May 30, 2004

Affiance Ceremony

Our affiance celebration yesterday was great. Almost everything ran like planned, and the meal was very well prepared.

Everyone had fun and all people were happy.
Thanks everyone for being there!

Now I have to get comfortable with my ring, it is just a bit too wide, so that it dangles a bit on my finger, but it can't be tightened because then I can't get it over my knuckle.

May 29, 2004

Affiance celebration

Tomorrow it'll be official, we will celebrate our affiance with our relatives.

Today we picked up the rings from the jewelery, quite fine ones, not too small, not too big, not too simple and not too overloaded with accessoires.

From tomorrow, I'll have to get comfortable with a round object always being present on my left hand.

May 27, 2004

Back @ work

Whoa, the update yesterday took much longer than expected.

I went home at ~09:00. Upgrading the database caused much trouble and took more than twice as long as initially planned. It was not delayed because we were not prepared well enough but because we stumbled across an Oracle internal bug which caused new columns in tables to be inaccessible the first time. You have to remove it and recreate it again. This had to be done by hand and couldn't be accomplished by our prepared scripts. But the DB guys managed quite well.

On my side (OS, application and shellscript update) I had some trouble because every machine which had to be updated was different from any other. Different existing packages, different running daemons, different libraries... Hell, they should all be the same!

Then we had some more problems with a misconfigured hardware piece and had to call in additional assistance.
After that some important passwords were invalid, etc.

All in all we just missed the expected end by just about 5 hours ;)

But I want to thank my team which mastered all upcoming problems regardless of their complexity. Great work, this had been the largest update of our platform ever, and we are operational with just a few hours shift.

May 25, 2004

Release, tonight, again

Well, in a few minutes another release of our software takes place.

This time it is a bit more complicated than other releases before because we're upgrading a more than two years old system to the up to date version.

This involves large parts of database migrations, web interface configurations and OS updates.

Should take ~2 - 4 hours.

Let's get it on!

Get your deck of bush cards TODAY

You remember the card game which the US troops gave out in Iraq to find the most wanted people after the war?

Now get The Deck of Bush with 54 reasons why he shouldn't be reelected.

Also on this page is a counter which shows you the increasing cost of the war in Iraq. Quite impressing.

May 24, 2004


Just noticed that Teitan has a link to Biza. Biza has also a link back to teitans page. On Teitans page the link is part of the sentence "davantage que ma vie", on biza's page the link is embedded in "je t'adore".
These translate to "more than my life"(teitan) and "I adore on you"(biza).

It's hard for me not to pull out some speculations about an upcoming (or existing?) relationship, but if so: Only best wishes from my side :)

May 22, 2004


Yesterday my girlfriend and I took a day and visited a thermal bath, Bad Radkersburg.

It was a quite relaxing day, I also tried the sauna and steam bath but I didn't like that part very much.

Nevertheless I can imagine to do it again somewhere in the (far?) future, because my girlfriend likes it quite a lot.

The only bad point in the whole was that we had to drive almost two hours in each direction to get there.


On Wednesday my girlfriend and I decided to affiance. The afternoon we were looking for a sign of our love to each other, a ring for both of us. We found quite nice ones. They should be ready by next weeks friday.

In the evening I then asked her parents, rite stuff.

We plan our affiance celebration on next saturday.
?lk, if you are reading this, you now know what you are invited to ;)

May 19, 2004

Evening trouble

Two days ago I managed another release to a customer.

Initially everything was well prepared and planned, all people were confident that everything will go well and so we started the update at ~19:00.

Just a few minutes later I had to correct my timeline the first time. A interface on the target machines had changed since the afternoon and I had to quickly hack in a fix and throw out a new bugfix.

So good so far, applications released, now let's test the bugfixes... Click here, change that, ... HU? Where's the data?
Data disappearing, and after some time fiddling, we had to call in an expert for our WebInterface because we expected something wrong with it.

And in the meantime we found some database inconsistencies, great.
I had given up correcting my timeline.

When our web expert arrived he quite quickly found out that the files, he released on the afternoon on the machines, had changed and downgraded to a version of last november?!?
So update them again and now it's working as expected.

In the whole, the release lasted almost three hours, double as long as planned, but the customer is completely satisfied.
My team managed to solve all problems and worked around all difficulties and in the end we got the expected result.

Later it turned out that another team had a release of another product to the same customer and accidentially overwrote some of our files.
No team knew of the others release, someone forgot to tell us so that we could have synched our work.
Shouldn't happen again, people are now more aware of how our different teams can interfere.

May 14, 2004

Blog contents

Hm, I'm thinking about what I'm writing in my blog.

Until now I tried to avoid to reveal any information about my work, what I'm doing *exactly*, what products I'm working on and even topic my work is about.

But often I stumble across situations with our code or with our customers where I'm thinking, this is so stupid/strange/ingenious/clever, I should share that with others.

But then again, what if one of our customers stumbles into my blog and recognizes my rants on himself or with which other customers we're in contact or where there are errors in the software which the customer shouldn't know...
And of course there is somewhat like a privacy-clause in our company to not share business data or other internal informations.

Hm, perhaps I can reveil some more details about me and my work, but I can't give any guarantee and I have to think over that a lot.
Perhaps I'll even talk with one of my collegues about the issue.

