Thu, 22 Dec 2005

Why use ccontrol..

ccontrol is great! Here are some reasons why (in dot points, 'coz everything is better in dot points!):
  • It's very easy to setup. It even does auto probing of your network to find distcc hosts.
  • You can use it to compile any package without the need to screw around with Makefiles etc. Just type make everywhere you want to compile
  • It's been tuned it so that interactive performance on your local machine is not compromised during compiles.
  • I used crosstool to install the 64 POWERPC GCC cross compiler on my x86 laptop. I didn't need to do anything special to get it to work under ccontrol, just downloaded crosstool and build as usual.
  • I can now build 64bit POWER Linux kernel on my laptop without playing with Makefiles or even having to specify any parameters to make (even ARCH=). This also uses distcc as you'd want. ccontrol works out what you want based on the directory name.
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  • Sun, 18 Dec 2005

    Funky Images

    In the tradition that Michael started... What is this image?

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    Fri, 16 Dec 2005

    Friday, December 16, 2005

    In this country, you gotta make the money first. Then when you get the money, you get the power. Then when you get the power, then you get the ccontrol releases named after you.

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    Wed, 14 Dec 2005

    Wednesday, December 14, 2005


    I've been playing around with xplanet markers and the Real Time Cloud Map and to create a background that updates with timezones, weather and the movement of the Sun/Earth. I'm updating the background on my laptop every 10 min. The source markers file I create looks like this:
    These get translated into xplanet markers containing the actual time in each location. I then run xplanet passing it the latest clouds image and markers file to produce the final result. A sample image is shown here.
    <insert gratuitous ccontrol link here>
    Last night I was getting my hair cut and my usual hair dresser said "I have some bad news, this will probably be the last time I cut your hair as my boyfriend got a job in Brisbane and I'm moving there with him".
    To which I responded "Sorry to hear that. I guess being a hair dresser means that you easily find another job up there".
    To which she responded "Yeah, true... and you know, the world is only getting more superficial, so there's always going to be plenty of work around for me".
    I'm use to getting this type of argument from my left wing hippy friends, but not my hairdresser!?!? I'm definitely going to miss her.

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    Mon, 05 Dec 2005

    Monday, December 05, 2005

    I bought myself an IOGear GME225B Bluetooth mouse. Works nicely under Ubuntu Linux (Breezy) with a simple
    sudo hidd --connect XX:XX:XX:XX:XX:XX
    command while holding down the connect button on the bottom. I didn't even have to restart X. It recharges over USB and can still be used while being charged. My laptop has Bluetooth built in, so it's a very neat solution requiring no cables or dongles (except when charging).

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    Sat, 26 Nov 2005

    Saturday, November 26, 2005

    Michael, Anton and I headed up to Andrea's folks place for Thanksgiving day. Thanksgiving is notoriously bad for traffic but we managed to make the 180miles to Dallas in 3 hours with almost no traffic issues.
    Our Thanksgiving meal was much like my usual Christmas dinner in Australia. A sit down meal with loads of turkey and ham with a number of side dishes. We also got stuck into the wine with quite a few bottles emptied.
    After dinner, Andrea and Nancy took us down to the GayLoad Texan (sorry Simmo, I couldn't get you a T-shirt) to have a few drinks and look around. Pretty amazing building.
    We stayed the night in Andrea and Nancy's huge new trailer/caravan, then headed home. Fortunately, the traffic on the way home was also pretty light.
    Many thanks to Andrea and Nancy, and to Andrea's family for looking after us so very well.
    Anyway, enough with me rambling on, here's some photos.
    Update: Michael's take on events.

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    Thu, 24 Nov 2005

    Thursday, November 24, 2005

    I've seen a couple of good bumper stickers while in Texas.
    One was a picture of a "W" in a circle which was crossed out. Next to it said "Wake me up when it's over"
    The second one was "Unions: from the folks that bought you weekends"

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    Thu, 17 Nov 2005

    Thursday, November 17, 2005

    I'm in Austin Texas currently for work. I realised I'm a bit more spoilt these days when I found myself complaining that make -j4 is not enough grunt.

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    Fri, 11 Nov 2005

    Friday, November 11, 2005

    From Daily Flute

    Updated 6/12/2005: to add acknowledgement.

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    Wed, 09 Nov 2005

    Wednesday, November 09, 2005

    More evidence little Johnny is more interested in terrorist sensationalism rather than actually protecting us:
    "There were 10 changes to the Crimes Act since June last year, since surveillance first began on these folk, and any of these 10 changes would have allowed this alteration of the word 'the' to 'a' or 'a' to 'the'."

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    Wed, 02 Nov 2005

    Wednesday, November 02, 2005

    I normally watch the SBS news as IMHO it's far better than the commercial channels. Last night confirmed the shitty state of commercial news when one of them had a segment on a new drug to prevent migraines. It really shits me when they present something as news when it's obviously an ad for the drug company. Added to which, drug ads are not allowed in Australia. Immoral and quite possibly illegal activity.

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    Thu, 27 Oct 2005

    Thursday, October 27, 2005

    I've not blogged for a while so here's some quickies,

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    Thu, 13 Oct 2005

    Thursday, October 13, 2005

    I've move our photo gallery over to Should be much faster now, but let me know if you have any problems.

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    Tue, 11 Oct 2005

    Tuesday, October 11, 2005

    Tridge grabbed my google maps based GPS stuff and has improved it greatly adding a lot more client side java script. He's setup a bzr repository for the code at (google API key is for only).
    Anyway, I found a line drawing package for java script so I've added some graphing abilities to his stuff. My first play with java script and bzr. You can pull from my tree at I've also setup a test page for my stuff here.

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    Fri, 07 Oct 2005

    Friday, October 07, 2005

    I've done the wanky thing and registered my own domain at From now on I'll be using mikey at neuling dot org (please delete any other addresses). I'll start moving other stuff over there (photo site, this blog, GPS page etc) when I get time.

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    Wed, 05 Oct 2005

    Wednesday, October 05, 2005


    Some friends visited the The Falkirk Wheel recently. It's a rotating boat lift which is the equivalent of a 8 stories high. If you're a geeky engineer, it's very cool. Checkout the site. There's also a Wikipedia page

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    Tue, 04 Oct 2005

    Tuesday, October 04, 2005

    While in Brisbane we discovered that BCG has a fan club... join up quickly!!!

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    Mon, 03 Oct 2005

    Monday, October 03, 2005

    Jo and I spent the weekend in Brisbane with Di and Brad. We had a fantastic time, mostly just hanging out in the city with them and their friends. Highlights included, the night cruise up the Brisbane river past the CBD on the CityCat and the closing night at Sur Taj. Thanks for a great time guys!!!! Some photos are available here.

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    Tue, 27 Sep 2005

    Tuesday, September 27, 2005

    Big weekend. The Taken played the Pot Belly Friday night. The other 2 bands were pretty good as well, the last being a rock'n covers band which played, amongst others, KISS and couple of Billy Idol song. Stayed out pretty late with some of the OzLabs guys causing Saturday to be a bit of a waste. Saturday night we saw Diesel at Tilley's. The show was similar to last time with just him and an acoustic guitar. Unfortunately there were some feedback problems which were rather irritating, but other than that, he's a brilliant performer. Sunday I went on the inaugural CLUG Bike SIG. Ended up riding a total of 67Km from leaving home to getting back with my first go up Black Mountain which is the hardest mountain I've climbed so far. Did it in a reasonable time for a first attempt, although Steve, who joined me, kicked my ass.

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    Wed, 21 Sep 2005

    Wednesday, September 21, 2005


    Tomorrow is World Car free day. You know what to do people!!!

