December 28, 2006

December 11, 2006

Pet Etiquette

Yesterday I had to deal with an issue of pet etiquette that I have never faced before: What do you do with a foreign fatally injured feline that has ended up on your doorstep? Well directly outside my front gate as it happens.

I couldn't very well leave it there. Apart from being confronted by the cat every time my family went in or out, consider for a moment that it was a warm day yesterday...

What about if I move it? I didn't really want to touch it, but suppose the owner comes looking for their much beloved pet and it's ended up in my rubbish bin!

A quick call to a friendly vet and a solution was at hand: All cats and dogs in NSW are required to have an identifying microchip now. Our vet suggested dropping in the deceased where she could scan it for a microchip.

Hopefully by now the cat's next of kin has been notified. I'm back to a road-kill free street-scape, but with an unpleasant association between the scent of our brand of bin liner and a messy clean up job.

November 16, 2006

IT Crowd - Fully 1337

It seems that the IT Crowd DVD has 1337 subtitles. See some screenshots.

November 01, 2006

Trick or Treat?

There was a knock at the door last night, and when I opened it I was surprised to find 3 kids standing there who promptly yelled out "Trick or Treat?"

I couldn't believe it. I didn't know what to say.

To be fair I have heard of it happening in Australia but I have never seen anyone doing it before, and it certainly caught be by surprise. Maybe they were American kids, although sadly I doubt it.

Happy All Souls day!

October 25, 2006

Firefox 2.0

Firefox 2.0 is out. Get it here.

First impressions: The spell checking is great. (Works in Blogger just fine.) Also, it loads faster than 1.5.x.

October 19, 2006

Bushwalking with Google Earth

I have added downloads to my walking page so that you can preview the walk in Google Earth.

October 17, 2006


On a recent visit to Melbourne we managed to find Exhibitionist, Southbank, Geometry (finally) and AAPT Tell It Like It Is.

September 26, 2006

Bye Bye Tokyo

Well Tokyo has been and gone.

I had hoped to get some free time on Friday to pop out to Hakuhinkan to get something for The Boy, but in the end I was too busy. I did manage to get some Pocky though for my Sydney based colleagues. (Green Tea, Chocolate and White)

I was also too busy to meet up with my friends in Tokyo. I'm really sorry about that, but I hope to be back soon.

September 20, 2006


Finally some time for some geocaches: At the Feet of Tokyo Tower and What kind of tree is Grant's Pine this morning.


After quite a number of failed attempts over the last few years I have finally made it to Tokyo. Unfortunately my work shedule has kept me very busy, and so there hasn't bee much time for sightseeing to balance up having to miss my family.

I did manage to visit the fish markets at Tsukiji the other day, and today it was clear enough to see Mount Fuji (although only out the office window).

Tokyo seems like a great city, and more friendly to non-Japanese speaking foreigners than I expected.

September 12, 2006


Slowly things are coming together for Maprequest. I am working on some code that can query the catalog service for ArcIMS sites, and generally getting more information about the map from the server to reduce the amount of configuration needed.

I have found Mapdex to be a great source of information about ArcIMS sites. It is handy to be able to look up the details they list for a site to check that the image is being rendered and georeferenced correctly in OziExplorer.

September 09, 2006

September 06, 2006

Google Image Labeler

The Google Image Labeler is very addictive. Basically you compete with another random player to choose labels for as many images as you can in 90 seconds. If you choose the same label as the other player you win points and move on to the next image.

Steve Irwin Jokes?

Is it too early for Steve Irwin jokes yet? Nah. Stingray Denies Involvement in Irwin's Death.

September 01, 2006

One Book

Thanks to Hecta and Ben Myers.

