.

Step by step, the world is taken. http://www.theregister.co.uk/content/4/16136.html

Now can we combine these to two articles and get a conclusion out of it?


I registered with Paypal today. I have to get my credit card verified before I can use it for sending money. (They verify by deducting $1, on your balance sheet that gets reported with a special code which you have to return so they know the account is actually yours. And You get your dollar back :-). So I haven't actually used it yet, but it does look to be a simple and easy way to handle money on the Internet.
I'll tell more when I know more.
BTW, if you open an account via a referral link (like the one above) the referrer gets a $5 bonus. Or you can go straight to www.paypal.com.

Oh, yes, Landon is on the mend (as is Tom). Quick as kids heal it will take some time. It will be a difficult time for Tom and Leah. And Danielle. But then difficult times often strengthen the bonds between people. And they have a whole Daynote Gang standing behind them for support.

If you don't reach out, you won't pull in.


Kaptain's log. Kelshon, Guardian date 2001.0017    

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2001-01-18  ,  Thursday      MMI-xviii


Less than ideal weather. It has been freezing some days now, with -2C this morning yet but now it is snowing. Locally that was just snow-dust so not really a problem because it doesn't melt and it doesn't stick. Just a few kilometres south of home it snowed real wet fluffy stuff and a bit north of here it rained. On frozen ground. I reached work without problems though. To enjoy a grey misty and drizzly day.
Current (23:20) temp is 10.1C in and 0.6C out.

Jan is back, testing the validations, and finding some more problems (only 2 of them were newly introduced). He was in Germany yesterday and the Germans have some proposals, must haves really (they call them 'problems'). Only thing is implementing the requests goes right against the original assumptions.
Basically the users want to be able to start orders from anywhere in the system. Our answer all along was that they should keep the order entry window open and switch to that (one click or an alt+tab away) for entering/reviewing an order. Of course they don't do that. They want to start order entry directly from the address window (at least 3 clicks away, and then they close the address window once they are entering the order).


I did get some daynote reading done. But I am still way behind on some.

Then the Register has this http://www.theregister.co.uk/content/4/16157.html .
Yeah, everybody surprised ?

Life goes on, with or without us
It is up to us to follow.


Kaptain's log. Kelshon, Guardian date 2001.0018    

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2001-01-19  ,  Friday      MMI-xix


No frost, no ice and positive temperature. This time of year that means mist and drizzle and rain and clouds and all sort of nasty un-enjoyable stuff.
Current (23:20) temp is 11.7C in and 1.7C out.

I threw away the cleanup program for the order entry error logging and started from scratch. The problem with the thing I threw away was that I had started and stopped too much. Each interruption breaks of my train of thought and often, when I pick up again I look at the problem differently. That is not necessary bad but sometimes it does kill a project.
So I threw out all the code and started new. And finished the whole thing. I cannot test yet but I will on Monday. I only need to add a call in an existing program for that. And some data.
Theo had an unscheduled day of yesterday because his god mother was due for a hart operation that got rescheduled. He is back today but completely occupied with a Progress meeting about TOS.
He did get away long enough to put the building of a correction program on top of my to do list. About this time last year I was finishing off the Hierarchical Classification Code programs. (The actual filling of the HCC file, to be done by OPRS, is still not ready so a "temporal" program that I made for testing is still used for it). The HCC stuff is only present in V9. In V8 (on which the current version of TOS is based) the codes already existed but there was no hierarchical structure enforced, all the codes were available in almost any combination. They were basically not used except in some rare situations. the result was/is of course that the code file contained duplicate codes and a lot of codes were actually missing.
You probably guessed that the V8 codes must be corrected.
So I made a program for that. Equally untested because it has to run in an environment that I don't have authority to. So all I can do is put the program in the right place and say it is ready. No testing of course means no margin for error.


My VISA expense sheet came in today but (of course) nothing from Paypals was on it so I can still not validate my account. And of course I must wait till about halfway next month for the next sheet.

And then I made a mistake while preparing the sauce to go with the salmon and mushrooms. Too much flour for binding so I had to dilute and I overdid that too. I ended up with a weak sauce. The mushrooms and salmon were quite good.

We expect to get all products and services to be perfect and without error. We cry faul (and litigate (US)) if there are problems.
Why then do we actually expect problems with software.


Kaptain's log. Kelshon, Guardian date 2001.0019    

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2001-01-20  ,  Saturday      MMI-xx


No frost, no ice and positive temperature. This time of year that means mist and drizzle and rain and clouds and all sort of nasty un-enjoyable stuff. Yep same as yesterday. In the afternoon though the clouds start to break up slowly.
Current (23:20) temp is 10.7C in and 0.2C out.

Shopping. As usual, wine, fruit, food and clothes. Extra chocolate for next week. The English version of windows still hasn't arrived. This was ordered halfway December so you would expect it to be here by now. Apparently Microsoft doesn't like to ship the English version of its packaged bugs.
At the same time I ordered a wireless network kit from Elsa. I knew this would take some time because Masset didn't have it in his assortment, I was probably the first client asking such a thing. He has lots of 3Com stuff but the 3Com wireless stuff is a bit pricey, about 3 times more so than the Elsa kit. Apparently he cannot get the Elsa stuff. He did put an inquiry up for D-Link kit which he can get and I pointed him to LinkSys who also makes wireless stuff. This is getting a long term project.
I did pick up a network card (D-Link 10BaseT) for adding to a firewall. And I also brought back a new CD drive.

Peter brought his PC (Cindy) home. The problem is that the CD drive makes suspicious clicking sounds and, when getting up to speed it sometimes spins down completely. I try it but apparently the drive doesn't do that always nor with every disk. Another problem he has is with sound. The board is based on the i810 chopset () with integrated video (no AGP slop present) and sound. The video works well enough but the integrated sound is death. I had installed a Soundblaster 128 (OEM version) but that had stopped working some time ago.
I replaced the CD drive and I reseated the sound card.
Problems solved.
Well sort off. A third problem he has is that sometimes the box just locks up halfway trough the boot sequence. Quite nasty because it only happens occasionally, that means when you stop and start to look into the problem it doesn't occur and just after you give up it happens again.
He is running BootMagic for dual booting (DR-DOS and Win98) and the lockup occurs halfway trough the Windows start-up, that is after the boot manager has done its work. He used to use DOS for running some Symphony spreadsheets and a few games. He can do this from Win98 just as well but he was used to DOS. He is going to replace his old Toshiba (286/10 1MB, 20MB disk, DOS only) notebook with the Fujitsu which runs Win98 so he is going to abandon naked DOS.
If the problem continues he will bring back the PC and I will scrub it all down and reinstall everything, without the bootmanager and DOS.



Kaptain's log. Kelshon, Guardian date 2001.0020    

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2001-01-21  ,  Sunday      MMI-xxi


Ha, frost, ice and negative temperatures (-4C). That means no mist or rain but nice clean starry skies, with a beautifully red rising moon sickle followed by the sun. Of course that nice weather doesn't last and in the afternoon clouds mach in and we get a load of fresh snow.
Current (23:00) temp is 14.1C in and -0.9C out.

Good running weather and I extend my course with an extra 2 Km. And hours later I regret that <g>

My fathers anniversary is tomorrow but I am in the office than so I make a cake today. One day compared to 66 years won't matter much. I leave out the baking powder hoping that the cake wouldn't rise into a high domed shape as usual because that interferes with the icing. I succeed more or less. It still rises more in the centre but not much. Of course without baking powder the cake is much denser than usual and a bit too heavy. So that is not the right solution.
The taste is good though.

Nope, I didn't actually post yesterday . I couldn't reach the electronic world. No Web, no Mail.

Stress is what hardens steel.


Kaptain's log. Kelshon, Guardian date 2001.0021    

Week 04, 2001 ,Svenson

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2001-01-22  ,  Monday      MMI-xxii


After laying down a nice even white coating of snow it starts to rain so by morning all the snow is gone. This was caused by drifting in of some warm air which also results in lots of fog which lasts the whole day. And some more rain at times.
Current (23:00) temp is 14.6C in and 4.5C out.

Trying day without accomplishing much. Well we did have a meeting (informal) with Theo and Jan (and Ronny) about the validations. The result is that, once the current redesign is finished, we will, ....
redesign the whole lot!
Only this time we are going to redesign not just the interfacing (between programs and between system and user) but also re architecture the internal workings. Start from a new foundation.

System requirements Windows &tm: :
Sufficiently recent hardware (to run the programs)
Empty brain case (to prevent logic from interfering with programs)
Stable income (to pay licences and upgrades).


Kaptain's log. Kelshon, Guardian date 2001.0022    

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2001-01-23  ,  Tueday      MMI-xxiii


A wet rainy-drizzly day all out. And not at all with winter temperatures. By evening the wind is picking up seriously. A storm is brewing.
Current (23:00) temp is 13.6C in and 5.2C out.

I continued where I left off yesterday. That is low productivity. Sigh.

Koen is on holiday till Thursday. Nothing special if it weren't for the fact that he is responsible for the time sheets and for passing them on. You see I (and some 40 odd others souls) am working for OCE but I am employed at (and paid by) RealSoftware . This means that Real sends invoices to OCE. But first OCE send time sheets to Real. So with Koen not in I get to handle the time sheet transfer. Using MS SQL-7 and Access, neither of which I know anything about. I don't get complaints after sending them out so they are probably OK.
And I almost finished the error-log clearing programs.


The next step is the removal of the save and save-as options in most programs. http://www.theregister.co.uk/content/4/16300.html

Hey you must admit we are nice. http://www.theregister.co.uk/content/4/16274.html .
Oh what? Yes that is a loaded gun we are holding against your head. But we are so nice, we aren't going to shoot you.
You say? No, no, we are not going to pull that trigger. Yes our finger is on it, and straining, but we are not going to shoot.
Believe us, we are not.
Yeah, of course.