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    Thu, 15 Sep 2005

    Thursday, September 15, 2005

    I've been playing with the Google maps API and GPSBabel. GPSBabel has beta support for my GPS under Linux and after looking at some packet dumps for a while, I managed to work out how it my GPS split tracks for each run and submitted a crappy 2 line patch. After a little scripting, I can now download runs and upload them to my site automatically. Checkout Mikey GPS runs.

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    Wed, 14 Sep 2005

    Wednesday, September 14, 2005

    THE TAKEN rock the Pot Belly on the 23 SEPTEMBER 2005.

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    Tue, 13 Sep 2005

    Tuesday, September 13, 2005

    Riding home tonight around State Circle, someone in an SUV coming out of a side street didn't see me, ended up locking up his brakes and, fortunately, stopped just beside me. He didn't come too close to hitting me and I did see him coming, so overall it wasn't too bad an incident.
    Anyway, after letting me past, he pulled up next to me and wound down his window. Thinking I was about to get a blast of "Get off the road you stupid hippy!" I was very surprised when he apologised saying "Sorry about that, I did see you through that pole". Although a pretty lame excuse (if you can't see, don't assume you can go), I'm impressed a bicycle rider got an apology from an SUV driver.

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    Wed, 07 Sep 2005

    Wednesday, September 07, 2005

    Two features I really missed from my GPS was pedal cadence and following prerecorded courses. Garmin have just released a GPS Cyclocomputer which supports these, plus all the other stuff mine already has. I really love and hate how fast technology moves sometimes, not that either of these features are especially new.

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    Tue, 30 Aug 2005

    Tuesday, August 30, 2005

    After Steve's ride up stomolo the other day I thought I'd try it out. I did it the other day in 13:36 (ave 15.9Kph over 3.61Km) but after talking to Steven offline, I realised I was about 300m short of where he measured from and to.
    So I tried again and this time put in a more effort. I managed to do the climb in 13.14 (ave 17.8Kph over 3.92km) which I was pretty happy with (over all ride was ave 27.1Kph over 29.64km). I managed to keep my heart rate at an average of 185bpm over the climb and 168bpm over the whole ride. Even on his "lackluster" ride I wasn't about to keep up with Steven but I would have been insight of him crossing the top. Yay!

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    Mon, 29 Aug 2005

    Monday, August 29, 2005

    Jo and I went to Peppers Manor House over the weekend. Very nice place. We spent most of our time relaxing, reading and eating in front of the fire. Some photos of the house here.

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    Wed, 24 Aug 2005

    Wednesday, August 24, 2005

    I've got some time off work so I decided to make a todo list. I made the mistake of putting it up on the notice board at home and telling Jo she could add to it. Let's just say, I don't have to worry about not having anything todo anymore ;-)
    Anyway, on the list was to donate blood and I can happily cross that one off now. I've not donated blood for a few years now. Blood supplies are running low so if you're thinking about donating, now would be a good time. Checkout where to donate if you're interested. There are even mobile blood banks around the country (schedule available online). 80% of people need blood products sometime during their lives but only 3% of eligible people donate. Here endith the lesson

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    Thu, 18 Aug 2005

    Thursday, August 18, 2005

    I thought I jump on the food reviewing band wagon and review the local eatery near work.
    As it's affectionately called around work, Shiterina's, or Shiter's for short, (can you see where this review is going). It's the worst place within walking distance of work. Actually, it's just one rung up from Crissy's place (it doesn't have a nick name as no-one from work goes there more than once) where you are often served by a couple who seem to have live festering open boils on their faces, which at any minute look like they could become the extra little something on your custard tart.... not a pretty picture when you're about to have lunch.
    Anyway, Shiter's has been slowly declining in all aspects from it's very shit state over the last year. Shiter's sells hot food (roasts, stews, rice, pasta, chips, pies, etc) and sandwiches (made on the spot or pre-made). The hot food was bearable initially, but it was always hit and miss. Then it became miss with the occasional hit, then it was all misses. Even the German guy at work, who loaded their hot food up with enough salt to double the weight of the original dish, had to admit defeat this week. Anyway, I gave up with their hot food about 6 months ago and started heading straight to the sandwich bar.
    The sandwich bar I actually liked (except for the slow service, but we'll get to that). They had Italian bread rolls, the hard kind that leaves your gums bleeding after eating (that's the way I like them) and lots of fresh ingredients. My special was Italian roll, avocado, fresh chicken pieces, alfalfa, mung beans, cottage cheese and sweet chilli sauce. Very delicious and I must say, the sandwich artists regularly commented "That looks really yummy". Cost about $8.50 with an OJ. Reasonable value in this day 'n' age.
    Unfortunately today's experience at the sandwich bar was somewhat disappointing. I noticed there were no Italian rolls in the display cabinet, but I asked if they had some anyway. The surly attendant (Sandwich artist he ain't) said sure, and then pulled some generic roll from below the counter and proceeded to slice it in half. I decided to let this slide. Then I gazed at the rest of the bar and to my amazement, there didn't seem to be any chicken, other than slices of chicken schitzel. So again I asked "err, um, is there any OTHER chicken?". "No" is the response, so alas that was my only option. Looking around further, there was also no cottage cheese, alfalfa or mung beans, so lets just say my sandwich ended up being a little more anemic than usual. On top of this, they decided to charge me almost $10 with my usual OJ mixer.
    The service at Shiter's is also something to be marveled. It's a typical cafe, run by someone who has never bothered to attempt to optimize their customer service any more than by telling their staff to work harder. Service times can be anywhere from 30sec to 15mins and usually involved standing in multiple, ambiguously defined queues. The staff seem to be always busy doing things, but no one ever seems to be getting anywhere. All the staff perform all tasks so they are constantly getting in each others way and having to swap tasks (which is especially hygienic when going from money to food service).
    So Shiter's gets a big thumbs down on the Neuling rating system. Enjoy.. or not.

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    Mon, 15 Aug 2005

    Monday, August 15, 2005

    We had Jo's parents Sue and Geoff over for the weekend. Went to the Poachers Pantry and Namagi. Unfortunately I've been sick since Thursday with a head cold and hence, have been even less pleasant to be around. I got a throat infection which when to my sinuses and is now throughout my head. Probably had something to do with me licking a hand rail covered in snow on Wednesday night.

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    Fri, 12 Aug 2005

    Friday, August 12, 2005


    It was so cold in Canberra on Wednesday night that it snowed. Jo got a little excited so we went for a drive up Mt Taylor and then Mt Ainslie and took some photos of the snow that had settled.

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    Mon, 08 Aug 2005

    Monday, August 08, 2005

    I spent the weekend in Adelaide catching up with my folks and friends. It was Brad's 30th birthday party as well as my mothers birthday so it was a good time fly over. It's unlikely we'll see my folks until the end of the year considering our respective plans till then.
    My plane arrived in Adelaide at 7pm Friday night and we were booked into Chianti Classico (one of my mum's favorite restaurants) for 7:30.
    Brad's party was great which was helped enormously by Tennnille's planning (hopefully, this won't be the start of everyone trying to out do each other). They picked me up at around lunch time and we headed over they place. We did a few hours preparation but it was mostly pretty easy. People started rocking up at around 8pm.
    Tennille prepared a video for us to watch of Brad's life. This contained hundreds of photos of his life as well as words people used to describe him. She also put together a book with nice things people had written about Brad and many of the photos from the video. A pretty amazing gift which would have taken weeks of work. The video kept everyone entertained for about 1/2 hour and educated me on a few things I didn't know about Brad. I also managed to catch up with the Hungers group still in Adelaide at the party.
    Sunday I hung around with mum, taking Cherub for a walk and having a traditional Neuling weekend seafood meal at home. I took the late flight home which meant going via Melbourne prolonging the pain of sitting in small metal tube full of flu invested people.
    I got a few responses to the puzzle last week. Thanks to the dork that anonymously posted the answer in the comments. BTW it's "liar" (if you're getting spelling tips from me, you're doing really badly).
    Anyway, at least now I don't have to post an answer.

