Sunday, December 28, 2014

Patching policies

Network staff: patch early, patch often.  It's better to have a 1 day per year outage from a bad patch than to ever have a compromised server or defaced site, especially when policy is to assume everything in the same subnet is also compromised and needs to be cleaned with fire and holy water.  A compromised site also means risk to our reputation, which is worse than not meeting an SLA 1 day out of 365.

Products weenie:  patches risk unplanned outages, which means we risk not meeting SLA.  Customer-facing SLAs are our bread and butter, and must not be messed with.  They must be tested in non-prod environments like any other software rollout.

Change approval board: 1 week per SDLC environment, because we're ITIL compliant. That means 5 weeks from patch release to production.  We neither know nor care what you mean by "zero day threat", we're a proven process driven shop.

Sysadmin: whether it's hacked or breaks from bad patches, I get my arse kicked either way.  And my arse is pretty sore already, and I'm over it.  Someone just make up their goddamn mind one way or the other, and I'll keep the e-mail where I was told to do it that way.

Marketing: What's a patch?  I ate my crayon...

Me speakum Somalian

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Another observation of the day -

Do not use your wife's brand new white tea towel to dry your fermenter after washing it from a spirits run.  Especially when the spirits run had a carbon slurry in it.  Think liquid graphite here.

Pointing out that carbon is inert and sterile and is actually making the tea towel cleaner is NOT a solution.  Trust me on this.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Christmas morning observations

A couple of observations of the day:

Ran across this little gem this morning.  It's cool, you should buy one.

These are brilliant.  You should also buy one immediately.  Buy reloads.

I also see that CCHQ in Britain are wailing that they now can't track criminals as easily, because the Snowden leaks have revealed many of their readily used tricks, the poor dears.

I'm kind of conflicted on this one.  I'm all in favour of criminals being busted via any legal method possible, and I also think the legal system all too often protects criminals in the name of being "fair" to a degree where obviously bad people get away with obviously bad stuff because the burden of proof is set too high.

At the same time, I'm outraged at the degree of violation of privacy that the Snowden leaks revealed.  That's not on, because it's none of their goddamn business.  I have a reasonable expectation of privacy unless I'm further reasonably suspected of doing bad stuff, and there should be a court order to allow my activities to be monitored to prove it if so.

One of my favourite sayings is that usually we don't need new laws - we need the laws we have actually enforced.  Examples are crap like gun and drug crime - they're invariably in breach of existing laws, we don't need new ones, because I doubt that Doug the Scumbag Drug Dealer is going to pay any more attention to law MCMLXXXVIII than he does now to the one before it.

In the case of surveillance and criminal activity, what we need to do is use the political system to reset the limits, laws and guidelines that legal system works under.  There shouldn't be a need to prove to an an almost impossible degree of proof that Doug is a shitbag who needs to be locked up, if we all goddamn well know it then let's just get on with it.

99% of criminals are morons, so let's not spend time on them.  Let's lock the pricks up for a while, and spend our law enforcement resource on chasing the 1% who need the time and effort spent on proving they're bad people to a reasonable degree of certainty.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Things that drive me nuts as a Justice of the Peace

For those who don't know, I'm a Justice of the Peace.

While that gives me the authority to do a whole bunch of things if and when required to, the reality is that the vast majority of the work is witnessing signatures on documents such as statements, declarations, contracts etc, or certifying copies of documents.

Should you ever require the services of a JP or similar person, here are some guidelines to make the process easier for both parties.  These are based on my real world experience and cover a few topics that people often don't seem to "get".

Witnessing signatures

The whole point of asking me to witness a signature is that you actually sign the document in front of me.  The sheer volume of people that don't appear to grasp this as a concept is quite astonishing.

Please bear in mind that if you're being asked to sign a statement, declaration or similar document, the point of doing so is not only to capture your assent to the truthfulness of the information presented, but also to obtain some measure of certainty that it was actually you presenting it!  This means that:

  • If you rock up with a pre-signed document, I will make you sign again so I can verify it is indeed your signature.
  • If I don't know you personally, I will require you to tender some form of photo ID so I can verify you are whom you say you are.  Why some people get offended by this, I really have no idea.
  • If you are a PA for some self important windbag manager and bring me a pre-signed document, I will tell you that the aforementioned windbag will need to present themselves to me - under no circumstances am I witnessing something I didn't witness.  No, it plays no part that aforementioned windbag is a really busy manager and it will be inconvenient for them.  And no, I will not come up to their office - they come to me.  I'm not their staff member.
  • The same applies for people who don't have access to my floor of the building.  I realise I work on a secure floor.  That means you'll either need to get someone who does have access to escort you, or see the nice security guards on the ground floor and ask for a guest pass to the floor - if they ring me I'll OK the pass.  I will not meet you on another floor of the building, because if I have to do it for one person, I have to do it for everyone.
  • Much the same applies for documents that need to be co-signed by multiple people.  All of these people will need to attend and sign the document in front of me if they want me to witness their signatures.  I appreciate this will most likely be inconvenient, but it is not a matter of discussion or negotiation.  May I suggest that not every signatory needs to have their signature witnessed at the same person at the same time?

Other points:

No, I will not witness a signature on a blank form, and "you'll fill it out later when you have a moment".  I am witnessing not only your signature, but you as a signatory to the statement made.  Have you ever heard of the Fitzgerald Inquiry?  This means I will also cross out and initial any blank or substantially blank sections on the document at the time of my witnessing.

No, I don't need to read the document, or know what it's for, other than understanding the requirements for it to be completed correctly.  I really have no interest in your personal details.  I would like to scan the document itself though (not particularly the contents), to ensure it has been completed fully and apparently correctly.  If you're horribly embarrassed or nervous about the contents I can witness your signature without sighting the document, but I will add a not to my signature stating such.  It's going to be your problem if the document is acceptable in such a format.

I am not trained in law.  I can't tell you how to fill out a document any more than reading it and understanding it the same as you can and should.  I also can't divine what the author of the document means or wants any more than you can.  If you don't understand the document, you need to clarify what is required with the intended recipient of it.  If you need legal advice, see a solicitor.

An example of this is someone who asked me to witness a signature on a change of name deed poll application.  She explained to me that:
  • Her marriage certificate was issued with a misspelling, although her husband's identity documents show the correct spelling.
  • She basically hasn't gone by her legal name since the age of approximately four, due to her mother changing partners with a frequency similar to that which most people change underwear, and registering her with the surname du jour at the time.
  • As a result of the above, she has assorted documentation, utility accounts, bank accounts and licences in a incredible mishmash of names, many of them simultaneously, and not one single one of them legally current.
What did I think she should do?  I witnessed her signature, suggested she pack the lot up and explain the situation in person to the appropriate public servant, and wished her luck.  I haven't seen her since, she's probably still there.

