What's New On These Pages: March 2002
Next month: April 2002
- Saturday 30th March
The lottery TV show wasn't televised this evening because
BBC 1 showed tributes to the Queen Mother who died peacefully
in her sleep at 3.15pm GMT today. Camelot were increasingly
elusive when I phoned them for info - they couldn't even tell
me the exact time of the (non-televised) draws !
Early rumours suggested that the numbers and results would be
announced just before the news at 9.00pm GMT on BBC 1 - in fact,
BBC teletext had the numbers up about 5 minutes before that.
I phoned Camelot up shortly afterwards and got them to give me
the full info, including machine, ball set and draw order info
of course (which you can often only get from the TV show).
I did actually hang around in the chat room whilst waiting for
all of this, though since there was no televised draw, it was
probably beyond the call of duty :-)
- Wednesday 27th March
No problems during the live TV show commentary and draw tonight
in the chat room, even though it was bizarrely some 25 minutes
earlier than usual. Camelot even managed to come up with the full
results ahead of teletext, so that rounded off the evening nicely.
- Monday 25th March
Fixed a problem with the footer "lottery ball" navigation on most
pages (bad quoting of hyperlinks).
Also discovered a bad pointer access if you set your draw range to the future
in the Ticket Checker, so that's been fixed as well now.
- Saturday 23rd March
The live TV show commentary and draw progressed OK tonight
in the chat room, although Camelot were back to their bad old
ways w.r.t. the speed that they released the results. BBC teletext
beat them by 10 minutes for the main draw full results and 15 minutes
for the Thunderball full results, the latter of which turned up on
Camelot's phone line an outrageous 90 minutes after the Thunderball
draw took place.
- Wednesday 20th March
There were no problems with the live TV show commentary and draw
in the chat room tonight and Camelot even came up with the full
results 10 minutes before BBC or ITV teletext, which was impressive
(for a change).
For the first time ever, I now store object files and binaries in the
code source tree in a sub-directory named based on the operating system
(HP-UX or Linux for example) - this now allows me to build an HP-UX
set of binaries or a Linux set independently of each other (it will
auto-detect the OS and store the files in the right directory automatically).
Unfortunately, the C code is dependent on having a K&R (i.e. non-ANSI)
C pre-processor as part of the compiler ("cc -Ac" for HP's C or
"gcc -traditional-cpp" for gcc). Annoyingly, the -traditional-cpp
option actually fails on Red Hat Linux 7.2, both with gcc 2.96 ("gcc")
and gcc 3.04 ("gcc3").
The reason for doing all this is that I now have
a fast Dell Pentium 4 box running Red Hat available for compilation
(though installed CGI binaries have to be built on HP-UX, because that's
what the live site needs). The machine is 5 times quicker than my
previous HP-UX workstation, so pages generated by binaries (not CGI
stuff) may as well be created by the Linux box, particularly the
Best Performing Tickets page.
So, I've now got to find a way to get the code to work with only an
ANSI C pre-processor (allowing both the latest gcc and HP's cc to build
the code OK, the latter has an ANSI mode as you might expect), which could be
"fun". More news on these pages when I finally sort it all out.
- Saturday 16th March
The lottery show was punctuated throughout by some
crazy woman screaming and yelling in the audience, though
that didn't affect my usual live TV show and draw commentary
in the chat room. Camelot procrastinated issuing the
full results (about an hour after the draw), but I actually
still managed to beat both ITV and BBC teletext to them.
To top it off, I had my first win (£10) of the year too.
- Wednesday 13th March
I was doing live text commentary on the official
Liverpool FC soccer site for their game vs. Barcelona
(ended 0-0, despite good chances for both sides), so
I didn't go in the chat room this evening.
I did, however,
do a live Web update for the draws and I also phoned
Camelot at full time (about 40 minutes after the draws),
only to find the usual situation of them not having
the full results and BBC teletext displaying them a
good 5 minutes before Camelot had them.
- Saturday 9th March
Had some trouble getting into the chat room tonight until
I realised that the server side needed restarting. Once
that was sorted, the TV show commentary and draw went fine
plus, despite Camelot taking some 70 minutes to cough up
the full results, I still beat ITV and BBC teletext to them.
Produced a list of losing tickets on both the main and
Thunderball Best Performing Tickets pages, because a few
people had requested it. Each ticket also has a
history hyperlink to prove their winless status.
Withdrew the "no prior wins for any ticket" option from the
Thunderball Lucky Dip (taking up too much CPU time). Also,
should I ever supply an Extra Lucky Dip facility (not really
needed - just use the main lottery one), then I won't
allow an "at least one prior win" option for the randomly
generated tickets because you'd be hard pressed to find one...
- Thursday 7th March
Bought two additional tickets for Saturday's rollover draw.
- Wednesday 6th March
I was busy commentating on the Liverpool vs. Newcastle
United soccer game on the official Liverpool FC site (whose half-time
break would have nicely coincided with the lottery draws if it
wasn't for the floodlights breaking down !), so I didn't visit
the chat room during the draw. I still did the live Web update
and I also got the full results at full time (about 10.25pm),
which still beat BBC 1 !
- Saturday 2nd March
No problems in the chat room tonight as the live TV
show commentary and draws turned out OK. Needless to say,
Camelot were hopelessly slow with the results, taking
some 60 minutes to dribble out Thunderball results,
70 minutes to release the main results and an outrageous
80 minutes to issue the Extra results. BBC teletext beat
them by a good 10 minutes in each case.
Previous month: February 2002