So, what’s new?

This week has been another of work-work-work. (More of this later.)

However, I have done something, even if it is a bit of retail therapy.

Last Sunday I put an order in for a new ADSL router thingy in preparation for moving my ADSL connection from Nildram to Zen (Which I see are dropping their prices on the 1st November, so I’ll wait ’til then to change). The Draytek Vigor 2600G duly arrived on Wednesday and by the evening I had it set up well enough for it to be useful.

Today I did another radical thing, I bought a new printer. OK, this doesn’t sound very radical but this is the first printer I’ve bought since the summer of ’88. Oh I have had three printers since then, a LaserJet II, an Apple LaserWriter Pro 630 and a Sun SPARCprinter e, but these were second hand and mostly great fixer-upper opportunities where I’ve had to fix something before they were usable. The purchase of the Vigor router with its USB printer print server function gave me a window of opportunity to have a network printer at a reasonable cost. Specifically I’ve been wanting a colour printer so I could print out my digital photos in draft form for some time but have always shyed away from inkjet printers as they drink massively over priced non-light fast ink. Colour laser printers have now just come down to a price where they’re even thinkable though networked versions are very much overpriced.

So, what did I buy in the end? An HP Color LaserJet 2550L from PC World for £299.99 (only about £10 more expensive than Dabs and without the pain and hassle of getting it delivered). OK, it effectively only has a manual feed tray but it is a Postscript printer (important for me seeing the variety of OS I run). I can get the 250 tray unit later if I want it. It’s a good £100 cheaper than the version with the network build in.. so that effectively makes the cost of the Vigor £50.

Anyway, now to work things..

I finally managed to get the undergrad systems fully up and running, with only a couple of glitches on Friday when the freshers tried to log in for the first time and one of those was Mozilla Firefox’s fault (loading an update page and not allowing users to move from it). The lab did need some electrical rewiring before I could tunr all the PCs on at once, however.

Thursday I spent creating a new way of generating our mail alias file by first transcribing the original flat file into a series of files, one per alias list and then writing a perl script to generate the alias file used by sendmail from the components. It was good to actually do some programming again.

So, other than retail therapy, have I done anything? Not really. I did get my hair cut but that’s about it. Tomorrow I plan to take the old Apple Laserwriter and the Sun SPARCprinter e (which kindly donated to me earlier in the year) down to the Redbridge recycling centre.