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    Wed, 03 Aug 2005

    Wednesday, August 03, 2005

    Our ADSL modem (the custom power supply stopped working) died over the last couple of days. Hence the photo site I post last week has been inaccessible. Anyway, we picked up a replacement modem today so all's better.

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    Mon, 01 Aug 2005

    Monday, August 01, 2005


    I haven't done a puzzle for a while, but I heard this one over lunch today:
    There are two doors, one with a prize behind it and one without. There are two people guarding the doors, one which always tells the truth and the other always tells a lie. They both know which door the prize is behind and if the other is truthful or not.
    You're allowed to ask one question to one of them and then you can pick a door to try to win the prize. What question should you ask?

    Email your solutions. I'll post an answer in about a week.

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    Wed, 27 Jul 2005

    Wednesday, July 27, 2005

    I've dumped a bunch of our photos from various trips and visitors on a public machine. It's not overly quick when lots of people are accessing it (read: more than one) but enjoy.

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    Mon, 25 Jul 2005

    Monday, July 25, 2005

    Thanks to Wikipedia featured articles I discovered that one of the problems I posted a while ago is know as the Monty Hall problem.

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    Thu, 21 Jul 2005

    Thursday, July 21, 2005

    A few quickies for a slow afternoon:
    Gonzo Stunt game

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    Wed, 20 Jul 2005

    Wednesday, July 20, 2005

    I'm not much of a cycling fan but since Indurain started winning a bunch, I've been watching the Tour each year. I'm really happy and surprised (one of the joys of being ignorant of cycling for 95% of the year) this year to see Cadel Evans is well inside the top 10 in his first tour, less than 8 min behind Armstrong. Hopefully he can keep it up for the remaining 5 stages, especially for the time trial on Saturday.

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    Thu, 14 Jul 2005

    Thursday, July 14, 2005

    Tooling around the net, I found that there's a company in Australia that offers universal gift certificates. What a great idea! A piece of paper that can be exchanged for any goods and services. Wish I'd thought of that, what a novel concept!!!

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    Sun, 10 Jul 2005

    Sunday, July 10, 2005


    My first Google Maps hack. This is of a walk Jo and I did the other day near home. I know very little about Java and associated web scripting tools so please don't look at the code. The center point is done by hand currently but I'm sure I could find it automatically.
    Anyway, the Google maps API is pretty neat. Only took about an hour to get this going from scratch (includes reading the API docs).

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    Thu, 07 Jul 2005

    Thursday, July 07, 2005

    Lucy's blog in RSS. A horrible hack and very beta but feel free to use.
    Just in...
    Blue Penguins fans stunned as Schwenke announces retirement
    CANBERRA: Swarms of reporters and netball fans descended on the Ainslie home of Martin Schwenke, where he held a press conference to announce his retirement from Wednesday night netball. Amongst his reasons for retiring, Schwenke cited an aging body, and an overall lack of ability to cope with booner opposition and poor umpiring. Specifically he commented on "aggressive wankers who seem to think they're playing football" and "umpires who don't seem to be able to recognise or control aggression until it hits them (or someone else) in the face". Schwenke said that he would play his last regular game for the Blue Penguins next week before taking a break for about a month, but would fill in as necessary for the rest of the season.
    An interesting game of Netball last night. Near the end of the second quarter, one of our players (Martin Pool) contacts one of the opposition in a typical unintentional play. The opposition player then deliberately pushes Martin. The umpire then gets upset with the opposition player and tells him to take it easy, to which he responds with "What did I do?". At this point, I look at him and say "For pushing him, Dick head!". This infuriates him, so he throws the ball at my head and starts coming for me. Jo then immediately and without hesitation, bolts from her position (and off side mind you) to stop this guy, along with the opposition goal attack. Jo screams in his face "Back off!". The opposition player is then sent off the court and out of the Netball centre by the umpire. While leaving, he hurls abuse at me, saying things like "I'm gonna get you!" and "I'm gonna be waiting for you outside the centre!" (which he didn't).... so yeah, kinda interesting game (which we lost)...
    So, what did we learn? Well, if you want to get to me, you're going to have to go through my lovely wife and you can trust me, that's going to be hard. I may look and be a big woosy bag, but she'd much rather be dead than see any harm to me and she won't back down, ever! Love ya honey!

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    Sun, 03 Jul 2005

    Sunday, July 03, 2005

    Lots of stuff on this weekend. I spent some time at Dennis' place Friday night trying to get my old ADSL modem working. I bought the modem in Singapore in 2001 and have not used it since. I had a look on the Whirlpool website and found that I had to change the vc/vp numbers to 8/35. The modem has a serial port for configuration which you can connect to at 9600bps and presents you with a basic terminal interface. After trolling around for a while I found the appropriate configuration entry, changed it and luckly it worked. So I managed to spend/waste a couple of hours of my life to save $70.... anyway, next stop is getting an ADSL account.
    After my success on Friday night, I headed to the computer fair to pick up a few bits and pieces to connect the gear around the home. I managed to pick up an Ethernet card, 5m Ethernet cable and a line filter for $25. Then I blew the budget and got a 40GB hard drive for $40 (using my elite bargaining skills, I got him down from $45). Some of the stuff looked somewhat second hand but after getting it home and it all worked. Hopefully once we get our broadband connected, I'll host some more of our photos on the web (A quick note to all those geeks out there at the computer fair, you can't control the Matrix just by wearing a long jacket... and it would help if you bathed as well)
    Later Saturday, Jo and I went to see What the 'Bleep' do we know!?. Not enough time to write a full review, but it's definitely worth seeing although I wouldn't go when tired. It's more of a documentary than anything else and it draws on a number of fields, including quantum physics, psychology, religion, sociology and philosophy and tries to pull them all together. Afterwards we dropped by Martin and Mel's for a bite to eat and a chat. When we got home I found the access point in the roof cavity above the main bathroom. It's a no name brand broadband router but I don't believe it has wireless built in. Anyhoo, this was pretty useful as the port near the TiVo was not functional, so I swapped it with one of the other ports and now it works, meaning I won't have to run a long cable into the bedroom. Very neat. While in the roof, I also fixed the fan which didn't seem to be working as the laundry was getting very wet when the dryer was on. Also found the security system main hub.
    Today I went for a jog and discovered that I'm actually fit enough to do this at a reasonable pace without stopping. Having the heart rate monitor definitely helped as it made sure I didn't blow my heart rate out too far. Later Rebecca from Jo's work dropped by for a chat and to see the new place.

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    Wed, 29 Jun 2005

    Wednesday, June 29, 2005

    "It just seemed natural at the time to get the Google implant, everyone was doing it.".... I wonder how long until I'll be saying that.
    PS I'm addicted to Google Earth.

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    Tue, 28 Jun 2005

    Tuesday, June 28, 2005

    Colin has joined the world of bloggers. Amazing what you find from HREF entries sometimes. On that note, Simon's Blog is continuing to be a great read. Highly recommended for a good laugh.

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    Mon, 27 Jun 2005

    Monday, June 27, 2005

    Jo and I went to see Hell on Wheels on Friday night. It's a documentary about the 2003 Tour De France which was the centenary race. Of course there was a larger number of bicycles parked out the front of the cinema. IMHO, the movie was OK, it started really well but didn't manage to keep up that level throughout the whole movie. It talked about the suffering that the riders go through but didn't show it that well. Did a little shopping after and grabbed a bite to eat a Milk and Honey. I ended up staying up late to install Ubuntu on my old laptop. Very easy to install but this is usually the case on older hardware. Sunday Paul and Alli came over for a pancake and muffin filled bunch. After they left I headed to Dennis' to help him with his MythTV install. I think I helped a little but we were mainly having problems with the binary ATI driver install.

