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September 26, 2007

Back already

Sometimes I wonder if I do forget that I'm back in the United States. Proof that I know I am, though:

  1. The first reason is that I visted Stanford University.
  2. I also visited Tempe, Arizona, which is incidentally one of Lower Hutt's sister cities. So here's a random photograph from Tempe.

I'll put up some more photographs soon, and hopefully I'm allowed to make some announcements on what I'm doing next for my book scanning work.

Hugs!

July 7, 2007

A busy life, but another Project Gutenberg book is now finished!

Yes, it would appear that the first Māori language text to appear on PG has appeared. Yay!

Now available in glorious markup on Project Gutenberg is Hinemoa: with notes and vocabulary. The S27(1) site also has some nice goodies in its Hinemoa section that might be worth checking out, too.

After a really interesting lesson in the macronisation of Māori over time, it's been great to finally, with the help of DP (plus some very helpful advice from Winifred Bauer at VUW), take part in getting this on to PG. The PG upload, it may be worth noting, preserves the text as published, with no corrections made; there is an 'unofficial' version of sorts, if this is required; see my S27(1) site's Hinemoa section for more details about that.

(By the way, life has been busy lately. If you don't know already why I haven't done much in the way of the diary for a while, you will soon know why, once I can say officially what's happening.)

February 14, 2007

Finally! Snow!

Finally! There's a decent amount of snow in University Park/State College, PA, according to AccuWeather right now (and by my own observation, it's lots of snow), like real snow. Inches of it. Lots of it. Well, around 5 centimetres to 10 centimetres or so of it in patches. Enough to go walking through with a good crunch in places (when using some good boots, anyway). In sub-zero temperatures (that's metric I'm thinking of, by the way, though we've had sub-zero in Fahrenheit, too, on the odd day, if I recall correctly, though not today), too! :)

AccuWeather also say on their video forecast for State College there could be a foot of snow in places, too. This will be interesting, albeit for the first time if not the subsequent snowfalls! :) That said, their warnings page for State College at least looks serious on first impressions, though. (Some of the other videos are, uh, undescribable, though -- take the fun Confessions of a Weather Girl and their bloopers, for example. I'm not sure what I make of Battle of the Weather Girls, though. Something seems odd about it.)

I now know what snow can also mean -- WMNST 250 (Sexual Identity over the Life Span) is cancelled tonight. :( I was looking forward to tonight's class, but there's always next week. :)

Photographs of the glorious snowfall later tonight, methinks!

January 31, 2007

Still alive

Yes, I'm still alive. But I'm trying to be responsible (as usual, of course) and I'm doing my school work first.

I can't say the same thing about the DSL router back home in NZ, though. I heard this week that 'something happened' to it (of a brand that shall remain nameless for now). No, it wasn't coffee (or anything the folks back home did; it definitely wasn't their fault) -- suffice it to say that this is definitely a warranty job. :(

Ick. :(

January 4, 2007

Arrived at Penn State -- more to come later

After a lovely Celebrate '06 conference, I've appeared at Penn State for the exchange from VUW. I don't have many photographs of the campus yet (well, it's big, really big and takes up half of the centre of the town it resides in for one thing), so I'll write another entry here in tph about that and more Celebrate '06 stuff later. Bear hugs!

January 2, 2007

Celebrate!

It's not often one skips town temporarily to go to a conference.

I've been at the Celebrate '06 conference for the last few days. Amazing! It's interesting how from a (smaller) country that such a conference appears so big compared to a Student Christian Movement Aotearoa conference. I mean, we'd be like a front row of this one in comparison of numbers.

[Quick addition: Due to numerous requests of others attending, I now have a Facebook profile. Add me if you'd like if appropriate. Thanks!]

The sea of people was, well, huge:

Pre-dance dinner, Celebrate '06 conference: this was just part of the room!

New Year was fun. Fireworks on the waterfront. Lots of fun. Bourbon Street was confusing, though. I went to see the fireworks with a group of people. Here is one of them. Nice people all around!

Fireworks for New Year! The people I was watching them with, one of them in this photograph, seemed equally impressed as me.

The previous night, there were the 'Regional Olympics', I'm presuming for a bit of pride in one's region. Because ibiblio at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill provide room for my non-profit web concerns, I joined South. They won! Yay!

