Eric Lindsay's Blog February 2013

Friday 1 February 2013

To Airlie Beach

I woke up early, and after a short while decided I might as well finish packing the car. Cleaned the fridge out into the cooler I had left next to it last night. Put the last box or two in the boot. I was on the road at 4:30 a.m. with the car thermometer showing it was still 30°C.

Non-stop drive, however the temperatures inland a bit dropped off to 26°C, and I was able to switch off the air conditioning. The flood signs said the Bruce Highway was open at least as far as Mackay, as I expected. I was at Bowen by seven, stuck behind a slow moving tractor for a while. Jean's car certainly makes vroom vroom noises when you gun it.

It was too early for the shops to be open when I arrived at Cannonvale. I went to Bunnings Hardware, since they open at 6:30 a.m. Collected three 2.4 metre lengths of 190mm X 19mm DAR radiata pine for making a wider bookcase to hold the autographed books. I need ten shelves, and can only get nine of 750mm from these. However I may have another length somewhere. Bit hard fitting them in the already full car.

Bunnings also had one of those fancy curved stand reading lamps for under $100. I have been having no end of trouble trying to find a decent reading lamp, so I decided I should try it. The box was a bit battered, but the staff know me so a return should be easy, if needed.

It took me five or maybe six trips up the stairs to unload the car, and I felt way too much like a juggler on some trips.

I unloaded the cooler into the 210 litre fridge. Something like fitting a quart in a pint pot. Sort of managed to close the door. Pretty much sick of the fridge by then.


I should have had some cereal for breakfast, but I had not had much dinner, and was hungry. So I went to Maccas (bad boy) and had a bacon and egg. Where are the crowds? The street seemed empty, apart from all the hard hats as the whole main street gets reconstructed. What a mess!

That way I also got to read the Courier Mail. Floods and politics. Not sure which is worse. Julia had a great first day to her election campaign, with former Labor man Craig Thomson arrested at his Electoral Office. Not good judgement supporting him so hard. Especially after Labor supporting (and then ratting on) their former leaders Mark Latham and Kevin Rudd. Not that the LNP can brag much, with their shoplifting (I told you I was sick) Senator Mary Jo Fisher.

Caught up with Rose at Reception. Nothing much to report there. Jasmine is swimming like a fish, despite hardly being old enough to walk. Saw Wal getting through the groundsman work at a great pace. The humid weather did not seem to slow him. It slowed me walking up the hill, but at only 30°C it is a much more pleasant climate here than inland at Carlyle Gardens.


I had an iMessage from Jean while I had breakfast. She has WiFi access at Doug's. She seems OK except the house is cold (by our tropical standards, almost everything is cold). Also she can not find anyplace within WiFi range that is comfortable (we tend to like our Jason recliners, so we are pretty spoiled). She found some places to get food, one of which turns out to be politically incorrect.


I assembled my new standing lamp I got from Bunnings. Installed a nice high capacity EST LED lamp I had bought from Jaycar. It looks like it will do the job well for reading. I look forward to testing it tonight. (The lamp worked really well.)

Disassembled several binders of the old Classical Collection magazines, by pulling out the staples. Tough on the fingernails. These magazines are going in a large box, so that I can eventually have them cut along the seam at OfficeWorks, ready for later scanning.

MacBook Air Battery Life

I seem to get less than two hours from my MacBook Air battery. I was running out of power after about two hours. That sucks.

National Broadband Network Costs

A very sensible article on NBN costs relative to population density, by Richard Chirgwin, on an ABC web site. It explains why rural Australia will never have high speed broadband.

Saturday 2 February 2013


I was awake, for very small values of awake, before six. Hardly anyone seemed to be at the markets. At least half the spots seemed empty. Had breakfast at Maccas again, and read a paper. Must stop doing that, as I have plenty of eggs on hand.

Hard Drive

I was not able to access my new 4TB USB3 Western Digital hard drive via my Thunderbolt monitor. Disk Utility refuses to accept there is a hard drive out there. Why?

I was able to find the WD 4TB drive when I connected it directly to my MacBook Air USB 2 port. Some sort of compatibility issue between Thunderbolt and USB2/3 detection? Some sort of reset issue with the Thunderbolt monitor USB hub? I remain totally unimpressed by all aspects of USB, except its low price.

Not having USB 3 on any of my computers means file transfers are as slow as USB 2. I imagine backing up my photos and movies will take a day or so. I had the photos completed (I hope) by four o'clock. So I started the movies transferring. It says about 13 hours.

iOS 6.1 Update

I can not connect to my iPhone via iTunes from the Thunderbolt monitor USB port. There does not even seem to be power on the USB port. So I tried connecting direct to one of the scarce USB ports on the MacBook Air. No sign that iTunes can see my iPhone.

Tried again from completely disconnected. This time I got a connection. I thought I may have had a dud connection cable.

An 895MB download of iOS 6.1 started. I wanted to wait until it had been out for a few days. I also wanted to do it from the Whitsunday Terraces. My download speeds here are way higher than at Carlyle Gardens.

Next I started the download for my iPad 3. That was 1.1GB! These downloads are starting to be a serious constrain for anyone without a large download limit. Luckily I have 50GB a month here.

The iPad mini download was 819MB, which at least was a little less. All the downloads and updates were completed by four o'clock.

Wireless Mouse

I am not seeing my Apple wireless Bluetooth mouse on my Thunderbolt monitor connected 11 inch MacBook Air. After it connected, it kept dropping out repeatedly. Why is Apple Bluetooth for a mouse such a steaming pile of shit?

The same thing was happening with a different Apple Bluetooth mouse (which I replaced because of this problem) on my 2010 Mac mini, in a different location. So it is not a problem with one mouse, it is not a problem with one computer, and it is not location based either.


A very ensmalled party tonight, but most enjoyable for being small. I had put the air conditioning on, because it was just an exhaustingly humid day. This seemed well received. I even received presents.

Kurt and Ingrid arrived early. I had not had a chance to chat with them for ages. Rex and Myra had phoned to say they would be a little late, after a day on the water.

Chad and his girls Ellen and Jasmin came somewhat later. Rose was at home still studying, so it got the energetic young ladies out of her hair for a while. I think this is the first time I have seen them both collapsed so thoroughly towards the end of the evening.

I put out the last of the rubbish before ten p.m. and collapsed not long after.

Internet Risks to Computers

A report that security risks are higher than users expect even at apparently legitimate web sites. Most users now understand (surely) that there are risks to their computer security if using torrent and illegitimate download sites, or even porn sites. However regular sites provide more risks than most people understand. Malicious advertisements are more prevalent every year. This is one reason I believe you should block all online advertising.

CISCO's annual security report says online advertisements are 182 times more likely to deliver malicious content than pornographic sites. In addition, Android malware grows 2577% over 2012; mobile only makes up 0.5% of total web malware encounters.

Population Problem

High population growth a seed to rising unrest. An opinion piece by Roger Howard in The Age. Violence can be linked to extreme rates in undeveloped nations. I agree totally.

Personally I will not donate money overseas via any organisation that is not also providing and encouraging population reduction facilities, such as condoms, and other birth control measures. I think organisations like the Roman Catholic church that oppose population control are traitors to the world.

Human beings are the pond scum on the face of the earth. No species can long survive when its environment is full of its own excrement. The only question remaining is just how close is the earth to a catastrophic population crash for humans, and an massive extinction event for many other species.

Capital Strike

Australia is in the middle of a capital strike. Continued (but declining) mining investment does not make that as visible. However general business is busy either reducing debt, or contemplating returning funds to shareholders. In general, they are not building new facilities. Why should they, when consumer demand is also low as consumers deleverage?

