Friday, 28 July 2006

Bicycle and other generalness

As a bit of a follow-up from my last post about buying a bike I spoke to the people at Evans and it turns out that they don't have any extra large bikes in the model I want, but there are two in large (at different shops). I'm torn between asking them to get one of the large bikes in at the local store (deposit required) and finding another. Problem is: I was really looking forward to this exact bike. I think I'll give them a call tomorrow, explain the situation and ask if they can recommend a bike that is a similar size to the large model that I can try for size. If it all works out I'll get the large in and go from there. Maybe they'll even be able to get that model in without charging me, who knows?

Originally there were four new interns at the PTS (not sure what that stands for) lab at Sun but early this week we were joined by Liam. Liam was supposed to be jetting off to a lab in California, but it all got cancelled at the last minute (two weeks before he was due to catch his flight) and he's ended up with us in sunny (this isn't a joke -- it's toasting down here ;) Blackwater instead. On the plus side he'll learn far more here than in the small Sun office he was due to work at in the States: Sun's Guillemont Park in Blackwater/Camberley is the central Sun office for the whole of Europe and we have two large labs full of serious equipment. Our boss, Paul Humphreys, is also most definitely one of the best guys you could ever hope to have managing you. Liam's from Scotland and as such has some funny little sayings and quirks. We're letting him get away with it. For now.

The past week has been spent on an Intermediate System Administration course for Solaris 10. I found in dreadfully boring and dull. There were a few handy little bits of information that I've not come across before (but in honesty I don't think it would have taken me long to pick them up on my own), but a one-day course would have been plenty for me. At the end of this week we were all presented with a "thanks for coming" certificate. That said, we do have vouchers that allow us to go and sit the proper exam for free. I'll hold of the Intermediate course and go for the Advanced one instead. Next week should be good though: we're going on a Serengeti training course. The Serengeti range is the Sun Fire X4600-type stuff: mid-range server hardware, which I know very little about. After that course, we have a week of work, followed by the Advanced admin course. At a later date we get an opportunity to take another course (or two?) of our choice. So far I'm tempted by the performance analysis and tuning course (as far as I can tell this is a 400 or top-level course) and possible a SAN course. The Solaris Network Admin course would be handy on paper, but I've already done more-or-less everything they cover on CompSoc production machines.

I bought the new Nina Simone Greatest Hits CD just before I started at Sun and I'm glad to say it's amazing. Without doubt it is one of the best CDs in my collection. Yesterday I ordered Begin to Hope by Regina Spektor. I'll probably buy Soviet Kitsch at a later date, too. I really need to start trying to find a few more bands or singers that I like. My CD collection has become a little stagnant over the last year or two (where I've not had access to anywhere worth playing CDs).

On Monday I'm going to apply for a NatWest graduate overdraft loan, or something. It's an interest free loan to pay off my overdraft. Not really necessary, but it just restores my account to being positive and forces me into paying it off bit by bit.

With any luck I'll sort myself some driving lessons out tomorrow. It's definitely handy to be able to drive here, unlike Manchester, where it's more of a hinderance than a help. Annoyingly I'll have to sit the theory test again -- no problem, other than the requirement to know a bit about how to service cars, something I know nothing about.

Time to go listen to Nina.

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