Not a bad proposal here http://www.zdnet.com/zdnn/stories/comment/0,5859,2675548,00.html .
Any way he would be hard pressed to do it worse than the current crop of politicians. And he could handle the anti trust trial better <g>

System requirements Linux :
Reasonable hardware (to run the programs)
Large convoluted brain (to manage the programs)
Heaps of free time (to learn the arcana).


Kaptain's log. Kelshon, Guardian date 2001.0023    

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2001-01-24  ,  Wednesday      MMI-xxiv


Global warming strikes. Well, if not global it is at least local. We get 12C this morning at 6:00. Six in the morning should be close to the coldest moment of the day and this being mid January (northern hemisphere) it should be about 15 degrees less. Once the night's rain has been blown away it does remain dry and cloudy leading the day to a grand finale with the sun blazingly red, setting under a copula of ominous black clouds.
Later still we have a clear starry night)
Current (23:00) temp is 17.4C in and 1.5C out.

Some weeks ago Ronny had an accident while playing football (not the American parody but the indoor stuff). He twisted his knee and (probably) tore his meniscus. Last week he an MR-scan made and this morning he gets the results. Surgery or not depends on it.
And it is surgery. Next Monday so he won't come next week. And, probably, not the week after either.
So he comes in late. And yesterday someone changed a database file so that we have to re-synchronised the Progress server schema with that database. Normally he does that but now I must do it.
And of course it doesn't work. Well, I just get a strange error after deleting the old schema so now I cannot build a new schema. The error isn't really strange (I delete 'OCS' and then I want to recreate it but the program somehow thinks it is till connected to OCS and I get an error on that connection). So I wait till Ronny comes in (noon).
And of course when I want to show him what goes wrong the program somehow realised it should forget the old OCS and connects to the correct back-end (sh-ocs). After that things run normal (with Ronny looking on my fingers and assisting me around).

Wilfried must go to Germany tomorrow and he has a question that we must look into before he goes. The question is not entirely clear to us (we thought the problem was locally solved) so we prepare some counter questions.
As on clue Volker, from Germany, strolls into the office (he comes for a meeting with some SAP people). Theo pounces on him for a clarification. which we get so now I am typing my fingers off to get a solution ready (tested and shipped) by Friday.


My web experience yesterday was rather remarkable. I couldn't upload (FTP) nor browse (HTTP) but I had no problems with Mail. Well part of it is that I actually could browse. But only by shift-clicking on links.
That means I get a new page on each click. And with the quality of browsers that induces a "your system is low in resources ..." type of error rather soon, even if I immediately close the starting page. All three (MSIE, Netscrape and hOpera) the browsers suffer that. Netscape simply crashes, I can restart it. Opera crashes (with the old Win3.x style of popup) and every third or fourth crash it Locks up Windows. MSIE crashes and takes Windows down.
The Svenson Experience indeed !

I think it is Windows-reinstallation time again.

New WS Media Player ??


Kaptain's log. Kelshon, Guardian date 2001.0024    

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2001-01-25  ,  Thuesday      MMI-xxv


Still to warm for the season (7C). The cloud cover is much more broken up so we get a few glimpses of sun (such as a nice even sunrise and a fantastic sunset with streaks of golden clouds) but also a few hard showers.
Current (23:00) temp is 14.0C in and 2.2C out.

More or less a typical day, just a bit more intense than usual. I don't get anything done on my normal schedule. I just spend the day stomping out fires left right and backward.
Like a CS problem in Denmark. After some digging I think I got a possible reason (mixing up programs from different releases). They should check it out for the next run, so it may come back tomorrow.
Then Wilbert is busy with some consultants from SAP so I get to solve a few of his problems. Like the synchronisation problem in Belgium. Probably due to having two programs with the same name. So I advise Robert to start over but making sure first only the right program is visible in the library list.
Or the copy member (source include file) problem that hit the Germans.

At the end of the day I find I didn't do anything from my mornings to-do list. I didn't even surf around the daynotes

Why is Windows easier than Linux ?
Going down hill usually is.


Kaptain's log. Kelshon, Guardian date 2001.0025    

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2001-01-26  ,  Friday      MMI-xxvi

Too warm with open almost sunny sunrise and sun set. Clouds, rain and wind in between. Current (23:30) temp is 12.0C in and 4.2C out.


Kaptain's log. Kelshon, Guardian date 2001.0026    

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2001-01-27  ,  Saturday      MMI-xxvii


A bit cooler but not by much (not enough). The morning is rather miserable with mist and rain. And while the mist disappears soon enough the rain doesn't until halfway in the afternoon. A slow and steady rain with a few spells of fast mixed rain and hail inserted.
Current (23:00) temp is 14.1C in and 0.4C out.

Shopping. The regular stuff. And finally the English version of Windows ME arrived.
I ordered that early December (last year) but it seems to be the Microsoft policy to sell nothing but the localised version. So what I finally got was an OEM version, not boxed, just a 20 page quick start and a lose CD. But then that is more than what I need, the CD alone would have been enough. Or just the source code. Nah, they never give what you want. <g>

I went to the car wash this morning and after washing the engine wouldn't start anymore. The starter wouldn't even whirr. I had no problem earlier so the battery was OK, leaving the contact or the starter. I got a push start and went straight to the garage. Stopped there and tried to start again. No go. That was of course at 8:40 and the garage only opens at 9:00 (on Saturday).
When they finally opened, I showed the receptionist (who is actually the stock manager, not a real mechanic) the problem. On Saturday they have just a reduced crew (2) so it is about half an hour later when the mechanic could take a look.
And off course the problem had solved itself by than. Started as good as usual, that is instantly.

Suzan isn't home so I drove my father to hospital and got him back. And I made lunch. And rested (usual Saturday routine).


And no, I didn't post yesterday. I was chatting with my father trough the evening and I didn't think posting more important.
So what did I do yesterday?
Normal workday routine. Plus some struggle with the XML parser. The Microsoft parser apparently has problems with the "encoding="utf-8"" directive in the XML heading. The 'other side' uses the same parser (other sub version?) and has no problem. Then we tried the Progress parser but the 'other side' choked on that and returns a standard response. Typical MS talks to MS and not to anything else.

There is a light at the end of the tunnel.
But there are some bends and turns too pass before you can see it.


Kaptain's log. Kelshon, Guardian date 2001.0027    

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2001-01-28  ,  Sunday      MMI-xxviii


A dry and cold, well just freezing, morning leading to a nice sunrise. The gaps in the mostly decorative clouds are large but getting smaller towards the evening. Once it is full dark it starts to rain.
Current (22:45) temp is 15.3C in and 2.7C out.

Freezing at -2C and dry so ideal for running, which is what I do. The same extended traject as last week.

Most of the day is nice and sunny so I can begin the winter cleaning of the garden. I start with pruning the fire thorn bushes. And of course end that with punctured, scratched and torn hands.

I attempted to build a firewall box out of the old AT case and a new AT/ATX motherboard but things didn't fit together well (see Saturday and Sunday (week-1)).
Of course, this being a lair, I can just pick up another box and try to use that. So I clear the space on my side bench again (yes it got cluttered up again, immediately after removing the AT case) and put Yaku on it. Yaku currently (since removing one of his hard disks) runs OS/2. I've got a Mandrake 7.1 CD hanging around so I will try that.
Of course the first attempt fails because I am using the old Goldstar 14" screen and that isn't capable of handling the installation screens that Mandrake throws at it. And the second attempt ...
...will have to wait for another day.

Drop the bird.


Kaptain's log. Kelshon, Guardian date 2001.0027    

Week 05, 2001 ,Svenson

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2001-01-29  ,  Monday      MMI-xxix


Cool but not freezing, probably because has been raining most of the night. We do get a nice sunrise but after about five minutes the sun rises above the clouds and is lost for most of the day.
Current (23:10) temp is 14.5C in and -2.7C out.

I shot my foot.
Virtually of course. I build the HTTP maintenance program using the standard routines but I added some tricks of my own. On of these caused a problem when used with the standard subfile handling. Of course my trick worked flawlessly and I didn't expect a standard routine to misfire so I was looking in all the wrong places. Lost quite a bucket of time there. Just moving the resetting of a flag solved the problem.

Last Thursday I searched for a problem in Denmark. I saw two possible problems. One the mixing of various releases and a second problem was the presence of a copy of the program in a wrong library. It turned out to be the last one. That extra copy was an older, unmodified instance that got used because it was higher up in the library list (cf. path).
Nice of Jos to let me know the problem is solved, far too often people drop some problem on my desk but later forget to mention they solved it with or without help.

Ronny is off for an operation on his knee. He will be home for at least one week and probably two.
So of course Germany comes up with a serious problem in TeleSales, in the Progress side.
When they copy from a contract (first time they uses this special type of contract) they en up with materials (correct) but this material get a serial number (wrong, only machines and components can have a serial number). The logistics module doesn't understand that and goes tits-up gloriously.
I don't know enough Progress of course. I do find one possibility to emulate the problem but to do so I have to corrupt a contract. If the item in the contract has a serial number (would be silly in every case) then the copy routine (w-ohol3.w procedure ip_opencontracts) will simply copy that. I am not sure if that is actually the cause but it is a first line of attack.


Seems that big island over the pond is gripped with Super Bowl fever. Well, while I do like my cereals in a super bowl I don't make such an issue about it <g>
Hey kids, who won?

How do you recognise a parking place.
Simple, any part of the road with lines around it and a car on is a parking place.


Kaptain's log. Kelshon, Guardian date 2001.0029    

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2001-01-30  ,  Tuesday      MMI-xxx


Yesterday evening my car was frozen over and this morning it was all clear. That was my car. The rest of the world was shrouded in mist and in stead of dissipating as the day wore on it just rose a few hundred meters and parked there till evening. Now of course it falls down and things start to freeze up.
Current temp is 12.8C in and -1.9C out.

Ronny called in. With bad news.
He had the actual operation yesterday and all went well. Only they noticed that not only was his meniscus split (that is what they operated for, taking it out) but his 'cross ligaments' (literal translation, didn't fin it in the dictionary) were torn as well. Not a big problem, he can still walk or ride his bicycle. He will never play football again however and his recovery will take at least two weeks.

