Eric Lindsay's Blog October 2013

Tuesday 1 October 2013


I was awake at 4:30 a.m. so I got up and read stuff on my iPad.

My weight on the old scale was 68 kilograms. On the new Blue Anatomy scale is shows up as 67.8 kilograms. It seems the two scales disagree by 200 grams again today, which is a smaller error than the 400 grams of a few days ago.

I boiled a large egg for first breakfast, and had it on toast.

My morning walk was a little later than intended, as I started making breakfast a little late. I covered 5.45 kilometres in about 55 minutes. I did check the Port of Airlie marina, and despite not seeing their lights the last two evenings, the Mary Rose was still berthed there. More people on the beach, exercising with some strange cylinders with recessed handles all over. I stopped at the news agent, collected a copy of The Australian. I checked their glue supplies, but they had only superglue, and PVA hobby glue. I think I have some of each on hand.

Used the left over chicken with cranberry sauce on bread for lunch and dinner.

Evening blood pressure readings were 114/74 with a pulse of 51.


I checked the glue supplies at the news agent, but they had only superglue, and PVA hobby glue. I thought I had some of each on hand, and that proved to be the case. To my surprise the PVA wood glue usually sold as hobby glue was in good shape.

I cleared the speakers and other stuff off the two loud speaker stands. I even thought to get an old towel to put on the tile floor. So I laid the speakers on their sides on the towel, and added a dab of glue to each screw top. Then I could set the Prestige brand pine coloured plastic press in fit screw caps over each screw. I have found the screw caps eventually fall out if you do not use an adhesive. Plastic seems like that.

I now need to leave that side of the speaker stands for the glue to dry, before I can add the next 24 screw caps to the other sides.


I was not able to access my email accounts at Dreamhost at 9:50 a.m. Further checking revealed the internet was down. The Netgear ADSL modem is not showing an internet access light at all. I power sequenced the ADSL modem. Got a green internet access light up on the ADSL modem. A little later ping started working. iCloud synced. Mail check worked.

Wednesday 2 October 2013


I was up at 4:30 a.m.

My weight on the old scale had gone up 200 grams to 68.2 kilograms. On the new Blue Anatomy scale it had gone down 100 grams to 67.7 kilograms. It seems the two scales disagree by 500 grams today, instead of the 200 grams of yesterday. Reliability of the scales. Pretty low.

I went for an early morning walk around Airlie Beach, and have breakfast on the main street. I ended with newspapers. Total distance about 5.45 kilometres in an hour.

I added the old Mac mini Keychain contents to the MacBook Air keychain. I want to eliminate duplicates and throw out old passwords before OS X 9 Mavericks arrives with its Cloud enabled Keychains. I fear this will take some work.


I lost access to the internet around 8:35 a.m. ADSL modem showing a red internet fault light. Access returned after about two minutes, without action by me.

Internet unresponsive again at 9:22 a.m. Numeric ping fails with a timeout. No Domain Name Server available for a named traceroute. Netgear ADSL modem lights still showing all is normal, except no internet activity. Numeric ping returns after a few minutes without me changing anything.


I added the Prestige brand pine coloured plastic press in fit screw caps over each screw on the other side of my loud speaker stands. Used the PVA glue again, despite in theory them being a press fit. I plan to leave them to dry for twenty four hours.

Thursday 3 October 2013


I was up just before five.

My weight on the old scale remains 68.2 kilograms. On the new Blue Anatomy scale it had gone down 300 grams to 67.4 kilograms. It seems the two scales disagree by 800 grams today, instead of the 500 grams of yesterday. Reliability of the scales. Very low. I suspect the Blue Anatomy scale from Kogan is a dud.

Went for a short walk this morning. I found there were at least a half dozen single phone booths. I did eventually find the only Post Office box in town. Only moved a short distance, really, so I am not sure why it took me so long to locate it.

Got all my loud speaker system organised again. Found some bits of my woodwork that need sanding and some more Estapol. Do you think I can locate the sanding pad?


I have no internet connection when I got up. The Netgear ADSL modem is not showing any error lights. However I am not getting through, even with a numeric ping. I power sequenced the ADSL modem. The lights went through their usual sequence to become all green (just like it said when I first looked at it). Numeric ping now works. I am now getting some incoming mail, but can not get mail from Dreamhost. A few minutes later the last of the email addresses came good.

Internet connection timed out and failed at 11:13 p.m. Restarted a few minutes later. However iTunes did not pick up at the failure point, and started downloading the entire iPad update again. Grrrr!

Apple Updates

I decided I might as well update my iDevices with the new version iOS 7.0.2. There goes another three gigabyte of operating system upgrades.

Friday 4 October 2013


I was awake in the dark at 4:30 a.m. so I got up.

My weight on the old scale went down to 67.6 kilograms. On the new Blue Anatomy scale it remains the same as yesterday, 67.4 kilograms. It seems the two scales disagree by 200 grams today, instead of the 800 grams of yesterday. Reliability of the scales. Very low. I still suspect the Blue Anatomy scale from Kogan is a dud.

Once I got the internet working again, I checked iTunes store. The iPad update had worked overnight. I am going to have to clean out the trash on my computer. Not an easy task.

I started boiling an egg for first breakfast, since I have an early morning walk ahead. My egg cracked while I was neglecting it. Found an egg cup. Egg is way too large for it. Sigh!

Set out a little late at about 6:10 a.m. Dropped my FAPA renewal in the mail box, and then set off along the Bicentennial Pathway. This time when I went inland, I continued along Shute Harbour Road past Bunnings to Home Hardware.

I wanted the Mort Bay RGB LED bulbs Home Hardware had advertised. As usual with lights, there were problems.

Walked back to Bunnings. Staff told me Jill (Special Orders desk) was on an early shift today, starting 7:30 instead of 8:30. Not that I could find her. Eventually she came back. I ordered six of the Arlec Lunar lamps. My theory on these is they will get broken fairly quickly.

Could not find much food to buy at Coles. Aluminium foil and a few things like that, couple of bananas and a couple of apples, some soda water. Found a fancy Lindt Blueberry Intense chocolate, and one with Passionfruit, both on special. I could tell Jean about that because it is laced with deadly almond slivers. Interestingly many items I would like (but should not get) were on special but the special price is now way higher than I recall the usual price being. Choc biscuits reduced to $2.50 for example. They sure are helping me avoid buying that stuff.

The last taxi left Whitsunday Shopping Centre just as I walked out of Coles. The stuff in my pack was not too haevy. So I walked the whole way back. Stopped at Brumbys to get mini sausage roll and mini pie that I should not eat. Also stopped at the newsagent and collected The Australian, and my copy of MacWorld Australia.

Total distance walked was 10.2 kilometres according to RunKeeper, in just under two hours. Pretty much wrecked now.

Spend the morning naval gazing (navy fleet review in Sydney showing on news).


I could not contact the internet when I tried this morning. A numeric ping times out. The Netgear ADSL modem is not showing any problems on its error lights. At the same time I noticed my drive was short of space, so I deleted the trash to make more space. I power sequenced the ADSL modem, in an attempt to wake up the internet connection. That re-established the internet connection.

Internet went out again around 10 p.m. It came back spontaneously after a little work with a ping.

Mort Bay Light Bulbs

I wanted the Mort Bay RGB LED bulbs Home Hardware had advertised. Their brochure plainly showed what they offered was the 5 Watt Mort Bay RGB LED with remote control. The lights I wanted, illustrated in the Home Hardware catalog, were the 5W LED, which is Mort Bay Item 12454. What Home Hardware had were Item 15288, a 3.2W version with a different remote control. Their own accounting system insists they are the 5W version. I bought the four they had, and they are going to check on the product for me. Sigh


I spent the afternoon listening to music on my newly revived loud speaker system. Now to organise the music a little better. But later.

I munched on the lollies I bought when I visited Coles. Proves once again if a lolly is in the house, I will not resist it. So the only solution is not to buy lollies in the first place. I knew that. I was just so damn hungry after a seven kilometre walk. I should have had a large breakfast.

Saturday 5 October 2013


I was up in the pre-dawn darkness at five o'clock. It was actually cool (for the tropics) with inside the house still being 22°C when I thought to check at six.

My weight is 68 kilograms on the old scale, 67.7 kilograms on the Blue Anatomy scale.

I walked down to the market. Not a lot of action there. No sign of Rex at all. Glenn tells me Alison is away. Not likely to be many people at my party tonight.

Pretty much nothing that I can recall done today. I tried cleaning up some of the excessive files on the computer. This mainly revealed there were even more of them than I realised.


I tested all four of the new Mort Bay RGB LED light globes, Item 15288, a 3.2W version with a different remote control. They all worked, as did all the remotes. However they do not provide nearly as decent a white light as the 5 Watt version which was what I was actually seeking.

The new remotes work on a different protocol, so they are not interchangeable with the unreliable previous model remote. After some testing, I decided to segregate each style of RGB LED in a different room. This should reduce confusion when a remote does not function.


I need to rationalise the media files so I can actually get at them. However using iTunes when you have insufficient disk space can be a right pain in the proverbial.

I am very tempted to leave that media file cleanup until OS X 10.9 Mavericks appears. I believe that will make it easier to wirelessly transmit stuff to my speaker system or TV set via Apple TV.


I used the excuse of a party (as usual) to actually do some cleanup of the place. That seems to work as an excuse.

I was not expecting many people. No sign of Rex, not of Jonathan. I had a late message from Pete that they had unexpected visitors.

So Jim turned up with an open bottle of Pepperjack shiraz. He had sailed his boat up from Mackay in a very solid twelve hour day. We started on the Pepperjack. A while later Glenn turned up. He and Jim talked a fair bit about sailing, something they do not always have a chance to do during my parties.

I ordered a couple of pizza and a garlic bread around seven. I figured with all the visitors in town, delivery service might be constrained. Opened another bottle of Pepperjack shiraz.

I ran the Animusic composition Resonate Chamber on my Apple TV, since Glenn had not seen that. Trying to get a movie to screen from Jim's Apple proved a lot harder. It was a full version behind what I expected, still running Lion, not Mountain Lion. No AirDrop available.

