Saturday, July 28, 2007

>>The world of tommorrow>>

Four letters for you "A" "D" "S" "L". I finally made the move onto what is tentatively described as broadband. I signed up this morning, and will hopefully be permanently tethered to the net within 5 working days. For now I am sticking with my dial up ISP, and am on a pretty reasonable 20GB download plan. I can't see myself ever downloading 20 GB, but for only $5 extra over 1GB of downloads, it seemed like a good deal. Interestingly after signing up I found that my ISP has a usage meter that I've never seen before. On checking it, it says that I've downloaded 75mb in the last month. I can't see my internet habits changing that much, but I guess it is coming at me a lot faster so who knows?

The speed however is only 256/64 kbps, which is slow by todays standard but beats the pants off my nominally 56K dial up connection. It works out to be something like 40 times faster, assuming that I get the full 256kbps download speed. A friend up the road is on an over 1028kbps plan and only gets about 100, so I hope my phone line is a bit better.

My brother is unlucky as he lives too far from the exchange to get ADSL and ended up getting cable from Bigpond. Sure it's faster, but it's a lot more expensive. I suppose the sweetener to the deal was the bundling of phone and internet, so it's not too bad. It also helped that his house was already wired for cable.

As for a modem, I bought a Netcomm NB5Plus4W wireless modem/router last week. Wireless so I can use it with my laptop and desktop. I am not looking forward to setting it up. I've tried some networking before, and it confuses the crap out of me. Oh well, time will tell.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Football, meat pies,kangaroos and .... - In the air part 2

Holden Blimps!

I remember the first time I saw this thing, it was night, and after a brief glimpse in my peripheral vision I was convinced I had seen a UFO. A second more purposeful look after finding the thing again after it came out from behind some buildings or something revealled it was an airship. How disappointing.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Flying Marsupial - In the air part 1

Boeing 767

This is the first in a series of aircraft photos that I've snapped in the last year or so. For some reason, I tend to take photos of aircraft passing overhead when the opportunity arises. This one was taken from out the front of my house, we live under one of the approach routes to runway 34 at Melbourne Airport, so when there's a northerly, there's a plane flying over every 5 minutes or so. We also live under the approach for runway 27 at Essendon, so we get lots of light aircraft too.

My camera is not too good at this sort of thing, and it's a full size crop so the pic is a bit fuzzy.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

New Computers Part 2

Long story short, a few weeks ago I went out rather stupidly with the intention of buying a Laptop with specs rivaling my potential new desktop PC for about $1600. Due to events conspiring against me (in hind sight I think fate was on my side that day) I came home in possession of a "budget", yet fully capable of what I really want from a laptop, laptop. After finding out about the nuances of daily withdrawal/EFTPOS limits and the fact that no Bank branches in the city are open on a Saturday (they open on Saturdays in the suburbs!), and then having a good think over lunch, I went and purchased a Compaq C554Tu . The clinchers of the deal being that the memory was expandable to 2 GB, and the $100 cash back on the already ridiculously low price.

So for $700 (after Cash back) I got:

  • 1.86ghz Celeron 440 (it's a Core Solo with a smaller Cache and something else turned off)
  • 512mb ram
  • 80gb HDD
  • 15" screen
  • DVD Rom/CD RW combo drive
  • 802.11 b/g wireless

As with anything labeled as "budget" there are a few compromises. The largest being the amount of ram, 512mb is just barely enough to run Windows Vista. Other compromises are no DVD burner, my current desktop doesn't have one either, but at least I'll be able to read DVD rom disks now. From what I can tell the battery life is absolutly dismal , and as I've been using it plugged in mostly, so I wouldn't know how long it lasts, except that it went down to about 85% after what only seemed like 10 minutes when the power plug was accidentally pulled out. Other minor issues are the size and weight, but at least it's portable.

While being fairly basic it handles day to day tasks well (word, photo editing etc). Today I purchased an extra 1gb of ram (for much less than the $100 cash back), and it now goes like a champion. I'm pretty happy with my purchase, and certainly less out of pocket than more expensive models. Now all I need is a wireless router and we are in business for some lunge chair web browsing!

Some reviews of the C554Tu:

New Computers Part 1

I've been looking at getting a new computer for a few months now. A desktop that is, I pretty much know what I want, but it's the finer details that get me, once I get the specs sorted I'll go ahead and order it. I originally had ideas of buying all the parts and building it myself, but I think that I'm too impatient for that. The basic specs are:

  • Dual Core processor
  • At least 1gb of ram
  • 256mb graphics card
  • 160gb + Hard drive
  • DVD burner
As for monitor, keyboard, mouse, speakers etc I'll keep the ones I've already got as they are all fairly recent, and still in good condition. Although given that the case will probably be black, I'd better get a matching black keyboard and mouse set.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007


Tagging blog posts seems to be a bit of an art, something I have yet to master. Since I started tagging earlier in the year almost every blog entry has introduced a new tag, while simultaneously being lumped into the "general" tag. This has to stop. Therefore I propose a new tag order, one with a pre-defined set of tags that all entries must be shoehorned to fit, and no "general" tags that ultimately describe nothing.

Having said that I might keep the "general" tag, but rename it something more descriptive.

If and when I get around to implementing the new tag order is another question. I'll keep you posted..


So here I was minding my own business (or that of the company really) at work when my phone started having a spasm on the desk next to me. I had received a text message. Much to my surprise it was Vodafone telling me that I'd won a prize of my choice and to go to this web page and enter the code enclosed in the message. In all there were about 9 choices, including:

  • magazine subscriptions
  • travel guides
  • a voucher book
  • DVD rental vouchers
  • 2 trees planted for conservation
  • a swiss army knife
  • 2 emergency mobile phone chargers
  • 20% discount on a new handset
There was one more, but I don't recall what it was.

After much consideration, I went for the tree's. Supposedly the trees will be planted by a reputable conservation group and I'll receive some updates on what the group is up to. I nearly chose the Swiss army knife, even though I already have one, this one has tweezers and toothpick which mine doesn't have. In the end I decided that the last thing I need is more stuff.

Hopefully my two trees grow up big and strong.