What's New On These Pages: February 2003
Next month: March 2003
- Wednesday 26th February
A loose cable froze my session just as the show started and I missed
doing the main draw truly live, but got it plugged back in to do
Extra "live" and recap on the others. The official site decided to
ban all non-Windows users tonight (update: this was fixed the following
day and now it "only" blocks the online Instant Win registration page
if you don't have Windows) and the phone line refused to give out exact
ticket sales (only a "grand total" sales figure covering all live draws).
Ironically, once I booted back into Windows 98 SE and had a look at
the official site, they did have the exact sales figures, so that's
one hand not knowing what the other's doing, methinks :-) I had a long
phone conversation with one of the Camelot managers about various things -
the OS block and the failure to give out exact sales figures on the phone
line to be precise.
The latter appears to be some PR masquerading to me - a knee-jerk reaction
to some particularly bad tabloid journalism about the main draw sales
falling. Camelot don't want individual draw sales to be tracked, just their
"portfolio" overall sales. Why not give out both (the individual
and overall figures) then ? Rumour has it that even the overall figure may
eventually not be given out either, with a 6-monthly "sales report" issued
- Saturday 22nd February
I had all sorts of upstream problems tonight, with my ADSL connection
seemingly playing up at exactly the time the lottery TV show was on.
Anything I was typing was taking up to 30 seconds (or sometimes more) to
appear ! It made me panic enough that I manually noted the numbers (and
duly messed up one of the Extra numbers, which I fixed later on). The
full results came through about an hour after the draw, with the official
site releasing them first.
- Wednesday 19th February
I guess David Beckham and his "Scar Wars" row with Sir Alex was
more enticing than the lottery draws, because the chat room was
pretty quite tonight, with only a few hardy visitors braving it out,
even well after the draws had finished. The official site took about
an hour to display the full results.
- Saturday 15th February
No problems tonight with the lottery show commentary or draw, with the
official site being horribly slow to put up the winning numbers (some 45
minutes after the draw), but then followed that up with the full results
only 10 minutes later. In case you're curious, I'm now editing the
test copy of the lottery site on my work machine because the ADSL connection
means I can do all changes "online" now (previously, I had to pack up the
data files, download them, disconnect my ISDN, work on them offline,
re-connect the ISDN and then upload the changes).
- Wednesday 12th February
It wasn't hugely busy in the chat room tonight (perhaps everyone
was watching the dismal England soccer team getting beaten 3-1 by
Australia live on Sky Sports) and the draw proceeded fairly smoothly,
although I had to replay a tape I'd recorded of the draw to confirm
the Extra numbers (which are read out very quickly at the end of the
show). The official Web site was just about usable (only 2 minutes to
load a page tonight) and came up with the full results about 50 minutes
after the draw.
- Tuesday 11th February
My home ISDN connection has now been cancelled - sure enough, the BT linebox
line is now off. Bye bye to 133 quid a quarter rental plus phone
call charges (!!) on ISDN. I've also contacted Nildram and they'll invoice
me monthly now (they didn't send me an initial invoice, so I got them to
fax one to me).
- Monday 10th February
Finally got through to Nildram and they e-mailed me the Welcome Pack,
which turned out to be a 2-page Word document (a good job I use Open
Office - why do people send Word documents when plain text or HTML
e-mails will do ?). That had all the stuff I needed to configure my new
wireless ADSL router up and at about 8.00pm, I had both Windows 98 SE
and Red Hat Linux 8.0 talking on the ADSL connection. Getting around
60Kbytes per second download on some sites, which is pretty good.
I'm on the Home 500 Lite account because I don't need a static IP, Web space
or an e-mail address (though they gave me one of the latter), since I have
all that at work of course. FYI, the wireless ADSL router is a Zyxel 650HW
and does quite a lot (ADSL modem, NAT, firewall, 4 ethernet ports, Web and
telnet config interface, wireless PCMCIA access point [with a PCMCIA wireless
card that you plug into the side], wireless encryption/MAC locking, plus some
useful diagnostic stuff). It lights up like a Christmas tree when
operational (I've never seen so many large/bright LEDs on a black box before).
And, yes, I'll be buying some wireless cards for other PCs in the house
All of this means that I'll have spare time on the Net now to wander through
my Lottery Links over the forthcoming few weeks and sort them out - something
I couldn't do "economically" on ISDN of course (because of the call charges).
- Sunday 9th February
A BT engineer came out this morning and fixed my home phone line fault -
turns out the wires on the telegraph pole were exposed to the wind and rain
and had got knackered, so we got our own personal grey plastic box on the
pole just to keep our phone wires nice and dry. Rather nicely, because
I'd reported the fault last night via a mobile phone, BT SMS'ed the progress
of the fault fix to me, including a final one to confirm the line was
working again. No home ADSL yet though cos Nildram never sent me their
Welcome Pack via post (and their sales line only is open Mon-Fri).
- Saturday 8th February
It was certainly quieter in the chat room than last Wednesday, but at least
the live commentary and draw proceeded smoothly. The official Web site
actually worked OK all evening (which was perhaps the largest shock of the
year so far) and had the full results just over an hour after the draw,
with BBC teletext and the phone line following shortly afterwards.
My home phone line expired late on Saturday night - it had been emitting
loud white/crackling noise since yesterday and just went totally dead late
tonight. I phoned up BT to report the fault (on my mobile of course).
- Friday 7th February
My new 512Kbps home ADSL connection was enabled today, but I couldn't
use it because a) Nildram (the ISP I'm getting it from) didn't send me
their "Welcome Pack" and didn't answer their sales line for 15 minutes
this afternoon and b) I had the start of a line fault on the very home
phone line I was using for ADSL (but I'd passed the BT line test earlier
this week when it working, luckily).
- Wednesday 5th February
The combination of a rollover draw and bizarrely late lottery TV show
(aired at 9.55pm, whereas it could easily have been aired at 9.00pm before
Crimewatch UK of course) meant that the lottery chat room was very busy
tonight [lots of people turning up in the previous hour when they thought
it would be on and then hanging on for the draw itself].
The live TV show commentary and draw went fine and the usual sluggish
official lottery site was hopeless for over an hour after the draw. I
phoned Camelot up at about 10.50pm and got the full results off them
(minus the Thunderball machine and ball set, which I got off the official
site a couple of hours later once it was usable again !). Oh, and I won
£10 on my first ticket tonight - hooray !
- Tuesday 4th February
Bought two more tickets for tomorrow's rollover draw.
- Saturday 1st February
No problems with tonight's lottery TV show and draw, as the usual suspects
turned up in the chat room tonight (it was fairly quiet at draw time).
As could be predicted, the official lottery site was mostly unreachable for
a couple of hours after the draw took place, so a combination of BBC
teletext and the Camelot phone line secured the full results about an hour
after the draw, though the official site did eventually load pages to suggest
they updated at around the same time too.
Previous month: January 2003