Wednesday, October 28, 2015


Cretins-in-law just got nailed with some version of Cryptolocker, yay.

The handbrake just asked me what they can do, I told them their options are:

(a) pay the ransom, or
(b) take off and nuke the site from orbit, and deal with the fact that they just lost every file on the rig and every connected drive.

She's currently talking them through the Anger phase of acceptance.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Equipment abuse

I really am constantly struck dumb by how poorly some people treat their equipment.  They pay a fortune for it, and then don't learn how to use it, don't adjust or calibrate it, and don't maintain it.  They then wonder why it wears out, doesn't product the results they expected, or perhaps fails spectacularly - and then usually end up blaming the equipment.

Here's an example.  This is an early version of the tailstock on my string jig - it's basically a tensioning apparatus where the quill can be locked so it doesn't rotate, or can be allowed to freely rotate on demand at up to 350lb tension.  The quill shaft is a 5/8" steel shaft cut with an Acme thread, which is specifically designed for this sort of load bearing leadscrew use.  It doesn't need a lot of care, just the occasional dab of grease on the thrust bearing, and made sure you don't adjust the tension with the thumbscrew done up.

This is what some knuckle dragging idiot managed to do to one.  Note how the thread from about 1/3rd of the way in have been rolled over, before they have been pretty much swaged flat.

The owner complained he "couldn't get no tension" on it, and no doubt that was the first sign of incorrect operation that he noticed, too.

I really am inescapably reminded of these morons, who only noticed something was wrong fairly late into proceedings too.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Tricolour twist bling

Clicken for more biggeren if desired...

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Tuesday morning irony

Your "no shit, Sherlock" moment of the week is today brought to us by Yahoo News.

The amount of advertising we are exposed to on a daily basis is stunning.  Advertisers and marketroids of the world leave no stone unturned in their desperate attempts to shove as much commercial crap in our faces as possible, and the web makes this worse - not only are we paying for it to be delivered to us, but it's targeted.

(If you think it's not, try visiting a few websites like on a smartphone, then look at - like magic, all of the banners are now for Hobbyking!  The pricks just read the cookie off your phone and targeted you.  Great, eh?)

I know I long since developed banner blindness to the point where I need to be careful what I look at at work, because I honestly don't see the NSFW sidebars that plenty of indy-style websites support their costs with.  It also makes for the odd awkward conversation when the handbrake walks into my office and sees one, because I'm honestly reading the review on USB3 bandwidth or whatever.  (Seriously.  If I wanted to look at porn I'd find something a lot better than a banner ad to look at.)

Unsurprisingly, the advertisers of the world have arisen from their pools of slime to study the phenomenon, the better to overcome our natural tendencies as humans to form patterns of association and learn what's likely to be worth our taking the time to absorb, and what's likely to be useless crap, like pretty much anything that Alan Jones has to say.

So, onto Yahoo's revelation that ad-blocking by frustrated consumers has grown 41% in the last year, and shock and horror, it's costing the poor bastards money!  Oh, the huge manatee!

Personally I think Chrome with Adblock is pretty much mandatory for using the web these days - it even strips out those bloody annoying unskippable inline ads at the start of Youtube videos.

What I find splendidly ironic is that Adblocker has dropped 20 ads on the Yahoo page alone...

Thursday, August 6, 2015

I see dumb people

Just found this for sale on a forum.  What's wrong with this picture?  And I quote:

For sale hha 5019 1 5/8 housing.
Includes lens and retainer. 6 power lense has a scratch on it....still usable 
$220 posted. 
The scope is less then twelve months old

FFS, people.  If you expect to sell something, try and present it as looking like a little bit better than luke warm shit.  Every single bolt head on this sight is rusted, which tells me it's been soaked while out hunting and there's been precisely zero TLC or maintenance applied.  A bit of WD40 isn't that hard.  It's got chunks of the finish ground off the two adjustment knob heads (can't say from the photo about the knob head selling it) and there's a bolt hanging out of the back of the scope housing.

So we've got a piece of hardware that's been totally neglected, that you've managed to scratch the lens on (how??) and you still want $220 for this POS when I can get them off eBay for $180?

I see dumb people.  Tell 'em they're dreamin'.

Another day, another confused soul

Co-irker fronts me this morning to have some certified copies signed.  No worries, let's make it happen.

Artefact one - two photocopies of passports.  Excellent, does co-irker have the passports?  No, they do not.  What do I mean I can't sign them then?  It will be most inconvenient to have to bring the actual documents to work to allow me to actually, you know, place both side by side and compare them so I can say truthfully that one is an accurate replica of the other.

This went back and forth for several volleys until I dragged out my handbook at pointed at the line that says:

The original document must be supplied so that you can certify that the copy is an exact copy of the original.

At this stage it was reluctantly accepted that production of the passports would be essential, although not, I must say, with much grace.

We then moved on to the lovely printout of some document they had.


Where was this document obtained?  Ah, you printed it out from some website.  Excellent.  May I see the original copy?  Of course I can't, it's a printout.  How silly of me.  In that case, I will refer you to my previous statement about supplying the original document.  If there is no original available, then no copy is possible, and while this is generally acknowledged to be an unfortunate state of affairs, the situation is not altered as a result.

If co-irker can log on to the website where the document was sourced from and thus provide provence of the origin, I am permitted to certify it as a copy.  Co-irker does not have these details, and was therefore informed that they were SOL this morning, weren't they?

How are you supposed to satisfy the requirements of whatever grotty government department you are dealing with, then?  I really have no idea, sorry - I'm simply telling you what I'm permitted to do.  It's up to you to work out a solution with them within the bounds of what is possible, and while I realise it's a problem if they are asking for something difficult or impossible to fulfil, I would also ask you to realise that the problem isn't mine, and I'm not doing something illegal to alleviate it.

