Monday, January 30, 2006

Bundaberg Installations

Over Wednesday, Thursday and Friday I installed VDSL based in-room broadband systems into the Bert Hinkler and Reef Gateway motels in Bundaberg. The installation at the Reef Gateway went smoothly but the Bert Hinkler didn't have the phone line with the DSL as Telstra said it would.

The lead up to the installation was going fine until I discovered the equipment was not ordered until 2 days before hand - apparently a fax order was sent the Friday before but wasn't followed up. As the equipment did not arrive until 6 hrs after I was due to leave for Bundaberg, my entire timetable was out by half a working day, for which I had to make up for. The PFY came up with some equipment that was left behind in my rush out the door, he turned out to be of good assistance, distributing the equipment to the rooms and tidying up the install after I was done. In the end I was only 1hr behind - dropping the rental car off at 6pm instead of the intended 5pm. Thursday was Australia Day, a public holiday for most, if not all...

There is still a few things that need to be done up there which I will finalise myself tomorrow, other things involve running data cable etc and that will take time that I don't have. I will leave that task up to the local contractors.

These installations are fkn hard work. Crawling under desks and drilling holes to fit cables, screwing adaptors to the underside of tables and shifting mini-bar fridges from out of their cavities to make use of their power point isn't particularly easy nor enjoyable. I'm no stranger to hard work I stacked and sorted scaffolding/formwork and made thousands of treated pine garden products in my early days and that kind of work was great - just get in and do it. This kind of work is difficult- organise everything, resolve all issues that arise and then continuously monitor the contractors and underlings while trying to get your own tasks done. Yet somehow the clients always like me, must be doing something right.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

My very own PFY

We had a new recruit join us today. He is going to be my shadow for a while until he gets into the swing of things. He's fresh from school and is looking at doing full time work with us while he does a part time University degree through the local uni.

He seems like a nice kid, a bit eager to please and to prove himself but I guess I was like that at that age. Shit, I'm talking like I'm 40 odd...

So we went and did a bunch of room installs - of course the subbie didn't bring the right phone connectors, so I have to make up a million phone patch leads and install them at some point next week. The same week I'm due to go up to Bundaberg and install another two buildings up there...

I installed a Scythe Ninja heatsink into my trusty Opteron 144 @ 2.07GHz PC yesterday. Its quite a nice piece and works great, even without a fan.


Thursday, January 12, 2006

Back to work

Getting back into work after holidays is always one of the hardest things to do. Like after working for ages, work doesn't really seem that bad - but after sampling how good life is without the constant contact with randoms, it shows how bad work really is.

For the past three days I have been cracking down on the lack of organisation in the work place. Like we roll out in-room broadband systems to hotel/motels around the country - we don't actually have any documented system of doing so in place. So far all the installations have been done from the hip, and it causes me no end of stress and anxiety. So I got a project management tool from the web and started nutting out a project template for a typical install. From this templated project I will start to write procedures and processes for forefilling each task. Then I will start doing time and resource estimates and then start working on a master project and start filing in all the sub-projects under it. Once that is all in place I'll work out the best method of change control for these projects to lessen the impact we have on our clients - introducing a new product to someone's range can be quite a big deal to their staff without us knowing about it.

So far I've completed the first step, now I'm typing like mad to get the procedures out the door and into production...

I'm going to book more holidays between the 27th of February and the 6th of March for radtrip'06. A weeks worth of bbq and drinking with mates from Townsville. '05 was leet, hopefully '06 will be just as good if not better.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Bringing in the New Year

The new year has been fairly ordinary to date. My fish have died, I think the fruit of the Date Palm hanging over it got in and started fermenting in the water - the excess nutrience caused an outbreak of algae growth and the subsequent morning sun caused it to die and pollute the water. So three 9mth old fish gone, and my giant snail has done a runner. I cleaned out the pond, trimmed out the plants and revamped the fountain. Now I need to devise a method of stopping shit from getting into it and think about what fish I'm going to use to restock it.

The trip back down the coast wasn't too good. Something I ate in Townsville the day before decided to rear its ugly head just when I was departing Townsville - I have to thank the Hungry Jacks at Anandale for use of their Toilet facilities, the same appreciation can be shared with the Toilet facilities at the Shell Giru, Shell Malborough, St Lawence and Shell Rockhampton...

Its great to be back on the coast, sitting here typing up this entry in a nice 20°C with a cool breeze blowing the moist air from outside where there's a slight drizzle. Up north it was generally somewhere between 35 and 45°C and the humidity ruined any chance of your body cooling itself with any efficiency. Not even Mackay offered its generally milder weather as it was just as hot as everywhere else.

Today I finished typing up the reports for the inspections I did at Airlie Beach on the way back down the coast from Townsville. I also went through all the e-mails that collated during my apparent holiday and removed the irrelevant ones and responded to the urgent ones. Quite a few urgent issues to address tomorrow, I'm getting rather tired of a few dodgy parts of the network that go up and down like a yoyo given a stiff breeze and a bit of rain. I also need to write up a shitload of policy and procedure documents.

Currently my spare time is consumed by thinking about painting my bedroom and playing Silkroad Online.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

The best new years party to date

I reckon. It was a reunion of sorts bringing the gang together from all over the state to test the limits of alcohol poisoning. This party was unique because it required people to dress up as something beginning with N, Y or E. I went as a Yachtsman after pursuing other subjects like a Notepad and a Nomad. I'll leave it to the group photo to show who went as what.

Click here for Group Photo
Warning - Large image, 3Mb.