July the ninth 2000: jpoc gets a new office the jpoc journal

The main thing to report on this week is that we finally moved into the new building. It was almost ready for us. The main problem for me was that, on arrival, there was no desk but a quick piece of office shuffling saw me with a desk which actually has line of sight views of the coffee machine. Talk about pole position! For the first time since I arrived, I also have a telephone on my desk so things are looking up!

Sadly, the big cheeses with the company Benz's seem to have forgotten about the proles with push-bikes so we have what looks like thirty bikes trying to fit into space for ten.

The world continued to conspire against me when I tried to book a plane ticket for a trip to England. I thought that on-line booking systems were supposed to make things easier for all concerned. Try telling that to the likes of KLM. It appears that their system was written to be as user hostile as possible. Sometimes, I wonder if a group of web designers were just staggeringly incompetent but in this case I cannot believe that to be the case. The system said that my name, as printed on my KLM frequent flyer card was invalid. Then, it reported that my frequent flyer id, on the same card, was also invalid. No, that is not mere incompetence. A quick hint to KLM: if you want web designers who will try to sabotage your business, you do not need to pay them a salary, they will come and hack you to bits for the fun of it.

In contrast, Maria arranged tickets for a trip to St.Petersburg with no hassle at all! Just dial a number, rattle away in Russian and tell John where to send the money!

Those of you who are worrying about the jpoc tooth will be reassured to know that the pain is much reduced while those who quite like the suffering will be pleased to hear that it is not completely recovered.

Another exciting development was that we received Andrei's first school report. Of course, he is being taught in a language that he has hardly ever spoken before but it appears that he is making great progress. Three cheers for a clever chap indeed and here's hoping he doesn't go and do a Euan!

I fixed the slot car set that we got for his birthday and it lasted nearly half an hour before it was again broken. Hmmm, perhaps the manufacturers should employ a few five year olds in their QC department!

We all went shopping for some new shoes for Maria which reminded me that it is some while since I bought myself a new rucksack!

I've been trying to catch up on the backlog of web site stuff that built up while I was having trouble with my tooth. Also, I note that I am getting an increasing amount of traffic from the new google search engine and also from the references to my film reviews from the internet movie database.

Actually, I've been trying our google myself and it seems to be a good search engine indeed. I've always preferred altavista but recently, it seems that you spend more time downloading non-search engine stuff from AV than actually downloading search results. Google promises that it will only ever offer search facilities and not email, chat pages etc etc etc so I guess that it is a good search resource.

I'm still trying to sort out the lock up problems that I have on the computer. It looks as though the trouble is connected to the PCMCIA network card in the IBM portable that I use as a mail server.

I don't know if the trouble is a hardware fault or if I need new drivers but, if I unplug the card after the machine hangs, it comes back to life!

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