I have one co-irker who has several times asked me to witness a document for him.  The document is in Hindi, was signed by a member of his family (not him), and is to be tendered to the government in India.  I can't read the document to understand what it is, what's been completed, what the requirements are to witness it, and it will have zero legal standing whatsoever outside Australia.  As such, I'm pretty sure that I'm actually not permitted to sign it - the general rule of thumb is that anything specifically stated is OK, otherwise it is unwise to assume.  He produces a copy of this document every twelve months and asks me the same question, and I make the same response every time - I can't do that.  I don't know what he does a an alternative, but I do know it doesn't stop him trying again twelve months later.

Finally, please understand that it's not my role to judge or gauge the truthfulness, completeness, applicability or otherwise of the contents of a document you are signing.  You are the one signing it, that's up to you.  I'm just verifying that you did indeed sign it, and if I know damn well you're lying that makes no difference whatsoever to me.  You do realise you're making a legal declaration by the way, don't you?

Certifying copies of documents

This really should be a very simple concept.  You copy your document, present the copy accompanied by the original for provenance to me, and I certify the copy as a truthful duplicate of the original.

So why is it so hard?

Yes, I will absolutely, no alternative, need to see the original.  This is not a matter for discussion.  you apparently managed to get the original to a photocopier, get it to me.  No, it doesn't have to be your document/licence/whatever.  I am certifying the copy as an authentic duplicate, not that you own it.

Downloaded documents are a real problem.  This includes utility bills, e-mailed statements, downloaded and locally printed certificates and anything else where there isn't actually an original in a physical form.  Unfortunately, I am very limited by what I can do under those circumstances, and it really comes down to a single viable option - I need to see you log into the website from where the document originated and was printed, and verify the copy you are tendering against a source under the control of the issuer.

The above basically means that anything you ever printed from an e-mail attachment has no provenance and is useless to you, unless it can be verified online.  The same goes for documents no longer verifiable online.  If there's nothing to compare against then I can't certify the copy as an authentic duplicate, and that's another one of those "not going to be the subject of a discussion" situations, unfortunately.

I'm happy to certify a copy of a document for you pretty much any time I am free, it's a quick process.  Two or three documents is fine.  If you rock up with a sheave of the things, I will be less immediately accommodating, and will probably ask you to come back to collect them later, as I can't just take half an hour out of my working day to do you a personal favour.  I'd apologise for any inconvenience caused, but the fact that I'm not sorry prevents me from doing so - I can't be responsible for your personal matters.  Please be realistic, and organise yourself - I had someone present "a couple" of documents to me last week that she desperately needed on the day.  The final count was sixty-three individual documents, of which several had been photocopied sideways so half of the original was missing off the page, and around 30 originated as e-documents and needed online verification - the details of which she did not have with her.  Sorry (there's that word again), can't help here and now.

Finally, while this isn't the fault of the requester, I would just like to say that documents that have no place to affix a stamp are a complete pest.  White space, document creators.  Use it!

Monday, December 1, 2014


Karma - one of the reporters who felt the need to publish Officer Darren Wilson's home address is now constantly calling the police asking for protection because she is being harassed and is apparently the recipient of more pizza than she really needs.

This is a splendid demonstration that for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.  Hopefully it also teaches Julie that consequences aren't just for the little people.

This little gem is also doing the rounds:

Pity it's a spoof news site like The Onion, but the article is obviously fiction just from reading - it purports that a rioting thug who thinks it's reasonable the put a Molotov cocktail through the front window of a grocery store would actually own a house. 

Yeah, right.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Victorian state election

So the Victorian electorate has decided to vote in a Labor government.

This is the same crew that have promised. to either tear up the East-West Link contracts, thus denying Melbourne commuters a hugely needed freeway access route while simultaneously paying who knows how money in contract breach compensation and dumping billions of dollars in federal funding.

Or they'll realise that, um... no we can't actually do that after all, so we'll go ahead with it anyway, in which case why did we vote this set of fuckwits in?

I'll give it 6 months maximum before the moaning starts about "why did we change", when the libtard voter base realise there's no free pot of gold after all.

I suppose that given that the grass-is-always-greener brigade have short memories, it's inevitable that occasionally they need a lesson in why the inmates don't get to run the asylum.  This is it.

On the plus side, it looks like Labor will largely match the Coalition's plan to abolish the public transport fee slug for people who travel from zone 2 to 1, which saves myself and the handbrake around $1150 a year right there.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Someone takes security seriously

Just ran across this little gem of a licence key.  Not mucking about here.


Wednesday, November 26, 2014

News flash

Ferguson, Missouri –


Grand jury rules to indict police office Darren Wilson for the shooting of Michael Brown.  Whites go on race riot, burning and looting their way through the city, at the perceived injustice towards one of their own kind.


Oh, hang on.  That’s right – white people don’t do that.


Reality – grand jury rules there is no charge worth prosecuting in regards to Officer Darren Wilson who defended himself against an attack by a robbery suspect he attempted to apprehend.  Yes, the suspect was unarmed, in that he didn’t have a gun.  What he was was 6’4” tall and 140kg and he rushed the police offer and assaulted him, photographic evidence of which was provided to the grand jury.  The officer responded with force, and shot the prick, which is fair enough.  Don’t be a thug, don’t get shot.


Blacks respond to this by burning and looting their own neighbourhood, which demonstrates the level of intelligence we are dealing with here.  Next week, when the dole cheques run out and everyone’s passions suddenly evaporates, there will be claims of “racism” about lack of amenities and services.  America’s lame duck failed experiment at a president will sympathise.  Two years left for you before the country votes reality back in, moron.  The light has well and truly dawned there.


What I love most is the media bite from the family’s attorney (ambulance chasing scumbag), who said of the state prosecutor: “you don’t have any direction, you’re just putting all the evidence out there and you’re going to let them figure it out and they can make up their own minds,” Mr Crump said. “You know, it just boggles the mind why he thinks this is fair.”


So, in other words, the prosecutor put all the facts in front of the grand jury (three of whom where black, but apparently the sort of black who is civilised enough to register to vote because they ended up selected for jury duty) and let them make up their own damn minds.  This, of course, wasn’t good enough for a reactionary set of losers who wouldn’t be satisfied with anything other than an outcome that went their way, and who cares how it’s arrived it, because we’re black and we’re owed.


Try getting off your useless arses and getting a job, earning a living, not sponging off the rest of society, and not committing 90% of the crime in your 10% of the demographic.  Maybe if you tried behaving like an upstanding member of society you wouldn’t get a cap busted at your arse or gaoled at well over three times the US national rate, yeah?



Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Soccer anyone?

