November 22, 2005

Soviet spies mapped the entire world

An interesting story from digg: There is amazing coverage of Soviet topo maps of large parts of the world.

read more | digg story

November 17, 2005

Go Australia!

In case you somehow missed it Australia qualified for the football World Cup last night. Australia won the match 1-0, requiring a penalty shootout as Uruguay had one the previous match 1-0. With some fantastic saves by Mark Schwarzer, Australia are on their way to Germany in 2006!

Aussie! Aussie! Aussie!
Oi! Oi! Oi!
Aussie! Aussie! Aussie!
Oi! Oi! Oi!
Aussie! Aussie! Aussie!
Oi! Oi! Oi!

November 14, 2005


We use some of our free time at the EU Graduates Fun conference in Collaroy to go and find Hospital Walk.

November 07, 2005

Cell Broadcast for Motorola v550

Annoyingly the Motorola v550 does not come with "Cell Broadcast" enabled. This is a feature where your phone displays the name of the current cell on the screen. After a lot of digging I figured out how to enable it.

Go to the Info Services Inbox using:

Menu -> Messages -> Info Services

Then select:

Menu -> Setup -> Service -> On

Check that Quick View shows "50". Alternatively you can go to Active Channels and add "50".

Mobile Phone

I have been several months without a mobile phone after my previous phone encountered a terminal degree of force. It has been strange: Annoying that I have to find a pay-phone if I want to call someone when I'm out, but refreshing not having to worry that the phone might not be charged, or that I forgot to turn it off when I went in to church.

Anyway, I'm back on-line now with a Motorola v550 signed up to Vodafone. So far I'm impressed, although I can't for the life of me work out how to enable the cell-info display.

October 20, 2005

Lemony Snicket

In case you don't already know (for some reason), the latest Lemony Snicket "A Series of Unfortunate Events" book came out this week. We were hoping this one would bring closure to a number of matters, but now that I have it in my posession I see that it is called "The Penultimate Peril."

October 04, 2005

Koel Birds

Summer is on its way. How do I know? a) Warmer weather (see my Weather Pixie), and b) Annoying koel birds! Koel birds are migratory, and they appear in Sydney at about this time of year. They have this annoying habbit of making their distinctive "Coo-ee" or "Wirra-wirra-wirra" calls at all hours of the day and night.

September 22, 2005


Well, I had one, and it's ... shorter ... than it used to be.

September 19, 2005


It has been a tough decision, and it took a long time to make, but this week was our last week at Barneys. We haven't finalised where we're going to go instead, but there are a couple of the more local churches that are good contenders.

September 06, 2005


I paid 129.9c/l the other day. When you compare that to this post, it makes you think twice about driving when you could catch the train.

September 04, 2005


OK, so it's been a while, but yesterday I went and found #39 Troll's Delight.

August 22, 2005

Welcome back Snickers!

My favourite chocolate bar is finally back. There were people at Wynyard station this morning handing out Snickers bars wearing shirts reading "We missed you too!"

July 26, 2005

Home Brew

I bottled the cider last night. The final gravity was 1.005, and so with the high original gravity that makes it almost 8%. I can't wait to drink it, but after my experience with the beer it will need at least a couple of weeks in the bottle before it is ready.

July 12, 2005

New Job

My new job starts today. Yay!

July 11, 2005

Home brew

I put on my next brew today. Black Rock Cider. Mmmm. Starting gravity is 1.063.

July 07, 2005


KidsGames is going well. You can find out what we're up to in the Broadway KidsGames Daily News.

July 01, 2005


I am presently gearing up for KidsGames at Broadway for 2005. I am really looking forward to it. It was great fun last year, and I think it will be even better fun this year. This year we are at Ultimo Public School.

June 21, 2005


After 9 months languishing at only 256k we finally bit the bullet and decided to pay $10/month to upgrade our ADSL to 512k. The 512k kicked in this morning for the first time. Nice.


News: I was offered a job yesterday. Woohoo!

June 18, 2005


I popped out yesterday to find Reeds - a new geocache nice and close to home.

June 17, 2005


A trip to Tamworth meant that we could venture out to find Mount Yarrowyck near Armidale. It was a nice walk and a pleasant afternoon.