Insane Australian Housing Prices

A large price to rent ratio on Australia housing is one indicator of a housing bubble, says Philip Soos. Rental returns have been negative since 2000. See also Reserve Bank data (graph 3.6) indicating 60 per cent of investor and 25 per cent of owner-occupier mortgages are interest-only loans.

Sunday 3 February 2013


I was awake around four. Tried to ignore this inconvenient fact for a while, and then got up. It is still about 26°C outside, and humid. No air movement.

I went for a walk around seven. Alas, the Moves app did not detect anything. I guess iOS decided to remove it from the active apps list. So I obviously need to re-open Moves before activity, just in case. Runkeeper said I had done a couple of kilometres.

There were three conspicuous damaged boats drive up on the foreshore from the weather last week. Plus destroyed wreckage. I took photos with my phone camera, but really need an ultrazoom camera for some of them.

Collected the Sunday Mail at the newsagency on the way home.

My sandals have been falling apart. I found I had some superglue on hand, so I stuck pieces of the sole back together. Used the bookcases as weights.

Insiders public affairs program was back at 9 a.m. on the ABC. Alan Kohler's Business Insider followed it. Good to see these back on air, after the dead holiday silly season.

Hard Drive

I found that my 1.5TB movie file backup to the new 4TB drive was almost complete.


I have so many tabs open in Safari that the list runs off the bottom of my 27 inch monitor! Better read some of them.

Scanner Asleep

I could not wake up my scanner. Found the power pack and switch on power. Could still not wake up my scanner. This appears to be related to the USB problem with the hard drives. I need to empty the queue in Safari, disconnect the drive, and then reboot. Grump.

I have also noticed that I am not getting any sound out of the Thunderbolt monitor. It should play whatever the computer is playing.

Pulp Cover Art

A truly awesome Pulp-O-Mizer pulp magazine cover art generator, by Bradley W. Schenck. This is amazing!

C - the movie.


I had a visitor. Pete dropped in during the afternoon to have a glass of wine and natter. He is still having web site problems, or so it seems.

Regulation Shit

Queensland has 72,500 pages of regulations. So we will never run out of toilet paper.

Monday 4 February 2013


I was up early working on more scanning on the computer. I left my walk a little later than I should. I wanted to get photos of the various shipwrecked boats along the foreshore, so I needed the sun a bit higher than early light.

After I took my photographs of boats I stopped in at the news agency and got even more newspapers. Then the walk up the hill. I still miss the steps.

Wal was doing a great job around the grounds. The grounds look much more tidy, and there are many garden improvements.

Straight off to Coles. A delay with the construction on the road meant it took about a quarter hour to drive to the shops. Coles, where I could never find the items on my restock list. I did find Dick Smith peanut butter, which is Australian made. It seems Sanitarian (my previous brand) is now from New Zealand. Finally found pretty much everything, but it took a long time. I was not back home until nine.

Jean started messaging about when I returned. She seems to be having a good time in Seattle at Potlatch.

In the evening I managed to discourage four different Asian kitchen geckos. At least, they leapt off the building instead of facing me.


I continued scanning the magazine articles that I was writing in the 1980's. There were more articles than I recalled, over 50 paid articles. A lot of regular columns for Applied Technology's MicroBee magazine Online. More than I recalled for Your Computer. At least one of two in Electronics Australia International (ETI paid well). At least one in 80 Microcomputer, which paid US$110.

V3 Solar

A new V3 Solar animation showing their spinning cone solar generator. Looks neat.

Tuesday 5 February 2013


I was up around five. Tried to catch up on items on the computer. However I want to take an early walk. Instead I took a moderately late walk past Port Of Airlie.

The new bus shelter is about a hundred metres past the Boathouse Apartments. Not a particularly convenient location, so backpackers will need to walk further to town.

Laundry in about 20 seconds ahead of a sudden rain squall. However I can probably find sufficient other things to run another load sometime this week.

My OfficeWorks order is ready for collection. Pity it is 300 km away.


I completed scanning the old proofs from my now ancient computer book during the morning.

Finally got the last of hundreds of staples out of the various magazines I want to have cut to suit the scanner. However I need to take these to OficeWorks at Townsville to get them cut.

Phone Scam

I had a phone call from those scamming Indian arseholes who try to convince people to pay money to fix faults in their computer. This is the first phone call of this week. I really do not need a voice phone. I just need a line that lets me access the internet in bulk. My 3G connection can be quicker, but I can not afford large downloads on cellular connections.


I lost the Internet connection around 9 p.m. A red light on the ADSL modem. When I looked a half hour later I had a green light. A ping indicated the Internet was back.

Magdalene Laundries

I see sexual abuse in Catholic Magdalene laundries in Ireland. Those places were in Australia as well.

Police Shooting

A police shooting in a Cleveland school yard kills two innocent unarmed victims. It turns out the police were shooting at each other. This sort of shit is what a gun culture brings you. If people may be armed, police assume they are armed. The real story is that you do not need to be armed on a day to day basis, especially in urban areas.

Wednesday 6 February 2013


I was late up, not getting moving until almost six. Went for a late walk, so the sun was too hot. I did manage 3.8 km.

A quick poached egg on toast, plus a few messages to Jean in Seattle.

Off to Centro. Checked with the CD and DVD store, and eventually bought StarGate Universe. Dollars and Sense for some tools, like a cheap utility knife, mostly for cutting pages from magazines. It worked real well.

Harvey Norman furniture was mostly empty, thanks to flooded roads preventing a resupply. Got their last three slow selling white cube lamps for half price. These are plain white plastic around 30 centimetres on each side. I plan to install colour changing bulbs so I can use them as mood lights.

Started filing edges of the new bookshelves, so they are not too sharp. I brought sandpaper with me, and bought a couple of sanding blocks. I hate to contemplate putting Estapol on them. Too much work. At these temperatures, it will dry way too fast. Maybe bare wood will suffice? I asked Jean, and she said Estapol them. Grump!


I lost my internet connection around 8:15 a.m. The ADSL modem is still showing a green for an internet connection. Numeric ping fails.

When I returned from Centro at 11:45 a.m. the internet connection was working again. I had changed nothing. I know nothing.


I used the new utility knife to start slicing apart all the music magazines. It has taken me a whole afternoon to do half of them, very much as an aside from everything else I am doing.

Fairfax Abandoned

I note long time reporter Michelle Grattan is leaving Fairfax's The Age. I wonder who else will get out before Fairfax crashes?

Objective C Tutorial

An Objective C tutorial online.

No Gay Marriage

In an article by Suzanne Venker, Fox News says we must admit women and men aren't equal. What made this article particularly delicious is the photo, showing Lela Mc Arthur and Stephanie Figarelle the first same sex couple to be married on top of the Empire State Building.

Thursday 7 February 2013


I was awake real early, since the phone showed me a tweet linked to me. Worked on the computer from about five. Coolish night, by tropical wet season standards.

I started the laundry, and then went for my walk at 6:30 a.m. Visited bakery. Visited news agency, and collected far too many papers.

At Brumbys bread shop, I still could not get the bread I wanted. Got a bread roll instead. I need a very small bread making machine. Something that would do a 400 gram loaf, in an ensmalled form factor to fit in my sandwich press. If stores are not going to make what I want, I am not going to buy what they make. Get used to it.

The sky was overcast. I brought some drying racks inside from the balcony just as the rain came storming in the open doors. Hung the laundry up inside. decided I would skip any shopping trips today. Roads too dangerous, with these sudden storms to distract drivers.

I did some more rounding the edges of my shelves. I must clean up the hand files. I think I have a steel brush somewhere.

Tweeted a photograph of my new colour change lamp. The conversion seemed to work well. Took a one minute movie of the lamp going through its cycle of 758 colour changes. I need to ensure I have a tripod on hand for that sort of photo.


