Eric Lindsay's Blog June 2012

Friday 1 June 2012


I see the lights of another cruise ship out there in Pioneer Bay. I went for a walk to the markets mid morning. There were about a dozen market tents there. Had a short chat with Glenn.

Whitsunday Terraces

Bang, bang, bang! The demolition of the old wooden balustrade railings continues in Florin Terrace. Even better, many of the new powder coated metal railings are now installed.


I lost internet access around 9:27 a.m. The NetGear ADSL modem fail light is red. Numeric ping does not reach target. Started a numeric traceroute. Red light is now green. Ping and traceroute now working. Internet connection back at 9:30 a.m. Internet number is now

Responsive Web Design

I should be able to make responsive web sites using W3C media queries. Basically, your website design responds to the visitor’s screen size, using flexible and fluid grid layouts that adapt to almost any screen. Flexible size changing of images and media, through dynamic resizing or CSS, as used in print style sheets.

The problem is web designers assume a minimum display resolution, and hope it keeps increasing. Phones will overtake computer use for web browsing soon, There is no minimum display resolution (the screen is too small for that to work). Plus retina resolution displays will become common, so even giant displays will need to have wonderful sharp images. It is a problem.

Responsive Web Design (2)

An article on testing responsive web design.

Some examples of responsive web designs.

Responsive web design tutorials.

Responsive web design examples.

Responsive web design tools.

Saturday 2 June 2012


Although I have not disconnected personally at any stage since yesterday, my external IP number is now different, at Modem (NetGear DM111P) shows up time of 21hours 4mins. Line speed is 3.55 Mbps (3549 kbps). Download speed is 444 KB/s (0.43 MB/)s. Modem is running ADSL2+ A. It believes the attainable line rate is 23276 kbps.

Downstream line attenuation is 25.8dB, however noise margin is merely 6dB. Output power is 20.1dB. The line attenuation shows an exchange distance of less than 1.8km (actual about 600 metres). Noise margin and output power are both obviously negotiated to reduce cross line interference.

Telephone Spam

All the calls I get on the telephone are charities and surveys. The phone is on the Do Not Call list. Why does the Do Not Call list not apply charities and political calls? If I do not want calls from anyone I do not know, that does not mean I am happy for charities to call. I take the name of all the charities who call, and try to avoid ever donating to them again. I am so looking forward to telling the NBN installers I only want a data line, not a phone.


It was damp, and there were not many tents visible at the Airlie Beach markets. I went for a somewhat later than usual walk to check out the dozen or so tents. None of my friends had attended.

Had breakfast on the main street. There are a lot of markings on the footpath by the contractors doing the street upgrade. No idea what they mean, but I suspect some indicate buried utility lines.

Collected the weekend newspapers and headed up the hill again.


I stuffed up the email invitations last Monday. Although my test invitation arrived, I do not believe that any other party invitation reached the destination. I do not know what problem the Apple iPad encountered in sending them. I had told some people in person, like Ron downstairs.

Pete arrived just as I knocked on Jim's door. Just handed out drinks when Glenn and Alison arrived. Tomorrow is their twelfth wedding anniversary.

Around ten o'clock Chad arrived from the pilot's party with two lively young ladies. I am surprised that at five and two they were not tired. They plunged the party into a quest for drawing paper, and Jim brought over the coloured pencils for them. They sure got a lot of drawings done.

Sunday 3 June 2012

Kogan eBook Reader with eInk Touch

Good specs, but tediously slow waste of money.


I watched Insiders and Inside Business after doing housekeeping. Made myself Eggs Benedict for breakfast, to use up the last of the ingredients.

Pete dropped in around four. I could not really help him get rid of the old Google results, for a web site I designed specifically to be visible to search engines. Sooner or later Google will notice it is gone, and drop it from the search index.

Apple TV Lacks Internet

My internet access is often intermittent. However because AppleTV can see a home wireless network, it tends to assume it has good internet access. I would like to have a setting to tell Apple TV not to attempt internet access for the moment.

This is particularly annoying when setting up a temporary Apple TV in a new location (holiday home, hotel room, conference venue, etc). My connection is often iPhone 3G (or a neighbours' WiFi) to MacBook, Ethernet from MacBook to WAP router, router WAP to AppleTV. There is often double NAT involved, so the internet connection is a real mess.

Monday 4 June 2012

Leaving Airlie Beach

I awoke early, and could not get back to sleep. Internet is still working, with an unchanged IP address. I did a few last minute things.

Olympics Travesty

Orchestra told fake it for opening ceremony.

Greyhound vs Qantas

What sort of a world do we live in, where a Greyhound bus seat is more comfortable than a Qantas flight?


Jean collected me from the bus terminal, perhaps a quarter hour after the bus was scheduled. The trip had been pretty comfortable, although I had not eaten much as I expected to get a decent lunch in Townsville.

Off to Jaycar, where I bought all sorts of additional security gadgets. I do not like the direction the economy is going long term, despite it sounding good at the moment. Unfortunately I think physical security will get more and more important.

I failed to get any more GU10 downlights, which was a bit of a pity. Jaycar had run out. However they were very helpful in finding all the other gear, and it was all at good discounts.

Sizzler's for lunch. Jean ate less of the salad bar than usual. I had the rump steak, and Jean had some of the steak with her salad. That 200 gram steak is too big for me without help. Alas, I had forgotten Sizzler is a Pepsi shop, so I did not get a drink. We could not have handled a wine.

Carlyle Gardens

I walked to the doctor's with Jean. Ray tells me Bob's funeral is tomorrow, but I have a deadline in the way. Dropped in to tell the office we were away. Stopped to talk briefly with Leigh. I want to install WiFi and an AppleTV connected to the Carlton Theatre HDMI video projector. I need to talk with Geoff about how to handle sound from the HDMI.

Jean phoned just as I reached home again. I started walking back to meet her, but was intercepted by Clive. Jean turned up there soon after.

Then a rush to the chemist as it got towards peak hour traffic. Jean got me to drive, as she felt worse than she thought originally.

Free Movies Online

Free classic movies online.

Tuesday 5 June 2012

Busy Morning

I went for a walk around Carlyle Gardens with Jean. Way too cold for Townsville. I have nothing appropriate to wear.

To Willows with Jean for food shopping. Checked Rivers for shoes. Not yet open, and no signs as to their opening hours. Checked BigW, no luck. Checked Target, no luck. Back to Rivers, with Jean, but no luck. Found a pair of shoes that may be OK at the shoe store inside the Willows entrance. No luck with dark chocolate bilby at the Darryl Lea. Visit JBHiFi and picked up the missing Yes Minister episodes.

Unread newspaper. No time.

Visit doctor again. Rush off to chemist again.


I continued to work on my paper for ANZAPA. Too disjointed to use. Plus I have another paper to write, and can not see myself getting to it, regardless of deadlines.


I went late to lunch, since I knew people would return for Bob's wake. Sat with Sue, at the far end of the restaurant. I talked with Geoff and Margaret about the video projector. Suggested they use our apartment when going through Airlie Beach. I stayed for Bob's wake. Got way too drunk. Did manage to lurch over and drop keys off with Geoff and Margaret. Talked with Jeff back at home. Missing deadline.

