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Mon, 29 May 2006

Dikipedia - 23:01
I want to know why they had to call it Wiktionary rather than Dikipedia, after all the latter name would amount to endless seconds of puerile amusement for English speakers. No sense of adventure I tell you.

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Fri, 26 May 2006

External VGA on the laptop better now - 15:32
When I got this laptop (Dell X300) back in 2004, the way to get the external VGA display to work under Linux was with a i810switch program, then a while later I had to use the i855crt program to get the external vga to display. These worked (though it meant remembering to use a command when I used a projector or similar for presentations) however I was unable to display XV (overlaid video) or similar output over this (and there were some mouse problems with HW or SW Cursor or something)

I had heard for a while that X.Org had fixed the driver enough to enable continuous output on both from the X Server without these hacks, and the added bonus was there was now a way to get the overlay video reliably. (it could work sometimes with the hacks on some computers). Today I tracked down this page on a thinkpad wiki discussing Intel 855 GM graphics set up under Linux on some laptops. The xorg.conf changes and xvattr command all work fine and I now have better external video with XV available if wanted. Yay.

[/comp/linux] link

There must be a lot of woodwork around. - 14:08
Every Friday year round there is a mountain bike ride starting at ANU at 6am and heading off into the bush somewhere nearby for around one and three quarter hours. (email archive with details of proposed rides) I tend to lead these rides most weeks (if I am in town) and on the whole we all have a lot of fun. Usually we get larger numbers of people in the summer months (warmer, and light for the whole ride), then the numbers tend to fall most years through the darker colder months. Thus it has been impressive and very cool the last month or two that we have consistently had more than 10 people on most of the Friday morning rides.

Today however, as Andrew suggested the people really came out of the woodwork, there were 19 people on the ride, and another who missed us by about 5 minutes at the start so rode around elsewhere and joined us at breakfast. It really is cool that 20 people are keen and willing to get up in the dark and cold and go mountain biking on Friday morning like this. It is cool simply to see more people on bikes regularly too. Rock on.

I recall on the mid winter rides in 2003 for example, fairly often there were only four of us on the ride, our 2003 Mont 24 Hour Race team of Dave, Julie, Aaron and myself. (largely due to the fact Julie would beat us up if we did not get the requisite training in to do well and make it worth her while riding on our team <g>)

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Thu, 25 May 2006

Being sensible in public to avoid Doocing - 15:36
I am probably just writing this to push Michael, Michael and Stewart's heads further down the page so I will not see them every time I view this site in my browser. Anyway looking back to February last year, there was a fair bit of stuff on the bloggynet at the time about people being Dooced. Anil Dash posited his theory that no one has ever been fired for blogging (with some good comments) and he further commented on this theory (more in depth) later.

Danah Boyd further fleshed out the idea pointing out that people need to pay attention to how much they are in the public sphere when blogging. Unless you have one of those closed off, friends only sort of blogs (such as can be common on Live Journal and assuming you have a reader ship of unknown size (due to google and other search engines this can almost be guaranteed) you have to be careful how you present yourself, and remember the context in which you are writing.

I recall Alli was a little put out with being linked onto Planet Linux Australia early last year as she thought she had to be more careful than previously about what she wrote in her diary. I did not see a problem as Alli is smart and aware of how the the Internet and search engines and such function to the extent that she did not write stuff for public consumption that could be too negatively interpreted.

On the whole I think anyone who realises what they say either in email to mailing lists or on their blogs is fodder for search engines and for anyone to read at some point can be smart enough to keep that context in their writing. Of course with some of the blogs being so pleased at various people seemingly being fired for blogging around February last year Giblets at Fafblog has good insight on the issue.

[/comp/blogging] link

Wed, 24 May 2006

Made a few hackergotchis - 16:34
So I noticed a while back that Mikal had stopped using the crown of flowers hackergotchi I created for him Mikal Crown of Flowers Hackergotchi, this got me thinking, maybe I should make a few more hackergotchis, after all Michael Davies did suggest it would be good to have at least most of the LA committee gotchiid up.

So I made one for Rusty the other day, however he may not like it seen in the wild so I wont put it here. Then I made one for Stewart Stewart enjoying a beer at Tridge's which means two more of the LA type people may have one (Stewart said he may as well use this as it is as good as any).

I have a few photos of jk, cyeoh, Hugh and even a fairly good one of Alli (one I hope she would not kill me for suggesting the use of).

