Rik's Ramblings

Thursday, September 30, 2004

London Internet Exchange (LINX) transmits more data than any other...

    News Stories - The IEE: "The UK has claimed top spot in the world Internet community with news that the London Internet Exchange (LINX) now transmits more data than any other independent Internet hub on the planet. ...

    LINX, ... is now passing a record 40 gigabits of data per second through the exchange at peak times ...

Ironically, 60% of all traffic is SPAM, making them the biggest SPAM relay on the panet too :)

Easy Galactic Telecom

I thought it was a kewl name for a company. So I registered the domain name.

$10 on Yahoo!, can't complain really.

What do you think of the splash screen:

Easy Galactic
Easy Galactic Screen Shot

See the full size version at http://easygalactic.com

Not a bad picture for two hours work if you ask me!

God, I'm such a nurd...

Now, I don't need any of you space geeks telling me the perils [or Newtonian physical impossibility] of two planets being as close as the Orange and Blue planet appear to be in the picture.

More nurdy space stuff!

Well Virgin didn't waste any time getting some more publicity with this weeks launch of Space Ship One! Great photo op eh!

Virgin in Space

Image Display: "Cameras aboard SpaceShipOne catch the spacecraft's flight in space, with the Earth seen below, during the spacecraft's Sept. 29, 2004 flight.

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

The Sagarville Deck

As mentioned previously, we needed to do some'ink in the back yard as the drive-way people were kind enough to remove the crumbly old patio and leave us with a big old dirt hole instead [see -
Wet Ramblings of the Dive Boy: Decking Design Dilemma ].

Anyway, last week we got Sierra Lumber to come do the deed. Looks pretty good now. Haven't got the bill yet, but somewhere around $10k. Well, it's a big deck and it's made of Redwood.

Yeah, I know where are the pictures ... well try this little clip for starters [windows media clip].

So my job now, for the weekend, is to go buy some turf [US] and patch-up the gaps in the grass around the deck.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Virgin Galactic

You've got to love Richard Branson ain't ya!

    Virgin Galactic: "London, Sept 27 - Today at the Royal Aeronautical Society in London's West End, Sir Richard Branson and Burt Rutan made their announcement to the world's media that Virgin Galactic was now in a position to commence a programme of work that would result in the world's first affordable space tourist flights in 2 to 3 years time. "
Oh well, there goes Ben's college fund ;-)

Virgin Galactic is the name of the company. About $200k get's you 4 minutes of weightlessness (and a 4 hour flight).

I suppose Stelios will have the price down to a mere 99quid by the end of the decade.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Linux Hack

Having a great time at the moment at work. I'm doing lots of Linux Hacking. Hard core stuff these days, I've been writing Kernel modules that interact with the Ethernet layers to create, send and receive 802.2 (LLC) based SNAP messages.

God, it was a bitch to sift through all that badly documented kernel code to find out how the to talk to the 802/ethernet layer, but now that I understand it I have to say it's pretty kewl. It's like object oriented and overloaded, but all written in C.

Then I was writing code to make my module look like a file device. It's hella cool!

I remember doing windows drivers about 10 years ago and I never got to the bottom of that code. Linux is so much more logical. I suppose that's because it's written by people who are more intelligent ...

Tuesday, September 21, 2004


We went camping over the weekend ... didn't I mention it, oh, I'm sorry.

We went down the coast to Sunset State Beach[search]. We go there every year it seems ... twice this year if fact. It's quite a nice little spot, nestled between a strawberry field and the Pacific Ocean.

Weather wasn't to cracky this week. Mainly overcast, very windy on the beach, big grey waves ... bit like a weekend in Brid' [American?] really!.

Anyway, meant that we didn't get about much, but we did have a big fire in the fire-pit at our site.

Scott and I were up until about midnight on Saturday, drinking (naturally). As I went to the cooler to get another can of bud I disturbed a sweet little skunk that was helping himself to our garbage. Aw bless, it was so cute. It wasn't stinky at all. Much to my suprise and contrary to Pepe-le-pew's depictation of the lil' critters!

Anyway, he looked at us, we looked at him ... then we threw beer at him and he ran away without any spraying.

In checking my facts for Brid I visited http://www.bridlington.net/. They have this picture on the home page:

Sunbathing Chick

I'm sorry, but there is NO WAY anyone would really sit on the beach in brid in a bikini ...

Bill Gates / Linux / USB

Interesting piece on the announced USB security standard...!

