beermat: (Default)
so...
erm...
Is this thing switched on?
testing testing 1,1,2,3,5,8...
No idea if the import from LJ will work, I think I pressed the right buttons and twiddled the right knobs...
beermat: (ed - Evil Duck)
So much for a relaxed day.
attempts to create factory recover disk / media for my Lenovo ThinkPad W530 laptop are met with
"You can have only one copy of the Microsoft Window Operating system. The Product Recovery Media Creator will exit now."
WTF?
Which fuckwitted cockwombling excuse of a "human" at Lenovo decided it was a good idea to limit the number of factory recovery install media I can create?
I wanted to create another to use this time as I had reused the original USB memory stick I created for this a long time ago.

So a quick google and a furtle and a cmd prompt "echo 0 > X:\FactoryRecovery\RECOVERY.INI:Done" sorts it out and lets me create the media.

Who are these amazing knobheads who generate these ridiculous quasi-legal-and-barely-thoughout (pointlessly limiting) policies and make such stupid decisions that cause so much stress and anger? Someone hold them down and beat some clues into them!
beermat: (ed - Evil Duck)
well, coming to end of current contract at Ericsson in Stockholm,
1st was 1year from 2013-12-01,
2nd was a renewal for 6mth from 2014-12-01,
3rd now is another renewal for 3mth from 2015-06-01.
At this rate of halving duration we'll be renewing for a day at a time soon!
Alas this shorter contract is my decision, as Ericsson are shedding lots of permies and letting contractors go, I was on the kill list (as I have a now unapproved agent supplying me to e/// due to a different e/// reorginastion) till someone spotted I was rather critical on their current urgent project so they wangled getting me in (with yet another agent in the supply chain between me and e///, 6 now, zarking ridiculous...) but at a almost unacceptable rate cut, so I said I'd do the next 3 months to see the BIOS development on the project to a good handover to production / support point, but not the requested 7 months to the year end.
Hey ho.
Wonder what the place will look like in 3 months time...
beermat: (ed - Evil Duck)
Ah, the end of an era (/error :), CastleVille is closing down. Yes, it's one of those annoying FB "post things that piss your friends off" games, bit I limited that to only letting it post to friends who positively didn't mind seeing the requests, and I made a habit of deleting the CastleVille droppings from my timeline from time to time (OCD much?). I'll miss it and the occasional burst of things to do (I had done all the quests over the past 3? years it'd been there) when a new quest was launched. But most, I'll miss the saying Hello to my pet rock Skippy in the game!

au revoir Skippy! )

Ah well, plus ca change, or whatever...
beermat: (ed - Evil Duck)
Dear Microsoft. Just fuck off and die already, there's a good company? I hate Secure Boot, guaranteed to fuck up anything. Also want to find the Asus BIOS engineers and bash their heads together. I want to boot the UEFI Shell from a memory stick to do some UEFI Application development tests of code I'm writing. Stick is MBR formatted so Secure Boot should have nothing to do with it, FAT32 partition, and have done so before from my Asus Z97-K test motherboard after previously lots of angry swearing and Setup change attempts at the zarking thing, but this time it just plain refuses to let me boot UEFI Shell. Removed the keys (PK KEK DB DBX) from SCU menu, set OS to 'other' and the Secure Boot status says "disabled". yet try to boot the UEFI shell and a popup comes up saying "secure boot is enabled, turn it off to boot an untrusted OS". grrrr. Tried flashing latest BIOS, yup, that's still as buggy. tried setting admin/usr pswds as some googled forums suggest, nope, still secure boot disabled but not letting anything boot as secure boot says no. double grrrr...
beermat: (ed - Evil Duck)
We like Steam. Coupled with Humble Bundle, and buying just the $1 bunch with occasional splurges on more when a particular game leaps out. And then delay whilst finding time to get round to playing them at some point in the future. No idea when I HumbleBundled The Dream machine, but I'm rather enjoying it. Cardboard and Clay animation and a point and click adventure.

After games, its back to UK company VAT return & pay the corp tax sometime, UK personal task return, Sweden Skatteverket stuff, moving from apartment to rented flat, etc...