Logitech K760 Wireless Solar Keyboard

I wanted a Logitech Wireless Solar Keyboard (K760) for Apple Macintosh, iPad and iPhone (the keyboard switches its Bluetooth connection between each). However I can not find any way to buy them. The Logitech web site will not allow me to asked to be notified when it is available. I guess it is another gadget that is announced but never appeared.

Wednesday 6 June 2012


I was up early, and not making any sense of my text at all. We went for our usual early morning walk around Carlyle Gardens, although by then it was closer to seven. I was cold in the house. Went around clutching a blanket while I typed.

Caught up with Mary towards evening, and asked if she would bring in the garbage bin. Last time I left bins out, Iain, the security guy, parked outside her house and brought in the bins well after midnight.


I finally completed my contribution for ANZAPA, by about one. Jean had disappeared. Decided I would try to get a late lunch at the restaurant. Luckily I could manage that. Failed to complete the next paper, for FLAP. That was mostly because I decided I had better be packed for our trip. As usual, can not find appropriate warm weather gear.

Apple AirDrop

I like Apple's AirDrop file transfer to another Apple computer via WiFi without joining a WiFi network. However older computers lack the particular WiFi facilities needed, even if they are running OS X 10.7 Lion.

In the case of some older Apple computers, like my 2009 Mac mini, you can fake using AirDrop, or force AirDrop to operate by using Terminal.

defaults write BrowseAllInterfaces 1

followed by

killall Finder

Thursday 7 June 2012

Leaving Townsville

It was frightfully cold for Townsville in the morning. We had breakfast, turned off computer stuff, and put the bags in the car. I even took the Tuesday newspaper I had not found time to read. Our past experiences with taxis in Townsville is that it is just a little too risky asking to be collected at Carlyle Gardens.

Took a wrong turn. Lucky we were very early. The long term parking at the airport looked fairly full. Got a newspaper, and a magazine.

An on time departure just after nine for QF967 to Brisbane, but we were stuck at the back of the plane, in row 27. Luckily this 737-800 had comfortable seats. Snack biscuits on the flight. Arrived early.

A short wait in Brisbane for QF619 to Melbourne around midday. The woman next to us had a broken seat. The hostesses moved her to well towards the front of the plane. This did mean I had an empty seat next to me. These 737-800 seats were pretty comfortable also. Qantas ran out of pies for the meal, and we had to have roast beef sandwiches.


Got a $20 each shuttle bus ticket, since the taxi queue was pretty long. The walk to the shuttle bus was lengthy. Still, it worked just fine eventually, although a taxi may have been as cheap. The Rydges on Swanston is close to the university, and not that far from the Melbourne CBD that you can not walk it. Trams rumble past, but I have no idea how you buy a tram ticket these days (used to be on the tram).

Rydges Area

We took a wander around close to the hotel. It is a student accommodation area, so there are lots of convenience stores. A Seven Eleven just up Swanston Street, next to a KFC. A Subway across the road, where there were also two bookshops and a taxi rank. The next few cross streets had a sushi shop, and several small restaurants, plus a larger Seven Eleven. Once you reach Ligon Street, a mere two blocks, there are numerous cafes and restaurants.

Jean had sushi and half a Subway for an early dinner. I had the other half of the Subway.

Lyn's Room

Jean went down to the lobby to await Lyn. Move, countermove. We never even spotted the bathtub in our room. Kogan ebook reader was not a good choice.

Friday 9 June 2012

Walk to CBD

I am not used to the very late dawn in wintery Melbourne. Nor am I used to shops opening so late. We decided the earliest shops would open would be eight, and set out down Swanston Street under a dull and clouded sky. It seems the underground shopping centre in QV Building is about 15 minutes walking time away past the RMIT buildings and student oriented businesses (like pubs).

To my delight, there was an OfficeWorks visible in the food court at the QV Building. Jean was severely lacking food by then, and sat eating a breakfast sushi while I entered the OfficeWorks. Finally located the copy counter up on another floor. They could copy my ten pages for ANZAPA, but not until eleven. That would do.

We had only about eleven items on our food shopping list for Woolworths. Took some time to find everything. Jean rightly rejected my choice of packaged ham, in favour of fresh cut heavily smoked ham. We had to get small packs of milk and orange juice, as the larger packs would probably not fit into the small upright sections of the bar fridge in our hotel room. Just as well we did not get everything, as I was well and truly laden with my medium Outback Spirit backpack, and Jean's small pack, plus a loaf of bread.

By the time we walked slowly back to the hotel, and unloaded everything into the bar fridge, it was almost time to return to collect the printing.

Second Walk to CBD

Jean again walked with me, somewhat slower this time. I was able to take my ANZAPA printing directly from OfficeWorks to a small Post Shop in QV Building. For ten dollars, they went straight to Bruce, mailed from the same city.

Further in to the city, to Haigh's chocolates. We bought a slightly unbelievable quantity of their fine dark chocolate, which i put in my backpack.

Back to Woolworths at the QV Building for more milk and orange juice, which we could put flat in the fridge until opened. Next was Dan Murphy, where we got an expensive 2006 Pepperjack shiraz, and a cheap Cleanskin classic dry white wine for our room for the weekend. I was certainly heavily laden as we even more slowly walked back to the hotel.

Alas, Jean was having back trouble. Whether the walks or the plane ride is not known, but it was not a good start for the convention.

Continuum Opens

Jean made herself a lunch. Lyn visited us later and chatted, while Jean tried to rest her back.

Dinner with Lync

Jean invited me to dinner in the Rydges' restaurant with Lync and Stephen. Not liking the meal of the day, I foolishly ordered the lamb roast, which meant everything was slower being delivered. So we had plenty of time to talk, but Jean must have been close to starving by the time her meal arrived. I very much enjoyed my lamb, however in a land with more sheep that people, I do not understand the price of lamb.

Saturday 9 June 2012

Lazy Morning

If it had not been drizzling, I might have taken a walk to Lygon Street. The hotel had supplied a copy of The Australian, so I settled down to read that. Had cereal for breakfast.




Food security and population


When I returned to the room well after midday, the cleaning staff were just finishing replacing towels and emptying bins. Jean was making herself a sandwich from some of the very nice smoked ham and Jarlesberg cheese she had found in Woolworths.




Humanity enhanced


I gave up after four, and returned to the room to read the newspaper.


I fear the sole small lift is inadequate for the convention. I walked down to the ground floor to collect something from Justin in the dealer's room when they closed at six. Walked back up the three flights of stairs. Walked down the stairs again to see if I could locate Jean. Decided the appropriate panel must be in the Drummond Rom on the fourth floor. Walked up the four flights. The room was too crowded to check. Walked down the three flights again to check the bar. Up stairs with Justin to drop things off. Back down. Invitation to dinner. Up stairs to collect a jacket. Down stairs.

Up stairs again.


I went to dinner with a group of nine fans. Over to Lygon Street, left, and we stopped at Cafe Corretto. I shared an Italian style pizza with Roman. Others in the group included Ian, Terry and Jeremy. The drinkers shared some of the house red. It was a fine dinner, with decently quick service considering how busy the place was.


