Thursday, 17 July 2008

going postal

I went back to work today; the sky had a leaden texture to it and it felt like it could start to rain any minute. I walked to the Ringvaart, thinking of walking the normal, straight route all the way to work.


Passing the Willem Beukelsstraat I decided to walk through Frankendael instead, so I walked down the stairs into the Watergraafsmeer.

Willem Beukelsstraat

In Frankendael I walked by Restaurant 'de Kas' (the Greenhouse). It is a converted greenhouse. I took a look on their website a while ago to see what they have on the menu: everything above budget.

restaurant de kas

They do have a nice view of the Amsterdam skyline, though.


At Kruislaan my right foot started to act up again. It is very close to work, but I've noticed that if I walk on, the foot takes longer to get back to normal. Heeding the advice my doctor gave me yesterday I waited for the #40 bus at my regular bus stop.

lame foot bus stop

The whole day was planned around installing the Typo3 CMS together with Ben, the programmer from the external bureau that is crafting the CMS.

When I tried to install Typo3 two weeks ago, the installation failed. I thought it was due to an incompatible version of PHP. I was right. We tried an out-of-the-box installation of Apache and PHP and again the install failed. I then rolled my own Apache and PHP and the installation worked. This sucks. It means we can't just let the new webserver take its updates throught the normal update routine, but I have to actively monitor the different sources for patches and roll my own versions.

Anyway, we had it working and then started to install all the extentions and content that was needed to get the new site running in a test version. This took the rest of the morning. Every extention seemed to have dependencies which required other extentions, which required other… ad infinitum, ad nauseam.

At lunch I tried to pay for my meal with my Giro Chipper, our wonderful electronic wallet. It failed. CARD UNUSABLE the machine said. I tried it later at the loading station where the message was: CARD BLOCKED, GO TO YOUR BANK. I paid cash.

In the afternoon Ben and I played around with Typo3 some more. After Ben had left (he's coming back tomorrow for the final adjustments) I logged out of Typo3 as Admin and then, just for fun, tried to log in again. Failed. I couldn't login in as Admin anymore. I think Typo3 sucks and you can take that to the bank!


After work I took the #40 to Muiderpoort and walked to the Post Office to let them have a look at my Chipper. The Post Office on Wijttenbachstraat is a regional one, with a big Postbank sign above the door. I waited my turn and then explained to the lady behind the counter what the problem was. She said she could do nothing about it and gave me a 0900 phone number to call. I walked to the little neighbourhood Post Office on Beukenplein instead.

post office; I had #417

On Beukenplein the lady behind the counter said she couldn't do anything about it. Her office is too small. "Go to the one on Wijttenbachstaat," she said.

Instead I went to Nobelweg, another regional office. The lady behind the counter there said she couldn't do anything about it: I had to go to a Post Office with a "PostBank Help Desk". The nearest one is on Waterlooplein in the Stopera. By this time it was getting near closing time so I'll go there tomorrow.

I just wonder about one thing: why the fuck can't the postbank/post office train their staff to give the right answer the first time? If they had told me in Wijttenbachstraat to go to the Stopera I could have taken a tram right there and be at Waterlooplein in 10 minutes. Now it took me over an hour and walking in the rain for nothing.


Vincent said...

Regarding the typo 3 stuff. It obviously requires PHP. With what installation of PHP do they test it themselves? You should give them a call. I think using your own version ain't good. Not for you (in the end) and not for Nikhef.

I thought the chipper service was dead by now?

Kees said...

They tested Typo3 on a Debian system, which has all the new versions. At work we only use Scientific Linux, a RedHat clone. We're not going to change the platform because that would mean you'd also have to change all the automated maintenance tools we've got in place for our more than 250 installed systems. It is easier to just have to roll your own version of Apache and PHP on the webserver. I was doing that anyway on all our webservers, so nothing changes. It would have been nice not to have to do it anymore, but there you go.

The Chipper is still in use; a lot of workplace cafetarias use it, as do the parking meters. There are people saying that in five years time you'll be using your phone to make micropayments. We'll see.

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