Eric Lindsay's Blog September 2013

Sunday 1 September 2013


I was up at 5:30 a.m. this morning, after a good night of sleep. Started working on the computer, and made some progress at reading web pages in my reading queue.

Around six Jean emerged and suggested doing laundry. We managed to forget it was completed, and so did not hang the laundry out to dry until a little after eight.

Fried eggs and tomato on toast for breakfast, along with champagne with a strawberry in it. We have not done that for ages. Probably not the most sensible start to the day, but enjoyable.

My weight is down to 68.3 kilograms.

Jean cooked a turkey hindquarter for herself. I had a few slices for lunch. Very nice.

Walked about two kilometres with Jean in the evening, and then another kilometre or so somewhat faster by myself. I need to do more.

Checked wood sizes to see if I could come up with some designs to take advantage of what was available in the garage. I think I can build what I need. Missing some screws for the next step.

Deleting Apps

It is way past time to start deleting apps from my iPhone.

Brewers Nose, since I no longer drink beer.


I downloaded a 99 cent iTunes rental movie overnight. It took over seven hours to get 3.39 GB. In contrast to Frank, whose download of the same movie took about an hour. The Telstra connection here absolutely sucks.

ATO eTax

I took a look at the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) electronic eTax taxation return system, since I hate and loath filling paper forms. This choice was pushed somewhat this year, by none of the news agents having copies of the paper tax forms. For many years since 1999 eTax only operated on Microsoft Windows computers. Not a terrible choice, when 91% of all computers ran Windows almost exclusively. No use for Apple Macintosh users. However things have changed. Lots of people do not even need a computer now tablets and smart phones are more popular.

This year, ATO made eTax available for recent model Macintosh computers, after failing to do so last year. I gather this was contracted to DWS, a seven member outfit with a lot of appropriate Windows and Delphi experience. I gather they may have had only one person with Macintosh experience. The reviews were not exactly favourable, especially when the initial release did not include the required security certificate. Next problem reported was not operating if your Macintosh was connected via WiFi rather than an Ethernet cable. Hint, most recent Macintosh do not even include an RJ45 Ethernet cable connection. Luckily that also seems fixed.

eTax appears to be written in an antiquated language. The Delphi XE2 platform released last year introduced a cross-platform graphical user interface (GUI) framework called FireMonkey. This means it is kluged to operate in a similar manner in a few different operating systems. Not what I would expect from a Macintosh application, and indeed anathema for an application under normal circumstances. However this is the government, not a standard application development environment.

So I set up a separate Tax account on my Macintosh with standard permissions, and downloaded eTax. For some bizarre reason the Macintosh version is about four times the size of the Windows version, so it is obviously using some emulation technology. Ugh!

The Bitrock installer promptly asked for Admin permissions. Given that I do not trust governments (pace whistleblowing about USA's NSA and PRISM snooping) there is no way in creation I am letting any piece of government software have Admin permissions on my computer. See Chances of Hell Freezing Over.

Why ATO did not use something sensible like the standard Installer is beyond me. They could update with Sparkle. It seems entirely likely that the ATO programmer was unfamiliar with either Bitrock or any other Macintosh installer. Particularly when you notice that the installer actually gives you a choice of installation directory, but only after demanding Admin access. The only reason for Admin access is to place files in the general Application directory. You do not need Admin permissions to use a local user Applications directory. Do'h!

Next try was to AirDrop a copy of the already installed eTax application from Jean's Macintosh. This worked. I bypassed Gatekeeper using right shift click, and opened the (unsigned) application. Someone suggested changing your general security settings to run anything, which is just insane.

eTax let me fill in a small bunch of stuff. Then it demanded a mandatory update. The update mechanism did not show any progress. It did however download a new .dmg to my Downloads folder. At which point, I was back to eTax demanding access to an Admin account. Stuff this!

Jean kindly opened her copy of eTax (used before the update appeared), and attempted to get that update. Nothing happened. eTax stalled. She never did seem to get the update.

Later I AirDropped my copy of the upgrade .dmg to Jean. That did install for her. Then she AirDropped the actual application back to me. I finally had eTax installed.

Monday 2 September 2013


I was up at 5:40 a.m. after waking briefly at one. Feels like a cool night. Jean came out to the kitchen as I was washing out the empty plastic Misty Mountain milk bottle for recycling. I was hungry enough to get a glass of milk while using the computer. Temperature outside is about 16°C, and I noticed people walking past for their daily exercise, bundled up like they were in the arctic.

My weight is down again to 68.1 kilograms, despite us sharing a bottle of champagne over three meals yesterday.

I had to reboot my Apple MacBook Air to complete the install of a security update.

The automatic garden watering system did not operate this morning. I need to check that it operates on Tuesday. If not, I need to check the timer, and timer batteries. It all looks OK, although it got soaked by the lawn watering system.

Got ready to walk to the Reading Cinema for my morning entertainment. Jean is walking with me as far as the entrance to Carlyle Gardens. I continued along to the Sunland shopping centre. I was able to buy a $50 legacy badge there, as I suspected I would. Then back to the cinema.

As usual, people indicated they would give me a lift. However I walked back, arriving around 1:30 p.m.

Jean and I went for a walk to collect mail after five.

Movie Jobs

I walked to the Reading Cinema for the 10:30 a.m. session of Jobs, an episodic biography of the careen of the late Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple Computer Inc.

The movie has been panned a bit, I gather. I thought it did a reasonable job of compressing a complex career and character into two hours. Not all that exciting, but I enjoyed it. I guess lots of people will think that figures.

TV Comment

I gave up on TV a long while ago. To my surprise, it seems to be even worse now. I look forward to the first TV network bankruptcy. Perhaps when enough people give up on Free to Air TV entirely we can get some realistic use from the wireless spectrum TV wastes. By auctioning their spectrum for use by mobile devices.

ATO eTax

Terrible. The BitRock Install Builder feels like something from Windows circa 1998. I had earlier tried to install it on my 2005 PowerPC iMac (since I keep nothing critical on that). I also have to wonder why there is a shell script in the install that lets you choose between an Intel and a PPC version. Especially since it was compiled without a PPC version. Plus the only operating systems allowed all postdate the last version able to run on a PPC model. Why did they not just let you drop the App where you want it, without an installer?

After a while I had enough information entered that eTax asked to identify me to the Taxation Office, and get more information. It helpfully provided a reasonably complex password. However at that point you could not print that to save it. I did a screen capture of the password window so I have it on hand next time. If it had used more standard methods I could have simply automatically saved the password in Keychain Access, and had it available whenever I wanted it.

Text nearly impossible to read on my high resolution 2560*1440 display, and it does not seem to respond when I ask it to zoom. Very few standard OS X function are available.

The eTax help does not use the standard OS X help system at all. You can not even zoom text. It does not even seem to list as a process in Activity Monitor.

I got lost in the supplemental tax form details. It was hard to identify headings, and relate them to the subheadings on my documentation. I do not even have a PDF of what I entered as there is a print preview problem.

eTax stored a log file and an ini file in a hidden .etax folder in my Documents directory. Why wasn't the log file put in the standard log file directory? Besides, dumping hidden directories in a user document area is pretty silly. The Macintosh has standard areas for such files. eTax should have used them.

Overall, the program is pathetic.

Tuesday 3 September 2013


I slept in late, and was not up until six. I have a hangover, which is really unfair considering I did not drink any alcohol. I blame sugar. If I eat confectionary late at night, I seem to have a headache in the morning.

My weight is 68 kilograms. Still going down.

We took the two boxes of D ring binders over to Reception, together with the comb binding machine and copious supplies. Jo-ann was there early, as I expected. So she now has three big boxes of office supplies from us.

We continued to Willows, walked around a couple of times, and then did grocery shopping at Coles.

Garden cleanup, followed by my first lunch at the Carlton Theatre with Jeff, Dot and Ray.

I am now totally full, after the largest meal I have eaten in ages.

Duncan asked about getting a book online. I suggested he ask QBD bookshop at Willows first.

The Greens arrived, to give Jean some flyers and posters for her stin at the school for the election.

We went for a one kilometre walk in the evening, when it was getting a lot cooler. Only two flyers, no actual mail.

Cleanup Garage

I continued to move junk and clean out the garage. Luckily I had several breaks. Frank asked for advice on an iPad problem via Messages. So I did screen captures of how to solve it and messaged the images back. I worked a bit on the garden, putting more of the river pebbles into the garden. I distributed the heavier boxes of rocks, and now have only three partially full boxes of rocks to distribute. Holger was headed home, and stopped to chat. Nice to catch up with neighbours.

Carlton Theatre Meal

I had my first lunch at the Carlton Theatre, since I knew from Ray some of the people I see regularly would be there today. I ate with Jeff, Dot and Ray.

The back of the Theatre was looking really nice, with plants acting as virtual walls, and the four seat restaurant tables out. I had feared the folding plastic tables would be used, which would be far too like a canteen. There were even table clothes, and wine glasses on each table. This meal arrangement seems an idea that came from Garry from the RSL. He was there, and doing a great job.

Penny was supplying food. She was a very popular waitress years ago when she was at the restaurant. Afterwards she set up her own cooking business.

