Sunday, June 26, 2005
I felt like using the new feature to add the picture to the left of screen.
And it automatically sizes it nicely, I like this.
I'll still be using and linking to my photo gallery for pictures that are important and relevant to it, but the unimportant ones (like the powerloo) will just be uploaded to blogger.com
Tuesday, June 21, 2005
Happy Birthday Garfield!!
Seems to me that gmail might be getting closer to a public release.
Naturally, I have scrubbed out my emails from the picture above.
Sunday, June 19, 2005
Anyways, we have started from the top of the collection again, and ABBA have won the award for this week.
You can hold your breath too, either by listening to your local New Day relay station, or listening online via the 2UE website, or the 4BC website. I think the 4BC stream sounds better...but it uses more bandwidth.
In the meantime however, John Laws has attacked 2UE and is threatening to quit. He spoke exclusively with the Sunday Telegraph which suprises me as he always seems to have tongue in cheek when reffering to it and it's weekday version, The Daily Telegraph, as a "fine journal".
The Daily Telegraph story can be read here and is also reproduced below.
Laws attacks 2UE
June 19, 2005
BROADCASTER John Laws feels he is being wasted by 2UE and is threatening to quit the Sydney radio station.
|Frustrated: Talk show host John Laws recuperating at home in Woolloomooloo|
"It does sort of bother me that with what is a great radio station by any standards, these people think they can run it from Melbourne," Laws said.
"Well you just can't bloody well do it."
Laws said too many spending decisions at 2UE need approval from Melbourne head office and not enough is spent on promoting the Sydney station which he regards as the jewel in the company's crown.
The radio legend, who is in the middle of one of the worst ratings slumps in his 53-year career, said although he feared quitting radio because it gave him a reason to get out of bed each day, he felt he was being "wasted".
He said if he is not "captain" then he does not intend to stay aboard the sinking ship.
Once the top-rating Sydney station, 2UE is now in eighth place and Laws, who dropped 49,000 listeners in the latest ratings period, admits that for the first time in his career he is worried.
Laws wants more independence for 2UE, which is owned by Melbourne-based Southern Cross Broadcasting, more money for station promotion and more "mongrel" in station management.
"I'd certainly want to be looking at all my options, because if I'm not the captain then I'm not going to stay aboard the sinking ship, but if I thought better about that situation then of course I would (stay)," Laws said.
"It'll depend a lot on what goes on in my head but at the moment I just feel that I'm being wasted and the radio station is being wasted."
Laws spoke to The Sunday Telegraph at his palatial Wooloomooloo harbourside apartment only hours after being discharged from St Vincent's Hospital.
Last week he underwent a three-hour operation to relieve chronic back pain that has dogged him for more than a year. He will spend six weeks recovering.
The time away from the microphone has given Laws plenty of time to mull over the decline of the once top-rating 2UE – now lying eighth in the Sydney market and five points behind talk rival 2GB.
In the last survey, Laws dropped to fifth place. And he acknowledges that although he has been in slumps before and recovered, this time he is worried.
"It probably feels different because of my age. I probably wonder how many times can I keep bouncing back again," he said. "There's got to be a limit I suppose. And also I'm probably just a little grumpier.
He said Southern Cross managing director Tony Bell was "too nice to be in radio".
Laws is contracted to 2UE until 2010 but can walk away any time he likes. He just can't work for another station.
He turns 70 in August and admits he has been thinking about his future – thoughts sharpened by the back pain, his frustrations at 2UE's decline and a feeling that the fun has gone out of radio.
"Never before in my life have I thought 'Oh Christ, why am I doing this? I'll take six months off.' But I started to think like that," he said.
But Laws, who still commands a vast regional network audience, later adds that he doesn't want to retire while he's down. Laws believes he can claw his way back against rival and former protege Ray Hadley.
"I'm not scared about (retirement)," he said.
"But I would be concerned that my life would feel empty, that I would feel I wasn't needed. That's the deal about living. You've got to feel needed to get out of bed in the morning."