Well, I know of at least one other employee which runs a web-diary and there he gives more personal detail than me, but as he works in another area and currently is not directly employed by my employer but somehow tied with a subcontractor-stuff, I don't think that my restrictions also apply so tight to him.
He's responsible for parts of our internal IT infrastructure, network-admin.
Christian, don't let people stress you too much! (Thanx for the patience with me in the DECT-issue ;)

And he's the guy who helped me to get rid of my DECT-phone and replaced it with an ordinary desk-phone.
The DECT was acting VERY strangely, the batteries were loading forever (really, almost never full), the speech quality was awful (ok, the desk-phone is not that better) and I could make out-calls to mobile-destinations only in 50% of the time.
It also did weird things like acknowledging a key-press but not displaying or reacting to it, turning on and off by own will or refuse to react completely... Go to hell you thingie! Well, I guess it will be repaired and returned to another victim.

May 13, 2004

And one for yourself

Once again I'm sitting here at my workdesk and we're completing the release last friday. "Completing" because we only installed the new version on one of the two machines to give it a try during the week and pull the other to the actual version if it proves to work well.

It worked well, we're almost done now.

Last release duration was about 1 1/2 hours, this one will be even shorter. I'll expect a "Everything OK" in a few minutes, and we began update not an full hour ago yet... Yeah, go baby!

May 12, 2004

Overtime issues

Whoops, seems I've been raising dust today.

The situation is, that I've gathered ~250 hours overtime meanwhile and I thought that it would be nice if I got paid them out partly.
I chatted about that with my team leader and what possibilities I could have if I asked our department leader about that.

What complicates the stuff is that I found a paragraph in my collective contract which states that I can press on all hours over 154 to be paid.

My team leader then chatted with my department leader along the way and aparently there is some movement in the company to get somehow rid of the overtime hours, but long time comp time is not the ultimate solution...

Tracing missing data

After quite a while of debugging and testing (we got permission to turn on a bit more logging on our customers machine) I found out that the disappearing data is received by the second component but not processed.

Yesterday evening I found out why:
The processing of the data in our classes is done with the help of a Visitor Design Pattern. This was engineered by a former collegue of me but not in a easy recognizable way.

And so it came that a very specific situation could occour and the data slipped through all processing untouched.

Fixed it and after a new release (presumably on next monday evening/night), we should be down to 0,000005 percent of missing data. 10 records in two million which still disappear without any apparent reason.

And tomorrow night we'll fully convert the system where we partially released last friday.

May 10, 2004

Weekend shifts

This had been a strange weekend.
The release on Friday went without any notable problems and everything worked quite well.

But on Saturday evening my group leader called me and I had no good feelings. But the new release still worked and he called because of another problem at another customer.

It seems that we're loosing data between two components of our product but there is no sign of an error or failure in any of the logs, which is theoretically impossible.

But it is possible to reconstruct the missing data and that's what we did from 10:00 till 16:00 yesterday on Mother's Day.
It's just a huge time-consuming, yet semi-automatic, task.

Dammit, why are 0,0001 percent of the data hiding? Does someone delete them by hand, just to give us trouble?

May 7, 2004

Third time is a charm

And in half an hour our third try to update one of our customers systems happens.

Hope, this time there are no more errors...

May 5, 2004

Release it, baby!

This release management stuff is currently not getting easier by time.
But it seems that I'm performing not so bad, because I've had two releases in my first three days and nobody complained yet about anything.

But I still got no structured process how to perform a release, I hardly have any written notes/documents describing what was released where.

I'd need some free time to build up a release-structure in TWiki, but the next release is just lurking around the corner...

May 4, 2004

Home expansion

On Saturday girlfriend and I went to the Grazer Fr?hlingsmesse just for fun and because we had not been on an exhibition for some time.

After about 5-10 minutes in the Wellness hall, she got caught by a salesman and two minutes later I carried a bunch of perfumes and aftershaves and so on and with 40? less in my pocket.
"You can take it for gifts...", well...

For the rest of the day I managed it to keep her off most aggressive salespeople and the only additional expenses were some candy and some food.

Near the end of our visit we looked around in the "Wohntr?ume" (Living-dreams) hall.
Because we were thinking of how to equip our kitchen, which is not completely built in the upper roooms of our house, we visited an exhibitor of kitchens, ALNO.
Booom, the salesman and planners there were very friendly and they took much time for us to answer all of our questions and wishes, they showed us many possibilities for our kitchen and informed uns very well.

It's a bit tricky with our kitchen, because in this room there is a pitched roof area and it's impossible to stuff a pre-made kitchen into it. Everything has to be planned. I personally always thought it would cost around 8.000 - 10.000?, fully equiped with all needed devices.

The ALNO-proposal hardly hit the lower bound of this.

The price is calculated per running meter, each of it at 890? (exhibition price). The places where we can't equip the lower and upper half of the wall (pitched areas), the price is adjusted accordingly. It doesn't matter which equipment we wish on the walls, its a fixed price. We also get a free flatware inlay, free dish-holders, a free carbage separation system, 300? bonus on a sink, a free dishwasher(!) and 25 percent reduction on all other electronical devices.
With full planning, installation and other costs excluding the electronic devices we got a price around 7.500? for ~9 running meters of kitchen.
And this proposal was stable until end of 2006, when (hopefully) the room for the kitchen was ready. If it becomes after that, there is only a 3 percent in price increase.

We promised to come again on Sunday... and got free entry-cards for this :)

On Sunday we visited some other exhibitors and collected some more proposals but the one from ALNO was unbeatable.

Contract for at least 5 running meters (to keep the initial payment low) was signed on Sunday ~16:00.

Our very own dream kitchen, we are awaiting you!