Cool, LJ has a "post this post to FB" thing as well.
beermat: (ed - Evil Duck)
For the latest contract I'm working at Ericsson in Stockholm on x86 UEFI BIOS ; my office is apparently SEKI 30 06 525A (Ericsson's naming convention (probably global) with SE=Sweden, KI=Kista, 30=building#30 (which is at 6, Färögatan, Kista, Stockholm) 06=floor6, 525A=corridor 5 (it's a weird building), office 25 [I am not a number, I am a free man! well, not quite free, but remarkably reasonable rates, all things considered].

Whilst pootling from the office tonight through the rather labyrinthine layout of SEKI 30, my mind being occupied with linux OVMF UEFI builds running under qemu & sorting out key enrollment, I somehow decided to take the spiral stairs down rather than the usual lift journey, got a bit discombobulated at what I though was floor 2 and exited from floor 3 (I think) to the right rather than to the left. And ended up in the open quad in the center of the block. With lots of dark and snow. And not where I expected to be, on the usual street side. turn around, access card lets me back in through the outside door to a short corridor, but doesn't let me through the 2nd revolving door into the building proper, beeps at me and demands my PIN code. "What zarking code!", thinks I. embarrassed panic time, look for intercom or anything, nada. Think's I'm either stuck here till someone spots me, or perhaps I could walk round the quad and bang on office windows and plead to let me in (claim insanity or something (oh and let me in please)), or build a rude snowman, or ...

After a number of random numbers stabbed into the keypad as a code (9999, 1111, 1234 etc) I remembered that yes, they did in fact ask me to add a PIN code to the photo RFID card some 7 or so weeks ago back when I had to go through the induction blaze of all the new things in one day thing. Phew, my usual code works, relief and cue the cat thing of "hope no-one saw me doing that", then onwards through the evening back to the apartment and safety. Blert.
beermat: (ed - Evil Duck)
So I can't (yet) read the Intel Restricted Secret docs at work (Ericsson, Kista) I need for understanding a bunch of chipset BIOS stuff, 'cause I've not yet persuaded the IT dept to sort out the firewall config etc. Yet come home to the hotel apartment & can use it on my lappy through the hotels internet connection just fine, Adobe reader contacts the Intel Rights Management server & authenticates all peachy. Got to love corporate IT...
beermat: (ed - Evil Duck)
Whilst the GCL work lappy (Lenovo W530, core i7, 32GB RAM) is a PITA for cables falling out of every orifice, it don't half shift at doing work. Compiled the EDK-II source freshly snaffled from git repository & using MS VC 2012 (express), it took under a minute. Do the same at the E/// office on the poor HP EliteBook core i5 thing with but 4GB RAM & it takes 10 mins or so...
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Hello LJ. Sorry I seem to have decamped and been posting FB status updates 'stead of using you.

Digestion. Pah. OK, so having EBS and several core dumps from eating cucumber (not the skin) in a tasty salad at Lec & Andy's the other Thursday I can accept, after all I knew you were a bit flaky concerning peppers & marrows and cucumber skin. But to do the same yesterday evening after I fed you tasty ham eggs chips and peas, none of which you've ever complained about before was definitely taking the michael. Nothing odd eaten either the preceding hours either. You want to convert to a breathearian or something equally stupid? Am feeling very washed out today and no idea what to feed this body now.

ohhh, hang on, I did decide to have a glass of milk with lunch (a ham sandwich & a banana). I don't normally drink milk but I did have a craving for some the other day and brought a little container of it to investigate. Please don't tell me I'm dairy intolerant as I like & eat cheese every now and then and am not giving that up!
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Trying to order tickets to the Fields of the Nephilim at O2 Shepherd's Bush Empire for 31 Oct (yeah, I know, clashes with WGW, what can one do!) is quite stressful.

Barclaycard can fuck off and die, their customer services numbers are all 0844 and I'm not paying them to answer my question as to why the ticketweb.co.uk site declined my purchase.
Did call the international customer svcs number which is a more friendly 01604.
However the Indian call center chap was difficult to understand and had to be repeatedly asked to slow down.
Eventually transpires that from their point of view and what they can see, the card's CCV is not matching. I know I entered it right.

I also *hate* the visa VillifedByVisa with a passion, it *never* works right. Possibly as I use Firefox and NoScript so have to allow sites as and when they want javascript confuses it. Or it's just rubbish.