PBS | I, Cringely . Archived Column: "Microsoft is planning a preemptive strike against Linux using its control of the PC hardware standard."

Monday, September 20, 2004


A couple of weeks back I noticed lots of activity in the end unit on the strip mall [english?] near my ouse (corner of Washington and Newhall).

It went through my mind then I bet they're going to open a Starbucks there.

I've noticed a common practice of those capitalist skums at Starbucks. They like to open a branch close to where there's already a coffee shop. I know it's deliberate. They use mom & pop shops as their way of getting free surveys of coffee market demand in the area. Then they know that the majority of non-locals driving down the street will choose a Starbucks over an unknown coffee house. Unknown coffee can be a risky commodity you know!

When we first moved into the area I would have killed for a Starbucks on the corner. At that time it was a mile walk to the nearest [excellent] coffee shop. Today we have a coffee shop, we don't need no stinking starbucks.

It's not long since - across the street, a block further down - a little private coffee shop opened up and they're currently trying to make a go of it. They must be so pissed now. What chance do they have a picking up passing trade when the 800-pound gorilla is visible on the horizon.

I won't be going there. I might even start a protest group.

Anyway, I'm off to Pete's now for a latte.

This week in Multinational Land

Just so I don't forget how retarded my Regarded Multinational Employer is, here's one of this weeks posts from our Pan-global disseminatium from our highly trained outsource slaves.

Software Engineer

What is Slow Blanking and Fast Blanking? How to test a slow blanking signal on TV Scart?

What is RF loopthrough? Any setup to test RF loopthrough?

Come on you people! Who's doing hiring over there? You'd think someone employed to work on set-up boxes would be expected to know what blanking is!!

So there you go. If you know what blanking is, please apply to our department in Bangalore and you too could be raking in $4/hour as a software engineer.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Firefox drawing fans away from Microsoft IE | CNET News.com

Firefox drawing fans away from Microsoft IE | CNET News.com

While I applaud the move away from the Micro$oft browser it does give me some concern. After all, if Firefox gets too popular the Virus writers might start targetting it. Then I wouldn't be able to surf the web in safety and smugty.

I suck!

Google Code Jam 2004, Powered by TopCoder

God, I must be a sucky programmer. I entered this competition today, thinking, Hey, I'm bound to get through the first round at least! Afterall, I'm a software professional.

I got 190 points ... 99th place out of my group! Top score at the moment is about 1100!

Hmmm, maybe I should have played in the practice rooms first. Maybe it's true, working for a Retarded Multinational sends you brainless. I suppose I'll never get that job at Google now :'-(

Monday, September 13, 2004

Microsoft e-mail proposal dealt setback | CNET News.com

Microsoft e-mail proposal dealt setback | CNET News.com: "Microsoft's insistence on keeping secret a possible patent application on its proposed technology was unacceptable"

Those bastards in Redmond just never stop their slimy underhand tricks do they!

Thursday, September 09, 2004

Slideshows on Rik Sagar's Eternally Under Construction Website

Rik's Slideshows are back!

I got around to putting some of the new pictures on the site.

The vintage stuff (millions of pix) isn't in place yet, but that's just a case of moving some folders about ... then the majik of Perl will take care of the rest.

I knew I shouldn'a bought them "Pioneer Aerospace" Shares!

Newsday.com - AP Regional

    The parachute re-entry system for the failed Genesis space capsule was one of several projects designed and developed by [Pioneer Aerospace] a Connecticut-based aerospace company.

The unfeeling bastard who wrote the article went on to name Allen Witkowski as the project manager ... like he's not getting enough shit at the moment from his boss, friends and peers, now the whole space-geek community will be hunting him down to smirk accusingly in his general direction.

On a positive note. Pioneer are owned by ... THE FRENCH company Zodiac. Whoo-hoo, one more reason to hate the French. Maybe we should rename our French Fries to Free-fall Fries.

RIM 'BlackBerry' with revamped keyboard

Looks kewl! Maybe even cooler than the Treo 600 ... which I love. Like the "psuedo-real" keyboard idea, better than yakky numeric keys with T9.

USATODAY.com - RIM launches BlackBerry with revamped keyboard

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Who's car is it?

Ben saw the new car today. His first comment was;
Can mommy and I use the silver car and you use the green one ... "No Ben!".
Well how about mommy and I take you to work in the silver car and drop you off the ... "No Ben!".