Avoided Maskobalo.

Sunday 10 June 2012


I was almost late for a delivery to Justin. Not there at the dealer's room, nor was the key to everything. Chatted with Jo.


What's It Worth


I missed seeing Russell and Les again. Belatedly followed Marilyn, Roman, Terry and two others to the Turkish cafe on Lygon Street.

Run Away

I hid in our room for a while. Artist Stephen Campbell late in the evening.

Monday 11 June 2012

eBooks Panel

Another ebook panel


I had lunch in the room. Jean went out with Lync and Stephen.

Closing Ceremony

I chatted with Michael a fair number of times during the convention. Closing ceremony.


We had the company of Carey at dinner, and afterwards for a final drink in our room. It was great to catch up with someone we had known for so long. To a large extent, I are now seeing people retire who I have known since taking up my first job.

Tuesday 12 June 2012

Leaving Melbourne

A taxi to Melbourne Airport with Jean and Lyn. We saw Lyn into the right queue for her flight to New Zealand. It was very hard to tell which counter was correct, as the signs were of a size I could not read.

We also had trouble deciding which terminal our flight left from. Finally walked to Terminal One. Then we lacked any paper copy of our booking number. Luckily the terminal machines could handle what information we could put in from the details in our phones. We were soon equipped with a number of passes, and our baggage was through the automated bag handlers.

Alas, although flight arrived in time, QF614 could not depart until an oven or something was fixed. We should have departed at 11:05, but were only just boarding around 11:50 a.m.

Our Brisbane flight has a connecting time of 40 minutes, and we are right at the back of the plane. Not happy.

Adrift in Brisbane Airport

We arrived in Brisbane around 25 minutes after our Townsville flight departed. Our newly enabled phones told us QF2314 was slightly delayed, until 3:15 p.m. Flight what? The Qantas iPhone app did not even have such a flight! The CityFlyer service desk were shaking their heads as to why Melbourne would have rebooked anyone on that milk run flight (three or four landings at regional cities on the way north). They rebooked us into QF976 direct to Townsville, departing at 4:55 p.m. So we have a fair wait at Brisbane airport. Luckily Brisbane is one of the better airports in which to be stuck.


We arrived in Townsville on schedule for the revised flight. Our luggage was late off the plane, but it did arrive with us. We had visions of it not arriving until way late on the milk flight.

The only issue was the long term parking payment vending machine getting into a snot about the ticket. A second try managed to get that done and paid for so we could get Jean's car out of the lot.

We were home by about eight. Even partially unpacked and functioning by nine.

Wednesday 13 June 2012


It was cold this morning, but not the bitter cold of Melbourne. I started the already sorted laundry at six, for what was the first of three loads. Luckily the constant tropical sunshine dried clothes on the line at a reasonable pace, even in winter.

Eggs for breakfast. No bread for toast. We found frozen bread a few hours later.

Off to Centrelink, since the mail had disgorged yet another Commonwealth Seniors Health Card (my third), this time reverting to a wrong residential address. The helpful staff tried yet again to get the computer system to accept the correct data. This time she even turned the display and let us each check the data was correct. It was. It will be interesting to see what happens on this fourth attempt at getting into the system.

Refuelled Jean's car. Willows for shopping, and collecting some cash. Jean would not let me buy ice cream, despite our favourite brand being available on special. Pat saw this refusal. So did Harry. I have witnesses.

Tried to get through all the accumulated mail.


I finally got over to see Frank about two hours late. Found his missing Outlook email and contact list data on his backup drive, and restored it using Time Machine. I do not know exactly the cause of the loss, but Microsoft having system data in the Documents folder seems unwise. Luckily they do have an optional database recovery facility, once you locate the missing data. No wonder Apple are trying to keep users from fondling the file system.

Lunch at the restaurant, a bit late. By then I was starving. I got thanked for telling the attendant how to get her Windows photos into her iPad when I was there last Wednesday.

Despite all my deadlines, I headed to the pub for the Wednesday evening pissup. Clive caught me on the way. Would like iPad help. I can really see I need to do little tutorials in Clarify for lots of these folks.

Back home early, so that I can work on catching up with neglected items.

Thursday 14 June 2012


I did lots more downloads. The 7GB Keynote from Apple stalled in the night, and did not complete until around 8 a.m. Twenty six hours for the download of around 8GB. On the other hand, we were close to the end of the monthly ISP cycle, so I started downloading anything outstanding on our remaining quota.

That included updating any operating system or applications.


It was way too cool in the morning. I had to locate fleecy sweat pants and top for the early morning.

Lunch at the restaurant with Jean. A nice lamb mint pie.

Frank was there asking why a music CD did not automatically go into iTunes for him? Hanged if I know, at the moment. All I can really say is that it works for me, even on his iMac. I need to get him to do this, while I watch.

We collected extra eggs in the afternoon.

Packing Jean's Car

I packed Jean's car when we returned from getting eggs. I wanted to bring the big loud speakers and amplifier back from Airlie Beach. So I needed something to replace them. I decided on an set of AudioEngine 5+ powered monitor style speakers, and an AudioEngine S8 sub woofer. However the two boxes took up half the boot space.

I had four boxes of science fiction books (for which I now had equivalent eBooks) to give away. A half case of Pepperjack shiraz for my parties. The cooler with some stuff from the fridge. Jean's bag. Various other small boxes. It looked more like we were moving than anything else.

Friday 15 June 2012

Leaving Townsville

It was way too cold at Carlyle Gardens. Must have been down to around 180C inside the house, and around 120C outside. We were on our way shortly after six, in the dark. Despite this, residents were doing their morning walk, so we had to wave to a number of them.

There was a fair amount of construction work on the Bruce Highway, so we did not make great time. At Home Hill there was an incredible number of campervans and caravans at the very nice comfort station near the old railway. This area is a credit to Home Hill. I do hope the surrounding shopkeepers get some trade as a result. At seven thirty in the morning, the only thing I could think to buy was a copy of The Australian newspaper.

Jean took over the driving. We pulled in to Inkerman and ordered an egg and bacon on toast each. So by the time we were on the road again it was after nine. We kept encountering road construction crews. Better that the Bruce Highway be fixed than that it remains the most dangerous highway in Australia.

The Mount Gordon rest area just past Bowen was closed by a construction crew, so we continued on to Cannonvale.


We stopped at the BigW at Centro. Jean found the tea mugs she had been seeking, which was pretty good. I saw our garage level neighbour Ron in the Centro cafe area. I do not think Jean caught up with him. He had borrowed the brush cutter from the other Ron, and had at the shrubs around Florin terrace.

Woolworths was a disaster. I went in looking for milk, coke and corn chips. I emerged, thoroughly disgusted, with corn chips. Jean asked where was the milk? Opps! She found lots of stuff. All I had to do was pay for it.

We also remembered to get some fuel for Jean's car, half empty from the drive down.


Whitsunday Terraces

I saw Ron, and then the other Ron, both in the Florin car park. Lots of time spent unloading. Nine times up the two flights of steps with the boxes I needed to unload. Five lots of recycling to be returned to Townsville where they actually have recycling. I was stuffed by the time I had that done, and it was after one.