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    Fri, 24 Jun 2005

    Friday, June 24, 2005

    Late last night before leaving work, one of the software engineers was having a problem with one of our cables and asked me to help fix it. After taking it apart the problem became obvious but it was late and I decided to leave it till today to fix it. So I wrote "Broken" on a post-it note and stuck it to the cable to ensure no one grabbed it and wasted any time using it, and threw the cable on the floor of my office (my desk was a mess as usual).
    This morning I came in to find the cable missing. So I trundled out to manufacturing to see if one of the guys had seen the cable with post-it and decided to fix it for me. Alas, they had not touched the cable. So next, I send a message around the office asking if anyone had picked it up, then started wondering around to see if I could find it. Still no luck. I even called one of the staff, who was the only one in the office last night when I left, who was on her way to the US (but in Sydney airport still) but she didn't touch it either. So where the hell did it go? There's little possibility that it was stolen as there's a bunch of other stuff that would be far more useful than this broken cable.
    So where has the stupid cable gone? The only plausible scenario left seems to be that the cleaner has thrown it away. The cable was marked broken and was sitting on the floor, coincidentally, next to my bin. I've checked the dumpster, but at around 10am it had already been emptied so (un)fortunately I wasn't able to rummage through a ton of garage to search for it. I've not been able to contact the cleaner either.

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    Wed, 22 Jun 2005

    Wednesday, June 22, 2005

    The Case of the Missing VCR. Sounds like Simmo's having fun in Melbourne, but remind me not to stay with him any time soon.

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    Mon, 20 Jun 2005

    Monday, June 20, 2005

    Our new place has a bunch of Ethernet ports in the walls, so over the weekend I set about trying to work out what they do. I thought they'd be point to point links but no. It turns out that every port is connected to an access point buried somewhere in the walls of our apartment. The access point even serves up DHCP requests and has a web browser built in (simple page just asking for a password). An nmap TCP fingerprint scan reports "SMC barricade wireless/Ethernet/DSL router" (from memory). The Ethernet port next to the TV only works (gives Ethernet activity) with a cross over cable and doesn't serve DHCP request so this is probably sitting on the access point port that normally connects to the DSL modem and runs PPPoE. So anyway, it's somewhat interesting. I need to get an 802.11 wireless card so I can checkout signal strength and potentially determine which wall the access point is located.

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    Fri, 17 Jun 2005

    Friday, June 17, 2005

    So we've moved... I'm stuffed, but we moved. All went to plan other than a couple of minor hiccups. We even managed to get all our bond back. The new place is about the same as the old just a little more roomy. We have the same phone number as before.
    I discovered that Telstra has the best business model in the world. If you have an unlisted number they charge you. Hence, they charge for doing nothing. I think I might start charging people money to not put them in my new directory service, say $10 a month.... so the tin foil hatters amongst you, send me your cheques!

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    Fri, 10 Jun 2005

    Friday, June 10, 2005

    Brad looks like he's found himself a noble endeavor, although he's surely doomed to fail.

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    Tue, 07 Jun 2005

    Tuesday, June 07, 2005

    An article in the SMH about the AUSFTA and the IP provisions. Nothing particularly new but at least someone in the mainstream media gets it.
    There are now some public details of the work we've been doing with a basketball training company. Basically, we track a basketball in real time and measure the angle on entry. Relatively simple computer vision problem compared to faceLAB. Kinda neat though.

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    Mon, 06 Jun 2005

    Monday, June 06, 2005

    Loads of packing and West Wing Season 5 this weekend. Saw Martin and Mel Sunday night but nothing else social.

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    Thu, 02 Jun 2005

    Thursday, June 02, 2005

    Rode to work with Tony today. Did the Adelaide Ave route. Didn't manage to find his missing 300m but I did notice everything looking a little bluer in front so maybe there's some funky stuff going on.
    I always though Jedda was pretending to not know me. Now I have proof.... and yes Cherub, you should be good, although living with Jo is not normally considered punishment.

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    Wed, 01 Jun 2005

    Wednesday, June 01, 2005

    We got absolutely trounced at Netball last night. The guys we played against were just too good. I've not tried that hard before just to get completely slaughtered. The umpiring was also pretty abysmal but that only account for 1 of the orders of magnitude in which they exceeded our score.

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    Tue, 31 May 2005

    Tuesday, May 31, 2005

    Friday night we went to see Wil Anderson with Martin and Mel. Ran into Dennis and Leanne from work as well. Went to Montezuma's before hand for a good dose of margurita's. Wil was pretty good although it was his second show for the night. He managed to finish off a bottle of wine on stage then start and finish a second bottle as well. He was pretty lubed by the end of it.

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    Fri, 27 May 2005

    Friday, May 27, 2005

    Looks like our accommodation problems are solved. Just got approval to move into a new place in the same complex. 4 days overlap should make the move relatively easy.

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    Mon, 23 May 2005

    Monday, May 23, 2005

    Cherub has a blog... and in related news, Thali and Jedda now have RSS feeds.
    Weekend report is a bit late this week. Friday night Mel organized to go see the Darters game at the AIS arena. They lost pretty badly. Hugh and I noticed some guy videoing the game with two identical handy cams mounted on a common base. After hypothesizing why he was doing it, we eventually went down and asked him after then game. Turns out they use the footage for replays for the coaches. It just gives them something extra when viewing it back (all those 1% gains make a difference). Afterwards we went to the Dessert Nazi cafe in Belconnen. Left promptly after the owner strapped on a microphone and started singing.
    Saturday night went to the Belgium Beer Bar with some guys from work. Sunday morning was brunch with Paul and Alli.

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    Thu, 19 May 2005

    Thursday, May 19, 2005

    I used the GPS again this morning with better heart rate measurements. Trail can be seen
    here. The ride home last night is here.

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    Wed, 18 May 2005

    Wednesday, May 18, 2005

    I got a new GPS with the heart rate monitor. Used it for the first time in anger this morning for my ride into work. The heart rate signal dropped out a couple of times so I need to tune where I place the strap. The device comes with a brochure for some software called Motion Based. It's pretty neat software which allows you to upload your track to their web site, then analyze it and share with friends. It's much like the Sportsim software I'd used before but allows you to share it with others more easily. Anyway, I've uploaded my morning run which can be view
    here. You'll need IE and the Adobe SVG viewer plugin (x86 Linux Mozilla beta available as well) for some parts.
    Something like this would be a great open source project. Maps from Google Maps and talking to the GPS with standard NMEA sentences should make it a relatively simple project.

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    Tue, 17 May 2005

    Tuesday, May 17, 2005

    Saturday afternoon, Jo managed to come off her bicycle and do some decent damage to herself. She went over the handle bars at about 30kph and hit her head pretty badly. She also did some damage to her shoulder and lots of other cuts and bruises. We went to the hospital Saturday night to get her checked out. This was mostly precautionary as she hit her head pretty badly, but wasn't getting the brain injury symptoms. After feeling around her head and asking a bunch of questions, the doctor agreed and sent us home. Sunday she started feeling numb with pins and needles on her nose and below her eye (she hit her head above the eye with the helmet taking most of the impact). This continued yesterday, so she decided to go back to the hospital to get checked out again. She didn't mention the numbness during the first visit as she didn't notice it over the pain and ice. The doctors had a look at her (including a plastic surgeon) and decided that she was probably OK and hadn't broken anything but couldn't be sure since they'd not seen the symptoms before. The CT scanner was closed last night, so she went back today to get it scanned. The plastic surgeon had a look at the results and it turns out she has broken the bone below her eye. She has a crack which is effecting the nerve and causing the numbness. They don't need to do anything (like surgery), but she needs to rest (looking at a monitor will cause eye strain, so working is out) and be checked again in a couple of weeks. The numbness should die down in a week or so unless the nerve gets trapped.
    Anyway, I'll be sure to post a photo of the nice juicy black eye she has sometime soon... and she'll probably write something on her blog.

