Sunday, November 30, 2008

And a little more for November

First, here's the promised photo for the end result of Movember:

After thirty days of growth, a nice Movember moustache

That there represents thirty days of uninterrupted hair growth. Quite the fuzzy lipperpillar if I do say so myself. However, I must admit that I was thouroughly put to shame by a good friend of mine who managed to grow a very respectable handlebar moustache in the same time,

*So Jealous*

In other non-moustache related news, our cat sleeps upside-down. No idea why, or even if it is comfortable:

Our cat, asleep upside down in the closet

Well, I suppose he must be comfortable if he sleeps that way. Oh well, to each his own.

I'm off to bed now - g'night peeps. :o)

And thus ends November

Well, it's nearly December.

Bah, humbug.

November was rather disappointing, as NaNoWriMo was a big failure. Oh, I made the word count - it's just that there is no satisfaction in writing for no reason. I really do need to spend more time on my three main sites, especially Loneverse. To this end I bought a new ergonomic keyboard. I'm still getting used to it, but I think that it'll turn out okay, even if it is a Microsoft Keyboard.

Have I mentioned that I loathe Microsoft?

Also, Movember is over, I need to get a pic up for that. Have a nice bushy moustache after thirty days growth.

Other than those minor details, not a lot has changed.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

New bike

Picked up a new bicycle. I'll review it on my site later. Also, I need to take the time to write down some goals and think about what needs doing - basically figure out what is important to me.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

At a crossroads

I think I have come to a point where I am going to either love Linux forever or turn my back on it in frustration.

There are a lot of things about it that find awesome about Linux. Many things are downright easy. Annoyingly, some things (which are normally 1, 2, 3 on Windows) are infuriatingly difficult.

Here are six things that should be dead easy but need a lot of work to do:

  1. Watch a video on YouTube.

  2. Edit a photo.

  3. Copy a Firefox profile from the old PC to the new Linux box.

  4. Watch some trailers on the Apple site,

  5. Connect to a wireless network.

  6. Copy a CD to the iPod.

1: This one wasn't too difficult. Any browser on any OS (that I know of) will need to have Flash installed in order to get it to run Flash videos from a website. So this one isn't really fair, but on the plus side, installing the Flash for the browser is quite easy.

2: Many distributions of Linux come with OpenOffice which is quite nice, but the Office Draw function that it comes with is counter intuitive, plus it is a vector based drawing program. Great for doing what it does, but not very friendly if you are used to using MSPaint (yuk!). On the pus side, the distro that I am using came with GIMP which is pretty much on par with PhotoShop, and isn't too hard to work out.

3: This one defeated me for a long time. I eventually worked out how to do it (most sites won't tell you that you need to change your preferences so that you can see the hidden files). Once you find where the Firefox files are hiding, then it's not too hard.

4: This one totally stumped me. It looks like it is natively impossible for Linux to run .mov and other Apple video formats, unless you are running WINE (a Windows emulator) and something like Explorer. Also, Apple does not support Linux, at all.

5: This one is also the reason why I didn't run Linux on my laptop like I originally wanted to. The short version is that one needs to download the 'proper' Windows drivers, run a small program to rip the important information out of them and then drop that information into Linux so it can use the wireless stuff. I couldn't get mine to work, though apparently it is "easy".

6: This one is pretty hard to do in one step unless you rip the OS out of the iPod and install a third party system into it, like LinPod or something. Not to mention that iPods are pretty temperamental anyway, it makes for a frustrating experience.

On the plus side, I did end up using Linux to do all my ripping and library management (such as editing the ID3 tags) and that worked a treat. The only problem is that for album art, my discs are usually the "Australian version" so it makes it harder to find the right covers. Other than that...

So I am about to build a new box. I don't want to run Vista, I might run XP, but I might go with Ubuntu 8.10 which is supposed to be pretty good. I just have to work out what I want the computer to do. And if "games" comes in almost anywhere, then it'd pretty much have to be Windows.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

I ... give up.

Well, I did have a crack at NaNoWriMo this year. Last years was a load of fun and I was really focussed while doing it.

This year, I just wanted to do something less structured and decided that instead of going for a proper story that I'd just hammer out words, without rhyme or reason. Turns out that it was very unsatisfying. Writing for the sake of writing is not my style.