Story courtesy of The Sunday Telegraph
Saturday, June 18, 2005
Friday, June 17, 2005
When accessing gmail, I used to be directed to gmail.google.com, now I am directed to mail.google.com
To me at least, this indicates that Gmail is getting closer to a proper public release.
Until then, if you want a Gmail invite, I have some to give a way. Email me at smoothwallsamuel (
After a lot more hair pulling and tugging I decided to have a look at the BIOS power saving, it was on, which isn't an issue as such, but after I turned it off, the computer booted properly. On further investigation I have discovered that the power saving went nuts and turned off the HDD when it was in use...great fun.
Now, if you have power saving turned on, I have to ask you why.
When your hard drive is on, it is spinning, and the heads are being held aloft over the magnetic surface of the HDD by the air cushion created by the spinning, your HDD also has a landing zone for the heads, the reason it has this is that when the Hard Drive slows down and the air cushion disappears, the heads crash land on the hard drive and drag for a little while...the same thing happens in reverse when the hard drive starts up again, the heads drag for a while until the air cushion builds up. The landing zone creates a safe area for the heads to crash and drag.
The more you turn your HDD on and off, the more damage you do to the heads, and if they don't hit the landing zone, the data on your HDD. Your HDD doesn't use much power...in fact, an absolutely minimal amount. You would be well advised to leave your HDD running when you computer is running as it creates less wear and tear on the heads, the magnetic surface and the motor. It also provides faster access times.
The only decent reason for using power saving on your HDD is if you are running a laptop on batteries, otherwise, turn off power saving.
Thursday, June 16, 2005
Wednesday, June 15, 2005
To start with, Microsoft have reminded everyone that Windows 2000 support will end on 30 June 2005. Windows 2000 is probably the most widely used OS in corporate environments and cutting support for it isn't going to win them any friends. Sure, MS want companies to move to their newer, nicer & stranger Windows XP, which will cost money. Australian government agencies would not be happy with spending money on upgrading, so which option do they take:
1) Stay with unsupported an eventually highly unsafe Windows 2000 (see http://www.greymagic.com/security/advisories/gm015-ie/ for proof of unpatched and probably never to be patched security issues in Windows 2000). Cost: Short-term $0, Long-term potentially costly investment in fixing all the issues that will arise. Future versions of Windows Apps (and some current ones) not supporting 2000 will also add to the cost through lost productivity and profits.
2) Upgrade to Windows XP and deal with the new quirks it brings, as well as the interesting upgrades of various programs that simply won't run under XP. Cost: High, could cost a very large sum of money with the gazillion upgrades and re-training of staff...even if only Windows needs to be upgraded it will still be costly.
3) Move to Linux. Depending on the applications required in the company, probably a good idea, even if only part of the company changes. The cost is anywhere from $0 to low/medium depending on which distro is chosen and whether training is required. Regardless of the overall cost, it is still worthwile considering...good to be informed, you may need the information when it comes time to avoid Windows Longhorn.
Second axe grinding issue, Microsoft have censored MSN blogs in China. If you are chinese and want to talk about anything remotely political, Microsoft will give you a nice little warning saying "This topic contains forbidden words. Please delete them."
Among the censorings are:
- Human Rights
- Taiwanese Independence
- Dalai Lama
- Falun Gong
- The name of the chinese president, Hu Jintao
And while I'm at it, lets have a look at AOL and Microsoft.
AOL users reportedly make up the majority of zombie computers on the internet, which is hardly suprising with the way AOL operate.
For those of you who don't know, AOL internet connections work with proprieatary AOL software (Including their own bizzare version of the clattering rubbish machine that is commonly known as Microsoft Internet Explorer). AOL also do everything in their power to prevent users from understanding the way their computer or the internet works, at the same time, not providing any anti-virus, anti-spyware or other anti-malware software. Congratualtions AOL, it is thanks to you that the rest of us have to ensure that we keep all our anti-malware software up to date consistently and ensure we have good firewalls. Thankyou AOL, you have successfully slowed down the Internet with your constant stream of zombie generated junk, and thankyou so much for never letting any of your users know about any problems that could occur. It is thanks to you AOL that non-computer savvy people have absolutely no idea that they are spreading useless junk and will never know or suspect that such stuff even travels to and from their computers. Thankyou AOL, thankyou sooooo much.