I think I may have actually seen the first game of entertaining soccer ever.

E-mail recipients click for link to post with embedded video.

New rig

Decided to stand myself up a new PC over the weekend.

The old rig was becoming a little frustrating, the Win7 install was becoming unstable and constantly running out of memory - not bad for 18 months old though.  The problem is that the rig itself has 2GB of memory plus a 512MB video card, so I'm limited to an x86 build, even though all the hardware is 64-bit capable.

Buying more memory to make an x64 install worthwhile wan't terribly attractive - it's DDR2-800 which is now rareware, an 8GB kit would cost me nearly $300 unless I wanted to do a dodgy eBay purchase out of asia somewhere.  No thanks.  Time for a new rig.

Did some reading and settled on an i5 4690K, it's actually faster than the bottom two tiers of i7 chip and at least $150 cheaper.  Even then the main difference is that the i7 has shades-of-Centrino hyperthreading reintroduced, and there are precisely two pieces of software in the world that can use that at the moment.  The K models are also multiplier unlocked so I can dabble in a little overclocking if I want to.

Went for an 8GB memory kit in 2x4GB - I don't see myself needing more than that anytime soon, it's half the cost of a 2x8GB and I can still go to 16GB in four-channel mode with another 2x4GB kit for $100 in the future if I need to.  Got the nice Vengeance still with the high profile heatsinks, makes them very easy to handle.

After some initial hassles with an older Z87 chipset motherboard that doesn't play nicely with the Haswell Refesh architecture CPUs, I now have a Gigabyte GA-Z97-D3H which has heaps of USB2 and 3 ports.  I went for a full ATX board for the easy of working, it puts all the SATA and front panel connectors further away from the memory and video slot, even though I'll never need the expansion slots.  Forget the old days of needing a USB expansion card, a network card, a modem card etc... I honestly have no idea what I'd even put in there unless I wanted wifi, and even then a number of motherboards have that built in now.

Also shouted myself a Coolermaster CM690iii case, because the old one is the PSU-on-top style and the new upside cases are just so much easier to work on, especially with the transverse drive bays.  It's also got a nice low-speed 8" intake fan.

Kept my existing Corsair 620W PSU as it's more than enough, but next time I'll be up for a new one as I need more SATA power sockets - ATX12V is dead, baby.  Also keeping my GT640 as it's more than adequate for what I do.

Drives are my Kingston 240GB SSD and the two Samsung 500GBs that came out of my old NAS when the chassis went flaky on me.

Can't complain about the performance so far.  With everything on stock settings, it installed Win7SP1 x64 in 12 minutes, and boots to a usable desktop in 9 seconds.  Got to love SSDs.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

5 sentences

Something I saw today – very true.  Kind of rang a bell when I got home and waste-of-space sorta stepson has spent the whole day sitting on his arse and watching TV.



You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity by legislating the wealthy out of prosperity.


What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving.


The government cannot give anyone anything without first taking it from someone else.


You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it.


When half of the people get the idea that they don't have to work because the other half will take care of them, we have a problem.  When the other half get the idea that it does no good to work because the first half will get what they work for, we have a disaster.

Muslim TV

Found this little gem in the media this morning, with suggestions for muslim TV shows:

Bacon bad
Dude, where's my camel?
Malcolm in the middle east
How I Arranged to Meet Your Mother
Sects in the City
The Love Goat
Third Iraq From The Sun
Pimp my Riyadh
Hamid and Stacey
Everybody Loves Rayyan
Ramadan-cing with the stars
Sharia Law and Order
Suicide Squad
Married to Children
The Big Bang Reality
How I Beheaded Your Mother
Game of Drones
Parks and Reincarnation
Family Chais

Of course, I can't possibly post that without also invoking the classic Taliban TV programme guide:

6.00   G-Had TV. Morning prayers.

8.30   Talitubbies. Talitubbies say "Ah-ah". Dipsy and Tinky-Winky repair a Stinger missile launcher.

9.00   Incoherent shouts of Praise. More prayers.

11.00  Jihad's Army. The Kandahar-on-Sea battalion repulse another attack by evil, imperialist, Zionist backed infidels.

12.00  Ready, Steady, Jihad! Celebrities make lethal devices out of everyday objects.

12.30  Panoramadan. The programme reports on America's attempts to take over the world.

13.30  Xena: Modestly dressed Housewife. Xena stays at home and does some cooking.

14.00  Only Fools and Camels. Dhal-Boy offloads some Chinese rocket launchers to Hamas.

14.30  Green Peter. The total number of Kalashnikovs bought by the milk bottle top appeal is revealed.

15.00  Madrasah Challenge. Two more Islamic colleges meet. Bambah Kaskhain asks the questions. 'Your starter for ten, no praying.'

15.30  I Love 629. A look back at the events of the year, including the Prophet's entry into Mecca, and the destruction of pagan idols.

16.00  Question Time. Members of the public face questions from political and religious leaders.

17.00  Koranation Street. Deirdrie faces execution by stoning for adultery.

17.30  Middle-East Enders. The entire cast is jailed for unislamic behaviour.

18.00  Holiday. The team go on pilgrimage to Mecca. Again.

18.30  Top of the Prophets. Will the Koran be No.1 for the 63,728th week running?

19.00  Who wants to be a Mujahadin? Mahmoud Tarran asks the questions. Will contestants phone a mullah, go 'inshallah', or ask the Islamic council?

20.00  FILM: Shariah's Angels. The three burkha-clad sleuths go undercover to expose an evil scheme to educate women.

21.30  Big Brother. Who will be taken out of the house and executed this week?

22.30  Shahs in their Eyes. More hopefuls imitate famous destroyers of the infidel.

23.30  They think it's Allah over. Quiz culminating in the 'don't feel the Mullah' round.

00.00  When Islams attack. Amusing footage shot secretly in mosques. The film makers were also secretly shot.

12.30  The West Bank Show. Arts programme looking at anti-Israel graffiti art in the occupied territories.

01.30  Bhuffi the Infidel Slayer.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Dear people from this morning's ride to work [SEC=UNCLASSIFIED]

Dear cretin Mazda driver,
The pedal on the right makes the vehicle go faster. I realise you're an asian female and therefore combine a lack of spatial awareness with a natural timidity and total inability to make a conscious decision in real time without a peer support group, but that's not a good thing when it comes to driving a motor vehicle. How the hell did you ever get a licence? Is VicRoads employing asian testers who are slipping people through as ringers or for a few hundred bucks or something? Unless you're the one demographic who actually gets worse at a task with practice as opposed to better, if that's the level of competence you can demonstrate now then it must have been truly cringingly bad at the time.