I completed the scanning of the music magazines by late afternoon. Sure took a long while. A total of over 1.5GB of PDFs, since they were all high quality colour PDFs. Very few feed issues. The Fujitsu SnapScan 1500M scanner is great.

Drugs in Australian Sport

I am shocked, shocked to discover drugging is going on in here.

Hidden Drone Base

I see the New York Times hid a drone base from US citizens, because it might have compromised the use of drones. Some oversight.

Government Kills Citizens

A brilliant example of The Onion nailing it yet again. American Citizens Split On DOJ Memo Authorizing Government To Kill Them. Time for an American Spring. Put Homeland Security back in a box.

Friday 8 February 2013


I woke up with a hangover around five. However given I have not had any alcohol to drink since Monday, it can not actually be a hangover. Something else is causing the headache issue. I am wondering if it might be chocolate?

I went for a walk, once the rain showers seemed to have ceased. Not nearly as long a walk as usual. Bought bread (not the variety I wanted) at Brumbys. They also had apple pies. Collected newspapers. Chased Kiwi, when I found his keys on the counter. I bet I misplace keys more often than he does. Walked back home.

After breakfast, once the rain stopped again, I drove off. Bunnings had pot black oven paint, and the water and UV proof silicon building adhesive I wanted. Found some cheap metal curtain rods that may work as a superstructure. Even found some rubber feet for the stainless steel clothes line (the old ones had fallen apart from the sun). Got a few more Mort Bay E27-A 5 Watt LED colour change globes, since I am too impatient to wait until I can bring some from Townsville.

Forgot I wanted the missing issues of the Whitsunday Times, but recovered at the next driveway and returned to their office. They were very helpful and produced the missing issues the news agency had not held for me. Neil will be pleased.

Off to the Jubilee Pocket shopping centre. Every single shop upstairs is closed. They are all empty. I guess I better check the phone books. One of the downstairs shops is also closed. I also checked the IGA, and could find nothing I wanted.

Just broke the second drinking glass in a week. In each case, while cleaning, not while using the glasses. I think I better check the stocks of glasses. I had better also check the floor again, since glass went everywhere. Even after brushing up debris three times, I still managed to cut my foot on some missed glass shards.

I constructed another two colour change cube lamps. I think they look good. The colour change remote control works through the white translucent lamp surround.


I scanned some of the 27 or so pages of members 1-300 spreadsheets from FAPA. They seemed a good test run. There seem to be minor issues, but they are readable in Numbers. No actual numeric errors noticed.

Garbage Reminder

I got most of the minor mechanical work done on the box for the garbage reminder kit. I hand drilled the holes, however a 3mm drill bit is insufficient for push buttons (3.5mm) or LED mounts (3.2mm). However it would look untidy if I do really large holes, so I want to proceed cautiously. I also had to remove material from the plastic mounting posts. I used a Dremel tool for that.

Alas, the Jaycar kit did not contain any headers for the program jumpers. I think there are some of these in my junk box at Carlyle Gardens. I guess I will take the device back there. The microprocessor seems to be operating. It cycled through all the lights when I powered it up with a button cell.

Copyright Law

Hollywood anti-piracy arseholes can get stuffed.

Saturday 9 February 2013


I was late up, after 5:30 a.m. It is a very humid day, but the clouds are not covering the sky. I suspect the local markets will be exceedingly limited this morning.

The humidity made the markets a horror. Not that anyone much was present. I had a bit of a chat with Rex. Myra has already headed off to help flood victims down south. Rex may follow.


First week of exercises. Never before, in the course of human history, have so many muscles protested for so long, about so little effort.

Second Hand eBooks

An article by self published author Suw Charman-Anderson on on Amazon patenting second hand eBooks. Sensible discussion. Her conclusion is publishers and authors need to go to direct sales, and stay the hell out of Amazon.

Garbage TV

I watched the last DVD of Terra Nova last night, since nothing worthwhile was on TV. Thus abundantly illustrating how absolutely pathetic Saturday night TV is in country Australia. Not to mention repeats on multiple digital channels. Myriad cooking shows are the last thing that is needed in a country full of fat people.

Why are these media companies even awarded the TV frequencies? Bandwidth could be sold by auction for something people actually want, like cellular phone use.

One line web browser notepad

One line web browser notepad. I saw this reminder of data URIs from Jose Jesus Perez Aguinaga in Coderwall. Cute trick, which I should have remembered.

data:text/html, <html contenteditable>

Sunday 10 February 2013


I was up before six. A totally overcast morning. Feeling absolutely wrecked. I lurched out to the news agency and got the newspaper, the Sunday Mail. What an utter waste of time. I really need to stop bothering buying newspapers. Bad news on the doorstep is no inducement.

As usual, I watched the current affairs shows Insiders, and Inside Business, on the ABC.

Building gadgets today. Going through the accumulated email and web sites on my reading list.

Web Server in a Box

I completed soldering the Web Server in a Box kit that has been cluttering up this place. Did the rest of the assembly into the box. This is mostly getting holes into the case in the right spot for the screws to hold items in place. Sigh. Alas, I failed to notice the top cover already had silk screened indicators for the power and Ethernet cable. It had a polarised mount to the bottom cover, so everything had to be oriented the other way. I had to redo my holes in the bottom of the case.

America To Declare War on Australia

I knew it would happen. Is It Time To Declare War on Australia? This is probably why the USA does not want to sell Australia the nuclear attack submarines we so urgently need to replace the Collins class.

Easy 6502

An awesome introduction to using 6502 assembler language, complete with Javascript emulator, by Nick Morgan. My, that brings back memories.

Hints CSS

A tooltip library in CSS by Kushagra Gour, which looks very handy.


I had a great dinner. Pete and Dawn had invited me over. Pete collected me at six. Had a chat over a bottle of wine. Then Dawn revealed lamb shanks! With potato and peas. Wow, that is possibly my favourite meal. Fruit and ice cream long after (we were full).

Replete, and some more conversation until the taxi arrived to take me home. That was great.

Monday 11 February 2013


I was up late, almost six, after being out at dinner. Found I had forgotten to have my evening tablets.

Off to Bunnings, where I took down the dimensions of a bunch of their wood. I hope I can come up with a plan of how to do the cupboard and desk.

Found Conway House, and Bob's office. I ended up parking at the shopping centre, for lack of a better idea. Dropped in envelope for Jean, finally.

Pile driving at the Port of Airlie Marina. Just wonderful. So far it seems to be one isolated pile, but the barge has taken most of yesterday to get positioned, and has been slowly pounding away for much of the morning. Meanwhile, the tree loppers are feeding everything they cut from the council road divider through a noisy shredder.

I think I will start packing.

Apple TV

I updated the operating system in the AppleTV, since I was getting good internet speed.


A wonderful account of Galileo and his telescopic discoveries by Adam Gopnik in The New Yorker.

Tuesday 12 February 2013

Leave Airlie Beach

I left Airlie Beach just after four, after waking up even earlier. I was short of fuel, and had to refill at the Coles Express at Bowen around 5 a.m. I had a 15c off coupon to reduce their eye watering prices.

At Home Hill at six, I accidentally discovered the bakery (down the side street, around the corner) was open. They have very nice fresh apple slices.

At Townsville I took Bowen Road, and reached OfficeWorks just as they opened. I was able to collect the Brother HL-30345CN LED colour printer I had ordered online for $99. Just fitted in Jeans car, but only after a struggle. Headed out past the Bowen Road turnoff along Ross River Road and Stocklands, that other big shopping centre, since the traffic looked light heading that direction.

Carlyle Gardens Morning

Dropped into the resort office to collect my parcels. Someone else has already collected them. Probably the ever energetic Duncan.

Dropped the accumulated Whitsunday Times newspapers off at Neil's place, on my way home.

