6 March 2006


by Anton Piatek

Last tuesday was possibly the most stressful day at work I have experienced yet.
We started IVT (Install Verification Test) a week early, which is a stressfull enough period as the product will ship at the end of the month and there will not be enough time to find and fix all problems with it before then.

Two weeks ago I was asked by my manager to take part in organising the “Showcase Safari” for our product area. I went to a meeting about it and found the idea was for each department/product in the Labs to show off what it is that they make so that everyone on site knows what is being developed around them. Well, it was stressful enough organising people to help out with the setting up and finding a demo, but that all came together rather well in the end. The problem was that because we were in IVT, I was almost the only person willing to stand at the showcase stand to explain the software to people coming round and to answer questions.

The free beer at lunch that our manager bought us was well deserved, but the day dragged on so long that I once again missed my ultimate training. I have now not thrown a disc for 2 weeks and it is beginning to bother me (as is the fact that I have not jumped out of a plane for six months!!)

This week will be quite difficult too. With only a few days before Blue Fusion (used to be known as Young Visions), which is a school event week where schools come in and we give them activities and challenges to compete in, starts this does not leave much time for testing. The testing I have to do shouldn’t take too long, however I have a lot left to organise for Blue Fusion (details of which I might post later).
One thing I have to set up is a router/proxy for use as an internet cafe on site. The hard part is making sure it is security compliant, as the idea of kids having access on site is not being taken lightly… I have the proxy set up ok (whitelist, which means that only sites we specifically list are allowed) and I have a nice set of pages to allow the kids to request sites to be added to the whitelist. It is the firewall which is difficult. I thought I had it set up and it seemed to work, but now iptables has gone wrong and dhcp requests cannot get through. I am hoping that if i change the last rule from a “deny all” to a “deny only new packets” then that might fix it, as I have absolutely no idea if dhcp negotiates on another port once it responds to a request. From what I remember of my degree it should just use the two ports, one for a request and one for a response (server and clients have a port each), but when I get the logging working then I can see what is actually being dropped and that should give me a very good idea of what is going on.

Anyway, this post was supposed to go on last week, but I am busy… I will try to post more frequently and am working on a new theme for the site, so hopefully that will get finished some time soon.