Call to First Direct was much more pleasant. Scottish accented lady whom one could actually understand and very helpful.
As with the barclaycard visa, the 1st direct visa had been transaction declined by the ticketweb site due to CCV incorrect.
Lady suggested that ticketweb could be busy and possibly servers timing things out and thus being wrong.
I shall try again in an hour or so (she thought perhaps olympic tickets sales or other may be clogging the servers...)

Reminds me of why I like First Direct. An 0845 number (inclusive with BT Anytime tarriff), and people I can actually understand who are helpful.
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Windows 7. must control fist. of. death...
added the new Alienware lappy (also Win7 pro x64) called SQUEEE (it's rather good at playing games unlike the main PC which is a bit slow graphicsWise) to the LAN & since then, my several win XP machines (both VMs and real hardware) plus the xbox-1 (erk, stopped streaming tunes to listen to whilst nodding off, this is mission critical stuff!) lost ability to access shares on the main Win7 PC :(
Have had to furtle through google reams of other people with problems of XP machines loosing / not able to see shares from Win 7.

Telling Win7 to fuck off and not use SMB2 and just use SMB1 seems to have helped and made all XP / SMB things (XBMC on XBOX1-) work again :-
regedit &
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\LanmanServer\Parameters SMB2=dword:00000000
If not there, create it.
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Wheee sugar rush (bounce bounce bounce) - thanks [livejournal.com profile] eurydice13 for the birthday party hosting with lots of cool people and a most excellent tiramisu.

Today's also the last day of the 4 weeks amitriptyline 25mg tablets prescribed by the pain management clinic at the Royal Surrey Hotspital in Guildford. I should have heard from them a week or so ago with a follow-on consultation to see how I got on with them. In fact I'm not too bothered by their (alas somewhat typical) failure to communicate at this point, as I'd like to see if there are any problems coming off the pills, other than the expected return of the it's-not-sciatica-but-we-don't-know-what-it-is pains in groin/upper thigh region. Have noticed over the last two weeks though what with the diminishing of the chronic pain that my L4/L5 disc problems have also receded, in fact have only needed to take a couple of tramadol one day for too much pain there. This is a good thing, am wondering if the reduction of the chronic pain means I'm not tensed up / protecting my back as much and consequently it's a lot happier with Life. Yay for the drugs.
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I do wish the pharmaceutical companies when packaging up pills into the little foil wrapped sheets for us to take would leave more space around the pills for us to write what the schedule to take them was, so one could see if one's already taken the dose, specially for someone like me with a not-brilliant memory. Have just been started on amitriptyline (25mg tablet/day) as pain management for chronic sciatica (ish, not presenting as normal sciatica in that it's in the top of thigh/groin area & MRI shows nothing untoward round L1. L4/L5 injury is a different kettle of fish & a different pain presentation).

If no one's already done pills with space to write or print the schedule on, remember folks you saw the idea here first ;)
(off to google it next...)
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Went downstairs to the kitchen to nuke a couple of slices of tuesdays cheep pizza (two XL pizzas for 15 quid, lasts me for days (as long as I don't get fed up of pizza) & then into the freezer to make it keep) for breakfast, did that and remembered the kitchen was clear as C&J were away playing ukelelalelililos somewhere, and I had thunked about doing some culinery crimes whilst it was free for me to make a mess in :)

600g mince beef from fridge (a few days out of the freezer), 4 cloves of garlic (oops, but then, noone loves me so I can eat of much of it as I like), two onions, the mushrooms didn't make it as they were too sad and old :(, a tin of napolita tomatoes, tin of chickpeas, and a generous quantity of frozen petit pois. Couple of beef oxo cubes as stock (have run out of vegetable bouillon, must go shopping soon!). In the wok/frying pan thing, bubbling away now, the mash is made, the oven is on... and I'll call that Lunch later! (and freeze the rest for other days noms)
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This evenings lumbar MRI scan at Royal Surrey Hotspital (RSH) went well. I am able to relax totally in it and enjoy the experience of being able to think without PCs, phones, etc etc etc and have 20 mins of enforced doing nothing (am always seeming to be doing things and thinking things). Nice time to think and just Be. No claustrophobia and the loud noises are just like being at Slimelights of a good evening so doesn't distract / disturb me, I just have to resist the urge to 'dance' to it :)
Went in early for the appointment (as it was at rush hour & RSH visitor parking is usually a nightmare), but all went well and was there 30 mins early. No sooner had I sat down than the radiologist came round to ask if I was ready to go in now as they'd had the slot free up as the previous person alas couldn't go through with it.
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Fed up of PC things, installing Ubuntu failing, UEFI BIOS stuff being complicated and brain going splort due to trying to cram too much in, I decided to relax by committing some culinary creations (or crimes).