Collected the mail. Looks messy.

Filled the recycling bin with what I brought back. Lots more scanning done while away.

The garden now has three different nice big shrubs at the front. I took a photo of each to send to Jean. No idea what each is. Must ask Laurie to write their names once I spot him. Speaking of which, no sign of him today.

Unpacked the car, located my home keys (still in boot). Watered the pot plants, for very small values of watered.

Drove to discount Chemist to collect my tablets. Brand has changed again. The Brumby's bread shop there sells the mini 12 cereal sandwich loafs, unlike the branch at Airlie Beach.

Found my heat gun (to complete a kit), after much searching. Found cheap paint brushes (for bookcase work). Found more screws. More on hand than I realised.

Restarted ADSL modem three times before it deigned to work. Then my IP number was wrong on the router. Finally got the internet connection up.

Now trying to catch up with email before heading for the restaurant for lunch. Already exhausted, before midday.

Duncan turned up with my parcels. He had indeed collected the parcels. Four of them, all from my one small order to Dick Smith. Their shipping system is weird.

Seduction of the Innocent

It turns out prominent comics critic Fredric Wertham faked some of the research used in his 1950's book Seduction of the Innocent says Carol Tilley, after accessing Wertham's old records. See her article in Information and Culture 47/4.


I will always support any sport I play, regardless of drug use. It is just fair competition, get over it. However I do not play any sport.

Wednesday 13 February 2013


I was awake before four. This is not good. Searched out and sprayed some more of those chittering Asian kitchen geckos. They should be declared a noxious import. I killed at least one last night, and hope I got a few more this morning.

The Resort water sprinkler system on the eastern side was operating from after eight this morning.

I went to the Wednesday evening piss up at the bar. Cathy was still handling the bar on Wednesday. She made us a nice tray of cheese and tomato on Sao biscuits, and told us the history of Sao. Ron, Ian and Jeff were there. Ray and Harry arrived soon after. A reasonable contingent of bowlers dropped in after their game. Jeff gave me a lift, and so I also collected the mail (not much of it).

When I returned I also packed almost everything in Jean's car.

Apple TV

I started the AppleTV update for the smaller TV at 6:40 a.m. The download alone will take almost an hour, unlike at Airlie Beach. I should have started that at 4 a.m. Download complete at 7:43 a.m. The update is continuing.

The AppleTV update seemed to be complete by eight. I did not seem to have access to the Apple servers at this time. A few minutes later the iTunes connection came up. I suspect my internet connection is simply too slow.

I started the second Apple TV update, for the somewhat larger TV in the lounge, at 8:30 a.m. This also says it will take around an hour for the download. It took about an hour to download, and another half hour to complete. Still, all done now, and on the previous month download limit.

This Apple TV update is a little more urgent, since there is no TV connection. The fibre optic connection failed a couple of months ago, and I have not bothered to organise a time to get a TV antenna installed. So I want to eventually be able to get at a disk full of ripped movies.

I tried signing up for The signup process failed to work. Not a good start. Not a start at all. Given up.

Was Christopher Dorner Crazy?

I suggest you read Christopher Dorner's rambling manifesto, before dismissing him as just another crazy murderer. You might also read ex LAPD cop Brian Bentley on his days in the police.

Thursday 14 February 2013

Drive to Airlie Beach

I was awake at 1:30 a.m. I thought I could hear something. None of the security lights were on, and it was too dark outside to tell. I woke up again after four. Packed the perishable provisions like eggs from the fridge, including the surplus ice cream and some sausages from the freezer.

Drove off well before five, in pitch dark. I did not even notice Brandon. Bypassed Ayr. Stopped at Home Hill, and got the last two apple slices from the bakery on the side street. By then I was feeling really hungry. It started raining while I was having a pit stop in Home Hill. Rained on and off for the rest of the drive, which was not convenient at all.

Stopped at Guthalunga for fuel. No fuel coupons on hand, so no discounts for me.

Stopped at Centro shopping centre at Cannonvale. Got some ham, cheese and tomatoes for sandwiches for the next few meals. It rained again, so stopping at Bunnings was not practical.

Airlie Beach

I unpacked Jean's car between rain showers. However I started water boiling. Cooked myself a slightly overcooked poached egg on toast before I got more than the food shopping and the cooler out of Jean's car. I should have watched the boiling water instead of opening the doors, but it is still pretty humid at Airlie Beach, so I wanted the breeze.

Continued unpacking Jean's car. Managed it all in four trips, which seems somewhat unlikely. Taking the big new Brother HL-3045CN colour LED printer upstairs was a real pain.

It rained through much of the day. I was kept busy closing doors against the rain, and then opening them to reduce the humidity.

Late in the afternoon I made my way to the hairdresser. Got lucky and was able to finally get a haircut. Checked the BWS on the way out. Collected the newspapers as I headed back. Dropped in and saw Rose at reception.

The amount of crap electronics kits I have here now is legion. It looks like it will take me hours to sort out what is what. I also plan to scan all the instruction.

Port of Airlie Marina

I was feeling totally wrecked, so I went to lay down before continuing on the computer. No sooner had I done so when the pile driving started at the Port of Airlie marina. It looks like the two piles they drove on Monday were insufficient. So now they seemed to be driving a third, some distance away, but still in the same corner of the waterway. Just what I needed. I had hoped being away for two days would be sufficient for them to complete whatever they are doing. Grump!


There seem to be enough various size screws here now for the construction project. This is mainly to get a high shelf in the big built in cupboard that has no shelving. I looked again at the left over 19mm X 38mm radiata pine on hand, and decided it was just a little too flimsy to span over two metres. So I will buy a half dozen of the cheap shitty looking 38mm X 75mm pine construction framing Bunnings hardware have at $3.75 each. These are 2.4 metres so they will handle the span and height I need, and probably have sufficient offcuts left over for the rest of the job. I need one big sheet of melamite shelving, about 595mm deep. Not sure how to fit this in Jean's car.

Copyright Monopoly

An interesting site about the nature of the copyright monopoly, and why it is not a property right.

Deep Inside

A study of porn media stars by Jon Millward.

Friday 15 February 2013


I was not up until after five. Did not sleep well thanks to the rain. It rained again several times before breakfast time. This does not auger well for getting building materials from Bunnings.

Totally stuffed, from carrying construction things from Bunnings up the steps.

Tried a ham, cheese and tomato toastie for dinner, using the $7.95 sandwich press from BigW. The Brumby's mini loaf (the one I can not buy here) is the right size to fit in … sort of. However I had it cut thick sliced (which works better for sandwiches). So I could not close the toastie cooker. So the sandwich does not end up crisped the way I want. Remember to get bread sliced thin next time. Remember to get sliced ham (fits better), not shredded ham. Remember not to use Jarlsberg cheese (does not melt properly). At least I remembered the mustard this time, as well as the herbs.

The continuing rain is getting boring. Hard to take a decent walk with the rain here. About 30 to 40 mm a day.

Meteor on Camera

A wonderful view of a meteor over the Urals from a Russian car dashboard camera. The sonic boom, and vapour trail, many photos collected here and here. Showing an impact site.

The Russian Academy of Sciences estimated that the meteorite weighed about 10 tons and entered the Earth's atmosphere at a speed of at least 54,000 kph (33,000 mph), shattering about 30-50km (18-32 miles) above ground. Over 400 people are reported injured, by glass from broken windows.

So with fifty metre asteroid 2012 DA14 passing us within geostationary satellite range in less than 12 hours, why did Australia stop paying astronomers watching the skies for asteroids?

Bunnings Visit

I went to Bunnings hardware about 8:30 a.m. during a break in the showers. Did not get back until after ten. Had to wait out heavy showers to load Jean's car (car is now very washed).