I was wondering who else to do (rather than make the hackergotchis of the above mentioned people) and it occurred to me I have a lot of photos of Michael (Crash) Carden available from various cycling events and such. So I grabbed three photos I had taken that could make reasonable hackergotchis and created them.

Crash about to enjoy a beer at Polaris 05 Crash riding the Corn Trail Crash looking startled in New Zealand

He likes the first one the most (probably because the images with helmets make him look like my hackergotchi or something) so hopefully Michael Davies will use that one soon.

I added alt tags to all the img tags, though I do not know if they will show up on a mouseover or not. I had someone point out to me I need to use the title tag in the img to get the string of text that comes up on mouseover, this seems to be duplicating some of the alt purpose to some extent, ahh well.

[/comp/internet] link

Mon, 22 May 2006

Sarah found some more real life whacky warning labels - 21:59
I do not know if it is the same as the pedometer Mikal was given and he simply did not feel the need to mention this, however we can be thankful Sarah shared the details from the instructions. This is fun like the instructions I got with my coffee grinder or the supposed warning labels seen in the wild by various people. As the commenter on Sarah's diary says, yay for Engrish.

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Turtle velocity - 20:51
Ahh I love wikipedia sometimes, there is an article about Hairy Ball Theorem and it is a maths thing so get your minds out of the gutter.

I know I should not laugh but this Did You Know on Uncyclopedia got me giggling, "...that some species of turtle are remarkably resistant to centrifugal force, and can reach upwards of 5000 rpm before their wee little flippers fall off?"

[/amusing] link

Program your chest messages from Linux - 14:29
Last year at lca2005, Bob purchased a led message display badge (AMPLUS Ebadge) from the computer shop on campus to display messages scrolling across my chest. The badge is pretty cool, as can be seen on me here while talking to Edale. At the time the program to modify the message was only available in Windows, though it was likely to be simple to write a program on Linux that could do this, a the time we were somewhat busy and no one bothered making it work on Linux.

The badges are still available from the computer shop on campus, and probably from other places, anyway Bob sat down for two hours last night, sniffed the protocol and wrote a user space program that sets the serial port to the right speed and pumps the necessary data across, this way you can set the message from a command line program on Linux rather than find a windows machine (which are somewhat rare anywhere we happen to be)

If you happen to have the badge or plan to get one, Bob has put the source code in public accessible svn, "svn co" to get the source (or simply follow that link in a browser).

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Sun, 21 May 2006

Some things I did not do today - 22:13

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Sat, 20 May 2006

DPL photo avoidance privilege? - 18:59
So on p.d.n today someone linked to the Debconf6 attendees photo, now I may be half blind and have missed it, but as far as I can see AJ is not in the photo. How did he get out of it? As DPL does he have some special photo avoidance privilege for a year (I see some previous DPLs in the photo) or something. Heck even the stuffed toy DPL AJ linked to that he may be using when too busy to represent Debian in person from time to time is not in evidence in the big photo...

The big photo is obviously taken from the air, I wonder if they used the Cabal's s3kr1t black helicopter to take the photo?

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Perceptions coloured by what we see and our preconceived notions - 17:47
So for a number of years now I have discounted the artist Pink as some music industry produced typically crap pop artist (maybe not as bad as Britney or Christina, but of a similar vein). I had done this simply because glancing at the occasional video clip of hers I had seen, she was a blonde, polished looking glitzy sort of current music artist.

I never really thought more of it until I read Danah Boyd's take on Pink back in April. With someone like Danah suggesting her lyrics were: smart, hard hitting, sensible, and "incredibly beautiful"; I thought it may be worth more thought than I had expended so far. I bought the new album last night and have been listening to it on repeat since getting home from the road ride this morning.

Danah was right, there are some absolutely amazing lyrics here, good sound on the whole with a lot of the music and I just saw the video clip for "Stupid Girls" on the Pink website and it really is a fantastic piss take of the typically crap produced pop artists I had previously passed Pink off as one of. Almost as much fun as the Cruel Sea Boy Band piss take (I can not remember the song title so can not link to it, anyone remember it?)

The wikipedia entry on Pink may give a hint on why she was so easy to pass off as produced crap, with the claim that she gave up a lot of creative control on her first album and other early work, which though popular she disliked what was happening at the time with her music.

[/leisure/music] link

Wed, 17 May 2006

Slow but sneaky - 13:26
It appears you can see ways in which some people or animals may make up for certain shortcomings by increasing there ability in other areas. Sort of like deaf people who read lips or the claim that blind people are likely to have better hearing. This story I saw mention of on ABC yesterday is rather interesting. A pet turtle escaped and it took them 8 months to find it, in which time it had managed to travel 2.9KM away from the owner's house.

