Tuesday, November 30, 2004


Thanks to Portable Firefox I can now run Firefox instead of that crap IE with no popup blocker that the w**kers around here insist on making us use.

Take that! ;-)

Now, if I can just find a way to bypass the proxy...

Thursday, November 25, 2004

Is this how it's supposed to work?

Working here is getting closer and closer to surrealism. This one I'm adding to my collection of absolutely unnecessary red-tape.

We've just implemented the surveillance & alert mechanism for two of the systems we're taking into production this week, which sends nice e-mail messages in case something goes wrong and notifies the operators via MQSeries.

Now we're trying to send those alerts to a MS Exchange shared mailbox. No problems here, right?

Wrong. Mailboxes are not given, by default, a SMTP address. So, we can't send SMTP mail to them. I've asked the Helldesk to create the SMTP address, fully described what it was going to be used for, etc. No news for the past 24 hours, so I decided to call them.

I'm still trying to understand why, but it seems I need approval from the Corporate Communication department to get my e-mail alerts. Hello? Anybody there? These are e-mail alerts about our archive and output management systems and I need approval from Corporate Communication?

Someone has a very sick mind around here...

Tuesday, November 23, 2004


Some guys are dumb. It's a reality. I don't know who gets to be blamed for this - maybe God or their parents - but some people are dumb and can't do a thing about it.

Others are dumb by conscious choice. We have a pretty weird MQ Series environment where messages coming from a specific Alpha/VMS box must be partitioned and regrouped on the receiving end, as well as converted from EBCDIC to ASCII. Nothing that complex in the end.

Mr. Project Manager X wants to know why his messages arrive as complete and utter rubbish on the receiving end instead of nicely formatted ASCII like mine.

I tell him that the header he inserts in the message is in ASCII while the rest of the message is EBCDIC and no server in the world will convert a mixed ASCII/EBCDIC message into anything readable.

Mr. PM X is sure that is not the problem. The problem must be the message regrouping routine that is not working as it should.

I insist that I've been there and done that 7 months ago and the real reason was that the messages were not sent in one character set only. Somehow someone screwed up big time writing the header (as I said: been there, done that).

No, he's still sure it's something else.

I'm now running the "type" command on some dirty JPEGs into a text file and will send him that as the output of the MQ messages (note: MQ sees EBCDIC on an ASCII environment as BINARY data except if it's converted correctly). Then, when he calls claiming he can't open the files I'll ask him to save the file as a .jpg and give it a try again.

I love clueless Project Managers...

Monday, November 22, 2004

Breaking a young man's heart

Now, that's definitely something I never thought I could do, but I just did it.

Sorry Joost.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Well, this is it

51% of americans (or close to that anyway) have shown the rest of the world that they do support their president's policy.

I hope they will not come to regret it.
It's a bit over the top...

Now I had it. Now I'm fed up with it. This @#£%$ car will not fail on me any more, this was the last time!

It now decided to blow the diesel injection pump (or whatever-it's-called) while I'm accelerating to enter the motorway - result: no engine response. At all.

It being a BMW, praised worldwide for their service, I called BMW Assistance just to be told that those w***ers who actually own the car and whom I was stupid and lazy enough to rent it from had taken only the standard assistance contract, which meant I couldn't get any help after 22:00. Is this some kind of sick joke? The car can only break between 7 AM and 10 PM? I was fuming by then, called a few road assistance companies like Touring and VTB-VAB and the latter came for the rescue, with a one-off charge of 226 € (in the end, not really too bad since it includes a one year subscription to their services which I don't need because I'll be leaving the country in 3 months and the car much earlier than that for sure).

Thank god for good friends, and Yves picked me up after I brutally awoke him with my distress signal. Even got to meet (and share a bed with) his new cat, a charming little creature that made sure my pony-tail didn't move much during the whole night...

Now I'm waiting to see if I will get a car today, otherwise I'll just camp in the office...

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

The american president election

That's today, for those who live under a rock, and I wonder if it will be as amusing as 4 years ago. I feel myself pretty divided on this subject: in one hand I hate Bush and his war-mongering friend-enriching schemes, but at the same time he's allowing the euro economy to grow by screwing up his own...

Nah, I will still go for Kerry and hope he's only half as bad as Bush. Anyway, this must be the best quote I read on the web regarding this election:

I will stay up all night election night and update the site in real time. I am NOT promising to stay up until we know who the president is. I would definitely like to go to bed sometime during the month of November.

in Current Electoral Vote Predictor 2004