Sunday 6 October 2013


I was awake around four, which was not a good thing at all. Got up and read some stuff on my iPad.

My weight was 68 kilograms on both scales. I have no idea why they have differed by as much as 800 grams at times.

I went for a short walk this morning. Only a little over three kilometres.

Breakfast was a boiled egg on a toasted crust. I am out of bread now.

Had a few slices of left over pizza for lunch. So much for diet.

Caught up with updates to my Whitsunday Terraces web site during the afternoon and evening. Finally.

Public Affairs

I watched Insiders, followed by Inside Business. To my surprise, the ABC actually had a Government politician, namely Malcolm Turnbull. I sort of expected him to be a more polished speaker than he was. Maybe none of the Liberals shine as speakers?

No sign of Meet the Press or anything like that on Ten. It is a long weekend, so perhaps that is by design. Annoying however.


I lost my internet connection a little after one in the afternoon. No indication why this happened. The Netgear ADSL modem is still showing green on all lights, including the internet error light. A numeric ping times out. The internet came back a few minutes later without any further intervention by me.

Internet went out of action again at 5:45 p.m. This time the Netgear ADSL modem was showing a red internet fail light. This time I needed to power sequence the ADSL modem.

Internet out of action, dropping numerous packets, around 6 p.m. I power sequenced the ADSL modem again.

Internet has failed again, at 7:06 p.m. ADSL modem showing a red failure light. It started again spontaneously a few minutes later.

Monday 7 October 2013

Airlie Beach

I was up around five. I could tell from the glow on the horizon that I had plenty of time to get ready to leave.

My weight was 68.6 kilograms on the old scale. It was 68 kilograms on the Blue Anatomy scale. A difference of 600 grams. These readings really are inconsistent.

Had an egg I had boiled the previous day for breakfast, and the last of the milk.

Walked to the bus stop, a little less than a kilometre away. Chatted with the guide from the YHA while awaiting the bus. It arrived a few minutes late.

To Townsville

I was away from Airlie Beach fifteen minutes late, around 7:15 a.m. About fifteen people got on the bus. Plenty of space. I munched a small chocolate. First stop Bowen, then a breakfast break at Delta. I bought a newspaper, but nothing else. A drop off at Bowen, another at Home Hill, another at Ayr. There were several stops for traffic signals where the main highway is single lane. No construction crews out, as it is the Labour Day holiday.

We reached Townsville a half hour late, at midday. Jean arrived to collect me about a minute after the bus arrived.


I was lucky that we could find the Home Hardware in Townsville. Got another three of the 3.2 Watt Mort Bay RGB LED colour change bulbs. Two were E27 screw fitting, one a bayonet cap. The helpful store say they will have more in a week or so.

Not as much luck with Jaycar. Nothing on my list was available. Bought a few fly guns, since we had a broken one. Jean found a clock to replace the wounded one in her bedroom.

Sizzler was running their full price holiday menu, and were very crowded. We gave it a miss.

Spotlight was closed, it being a holiday.

Bunnings had three more of the Arlec Lunar lamps that are under $15. They are not a great lamp, and I suspect the glass will get broken easily. However for my mood lighting purposes, they are close to perfect.

We each had a sausage and onions on a slice of bread from the charity stall outside Bunnings. A much cheaper lunch than Sizzler, even after donating the price of the lunch again to their collection box.

There was a bunch of commercial paper mail cluttering my chair. I finally got rid of most of the accumulation.

Made myself a rum and orange juice. Went over to see what our neighbours were doing. Only two were visible, so perhaps I left it too late. Seems several have actually like me returned home.

Had some cheese on biscuits for dinner, topped with left over tomato. I may have overdone the pepper.

Very tired, and could hardly see to read my mail. I went to bed early.

Book of the Week

My book of the week, meaning I finished it this week, is Cherie Priest's Ganymede. This is the third in a series of steam punk with zombies. An airship captain hired to learn how to pilot a deadly (to the crew) experimental submarine out of New Orleans.

Tuesday 8 October 2013


I was up before five. With much futzing around, managed to get the computer to receive power, and then start. Nearly 300 outstanding emails to deal with. I loath the junk email that accumulates.

My weight on the Withings scale was 68.2 kilograms. However the Withings scale now fails to connect to the WiFi network. I have no idea why not. Several hours later, and the second time I stepped on the scale a reading of 68.1 kilograms eventually made it through to the Withings data base. Again, no idea what changed, or why the figure on the readout did not match what was sent to the database.

Not sure there is anything here for breakfast. Luckily Jean decided to do scrambled eggs, so I feel very lucky about that.

Sat in on the Computer Club iPad class, in case I could assist anyone.

Lunch at the restaurant, with Geoff and Jeff.

Jean kindly gave me a lift to the Reading Cinemas, so I could see the movie Gravity. The temperatures were too extreme to want to walk.

Walk to IGA, collect some glue for construction. Then, since I was there, some Neenish tarts on special. Sure was hot walking the 3.6 kilometres back to Carlyle Gardens in mid afternoon.

Fibre to the Home

I actually have FttH, that does not work at all. Stage A of Carlyle Gardens West (The Far Side) in Condon has multiple optical fibre connected from the Carlyle Gardens Administrative area to around 64 homes in Carlyle West. Connections pass via a 32 port passive optical splitter to each home. It is an OptiComm Gigabit Ethernet Passive Optical Network (GEPON) infrastructure from Alloptic that fully complies with the IEEE 802.3ah networking standard. There is an Alloptic Home4000 optical network unit (ONU) in a box on the outside wall. This ONU is capable of delivering high speed internet data, voice (phone and VoIP), video on demand (VoD) signals, as well as RF for television.

The only thing that ever worked was a TV signal from 2009, until 2012 (when the TV signal failed). There is no backhaul, so there is no connection to the rest of the world.

Being able to actually get ADSL2+ within this decade is vastly more important to me than being able to get 1Gbps FTTH next decade.

So instead I have a copper phone connection, from a Telstra box 200 metres away, that has never exceeded one megabit per second. Like I said before, an actual, real working ADSL2+ connection would suit me just fine. If only ADSL2+ were actually available.

Ball and Wicket Restaurant

I believe this Tuesday was the first day the Ball and Wicket restaurant at Carlyle Gardens was open after the expiry of the lease. I know the electricians had separated out the power feeds. I noticed that the industrial carpet had been professionally cleaned, and had come up pretty reasonable. The chairs had also obviously been professionally cleaned. The tables were covered with tablecloths. In short, the restaurant looked very good.

Behind the scenes, a microwave was not working. There seemed to be problems getting a stove to work. The very young staff working there did not seem to be highly experienced in restaurant work, which is not surprising. Some supplies just were not there. For example, no sparkling wine flutes, despite a sparkling wine being on offer (they used regular wine glasses).

I get the feeling that Penny is likely to be announced as being awarded the tender.

iPad Training




loud speaker stands

Wednesday 9 October 2013


I checked my weight at about 5:15 a.m. Did not feel up to doing much more.

My weight was 68.2 kilograms, according to the Withings scale.

Tried to use the internet. Internet is not working. Had a glass of milk. About 45 minutes later I had the internet working as good as it ever gets here. Which means slow as hell.

Jean and I went to Willows, partly for a walk. Could not locate one thing I wanted in BigW, nor in JB HiFi somewhat later. Jean did find much food to buy at Coles.


I tried to use the internet after I got up well before six. Nothing seemed to be coming through. Numeric ping failed. I powered sequenced the Belkin ADSL modem router. No change. I power sequenced my Apple Time Capsule. No change.

After the ADSL modem came up, I discovered the Apple Airport Extreme router was working, but the Apple Time Capsule was not. The Time Capsule kept bringing up its yellow fault light. I powered down and later disconnected the Philips Hue lights Zigbee controller. I did the same with the Brother printer. However I think the problem was a bad connection from the Ethernet to the Time Capsule. The green working light came up after I unplugged and reconnected the Ethernet cable. In addition, the 10/100 Tendo Ethernet hub had been showing an orange (10MB) connection for the Ethernet, and no shows a green (100MB) connection. So, a dodgy Ethernet cable connection may be the fault.


I attended a meeting with Jo-ann, at the request of Jeff. Seemed to me that sensible things were said on both sides. I hope that feeds through to reality later on.


I joined Jeff, Ian and Ray in the bar. This is the first time I have attended and the second day it was open since the old bar was closed about five weeks ago. The new folks seem to be doing a good job. I noted Jeff's favourite beer was on hand. I also noted flute glasses had arrived since yesterday. It all takes time.

Apple iMac Issues

I was not getting a WiFi connection from my iMac. The problem seemed to be logging into the Time Capsule. This was a Keychain problem, caused when I started to get rid of the second, old Mac mini Keychain, in favour of combining all Keychains in one. I got rid of the oldest duplicated Login items, however I had to reboot before the system connected correctly.

I thought I lost the entire visible contents of my LaCie 10TB hard drive sometime. However I later decided I had been leaving everything on my main drive. I obviously intended to chuck a heap of media material on the big drive, and have so far lacked the time in which to do so.

Thursday 10 October 2013


I was awake a little after three, and got up at four since I could not get back to sleep. Not impressed by this pattern of sleeping badly after drinking.

My weight remained at 68.1 kilograms, according to the Withings scale. It managed to send the data through to my iPhone, so despite the scale claiming not to have a WiFi connection, it must manage to get a connection sooner or later.

Jean again made scrambled eggs for breakfast. We managed to avoid having toast under it. We had considered returning to BigW for printing paper. Then Jean discovered OfficeWorks had an acceptable paper a dollar cheaper. She would be returning that way after dropping me off. So we did not go to Willows.

Jean kindly dropped me off at the Greyhound terminal around 11:15 a.m. I learned from her messages she had bought a laptop on the way home.

Apple Time Capsule

I lost my internet connection on my Apple iPad. It silently reverted to cellular, and the WiFi disappeared. Nothing I did brought it back. I checked the computer, and it also lacked an Internet connection. This happened a day or so ago at the same time, between the 5:22 backup and and was just after six. The Philips Hue light controller connected to the Time Capsule was also showing an internet error. I fiddled with the Time Capsule Ethernet cable from the wall socket to the Time Capsule. The internet connection returned.