I had a small sausage and vegetable (one sausage instead of two). Seems to me the hot boxes do not totally solve the problem of keeping the meals hot from Rasmussen, but it was not cold. Having access to a microwave may have lifted that a bit. Afterwards I also had a apple crumble with custard, which I enjoyed far too much for my diet.

The RSL and Social Club have done a wonderful job of adding service to the village. Jerry tells me has has eaten there every day since the restaurant was closed by the receivers failure to let out a tender. I noticed Jo-ann from reception was there. She also collected meals for her office staff.

Government Spending Zero Sum?

I keep hearing that government stimulus spending in Australia is what kept Australia from going into recession during the 2008 global financial crisis. I am not sure I believe it.

Lots of countries saw increases of government spending (as a percentage of GDP) in 2007 to 2009. If you look at the 34 OECD nations (where we have reasonable figures), the four nations (Estonia, Ireland, Slokak Republic, and Finland) with the largest stimulus via increases in government spending (12.8%, 11.7%, 7.5%, 11.7%) actually also had the least GDP growth (-35.5%, -20.5%, -18%, -17.8%). Now maybe these were all going to be basket cases anyhow, and that is why their stimulus was so high. Maybe they would have been even worse had they not spent.

The USA spent 7.35%, and went backwards by -8.4%. Federal spending went from 21.4% of GDP in late 2007 to a high of 27.3% in 2009. Now it is true that in a recession government spending increases automatically (no-one else is spending much). Maybe that explains everything. I don't believe it.

Australian government spending went up 3.3%, and GDP was -3.5% from 2006-07 to 2008-09. Saying increased government spending (and going into debt) saved us is a belief in faith healing.

Wednesday 4 September 2013


I got up a little after five. I dressed warmly since the morning was chilly, and went outside to see the six minute pass by the International Space Station (ISS). Alas, cloud cover meant I saw it only briefly when it first came in view to the SE, and then for a short while overhead through a break in the clouds.

My weight has gone back up to 68.3 kilograms. Nothing like a full, albeit small lunch, followed by apple crumble. Plus a glass of wine. So one decent meal a day is all I can manage.

We had scrambled eggs on a piece of toast for breakfast. Then we headed for Willows. Only a short walk, and then first in the queue at the Post Office. Jean sent off a computer, but it had to go seamail not airmail (battery prevents air). I sent plasma lights to Lewis, and my contribution to FLAP. Although under 500 grams, airmail to the USA cost a staggering $15.50.

Packing bag. Updating iOS devices. Can not do a good job of much else.

I ordered a book about a mine disaster for Duncan.

Visit to the bar, as a bring your own, in lieu of regular visit to the bar.


I really hate how slow the internet is. You always need to have some alternative action ready to look at, while something else downloads in background. That lack of background action is why the iPad is not as much use as it might be.

Pub With No Beer

I visited the bar at four, together with Jean, who wanted a walk. More accurately, we visited the area outside the closed pub. Jeff had not wanted to give up his regular pub visit, and so contacted the regulars to bring their own drinks and have their social visit anyhow. I prevailed upon Jean to attend, just to shock anyone who was used to her not attending the pub.

Jeff was there, just Jeff at first. The next attendee was Ian. Ray arrived, as did another sometime attendee.

Our electrician Duanh passed by. His van was outside the Carlton Theatre. Carlyle Gardens are indeed (finally) separating out the power circuits for the restaurant and bar area from the circuits for Carlyle Square and the pool pumps. Since the electrician was there, I asked about when our TV antenna would be installed. We have a little list, which I sent him in January. I revived the list, in case he attends while Jean is home.

Jean wandered off after a little while, once she had finished her glass of wine. A little later Harry turned up, despite needing a cane to get around. Harry was complaining about how cool it was in the windy surrounds beside the swimming pool. It was indeed very windy, and has been for several days in the afternoon. Much more pleasant inside the bar.

Drank too much wine. These days two glasses is probably too much wine. However at least I had taken some of Jean's biscuits and some cheese with me, so I had food with the wine.

The group broke up around six, which is the usual time.

Carlyle Gardens

I am sick and tired of Carlyle Gardens. The amount of increased crap after it went into receivership is annoying. The decline in facilities is infuriating. I simply do not want to live here at all. So I am leaving, as often as I can.

Thursday 5 September 2013


I did not sleep well at all. Got up around six. Checked email and other computer junk. We put the egg shells out, so there was no garbage on hand after the garbage truck goes through this morning.

My weight was 68.2 kilograms.

Once again scrambled eggs on toast for breakfast. Being out of cereal is a major factor in that decision.

While I walked to the mail boxes, I also took a set of four LED GU10 downlight bulbs to Jeff. He had complained about his CFL taking a long time to get bright. I have been testing LED for a fair while now. Naturally all the mail was for Jean.

Bus to Airlie Beach

I was surprised to find the Greyhound bus was already at the terminal. Rather unusual for the bus to beat us and be there a quarter hour early. There was lots of road construction, which meant the drive was rather slow. So we were late, as anticipated by the drive Dave.

We had a short break before Bowen. Returned to the bus to find a PeeWee perched on the steering wheel. We moved away from the bus door, while the driver gently urged the young bird outside.

It rained on me when I got out at Airlie Beach. Luckily that means you wait five minutes for the weather to change.

Airlie Beach

I did get caught by rain for a brief moment. So I cut through the shopping area at Boathouse Apartments. Saw and chatted with the owner of unit 50 who was there having coffee.

My bags were heavy, and I had more trouble climbing the hill. I stopped to collect the local newspapers. Jonathan was driving away from Golden Orchid Drive. He shouted to ask if was holding an election party. So I decided to do so. I sent out the party invitations by email soon after settling in again.

Not much food on hand here. There were a few rather stale items I must throw out. I had some frozen pizza for dinner, and a Neenish tart for sweets, and started making a shopping list.

Somehow or other I had managed to lose a supply of my tablets. I thought they were in my bag together with the other two types of tablet. However diligent searching failed to reveal them at all.

I had also failed to bring one of those silly micro USB cables, required to charge my portable battery flood light. I must get a spare.

Friday 6 September 2013

Morning Walk

I was up slightly before six. The day looked reasonably but not completely cloud free. Weather forecast was mostly fine. I had one of my Neenish tarts while catching up with email.

My weight was still at 68.1 kilograms on a different scale.

Set out at 6:40 a.m. on my foreshore walk along the Bicentennial boardwalk pathway. That takes about an hour. When I get to Cannonvale Beach, it turn up Beach Street and head inland to Shute Harbour Road. As I often do, I turned away from home, and went to Bunnings. By the time I left and reached Coles, I was over six kilometres. Had a single small party pie at Brumby's bread shop.

I caught a taxi back home with my shopping.


I could not find any of the Mort Bay colour change LED lights at Bunnings. Nor did they have the Arlec Lunar lights. However I did find an expensive packet of 25 of the Type 14 Bugle Head Batten screws in size 10 x 100mm Allen key zinc plated screws I have been using on my structure timbers. I needed eight of these, and had found only four in my tool cupboard. I also got some extra 8G x 50mm chipboard screws like I have been using. I need to make some more stuff at Carlyle Gardens.

At Coles I got milk and orange juice, some carrots, and could not find any other vegetables that seemed worth having. I got apples, bananas, strawberries, and some rock hard kiwi fruit. Plus new cereal. Found some humous and a few other dips. Found some chocolate ice cream on special and chocolate dipping sauce on special. Not good for diet. It was not a great shopping expedition, but it was about all I could carry.


I tried to catch up on reading on my iPad. Plus the email on my Apple MacBook Air. Instead I seemed to slip further behind.

In the afternoon I went out and took a walk around Airlie Beach. The road construction is still not finished. A month after it should have been, two months after it was promised. At this rate the new Woolworths that is getting roof support steel will be open before the road is open.

I got some beer for my party at BWS. Coopers original Pale Ale. In trying to put it in my overcrowded fridge I discovered that what I had thought was Coopers pseudo beer included five bottles of Coopers Sparkling Ale. Coopers is the only family owned Australian brewer of beer. As far as I know, all the other beers are owned by overseas interests. Noted for later. BWS have Pepperjack shiraz at a reasonable price for a while. I can restock after my party.

I totally forgot to go out and try to spot the International Space Station go over just after nightfall.

When I first regain access to a working TV, I tend to watch while doing other things. What a bunch of absolute crap they have on the major channels. Finally found a movie called Ronin.

On the other hand, Jean reports that the apprentice electricians attended Carlyle Gardens, and provided a TV antenna on our roof. They seemed bemused that Jean did not know how to turn the TV on. We really do not use TV much.


My book of the week is WWW;Wonder by Canadian science fiction author Robert J Sawyer. This was third in his trilogy about an AI originating in the internet. Enjoyed it, just like I enjoyed the earlier novels.

Saturday 7 September 2013

Election Morning

I was up just after six. Caught up with some internet stuff until a bit before seven.

My weight remains at 68.1 kilograms.

I walked down the hill and collected the weekend newspapers at the newsagency. Then back up the hill to put them away.