Jan (Geurts) came by and we discussed the action needed for the TeleSales problem in Germany. I did the adaptation in the Progress program. Quite a simple change but it is the first time I use the tools and the language unaided. And it all worked first time around.

Later I finished off some other problems. Like putting the date on the FTP selection screen.


I take a day off tomorrow. Mainly to have my car serviced but also to test-drive a new car. I also intend to go to Antwerp, to a book shop there. We all got a voucher for books (or CDs) from our company (new years present) but it has to be taken up before the end of February and it is only valid in that specific shop in Antwerp.
And of course I did place it somewhere special so as 'not to forget it'. And now I searched for over an hour before finding it.
Chaos reigns.

I try the Mandrake install again, with a (slightly) better screen (I do have two spares) and I do get a bit further. Things now hang on the hard drive detection phase.

Of course Darwin was right, how could he not be.
Survival of the fittest.
Dictionary :
fit1 —adj. (fitter, fittest) 1 a well suited. b qualified, competent, worthy. c in suitable condition, ready....
And how do we measure the qualification, competence, worthiness etc. ?
Yep, by counting the survival rate.
Circular definition.


Kaptain's log. Kelshon, Guardian date 2001.0030    

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2001-01-31  ,  Wednesday      MMI-xxxi


Dry but freezing (-2C) so the car is frosted over, in the morning. This turns into mist (freezing on cars and roads) which later transforms into low clouds. With a single outbreak of sunlight.
Current temp is -1.9C out and 12.1C in.

I have a day off mainly for servicing my car.
That car is now approaching its sixth year, with 290.000 km on the counter. About time to get a new one. Oh, I could keep it for another few years but I think it would start to clock up expenses. I would probably need a new clutch shortly, and new tyres probably brakes as well. And I am getting some, spurious, fault signals on the dashboard (like a warning that the cooling is low while it definitively is not). A dashboard that isn't illuminated anymore. So I see lots of small expenses coming. And it has been paid off two years ago, earning me some new money those last two years.
So I am looking for a new one. And I did some test driving today with a Fiat Multipla. A funny little car, but I liked it. Of course I can get a new Ulyse as well. Or a Barchetta. Or ...

I also travelled to Antwerp for cashing in on a book voucher (a told ye so yestaday). They didn't have much of what I was looking for. I got one book for my father ("De Planeten" (eng="The Planets") which he asked for. I also got the 2nd edition of "Practical Unix & Internet Security". They didn't have the Oreilly "Firewalls" book nor the "Outlook in 2000 nutshells" <G>. Both of these were on the top of my list but they didn't have them. I think I will have to actually order them.
To get a bit closer to the full amount (5000BEF) I also picked up "Pegasus in Space" from Anne McCaffrey (my favourite author) and "Burning City" from Niven and Pournelle (the only Niven or Pournelle book in store, sigh.).

And this evening my father made a special Chinese rice dish with chicken and pork and sweet-sour sauce and sate sauce and .... lots of my favourite food. And we cracked a bottle of Sake.

Some anniversaries are like that. :-) Yep, after 39 summers I still feel 17.

You don't reach perfection by not making mistakes but by recognising and correcting them.


Kaptain's log. Kelshon, Guardian date 2001.0031    

February, 2001 ,Svenson

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2001-02-01  ,  Thursday      MMI-xxxii


Dry but freezing again but only a very thin layer of ice on the car. And again the day is misty throughout with mist condensing on about everything. So much so that trees start dripping water like in a rain forest. But than a cold one. ,br /> Current temp is -0.7C out and 9.4C in.

I had to add the date to the FTP job screen yesterday. Did that and today I added the time as well to the FTP job screen. And to make it easy to spot problems I also put the status on it. All unspecified but handy.

Then I solved a bug in the XML filling program. The V8 program was correct, the v9 one not. What the difference between an ON or an OFF test can do.

Then Italians are interested in using TeleSales and (mainly) TOS. They do have a lot of local adaptations and were rather concerned about the possibility to include them in TeleSales. So I explained the methods we used to allow local exits. Mister Rosetti was rather impressed with the flexibility we could provide.

If the black box of an aircraft is made indestructible
why don't they make the whole aircraft in the same material.


Kaptain's log. Kelshon, Guardian date 2001.0032    

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2001-02-02  ,  Friday      MMI-xxxiii


It is dry and misty in the morning, not freezing. Halfway trough the morning it starts snowing. Light, thin snow that melts when it hits the ground although, at times it is quite dense and whipped around by the wind. After a whole day of melting snow the evening brings some firmer stuff. Just to clog up the roads I guess.
Current temp is 11.2C in and -0.3C out.

I have been struggling (= losing time) most of the morning to get a simple flowchart finished with Visio. I know Visio is a capable program. It is even supposed to be rather intuitive. For me it is rather to difficult.
I mean, I have to produce a set of flowcharts about two or three times a year and it are always about the most basic type of charts (like program-A call program-B which reads file-C and ...) with only one or two shapes and some connectors. Usually I just start an old version of ABC-SnapGraphics, it is dead simple with no bells or whistles getting in the way. Of course it is limited but even then I don't think I need all of its capabilities. One bonus is that WordPro can easily import the charts. Another bonus is that I cannot remember it ever crashing, not even under OS/2.
Of course a small (it does fit on an old 720KB floppy!) efficient and stable program is not accepted in a corporate environment, we are supposed to use Visio. But Visio is a slow and complicated tool and it doesn't really work (I saved my chart as HTML page which generates a page with a JPG image, only the JPG cannot be rendered by any browser or image editor we have).
I finally succeed in cobbling together my chart and exporting it in GIFF (>spit<). I convert that into JPG (with MGI PhotoSuite) and put it in my hand crafted HTML file.

I changed the start-up program for invoicing recently on request from Germany. They wanted to be able to start invoices without entering the Invoice_Frequency_code (IFC) which was mandatory. It didn't look like a big change. Until I started testing of course.
The actual invoicing program uses an access path with the IFC in it. So now, if the IFC is left blank you only get an invoice if you enter the order number as well, anything that should generate more than one invoice at a time is broken.
I did solve that but it is not an elegant nor performent solution. And it interferes with some of the German local adaptation so they won't be happy either.

Be careful, sometimes you get what you ask for.


Kaptain's log. Kelshon, Guardian date 2001.0033    

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2001-02-03  ,  Saturday      MMI-xxxiv


After accumulating about 5cm of snow the weather changed from snowing to raining last night. And it never stopped. So we enjoyed a wet and grey but rather warm day.
Current temp is 12.3C in and 6.9C out.

Shopping. I did most of my shopping on Wednesday so I didn't bring back much. Nothing computerish anyway.

Apart from seting up a web cam I mostly spent the day ... resting


Kaptain's log. Kelshon, Guardian date 2001.0034    

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2001-02-04  ,  Sunday      MMI-xxxv


Basically we get the same weather as yesterday. Lots of rain, mostly drizzle but also some stronger showers. Oh, and two spell of dry grey weather. Wet and warm.
Current temp is 17.9C in and 7.8C out.

Running nicely with water cooling for the full distance.

After resting some I start tackling some heaps of paper. The work on finishing the attic starts again with a new bench on the south eastern side and after that the rest of the floor will be finished. All that will take some months no doubt but the floor now is covered with stack of paper and stacks of computers all of which must be sorted and cleared up before the new floor can be placed.
Lots of the paper are web site printouts. I do a lot of web wandering at work (fast connection and all that) but of course I cannot spend all that much time surfing there on company time. So when I find an interesting side I print a page from it in order to surf to it later, at home. I print a full page in stead of just noting the URL because I can then easier see what the site was about.
Of course a lot of the pages point to sites that looked interesting at the tome but that aren't really interesting or to sites that loose their relevance after a few weeks/months. The printouts do keep accumulating though. When I check them one or two months later lots of things turn out to be irrelevant. Things that are still seem interesting after two months get stored and visited. The rest should be thrown out.
Which is what I am doing now.

And, thanks to my brother I got some information about sending money around the world without physically packing it. Unfortunately most of them require the recipients account number. And all of them incur a rather hefty mark-up. The good POP (Plain Old Postal) protocol looks more convenient.

Why is there a 'best before' date on a cup of sour cream?


Kaptain's log. Kelshon, Guardian date 2001.0035    

Week 06, 2001 ,Svenson

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2001-02-05  ,  Monday      MMI-xxxvi


We were in for yet another warm and wet day. No, not tropical, just too warm (9C in the mornin) for a Belgian winter. And the wetness isn't like a tropical rainstorm but more like a nagging drizzle.
Current temp is 18.7C in and 8.7C out.

I did the testing of the adaptations of the invoicing. The change was to the main part of the actual invoicing program which means some deep and tedious testing is needed. We cannot have the invoicing going wrong.
Together with testing the invoicing I tested the OrderLine Error log cleaning. The clearing happens after shipping a complete order, just like invoicing which happens after shipping. I picked out one problem here. Again testing for *On while it should have been *Off.

Because I have meddled a bit with XML Sandri assumes I am an XML expert. So he has me assisting him in finding out the workings of an interface to the XML parser that IBM developed for the AS/400. The problem with that parser is that is written in C (or C++) and interfacing that with our classical RPG isn't simple. Things like pointers and sub procedures and function calls are rather new. Well they aren't exactly new but they are seldom used, you don't rewrite a program just to use a new language feature, especially not when it make the coding more complex.
After a few hours work with the debugger we worked out how one of the examples worked so now Sandri builds some functions into his own programs for trying out the stuff.

And I pick up a problem in Progress. In TeleSales it is possible to make two orders at the same time by starting the order entry function twice. This is not normally done of course, this is call centre software, to work on two orders at a time you would be talking to two customers at the same time. Which would be confusing. And indeed the computer gets confused. All the item numbers and description on the first opened order become replaced by a single value until the second order is closed. The problem is limited to a single screen browser, asking the details of one of the lines presents the correct line details, including the original item.
I guess Ronny would solve this in five minutes. I struggle for hours without even getting close to understanding what is actually happening.


