Introducing Clifford

Just got back from a nice break up at Bright.  Since i’d never been to Bright or skiing at Falls Creek I decided a GPS unit might be a handy addition to the trip.  Anyway, long story short I borrowed my father in-laws TomTom GPS unit and I have to say I was less than impressed by it.

So who is Clifford?   Well, Clifford is the name I gave the GPS.  Clifford was a little confused most of the time and downright ridiculous at other times.   Clifford decided on 2 occassions during the drive up to Falls Creek that we really needed to make a left hand turn off the road and over the cliff.   This was quite entertaining for the whole family and this is how CLIFFord got his name.   ‘His’ ?  Yes,  I suspect Clifford was a male as he was unlikely to ask for help from anyone when he clearly had no idea where he was going.

No these are not new roads, nor do I suspect that they have mysteriously moved.   Needless to say I wont be buying a Tom Tom and I may be borrowing more units before finding if any of them are any good 😉



For only the second time in the last 10 years my work inbox has 0 items in it – everything taken care of or TODO’s waiting for someone else.

The other time this occurred was when we were still using Microsoft Outlook and our glorious exchange admins managed to corrupt my mailbox and then inform me they had no backup.  🙂

I will bask in the the glory of no email in my inbox for the rest of the evening as i’m sure it will be full again tomorrow.

Subway get your act together!

Come on subway – this is pretty pathetic.

I went to lunch today expecting to have a nice 30cm (aka Foot long) Veggie Patty roll and what do I find – oh we’re all out of veggie patties.   Ok I think, there are 3 other subway outlets in my area i’ll go to another.   All  3 of them were out.   Not only that, this is the second time in 2 months i’ve had the same story from subway.

So, in response I thought i’d provide them with some help.

If you have only one box of veggie patties left – please order some more pronto 🙂

Maybe there is a worldwide plague and veggie patties are the natural defence – maybe they’re being stockpiled and therefore there is a global shortage.  Somehow I suspect not, just poor management of stock.

So get your act together  – oh and you owe me 40 minutes of lunchtime and a couple of dollars of petrol 😉

My D-Link AP is dead, long live my Linksys

Finally…… after torturing me for a few years my D-Link DWL7000AP died.   It has been nothing but trouble.  In my opinion D-Link gear is sub-standard.  It was a crap AP, and the corresponding wireless cards equally as crappy.

Anyway, after cheering the demise of my DWL7000AP  I went out and got a Linksys WRT54GL (yes I know it’s a wireless broadband router) and i’m happily using it as a replacement access point for my home network.

There was only a little bit of fiddling required for using it as an AP only.

  1. don’t put a cable into the port reserved for your broadband connection, just use one of the other ports.
  2. turn off dhcp on the wrt54gl as you want to have dhcp requests pass through to your existing dhcp server.
  3. Give the wrt54gl a management IP on the same subnet as the rest of your network
  4. Set up the wireless security you want.

Hey presto.

As for performance, my DWL7000AP was crap.  Wireless performance meant the network was dodgy anywhere in the house, yes, even sitting next to it (oh yeah d-link refused to believe it was faulty and was working as designed).  Anyway. the wrt54gl network performance is far superior and I get peak performance to the edges of my property – not sure why i’ll be sitting on my boundary fence surfing the internet but at least now I have the option to do so 😉

Why didn’t I go wireless N ?  Well i’ve spent enough money on wireless gear and in general I find wireless a poor substitute for wire – so I wanted a quick rock solid replacement that worked with all the other wireless gear – no point paying for N if you’re not going to ever use it.   Wireless is good for sitting outside on a nice day but wire is good – don’t let anyone try to convince you otherwise 😉

Oh yeah, what’s the link to Linux here?   The ‘L’ in the WRT54GL means it runs Linux – gotta love that penguin.

web 2.0 != cloud computing != evil

Ok, a bit of a pointless rant here.  I see many people suggesting that somehow web 2.0 technology is the same as cloud computing.  Big shock coming, it isn’t.   I also see people inferring that cloud computing somehow forces you to hand over all your data leaving you with an empty desktop and that horrible feeling associated with forgetting to get dressed before you go into the office – another shock coming, it doesn’t have to.

