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Month: June 2004

Gmatt ggets Gmail…

Gmatt ggets Gmail…


As I’m sure I’ve mentioned to most people already, I now have a gmail account. People sending me mail shouldn’t worry too much, as I’m currently forwarding all of this domain’s mail to my gmail account.

First impressions are pretty good – the web interface is nice and quick with natty keyboard shortcuts, and the features do seem genuinely useful. You essentially have just two email folders – Inbox and All mail. You can also have ‘labels’, which are kind of like folders but not quite, as a single mail can have several different labels – so you can more or less organise things however you want – by people, topic, date, whatever. I think it’s handy, and I don’t get all that much email.

However, I do have one small gripe – it appears to be a bit broken at the moment. I haven’t received any mail since 2pm today, and I know I should have had at least 4. Hopefully it’s just a glitch and they’ll filter through once what I assume must be a forest of backup MXs sort themselves out.

Anyhoo, just like the logo says, it’s a beta, so I shouldn’t grumble too much 🙂

PS – as part of my ongoing house tidy, I am trying to find a good, loving home for my family of old monitors – one 14″, one 15″, and one 19″. Let’s have those offers coming in 🙂

Well there you go…

Well there you go…

England 2, Portugal 2. Portugal win 6-5 on penalties.

*deep breath*

Much will be said of both Beckham and Vassell and their inability to score from the spot, but the fact is penalties were not required. Extra time was not required (new fangled silver goals or not). Despite a shaky performance, England had this game wrapped up in the 90 allotted minutes.

But then we didn’t count on the referee. The Swiss referee, who’s arm only seemed to swing one way. The referee who’s whistle-happy performance put England out of Euro 2004.


Automatic for the people…

Automatic for the people…

Automatic cars. Can someone remind me why you’d ever actually want one? Are they purely for people who don’t really like driving? The same people who, when asked what they’d do with a lottery win say “I’d hire a chauffeur”? Pah. OK, I can see the advantage if you happen to drive round London a lot, where the average trip requires approximately 23,477,435 gear changes (with 3rd never getting a look in), but out on the open road they’re a menace. Accelerating from 65 to 70 means standing on the go-pedal and revving the proverbials off the poor engine – it’s impossible to accelerate gently, as the car thinks I either want to drive at a constant speed or zoom off like a nutter. As for overtaking on a country road – now there’s a scary experience… I know now NEVER to take my foot off the floor, as the car thinks “Oh, he’s stopped accelerating, I’ll put it back into top gear”. “No!” I shriek, and floor it again. “Ah, he wants to accelerate again, I’ll put it back into 3rd… in a minute… when I’ve finished whatever it is I’m doing… After all, it’s MUCH more important than getting Matt past this truck…”.

For those who like to know – I was in Spalding yesterday (hence the hire car). It’s still desolate up there. The only discernable landmarks being two huge great chimneys at a nearby factory, and the alarming number of huge, flat buildings. I suppose when you have that much spare land it doesn’t make much sense to worry about stairs and stories…

(PS – is it a bad sign when you search for an error code and the only site that Google pulls up is your own? Yes, I thought so…)

“Oh Yes Wyoming!”

“Oh Yes Wyoming!”

Saturday afternoon, and in the midst of a manic tidy up I stop for a coffee, a sit down, and a surf… and I find this. Now, if you can forget for just a moment that it’s all a marketing ploy (and therefore evil), and that it stars that most arrogant, smarmy and american of Americans, Jerry Seinfeld, then it’s actually quite amusing – “I don’t do catching, I do this” 🙂

Work rumbles on. The app I was moaning about last time is still misbehaving, but in a slightly different way and it feels like we’re getting somewhere. But then as I noted last time, that may well just be the God of Java toying with us. Just waiting till we have both feet on the rug before whipping it out from under us… we are surely paying for that erroneous decision to write stuff in Perl all that time ago. We have angered the deity.

Highlight of the week had to be Wednesday though, as the annual department golfing competition came round. I shot my best ever round on the local 9-hole course (42) and grabbed the trophy. Had I not found the water on the 6th I would have broken into the 30s… and that would be something to shout about 🙂

The Dataeagle Cup

It seems lots of people have visitors this weekend, and I am no exception. Maybe that explains the tidying epidemic? 🙂

Cuppa Joe, anyone?

Cuppa Joe, anyone?

Java in the web tier. J2EE. Container-based services. Java Marketing Hyperbole example 4. Yep, all well and good, but you try debugging one of the buggers when it’s misbehaving. It’s like Java’s playing that old ‘hot-cold’ game with you – you fix one problem and another one pops up. If you were ‘hot’ it’s in roughly the same area and you get the impression you’re onto something – you might just be making progress (you’re probably not. No-one said Java had to play fair). If you were ‘cold’, then that’s the last you’ll ever see of that problem, but another 5 will spring up in its place. Like grey hairs. Or warts.

And so I’ve spent the last week and a half of my professional life staring at error messages like this:

E J2CA0044E: The ConnectionManager failed to get a Subject from the security service associated with
connection factory JMS$QueueConnectionFactory.
Received exception Invocation credential has expired.

(Oh yeah, and we didn’t even write this application… We paid for it…)

In ‘real-life’, I’ve been on a bit of a media frenzy. A visit to HMV left me with Bovril Latrine’s new album (more of the same), along with a couple of classical CDs. Holst’s Planets and two of Rachmaninov’s piano concertos. I like them both a lot. Then of course there’s, from which I have acquired Alanis’ new album (oh get over the angst woman, you’re 30 now. Today, in fact, happy birthday :o)), Keane’s debut (yet to listen), and efforts from Joss Stone and Jonny Lang are currently winging their way to me.

My taste in music scares me sometimes. I think I need to go and buy myself some blinkers. I definitely think I should stop wearing festival t-shirts out and about, after I was accosted by the PFY cashier in Safeways the other day. I haven’t had a conversation where someone used the word ‘wicked’ to mean ‘good’ for so long. “Yes I did go to Donington last year, did my attire give it away” “Oh wicked… I wanted to go this year but I’ve got to work”. Oh bless. Here’s my debit card, can I just pay for my bread and milk, please?

Oh and whilst I’m wittering about music… MJ Hibbett & The Validators’ new album ‘Shed Anthems’ is out soon (7th or 14th of June, depending on who you believe). £5 for an album full of stuff in the style of the aforementioned ‘Hey Hey 16k’ and ‘Programming Is A Poetry For Our Time’. You can’t go wrong…

And finally… Googled me recently? Now then people, number 2 is all well and good, but I need your help to get me to that coveted number one spot. That American racing site hasn’t been updated for years… I’m obviously the bloke the average interwebber means when they search for ‘Matt Haney’. Surely. Aren’t I? Somebody tell me I am? :o)

Update: Ooh – I’m top! :o) How did that happen?