Co-irker went away very sad.  Another happy customer.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Sunday, July 26, 2015

New strings

Restrung the new Hoyt today.  Cliche red and black, blow me.  All BCY X material with 30lb spectra serving, which comes out at 0.107" - almost bang on the perfect 0.105" OD for the recommended 24 strands. Sits well down into the cam grooves.

I'm currently waiting on a set of Baker Archery Products string clamps which will allow me to serve a little tighter, which will let me hit the perfect 0.105" OD, and possibly also do so with 40lb serving which will give a little more wear resistance too.  At the moment I'm "limited" by serving at 300lb of tension (which is kind of scary to have 18" from your face, believe me) but I still have to use the flag method of checking serving tension to make sure I'm not going to cause peep rotation later. The clamps will allow me to hold about a 12" section of string torsionally and serve as tight as I like, so I get a smoother finish and the final diameter I like.

Once I've got these, I'll be happy to start offering restringing on a garage-commercial basis, because I *know* I can crank out something to compete with the best in the industry worldwide.

Next challenge: multi-layer pinstriping.  I mean seriously, how off-scale do these look??

Oneida go BOOM

One of my clubmates had an interesting afternoon today. Let go clean through the grip valley approaching 50lb full draw, no warning in previous shots. Bow is about 2 years old, never dry fired or dropped, always well looked after.  It's only been in the press of the local dealer, and while I don't have much confidence in them, at least they can't claim abuse as a result.

The archer is OK apart from a pinch to the webbing of his bowhand, and a change of shorts required.  The dealer has advised they will process as a warranty claim.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

From the "well, duh" files

The Apple watch has apparently flopped initially, after worldwide sales have been in the order of 3 million units.

Apple are apparently sufficiently embarrassed about this that they have carefully omitted the sales figures from its latest financials, and tried to justify this by claiming that "the information could be used by competitors".

Yeah, that's a major concern - Apple's competitors might stop making the bloody things if they realised they're basically a gadget looking frantically for a justification for their very expensive, fragile, inconvenient and functionality-free existence.

Seriously, guys - the things are $500 minimum for the basic model, and they don't do anything useful!  The screen is too small to actually interact with, and the remote functions for messages/phone etc are analogous to the remote controls you used to be able to get for car stereos - you know, so you didn't have to reach 18" to the stereo itself.

The sole use I can think of for the things is turn by turn navigation, and since you've already got to have the iPhone to use them, it's $500 to make a little arrow appear on your wrist.

Sorry guys, if they were $100 I'd have one.  At $500 for a device that's not waterproof and is yet another goddamn gadget I have to charge, it's a loser.


I also see the media is gushing about a new report from the Department of Communications showing we're a nation of scurvy pirates.

Of the people who do consume media illegally, the survey found they would likely stop infringing if legal content was: cheaper (39 per cent), more available (38 per cent), and had the same release date as other countries (36 per cent).

Wow, what a surprise!  So in other words, what would stop us pirating media would be that it was available to purchase at a reasonable price!  Who would have thunk it?

But perhaps the most telling part is how even the government acknowledges how out of touch rights holders are in combating piracy, noting that, “rights holders’ most powerful tool to combat online copyright infringement is making content accessible, timely and affordable to consumers”. 

Something rights holders seem hell bent on not doing.

Of course not, because the industry is run by a set of old men who probably wear ties to bed, who are so used to their business model of being able to skin pretty much whatever they want out of the sheep consumer, that they don't want to give that up.  They'd prefer to deny the reality that technology has given people the ability to tell the industry to jam the pricing up their cardigan, and just steal their product with relative impunity.

I know that personally my VPN has it looking like I'm in Sweden via a provider that keeps no logs, and I've now abandoned torrents for Usenet - no tracker, so no Maverickeye spying, and the Usenet provider doesn't keep logs either.

That's not a bulletproof solution, but it doesn't have to be.  It just has to be adequate to meet the need, and the industry is too happy picking low hanging fruit to bother about anyone taking any sort of precautions against these clowns.

The industry might also need a fresh pair of pants after reading the numbers on this article.  MPAA, meet HORNET - TOR on steroids and Red Bull.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

New bow day!

2012 Contender GTX, got the rotating cam mods, current model limb pockets and graphics.

Needs a new set of strings but I think I can arrange that, red/black with black serving I think.  Or perhaps black/silver.  Other than that, not really a mark on it.

Need to decide on a name.... the current stable is Dark Knight, Twilight Zone and The Beast.  I'm thinking Erebus, since the colour scheme will be (apart from the string contrasts) pretty much be black with black labelling on a black background with black highlights edged in black.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Bloody weather

Made the possibly tactically poor move to wash the car yesterday evening.  Walked outside to go to work at 6:30am to discover probably the coldest morning I have seen yet in Melbourne, -2°.

Minor problem getting into the car, because the door rubbers were frozen together.  Fixed with hose, along with a windscreen that I could theoretically see out of.  However, I soon discovered that the glass was so cold that it simply refroze the water, resulting in a nice slick layer of ice with a different diffractive index than the glass - the result being not being able to see crap.  And I wasn't getting back out, unlocking the garage again, and getting the hose out again either.

No worries, I'll deploy the washers and wipers.  Nope, washer lines are frozen (probably mostly the jets) and I think I tore a rubber as the right blade came off the frost.  Hmm, just have to wait for the heater box to start working, in the meantime I adopt the Mr Magoo method of driving - pull the seat right forward and then hunch down over the steering wheel so I can see out of the 1/2" wide crack at the bottom that is the sole translucent bit.  If you're having problems visualising this, image an asian driving and you should get the idea.

Got to the entrance of the estate and I need to turn right, so I'll crack the window.  No I won't, the glass is frozen into the seals.  Bugger.

It was a good few kilometres before I finally got enough heat out of the engine to defrost all of the ice off the windshield, and even then it was about a quarter still fogged in.  Never did get the rear window defrosted, the resistive heater barely made discernible lines across the glass.