If you are an AOL user, please do a few things, firstly, change ISP. Secondly, install, run, and keep up-to-date anti-malware software (use the search box on the right of the page if it helps). Third, Install Mozilla Firefox (web browser) and Mozilla Thunderbird (email client).
I'm thoroughly confused now!
Tuesday, June 14, 2005
As some of you may have noticed, you can view stats for this blog by clicking on the little graph picture under the heading "Blog View Stats". This service is provided by Nedstat, however I have noticed some minor problems with it...the major ones being that a number of the stats only account for the last 100 page views, and that there is no easy way to see what search phrases are being used to find the site...I get keywords and referring URL's which is a pain in the neck.
I have now added WebStat monitoring to the site as well, the free counter isn't as detailed as nedstat, but it makes life a lot easier for me as I can see some meaningful overall reports whilst letting nedstat do it's recent trends thing (and make pretty pictures on the fly).
Both the detailed recent nedstat stats, and the meaningful long term stats are availabe from the sidebar. Note that the Webstat stats are new and won't be detailed for a little while...but they are there anyway, enjoy!
Monday, June 13, 2005
The Daily Telegrpah seem pretty sure that Stuart is taking over the New Day Australia program from John Kerr who is currently on holidays...I don't know if John Kerr know's about any of this though as he is overseas. The Daily Telegraph reported on Saturday that:
2UE Drive Presenter Steve Price had a go at former John Laws producer Stuart Bocking (the man set to replace John Kerr on the midnight-to-dawn shift) after news broke Kerr would be punted from his job, despite being overseas while the decision is made. A 2UE source says the two had an argument in front of other staff, with Price getting stuck into him for taking the new job before Kerr even returned from overseas. Price yesterday denied the incident. "I've never said a bad word to him in my life," he said.
I continue to hope that this is all just flying rumors, but I don't think I can hold my breath on that any more, especially now that radionews.com.au have picked up the story.
Daily Telegraph Story here
OK, well maybe it wasn't a fish...the picture from 10 minutes beforehand shows that it was just a flag....but I like the fish tale.
I'm afraid there is little that we can do about the unintelligble part, it's too badly garbled
Not to worry, I'll press on with the video and get the official audio when it is released.
Sunday, June 12, 2005
See http://professional.cancerconsultants.com/oncology_main_news.aspx?id=34234 for more details.
Friday, June 10, 2005
Distance: 9.1746 KM (approx)
Mike is doing Mike's job while Mike is doing Mike's job and Tim is doing Johns job while John is off with a bad back but John is still doing his job in the afternoon.
It is quite correct as the person who sent it points out:
I'm sure the only people the station's know are named John and Mike
By the way, did I inform you that on top of all of this, George is filling in for John who is on holiday.
Thursday, June 09, 2005
I got to Dickson College just after 9am and had Maths, at 10am I started on the organisational stuff I had to do for the open night, then went and fixed up the screensaver script on a Linux computer in the library.
The Linux computer runs a screensaver which receives text input from an application (in this case a simple echoing script) and displays it on the screen with effects. The script it runs is called screensaver.sh and contains a number of messages about the library and the college. It was considered to be a good idea to have a special set of messages running on open night, so I made a backup copy of screensaver.sh which I named screensaver_old.sh
I then went and wrote a set of open night messages and named it screensaver_open_night.sh
I also needed a screensaver script that didn't advertise the open night, which would become the script after the open night, this was named screensaver_normal.sh
A cron job was then used to automatically copy screensaver_open_night.sh to screensaver.sh at 6pm (This made the open night script the active screensaver script) and another line in the crontab file copied screensaver_new.sh to screensaver.sh at 9:30pm so that the new normal screensaver would be back in operation when people come in tommorow. I still have to clean off the excess files by hand, but I felt it was better to leave them all there just in case something went wrong...which it didn't.
