Thursday, May 29, 2008

Thale's Eclipse

More than 2,500 years ago, Thales, one of the first Greek philosopher-scientists, predicted an solar eclipse.
Without the Internet, with no computers, not even decent pen and paper for a scratch pad he managed to use science to predict what, till then, was deemed to be the work of a god.

The eclipse duly took place as he predicted - probably on the 28th of May 585 BC

Here are some links about Thales and his eclipse.

Learning Greek 1

Well, another reason I'm writing this blog is my studies of Greek. I want to learn Ancient Greek because it interests me and I think as as long as I'm studying the Classics, I may as well be able to read the language. Unfortunately, I seem to have some mental blocks...

So, As I review the stuff I should already know, I'll post it here.
I'll start with the Greek Alphabet.

Upper Case Lower case Letter Name English equivalent
Α α Alpha a
Β β Beta b
Γ γ Gamma g
Δ δ Delta d
Ε ε Epsilon e
Ζ ζ Zeta z
Η η Eta e
Θ θ Theta th
Ι ι Iota i
Κ κ Kappa k
Λ λ Lambda l
Μ μ Mu m
Ν ν Nu n
Ξ ξ Xi x / ks
Ο ο Omicron o
Π π Pi p
Ρ ρ Rho r
Σ σ or ς Sigma s
Τ τ Taf t
Υ υ Upsilon u / y
Φ φ Phi ph
Χ χ Chi ch
Ψ ψ Psi ps
Ω ω Omega o

Note : Sigma is written σ in the middle of a word and ς at the end.
SOS would be σος

Obviously, Wikipedia has a big page about this.

It there is some problem and the Greek letters don't appear properly, please send me a note...

PULSE for those who missed it...

PULSE, for those who don't know, was a giant Tivoli conference which took place last week in Orlando, Florida.

Lets start with the crunch : The presentations.

Here's the PULSE Blog.

Here's a new IBM initiative : A Web 2.0 Tivoli Community

The new community space looks interesting. It's still very much a work in progress, but go there and look around.

A day in the life of a Tivoli implementer...

Yesterday I installed a small ITM PoC (Proof of Concept) at a customer.

I arrived at their office at about 8:45... and waited at the entrance till 9:30 before the guy I was supposed to meet was located. I should have taken this as an omen.

How long should it take to copy a 4 Giga DVD to the customer's server? About 20-25 minutes I guess.
40 minutes after the copying started, I got a corruption-error on the DVD.

Signing dramatically, I sat down to burn a new DVD as the in-house DBAs started installing the database I had requested to be installed the day before. They couldn't even start the installation because the drive was hardened. Aha! Could that explain my copying misery?

They started a conference call with the system guys to remove the hardening.
It was now about 11:30.
I gave the customer my (newly burned) DVD told him to copy it to the server, unzip it and call me.

I fully expected to wait till next week for that call...


At 13:30 I get a call - the DB is installed and the files have been copied.

I go back and what do you know?
Everything went swimmingly from there on...
By 15:30 I have installed the Tivoli Monitoring server and 5 agents are being monitored.

The biggest problem I had with the installation was the lack of an Adobe Acrobat reader so I could show the customer the documentation.

Just goes to show, what starts out as a bad day just might turn out ok :)