February 28th, 2003


"One's voice is a soup of inflections."

A sentence first uttered by a haulier from Manneran to a refugee from the North.
I have a different voice for SF fans from my voice for family, which in turn differs from the voice I use in Church or at client sites.

Read this review of the book from which that sentence is drawn.

Alex -- recruit this guy.
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Paris: The door-entry system story.

So last night, as you will have read, the three of us were supposed to be sorting out Novell DS partitioning and replication in London, Paris, Stuttgart and Copenhagen.
Because I would be staying in their office late, I asked the client about how I got out and back in without leaving the place unlocked. Perhaps they would leave me a key?
I was told that I didn't need a key, and that these were the numbers for the door-entry system for the main building and the client office.
I went to the two keypads concerned, and confirmed that each number successfully unlocked its corresponding door.

Blair was flying from Copenhagen to Stuttgart. He phoned me at about 8pm (local time) to tell me that he'd get to the client office at about 9pm.
So I popped out to get something to eat. I turned the lights out and closed the door behind me as I left.
I returned to the office shortly before 9pm and typed the number into the door-entry system for the main building. Obligingly it unlocked the door and I passed through into the lobby and headed up the stairs.
The keypad outside the client office had no power. The keys were not lit up, the little green and red LEDs were lifeless, there were none of those reassuring beeps as I typed the number. Of course, the door remained locked.
Much phoning around ensued. It seems that the door-entry system is powered from -- and governed by the same switch as -- the lights. So if you turn the lights out, you can't get back in.

I could swallow a handfull of iron filings and puke a better door-entry system than this.

And locked inside the office is my laptop and my Internet access and ...
How lucky that I'd left my overnight bag at the hotel when I booked the extra night earlier that afternoon.

Well, fortunately they didn't need me to do anything in the Paris machine room -- the problem was a dodgy network card in one of the Stuttgart servers, but still ...
So if you're ever in Paris, don't turn the lights off or you'll be locked out.
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    pissed off pissed off

Paris: Dinner last night.

I went to a different place last night, chosen for its close proximity to the client's office.
Italian. It's the one facing the huge junction in front of St-Augustin, if you know it.
And they had a thing on the menu which was a selection of four or five different kinds of pasta. It was very tasty.
Except that I always eat lasagne with the fork in my left hand, and I always eat tagliatelle with the fork in my right hand ...
and I had to choose. Which kind of pasta would I eat wrong-handed? Or would I simply keep swapping hands as I passed from one kind of pasta to the other and back again? Would I get progressively more and more irritated until I turned into some kind of aggressive spork-flinging plaid wildebeeste?

Desert was good. Nougat-flavoured ice cream, flaked almonds, chocolate sauce.
So I was a happy chappie until I returned to the office, but that's in another post.
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    full full

Paris: We seem to be done.

I've checked with London, with Stuttgart, with Copenhagen.
Everything's working.
So I'm folding up the laptop and heading home.

... unless I get a phone call between here and GdN ...

Offline now until this evening.
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    tired tired

An admission of defeat.

It's terrible when you're too busy for a while and then away for a few days.

I've just hit the "mark all messages as read" button on my [trufen], [memoryhole] and [mash-slash] folders. You all post too quickly.

Apologies for anyone who's posted a gem which I've missed. I'm going back to pick out obvious nuggets, but I can't read it all.

sorry sorry sorry sorry.
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    guilty guilty