Back down the hill and through the markets. I had a brief chat to Glenn, who was still assembling his stall. My favourite breakfast stall was not there at all, so that plunged my breakfast plans into disarray.

When it got to about 7:35 a.m. I took a walk towards the PCYC where the voting was being held. I was obviously early, so I continued my walk for a while, before returning a little before eight. Big queue, not moving anywhere. An announcement that the poll booth workers did not get access until 7:40, when they expected to get access for set up around 6:40 a.m. That would do it.

The delay set back my voting until about 8:15 a.m. The House ballot included a number of totally unacceptable parties. Normally it is easy to start with the worse party, and work back to least bad (there is rarely a good party). This time there were about three in the running for worst political party ever. With only seven or eight candidates, that was easy.

The Senate was another matter. Eighty two candidates. So if you vote below the line (I hear only 5% do), the question was which protest votes to lodge, before you votes for six candidates who might get in, followed by whoever you least object to. Followed by working out when your vote distribution is exhausted (after which you can just number sequentially because it does not matter). It took a while to do this.

In case anyone is in doubt, this whole election has been an utter farce. Nothing substantive from anyone, except parties with unworkable policies. Labor have twice picked mad leaders (Latham and Rudd), for the sake of Presidential popularity. In demonising Tony Abbott, they have left the Liberals a very low bar. All Abbott needs to do is visibly be slightly reasonable, and the whole fear campaign crumbles. However Australian politics should be about idea and policies, and never about leaders. We do not even have mention of the Prime Minister in our Constitution. Next term of politics is the one (unless China rebounds) where the GFC bites Australia. You really should not wish that on your worst political enemies, because it is the public who will be hurt. Regardless of who nominally leads the country.

Market Morning

I walked back towards the markets. Got slightly rained on. So I walked back home instead of to the markets. Took the various solar storage battery devices on the balcony inside out of the rain, in case they might be damaged.

After musing on the merits of a greasy breakfast, had the new cereal with honey, topped by banana and strawberry. Washed my tablets down with orange juice. Plus I read some of the Courier Mail newspaper. Exchanged iMessages with Jean, who was distributing flyers for The Greens at Thuringowa High School.

Walked back down to the markets, and chatted with Glenn. He told me Alison was there somewhere. My job was to try to persuade her to attend my election party. Alison refused to attend a party where anyone might talk politics. I promised her a separate room for politics (in with the TV). I promised her a magnum of champagne. Plus strawberries. She wavered for a moment, and then went back to refusing. She did tell Glenn she would drive him over here. But he will not come.

So I chatted with Alison for a fair while about non-political things. Like awesome things Elon Musk was doing, many of which can be viewed on YouTube. I tend not to get a lot of time to chat with individual friends at my parties, duties of being the host intervene a bit.

Unit 12 Whitsunday Terraces is up for sale, and inspections opened at eleven, so I went in on my way up the hill. This is the unit below the restaurant, and whose tenants gave us so much trouble at one stage. Been converted into a six bedroom two bathroom accommodation place for workers. Probably good rental returns. Agent said $1000 a week. I suspect $600 is more realistic. I believe they are asking $349000. It was interesting to see how they had managed to fit the rooms into a formerly much more open unit. I would guess it has about 80 square metres more space than my more common twin key unit.


I noticed around 4:30 p.m. that I was not getting any email from my accounts on Dreamhost. Access to via traceroute produced an Unknown Host message, indicating either nothing there or a DNS problem. A traceroute to got lost in Dreamhost. A short time later I was again able to access via a web browser. Weird. Maybe offline for updates? Mail was back by 5:30 p.m.

I eventually found a Tweet from Dreamhost, saving they had problems with their hosting and had been offline. The timing may have been correct.


I managed to read some newspapers and catch up a little on computer work during the afternoon. Lost some time by doing minimal cleanup of the place before my party.

Election Party

I greeted Pete and Dawn first, when they arrived about six o'clock. We quickly cracked open a magnum of champagne. Once again the Jacobs Creek chardonnay pinot noir sparkling wine was acclaimed as most drinkable, especially after a few glasses. Jim arrived soon after, carrying a bottle of Pepperjack shiraz. Josie arrived earlier than I expected, saying Jonathan would be here after collecting the last of the election bumph from the polling places. He was not long. Last to arrive were Venus, who had worked late, with Bunitj. A small group, but it seemed to work well, despite it taking me a long time to get through to the Beagle pizza folks.

The party continued until 12:40 a.m. I think that is a record time for one of my parties.

Sunday 8 September 2013


I got up around six, not actually feeling the greatest, but not too bad. There was an empty magnum bottle, plus another empty bottle of sparkling wine in the sink, plus a Pepperjack shiraz, and a beer bottle. Another half empty bottle of champagne was in the fridge.

My weight had soared. The scales now showed I was 69.1 kilograms, a full kilogram heavier. Ouch!

It started raining at 6:30 a.m. Just about when I was ready to go out for my morning walk. So much for laundry also. I eventually went for my shorter walk around seven.

Trying not to eat too much due to weight gain yesterday. Even started on the bag of small carrots.

I went out for a late afternoon walk to get new Pepperjack shiraz from the BWS to replace that used at my party. It turned out the cabernet sauvignon was also available now, so I added a few samples of that to the half dozen. During the evening I had a glass of the left over champagne from my party. These days I normally do not drink except in company.

Election Result

An expected result, with the Liberal National Party winning by a large margin. I watched the repeat of Tony Abbott's sober victory speech, and Kevin Rudd's exuberant and lengthy concession speech. No doubt Rudd is great at saying popular things. It seems Labor did not lose seats in Queensland, nor did any of their ministers lose their seats. That was a better result for Labor than I expected.


I attached the small casters to my second set of loud speaker stands. The furniture casters are Ambassador 35mm wide and 36mm high, with a 30x30mm plate. Code is 15008. They are said to be good for 30 kilograms.

Did some more adjustments to shelf gaps to improve the appearance, plus sanding. Finally in the afternoon (despite the excessive wind) I painted on the first coat of Estapol polyurethane finish on the stands. With some luck I can do the sanding and put the second coat of Estapol on tomorrow.

Monday 9 September 2013


I was awake in the dark at 5 a.m. Figured I might as well get up. I caught up with email at least. Plus a little reading of Twitter. It becomes increasingly apparent that I will need to really restrict out of control use of Twitter. I made some hot chocolate, since the only milk available is the insipid $2 Coles homogenised variety. Started laundry running before leaving.

My weight is 68.7 kilograms, which at least is down a little, and I am hungry.

I went for a five kilometre walk around the Boathouse apartments, the marina beach, and the Airlie Beach lagoon. The main street is still not complete, although the target was various mid June, July and August. On the other hand, the Woolworths roof steel girders seem to be on hand, with the roof steel started. The first slab of parking lot concrete has also been commenced.

Collected newspapers, so I could read up on the results of the election. First item when home was putting out the laundry. Second was cereal with banana, honey and strawberry, and an orange juice. All that done before eight.

Wasted far too much time on newspapers. Managed to get rid of a few magazines as well. Did some painting of Estapol. Looking for things to throw out.

Watched various shows on the ABC. 7:30 report on privacy removed. Media Watch. Q and A. Tired of TV.


I am not receiving email via Dreamhost this morning, although one came in overnight. Traceroutes to my domains have issues completing. What in the hell is wrong? The domains seem to show up via the web browser.

When I checked at 11 a.m. the mail was again flowing correctly.

Internet failed around 11:45 a.m. Ping and traceroute fail to known numeric IP addresses. The Netgear ADSL modem red failure light is on.

I power sequenced the ADSL modem. Interestingly ping was still failing, however (also Google) did work. Internet is back. Alas, email via Dreamhost seems to be stuffed yet again.


I painted the two new loud speaker stands using Estapol polyurethane. Used a throw away brush as usual, and must get a few more cheap brushes. This was the second coat, and seemed to go well enough. I had to wait until the sun was off the inside edge of the balcony, as the stuff dries too soon unless out if the sun.

Handy Unix Command

man ascii







Help can usually be accessed using the -h option. mdfind is OS X only, and uses the Spotlight index to find files. apropos does a keyword search on all man files.

Tuesday 10 September 2013


I was up a little before six. Looks like a beautiful day here, so I organised some laundry ready to run the washing machine as I left for my walk.

My weight is still up at 68.7 kilograms. Not doing well on weight loss.

My walk started with putting out the rubbish bin. Our new on-site manager was headed up the hill to put it out. However the rubbish truck was way early, well before seven. I helped put out the bins at Anchor Terrace.

I did a 5 kilometre walk around Airlie Beach. I must have been moving fast, as Moves had me running for short periods at certain points during my walk. That made a good start to the day.

Put out the laundry.

Breakfast was again cereal, however I did not have any banana, so I could only have strawberries with it. No sign of the kiwi fruit being closer to being able to be eaten. Still as hard as rocks.

I went out again around lunchtime, which was a mistake as it is getting warm these early days of Spring. Went to BWS, to check for cheap liquor supplies for my parties. Found some fill in rum. Must grab more Pepperjack shiraz while it remains cheap. Added a little to my walk totals. Ate too much for lunch, and most snacked for dinner. Fear for my weight.