Hogs Breath Cafe

I accompanied Jean to Hogs Breath Cafe at four. I had forgotten to bring shoes (except the new slip on ones from Payless Shoes). Normally I wear sandals, but it was too cool. Usual slow cooked steaks. We both finally have Frequent Diner cards, so we get a 25% discount. At that time, we were the only occupants, which is a bit frightening for the tourist economy.


We slowly made our way home from Hogs Breath Cafe well before six o'clock. Level with Reception, we could see that the car parks for the next level or two had been washed. Well, washed is an understatement. There was flood debris all over. This had not been the case when we walked down Golden Orchid Drive around four.

I invited Jim over from a gin and tonic. He offered us a bucket of water (which we accepted). The water supply was off. The main water supply up Golden Orchid Drive had broken in a spectacular fashion. Hence the flooding.

A temporary feed was in place around seven. We partially filled a bath, and some more buckets. Obviously they will need to switch the water off again when they do their main repair, whenever that happens.

Gmail Fails

I wanted to send an email with an attachment for FLAP. However I do not have any of my POP3 accounts established on this portable (I collect email at Carlyle Gardens, where I have space to store it).

Time to use Gmail to send my 100K PDF. Google have totally changed the appearance (and functioning) of Gmail (and not for the better in my view). I could click on the option to send an attachment… but nothing happened. I bet it works in Chrome web browser, and Safari is a victim of the Apple Google wars.

I established Gmail as an account in Apple Mail, and sent my confounded attachment that way. Fuck you Google, and your poxy social networking sham Google+. No, I do not want to let you hijack my address list. No, I am not interested in using Chrome (except perhaps for those few sites that demand Flash).

Saturday 16 June 2012


I walked to the markets with Jean. To my surprise, she walked around and talked with some stall holders. She even bought a little brass ornamental telescope for her steampunk garb. Jean chatted with Glenn, Rex and Andy.

No luck finding things at the chemist. The newsagent was having problems with something that required a phone call, so we just collected the papers.

The weekend Reception folk know nothing about the water main failure, except what they can see from the street.


I heard a beep from the Belkin UPS. This is one of three we got cheap from Dick Smith. Belkin F6S600auUSB S/N H4311801800. It smells to me like the UPS has died.


Jean said the internet was off at 10:42 a.m. The Netgear DM111P ADSL modem was showing its red ADSL fail light. After a couple of minutes of sending traceroute I power sequenced the ADSL modem, and the internet connection came back. is our public IP number now.

Internet connection lost at 2:19 p.m. with a red ADSL fail light on the Netgear ADSL modem. The modem light turned green again while I was trying a traceroute, however the Internet connection did not come back immediately. It did however come back within about five minutes.

Internet connection lost at 8:35 p.m. with the Netgear ADSL modem showing the red ADSL fail light. I can not get a WiFi connection to the modem while the red ADSL light is on. Power sequenced ADSL modem at 8:40 p.m. is my public IP number.


I finally started doing something more than reading the newspapers. Started adding metadata to Star Trek The Next Generation. My DVDs for this are the series that came out as magazines from the U.K. I may have some issues in reverting them to seasons.

Jean told me to get pizza at around 4:30 p.m. The slow Domino's pizza iPhone application works well to a certain point. Since I use it so rarely, I never know what my email (I make a custom email address for every shop I deal with, for spam filtering), or my password are. Plus I can never find the section of the Domino's app that lets me include discount offers. This again is a function of rarely using the Domino app. I got quite annoyed at it. Had jean not been there, I could have deleted the pizza app and had a peanut butter sandwich instead.


There were fireworks from the Airlie Beach area just before nine tonight. A skyrocket display that started a little subdued, but had some nice rockets as it continued. The finale was very nice. I am not exactly sure what the celebration was tonight. I saw nothing in the local newspaper.

Sunday 17 June 2012


I was up in the dark at 5:20 a.m. No internet connection. The Netgear ADSL modem was showing a red ADSL connection failure light. I tried to wake up the connection with numeric ping and traceroute.

I was getting numeric pings through at 5:35 a.m. So the connection as up again without me doing a reboot of any of my equipment. So my equipment is probably not at fault. is now my public IP number. So Telstra dropped my IP number and replaced it. I am still deeply suspicious that a lot of the problems are a general shortage of IPv4 numbers at Telstra.

Big Pond internet connection lost at 7:43 a.m. with a red ADSL fault light. I started a numeric ping. About five minutes later the ADSL fault light went out. Ping worked, and so did a numeric traceroute. However we could not browse web pages.

Jim's connection was also out of action. Got 68% package loss from a numeric ping at 8:02 a.m. A numeric traceroute on to Google's domain servers was getting through at 8:04 a.m. However web pages do not come in at all. The ADSL modem claims it has had a connection for over 17 minutes. is my public IP address now. Note this changes each time the ADSL line drops out. Looks like Big Pond's domain name servers are not available on or since even Google is not reachable.

Jim's connection is up and working with as its public IP address. The problem is that Telstra's BigPond is a piece of shit.

The ADSL modem red fault light is on again at 8:15 a.m. Numeric pings fail. I am power sequencing the ADSL modem. I now have as my public I address. Numeric traceroute is working, however I could not connect to any web site until 8:21 a.m.

Telstra BigPond internet connection fails for web again at 8:32 a.m. Numeric traceroute to Google's public domain name server gets through slowly, and fails on a second try. My modem's ADSL fail light is red again.

Power sequenced my ADSL modem at 8:36 a.m. Numeric pings and traceroute working. Web access restored at 8:38 a.m. is now my public IP address.

Modem dropped out again at 8:40 a.m. Red ADSL fail light is on. Back again at 8:42 a.m. but is now my public IP address. Why is the IP address not retained longer than a minute or two? Modem dropped out again at 8:45 a.m.

Came back at 9 a.m. after a shower. ADSL modem light green. Numeric ping and traceroute working. is now my public IP number. Modem is attempting ADSL2+ A. My line attenuation is 25.8dB, and noise margin is a poor 6.6dB. Telstra might be running margins down to reduce overall line noise for everyone. Anyway, my web connection is back (for the moment).

At 11:05 a.m. my IP had changed. was my public IP number, and the modem was claiming to have been up for nine minutes. So there was at least one more Internet drop out I did not notice.

Internet dropped out again at 11:13 a.m. with a red ADSL fail light. Back again at 11:15 a.m. with as my public IP number.

I tweeted about these problems. Telstra say there is not fault being reported from the exchange. This is about what I expected. I had looked at fault reports from other times the internet access had failed. There was never any report of a failure from Telstra.

Internet went down sometime, and came back. is my replacement public IP number. Line attenuation is 26dB, noise margin 6.1dB.

Internet down at 9:24 p.m. Back again at 9:25 p.m. Down again at 9:26 p.m. Up again 9:28 p.m. is my new IP number.

Internet down at 10:10 p.m. Ping and traceroute. Internet back up at 10:15 p.m. is my new IP number.

Internet access Airlie Beach dropped twice at 10:21 p.m. Back spontaneously minutes later. is my new IP number.


I was awake around 4:30 a.m. Unable to get back to sleep, I got up at 5:20 a.m. and hid in the other room so as not to disturb Jean. But first I had to restart the internet connection, without disturbing Jean by fumbling in the dark.