Global warming my arse.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

eBook repository

Anyone like eBooks?  Stumbled across this little archive today.  Wow.

Amy does Star Wars

In your Sunday morning news, both Lucasfilm and Disney have managed to demonstrate they have absolutely no sense of humor whatsoever, because this is funny.

At least Mark isn't a member of the MIB.

On with the shoot... thanks, GQ!  Oh yeah, and Disney can go and suck my lightsaber... fair use for the purposes of parody, guys.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

More liberal "thinking" around the Greek financial crisis

It's hardly unsurprising that the twittersphere is full of satire over the Greek financial crisis and bailout - your politics tend to be pretty leftist when your you're young and an idealist, and they naturally tend to shift towards conservatism when you mature enough to get a grip on reality and you've actually worked enough to have something to protect.  And to realise that maybe just giving it away to someone else in the name of socialism isn't such a great idea after all, when you're the one doing the work.

“If you’re not a liberal when you’re 20, you have no heart. If you’re not a conservative by the time you’re 30, you have no brain.” - Fran├žois Guizot.

The bottom line is that while granting some relief is perhaps an acceptable idea in the name of benevolence and support, the world can't afford to just write off the $477 billion AUD Greece owes as a bad debt.  That would result in the banks and governments who own that debt taking a loss themselves, and they'd never lend Greece money again - and the reality is that they need it, because they're fucked without it.

Greek prime minister Tsipras know it too, which is why that despite all the pompous and overblown rhetoric and chest beating, he's agreed to a deal - he's got nothing to really bargain with.  Defaulting completely on the debt isn't an option when the arse is out of your pants; choices are something you get to make when you've got more than one viable option.  Something the Greek population doesn't seem to realise.

Personally I think the whole thing is going to collapse in a dirty heap before too long, because Greece isn't going to be capable of making the required changes, even if they were willing.  Apparently other people think so too, although there's some pretty confused thinking going on in the article - apparently Germany is to blame for being too economically successful?  I'm really not sure what solution the author of that little gem proposes, but it's probably some leftist idea of permanently subsidising Greece at least semi-permanently, which is another way of saying paying them to be inefficient and spend more than they earn.  Good solution, eh?.

I also heard a thoroughly naive and uniformed comment on the radio yesterday (from someone I thought better of beforehand) which was that how could we ensure that Greece actually followed through on their promises once we'd handed over the cash?  Not sure what planet this person lives on, but the IMF isn't cutting Greece a cheque for $82 billion in one go - it's a subsidy package over time, and if the

The funniest thing in the news today was this little gem from some Greek would-be commentator, who is basically providing evidence for the prosecution with her submission to the discussion.  Apparently her understanding of basic maths is right up there with Alex Tsipras's grasp of macroeconomics, because what it actually shows is that a big chunk of the country isn't doing any work at all - that's why the number of hours worked per person in work is so high!  Sorry, my dear - if your assertion is that Greeks work more hours across the board than most of the rest of the world, then your economy wouldn't be down the crapper, would it?

Yeah, I agree your former (and current) governments were crap, but only because they failed to reign in rampant government spending and handouts - and when they tried, you voted them out and put in Syriza, who "promises" to wave a wand and bring the rest of the world to heel so you could go on having arguably the world's highest per-person expenditure on a public sector workforce, along with some of the lowest efficiency too.

How's that socialism working out for you, hun?  Still got plenty of other people's money to spend?

It's not called a Greek tragedy for nothing

I suppose it's kind of inevitable that the scruffy populace are rioting in the streets, but it now looks like Greece's government can't even agree on the outcome - their deputy finance minister has resigned, and so has their economic ministry's secretary general.

In a splendid display of shambolic discord, it also looks like the Syriza coalition (who hold a 162/300 seat parliamentary majority) will actually be reliant on the opposition party to pass the required legislation, as 30 members of Syriza themselves oppose it.  I suppose a certain degree of discord was always going to be inevitable, but this is what happens when you form minority coalition governments - the recent Australian Labor government being a textbook example.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Your liberal socialist media distorted story of the day

The populist media is a bunch of left-wing hipster socialists at the best of time - it doesn't take a lot of critical reading and independent thought to determine that.

One "feature"of the liberal socialist media is that they're anti-gun, which is just another of their inconsistencies in that they don't give a crap about any other standard in society, but they need to invent this one.

Here's the latest example of their warped thinking in general on the subject.

Love the snarky little comment on the end, because they couldn't think of anything else to say on the subject:

"Since then there have been few mass shootings in Australia."

Ooh, ooh, me!  /waves hand in the air...

(1)  How many mass shootings were there before Port Arthur?  Answer:  none.

(2) If there have been "few" since, do you admit that the laws are ineffectual in removing the problem, or that laws don't solve the problem, because remarkably criminals don't obey gun control laws any more than they do any other law?

(3) Since Martin Bryant didn't have legal access to the gun he used, what is the use of passing even more laws, which will also be ignored?  Protip: try standing up in the cafe where a large part of the massacre took place and telling the shooter he can't whack you - it's illegal!

The solution to the issue is very much in line with what the NRA says - put more guns in the hands of the good guys.

Let's sell ol' Martin stand in the doorway of the cafe fumbling with a magazine trying to reload a rifle while just one patron nails him with the .357 snubby they're legally and safely carrying concealed.

Never happen though, we've had our nuts thoroughly cut in that regard, and I can't see it turning the other way in my lifetime.  But we're allowed to call 000 and ask for help - the one time I've ever had to do that I waited over an hour for some bored cop to respond.  Makes me feel very secure.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

On the piss

Always wondered how they got that... unique... taste into Carlton Draught?

Now we know.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Greece, delusional to the last

Exit polls indicate a roughly 60/40 split in favour of Greece flushing their national economy down the crapper, albeit on a paltry 50% attendance rate.  THIS IS SPARTA!!

