I rang Roofing Group UK again during my precious lunch hour, and got through to the same receptionist who once more told me “it’s on the board, and waiting for Stuart to get back from Spain.”

I explained, for the third time, that this is unacceptable, and have been assured that what seems to be the only other employee of the company will be calling me tomorrow morning on my mobile.  Well, we shall see.

You may have noticed that this website has taken on a new look.  There’s a reason for this.

In the past I’ve used strange, esoteric software to create my websites – the last one was made using something called GreyMatter.  While this works OK, it’s not as flexible and powerful as some of the more mainstream options out there.

Accordingly, I’ve switched to WordPress, an open-source package that’s rather more popular than the stuff I normally use.  It’s nice and powerful, but does mean that the custom theme I was using before has had to go bye-bye.  Thankfully, I was able to import the old content OK, although it could do with some tidying.

As time goes on, I’ll be customising the site further to accomodate my needs along with adding some additional software thanks to the new raft of MySQL databases I’ve got courtesy of moving to a decent webhost.

I’ve just got off the ‘phone with Roofing Group UK, and just about managed to keep my cool – it would appear that the “boss” is on holiday in Spain, and won’t be back until the end of September. Only then will he deign to look at my leaking roof.

I’ve pointed out that this is completely unacceptable, and have been promised resolution soonest. We’ll see what happens, but for now if anyone’s looking for a roofing company I can only say avoid Roofing Group UK.

broken_door_small (11KB image)Today has most certainly not gone well. Aside from the roofers continued lack of communication, there’s another joy to add to my overflowing pot – and it concerns my door.

I got up this morning bright and early, eager to trundle off to work. Shower, dress, breakfast – all is going according to plan. I don my coat and shoes and set off out the door.

Wait – rewind. I try to set off out the door, but the door has other ideas. The multi-point lock has failed in the ‘lock’ position, and I’m trapped. Being, as it is, a back-to-back terrace, I’m really trapped – the front door is also my only door.

First things first – a quick e-mail to work to let them know I shan’t be in. I’m sure it went down well, being off for unscheduled absence in my first month of work, but these things can’t be helped. Next step was to contact someone who might be able to do something. They attended a scant half-hour later, and spent the majority of the morning trying to effect entry.
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leakingroof1 (9k image)Well, I just got a very rude awakening about an hour ago – a leak in my extremely expensive new roof causing water to drip down from the ceiling in my computer room, all over my not-inexpensive collection of crap. For joy.

The problem, as far as I can ascertain in the dark, is caused by a fault in the construction of the new roof – a U-shaped channel in the flashing where the dormer wall meets the roof, which isn’t covered by the ‘lip’ of the dormer. The water will collect here and enter the roof space.

Now I’ll need to get in touch with the company who fitted said roof – Roofing Group UK – and attempt to ‘encourage’ them to fix it ASAP under the terms of their guarantee. The difficult part will be convincing them it’s a problem in their workmanship – made harder by the fact that the very nice salesman who attended when we requested the new roof no longer works for the company.

All in all, not what I need when I’ve had a rather tiring second week at work.

riscpc_recovered_small (12KB image)Well, I couldn’t wait until Sunday – so I’ve pieced the RiscPC back together and fired it up…

And it works absolutely perfectly. Turns out it’s actually a Zip 250, which is nice – and all the insides work splendidly. The keyboard I recovered at the same time is shot, sadly, but it’s just a standard PS/2 unit and will be simple to replace.

All it needs now is a clean and tidy and it’ll be as good as new. Not bad for something that was going to end up polluting some landfill site somewhere…

riscpcsmall (20k image)Walking home through the business park where my current day job is located the other day, I spied a skip with a rather interesting device sticking out of the top – an Acorn RiscPC. A nice one, too – a double slice unit.

Further inspection revealed an Iomega Zip 100 drive, a 52x CD-ROM, and a 1.44MB floppy. And it was in mint condition, aside from being in a skip and covered in four days worth of rain. Have you guessed where this story is heading yet?

That’s right – I’m now the proud owner of a RiscPC with 16MB RAM, a 20GB hard drive, and all the extras mentioned above. The only snag is that I’m not sure if it actually works yet – I daren’t turn the thing on until I’m absolutely sure that it’s all dried out. With any luck – and judicious use of a dehumidifier – I should be able to fire the puppy up on Sunday.

It’s amazing what people throw out, really.

londonticket (16k image)Well, I’ve been lax in updating this ‘ere site – but with good reason. My new job is keeping me extremely busy, and conspires with my commitments to bit-tech to keep me away from anything that might resemble free time.

Case in point – on Tuesday, I travelled to London to attend a training course on Adobe Connect – which, from Halifax, is a fair old train ride. The sales director at Frog, Paul Scott, was gracious enough to meet me in the Big Smoke and take me out for a drink and a meal while he had a meeting with a sales trainer he’s hoping to hire. Nice – especially as I didn’t have to put my hand in my pocket the entire evening – but it meant that I didn’t get to the hotel until around 2300, which is a long day when you start at 0630.

The next day involved interminable underground journeys and the course itself – free sandwiches, naturally – plus the train back. Which didn’t get in until 2100, meaning I didn’t get home until 2130 – at which point I had to write my articles for the next day. I’m not complaining, you understand – well, no: I am complaining, but I’d rather be busy than the alternative. I just hope that this 0830-1700 job doesn’t have too many 0630-2300 days included.

In other news, I’ve bagged myself a sweet new ‘phone, which has pretty much replaced my palmtop and MP3 player. More about that when I get a chance to do a proper update – probably this weekend.

Well, I’ve survived the first day of my new job.

Everyone seems really nice, and there’s certainly plenty to keep me busy. Between a full audit of software and hardware, the installation and configuration of an internal WSUS server, and sundry other tasks it looks like I’ll be kept out of trouble for the foreseeable future.

It’s a shame that the commute is as long – and expensive – as it is, though. That said, I’ve got Plucker to keep me company on the train. Speaking of which, I’ve managed to shoehorn RSS feeds onto it, too – when I get a chance I’ll write a longer post detailing how.

Now, if you’ll excuse me – my bit-tech articles are complete, and my bed is calling.

Ha! Ceri’s not the only one who can get the MVP achievement in Halo 3.

Capt Blacklaw MVP
It sounds so much better if I don’t mention the little fact that most of the other players quit early…