My faithful router, a P233 with a 512MB Hard drive, is still running. I installed debian on it back last september, however the hard drive was so old and knackered it could barely fsck. The motherboard was from the bottom of a cupboard, the fans whirr at 5 times the normal volume, and I dread every reboot. I daren't write anything to the hard drives, apt-get wont run, and last time we had a power blip, I lost the entire /etc directory, and then some! Fortunatly I'd made several backups on my other computer of the config files, so I was back up and running within half an hour, however theres more problems,
"top: error while loading shared libraries: /lib/libproc.so.2.0.7: invalid ELF header"
I cant believe it's lasted this long. The HDD is knackered beyond belief, but it's only got 4 more weeks to go... Fingers crossed, this stallwart of a machine, thats transfered dozens, maybe hundereds, of gigs of data over its dying bus, thats being running 24/7 for 9 months, in a damp drying room, using a case and PSU from a P133, plodding along, dropping every port except ssh from a machine at Exeter University.
Just 4 more weeks to hold on....
Long lengthly rant about Xmas traveling
WARNING: Long and lengthly rant for the sole benefit of me:
Ryanair Probably^WDefinatly the worst airline in the world. Ever. Of course, December is a bad time to travel on public transport anyway.
Let me start at the begining.
The plan: Meet parents at gatwick airport, drive down with them through france/germany/austria to Venice, get the boat to Igominitsa, Greece.
Thursday 12th December, 03:30
Rise and shine after 3 hours sleep. Wash and grab my rucksack. I had over an hour to do a 40 minute walk, no problem. Set off.
Thursday 12th December, 04:10 Realise I forgot the car registration document my parent needed. Run back with a 25kg pack on my back.
Thursday 12th December, 04:25 Book taxi as I get registration document
Thursday 12th December, 04:35 Get in taxi, screech off at ludicrus speed.
Thursday 12th December, 04:42 Arrive at coach, jump on board, plenty of time spare!
Thursday 12th December, 08:00 Arrive at Heathrow Airport, get breakfast
Thursday 12th December, 08:50 Depart Heathrow on coach to gatwick.
Thursday 12th December, 09:20 Realise I need a passport!
Thursday 12th December, 10:20 Arrive Gatwick
Thursday 12th December, 10:40 Meet parents, give them the car registration document
Thursday 12th December, 11:20 Get train back to Exeter
Thursday 12th December, 12:00 Sit at Clapham Junction for 45 minutes
Clapham Junction is the worst station I've ever been to. Cant leave the station as I only have a through ticket. One (overpriced) shop with questionable hygine, toilet costs money! 20 fscking pence to use the bog! No wonder the stairs smelt that way!
Thursday 12th December, 12:45 Escape on train to Exeter
Thursday 12th December, 16:30 Get to Exeter
Thursday 12th December, 16:45 pop into bank, attempt to extend overdraft, however my branch (Altrincham) is engaged, so I have to "come back tommorrow"
Thursday 12th December, 17:30 AM, arrive back home after a wasted day and £80.
Friday 13th December, 10:00 AM. Wake up late, get passport, run down to bus station.
Friday 13th December, 10:45 AM. Get bus to Heathrow (Deja-vu?). Very busy as all the students are going home!
Friday 13th December, 15:00 Get to heathrow
Friday 13th December, 15:40 Leave Heathrow, en-route to stanstead for 18:50 flight (bus due in at 17:20, leaving an hour before checkin closes)
Friday 13th December, 17:30 Driver phones up company, overhear him say we are 2 hours behind schedule. Itallian girl next to me in tears about missing the flight.
Friday 13th December, 18:50 Finally arrive at stanstead. Find Ryanair Customer "Service" Rep. Tells me that the flight's closed, its your fault, go wait in that massive line.
Fair enough, it is my fault, however she was unbelievable rude, especialy to said girl who was still almost in tears.
Friday 13th December, 19:20 While waiting for the ticket desk, avoid tabloid reporters doing an article on how bad Ryanair is.
Friday 13th December, 19:25 Arrive at front of queue. Ask about options (which I know from phone calls home on the bus). Next Forli flight would cost me £50, and was exactly 24 hours later. Flight to "Venice" would be £30, however no chance to meet parents (who are en-route to "Bologna" Forli). Decide to pay £112 for flight to ancona. While deciding, word comes round that the Forli flight was canceled, and was heading back to the gate (bad fog).
Customer Service offer me next nights flight for no charge, but wont transfer the £50 ticket to the morning Ancona flight. Stay with ancona.
Friday 13th December, 20:25 Get word from home that parents have managed to contact my girlfriend, and found out I'm on the morning ancona flight. (Their mobile was dead)
Saturday 14th December, 02:30 still playing Civ 2 on laptop camped on floor of stanstead airport. Havent had any word from Ryanair, no apology to other Forli travellers that are still at the airport, no offer of food/accomodation vouchers.