Started more exercise finally. A few pushups. More than a few situps. Twenty at a time. I need to get to 50 at a time. Getting back in shape will take a long while.


I used a narrow brush to get a few of the shelf surfaces painted better. Second coat of Estapol on them. I think that is probably the last of the Estapol work. Hope so, as I am running out of cheap brushes.

Assembled the nice looking curved stand Grange floor lamp I got at Bunnings hardware last trip. Luckily this is fairly easy. It seems to take forever to get at assembling this stuff.

Wednesday 11 September 2013


I got up at five, did some arthritic situps and pushups, and started to check the internet for the Apple event.

Weight remains stubborn at 68.7 kilograms, thanks to snacking.

Walked around Airlie Beach this morning. Pace over 5 kilometres less than 10 minutes per kilometre. Moves thought I was running much of the time. That was a very good walk. Pity the rest of my exercise revealed I was a slob.

It took me ages to discover where my soldering iron had gone. I went through a bunch of electronics kits to decide which ones I wanted to build first.

New Apple iPhone 5s

A system-on-a-chip A7, which is a 64-bit chip. Twice as many transistors for same physical space as the A6. CPU and graphics are twice as fast. CPU is 40x faster than original iPhone, with half coming with jump between A6 and A7

A new Motion co-processor M7 component, works alongside the A7. Continuously measures motion data, accelerometer, gyroscope, compass, for a new generation of health and fitness apps. New CoreMotion API in iOS 7, identifies user movement, optimisations based on contextual awareness.

Colours are slate, gold and silver.

A new five-element Apple-designed lens with F2.2 aperture for the main camera. 15% larger active sensor area, providing 1.5 micron pixels. Double-LED flash, one is cool and white, other is warm and amber. Automatically sets white balance, exposure level, creates dynamic local tone map. Autofocus matrix metering. Takes multiple photos and picks the best. Auto-image stabilisation takes multiple photos, combines for light levels and then picks the sharpest. New 10 frame per second burst mode. Hold down the shutter and will take images for as long as the button is held. HD video at 720p at 120fps.

Battery life, 10 hours 3G talk time, LTE browsing, Wi-FI browsing, video. 8 hours 3G browsing, 40 hours music, 250 hours standby.

Touch ID built into new sapphire crystal home button. Capacitive touch to read fingerprint, all fingerprints are encrypted. Fingerprint is never available to other apps, and never uploaded to servers or backed up to iCloud. Sensor is 170 microns, 500ppi resolution, scans sub-epidermal skin layers and can read in any finger orientation.

Sounds like iPhone 5s has potential.


A fire alarm at the Whitsunday Terraces around 10:30 p.m. After a quick check for actual smoke or fire in this building, I did exactly what most of us do. I ignored the alarm.

The alarm was switched off after a few minutes. It started again at once. This sequence repeated several times. Even when it was switched off finally it came back for a few seconds. Then it came back again. Rinse and repeat. I suspect someone smashed one of the external alarm buttons. Although it could be a wiring fault.

The volunteer fire brigade arrived about fifteen minutes later to attend the alarm. I hope the security video cameras show who set it off.

A later note. The security video cameras work, but the computer that holds the video input card for that area does not. So no video of whoever set off the alarm. Just great!

Labor Values

In his 2007 valedictory address Kim Beazley recalled the central question that faced Labor in the 1960s: Are we a party whose basic ideology is committed to the socialisation of the means of production, distribution and exchange, or are we a party where our fundamental ideology is equal opportunity for all?

Thursday 12 September 2013


I was up well before six. Checked the email, and tried to catch up on Twitter. I really must start getting Twitter under control. Set out on a long walk soon after six.

My weight is 68.7 kilograms, unchanged for several days.

Did not find anything at Bunnings. However they will try to find me some more of the RGB LED colour change lights.

Got a party pie and a party sausage roll at Brumbys. Only things I could find at Coles were bananas, and ham. Although I did find some milk, not homogenised. So I bought that milk to try out.

Totally wrecked by my walk.

Got to watch ST:DS9 this evening. In between trying to catch up on computer.


I set out on my exercise walk. The first stage was along the Bicentennial Path to Cannonvale. Inland at Beach Street, and then to Bunnings. Just over five kilometres. I was very pleased to average 9:11 per kilometre. However my legs are really wrecked from that pace.

I sauntered back to Coles, only a little over a kilometre.

Back from Cannonvale to Airlie Beach, over the hills. A little over three kilometres. Total distance came to 9.39 kilometres, mostly before nine.


I have my new loud speaker stands set up. They look pretty good. The speaker position seems about right. Apple TV all connected and working well. I tested it by viewing the Apple iPhone event I downloaded.

Only thing wrong is that there are way too many ugly looking leads all over the place. I need to think up a good way to hide the leads.

GFC Five Years On

A wonderful future awaits us all, five years on from the Lehman Brothers collapse, and the ensuing global financial crisis (GFC).

Banks got too big to be allowed to fail, so they had to get smaller (they actually got even bigger).

Non-banking financial activities doing shadow banking needed to be controlled (tighter bank regulations have pushed more money into shadow banking).

Public trust in central bank ability to control inflation and regulate investment was shattered (actually blind faith in regulators is even higher).

A general public uprising against the rich would help redistribute wealth more equitably (actually the one percent got even richer and made most of the gains from government intervention).

Wonderful. Just bloody wonderful.

Friday 13 September 2013


I was up before six.

My weight was 68.2 kilograms.

I felt terrible, which is so appropriate on Friday 13th. Actually it is my legs, after the long, fast walk yesterday. Despite that I took a slow walk starting a little after six. Only a bit over five kilometres, and at a slow pace.

Cereal with kiwi fruit, banana and strawberries for breakfast. I am not sure the new milk is any better than the cheap dollar a litre milk Coles sell. I need to taste test it without cereal.

The Woolworths site is very active. One bay is covered with structural steelwork for the roof. Still a lot to go, but they seem to be working on the roof fairly quickly. The car park concrete is going very fast. Another two large areas cast. Two more look ready for a concrete pour. I would think a third of the parking lot is done.

Went for a walk to BWS and got more Pepperjack for my parties. Only a kilometre walk, but it all helps.

Left over salad for lunch. Not a good experiment.

Movie of the Week Push

I could hardly help notice that there was nothing on TV on Friday night. So I decided to test my newly setup AppleTV by watching a 99 cent rental movie I had downloaded some time ago.

Push is a SF movie set in Hong Kong. Lots of action as various people with psi powers fight each other.

Apple TV AirPlay

I tried using Apple AirPlay Mirroring. I was not able to get the AirPlay icon up on my retina iPad 3. The multitask bar comes up when you use the four finger upward gesture. I can swipe the multitask bar left to right, to get the audio video controls. However the AirPlay control does not appear. I can use AirPlay from specific applications like Photos.

Rebooting the Time Capsule router and wireless access point did not make any change.

The iPhone 4 shows AirPlay as it should be, however Mirroring is not available on that model. Mirroring needs the iPhone 4S or later. So I can not realistically use that as a test. My first generation iPad mini works fine with AirPlay Mirroring, with no special effort, just as it should.

The solution seemed to be to hold down the Sleep button on the iPad 3 for several seconds. This brings up a Power Down menu. You can then power down the iPad. When it comes back up, AirPlay Mirroring is again available. So the iPad had been running out of resources. Alas, the Apple AirPlay troubleshooting guide does not mention this.

Saturday 14 September 2013


I was awake and up at five, although it was still dark.

My weight is 68.2 kilograms.

Checked stuff on my computer, while waiting for it to be time to visit the markets.

Despite waiting for a while, I was actually too early to the markets. I did get my usual bacon and egg roll for breakfast from Elke. I had visited the newsagency to report on the sprouts, but the sprout person they hoped to find was not at the market. Brought them some from a new wide range of sprouts from someone just new to the markets. Took my newspapers back home.

Made a second visit to the markets about an hour later. Had a chat with Alison for a very short while before she left. Had a chat with Glenn for a while. They are busy next week, with some early Sunday event. Still no sign of Rex at all, for a second week. The sprout people were there this time, so I got some of the correct ones for the newsagent.

Ran into Jim in the car park. He is planning to work on his boat next week. Jason went by. Turned out he had a 4 a.m. session at the nightclub, and seemed … fragile.

Had a slice of pizza for lunch, and a few kiwifruit and a banana for afternoon tea. I fear all the kiwifruit will be ready to eat at the same instant. If I am lucky that will be tomorrow. If unlucky, today.

I had a glass of whisky on the rocks this evening, to celebrate the end of the week. Not at all sure that was a good idea.

Sunday 15 September 2013


I awoke very early. Got up at 3 a.m. and caught up with junk on the iPad. I think drinking alcohol, even a small quantity, is spoiling my sleep. Went back to bed at 4:30 a.m. and arose again at seven.

My weight is still 68.2 kilograms.

A day of rest. I did not go for a morning walk. Had cereal with a banana, two kiwifruit, and strawberries, and the milk that was not homogenised. All sounded very healthy. I hope it really was healthy.

