hr_macgirl: (Life is Good)

Wednesday through Friday last week I operated at half staff. This isn't a joke about naval flags, merely a reflection of half of the people who work for me being out. One had the flu and one had a migraine. This meant for three very frantic days (and no afternoon nap for me on Friday). Still, I bore it as best one could.

I started watching Season 3 of Downton Abbey (thanks to Amazon UK!), and made it through two episodes on Friday night.

Saturday: swim, attempted to visit the library. Well, I DID visit, but none of the books I had requested had arrived, so after a quick browse, I went on my way. Errands, home.

Later in the day I got a call from a buddy who was geographically mislaid, so I acted as GPS unit. ("No, turn left on Nott, then right on Rosa"). More Downton (finished it! Christmas Special should arrive this week!). Afternoon nap. Ate fantastic apple streusel scone procured from Petsi Pies.

My sister bought me a book (Isa and May) that I both started and finished this weekend. It's about relationships between grandchildren and their grandmothers. Given that my Grandma died 14 years ago last week, the topic was very apt.

Sunday: swim, long walk, visit to the 24 hour (or effectively so) post office at south station. Back to the library for the books that had actually arrived. Another nap.

On the horizon: 40 new iMac units arriving at work this week. Lucky me. I hope there's space to store them until the Mountain Lion image is ready. I might have to get creative with storage. It doesn't help that our server room has been flooded recently and thus I am reluctant to put iMac units on the back wall where the water came in.

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hr_macgirl: (created via imagestation)
A couple of weeks ago I started the process to hire a new staff member in my group (job posting). The process so far has been amusing. I have to say that because if I consider how crazy it is, I might go nuts, and I really need another staff member! Our user count has almost doubled from a couple of years ago, and we're supporting more technology now, not less.

The applicants (step 1) )

weeding them out )
hr_macgirl: (Default)
I made one of my regular runs to the MIT property warehouse today with one of my staff members. The purpose was to rid our storage closet of old (>3 year) equipment in preparation for a new shipment.

Since June, we've rolled out 90 MacBook Air units, and today we received another 12 plus a handful of 15" Retina MacBook Pro units. The equipment for disposal was Core 2 Duo iMacs (24") and MacBook Pro (15") A1286 Core 2 Duo. We will get some nominal fee ($300-$500) per machine, but that's just noise (okay, 100x$400 is not really noise, is it?)

In December we'll get 27" iMac units. That will be fun (albeit a ton of work, for it will involve Mountain Lion).

While on the way, Stevie Winwood was playing, and we grooved along.

cut for lyrics )
hr_macgirl: (created via imagestation)
Friday: got out of work at 3, came home & had a nap, then got up & went out with some friends. Back home by 7 (early enough for me!). The day wasn't spectacular, but it wasn't a disaster like the rest of the week.

Saturday: went to work (planned), then to swim. I picked up a hot chocolate before going back to W98. The parking lot was filling up, which I was confused by as there were no events in the building. Luckily my coworker who came in was able to find a parking space, but when leaving later, there were no spaces at all. I'm glad I didn't have to call a repair guy to go in (see below).

I went to work to upgrade two servers from MacOS X server 10.5 to 10.6. One of the servers is somewhat flaky (I think there's an innate hardware problem); I had an Apple repair guy out on it a while back, but it doesn't misbehave on schedule, so there was nothing to be done. So I fully expected to have trouble with this server (call it "server A"). Surprise surprise, the upgrade for server A went (almost) fine, but server B's upgrade bombed. In the end we had to wipe the boot drive and reinstall from scratch, which meant recreating all of the users & groups. UGH.

Didn't get out of work until 4:30, got home & had nap. During the afternoon I had managed to duck out for a little while (during the 45 minute OS install process) and pick up my pie and something for dinner. After dinner I had to work more, but I could do the work in my pajamas, which was a plus.