The twenty cent summary is that ‘cloud computing’ is the (as close to real time) provisioning of computing resources when you need them.   You can think of this as having software made available to you or infrastructure made available to you  (or other combinations) – when you want it and to solve the problems you have.

Sure, web 2.0 and cloud computing together can provide some extremely compelling applications and you’re likely to see quite a few of those being developed.

Do you have to move all your data into the ‘cloud’, well that depends on the applications that reside in the cloud, or the applications you as a developer develop (if you are one).  It is certainly possible to use infrastructure as a service in a stateless manner – that is, you pass whatever data you need to the on demand infrastructure / application to process and return you the results – without any data being saved permanently in the cloud.   This is not an appropriate design pattern for all applications, some may need to work on large datasets or have certain required performance characteristics.  Each design has tradeoffs and data protection issues – are they all the same – no, of course not.

The cloud is not evil, it is not trying to eat your children.  Don’t believe all the hype either- cloud computing and web 2.0 wont free elvis from the aliens or make britney a good singer.  Web 2.0 and Cloud Computing are part of an emerging tool set that will see wonderful (and complete crap) applications developed.  They are not the solution to every problem, but they are certainly the solution to many problems, some we as yet don’t even realize we have.

What a load of …..

Dear Dog Owner,

I was saddened to discover that you are deaf, blind and without a sense of smell.  What is remarkable though is your persistence and enthusiasm that you display when walking your dog.

What?….  You’re not blind or deaf and your sense of smell is perfect!  How can this be when clearly you have to be blind to miss the turd the size of Uluru your dog just dropped on the footpath?   Surely you noticed the howls and grunts your dog  produced during this period as it excreted a turd second to none?   How is it that your olfactory system wasn’t completely overpowered by the steaming mound that not only caused an EPA alert for the foul stench, but also contributed a significant proportion of our green house gas emissions?

Perhaps I should be more understanding as clearly you are delusional and out of touch with your surroundings as well. Sadly, I also must conclude that you have a low IQ, but here I can help you out.  A ‘Footpath’ is for ‘Walking On’ – note the clever way the words are related.   You may possibly begin to realize that ‘footpath’ does not mean – ‘place to let dog drop godzilla sized turd’.   Maybe there is some hope for you.

As I said above, I do admire your spirit for being able to travel outside and walk your dog, but please do the right thing and do not leave your dogs creations for others to discover.

Lots of Love

Dog Turd Victim

Microsoft clearly loves Linux

………  I kid you not.   Anyone who has had the misfortune of installing Vista will clearly be able to see that Microsoft have chucked in the towel and handed the desktop over to Linux.

At least now I don’t need to worry at all about Vista being competition to Linux, you just need to look at the number of people who ‘specifically ask’ for Windows XP rather than Vista as they’d like to have something that has a chance of working.   I just have to shake my head at the highly questionable security model and the focus on ‘visual bling’ combined with the ritual changing the names of the tools to avoid the lack of security stigma from previous OS’s –  rather than getting the PC to actually do some work for you.

A python-ist (not the language) would likely ‘fart in the general direction’ of Vista, but i’m not sure it would notice due to the tremendous volume of stink it already produces.

Vista should come with a warning label and safe handling instructions for the disposal of the CD.

As a summary, watching the startup and shutdown of a PII-400 with 256Mb running Windows 98 and a AM2 4200 with 1Gb running Vista is quite entertaining with Windows 98 starting and stopping several minutes faster than Vista.   Go ahead, upgrade your OS and have a slower system – but remember to pay a lot of money to Microsoft for it and if all else fails, enjoy the eye candy, coz you’ll have plenty of time to look at it.