Thing Pie is sitting in oven, bubbling away cheerfully. Added some carrots, mushrooms and pettis pois to the mince n onions & tin of tomatoes. Oh, and half a bottle of rioja whilst cooking it all in the frying pan / wok thing -- the other half of the bottle is in me. te he he. Have some nice buttered mash on top and a sprinkling of some Jarlsberger cheese & into the oven. May be an interesting taste this one. Some green beans to go with it in about 15 mins and we'll call that tea. Forgot the garlic in it this time though, d'oh.

This cooking malarky is a lot easier (and possibly more (spiritually) rewarding) than fettling PCs and all the software buggeration, innit!
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I must live at confused.com. Well, I seem to currently, as am having headaches trying to get the UEFI Shell application onto a bootable USB memory stick. I think I need the memory stick to have a GPT (GUID Partition Table) and a System Firmware Volume format thing, or something, format it as FAT32 (or FAT/FAT16?) as well as then putting the file at /EFI/BOOOT/BOOTX64.EFI
(digs further through the 3,578 pages of specifications for a Clue)
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Sigh, O2 Broadband appear to be having yet another fecking issue with their DNS.
Switching to 8.8.8.8 for a while till they sort their act out...
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Hello LJ, it's been a while...

Life has been Hectic, to say the least.

Having finally got round to updating the ol' CV with the past 18months work (unix multitasking network sockets Asterisk Sofia-SIP TCP UDP IP VoIP SDP SS#7 ISUP MTP3 CSM RUDP MGCP RTP T.38 and more TLAs than you can shake a stick at) and uploading it to JobSite, the poor mobile's been ringing non stop & emails by the skipload. This, to say the least, was unexpected. I've been scrabbling for work here and there the past decade quite stressfully not getting much. Then everything arrives at once (cf buses). On Tuesday I had two offers almost equally as brilliant as each other sat on my desk (I'd even dead tree printed them out), and with but minutes to go on deadlines for accepting them, I went for the [teleworking UEFI BIOS engineering contract role for a company in Swindon] over the [teleworking embedded real time firmware engineer for a company in west end of nodnol]. It was a very difficult decision and I was very sad to let down the great guys at [Onzo] for the smart energy metering development role, I was looking forward to that. Apart from the painful jostle of public transport trains woking->waterloo, I could have perhaps even enjoyed the occasional commute into the office in west end and post-work mooching around london with friends doing social things. Ah well. Need a cloning machine!

edit if anyone is a realtime embedded software engineer & looking for a great role in the West End of London, see [here]. No idea how long it'll be a live role for though as they were very keen to get a body in...

Meantime, the Cold Of Doom has progressed from headache earache lung aching coughing sneezing and dribbly noses to the same again but with the added fun of half inching my voice. This has made talking to the recruitment agents (to cancel 3 other lined up job interviews!) difficult and most painful. stoopid colds. Perhaps I should stop hacking firmware & get to hacking viruses genomes RNA.

What else. Oh, yes, my first proper scarification recently didn't go well, in that it's faded away now. But then I'd not planned to have "maJ" burnt into my right hand's palm in the first place. Have learnt that saucepan handles (with the letters "Jamie Oliver" on them, the "Jam" of which ended up in backwards my skin) left over the top of frying pans tend to get bloody hot. owie. Have big blisters (yes, one is larger than a 50p piece. either old or new fiddy pees. no, I didn't take myself to AnE as perhaps I should, 2hrs dunked in ice water as soon as muppet me did it seems to have saved it from being worse than it could have) but the swelling has gone down (oh err missus!) and should be OK with a bit of care...

That's probably enough update for one day, there's shed loads more I should have perhaps writtedified as they happened. 0/10, Must Try Harder.
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