1. One book that changed your life:
Rebecca Manly-Pippert, Out of the Saltshaker

2. One book that you’ve read more than once:
Dick Bruna, Miffy Goes to the Zoo

3. One book you’d want on a desert island:
J D Wyss, Swiss Family Robinson

4. One book that made you laugh:

Gary Larson, The Far Side (etc)

5. One book that made you cry:

Peter Carey, Oscar and Lucinda

6. One book that you wish had been written:

How to make your life go perfectly

7. One book that you wish had never been written:

Dick Bruna, Miffy Goes to the Zoo

8. One book you’re currently reading:
The new A Series of Unfortunate Events book, except that it is not out yet.

9. One book you’ve been meaning to read:
Margaret Atwood The Blind Assassin

10. Now tag five people:
Malcolm, Bruce, Nick, Lyn, Peter.

August 28, 2006

eTrex Click-Stick Fixed

My Garmin eTrex Venture has been pretty much unusable for at least 6 months now due to the rarely working click-stick, and only mostly working screen. Every time the Ebenezerling suggests we "go find a geocache" my mind turns to doing battle with the eTrex. Consequently we haven't been caching for a while.

I decided it was time to either get a new GPS, or fix the old one.

Given that I'm still hanging out for a Venture Cx, here's the procedure for fixing it. Note that the B&W eTrex Legend suffers from the same problem, and so the fix is probably the same for the Legend. Don't try this if your unit is in or close to warranty!

I carefully removed the rubber seal, and then didn't wash the sticky stuff off my fingers before proceeding. Then carefully removed the clear tape around the unit, and carefully prised the 5 clips open (2 on each side, and one at the bottom).

There is a ribbon cable connecting the screen & click stick to the rest of the unit. I think the problem with the click stick & screen is that this cable comes loose, or the connections start to get a bit dodgy (which is why a good thump can get it going again), rather than a problem with the click-stick itself.

I Carefully (there's that word again) removed the little clips at the side of the ribbon cable and removed the ribbon cable. Then I cleaned the end of the ribbon cable with some suitable cleaner (I only had metho) and stuck it back in. I did up the little clips at the side of the cable again to hold it in place.

A quick test (YES - she works again!) and time to stick it all back together again. I'm told that if you got the tape that was under the sticky stuff in a horrible mess you can replace it with electrical tape, but mine was pretty much in tact, so I re-used it. I put the rubber seal back on making sure that the buttons on the outside line up with the buttons on the inside.

Next I cleaned off all the sticky stuff on the outside that wouldn't have got there if I had washed my hands straight after taking off the seal, and before handling the screen and poking at the eTrex's innards.

It is so strange to have it working (reliably!) again. It feels like I have a new GPS!

August 27, 2006

Could Richard Branson be Jesus?

Check out the evidence on Ship of Fools and judge for yourself. It's quite compelling (apart from the obvious theological problems).

August 17, 2006


I finally got organised enough last night to install Juice (thanks Nick) and figure out how to get Media Player to sync podcasts to my iPaq. So far I am subscribed to the ABC Radio National Science Show, and also to the ABC's AM program.

This morning I learned what String Theory is, and also how nicotine causes a dopamine repsonse in the brain.

August 16, 2006

July 18, 2006

Pyro Sand Game

I could play this for hours. The sand game like you've never seen it before.

read more | digg story

July 14, 2006

Multi-pointer demo

What would you do with a computer that could have more than one pointer (mouse pointer, or touch screen)? This page: Multi-Touch Interaction Research has some great ideas. (Demo video.)

July 04, 2006


I have had some time over the past couple of days to do some work on MapRequest. One of the features I am really keen to add is MapRequest's ability to discover ArcIMS map systems with the minimum of configuration. At the moment you need to tell it a reasonable amount about the system before it can talk to it, but ArcIMS can provide a lot of the configuration information that MapRequest wants. This will also allow MapRequest to work with maps where different layers are provided as different ServiceNames. At the moment MapRequest can only deal with one ServiceName at a time (although it can deal with all the layers that that ServiceName provides).

Given that it has been a while since I did anything on MapRequest, it has been a bit slow to get going again. I have NetBeans 5 working, but the CVS side does not seem to be configured correctly. I suspect I am going to have to spend a bit of time trying to figure that out if this code is ever going to be released.

