Finally got around to taking my new car to work today. Its a 2000 Nissan Almera Hatchback. Described as “boringly reliable” by Top Gear, which suits me just fine. However, I should have been driving it all week, but that didnt hapen due to a clutch failure on the way to a wedding on Saturday. But now with a new clutch its fine!
So how was my first drive? Well the accelerator now does what its supposed to, ie move the car not up the revs, like it was doing while trying to warn me of imminent clutch failure on Saturday. The power steering works, found that out on the first roundabout, my previous little car didnt have power steering. And the clutch smells like its ok, can you tell im patranoid about clutches now? I’ll probably set a record for how far you can drive in a suburban area without changing gear on the way home! Dublin radio was even worse than usual this morning, so I ended up listining to Cantonese language CD’s, I can now say “I can’t speak Cantonese”, these CD’s really leave your learning on a high! Ah well at least I can do more than buy mangos now.
So anything interesting in work? Well yes, I found out an interesting way to reset the admin password on a B1600. And now I’m trying to get RedHat installed automatically on it. All other machines in the lab work off some scripts we wrote around jumpstart, coming up with a similar method for linux is proving a little trickier than I had thought, making progress though, all problems seem to be related to the client not being able to mount some filesystems over NFS from the install server.
Finally a fellow amateur astronomer came across pp3. Its a very handy and fairly configurable star chart generator designed for publication quality basic star charts. It’s a c++ program that generates tex and eps, which you can import to gimp to get png/jpeg files. Its not great if you want detailed accurate charts, but this is not what it was designed for. For a nice simple reasonbly detailed constallation map this is the best I have seen. For the detailed maps use xephem.