Woke up Sunday, had breakfast, read (online) newspapers. I knew there was more work on server B to do, but I went for a swim first. After that a friend invited me over, so I reserved a Zipcar (love the iPhone zipcar app) from the locker room at the Z center. Walked over and got car; drove to Newton and had a nice afternoon.

I thought about taking the T to Newton but I was afraid of the disruption caused by Obama's visit. I know what kind of diversions were created when Obama visited MIT last autumn, and didn't want to have to deal with them.

Back home, another nap, dinner. Then yes, more work. At this point the server is back online. We have to reset passwords for Windows users; Mac users log in with Kerberos tickets. There are also likely some permissions on folders that need fixing.

Monday: considered going up to Burblington, but I actually have too many things to do in town. Need to go to the pharmacy and to l'Occitane. Have been trying to get to both all weekend (planned to do the pharmacy on Saturday after work and l'Occitane Sunday). I'm really glad this is a long weekend; I don't think I could cope with going to work tomorrow given how hellish this past week was.

On the minus side: no swim tomorrow, the pool is open funky hours.
hr_macgirl: (Default)
I'm all buzzed. I just spent $70k on Apple hardware (new xserve for backups, and 20 new Mac Book Pro units.

This will probably be my last buying binge in quite a while, so I want to revel in it.
hr_macgirl: (Ski)
Arrived at my sister's on Saturday morning to find the members of the house (mother, sister, brother-in-law, nephew, dog) chilling out. All but my brother-in-law went on a jaunt around the block. Later we went into town where I bought a pie, did some grocery shopping, and came back home alone, while the rest of the family (minus the dog) stayed for a family gathering on my brother-in-law's side.

The nephew is quite possibly the most perfect child ever. Apart from his cradle cap. He smiles and giggles, and is generally quite a contented baby. I'm learning to pick up on his cues, and for the most part, if he fusses he wants food, a clean(er) backside, sleep, or entertainment. What a simple existence! Saturday evening, long after the crew had come home, I sang the nephew to sleep.

We had a very lazy day on Sunday. I was awake at 0430 (jet lag), and after breakfast, sat in the dark with the dog (watching her wagging her tail in her sleep). Aside from walking the dog twice, I did not leave the house. I'm not used to that kind of day. I rebuilt my sister's MacBook Pro, upgrading it from Tiger to Leopard and applying requisite system updates. Mum and I began building the nephew's crib, but barely got to step 1 (there was an entire page of diagrams and then one page of "pre-assembly" before we could proceed to step 1) before we decided to quit and spend time with the nephew instead.

My sister and brother-in-law are both at work today, so Mum and I will act as primary care givers for the nephew and the dog (the latter of whom will take more attention, I suspect). I have to go into town and get some groceries, but otherwise we will stick close to home.

Amazing discovery of spending time with the nephew: ten week olds require many outfits! Due to various accidents (mostly of the lower half), I think the nephew wore five different outfits on Sunday. And here I thought he had too many clothes; perhaps not!
hr_macgirl: (Default)
I originally selected seat 19D, but when I checked in online I saw that seats further forward were available, albeit at the window. I don't like window seats, as a matter of course, as they feel too claustrophobic.

On this flight I remembered why else I dislike window seats: it's not just the claustrophobia, but being at the whims of the person on the aisle. In this case, the aislemate and I were lucky enough to have an empty seat in between us. The aislemate helped himself and put all of his stuff on the tray table and the empty seat, leaving me with no extra room. He also continued jabbering on the phone until well after pushback (I don't like people who actively go against the rules).

A couple of hours in the flight he got up to use the restroom, and I saw my opportunity. Of course I couldn't (easily) get out, because there was crap on the middle seat and the tray table was full of stuff as well. I actually stood on the edge of the empty seat so I could leap into the aisle. I stood behind the first class cabin curtain (the cart was in the coach aisle so I couldn't go backwards, and I knew better to wait in the first class galley for the restroom to become available).