If Holden can not compete, then I do not want to subsidise their production. It is not like they build any car that I am likely to buy.


I tried downloading an Apple update. The 240MB download will take over four hours. Internet is stuffed, as usual.

Bus to Airlie Beach

I have never seen such a packed Greyhound bus, when it left only ten minutes late. There were perhaps two empty seats. I am totally unsure what happened to bring the passenger numbers up like that. It resulted in a less comfortable trip, not helped by the hideous music from the local radio station playing over the intrusive bus loudspeaker system.

I ate a small package of turkey meat from the turkey leg Jean had cooked the previous day. However I could not resist a Mars bar from the stop at Delta.

Lots of delays due to road construction between Townsville and Home Hill. We had a twenty minute stop at Delta, which was more than I expected. Still reached Airlie Beach not that late.

Airlie Beach

I collected a loaf of bread at Brumbys, and the Whitsunday Times at the newsagent. Bit warm walking up the hill. Luckily there was a really nice breeze once I opened the doors.

Jim knocked on the open door soon after I had organised to put away stuff and get an early snack. He kindly ran the various A3 size Applix 1616 schematics through his copier and scanner, and provided me with PDF copies. That was great. All manner of issues with USB sticks. It seems his operating system is sufficiently old that it can not use the large 64 gigabyte memory sticks. We chatted over a couple of glasses of red wine. Luckily I had already eaten something earlier for dinner.

Friday 11 October 2013


I did not have a very good start to the day. Got up about 4:45 a.m. and checked the wall clock on the way to the bedroom door. I was feeling very light headed, as if I had either not eaten enough, or had drunk too much, or simply had got up too quickly. Somehow I either slipped or simply could not keep on my feet. I crashed into the right angle closet wall, and hit my head on the way down to the floor. Lurched out to the bathroom, and fell again near the scales.

My weight was 68.2 kilograms according to the old scale. The Blue Anatomy thinks I am 67.8 kilograms, a difference of 400 grams. Since I had been feeling light headed I used the wrist blood pressure monitor. It gives my blood pressure as 108/88, and pulse as 49.

Decided that I had to have breakfast before I took a walk. Of course, sunrise is really early now, and it also gets hot early. I have a bad feeling about my walk, but the shops I need do not open until eight. I made boiled egg on toast for breakfast.

I left at seven for my walk, since the Coles store does not open until eight. Walked my five kilometres via the foreshore boardwalk, in less than an hour. My leg was sore from my fall for the first few kilometres, but then it seemed to ease.

I did a bit better than I expected in my shopping, and filled my backpack and a bag. Got apples, mandarines and bananas, but did not spot stone fruit, which should be in season. I could not find the plain milk, so I had to be the cheap Coles brand. Got orange juice, and some big soda water bottles to add more interesting to my water. It made for a bulky purchase. No taxi outside, but once pulled up within a few minutes.

Second breakfast was a large banana. That let me put off first lunch until midday. I grilled a small steak. It was 114 grams before cooking, 87 grams (after fatty waste was discarded) after being cooked. That probably was too small. I needed to use some left overs like the Irish stew from yesterday as a second lunch a few hours later.

International Space Station

I watched a beautiful pass by the International Space Station (ISS) commencing at 4:56 a.m. and lasting for six minutes. The ISS appeared mid to the horizon out of the NW. It appeared to pass directly over Airlie Beach, to disappear in the SE. NASA say a peak height of 86° at Townsville, 270 kilometres to the north. I was able to watch the entire pass just by walking out on my balcony. I did have to hang on to the balcony rail after my fall.

Saturday 12 October 2013


I was up at 5:15 a.m. There is some overcast about as the sun sits behind the hill, but I suspect it will burn off. Time for Octoberfest at some restaurants and bars, such as Denman Cellars.

My weight on the old scale is 68.2 kilograms. The new Blue Anatomy scale however claims it is 67.5 kilograms, a difference of 700 grams. I am carefully having a hot chocolate first thing, in an attempt to avoid falling over again like I did yesterday.

I wandered down to the markets around seven. Ordered my bacon and egg roll. Had a chat to Alison and Glenn. Still no sign of Rex. I had decided to try beefalo steaks. The only ones available were T bone, so I bought two frozen beefalo T bones, and some pure beefalo sausages. Collected the newspapers, and headed home. I really need a longer walk.

Apple and Gadgets

I had charged all the keyboard batteries since I arrived, so I started my old Apple Mac Mini. I plan to connect a variety of old hard drives, and find what is on some of them. Assuming they al still work. I also plan to throw away a bunch of garbage from the drives.

I decided to make a list of the available hard drives, as a first step to rationalising them. So first is the Apple Mac Mini, on which I tested the other drives.

The Mac Mini has a built in 320GB Hitachi SATA drive drive with about 60GB free. GUID partition format, which was used on Intel based Macintosh. Not a lot of excess space there for media.

There seem to be a heap more external hard drives than I remember. Contents are more of a mess than I remember.

External Hard Drives

A working Mac Mini backup drive. It is an external 1TB Iomega case with USB Samsung drive with about 60GB free. Windows style Master Boot Record, and I am unsure why that was never changed. Running out of space, but the Mac Mini is being reverted to a media server, so maybe that does not matter.

The working Mac Mini general external drive is a 2TB LaCie external USB Hitachi drive in a heavy grey metal case. Apple Partition Map, which is the old scheme used by 68K and PowerPC Macintosh.

A SCSI 400 drive that spins up on power up, but I can not see any contents. Disk Utility does not see it. If I recall right, that was a stand alone ePowerMac case and I put some small drive (maybe 256GB) of my own in it a long time ago. Probably has a backup of the old G5 iMac contents.

A big 1.5TB Western Digital twin drive MyBook metal case labelled Film DVD, with two SCSI 400/800 and a USB port. This did not power up on SCSI 400. However it did spin up and power up when I tried the USB port. About 950GB used for rips of film DVDs, about 550GB free.

A second big Western Digital twin drive MyBook metal case 2TB size, with two SCSI 400/800 and a USB port. Labelled MyBook 2TB and contains 1.6TB of SF film DVDs, with about 400GB free space. The USB port works.

A plastic 1TB Western Digital USB drive packed with some SF TV DVDs, plus a few SF DVD movies. Labelled WD1TB Movies DVD. I later moved the movies to 1.5 TB Film DVD drive and MyBook 2TB SF film DVDs that were not totally full.

Seagate GoFlex 1.5TB USB drive with a GUID partition map. This was an apparently faulty drive that Jim had rejected. It seems I got it working, at least when I repartitioned and tested it. Just contains some test files. I eventually took that to Jean, who needed some additional drive space.

Western Digital 2TB USB drive labelled Movies H264, which seems to be a backup of my master movies drive. Seems to have a Master Boot Record, which is strange.

Western Digital 2TB USB drive labelled Misc Old with GUID partition map, and drive name WD2. About 1.8TB occupied. Contents include iCreate (15GB), iTunes G5 (24GB), iTunes Music (78GB), MacFormat (23GB), Movies (1500GB), New Movies (15GB), New Photos (15GB), Old photos (54GB). I had a complete duplicate of that drive on a 2TB LaCie drive at Carlyle Gardens.

Western Digital 2TB USB drive labelled TV-SF-DVD with Master Boot Record. 2TB of SF TV shows in DVD format.

Western Digital 2TB USB drive labelled Movies with Master Boot Record. 1.7TB of movies in H.264 format. Also iTunes G5, iTunes Music, and New Movie. Looks really like a reduced version of drive Misc Old. I made sure I had copies on my LaCie Thunderbolt drive, and on the LaCie drive on my Mac mini. This drive will be put into use as a backup drive for my Mac mini, replacing the 1GB drive.


I seemed to lose my internet connection this afternoon just before five. Even a numeric ping failed. Nothing indicating why there is a failure. I finally power sequenced the Netgear ADSL modem, although that was not showing a red error light. That power sequence brought the connection back up. These faults are almost always at the exchange end.


A ten minute fireworks display about 500 metres to the west at 8:30 p.m. I have no idea what was being celebrated, nor exactly where the launch site for the skyrockets might have been. I guess this is an Oktoberfest event.

There were intermittent fireworks later in the evening, up to nearly midnight.

Sunday 13 October 2013


I was awakened by rain at 3 a.m. Had to get up and close the doors against entry of rain. Got back to sleep OK, and did not get up until 5:45 a.m. Message that Jean's FoOD meeting was not at 6 a.m. but rather at 7 a.m.

My weight on the old scale remained 68.2 kilograms. The new Blue Anatomy scale now claims I am 68 kilograms, an increase of 500 grams, and a difference between the scales of a mere 200 grams, unlike the previous difference of 700 grams. I believe it is easy to conclude the Blue Anatomy scale from Kogan is simply very often wrong.

I went for a short early morning walk. There were market stands around, awaiting the arrival of a small cruise liner that seemed to be running late. I chatted for a moment with Glenn, who was setting up his stand. No sign of Brumbys being open. Nothing in the way of fruit visible in the Night Owl. I collected a Sunday Mail at the newsagent, which had opened early.

Started laundry, and managed to hard boil an egg to go on my slice of toast for breakfast. I wanted soft boiled, but rarely get it when multitasking. At least I successfully hung the laundry out on the line. Well, except for the broken pegs.

I visited the ship market again around midday, so that I had an extra walk. Chatted for a while with Glenn and Alison. Then off to the small supermarket, where I found some lime juice. That will liven up my soda water.

There is a bunch of music playing down on the street today. Very annoying noise.

I was hungry late at night, and had a bar of dark chocolate. This was probably a mistake.


I had to get up at 3 a.m. to close doors against the tropical rain. I noticed the Netgear ADSL modem was showing a red internet error light. I power sequenced the modem.

When I got up before six, the internet was still working.

Internet failed around 10 p.m. No numeric ping available. No indication of failure at the Netgear ADSL modem. I still have a green internet light, not a red internet failure light. So I power sequenced the ADSL modem. That restarted the internet connection.