Fun after winning the Regional Olympics: yeah, this was the South team!

Of course there was lots of learning about how various churches' student groups work. Of particular interest to me was the National Catholic Student Coalition -- there's a national study body as opposed to the lack of any that I am aware of in New Zealand/Aotearoa (alas). I hope there really is one that I'm just not aware of. Would be a useful group.

There was a good reason that Sophie Snowfield Kenby-Bear of the Bear Committee showed up to the conference. Breaking gender and age roles for carrying bears. Seriously. Here's an example of what she was up to. More examples later on as I have time while in State College.

Sophie Snowfield Kenby-Bear meets humans. She enjoyed it, judging by this example.

Today I go on to State College, Pennsylvania, to go to Penn State for spring term only on exchange with my home teachers' college/university. This will be fun, I hope. Yay!

I'll write more about the conference and post more photographs as I have time as I settle in -- no time left. Hotel wifi at the Hilton New Orleans Riverside seems rather oddly priced. At least I can listen to some live Radio New Zealand streams -- ah, government radio -- well, National Radio.

November 30, 2006

And finally, the books

All right, so I took like twelve days to get around to filling out the basic bibliographic information, but finally, the two parliamentary papers (well, books, really) I've just uploaded are the Report of the Chief Librarian, General Assembly Library for the year ended 31 March 1958 (Special Centennial Issue) and the Report of the National Library Service for the Year Ended 31 March 1958; the latter has already been converted into HTML for Project Gutenberg, too. Both were, of course, like most if not all other papers in the AJHRs, Presented to the House of Representatives by Leave.

Thanks to the New Zealand Parliamentary Library for telling me what their birthday was by pointing me to their centennial annual report. I ended up using the two above plus their 1925 annual report as birthday texts (their birthday, that is) on Project Gutenberg's Distributed Proofreaders proofreading site. For the record, the library tells me their birthday (albeit in the predecessor name, the General Assembly Library) is 20 September 1858, when that institution we all know and love (or not love, as the case may be), the Parliament of New Zealand (or, again, at the time, the General Assembly of New Zealand in Parliament assembled) appointed a certain Major Francis Campbell as its first librarian.

Methinks now I'll move back to the morality and juvenile delinquency inquiries and texts I usually scan (or find scans of). Problem is deciding what to do next, and means. Case in point is Contraception, sterilisation and abortion in New Zealand: report of the Royal Commission of Inquiry. I'd like to scan it, but problem is, it's 454-odd pages. That means major spine bending if I do, and I don't exactly want to go damaging a book or report (this one's both, I guess) that isn't mine. Same goes for the Mahon Royal Commission's report (or, the Royal Commission to Inquire into the Crash on Mount Erebus, Antarctica of a DC10 Aircraft Operated by Air New Zealand Limited), though not a sexuality- or morality-related text. That one's shorter at 166-odd pages and may be manageable, but there's the problem of the full bleed (edge-to-edge) photographs. That'd make them become difficult to scan -- they are spectacular though for colour photographs of the time and make a compelling part of the report, so I do need to include them. Plus there appear to be copyright notices on some graphs and diagrams, especially near the end of the report (I'm told these are erroneous claims that wouldn't hold up if challenged, but them notices are still there nonetheless, and methinks that I do need further confirmations on those before I scan them; I could scan them without the graphs but I'm also told those diagrams and graphs are important factual documents I can't exclude for balance reasons). The spine's size I imagine might make it easier to scan, however.

Sigh. But I'll figure something out eventually, I'm sure.

But a lot of it is to do with money for equipment. You can't exactly easily run a scanning project, even as specific as mine, on a shoestring type budget. And to make the spine issue (which many of us have have ever gone scanning or photocopying large books are all too aware of) and those curved lines of text less obvious requires better scanning equipment like the OpticBook. (Either one of these kind of scanners, or a really expensive scanning service like the Heritage Materials Imaging Facility -- but use of their top-of-the-line Cruse non-invasive scanner is rather expensive with a per page price, the VUW NZETC tell me!) Quite likely it'd be prohibitive for an individual person like me.) Maybe a contestable fund like what Russell Brown suggests might help here. Either that or winning the national lottery. As Russell puts it:

Develop a simple, contestable fund to allow individuals and groups to have public archive content digitised on request, thus extending decision-making power to the people who will actually use the content. Make all such content available under a Creative Commons licence, thus developing an on-demand archive in parallel with any archive developed as part of an official strategy.