I could not find Estapol polyurethane wood finish. A younger staff member had never even heard of it. Guess that means Bunnings do not stock Wattle Paints. Nor could I find a substitute, which seemed unusual. The usual paint specialist was elsewhere, attending to a customer, or I would have asked her for a recommendation. I am not precisely thrilled with the prospect of painting the shelves, so having an excuse not to get paint suited me fine.

I had two of the structural framing timbers and the melamine board cut to two metres length in their specialist cut shop. That sure beats doing it in the rain on the balcony with a hand saw. Not that I could have fitted the 2.4 metre originals into Jean's car. These will be the high shelf, and its supports.

I also had the other four structural timbers cut to 1.8 metres, which also provided some 600mm cross pieces. No waste. These make up the frame that holds the shelf up high off the floor.

Then it was a matter of hoping I could wait out the showers. I never did figure where they hid the boom gate button. But I did mostly miss the showers.

While I waited I chatted with Mark from 50, filling his car boot, who was doing a much more ambitious kitchen renovation. I encouraged him to attend the Body Corporate meeting.


I did not have a lot of construction space inside the apartment, but found sufficient to lay out one of the uprights. My purchase of a power drill came in very handy. I even had a variety of drill bits (none sufficiently long) on hand. I improvised a construction frame out of cardboard boxes.

This construction effort is mainly to give me a high platform in the closet on which to store the cardboard boxes up out of the way. A secondary purpose is to install a hanging rail for clothes hangers.

No allen key on hand for the 80mm screws, but I found a set of driver tips that let me do that job with a screw driver. I had to pre-drill everywhere, given the size of the left over screws I used. There sure seemed to be a lot of sawdust generated, even on just the first of the supports.

The cheap radiata pine is extremely warped. I had rejected some real bad pieces in Bunnings. Some were ten centimetres out of straight in a 2 metre length. No chance of making anything dimensionally precise from it, even if my high school woodwork skills were up to it. So I had designed for warped frames.

Sex Sells

The best selling British newspaper, The Sun, reported the arrest of paralympian athlete Oscar Pistorius by running a large colour picture of his (unnamed) dead model girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp in a bikini.

A bunch of people who would never buy the Sun complained about their lack of taste. Seven million people read the Sun, making it the most popular British paper (although numbers are in decline). The editors know sex sells. If you don't like it, don't buy it. That is how capitalism should work.

Newspaper Circulation

A list of declining Australian newspaper circulation. An accelerating decline in print circulations, down more than 7% in the three months to the end of December, compared to the previous year. I think the first of the Fairfax big city daily newspapers will be gone in another two years.

DAB+ Radio

I need DAB+ radio? What in the hell for? There are perfectly workable AM and FM radio stations all over, as far as I can tell. It is not like many of them broadcast anything worthwhile or different.

So why in the hell would a government pay the broadcasters money to roll out DAB+ in country areas? DAB+ is around 11% of the audience. If radio does not return a profit, do not do it. I especially object to radio broadcasters putting the bite on taxpayers for their new broadcasting equipment.

Radio is dead, except for filling dead time for an audience who can not tolerate silence. You can get better specialised service from cellular smartphones, which also have the advantage of storing your own music.

Saturday 16 February 2013


I awoke late, at all most six, with what felt like a hangover. Since I have not had an alcoholic drink since Wednesday at the pub, this argues for some other cause. Lack of water, or I am reacting to something else. I fear that something may be chocolate.

It has been raining comprehensively since before six. I can see that the Saturday markets are completely washed out.

About 8:30 a.m. I can see a half dozen water logged tents down at the market site. However the rain seems to have stopped for the moment. So I took a walk through the almost abandoned markets. As usual, nothing I actually wanted at the markets, although I contemplated buying a potato, or some limes.


I finally got my high shelf installed in the otherwise empty closet. Not that it was easy to empty the closet.

The main problem is that the 2 metre x 595mm melamine board is heavy. It is difficult to move it into place given the restricted space in the closet.

Afterwards I put a bunch of the empty cardboard boxes up in the closet, out of the way. That should leave the floor space available to me.

Bloody Geckos

An infestation of the imported pest species Asian kitchen geckos outside after the rain. Two on the front balcony, two on the side. I managed to get a good shot of Crawly Cruncher spray on two of them (they leapt off the balcony), and a bit of spray on another. One may have gotten away. I will kill it next time I notice it.

Sunday 17 February 2013


I woke up at four, but managed to get to sleep again. Up before six, when it was already starting to get light. Weather is overcast, alternating between gloomy and showers.

Public affairs programs galore. Insiders on ABC, followed by Allan Kohler's Inside Business. Then Meet the Press on Nine.

Power outage due to lightning at 7:14 p.m. I hope that the drives are not unhappy.

There has been at least 100mm of rain today. Rain is very boring, but does keep the temperature down.


A failure of the Scan to Folder software used by the Fujitsu ScanSnap scanner. The only way I know to fix this is to restart the entire computer. Which I can not do since other things are only part way done. Bugger!

I rebooted in the afternoon. Started scanning kit instructions from Silicon Chip. Got bored with that, and started on the fibre optic network in Carlyle Gardens. Completed the fibre optic network material.

Power Outage

A brief one second power outage at 7:14 p.m. The drives were unhappy, according to OS X. I hope no damage was done.

What Does 200 Calories Look Like

What Does 200 Calories Look Like.

Monday 18 February 2013


I was awake around six, to a bleak grey morning, but it was not actually raining, despite the 30mm last night. It was cold, by tropical summer standards. The thermometer was showing 26°C.

Email included a Hone confirmation, so that is yet another Kickstarter project that should eventually arrive.

A little cruise liner has arrived out in the middle of Pioneer Bay. I can see no sign of tents in the market area, and expect the surface to be mostly mud under the grass. Plus it started raining again, although very light.

The specials at the BWS expire tomorrow, so I walked down the hill around eleven with a pack. The markets were empty. One stall holder had chanced the rain and muddy ground. The visitors from the cruise liner seemed to be German.

I picked up a box of six Jacobs Creek sparkling chardonnay pinot noir for my party on Saturday, at $9 a bottle. That variety seems rather popular at my parties. However I was really struggling when I walked up the hill with it. Rather spoiled a good but short walk. I hate hills. If it is not an uphill struggle, then you are going downhill.

The pile driver at Port of Airlie Marina started working just after one. Brief noise, with very long pauses.


I returned to scanning articles I had torn out of electronics magazines. The earliest tear sheets turned out to be from the late 1970's. It is slow going, but the quantity of paper is declining.

Bloody hell. I just found another drawer full of electronics kit tear sheets. Instead of being mostly done, I am about half way through. Luckily the incredible Fujitsu ScanSnap 1500 scanner even handles crumbling 35 year old paper!

Do Not Buy Olympics

I have a modest suggestion for the Australian TV networks. Do not buy rights to show the Olympics from the International Olympics Committee (IOC). I can not see any way Nine and Foxtel made any money last time. Nine is known to have lost $25 million. The Olympic sponsor advertising knock competing advertising off air, so you lose your regular advertisers. Plus a load of people do not bother to watch at all.

So knock it off. Do not bid at all. Just ignore this stupid games event. It is not news. It is just a bunch of wanking by performers.


I am struck by how good the ABC's Q&A can when they get a scientist intent on popularising science on it, instead of a steady diet of politicians. However then to waste much of it by making it a science vs Christianity item. Why? The results are in. Science has little to say about religion. Religion has nothing useful to say about science. When religion does take on science, religion is generally laughably wrong.

Colour Picker

A really nice internet colour picker that you can use to interactively select colours for your web site.

Tuesday 19 February 2013


I was up before five. A perfect time to run an internet speed test.