Having all of this automated not only impressed and excited the library staff, it also meant that I didn't have to change scripts before and after the open night.
After this I went and checked in with my boss to remind him that I was busy with open night preparations, he understood and spent a few minutes outlining the work he wants us to do over the next few weeks.
I then went to find one of the deputy principals to confirm what time he wanted the laptop and projector setup in the hall...he was however on class at the time, so I went back down to the library where I was informed that the screensaver was spitting out "Unexpected EOF" messages...It then occured to me that I forgot to fix the missing quotation marks I had spotted earlier, five minutes later it was fixed.
I then went around to media to arrange a time to set all their wallpaper to the same one (preferably a custom made Dickson College Media wallpaper), we arranged to do that after I had finished in the hall with setting up and having a practice run of the speeches.
Then I had class for an hour and then went and saw one of the deputy principals and arranged to do the hall setup and practice after Lunch. After this I was about to have lunch when an occasional colleague showed up, this took up half an hour after which I was able to have Lunch.
At 2pm it was time to setup the hall, a laptop, a projector, and couple extension leads and...whoops, another extension lead to make the required length, then some audio problems and finally the pratice run of the speeches.
By the time this was over it was close to 4pm and I felt that it was a good idea to have my afternoon tea, and then have an early dinner as I wouldn't have time later...so I sat down outside with my thermos, my mug and my radio and had afternoon tea, and then walked to Dickson and had an early dinner.
By this stage I felt like calling 2CC's Mike Frame and voicing my objections to this new arboretum that is planned for Canberra (see www.the-riotact.com for more details...or stay tuned, I'll have more details in a future post), rather than wasting mobile credit, I fed a pay phone and found that Telstra have made it possible to send text messages from them, not that I cared, I just wanted to make a call, which I did.
After this I went back to the college (It was around 5pm) and found a job I could do...I sat down and answered the numerous phone calls regarding what time the open night begins, one of these callers seemed to recognise me, perhaps as a 2CC caller, or perhaps from here...I don't know, it is a mystery. I also had other receptionist duties during this time.
At 6:30pm (after having a cup of Milo) I went around to the Hall and turned on the projector and laptop, I then started the first slideshow, which was a looping set of various pictures of the college and it's events. I then went back to the front office and continued my phone answering and receptionist duties.
At 7pm I went back to the hall and took my seat at the table with the laptop and projector (I also unofficially declared myself to be the "Technical Producer" of the speeches). I spent the next 10 minutes looking through the script for the main speech, and pretending to cross reference it with the other papers I had, which I thought made me look much more busy and important. At about 7:10 I was quite annoyed with the loud music from the Jazz band playing in my ear, they were good, but they were far to close to me, so I pretended to find a note on the desk, busily and frantically checked other papers, got up, took some paper with me and escaped the hall for a couple minutes and then came back in and continued to examine the papers.
By this stage I was doing plenty of watch checks as we were supposed to start the speeches at 7:15pm, and eventually got the nod from one of the deputy principals and changed to the main overhead presentation, which I ran as the speeches went on.
After the speeches (and a public thankyou from one of the deputy prinicpals) I packed up the laptop and projector and took them back to their locations, I also moved a TV & DVD on a trolley which were playing some footage from a dance class into the main congregation area. I spent the rest of the night assisting in various places (and confirming that my screensaver scripts were behaving...which they were...It's Linux, it just works). I then got a lift home with a teacher who lives near me (hooray, no Action FlexiChaos), checked my email, got a cup of coffee, sat down and watched Stargate Atlantis.
Unfortunately, Steppy the pedometer is slightly clunky and I really didn't have time or space to take him with me today, and as such, there is no stepometer for today....it would have been right off the scale anyway, their was barely any time when I wasn't walking today.
Wednesday, June 08, 2005
1. Made a complete idiot out of themself by posting rubbish that contradicts fact.
2. Prompted me to lock down comments, you now have to be a registered user of blogger.com, if you aren't you can sign up here. I really didn't want to force people to sign up to blogger.com just to comment, but anonymous loonies are good at forcing it.