At home my cleanup operation continues.
I actually found my Genius Tarckball back, under some stacks of paper. I used that for years, preferring it over a mouse fur normal navigation and selection. It is a bit less convenient for drag and dropping and all but useless for graphics, painting and drawing are wrist and elbow actions. But for simple point and click work I still prefer a good, large track ball.
I also found my old set of calligraphy pens but I am afraid I lost that skill. Damn keyboards don't write like delicate pens ye know <g>

Why, in the US, do they use sterile needles for people on death-row?


Kaptain's log. Kelshon, Guardian date 2001.0036    

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2001-02-06  ,  Tuesday      MMI-xxxvii


Never give up
Never Give Up.


Kaptain's log. Kelshon, Guardian date 2001.0037    

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2001-02-07  ,  Wednesday      MMI-xxxviii


Grey and to warm. Wet also of course but much less so, with soft rain (or was that heavy drizzle?) both in the morning and evening but dry in between. Hey we even got to see a glimpse of that big spotlight out there (mainly as reflection in my screen :~| .
Current temp is 18.8C in and 8.4C out.

Do I have to tell anyone I need more hours per day?
Got it to busy yesterday for daynoting. And I didn't even get much of anything done. And today was more of the same.
There is a discussion going on, one level up (architects and managers) about the 'availability to promise' function. ATP is the function where a sales person can check the level of the stock to see if an order can be allocated. If there isn't enough stock the order can still be made but shipping will probably be delayed. While OLI managed all the logistics and warehouses ATP was no problem, you just called an OLI program which returned the needed data.
Now however OCE is restructuring its warehouse policy in Europe and the warehouse maintenance is done with SAP. So for ATP we must check in OLI and, depending in the returned warehouse, check in SAP as well. All the what and when and where checking is now under discussion.
Of course there is no decent documentation so someone (only one guess allowed) has to come up with a clear picture of the current, actual situation.

I called Ronny again (didn't have time yesterday even for that). His knee is improving but he is getting bored with inactivity. If things keep going as they are he may be back some time next week.
I had been looking into the problem with TeleSales that I mentioned on Monday and he confirmed that I was indeed looking at the right part of the program. I also checked where I had to look for the ATP function in TeleSales so maybe I can have a peek at that tomorrow.

And then Koen did notice he had a problem with the price list program. He did build a function to print out (virtually) a price list. He did not include any coding for conditions, his list just shows the 'catalogue prices' not the actual prices a customer will have to pay. Special actions, blanket reductions, extra fees, etc. were all ignored. Of course that is the most tricky part of the calculation program.
The easiest solution (and there is a deadline approaching fast so that is what will happen) is to call the actual calculation program with a dummy order and pick up the prices from that. The best solution is to adapt (read throw it all out and start from scratch) the calculation routine, making a price server from it. I would love to do that but of course I would need time for it.
Rewriting it would also fit in better with the modular approach we have for the validations in TeleSales. It would probably suit the Italians as well.


Oh, I did prepare some daynote parts at work but, as I explained to Dan Bowman I forgot to pass it over. Maybe I will warm it up again for tomorrow.

I have been struggling with my Linux installation. Well, not with the installation itself. but now that I want to actually use the box I am hitting walls every where.
A first problem is probably hardware. I got Oswal (win98) and Aria (Cladera Linux) on the same screen via a KVM. whenever I switch from Aria to Oswal and back (after more than 10 minutes) Aria just refuses to recognise the mouse. And I haven't found out (yet) how to manage KDE with only the keyboard so I do a hard reset... don't tell, I know I shouldn't but ..
Next, I have got eDesktop with KDE running and I had placed an icon for the floppy disk on my desktop. Did that with the KDE set-up wizard. But I cannot get at the floppy. Double clicking the icon gives a "could not read file : /auto/floppy. File doesn't exist or access denied". or, "Could not mount. Error log: mount: can't find /proc/9506/fd in /etc/fstab or /etc/mtab" . Neither message helps me any further.
(Exactly the same problem occurs with the CD drive. Of course.)
I am not giving up yet (I am a bit of a frog) but it is eating time and effort.

Why is it that ones nose 'runs' and ones feet 'smell' ?


Kaptain's log. Kelshon, Guardian date 2001.0038    

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2001-02-08  ,  Thrursday      MMI-xxxix


A bit overcast with some drizzly drops of rain in the morning. Most of the say however is sunny (brightly so) and windy. With two short but intense showers while driving home in the evening.
Current temp is 19.6C in (remember I have no heating on this attic) and 7.1C out.

I completed the documentation for the OLI sourceing and the OLI availability check as it is being used from OMSI-3. Looks good and now I more or less understand it.
So I start sniffing out how things are handled in the Progress side of TeleSales.

Halfway trough I join in the discussion between Theo and Koen about the price list he is making. The calculation routine will be rewritten (by me?) but because this will take to much time Koen has to use the calculation routine as it stands now. Not difficult but rather more work than he planned for. The solution is temporal of course.
And alternative temporal solution would have me adapting the calculation but that would mean checking and possible adaptation work for the opco's. So we don't do that. Now.

We found a problem with prs14638. This should be the same as prs14639 but pertaining to v8. Of course it wasn't, one of the objects (XML_ file) wasn't included in it. Which of course caused problems in Italy. Luckily they have both v8 and v9 so they could copy the file over.
Apart from this they were missing a complete prs containg the files for executing the Catalog update. Usually we send files and programs in the same prs but this time we send the files long before the programs were ready. And then Theo forgot to mention the older prs in the program documentation.


There is something not entirely right with my mail. I did send a bunch of stuff to myself (from work to home) and some things didn't arrive. On top of that, about half the times I did check my mail the Mailbank server didn't respond.
Now, if I am missing mail from myself I may just as well miss out some mail from other people. So if you did send something and didn't get a reply please send again ( to jan_at_swijsen-dot-com).

It is not what you give but that you give that matters.


Kaptain's log. Kelshon, Guardian date 2001.0039    

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2001-02-09  ,  Friday      MMI-xxxx


We get our customary morning drizzle. Once that is cleared we enjoy (behind the screen with the blinds closed) a bright and sunny day. Which closes down for the night with a short burst of rain. All that clear weather does imply that its is cooler again.
Current temp is 17.7C in and -2C out.

I have been checking the Progress programs and trying to document what they do. Progress is an event driven language which requires a completely different approach to what I am used to on the AS/400. And the syntax looks a bit like a cross between COBOL (which I know superficially) and Visual Basic (which I don't know at all).
I manage to complete the investigation and I think I know a good method to incorporate the required alterations for the availability check.

And Sandri called on me for some help with his XML parser project. This time I haven't got a clue about the solution he is looking for. The parser (in C++) uses a stream file as input. We are using RPG and a special wrapper to call the parser but RPG doesn't know stream files. In an earlier test we passed a (pointer to the) filename (from the IFS side of the AS/400) to the parser. Now Sandri wants to run the parser on some local internal datastructure of the AS/400 program. Of course internal data isn't a stream. I am not sure if what he wants is possible.


Any tool can be used for good or bad. http://www.theregister.co.uk/content/6/16694.html .

The dot.com death rate has proven that there is a difference between the InterNet is not a SafetyNet.


Kaptain's log. Kelshon, Guardian date 2001.0040    

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2001-02-10  ,  Saturday      MMI-xxxxi


Nicely cold in the morning (about -4C) with clear skies. Yep, no rain today, only sun. O course once the sun went down the clouds come in for a refreshing bout of falling moister.
Current temp 14.8C in and 3.1C out.

Shopping. Standard stuff, wine, food, the works ye know. Nothing that moves electrons around though.
(I know things like chocolate contains electrons and when you move it around the ele... . But you know what I mean )

The rest of the day is also spend on standard Saturday stuff. Resting.

I did get a nice mail ( comming from intro@mygeek.com ) :

You are receiving this e-mail because you opted-into receive special offers from an online purchase you have made in the last 6 months. Your e-mail address was acquired from marketsharerecovery.com, who identified you as an interested, opt-in consumer.
To unsubscribe, please click here.
Oh, btw, I haven't purchased anything on the web yet.
Maybe we should send people who do this type of thing on a free sledge tour to the Northpole (I hear the ice is melting there)
Or to some place in North Carolina

Why is lemonade full of artificial stuff while there is real lemon in soap?


Kaptain's log. Kelshon, Guardian date 2001.0041    

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2001-02-11  ,  Sunday      MMI-xxxxii


The heat is back on (7C in the morning) as are the clouds. I does stay dry however. Better than grey and wet but only by so much.
Current temp is 18.3C in and 9.6C out.

Running of course (well actually on course of course, I am not an off road runner). A bit warm and my running condition isn't all to well, taking over an hour for about 15km.

In the afternoon I spent some time acquiring scratches and punctures while pruning the fire thorn brush. I have now done about a quarter of it so in five or six weekend time it'll be finished. If I don't scratch my self to death first.

To stay in kitchen form I make apple-fritter. Of course I make too much of it and then I eat to much of it.


Kaptain's log. Kelshon, Guardian date 2001.0042    

Week 07, 2001 ,Svenson

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2001-02-12  ,  Monday      MMI-xxxxiii


Warm (9C), dry and overcast in the morning. Lasting well into the afternoon when it begins to rain softly. Soft or not it is wet and unwelcome.
Current temp is 15.7C in and 9.3C out.

I mentioned yesterday that I made apple-fritter (sliced of apple, coated with a special patter and fried) and that I ate too much of it. And I was not the only one.
The result is that we are suffering an epidemical outbreak of diarrhoea. The worst type I have ever had. Except my father, he only suffers mildly from it, but then he normally suffers from severe constipation. He didn't need hi medicine this time <g> (or should that be <seg>)
Anyway, I slept no more than five minutes last night. By noon normal body functions seemed to pick up again.
We all still think it tasted wonderful but I won't make it again anytime soon.


