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Thursday, June 09, 2005

A very busy day 

Ah yes, a very busy day indeed.

I got to Dickson College just after 9am and had Maths, at 10am I started on the organisational stuff I had to do for the open night, then went and fixed up the screensaver script on a Linux computer in the library.

The Linux computer runs a screensaver which receives text input from an application (in this case a simple echoing script) and displays it on the screen with effects. The script it runs is called screensaver.sh and contains a number of messages about the library and the college. It was considered to be a good idea to have a special set of messages running on open night, so I made a backup copy of screensaver.sh which I named screensaver_old.sh
I then went and wrote a set of open night messages and named it screensaver_open_night.sh
I also needed a screensaver script that didn't advertise the open night, which would become the script after the open night, this was named screensaver_normal.sh

A cron job was then used to automatically copy screensaver_open_night.sh to screensaver.sh at 6pm (This made the open night script the active screensaver script) and another line in the crontab file copied screensaver_new.sh to screensaver.sh at 9:30pm so that the new normal screensaver would be back in operation when people come in tommorow. I still have to clean off the excess files by hand, but I felt it was better to leave them all there just in case something went wrong...which it didn't.
Having all of this automated not only impressed and excited the library staff, it also meant that I didn't have to change scripts before and after the open night.

After this I went and checked in with my boss to remind him that I was busy with open night preparations, he understood and spent a few minutes outlining the work he wants us to do over the next few weeks.

I then went to find one of the deputy principals to confirm what time he wanted the laptop and projector setup in the hall...he was however on class at the time, so I went back down to the library where I was informed that the screensaver was spitting out "Unexpected EOF" messages...It then occured to me that I forgot to fix the missing quotation marks I had spotted earlier, five minutes later it was fixed.

I then went around to media to arrange a time to set all their wallpaper to the same one (preferably a custom made Dickson College Media wallpaper), we arranged to do that after I had finished in the hall with setting up and having a practice run of the speeches.

Then I had class for an hour and then went and saw one of the deputy principals and arranged to do the hall setup and practice after Lunch. After this I was about to have lunch when an occasional colleague showed up, this took up half an hour after which I was able to have Lunch.

At 2pm it was time to setup the hall, a laptop, a projector, and couple extension leads and...whoops, another extension lead to make the required length, then some audio problems and finally the pratice run of the speeches.

By the time this was over it was close to 4pm and I felt that it was a good idea to have my afternoon tea, and then have an early dinner as I wouldn't have time later...so I sat down outside with my thermos, my mug and my radio and had afternoon tea, and then walked to Dickson and had an early dinner.
By this stage I felt like calling 2CC's Mike Frame and voicing my objections to this new arboretum that is planned for Canberra (see www.the-riotact.com for more details...or stay tuned, I'll have more details in a future post), rather than wasting mobile credit, I fed a pay phone and found that Telstra have made it possible to send text messages from them, not that I cared, I just wanted to make a call, which I did.

After this I went back to the college (It was around 5pm) and found a job I could do...I sat down and answered the numerous phone calls regarding what time the open night begins, one of these callers seemed to recognise me, perhaps as a 2CC caller, or perhaps from here...I don't know, it is a mystery. I also had other receptionist duties during this time.

At 6:30pm (after having a cup of Milo) I went around to the Hall and turned on the projector and laptop, I then started the first slideshow, which was a looping set of various pictures of the college and it's events. I then went back to the front office and continued my phone answering and receptionist duties.

At 7pm I went back to the hall and took my seat at the table with the laptop and projector (I also unofficially declared myself to be the "Technical Producer" of the speeches). I spent the next 10 minutes looking through the script for the main speech, and pretending to cross reference it with the other papers I had, which I thought made me look much more busy and important. At about 7:10 I was quite annoyed with the loud music from the Jazz band playing in my ear, they were good, but they were far to close to me, so I pretended to find a note on the desk, busily and frantically checked other papers, got up, took some paper with me and escaped the hall for a couple minutes and then came back in and continued to examine the papers.
By this stage I was doing plenty of watch checks as we were supposed to start the speeches at 7:15pm, and eventually got the nod from one of the deputy principals and changed to the main overhead presentation, which I ran as the speeches went on.

After the speeches (and a public thankyou from one of the deputy prinicpals) I packed up the laptop and projector and took them back to their locations, I also moved a TV & DVD on a trolley which were playing some footage from a dance class into the main congregation area. I spent the rest of the night assisting in various places (and confirming that my screensaver scripts were behaving...which they were...It's Linux, it just works). I then got a lift home with a teacher who lives near me (hooray, no Action FlexiChaos), checked my email, got a cup of coffee, sat down and watched Stargate Atlantis.

Unfortunately, Steppy the pedometer is slightly clunky and I really didn't have time or space to take him with me today, and as such, there is no stepometer for today....it would have been right off the scale anyway, their was barely any time when I wasn't walking today.


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