Dear moron smokers outside the train station,
Every morning I look at your small knot of diehards clustered resentfully together away from the doors (although still not far enough, I reckon Epping would be good), puffing away at your little addiction. You really do represent the triumph of stupidity over every possible means of education and awareness about the many evils of smoking, and that some people can be counted on to intransigently stick to their beliefs no matter what proof or fact is offered. Luckily, the general demographic of the few remaining diehards (literally) is very much trending towards the mid to late 40s, indicating that you're probably the last generation that will generally somehow think that it's a good idea to progressively poison yourself to death. Personally I really couldn't care if you do by the way, as long as I don't have to pay for it or put up with it, but that does mean you can fuck well off away from the doors to carry on your filthy habit.

Dear lady at the train station,
If you waddle into the station at the speed of congealing treacle, stop spang in front of the ticket validator and block both access to both validators and the door itself, stand your roller bag up, put down your other two bags, find your handbag, open that and fish around for your purse, open that and myopically peer in search of your card, have about six goes at getting it to read, gingerly put the card back into your purse, put your purse back in your bag, pick up your other two bags, then take a moment to compose yourself for the Hurcelean task of getting your roller bag moving again, please do not be taken aback when I and the other people trying to make it to our train too tell you to get the fuck out of the way and shove past you.

Dear cute asian chick sitting opposite to me,
I don't care if you feel uncomfortable and keep wiggling around in your seat. You wore the mini skirt, your legs are going to get looked at - deal with this. I have my tablet in my lap as normal, so they're in my line of sight, and frankly I was going to be having a look anyway. Yes, I sat down next to you for a reason, but no, it wasn't so I could look peripherally at your thighs for fifteen minutes. I did that because I don't want to sit next to Kevin the boofy tradie who is about two and a half times your physical size and has a fucking huge toolbox with him. Or mad bag lady who apparently has something akin to hoarder syndrome going on and couldn't possibly go to work without her five bags, or the dickhead with the outsized headphones who has the whole I-hate-you-all thing going and thinks that listening to incoherent mumbled [c]rap at max volume is his little rebellion against the world.

Dear dude in the suit,
Yeah, it sucks when you don't get a seat, but everyone is blithely ignoring the death stares you are directing at everyone. Your inflated self of self-importance isn't going to make anyone give up their seat for you, suit or no suit. I think there's one about halfway down the carriage, next to Bruce the plumber if you're interested. Feel free to explain to the cute asian chick with the miniskirt why you're opting to stand even though you feel personally offended the little people beat you to all the good seats - it might help her feel better about me ogling her thighs.

Dear lady with the freaking huge bag,
Everyone is pretty tolerant within reason about baggage on the train, but please try to make some sort of basic, minimum effort about reciprocally caring less about the amenity of other people around you too. It's not mandatory, but when you quite obviously don't give a shit then that's why nobody else did this morning either. That's why it got kicked, trodden on, tipped over and generally knocked about for the last four stops into the loop, and no, I don't think anyone cared less that you were getting really pissed about it either. Personally I thought it was very funny, and I took the opportunity to give it a good swift punt on the way past.

Dear lady who hasn't yet figured out how a train pass works,
Myki cards have been mandatory for coming up on two years now. If you still haven't figured out how to use the system you must have spent one hell of a lot of time stuck inside train stations in the interim. Since you have apparently managed to miss every piece of consumer education ever delivered on the subject, and haven't managed to correlate the operation of the system to other similar examples like tap-and-pay credit cards, I will briefly explain. Myki is a contactless smart card. The card needs to be placed in close proximity to the card reader for the reader to detect the card. Holding it back about six inches is not going to work, or doing a fly-by with it that a Harrier pilot would be proud of. Nor will frantically semaphoring it repeatedly past the reader like a Parkinson's disease sufferer on crack improve operation. If you have worn all the finish off your normally green card and actually sanded the fucking thing back to the white substrate by rubbing against the reader pads, you are doing it wrong. Remove the card from your purse. I don't care that that it's supposed to work inside a purse, it won't when it's crammed in with half a dozen other smartcards that I can only presume you don't know how to make work either. Place the card against the pad. Do NOT FUCKING MOVE IT. The gates will open. Savvy?

Dear handbill waver and useless crap pushers in general,
I realise you have strategically positioned yourself at the top of the escalators so you can attempt to shove handbills/advertising/assorted crap into people's faces while they are effectively captive. What you need to realise is that people resent this and regard you as a nuisance at best, and someone to be told to fuck off and die/punched in the face at worst. Why the hell would you think I have any interest whatsoever in a chinese language newspaper? I am uncertain whether this represents a complete abdication of thought on your part or active idiocy, but either way I chose to exercise the TTFO option this morning. I will do this whenever you try to foist your crap on me. If you choose to make a living by annoying people, do not be surprised when people indicate that this annoys them.

Tram driver
It's nice to see that Yarra trams are now running some Z class trams on La Trobe St, the W class ones are getting a wee bit asthmatic really. You might need to recalibrate yourself a bit to the new traction though. I realise that getting a W class going is a balancing act between wheel slip, old traction motors, a dodgy manual resistor control system and actually getting somewhere today, but when you get into a Z1 with perhaps four passengers and use your normal drop-the-hammer launch method, the ride does become a wee bit harsh. The bloke a few seats away who was about to take a sip of coffee when you performed a blastoff that would have impressed NASA would no doubt agree with me.

Dear wacko tram commuters,
The tram stop on the corner of La Trobe and King streets got taken out about six months ago. It was widely advertised on the line for some time, and even if you only intermittently use trams, the complete and utter removal of all facets of the stop itself (you know, like fences, bollards, signs etc) should perhaps be a hint that THE FUCKING THING IS NO LONGER THERE. It doesn't matter how much you hiss and spit and jump up and down, the tram driver is not going to open the doors there, because funnily enough he has rules about letting people climb down into traffic and getting their dumb arses run over. You only options are to get off a block early or a block later and walk, deal with it.

Also, if you've just seen someone get up and pull the cord for the next stop, why the bleeding hell would you feel the need to do it again yourself? To make sure it's really well pulled? You just watched someone else do the same thing, you heard the buzzer go, and I presume your visual abilities are sufficient to see the light lit, even if your mental faculties to process the information are in some doubt. Do you also feel the need to push the button again for the pedestrian crossing, or the button for the lift despite it already being lit? Is this some sort of mild obsessive compulsive disorder, a lack of observational skill, or a complete lack of understanding of how the world works?

Ah, here is work. Where a new variety of strange people again will no doubt present themselves.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

This is precisely why we have a nanny state

Check out this trailer for a new game coming out in 2015.

I'm all for freedom of speech and expression, but whoever wrote this is a fucking idiot.  This is exactly the sort of crap that will get content censored and mind controlled, and gives other content creators a bad name.