Having effectively told their creditors they have no intention of paying their bills, of course their immediate reaction to the "mandate" was to go begging for a handout!  I honestly have no idea why the IWF and creditor countries would even given this pack of clowns the time of day, because they're the dole bludgers of Europe, and dole bludgers fundamentally aren't interested in helping themselves - they're only interested in a handout so they don't have to get off their collective arses.

Just to illustrate the size of the problem:

Ultimately, I think the European creditor nations and IMF are going to have to abandon hope of collecting all of the debt, simply due to the scale of the problem.  Even the IMF itself says that the proposed austerity package which Greece won't accept would leave them with an unsustainable debt to service by 2030, because the country is just that far in the shit.  It has pretty much no exports other than some primary production foodstuffs and tourism, so that means a permanent balance of payments option when the country won't live within its means - Greece is the national equivalent of a teenager who just left home but expects instant access to the luxuries their parents spent years earning.

The IMF estimates that Greece could possibly, just, maybe, service a debt of 110% of GDP if everything follows a sunny day scenario.  They're currently in the hole to the tune of 175% of GDP and totally dismissive of any attempt to do anything meaningful about it - their best offer was under half of what the IMF asked for.

It's been pointed out to me that Greece did write off a bloc of German debt following WWII, and although true, to me there are several significant differences which mean the reverse should not be automatically reciprocal.

For starters, Germany's debt at the time was largely the result of WWII - war expenditure, reparations, and funnily enough their economy took a bit of a hit at the time.  Blame Hitler.  Greece's debt is the result of 30 years of being a socialist handout society.  I don't see why the world should fund that.

Secondly, Germany's problem - Hitler - ceased to be an issue towards the end of WWII, whereas Greece's problems are ongoing - any writedown of debt would only be to enable them to incur new debts, at ongoingly unsustainable rates, because they won't address their root issues of excess consumption for their means.  Greece's debt is currently around $508 billon AUD and their government monthly salary and pensions bill is $2.5 billion AUD per freaking month.  The only way that's going to get solved is real, fundamental, widespread restructuring of the way that Greece does business, internally and externally, and while they have a nutjob delusional left wing government that doesn't accept reality, that's not going to happen.

Of course, there are some immediate things that Greece could do, like crack down on the level of crime, tax evasion, cash transactions and general lack of legal compliance in the economy - there is reported to be as much as $120 billion AUD in untaxed fraud hidden away.  But that won't happen, because it's easier to claim persecution and hold out the begging bowl.

What the world needs at this point is the international version of bankruptcy, where a receiver gets appointed and directs what's going to happen.  Nobody likes the outcome - creditors get far less than they are owed, and the debtor lives in penury for a few years, but at least it discharges the problem.  Theoretically, it also allows the debtor to begin again, theoretically having learned their lesson.  That won't happen in the case of Greece, because their socialist handout mentality won't allow them to succeed, but at least the creditors would be smart enough not to fund their shit next time around.

But we don't have that, so what will probably happen this week is that the IMF and the troika of creditors (whose own hardworking taxpaying voters aren't happy seeing their aid funding pissed away to dole bludgers) won't be economically or politically winning to waste further cash on a lost cause, Greece will drop the Euro and go back to their own currency (which is not without its own issues - the incompetent fuckwits can't even print money any more), the arse will go out of their exchange rate because their balance of payments will be a smoking hole in the ground, and the only good news for anyone is that holidays in Santorini will get really cheap for Europeans (the ones that work for a living).

Well done, Socialism.  Another shining success.

Darwin's law is alive and well

Hold mah beer an' watch this!

Sunday, July 5, 2015

The last throes of the Greek tragedy

As I type this, it's a little before midday on Sunday in Greece, which means the Greek poll on acceptance of austerity to enable a further handout has about 7 hours to go, and we should have a fairly realistic idea of the outcome by the time Australia gets up to go to work on Monday morning.

What's funny about this is that had Greece collectively gotten off it's arse and gone to work decades ago, it wouldn't be agonising over needing a further handout now, but that's the socialist mentality for you - there's never supposed to be a shortage of someone else's money to spend.

In the meantime, in the usual display of lack of understanding and total irrelevance, the local Greek community has held a protest rally in Melbourne, because obviously that's vital to determining whether Greece is willing to admit reality and that it will have to pay its debts in order to justify another handover from Germany.  Who, perhaps unsurprisingly, have a reasonable expectation of seeing their cash back again, and who are a little dubious when the current "solution" is apparently to just write the old debt off so new debt can be incurred.

“Everyone is innocent,” said Christine Dallas. “They want to transfer loans onto the taxpayer of Greece and they come in, they take out assets and the Greeks have got nothing left."

I must e-mail the article that was taken from to the current Governor of California.  They're currently in a drought due in no small part to historical wastage of water, no doubt he'd be very interested to hear that you can just pretend the past doesn't exist because you don't want to be responsible for it now.

One man in the crowd, who gave his name as Arthur, said he had come back to Australia to escape the high unemployment in Greece and find “another job and be able to live.  A lot of people don’t have that option, they’re not Australian citizens and only have a Greek passport ... they’re doomed living in Greece.”

What are they putting in the water in Greece?  Arthur appears to have the same nonlinear view of time as Christine does.  How did Arthur get here, magic wand?  What's to stop Greeks emigrating now to somewhere where the locals haven't destroyed their national economy through systematic socialism?

What does stand out in this mess is that the current Greek Prime Minister, Alexis Tsipras, is basically an idiot.  His looney left Syriza coalition was elected on the basis of rejecting austerity measures, an act which ejected the moderate conservative party from office and thus pretty much doomed Greece's economy going forward.

Since then he's engaged in a bizarre game of brinkmanship, and while high stakes poker is a game that can be won by someone brave enough to bluff a competitor, to try to do so when the game is being played cards face up on the table is ludicrous.  The dude has to choose between two impossible outcomes - accept the austerity terms of the creditors, and face the political backlash over his backflip, or determinedly drive Greece's economy right off a cliff, in which case Europe shrugs its shoulders, writes off the debt, and gets on with it.