IRC and Colloquy

An online FoOD meeting Jean had organised for six was actually an hour later than I expected. So I went for my walk early. Arrived back a few minutes after the annual online Internet Relay Chat (IRC) meeting was due to start. As might be anticipated when time was short, I could not access the IRC channel.

For reasons not clear to me, I did not even have a copy of the free and very pretty Macintosh IRC client Colloquy on my MacBook Air, nor on my Mac mini. I have a vague recollection of deleting Colloquy from Macintosh in a fit of pique after a previous year attempt at a FoOD meeting.

I had a copy of Colloquy on my iPad and iPhone. Never used it on the phone. I had used it on my iPad. I had remains of the meeting last year on the iPad. However I could not connect to that #odfriends channel. Got strange error messages about not being able to change a nickname. No idea what this means.

About one and a quarter hours after my failed attempt to join the #odfriend chat room, I managed to get a connection. However I could not change my nickname from a numeric guest designation to my actual ID that was known to the chat system. I think the nickname server is broken.

Now contemplating deleting the Colloquy chat app. In fact, I did delete it from the iPhone. If people want to communicate with me, they can use email. Fuck this interactive online crap.


I watch TV on Sunday. Especially the ABC current affairs shows Insiders and then Alan Kohler's Inside Business. I followed that with Meet the Press.

Monday 14 October 2013


I got up around five, just before it started getting light. I have a hangover, or what feels like one, which is very annoying considering I have not had as much as a beer since last Wednesday. I did however eat chocolate. I am more and more convinced that chocolate causes me headaches. The sky is overcast with cloud, and the weather windy and cool. I fear I may get caught by rain during my walk.

My weight remained 68.2 kilograms on the old scale. The Blue Anatomy scale has also decided my weight is 68.2 kilograms, so for once they agree.

I walked to Bunnings hardware early, leaving around six. That is a five kilometre walk, which I did in less than 50 minutes, so that was better than a 6kph pace.

Bunnings had phoned on Friday to say I could collect the half dozen Arlec Lunar lamps I ordered from them on 4 October. I had brought several large plastic bags with me. Technically the boxes of two lamps would fit in the bags. In fact, they were almost impossible to handle. As I expected I had to phone for a taxi. I knew some would be at the relatively nearby Whitsunday Shopping Centre.

The taxi call centre take a long time to answer, and have a very annoying line of recorded patter about how convenient they are, and how they care about your call. No. Convenient would be having sufficient staff to answer the fucking phone.

The Whitsunday Taxi itself arrived very quickly, and did a good job, so they got a tip, as I usually do.

I was boiling my egg for breakfast by 7:30 a.m. Very pleased with the start of my day.

Must be doing some things right. I remembered to walk down the street before lunch, and finally get a haircut. That was another two kilometres of walking.


Government should be pro-consumer, which means pro-market, not just pro-business. Too much rent seeking.

Is that different from a pub with pokies? @QLDWhitsundays: Whitsundays may be getting a casino (integrated within a resort)


I seem to have broken Tweetbot on my MacBook Air. At least, I have a spinning wheel of death. I killed Tweetbot off. Came back up just fine.


I set up my new Arlec Lunar lights during the afternoon. I had collected four of the Mort Bay colour charge remote control LED light a week ago. I put these bulbs in the new light fittings. They fitted pretty neatly in the loud speaker stands I had built.

Later in the afternoon I phoned the helpful Home Hardware store. They had just received a new supply of the light bulbs today. If it does not rain, I will walk over there tomorrow morning and buy more bulbs. That should give me at least a seven kilometre walk.


I had a failure of the internet connection around 10:15 p.m. No web pages. Even a numeric ping did not work. The Netgear ADSL modem is still showing a green connected light. I power sequenced the ADSL modem. The internet connection came back.

Tuesday 15 October 2013


I was up at 5:15 a.m. and it as already light, but overcast and humid.

My weight on the old scale remained 68.2 kilograms. The new Blue Anatomy scale had changed to 67.8 kilograms, a difference of 400 grams.

I had a hot chocolate before I left, so I had eaten something before my walk. Then I walked along the foreshore to Cannonvale, inland to Shute Harbour Road, and then along to Home Hardware. I was told they open as early as six. I thought it was around seven, and arrived about 7;20 a.m. That made a 5.5 kilometre walk. I bought five of the Mort Bay 32 watt RGB remote control light globes, which was all they had. I was also mildly astonished that they still knew of mortise gauges, however they could not find the one they thought they had.

Then a walk back to the Whitsunday Shopping Centre, to bring me to about seven kilometres, and over 10,000 steps. I shopped in Coles (Clear+ list app did not sync via iCloud until after I returned home). Caught a taxi home, once some actually arrived at the rank.

Had the left over T-bone steak for lunch. Inadequate amount. Had a Neenish tart afterwards. That sort of worked. Had chilli, cheese and corn chips for dinner. Much better.


About time this happened. Stop spying on us. @LibertarianCiti: The US is losing control of the internet

Does not print to PDF on Mac @ato_gov_au: Did you know that e-tax … is compatible with screen-reader software?

Rocky @ScienceAlert: A giant flying squirrel that grows more than one metre in length has been discovered in Laos:

More bullshit @AmyCorderoy: Alcohol and sport do mix, says Cricket Australia, after banning anti-booze ad via @smh

Does not print to PDF on Mac @ato_gov_au: Did you know that e-tax … is compatible with screen-reader software?

Alcohol in cricket is not a sporting culture. It is just drug dealers protecting their addicted markets.

Has anyone figured out why they would want The Australia Post Digital MailBox? @auspost


I lost access to the internet around 6 p.m. Got slower and then stopped. Traceroute and numeric ping fail. I power sequenced the Netgear ADSL modem. That got the internet working again.

Wednesday 16 October 2013


A cool, overcast and very breezy morning. Papers were blowing away when I got up at 5:15 a.m. No walk this morning, partly due to my sore heel where I had managed to get a blister from the walk yesterday. However the main problem was just feeling very light headed. It was as if I had not eaten in ages.

My weight remained 68.2 kilograms on the old scale. The Blue Anatomy scale declared I was 67.7 kilograms, reasonably consistent with yesterday, but not with the first scale. I checked with the wrist blood pressure device, and had readings of 116/77, which is in the normal range, and an elevated pulse of 58. The light headed feeling makes no sense to me.

Dick Smith Online

I thought I had ordered gadgets from Dick Smith since they were sold off. This time I located some unadvertised Belkin WeMo remote light switches, and thought I would test these gadgets. Dick Smith had them available.

However when I tried to order, the Dick Smith web site would not accept my login. I know I have it correct. Not only do I have it written down, my computer also has a protected record of it. The Dick Smith web site suggested treating it as a forgotten password, on the basis their site had changed. However their email giving me a new temporary password never did arrive. They have a valid email address, because their advertising arrives.

So I tried bypassing the requirement to log in, and eventually spotted where I could do that. This is the point at which I found I could not get my address to enter the way I wanted it. Dick Smith have an address. If that address were used, it almost guarantees delivery to an incorrect address. So I wanted the address to be the way the various delivery services seem to manage best. I had to fight continually with the Dick Smith web site to do that.

Then I tried to link that order into my existing account. I could not do that (because my password is wrong).

Final insult. My order confirmation did not arrive by email. Usually these are generated automatically, and arrive very quickly.

Now contemplating unsubscribing.

Thursday 17 October 2013


I was up at 5:45 a.m. with the sun about to appear above the lower hillside to the east. Had a headache again.

My weight was unchanged at 68.2 kilograms on the old scale. Weight was 67.8 kilograms on the Blue Anatomy scale.

I had some hot chocolate as first breakfast, part one.

I went for a walk, but only short. Still having trouble with my sandal rubbing my left heel. Only walked three kilometres. Had breakfast on the main street. I did manage a little more walking afterwards, but only a little.


I love this Kickstarter! Motion Activated Colour Change Light Up Drumsticks Offend both ears AND eyes!

Tobacco industry funded studies rejected by more scientific journals is great news.

Nicola kicked him? @terryfrost: Looks like history won't be kind to KRudd. Can I wear my Kevin07 t-shirt ironically n9w? #auspol

Did he walk across the waters? @CanberraInsider: #OnThisDay 1964: Prime Minister Robert Menzies opened Canberra's Lake Burley Griffin.

Waiting for replacement accelerometer before buying iPhone 5S.


I lost my internet connection around 6:20 p.m. A numeric ping fails to get through. The Netgear ADSL modem is still showing green lights throughout. No red internet fail light visible. I power sequenced the ADSL modem. Pings returned, but are slow (over 110mS), and some packets lost. Still, it does work.

Book of the Week

I read S.M. Stirling's the Sky People so that is my book of the week. Alternate history, with a venus seeded and inhabited by humans and dinosaurs. A great romp in the old style pulp tradition. I wonder if there is a sequel?

Friday 18 October 2013


I got up at 5:15 a.m. when it was already fairly light. Had a hot chocolate drink as a default pre-breakfast.

My weight was still 68.2 kilograms on the old scale. However now the new Blue Anatomy scale said I was 68.1 kilograms. I did eat more junk yesterday.

I took a five kilometre walk along the foreshore to Bunnings hardware. Eventually found the garden lights they had advertised. There were a box of 20 solar colour change garden lights, for $25. This is cheaper than replacement batteries. If I manage to get a few boxes of these in Townsville, I should be able to replace all the lights in the side garden at Carlyle Gardens. I bought one box here, and hope to take it to Townsville sometime.

Walked back to Whitsunday Shopping Centre. Only a kilometre but I have rubbed holes in my left heel and little toe. The sandal straps are a problem on humid days. I guess the band aids I used were not in the correct spots. Had a party pie and party sausage roll as first breakfast. Got several things I should not have bought. Does mean I have a few extra pieces of fruit for the next few days, as the bananas look good.

Caught a taxi back. I was home again before 8:30 a.m. Eventually boiled an egg and had it on toast for second breakfast.

I had a mandarin and an apple for lunch. Felt very virtuous. Also hungry. So I had some cream corn on toast.