I took a walk down the hill to collect a TV guide around midday. I was contemplating buying food, but really I have sufficient here. I especially have stuff going off in the heat, so I need to use it. Had a fair chat with another of the owners who was also headed off for food shopping.

Used up some of the expiring food today. Think I have pretty much managed to spot it all.

Had a small glass of port around seven. Test to see if I wake early.

Current Affairs

I enjoyed my relaxed Sunday morning by watching current affairs shows. ABC Insiders. They wasted most of the show going through the entrails of Labor losing the election. The anguish! Their cartoonists on Talking Pictures are still fun. After wasting most of the show agonising about leadership in the Labor opposition (something that will take a month to decide, thanks to Kevin Rudd's poison pill), in the last minute or so they turned to the incoming Conservative government. Topic then became that there was only one woman in Cabinet. Just get over it.

This was followed by Inside Business which had the always outspoken billionaire Gerry Harvey as a guest. At least that half hour has some content.

Next was Meet the Press on Ten. This time with incoming Foreign Minister Julia Bishop as guest.

Monday 16 September 2013


I woke up at 3:30 a.m. and got up at four. I am really getting convinced that alcohol in the evening is a problem, even in very small quantities.

Weight was unchanged at 68.2 kilograms.

Went for a walk around Airlie Beach, at a much more leisurely pace. Covered 5.5 kilometres in 65 minutes, so that was 5 kilometres an hour. No problems with my legs this time. Amazing that a 20% increase in pace, to 6 kph, hurts so much.

Scrambled eggs on toast for breakfast. Only one slice of bread available, and I managed to partly burn it. Other than that it tasted pretty good.

A small steak for lunch. I had forgotten how nice that meat I got at the markets actually was.

Wrote up a bunch of papers that were scattered around here. So a few things have gone out of the place.

Had a bottle of Strongbow cider while I watched the news. This was stuff I bought for my parties, for someone who has now moved away. Just part of getting rid of old stock. We will see if I am still having sleeping problems afterwards.


I did not have an internet connection when I tried it at 4 a.m. The NetGear ADSL modem was showing a red internet fault light sometime overnight. I power sequenced the modem, and the internet connection came back.

TV Watching

I untypically watched Australian Story, because it dealt with Robert Hoge, author of a memoir of his life called Ugly. I met Robert at a science fiction convention. Maybe it was Worldcon in Melbourne, but I think it was actually a later convention. It does not take very long to notice that behind the ugly face is a very sharp mind.

Actually I am a little miffed about all the publicity Robert is getting for his book Ugly. It means he may never find time to send Jean an autographed copy. It also shows he knows way more than any mortal should about media and publicity.

Watched QandA, which was very entertaining. It may have been entertaining with just Senator Nick Xenophon, who is saying worthwhile things about optional preferential below the line voting for the senate. I hated filling in 82 numbers. However I remain one of the five percent who will never vote above the line, since I want to control where my preferences go.

Then there was Mark Latham, who said uncharacteristically statesman like things. Was he intimidated by Clive Palmer? Clive was a whole barrel of laughs just by himself, being among that extreme minority, a billionaire. It was very entertaining.

Tuesday 17 September 2013


I was awake at five. Checked stuff using my iPad Retina, which is what I use more and more. Set out soon after six for my morning walk. Did six kilometres in one hour five minutes. A little faster walk than yesterday. My legs were doing OK.

Hoped to get breakfast on the main street at McDonalds as a treat, but no newspapers there. So I used that as an excuse to skip it. However I also forgot to buy any bread, and I now only have crusts left.

My weight today was 67.4 kilograms. Not sure I trust those scales, but if accurate it is a good result.

Had scrambled eggs on toast for breakfast. Luckily I discovered that what I thought was crusts actually had an almost full slice of bread. Now I am out of bread. But I have also had breakfast.

Discovered my lunch steak was a tiny piece of meat. Had a couple of kiwi fruit to hold off hunger until a later lunch. I have a bad feeling about this plan. Opened a cider in an attempt to drown my sorrows.

Had an apple and some strawberries for dinner. I fear this will prove insufficient. So I had a small glass of wine.

I watched Under the Dome, what was said to be the last episode of the season. It went nowhere, just like usual whenever I see an episode. Why does anyone bother to follow this sort of crap? Switched the TV off.


Reporting on Woolworths. Yesterday they had three completed slabs of car park concrete, and looked like they had eight needed in total. They started pouring #4 yesterday. This morning they have completed layout of #5 and #6, and have started pouring concrete in #5. The roof steel beams are also progressing pretty quick.

The main street is open, finally. Still some construction barricades. Lots of last minute stuff still being done, but looking a lot more complete on my walk this morning.

Capers restaurant at the Airlie Beach Hotel has new overhead heavy duty sun shelter, after being closed for several months, and the restaurant is fully open again. The owner contracted with the same company doing the street to do that.


I was doing something just before one. Internet died, again. Power sequenced Netgear ADSL modem. Connection returned.

Internet fails again at 1:35 p.m. Power sequence the ADSL modem. Connection returned.

Apple Registration

I am annoyed to find that you can no longer register your Apple products manually, because Apple have closed the registration site. Apple say their products will mostly self register when you first connect them.

That annoys me. I used to use the registration list as a master list of which items I owned. This means you no longer have a convenient list for insurance purposes.

Apple Updates

I realised I had not updated iDevice apps for a while, so I started updates running this evening. After doing the iPhone, I left the iPad Retina running overnight.

Wednesday 18 September 2013


I awoke around 3:30 a.m. but managed to fall asleep again. Got up just before six. Disconnected the iPad, and started the iPad mini sync. My iPhone change had fallen from 100% to 85% overnight.

My weight is 67.7 kilograms.

Went for a morning walk around six, with some cloud stopping the sun shining in my eyes. I only walked about 5.5 kilometres. Had breakfast on the main street. Plus I remembered to have my tablets when I returned from my walk.

I started a load of laundry when I returned from my walk. By then the sun was out very well. Then when Jean started messaging, I forgot to put the clothes out until 9:30 a.m. Need a minder.


I was able to walk almost the entire length of the north (seaward) side of the Airlie Beach main street. Only one little stretch of barricade remains.

The Woolworths car park concrete pour has reached the sixth section out of what I estimate are eight. They must have commenced the pour earlier this morning.


I see that TPG Telecom (with 671,000 subscribers) claim they will provide Fibre to the Building to a half million apartments in 60 suburbs of Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth. Trials start in Pyrmont and Ultimo in inner Sydney by the end of the year. Such concentrated areas are the cheapest to install.

Unlimited data, local and national calls, and 100 megabit per second for $70 a month. 100 minutes of international calls. Setup fee of $130, and it will be a 24 month contract. So that is $1810 over two years.

So much for National Broadband Network being a monopoly for fibre infrastructure. I wonder what TPG know that the rest of us do not? One thing is sure, they know how to stir NBN and the government, by saying they will cherry pick decent paying areas.

Smoke Alarm

I was clearing my desk when I came across a smoke alarm I had long ago disconnected and removed. There was a battery as well. So I measured the battery voltage, and confirmed it was a good battery. Found a chair so I could use to put the smoke alarm up.

A few minutes later the smoke alarm started chirping. That can hardly be low battery, as I had checked the battery. However it feels muggy. Checked the climate meters. Humidity is up there at 80%. The smoke alarm has trouble telling humidity from smoke. However this is the tropics. Humidity is often high.

Got out the chair and removed the smoke alarm. Removed the battery. Threw smoke alarm on floor. Found a hammer.

I am almost certainly at far more risk of falling off a chair attending to the smoke alarm than I am of death by smoke inhalation.

The nanny state can take its smoke alarm regulations and shove them.

Thursday 19 September 2013


I was up at 5 a.m. Bit of a headache, which is not a good sign. Downloaded stuff. Not very successful.

My weight is 67.7 kilograms.

I went for a walk at six. Well, actually I was delayed by computer problems. I walked down Shute Harbour Road. As I suspected the footpaths ended near the IGA store. Since that was 2.4 kilometres, I paused and checked the store. Still not impressed by range or prices, but it is a small store. Walked back around Boathouse, and around Airlie Beach Lagoon. Stopped at Brumby bread shop and bought a loaf of bread. Total distance walked 6.5 kilometres. Moves finally updated, after baulking for a half hour. Says I did 9242 steps. Alas, I have also ripped a bunch of skin off my hammertoe, from a blister I did not realise I had.

Cereal for breakfast, with the last of the strawberries. The milk seems to me to be going off already. Had a ham sandwich for second breakfast, as the ham had reached its use by date. Belatedly realised I could have scrambled ham and eggs.

Bunnings phoned to say the Mort Bay colour change LED lights with remote control have arrived. I will have to walk there tomorrow.

Apple Downloads

I was unable to download two iOS apps, Genius Scan and Apple's iBooks update. Pocket said it was downloaded but refused to process. I deleted Pocket from my iTunes list, but iTunes still claims to be processing it. iTunes would not close. So I Force Quit iTunes.

iTunes said I could update my iPad, but first needed to update to 11.1. However the Apple App Store says that iTunes is not available. Catch 22.

After the Force Quit, I could start downloading Genius Scan and Apple's iBooks. I also downloaded Pocket again.