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    Fri, 13 May 2005

    Friday, May 13, 2005

    From the world of my truck's bigger than your truck. This is just too scary. Some external info here: "What happens when you take the trailer off a prime hauler, do a bit of remodeling of the cab, and turn it into a pick-up truck?". Some great quotes from the manufacturers web site:
    Let's be honest. You didn't become the success that you are by doing things halfway. For you, it's go all out, or go home. Now there's a lineup of trucks that shares your bold attitude and entrepreneurial spirit.

    If you want to blend in, try wearing camouflage. But if you want to stand out, put yourself behind the wheel of an International MXT.

    Can you name the car with four-wheel-drive?
    Smells like a steak and seats thirty-five!
    Canyonero! Canyonero!
    Well, it goes real slow with the hammer down.
    It's a country-fried truck endorsed by a clown.
    Canyonero! Canyonero!
    Twelve yards long and two lanes wide,
    sixty-five tons of American pride!
    Canyonero! Canyonero!
    Top of the line in utility sports!
    Unexplained fires are a matter for the courts.
    Canyonero! Canyonero!
    She blinds everybody with her super-high beam.
    She a squirrel-squishin', deer-smackin' drivin' machine!
    Canyonero! Canyonero!

    Ok.. so the last one may have been taken from here.
    On an unrelated note, things are looking up in Iraq.... not.

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    Mon, 09 May 2005

    Monday, May 09, 2005

    My folks were over for the weekend. It's the first time we've seen them since the wedding so it was good to catch up and swap photos. Friday we tried to get into the National library but it was closed with a security scare (first the terrorist get the books, then they get the power!?!?!) so we went to the National Museum instead. They have an exhibition on the best political cartoons for the year at the moment. This was my favorite. Saturday morning we walked to the Bakers Delight in Woden as they've started selling Sticky Cinnamon rolls which are the closest thing to the fantastic Cinnabon scrolls which I use to have while in Sinapore (although it's a US chain). We went to The Boathouse By the Lake Restaurant on Saturday night which was excellent. We'd been warned that the servings were very small, but they more than enough. I think they must have started increasing their sizes as I'd be very surprised at anyone complaining about them being too small. The beautiful weather on Sunday inspired us to have a picnic by the lake.

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    Thu, 05 May 2005

    Thursday, May 05, 2005

    One of our marketing guys bought a PSP back from Japan. Amazingly neat device. The screen, sound and graphics are incredible, especially from such a small device. It's also got wireless, USB and IR so let's hope this project takes off.

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    Mon, 02 May 2005

    Monday, May 02, 2005

    Had a few beers after work with Paul on Friday to commiserate the loss of his US trip and hence my impending, yet to be decided where, move. Went to the Belgium Beer Bar in Kingston which seems to be part of the same chain as the one in Adelaide that I use to frequent. Anyway, great beer and I'll certainly be going back.
    Saturday I rode up Mt Stromlo and around Belconnen. 55Km in total.
    Saturday night, went to see Goose with Martin and Mel. Goose is a 15 piece soul/funk band (not usually my thing) from Adelaide. They are very big in size and sound and seem to have a lot of fun on stage. This was there first time in Canberra. They are fantastic live but I wouldn't bother buying their album as I'm sure it'd be nothing compared to their live performance. BCG may do a review but his opinion may be clouded by the amount of alcohol he consumed.
    Sunday was pretty slow. Went for a 14Km ride with Jo but not much other than that.

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    Thu, 28 Apr 2005

    Thursday, April 28, 2005

    It looks like Paul and Alli won't be making their 6 month trip so we won't be moving to Queanbeyan to look looking after their place. This means Jo and I need to look for a place to live in the next 6 weeks. They say bad things come in 3's. With this and my ankle, seems like I'm up to 2. I wonder what number 3 is going to be??

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    Wed, 27 Apr 2005

    Wednesday, April 27, 2005

    Lots of different stuff over the weekend. Friday night Mel was over as Martin was at the LCA dinner. Lucy called us so we could hear Martin sing "Yesterday's Knickers" for the talent quest. Also discovered a charity group selling Krispy Kreme donuts at JB HiFi when I was picking up dinner. Grabbed a box which disappeared very quickly.
    Saturday Jo and I rode into town to buy some jumper for winter.
    Sunday I went on the LCA bike ride. The below image is a screen dump from the ride from my GPS software. Caught up with Anton who is in town for a month or so. Also saw Geoffrey and Michael from LinuxSA who I've not seen since being in Canberra. Talked to Lucy who'd noticed I'd mentioned her name and BlokesWorld in the same sentence on my blog. I'm really sorry I mentioned Lucy and BlokesWorld in the same sentence. Lucy, I promise to never mention Lucy and BlokesWorld every again in the same sentence.
    Sunday night we went to see Ross Noble with Martin and Mel. We all thought he was very funny.
    Monday was pretty slow. Got a new shaver as my old one died. Shaver blades are a rip off. You can buy blades for $25 each or a new shaver for $75, which has 3 blades (plus the rest of a shaver).
    PS. Lucy and BlokesWorld.
    Kylie Minogue is the featured article on Wikipedia today.... humm...

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    Fri, 22 Apr 2005

    Friday, April 22, 2005

    My ankle is much better today. Walking without crutches and without a limp.

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    Thu, 21 Apr 2005

    Thursday, April 21, 2005

    Went to the physio today about my ankle. Far more useful that going to hospital which is what I did last time. She told me what ligaments I did damage to, gave me some stretching and strengthening exercises and told me that netball was evil but a great source of income for her.

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    Wed, 20 Apr 2005

    Wednesday, April 20, 2005

    I hurt my ankle again playing netball last night. I'll be on crutches for a while. Stupid leg. I'm off work today but should be back tomorrow.

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    Tue, 19 Apr 2005

    Tuesday, April 19, 2005

    About a month ago, a few guys from work took a faceLAB system and set it up to track the DJ at a night club in Sydney. The results we projected onto the big screen. Here is some footage (8.2M AVI)
    Want a software job in Canberra? Well, here ya go:

    If you are intimately familiar with the power and pitfalls of C++, have an interest in library/framework design, high-performance image processing and 3d geometry,

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    Mon, 18 Apr 2005

    Monday, April 18, 2005

    I'd tried to fix the spoke on my wheel as, if they all start going, I'm going to be better off if I can do it myself. Also, Grant from work had one of the necessary tools. Anyway, no success. I read a couple of web pages on how to remove the cluster, but the instructions didn't work, or at least, resulted in me breaking a tool (not Grant's fortunately). So back to the bike store to get someone more capable than me to do it.
    Also, Jo managed to loose her mobile on the weekend. Ended up finding it at the local IGA where it must have dropped out of her bag. Interesting lesson on PIN codes though. She had her mobile off so anyone who found the phone couldn't use it. This was good and bad. Good since if the phone was found by someone evil, we didn't end up with a giant phone bill. Bad since if the phone was found by someone nice, they couldn't look through the phone book and try to call home. Good example of why security is a trade off.
    Spent Friday night with Mel as Martin was at band practice. Saturday night we had Paul and Alli over for dinner. They were getting geared up for LCA and were picking up numerous speakers over the course of the weekend. Having just come back from their long Europe trip and brief Adelaide trip, I think they'll be happy when it's all over and they can sleep again. Sunday ended up back at Martin and Mel's. Played some 2-on-2 netball which worked pretty well. Got breathe tested on the way home, which is a little nerve racking after you've had a couple of drinks. I though I was well under the limit (I wouldn't have been driving otherwise) but when I asked the officer what my reading was he smiled and said "It indicates you've had a drink".