@JohnBirmingham Lost editing on iMac or portable Mac? You may have a local Time Machine backup if a portable

Cycling way too dangerous in Townsville @GuardianAus: Australians are getting off their bikes, new research shows

Lamb Island (off Brisbane) votes on Saturday about whether to seceed from Australia.

Schneier on why a court order is an unacceptable insider attack on security


I lost internet access around 2 p.m. The Netgear ADSL modem is still showing all green lights. A numeric ping fails. I power sequenced the ADSL modem, and the internet connection returned.

Saturday 19 October 2013


I was up at 5:15 a.m. It seemed to get light real early.

My weight on the old scale has increased dramatically to 68.8 kilograms. The new Blue Anatomy scale did not want to link via Bluetooth. When it did, it gave my weight as 68.3 kilograms, which is a substantial increase.

At the markets I chatted with Glenn. Even helped with a sunglasses sale while he was away. Chatted with the taxi driver who sells mountain scents at the markets. He sounds like a power walker. No sign of Rex at the moment, and for some time. Bought myself some beefalo scotch filet. Had a chat with Aadrian, who had been talking to council about the need for better trees in the main street of Proserpine. Chatted with Venus, who wants to get lights like I use for my party.


Don’t tell me there is a crooked union boss out there?

Trying to fit 666 in? @GrogsGamut: Odd scale … Trying to work out why the RHS goes up to 660.


I lost internet access at around 9:20 a.m. Numeric traceroute and numeric ping timeout. All green on the Netgear ADSL modem. I power sequenced the ADSL modem. Internet connection returned.

No internet connection around 2:55 p.m. I had a red internet error light on the ADSL modem. However that came back to green. However despite that numeric ping and traceroute were failing to connect. I power sequenced the Netgear ADSL modem.

Power sequence did not help. Power sequenced again. This time connection established.

Sunday 20 October 2013


I was awake early, way too early. Read some stuff on the computer before making a hot chocolate.

My weight is 68.4 kilograms according to the old scale. The Blue Anatomy scale thinks I am 67.9 kilograms.

Five kilometre walk around Airlie Beach. My left foot is a mess because of my sandals rubbing my toes and heel.

Markets because Radiant is in Pioneer Bay. Glenn was setting up.

I checked all the USB solid state drives. Copied bits over to the big external Firewire drive.

Out of memory space on the MacBook Air. Found 24GB in swap space. Way too many podcasts and miscellaneous movies on it also. I need to clean them all out.


I lost my internet connection around 11:50 a.m. No error light showing on Netgear ADSL modem. No numeric ping or traceroute. I power sequenced the ADSL modem.

Book of the Week

Allen Steele Coyote Horizon follows several characters on the settlement world of Coyote as Earth gets more and more crowded and polluted. They are given a new morality by an alien race. Some of them discover new powers within themselves, and become teachers. Some remain interfering politicians who make deadly mistakes for the best of purposes.

Monday 21 October 2013

Morning Travel

I was awoken around 3:30 a.m. by rain. I had to get up and close doors against the rain coming in. Around four I figured I might just as well get up and get started on my day.

My weight was 68.4 kilograms on the old scale. The Blue Anatomy scale claimed I was 68.3 kilograms. I feel bloated and overweight.

A hot chocolate to start breakfast, using up almost the last of the milk. Ate my boiled egg. Took my tablets somewhat early, and had the last of the orange juice.

Since I had band aids on my toe and my heel, I started walking to the bus early. So I ended up waiting for a while, having arrived nearly fifteen minutes early.

The Greyhound bus was on time. We were away pretty much on time. I sent iMessages to Jean at each stop.

A pickup at Bowen. The bus is now taking on fuel at Delta, where we also have our meal stop and the drivers rest break. Pumping the fuel takes enough time that we set out a little late, to ensure the driver got his mandatory 30 minutes. The stop at Guthalunga always took even more time from the schedule, as their high speed pumps are not as quick.

Another drop off at Home Hill, which took a while for the agent to appear. A traffic stop for road work. The Ayr pick up also took time. Then there were multiple traffic stops. We reached Townsville a little later than the 11:30 a.m. schedule, but it was not bad considering the delays on route.


I updated the Apple iPad Mini from iTunes, while I still had moderately fast ADSL (as distinct from ADSL2) internet access. Next was the regular iPad 3. Finally the iPhone 4. So all the Apple iDevices are up to date.


I was collected by Jean within a minute or two of arriving at the bus depot. We had no real need to visit the Home Hardware store, nor the Jaycar store.

So straight to lunch at Sizzler, which we reached early. It seemed to us that it was full of children. Neither of us knew of a school holiday, but surely there was some reason. Sizzler put us in a section apart from the children, so it was not much of a problem. As was our custom we had the mini meal, which is a single salad bar trip, a (very) small steak with a small server of chips (more than we should eat), and a visit to the dessert bar. Both of us were groaning about being full by the time we ate our way through that.

Back at Carlyle Gardens. I started going through the accumulated mail and deliveries. Jean had obtained and assembled a neat wooden stand to raise the TV set 30 cm higher. She had also collected some stretched canvas from Spotlight for me. They will not fit the speaker stands here, but should be right for the speaker stands at Airlie Beach.

I pulled dead solar garden lights out of the gardens in the afternoon. There sure are a lot of them.


I heard a knock on the door mid afternoon. It was Duncan. It seems he has been chasing Jean to find out where I was. He had received a USB stick from family, with the implication he should be able to view photos on his TV. However this sort of thing is not his strong point.

I plugged the USB stick in to his TV set. There were some obvious folders, but no pictures seemed to be available. Duncan said he had another USB memory stick from an early family visit. I checked that. It had several folders of photos, and they displayed fine (within the limits of TV remote operation). Duncan's TV is a fine one for that sort of thing.

So I suggested checking the recalcitrant USB stick on a computer, and took it home with me. That showed the folder of travel items was not photos. Instead it was a half dozen docx file from Microsoft Word. No wonder Duncan's TV set had no chance of doing anything with them!

I loaded the docx files into Apple's Pages, and then printed out copies of each with the Brother colour printer. Well, once I found the Ethernet from the printer was not plugged into the router. All seemed to print OK, despite font substitution.

At five I took a beer over to Allan and Mary's back porch and joined the neighbours there for drinks. I gave Duncan his printouts and his memory card there. So it all ended well.

Tuesday 22 October 2013


I got up around five. Since it was reasonably light, I went outside and sprayed some of the Asian kitchen geckos that had accumulated around the house.

My weight had increased to 69.1 kilograms according to the Withings scale. Not happy with that at all. I guess I can blame the visit to Sizzler for lunch, but I suspect I was not as careful with food as I needed to be while at Airlie Beach.

Sprayed the weeds that had accumulated in the garden over the past two weeks. The only gardening tool I know how to use is Roundup weed killer.

Jean made us scrambled eggs for breakfast. I was hungry a few hours afterwards, despite also having a glass of milk early in the morning.

We drove to Sunland Plaza, and visited the IGA grocery. Mostly getting additional cyclone season supplies. Breakfast cereal, long life milk. We got a little regular shopping also. We were back too early to collect the actual mail, which is a pity.

It was time to walk to the mailbox to check mail. I was updating a Kickstarter order, so I asked Jean to wait a few minutes. Just starting to put my shoes for the walk on when the post office parcel contractor arrived. That was my 5 metre strings of colour change LED lights. On the way to the mail boxes, Jeff drove past on his way home. We arranged to try Penny's food in the restaurant, now a couple of weeks have gone by for it to all settle down. I had been contemplating checking it out, so that was good timing.

Jean walked over to the restaurant with me, for exercise. I had lunch with Dot, Ray and Jeff in the restaurant. Although it has been two weeks since they opened, they are obviously still feeling their way. Not real sure about service of alcohol. I had the apricot chicken with vegetables, rather than the rissoles with vegetables.

While I liked the apricot sauce, the rest made a rather plain meal. At one stage I would not have minded, because it was rather like my mother cooked. However the plentitude of substantial tasty meals at Sunland Plaza restaurants as $10 lunches means competition is much harder. We decided to try again on Friday, when Noel is the cook. More likely to be like pub fare then.

Garden Lights

I assembled the first package of 20 Solar Magic colour change solar garden lights that Bunnings had on sale for $20. The earlier package of them we deployed showed that the plastic shade deteriorated in tropical sunlight. Also, most of the batteries lasted only a single season. I hope to recover some solar cells from them, but do not expect much else to survive.

It took a fair while to assemble all twenty lights. There are about five components to fit together, plus you need to put them in the garden. I had them all out before the sun was even really up high enough to get to that rear side garden. Alas, we had cloud cover by about nine, so I am not sure how well the batteries will charge.

I set up new Mort Bay remote control colour change bulbs in the five Arlec Lunar luminaire we have on hand. They should look OK on Friday evening.

In the afternoon I partially assembled the second package of colour change garden lights.

That evening Jean noticed one dead light in the new collection. Disassembling it got the bad connection restored and working.

Climate Spectator

I must say a pragmatic article on energy, and why clean coal is a joke, is far more encouraging than simply saying we should all go Green and environmentalist right now regardless of cost. My four year old house in the tropics is inadequately insulated, but it does have a ten tube evacuated tube solar hot water system, so the electric booster gets turned on only a few times a year. Even a 1kW solar power system (came totally free after excessive government subsidy) provides sufficient power to reduce my electricity bills substantially, given the generous feed in tariff. I find it difficult to believe such public generosity can continue for much longer.

On the other hand, solar power systems are even cheaper now for homes. The infrastructure and mountings cost more than the panels. When my fridge dies I would be happy to contemplate replacing it with one sufficiently well insulated that it does not need power overnight. Lights are now something where you could contemplate powering with batteries. The only major overnight power drains I see in a tropical home are air conditioning and cooking. I find it hard to believe that there are not plausible solutions to both.

With much of the domestic electricity demand gone, perhaps the demand for reliable 24 hour power will be seen to be much more an industrial demand, rather than a consumer demand?

Carlyle Gardens Computer Club

John Holt on Apple, demonstrated with his iMac. He mostly covered using the Finder. I was surprised how many people who owned an Apple were not familiar with it.