We did a combined effort using both kitchens to make ham and eggs on toast for breakfast.

Jean ran and hid in the other room when I started watching Insiders public affairs on the ABC at 9 a.m.

We walked down the twelve flights of steps to the fish and chips shop on The Esplanade to collect lunch. Jean left when we ordered, and I rushed the meal up the steps when it was ready. Being bribed with lunch is one way jean tries to keep her walking going.

I moved stuff into Jean's car, including the big loud speakers. That took about four trips. Then watched Meet the Press, and The Bolt Report, while Jean hid. Managed to partially fill the interior. Forgot to have dinner. Jean hinted I should eat ice cream, someplace where she could not see me doing so. I took her advice.

Richard Torbay

Insiders public affairs show had State Independent member Richard Torbay as guest. The Nationals announced an agreement with Torbay to run for them against Tony Windsor in the electorate. Richard Torbay categorically denied he had been willing to join the Labor Party to become Premier in 2009. State MP Richard Torbay offered to rejoin the NSW ALP and challenge embattled premier Nathan Rees the following day, says Labor general secretary Sam Dastyari, who rejected the deal outright. Well, one of them is lying.

Recalling the filthy Labor campaign against Campbell Newman during the recent Queensland state election Anna Blight lost, I have to suspect NSW Labor is lying. The party have a lot of form, from the Prime Minister down. Not that either side of politics have clean hands.

In 2009, the Daily Telegraph story was Richard Torbay approached to join Labor and laughed at them. Now the Daily Telegraph takes the opposite approach. Newspaper beat up. No wonder the press is going down the tubes.

Enjoy Photography

Cameras should be convenient and easy, so you can more easily enjoy taking and sharing photographs. They are not! Digital cameras have been filmless versions of film cameras, and this is just silly unless you are an expert photographer. Photos are now shared via email and social networks, via web sites, and by passing around your tablet computer. Cameras with memory cards do not make this easier.

A modern camera should be featureless. That is, you should not be checking specifications. The manufacturer just needs to make it good enough to nearly always take technically great photos. As an aside, this means a large image sensor (well, maybe medium), not a small image sensor.

A modern camera produces 1080p or better movies by default, from which you may select photos to keep. By current still camera standards, that is not a high resolution. However on a viewing screen, you do not need vastly high resolution.

A modern camera should be filmless. No memory cards to fiddle with, or lose, or find hard to read without a computer. Sneaker nets are obsolete. WiFi is the future.

A modern camera should know where it is, and tell the photos. GPS is no longer difficult.

A modern camera should give you interactive hints about composing your photos for better results.

A modern camera should be entirely controlled by a touch screen. Especially selecting which areas to maintain in focus, and which areas to zoom in on. It should by default focus on faces, and where possible, identify who you are photographing.

A modern camera should synchronise its photos with the cloud, and with your selected computer, whenever it is in a recognised WiFi network. It should optionally put selected photos on social media such as Facebook, Twitter or any other places you like. It should easily drop photos on any network device that agrees to accept them.

A modern camera should automatically use high dynamic range (HDR), and easily stitch panoramas together. It should start filming before you need the photo, and stop after the action stops. The built in lighting should be infinitely variable in colour tone, as well as simply adjusting to light levels.

A modern camera should notify you if you do not keep it charged, and ready to use.

A modern camera may be somewhat larger and heavier than your phone. It should be sufficiently superior to the camera in your phone (especially in ultra zoom capacity) that you seriously consider taking it along whenever you are likely to encounter new scenery or interesting events.

Finance Sociopaths

Finance is an amoral world, bordering on the immoral

Monday 18 June 2012


My IP number stayed stable overnight, so the internet connection had not failed and restarted.

My internet access failed again at 2:44 p.m. Numeric pings and traceroute both failing. No modem indicators. Spontaneously restarted at 2:48 p.m with as my public IP number.

Internet failed again at 3:27 p.m. The red ADSL fail light is on the Netgear ADSL Modem. Checked the connections to the phone socket. Power sequenced the DSL modem. Internet came back.

Internet connection failed at 5:08 p.m. Red fail light on the ADSL modem. Pings and traceroute fails. Internet spontaneously back at 5:12 p.m. Now have as my public IP number.

Jean Leaves

I took the last of the material out to Jean's car, pretty much occupying all the empty spaces. That was another five trips. Much of the space was taking recyclable stuff back to Townsville to throw in the recycling bin there.

Jean left after breakfast, before eight. She iMessaged from Bowen around nine, from Home Hill around ten, and reached home after a diversion at midday.


I am continuing to enter metadata. Finally got the first pass done on Star Trek The Next Generation, Season One.

Needing some tangible evidence of progress (in the form of DVDs back on bookcases), I started metadata on the Andromeda DVDs. I can hope to have the whole series completed prior to leaving. Got about half through season one before the internet dropped. Finished season two by the end of the evening, which is better than expected.

Fairfax Pressed

I am not sure why journalists were not talking about it long ago. Facing long term falling revenue, Fairfax are going to get rid of 300 jobs within three months, and 1900 within three years. I imagine this will hit The Age and the Sydney Morning Herald. This must be about 20% of their staff. Fairfax need to drop costs, but just cost cutting can not save them. I am not convinced they have a reliable business model.

ABC No Problem

Fairfax mgmt spox @ SMH today, asked if paywall will be undermined by ABC: After next election, I don't think the ABC will be a problem. Nice Tweet from Colvinius.

Tuesday 19 June 2012


A small cruise ship is out in Pioneer Bay, so there will be a markets on the foreshore today. I dropped a box of books to Glenn, before having breakfast in town. Saw Alison there.

A second walk later, dropped two more boxes of books in with Glenn. Hogs Breath looked like it was reasonably busy when I took a walk there. So I used up the last of the ham and cheese on a bread roll.


I continued entering data for Andromeda, season three. A previous set of data from some one in tagChimp has an out by one problem, so I can not rely upon existing data. Pity about that, as only one data source seems available. Season four seems better, so I continued with that in the afternoon. I finished season five towards midnight. Going better than I expected, worse than I hoped. Metadata is always worse than I hope.


I had an internet dropout around 6:20 p.m. If not a dropout, a severe slowdown. I wonder what happened? is my public IP address now.

Microsoft Surface

After starting to promote tablet computers well over a decade ago, Microsoft finally got serious with the launch of two tablets. One an ARM based lightweight, the other an Intel i5 based Windows 8 computer. They both look surprisingly good. Two thin and neat keyboard covers (one touch, one with thin mechanical key switches), and a neat built in kickstand. Microsoft concentrated publicity on the Windows Surface tablet hardware, not the more important software. This has to be deliberate.

I think these tablets are aimed at Windows hardware manufacturers, not at retail customers. Microsoft are specifically saying that manufacturers must reach a certain minimum quality to play in the game. It will be interesting to see how this goes. Besides, the Apple iPad needs decent competition. At the moment, there is not much genuine competition.

Wednesday 20 June 2012


I was up at six, and able to watch a beautify sunrise.