Ronny was back today. Slightly limping but that isn't bothersome while sitting at a computer. The biggest problem, and the main reason why he didn't come a week earlier, is that he has to commute about 380km (to and from) a day with a damaged right knee. That alone would be bad but than he has to go to physiotherapy so he has to leave early making car pooling impossible.
Well, he is back and, after the obligatory gossip exchange, firmly at work. Starting of with checking out the changes I made in Progress. I didn't break a thing, and my documentation was spot on, not too bad for a complete novice at Progress.

In between my toilet visits I finished the Code file cleanup program (prm008r in v8) and got that transferred to system test. and I almost finished adding the same code-file cleaning function to the Hierarchical Classification building program (prm008r in v9). There is a lot of difference between the v8 and the v9 versions of that program because the v9 came first and acts on files that don't exits in the v8 release.

Oh yes, I also finish a new file definition for Koen.


Just maybe, Linux is developing something like a business plan that is not entirely built on a hot air and sand mixture. Acording to www.theregister.co.uk/content/4/16811.html

When teflon us used in pans because it doesn't stick,
How do they get it fixed to the pan?


Kaptain's log. Kelshon, Guardian date 2001.0043    

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2001-02-13  ,  Tuesday      MMI-xxxxiv


The day starts off overcast, dry and warm (7C) and stays that way until about noon. That's when the sun makes a re appearance after taking a few days off. So then we suffer brilliant sunshine with beautiful silver clouds.
Current temp is 17.2C in and 1.1C out.

We had a (long overdue) discussion about the validations built into TeleSales. There is not much need for change, just a few details mostly restricting the flexibility. We had made it to flexible (some necessary validation could be switched off causing trouble down the line). I do expect however that we will need to add extra (new) flexibility later on.
I worked on the changes and on te documentation for this.

And I made some changes to the file I build yesterday and then handed it over to Koen.

And I got more work than time.

And ...


How are they going to distinguish between normal click-trough pictures and advertisements. theregister.co.uk/content/6/16840.html
IMO worrying stuff if a third party is allowed to alter web pages.

When it takes 10 years to build a good reputation,
it will take 20 yeas to recover from that one mistake.


Kaptain's log. Kelshon, Guardian date 2001.0044    

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2001-02-14  ,  Wednesday      MMI-xxxxv


After giving a good performance Yesterday the sun understandably sleeps in to day and only comes out of hiding in the afternoon. Just to play hide-and-seek with the clouds. Very annoying all that varying light intensity spilling trough the slits of the blinds.
Current temp is 14.3C in and 0.2C out.

After the discussion about the validations I trash about with the documentation till I get something presentable.

Before I can start on some of the program changes I got a request from Jan Geurts to help out with some problem in the TeleSales installation in France. Last year ( http://www.sjonsvenson.com/hist/200051.html#mm355 ) Wilbert passed some TeleSales task over to me. The first issue I should tackle then was a problem in ... France. We were going to do this together so he could show me how things were done. Halfway trough that session we had to stop because some other urgent problem came in.
Today I should pick that same problem up again, obviously nobody in France has been working on that stuff. So I get back to wilbert and we work on the problem.

Hey, the second time I leave work to admire that afterglow of a sunset.
Usually it is dark. Obviously the days are lengthening.


My father got a call from the hospital.
A few years back (1992 actually) he had an operation to have his right carotic artery scooped out because it was clogged up. Of course the left side was clogged up as well, a bit less so but still. They didn't do both at the same time. Now he will have that left side scooped out and 'repaired'.
They said they would warn about a week in advance about a date, of course they called somewhere around noon, telling him to be present 'tomorrow morning' for preliminary checks and surgery on Friday. Tomorrow morning however he must go to his kidney-dialysis so he cannot be there.
The operation is still on Friday but they will do the preliminaries a bit faster tomorrow afternoon.

Why don't you ever find cat food with mouse taste?


Kaptain's log. Kelshon, Guardian date 2001.0045    

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2001-02-15  ,  Thursday      MMI-xxxxvi


Oeps, the car was frosted over thickly this morning. Just -2C but lots of mist. And adverse road conditions. Once the mist lifted we had sun, morn till eve, decorating a perfect blue sky. Culminating in a glorious sunset with thin bands of mist lifting slowly off the ground.
Current temp is 15.4C in and 1.5C out.

I didn't get my post out yesterday due to time outs. Congestion on the Super Highway I assume.

Did I mention France yesterday?
The French don't seem to have an 'application manager' assigned to the TeleSales project. The result is that nobody ever knows what has been done nor how things were done nor where things have been placed. No one is taking the responsibility.
All the steps required to install (and upgrade) TeleSales is explained in the manual. With precise direction about locations and names of files and directories and with required user/owner profiles and passwords.
They chose not to follow the manual (if they opened it at all). This of course results in problems where some steps were simply not executed (like the copying of the stddb data from the .zip file) or where some steps don't complete correctly (like where the installing user didn't have authority to add/update files in the install directory).

In order to provide support I had to use Microsoft NetMeeting. Which is quite a temperamental program to set up. Once it runs it keeps running (must have been relative recently acquired by M$ so they didn't have time to put too many bugs in <g> ).
I am new to NetMeeting and we don't have documentation for it so ... I wrote a narrow manual. (Narrow = only hitting the points we actually use.)

And I got a 'bug report' from Italy. They are currently using v7.08 but want to switch to v7.09. While checking the programs for changes they see a 'bug' in the Report to General Ledger program. It sounds like a bug but it is in some old code and the resultant fields has been used in a well tested new part. No errors were reported while testing that. So more time gets lost on investigating that.
Without getting a solution, so I know what's on the menu tomorrow.


Oh, I explained the hospital situation about my father yesterday.
Well, there was a change of plan. After all the preliminaries the main doctor passed by and told my father that Friday was overbooked so the operation would be on Monday. And, btw, no you cannot go home now because we already set you up for your kidney dialysis on Saturday. So now he spends three days in hospital, idle, lost. Just because the screw up one planning but keep rigidly to another planning.
Merits a Piffle at least.

Don't ascribe to malice, what you yourself have done wrong once.


Kaptain's log. Kelshon, Guardian date 2001.0046    

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2001-02-16  ,  Friday      MMI-xxxxvii


A thin layer of ice again but at just 0C it doesn't pose a problem at all. While the ice was thin the mist was thick. Although. Once te sun's up and burning it too about ten minutes to get rid of the mist. In the afternoon the mist came back, in force, cutting visibility to a just over a hundred meters. And we got rain. Spooky that combination of mist and rain. Current temp is 13.4C in and 3.5C out.

I munched trough some more validations stuff and I hammered out a bit of documentation about the Italian 'problem'.
I am pretty sure the bug isn't one. The field they propose for filling is already passed to the general ledger while the field currently used isn't. It all looks like an inappropriate field name. Like calling a field 'accounting classification code' and then regularly putting the business unit in it.


If you thought M$ was a monopoly now, think again !
They are shooting high. http://www.theregister.co.uk/content/4/16959.html . They may even hit hard against Linux that way, delaying its conquest of the desktop.
Right on the way to a real monopoly.
btw, check Bob's comments about it as well, he is a better commentator then me.

And Intel grabs some from the overclockers bag to get their P4 up to speed. http://www.theregister.co.uk/content/3/16970.html . Early in the life cycle of that processor methinks.


The hospital situation changed again. They will not do the operation on Monday but on Wednesday. So my father is back home for his regular dialysis tomorrow. he goes back Sunday evening for another dialysis on Monday. On Tuesday he gets yet another dialysis. It is somewhat like a Thompsom TM deep clean of his internal systems. Only a bit more painful.
Then on Wednesday he gets the operation.


Kaptain's log. Kelshon, Guardian date 2001.0047    

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2001-02-17  ,  Saturday      MMI-xxxxviii


Just misty and cool this morning. Later on the mist gets wetter and drizzly. Like rain that is unwilling to yield to gravity.
Current temp is 13.2C in and 2.1C out.

Shopping. Usually my father does the shopping for regulars on Friday but of course this week he didn't so I get to bring back the stuff. So in stead of my regular leisure walk trough town picking up wine and fruit I get to run the supermarket course, loading up on meat and vegetable.

I did pick up a pretty good piece of beef for roasting, with haricots. Best beef we have had for some time.

In the afternoon my brother comes by for swapping some wires connecting the electricity meter to the fuse box. We are ordering a new counter with different day and night meters. So I help him out with that. He also has to do some emergency repairs on the water supply to the washing machine.
And we shift some large concrete bars, delimiting the lawn in the garden. That lawn is more moss than grass so we are planning on re-laying the whole stuff next winter. We got to start work on the borders now and move on to the lawn itself later.

Oh, btw I just ordered a new car, another Fiat of course, to replace my five year old Ulysse. That has almost reached 300.000 km so it is pretty well ready for retirement.

So much for this being a rest day.

If a schizophrenic threatens with suicide,
can he be arrested for taking a hostage?


Kaptain's log. Kelshon, Guardian date 2001.0048    

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2001-02-18  ,  Sunday      MMI-il


Nicely 0C, without ice when I get out to run at 5:45, with ice when I get back. One hour later still te ice is gone again, converted into some sort of low cloud or high mist. We don't get much in the way of sun. Just a typical Belgian grey day.
Current temp is 14.3C in and 3.0C out.

Running starts of rather bad with stiff legs (mainly the right one). Things gradually improve though and by the time I get back home, about an hour later, I am running quite relaxed.

I didn't really rest much yesterday so I catch up today.

I did a complete wipe of Aria and I reinstalled Linux. And I end up again without getting at the floppy drive. I am clue less here. I installed DOS and Win98 and both had no problem with the floppy. And Caldera eDesktop 4 is convinced the floppy is not readable. I had the same problem with Caitlan So I suspect the problem is Caldera related.
I have a Mandrake 7.1 CD somewhere hidden here, I'll try that next weekend.

If it freeze 0C today and they predict it will be "twice as cold" tomorrow,
what kind of weather will we get?