Wednesday 23 October 2013


I was awake and (sort of) upright at 4:45 a.m.

My weight remains high at 69.3 kilograms, on the Withings scale.

I managed to kill off a couple more of the Asian kitchen geckos that have returned to the house area.

I finished assembling the remaining twenty colour change solar garden lights. Planted them somewhat irregularly in the side garden. That makes 40 colour change bulbs out there. It seems a bit excessive.

Graham phoned, as arranged. Not a real lot of change needed. Things are going rather well at the moment. Hope it remains that way next year.

Jean made us a nice scrambled eggs for breakfast. Had cheese on toast for lunch, but that was not very satisfactory.


I did not have a connection to the internet when I came out at 4:45 a.m. A numeric ping failed to connect. A traceroute failed to connect. The Belkin ADSL modem claimed to be connected on, but did not seem to be reacting at all. I did not want to risk awakening Jean by stumbling around out in the garage. So I logged in and restarted the Belkin router remotely. External address is now I now have a numeric ping and a connection again.

Apple iPad Air Update

As leaked, a thinner (7.5mm), narrower and lighter (469 grams) Apple iPad Air with 9.7 inch Retina display, model 5, with the 64 bit A7 CPU, and the M7 motion coprocessor. It looks very like the iPad Mini in shape. Apple are claiming they managed to retain the 10 hour battery life. I can see replacing my iPad Retina model 3 when it comes out on 1 November.

One minor disappointment is the rear camera remains at 5 megapixel, rather than using the camera from the iPhone 5s.

Apple have added two WiFi antennas for MIMO access. This is still 802.11n, in both 2.4GHz and 5GHz WiFi bands. A useful upgrade, especially in a CBD or other congested area.

Apple iPad Mini Retina Update

As expected from the iPad Mini, a 7.9 inch Retina display, and very similar to the iPad Air, even the same 7.5mm thickness. It has the 64 bit A7 CPU, and the M7. Up to 10 hours battery life. Two WiFi antenna and MIMO. It seems almost identical in specification to the full size iPad Air. So the only choice is which screen size you want. With my eyesight, the larger one.

Apple MacBook Pro with Retina Update

A nice enough update of the Retina MacBook Pro range, as long as you accept that Intel graphics are now good enough to replace third party graphic cards. I suspect that for a lot of people, they would be. Drives are now exclusively solid state, which pushes up the cost (and the performance), and are on PCIe. You can buy up to a terabyte. It has the recent Intel Haswell CPUs, and Thunderbolt 2.

There no longer seems to be a regular 15 inch MacBook Pro without Retina display. Looks like it was dropped.

Apple OS X 10.9 Mavericks Free Update

An impressive announcement for Mavericks. Free, and available today.

Lots of iLife updates, including increased compatibility between OS X and iOS. iWork (2009) upgrades, including now being free.

I started downloading Mavericks around 4 p.m. The download had an estimated time of 9 to 11 hours.

Thursday 24 October 2013


I got up just after four. Was awake because I went to the pub and drank too much. Too much is a far smaller quantity than it once was, especially now I tend not to drink at all except on social occassions.

My weight is 68.4 kilograms, according to the Withings scale.

Drank some milk, as a pre-breakfast, as I was hungry. We eventually had scrambled eggs of toast for breakfast.

Off to Willows for shopping. Not sure how it happened, but we ended up buying an incredible quantity of stuff. Some of it was cyclone supplies, in advance of the wet season. Sure got a hefty discount on fuel as a result.

Very humid and warm here today.

Mavericks Update

I was able to start the final part of installing Mavericks when I checked my iMac at 4 a.m. this morning. The download had completed overnight, which for this area is a decent time to take for 5.29GB. I had started it before 4 p.m. yesterday, with an expected download time of 9 to 11 hours.

TextEdit hung and would not close. I force closed that to start the initial shutdown. At 4:40 a.m. it seemed that the iMac was hung up unable to complete the update. It has been showing less than a minute for a fair while. Mouse and touch pad move the cursor, so something is operating. After about ten minutes it went into shutdown and reboot mode.

At 4:50 a.m. I was back to a login prompt.

I am unable to get an internet connection on WiFi via my Time Capsule wireless access point. The Time Capsule is working fine for my laptop. I could not connect to the alternate Fast Gnome network either. WiFi has totally failed to connect under Mavericks.

I restarted the computer. It is still unable to connect to the WiFi network. I powered down the Time Capsule. The Time capsule is now unable to connect to the modem. Useless fucking Mavericks OS X 10.9 upgrade.

I powered down the iMac. I powered down Time Capsule. I powered down the modem. I powered the modem up again and waited. I disconnected all extra Ethernet connections from Time Capsule. I powered up Time Capsule. My laptop connects to the internet just fine.

This time on power up of the iMac I had an internet connection. Safari updated the open pages it was showing. I have no idea why that WiFi connection failed initially.

As an aside, there is a 10GB update of my backup happening to my USB3 drive. However that seems to be stalled at 458.6MB of 10.24GB. About 20 minutes later it was showing 5.97GB done. However the animation of the Time Machine backup icon is not operating, so you have no visual indication a backup is happening.

App Store seems unable to show me which apps need to be updated. It is like App Store update is broken. I decided to manually update a few apps I knew were not updated, like Comic Life. That seemed to start, although my internet connection is really slow. App Store update is correct on my laptop using Mountain Lion. I restarted App Store. That seemed to fix the update list.

iOS Update

I updated iOS apps. In particular, Apple have done updates for pretty much all the iLife applications. iPhone, iMovie, and Garage Band. This adds about another two gigabyte to the downloads. Apple also updated iWork. Pages, Numbers, and Keynote. This was about another gigabyte. I figure updating one computer, plus iDevices, is about 10 gigabyte. That is a substantial chunk of our download limits. It also takes most of the day (and night) to get that quantity of download.

Transferring Files

I copied some files from my 4TB Western Digital backup drive to my 10TB LaCie spanned drive. It sure seems to take a long while to transfer 1.8TB of files. About four hours is the estimate. Seems like it is about a gigabyte every eight seconds.

Friday 25 October 2013


I was up fairly late, around 5:30 a.m. I started downloads of software updates while still in the off peak period for internet access.

My weight was up again, to 68.9 kilograms.

Most of what I am doing early mornings now seems to be shuffling computer files around. However we also started the laundry. Had that hung out about 7:45 a.m. soon after scrambled eggs for breakfast.

We spent a lot of time walking around Willows shopping centre. No food shopping. However at the urging of Jean, I checked Target. Found replacement shorts, it now being the season for summer clothes. I had been seeking replacements for a fair while, and having no luck. Jean went off and managed to get into the hairdresser. I checked both Telstra and Optus for availability of an Apple iPhone 5s.

Lunch at the restaurant with Dot, Ray and John, and Clare. Noel is back as chef, and does a good pub meal. I had the pepper steak, which as usual was way too much for me to eat.

My bottle of ginger ale at home had sat around so long it had gone flat. Ugh. I poured it down the drain. I hate waste like that.

Meet and Greet

I had taken my colour change lights over to the Carlton Theatre, thanks to Jean. Installed them at the front of the stage, and helped a little with putting out tables and stuff on them. When I returned that evening I brought a five metre LED strip light and installed that also when I went over at five. That seemed to please some of the Social Club people, as well as Geoff.

The Social Club had done a great job decorating the Carlton Theatre. The theme was Halloween. True, it was nearly a week early, but people respond better than an event afterwards. Friday is always the Social Club fund raiser at the pub.

Many people came in costume. Jo-ann had a skeleton suit. She had persuaded Liz and Penny to wear them also. I sensed a certain reluctance in penny, but later in the evening she did wear the thing. Pattie from sales was outstanding as a witch. Everyone asked how she intended to sell anything. My neighbours Holger and Lexi had done great costumes, as usual.

Got to see Noel again, and say hello and have a brief chat. Great to see him return to the restaurant as the chef. I did say that his typical meals were too large for me. I suggested a regular and a small meal, with a little price difference.

After the event I stacked a bunch of about a hundred chairs on the trolley stands. That was because I was not sure I would be there to help in the morning, and wanted to do something.

Flux Lighting

I have been trying Flux to automatically adjust the night time lighting of my Macintosh towards the red end of the spectrum, instead of the daytime blue. I think it does a pretty awesome job.

Transferring Files

I pulled out all the USB memory cards that had material on them. Transferred the contents, when appropriate, to my iMac. These solid state drives are fairly slow, so I had not completed all the transfers in the evening.

Saturday 26 October 2013


I was up at 4:44 a.m. Not the greatest hour to arise.

My weight was 68.3 kilograms on the Withings scale. That at least is down a little.

Had some milk before breakfast. Scrambled eggs for breakfast, no toast, but I did have orange juice. One day to official weigh in. Being careful.

We went to Willows early, and walked around about three times. Jean bought yoghurt and more blueberries. Turned out she already had four boxes of blueberries. They were cheap, she said.

It is warm, and unpleasant. Running the fans, while Jean has retreated to her air conditioned room.

Computer Update

I had learned from Jean that the download of Apple's OS X 10.9 Mavericks and related programs had all seemed to be placed in the FreeZone by iiNet. That seemed like a good excuse to update my 2009 MacBook Pro to Mavericks.

I had already decided I needed to transfer the contents from the MacBook Pro to the external drive on my iMac. That should make it a little easier to check contents and ensure none of the older files have been overlooked.

I had also completed transferring the contents of the USB memory into the iMac, so at least that was complete.

Arranging to go to the pub left me queueing a heap of directories to be transferred. When I returned, there was about 15 hours of file transfer to complete. No reason that should not run overnight. It should complete around 8 a.m. tomorrow.

Later in the evening, when Jean was no longer using her computer, I commenced downloading and installing all outstanding app upgrades. When I was down to the last app upgrade, I queued OS X 10.9 Mavericks to update. I expect that will need to run overnight.

Solar Lights

I started checking the failed solar lights that are accumulated all over the place here. I had been charging some AAA batteries overnight, and found two or three batteries that needed to be discarded.