I imagine you would not really expend much effort looking out for a pet turtle, not expecting it to be able to escape your view even if you don't look for it more than once every few hours. These sneaky turtles obviously have other ideas, you turn around or you blink and suddenly your pet turtle is hiding behind the nearest available chicken.

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Tue, 16 May 2006

What is here? - 17:31
I am here now, I was not here from Thursday afternoon until Monday night. Of course how can anyone really tell if I am making this up? I may not be here at all, just a keyboard by itself doing the one million monkeys thing! Spoooooooky!

Of course this is the Internet, well I think it is, otherwise this is some strange collective unconscious thing happening and we are indeed all eating fruit in a cave instead of participating in a vast global network of computers and people.

So assuming for a moment (we experience reality as it happens so who knows what we will see or need to assume in the next moment) that this is the Internets. What is here? For all those Internet addicted geeks who already had the T1 wired into their brains they may always be here. For everyone else you could argue not being here is one of those rare instances with no net connection. Of course how do you know when some random Internet user is connected, and thus here? It is almost like trees falling in the forest, if no one is connected to the Internet, does the Internet exist? and is there anyone on the Internet?

For all this there does seem to be a problem somewhere, whoever it is that makes the falling trees silent in the forest has stopped reading Fafblog as there has been nothing there since early April. Or maybe Chris locked Fafnir, Giblets and the Medium lobster in the basement, man wont Giblets be angry when they get out.

[/various/ilmiwac] link

Wed, 10 May 2006

Keep em home and in the kitchen says Johnny - 22:36
The items in the newspapers today pointing out what a disappointment the budget is for parents with young kids are I think quite correct. After Costello had been claiming for a while he would be providing a big up for Mothers and such there really is no good news. Sure the suspicion that this would all be bollocks (Costello's big talking) has been leaking through the papers for the last month or so, but it is still kind of bad.

I think it does indeed hark back to the fact the current Liberal government appears to be well and truly in the 1950s in their own heads. Or at least they wish they were, what is this sacrilege of mothers in the workforce? Gasp, get them back in the kitchens where they belong or some other such crap. The price of childcare, especially for young (under 3) kids is scary (around AUD $70 or $80 a day), however the other huge problem is how rare/scarce places are.

I have a number of friends who have given birth fairly recently (Rebecca and Ben a week and a half ago, Naomi and James 3 weeks ago, Amy and Daniel a few months ago, Sam and Ben January 2005, though this was their second child) and all of them have had large problems with getting on waiting lists or the cost of childcare if they even happen to get a place.

I do not know how much can really be done, or expected, after all it seems in this modern world we almost have to expect health and education to be severely underfunded to the point our nation suffers (smarter nations are more profitable nations) and making it hard to utilise half of the skills of the population who decide to reproduce really does seem to follow the same pattern.

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Bringing us new and more violent Teddy Bear picnics - 18:24
Who needs the right to arm bears when you are armed with these.

How did he die? Shot in the chest with Winnie the Pooh sir!

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Tue, 09 May 2006

I needed ear muffs to drown out all those high pitched monkeys - 17:22
I missed doing a longer ride this morning, thus I decided to head out for the Cotter/Uriarra loop by myself during the day today. I got back at 4:30pm, I was fairly slow, and waiting for the day did not seem to help the temperature much, the brass monkeys were still singing soprano for the 2 hours I was on the bike.

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Mon, 08 May 2006

Arcadia - 14:06
On Friday night I went with a friend to see the Tom Stoppard play Arcadia, performed by Canberra Repertory. On the whole a most enjoyable evening of theatre. The actors appeared too be enjoying themselves, once or twice being unable to maintain straight faces when something funny was happening on stage.

One aspect I thought was very cool was how the play switched back and forth in time periods, however at the end the cool part was when they performed both periods on stage at the same time. The play will be on for the rest of the week, I recommend seeing it if you are of the mind, interesting, contains all manner of maths and history references and is an amusing comedy to boot.

[/leisure/theatre] link

Sat, 06 May 2006

Steel MTB Dairy Farmers Hill Meme - 22:11
New Steel Single Speed MTB on top of Dairy Farmers Hill
New Steel Single Speed MTB on top of Dairy Farmers Hill (full size)
No other people appear to be getting on board and participating in this Meme, I was even lucky that Tony reminded me I myself was participating in this Meme. You can see it was fairly late this afternoon that I took this photo (the flash makes it appear much darker than it really was outside at the time) and I had to use the lights for rest of the ride once I got down off the hill and back onto a bike track.