June 07, 2005

Home brew

After a week of secondary fermentation, I tried my first glass of home brew today. It's very yeasty, and I think it could do with another week or two in the bottle.

June 06, 2005


I learned something new today - people with a TTY phone can dial 106 to make an emergency call in Australia. (The normal number for voice callers is 000.)

June 03, 2005


MapRequest 1.0b3 has finally been released. You can read about it here, and download it from here. One of the big changes over 1.0b2 is that MapRequest is now distributed with a Windows based setup program (MapRequestSetup.exe) to make it easier to install and run on Windows.

June 01, 2005

Home brew

Well my home brew was a little bit slow to ferment, but I finally bottled it (with a little bit of help from a home brew expert) on Monday night. FG is 1.012, which makes it about 3.6% alcohol - a little lower than expected, but not too bad. It needs to sit in the bottle for another week or so before the first taste test.

May 23, 2005

Home brew

I have just put in my first home brew. (Part of a birthday present from my brother.) Coopers Lager, OG of 1.036. It should be ready for bottling by Friday, but it will be another couple of weeks before we get to drink any.

May 17, 2005

Software quality

A scary issue for any software developer: CNN is reporting on a software bug in the Toyota Prius that may cause the engine to shut down.

May 15, 2005


While in Balmoral for lunch today we decided to head over to find Fun in the sun.... (And it was fun.)

May 13, 2005

Professional pick-up-sticks

After a serious game of pick-up-sticks, a few of us decided that there is not nearly enough pick-up-sticks jargon, and if you were to take up pick-up-sticks professionaly you would need to invent some...

The Torpedo: The metal or cardboard tube that the sticks are stored in.
The Spread: The act of dropping the sticks in the first place. A normal spread is done by gripping the sticks in a fist and letting them go, although a torpedo assisted spread is achieved by lifting the torpedo off the sticks and letting them fall.
A Pivot: This is where you press down on the sharp end of a stick so as to lever the stick up off adjacent sticks.
A Lift: This is where you press your finger into the sharp end of a stick to lift it up. Lifting at both ends is a two fingered lift, while pivoting one end and lifting the other is a pivot and lift.
A Slide: This is sliding a stick that is touching the playing surface but no other sticks. Sliding a stick in the direction of the stick is a veritcal slide, while the other way is a horizontal slide.
A Flick: This is lifting a stick up quickly (generally assisted by the black stick) to try to flick it off adjacent sticks without disturbing them.
To Black: To attempt to remove the black.



My blogging has been a bit slow of late, but an expedition with Katricks a few days ago yielded Campbell Caper, Keyring Circus, Down the Mine and Namadgi Yank.

Australian copyright

The Australian IT News had an interesting article this week about Australia re-examining copyright laws. "Under current laws it is illegal to copy a CD onto a digital music recorder such as an iPod or to videotape a television program." Australia has no "fair dealing" clause when it comes to music or video. They are looking at various options for changing this.

April 27, 2005

Phishing experiment

Some graduate students at Indiana University conducted a phishing experiment using public information to send e-mails to students to try to get them to divulge their passwords. Basically, it worked, and people were not happy. More info here and here.

April 19, 2005


Adobe has announced that it will buy Macromedia. For someone with a career as a Java/web developer who is also a keen photographer, I wonder if this will create any synergies for me...

April 18, 2005

Hot Hot Hot

What's with autumn? The Sydney weather forecast tells me it is supposed to be fine and 31 degrees today.

April 15, 2005

Mad as...

After several weeks wait I finally got my Tilley hat today. Why a Tilley hat? Apart from being an excellent hat they come in sizes appropriate for large-brained people such as myself.

April 12, 2005


It looks like GeoURL is working again. I have put my link button back in.

April 06, 2005


I braved the windy and wet weather the other day to find Cook's Bridge.

Discovery After Dark

Last Saturday evening I ventured out with Stinker to go see Discover After Dark. It is an evening where various buildings (mostly museums and galleries) open their doors to the public. Our first stop was the ABC's Ultimo studios. While there was quite a long wait, the tour they provided was fantastic. Well done ABC!

We also visited Government House and The Conservatorium of Music.

April 01, 2005


Release 1.0b2 for MapRequest is finally out there. MapRequest is a program that lets you save a calibrated map for OziExplorer from compatible web based maps.