I walked along the foreshore, five kilometres to Cannonvale Beach, and then inland to the Whitsunday shopping centre. Moderately successful shopping trip, and a taxi back home with the bags.

As well as adding metadata to H.264 rips, I watched the last of Caprica on DVD. Unpacked and set up substitute loud speakers. Measured power drain with Watts Clever. Downloaded the new Bento 4 for iPad (to enter the new data).


I started adding metadata to Babylon 5 season one this morning. This is also a DVD set of five seasons. However season 2 is incomplete, because many of the DVDs appear to be damaged. At least, they did not read correctly when I ripped them. So I skipped season two, and continued with season three.


This morning was my public IP address. No idea when or why this changed. I still hold to my belief that BigPond are running out of IPv4 addresses.

Mining News

If unions do not like the Sydney Mining Herald or The Diggers Age, they should buy their own newspaper. #Fairfax may be cheaper now.

Assange Asylum

In a bid to avoid extradition to Sweden for examination by Swedish prosecutor Marianne Ny, Wikileaks co-founder Julian Assange has sought political asylum with the Ecuador Embassy in London. Supporters may lose their substantial bail.

Assange is reported to fear subsequent extradition to the USA. Given the reaction of the Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard to the USA cable leaks, Assange's fear of Australian due process seems well founded. However USA does have extradition treaties with Australia, Ecuador, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

Murdoch Pressed

I have not been able to see how The Australia could make a profit. It seems Murdoch agree. News Limited have announced cost cuts. Nineteen east coast divisions to shrink to five in the next few years. Sounds like News Ltd will get rid of around 1000 staff over a period.

News Ltd have also just made a surprise but welcome two billion dollar takeover bid for James Packer's ConsMedia, itself a major stakeholder of Foxtel and Foxtel Sports.

Religious Intruction Goes from Schools

I am delighted that the High Court has found Federal funding of chaplains and religious instruction in public schools is unconstitutional. The case was brought by Toowoomba father Ron Williams, who wanted his children taught in a secular school.

The National School Chaplaincy Program (NSCP) was installed by John Howard's Conservative government October in 2006, as what became a $400 million electoral bribe to religion, a year before losing office. It was subsequently also supported by both Labor governments (with a modification that schools could theoretically use a non-religious student welfare worker). I wanted religion removed from secular schools, on the basis that teaching fantasy and myths is not a good use of school time. Mind you, religion works well for crowd control.

I wanted it rejected under Chapter V, Section 116 – Commonwealth not to legislate in respect of religion:

The Commonwealth shall not make any law for establishing any religion, or for imposing any religious observance, or for prohibiting the free exercise of any religion, and no religious test shall be required as a qualification for any office or public trust under the Commonwealth. However, I recognise that this was always an unlikely result.

Unfortunately, the High Court specifically said the funding of school chaplains did not breach constitutional protections for religious freedom. The court unanimously dismissed that part of the challenge, saying chaplains employed by Scripture Union Queensland did not hold office under the Commonwealth.

The majority of the court ruled that payments the Commonwealth made to Scripture Union Queensland were not supported by section 61 of the constitution, which defines executive power. Section 61 says the Commonwealth's executive power extends to the execution and maintenance of this constitution and of the laws of the Commonwealth. The court ruled that this did not empower the federal government to enter the funding agreement to make the payments.

This is a very important decision for accountability of the Federal government. No longer can the Federal executive simply dispose of largess without legislation, or outside of tied grants to states. It has many implications for state and council funding. In particular, I hope for a reduction of Federal usurping of State functions.

FantaSea Sinks

In a potential blow to tourism, award winning FantaSea Cruises are selling out to Cruise Whitsunday (who also do great trips to the Barrier Reef and tourist islands). Although around forty FantaSea staff will be employed by Cruise Whitsunday, it appears around eighty staff will not. Not a good look for the Whitsunday tourism scene.

iOS Contact Groups

I had to resend my party invitations. It seems likely the group invitation sent on Monday failed to get through (although the test email to me did). iOS Mail on my iPad inexplicably lacks a group mail capacity. So to bypass this lack, I made a new contact in Address Book. Then I added a comma separated list of my group email addresses as a single email address for the party group. That should work (and in fact did once, despite complaining). I have no idea why it is silently failing to send my email. Bloody annoying.

Thursday 21 June 2012


I lacked an internet connection at 6 a.m. Netgear ADSL modem was showing a red ADSL fail light. I power sequenced. Numeric traceroute struggling. Numeric ping fails. Power sequenced again, and finally got a connection around 6:15 a.m. is my public IP address.

Gateway IP Address, Primary DNS Server, Secondary DNS Server assigned by BigPond. Line attenuation 26.1dB, noise margin 6.2dB. Why is the noise margin so poor? Is Telstra deliberately holding noise margins low to reduce interference between lines, and maximise the number of working connections?

Internet drops out around 7:45 p.m. Modem ADSL fail light on. Power sequence and try again at 7:50 a.m. is my public IP number.

Internet drops out around 7:52 p.m. Numeric pings timing out. Traceroute lost. ADSL modem thinks it is still connected. Ping and traceroute back spontaneously at 7:55 p.m. is my new IP address. No idea why it dropped.

Internet dropped out at 8:06 p.m. ADSL modem fail light is now red. No idea why. Numeric ping and traceroute fail. I did a power sequence. Internet back at 8:16 p.m. Sort of. Looks like it is jammed again. Google is taking minutes to appear. is the new IP address. About 15% packet loss on pings.

Internet dropped out again at 9:18 p.m. Numeric pings and traceroute. Connection back at 9:24 p.m. is my new IP address.


I viewed the Bento database videos of what is new. Went through the DVDs to get a count for adding to the database, since the existing figures are incomplete.

Jim dropped in for a gin and tonic around six.


I found I had chapter details on hand for Babylon 5. So while entering the metadata, I retrofitted chapter titles for seasons four and five. Completed season five this evening. The incomplete season two looked too messy, so I ignored that for the moment.

Friday 22 June 2012


In the morning, my IP number had changed again. However the internet connection worked.

At 6:54 a.m. the internet connection was down. The modem's red ADSL fail light was on. Fail light off again at 7 a.m. after numeric traceroutes. Ping is showing 45% failed packets. My IP now, having changed yet again.

Internet out of action again at 8:41 a.m. Pings time out. Traceroute does not work. ADSL modem is not showing an error light, but there is no ADSL light at all. I have dial tone. Power sequenced the Netgear DM111P ADSL modem. Power sequenced at 8:52 a.m. No internet connection at all.

Power sequenced ADSL modem again, with a direct connection to my MacBook Pro. No modem ADSL light.

After changing connectors, several reboots, and so on, I connected my MacBook Air to a neighbour's WiFi (to look up the Big Pond technical support number).

I phoned BigPond technical support on 133 933 at 9:55 a.m. The voice recognition works pretty well, but I doubted I could cope with some aspects of trouble shooting that way. For example, the stupid NetGear will not let you connect to its internals via web browser unless it has an ADSL connection. At 9:57 a.m. I got through to Emily, one of their operators who I suspect was in the Philippines. Lots of modem power sequencing. Power sequenced my MacBook Pro. The Telstra exchange modem was also sequenced. Got my connection back at 10:20 a.m. Then I had to reboot the modem and the Time Capsule to reconnect the WiFi gear. All back by 10:30 a.m.