It changed from overcast and looking like rain, to fairly fine and warm. I was making scrambled eggs (they are too small to poach) for breakfast while this happened.

So my walk was late. Geoff phoned me about Carlyle Gardens just as I was walking around the lagoon. I collected a newspaper, but hardly any other stores were open. Runkepper tracked my walk.

After a long period of refusing to acknowledge my exercise, Moves finally showed me the number of steps. Not sure why it does this. Annoying.

I ground the bottom off a number of Coke cans. Seems to disintegrate a cutting disk for every few cans.

The Terraces fire alarm went off at 4:10 p.m. The alarm was shut off at 4:13 p.m. Not bad response time at all. As far as I can tell, everyone totally ignored the alarm. I know I did.

Internet Speed Test

My Test Results from Oz Broadband Speed Test run on 19/02/2013 at 5:58 AM using the Telstra Bigpond mirror. I am about a block and a half, or less than 600 metres, from the Telstra Exchange in Airlie Beach. Unfortunately, ADSL2+ is not one of the options, so it is plain slow decade old ADSL1.

Data: 600 KB, Test Time: 1.54 secs. Your line speed is 3.18 Mbps (3177 kbps). Your download speed is 397 KB/s (0.39 MB/s).

You uploaded 1 MB bytes in 9.84 seconds. kbps: 853.66, KB/s: 106.71, Mbps: 0.85.

This Airlie Beach location is so much faster than at Townsville that there is little comparison. It is typically four times as fast as in Condon.


I am having problems with iTunes again. Tried to buy an app. iTunes refused to let me do so. Despite this, it is showing my Apple ID, and it lets me download updates. I wish Apple would either fix iTunes or dump it. I have really had it with that piece of shit.

Australian Dietary Guidelines

A link to Australian Dietary Guidelines. Shit, it is over 200 pages! I can not see how anyone can manage to follow the dietary guidelines, but I am sure it would be a good idea to try. I think I will start by trying to drop some of the stuff they specifically say to avoid.

Who Owns Beer?

A giant international brewer SABMiller owns a shitload of Australian beer.

Alpha Pale Ale, Beez Neez, Big Helga, Blue Tongue Premium Lager, Bohemian Pilsner, Bondi Blond, Bulmer's Cider, Carlton, Cascade, Crown Lager, Dirty Granny Cider, Dog Bolter Dark Larger, Fat Yak, Fosters, Great Northern Brewing, KB, Melbourne Bitter, Mercury, NT Draught, Pure Blond, Redback, Resches, Sheaf Stout, Strongbow Cider, VB.

Wednesday 20 February 2013


I was up late, almost six. It looked like a beautiful clear day. So I started a load of laundry. Thanks to the ancient ecologically unsound washing machine, I was hanging the clothes on the line a little after seven.

Jean reports she is thinking of returning a week early. I will need to accelerate some of the things I am doing. In particular, take anything I can back to Carlyle Gardens. I am not organised for this. To be accurate, I am not organised for anything.

Off to Bunnings after my shower. I still can not find an Estapol paint equivalent anywhere there. I decided to drop the idea of building a stand for hard drives and so on behind the desk. It is just surplus clutter afterwards. Looked instead for self stacking metal stands in the kitchen area. Found a possibility. Went off and bought myself another of the floor lamps with the decent big reflector, and a curved support arm. They seem right for reading lamps. I must try to get rid of a bunch of the older lamps I do not need.

At the Reject Shop at Whitsunday Shopping Centre I found some cheap assemble yourself bookcases. I think these might be the best solution for the hard drive stand.

In keeping with my reduced food expenditure, the only things I could find in Coles were milk (close to expiry date) and orange juice (for my party). The chance of me getting any more discount fuel coupons is fast fading.


I just assembled the first of the two $15 Malaysian made chipboard bookcases I bought at The Reject Shop. Cheaper than buying sufficient wood to do anything equivalent. Much cheaper actually. I could only buy one shelf (admittedly twice as long) for $15. So I built up the second bookcase. This is going well.

Now to see if I can fit 1000 virtual books and 1000 ripped DVDs on the bookcases. OK. The collection of hard drives look as if they will fit easily.


I got another two Asian kitchen geckos with the Crawly Cruncher spray. I may have cleared the last of the geckos now. Hope so.

HTC One Phone

A change in camera with HTC Zoe Camera with UltraPixels in the new HTC One mobile phone (with a Full HD display). I am delighted to see a phone maker go for a camera with fewer, but larger, pixels. Two micron, compared to 1.4 micron for the iPhone 5. It also has an f/2.0 aperture, which is the best of any phone I have heard of. The result is it handles low light way better than most. I would really like it if phone makers stopped competing on the number of pixels, and started competing on how well a more limited number do a better job.

Innov8 Shortlist

Innov8 shortlist includes Moore's Cloud.

Thursday 21 February 2013


I was up real late, well after dawn. I lurched around for a while, and then started my walk around 6:30 a.m. I went down past the Boathouse Resort, and then via the lagoon to the other end of Airlie Beach. It got hotter and hotter, and even more humid. Stopped at the news agency and got a stack of newspapers. Walked for 51 minutes. I need to start my walk earlier in the day.

Resisted buying hot cross buns at Brumby's bread shop.

There turned out to be at least three more of the Asian kitchen geckos around. I managed to kill one of them. Probably missed two.

Thunderstorm here started in the evening just after eight. Very high lightning.


It sounds like #mykifail will do wonders for Melbourne tourists. Thankful for free trams around CBD. Last time I walked everywhere. That must do wonders for tourist spending.

Will any Australian political party provide a credible and properly funded defence policy? Spending % now pre WWII levels. #Auspol

No one forgets to eat for long. Being overweight is a health risk. So why is advertising food a tax deduction? Stop tax breaks for wasteful advertising. #Auspol

@SwannyDPM Give back the personal income tax to states and they could afford to fund health. #auspol

“@SwannyDPM: If the QLD Govt doesn't lift their game …” Only one government needs to lift its game. Qld succession now would be a good move.

@SwannyDPM: Mr Newman’s $3b savage cuts …” Hand the tax powers back and see how well States handle them. You are not doing well. #auspol

Stock Market

I can see three reasons to buy stock. My aim is dividend income. Big business may be trying to take over a company. Speculators buy shares to sell them later at a profit.

Robin Hood Tax

A Tobin Tax on financial transactions in Europe may be closer. Add it to high speed trading as well. Contemporary capitalism rewards zero sum gambling. There is no reason not to tax players of zero sum games, as they contribute nothing to real world production.

Pay in Bitcoin

I see some Internet Archive employees have opted to be paid in Bitcoin. All fiat currency is manipulated. So why not try a few alternatives?

The Internet Archive Wayback machine tries to archive the internet. It is a worthwhile venture, which always needs funding help.

Friday 22 February 2013

Symbol Font Shows States

A symbol font called Stately shows US states as symbols. Great for easy, size independent graphics. The Stately font glyphs were created by Ben Markowitz, a UX designer. He tells how to make your own symbol font starting with SVG files. This is an awesome system.


Why are a bunch of wankers like the Church of Scientology allowed anywhere near secular Queensland public schools? Shame!

Body Corporate Meeting

I attended the Body Corporate meeting at 3 p.m. Alas, I am not convinced the ever increasing insurance or the future building painting are adequately covered by the current levy. Not that anyone much wants the levy to be higher. Why does this remind me of governments worldwide?

Love Song

The Love Song of J. Random Hacker, 1995 by Jeff Duntemann, with apologies to T. S. Eliot.

Saturday 23 February 2013


I was up reasonably early a little after five. The air had gone still and very humid.