Kaptain's log. Kelshon, Guardian date 2001.0049    

Week 08, 2001 ,Svenson

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2001-02-19  ,  Monday      MMI-l


A bit warmer, no ice of course, and beautiful broken indigo to black clouds with, by the time I get in Venlo a soft pastel background showing trough the cracks. We get a few rays of sun, it still takes till noon before the sun swings out from behind the main building to reflect in my screen. Five minutes later the clouds reunite into a dull grey mass. With some drops of rain in the evening.
Current temp is 12.2C in and 3.2C out.

I finally complete the validations programs. So I can wrap that up (for a few weeks at least).

And Jan comes around with a question I mailed him about a month ago. I don't remember the question anymore so I have to dig up the original mail (he forwarded it back to me but the screen prints got lost) and Ronny jogs my two and a half memory cells.
Jan claimed (and still does) that it is possible to make an order based on an order with a different address. It is possible in OMSI-3 () and not in TeleSales so he demands it there as well. I tried in OMSI-3 and I didn't succeed so I asked him to demonstrate the procedure.
Well he comes over with a big smile to 'show these young uns how it is done'. And about an hour later he moved of. No new function is needed in TeleSales. <g> .


After work I go to the hospital, visiting my father. There are no new changes in plan. With the operation scheduled on Wednesday morning. If all goes well he may be released on Saturday.
So expect short posts (or complete gaps) till then. I get up at 5:45 to get to work in time and I get back from the hospital at around 21:30. That schedule doesn't leave much time for daynoting.

In Basket Ball you can get a 'time out'.
Why don't we get that in life?


Kaptain's log. Kelshon, Guardian date 2001.0050    

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2001-02-20  ,  Tuesday      MMI-li


A nice promising morning with less clouds than yesterday. It does turn grey sooner though and while there are a few flashes of sun that is not enough to brighten up the day.
Current temp is 12.5C in and 1.5C out.

I got a reply from John, from OFI, about the problem the Italians found in the General ledger posting. It turns out the Italians were right. They found a bug that has been surviving for more than four years, with at least two very thorough complete process test periods. So I got to exterminate it at last.

Nothing much happens further so I do catch up on some lose ends.


My father is fine. Of course, they still have to start cutting. That's for tomorrow morning, around eight so I am not sure he will be back on his room in the evening or still recovering in the intensive care ward.

When dragons fly you don't have to guard your back.


Kaptain's log. Kelshon, Guardian date 2001.0051    

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2001-02-21  ,  Wednesday      MMI-lii


Lots of grey clouds with the occasional break. the breaks aren't long enough to close the blinds, just turning the head to the side and blinking a few time and the cloud cover is back.
Current temp is 11.9C in and 2.0C out.

I did nothing today. Lots of it.

The surgery went well. At first they said he had to stay in intensive till tomorrow morning but he was back in his room at around eight (20:00). Not bad. Not bad atal.

And I made me a batch of rice with curry and some pieces of chicken. Great, too much and a bit late.

When dragons fly you don't have to guard your back.


Kaptain's log. Kelshon, Guardian date 2001.0052    

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2001-02-22  ,  Thursday      MMI-liii


Grey clouds again. With grey mist in the morning. We had two breaks in the grey clouds lasting for about 3 minutes. Combined. In the afternoon lots of drizzle was falling from the grey overhead covering.
Did I mention it was a grey day?
Current temp is 11.0C in and 3.1C out.

At work I did mostly the same thing as yesterday. Lots of nothing. I feel like a fire-fighter, putting out many small fires, just waiting for the big one.


Doesn't look good does it? www.theregister.co.uk/content/2/17003.html Or get a link-fest here www.theregister.co.uk/content/2/17009.html . Is there anything wrong with SCSI and FireWire disks?


Dad is much better. Although.
Normally he has kidney dialysis on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, 3 time a week. This week he had dialysis on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday. And it shows. Now they are taking about giving him another go tomorrow. And of course he has Saturday coming up as well. My guess he is not going to get it tomorrow. Unless they tie him up.
Shouldn't be necessary either.

When dragons fly you don't have to guard your back.


Kaptain's log. Kelshon, Guardian date 2001.0053    

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2001-02-23  ,  Friday      MMI-liv


It was cloudy and overcast this morning, remnants of yesterday. From about 9:00 onwards gradually widening breaks occurred and by noon be had some lovely open sunny skies. With a hailstorm (under full sunshine, beautifull!) thrown in at 16:00. Later we had rain, snow, more hail, more rain, and (goining on at this time) more snow...
Anything except sun.
Current temp is 99.9C in and 00.0C out.

A new problem cropped up in Italy yesterday in the XML filling routine.
To begin with they had a problem sending their data via FTP to the NT server here in Venlo. As an interim measure we moved it from AS/400 to AS/400 and than to the NT server (over the local network). It turned out that the file was a bit too big for the NT. Well 5Meg isn't too big but if you set FTP for a 15 minute time out and then send 5Meg over a slow line ....
So we got the XML on the NT resulting in an data-type error. Turns out that 5 records (on a total of 237858) had a spurious character added. Strangely enough it was all on the weight field. I did a quick (really) manual correction on the data (to get the catalog process back on track) and than spent some hours searching for a possible problem. Which I didn't find. I did add some extra initialisation to the code.
We will test again on Monday, directly on the Italian database.


Sensible decision. Just proves IBM does listen. You just have to scream hard enough. http://www.theregister.co.uk/content/2/17107.html


He is back home.
The original estimate was for getting my father back home next Monday. Things went better than expected. He has a big pad on the side of his neck and difficulty turning his head and part of the stitched up slit is visible. A bit Frankenstein like <g>.
But we are not complaining. (yet) <g>

A sleeping dragon is more dangerous than a wake one.


Kaptain's log. Kelshon, Guardian date 2001.0054    

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2001-02-24  ,  Saturday      MMI-lv


Cloudy again this morning, this time including snow, at various intensities during the morning. We do get a few sunny hours in the afternoon leading into the night.
Current temp is 13.2C in and -6.1C out.

Shopping. My father is back home but not really in shape so I do the regular shopping run. With a short visit to town for wine and fruit. The computer shop is closed though so I am still without wireless stuff.

I also take care of lunch (simply beefsteak and cauliflower ).

And of course the ink in the printer runs out in the evening just while I am printing a photograph from my fathers neck. He looks a bit Frankenstein like with those big stitches running down from behind his ear. <g> .

At least one thing is easy with computers, ...
getting behind schedule.


Kaptain's log. Kelshon, Guardian date 2001.0055    

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2001-02-25  ,  Sunday      MMI-lv1


Icy cold (well lots of ice and about -7C) in the morning. After sunrise the most of the ice is melted away fast and, clothed in something black it even feels warm. Where the sun doesn't reach the ice doesn't melt though, showing the real temperature. In the afternoon we get a new packet of snow, replacing the melted stuff.
Current temp is 14.8C in and -0.8C out.

Dry and cold and no wind. And good running.

I make tomato soup in the morning. With a good handful of red and green spicy peppers. While cleaning and chopping that I get some under my right thumb nail, causing a hot, burning feeling that lasts all day. Oh, the soup is delicious.

Things are not going too well with my father. He has a known problem with his heart (probably his next surgical adventure) sometimes going too fast or beating unregularly. Normally he only suffers pain from that about once or twice a month. Since the operation he has got that pain at least once a day. I suspect the operation strained his hart more than expected. We have some pills that help but if this goes on a few more days he may have to return to hospital soon.

Ants are small and weak, yet they are about the most successful animals on earth.


Kaptain's log. Kelshon, Guardian date 2001.0056    

Week 09, 2001 ,Svenson

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2001-02-26  ,  Monday      MMI-lvii


Less cold than yesterday morning, about -2C, but much more ice. It has been freezing and than some under cooled rain fell. Forming a thick bumpy layer of ice, with individual raindrops sticking out. Most of the roads were clear though. Once I hit them it started to snow. Joy. By evening all the snow was gone again.
Current temp is 14.7C in and -1.7C out.

I have been analysing validation-10. This was implemented in TeleSales on the Progress side by Ronny and on the AS/400 side by Mark. Now the Progress side gets removed but of course the whole function must still be preserved so I had to find out the differences.
And I did find some. Well almost the whole method and all but two field tests are different while they should have been the same.
So I got some extra work.

And Ronny noticed that the SAP people had changed part of their interface. Of course they didn't bother to inform us. Why, breaking someone else's programs is just fun. What is fun though is that they added a feature that they pulled out a week or so ago. I told Theo then that they would come back on that decision but he was sceptical.


I worked some more on my accounting sheet in Lotus-123. Even with a few unexpected expenses I keep a surplus. Now how do I get a surplus displayed in blue (and a deficit in red)?
Hmm, must check the manual.

If mais-oil is made by squeezing mais, and olive-oil by squeezing olives,
how do they make baby-oil ?


Kaptain's log. Kelshon, Guardian date 2001.0057    

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2001-02-27  ,  Tuesday      MMI-lviii


Almost as cold as yesterday but no ice at all. And no rain throughout the day. just sun that got veiled a bit by high, thin clouds. In the afternoon thicker clouds started greying up the sky.
Current temp is 15.0C in and 2.7C out.

My father was a bit better yesterday but tonight he had trouble again. So I didn't sleep much.

Yesterday and today are holidays in the Netherlands. Traffic is low (and fast) and the office is almost empty. Which means almost no distractions.

It also means I am interim BOFH <eg>

I did get the validation-10 problem hammered down. A bit like pushing square blocks trough round holes, if you push hard enough you will succeed.
And I tested the Italian XML_ problem some more and prepared it for shipping. I will send it tomorrow and check the results later (with crossed fingers). If it still doesn't work I will have to pull it trough the debugger working remotely on the Italian system. The issue is that only 5 out of more than 58.000 numeric conversion go wrong. That is like looking for a broken wooden needle in a haystack. With boxing gloves on.