The video game industry also takes enough mindless criticism from digital luddites who can't separate fantasy from reality and are too busy pushing a preformulated discussion towards a predetermined conclusion.  We don't need this as something for the antis and zealots to point to after the next school shooting.

Actual conversation from this morning

Waiting in line at Australia Post to collect a couple of parcels...

Australia Post Droid: Wow, you're lucky this one didn't get sent back, it's been waiting so long.

Me: I beg your pardon??  It's been here 5 days, and it's very much you who are lucky it hasn't been.

APD: (rather taken aback) What do you mean?

Me: I mean that it took your "organisation" 5 days to shift a parcel the size of a deck of cards from Gosford to Melbourne for starters.  Your postie then tried to deliver it at 2:45 on a Monday afternoon, while I was perhaps unsurprisingly at work.  Your "organisation" then only opens business hours, while everyone is, again, at work.  Because obviously it's out of the question that you should stay open for late night trading on a Thursday like everyone else in the entire shopping centre is obligated to do by then tenancy agreement, whether they like it or not, or whether it costs them money to do so.  So a Saturday morning is, in fact, the first time I could possibly collect my mail, and so yes, I expect you to hold it for me for that long, and as such, I'm very much not the one who is lucky it hasn't been sent back.

APD:  Um... have you considered our parcel locker service?

Me:  Indeed I have.  Has your organisation considered actually building one here?  Of course not.  The nearest one is conveniently about 10km away, and in any case, would my second parcel be deliverable to there?  Considering it was shipped from an international location and had to be signed for?

APD:  Um... no, I suppose not.

Me:  Good, so to summarise - we've established that your "organisation"'s performance is poor, that your responsiveness to your customer's needs is lousy, that you don't offer a usable or realistic alternative, and that I, as the customer, aren't being held accountable for those shortcomings, yes?

APD:  Um...

Me:  Excellent.  Unfortunately, I'll see you next time.

Friday, October 17, 2014

And it started out so normally

Did we all see the news from last week about the chef who killed his wife and then cooked and ate the body in an attempt to dispose of it?

That's pretty innovative, but let's rephrase that one to provide some context for "normality", shall we?

Did we all see the news from last week about the former male prostitute who killed and tried to eat his post-op transgender ex-hooker "wife"?

Ah, that makes far more sense.

The kicker - the dude in question was buried yesterday.  The music at the funeral was largely Queen, and featured "Killer Queen", "Another One Bites The Dust" and "Don't Stop Me Now".

Seriously, I'm dying here...

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

I like this guy very much

There should be more of this, and Australia needs concealed carry laws.

In my observation, it's amazing how polite your potential thug becomes when he realises that he's not able to be an effective bully, because the intended victim has the ability to fight back effectively.

Legal, licensed, law abiding firearms owners are not a problem.  They are an asset to the community.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

NFH Bunnings

Went to fletch some new arrows this morning for a comp tomorrow.  Got through four of the roughest looking arrows I can recall making for some time before I had a good look at the ‘slosh’ in the bottle and decided the cyanoacrylate had started to polymerise, which makes it near on impossible to get a consistent bead of glue.  Go for the spare bottle in the cupboard, only to discover that I *am* using the spare bottle.  Bugger.


Go for a drive up to Bunnings for Loctite Pro cyano, a litre of acetone for cleaning and degreasing, and (on instruction) a large bag of Dog Rocks to stop the hounds killing the lawn.


Local Bunnings Keysborough has cyano, but only ½ litre acetone as they couldn’t be bothered to order any of the 1 litre bottles.  NFH as it’s $9.50 as opposed to $10.50 for the litre, and I am a bit morally opposed to paying 90% of the price for 50% of the product.  I took the time to inquire as to whether it was normally stocked and was assured it was, although I did comment that the thick layer of dust in the hole assigned for the product suggested that I was being lied to, and not terribly well.  I abandon the purchase when I discover they don’t sell the large bag of dog rocks (5 rocks for $20) but instead want $10 for *one* rock.


Go across the road to Masters.  I don’t like Masters much.  The store layout is weird, their stock line seems to deliberately contrast with that of Bunnings, and I’ve not had much luck with them so far.  They had acetone in the desired quantity for the appropriate price, but don’t stock Loctite glues at all.  WTF?  Not willing to try some dodgy Selleys brand, no idea what’s in the stuff.


Drive to Bunnings Dandenong.  These characters don’t stock Loctite Pro cyano at all.  They stock every other product that Loctite make, but not the Pro stuff, which is pure glue with no fillers and retardants.  Despite knowing it’s a waste of time even drawing breath, I ask the pimple face aisle zombie in a Bunnings apron if they have any, on the grounds that I would have thought that the Bunnings Mk 1 Mod 0 stock selection would be pretty much identical from location to location.  Whether this is indeed the case or not I have no idea, as pimple face gave an excellent demonstration of precisely why minimum wage laws exist.


Drive to Bunnings Springvale.  Oh joy, we have both the desired glue and acetone.  Still only stock Dog Rocks in 1 piece bags, but by this stage I’ve had it and bow to the inevitable.  Although I must say that the Dog Rocks people use a bag that is way too big, because two rocks fit into one just fine.


So I’m shooting tomorrow with my old practice arrows, because between general cretinry on the part of corporate business and going to the movies tonight, I am not staying up until midnight fletching.



Saturday, August 23, 2014

Rules Of The Air

1. Every takeoff is optional. Every landing is mandatory.
2. If you push the stick forward, the houses get bigger. If you pull the stick back, they get smaller. That is, unless you keep pulling the stick all the way back, then they get bigger again.
3. Flying isn't dangerous. Crashing is what’s dangerous.
4. It’s always better to be down here wishing you were up there than up there wishing you were down here.
5. The ONLY time you have too much fuel is when you’re on fire.
6. The propeller is just a big fan in front of the plane used to keep the pilot cool. When it stops, you can actually watch the pilot start sweating.
7. When in doubt, hold on to your altitude. No one has ever collided with the sky.
8. A ‘good’ landing is one from which you can walk away. A ‘great’ landing is one after which they can use the plane again.
9. Learn from the mistakes of others. You won’t live long enough to make all of them yourself.
10. You know you've landed with the wheels up if it takes full power to taxi to the ramp.
11. The probability of survival is inversely proportional to the angle of arrival. Large angle of arrival, small probability of survival and vice versa.
12. Never let an aircraft take you somewhere your brain didn't get to five minutes earlier.
13. Stay out of clouds. The silver lining everyone keeps talking about might be another airplane going in the opposite direction. Reliable sources also report that mountains have been known to hide out in clouds.
14. Always try to keep the number of landings you make equal to the number of takeoffs you've made.
15. There are three simple rules for making a smooth landing. Unfortunately no one knows what they are.
16. You start with a bag full of luck and an empty bag of experience. The trick is to fill the bag of experience before you empty the bag of luck.
17. Helicopters can’t fly; they’re just so ugly the earth repels them.
18. If all you can see out of the window is ground that’s going round and round and all you can hear is commotion coming from the passenger compartment, things are not at all as they should be.
19. In the ongoing battle between objects made of aluminium going hundreds of miles per hour and the ground going zero miles per hour, the ground has yet to lose.
20. Good judgement comes from experience. Unfortunately, the experience usually comes from bad judgement.
21. It’s always a good idea to keep the pointy end going forward as much as possible.
22. Keep looking around. There’s always something you've missed.
23. Remember, gravity is not just a good idea. It’s the law. And it’s not subject to repeal.
24.The three most useless things to a pilot are the altitude above you, runway behind you, and a tenth of a second ago.