Several of the lights have failed electronics, when tested with a working battery. Interestingly this is mostly not the LED, which flashes just fine. It is mostly the LED stays lit, and never turns off. I take this to mean that the solar panel has stopped working. I am not sure how the electronics work, but imagine the power from the panel is used to bias a transistor to switch off. The component count is minimal on the tiny board, but there may be something in the encapsulated blob.

About nine of the older lights have working electronics, if their batteries can be revived or replaced. However the reason I bought the extra solar garden lights is because they cost $25 for 20 lights, and this is way cheaper than the batteries they contain.

This testing is all fairly tedious, because I have a limited number of battery chargers, all of which take a fair time to charge batteries. I have a rather large number of batteries to check. Our battery box (for safe disposal of batteries via Battery World) is already full.

I Hate Plastic

A plastic hook hanging on the shower screen broke, dumping clothes on the bathroom floor. That is the second (of four) such hooks to break recently. I hate that.

This afternoon I looked in Google, which located a source of stainless steel over door hooks, mostly on eBay. So I ordered eight of them. Surely stainless steel should last?


I had a phone call from Jeff just before five. He reminded me of the Saturday evening barflies meeting at the pub. A great excuse to get away from the computer downloads.

At the pub I chatted with Ian and Jeff. The bowling club had been outside despite the heat, and later arrived in force. Things in the bar got very active and lively for a while.

Penny put on some delicious gherkin dip. She told me that it, and the dips last night, were all things she had made. Wonderful stuff, and a total disaster for my diet.

Sunday 27 October 2013


I was awake around 3:30 a.m. Felt strange, which I again ascribe to alcohol. I can easily see a time I will give up drinking any alcohol. However I am not so keen on the results for my social life in that case.

My weight was up to 68.7 kilograms on the Withins scale. I can only ascribe this to Penny's gherkin dip.

Put laundry on around 6 a.m. So it should be ready to hang out around 7:30 or so. Turned out it was more like 7:40 a.m. before the laundry finished. We had plenty of time for scrambled eggs for breakfast before putting out the laundry.

We went to Willows and checked out the open air markets there. It was a bit warm to be marching around even early in the morning. I was interested to see a military re-enactment group there, in hot looking old fashioned uniforms. I bought a couple of $10 leather belts, which was my original aim. I also snuck in a sausage and onions sandwich while Jean was wandering elsewhere. Nearly as much went into charity tins as on purchases, so it is not exactly economical.

Back home to watch current affairs programs. In background, I also had a chance to clear out the 2009 MacBook Pro computer for Jean to use. Assuming she finds it of use.

I also pulled apart and tested a number of medium old white solar garden lights. As expected, a few only have dead batteries. The majority are just dead, mostly from corrosion.

Had a very light lunch of a ham, cheese and tomato sandwich. Later had a mandarin and a kiwi fruit. Mostly drinking water. Disgusting thought.

Jean and I went for a short one kilometre walk this evening, when it had cooled down rather nicely.

There were fireworks later in the evening, less than a kilometre away to the south east. I think they may have been at the school.

Computer Update

A quick look very early in the morning showed good progress on both the file transfers. The complete 285GB of data from the 2009 MacBook Pro to the big drive attached to the iMac was going along in a steady manner. Expected to complete between 7 a.m. and 8 a.m. The download of Apple's OS X 10.9 Mavericks was also running in a steady manner. Looked like it would complete the download sometime just before eight.

All was ready for the operating system install when I returned. First I copied the Install Mavericks app onto a memory card. This must be done before running the install, as it will be deleted after the install.

Next I deleted a whole bunch of my own files, a folder or so at a time. Each time, I also emptied the trash. I hope to free up about 200GB of space fairly quickly. I finally cleared the file space to 456GB, but it took most of the morning.

Mavericks install started around 11:40 a.m. It was working on the install around midday, with completion expected in 45 minutes, but realistically it will take longer. Install was not complete until about one.

Next there was the 337MB of operating system updates to get through our slow connection. I started that, but it is miserably slow to download. Also in the queue are the much larger iMovie and iPhoto. At some stage these appear to have speed up, because they were complete by evening.

However now there is absolutely no sign of any of the iWork family, Keynote, Numbers and Pages. I used to have them installed in iWork09. Unsure what has happened, and I am downloading them now.

Meanwhile I made a spare copy of the original iWork 09 programs, in case they disappear. Later found I was mistaken. The separate programs went in the root of the Applications directory. The older versions were updated but otherwise remain intact.

I note with amusement that transferring files via my WiFi network is way, way quicker than copying onto a large USB memory drive.

Current Affairs

I turned on the now antenna connected TV, to watch the ABC Insiders public affairs show that Barry Cassidy heads. This has Christine Milne from The Greens. This is followed by Alan Kohlers' Business Insider.

Afterwards I turned to Channel 10 for Meet the Press, which had shadow treasurer Chris Bowen. They also had an interview with a family that lost their home in the Blue Mountains bush fires. It seems our friends in the Blue Mountains have so far escaped the fires, according to things Jean has seen on Facebook.

Fibre Optic Internet Costs

I notice TPG are currently offering unlimited 100Mbps fibre optic broadband (only at qualified On-Net buildings) for $299 per month on a 24 month contract. Setup cost is $5000, for a total minimum charge of $12,176 over the contract. Features include symmetrical upload and download speeds and a 1:1 contention ratio (which are awesome, and both are a major problem with ADSL). The NTU includes a 1000 Base-T connection. Naturally they also include a static IP address.

Monday 28 October 2013


I was up at 5:22 a.m. after being chittered at by one of the damn Asian kitchen geckos I have not yet managed to kill.

My weight remains high at 68.6 kilograms, according to the Withings scale.

After scrambled eggs for breakfast, we drove off to Willows. Three circuits of Willows shopping centre. I fell totally off the wagon, and bought myself some Tip Top cafe style thick sliced raisin bread for toast. It was less than half price, which is the only time I will indulge in it. More of the Misty Mountain full cream milk available also, so we got another two litres. Plus a few bananas, now down to $1.50 a kilogram and looking good.

I am trying to get rid of some stuff around here, starting with the various old solar lights for the garden. Very tedious to do these. Jean says if I were not so obsessive about salvaging working parts it would be a lot quicker to throw them out.

Our neighbour Alexi offered us some ground orchids. She tells us they grow like weeds (the only plant I can grow). So I planted five of them in the front while Jean was over at the medical centre. Hope they survive despite my poor treatment.

Message from Frank about an iMac that does not start. Asked for more details. Sent links to some fine Apple pages, on magic Apple keyboard tricks on bootup. I suggested trying to start the iMac in Safe Mode by holding down the shift key while booting. Many hours later had a message saying it was working, after holding down the power switch for ten seconds, and then rebooting.

Started adding notes for mailing comments regarding ANZAPA. A decent sized mailing. That will take me several days.

Finally caught up with another Asian kitchen gecko out the back around 10 p.m. Got a good dose of Crawly Cruncher onto it before it got away.

Apple MacBook Air

I had started downloading updates for the MacBook Air last night. Before I could do that I had to remove a number of videos from it, to make more space on the inadequate sized solid state drive. I was hoping all the early downloads would complete by this morning.

I started the OS X 10.9 Mavericks install at 10:15 a.m.

The Air was ready to log in when I returned from the gardening.


I lost internet connection at 6:44 a.m. Tweetbot said there was a network error. A numeric ping failed. I went into the garage and power sequenced the Belkin modem. The connection did not return.

Meanwhile the OS X 10.9 Mavericks download said it had failed, and to start again. This was not looking like a good morning.

Out to the garage. Power sequenced the Belkin modem yet again. This time the internet connection was again established. I tried the Mavericks download. After a few minutes it resumed where it had stopped. Thank goodness I did not need to try the past nine or ten hours of download again.

Solar Garden Lights

I used a bunch of the day inspecting old solar garden lights. A whole heap of them will be in the rubbish bin come Wednesday.

Meanwhile, I ordered 20 AAA and 20 AA NiMH batteries to refurbish the lights that can be fixed. I will salvage the solar cells from all the broken lights, but nothing else is worth retaining. I will test their output with my meters when I get a chance.

I found another six failed older style solar gardens lights when I inspected the garden tonight. I pulled them up so I can check these also in the morning.

My conclusions are that solar garden lights start breaking as soon as you get them (maybe 5%). About a third are dead at the end of a year. Most are dead at the end of two years. Only a very few last three years.

Tweets to eliminate most ads. @adamkotsko: How long, O Lord? How long will the pop-over ad make my browser to lock up?

Just give up daylight saving @applenws: iOS daylight savings time bug strikes again #apple You know it makes sense.

Logitech Keyboard Covers for iPad Air

I notice Logitech have a slim keyboard and cover coming for the Apple iPad Air model. Not available for sale as yet. I like my existing Logitech keyboards, for those rare times I type a lot on an iPad.

Tuesday 29 October 2013


I was up around 5:15 a.m. Not feeling the greatest, but good enough. It had been cooler overnight.

My weight had decreased to 67.9 kilograms. Hope this trend continues.

Fighting with computer updates continues. Seems fated to last all day.

We went to Willows for our walk in the air conditioning, it being too warm to walk in Townsville. Got around the shopping centre about three times. Took a pass through Target, without finding Australian socket to USA plug power adaptors. However I got lucky with a suitable power adaptor at BigW. Jean wanted some wild berry Weetbix, if it was available and still on special. Coles must have restocked, because it was there. That gives us three packets of cereal for the cyclone season.

Had two slices of raisin toast for lunch. It goes off you know. Fruit for dinner.

Jean had an appointment at North Shore. I thought of going to the movies, but the long hot walk back was unappealing. She suggested I travel with her and check the shopping centre at North Shore, so I did. That was a pretty unappealing place to take a walk. There is a giant Bunnings well away across the fields. The shopping centre is essentially a large Woolworths food store, with a few stores along the outside of it, like a Dominos pizza. After a few turns around the Woolworths, by then getting full of mums shopping with their children, I decided I was just a moving obstacle. Went outside and bought a paper at the small newsagent. I sat outside and read the newspaper until Jean phoned to say she was finished.

