Wed, 22 Nov 2006


I've been helping jk with the simple but wonderful bitfield (me helping mostly equated to telling him what features I wanted, followed by him telling me he'd already implemented them and then laughing at me).
We now have bash completion, vim modes and Debian/Ubuntu packages which can be grabbed from here:
deb ./
We are looking to improved the register database, so if you have any register definitions you'd like added, email jk or even better, grab the Mecurial tree and submit it as a patch.

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Wed, 25 Oct 2006

Telstra's Next G Questions

I got some responses to the Next G competition:

Did you know competition in telecommunications has been linked to cancer?

[ ] No

[ ] Yes, and I heard buying T3 shares can prevent it!

[ ] No, please tell me more.

Have you ever seen a grown man naked?

[ ] Yes

[ ] No

[ ] No, and stop calling me Shirly.

You are a large telecommunications wholesaler, a large telecommunications retailer of your own services, and have your origins in the regulatory authority designed to make sure you do the right thing. Most of your money comes from overcharging your customers for piddlingly small data comms services and denying wholesalers to the prices you charge your own retail outfit. The entire nation wants faster broadband access but you stand only to lose big gobs of money if you make it easier for people to move data around. What do you do?

[ ] Claim that installing faster broadband access would hurt shareholder value.

[ ] Pretend to be on the ball by talking about something completely different.

[ ] Try to sell the public another high-priced, low-bandwidth service.

[ ] All of the above.

[ ] Work with everyone else in the telecomms industry to give the public what they want, and stiff the Federal Government for the money.

N.B. Please only tick options with one letter.

How do you see life?

[ ] Like a movie.

[ ] Like a TV series.

[ ] Like a play.

[ ] Like a seance.

What is your ideal start to the day?

[ ] Finding out you've won a million dollars through your Next-G Mobile's new high-speed internet browsing capability.

[ ] Meeting your life partner through your Next-G Mobile's new high-speed internet browsing capability.

[ ] Making all your friends envious by showing them your Next-G Mobile, with it's new high-speed internet browsing capability.

[ ] Going for a forty-kilometer ride in driving rain and then eating a bowl of cold gruel.

What is your star sign?

[ ] The rutabaga.

[ ] The mump.

[ ] The hurdy-gurdy.

[ ] The quilt.

How many shares in Telstra do you already own?

[ ] 10,000 -> 39,999

[ ] 40,000 -> 87,624

[ ] 87,625 -> 274,999

[ ] Greater than 275,000

N.B. In order to proceed, you must own enough shares to qualify for this question.

Is the number of flavours to your liking?

[ ] Yes

[ ] No

[ ] I trust the computer implicitly.

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Telstra's Next G

Being the geek I am, I was interested in finding out what the hell this Next G stuff from Telstra was all about. So I search and find
Looks like a pretty simple page, with one obvious link to:
Ok, sounds good hopefully there'll be something in there...
To find out how Next G will benefit you, just answer a few simple questions (between 1 and 5). Hit the 'NEXT' button to proceed.
Bad sign, but let's persist... It's only 5 questions after all.

Question 1.

What best describes your needs today?

[ ] Personal

[ ] Business

Not too bad and I guess this may be useful technical information. I click Personal.

Question 2.

How young are you?

[ ] 18-24

[ ] 25-29

[ ] 30-34

[ ] 35-39

[ ] 40-44

[ ] 45-49

[ ] 50-54

[ ] 55-59

[ ] 60+

Humm, kinda wierd but ok. I click 30-34.

Question 3.

Please insert your postcode [ ]

Arrh, definitely useful technical information so they can work out coverage. Maybe this isn't going to be too bad

Question 4.

Which best describes you?

[ ] My friends' opinions are important to me

[ ] My main aim in life is to be a good parent and provide for my family

[ ] Both

[ ] Neither

Err... what the fuck?!?! I just want wireless broadband! I close my eyes, think of home and click Neither.

Question 5.

What do you seek in life?

[ ] Comfort and prosperity

[ ] Happiness and inner peace

[ ] Both

[ ] Neither

Err, ok... How about.. I seek Wireless broadbad!!!! Sounds crazy, I know!

Question 6.

Are you?

[ ] Male

[ ] Female

Err ok.. so this is question 6 of 5.. interesting, very interesting.

So, Rusty suggested it's time to run the Telstra Next G Stupid Question competition. Email me your suggestions for the questions Telstra should have asked, and I'll post them online. eg:

You are standing in a watch tower and Dubbya enters your gun sight. Do you:

[ ] Take out the Leader Of The Free World

[ ] Buy T3 shares

[ ] Buy T3 shares

[ ] All of the above

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Tue, 12 Sep 2006

Puzzle time..

I've not done a puzzle for a while and I heard this the other day. Apparently a common Google job interview question.

You have 8 balls, all of which are identical expect 1 slightly lighter than the other 7. You also have a balancing scales. Using the scales only twice, determine which of the 8 balls is the light one.

Email me if you have a solution/question. I'll post the solution in about a week.

Update: I got lots of responses to this puzzle. The solution is (I stole the best worded response, thanks Ian):

Keep two balls aside. Weigh three each in the scales. If the scales balance, it's one of the two spares. Balance them, and pick the lighter one. If the scales don't balance, compare two of the three balls from the lighter side. If those balance, it's the third ball.

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Sat, 02 Sep 2006

This is fun, but a big time sink...

Google Image Labeler. Cool idea. Reasonably simple and accurate way to categorize images. I wonder if they'll release the collected results for others to use as training data.

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Sat, 08 Jul 2006

Canberra mountains

After MPE's recent post, I decided to put together altitude profiles for the various mountains around Canberra that I've ridden up. They are normalized to 0m at the start. Black Mountain is the greatest altitude difference and the steepest. Red Hill is almost as steep as Black Mountain but much shorter. Stromlo is the longest but shallowest.