(This idea of his was written in response to Creating Digital New Zealand: The Draft New Zealand Digital Content Strategy: Discussion Document. If you wanna comment on this very wordily-titled discussion paper, you'd better hurry. You've only got three weeks; the cover says Comments due by Wednesday 20 December 2006.)

As for why I took so long to post this, hopefully I can announce why come Monday next week. Wednesday or Thursday at the latest, maybe. Or I'll forget to anyway... I'll see.

And finally, the books

All right, so I took like twelve days to get around to filling out the basic bibliographic information, but finally, the two parliamentary papers (well, books, really) I've just uploaded are the Report of the Chief Librarian, General Assembly Library for the year ended 31 March 1958 (Special Centennial Issue) and the Report of the National Library Service for the Year Ended 31 March 1958; the latter has already been converted into HTML for Project Gutenberg, too. Both were, of course, like most if not all other papers in the AJHRs, Presented to the House of Representatives by Leave.

Thanks to the New Zealand Parliamentary Library for telling me what their birthday was by pointing me to their centennial annual report. I ended up using the two above plus their 1925 annual report as birthday texts (their birthday, that is) on Project Gutenberg's Distributed Proofreaders proofreading site. For the record, the library tells me their birthday (albeit in the predecessor name, the General Assembly Library) is 20 September 1858, when that institution we all know and love (or not love, as the case may be), the Parliament of New Zealand (or, again, at the time, the General Assembly of New Zealand in Parliament assembled) appointed a certain Major Francis Campbell as its first librarian.

Methinks now I'll move back to the morality and juvenile delinquency inquiries and texts I usually scan (or find scans of). Problem is deciding what to do next, and means. Case in point is Contraception, sterilisation and abortion in New Zealand: report of the Royal Commission of Inquiry. I'd like to scan it, but problem is, it's 454-odd pages. That means major spine bending if I do, and I don't exactly want to go damaging a book or report (this one's both, I guess) that isn't mine. Same goes for the Mahon Royal Commission's report (or, the Royal Commission to Inquire into the Crash on Mount Erebus, Antarctica of a DC10 Aircraft Operated by Air New Zealand Limited), though not a sexuality- or morality-related text. That one's shorter at 166-odd pages and may be manageable, but there's the problem of the full bleed (edge-to-edge) photographs. That'd make them become difficult to scan -- they are spectacular though for colour photographs of the time and make a compelling part of the report, so I do need to include them. Plus there appear to be copyright notices on some graphs and diagrams, especially near the end of the report (I'm told these are erroneous claims that wouldn't hold up if challenged, but them notices are still there nonetheless, and methinks that I do need further confirmations on those before I scan them; I could scan them without the graphs but I'm also told those diagrams and graphs are important factual documents I can't exclude for balance reasons). The spine's size I imagine might make it easier to scan, however.

Sigh. But I'll figure something out eventually, I'm sure.

But a lot of it is to do with money for equipment. You can't exactly easily run a scanning project, even as specific as mine, on a shoestring type budget. And to make the spine issue (which many of us have have ever gone scanning or photocopying large books are all too aware of) and those curved lines of text less obvious requires better scanning equipment like the OpticBook. (Either one of these kind of scanners, or a really expensive scanning service like the Heritage Materials Imaging Facility -- but use of their top-of-the-line Cruse non-invasive scanner is rather expensive with a per page price, the VUW NZETC tell me!) Quite likely it'd be prohibitive for an individual person like me.) Maybe a contestable fund like what Russell Brown suggests might help here. Either that or winning the national lottery. As Russell puts it:

Develop a simple, contestable fund to allow individuals and groups to have public archive content digitised on request, thus extending decision-making power to the people who will actually use the content. Make all such content available under a Creative Commons licence, thus developing an on-demand archive in parallel with any archive developed as part of an official strategy.

(This idea of his was written in response to Creating Digital New Zealand: The Draft New Zealand Digital Content Strategy: Discussion Document. If you wanna comment on this very wordily-titled discussion paper, you'd better hurry. You've only got three weeks; the cover says Comments due by Wednesday 20 December 2006.)

