Technology 1:Old Skool 0

Last night was LOI. And it was a good evening, well OK. It was a good evening apart from a case of “Too many cooks spoil the broth!” which I may talk about in a different post. Someone remind me about it.

Just before the end of the evening (We were doing a 1st) during the bit where the W.M. gives the Candidate the normal documents, one of the P.M.’s who is a Mentor at one of the Lodges who make up the LOI stands up to inform us of recent changes, that require “NEW & IMPROVED” words to be added there. He opens his magical book that no one else has to show the words, and suggests that everyone write them down for further use.

So at the close of the evening there were roughly thirteen people trying to make a note of a couple of pages of writing. The only problem was, no one was prepared.  So between them they were able to find a semi-functioning pen, and a small piece of torn paper they found under a bench (Approx. one inch square).  In other words they were stuck.

At this point I wonder over to where they are gathered, unlock my iPhone, load the PDFscanner app and quickly scan the two pages of text. Convert them into a PDF document, and email it to several people who’s email addresses I have on me.

You know. Sometimes Technology just Rocks!

Somebody Shoot Busby

I wonder if there is any of the old “Busby” Puppets/Models/Anything still around I could get my hands on, and then film its destruction by the use of Thermite. I think something along those lines defiantly needs doing, as the Fat Yellow BarSteward is currently the bane of my life.  To put it simply “I HATE PHONE SYSTEMS“. I along with the majority of work colleges Past and Present blame the Phone Systems for all the problems the Insane Asylum has had over the last 4 or 5 years.

Let me mention a few of the current reasons that I wish to rain down thermite on a marketing logo, or the telecommunications industry, or the next person to mention phones.

*Directory Enquiries

Now this was a Project I finished, its all written and finalised. There is just one thing, BT’s security demands a user entered none automated file upload. And since the Asylum paid for my access to the BT system, It means I have to do the manual uploads.  This involves changing IP addresses, checking huge thousand line text files for any bad words (it goes up in my name so checks needed) then connecting to their system, uploading a file, then several times over the following weeks doing it all again to download results. Now we currently do it every few months so its not too bad. Only I overheard Governor talking yesterday, he’s pushing it to go for weekly uploads, or better yet daily!.  I’m supposed to be SysAd/SysDev not a fraking Data Input Drone.


Apparently BT are phasing out WLR2 and replacing it with WLR3. WLR2 will no longer exist after March 2011. I know, terrifying isn’t it? “what do you mean you have no idea what WLR2/3 is?” Well to be honest, I have no clue what it is either, Never heard of it, used it, etc. Yet, I have been given the task of developing a software integration from our system to theirs to handle all the WLR3 stuff.  Now, all the info I have so far is a Phone conference call I was on, Where basically they just told us we have to do it soon, and suggested we purchase a pre-made system.  To be fair they laughed when the Governor said we would be developing our own. They pointed out that some other companies have tried, and they may have Great Dev departments, but its too complex, and too many phone things only people in industry know for any team to develop in time frame.  TEAM??  The Governor wants me to do it on my own. And on top of my normal workload, and covering everyone else in the Asylum!!!!

*WebSite Redesign

We have a website for a sister company, trading name kinda thing for our phone products. It was written by a partner company (who since went bust) and is the worst pile of junk you could imagine. Say you need a website, give the programming job to an artist who knows no code. give him a php book, and tell him the more functions and pointless stuff you add, the better the site is. Its shite. it needs deleting and starting from new. Well they decided to re-write it using the existing code, and Guess who gets to rebuild the site? You got it, me, on top of the impossible WLR3 project, and on top of normal workload.  Oh, but lets have a quick dev meeting first to discuss what we having on there. Only that turned out to be a two and a half hour marketing meeting, where they discussed costs, pricing, and what terms the sales person should use when selling things that had nothing to do with the website in question.

At this meeting I learnt Apple lies, there is not an app for everything. I searched their store, and there are no apps that allow you to use an iphone to rip out your own heart.


Updating CV.

Do O2 consider their customers Idiots?

I was happily relaxing, minding my own business watching Mythbusters and muttering that they get to play with really cool toys, and I want cool toys to play with, or at least the guns and C4.  Mind you the thermite and ice really grabbed my attention.

Sorry I digress.

I was minding my own business when “beep beep beep…..beeeep beeeep….. beep beep beep” A text message has arrived, I wonder who that could be.

::TECHY BIT:: In case you are one of them people who have always wondered why mobile phones of almost all makes have the text message tone of beep beep beep beeeep beeeep beep beep beep. Or have never noticed, or thought about it until I now mention it, Let me explain. Text messages were originally called SMS’s (Short Messaging Service) back in the days of limited characters (Yup a kinda pre-twitter) These days you can send more characters as the message is broke up into multiple SMS’s and replaced together at the receiving end. Now the beeps of the incoming message are in morse code. beep beep beep = S beeeep beeeep = M beep beep beep = S.  So now you Know.

Where was I? That’s right Text message. So i grab my phone and look. Its a message from my phone provider o2. Informing me that my iphone can use wifi access, and that it would make my apps run faster over wifi where available.  And they gave me a link to a webpage with step by step instructions.  WOW. no way…..

So I follow the link to the webpage and read the step by step guide to using this mythical wifi. Here’s the steps

1) Go to settings

2) Go to WIFI

3) Turn on!

I tell you I am in shock…. I have jailbroke my phone multiple times, I’ve got sshd running on there, it has a crontab that auto updates data on my home server, and yet o2 figured as a enduser i would not know the smart phone had wifi.

Thank you o2. for pointing out the bloody obvious.


I know you’re a sweet little Jailbreaker

All together now…

You know you’re a sweet little codemaker
Oh yeah
And I know you’re a sweet little jailbreaker
I know you are, baby!

I made up my mind
Tired of wasting all my precious time
You’ve got to be all mine, all mine
Oh, foxy lady!

(Jimi Hendrix – Foxy Lady)

This post is best read while listening to “Foxy Lady” By Hendrix…

OK, So I have had my nice new iPhone for a month now, so that’s long enough to keep it new and work out how to use it, so its now time to JailBreak the sucker and get some Linux functionality on there.

So. I’m armerd with the following :-


  1. An Apple 3G 16Gig iPhone
  2. A usb link cable
  3. QuickPwn
  4. Some Cans of Beer
  5. A low boredom threshold.

So Lets begin.

Step 1: Open can, and pour drink into a pint glass (I’m civilized you know). Plug iphone into computer and back it all up using itunes.

Step 2: Run QuickPwn, and follow the helpfull instructions, Open Can and drink beer (OK, we doing techy stuff now, ignore niceties like glasses it gets in the way)

Step 3: Reboot iPhone with all your fingers crossed, Grab another Drink while waiting……… “Please Come Back UP!

Step 4: Unplug JailBroken iphone, and start adding sshd, Linux commands, and useful applications.

Step 5: Finish off the beers while watching NCIS… Why Do I never meet Geeks like Abby!!!