My IP number now. In two months, about my only phone call on new home phone was to #Telstra #BigPond tech support on 133 933 to get the ADSL1 connection running again. :-)

Internet connection fails again at 2:05 p.m. Pings timeout, so does traceroute. Back at 2:07 p.m. IMDB seem to be out of action. is my new IP number.


It was not cold in the morning, but this was due to cloud cover. I should have done the laundry yesterday, it seems. I finally got the laundry out by eight. Seems everything is late; the garbage truck came through then, instead of at seven.


I discovered which Babylon 5 episodes were actually commentary from the DVDs. During the morning, and after getting the internet working, I corrected the episode titles on the season two files. I found I had already ripped all of them, and did not need to run via the DVDs again.

I worked steadily on adding appropriate metadata to season two, including the chapter titles. Luckily the DVD sets have a nice brochure, which lists director, screenwriter, and has details of each chapter. So I have started adding the chapter titles to the earlier H.264 versions. I am not sure why I did not do that first time through.

Saturday 23 June 2012


I started the day early. At 1:51 a.m. the fire alarm went off in the Whitsunday Terraces complex, waking all the guests in six buildings. It too me a while to lurch down to Reception. Ron had the culprit spotted on the security camera footage. I hope the drunken idiot can be identified so he can be dragged off to court, and fined over $1600. Rose arrived just prior to the local fire brigade around 2:08 a.m. The fire brigade get antsy if the alarms are shut off prior to their arrival, even if it is a false alarm.

Eventually I managed to get to sleep again, but not easily. It was late when I awoke again, around 6:45 a.m. Did some more chapter titles on Babylon 5.

I walked to the markets. Chatted with the folks from the newsagency, who were selling stuff at markets. Encouraged them to get their AppleTV going. Talked with Glenn, Rex and others. Collected newspapers. iMessaged Jean.

Put out the loudspeakers.


I completed the Babylon 5 metadata for all seasons. Pulled out the Battlestar Galactica DVDs, and tried to make sense of them.

Whitsunday Terraces

I saw Ron and Joan and invited them to the party. Not that they often attend. Ron has done incredible work with the brush saw. He has cleared all around the vegetation he planted years ago below his unit. Now he is clearing alongside the building. You can only really see these improvements from balconies on the Eastern end.

There is an old irrigation pipe leading down into that area. Ron tells me it is broken at the bottom. If we could get a sprinkler head put on that, it might increase the pressure in the higher garden sprinklers. The ones below the laundry are pretty wimpy.


I seemed to be accumulating party folks, despite several people being away. Glenn and Alison arrived first, I think followed by Jonathan and Josie. I had hardly poured their drinks when Rex and Myra arrived. They were followed by David and Eva. So I got some extra chairs out (my normal party allocation is the sofa, two recliners, an office chair and two kitchen chairs). The four indestructible balcony chairs, along with cushions for them. Then the two folding chairs I got for overflows. I ordered pizza, but wanting to have leftovers, I ordered four pizza and four garlic breads.

Then Rose and Chad arrived, with the two children. Also Tom, Chad's father, who seemed somewhat bemused by all this. I had failed to check the email late, as Chad had warned me. So that made fourteen. I put out some bowls of corn chips, and (after asking if anyone was allergic) some nuts. Takes note that I need more orange juice on hand, as well as bottled water. Plus some Strongbow cider for Rose.

Sunday 24 June 2012


I was up early, despite having had a glass or two too much champagne last night. Discovered there was a mostly full bottle still sitting in the fridge. Luckily I have champagne sealers, and everyone at my parties seems to know how to use them.

Jonathan visited, to tell me of more books. He also wanted to know sources of books. I suggested as a book search engine.

Glenn visited, to pick up his missing van keys. I had discovered them in the depths of an armchair, and emailed the party goers late last night.


I was able to identify all the mysterious episode rips of the Battlestar Galactica DVDs. Checking the actual DVDs is an exercise in frustration. The episodes have lead ins that continue for seven or eight minutes, without ever listing the confounded episode titles. The boxes have the names of each episode, so eventually you can get them straightened out.

During the afternoon and evening, I was able to add metadata for seasons one and two of Battlestar Galactica.

Bob Carr Idiot

Bob Carr is an idiot about Assange.

Monday 25 June 2012


It is a damp and cool (200C) morning, and thoroughly miserable. I was up before five, continuing to enter metadata, hoping dawn would make the world look better. It did not.

Jean wanted some Australian flag temporary tattoos. Luckily when I went searching, the news agency had some.

My Apple MacBook Air Command left and command right keys have failed again. Why don't Apple fix this bug?


I am adding metadata to season three of Battlestar Galactica this morning. I completed that fairly early, and continued on to season four. Since I had that completed by evening, I also added metadata to the short Firefly series. I still have a large box of DVDs to go through.


My internet connection disconnected (red ADSL fail light) at 9:58 a.m. It came back at 9:59 a.m. after I pounded it with some pings.

Internet failed again at 12:17 p.m. A red ADSL internet fail light. Pounded it with pings. It came back at 12:19 p.m. is my new public IP address.

I noticed my internet connection was lost again at 5:50 p.m. The red ADSL modem internet access light was on. I started pushing out numeric pings (all failed), and numeric traceroute. Connection came back at 5:59 p.m. is my new public IP address.

Tuesday 26 June 2012


I was awake unfortunately early, with almost everything ready for an immediate departure. Not much of use on hand for breakfast, so I had a drink of milk and cleaned out the bottle for later recycling. Had I realised how early I would be up, I would have attempted to do more metadata. Collected and attended to a little email, and downloaded heaps to read on the trip.

There was another cruise liner in the bay, so the Airlie Beach markets were being set up. I passed Dave setting up at the markets. Chatted with Glenn, before wandering off for the seven a.m. Greyhound bus to Townsville and Cairns. Which did not arrive. I saw several people at the markets for the next ninety minutes. The bus finally arrived more than an hour and a half late.

It seems the bus lost power approaching Mackay. The mechanic could not duplicate the symptoms. So it set off again, and again lost power. Eventually a formerly impossible replacement bus was produced, and that set off late. It seems there is a good collection of Greyhound buses in Mackay to tend to the drive in drive out mining trade.

An uneventful five hour bus trip. A shortened stop at the usual breakfast roadhouse. All I bought was The Australian. We reached Townsville after one p.m. still and hour and a half behind schedule.


I was collected by Jean soon after arrival. We headed for Sizzler for a late lunch. The Seniors discount we get makes Sizzler meals reasonably attractive. The restaurant was emptying out, so we were not particularly disturbed by the school holiday influx of families with children.

Jean had her usual salad bar, I had a rump steak, and Jean as usual had a piece of my steak. It was a little tougher than usual, but certainly acceptable. I had a glass of wine, which Jean sipped also. She was driving. The waitress gave us a nice little plate of the mint chocolates as we left.

Carlyle Gardens

Too late to see anyone at Carlyle Gardens, but they would soon enough start noticing I was back. Taking care of routine stuff like physical mail occupied the rest of the day. I was tired from the early start, and did not work efficiently.