Updated: Added Mt Ainslie.

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Tue, 13 Jun 2006


After months of work by a large and diligent fact collecting team, we finally have! All items have been triple checked for accuracy.

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Tue, 06 Jun 2006

Chinese Whispers

  • Sony presentation:
    Cell read bandwidth from GPU local memory is 16MBps
  • Inquirer:
    Cell read bandwidth from local memory is 16MBps
  • Slashdot:
    Cell read bandwidth from local memory is 16Mbps
  • IT industry:
    Cell is purple monkey dishwasher

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    Fri, 02 Jun 2006


    Jo and I headed to Adelaide for Kristy and Paul's Wedding. It was a really nice civil service held in the Adelaide hills at the Chain of Ponds winery. I've put some photos up here.

    I've went up to Sydney to do a short 2 day training course. I managed to catch up with MBP and Steph who are now living in St Lennerds in North Sydney. Steph suggested that we went to RedOak for dinner which was excellent. Highly recommended.

    Along with Anton, I spent the majority of May in Austin working with our team over there. I managed to catch up with most of the crew over there. Todd took us out water skiing a couple of times on Lake Travis. Went to a Mr Sinus Show at the Alamo Draft house downtown where they serve you beer and food while commentating B-rate movies. Also went to a live music show at Antone's with BCG. Overall a good and thoroughly productive trip, although it's great to be home again.

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    Sun, 26 Mar 2006

    Cotter Uriarra

    Grubby and I did the Cotter-Uriarra loop on Saturday. Really nice ride. Not many cars around, even being a mid morning/lunch on Saturday. Not as hard as I though, but still lots of climbing, especially out of Uriarra coming back to Canberra. We also did a quick run up Stromlo after for good measure.

    I've added a total altitude loss and gain summary to my GPS page. The complete ride yesterday was over 1000m of loss and gain. The Cotter/Uriarra loop is around 600m loss and gain.

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    Thu, 02 Mar 2006

    Jo's work

    Jo just scored a new job with Prime Minister and Cabinet in the Social Policy Division. She'll be working in the health group as their PBS expert. Should be fun. The hours will be longer than before but fortunately they are only 5 min walk from my work.

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    Some snippets from the land of

    Dunedin was fun. There are some photos here.
    One particular night, we went out to a bar to grab some beers (this was regular (read: every night) occurance during the conf). We ended up standing outside but then a bouncer came up and said we had to have a seat if were to remain outside. So, while we were gathering out thoughts, the bouncer also said "Hey, are you guys at that Linux conference?".
    "Yeeeaah?" we replied.
    "Well, I'm studying and I use Debian all the time!" he said back, much to our amusement. We talking to the bouncer for a while longer as we started to head inside.
    Then over came another bouncer who was a huge scary looking guy. He comes up and says "Hey, I'm a Debian user too!". Hence we now have The Depricator! (see picture)

    The current Liberal government is nuts!

    Some CControl stuff happening. I have a Mercurial repo here, if you want to try my additions and merges with other people. I'm starting to get into Mercurial which is great for a distributed project like this.

    That's pretty much it for now. For all the stuff I've missed, checkout Bruce's boyfriend's blog.

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    Mon, 30 Jan 2006

    It begins...

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    Wed, 18 Jan 2006

    The Ugly Stick

    Despite having 3 (yes 3 people!) separate blogs, Simmo is quite a smart guy. In a recent post, he mentioned The Ugly Stick which is a new show on community TV. So trusting Simmo I downloaded[1] the first 2 episodes. It's pretty silly stuff and plays a lot on our lazy Australian culture (I'd be surprised if people from another country enjoyed it). Anyway, check it out.

    1. which is a great concept for artists trying to get their stuff out. As Rusty says, obscurity is the greatest threat to vast majority of artists, not piracy.
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    No updates for a while, so here's some snippets:

    Jo and I headed back to Adelaide for Christmas and New Year. We had a great but tiring time catching up with lots of friends and family. Thanks to those who made the effort to see us, it really means a lot.

    While back, we went flying a couple of times with Dad in his new plane. First trip we went for a longer flight over Goolwa and Strath. Afterwards I fixed Dad's GPS which didn't have a power adapter for the plane and was chewing through batteries. After heading down to Jarcar for some components, I made up a small circuit board to regulate the plane supply voltage down to what's required for the GPS. After looking at the plane's electrical schematics, we decided where to splice into the supply, pulled out the trusty soldering iron (trusty being that it was purchased 5 min before hand at Jaycar) and soldered it into the plane. Much to my amazement, it all worked.
    For the second flight, Jo went up with Dad and I went up with Larry (another "fly boy"). We ended up flying around only 100m away from each other, which was a very cool experience. There are some photos and videos of this flight here.

    Congratulations to Brad and Tennille who are expecting their first child in August. Congratulations again to Brad for winning the University medal for best PhD at Adelaide Uni in 2005.

    Seeing Machines IPOed. You can watch all the fun here.

    I'm off to LCA in Dunedin, New Zealand next week. I'm then back in Canberra for a busy week with Duncan and Alex staying with us and loads of post LCA work functions.

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    Mon, 02 Jan 2006

    CControl Debain

    CControl has been Debianised. I'm hosting an apt repository at If you want to use it, add the following line to you sources.list (x86 only at this stage):
    deb ./
    You'll then need to run ccontrol-init to create a default configuration file and then add /usr/lib/ccontrol to the start of your PATH to pick up the new gcc, cc, ld, make etc. (eg. export PATH=/usr/lib/ccontrol:$PATH)

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