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May 29, 2004

Melted pink toy dinosaurs

White Island's now got a pink dinosaur as a mascot, thanks to a crater webcam from GeoNet. (If the thing's finally melted, though, hydro.electric.gen.nz has a copy from 24 May.)

The scariest part of this is that it's gone on The Age over in Melbourne, and the New York Times. There's a good write up about this all in the New Zealand Herald, also home to probably one of the earliest postings about the dinosaur.

Actually, the scariest thing would be that it's appeared on Slashdot. The ultimate in knowing a site's made it. Perhaps.

The White Island Volcano Crater Webcam from 10.00am on 24 May, 2004, on hydro.electric.gen.nz, not GeoNet.

Telephone etiquette

Contact Sheet has republished very nicely a scan of an old US Bell System booklet on telephone etiquette. I'm sure I once found a similar book published by the NZ Department of Education's School Publications Branch and the New Zealand Post Office from probably the 1960s or 1970s about the local telephone system, which included a similar section on phone manners.

Wishing I wasn't here -- right now, anyway

Some days I wish I'd a credit card, and some days I'm thankful I don't have a credit card to get 'unexpected' transactions on.

[Listening to: Better -- Brooke Fraser -- What To Do With Daylight (04:05)]

Movable Type 3.0 upgrade completed

I've installed Movable Type 3.0. Things seem to work pretty well at the moment, but the style sheet that I chose isn't too great.

Oh yeah, the hardest bit was manually installing the default templates because it was an upgrade -- but it was certainly worth it.

More diary entries in a moment while I try this out, methinks. :)

In other news, greta.electric.gen.nz might be getting some more upgrades soon. I'll have to see.

May 23, 2004

Energy drink reviews

The venerable editors of the New York Times (story tip courtesy of Slashdot) obviously have trouble finding stuff to write about, because one of their reporters seems to have gone away and reviewed energy drinks. Oh dear.

Reminds me of an Evening Post feature story I read a few years ago where a reporter and a kid drank energy drinks together. All I remember of the article offhand (I can't seem to find it in the Newztext database on Knowledge Basket) was that the child stomped off (perhaps a sugar low was involved?) grumpily after trying Lift Plus, thereby ending the exercise.

Computer loyalty

So, people feel loyalty towards particular computers... but it doesn't feel like it at the more popular VUW SCS computer locations. People seem more desperate to do stuff than worry about which computer they'll get.

More SCS workstations, perhaps? Or maybe we should get a points-based loyalty programme for all our trouble waiting.

[Listening to: Paradise -- Vanessa Carlton -- Be Not Nobody (04:50)]

May 22, 2004

Never underestimate the weather

Yesterday's Northern Territory News print edition on page 13 talks about the luck of an unnamed television network's crew securing their pricey stuff under a tarpaulin after what it called an unseasonal downpour, which blew away pretty quickly. Too bad they didn't go to check, because when the crew went back, the rag says, all they found was a pile of expensive junk.

(If I were superstitious, I'd have said it were payback for some news organisations refusing the Joanne Lees offer of 'controlled' images of her in return for a charitable donation. Hrm.)

Moral for anyone who's spent five minutes in Darwin: watch out for anything.

And secure your tarpaulins really well. If you dare use them in the first place in an 'unusual' storm. Silly television news crews. :) (After all, lightning storms come out of nowhere when one is around. Makes good entertainment if you're really stuck for things to do but you have a good balcony or verandah to watch the light show.)

[Listening to: Anticipating -- Britney Spears -- Britney [Australia Bonus Tracks] (03:16)]

May 17, 2004

Argentine presidents

I've just finished watching something (while getting ready for bed, of course) from Reporters on BBC World, talking about the IMF and Argentina via TVNZ right now. Wow, an Argentine president that doesn't hold cabinet meetings, doesn't bother with bodyguards and still walks the streets outside his modest abode in his hometown. Groovy.

May 15, 2004

Cheating during quiz nights

Here's a great way to cheat during quiz evenings.

May 14, 2004

90 Fairlie Terrace

Well, it's happened, the second part (of three, I think) of the School of Education's move to Fairlie Terrace is going on right now.

Which means quite a trip over to 90 Fairlie Terrace to hand in my EDUC assignments. And tutorials too, I imagine. I will have to wait and see.

At least there's some silver linings in all of this. I think.

May 13, 2004


Got a chance to play with EndNote 7 tonight, thanks to a licence from school. It's an interesting references manager. Early days yet, but it was quite an interesting time trying to persuade Microsoft Word not to scream virus (or cry wolf) because the macro file wasn't signed just as it wanted. I've now managed to persuade it to look up the essential New Zealand resources for myself, thanks to downloading and modifying connection and filter files off the University of Otago's EndNote site. So yay, I now effectively have a Z39.50 client, so less need for me to use the annoying LCoNZ web interface VUW. :) Doesn't quite work completely yet, but at least it's a start.

On another note, I've been using inGOT Lite for a month now. Alas, I've only had the chance to try it on wireless in central Wellington and at InternetNZ so far, but I like how this program's letting me keep an eye on the traffic count, especially with the account I have with a rather pricey wireless Internet provider. (That said, it's damned convenient anyway, even if they do charge $20 for 70 megabytes.)

The careers fair at school today was also fun. The Bearcom will have to review some of the free things that were on offer at some point.

May 10, 2004

I want Gopher!

In my opinion, it's a pity that despite exceptions, IE doesn't seem to support Gopher any more. Despite any perceived death of Gopher, hopefully it does get a chance at revival. I need a use for my pygopherd server, which also has HTTP output support for those nasty IE browsers. Perhaps mirroring a pro-Gopher document might be something.

May 8, 2004

The Hotel Alcatraz Auckland

Fancy the possibility of staying the night in a (former) prison? The worst prison, however, will be trying to get a copy of the Windows XP SP2 installer. Great. For others, it might be e-mail stalking, which is (supposedly) happening more often. (I'm surprised The Register missed IM stalking, which I consider a much more real form. Hmmm.)

Meanwhile, happen to want a professorship no one seems to want? As for Intel, they seem to be warming to their mobile processors.

[Listening to: Paint It Black -- Vanessa Carlton -- Be Not Nobody (03:31)]

greta back!

Apparently greta.electric.gen.nz was down due to a physical move of it to another location.

Thanks are owed to Philip as usual for the smooth process. :)

May 4, 2004

Adware-type wireless?

Slashdot has some fun stuff today. First thing I noticed was a free wireless hotspot Internet access idea, which hopefully doesn't mean adware browsing to send me nuts (which it would). But the BBC starting to trial video on demand stuff that they suggested a year or two ago might happen is good.

Weird stuff comes up, too: Kevin Mitnick becomes a hero for a day, while some people in India spend all day clicking on banner ads.

On a completely different subject, I checked out the latest release of Mozilla Thunderbird last night. Whew! It now has an installer.

May 3, 2004


No, not the bushy sort -- more like politicians not being able to make up their minds.

May 2, 2004

More old photographs

Looks like the New Zealand Herald does indeed make a habit of using old file photos, after all.