Tape images

Well, I’ve figured out enough to extract the files from one of the tape images but the other has some extra header formats, probably directory entries.

Anyway, I gave the user an update on this and she was very pleased. Se also said that now she knew what was on that tape that she didn’t need it at the moment but may sometime in the future… Hmm.. I’ve spent 4 whole days getting this far and she tells me not to bother. :/

Oh well. it was “fun” anyway.. it got me hacking properly again.

The Weekly Report

Last week was uninteresting, so I’ll not document it.

Of the weekend, the only interesting aspect was going to the “By the Gods” event in central London on Saturday afternoon/evening. Typically, the meeting time was right in the middle of the worst of the weather with gales and driving rain causing damage to my umbrella and a good soaking to my trouser legs.

Sunday was spent recovering from a late night on friday night finishing reading “Zodiac” in bed and the late night the night before. The weather was so drab and horrid that I didn’t feel like doing anything at all so vegitated.

The only really “interesting” intellectual challenge I have at the moment is trying to reverse engineer the data format of the tapes written using the old Data General RDOS operating system’s DUMP command as a user here has a couple of tapes from the late 70’s and early 80’s with data on which she needs. I managed to find the last working 1/2″ reel-to-reel tape drive in the University to extract the data and saved the tape images to file.

So far I’ve got to the point where I can extract the first couple of files from the image but then the header format seems to change for some unknown reason.. so it’s back the the drawing board.

Weekly update?

Seeing as I seem to only really update this thing on Mondays, here’s the weekly update:-
Nothing happened.

Actually, this is not quite true as quite a lot of things happened, it’s just that they were all mundane.. well, excpet one or two thigns at the weekend, which I’ll get to in a bit.

OK, basically, weekdays are totally boring and mundane, weekend days sometimes aren’t and this weekend’s set of days wasn’t.

Saturday: Went to Witney, got my hair cut, popped into the Blockbusters and got an ex-rental DVD of Shrek for £9.99. Journied back to Oxford and shopped in Sainsbury’s (mundane). Got home, had lunch, put away groceries (but not necessarily in that order) and phoned Alec about his suggestion about visiting him he’d made on Bullet on the Friday afternoon. Toddled over to Hartley Wintney to visit Alec. Nattered, geeked and ate the rest of the day away finishing off with watching the whole of series 1 of the BBC comedy series “Coupling” which was very funny.. Why did I miss it when it was on BBC 1? Stayed overnight at Alec’s.

Sunday: Got up, washed, had breakfast of corn flakes and honey followed by tomates and cheese on toast. Scoured Alec’s bird table with his new high-pressure washer. Toddled over the Rachel & Grahams’ to play with Christopher, socialise and enjoy Rachel’s cooking of pheasant. More playing with christopher, talking, looking at Ikea catalogues, fun with large balloons ensued finished off with watching Time Team and eating cocnut (fresh) before it was Christopher’s bedtime and time to leave for Alec and myself. I dropped off Alec at his place then drove home. Cleared up a bit, put the rubbish out, couldn’t be bothered with the washing up (there’s enough crocks for the morning), went to bed, read and slept.

And thus the weekend finished.

Sorry, there’s no angst to report, so the banality of my journal continues.

Obviously, on-one’s cursed me with the old Chinese curse “May you live in interesting times.” recently, thank goodness.

Friday again.

Well, it’s Friday again, at last!

The week’s been ok, nothing special’s happened other than I’ve got wet cycling home a couple of times (it started raining at half distance so I couldn’t prepare) and this morning I had fun in my part of the city where they hadn’t gritted the roads or pavements. Let’s say that it was difficult to stand up due to the ice and even the slightest incline would generate an uncontrollable slide down it. Hence, for the first quarter of my journey I pushed the bike and gingerly walked. It was quite fun watching a dustcart trying to take a turning at 2mph and almost piroetting.

As for the weekend, I think I shall go into Witney tomorrow and get my hair cut. Other than that, I have no plans whatsoever so i’ll probably get very bored. Still, I could look into writing a directory search for our new departmental web site my colleague has been working on or continue with my user-friendly, advanced “vacation” program replacement.

We’ll see. Social life will have to wait ’til next weekend when it’s the By the Gods meeting in London. I’m not sure you could really say I had a social life and I definitely don’t have either a love or a sex life.. but at least it’s not complicated and sordid.

New toy!

I bought myself a new toy over the weekend using my Christmas money.. a nice DVD player.

It’s fully multi-region, plays not only DVD’s but CD’s, VCD’s and MP3’s too.. oh and it has a Dolby Digital &trade 5.1 decoder too.. all for £120! It’s and Acoustic Solutions DVD 551.. no, I’ve not heard of the manufacturer either. They do have a web site though. (Warning, it’s Flash only.. silly people.)

Anyway, it means that I now have a nice home entertainment system with big widescreen telly, hi-fi with Dolby Surround decoder, SVHS video recorder, Sky digital receiver and now a DVD player with the 5.1 output going into the HiFi’s 5.1 input.

I’m a happy bunny.. all I need to do know is save up for some DVDs! 🙂

First day back at work.

Last night, having for some unknown reason not been able to get to sleep ’til 4:30am and then waking up at 07:07 and not being able to get back to sleep and then having to drive from Cornwall back to Oxford I was just a tad knackered. Hence, just after Time Team finished I went to bed.

That long sleep seems to have done the business as I was awake and fully functional at the 07:30 get-up time this morning.. which was a good couple of hours before I’d even think about waking up during the holiday.

It’s amazing how unfit you can get in just 2 weeks. Not only have I had to use one belt notch up from the one I used before but my legs ached hugely after the cycle to work and I was very much out of breath, and I wasn’t even going very quickly either. I’m guessing it’s going to take at least a month before I’m back to the same level of fitness as I was a fortnight ago. Never mind.

After much helpful debugging help from the Bullet crowd, the alpha-test version of the ‘vacation’ replacement program I wrote over the holiday seems to be functioning well. I’m using my own account as a testbed.. so far it’s not replied to any mailinglist.. YET! 🙂

Anyway, time for tea!

Well, I’m back..

I’ll not go through all the little details of my Christmas break on here as so many others have done. I’ll merely do a quick summary, after all you have more important things to do that read lots of drivel.

The last fortnight has been spent resting and generally not doing a great deal, stuffing myself with too much food down at my parents’ place down in Cornwall. T’was most pleasant.

Before that, on the Thursday night before Christmas was the Department’s Christmas Party which took place in the basement of a bar in Oxford. Great fun was had by all and I was even persuaded to dance!

The Friday was rather a daze due to the lack of sleep from the previous two days (trip to Reading to see Lord of the Rings on the Wednesday evening etc.). I was going to phone Lindsey up to wish her the seasons’ greetings but was so shattered after getting home from work I went almost straight to bed and slept right through to Saturday morning, when it was time to drive down to Cornwall.