Monday, May 26, 2008

Mki farce

News today is that myki has been delayed yet again. Honestly I don't know why the government has persisted with myki for so long, but with all the hardware that has been installed on stations trams and buses recently we must be near the point of no return. Really we should have followed NSW lead and dumped the smart card system altogether. Kosky doesn't seem interested, so here is my suggestion.

I don't claim to understand the technicalities of the software problem, but it would seem to be related to the new features rather than the basics. Surely an interim measure can be made to get the hardware working as a direct replacement for the current Metcard hardware, which as the article states has been allowed to run down over the last few years. Just get the hardware selling and validating tickets the same way as the Metcard does now. As far as I can tell the hardware is all but ready to go, why not use it now rather than let it just sit there unused for 3-4 years?!

When the bugs have been sorted out issue a software update to introduce the new functionality.

Sunday, May 18, 2008


In the recent rain episode we recorded 35 mm in our backyard rain gauge from 6 am Saturday to 9 am this morning. This is more than the 28.8 mm recorded over the same period at the nearest BOM weather station at Viewbank (about 1.5-2 km away as the crow flies). In the radar image above, which shows rainfall over 24 hours to 9am this morning, you can see a small green patch to the north west of the Viewbank place mark. This seems to correlate to the rainfall reading of our gauge V.S. the Viewbank gauge.

Our rain gauge is a cheap one from K Mart, it consists of the plastic gauge and a stick it sits on the top of which is pushed into the ground. I don't know how accurate it is though, I'll have to measure the markings on the side to find out.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Pop Songs

By pop songs I mean songs that pop into your head for no apparent reason. This happened to me the other week at work. A colleague a few desks away on the other side of the partition has a clock radio that I can sometimes hear. For one instant I thought I heard a song I haven't heard for years, but I soon realised it was actually a different newer song. in that instant I was gone and I had that older song stuck in my head. I couldn't recall the name, or the band, I only had some of the tune and a line of the lyrics.

"they could see the road that they walked on was paved in gold"

So I typed the lyrics into Google, and sure enough I discovered other people wanted to know the same thing. It turned out that the song is called "The Way" by a band called Fastball. I finally got around to finding it on YouTube. It's funny because I've heard the newer different song a few times since and it still makes me think of "The Way" even though it actually sounds nothing like it.

I still have no idea what the newer song is or who sings it, all I know is that Mix play at least twice each workday between 9 AM and 5 PM...

Saturday, May 10, 2008

The World's Oldest Light Bulb

That should be longest burning light globe. I'm sure there are others that are older but have burned out. It has burned for 108 years, is called the Centennial Light and is housed in the Livermore- Pleasanton Fire Department in Livermore, California. It even has it's own website with web cam.

Thursday, May 01, 2008


I was mucking around with google maps and found out that you can embed YouTube videos in the info boxes, so I put in some place marks for all three of my videos and embedded the videos in the info boxes, simple. This is the result.

View Larger Map

Unfortunately the embedded map is a little small to view the videos, but the full size map accessed via the links is a bit better. I'll have to see if I can get a smaller video size by editing the embed url of the video.

It has got me thinking that I should start carrying around my GPS more often so I can try some geotagging.

My GPS is not one of the fancy new sat nav thingos though, it's a Garmin GPS 12, a model which is about 15 years old and very heavy due to the 4 AA batteris it takes. I got it for my 21st birthday way back before GPS went mainstraem. It has no maps built in, it just stores waypoints and track logs. I mostly use it for Geocaching, something I should blog about in it's own right.

Geotagging is just adding a set of geographical coordinates to the metadata of a photo so it can be located on a map. Flickr allows you to geotag your photos as well. I also believe there is a way to add coordinates to the EXIF data stored in the JPEG file, but I don't know anything about that. Although this is pretty much in my line of work, it is something I've never really investigated.