Saturday 14th December, 05:30 Check-in opens. At least my baggage wasnt over the pathetic 15kg (33lb) limit.
Saturday 14th December, 07:50 Plane leaves 20 minutes late, a 90mph tailwind gets us to Italy on time.
Saturday 14th December, 10:50 CET (Italy time). Arrive at Ancona. Amazingly my bag made it this time (unlike summer).
Saturday 14th December, 11:20 Clear security with only a brief glance in my hand luggage (noone asking if I had any "drax" this time)
Saturday 14th December, 11:25 Meet parents, leave for boat
Saturday 14th December, 12:00 Get on boat. Hurrah.
Sunday 15th December, 05:30 EET (greek time) Arrive in greece
Sunday 15th December, 08:00 Arrive in Fterno
Sunday 15th December, 08:30 Did I mention taking the cat over? I dont think I did. Cat escape from house, gets lost on hillside.
Monday 15th December, 05:30 Alarm on mobile goes off, wake up, throw mobile across room. Hear meowing. The cat is back (we thought he'd gone for good)
What a journey. Now Ryanair, aside from Rudeness, not allowing to transfer flights after they canceled it, and not offering even a cup of tea in compensation, didnt do anything wrong. However this was the second time I've traveled with them. The first time (July) they lost my bag, refused to deliver it to my destination (or nearby airport), and wouldnt offer any compensation. Eventually they managed to get it to greece, however by then I was driving back through Italy. Eventually picked it up at Venice Marco-Polo 3 weeks late. No compensation at all.
Now of course I'm going back. Heres the plan
Monday 30th December, 05:30 EET (greek time) Wakey Wakey
Monday 30th December, 06:00 Leave Fterno
Monday 30th December, 08:30 Arrive ignominitsa
Monday 30th December, 10:00 Boat leaves igominitsa for Venice
Tuesday 31st December, 06:30 CET (Italy time) Arrive Venice
Tuesday 31st December, Morning, walk arround Venice in "Heavey rain"
Tuesday 31st December, 14:00 Leave for Marco Polo Airport
Tuesday 31st December, 14:30 Arrive Marco Polo, check in
Tuesday 31st December, 16:30 Plane Leaves for Bristol
Tuesday 31st December, 17:25 GMT (UK time) Arrive Bristol
Tuesday 31st December, 18:30 Cleared Customs, get transfer to train station
Tuesday 31st December, 19:15 Arrive Bristol Temple Meads
Tuesday 31st December, 19:50 Leave Bristol on train
Tuesday 31st December, 20:48 Arrive Exeter St Davids
Tuesday 31st December, 21:30 Get home. Celebrate new year with girlfriend
Firefighters terrorise the UK
Are the firefighters right to hold the country to ransom for more money?
The fire strike in Wales has seen its first casualty after an elderly woman died after a blaze at a house in mid Wales
Three elderly people have died in house fires as the UK's first national firefighters' strike in 25 years continues.
The first deaths, and probably not the last. But why are firefighters holding the country to ransom like that? For a political motive. They want a 40% pay increase.
But percentages dont say much really do they. Lets look at the figures and compare it to a university graduate.
Starts work at 16, earning £4 an hour flipping burgers. Total income £8300 p.a.
Joins Fire service at 18, after earning £16,000. Spends next 4 years training (and being paid £17,000).
Becomes fully trained at age of 22. Total Earnings to date: £84,000
Fully trained at age of 22, earns £21,500.
By the age of 30, lifetime earnings are £256,000
Compare to average student.
Starts A-Levels at age 16. Starts Uni at age 18. Graduates at Age 21, or 22.
Starts earning at age 22.
Graduates with average of £5,300 debt. (In my case for sure this is way higher)
Graduates with average wage of £13,700
After 5 years, expects to be earning £26,300
At age 22: Total lifetime earnings: -£5,300
At age 23: Total lifetime earnings: £8400
Over next 7 years, assume generous average wage of £26,300. Total lifetime earnings: £192,500
To match a firefighters total wage at age 30, a graduate would have to earn £28,500 a year, every year, from graduating after a 3 year course.
Instead the average graduate earns £63,500 less then a firefighter by the age of 30.
there arent many firefighters dying. Over 12 years, there were 5 firefighter deaths in London, with approximatly 6500 personel. Thats a 1 in 15,600 chance of dying each year as a firefighter in London. Over a 40 year carreer theres a 1 in 400 chance of dying in the line of duty.
If you smoke, you have a 1 in 4 chance of dying from smoking by the time you each middle age.
Admittably there is only a 1 in 100,000 chance of dying in a normal job each year, or arround 6 1/2 times less likely then a firefighter. However that doesnt include deaths on roads of people like Sales reps, taxi drivers and other high risk professions.
Are the firefighters right to hold the country to ransom for more money?
No, they're not.