The blog stats don't keep exact IPs, they either show ISP or partial IP, in this case it was partial IP, 203.129.37.x, I could find out the full IP by looking at the logs for the site where the images are hosted, but I couldn't be bothered, and don't want to post a dynamic IP anyway.
Distance: 5.57685 KM (approx)
Tuesday, June 07, 2005
Firefly: 88854854 (Which has an official wording of "Double eight, eight five four, eight five four")...I can think of one person who is going to be unhappy that I took that particular number, but it is nice and easy to remember and I like it!)
I do know that I will start off in the hall with everybody else, but as the night goes on I may be at the VET (Vocational Education and Training) stand in the canteen, or I might be up in the IT corridor, or perhaps down in the library...if you want to come and need help recognising me, print a copy of my photo on my blogger.com profile
Anyway, it should be a great night, whether you are deciding on a college, seeing what this college thing is all about or just want to meet me...
For a tiny bit more detail about the open night see http://www.dicksonc.act.edu.au/events.html
For a map of where the college is (and directions from your location to the college) see http://www.whereis.com/whereis/mapping/geocodeAddress.do?advertiserId=&streetNumber=&streetName=Phillip&poiType=&suburb=Dickson&state=Australian+Capital+Territory&x=27&y=10
If you must know...18, go and look at the other sites I post on if you want proof...or better yet, call Dickson College and ask them.
So what do you think I should write about?
I don't know what this miracle food is or where to buy it, but it could be the answer to world hunger....so the challenge is on, invent the miracle "$4 per week" food.
Anyway, on with the stats:
Distance: 4.675725 KM (approx)
The steps are probably slightly out because the bus I catch has a few bumps which may artificially increase the step count, and the distance has been worked out based on my average stride of 67.5cm per step.
Also note that this is from the portion of the day that I spend away from home, the pedometer comes off at home because it drives me insane with that rattle unless I wear a coat...which isn't always comfortable in a heated room.
Monday, June 06, 2005
Personally I like things the way they are, I want Stuart to keep doing what he is doing, I want John Kerr to continue to host New Day Australia, it works nicely, and besides, how would Lawsie explain the absence of the co-driver?
I don't think Stuart is a suitable choice for overnight radio, and I don't think John Kerr is a suitable choice for Saturday Night Live, they are both great presenters, but they fit their current roles quite nicely.
I don't mind the mass public fireworks that occur at New Years and Canberra Day, they are nice planned events that involve a bunch of experts letting off fireworks in a controlled manner near a large amount of water...But the mass lunatic asylum that is allowed to roam Canberra and terrorise letter boxes, pets and sleeping residents is very very annoying...especially when they continue doing it for the weeks after the Queen's Birthday long weekend...and the week or so before it as well.
The worst part is, the Police aren't around to enforce the law, and they certainly aren't going to rush to the scene of a firework explosion and work out who was responsible...Why? Because they have no way of catching the perpetrators who could very easily be in another suburb by the time the Police arrive.
Anyway, I forgot the pedometer, but I am moving it to a place where it is near everything else I need to take with me (I also forgot one of those today!)...If I'm not absent minded I will have a nice stat for you tommorow.
Sunday, June 05, 2005
You can contact me via Skype, my username is smoothwallsamuel
Starting from tommorow (Monday) I will wear a pedometer and see how many steps I take during the day...could be very interesting.
Oddly enough, it happened again later that day as well...I can't find any reason for this gawping, unless I my head had momentarily turned bright orange with lime green polka dots...which it didn't.
Strange strange people.
You know, I'm having trouble keeping track of all your blogs...but it is fun.
Friday, June 03, 2005
Nattie, who also has her birthday on the 2nd of June (It isn't a coincidence, we know she was born in June, but we didn't know the exact date) enjoyed her cake, and will probably enjoy more cake over the coming days, Nattie is 35 years old (In dog years anyway, she is 5 in human years) and active as ever.
