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Fri, Feb 01 2002

Hmm ... first of all, I guess I should change the time on my notebook to not use Eastern Standard Time (EST) :p But that brings up another matter that I've been contemplating during the flight - whether it is feasible to add time zone support (as well as static storage of the time zone of each post ...) to Blog. I'm not even sure whether this is programmatically possible (though I might try to find out after I finish this entry ...) but if it is, I probably will add that. Anyway, on to other stuff ...

The reason that I mentioned the time on my computer was because I'm typing this sometime in the afternoon on Saturday high atop the skies over Tokyo whereas Blog thinks it's late at night on Friday :p My streak of bad-luck continued last night when I got to Tokyo. Since we were delayed around six hours in Detroit, my connecting flight to Singapore was obviously gone :-( NorthWest had me assigned to a different flight to Bangkok from where I was supposed to get a connecting flight to Singapore and then on to Colombo on my already scheduled flight. We boarded the flight to Bangkok, the aircraft even pulled away from the gate but then we sat on the tarmac for a while ... we seemed about to take off when the captain suddenly came on the PA system and said that we'd exceeded the 11 o'clock airport curfew in Tokyo by thirty seconds and that we had to return to the gate!! As you can imagine, some of the other passengers were pretty pissed off and there ensued a long argument between the flight crew and some of the passengers about what to do (or rather what they wanted the flight crew to do - which did not include any unmentionable physical acts though I'm sure some passengers at least thought of it <vbg>)

We finally got out and were told that we'd be put on another flight to Bangkok tomorrow morning. I didn't want to go to Bangkok and then on to Singapore and then find that my connecting flight to Colombo was gone, so I talked to the NorthWest staff in Tokyo. They were helpful enough and found me an alternate flight straight to Colombo from Tokyo but that took quite a long while and it was past midnight in Tokyo by this time. NorthWest put us up in a hotel and I simply got there, had something to eat, called home to let my parents know what was going on and then crashed :-)

The unfortunate side-effect of all this was that I was unable do some shopping in Singapore that I'd been planning on - to get a bluetooth enabled cellular phone :-( Ah well ... maybe in Sri Lanka or some other time I guess - not that I'm planning to fly anywhere in the near future :p I got to the airport again today in the morning, got through the usual stuff and for a change, the Sri Lankan flight to Colombo even took off on time. So here I am on the plane writing this soon after we took off ... It's a nine and a half hour flight and hopefully the streak of bad luck is over - I'll just keep my fingers crossed :-)

posted at 11:42:54 PM  link  comment

Thu, Jan 31 2002

Here I am about 32,000 feet above sea-level according to the last announcement from the captain and it is after 9 o'clock at night EST though I am definitely not on the eastern time zone by now ... I thought I'd write some of this down for publishing later since I probably will never do it otherwise :p It's been a couple of eventful (and sometimes frustrating <g>) days. I came over to Detroit last night since they were predicting sever thunderstorms in Detroit last night and since I would have had more than an hours drive to get to the airport in the morning today (and wasn't really sure what the road conditions would be ...) I decided to get into town early. I did get in with the snow but at first it was like census night in Bethlehem - every motel I went to, there were no rooms vacant :-) Finally found a place and it was cheaper than some of the places I'd first gone to too - go figure ...

Got up in the morning today and the snow storm really was here (and there I was hoping that the weathermen would be wrong once again, darn!). I was half afraid that the flight would be canceled but surprisingly, the automated system said that the flight was still on time. I got ready and left for the airport and found to my surprise that I'd been staying less than five minute's drive from the airport. The queues were long to check in and it took me over an hour and a half to get checked in but the rest was easy enough. I had been half afraid that I'd get pulled up since my luggage contained an XBOX and a DreamCast and I thought that for sure they would run the luggage through the X-Rays and would think it was a bomb of some kind :p Fortunately, that didn't happen since they never ran my luggage through the X-Rays at all. I did have a little trouble getting through the security check-point but that might have been because I was wearing the holster for my Pocket PC <vbg>