Thursday, June 26, 2014


Goddammit.  My video card just died.


Freeze-and-reboot followed by loads of red artefacts during POST followed by a PCB running at fingerprint removing temperature makes me a sad panda.  :(

Monday, June 23, 2014

Actual conversations I had with religious doorknockers on the weekend. [SEC=UNCLASSIFIED]

Idiot brainwashed moron #1
Me:  Can you see this?  (Points at "No knock" sticker on door.)
Them:  Yes.
Me:  So why are you intruding on my privacy against my clearly expressed wishes?
Them:  Our faith tells us we must.
Me:  My faith tells me I must punch doorknockers in the face repeatedly if they ignore my sign.  If you want to introduce me to your faith, I presume you'll have no objections to my doing the same?
Idiot brainwashed moron #2
Them:  May we take a few minutes to speak to you about [our personal imaginary best friend]?
Me:  I’ll tell you what, I'm currently picking up dog shit in the yard.  I'll allow you to talk to me about whatever you like as long as you help pick up shit.  Offer lasts while dog shit does, deal?
Idiot brainwashed moron #3
Them:  May we take a few minutes to speak to you about [deluded rambling]?
Me:  From that, may I presume you have a strongly held religious faith?
Them:  Oh yes, very much so!
Me:  So if our positions were reversed and I was knocking on your door, would I have any hope of convincing you to change your faith to that of mine?
Them:  Oh no, of course not!
Me:  So why the fuck would you assume you're going to be able to change mine by doing exactly the same?

Monday, June 9, 2014

Welcome home

On August 12, 1978 NASA launched a small spacecraft called ISEE-3 to study the interaction between the earth's magnetic field and the "solar wind" emanating from the sun.

In 1997, NASA abandoned ISEE-3 due to a data link rate which had deteriorated to the point of unusability.  There has been no regular contact since, although the spacecraft remains in an orbit around the sun which occasionally brings it back near earth.  A brief carrier signal was established in 1999.

In 2008, a deep space comms network reestablished a data link with ISEE-3.  To the surprise of all, the spacecraft is still almost fully functional, and even has some propellant remaining.  The problem: the equipment involved in communicating with the spacecraft is now ancient history, and no longer exists.  NASA announced that rebuilding it was not worth the cost and that the spacecraft would be abandoned.

Enter the internet.

The original specs on the spacecraft were long since in the public domain, so a group of scientists, engineers and programmers decided to explore the option of open-sourcing control of the craft.  The ISEE-3 Reboot Project was born.

The team managed to obtain and construct the necessary communications gear (think Space Cowboys here) and somehow talked The Man into letting them install it on the Arecibo antenna.  It's basically a remodulator and power amplifier with the rest of the hardware done totally in software as wire-wrap hadn't been invented at the stage that ISEE-3 flew.

On May 29, 2014, the team successfully established a datalink with ISEE-3 and have managed to command the spacecraft into engineering mode to begin transmitting telemetry and allow debugging.  The next step is to fire an orbital adjustment burn which will place the spacecraft in an extended earth halo orbit.  if this doesn't happen by mid-June 2014, the next time we see ISEE-3 will be sometime in 2040.

Hopefully, welcome home, little fella.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Modern deadly sins

I see the Vatican has had nothing better to do with their time than update their current list of deadly sins.

Personally I think they're as off base and irrelevant to the modern world as ever. Here's a real list of modern sins:

Still using a Yahoo or Hotmail e-mail address.
Having Bing set as your home page.
Use of the reply all function with thinking.
Having used Geocities. Ever.
Having used Incredimail. Ever.
Production of a motherboard BIOS that is not automatically enabled for USB keyboard support.
Not seeding.
Wearing of Crocs, for any reason.
Not picking up dog shit when you walk the pets.
Thinking Facebook is important.
Making duck faces when having your photo taken.
Selfies. Ever.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

New AOTW category

Starting a new Arsehole Of The Week category for really, really stupid and annoying people.  It should be a popular category.

The inaugural AOTW award winner goes to Mellisa Blakemore, who, apart from having an annoyingly trendily spelt name, is yet another one of the Flat Earth Society anti-vaccination idiots.

Mellisa[sic] is outraged, OUTRAGED I tell you, that her little snowflake's high school helped prevent him from dying horribly from assorted easily prevented contagious diseases by giving him a Gardasil innoculation.

Mellisa[sic] is particularly outraged that her express wishes were not followed, despite said snowflake giving legal consent themselves to do so.  Presumably this will continue for some time, probably around the heat death of the sun or similar, because like all similar wackos with a simplistic mindset based on paranoia and lack of logical thought, I can't see her changing her excuse for a "mind" any time soon.

“My son doesn’t comprehend that sort of stuff, they don’t actually get the other side of the story so he’s not well informed enough to make those decisions when put on the spot,” she whined.

“From a parent’s point of view, giving us consent forms then going over our heads is just abominable and terrible.”

Sorry, Mellisa[sic], but the only thing abominable here is that despite all the evidence to the contrary, you're the one indoctrinating a child with your cultist beliefs, and endangering their health by risking their lives in the name of  your personal dogma.

In a splendid display of timeliness, a study was released earlier this week showing that analysis of 1.25 million vaccine recipients revealed zero correlation between vaccination and the oft-touted boogeyman diseases of autism.

Of course, Mellisa[sic] will be the first one to be lined up at the Doctor's to get her ball of joy diagnosed with ADHD and medicated into a stupor with Ritalin when she can't cope with a few tantrums, right?

Even the Queen Flatearther herself of anti-vax Jenny McCarthy has recently begun (futile) efforts to distance herself from her illogical statements.  She's naturally hired a PR firm to spin her point of view into something she hopes will confuse most people enough to forget she's another looney wacko, but while you can sometimes head it off a bit, fundamentally you can't cure stupid - and this is a prime example.