Given that Greece basically wants the debt written off (as under Syriza it has no intention of doing anything necessary to actually repay it), it seems it would be easier and cheaper all around for Germany, the IMF and the rest of Europe to just scrub them as a basket case and stop throwing good money after bad.

Why they're having a referendum today really does boggle the mind.  They already had one a few months ago - it was their general election.  The only hope now is really that Greece decides that a week or two of real pain has shown them just how bad it can get, they vote to accept the austerity terms for another dole payment, and Tsipras and Co resign - presumably with a conservative and economically rational government elected.

We'll see tomorrow.

New router

My old Linksys E2000 router has been playing up a bit lately, giving me some funny lag and slow response from time to time, and needing to be powercycled a bit more than I think it should do.

Not quite sure what's going on, it's been fairly reliable since I flashed it with DD-WRT (the stock firmware was horribly unstable and slow) but I wonder if 4 years of more or less continuous uptime has some of the componentry starting to cook a little.

Anyway, I decided to shout myself a Netgear R7000 Nighthawk, which looks like a cross between a stealth fighter and a cyclon attack cruiser or something.

Apart from the funky diversity antennae (required for AC beamforming), it's got a twincore 1GHz processor so it's pretty much impossible to bog it down - I had a bleeding edge laptop in 2007 that was only just that fast.  Also, a couple of years ago I though Drayteks were cool for having a whole 2MB of RAM allocated for the NAT table - pretty awesome for flogging the poor thing with multiple TCP streams due to P2P, when you consider the ADSL router modems at the time generally had around 8KB for the table.

Best thing is that it's totally DD-WRT capable, and in fact Kong, the prime developer of the OS, has been using one of these as his home router for a couple of years - so you'd expect the build to be pretty stable.

Zero issues flashing it, all up and running in less than 10 minutes from opening the packet and wondering where the hell the OS image file directory was, and compared to the Linksys which simply didn't have the grunt to move more than about 67Mbps of traffic, it's quite sprightly.

The funniest thing though was the preassigned wifi details, I swear you couldn't make this stuff up if you tried.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

But I'm extreme!

Someone sent me this video earlier today with a "isn't it horrible" sort of comment.

I watched it a few times, and to be honest, my reaction was - so what?

Yeah, the guy no doubt died.  He pretty much body slammed himself into a solid steel railing at what had to be close to the ton, and your fragile little container isn't going to take that.

But I don't think he's a hero, I don't think he's anything special for doing so, and I pretty much just think he's an idiot that's proven Darwin's Law to be correct for the umpteenth time in history.  Hold mah beer an' watch this!

What irritates me about this sort of crap is that it's apparently no longer possible to have fun unless you nearly die in the process.  So y'all pardon me if I don't really give a damn when you actually manage it, yeah?  Because apparently you were having fun at the time.

The world needs ditch diggers

It's long been said the world needs ditch diggers, floor sweepers, and real estate agents.

Here's a future floor sweeper in training.

No, my dear - you may never have a need to learn the principles of a= 1+rn to the 2nd power.  Most people won't, but you'll be more concerned with getting the broom into the corners properly, I expect.

What you fail to appreciate is that school is not, by and large, about teaching vocational skills.  It's largely about teaching people how to learn, which is a skill in of itself.  Along the way it might impart a few factoids and hopefully expose you to a range of subjects that will give you an idea of what you'd like to do your serious training in after leaving.

Nor are exams about determining what you memorised.  They're designed to get you to demonstrate what you have learned, which validates your ability to learn something else later.  Your future boss will be hiring you on the basis of your ability to learn to do the job the way he wants it, correctly and quickly.  He doesn't care about theoretical algebra any more than you do, apparently - but he cares that you've got the ability to learn.  A lot.

As for how to pay your taxes, apply for a job, mortgage your house, or buy a car - I tend to think they're life skills your parents should be teaching you, you know?  Remember, school isn't about learning skills - you'll do that later at university or trade school.  Or, in your case, in the hairdresser's diploma class at TAFE you go to at nights after you're finished with the broom.

But I'm sure that like all young people, you know everything.

Less than three hours to go

As I write this, there is a little less than three hours to go before we reach midnight GMT, and the IMF finally does what's been inevitable for the last 5 years, but hasn't wanted to admit: they flush the Greek economy down the crapper.

I was going to type that I've never seen such an example of self delusional fuckwittery by a group of people who utterly refuse to accept reality, but then I realised that I can see that in the NBN forum on Whirlpool any time it is required to be demonstrated.  And then I remembered that Stavros Average not only hasn't got a clue about economics, but he doesn't care either - his only concern is the cost of Nikes, iPods and Adidas track pants, and that he's still going to get a government handout like he's been used to for the last 30 years.

So I then started writing something about Greece's L-plate, egotistical, bombastic prime minister, and how he's not only leading the country down the bog but actively dragging them there faster.  But the reality there is that he's a socialist party leader, elected by a bunch of people who have developed an expectation of a handout, and that it's basically his job to represent Greece as the world's largest permanent dole bludger - so what choice does he effectively have?

The latest idea of a referendum on whether the IMF proposal should be accepted is hilarious.  Even if there was any value in asking someone whose understanding of business is limited to a fruit stand about the subject, the way they have gone about it is comic opera.  Look at this proposal, if you had o word it any less clearly you'd need to form a committee.

This pretty much sums it up perfectly:

Most of the people won't understand it, most of them will donkey vote it with the first box, and those who actually have a stab at getting their point across will probably still fuck it up, because here's what the proposal says with the gibberish stripped out.  No traps for young players there at all, eh?

In any case, at this point I expect the IMF to put the hammer down in a few hours, everyone (other than Greeks) accepts that the idea that the experiment was as doomed to failure as any other form of enforced affirmative action where the candidate is totally unsuited to the challenge, and the Greek exchange rate will naturally settle to where it should be based on their balance of payments.