The markets were pretty much a waste of time. Luckily I came across two different people I knew while I was walking back, and had a chat with them. I heard once again the outrigger canoe crowd were going out some day. Now old enough to be Gold Masters.

An article by Derek Khanna, who was sacked for writing a sensible position paper on copyright for the House Republican Study Committee. His new article. Taking on real reform in a post-SOPA world – let's start with cellphone unlocking.


I see John Gruber advertising Everpix, for storing your photos on the Internet. Business model sounds sensible. Charge you monthly ($5) or annually ($40) for unlimited non-commercial photo storage. Must check Everpix further.


Sales are said to be up, and increasing, but what use is a Smart TV? My internet is too slow for video, no cable available. So, any use?


I had none of my regular visitors at my irregular Saturday party. Several had mentioned other engagements. Some are still away, which is very usual in Airlie Beach in February. I set up my newly made colour change lamps to do their thing as party lights.

Luckily Doug was still here after the Body Corporate meeting on Friday. He had taken Anne off to the airport earlier in the day, since he had a car. Mark, a relatively new owner, turned up. I had seen him at Bunnings. He is renovating his unit. We sat on the balcony on a very pleasant evening, drank a bottle of Pepperjack shiraz, and dined on pizza until about nine.

A few more of the Asian kitchen geckos appeared, so I killed them with Crawly Cruncher.

Afterwards I watched a bad disaster movie on TV, until I felt sufficiently tired to go to bed.


A message on the computer that the disk was not ejected correctly. The electricity must have failed during the thunderstorm at midnight. I had switched off many of the electronic devices when the storm woke me.

Sunday 24 February 2013


I woke a little before six. It looked overcast and suitable for a walk. Before I could leave, it started drizzling and raining, so I stayed home working on the computer.

It cleared up during the afternoon, but by then it was too humid for a walk.

USA Rights

How many rights have Americans really lost? Lots.

NBN Critics

A long article by Nick Ross on the vast differences between the NBN and the Coalition's alternative, available on the privileged taxpayer funded outlet provided by the ABC. It is long, detailed, slightly rambling, very much in favour of NBN, and in several places simply wrong (in my view). However it does cover pretty much all the reasons NBN would be good, in two long web pages.

A riposte to Nick Ross by Grahame Lynch on CommsDay covers a lot of what is wrong with the pro NBN article.

In particular, from my own experience, you do not need high speed connections to monitor a smart power grid. Old fashioned dialup has plenty of speed for such minimal data. So do mobile connections.

The bulk of the current NBN is scheduled to finish in 2021 Mind you, I will be dead by then. So I have to put up with ADSL1 until close to then. No location where I have lived or worked in 65 years is covered by any scheduled NBN update in the next three to four years. I checked. I must have lived in the wrong spots.

There is absolutely no incentive for Telstra to move to ADSL2+ these days, after local loop unbundling. No competition from other ISPs or phone providers outside capitals. They all simply ride on reselling Telstra copper.

I have four year old copper back to the equivalent of a RIM. No-one except Telstra are willing to wire a suburb in a rural city, even a large one like Townsville. ADSL1, limited to 1500/256 kbps, and mostly much slower. With local loop unbundling, there is absolutely no competition. The copper works fine, albeit slowly. The back office connection often sucks, and fails randomly, sometimes multiple times a day. This was far worse when we first arrived, and is getting pretty good these days, except for random changes of IP number. If you get a long power outage (cyclone or flood), the batteries in the Telstra cabinet are dead within eight hours, so your phone is out also.

Replacing my existing ADSL1 RIM like Telstra connection with a Telstra TopHat (FttN) providing ADSL2+ would improve my network connection speed by a factor of 10 to 20. It could probably do that within about two years, not sometime in the 2020s. However there is no incentive for Telstra to do this.

I also have four year old OptiComm fibre optics via a PON to the home. If power fails, your connection instantly fails (unless you provide your own back up power). With no backhaul, the only thing the fibre optics provide is a TV feed from a central antenna. That TV feed broke (for the second time) in December 2012. So no TV. Sometime or other I will get a TV antenna installed (there is hardly anything worth viewing on TV so no rush). Do not tell me about fibre optic infrastructure reliability.

NBN Co’s corporate plan envisages a doubling of ARPU over a decade, which implies an increase on the $160 a month I pay now for two bad copper connections (two widely separated locations, both ADSL1) each with a (mostly unused) 50GB download access. At the moment I can afford to pay that. However as a self funded retiree, subject to lower interest returns, I have to look at my expenses. At some stage, those two land lines will become too expensive to contemplate. It is probably only inertia that keeps me using them now.

Given Telstra 3G is already substantially quicker than ADSL in both locations, wouldn't it be cheaper for me to drop both landline connections and simply pay more for greater wireless download capacity? This would make it very unlikely that I would sign up for NBN, when it became available. No existing copper connection to onsell. Nothing there for Telstra, nothing there for NBN.


I had a bad internet connection around 6:45 p.m. iTunes did not respond. Ping lost 70% of all packets. Tried again. Ping was working. iTunes was not. Connection to Google worked. iTunes still out of action.

Buy a Best Seller Place

Here's How You Buy Your Way Onto The New York Times Bestsellers List.


I see Google has added DRM to Chrome for WebM video. DRM is anathema on the web. Google are a pack of advertising funded arseholes (with some very nice giveaways) who sell you to advertisers. In many ways they are worse than Facebook.

Two points to make. Do not provide video in WebM format (use H.264). Do not use Chrome as your default web browser (you may want a copy for safely viewing web sites still infested with Adobe Flash).

Monday 25 February 2013


I managed to get away for my morning walk before the sun rose over the hillside. A beautiful day, with decorative clouds here and there. I got as far east as the Port Drive before the sun rose above the hill, so from then on I was headed west, with the sun behind me. The markets were opening, as a medium size cruise ship was out in Pioneer Bay. I walked the markets, and then around the lagoon. Back through Airlie Beach, with the awning shading my eyes from the sun. Collected The Australian at the news agency which was just opening at seven, and then plodded up the hill. Over four kilometres, 5700 steps according to Moves.

Recycling box and bags by doorway, ready to load in Jean's car for the trip to Townsville (where they have limited recycling). How many trips down stairs?

jan howard finder dies

I note with regret the death of jan howard finder, a frequent guest at science fiction conventions.


I think what I need next is probably internet enabled circuit breakers. Must tweet that to Moore's Cloud.

Tuesday 26 February 2013

Leaving Airlie Beach

I was awake around 3:30 a.m. so I closed up the apartment, took the last box and the freezer box out to Jean's car, and set off around 4 a.m. Usual morning mist causing trouble. Once again I saw rabbits by the side of the road. I had hoped they had died off. I had very good visibility, thanks to a full moon setting in the west. I was way too early for Guthalunga to be open, or even Inkerman, so no fuel for the car. Bummer!

Stopped at Home Hill for a newspaper, since their new agency was open around six. Then collected some home made apple slices from the bakery a block over from the highway at Home Hill.

I reached Townsville around 7:30 a.m.


I pulled into the Sunland shopping centre at Kirwan around 7:30 a.m. The Mitre10 hardware opens at seven. As I expected, they had the Estapol satin wood finish I needed for the new bookcase shelves. Brumby's were also open. Got a party pie and a mini sausage roll, as I was feeling hungry. I also got a mini 12 cereal loaf, but it was too warm to slice. I have a feeling this toaster test will not go all that well either.

I collected the mail in Carlyle Gardens, which filled about a third of the mail box. Duncan hailed me before I got home, and gave me two packages. One was the long awaited Lyn McConchie books. The other was the Animusic DVDs and BluRay I had ordered. Well done Duncan!

Unpacked Jean's car, which is a lot easier when no stairs are involved. Flung the contents into appropriate holding areas. Ate my Brumby's spoil my diet breakfast. Also remembered to have my tablets.