I was happy to make it up all the climbs to the top of Dairy Farmers on the single speed, no walking required.

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Fri, 05 May 2006

Good coffee with no machine - 18:08
I saw a review on Dan's Data of the Aerobie AeroPress and was intrigued by the repeated claims in places that this makes good coffee.

I really do not like the coffee produced by the coffee machine in the office at work (some expensive automatic Saeco machine) and thus never drink it, instead I buy my own coffee and at work prepare it in a single cup filter. I have thought from time to time it may be good to have a coffee machine in my office at work so as to make reasonable coffee however I could not get around how inescapably pretentious that would be. This AeroPress however can even be put away in a drawer.

So I bought one, it arrived this morning (AUD $54 delivered, overnight, from the Australian distributor CoffeePress) and I am converted, this does indeed produce coffee as good as can be made in a quality machine.

[/leisure/food] link

Thu, 04 May 2006

My new single speed mountain bike. - 16:14
No Gears
No Gears (Full Size)
Well the single speed is going, I have yet to take it off road so no real report on how it rides yet. Photos so far are up. I will swap to more sensible (wide) bars tonight ready for the Friday morning mtb ride tomorrow. I also have a new pair of suspension forks on order for the hardtail which will free up the pair on it for use here if I decide I am soft enough to want suspension (which I probably am)

It is always a good day when N+1 happens.

[/mtb/gear] link

Wed, 03 May 2006

The Annual May Zombie post. - 13:41
Well I mentioned a zombie joke in a post last May, today while eating lunch I found another zombie joke that had me laughing, this one a flickr photo from Matthew Baldwin of Defective Yeti.

Two zombie posts in the last year, each in May (ignoring for a moment the Radio controlled Zombie Catholic Cardinals in the Vatican of last April), who knows it could be a trend for May.

Of course, if only I make zombie references every May I could be locked up for being a sick weirdo, heck if two people make zombie references each May they may think we are both faggots and lock us up, if three people do it they may think we are some sort of Zombie References in Blogs organisation, however if 50 people make Zombie references in May they may think there is a Zombie Referencing movement, so get with the Zombie References in your Blog this month. (yes with apologies to Arlo)

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Tue, 02 May 2006

Almost need to get the beer hat and tattoo - 16:40
For those who do not know, single speed mountain biking culture appears to have a strong association with drinking beer and with getting tattoos. For example the Single Speed World Championships (unofficial) in Victoria 3 years ago had a "shortcut" each lap that involved sculling a schooner of beer and the prize for the person who won the race was a free tattoo.

I finally have most of my single speed bike put together and almost ready to go, I should be able to ride it (currently fully rigid) by the end of the week. Once it is assembled I will take a few photos and report on what it is like to ride. Though I doubt I will increase my alcohol intake up from about one standard drink a week (on average) I must say I was most impressed with the blacklight ink based tattoos, kind of like a private in joke. If I were not such a big girly man when it came to pain I may even consider getting one.

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Mon, 01 May 2006

2006 ACT 6 Hour Cyclegaine - 12:38
At least I did not hit a kangaroo driving to the event this year, anyway the ACT Rogaining Association 2006 6 Hour Cyclegaine was on yesterday down near Bombala in Bondi State Forest, Adrian has the results up already too. It rained all day so we did get a little bit damp, I was originally entered to compete in this with a friend who late last week found out she would have to work on Sunday morning and thus was unable to compete. Fortunately she found a replacement, though this put us in the Mens Open category rather than mixed I still got to compete in the event which was good.

The course was a lot of fun, though I was often wondering at how much wear my poor mountain bike was getting with all the clay and sand and grit and mud on it. We came 4th over all in the cycle event, first place in mens open (yes the first three teams were mixed category). I must congratulate my last minute team mate Brian, he had not ridden a bike much in the last 8 months (since leaving Canada) and had only purchased himself a new mountain bike a week ago. Brian kept up alright and we were able to ride at a comfortable pace all day. I must say I was surprised when I found out our placing, I really did not expect to do well over all. Of course the scary thing to note is we did around 45 KM of riding (3h30m riding time) and if you compare scores with the running event there were two teams with more points than us, geez those guys were running fast they also covered around 45KM or possibly more in the 6 hours.

[/mtb/events] link

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