Margaret Thatcher said it best below, but other people have said much the same thing over history - the world doesn't owe anyone a handout, and nor will you get one long term, because sooner or later someone has to pay for it all.  While you've got the fundamental problem of one group of people consuming outside their capacity to contribute, the system stops working.

1 hour and 15 minutes to midnight GMT.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Channelling the BOFH

I'm on group mailbox duty this week, which always gives me a bad attitude.  Or at least a worse one than I had already.

To explain - every week, one member of the team is mailbox muggins, which means we get to monitor the team's mail drop box, action requests for systems access, sort out faults with same, and generally put up with every crap inquiry that some clown from any other business unit can heave over our fence.

This is in addition to the team member's own duties, and is expected to be done in a reasonably timely manner, usually when it's inconvenient.

I'm kind of channelling the BOFH at the moment, and I'm taking it out on the users, which only seems fair.

First request - user wants engineer access to a system.  I know this particular person and what they do, and not only do they not need engineer access, I don't trust them with what they might do with it.  I authorise it for read-only access and send it off.  Chances are they'll never notice anyway, because they wouldn't have a clue what to do with the thing.

Second request - another (l)user wants engineer access.  I used to work with this person at another company, and I'm not terribly pleased to find myself working with them at this one.  Just to be a pain in the arse I deny the application due to no business case for write-level access, and if he applies for read-only later in the week I'll have to come up with something like a trailing whitespace on his username or something.

Third request is one of those "what in the name of dog alone would you want that for?" requests.  I don't think most people know that system exists, let alone know what it does.  What *does* frequently happen though is that people mistake this system for others because it has a couple of common words in it, and it's the top one in the list, so plenty of people just pick it without taking the time to read and understand.

I did briefly consider knocking the application back, but I decided that that would be wasting a perfectly good opportunity for some fun, so I provision the access as requested - the user is actually entitled to have access to the thing.  I approve the request, with the comments that the user needs to log into two different servers to update their temporary passwords before the account can be used, that there's no replcation between the servers so they both must be done manually, the temporary passwords are a 24-character mixed-case alphanumeric with special characters (different on each server, naturally) and cut-and-paste doesn't work into the terminal server window, so it's all got to be hand typed.

The merriment will start in a couple of days when he discovers that what he applied for is the wrong thing, and he has to start again.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Got windex?

This dood does.  He's just lucky he's got laminating too.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Yet another reason I can't stand Australia Post

Yet another monumental fail for Australia Post, the most useless cretins of all time.

Here's something I ordered on  Monday afternoon.  It was with AusCretin fairly late in the business day, but was in Melbourne the next morning, and I had it in had by midday Tuesday.  Awesome.  That's how it should be.  I would have been happy with Wednesday, honestly.

So why can't the useless pricks exhibit some sort of consistency?  Here's another item, inhand with them late on a Thursday, but doesn't arrive locally until SIX days later!  (And yes, I goddamn well do expect mail sorting and shipping to be a 7 day a week function).

The highlight of the latter example was picking it up.  You've all no doubt experienced the nice little come-and-stand-in-line-for-fucking-ages card before.  You can elect to have a representative collect your item for you, if you can find someone silly enough to subject themselves to Peabrain Central and the zombie inhabitants.

Here's an example of the card.

If you front up with the card in hand, the Peabrain zombie will insist on seeing some ID.  The fact that you've got the card is not enough, oh no.  If you hand the zombie your driver's licence face up, they will immediately recoil like a schoolmarm from a tarantula when they see the address is different.  If you try to anticipate and compensate for this behavior by handing over the licence with the change-of-address sticker on the back facing upwards... they will immediately turn it over and lock up with the same logic failure.

If you've found someone silly enough to take the card in for you (apparently the handbrake is), you will note that the three fields to be completed are:

Name of agent
Signature of agent
Signature of addressee

A logical, normal person would read this, sign the bottom line and assume all was well.  Not so fast you don't - not at Peabrain Central.

The Peabrain zombie will reject the attempt to collect the item on the grounds that the addressee didn't complete the Name of agent line.  This is despite the fact that they have precisely zero way of determining who actually wrote it in, as long as it wasn't in their presence.  Nor do they have any way of determining that the Signature of addressee is genuine - I mean, how could they?  What are they comparing it to as a reference?

The first (and last) time that the handbrake experienced this little bit of twisted logic, she simply walked over to the desk, filled the card out herself, and walked straight back to present it.  The zombie objected, and rapidly found out that this was a poor idea and not conducive to general harmony in the workplace.  After the handbrake had reduced her to tears and started in the store manager, it was agreed that yes, that would be sufficient, and that no, they had zero grounds to prove otherwise.  (Note: do not piss off people who have worked in call centres.  They have heard every form of abuse going and are quite willing to be on the long end of the stick should the occasion demand it.)

Since this experience, the handbrake just fills the whole thing in herself, takes the card in, and despite the fact that it adds precisely zero value to the process, at least there's no shouting involved.

On the occasion above, I attended Peabrain Central myself, with the handbrake in tow (i.e. wanting to be taken to Saturday morning breakfast).  I presented my card and ID, went through the usual farce over needing to reboot the zombie to clear the logic lock over addresses, and was presented with two parcels.

I queried the zombie on this, and they pointed out that there were two barcode stickers on the card, which I had not previously noted.  The second parcel was addressed to the handbrake, so I handed it to her.  She stood there for about 5 seconds, which in retrospect was the time taken for her internal reactor to go supercritical from a standing start, and then laid into the zombie with vim and vigor.  The grounds for the attack being that it's apparently OK for me to collect a parcel addressed to her with zero authorisation other than I had an ID with a matching street address, but she can't do the same thing with something addressed to me unless there's a totally unverifiable entry on a card beforehand.

