Catching up…

21 07 2007

Phew! It’s been a *busy* week this week… Work for the new client has taken up much of my waking and thinking time, but I’ll get there.

Here are some updates from the past couple of weeks that I’ve been meaning to blog about for a while – I’ll do them all at once and get them out of the way:

  • Mandalay Road Estate released their new Zinfandel vintage a couple of months ago, so we headed over there about a month ago to try it. Good stuff! New labels too, very in keeping with the whole “Road to Mandalay” theme. Early birds got a good discount on the new vintage too – $20 a bottle instead of the usual $25. So we bought a few… plus some port. We spent a lovely couple of hours tasting wine with Bernice and Tony, the owners and winemakers. We’ll be back!
  • We went to Bunbury for an appointment on Tuesday and popped in to a furniture store to see if they had any likely sofas (yes, the sofa saga continues…). They had one that suited our needs – and it was a sofa bed too! And they could deliver it the next day! I measured and double measured it after the last sofa fiasco, but when the delivery guys arrived with it on Wednesday they said it wouldn’t fit. Oh no! However, I *knew* it would – they only had to turn it on its side and it fitted through the doorway perfectly. Thinking outside the box was not up these guys alleys…
  • I’ve been having trouble with a R-E-A-L-L-Y S-S-L-L-O-O-O-W-W internet connection all week, and have spent many hours on the phone to the Business Customer Support section of iinet, my ISP. The first two people who dealt with the issue were very helpful and walked me through a whole lot of stuff to do isolation testing to confirm that it was somewhere on the phone line between me and iinet. The next people I dealt with over the following days obviously can’t read, because I had to repeat the issue and the steps already taken to them both. I’ve worked in enough IT companies to *know* that issues and steps taken are recorded – hell, I even had a job number that I quoted each time! At every step, I was promised that someone would get back to me – no-one ever did. iinet’s customer support has always been good (I’ve been with them for close on 10 years), but this episode has soured my previous good experiences with them. My guess is they’ve grown too big. At no time could I get one of the original staff who dealt with the problem on Monday back on the phone – they were always ‘out’ or ‘on another call’. Anyhow, the connection seems to be back to what it was. But I still don’t know if the fault was fixed (I do know a fault was lodged with Telstra by them), or if it’s a lucky chance that it’s back working again. BTW, isolation testing is no fun… I had to disconnect my server from the router, connect the router to the laptop, connect the laptop/router direct into the phone line, etc. Sounds simple, but that’s after power cycling the router a couple of times, rebooting the server, trying all three phone line extensions with and without filters, etc. etc. And most of it was done on the floor. All to confirm that the connection was like walking up to your thighs in treacle! Even slower than dial-up.
  • An observation about the one of the project teams I’m working with in Brisbane – there are about 27 on the team, five of whom are female. Which sorta fits the stats thrown around about the dearth of women in IT in Australia. Of the five females, one is a support person, one is a ex-geologist, two are programmers, and one (me!) is a technical writer. So two of those five are in the ‘helping’ side of IT.
  • Some sad news. A guy my husband played basketball with and against for many years passed away a day or so ago. He would’ve only been in his 50s, fit as a mallee bull, and was still coaching kids’ basketball teams. Vale, Mike.

Dripping power

21 07 2007

Watch out for dripping power! And for just one customer in the Greater Perth area (wherever *that* is) to have reconnected to the internet…

I just received this network status notification from iinet (my ISP):

Technical Summary:
Due to storm activity, power has been dripped briefly to several suburbs in the Greater Perth area. This has caused a large volume of customers to become disconnected from the Internet, temporarily increasing load on the authentication system in Perth. This issue appears to have been overcome, and customer who have regained power should be able to reconnect without further issue.

I’ll have more on iinet later, but for now, this made me chuckle!