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Year View| Summary| Highlights| Month View| Wednesday 21 July 2004 (Day View)

21.07.2004Wednesday 21 July – Congestion, Student Fees & Caching

I was woken by Renee phoning, and then had a pleasant morning dozing, followed by a pleasant evening walking and thinking. I also got around to paying my “Student Fees”, by which I am undemocratically forced to support a scummy union full of rabid left-wing extremists with less brains than the average household cockroach, who in turn support causes that I do not wish to support. Exactly how something like this is justified in a supposedly democratic country, I am not sure.
Shan and Kylie-Anne are home, and dropped by to pick up their mail and have a chat.
  I decided it would be a good idea to make the pages of my amused site cacheable. There’s a surprising amount of information around on how to prevent pages being cached by proxy servers, caching servers, and client’s browsers, but not nearly as much on how to ensure the pages are cached. I eventually managed to find a few different bits of information, and now have it so that my amused site is sending “Last-Modified” and “Etag” headers, and returning a “HTTP/1.1 304 Not Modified” header if the cached copy of a page is still valid. I was just about to test the “Etag” code when the connection dropped, so I’m not sure whether it works, but it’s essentially identical to the “Last-Modified” code, which does work, so it should. This should cut down data transfer from my site a little, and potentially make return visits to pages faster. I guess I should add as many “Please Cache this for a hugely long time” sort of headers and tags as I can find, so as many caches as possible actually do, thus cutting down transfers from the web server even more, but that’ll have to wait until I’ve a working internet connection again.
Apparently Jade has just discovered that her flatmate is lesbian, after living with her for over a year. This strikes me as amusing, somehow.
The modem thought there was an incoming phone call, which I ignored. It then began messing around trying to renegotiate a connection, and eventually dropped the connection. I tried to reconnect but got an engaged signal. I tried again, several times, eventually getting a recorded message, “Service to the telecommunications network you are calling is temporarily congested, we apologise for any inconvenience. Please try again later. This is a free call. D R S E”. I tried a few more times, and then just kept getting an “Error 777: The connection attempt failed because the modem (or other connecting device) on the remote computer is out of order”. The interesting thing is that the modem gives this error without even attempting to dial, leading me to suspect that it’s some type of timeout after a specified number of failed attempts to connect. Either that or it’s broken, but it will dial any other number without problems.
The modem will dial the ISP’s number again now, so I guess that error was just some precautionary timeout to comply with Australia’s telephone laws. Unfortunately though, the telephone network seems to have died. All 0198 numbers seem to give the same congested message, and 1800 numbers aren’t even attempting to dial. Local numbers appear to work, and I can’t afford (or be bothered) to try any others.
Service to the telecommunications network that I want to connect to is still congested, so I’m guessing there’s been a reasonably major, although perhaps localised, fault with the telephone network, and which isn’t likely to be fixed very soon – or perhaps it’s those aliens again. Either way, I’m off to bed.

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