Then he and I spent about an hour inside the car checking out the features and comparing them to the Focus. He even wanted to look under the hood. I must confess, it meant nothing to me, but it looks more complicated under the Outback's hood than the Focus'.

Switched to Firefox

Mozilla Products: "Firefox"

Just upgraded to Firefox today as my Mozilla client (from about 1 year ago) was getting confused with it's shockwave plug-in versions and crashed everytime I tried to update to Shockwave 7.

Anyway, Firefox, eh! Suppose I'll have to buy another T-shirt now...

PhotoStamps: Home

Saw this on The Screen Savers site, looks pretty kewl.

PhotoStamps: Home

Make Your Own Postage Stamps the Legal Way

Wouldn’t it be great to have custom stamps made with your kid's cute little mug on ‘em? Now you can at www.photostamps.com.

Make your own stamps, using your favourite baby pictures... ofcourse it's going to result in a lot of puketastic mail around the Christmas season, but who cares. $16 for a roll of 20 stamps.

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

New Car

Bought a new car today Subaru Outback Wagon.

[Library Footage]

Mine's more of a silver on silver two-tone, rather than white over silver.

Monday, September 06, 2004


A date for my diary: Finally went entirely insane today, Monday September 6, 2004.

Not sure who or what to blame, so I guess it must be my own fault.

Sunday, September 05, 2004

Hot Day at the Beach - aka, Rik Lobster

Had a great day at the beach today.

I really wasn't planning to enjoy it - too many trips to the beach in this family. Plus we were taking the dog and that's always stressful as he hates seagulls!

Turned out OK. We were able to let Lucky off the lead most of the time. Carmel is very dog friendly and dogs can go on the beach off-leash. Must be a big pain for non-dog people (like me inherantly). There were hundreds of dogs there ... it's a big beach!

We tired Lucky out at the quiet end of the beach first, with some playing in the water too! Then I took him back down to our spot and he was mostly good, like I say, the 'guls were a bit of a worry, he had to keep chassing them and barking at them lots. Occasionally, in chasing 'guls, he had to jump over unsuspecting sleeping beach goers, resulting in much dislodging of sand and no doubt some pant-soiling.

Ben and I had lots of fun time in the water. The waves were pretty big. Ben had his 'surf board' [really a little body-board (or boogie-board) that we bought in Capitola when Gareth and Kerry were over last year. But he think's it's a surf board]. He did some skipping over the waves as they came up the beach. He'd kneel on the board and hold onto the edge. I'd tow him through the wash. Then I spent some time body surfing the waves in. Nothing better than a salt water enema to give you an appetite!

Got home pretty late. We came home via the "London Pub" (Monterey) were we got fish and chips (and Smithwicks and Strongbow). Lucky got a bit ansy with the tourists - I think he was bored. In Carmel he'd been dead to the world when we walked through town (6 hours on the beach knocked his out) but with the drive to monterey he'd got enough rest to get some bark back.

Ben enjoyed waching the boats come into the harbour. I lined-up some boat diving for next Sunday ;-)

When we got home I looked in the mirror to find I'd neglected to put sunscreen on just about everywhere.

Rik Lobster!

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

God, I must be so old! I remember playing the original on my Speccy [If you're young, click here].

Slashdot | Both Tea And No Tea - Updated Hitchhiker's Game: "To coincide with the new radio series of Douglas Adams' Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, the BBC will be reviving the old Infocom Hitchhiker's text adventure game, to appear on Radio 4's website."

Hands up if you know something ... anything!

I'm getting really tired of talking to people who don't know anything.

I feel like whenever I talk to someone these days, I spend the whole conversation telling them what I know, never having a discussion, because they don't know anything.

What is it? Is it me? Am I talking to the wrong people? Am I using the wrong words? It's so frustrating. I need an conversation where I actually get some payback.

There's nothing to say really...

 Click For Small photo

Mehmet Yilmaz snorts milk up his nose and squirts it out of his eye in a bid to set a new world record in Istanbul, Turkey, Wednesday, Sept. 1, 2004. Yilmaz squirted the milk 2 meters 79.5 centimeters, surpassing the exisitng world record of 2 meters 61 centimeters. Organizers said the record must still be verified. (AP Photo/Osman Orsal)


Moore on the Republican National Convention

USATODAY.com - Moore on the Republican National Convention

Michael Moore is a liberal filmmaker and director of Fahrenheit 9/11. Here'a a link to his reports (blogs to you and ne) from the RNC.