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    Thu, 14 Apr 2005

    Thursday, April 14, 2005

    We went to see Missy Higgins last night. Jo and I first saw her when she toured with The Waifs about 18 months ago. Then it was just her and a piano but we really enjoyed her music and ended up getting both her singles. Much has happened to her since then. She released her album and now she's the headline act. She's a fantastic writer and her lyrics are always very interesting to analyse but for this concert what really impressed me was her ability to evolve her music. She had a band with her, with the lead guitarist being Josh Cunningham from The Waifs. She seems to have coped well with changing some of her songs to deal with having a backing band. Some of her songs don't deal well with too much backing (eg. Special two), but she did find a good mix. I think her next album will be interesting now that she's headline toured. Hopefully she'll write more songs which she and the band can have more fun with.
    Another review here (including the support acts, Serena Ryder and Dave Macdonald) and I'm sure BCG will have a review soon (I'm predicting Alanis Morissette and Serena Ryder will be used in the same sentence on many occasions).

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    Wed, 13 Apr 2005

    Wednesday, April 13, 2005

    Senator Andrew Bartlett has a blog... I had to double check it wasn't a parody like John Howard's, which is hosted on the same site.
    So we finally have a working coffee machine. Double espresso before leaving the house, life really is pretty good.

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    Tue, 12 Apr 2005

    Tuesday, April 12, 2005

    Brad and Tennille were over for dinner last night. Always good to see them. They made the trip over from Adelaide as Tennille's brother had a baby.

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    Mon, 11 Apr 2005

    Monday, April 11, 2005

    Friday night Jo and I went to the Green Herring using a voucher given to us for our wedding. Great food and you must leave room for dessert. I don't think Jo and I can eat as much as we use to, so we almost didn't make it through everything.
    Jo bought a new bike on Friday, so we went for a ride into town on Saturday. Got some new stuff for the house (with more gift vouchers from the wedding) and sat in Starbucks for a while and read.
    Sunday I rode my bike up Mt Stromlo. I managed to break another spoke which makes 0 broken spokes for the first 15 years of owning my bike, then 2 in a week. Maybe I'm getting to strong for my bike :-)
    Sunday night caught up with Simmo who just got back from 7 months in Asia. Thankfully (I think) he's still same lovable character. Ended up at The Phoenix having a few beers till later in the night. Got home and decided to watch the start MotoGP race (first of the year). Of course, this resulted in me watching the whole race, but it was well worth it for the last lap duel between Rossi and Gibernau.
    Third time lucky with our coffee machine. First one leaked badly. The second one had a broken plastic water container. Third one will be tested tonight. This time for sure!

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    Thu, 07 Apr 2005

    Thursday, April 07, 2005

    Google don't do Froogle in Australian but I did discover the other day that you can search for price ranges like this: ipod $300..400. Not as good as Froogle but still very useful.
    Bloodmobile.... check it out (flash based).
    I rode into work with Tony Breeds today. He's living in Woden and is now studying at the ANU so he riding path is very similar to mine. Very pleasant ride over the dam this morning. I usually take Adelaide Ave as it's faster so we might try that some other time.

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    Mon, 04 Apr 2005

    Monday, April 04, 2005

    Fun weekend. Went out to dinner and to see Through the Wire on Friday night for Martin's birthday. Saturday I rode R6 down to Namadgi National Park. There are some great roads down there for riding and did about 130KM all up. Saturday night was Alli's 30th birthday at Tasuke. First time we've seen Paul and Alli since our wedding and their Euro trip. Bummed around on Sunday. Watched Blokes World on Lucy's recommendation, very bizarre stuff and finally did thank you cards from the wedding.
    Martin put up a bunch of his photos from the wedding.

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    Fri, 01 Apr 2005

    Friday, April 01, 2005

    Jo and I joined Pedal Power ACT today. We're going to get Jo a bike soon so it almost pays for itself through discounts, although I think the money is justified just to support their lobbying of the local government to improve cycling conditions.

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    Wed, 30 Mar 2005

    Wednesday, March 30, 2005

    This article has some interesting info on Virgin Blue. They run 50 planes at $130 million profit pa. That's about $7000 profit per plane per day. If you make 7 trips per plane per day (my guess) and you use the planes every day of the year, that's about $1000 profit per trip. Even if you only make half that number of trips per day (say 3½ to account for down time) that's about $2000 profit per trip. I have no idea what the costs are but that seems like a pretty small profit margin to run a plane.

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    Tue, 29 Mar 2005

    Tuesday, March 29, 2005

    A UNIX machine inside a motorbike how could I not link to this?!?!? Must resist puns about motorbikes not crashing and not having Windows... too late.

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    Thu, 24 Mar 2005

    Thursday, March 24, 2005

    We played our second game of indoor netball at Kaleen last night. You play with the same number of people but the courts are significantly smaller than normal courts and are covered with nets (ie. no out of bounds). Normal netball court size is 30.5x15.25m but the indoor courts are 28.5x12m making them about 35% smaller in area and you really notice this. There seems to be people everywhere.
    Due to the nets and only a 1 minute break between quarters, the game happens very quickly. It's difficult to get a drink between quarters as everyone has to file out the only hole in the nets and you only have 1 minute to get out and back in again.
    The other weird thing is the soccer games on the other courts. It takes a while to adjust to seeing a game where hands aren't allowed to where feet aren't allowed.
    We got are asses kicked last night. One of the umpires was a trainee who, amongst other mistakes, didn't call an obvious replay (GS went for a shot, air-balled and caught it again). Anyway, it's still pretty good fun.
    Ben pointed this out A Cool and Logical Analysis of the Bicycle Menace. A good quote:
    Bicycles are good exercise
    ..... Mankind has invested more than four million years of evolution in the attempt to avoid physical exertion. Now a group of backward-thinking atavists mounted on foot-powered pairs of Hula-Hoops would have us pumping our legs, gritting our teeth, and searing our lungs as though we were being chased across the Pleistocene savanna by saber-toothed tigers.....

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    Tue, 22 Mar 2005

    Tuesday, March 22, 2005

    Rather slow weekend. Spent a lot of time re-organising the house due to the gifts we received at the wedding. We threw a lot of stuff away and gave some to Anthony from work who just moved. Despite this, it looks like we'll need to get some new furniture to hold/display some of the stuff.
    Went to the Jack Johnson concert last night with Mel, Martin and Lucy. Jack was great. BCG promised a review soon.

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    Wed, 16 Mar 2005

    Wednesday, March 16, 2005

    I've been mucking around with flickr a bit. Seems to have a really nice interface but it's a free service so I'm probably going to butt heads with some bandwidth or disk space issues soon. I've finally put up some photos from our Europe trip from last year.

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    Tue, 15 Mar 2005

    Tuesday, March 15, 2005

    While I was away I read Bill Clinton autobiography "My Life". Good book if you're into politics and/or The West Wing (a lot of The West Wing Stories are taken from Bill's time in office).
    A quote from the book that I really liked is:
    "You can have good policy without good politics, but you can't give the people good government without both."

    It's a good quote for people who get too ideal about things.

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    Mon, 14 Mar 2005

    Monday, March 14, 2005

    Well, I had a fantastic last week and a half. Some photos are available here and here and here. If you have any more photos, let me know.

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    Wed, 02 Mar 2005

    Wednesday, March 02, 2005

    So, Mikey has asked me a number of times if I want to do a guest entry for his blog, and I keep saying yes, but have only just gotten around to actually writing something down! I have been contemplating exactly what one should write as a guest blogger and I have come to the following conclusion – most of the people reading this don’t know me, so they won’t want to know about what I did on the weekend! So, I figured I should clarify anything that Mikey has written about me in his blog already (thereby explaining a bit about who I am!) and also write some stuff about Mikey!