June 29, 2006

Anglican Church "split"

The Herald's headline: Church is split, declares Jensen. I think it is fair to say that the divisions over sexuality in the Anglican Church are serious, to say that "Peter Jensen, aligned with rebellious evangelical prelates in Asia" is probably pushing it a bit far. Is Dr Williams idea of a "looser federation" a split? Probably in some sense it is.

June 27, 2006

Linkedin cold calling

I have noticed that I am getting an increasing number of recruiters cold calling me at work. I asked them how they found my number, and they say they looked up my employer in the phone directory, and asked reception for me by name. I assume these came from linkedin, which is an otherwise useful and privacy protecting tool.

Australia Italy

Well done Australia to get that far, but I think it should be said that there is no way that penalty should have been awarded!

June 26, 2006

St John's Ashfield

St John's Ashfield (the church I go to) has a new web site. Nice work.

June 23, 2006


It was a very tense match, but with the final score against Croatia 2-2, Australia makes it to the next round. The next match is against Italy on Tuesday.

June 22, 2006

Plunge Cafe

We are certainly well aquainted with the great coffee and warm muffins on a Saturday morning at Plunge Cafe, but last week we went there for dinner. The food? A bit of a wait, but fantastic!

June 14, 2006

BLDGBLOG: Transformer Houses

This is interesting - electrical substations that Toronto Hydro (in Canada) disguised as houses. BLDGBLOG: Transformer Houses

June 13, 2006

Australia vs Japan

Australia defeated Japan 3-1 last night.

Aussie Aussie Aussie
Oi Oi Oi

Read about it here.


Yes I know it is technically Winter, but when I saw the afternoon sunlight catching this tree yesterday I thought it deserved a photo.

June 09, 2006

Oxford Project

I came across a fascinating site the other day: The Oxford Project. This guy went and photographed pretty much all of the 674 residents of Oxford, Iowa (USA) in 1984. Then he went back 21 years later and tried to find the same people. The result is really interesting. There is a small portion of it on the web site, but it makes great reading.

June 07, 2006


A new site called Bikely merges Google Maps with people's suggestions of good cycle routes. For the moment they do not allow upload of GPS generated route data - you have to create the route by hand on their site, but the idea is pretty cool (esp if you life in a bike-unfriendly city like Sydney).

Writing well designed HTML e-mails

An interesting link from digg on designing good HTML e-mails. And you thought it was just like writing a web page?

read more | digg story

June 02, 2006

Mozilla Firefox Released

Everyone's favourite web browser has released a "security" update. ACK.

read more | digg story

June 01, 2006


I finally got around to doing some more updates to my bushwalking page. I have added a loop walk on the Curra Moors trail in the Royal National Park (NSW) and a walk to some rock paintings near Yankee Hat in Namadgi National Park (ACT). The Yankee Hat walk now includes a map (with a calibration file if you want to load it up in Ozi).

May 31, 2006

100 Photos That Changed the World

I saw this link on digg today. It's a pretty good collection.

read more | digg story

Update to bush walks page

I have finally got around to uploading the changes to my bush walks page. It includes changes to the coast track in the Royal National Park, and also a walk near Yankee Hat (ACT). Track and waypoint files for OziExplorer are included.

May 29, 2006

Guarding against SQL injections

An interesting look at protecting web applications against input that can cause them to behave differently. If you develop web applications you already know this (in theory), but I don't think I had considered the SQL injection issue explicitly.

read more | digg story

May 24, 2006

Da Vinci Code Quiz

Although we had some competition with people handing out the Epoch Times we still managed to give away quite a few copies of the quiz at Ashfield station this morning. Some excerpts:

The best part of the Da Vinci Code movie is:
a) Tom Hanks
b) The gripping plot
c) Audrey Tautou
d) The marketing

The Priory of Sion was established in:
a) 1066 (by William the Conqueror)
b) 1099 (by the Knights Templar)
c) 1956 (by Pierre Plantard)
d) 2001 (by Stanley Kubrick)

Luckily the quiz has the answers on the back. Overall I didn't score too well. (The "correct" answer to those ones are both c.) I think I got 4 right. Aparrently if you scored 4-7 you scored "Just a pass! But there's lots more to know." The seminar on Da Vinci & Jesus is at the St John's Church Hall (off Bland St) on May 31 at 7:45pm.