As for why I took so long to post this, hopefully I can announce why come Monday next week. Wednesday or Thursday at the latest, maybe. Or I'll forget to anyway... I'll see.

November 18, 2006

New books uploaded

Well, while I get some things sorted over the next few weeks, I'll be a bit snowed over with things to do -- I can't say yet out loud what's happening, alas. Here's a couple of things that have been happening.

For a break from my usual morality inquiry (and related books) scans, I've been scanning books from other subject areas, such as Hinemoa. New stuff today includes some education-related parliamentary annual reports from the late 1950s. There's a couple of these I'll have links for in the next few weeks once I remember where I've put the PDF scans for them and get full title information for them.

Something that's been sitting on my computer's desktop screen for nearly three weeks now since All Saints' Day is an opinion piece on sainthood from the NYT.

November 16, 2006

Auckland!

I am likely to be doing a semi-mysterious appearance somewhere in Auckland early on the 29th, and disappearing again on the 30th. Apart from a short bout o' school-related things at this stage, I'm mostly free.

Any other hēkeretari/people/bears I know that wanna meet, lemme know!

Hugs, Jonathan.

[Entry cross-posted to LJ.]

October 31, 2006

The pains of deciding on a cellphone call plan

So, BestMate was actually an 'add-on' to Vodafone NZ's newly-released Supa Prepay plan (the wording kind of made this obvious beforehand, though), and not the main offering. But before one signs up, best to look at one's usage patterns. Steve Biddle has written thoughts on Supa Prepay, reminding us that it may not be suitable for some prepaid customers, while Matthew Robinson looks at the text messaging add-on, prepay crediting requirements and why he thinks that it's only now that something new is being offered. Comments following only assume prepaid accounts.

If one makes lots of calls of one or two minutes to multiple people and in-network or to landlines, it seems not worth bothering, as Steve points out the rounding used (per second after the first minute for Motormouth, Anytime and Nights & Weekends; nearest minute -- I'm guessing upwards -- for Supa Prepay), note to mention 49¢ (Motormouth) versus 89¢ (Supa Prepay and Anytime). If one's calls are longer than about 4 or so minutes, however, a $2 two hour cap might be an incentive. Overseas calls change things a little, but not much. There's no in-network or landline restriction on Supa Prepay, however. It's possible Nights and Weekends may also be appropriate; there's no in-network or landline restriction there either. But such in-network restrictions can be solved by (depending on one's circumstances) getting another phone on a similar prepaid plan on the only other cellphone network, or a second plan (and thus, account) on the same network.

So, without add-ons, unless one does actually do calls longer than about 4 minutes or doesn't want to complicate their life with a second phone (on another plan or network) or SIM, there won't be much point.

With the add-ons, the text message offer ($10 for 2000) is in-network only, which means trying to con as many friends as possible on to the same network. That's not always possible. While Telecom NZ's $10 for 500 plan has an allocation a quarter of the size, there's no in-network restriction. They also offer a in-network $10 for 1000, though. (The most I've ever really done with a push has been about 200 or 300 all networks in a month.)

Credit minimums are a little iffy for low-volume users as well. 365 days for the existing plans versus 90 days. The number's 365 day validity stays for all plans, however.

As for the other the BestMate add-on, I've already noted that it's not worth my bother given my usage.

Overall, nice idea, but doesn't suit my usage. Oh well. But I understand that it's quite possibly an attempt to lift ARPU, as Steve Biddle talks about in his diary entry.

That's enough from me on phone plans for a while. Talking about commercial products (no, I haven't been paid for or asked to write the above) in the way I have for the last few days scares me. I'll just stick to some more news articles as I usually do, now. At least I'll try to.

Sigh.

October 30, 2006

More on Vodafone's 'BestMate' plan

Only a small snippet confirming what I found yesterday: that it's all-you-can-whatever voice and video calling and text messaging to another in-network (Vodafone) number, for $6 a month. The message appears on Vodafone's customer service site. I guess it does guarantee them, to some degree, some cashflow, revenue, or whatever the exact word is.

(Unfortunately, they don't list the last modified date on the question so I can't see when it was 'accidentally' (or apparently so) leaked, which would help determine the age of the information, but according to the UNIX date hidden in the URL, it was created on 1161052238, or 17 October, in the early afternoon NZ time. Assuming the $6 statement has been there since then, that'd be amusing in that this is linked to from the bestmate.co.nz viral marketing site Vodafone set up -- see the FAQ JavaScript-based popup link in the bottom right corner of the front page.)