Infonite from the Carlyle Gardens Computer Club. Bob from Carlyle was going to have his brother in law demonstrate Snapfish. When Bob bil could not attend, Laurie filled in, and included a nice explanation sheet for attendees.

Snapfish is an easy to use online photo album program. You can easily turn your photos into a photobook. The prices are also reasonable.

Wednesday 27 June 2012

Early Morning

I had the usual morning rush that happens when I return. Several hundred emails poured in when I started the computer.


I had to see Frank for 90 minutes to assist him in learing how to deal with his iMac. I am hoping that there will gradually be a network of Apple users in Carlyle gardens who can mutually assist each other. That is one reason I am encouraging people to write their own tutorials on how to do the thing they learn.

Lunch at the restaurant, featuring a new pork roast Allan had just completed. They told me their dog had gone completely blind. They were both upset by this unexpected setback.

Rest of Day

I had to rush back from lunch so I could go with Jean to the medical centre. I was the designated driver to get her home again. The half hour appointment took much longer. I sat and read the news on my iPad.

Off to the bar for the Wednesday afternoon swill. Clive caught me while I was walking there. I had not realised he was back. He wants a lesson on using an iPad sometime. I think this would be a great idea. I have long suspected the iPad is a much better match than a desktop for what many village inhabitants do with their computers.

Saw the folks at the bar. Spent too much time. Jean had eaten the left over pork from lunch by the time I left. I continued to work on the Bento database until way too late.

Thursday 28 June 2012


I worked on the revised Bento database, getting numbers of DVDs corrected. It turned out there were over a thousand to be entered. So that blew much of the day.

We did go to Willows (late). Jean had found extra loyalty card points available if I bought from certain departments at BigW, so I got a couple of books by right wing politicians from my trending list. Former Prime Minister John Howard's autobiography Lazarus Rising, and Bob Katter's An Incredible Race of People, his passionate history of Australia.

Social Life

I had lunch with Jean at the restaurant, to escape the database work. I knew they had pork available, which Jean enjoys. I had not realised hanna's Yoga group were doing lunch (I thought they were doing a morning tea). Geoff and Margaret were there. Geoff asked for help with his MacBook, so I arranged to see him on Friday.


I completed my first pass at the Bento database work, at least for the DVD material.

Friday 29 June 2012


I was awake around three, unable to sleep. Jean and I were both puttering around our respective offices by about four. I worked on completing ten pages for FAPA. With a FAPA deadline coming soon, I AirDropped the PDF on Jean's MacBook, since she had a laser printer for doing a master.

A little after five I started the washing machine, with the result that we put laundry out around seven. Despite this, we were not out of the place until well after eight.

First stop was at the fuelling station. Then to the copy shop. We were a little early, as they do not open until 8:45 a.m. I got my 38 copies of FAPA copied by around nine.

Last stop was the travel agent. Jean had selected a river cruise, and knew the approximate dates air travel would be needed to fit around the conference. Very little extra work except to get the prices settled. However the flight deals were ending at the end of the month, and Monday is a local holiday (Show Day). So instead of just paying a deposit, we had to pay all the airfares as well. In the end it was easier to put that on my credit card.

Macintosh Training

I was dropped off at Geoff's place. In between many interruptions (during which I chatted with Margaret), I tried to help him learn a little about using the Macintosh computer. Since he is so familiar with Windows, there were some issues with how different items worked. I guess we will get together again when I am next here.

It was well into lunch time by the time that was all done. I went to lunch with Geoff and Margaret, and continued to chat about using the Mac. John and Ray were still there just finishing lunch, but none of the other usuals were there. Blue turned up briefly mid lunch, looking very battered from his unfortunate fall. I had the expensive rack of lamb, as I simply can not resist lamb. I still think Allan does a slightly better rack of lamb than any of his chefs.


One item of mail was a hand written letter from the Jehovah's Witnesses. This is private property, and Reception would hardly give permission for a letter drop. So that means to get a letter delivered, they had to trespass. We walked over to Liz at Reception to bring this to their attention. I would like to see a formal protest letter issued on letterhead in cases like this. The entry signs are clear that entry is for residents only.

The letter gave us an excuse for Jean to take another two kilometre walk. Had a nice chat with Leigh and Jo-ann, mostly about Jean's trip plans.

I was reduced to bread and water for dinner, until Jean pointed out I could have honey on my left over bread roll from lunch, and gave me a glass of wine. She must have been tired, as she retired very early.

Saturday 30 June 2012


I do not like the sun appearing late, shrouded in clouds. I started downloads operating, to take advantage of off peak internet rates. It must have been well after six before I started the washing machine working on the load we had put in last night.

I had started a download of Paperless

We went off for our morning walk a little late, and covered our usual two kilometres around Carlyle Gardens.

Off to Willows, but only for newspapers and a chicken to help supplement the food over the weekend. We were late there, and parking and the shops were fairly crowded. The chocolate shop had none of my favourite Darrell Lea chocolates.

Jean decided she could manage another walk around Carlyle Gardens around five p.m. We did the two kilometres plus at a reasonable pace, considering it was her second walk for the day.

NBN by mid 2015

By mid-2015, 3.5 million Australian homes, businesses and schools will be connected to the federal government's high-speed national broadband network (NBN).

The Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, announced in March that the fibre-optic network delivering high speed internet would be connected, or in the process of being connected in the next three years, to:

1 million premises in NSW, 700,000 premises in Victoria, 430,000 premises in Western Australia, 330,000 premises in South Australia, 65,000 premises in the Northern Territory, 200,000 premises in Tasmania, 678,000 premises in Queensland, 135,300 in the ACT.

I am betting that by mid 2015 NBN will be connected to one million homes on the Australian mainland. It will be interesting to see how close NBN is, vs me.

Solar Panel Output

The solar power output figures last month (May 2012) showed it generated 2858kWh over 8460 hours. The figures for June are 2948kWh over 8782 hours. So the total hours operating in the 30 days of June 2012 were 322 hours, during which it generated 90kWh. About 3kWh per day, or 279 Watts per operating hour. This is a nominal 1 kW panel, operating under cloud and rain for most of the month.

The actual electricity meter in June showed Tariff 11 at 3564kWh purchased, Tariff 33 at 3181kWh, and the export of power from the solar panel at 1145kWh since installed. I had imported 3105 kWh on E1, exported 1022 kWh on E1/E2, and imported 3081 kWh on E2 as at the end of March 2012. So the electricity meter shows consumption in three months as 559kWh on Tariff 11, 100kWh on Tariff 33 (for air conditioning and hot water), and exported 123kWh of solar power. This is pretty close to the meter readings.

The electricity accounts for the quarter show the solar panels provided 132 kWh electricity feed in 96 days to 3 July 2012. At 44 cents, this provided a $58.08 solar feed rebate on our electricity bills.

Interestingly we are listed as being on Feeder DG-11PC from 11KV Dan Gleeson No 11 FDR PC. I do not believe this is correct. I am sure this area of Carlyle Gardens is fed from the Rasmussen sub station.

Home and Away

AB 14, CG 10, T 6

Eric Lindsay's Blog June 2012