Just a more or less extensive update on what's happening behind the scenes of ANN: PC trouble and school results, among others. Skip if you just come here for Amiga news, or else read more below.
I'm only slightly exaggerating when I say that the most familiar roads I'm driving are those to the PC retailer I bought my Athlon 750 and add-ons from. I was there twice today, once yesterday, once on Tuesday, once Saturday before, and at least five or six times late last year. And the end result as of this evening is that I now have a system that won't even switch on, since the power supply seems to be dead. It did work at the retailer, entirely in pieces, before they mounted it back into the tower. I'm wishing I had bought everything somewhere else.
I phoned the phone company today and told them that phoning them every two weeks and always getting promised more news on my DSL line "in two weeks" ever since late October isn't very satisfactory. Now that I think about it, this even reminds me of certain Escom/Gateway-Amiga PR tactics. But anyway, the guy I spoke to revealed that their machines will only arrive in late February, and he more or less admitted that they never even tested them. Since this only applies to DSL over the ISDN line, I might have to get DSL over the analogue ("family") line two stories below, and then run the network cable up here.
Obviously, since I cannot use my main PC, I don't have access to my usual set of files and tools. I do not have a working mail program, no access to all of my offline copies of Perl scripts and web pages, and worse, no MP3's. Somehow, a 200CD changer is nice and comfortable, but once you get used to instant changes between tracks, waiting for a ten-second CD change becomes a painful silence.
My marks for the first semester back in school will probably be my best ever. In a way, I'm wondering how I achieved that, because I certainly didn't learn all that much. But perhaps I'm just being lucky.
On a related subject, I helped out at my old workplace in the christmas break and on most afternoons for the last two weeks. Somehow, this experience was more rewarding, and I enjoyed my work much more than when I still worked there fulltime. Tomorrow, I'll be doing an SQL Anywhere 7.0.1 server installation at a large bank, and connecting our reporting software to it, as well as telling these people how to use it all. Of course it would be easier if I had actually installed SQL Anywhere v7 before, since I'm sure there are differences between 5.x, 6.x (which I know) and 7.0.1, but this has to wait until tomorrow in an unimportant course at school - notebooks are a wonderful invention.
Feedback to my last MOTD on declining advertiser revenues has been mostly positive. I have several enquiries from companies, as well as a few individuals offering financial contributions, but since I'm essentially without a working mail setup, I can't get back to anybody at the moment without using email accounts I don't really trust. Hopefully I'll have a working computer on Saturday, again.
I phoned the Luxembourgish domain registry today and enquired about various things (why does my invoice have a giant "copy" printed across when I never got an original? why do I have to pay an initialisation in 2001 when I registered a domain in 1998?...) I made a few discrete mentions of how I thought they were essentialy dinosaurs, billing way too much and offering little or no service in return. I'm not sure if they managed to grasp what I was saying. But really, if I can get a .com for 14€ a year, why does a 90€ .lu domain need to be paid via bank account, and why does any change have to be faxed in and requires up to 8-day turnover (implying a possible 8-day inaccessibility)... I guess every country and sector needs to have its respective equivalent of Microsoft, IBM or Network Solutions. Oh well...
I'm hoping to tour the Unites States in summer, buying a car and driving around on my own for a month or two. I still have my last three months of work income invested in shares, and if I'm lucky enough, this should provide enough to make this financially possible. Any advice or hints from people, especially Europeans, who toured the US on their own would be appreciated.
I'm hoping you enjoyed this journal-type of entry. While it doesn't really fit into ANN as an Amiga news site, I'm posting it nevertheless, even if just to show that there's actually a human being behind these scripts and news postings. :)