Of course, what people like Mellisa[sic] conveniently ignore is that they're not the only people on earth, and they'll fully expect to let their little germbag virus factory interact fully with the rest of society, and then further expect society to provide taxpayer funding for the medical care when their snowflake contracts every childhood disease easily prevented.

Congratulations, Mellisa[sic].  Here's your award.

Saturday, May 10, 2014


Asian quality

This is the new Samsung phone charger.  Charges both the phone and the owner simultaneously!

Friday, April 25, 2014

That's what I do

I really need to work on a version of this for my boss.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Actual conversation with my management yesterday.

Manager 1: Can you make an alarm display to monitor the potential impact of [event].  We need it by close of business.

Me: Sure, but can we first discuss exactly what you want the display to do, so I understand the requirements?  I have to write and test code, plus design and build a GUI page, which takes quite a bit of time, so I'd like to get it right first time.

M1: Can't you just do it the same as last time?

Me: That's why I'd like to discuss what you want in detail.  I didn't build the monitoring last time, and I don't think the way it was done was of much value - I'd like to understand exactly what you want it to show you.

Manager 2: We want to see any power issues.

Me: OK, network or service power issues?  The former won't be a problem as the sites area hosted environment with multiple backups, the latter are dependent on customer sites.  Those are not network issues, and nor can we do anything about them.  And the customer doesn't have power to any of their equipment then I doubt they will care less if one isolated piece of equipment we just happen to supply still has a few LEDs lit, yeah?

M1: How did we do it last time?

Me: We did the customer site monitoring I just described, which is why I ask, because it's a total waste of time and doesn't tell you anything useful.

M1: Let's just do that again then.

Me: OK, I'll just put the display from last time up and change the labels on it.

M1: But will that monitor the right sites?

Me: No, but if all we're generating is useless numbers that mean nothing then I might as well spend as little time doing it as possible.

M2: But we have to report on this to senior management.

Me: Report what??  As I said at the start, you need to tell me what you need to report on, so I know what to build.  You need to tell me precisely what devices you want to look at, and precisely what conditions you want to observe.  [Monitoring system] reports specific events, it's not fuzzy logic.

M2: Just do the same thing as last time.  And I also need to know [bizarre requirement].

Me: Sorry, [monitoring system] can't do that.

M2: I don't care, I need it for reporting.

Me: I heard you, but that doesn't change what [monitoring system] is capable of.  It can't do that function, not possible.

M2: Look, I've got to go to another meeting, but this needs to happen [leaves].

Me: (to M1) You do understand that what M2 is asking for is impossible, don't you?  Look, what I'm hearing here is that you just want something that looks flash and gives the impression that we're being proactive just in case senior management ask then fine, yeah?  I'll chuck something together.  It won't do anything particularly useful but it will look cool, and you'll be able to point to it if you are asked.  Will that do you?

M1: Got it in one, let's do it.

I code frantically for 2 hours and finally knock the damn thing out about an hour after knock-off time.  E-mail to all concerned explaining how to get to it, what it does, how to read it etc.

Fast forward to this morning:

M1: Is it possible for you to make some changes...


Sunday, March 2, 2014

See ya, Mt Gox

One of the highlights of the entire week has been the geek reactions to the collapse of the Mt Gox bitcoin exchange.

Bitcoin is, by its very nature, an unregulated, unmanaged currency, with no centralised authority of management, no guarantees of security and no means of assuring stability.  It exists specifically as a way to provide a transaction channel untraceable and untaxable by governments.

So, of course, what's the first thing the aggrieved users did when Mt Gox collapsed after a hostile hack?  They went crying to mummy the feds that the nasty men had taken their lunch money.

What a bunch of morons.  What did you expect would happen?

That's right up there with calling the cops to complain that you've just been ripped off on a drug deal, or that your weed has been stolen.  Which is in of itself a somewhat ironic analogy when you consider that probably the biggest use for the Bitcoin currency was the Silk Road illegal drugs market which got busted last year.

Quite apart from anything else, if the cops were to investigate the issue, they're only going to do so with the aim being a prosecution of the perpetrator.  That means understanding the Bitcoin systems, having access to the inner workings (if the NSA hasn't arranged that already), and generally gathering evidence to do something about it.  Um, hello people... do you want to maybe think about that first?

Mt Gox, of course, blame a weakness in the Bitcoin systems for allowing the hack.  Bitcoin says that Mt Gox's kung-fu is not so good.  Who knows?

Of course, the final irony is that each Bitcoin actually has a marker, which means that (unless the ledger logs have been erased), the transaction trail of where the Mt Gox Bitcoins are is theoretically traceable - thereby - which means that the whole point of anonymity of Bitcoin is a nonexistent farce in the first place.  All the cops would need to do is seize the Bitcoin account of an arms dealer, drug dealer, garden variety scumbag etc and look at the ledger transactions to see where their cash came from.  Even better than marked money, because it works in reverse!

And here I was wondering why the governments of the world had allowed Bitcoin to exist.   :rolleyes:

In the meantime, people are further illustrating their lack of understanding of exactly how screwed they are by suing Mt Gox, although exactly how they plan to do sue a Japanese company from the USA is unclear.  Not that that would stop your average litigation-happy American, I suppose.  I wish them luck - they're going to need it - the money is gone, the company is filing for bankruptcy, and any purported success will at best see them one step above your classic unsecured creditor in line for a few fractions of a cent in the dollar of capital that no longer exists.

The bottom line is that Bitcoin isn't real money, as some of the more well grounded commentators of the financial sector have commented (over the howls of disaffected true believers).  That may well relegate any claim against Mt Gox to even less than complaining to the filth your stash has been ripped off - it's right down there with trying to report your Sword of Smiting has been stolen in WOW.

Good luck with complaining effectively about both.  You're gonna need it.

Friday, February 21, 2014


Just picked up an APC CS500 UPS to float the NAS drive.  Only 500VA but all I'm supporting is the NAS chassis itself to protect against hard shutdown and surges - if nothing else, 16 hour array parity checks will suck.  That will provide about 50 minutes of runtime, and all I need it to do is provide 2 mins for a polite shutdown.

Has USB comms to the chassis, and the chassis will also return-signal the UPS to go into sleep mode as a last-gasp function so the UPS doesn't drain itself and offer no protection on mains restore.

Joys of compatible hardware:  plug in and fire up the NAS.  Check the detected hardware and tick "enable NAS" and select low-battery shutdown threshold.  Tick e-mail notifications.  Chassis e-mails me to tell me the UPS is only, 92% battery and charging, estimated 2146s to battery EOD if required.  Job done.