After he emerged, I went into the restroom. Cut for bathroom TMI ) I got back to my row and he harrumphed as I wanted to sit down. He's now watching Will Ferrell's Anchor Man (which you couldn't pay me to see). At least he's using a middle-aged MacBook Pro running Leopard, so I guess I could say he's not all bad.

I'm watching Hackers on my 3-month-old MacBook Pro. [ profile] ckd kindly ripped a pile of DVDs onto the hard drive, so my battery will last, if not forever, then nearly so.

Roll on Seattle.
hr_macgirl: (created via imagestation)
woke up in the night when Dad left the house for work, then fell back to sleep. Woke up again ~0600 and went down for breakfast. I ate in front of the television (watching Miracle on 34th Street). Before too long, Mum woke up and we took Toby to the park for his first walk of the day.

After that we stopped at a local supplier for their business, then went to work. Mum gave me a company check so I could buy Dad's new iMac, then I dashed out the door to my 0945 yoga class. The class was good, I really like teacher and I've had her before. The only minus is that the class was in a 80-85F heated room. Yuck. I sweated; 'nuff said.

After class it was off to Apple where I was assigned to a sales guy who felt let down when I wouldn't let him try and use his "talents" to help me decide what I wanted. (I want a 20" 2.66GHz iMac him: errr.... do you need a printer? any other software? Do you have any questions? me: no, no, no). I didn't use the "I have 150 Macs" line, which is just as effective).

I left the Apple store and put the iMac in the car trunk (plus for the car, an Infiniti: it has an iPod dock built in, so I plugged my iPhone into the dock connector and was able to control the unit from the car's audio panel. A nice feature! The car also has butt warming seats, which wasn't as necessary, as it was 45F. I didn't even wear a jacket after yoga class, although that was as much from my internal temperature than anything else. After Apple I swung by a local organic café for lunch, then back to the office to set up the iMac.

I'd never really used Apple's Migration Assistant before, but it was great! I firewire targeted Dad's old Quicksilver PowerMac G4 to the new iMac while running Software Update (from 10.5.4 to 10.5.6). It took maybe 60-75 minutes to transfer the data and run the software update. I'm really quite impressed by the whole process. I even fixed Dad's printing issues; his MDD G4 (on Tiger) couldn't talk to the printer, but it can now.

After setting up the machine I decided it would be a good time to take Toby for a(nother) walk. Mum, eager to get out, volunteered to come along. We went to a local arboretum and trekked through the mud, finding ourselves eight feet muddier after the fact (two for me, two for Mum, four for Toby). Home afterwards, not for a nap, but we chilled out. She crocheted and I did puzzles.

Dad came home from work early, then we went to a local eatery for dinner. Toby was full of beans again by the time we got home, so I ran around the back yard with him for a few minutes. We finished watching the movie while I caught up with my email and everything else. I usualy don't bring my own laptop to Ohio, but did this time and really like having it along.

Tuesday: Toby walk, yoga, probably Skyline (again). Yum!
hr_macgirl: (created via imagestation)
up at 0415, shower, last minute packing. Met PlanetTran driver right on time at 0500, was at Logan for 0510, through security by 0520, and tucked up in the Crown Room by 0530. Lounge membership has its benefits. I ate my breakfast while looking out at the tarmac. Surprisingly, the flight left from gate 19 (the satellite terminal), not what I'm used to. Lately, Continental flights have monopolized the satellite at Terminal A.

First flight BOS-SLC, pushed back at 0656 (6 minutes late). I was predictably asleep before takeoff, and slept until we hit cruise. I came fully prepared: three layers of clothes plus my own blanket (I don't like using anyone else's, and the ones available in coach are too thin, even when they're dirty). While I had requested an upgrade, I was 12 on the list and didn't even wait in the boarding area to see if I cleared (not with only 4 seats free). Lucky for me, I had one of three empty seats on the plane next to me, so there was a little more horizontal space, enough so I wasn't fighting with my neighbour for the armrest. The flight went by quickly enough. I watched The Queen and read Private Patient by PD James, plus did some puzzles while listening to music.

