December 24, 2008

December 15, 2008

Nelson Bay

Last week saw us take a relaxing holiday in lovely Nelson Bay. Plenty of bush walking (the photo is of a wild orchid we saw in Tomaree National Park), beaches, and spending time with our family. Port Stephens really is a nice part of the world.

November 24, 2008

David I hope you get paid

David Thorne, I was horrified to see all these web sites that have ripped of your artwork. It is not clear whether they are publishing a copy of your spider drawing, or the actual drawing, but I do note that most sites don't attribute you as the author. IANAL but you should seriously get yourself a lawyer.

October 21, 2008

Netbeans turns 10!

Netbeans (everyone's favourite Java IDE) is now 10 years old! Amazing.

(A Java IDE is an Integrated Development Environment. Basically Netbeans is the thing I use to write, test and debug Java projects.)

I started using Netbeans when I started on Maprequest (an open source project for producing georeferenced maps for Ozi Explorer from web based maps). Now I fight on with Netbeans in an Eclipse heavy environment at work.

I think one of the best things about Netbeans is its support for Maven 2 projects. In an environment where the standard build system is Maven 2 (and where the continuous integration platform uses Maven 2) it's good to be able to have real Maven running inside Netbeans. That way you know that what you have running in your IDE is the same as what your continuous integration is going to run.

I try to be polite, but it's hard not to boast about Netbeans' great svn support when talking to people struggling with Eclipse. It's great that ClearCase support is back again too!

October 20, 2008

Top Gear Australia

OK I was sceptical at first. Could SBS's Top Gear Australia possibly come close to the "real" Top Gear?

I've got to admit: tonight's was quite good. Using Holden Astras for lawn bowls was a stroke of genius. (You really need to see this to fully understand.)

Part of the problem with the show is that you can't help but compare it to the original. In fact they have used a number of elements of the original, but amazingly the show doesn't fell too much like a copy. Keep up the good work.

October 14, 2008

iPhone Left In Hot Car For Three Hours

Another great story from The Onion.

"This normally peaceful suburban town is still reeling following the news Monday that a local resident, whose name is being withheld by police pending a full investigation, left an iPhone unattended for more than three hours in a car parked in the hot sun."

Read the full story:
Police: iPhone Left In Hot Car For Three Hours

September 12, 2008


It's amazing how much I needed a fax machine in the process of moving house. I think the last time I sent a fax was probably .... last time I moved house.

Thanks a lot to all the people who have been praying for us, and who helped us move. (GeoURL updated.)

August 05, 2008

Google Street View

Google Street View has been turned on for Sydney. This is where you can get a photo of what the street looks like. It so happens that I was snapped by the camera while walking up a street in Ashfield one afternoon, so I checked to see if it is online:


View Larger Map

And here

View Larger Map

July 30, 2008

True Geek

True geeks use LaTeX in situations where mere mortals use a word processor. Slashdot had an article discussing whether there is a better replacement for LaTeX yesterday.

The answer is either "It's LaTeX. Get used to it," or "Don't worry. A word processor can do all you need!" depending on which camp you fall into. That is, the "most of the known world" camp, or the other camp.

I think in this situation, even knowing someone who knows LaTeX must give you some kind of geek cred. That's more than enough cred for me.

July 20, 2008


I don't get much time for geocaching these days, but on a recent holiday at MacMasters Beach I found Head Like a Box, Primate Peak, Little Beach and Watch Out.

July 15, 2008

MacMasters Beach

The school holidays are upon us, and so we took up the invitation from some friends to join them at MacMasters Beach on the NSW Central Coast. It's a great spot. Here's a photo from a day when we walked through Bouddi National Park to get down to Little Beach.

The Gruen Transfer

OK, so it's been a while since my last post. Sorry!

Anyway, The Gruen Transfer (Wednesday nights on ABC1) has taken a little while to grow on me, but last week's was a ripper. They have a segment called "The Pitch" where 2 ad agencies compete to produce a TV commercial to sell the unsellable.

Last week's challenge was selling an invasion of New Zealand. I think the winner was 303's "100% There for the taking". I've got nothing against New Zealand, but this was pretty funny I think. Take a look.

April 23, 2008


I had a chance to spend a few days in Tasmania with my family recently. Of course my GPS went along to check for any previously un-mapped roads in Open Street Map.

We stayed in Woodbridge, and visited Bruny Island (pictured) and Franklin.

Woodbridge is such a beautiful village. The sunrises and sunsets were breathtaking.

April 06, 2008

Sort Of Dunno Nothin'

We saw this on TV the other night. Very good. Sort Of Dunno Nothin' by Peter Denahy.

April 03, 2008


The town in NSW, rather than the movie. We went there recently to make an attempt at Koscuiszko.

The weather turned against us on top of the "mountain", so we didn't end up doing the walk, but it was interesting to see Jindabyne again.

I used to live in the area some time ago, and it has changed a lot since then (20 years ago?). I'm not sure the town is physically much bigger, but it seems "culturally" bigger (if that makes sense).

On the OSM side, Jindabyne is already pretty well mapped. I did add a couple of streets, and did a bit of East Jindabyne. I have a track for the foot/cycle path around the lake which I hope to put in OSM in the next week or so.

March 26, 2008

Sydney Cycle Map

OK it's been a while since my last post. Sorry. But what a post...

The gravitystorm web site announced that they have street level coverage of cycle routes in Sydney. This web site uses the cycle relevant tags in Open Street Map to render a cycling map. Great work!

This is the direct link to the Sydney map.

February 18, 2008

Streets With No Name

Something I guess I have taken for granted up until now is that streets in Australia have names. I mean, of course they have names, don't they? How do you tell someone the address if the street doesn't have a name?

While doing some mapping on Open Street Map I have found that there are a few streets (mainly laneways) in my local area that don't seem to have any name at all. e.g. Laneways between Nowranie Street and Carrington Street and a short street at the western end of Weston Street (although I suspect this street is also known as Weston Street).

Mapping has brought up some other interesting questions, like what is the real name of a street? Is it what the street sign says? Is it what existing maps say? Is it what people who live in the street call it? Sometimes all disagree.

February 06, 2008

New York

Last week took me to New York for work. I knew it was going to be cold, but I don't think I expected that it would be cold enough for the ponds in Central Park to be frozen.

GPS replaced now. Let the mapping continue!

January 13, 2008

GPS Broken!

Stop the world! My GPS is broken! No Geocaching, no Open Street Map. No ... navigation.

It has been with the good people at GME (the Australian distributors for Garmin) for the last week. I expect to have a working unit one way or the other in the next few days.