The only small gripe is that APC insist on using an RJ-50 10P10C interface for the client device connectivity.  Theoretically, this allows support for USB, RS-232 and 10xBase-T SNMP comms for client connectivity with the device directly, remotely, via network cascaded device etc.  In reality, this makes APC corporate pricks who then charge $35 for a USB cable with an RJ-50 terminator on the end of it.

Luckily, the pinout is child's play to understand, and RJ-50 terminators and crimpers are a few dollars from [danger-time sink] - but I also just found I can get APC-compatible cables all nicely premade with injection moulded boots etc from evilBay for $25 for 3, just in case I trash one.

$109 at Scorptec, and batteries are only $32.  Value.

Also grabbed a WD MyBook 3TB USB drive for critical oh-shit-sky-falling backups.  The NAS has a software package that allows file structure level backup jobs to be configured, with either new time-and-date stamped backups, or incremental, with or without deprecated file retention.  And it mounts the WD device natively as an expansion drive so it's fully readable either through the NAS DSM desktop interface, or from a remote Windows client mapping.  Sweet.

WD external drives come in several variants, which WD are a bit obscure about explaining.

MyBook - basic disk-inna-box, some useless software that I deleted
MyBook Essentials - extra $20 for licenced backup software which I don't want
Elements - MyBook, but with hardware-based disk encryption, which means it's impossible to rip the drive out of a failed chassis and mount it in a PC for data recovery.

Guess which version I purchased???

I do remember reading that one variant also supports idle spin-down, but I have NFI which one considering that was at 4:15am, and given I'll only connect the thing up for scheduled backup - meh.

The DSM interface only allows formatting as FAT32 or EXTx, but is quite happy to read/write to NTFS as long as it's been formatted from a Windows box, so that's what happened.  (It actually comes out of the box as NTFS, but there's a bunch of system crap which DSM couldn't get rid of.  A format seemed the solution, and since I wanted NTFS for large file support, onto a Windows boxen it went.)

Next step - throughput test!  SHR1 5-disk array as the source, WD MyBook on native USB3.0 interface directly onto the Synology chassis as the target, transfer scheduled from DSM so it's not via the client Windows machine.

5GB .mkv file - 65 seconds.

Made up a backup job targetting 109GB of data across dog alone knows how many files - I didn't time this one, but by the time I got a glass of claret, wrestled with the dogs a bit, and annoyed the handbrake enough that she told me to go back and play in my office and stop annoying her (win!) - it was done.  Sounds good to me, and it's all in conventional file structure too, so it's directly readable to Windows.

$159, excellent value for the money.


Interestingly, my first reaction with the perceived need for a tinfoil-hat grade backup for the backups was to go classic - buy an external enclosure and bung a HDD in it.

That is, apparently, old school thinking these days.

A decent Welland or Vantec enclosure is about $40-50, and then a reputable (Samsung or WD, we don't do die-for-no-reason Seagate) 3TB drive is about $140, even in a "green" variant.  That's at least $180 for the same solution, compared to $159 for the out-of-the-box WD MyBook.  I don't know why you'd bother, and indeed, I didn't.

The clincher is the presence of two USB3.0 ports on the NAS.  It also has two eSATA ports, but I (think I) only have one eSATA on my desktop mobo, and it's on the backplane, so CBF really.  I certainly could find a USB2.0/3.0/eSATA enclosure for $50 - at least not a Happy Flying Panda branded one.  eSATA might get up one of these days, but I'm not expecting to see it anytime soon - I suspect that the convenience demand driven wireless USB standard will beat into submission, or at least relegate it to nice-idea-remember-that status like Laserdisc (last known sighting - video store, Hyde Park centre Townsville, circa 1995).

Seems like some of the old enthusiast skills are now being supplanted by demand and convenience?  You don't even have to just damn well *know* that WD drives won't mount as a single drive on a parallel cable without the jumper set to CS anymore (no, master/single will *not* work) to play.  Wossis SATA PNP crap??

I'm torn between whether this is convenience making our lives easier, or expedience dumbing them down.

It does seem easy. though.

Only geeks

Some fairly spectacular e-coin mining rigs here.

The latest cool trick is the USB Block Eruptors - no need to drop $1k on a GPU to mine, just line these up for about $30 a go in a suitable hub.

Of course, even if you're not paying for the electricity, it will still take you literally years to mine a single $225 coin - great return on all that space and hassle.

Geeks - the only people on earth that will pay other people vast amounts of money to do something for them, as long as it's cool.

Saturday, February 8, 2014


Good – getting an undercover carpark at the shopping centre on a really hot day.


Even better – seeing off the dickhead who was trying to steal it by sneaking in from the other side while the first person was reversing out.  Words were had.  I won.


Gold – same dickhead is still sharking around for a park when I get out.  He tries stalking me, so I deliberately walk down the wrong aisle, cut through to the next one, and wave someone else in so they’re already lined up for the spot by the time dickhead can get there.


Priceless – driving by dickead on the way out and giving him the finger.


He’s probably still circling.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Allrighty then

(1) Synology DS1513+.  5-bay, quad gigabit NICs, supports two expansion chassis with another 5 bays each for a total of 60TB capacity, dualcore 2.13GHz CPU, 2GB RAM, supports RAID 5/6/10, and has an apparently neverending list of server-style applets that it can run including Bittorrent and Sickbeard.  202MB/sec write, 351MB/sec read, so will stream HD .mkvs to the TV nicely.

Wanna have a play with the interface?  Log into with username:admin and password:synology and go nuts.

(2) Five WD Red 3TB, WD30EFRX drives (the new NAS optimised ones), going into a RAID5 array for 12TB formatted and one-disk fault tolerance.

I did flirt with going with the 4TB units, but it's an extra $350, and I think 12TB will hold me for a bit.

The best part is that since it does everything my torrent box did, I can give it the flick, get back some bench space, and less Windows hardware to fight with is always good.

Oh, fuck...

Oh, fuck.  I just got a twin HDD failure warning from my NAS.


That means the chassis is about to die.   :(


I’m off for an expensive trip to Scorptec.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

The LNP shows its true colours again

I see it hasn't taken long for the LNP to show their true colours in regards to industrial relations.

Apparently "still relevant" is the new buzzword phrase for trying to undermine conditions and entitlements.

It follows a warning by Employment Minister Eric Abetz that Australia risks a "wages explosion" if bosses do not start saying no to workers and unions requesting pay rises.

Hey Eric (who only earns $336,599 a year, poor bastard) - how about consumers start saying no to businesses jacking up prices?  Are you actually asinine enough to believe that only businesses face cost increases?

I'm a business in my own right, I provide a service called "work" to my customer (my employer) and my input costs keep going up too, sport.

I really didn't expect much else from these clowns.  They obviously didn't learn from last time.  Luckily, if they do try it'll be a fairly short government.