We were late into SLC and I was a little nervous about making my connection (only 25 minutes from when we hit the gate), but lucky for me the plane I was on was turning around to go to Seattle. Score! I did have to deplane while they cleaned, but it meant I didn't have to do the OJ dash through SLC airport, nor did I need to worry about my checked bag making it.

From SLC-BOS I sat in 1B. I hate bulkhead rows as a matter of course, but couldn't say no, and at least it was an upgrade. Funny story: the guy in 1A had a MacBook Pro (one rev earlier than mine) and iPhone (ditto). We looked like quite the pair. I resisted offering him technical support (but only barely!).

Upon arrival at SEA, they were setting up the area outside intl arrivals, and it soon dawned on me that they were celebrating the opening of the third runway (which had opened earlier, but this was the grand opening; I guess it's like retail!). Met up with the 'rents, drove down to Olympia. Have nice Toyota Camry rental car, and the quality almost made up for the nasty rental agent form Hertz.

online now via VZW USB modem, on Mirabile (brand new MacBook Pro). LOVE LOVE LOVE. My sister lives so far out in the boonies that she can't get cable or dsl, and what she calls "high speed" is internet via satellite, which has some kind of nasty bandwidth throttle on it. No thank you!!

More soon.
hr_macgirl: (created via imagestation)
I have a mighty mouse (wired model) at home and another at work. Periodically the ball becomes stuck and refuses to scroll in one direction or another.

When Apple had rolling balls in its mice, we used to remove the balls and clean the rollers with isopropyl (rubbing alcohol). There's nothing to easily remove on the mighty mouse, so that won't work.

Unplug mighty mouse. Take a small amount of alcohol-based antibacterial gel (e.g. Purell) on your fingertip. Place it on the mighty mouse ball and roll it around. After about 30 seconds, wipe away any excess, and plug the mouse back in.

I've yet to see a mouse that this doesn't work on.
hr_macgirl: (sad ipod)
I'm wearing new, lighter shoes (New Balance 817, at 11.35oz they are significantly lighter than my WOC624BR bruisers). I tapered down my NSAIDs over the weekend, but my groin started hurting again this morning.

Of course now I look at the New Balance website, I see many shoes that are even lighter. Argh.

In other news, my MacPro at work is still swapping like mad (the Office 2008 applications are such PIGS compared to 2004). I ordered more RAM for it on Friday, and it should already be here. Dammit.

And it's raining.
hr_macgirl: (Default)
three days away )

Home now. Laundry. Note to self: avoid Marathon on Monday. Safest to just avoid Boston altogether, I think.

I am very very glad I went on the trip. I actually allowed myself to relax. That doesn't happen very often, and didn't even happen the past few times I visited my parents. It was an unexpected surprise.
hr_macgirl: (Default)
My boss has taken the VP's MacBook Air with him to a conference "to show off". He got the unit yesterday at 1600. This morning at 0600 he said to me: you can have this MacBook Air back when you pry it from my cold dead fingers.

Well, I'd say that's a success, then.
hr_macgirl: (Default)
apparently people are offering to pay hard cash to have a technical person "downgrade" their machines from Vista to XP. And not just any people, but poor, cash-strapped students! Think about how desperate they must be!

On another note, I've just started to test Office 2008. So far, so lousy. It breaks some of Apple's UI rules (e.g. the Preferences box doesn't have traffic light buttons). It also lulls you into think that it keeps your settings from Office 2004 (by saying that it keeps those settings), but in actuality, it doesn't. I had to go back in and turn off Auto Correct and change Field Shading and all of the other nit-picky settings.