    Firstly, I am the "Mel who cooked up a storm as usual" – while this is kind of true, it is also kind of not true! I love to cook, so I tend to go a bit mad sometimes when people who appreciate it are coming for dinner! :-) Although it scares me a bit when I cook something I consider to be easy, average or mundane and people get very excited about it... Strangely, I seem to experience this fairly regularly – these also seem to be the occasions where Martin says that whatever I have cooked is better than eating dirt! (Yes I am also Mel of "Mel and Martin"!) I guess Martin is a little spoilt when it comes to food! So, Mikey has fallen in love with my Chocolate Chip Cookie pie – or floor pie as it is also known (this is not because it fell on the floor!!)... We were a bit concerned at one point that he might try and get it mentioned in the wedding vows! But as I have told Mikey, I am now over the pie and am on the hunt for a new dessert recipe to wow him with!

    So, here's what I know about Mikey - he is funny, silly, sweet and caring - all at the same time... He and I are very similar and we can sit and giggle at something really silly for a very long time... we can bounce stupid comments off each other so fast it is like watching a mens final at Wimbledon! But the main thing I know about Mikey is that he likes to be the centre of attention, and I know that the main idea behind inviting someone to write a guest blog entry for him is to get more people to look at him! So, I will end with the obligatory phrase - "look at Mikey, look at Mikey, look at Mikey"!!
    I've been trying to convince some people to guest blog for me. Looks like I've pestered someone enough that it was easier for them to just say yes... watch this space.
    Mattie called Jo and I last night from Córdoba to wish us luck for the wedding. It was great to hear his voice. Sounds like he's struggling with the language and having to fight off hoards of South American beauties but he seems to be up for the challenge. Good luck Mattie!

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    Mon, 28 Feb 2005

    Monday, February 28, 2005

    Friday night had some beers with the work guys, then Grant, Leanne, Dennis, Jo and I went to Dickson noodle house for dinner and Goodberry's for desert.
    Saturday Jo and I did some final wedding stuff during the day followed by a quiet Subway & DVD night.
    Sunday we went for a brief cycle and then played tennis with Martin and Mel. Mel cooked up a storm for dinner as usual.

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    Wed, 23 Feb 2005

    Wednesday, February 23, 2005

    Bangkok moved 9cm after quake. This is pretty freaky. They also say that "Malaysia...has been moving westwards by 1cm every week since the quake".

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    Tue, 22 Feb 2005

    Tuesday, February 22, 2005

    I've been meaning to put together a list of Adelaide wineries that Jo and I like, for friends coming to the wedding. I'll attempt to update page as necessary.
    A bit of background info first. Jo and I both like dark and heavy reds (usually Shiraz). Jo likes whites (usually Chardonnay) more than me. We both like sweet whites both sticky desert and lighter dryer varieties. Both stay clear of fortified wines as a general rule. Jo and I tend to buy wines based on value for money so going wine tasting an excellent way for us to buy wines.
    Beautiful location and great cellar door, best in the Barrossa. They don't sell their wines outside of cellar door so it a must do if in the area. They have some pretty awful labels on their wines but don't let that turn you off.
    GMB: great red. Excellent value $23
    Sweet whites: They have about 3 different types. All are relatively dry and wouldn't be consider desert wines. Great for picnics and day's ending in the letter 'y'.
    Sabel port: Chocolate port! Port is something Jo and I usually steer clear of but this is just yummy.
    Another nice cellar door. Hard to go passed without trying. They have a huge range but unfortunately you can't taste the Grange, St Henri or Bin 707 without paying. The rest of the wines are pretty nice but probably a little over priced. That being said, you can never go too badly wrong with a Penfold Bin .
    Great wines but somewhat over priced. Also a long drive from most of the other wineries in the area. We did get a nice stick dessert wine there last time which was nice for the price.
    Orlando: Jacobs Creek:
    McDonalds of the Barrossa. Their cellar door has plasma screens and bus parking. Wines are pretty cheap but also pretty ordinary. The Gramps desert wine is nice.
    Grant Burge:
    Lovely setting and nice wines. I've not been there in a while but I remember taking a liking to some of the reds.
    Peter Lehmann:
    Lovely setting and nice wines. We usually go here when in the Barrossa as they always have some nice wines and are close to Richmond Grove. I believe a Day on the Green is held here.
    Richmond Grove:
    Lovely setting and nice wines. I've not been there in a while but I remember taking a liking to some of the reds. Within walking distance of Peter Lehmann.
    St Hallets:
    Great winery with some excellent value wines. Location setting is pretty ordinary but cellar door is nice inside. Another winery to try all the wines and find something that takes your fancy at the right price. Only been here once, but will return often.
    Faith Shiraz: nice heavy red. Fairly pricey as I remember but worth the money.
    McLaren Vale:
    Wirra Wirra:
    Lovely cellar door, recently renovated but has kept it's character. Pretty expensive but excellent quality wines. Tasting is now done with Riedel glasses which only adds to the great experience. My favorite in Mclaren Vale.
    RSW: one of the best reds in the country. Jo and I have a bunch of these as the corner stone of our wine collection. $46
    The Angelus: great red but the RSW is better for the price. $46
    Church block: great casual dinner red. $20.
    Scrubby Rise Chardonnay: Jo always likes these.
    Lovely cellar door. Huge range of wines from cheap to very expensive. Wines seem to change each vintage so it's always worth going back. You can often find wines that are great quality for a low price. Last time found the High Trellis vintage a fantastic wine for the price. Some nice sweet whites and reds as well.
    Chapel hill:
    Again another lovely cellar door. Some nice wines. Not a huge range and a little out of the way.
    Fox Creek:
    Never been here but have been meaning to. Have it on good work they have some nice wines.
    Penny's hill:
    Another great setting although inside the cellar door is a little cheap. Wines are OK but nothing to write home about.
    Great wines and well worth the drive to Mclaren Flat to try.
    Went here since it was close to d'Arenberg. Lovely setting and would like to say the wines are nice but..... Wouldn't bother next time.

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    Mon, 21 Feb 2005

    Monday, February 21, 2005

    My witness at our wedding in a couple of weeks, Brad, just got official notice of his PhD being accepted. In typical Brad style, his reviewers gave him the highest academic distinction, summa cum laude. Congrats dude!
    When to Wasabi Teppanyaki in Dickson on Friday night with Paul and Alli. It was the last chance to see them before they head off for 6 weeks. Saturday went wine tasting with Bozza, Lena and Jodie (11 months old and the cutest baby in the world). Went to 3 wineries in the Murrumbateman area, Jeir Creek, Doonkuna Estate and Clonakilla. Sweet white are usually pretty good from the cold climate you get in and around Canberra although Clonakilla do have some pretty good bottles of Shiraz. Sunday played badminton with the work guys and then squash with Martin and Mel. Ended up at their place after for another nice lazy afternoon. Got take away from the Ethopian place in Dickson. Poor substitute for Mel's cooking but good anyway. Thali managed to destroy her cool image at one point. Mel is doing reviews of restaurants in Canberra...

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    Thu, 17 Feb 2005

    Thursday, February 17, 2005

    I had my first sick day where I was actually sick yesterday. I've taken a few in the past due to funerals and 1 for a busted ankle (I was at the hospital most of the day), but yesterday was the first time I've actually taken one for sickness. After 7 years of working, that's not a bad effort.

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    Mon, 14 Feb 2005

    Monday, February 14, 2005

    Another Monday, another weekend gone. Saturday was very slow. Neither Jo or I could be motivated to do anything other than drive to Starbucks, sip coffee and read magazines. Saturday night went to Paul and Alli's for dinner. They're leaving soon for their "European Oddysey" so it was good to spend some time with them. Jo got into a deep debate with the both of them and managed not to notice the time disappearing until my head collapsed on her shoulder at 2am. We left after that.
    Sunday I played badminton with the guys from work then had afternoon tea with Martin and Mel. They were suppose to come to our place but Thali was sick and had to be looked after, so we went there instead.