Still no way to download an update for iTunes. I think it is fair to assume that Apple's servers are totally overloaded. This sort of thing is why I remain totally uninterested in trying to run things from the Cloud. It is a single point of failure.

Just to complete the whole mess, none of my email is downloading either. I assume that is unrelated. Three or four hours later, some mail started to appear. Seems it may have been co-incidence.

Around midday, still unable to update iTunes, I used Google to find where the Apple iTunes download site was. Manually downloaded iTunes 11.1. Sigh! The download is incredibly slow.

I decided to do a sync of all my devices, before attempting to get iOS 7 again. Several apps could not sync because they need iOS 7.

Friday 20 September 2013


I was awake and up around 5:20 a.m. Used my iPad (not yet updated to iOS7) for a while to catch up with social networks.

My weight is 67.7 kilograms, unchanged.

This time I set out on my walk only a little after six, to avoid the sun. Bunnings open at 6:30 a.m. so I had no reason to delay. So I took shortcuts and covered five kilometres getting to Bunnings. Alas, after many lengthy searches by the helpful staff, there was no sign of my light bulbs. One persistent staff member eventually tracked down an item in the computer. The wrong order had gone in. I guess having passed between two or more different people, mistakes are more likely.

Bunnings are going to make another try for me. I am not optimistic.

So I limped back to the shopping centre, as by now my blister was causing issues. I was late, and grumpy, so I had a party pie and a party sausage roll at Brumbys. I was actually surprised at how much I managed to get at Coles. Since lettuce was $1, I even got lettuce. Caught a taxi home. No sense being a fool about walking.

Seemed to be stalled in doing almost anything through the day.


The best solution to Federal tax bloat and State tax shortages is for the States to have the Personal Income Tax powers returned to them by the Federal Government. The 1942 war time emergency is over. Give back to the states the tax they need to pay for education and hospitals, neither of which are Federal matters.

Apple Mac mini

I found all the components of my Apple Mac mini, put them on the desk and connected them. The Mac mini is very slow to boot. I had forgotten how terrible a rust based drive is to start up. There is no sign of the 1TB Iomega backup drive used by Time Machine. That Iomega drive had suffered a fall while finding the Mac mini components. I fear it may be damaged. The 2TB LaCie is still working.

I disassembled the 1TB Iomega case, which was reasonable susceptible to taking apart. Luckily there was an obvious connector loss. I reseated that, assembled the drive again. This time I had a working backup hard drive as well. Pity about the waste of time.

Apple iOS 7 Update

I updated my first generation Apple iPad (3) Retina to iOS7. The other iDevices had not done anything too awkward when I updated. The iPad Mini ma=de it obvious that the new design really was aimed at the higher resolution retina style displays.

Saturday 21 September 2013


I got up at 5:30 a.m. and started using my updated iPad retina to catch up on social networks. I think I probably need to cold turkey social networks, and find a better way of spotting actual news, as distinct from bombast.

My weight is 67.7 kilograms.

Started the laundry about 6:30 a.m.

Off to the markets. No sign of Rex. I did have a chat with Glenn. Got my favourite bacon and egg roll. Horst says they have been doing the markets for 20 years, and the food service for the past 12 years.

Collected the weekend newspapers, and headed back up the hill.

Caught short, and had to use the loos at the the Terraces, since I was not sure I could get the short distance home. I had suddenly started to feel really bad before that happened. Not happy about that at all, but there seemed no other effects.

Home. Put the laundry out on the drying racks. Now I have done so I am uncertain about the weather, and wonder if it will rain. Humidity is 75%, and temperature is 26°C despite the early hour. There is now cloud cover feathering into the mist on the horizon.

Back down the hill to the markets. Collected some bean sprouts for the newsagency. Did not see any of the other regulars at the markets. So I went back up the hill, in case a little rain shower dodges through.

Today I actually started to catch up on some of the paper work. Not a lot, but some.

MacWorld Magazine

I have enjoyed my MacWorld Australia magazine, however it was time to see if others in perhaps the retirement village computer room would like to read them. The problem with this was that I wanted to refer to some of the articles again.

I could scan the pages, but that is a bit of a pain. Luckily the Australian MacWorld magazine tends to make a lot of good material available online. So I did a Google search for all the articles I enjoyed (trying hard not to include every article). If you add to your search, you restrict your search only to the actual magazine web site. This makes it easy to find the articles they have put online.

Just put the links into a text file, and turn it into a web page for quick access online.

This is something I have intended to do for ages. I have had the magazines next to my chair for ages. It really was about time I actually did something with it.

Joint Strike Fighter a Dud?

Is the Joint Strike Fighter a dud? It has long sounded like all the worst examples of committee compromises. Robert Gottliebsen has long been complaining about a cover up. US Deep Throat destroys a JSF cover-up, he says, referencing a long article in Vanity Fair by Adam Ciralsky, who asks Will It Fly? Air Power Australia are not enthusiasts.

iPhone 5S

It looks like Apple sold out the initial production run in all eleven launch countries in under 48 hours. No new iPhone 5S available until October.

Sunday 22 September 2013


I was up at around 5:30 a.m. on a clear and warm morning.

My weight has gone up to 67.9 kilograms.

My walk this morning was short, only a little over three kilometres. I had a certain lack of opened food at home. The only thing I could think to have for breakfast was poached eggs on toast. The milk goes off in a few days if not homogenised, so I prefer to leave it sealed.

Watched various current affairs shows on the ABC. Insiders, followed by Inside Business. As with last week, much of Insiders was taken up with a political broadcast by one of the two Labor candidates for Leader of the Opposition. I can not see why tax money should be spent on the ABC. The savings would be minor, but you have to stop the handouts somewhere.

Next up was Meet the Press, and The Bolt Report on Channel 10, where at least the right wing propaganda is paid for by advertisers. That basically blew three hours, until midday.

MacWorld Magazine URLs

I had managed to reach the June issue of MacWorld Australia in my collection of URLs. That was better than I really expected. I got through to the August issue during the day.

Apple iTunes Updates

I have not been seeing any iOS updates in iTunes for several days, although I was certain there must be some available. At least, my iPad thought some were available. I was just searching for some way to force iTunes to get apps, when suddenly on the next launch iTunes showed 20 apps available. I have no idea what the problem was, but I suspect the actual Apple iTunes Store.

Apple Updates

An impressive number of updates from Apple's App Store available for my Mac Mini. So I figured I might as well let them run, before I leave. Some, like from Jumsoft, were rather large. Plus there was OS X 10.8.5 update. Between the Mac Mini and the MacBook Air, about 1.8GB, so being able to use the faster access at Airlie Beach was really handy.

Apple TV update to version 6 is available, as at 20 September. Unfortunately, when I attempt to get it using my Apple TV with version 5.3, I am told that it is already up to date. Not sure what is wrong there. Probably the Apple download facility.

Tuesday 23 September 2013

Leave Airlie Beach

I was up at about 4:30 a.m.

My weight is 67.9 kilograms.

Caught up with some stuff using my iPad until it was time for a very small breakfast. I left home around 6:30 a.m. and reached the bus depot a few minutes before the Greyhound came in. I had a chat with the guy the YHA send to guide visitors to their door. I had shown him the shortcut on his first day on the job.

The few passengers were loaded in good time, and we were away around seven. An uneventful trip as far as Delta, where we had a short meal break. I could not resist raisin toast. I also bought a newspaper to read on the trip. The bus driver tells me Greyhound have bought about 30 new buses, similar to the ones on the executive service from Sydney to Canberra. Onboard WiFi, USB power at the seats, and leather seats. They should be in service in a few months. Next stop was Guthalungra for fuel.

We had brief stops for pickups in Home Hill and Ayr. After Ayr, the bus was slowed down by road construction. We reached the Townsville depot around midday, about a half hour late. As usual, Jean collected me from the bus station. She had already visited Dan Murphy and OfficeWorks.


I had offered Jean a Sizzler meal, which she had accepted instantly, so that was where we went. They have a sort of mini meal, a small (130 gram) steak and chips, and one trip to the salad bar. I have to say that by my current standards that was actually an enormous meal. Especially since you can also have a dessert. We were even given a half dozen of their little chocolate balls.

We dropped in to Bunnings hardware, something we had discussed via Message. I wanted to see if I could get any more of the Arlec Lunar globe lights. This time Bunnings had three of them. I bought them all, since it came to less than $45. They are not a great lamp, being rather fragile, but should be fine as novelty mood lights.

A final stop at the pharmacy means we do not need to visit it during one of the following mornings.


I seemed to take forever to get everything out of Jean's car. Took even longer to put stuff away, even though it was just things I was carrying by hand. I also needed to go through a fair amount of mail.

The garden seems to be sprouting a fine crop of weeds. I went out with the RoundUp weed killer and sprayed them. Did the same around the house foundations. Then I took some ant sand out and discouraged the ants.

Duncan dropped over to thank me for a book I ordered for him online. He is not a computer user, and was unable to order it through the local bookstore. I made it a gift, especially given how often he helps look after our place when we are away. I had intended to buy him another box of beer, but he had told me he had to give up beer for a while. He will take in our bins when we are away, and check for mail.