It also doesn't seem to be any faster, even though it's Intel native and I have a relatively beefy (2x2.66GHz Dual-Core Xeon) MacPro. Honestly, I think I would have been happier with Office 2004 with Intel binaries. If iWork was as nicely integrated as MS Office, I could have switched my users to that, but it has a ways to go yet.

In the meantime, I'm not letting Office 2008 out to my users at least until one, perhaps two updates come out. Just like I don't dare ship Leopard until 10.5.2 ships, although I might have to bend that rule when the VP's MacBook Air arrives.
hr_macgirl: (Ski)
time between Steve Jobs' keynote announcing the MacBook Air and a user asking for one: two hours.

That may sound like alot, but doesn't count the people who watched the keynote with me!

I've already asked my sales guy to put one on order for me (along with 12 MacBook Pros and 5 iMacs). I figure since I can get him to cut 11% off the standard (edu) prices of the other units, that will pay for my MacBook Air. It won't count against my budget. Sneaky sneaky!
hr_macgirl: (Default)
I had won tickets through a local newspaper for the new (to the US) film Atonement. While I like the author of the book (Ian McEwan), my favourite film reviewer Mark Kermode pronounced the film "he good, she bad". Needless to say, I was a little hesitant about going to see the film. It was more complicated because the movie screening was across town, and getting back after 2100 would be complicated. Oh, and it's rated R (I don't like R rated films as a rule of thumb).

[ profile] ckd and I met up after work, and we decided not to go to the Atonement screening (due to distance, rating, and general lack of energy). However, after browsing a nearby bookshop, I saw a flyer for a free showing of the movie Juno. I'd seen the trailer for the movie and really liked the look of it. It was also showing much closer to home (unfortunately, not the theatre right around the corner, but the next closest one, a subway stop away).

I decided on the spot that I wanted to see the film, so we hopped on the subway and went to the theatre, only to find a long line outside. I wasn't willing to wait in the cold, so we went into a nearby used music shop. [ profile] ckd looked around for a while, why I played Text Twist on my (nearly brand new) Palm T|X.

After leaving the music shop (with a couple of CDs and less some money), the theatre liner was much shorter. In a pinch, I decided to see the film. [ profile] ckd had originally been ambivalent about going, but he came in with me.

I really enjoyed the film, it was quite different. About the only minus was that I was playing (i)Phone tag with an Apple repair rep about getting my boss' machine fixed (or, in actuality, replaced). I was trying to cut a deal for a processor upgrade, as Apple has decided that the machine is unrepairable (at least in the time frame requested). I probably missed about 7 minutes of the movie (including the obligatory barfing scene). Not fatal.

After the film was over, I stopped at *$ and got a hot chocolate, while [ profile] ckd stopped by another record shop. We were home for 2120, which gave me enough time to complete my nightly rituals before bed.

All told, it was a very pleasant way to spend a Thursday evening.
hr_macgirl: (Default)
parental visit highs:
  • apple pie my mother made
  • lots of toby time. he is sitting by my feet right now.
  • afternoon naps
  • watched the deal, on HBO. I don't get HBO at home, so this was a nice treat (and good show!).
  • hot chocolate along with my BLT at lunch today

    parental visit challenges:
  • went with parents to a community theatre play on saturday night. it ran very late; I didn't leave there until 2230. Typically I am abed by 2150 and asleep by 2220. Still, I broke out of my routine and went. I still can't separate the discomfort in routine disruption from my feelings for the play itself. I didn't get to bed until 2300.
  • more routine stuff: I've moved around some meal/snack times to accomodate the daily goings-on. Again, challenging....
  • their macmini was sick (some catalog issue), and I ended up having to do an archive-and-install. neither diskwarrior nor techtool were able to repair anything, and fsck -fy found about 30 instances of corruption.

    parental visit lows:
  • the temperature. brrrr!

    not parental visit related:
  • the database upgrade this weekend seems to have gone well. so far?
  • hr_macgirl: (Default)
    as is typical for a Saturday, [ profile] ckd slept late, and I went out in search of lunch on my own. After lunch I had a look in a couple of bookshops for some crossword puzzle books, but struck out. For my final stop of the afternoon, I went to a café not far from home to pick up some pizza for [ profile] ckd who had, by this point, finally woken up.