The page also gives a URL for the plan's fine print. Doesn't work yet, and the HTTP last-modified headers for the general prepaid fine print say they were last uploaded on 17 May.

Again, I'm not sure I'd bother, as I tend to spread my usage among several people. It's nothing against the product -- it just doesn't fit my usage patterns.

October 21, 2006

It's the telly -- no wait, it's the programmes they watch... no wait, it's...

Whoever said New Zealand's biggest threat was a moral decline? Maybe even a moral decline thanks to dodgy television programmes and dodgy films? (And with that, dodgy by whose standards?) Anyone thought of all those screens of varying descriptions wasting childhoods? Sometimes it isn't totally the blame of the media or the programmes carried on the media -- it's the use of the media, too, to some extent.

The NZH also run an intergenerational comparison on the abovementioned topic.

Of course it's dangerous to get blinded by one factor, so I won't venture more in to this particular debate.

Other things -- I'm planning a study trip at the moment. For those that don't already know what, I'll mention it if (and once) all the details fall in to place. And Klaatu's Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft is currently playing on my Pandora.com station. Hmmm. I liked the Due South version that they did; it just seems to sound different now.

New on hydro.electric.gen.nz is my take on the 'new' tabbed browsing feature in IE7. It's all right, but tabbed browsing did take a while to get added as a feature (for those our there not having been pestered or nagged by Windows yet to install IE7 yet -- if you're using the operating system at all, I've left the original message window available). Loading third-party solutions (OK, so one was engineered in the form of Microsoft's own Windows Live Toolbar) just isn't my cup of tea for tabbed browsing.

It's a pity that I find Firefox's memory leaks in its current releases on some of my systems at home a little bit too much.

October 12, 2006

2 days early!

Yeah, earlier than required (or what you thought was the date in question) is extremely good. And with time to sleep on the final assignment, too.

October 3, 2006

13 October

I finish for the university year then. Ten days! Should be fun until then.

See you then!

July 30, 2006

Irn-Bru!

Yeah, Cool Britannia is still hitting the wallet, but not so badly this week. Just a 300-millilitre can of Irn-Bru soft drink (the Glasgow-made version of which is apparently banned in the USA!) this time. $3 (or, about £1 at the moment), though? I must be crazy, but then it's not like I do it once every month. :) Now, if only there were a similar American groceries shop around here too... hehe. And, on an earlier, slightly unrelated note:

For those who haven't noticed yet, the Bear Committee have previously got Kabecca Kenby-Bear the Kiwi to review a bottle of Irn-Bru purchased at New World Metro in Willis Street.

July 23, 2006

Another reason to waste money

I now have another reason to pretty much waste money -- the other one being paying the post office to collect newly-released postage stamps -- Cool Britannia, the English-Scottish-Welsh-Irish 'grocery' shop (really, just a pile of really nice sweets, lollies and general minor household goods) has opened their second branch. In Lower Hutt. My first visit to their new store was rather nice (and it's very well laid out like their Wellington store, which I also adore). I only picked up a $5 quarter of sherbet oranges this time, split in to a paper bag and another (airtight) cellophane one, so I was quite merciful on my budget this time. They (the sherbet oranges) are quite nice, so far.

My wallet is in trouble. Gulp.

[Cross-posted at LJ.]

July 20, 2006

More books soonish

Hot on the heels of finally getting my Jabber server back up, I'm settling on a few possible books to put on the S27(1) and PD Books pages. At this stage, it'll possibly be some of the documents surrounding An Act to specify the circumstances in which contraceptives and information relating to contraception may be supplied and given to young persons, to define the circumstances under which sterilisations may be undertaken, and to provide for the circumstances and procedures under which abortions may be authorised after having full regard to the rights of the unborn child (or, the Contraception, Sterilisation, and Abortion Act 1977 for short). The related Royal Commission inquiry report might be a bit of a push with my current time commitments, so I'm considering a look primarily at the select committee reports instead. I am, nonetheless tempted to try scanning the Royal Commission report. Time will see! :)

I'm still also looking in to some 1950s-era stuff (such as Mazengarb's report, of course, but I think at this stage that I've covered the vast majority of what I'm interested in.