MacBook Air Computer Updates

I decided I had better ensure the MacBook Air had the latest updates. So I started App Store, which reported I had 7 updates due. So I clicked update all around 5:30 a.m. A Raw Camera update started, and all the iWork stuff went into a queue, along with the iLife. When I looked a little later, there were two items installed (Raw Camera and Numbers). Numbers is supposed to be version 3, however that is not what is in iWork 09. Looked and found Numbers 3 in the root of the Applications directory, so that at least seemed to work.

There were two items available for update, Keynote and Pages. So what happened to the others in iLife? Plus why does App Store think Pages is open?

Looked in Applications. The Jumsoft Corporate Style Pack is on version 1.1, however there is 348kb of an app download showing as installing. What gives?

Then the App Store connection was lost, so I can not tell what is happening. Tried again, and seem to have a store connection. However except for Numbers 3, neither iWork (Pages 5 and Keynote 6) nor iLife (Garage Band, iMovie and iPhoto) updates are installing at all. Plus the Jumsoft Corporate Style Pack seems totally stalled. Luckily that did install much later in the day.

After about 15 minutes of beating my head against a wall, there was a change. The idiotic LaunchPad now says a few megabyte of a 3.89GB update have started. So which updates? I never actually look in LaunchPad. However it does look like all the updates have started. So that means they will occupy bandwidth all day.

Seven a.m. and I already have a computer headache. Just wonderful. Went back to reading tweets in Tweetbot. I can just about cope with 140 characters.

No, while we were away, the downloads stalled. Unchanged download in two hours. This update of the iWork and iLife apps is proving a total pain in the arse. As well, I am starting to see reports that the new rewritten versions lack many features present in the older versions. So I will have to make sure I retain copies of the older versions.

After midday. Pages 5 and Keynote 6 have downloaded. Now LaunchPad declares something is Waiting. Just as well it is not a restaurant. Service is lousy. The only things left to download (I hope) are iPhoto (1.15GB), and iMovie (1.94GB). However now it looks like the Apple App Store is having serious trouble delivering anything at all, including a front page.

I returned from some other work an hour or so later to find that neither of the two large iLife applications had started to download. So I gave iPhone a nudge. Glory be, that is now (finally) starting to download.

Later I started the stalled iMovie download manually. That was around 4:30 p.m.

Success with iMovie let me start Garage Band downloading around 11 p.m.

iTunes Search Problem

I am having problems using iTunes 11.1.2 (although the problem pre-dates that version) on a MacBook Pro (2009), iMac (2012) and MacBook Air (mid 2011) when logged in with my Standard account. When connected to the Apple iTunes Store, I see an empty window when I attempt to view either Apps or Podcasts. Music, Movies, TV Shows, Books and iTunes U all display content from the store and appear to work fine.

In addition, and perhaps a better clue, use of the Search box does not produce any results. Just an empty result form, with scroll bars as if it were expected to contain content. It does not matter how common the search term. e.g. Mozart.

These problems occur whether logged in as myself in the Australian iTunes Store (the default), or connected without an Apple ID to the USA store. So it does not seem Store specific.

The problems occur on three different Apple computers, so no one configuration seems at fault. Since I am connected via a Time Capsule, I connected to an alternate Airport Extreme network, in case of a Firewall issue in the wireless network. No improvement. The ADSL modem is too dumb to run a manually changed firewall.

I can connect to a secure website, such as which proves ports 80 and 443 are open. I am not getting any current iTune Store errors at the moment. My Date and Time are set automatically, and are correct.

I logged in on my MacBook Air to an unused Administrator account, without any Apple ID associated with it. iTunes works correctly with that account. It continued to work correctly.

Next I signed in to a Standard account I use only once a year for taxes (designated by an 8 Ball icon). Again, with no Apple ID associated with the account. iTunes works correctly with that, so the problem is not related to Administrator permissions. It is starting to look like it is somehow associated with my Apple ID, although I do not understand how that can happen.


The destruction of the USA by its own fears and own security apparatus.

Drone strikes kill more civilians than terrorists, says Columbia study

Cosmos on Bjørn Lomborg

Useless Websites

I have been finding a lot of large websites that purport to have content available. However they manage to hide the web content from the general web. Either behind paywalls, or behind cookie requirements, or some other way. I can not see any reason to treat such places as part of the web.

Wednesday 30 October 2013


I was up at 5:10 a.m. Heard another of the chittering menace, the Asian kitchen geckos, outside. Went outside with Crawly Cruncher spray, and managed to give that one a good squirt.

My weight is down a little, to 67.7 kilograms.

We started laundry early, around six, had scrambled eggs for breakfast, and got the laundry out well before heading to Willows. Three times around Willows, and absolutely no shopping to do this time. Must be more organised.

Raisin toast with lots of butter for lunch, which shows how dangerous it is to have that stuff around at all.

My orders for MooresCloud Holiday lights went buggy at the last instance. Amazon tell me two orders were rejected. This was after Amazon had held identical details for six lights for months. So four got accepted, two rejected. Meanwhile, six individual freight items on the same account, went through. I have no idea why this stuff is such a mess.

Off to the pub at four, where Laura was serving. Jeff was there, with a brand new Pickering calendar. That got some attention, and we managed to identify all the naked politicians. He tells me his Segway has arrived. Now he needs the batteries. Chatted with Liz from the office. I must have said the right things to her son at the Social Club event last Friday, when she asked me to have a chat with him about computer science. Ian arrived, still in recovery mode. He stayed a little longer than expected. Ray arrived, and was accused of living in the twentieth century. As the afternoon progressed, the century regressed, until it reached the sixteenth century. Penny brought out some of her home made onion dip for us. It was as delicious as she had promised.

Computer Updates

I found that the Garage Band update had stalled during the night at about 680MB of download. I restarted that, and it picked up and continued.


Western, Educated, Industrialised, Rich, Democratic societies are weird.

Apple Discussions acts like Borg over warranty claims for missing WiFi in iOS7, says Lessig.

I wonder why links from @TheNextWeb have no useful written content? Only boilerplate and an image. Stopped following.

Australia can have open borders, or a welfare state. Not both. Choose. #auspol

Why are there so many types of USB connectors? Why are they so small you can not tell which is which? Why only plug in one way? Frustration.

Which idiot made this USB crap a standard? The standard you have when you can not decide what you want. No wonder EU wants them used.

Can someone tell me why we were stupid enough to invite the G20 political arseholes to come here?

Wow, finally, after a day offline, two of my email feeds decided to actually start working. Internet is so reliable.

Solar Garden Lights

I had only found one light worth attempting to repair among the six I last checked. I put one of the revived batteries in that, for the overnight check.

Further checking of the 40 new colour change solar garden lights gives me a 10% failure rate from new. Of the four failed lights, three may have failed solar panels. More testing required.

I had earlier put five tangles of gardens lights out of the garage (too filthy to bring inside). So I pulled three of these apart. The ants had filled them with dirt to make a nest. Not a good start. None of the components seemed worth salvaging, although I held aside the solar panels for further cleaning and testing.

Thursday 31 October 2013


I was unfortunately up before four. Not a great start to a day in which I will need to stay up late.

My weight is down to 67.5 kilograms.

Scrambled eggs for breakfast again. Then to Willows for a walk, and a little food shopping.

I walked to the Reading Cinema starting around ten. Too hot really.

Stopped at the bar on the way home, and had a can of Coke. After so long without drinking the stuff, it tasted good. Sugar hits are like that.

A slice of raisin bread crust (all that was left) for lunch, and milk, banana. I found some of Jean's biscuits, and some cheese, and tomato for dinner, since I was hungry by then.

We put the spherical colour change lights out in the evening, set for orange, for Halloween. They looked good.

Alcohol Tax

I have complained about alcohol taxes previous. In particular, the very low Wine Equalisation Tax (WET - who says politicians do not have a sense of humour) compared to the volumetric tax on beer and spirits. However spirits giant Diageo (U.K. - Johnnie Walker, Smirnoff, Tanqueray, Bundaberg) is also complaining. As they would.

Of more interest, Diageo set out the value of the taxes per standard drink. The Wine Equalisation Tax (WET) is 8 cents on $11 4 litre cask wine, 22 cents on cider, and 33 cents on a $13 bottle of wine. It is 30 cents on draght beer, 43 cents on packaged beer, and a staggering 98 cents on RTD or premix or straight spirits.

Making all these taxes volumetric would be a more fair method. It would also destroy the low end wine industry. See making omelettes.

Movie of the Week

I walked to the Reading Cinemas at Sunland. A warm walk there for the 10:45 a.m. session, a hot walk home. The walks added up to more than six kilometres.

Movie was Thor - The Dark World which I thoroughly enjoyed.


Apple iPhone 4 battery dropped to 30% in 5 hours, despite 4 hours of non-use. iOS7? Or some runaway app I did not manage to close?

The Mac version of the regular personal tax return absolutely sucks. Not doing that again.

Solar Power

My solar inverter output figures are 5017kWh in 14526 hours. The previous figures in September were E-total 4860kWh, h-total 14144 hours. This makes 157kWh power generated in 382 hours. 5kW per day or 411 Watts per active hour, in September. Panels are 1000 Watts nominal.

The Ergon electricity meter for September 2013 are 5257kWh purchased on Tariff 11, Tariff 33 is at 4159kWh, and solar power export is 2151kWh. October figures are 5403kWh, 4201kWh on Tariff 33, and 2286kWh for exports. Use for the month of October is 146kWh, air conditioning use is 42kWh. Solar export is 135kWh.

Home and Away

AB 16, CG 14, T 1

Apple Stuff

I tried to order an Apple iPad Air. The web site keeps saying it is unavailable, although it is past midnight Sydney time (they are on Daylight Savings). Grump. Now after midnight in Queensland, which means 1 a.m. in Sydney. Web site still does not work. Store however now says it is updating. I give up. To hell with Apple.

Syncing my iPhone 4 via iTunes is taking forever. Been trying for over an hour. Look like something has crashed. Yet again.

Eric Lindsay's Blog October 2013