    The process seemed to take forever for the pizza preparation to finish. I finally took the boxes and trundled home, past the stream of people carrying pink bags. Is it really Halloween next week? Coulda fooled me... I was wearing my Leopard shirt, having "won" the right to wear it from standing in queue at the launch at the Apple store on Friday night. Why why why do they only give the shirts out, sized XL?

    I had too much to carry, so I actually called from my cellphone and asked [ profile] ckd to let me in, rather than struggle with my keys. He stood, looking out of the door, waiting patiently for me to walk the final few steps to the house. No sooner did I cross the threshhold than the power went out. I wondered if it was me, if I'd done something to cause the outage (it must be my fault). [ profile] ckd went down to the basement to check the circuit breakers while I went back outside to see if anyone else had obviously lost power.

    It took several minutes for me to ascertain that we weren't the only ones, so I went back inside and waited for [ profile] ckd to come back upstairs. I thought he was mucking with the circuit box for nothing, but actually he was shutting down our micro server farm (we do have an uninterruptible power supply, but since we had no idea how long the power outage would last, wanted to bring the machines down calmly).

    After he ate some pizza, we went upstairs. Rather than sit in front of the television, I picked up my book (Pushed by Jennifer Block) and he grabbed his (Ha'penny by Jo Walton). I wondered how we'd pass the time later, given the early arrival of darkness. After a while, I posited the question, and suggested perhaps we could see a film. Only at that point did [ profile] ckd note that the power had actually come back on, but we didn't notice. Later investigation found that it had been back for almost half an hour before either of us noticed.

    I went for a sleep after that, as is customary on Saturday afternoon, and "woke up" (somewhat physically, somewhat mentally) later. Messing more with Leopard and have come across one application (so far) that won't even launch under Leopard: XJournal! Hence I am using the built-in entry post.


    Oct. 26th, 2007 06:51 am
    hr_macgirl: (Default)
    I've got a system set up on my desk (not my primary system) with a Developer seed of Leopard (MacOS 10.5). Given that I want to test the software "for real", I went whole hog and customized it as I would if it were my "primary machine", including setting up the screen saver.

    On my work machine I have a whole set of photos that rotate through my screen saver, but I didn't want to copy them to the Leopard machine (I've wiped and reinstalled it many times during the test process), so I went with the "easy" option. [ profile] ckd has a set of photos that he published via dotMac, so I set that as my screen saver.

    This morning I sat starting at the screen, watching photos of past trips and experiences go by, one every couple of seconds. Some of them were easy to identify (Routemaster buses give away London every time), while others were more puzzling (is that Swiss vista? was that beach photo from Monterey? Dublin?). Some shots are downright amazing (photo of a bridge in SF where all you can see are some of the very lowest portions due to the fog).

    some of the shots )

    I just had to power the machine down because I've spent more time with my head turned. I think I know how I ended up with a sore neck yesterday.
    hr_macgirl: (Default)
    Apple reported their Fiscal Year 2007 financial results. Interesting figures include sales of 2,164,000 Macs sold (34% increase over 4Q FY2006) and 1,119,000 iPhones sold.

    The most amazing number, though, was 10,200,000 iPods, which is approximately the population of Istanbul. Imagine, one iPod sold for every person living in Istanbul. In the last three months! Over the holiday period of 2006, Apple sold 21.1M iPods, well above the population of Mumbai (the world's most populous city), and almost as much as the population of all of the state of Texas.

    Speaking of Texas, Mac sales were the equivalent of the population of Houston, Texas, with the 1.12M iPhones approximately equivalent to the population of Dallas.


    hr_macgirl: (Default)

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