I suspect the store manager didn't enjoy that particular customer interaction too much either.  It's never fun being forced to defend a stupid company policy which makes no sense.  At least it gave the handbrake a keep appetite for breakfast, which in turn gave her an opportunity to chew on the manager of the local coffee shop, but that's another story.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Want your own personal rocket ship?

2100kv motors on 4S = well over 30K RPM unloaded.  No wonder the thing goes like the clappers.

Well worth a watch in full screen... he has a 1080p60 camera on board.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Australia Post strikes again

After taking 9 days to shift a small (and I mean sub-paperback book sized) parcel from Perth to Melbourne, yesterday afternoon I received this notification from Australia Post:

Great... now I've got to waste at least one more day before I can get my gear.

But wait... that's not my local post office.  It's not even the right suburb.  Bosch?  Closed?  WTF?  And I know that area pretty well, and I reckon I know what that address is.  Yep, I'm right.  Post office my arse.

Ring up AusPost and put it to the nice lady I spoke to that the address I'm being directed to is a large commercial manufacturing and warehousing facility for a German electrical multinational, and that it seemed unlikely that to present myself there would result in the intended and desired outcome.

Much tapping of keyboards immediately ensues, along with hushed consultations with other staff.

AusPost - Am I *sure* that's not a postal depot or something?

Me - Pretty sure, I drive past it about once a fortnight and it still looks like a factory to me.

AusPost - Any chance it's closed?

Me - Probably not since the weekend, and I expect the mate I saw on Sunday who works there would have mentioned it if so.

AusPost - Ah.

More tapping of keyboards.

AusPost - We suspect it's been mis-scanned... since we can only see the same information as you can, we can't locate it either.  We'll have to do a lost item search.

Me - Awesome!  Might Sir inquire as to how long that will take?

AusPost - Well, normally a couple of weeks, and you'll have to get the sender to report the item lost - only they can initiate that process.

Me - Excuse me?!?  You've obviously got the item, it's apparently in Melbourne, you're the ones who lose it through mishandling, and you've sent me a notification for it... but I now have to go back and get the sender to report it lost?  How does that add any value to the process whatsoever?

AusPost - That's the way it works....

Me - It seems very much that that's the way it bloody well doesn't work to me!  Look, the item was being delivered to my home address, right?

AusPost - Um... I'm not sure.

Me - Why FFS?  If I look at the tracking history for the parcel on the web, it clearly shows the delivery address - are you telling me that I can see more as a customer on the web than your own internal systems do?

AusPost - Erm...

Me - In the name of preservation of sanity, let's take it as given that it was being delivered to my home address for the moment.  On every single occasion past, when an item requiring a signature couldn't be delivered, it ends up at the AusPost at my local shopping centre.  So it would seem likely to me that that is what has happened on this occasion too, yes?

AusPost - Erm... yes, probably.

Me - Excellent, we progress.  Now, if I was to ring up Fuckwits'R'Us and put the question to them as to whether my item was there, all I will get is some peabrain who wants a tracking number, which will then tell them the item in question is sitting at a manufactory 10 kilometres away.  The peabrain won't see the slightest issue with that and I will be back precisely where I am now.  And that's assuming there is actually a documented contact number for Peabrain Central, which I bet there bloody well isn't, because your organisation carefully removed them all some time ago.  Do you think that your ongoing assistance today might extend to ringing them up and exploring the idea of them actually looking for the thing?

AusPost - Um... erm... can I put you on hold for a while?

Me - That was inevitable at some point, so I have been mentally preparing myself.  Please proceed.

While she talks to Peabrain Central, I ring up SWMBO at home, get her to grab the come-and-collect me card from the letterbox, and skedaddle up to the post office.

AusPost - OK... we've found the item!  You can collect it from the local post office.

Me - Excellent.  Excelsior.  Could you please communicate to Peabrain Central that my wife is standing in their shopfront now.  Her name is xxx.  She's blonde, is wearing purple glasses, she'll be the one with the tendrils of smoke coming out of her ears.  I suggest approaching in line of sight.

So, ultimately, I have my parcel.

The english language does not contain words to express my feelings that the fucking shop sent me the wrong gear.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Cracked stab #2

Cracked one of my long rods for the second time the other weekend - carbon tube came loose from the base stud.  No catastrophic failure or anything, I only noticed it when I went to do it up and it obviously spun the tube on the stud slightly.

I've already glued this stab up once before with 24 hour epoxy and clamping, but apparently my glue-jitsu was insufficient to the task.  I'm suspecting the gelcoat surface of the inside of the rod is just too slick to stick to.

I finally wrestled the stud out and the last batch of epoxy was still bonded to the alloy stud OK, so I cleaned it all off and scrubbed the inside of the tube out with a wire wheel on a Dremel, then cleaned everything with acetone.

This time I have busted out the 72-hour cure epoxy and I'll see how it goes.  I made up a clamp to hold everything from moving for the full cure time, although to be honest I think it was more just preventing any form of movement, because the mating surfaces are a concentric circle thing.

The excess I left to cure up seemed to cure pretty well so I'll see how it goes.

If this doesn't work then I've got NFI what I'm going to do with it.  I could try to scrounge up some industrial grade adhesive, but even the smallest container of of it costs about as much as it would to just replace the rod.

Rag head photo bomb

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Magic smoke escaped

Got presented with an external HDD housing and power supply yesterday, with the complaint that "it made a bad smell, and won't go".

Brief inspection yielded a possible clue as to why.

I honestly have no idea why the manufacturers of these things persist in using an incredibly fragile plug that is utterly unnecessary to carry a single DC voltage to the enclosure electronics - it has its own onboard DC-DC supply to run the logic board, USB interface chipset, HDD supply etc.

Honestly, if you can't use a simple barrel plug then I can only assume you are slime sucking scum who deliberately use a fragile connector in the hope that people will wreck them and buy another one.