And I discussed the transfer of Cindy. Peter is going for a new computer because Cindy (Celeron400,96MB,i810) was not behaving and he intended to give Piet, his brother in law, a computer (replacing an old i386). So I scrubbed her down to bare aluminium and reinstalled Win98.
Of course after scrubbing and reinstalling (only Win98, WordPerfect 6.0 and Lotus Smart Suite) all the misbehaving is history.

... and how do they squeeze whales for whale oil?


Kaptain's log. Kelshon, Guardian date 2001.0058    

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2001-02-28  ,  Wednesday      MMI-lix


Dry and only a little bit cloudy. Providing a nice sunrise with some black silhouetted clouds over a light red horizon. And the large breaks remain with us all day so we get a lot of sun.
Current temp is 17.1C in and 3.4C out.

It turns out that I will have to redesign validation-10 again. Completely. the problem is that this must compare the current order with all the previous orders over a set period. The aim is to prevent phoned in orders that get a FAX confirmation to be entered twice (once while on the phone and again later when the fax comes in).
The way it now works is that the order must be exactly the same. Just changing the sequence of order lines is enough to make it look like a different order while it isn't really.

I do handle a few extra things in between.


I intended to post this Yesterday but some how it slipped.
They are trying everything possible and then some. http://www.theregister.co.uk/content/6/17177.html . Now why do I see that mental image of a dying dinosaur?

Your honour, " explained the young man, "I'd like to get married, please."
"All right, what is your age?"
"I'm 22, sir."
"And the age of the bride?"
"She's 15, sir."
"15??? That's too young -- marrying you would be against the law!"
"I see, " said the young man. "Could you try explaining that to the fella next to her with the shotgun?"


Kaptain's log. Kelshon, Guardian date 2001.0059    

March, 2001 ,Svenson

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2001-03-01  ,  Thursday      MMI-lx


More clouds but not enough to completely close up. And by noon we had a mostly blue sky. Then we had a band of ominous black clouds passing over. It turned dark as if night fell for about half an hour after which it cleared out again. Not to blue but to a light shade of grey. Later, continuing into the night we had rain.
Current temp is 17.2C in and 1.1C out.

I fiddled a bit with the validation-10 but I didn't get into it. So I picked up another pending issue from my to-do list.
It is possible (required) to build up a customer profile based on past orders. The problem is that when you rebuild the profiles you must first delete the existing ones. Which of course is not possible when other jobs lock the files. Normally a file gets locked only briefly, while a transaction is performed. The Progress Database Server doesn't work this way. The server jobs put a non-exclusive lock on all the files that they open. That 'non-exclusive' means anyone can manipulate (add, change, delete) records but no one can change the file (rename, clear, delete, ...).
So I converted the pro012r program to RPG-IV and added an error trap to it. Now I still need to add some active rescheduling routine that puts the program on a queue that executes after the Progress server jobs have stopped. Now TOS also uses these Progress server jobs and unlike TeleSales (which starts a new server for each client session) a TOS server job doesn't stop when the client stops.
This could develop into an 'interesting' problem.


I have been annoyed with Kedit for some time now because it wasn't doing line wrapping. I positively hate a horizontal scroll bar in almost any program (exceptions are graphics and spreadsheets). In Kedit you can set line wrapping on or off but that doesn't affect the text you are viewing at the time. My first conclusion was It Doesn't Work.
Now I found out it is worse than that.
When I paste something in from another document the pasted text doesn't wrap. If I type new text it wraps correctly. However if I change something in an unwrapped part of a document, like adding/deleting a character it wraps all the text from the cursor position onward. Sounded OK until I noticed it not only wraps lines but also removes carriage returns. After wrapping all the following paragraphs are strung together into one single (correctly wrapped) line.
That is not what I call acceptable behaviour in a released product. Free or not.
Of course it could be a problem with my installation CD but I don't have a bunch of different distro's laying around to verify that. And I don't plan on pulling an image trough my standard telephone line.

Another point I find disturbing with my Linux installation is that now I can access the CD drive even when not logged in as root. As I mentioned some weeks ago the CD was only accessible (mountable) by root. Logging off and on didn't help, rebooting didn't help. Even reinstalling the whole thing didn't help. I left the box switched off for about a week and now it works.
That is not what I would expect from real programmers. Maybe from Microsoft (or SUN or IBM or another company with comercial deadlines) but not from the Open source universe.


The CPRM dogfight continues. http://www.theregister.co.uk/content/2/17230.html

It is when dinosaurs became dinosours that they got extinct.


Kaptain's log. Kelshon, Guardian date 2001.0060    

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2001-03-02  ,  Friday      MMI-lxi


We got almost everything today. starting out with frost, than mist and fog, low clouds with drizzle (combined with fog and later without), then some snow. At noon we were inundated with sunlight. And I was driving home in the rain.
Current temp is 15.3C in and -1.1 out.

I did not finish anything but I was more than busy. I did add an auto screen refresh on the good old Life game (Conway) that I wrote in RPG some years ago. Basically they needed something like that in OSI and they asked me. Being the resident guru (sometimes) I felt obliged to finally come up with an applicable answer.

After the ray with my special dill sauce, which was not bad atall, I cleaned up my bedroom desk far enough to reach the keyboard and fired up Caitlan. She is running Linux (Caldera eDesktop) just like Aria. And I could get at the floppy drive, reading and writing to one. So maybe I should try to replace the floppy drive in Aria and attempt a new installation.
The Kedit problem is the same though so reinstalling won't solve that..

It is when your instincts aren't adequate that you become extinct


Kaptain's log. Kelshon, Guardian date 2001.0061    

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2001-03-03  ,  Saturday      MMI-lxii


Cool, just freezing but without frost, and clear in the morning but with clouds moving in even before the sun gets over the horizon. Which results in a completely grey (but dry) day.
Current temp is 17.2C in and -0.6C out.

My father is better so he did the regular shopping on Friday so I only had to get some wine and fruit. I did bring the PC and some extra components for my brother back as well. The wireless stuff hasn't arrived. Still. I guess someone is on his way with it. On foot from Taiwan.

And I did my regular weekend resting.

When you are 'footing the bill' for some job, do you need special shoes?
With studs maybe.


Kaptain's log. Kelshon, Guardian date 2001.0062    

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2001-03-04  ,  Sunday      MMI-lxiii


Again just freezing in the morning but without frost, just the beginning of snow, putting a thin layer of snow dust down. And when I get back from running it starts to snow with real fluffy flakes. The joy doesn't last however. By noon all the snow is gone and we are saddled with greyness.
Current temp is 15.4C in and 2.8C out.

Cool and nice running weather and not enough snow to be a bother. Good weekly self torture <g>

Some continued resting and some computer building.

As I mentioned yesterday I brought back a new PC for my brother. Masset often has a complete PC as 'month promotion'. The attraction of these systems is that they are (much) cheaper than getting the parts and assemble them my self. The disadvantage is that I cannot select the parts but most of them are top quality that I would choose myself. Another advantage is that the box can be delivered in a few days. February had an 800MHz Duron with 256MB and a 40Gig Maxtor drive. I declined on the screen (19inch) because I don't need yet another block of glass.

Today I opened the box because I wanted to replace the standard CD drive with a CD-RW and replace the internal modem (a real one with a Motorola chipset) with a network card.
Well opening the box was a first problem. I am used to boxes with a full metal slide off cover but this one has two side panels that slide and lift off (two screws each). The problem with sliding side panels is of course that they fit tightly and have no handles. Three broken nails and 20 minutes later I got the damned panels off.

Kirian, CD against moboSteven forgot to break out the case cut-out covers over the USB port. They bend inward so I have to remove the motherboard. The problem with this is that the board (actually a clock chrystal) is pressed against the side of the CD drive actually bending down a bit. And because the Plextor CD-RW is about a centimetre longer it just doesn't fit (hitting the capacitors). (And, as you can see the two other 5.25 drive bays aren't useable at all for anything other than 3.5inch devices.)
sorry about the quality but my camera isn't good at close-ups
Another potential problem stemming from the narrow case is that the fan on top of the CPU heat sink is just millimetres away from the completely closed bottom of the power supply. I am not confident about its cooling effectiveness.
Maybe this case is designed for a narrower motherboard and a slimmer heatsink (for a slower Celeron) but I am not sure about that. This is about the fourth case where I have a problem fitting a CD drive with an ATX board. And I am not counting my refurbishing attempt of the original IBM-AT case.
Damned cheap crappy case and probably not much different in price compared to a decent A-Open case.

One point of note is that I didn't ask for an operating system. Because I can only get to the shop on Saturday Steven had the box standing there forlorn. So he installed SUSE Linux on it. Nice surprise. Well not for Bill Gates but I don't care much about him. <g>

The result is that I will pass the box I was preparing for my father on to Peter because that, being built in a nice roomy A-Open case has space enough for the CD-RW. OK it has only a 700MHz Duron and just 128MB memory and a 'tiny' 30GB Maxtor drive.
Although I may mix up the various hardware parts from both systems that are now scattered around the attic.

You cannot misuse what cannot be used properly in the first place


Kaptain's log. Kelshon, Guardian date 2001.0063    

Week 10, 2001 ,Svenson

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2001-03-05  ,  Monday      MMI-lxiv


Cool and dry but cloudy. Almost the whole day, just a bit of weak sunlight in the afternoon.
Current temp is 11.9C in and 0.3C out.

Busy looking up stuff in TeleSales and in TOS. That is a combination of Progress and HTML with some Java script thrown in. Talking to and AS/400 DB/2 back side with RPG programs.
My Progress understanding is moving in leaps and bounds (leaps forward and bouncing backwards again <g> ).
I am getting better in Progress but I am not getting finished with that stupid Validation-10. I have got to redo that. (it is indeed re doing a validation, and I am not good a revalidation, not in hospital, not out of it :-)


Of course the 'greens' will be against it, and when it is leaked to the general public under a headline like 'Genetically manipulated oranges' by some by some nutty green journalist you can count on a fiasco. I am enthusiastic about it. http://www.newscientist.com/dailynews/news.jsp?id=ns9999478 .