We went for a walk around Carlyle Gardens around sundown. I took the copies of the Whitsunday Times with me and dropped them in at Neil's place. Just over two kilometres, but at a very slow pace.

I started writing up mailing comments on FAPA. I hope to get that into the mail this week.

The Children of the Sky

My book of the week is The Children of the Sky by Vernor Vinge. This is a sequel to A Fire Upon The Deep, and A Deepness in the Sky. A fine adventure story set on the Tine world.

Tuesday 24 September 2013


I was awake and up at 5:30 a.m. I am amazed at the high level of traffic noise at this hour, which continues. I do not recall it being noisy like that previously.

My weight is now 68.2 kilograms, using the Withings scale. Not a surprising figure after that large Sizzler lunch yesterday. The weight increase is however annoying.

Started on mailing comments for FAPA. It would be good to get everything in the mail in the next few days.

We went for a walk to the office, mostly so I could make a booking for a meal at the Carlton Theatre. I also let them know when we were away, for Iain's security list.

I continued to work on FAPA mailing comments, both before and after lunch. Got the printing completed about six, after a heap of problems with the Brother printer black toner cartridge.

Carlyle Gardens Restaurant

I wanted to try lunch at the Carlton Theatre again, in case any of my friends were eating there still. Jean walked almost as far as the Carlton Theatre with me. They now had more equipment for doing the substitute lunch, and I enjoyed my sausage and vegetables. However none of my friends seemed to be attending now, which did not really surprise me.

Jerry joined me at my table after a while. I often chat with him about his railway times. I persuaded the full table next to me to all have dessert, so I did not feel guilty when I had an apple crumble. Penny has been doing a great job in supplying these lunches, originally organised by the RSL folks.

I asked about the restaurant lease contract. No one seems to have any idea when the contract will even be let out. I feel the whole lease situation is totally unsatisfactory. It has now been a month since the lease ended.

I was told that the RSL folks were going to end their stop gap lunches next week. They may even feel that, with them providing food, there is no need for the Carlyle Gardens receivers to rush in getting the restaurant open again.

Brother HL-3045CN Printer

A piece of shit. The black TN-240BK toner cartridge I replaced with one from BigW not long ago has already failed again, claiming it is out of toner.

No way has that Brother HL-3045CN printer gone through 2000 sheets, nor anything like it. I did 12 copies of FLAP, which makes 120 pages. I did 30 copies of ANZAPA, which makes 300 pages. I started FAPA, and did 14 pages of 36 copies plus some of page 15, which makes an extra 540 copies. So the toner ran out after 960 pages. This is a hell of a long way from 2200 pages the toner should do at 5% coverage.

I am utterly sick and tired of printer toner that prints half the page count indicated. This especially applies as my use was text, not black and white photos or other high coverage stuff.

Obviously I am now maintaining a manual count of the number of pages printed.


I attended the Carlyle Gardens Computer Club InfoNite. Jean walked over with me, to get some exercise. This makes three walks for her today. Frank caught me before I got in the door. I had mistaken which icon needed to be swiped up to get rid of an operating program from an iPad memory. it was the large window, not the small icon.

The talk was by librarian Kathy, on the various web sites available that had computer training, such as GCF Learn Free, a sideline of Goodwill Industries. The emphasis was mostly on Windows, and a little on getting used to Windows 8.

Afterwards there was the usual scrumptious snacks prepared by the team at the computer club. I had too many egg sandwiches, and scones with jam and cream, and then discovered the chocolate brownies. I have a bad feeling about my weight.

Wednesday 25 September 2013


I was up around 5:30 a.m. with a slight headache. I think I get a buzz from the chocolate in the brownies, or from the glass of rum I had.

My weight has gone up to 68.3 kilograms.

Had a boiled egg for breakfast. This was manifestly inadequate.

We had a few things to do when shopping. I was seeking wood with which to build a TV stand. Failed to find it at the helpful local Mitre 10. However they had restocked with pine coloured plastic screw caps, so I bought another packet of 100.

We got very lucky getting onto the road again, and with the traffic light, and pulled into the service station with no-one in front of us in the queue. Jean's car needed more fuel than I expected.

Then to Willows where Jean's parking karma had just about emptied the closest car park. I still do not know how she does that. Went for our walk, which was rather slow, but we did get around the mall a couple of times before the Post Office opened.

I posted my expensive FAPA mailing to the USA, after a delay in the Post Office queue.

Bunnings phoned me, to say they can not get me any more of the Mort Bay RGB colour change light globes. Pity.

FAPA Mailing

I had prepared a FAPA mailing, after the annoying Brother HL-3045CN printer black toner failed after about 1000 pages. It was 36 copies of 18 pages, or 648 pages, about half with colour photos. So the cost of printing FAPA would have been around $120 (assuming 20 cents per page on average). The package weighed a little over 1.7 kilograms.

After two minutes of filling in a Customs form, and an eight minute wait in the Post Office queue, I got to the counter. The staff always seem helpful at the Post Office at the Willows mall, so I have no complaints about the staff. The postage to the USA for a 1.7 kilogram package for FAPA was $55.35.

Paper and postage just seems way too expensive as a method of transferring information. That single package would pay for two months of (slow) internet access, including the mandatory phone line rental for a telephone service that we do not need.

Kogan Wrist Blood Pressure Meter

A Kogan wrist blood pressure meter arrived in the mail this morning. Our postal contractor was grumbling that yesterday nothing arrived, and today he was too busy to scratch himself.

After downloading the Kogan blood pressure meter user manual, and setting the date and units, I tried it out.

It gave me readings of 105/69, and a pulse rate of 50. That seems about right.

Pub With No Beer

I headed over to Carlyle Square at four, along with Jean out for her afternoon walk. A bunch of the regulars are still holding out for the bar to re-open. I chatted with Harry, Ian, Jeff, and later Ray. No-one knows anything about when the bar lease is likely to be let.


It seems that tonight the internet is way to slow to actually use. Unable to update anything.

Thursday 26 September 2013

Leave Carlyle Gardens

I was up around five, ready to complete the packing of Jean's car.

My weight was 68 kilograms on the Withings WiFi scale I have been using at Carlyle Gardens. However the new Blue Anatomy Bluetooth scale decided I was down to a mere 67.5 kilograms. While I rather like that weight, I am not sure I can believe it.

Closed up computer gear, and packed Jean's car. We were ready to leave well before 6:30 a.m.

Jean left the driving to me. She finds the trip rather boring, as do I. We stopped at 7:45 a.m. at the Home Hill bakery to collect the last four apple slices they had made. Good timing. We also used the facilities at Home Hill, since they are the best along that stretch of road.

We stopped a little further along the road, at the service station at Inkerman. Their eggs on toast hit the spot for breakfast. We used to get the awesome big breakfast they make, but the quantity of food in that is more suited to a truck driver. So we just can not manage that these days.

Stopped again just past Bowen, to walk a little to get the kinks out of our legs.


I stopped at Centro Whitsunday shopping centre. Jean wanted a chicken from Woolworths for the rest of the day. I checked BigW, but can not get the Mort Bay RGB light bulbs I want. I must try BigW online. Jean also got a few other food items while I was chatting with Leading Edge music about their new Airlie Beach store.

Next stop was LEW, the lighting store. They had phoned me yesterday to say the two cylindrical glass table lights I had ordered had arrived. I was able to drop in and collect these. I also bought another of the RGB strings of lights from Osram. Not a very smart light, but it gives me something to play with.


It took me seven trips up the two floors of stairs to unload Jean's car. I managed to stuff multiple items into each trip, and not have anything fall out of the boxes. That is the equivalent of up and down 14 flights of stairs. No wonder I was tired.

It was lunchtime by then. Jean quickly made inroads into the chicken, and kindly put out a plate of it for me as well. Afterward we each had an apple slice.

We took a walk around Airlie Beach in the afternoon, so Jean got to see the new footpaths and road through Airlie Beach. A little over two kilometres, at a leisurely pace. We dropped in at the news agency, so I was able to collect the Whitsunday Times. Jean was able to say hello to the staff, who wondered how long since they had seen her.

More chicken for dinner, again followed by the last apple slice each. We had that on the balcony, with the usual great view of Airlie Beach. Very peaceful, and it got cold enough I was contemplating finding something warmer to wear.


I pulled the Mort Bay RGB globes out of the three plastic cube lights I got from Harvey Norman. I plan to have Jean take these almost unbreakable lights to Carlyle Gardens.

I put the Mort Bay colour change RGB globes into the three Arlec Lunar globe table lamps I had bought on Monday at Bunnings at Domain Central in Townsville. I stripped two extra Mort Bay from other lights, and now have all five of the Arlec Lunar lamps running the colour change globes. I think they look pretty good.

I put the new set of Philips Hue globes in the fancy cylindrical lights from LEW. I guess I will test them in the morning.

Friday 27 September 2013


I was up around 5:30 a.m. checking email.

My weight was 68.4 kilograms according to the old scale we left here. It was 68 kilograms according to the new Blue Anatomy Bluetooth scale.

I went for a fast walk around Airlie Beach, which took almost an hour. Cereal for breakfast, but I have no fruit ready to eat on hand. At least I got to read the Whitsunday Times.

