Ill again, so working from home today. Managed to screw up the HD in my laptop so bit the bullet and decided to install Linux instead of XP. Given that I’m being forced to switch from FreeBSD to Linux at work, I ought to try to get used to it. Seems to work OK so far.

Off the pace

Pace are due to release their new RC40XCFR fork soon. It all sounds very nice, with adjustable 100-130mm travel, open oil-bath damping, oil-impregnated foam washers (a-la Fox forx), pimpy carbon lowers, launch-control, etc. But one thing still worries me and will stop me from considering buying them.

The problem is that they say Pace on them. I’ve heard too many stories of Pace forks needing to go back to the factory to be resuscitated to risk buying them. Even my original RC-35s had to go back to be repaired, and there was hardly anything that could go wrong with them. Maybe I’ll change my mind in 12 months, but Pace really need to improve their perceived reliability to make these a credible fork.

When "free" operating systems cost more than MS Windows

I’ve been testing a mail filtering system to sit in front of our Exchange servers, this runs on FreeBSD and costs the princely sum of 0p for the software. Someone then decides that they don’t like FreeBSD because of the name and so we have to use Red Hat Enterprise Linux at a cost of approx £670, which is about 3 times more than we pay for Windows 2003 Server.

There is also the minor issue that no-one here can support Linux sufficiently well that I’d be happy running it on a production server, where as I have five years experience with FreeBSD. So the project is being delayed by 6 months while I get comfortable with Linux, and will cost far far more than something I could implement and support today.

Financial fuckwits

Currently our finance department seem to be doing their utmost to fuck everything up. There is a total freeze on orders, so they have been refusing to process orders for such essential items as envelopes, printer consumables, blank cd-r media, software licences etc. We have another 2.5 months of this to go yet. How do they expect people to print and send out appointment letters, back up their work, remain legal with software etc? We ordered reflective safety jackets for use in the dark afternoons over the winter, at the going rate they will arrive in time for the summer. Several of my projects have been delayed by months because of them taking anything up to 4 weeks to process an order, and that was before the current freeze when things were meant to be running normally. Expensive kit is sat idle because they haven’t renewed a support contract, or they delayed the order for the necessary software.

I have never in my life come across a more incompetent, unhelpful, and downright obstructive group of people. Although Richard Grainger seems to be running them close with his complete lack of communication over the new LSPs.

And people wonder the NHS is completely screwed up.