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    Mon, 07 Feb 2005

    Monday, February 07, 2005

    Went to see The WAiFS on Friday night. They were not energetic as their last concert (both girls have had babies since then... indeed they're living the hard rocker lifestyle). About 1/3 of the songs were new enough that neither Jo or I had heard them. Saturday we went to Ivie's birthday/cocktail party which was very enlightening for some of us. Sunday I picked up the car from Ivie's place after cycling to Belco.
    Also discovered SportSim which is great software to compliment my Forerunner GPS and cycling endeavourers. They have free satellite photos covering all of Australia. It's Free (as in beer) and Windows only but a Linux version is in the pipe.
    Update: seems I was talking out my ass. Only Vikky from the WAiFS has had a baby recently.

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    Tue, 01 Feb 2005

    Tuesday, February 01, 2005

    Played some tennis and went for a few bike rides over the weekend. Borrowed a bike from Leanne at work so Jo and I could go for a ride around the lake with Paul and Alli. Jo really enjoyed the ride and, although her butt was really sore after, her legs held up very well.

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    Fri, 28 Jan 2005

    Friday, January 28, 2005

    Cycled back with Rusty last night. It was a good opportunity to see what the ride to Queanbeyan is like for when Jo and I look after Alli's cats in a few months time. From my work, it's a bit further than to our current home and the few hills in Queanbeyan are reasonably tough. Should make a good ride, especially when they fix the bike lane on Canberra Ave.

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    Thu, 27 Jan 2005

    Thursday, January 27, 2005

    Driving down Yamba Dr the other day, I discovered a Frisbee golf course. They even have a map and score card. I've played some Ultimate Frisbee back in Uni but never Frisbee golf, so I decided to take a look yesterday. Good fun, although the direction of the wind makes a big difference to your score and I didn't have a map with me, so finding the start point of each hole was a little difficult.

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    Tue, 25 Jan 2005

    Tuesday, January 25, 2005

    The answer to the problem last week is... (I realised I don't have a good explanation, so here are two).
    You should always swap. When you make your first selection, you have a 1/3 chance of picking the right door. It's irrelevant what happens next (ie. someone opening one of the other doors) so if you stay with that door, you have a 1/3 chance of picking the right door. Consequently, if you swap you have a 2/3 change of getting it correct, hence you should swap. The fact that in the end you have a choice between two options (50/50 chance) is irrelevant as it's not possible to setup this system.
    Another explanation, try this simulation on your own machine:
    gawk 'END{r=0;swin=0;pwin=0;while(1){++r; d=int(rand()*3);p=int(rand()*3);o=p; while(p==o||o==d)(o=int(rand()*3)); s=3-p-o;if(s==d)++swin;if(p==d)++pwin;print "pick=" p " prize=" d " open=" o " switch=" s " switch win=" swin*100/r "% pick win=" pwin*100/r "%"; }}' /dev/null

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    Mon, 24 Jan 2005

    Monday, January 24, 2005

    Weekend summary: Friday night was wedding gift suggestion shopping. 30 Km bike ride Saturday morning followed by tennis, dinner and Boys v Girls Pictionary with Martin and Mel. Sunday Paul and Alli for afternoon tea and hour walk up Mt Davidson (near our house, at the back of Red Hill).

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    Fri, 21 Jan 2005

    Friday, January 21, 2005

    My Canberra buddy Simon has been traveling around South East Asia for the last few months. He's been sending back update emails every week or so. These have been so entertaining, someone has setup a blog to catalogue them. So if you want to read some really entertaining travel writing, I highly recommend checking out The Mitch.

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    Thu, 20 Jan 2005

    Thursday, January 20, 2005

    Jo's cousin Kristy and partner Paul are engaged. Congratulations guys!
    Went to Dennis' last night for a final farewell party for Matt who's leaving for South America on Monday. Good luck Mattie, have a great time!

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    Wed, 19 Jan 2005

    Wednesday, January 19, 2005

    Finally booked our Honeymoon. We booked a bungalow at Hamilton Island. We originally looked at Fiji but it's cyclone season in March. Then we looked at Phuket, Penang and Langkawi but all were effected by the tsunami. I also had a quick look at Bali but smartraveller is saying to "defer non-essential travel to Indonesia". So Queensland it is.

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    Mon, 17 Jan 2005

    Monday, January 17, 2005

    Next puzzle (this is not Chris').
    There are 3 doors and behind 1 door there's a prize. For the competition, you're asked to pick a door. After you pick a door, one of the 2 doors you didn't pick is opened and shown to have no prize behind it. You are then given the opportunity to switch to the unopened door or stick with the one you initially choose. Given that the prize doesn't change doors, what should you do to maximize your chance of picking the door with the prize. Should you switch, not switch or does it make no difference?

    I'll publish the answer in a week or so.
    Friday night was another big party with work people. Stayed at Trinity in Dickson until we got booted. I had way too much to drink and felt very sorry for myself the next day. Saturday we printed invites to the wedding. That night, Chris invited us around for dinner with Paul, Alli and Kelly. Chris gave me a good idea for the next puzzle to post, but I want to work it out (or at least, attempt to work it out) before I put it here. Sunday was a few random things, nothing special.

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    Fri, 14 Jan 2005

    Friday, January 14, 2005

    Went back to Adelaide for Jo's Grandma's funeral. Lovely service where everyone got to say what they wanted. Jo did a great job writing and reading the obituary. Thanks to all who sent condolences.
    The answer to last weeks problem is...
    If I assemble all the people in front of me, there's 9 people. They all gave different answers so they must have answered 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8. 8 must be the partner of 0 since 8 shook hands with everyone except their partner (ie. everyone else must be >= 1). 7 must be the partner of 1 since 7 shook hands with everyone except their partner and 0 (ie. everyone else must be >= 2 since they should with both 7 and 8). Similarly, 6 must be the partner of 2 and 5 is the partner of 3. Leaving my partner as 4 and me shaking hands with 5, 6, 7 and 8 ie. 4 people.

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    Mon, 10 Jan 2005

    Monday, January 10, 2005

    Sad note today, Jo's Grandma Hartley passed away last night. All the family were together and she was quite peaceful in the end.

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    Fri, 07 Jan 2005

    Friday, January 07, 2005

    Fun problem to work out on a Friday afternoon. I'll publish the answer in about a week but feel free to email me your guesses or ask any questions.
    Me and my partner have a dinner party and invite 4 couples. As people arrive, some hug, some kiss and some shake hands. Once all couples have arrived, I assemble everyone and ask each person how many people they shook hands with. Everyone gives a different answer. Given that no one shakes hands with themselves, their partner or anyone twice, how many people did I shake hands with?

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    Thu, 06 Jan 2005

    Thursday, January 06, 2005

    Jo is flying back to Adelaide this weekend to look after her family. This makes 3 trips to Adelaide in less than a month.
    Organised to ride with Hugh for an extended trip home last night. Rode through my old haunts up in Belconnen. Gave Hugh my GPS so he could have a play with it (Lucy: sorry for introducing him to another toy). Tried to obtain the Recumbent Grin, but my shoes didn't fit the pedals. The Ridge is looking pretty sad these days, especially from the bike paths. My fitness has definitely improved since I was living in Belconnen as the hills seem much easier now.

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    Wed, 05 Jan 2005

    Wednesday, January 05, 2005

    Ran into Hugh this morning on the bicycle. I can definitely confirm the Recumbent Grin.

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    Tue, 04 Jan 2005

    Tuesday, January 04, 2005

    Fun game below. Rules are:
    To start click on the big blue circle on the right.
    To move the people click on them.
    To move the raft click on the red circles.


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    Mon, 03 Jan 2005

    Monday, January 03, 2005

    Actually managed to have a break over the last few days before going back to work. I managed to catch up with old engineering buddy Brenton and his new woman Claire, who were in Canberra for a couple of days. Other than that, Jo and I went for a few walks and did lots of sleeping and unpacking of presents. It's been great!

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