Momentious event followed by near disaster
Thu 23 Nov 2017 07:43
He did it, he did it. Bosun made a giant yellow wave in the cockpit, taking a full minute and a half to complete the maneuver! You might think that the canine is mostly without expression, but I can swear on my breakfast, that he had the biggest grin on his face. That may have changed however, as he was harangued relentlessly for the next 10 minutes, with every superlative in the doggy handbook. Tail up, what a good boy.
My dreary process, just once a day (scant emails sent from the ARC [at noon]), to plot the ARC fleet positions, has run its course (pun intended). Programming genius Chance, has taken over, and is auto-sending me the .gpx file. In his own words:
"I wrote a program that wraps a web browser engine and monitors all outbound network requests. When it requests a specific JS file - the one used by the tracker - it intercepts and rewrites the request to a location that I control, which returns that same JS file but with some modifications that I made, the main one being that it dumps the memory state after it decrypts it, which I can then parse into JSON and transform into a GPX file."
Brilliant stuff. But then, there was the delivery of said genius production. Again in his own words:
"Oops! The way I had it set up to periodically send you the latest positions was through a crontab, to send it every five hours. I thought it was: * */5 * * * when that actually sent it *every minute every five hours*. What it should have been (and now is): 0 /5 * * * which means send it on the *first minute every five hours*."
What that meant was that I was receiving 80kb emails ever minute, which stacked up in the queue. Collecting mail via Satellite is not synchronous - the system logs on every hour and downloads the queue ... are you getting the picture? Remember that Sat connections are still near stone age speeds for private use (with modern pricing of course), so 60 emails would take longer than 1 hour to download. Longer than 1 hour ... when you log on once an hour ... now are you seeing why the word 'disaster' !?
Luckily, I often trigger an off cycle download, and saw the problem. I fired off an immediate 'STOOOOOOOOP' email, but wasn't sure when Chance would read it. Panic mode. So I called him on the sat link, and to my relief found that he'd read my email immediately and already stopped the barrage. Whew! The bonus of the whole incident was that I got to have a chat with the big fella, albeit brief, as the quality and delay of sat phone links is at best passable, but mostly painful. Near disaster, happy ending.
Just finished the 04:00 - 07:00 watch and 'watched' the sun come up. It was a bit of a rainy night, and the off going watch went to bed a bit damp. I was either pretty tired last night, or I'm gaining more confidence with my crew, as they had 30knots of wind for an hour and I slept through it!
Currently motoring south east, due to a headwind that wants to push us East. We're not ready to pull the pin of the Easterly swerve just yet.
All's well on x86.
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