March 28, 2005

Chinese Gardens

On Saturday we headed down to Darling Harbour to check out "Hoopla". We got there a little early, so we ventured into the Chinese Garden of Friendship. The gardens are great, and our little one had a lot of fun running around. They are a lot bigger inside than they seem, and are amazingly peaceful with the bustling city all around them. We enjoyed the gardens so much that we ended up not seeing any of Hoopla.

March 23, 2005


There was a time in my life (the pre-digital-camera time) where films were developed promptly, and then the photos neatly sorted into albums. I think this time ended about 7 years ago. Since then films get developed when I get around to it, and then the photos stay in their packet and get put on a shelf somewhere.

Since I received a nice new scanner for Christmas (yes I know it was several months ago now) I decided it was time to do something useful with all our old photos. I have started to scan them all and add captions. It is a slow process - I think I have probably done around 100 so far, and I have no idea how many are left to go.

March 21, 2005


I wandered out to find Spam, Spam, Spam, Toast and Spam the other day. This is a great geocache, and not what I was expecting.

March 16, 2005

Job update

I've had a few interviews and one offer in the last week, but so far I am still not in my dream job.

March 13, 2005


It seems that someone from AIC Magnetics in Hong Kong has seen my fridge magnet collection web page. I think they misunderstood, and sent me an e-mail asking me if I want to buy some flexible magnetic sheet.


I finally found Only One the other day.

March 09, 2005

More satellite-ery

It seems that the SMH also has this Uluru photo from Earth Observatory today. They must get the Earth Observatory "What's New" e-mail like I do.

Stormfront Coming

NASA's Earth Observatory has a great photo of Cyclone Ingrid (the category-5 cyclone that is about to batter Queensland). This photo was on the front page of the Sydney Morning Herald (hard copy) this morning.

March 06, 2005


Some nocturnal geocaching finally netted I'll meet you at Sunup (Revisited).

March 01, 2005


After 2 previous failed attempts I finally found The Kiddie Cache today.

February 28, 2005


Read more job ads, write more job applications. Repeat.

Phone fun

Someone who will remain nameless managed to drop my phone the other day. Luckily he is not very tall, so it didn't have far to fall, but far enough to cause the speaker to stop working. Argh! I paid a visit to Cell-Biz, which is a little stall outside Aldi in the Westfield mall at Hurstville. Those guys are great: $30 and 15 minutes later my phone is as good as new.

February 22, 2005

Job update

I applied for 4 jobs last week, which so far has resulted in 0 interviews.

February 16, 2005


Today a colleague introduced me to LinkedIn. It is a social networking site like sixdegrees, although more oriented towards work relationships.

February 15, 2005

Hot Hot Hot

It hit 33 degrees today, which is pretty hot for February. I stayed inside in the cool in order to send off my first few job applications!

February 07, 2005


While on a trip to Melbourne for Tim's ordination I managed to find Spreadsheet Stash and FedCam.

January 29, 2005


MapRequest version 1.0b1 has been released on SourceForge. Yay! You can download it here.

January 27, 2005


The next release (1.0b1) of MapRequest is almost ready. Stay tuned.

January 25, 2005


After reading about TV-B-Gone (a small keychain device that claims to be able to turn off virtually any TV) I decided I needed something like that. There are many situations where I find there is a TV blaring at me that noone can do anything about. Unfortunately TV-B-Gone is not yet available in Australia. It was only the other day that it ocurred to me that my HP iPAQ 2210 has a remote control application (Nevo) in it. I got to wondering if I could use it in this type of situation. Anyway, the annoying (and loud) TV in the baby change room at my local Westfield is Samsung #26 in Nevo, and it works nicely.

January 24, 2005


Yesterday I was permitted to use the dishwasher in our kitchen for the 3rd time in the last 3 1/2 years. I thought that rated a post.

January 09, 2005


While at CMS Summer School we found Zulu,
MKC 2004,
There is no ECHO! and
The Pulpit.

CMS Summer School

We just got back from a week at CMS Summer School (in Katoomba NSW) with some of our extended family. It was great to spend the week finding out what God has been doing in various places around the world, and also catching up with family members that we don't see too often.