Set out for Willows in Jean's car, but wanted to see if I got fuel coupons before refuelling. Walked around Willows a few times, mainly for exercise. Caught up with several Carlyle Gardens folks, who report more walk in home invasions.

No luck at all with the shopping. I can not think of one thing I want at Coles, so no fuel coupons for me. I will however need to refuel prior to leaving again. The Telstra shop say they can quickly and easily supply an iPhone 5, and unlock my old iPhone 4. If I had my reading glasses with me, I may have taken them up on that.

Carlyle Gardens

I was a bit late heading off. The hot weather made walking unpleasant. The gauge was showing 33°C.

I saw our gardener Laurie driving along. He said he would come over tomorrow and install more plants. He tells me I have two crotons (different varieties) and a pine. The garden seems mostly a bed of weeds again, which was probably not good.

At the restaurant I caught up with Geoff and Margaret, who told me of the attempted Carlton Theatre revival. I sat with Sue, Dot and Pat. I had remembered to bring the new Lyn McConchie books for Pat. Ray was also there, still having back problem. Jeff arrived fairly late, looking tired.

I visited the office after lunch. They say only one walk in was reported to them. So I wonder how much is rumour, and whether there were actually more than one. I do not want to overdo my security systems if this is an isolated event. Really extensive security systems can be a right pain in the arse, especially if they false trigger a lot.

Govt Grabs Bank Accounts

In a revised money grab, inactive bank accounts to be seized within three years. An account was previously considered inactive only after seven years. What benefit is this to consumers? Just another grubby money grab from a spendthrift government that turned into a kleptocracy. Get your hands out of my pockets.

Computer Club Infonite

I went to the very well attended (they ran out of chairs) Carlyle Gardens Computer Club meeting. There was a scary magician video (no idea how he did it), and several other short. The ever popular Peter Bennett presented how he can repair computers by controlling them remotely. I hope that helps a heap of members use his services. He also spoke on Windows vs Apple, and encouraged people to check Podcasts.

Ate three half scones with jam and cream afterwards. Yum.

Aaron Swartz Injustice

An admission about internet copyright activist Aaron Swartz and his suicide. DOJ Admits It Had To Put Aaron Swartz In Jail To Save Face Over The Arrest. I think information paid for by taxes should be free.

Apple Share Manipulation

A prime example of manipulation of the Apple share price shows just how easy it can be done. The markets are insane.

Wednesday 27 February 2013


I was up early. Since there was a full moon, and it gets light early, I went for a walk around Carlyle Gardens around 5:40 a.m. It is much cooler here before dawn than it is at Airlie Beach. Alas, in the day, it is at least 5°C hotter. I did well over two kilometres at a good pace. Did not crack 10 minute per kilometre pace, as each time I got ahead of that pace, someone stopped me for a chat. I also collected the mail by extending the walk as far as the mailboxes.

Grabbed readings from all the electricity meters. This is in case I forget this afternoon.

Walked to the restaurant under 10/10 cloud cover. Walked back in blazing sun. Sad times for the restaurant, with no lease renewal. Our Tuesday and Wednesday afternoon bar sessions are cancelled, as they will only be providing a lunch service.


I weighed 72.5kg this morning. Would like to be 5kg less. BP 123/73, pulse 53, which is pretty normal for me.

Solar inverter shows 4063kWH in 11709 hours. Electricity meter shows 4359 kWh on Tariff 11, 3915 kWh on Tariff 33, 1819 kWh exported.

Last reading for the day, around 5 p.m. shows 4067kWh in 11720 hours for solar inverter. Electricity meter 4360kWh on Tariff 11, 3917kWh on Tariff 33, 1821kWh exported. Fans running all day. Not sure what pushed Tariff 33 up, as I turned on the air conditioner at 5 p.m.


I was lucky about the garden. Laurie the gardener arrived around eight. He had some more plants in the back of his truck. He tells me they are robust and hard to damage (obviously never seen how well I can destroy a plant). Gave me absolutely terrifying instructions about cutting stalks off plants. Explained about brown thumb. Laurie dismisses that. I paid him for the work done so far. He looked disapprovingly at the fresh new (two weeks old) crop of 30cm high weeds. Says he will remove them and poison the remains next week. Seems to like the idea of applying some of the green and red ground cover to cleared patches of ground.

Drones Kill Former U.K. Citizens

British terror suspects quietly stripped of citizenship… then killed by drones.

Thursday 28 February 2013

To Airlie Beach

I was awake early, so locked the last of the doors. I finished packing Jean's car, and was on the road a little after four. I refuelled at the service station at the entrance to the Ring Road, despite their much higher prices. Just what the hell has happened to fuel prices? I had hoped for a full moon. What I got was clouds, poor visibility and rain most of the way to Ayr. I was too early for the Home Hill bakery, too early for Inkerman.

I continued driving to Guthalunga, pulling in about 6:30 a.m. It was raining there. The pumps all refused to work. The operator tells me the electronic pumps are unreliable when it rains. Further, the newer more elaborate models are even less reliable.

I eventually picked up more fuel outside Bowen. This means I have sufficient fuel to return to Townsville, even if the continuing flood blockages on the Bruce Highway south reduce fuel supplies getting through.

Too early for Centro Whitsunday shopping centre. So I drove home to the Terraces, arriving before eight.


I unpacked the car. Luckily only three trips up the stairs to do the whole unloading job this time. Nothing heavy either.

A large cruise ship was anchored out in Pioneer Bay. This time it was the Queen Victoria. It looked like an apartment building on a barge.

Markets were on, since there was a large cruise ship out in Pioneer Bay. I walked down and through the markets. My various friends were not present this time at the markets. A threatening set of clouds helped encourage a short walk, rather than a long walk. I collected the local Whitsunday Times news paper at the news agency as I returned.

I found a large HTC mobile phone in the gutter near the Terraces, so I gave it to Rose at reception. Maybe it has an owners name (it switches on)?

When the pile driver at the marina started working, I took advantage of the noise cover to cut the bottoms off some Coke cans. The little Dremel cutting disks each cut about two or three cans before they wear down to nothing. No wonder the cutting disks come in tubes of 36 or so. I have about ten more cans done.


I started some scanning. A bit slow and late in getting started with it all. Only a relatively few pieces of paper went into the recycling box.

Apple Case Judge Now Works for Sony

In 2012 Apple lost a U.K. case against Samsung (Apple won in Germany). Non-infringement finding and publicity order over Samsung Galaxy Tab upheld by UK appeals court. The judge accused Apple of a lack of integrity. As a result, Apple got adverse publicity in the U.K. Now it turns out the UK judge who issued extreme ruling for Samsung against Apple hired by... Samsung! I think the judge displays a lack of … judgement.

Solar Power

My estimated solar inverter output figures are 4067kWh in 11722 hours (based on figures yesterday). The previous figures in January were E-total 3938kWh, h-total 11384 hours. This makes 129kWh power generated in 338 hours. 4.6kW per day or 380 Watts per active hour, in this shortest month. Panels are 1000 Watts nominal.

The Ergon electricity meter in January showed Tariff 11 at 4321kWh purchased, Tariff 33 at 3903kWh, and the export of power from the solar panel at 1722kWh since installed.

Home and Away

AB 24, CG 4, T 0

Death of Publishing

A great article on The Death of Publishing by Kristine Kathryn Rusch, who has a good background in the business of publishing. Aspiring or existing authors should read it.

Another interesting site. Lost Book Sales.


I bought a copy of Filemaker Pro 12 database for my Macintosh. This was the last day for the discount. I think I am going to end up with sufficient data processing needs to want to go a little beyond Filemaker's Bento SQL database.

Eric Lindsay's Blog February 2013