Hey, you don't want to mix up with me, I am genetically modified
Just came back fromm sunning on the beach.


Kaptain's log. Kelshon, Guardian date 2001.0064    

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2001-03-06  ,  Tuesday      MMI-lxv


Nicely cold with loads of frost as a start into a bright sunshiny day. With only late at night some clouds paying a visit and leaving their rainy mark.
Current temp is 12.1C in and 1.2C out.

Sorry, I lost the day.
But I keep looking.


Kaptain's log. Kelshon, Guardian date 2001.0065    

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2001-03-07  ,  Wednesday      MMI-lxvi


Wet morning. It started to rain, hard, yesterday evening (around 22h00) and it only stopped this morning at around 9h00. But then it stopped to make way for bright untainted sunlight. Till sunset when we get some bright untainted moonlight.
Current temp is 16.9C in and 8.1C out.

Well, I have been searching but I didn't find anything. Another day lost in the mists of time.

I did some real work (on the validation-10) to day but again most time went to fire fighting.
The biggest timesink (tm of Dan Bowman ) was a problem in Norway. Some time ago Iwan had a problem with the W0 file that grew completely out of proportion, he had to cancel the job. Of course cancelling a job destroys much of the possibilities for tracking the problem so I couldn't help him then.
Now the same problem occurred and he mailed me. The problem is an endless loop in a program (prm034r) for the maintenance of conditions. Now I know hat to look for and I started to analyse the program. I will (hopefully) finish that tomorrow.
Apart from that I got a call from Robert, in Belgium, about the sequence in which the invoices get printed. Usually the batch invoices are printed at night followed by the cash-sales invoices that are printed the moment an order gets status 'shipped'. This morning some cash-sales invoices were printed before the batch invoices (even though their 'batch' number was later). I have no explanation for this without seeing the system logs and even then there is probably nothing I can do.
A one off event I suspect.
And I have been waiting on a phone from Italy. But they never called.
And I have been looking in on TOS for a time.
And I ....

...well just a standard day in the mines, I'd say.


Hard to ignore http://www.theregister.co.uk/content/2/17419.html . And hard to swallow.

Is this a high flier or what? ( from Zannah )

Making something foolproof is difficult,
making something childproof is very difficult,
making something Syroid proof is close to impossible, but
making something Landon proof is impossible.


Kaptain's log. Kelshon, Guardian date 2001.0066    

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2001-03-08  ,  Thursday      MMI-lxvii


After a wet morning we survived a mixed sunny / cloudy day. With lots of soft rain and mostly warm. With a nice setting sun framed by glowing clouds.
Current temp is 17.3C in and 7.3C out.

We had to solve a small problem with 'tool tips' on a HTML page. The HTML is generated by Progress programs and I assisted Ronny with the HTML part while he was typing the Progress code. After a relative short struggle we got the stuff working.
The problem with the tooltips is that they use the onmouseover method (that is javascript) to display the tip and onmouseover doesn't work on straight text. You need an image or a link to hook the method on. So we had to convert some text fields in a table into links. Of course the links don't link to anywhere and that won't do so we added targets as well (the "progress boys" -Sasha Bol - didn't put targets in so clicking on a dummy link jumps to the top or bottom of the page). We added the target to the same row in the table as the link so that the page doesn't jump up and down when you click.
Ronny tested that and noticed that when he clicked a link he got an hourglass cursor. Until he clicked a real link. He is using MSIE 4.0 with SP1. I tried it with NS 4.7 and MSIE 4.0 and I didn't get the hourglass cursor. So technically the solution is ready.
While testing on my machine I noticed that opening an existing order reacted as if I had just made a new order. All the heading data was missing.
That was not the problem we set out to solve but it was most definitive a problem that needed solving. So we did (by changing a trim command by a trim-right command). It took us the best part of six hours and the same problem possibly occurs in other places as well.

And then I spent some hours un-knotting the conditions program for Norway. I know a lot more now but I still didn't locate the exact spot where things go wrong. The big problem is that the program contains a lot of do-while loops that are constructed from goto statements. And goto's are the best way to make sure your spaghetti doesn't stay straight.

I didn't even have time to read my internal mail. Theo reminded me about one of the mails that needed an answer. The problem in this case was with code-pages. In Italy the # (alt-035) gets replaced by a £ (alt-163) character (for example). Of course the # is used in HTML and XML in defining special characters so the Italian item descriptions came out with unexpected formatting. Though nut to crack because the ( IBM supplied ) FTP program on the AS/400 does this conversion completely by itself.
This need more work (and discussions because other applications suffer the same maltreatment).

Why is everybody happy that the days are lengthening nicely?
I will get happy when they really lengthen beyond that meagre 24 hours!


Kaptain's log. Kelshon, Guardian date 2001.0067    

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2001-03-09  ,  Friday      MMI-lxviii


Again a mixed day with lots of cloud and rain. The rain never lasted long and never was heavy. It was never far off either. And there were sunny spells as well, never far off either.
Current temp is 17.4C in and 8.0C out.

Sorry, see tomorrow. My eyes are protesting and I have to increase the voltage to my brain, over clocking it, just to get it revving beyond sleep level.
Won't do, so I will cut it short.


Kaptain's log. Kelshon, Guardian date 2001.0068    

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2001-03-10  ,  Saturday      MMI-lxix


Mostly dry but cloudy in the early morning. After 10:00 we got rain in bursts of an hour interspersed by outbreaks of dryness lasting an hour as well.
Current temp is 17.2C in and 10.4C out.

What did I do yesterday?
I dug in and stared my eyes red on the Conditions maintenance program.
And I found the problem, solved it too.
The bug survived since 1996 without, seemingly, ever tripping someone up. The program got into a loop is a record in the item file was NOT found at some point, and stayed in the loop as long as the item was NOT found. Obviously both 'not's should be dropped. This means of course that the program never did what was expected from it, and nobody ever noticed. Of course this also means that the Norwegians have some contracts without items allocated to them which is probably a data error.
Now I got to explain of course that I searched about two days before finding such an 'obvious' error, a "do-while *on" in stead of a "do-while *off" .


My brother gave his 'old' (Celeron 400, 64Mb) PC to Piet (hid brother in law). He got an even older defect PC in return. A 386/25.
I plugged the PSU in a spare motherboard that I had lying around (from one of my firewall attempts), plugged the old display adapter (ISA) in and connected up the old power supply. And I switched it on. And I got a puff of real smoke (smelling like burning plastic) off the display adapter!!! The amazing thing was that, when the smoke had cleared, the adapter worked normal, I got a good BIOS display on the screen so the display adapter and the power supply (and my motherboard) worked. Of course without drives or keyboard attached I didn't get far. Far enough though to prove the PSU is all right so it is the old motherboard that somehow got cooked.
I disassembled that box further.

It is a DTK box and motherboard (PEM-2530) from 1988 in a reversed tower (drives at the bottom, expansion cards at the top) case. It got memory in four SIP modules, totalling 1MB (I think, it has got 9 Panasonic chips per module with NN41C1000ASJ-07 markings) and an empty custom memory expansion slot in-line with an 8bit ISA slot. And loads of small surface mount chips. A lot socketed as well. And of course a true Intel i386 chip in a definitively not ZIF socket (marked with "A80386DX-25 IV, SX218, L1141800, 1985" on top and "90515671EK, BZ 08" on the bottom).
Video was provided by a nameless Tridend based 16bit ISA card (trident TVGA8900B) with 256KB of memory. While the drives and parallel and serial ports were done by a typical multi-I/O card (TDK pti-217).
Someone worked on that PC because it's got two hard drives. Both Quantum Prodrive LPS, one a 52MB thing an the other a 270MB that got jumpered as slave and most likely added some time after the sale.

Hey, I love archaeology.

Archaeologist and palaeontologist learn most from the things discarded long ago.
The current 'green ness' obsessive 'recycling' mania is depriving future archaeologist of their most valuable data.


Kaptain's log. Kelshon, Guardian date 2001.0069    

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2001-03-11  ,  Sunday      MMI-lxx


Way too warm (for the season) all day. And way to wet (for my taste) with showers, some serious, distributed throughout the day. No sun whatsoever.
Current temp is 21.4C in and 11.3C out.

Running. To warm basically and dry, but there is a breeze cooling things down sufficiently. Just like last week my right leg, ankle and calve, remains stiff and a bit painful the first few kilometres.

In between the showers I do some pruning until the green box is filled. I'll continue next week.

And I swap components around for my brothers new PC. I want to put a CD-RW in it for backup purposes but it doesn't fit the case so I decided to use another case (as I explained last Sunday ).
Both systems have the same motherboard so I swap the processors (AMD Duron 700 and 850) around, struggling with these ridiculous large heat sinks, and I swap the memory around as well (128 and 256 DIMMs). I also move the 52x CD ROM drive out and the Plextor CR-RW drive in. After booting I find out that the reset button was wired up wrong. So back open the box to fix that.

And then I struggle to install a bunch of software. Oh dear!
This is a box for Peter but it will also be used by Martine so it needs Windows in Dutch. So I start to install Win98 and have to stop halfway trough because I don't have the codes here, they are at my brothers place.
Then I attempt to install Windows ME but that complains that it isn't an upgrade version and simply refuses to install on a system that got a partial and non functional Win98 install on it. So I start loading Linux because that has the only partition manager I have handy at the moment. I shrink the windows partition and add a second partition. I make the mistake of making that 20GB in size and telling Linux that it must be FAT16 type.
Later I install Win98 (English version) on the first partition and I get all sorts of problems with the second partition until I remember I made it FAT16. Which of course doesn't support the size. Well, in the end I get everything installed.
Next weekend I will reinstall everything again. Or rather I wil let Peter do it so he knows the procedure.


Kaptain's log. Kelshon, Guardian date 2001.0069    

Week 11, 2001 ,Svenson

Week 12, 2001 ,Svenson

Week 13, 2001 ,Svenson

Week 14, 2001 ,Svenson

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