This reflects badly on my poor neglected site, so I thought about a new goal. This goal is to write 1 million words on the Loneverse site. If I were to maintain the 50,000 words a month speed, then that would amount to 20 months of work.

Hmm... can I handle 50K words a month? Probably not. One million is probably kinda high, but I'll see how far I can get. In order to get started, I'll go fire up the computer and watch some movies.

*sigh*

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Movember - mid point

Well, it's the 15th - halfway through Movember and the old 'stache is nice and fuzzy:

Me with my Movember moustache

Okay, maybe it isn't as luxurious as it might be, but I'm still happy with it.

In other news, I am sad. We sold off four of the kittens that we had. We kept one, not sure what will happen to the mum. She's a bit wild and kind of an alley cat. There's still hope for the little one though...

Sunday, November 9, 2008

New Article, New Goal

Well, here's another little article on my site. This one is about religion (I know, I'm a sucker for punishment).

There is an old adage - "an unwritten goal is a wish" which I assumes means "if you don't write it down, it won't happen".

So here I am, writing down a goal - I will be writing an essay to update my site at least once a week.

There, I said it, it's written, I can't take it back. (Mind you I said something pretty similar about exercising regularly - I should really get onto that.) The goal is fairly simple. At the moment I have a fair amount of free time on Sundays. So if I spend Sunday afternoons writing something, I ought to be able to update each Sunday night.

At least, that's the goal...

Monday, November 3, 2008

Movember!

Well, being November, I've also decided to go for another theme month - Movember - basically, growing a moustache during this month.

Here is the first days' growth:

First days growth

Not a whole lot of lip action going down there, but there is a definite gray patch over the old upper lip. I'll have a marvellous soup strainer soon!

In unrelated news, this is pretty much the only pic I took on my camera the day we went skydiving:

A skydiver

Pretty sad that it's the only photo I got. The other two guys were more focused and got a lot of pictures. I'll need to grab some off them at some stage.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Australia to get own "Great Firewall"?

I've just recently come into a bit of information about something that has not been discussed almost anywhere - Senator Stephen Conroy is pushing a so-called "Clean Feed" which will block "illegal content" at the ISP level for all internet users in Australia.

I have several problems with this. First, it won't work. You can either let people use their online banking facilities with proper security or you can have a filter that works - you can't have both! Because in order to properly block all illegal content, you have to scrutinize every single bit of data - especially anything that has been encrypted.

Second, it won't work. Australia is already way, waaayy behind almost every other country in terms of internet speed and bandwidth. Don't believe me? In Tokyo you can download 4Gb in about twelve minutes. In Australia? You can do it in about three hours if you live in a capital city and if you have a high-speed connection. Live in a rural town on dail-up? Forget it. You're lucky if you can get your email to work reliably. Any additional ISP-level work will slow the system down. The proposed Clean Feed will slow it down to unusable levels.

Thirdly, it will NOT work! There are several key issues that have been ignored in the preparation of this program. One of the most glaringly obvious is that people who traffic illegal material don't do it via legal means! The filter won't stop the very thing it is supposed to be stopping whilst simultaneously stopping people from seeing what they legally want to see.

It's lose -lose -lose. Does not stop the bad guys, does stop the good guys and drops the effectiveness for everybody. It's classic stupid behaviour! A stupid person is a person who causes losses to another person or to a group of persons while himself deriving no gain and even possibly incurring losses.

This is exactly the behaviour that Senator Stephen Conroy is displaying - everybody loses.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Still alive!

Wow, skydiving was a blast! Terrifying, exhilarating - it's a massive sensory overload! I had to lie down on the ground afterwards.

I can't really describe what it's like, or what I felt. It was a big mish-mash of emotions all flooding in at once. The instructor I was strapped to suggested that we do "something exciting" and I said "yeah, lets!" and we did all sorts of flips and turns and whatnot on the way down. I'm still on a bit of a rush from it, and it happened about five hours ago.

It ended up being about $450 for approximately six minutes (one minutes of free-fall then five minutes of floating down) but I say it was money well spent. The trip in the plane was pretty cool, even if it was rather crowded.

I can still feel the wind in my face. What I wasn't expecting was that even if we were travelling at about 200km/h I had no trouble breathing. I could scream and not hear myself, but breathing wasn't a problem.

Wow. Just ... wow.