May 22, 2006


Internode sent me an SMS on the weekend to tell me my ADSL had been connected a couple of days ahead of schedule (cool feature). That left me with the problem that there is only 1 phone socket in the house, and it is > 20m away from my PC (longer than my longest phone and/or network cable). At lunch today I bought a WiFi card a 30m phone cable, so I should be in business.

Da Vinci Quiz in Ashfield

Read the Da Vinci Code yet? Seen the movie? Well do the quiz.

If you catch the train from Ashfield Station, make sure you grab your copy of the quiz at the station on Wednesday morning.

May 17, 2006

No internet!

I moved house almost a week ago, and my ADSL relocation request has only just been accepted.

It's strange to remember how we used to do things before we had internet. The other day I needed to know someone's phone number, so I had to look it up in the (hard copy) white pages!

May 16, 2006

St Barnabas Fire Photos

On Saturday there was a brief period where I was able to have a look inside the remains of St Barnabas. Thankyou to the engineers and Barneys staff that made that possible. (If you would like better quality copies if any of these, please get in touch with me.)

May 15, 2006

Barneys photos to come...

There was a brief window on the weekend where some people were able to enter the site at St Barnabas to take a look. (Fire at St Barnabas) I managed to take a couple of photos, but I probably won't have them online for a couple of days. Well, at least not until I find my computer amongst the pile of boxes at my place.

I know it was only a building, but I think part of what is difficult is the association between the building and the memories of things that took place there. It has been interesting reading other blogs about the fire and seeing some of the memories others have of Barneys.

May 10, 2006

Big Fire at St Barnabas Broadway

Very very sad news: There was a big fire last night at St Barnabas Anglican Church, Broadway. The SMH has a story about it here.

I think I'm still in shock. We attended Barneys for more than 15 years.

New South Wales Rail Transport Museum

The other day we went to see the New South Wales Rail Transport Museum in Thirlmere. The Ebenezerling loved it of course. They have quite a number of well-preserved carriages and engines. The old sleeping cars were great, as was the "prison car."

April 23, 2006


We all went out yesterday and managed to find Green Glow.

April 17, 2006


I managed to find the time to find Kedumba and
Royalty with a view over the weekend.

April 13, 2006


I happened to look at the statistics page for MapRequest on Sourceforge. I feel really bad that I haven't had time to implement the new features I'd like to add to MapRequest, especially after I have seen that quite a number of people are still downloading it. Personally I still find it a very useful tool.

March 20, 2006

Pulling the plug on standby power

A fascinating article on how much power we consume with all our home electronics that have a "stand-by" mode. They did a study where they found that homes use 10% of their total electricity just to power devices in "stand-by".

read more | digg story

St Johns Ashfield

I know everyone was hanging out to know this: We have decided to attend St John's Anglican Church Ashfield.

March 17, 2006

Real Life Roomba Frogger

These people made a Roomba into Frogger, and then took it out on the road to play.

read more digg story

February 02, 2006

St Johns Rockdale

Sadly last Sunday was the last service at St John's Anglican church, Rockdale. We had only been going to St John's for a few months, but we are very sad it has closed. We will miss all the faithful Christian friends we have made there, as we are all heading off to different churches.

January 09, 2006


Hi Malcolm. I'm glad you found me.


We headed to Tamworth over Christmas and found a number of geocaches between Tamworth and Armidale. (Links to logs when I get around to it...)

Happy Christmas and a Happy New Year from Ebenezer!