So I got in with about an hour to spare and they even started boarding the flight with minimal delays - a half an hour to get the food in - but the trouble started once we were all in and ready to take off. First, they delayed the flight so that some people from connecting flights could get there, then they said that they had to de-ice the plane and then they said that they had some problem with the power from the airport and that they had to re-route the power. All this took about three hours and then they said they were ready and then they said, "oh no wait ... we aren't!" :p This time it turned out that they were getting some error messages on the onboard computers and had to have the techs come take a look at it. That turned into a good two hours as they had to either replace a computer or track down a faulty circuit - not sure which. Then they were ready to leave but it turned out that they didn't have two starter trucks since this was a big plane and they needed two - two of the three starter trucks they'd got so far had broken down! Finally they got a starter truck but we'd been sitting on the ground close to six hours by then and the crew's legal flying/in flight time limit was being reached and they weren't sure that they could legally fly - so they had to check with the authorities to make sure that they could fly. I was getting pretty pissed off and apprehensive too by this time since I was beginning to think that the flight would be canceled and that I might have to spend another night in Detroit. However, they did get the permission to fly and we took off almost six hours to the minute from the time we were originally scheduled to take off.

My connecting flight from Tokyo to Singapore is shot to hell and gone by this time since there was only a two hour window between the original time we were supposed to land and the time the connecting flight was supposed to take off. I do have about sixteen hours in Singapore though and am hoping that they'll make some arrangements in Tokyo so that I can still get to Singapore in time. But at this time, I have no idea what will happen ... stay tuned :p
posted at 09:22:54 PM  link  comment

Tue, Jan 29 2002

Well ... yesterday and today has been fairly hectic and what with a snowstorm and perhaps six inches of snow or more predicted for tomorrow and day after, my next few days are going to be up in the air as well. My site probably won't get updated again till I do get back to Sri Lanka (God willing ...) and I probably won't get my e-mail or be able to respond to any e-mail for a while. Just wanted to let you all know ... Hopefully, I'll be back online soon ... Till then ...
posted at 07:12:10 PM  link  comment

Mon, Jan 28 2002

A few weird problems have been plaguing me (or rather two of my apps <g>) over the weekend. First up were a couple of bugs in Blog - I'd done a special build for Jason since he wanted a particular feature that I was able to cram in before I started work on Blog 6.0 but it turned out that the Find feature was broken in the new build :-( The weird thing is, using the same build, Find works fine for me but not for Jason. Then I heard from Nigel who had switched to cable modem from DSL and Blog suddenly stopped working for him! He gets a weird error message and is unable to publish though he did say that he had some problems with Trillian as well though SmartFTP seemed to work fine for him. I have been mulling over both the problems and coming up with various scenarios but nothing seemed to help. Finally I did another new build of Blog and sent it off to both Jason and Nigel but haven not heard from them yet.

The other problem-child-app was BOB - Steve Gabany wrote to me and said that he couldn't see the Select button on the Site selection dialog. Now I'd changed the dialogs a bit in BOB - originally, I was using the same dialog for defining sites and selecting them and so whether you clicked the Site Management button or the Add button under the sites list, you got the same dialog. I changed this confusing behaviour for Blog 1.2 and had two different dialogs and thought this might be the case with Steve. I asked him and he came back with the perplexing answer that he had no Add button (or any button for that matter ...) under the Sites list. I asked him to send me a screenshot and sure enough there are no buttons because his BOB window is a strangely elongated one with the log pane overlapping (and covering the bottom portion of) both the Files and Sites lists! I am totally at a loss as to what caused this behaviour since I am running BOB 1.2 at this end and it works fine for me and I don't think the download is corrupted because I know of at least one other person who downloaded and ran BOB 1.2 and he didn't seem to have any problems ... All in all, a weekend of weirdness :p

This is the final week (hopefully ...) that I'll be in the US and so I'm not sure whether I'll get any coding done after this. I probably will work on the above bugs if possible but I'd like to leave aside Blog 6.0 for the moment since I'd hate to start something and then keep on thinking about it but not get the chance to do any coding because of the trip :p Oh yeah, I did discover that I might be able to add the auto-dial feature to Blog pretty easily but I'm not sure that the online detection feature works perfectly - at the moment I can only test online-detection for a modem connection but I want to make sure it works fine with a LAN, DSL and cable connections too. So I guess I'll have to enlist the aid of some users but probably not this week :-)
posted at 06:40:35 AM  link  comment

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