Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Chocolatey and crackely goodies!

Today I made Chocolate Crackles. They are yum.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Steam at Greensborough

Steamrail's K153 leads a train of BW cars through the 'S' curves at Greensborough on a shuttle trip to Macleod on Sunday 4th December 2005. Unseen in the photo is K190 on the rear of the train which will lead the return trip to Greensborough from Macleod. The occasion was for the Manna Gum Festival (it's an Arts Festival) at Greensborugh.

Monday, December 12, 2005

USB applications

For years I used floppy disks to transfer my work between school, then TAFE, then Uni and home. During that time the files just kept getting bigger and bigger. Eventually I got to the stage where I had to burn and waste CD's or FTP my work around instead. FTP was better than floppy disks, the latter having a tendency to fail at the most inapropriate moment, but having dial up at home made ftp a slow process for larger files.

It wasn't until last year after a bad experience with a rather large Powerpoint presentation that I bit the bullet and got myself a USB flash drive. After a bit of shopping around the various computer stores near uni I got myself a 128 mb Shintaro branded flash drive for about $45, which at the time was a good deal. Since then I have never looked back except for the fact I fill it up with so much crap that 128mb never seems like enough. I don't how I could do without it.

Lately I've been loading applications onto it. So far I've got:

The best type of applications to use on usb drives are those that are self contained in their own directory, which do not rely on recources stored in other locations such as the Documents and Settings folder, and/or those that install their own registry keys. A wide variety of applications suitable for USB flash drives is available, including simple text editors, image editors (Irfanview), email (npop and quickmailer), office suites (open office), browsers (Opera USB) and even various linux distrubutions that can boot straight off the usb drive or an acompanying CD.

Some sites that I have found with informaiton on USB flashdrives and compatible applictions include:

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Corporate Symbolism...

Recently I have become aware that Vision Australia has a new symbol. I can't remember what their old symbol looked like but the new one is wierd, just a couple of coloured dots. Last week after seeing it on TV it occuded to me that it might be braile for something. Then yesterday a lightning bolt hit me as I was walking past the Vision Australia office in Mount Street Heidelberg. The symbol is actually a "V" and an "A" in braile. Don't know why I didn't realise earlier...

So I checked it out on their website and sure enough there is a page that explains the new logo and how it conveys the image that they want to project to the public, as well as being clearly visible to people with poor eyesight. In addition to that, Vison Australia have created an audio logo. Being an organisation that are involved with people who are vison impaired an audio logo is a great idea. Basically it's a recording of someone saying their name and tagline with a short chime at the begining.

I just found it intriguing.

Steam at Hurstbridge

Steam locomotive J515 is approaching the home signal at Hurstbridge. The occasion was the inaugural Wattle Festival on Sunday the 4th of September 2004, the train was chartered from the Seymour Rail Heritage Centre. J515 is on this end while diesel loco T357 was on the rear. This arrangement was used to avoid the need for the steam loco to run around the train at Hurstbridge, which is impossible given that it is a dead end terminus. The train ran a number of trips between Hurstbridge and Diamond Creek throughout the day.

The Wattle Festival was held again in 2005, but this time the train was chartered from Steamrail instead.

To the end of the earth and back again!

Well not quite but it may as well have been...

What really happened was that I wanted to go to Photo Colour in Heidelberg to drop a film off to get developed and put on CD. So I decided to get the train to Heidelberg. On the way back I decided that I would get the most out my 2 hour (actually was more like 2 and a half hours) zone 2 Metcard by taking a ride to the end of the line as I still had over an hour left. My metcard expired at 6pm. From Heidelberg I got on the next train to arrive, which just happened to be a Macleod train. This was no problem though as I only had to wait a few minutes at Macleod for the following Hurstbridge train.

The trip to Hurstbridge was fairly eneventful except for a problem with a couple of level crossings just on the down side of Eltham. To me it seemed like a problem with the track circuits that trigger the bells and gates, most likely related to the rain we'd been having for most of the day. So I arrived a Hurstbridge with half an hour left on my ticket. As I didn't consult a timetable I had no idea when the next train back was, but as long as it left before 6pm I'd still be able to use it for the return journey. I was hoping that the train I came on would go back to the city but as I suspected the Comeng continued on and joined a lonely X'Trapolis in the sidings beyond the platform.

A quick look at the timetable revealed that the next train departed at 5:56, cutting it fine, but all was OK. So I walked up and down the platform a couple of times, checked out the sidings adjacent the platform, checked to see what the lever on the platform did and various other gunzel type things. The train was scheduled to arrive at 5:51 but it didn't get in until at least the departure time. As a result it departed a couple of minutes late. For the record it was a Comeng and the leading car (where I was seated) was real groaner.

On the way back one surprise was a staff exchange at Diamond Creek, which occured even though we weren't scheduled to cross another train there. Checking the timetable that I picked up at Hurstbridge an explanation of Diamond Creek being open as a staff station was found in that, the train I'd gone to Hurstbridge on would form the next up train departing at 6:10pm, and that it would cross the next down at Diamond Creek. We would cross that same down train at Eltham. Even though the train departed Hurstbridge late we still arrived at Eltham on time and so had to wait the full five minutes for our cross there. From there on it was smooth sailing back towards my home station.

Boring I know but it's all I can think of to blog at the moment...

Saturday, December 03, 2005

What is the world coming to?

I caught four trains on Friday. One from Greensborough to the City, one from the City to Box Hill, then tat return trip, and finally one back to Greensborough. What ties all of these together? All four trains I caught on Friday were X'Trapolis or "crappers" as some people call them. On all my journeys I saw plenty of other trains, all were a mixture of Comengs and X'Trapolis, with the only Hitachi in sight looking all forlorn in the yard at Camberwell by itself. What is the world coming to?

Thursday, December 01, 2005

In other news

Ever since playing with a 12" iBook in Myer a few weeks ago I've wanted one. One drawback of the 12" versus the 14" is the lack of a DVD burner, but it would be easy enough to use either the wireless networking or external hard drive for backups/transfers of large ammounts of data.

Although I reckon I could get along just nicely with one of the original colourful retro iBooks. Second hand of course, which is the more likely scenario for me.

The fact is that I would just like a laptop, and the iBooks just look so damn cool.

It has come to pass that...

You Are an Emo Rocker!

Expressive and deep, lyrics are really your thing.
That doesn't mean you don't rock out...
You just rock out with meaning.
For you, rock is more about connecting than grandstanding.

While not altogether bad, it's not what I expected. Although a lot of the time I think I feel "emo". Man I wish I was 10 years younger, I'd be all like the uber emo. Maybe I should just grow up...