Thursday, October 27, 2005

Car Troubles

There are few things worse in modern society than having a sick car. My car suddenly began stalling. The first time I was in a car park and didn't quite realise what had happened (other than it stopped). The second time, it was at a traffic light, the idle speed dropped a bit, then a bit more and just about the time I thought 'if it gets slower it will stall', it slowed a bit more and stalled.

I must have stalled at every traffic light between home and work last week at some point in the day. While I was getting better at it, to keep the car going required a foot on the brake and one on the accelerator. I was taught so strongly this is an evil thing to be avoided at all costs that it was very difficult to do.

All's well that ends well, the car went to the mechanic and has been fine since. But that was a very bad week when it just couldn't idle.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Yet Another Hurricane

My sympathies to all those effected by one or more of this very active hurricane season. I still have a friend from New Orleans that hasn't answered email since Katrina. I'm also worried that northern Australia might be due a very active cyclone season and we are going to have similar sorts of stress around here.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Magic box

The magic box is the box kept in one certain place in the computer room with all the system documentation and software in it. Need to reinstall system software? Go to the magic box. Need the receipts? Magic box. Want a manual on the monitor? Magic box.

Now the interesting thing is that I got a new computer system yesterday. And it came with a magic box! It's not labelled as such but one box contained the manuals, system CDs and a few miscellaneous items. Ready to move to the magic box location in the computer room.

Hint: never ever put things in a safe place. Safe places are so safe, you may not see it again for years.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Birds of Townsville (2)

Female Red-tailed Black-Cockatoo Calyptorhynchus banksii. Females have more yellow in their tail than the male and have small yellow spots on their bodies.

Mini game review

Like matching games but a bit tired of Bejeweled? Try Big Kahuna reef for a change of pace. Levels are far more challenging then Bejeweled because there are time limits and each level is more complex then a square with some matches difficult to make. As you progress, you unlock fish for a screensaver that comes with the game.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Mini game review

If you like jigsaw puzzles, you should check out Peter's Jigsaws. At the moment, he is offering a free subscription to anyone who wants to try them. The nice thing about a subscription based puzzle is that you'll just automatically get a new challenge once (or twice if really keen) a week.

A few hints. Press the 'h' key to get the full help screen. Press 'z' to either reveal or hide all pieces. Press 'e' to just do edge pieces. And the moving jigsaw puzzles are very very evil.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Birds of Townsville

Don't know if it will catch on, but here is the first in a potential series of bird pictures from Townsville, QLD Australia.

The bird is a Bush Stone-Curlew Burhinus grallarius. The location is James Cook University, Townsville.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Dog Friendly Car

Honda is designing dog friendly vehicles. The dog gets to travel in style in a compartment that is the glove box on normal vehicles. Or there's a bigger crate integrating into the back of the vehicle that can pop up when needed or fold flat against the floor when not.

Nice to see pets getting more attention from car manufacturers.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Truly Stupid Ideas for Reality Programmes

Currently I regularly see advertisements for "Australian Princess" One of these girls will get to live the dream of becoming a princess.

Hello, how is that going to compare with a modern life princess story? Mary Donaldson from Tasmania married Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark. Now how can a mere reality show which awards a 'princess' with a gala ball with a prince compare with a normal girl actually marrying a crown Prince?

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Take that Bill Gates

Google and Sun to team up. According to the article, Sun will start making Google toolbar part of the Java runtime, and the companies may work together to enhance OpenOffice products. That last is certainly going to cause some squeals of protest from the Microsoft Office camp.

Microsoft has too long had domination of office software. Competition from other office suites will do them a lot of good. Perhaps they will realise that software bloat and resource hogs are not what the consumer really desire. Google has made such amazing inroads into people's lives since it was first introduced. My site earned $15 by being part of the original Google referal campaign, oh so long ago.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Update on our tenants

The sunbirds are still in residence. We saw the male Sunbird fly in and feed a chick on Sunday. I assume it was a chick, just looked like a big gape when he put food in. Nice to know we have another successful family.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Finally went to see Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Glad we went while it was still on the big screen. The factory is definitely going to lose impact on a normal tv. Johnny Depp has an amazing range as an actor. His somewhat bizarre Willy Wonka is very believable.

While I do regularly read children's books, I haven't actually read any Roald Dahl. I should fix that someday. Especially while waiting for the final installment of Harry Potter or any new novel by Garth Nix. Listened to Garth once at an SF convention on the subject of humourous fantasy and still hope that someday he'll write some.