Jean wanted her Wisenet scans, which were probably at Carlyle Gardens. I failed to find them on my Time Machine backup, but had never deleted them from my main hard drive here. Once my MacBook Air was connected to the big drive, I was easily able to find them and AirDrop them to Jean.

I went looking for some wood, using Jean's car to visit all the hardware shops.

We walked to Hog's Breath Cafe around 1:30 p.m. As usual, neither of us could go past their slow cooked steaks, so we each had one with vegetables. Jean had a Pure Blond beer, I had a Fat Yak ale, which I really enjoyed. We continued along the foreshore afterwards, covering something over two kilometres.

Skipped dinner, after that big steak lunch.

Went to bed fairly early, after almost falling asleep in my chair.


I went for a fast walk around Airlie Beach. Moves says I ran 5665 paces or 4.8 kilometres in 42 minutes, and walked 933 paces or 0.8 kilometres in eight minutes. Runkeeper says I did 5.14 kilometres in 48 minutes, or 9:20 per kilometre. It also claims this burns a measly 345 Calories.

Two minutes after climbing the hill, my blood pressure was 151/89, and pulse was 80. My resting figures 30 minutes later were 112/71, and a pulse of 54.


I set out in Jean's car to locate some timber as shelf supports for the 255mm wide glass shelves I was given. I was not actually all that confident of finding anything suitable.

Home Hardware are amazingly stuffed with items. I had trouble even seeing the timber. However I could not find anything suitable. I had realised I could probably walk that far (about 6 kilometres) on my early morning walks, so I asked when they opened. They went and asked the boss, who is the owner. He said whenever he gets there, and a customer is there, then they are open. I was amused, and pleased at that work ethic.

At Centro shopping centre I visited Mitre 10. They had some fantastic looking Kwila hardwood. Size was 290mm wide, and 31mm thick. I could use a router to recess the glass into that. I found a length 2.1 metres long. This is the maximum size that will fit in Jean's car. I figured I could get two uprights about 450mm each out of it, and have a fair bit over for the next project. Not much change from $100 for that 19 kilogram hunk of wood.

Porters hardware did not have suitable wood. However they did have some lightweight Meranti wood in 140mm x 31mm size. Not what I wanted this time, but I could see future uses for it as uprights. It is too weak to use for shelving. Radiata pine is strong enough, but I rarely find it in thicknesses exceeding 19mm.

Philips Hue

I had installed the three Philips Hue starter set Zigbee connected RGB colour change light bulbs in the new lamps. The lamps are Eglo Geo 120mm diameter cylindrical frosted glass towers. The original one was a 450mm high 81829 model. The two I collected on Thursday are 350mm high 81828 models.

I connected the Philips Hue Bridge that came with the starter set via Ethernet cable to the Apple Time Capsule router. Found an empty power socket for the tiny power supply. I already had the Philips Hue iOS app on my iPad Mini. All I needed to do was start the app. Then when asked, press the big button in the middle of the Bridge, and the devices were all joined. Very easy.

Apple TV

I updated the Apple TV to version 6 in the morning. It seemed to take an unseemly amount of time to pull down the upload. So it was not complete until after noon. All seems to have worked fine.

Saturday 28 September 2013


I was up at five, having gone to bed early. Full cloud cover, although a fine day is expected.

My weight is 68.2 kilograms on the old scale. The new Blue Anatomy scale says 67.8 kilograms. This time I remembered not to hold the iPhone while on the scale.

An early walk to the markets, where most stall holders were still setting up. Elke and Horst were not there, so I could not get my usual breakfast. I eventually tried a sausage roll from another stall holder, but it was too filling for me. Saw Glenn there, still setting up. I collected the weekend newspapers and walked up the hill to home.

I read a fair bit of the Courier Mail until it was time to make a second visit to the markets. This time Jean accompanied me, surprising Glenn when they met. Jean had also wanted some photos of the newly completed Airlie Beach main street makeover. Jean seemed to be having a close look at many of the market stalls. She eventually got some fruit salad, while I snuck off an found a donut.

We walked along past the lagoon, and then back through town. I stopped at the newsagent, and bought some set squares. Maybe I can get some right angles into my wood that way. It took us until nearly eleven before we were back home.

Fujitsu ScanSnap S1500M Scanner

I updated the ScanSnap Manager on my Fujitsu ScanSnap S1500M scanner to version 3.2. It seems to be performing just as well as ever after the minor update.

I feel fairly confident moving that scanner to Carlyle Gardens for use there.

Fujitsu ScanSnap

Sunday 29 September 2013


I awoke around five thirty on an overcast morning. Should be fine for going for a walk.

My weight on the old scale was 68.1 kilograms. On the new Blue Anatomy scale is show up as 67.7 kilograms. It seems the two scales disagree by 400 grams, which is a considerable error.

I went for a morning walk, but was rather slow when I started, and continued to be slow. The sun came out and was in my eyes, so I did a much shorter walk. Stopped for breakfast and to read the Sunday Mail newspaper.

Had a chat with the hard working young Indian who often cleans windows around the area. He recounted some nasty experiences when out on his boat at night, with large boats not running anchor lights.

Thanks to those delays, Brumbys bread shop had time to open. They had not been open when I passed them earlier on my walk. So I was able to buy Jean a loaf of bread.

Moved the TV set.

Started the laundry operating. I hope it is complete before my TV shows start. Just about made it.

I took three or four loads of stuff out to Jean's car late in the afternoon. This was mostly recycling for the recycle bins at Townsville.

Rearrange TV

I had to move the TV set. The only decent table for Jean was in the living room. However that is where the TV is, and I like watching the current affairs programs on Sunday morning. So I unplugged the four cables (two power, antenna, and HDMI to Apple TV) and rolled the old TV stand into the studio room.

I did not mind an excuse to remove the TV, as I had intended to redo all the messy cables in any case. Might as well be started today.

Current Affairs

I watched Insiders when it appeared at nine. It seems the ABC have trouble getting new government politicians to talk to them. Business Insider Meet the Press

Monday 30 September 2013


I could not get back to sleep after I awoke before four. Some weird but very noisy bird was carrying on. I got up and started using my iPad, that being the least disruptive computer.

My weight on the old scale was 67.8 kilograms. On the new Blue Anatomy scale is show up as 67.6 kilograms. It seems the two scales disagree by 200 grams today, which is a smaller error than the 400 grams yesterday.

Jean sent me off on a walk well before six, to get me out of her hair while she packed. I only walked about 2.5 kilometres.

When I returned I took three or four loads of stuff out to Jean's car. Her bags were easy. It was the tiny things that escape confines, like her shoes, that were a problem, and why it needed so many trips for so little.

Jean was on the road a bit after seven.

Made myself cream corn on toast for breakfast. I seem to be reliving my childhood, as that is something I used to make for myself. Also the tins are not a good cyclone supply, so it was just as well to use them up.


I have lost internet connection around seven. The Netgear ADSL modem is showing a red internet error light. I power sequenced the modem to restore the internet connection.

I am still not receiving email via my own domain. Ping works, but traceroute fails. Traceroute came back. My domain web site is available, but not mail. This may be a Server101 issue. Email came back a few minutes later. No idea why it took so long.

BigPond email has failed. on port 995 failed. This sounds like Microsoft's email handler is not working. Luckily I have never regarded BigPond's email service as worth using. It did eventually start working.

Solar Power

My solar inverter output figures are 4860kWh in 14144 hours. The previous figures in August were E-total 4723kWh, h-total 13791 hours. This makes 137kWh power generated in 353 hours. 4.56kW per day or 388 Watts per active hour, in September. Panels are 1000 Watts nominal.

The Ergon electricity meter for August 2013 are 5125kWh purchased on Tariff 11, Tariff 33 is at 4142kWh, and solar power export is 2118kWh. September figures are 5257kWh, 4159kWh on Tariff 33, and 2151kWh for exports. Use for the month of September is 132kWh, air conditioning use is 17kWh. Solar export is 33kWh.

Home and Away

AB 22, CG 8, T 0

Book of the Week

I read Dogs, a thriller by Nancy Kress. As a very professional writer, she always provides good value for your reading dollar. This has an ex-FBI agent attempting to find why she is involved in a disease like bird flu spread by dogs.

International Space Station

A nice six minute pass by the International Space Station (ISS) from SSW to NE starting at 6:46 p.m. Looked like it went nearly directly over Airlie Beach. I had a good view from my balcony, despite some cloud cover.


I installed my new AdTrap automatic advertising filter. I helped fund AdTrap via Kickstarter. A very easy install. It is designed for automatic operation, although you can both black list useless web sites and white list decent web sites.

Why would you need a separate computer to filter out advertising? You can already use etc/hosts on your computer as a filter. Or you can use one of the software filters that act as web browser extensions. Or if you have the right variety of modem router, you can filter in that hardware via your firewall software. Except for the hardware firewall filter, none of these work on iPhones and iPads. I do not have the right sort of modem router, and for other reasons, they are not as suitable.

For me, the best advertising filter solution is a dedicated hardware firewall device that removes advertising from every device in the home. That is AdTrap.

Eric Lindsay's Blog September 2013