Here is a picture of Nattie, myself and the cake
Nattie wasn't really interested in waiting for the singing and blowing out of candles and the cutting of the cake to finish...she just saw cake, and cake is all she saw.
Thursday, June 02, 2005
If you look at the links on the right hand side of screen you will notice that there is a link to take you back to the blog's home page, this has been added to aid navigation from the posts to the home page.
Previously, if you were on the permanent page for a post then you couldn't get back to the home page easily, now you can!
Happy birthday to me
Happy bithday dear Samuel
Happy birthday to me
Well, as expected, I rang John Kerr, and I have kept an mp3 memento of the call, and some other edited June 2 specific parts of the show. The mp3 is 1.9MB and can be downloaded from http://samuelawards.co.nr/18thbdayjk.mp3
Wednesday, June 01, 2005
As they say in the classics, "It's more bang for your buck."
Disclaimer: If you blow yourself up by mixing gas and electricity you can't blame me, but you can blame Country Energy.
Expect an exciting new statistic to start on June 3.
And if you are in a place where you can receive "New Day Australia with John Kerr", then tune in at midnight Canberra time (which is 14:00 June 1 GMT) as my name is on the birthday list and I plan on ringing John.
New Day Australia can be found on 2UE Sydney, 4BC Brisbane, 2CC Canberra and numerous other stations around Australia (Probably your local John Laws relay station) or on the web via the web stream at www.2ue.com or www.4bc.com.au
If I remember, I might record the conversation as a memento and place it online.
I applied for BETA testing for MS, which is pretty good, coz then i get free stuff (good thing number 1), they accepted my application, and will be sending me stuff when ever the next beta thing is out.
I also got my hands on a copy of Visual Studio 2005 Beta 2, Billy Gates is sending that to me soon.......
finally ms are doing something half decent lol
Now, I'm confused, Most Microsoft software is annoying enough, and most Beta software has a few bizzare quirks, but put these together as Microsoft Beta's...Yuck!
I can't share my colleague's entusiasm on this topic, and certainly will not be using any beta Microsoft software from him unless I am certain it doesn't have the usual mix of bugs, quirks and crashy bits that come from that horrid combination.
One question I have asked myself is "Why do are all these people interested in my rantings", I still don't have an answer to that question, but what I do know is that some people like to see what I've been up to, and others find answers to questions, for example, a look at the Blog View Stats would show that some people have found my information on getting a Canon MPC400 printer working under Linux to be useful...but whatever the reason for coming to my blog, I want to make it enjoyable, and as such, I have added some new features to the blog.
You may have noticed that there is a Google search box at the top of this page (and every other page on the blog), this has been added for your convenience, you can easily search my blog from there which would be very useful for finding one of those archived posts, or you can search the web from the Google search box. I shouldn't really need to explain that "Google Is Great", I think you already know that.
The other improvement is advertising...hmmmm, I hear people moaning...look, it isn't that bad, it is actually quite good. I could have gone with any number of advertising providers, but I don't want ads that flash, flicker, buzz, popup, popunder, squeal, annoy or interupt. That rules out a lot of advertising sites. I also don't want ads for "Pills & Potions 'R Us" or those annoying ads that appear on Yahoo Mail and Hotmail "You can live and work in another country"...who cares??? I don't want to move country, and I doubt many of my readers do, if you want to move country then call a travel agent.
So I made a decision, I decided to use Google Adsense for a few reasons:
1. The ads are relevant because they are based on the content of my blog.
2. They don't violate my "flash, flicker, buzz, popup, popunder, squeal, annoy or interupt" rule.
3. They fit nicely on the side of the page in some nice blank space.
4. They are controllable, if I don't want a particular ad, I can block it.
5. It's Google, and "Google Are Great"
(Note to Google Adsense people who are likely to be alerted to my saying "Adsense" a zillion times: This is not designed to promote the ads or draw unnecesary attention to them, I do not believe that I have violated the Adsense terms and conditions, and if anything, I beleive I have promoted Adsense as a product that others can use.)
I think these changes will make the blog a better place, and I welcome your comments.
This week's musicians are Boney M