Seriously, a quality external enclosure with a decent power supply arrangement costs a lousy 45 bucks.  Stop rewarding crappy asian manufacturing companies with your business.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Stupid scammers

Scam attempt 87,365 for the year.

It helps if you read it with an indian accent to help explain the rubbish grammar.  FFS people, if you're going to try and scam someone, at least try and get it to the point where it looks like it might be genuine.

This couldn't be more obviously fake unless they typed "please do the needful" at the bottom of the thing.


Your parcel (1) has been dispatched with Australia Post.

The courier company was not able to deliver your parcel by your address.

Label is enclosed to the letter. Print a label and show it at your post office.

Label: RYR3337216

To view/download your label please click here or follow the link below :

**Please note that this is an automatically generated email - replies will not be answered.


Final ironic twist - the URL behind the code actually points to:


Sugarsync are a cloud file storage, hosting and collaboration company that markets themselves to business users.  Mmm, yeah, I'd like to put my business files on your hijacked webserver....

Monday, May 18, 2015

Seagate strikes again

Just got home and opened a parcel from a family-in-law member, containing a hard drive pulled from a computer a week ago by their local shop.  Drive wasn't reading properly but had heaps of unbacked up data they really didn't want to lose - pictures, correspondence, the usual stuff.

I opened the box and I don't know what made me cringe harder - seeing it was a Seagate Baracuda 1TB 3.5", or that it was in an antistatic pouch, but rattling around totally loose in the box with zero padding or fill whatsoever.

I doubt this one is coming back to us, but let's try anyway.

Dug out my Archgon HDD dock (not pretty, but goes like a shower of the proverbial) and powered it up, and all I'm getting is click... click... click.  Hmm.

Pulled the drive out and gave it a single gentle tap on both sides on the desk, back into the dock and power on, and this time it sounds like an episode of Will It Blend overlaid with the sound of a piece of blue metal stuck between a brake rotor and caliper housing.

Family-in-law member has been told (not educated, that would imply they learned something) not to buy Seagate and sent sadly on their way.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

RAID whoops

IT horror story of the day from a friend in the US –


Corporation’s large RAID array drops disk 1.  They don’t have a new spare, so under protest and on direct order of the IT manager, they insert a used disk.  The array rebuild starts.


5 minutes later, they’ve got a flood of tickets from users unable to access network shares, and alarms going off from applications that have dependencies on them.


Investigation showed that the particular RAID controller will rebuild the array from NVRAM configuration… unless it finds a working schema on disk 1, then it uses that by default.  Which is a problem if your disk 1 used to be disk 1 in another array with a different schema.



Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Non-news of the morning [SEC=UNCLASSIFIED]

Your non-news of the morning – two convicted and beyond exhaustively tried drug smugglers shot.  And lo, the world has two less scumbags in it – good riddance.

Of course, now we have to put up with a few days of pathos and heartache from the assorted bleeding heart liberals of the world, but by the end of the week there will be something new to talk about.  The posturing politicians will be looking for something new to say to keep their taxpayer funded heads in the paper, the magazines will make up a scandal about some celebrity, and nobody who matters will care less.

Laughing to read some of the comments in the media as the pollies have a competition to see who can screw the most popularity out of the whole deal, with the results apparently judged through social media.  That’s like having a cooking contest to see who can make the best cheesecake and gauging the outcome by seeing which one can be flushed down the bog the easiest.

The Australian government (or the buffoons we currently have, anyway) are huffing and puffing about WITHDRAWING OUR AMBASSADOR as a firm measure of protest.  Yeah, that will show them.  If we really want to show we’re displeased we could even think about delivering a stiffly worded note beforehand – that would show them, eh?  Make them really quake in their sandals.  Perhaps we could stamp our foot as well?  No chance of us doing anything useful or substantive like withdrawing the hundreds of millions of dollars we give Indonesia in aid, of course.

The dumbest comment of the whole saga (and that’s really saying something, believe me) has been that capital punishment isn’t effective as a punishment, because criminals are stupid and don’t expect to get caught.  As far as I can see, that’s basically an argument that says don’t bother trying to enforce the law at all, because if the death penalty doesn’t deter crime – what will?  Perhaps we should torture people for a week or so before executing them, would that be more effective?

I say just shoot ‘em.  Quick, cheap, and deterrence debates aside, I know two scumbags who sure as hell won’t be smuggling drugs any longer, and that’s worth having quite apart from anything else.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Oh yay

Yeah, this is really what I want to come home to.  Great.  Fucking scumbags.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Anzac public holiday ripoff

As anyone working for a living will have noticed, we're being ripped off this year by not receiving a public holiday for Anzac day.

This is bullshit of the first order, and due to one and one only factor - we had a Liberal government in power at the time the decision was made.

Often, but not always, when a public holiday falls on a weekend, a public holiday is granted on a Monday. Boxing Day in 2015 falls on a Saturday, so Monday, December 28, will be a public holiday. But the Napthine government will not legislate for a public holiday for Anzac Day. 
"The purpose of Anzac Day is to respect, commemorate and remember the brave soldiers who sacrificed so much for our freedoms,’’ a spokeswoman for Small Business Minister Russell Northe said.
“It is not about getting a day off and taking for granted the liberties our soldiers fought so bravely to protect."

OK... so why do we get a day off when it falls on a weekday then?  Surely we can respect, commemorate and remember quite adequately regardless of the day of the week?

Only Western Australians will get a public holiday on Monday, April 27.

Bzzt, wrong.

The ACT state government has announced a last minute Anzac Day public holiday on Monday 27 April for all state government workers.

So that's two states that can do it, but Victoria can't... even though we can apparently manage a holiday the Friday before the bloody AFL grand final!
Personally I won't be surprised if half the country takes a sickie on Monday, dire warnings to the contrary.  
Typical government bullshit.  When it comes to give and take, we give - they take.  At least any decisions taken for the next couple of years will be by the Labor government, even though I think they are an incompetent set of buffoons.