June 22, 2006

Postgraduate school

Yeah well, it will be over for the term by Monday. Methinks.

Which is what I've been up to. 'Regular service will resume shortly.'

On other matters, my Jabber server, greta.electric.gen.nz, is back up! Turns out all I needed was five minutes to read through and configure jabber.xml, and then three more minutes to generate a certificate and turn on port 5223. Easy! Why I didn't do it sooner... sigh. All this getting busy at postgraduate school seems silly if it was only going to take this little time.

Just in case it comes in handy for anyone else consider a move (albeit on jabberd 1.4), I'll write up the painless experience next week. (Actually, it was painful. Once I realised how simple it was.) At this rate, maybe I'll look at ejabberd as well and open registrations a little more for fun.

See y'all Monday evening, hopefully. :)

April 18, 2006

No disposables?

So this is why I can no longer get APS disposable cameras, huh?

I knew I should have stocked up on them... and it's taken me some time to catch on. Pity.

I guess I'll have to look harder for reusable APS cameras, then.

April 15, 2006

Fun with trying to earn air points, air miles, or whatever they're called...

Possible signs that you've signed up for the wrong airline's frequent flyer points thingy: you phone a partner airline of theirs to check your booking, and they say words to the effect of 'Virgin Atlantic? Who are they? Virgin Blue? But we're a competitor of Virgin Blue!'

(Oddly, the Air New Zealand person I was speaking to hadn't even heard of Virgin Atlantic, which initially didn't help things along.)

At least Tiny Albert can say that the food on the return trip he had with them was nice as airline food goes, at least.

Tiny Albert tries the fare in Super Squished Cattle Class on Virgin Atlantic from Sydney.

March 23, 2006

When using multiple secure shell windows...

...make sure you know which window you're using when trying to use su or sudo...

Oops. :-S

March 13, 2006

Going to Blog Hui 2006

Yeah, I'm going to Blog Hui 2006.

I'm also presenting there (Blog Hui, that is) too -- look for From Eternity to Here: Or, Starting One's Career (though I see it's Informing Learning Through Diarising on the conference programme). It's about an example of informing one's career through online diaries. Uh, I mean blogging.

February 7, 2006

Another sign of silliness

Signs I spend too much time in the SCM office now include my wishing I were back in the office, with a view like this of the library next door:

Here's a picture of the Rankine Brown Building at night.

And again!

Again, the Rankine Brown Building at night, but with a bit more exposure time on the camera.

Sigh.

February 2, 2006

Sherbert lemons

Good gracious, I'm sitting in the SCMA cabin listening to some random Microsoft Christian radio feed (I don't really have time to analyse the theology behind their playlist right now, so don't ask) and consuming sherbet lemons.

I think I have an obsession to sherbet lemons. I get the impression from my best friend, who introduced me to them while we both were at Cool Britannia on Taranaki Street recently, is regretting her decision to show me them. :)

[Listening to: Great Awakening -- 4Him -- Best Ones (04:48)]

January 17, 2006

Off to the murder house

Yeah, no prizes for guessing where I'm going this morning. And pity it's a user-pays murder house now that I'm over 18.

January 11, 2006

Back from leave

Yeah, it's the bottom of a Qantas Airways inflight plastic cup.

Yup, I'm back from leave. May the fun of working on my ibiblio collections again this year soon begin! :)

January 2, 2006

More of the same

  • I haven't travelled further than HK or Australia for some time, but I've noticed that payment receipts shops give out in HK tend to not blank or zero out some of your credit card's digits. Indeed, I've even had my name printed on them. That's not good if you tend to be someone who throws out (or loses) their receipts pretty rapidly and not hoard them until the statement comes in (as I've almost always been told to do).
  • Hong Kong has pretty fountains.
  • In Hung Hom, Kowloon, the SmarTone-Vodafone shop is, like the ship concreted in as a marketing gimmick, a really good landmark when you get lost.
  • Those advertorial-based LCDs on buses and trains get rather annoying for a while. At least the train operator with them has done the quiet cars thing where they at least mercifully turn off the speakers. But still leave them blasted screens in the carriages.

With some luck, I'll be back from leave soon.

December 19, 2005

National Radio

Hmmm. Listening to National Radio using an Internet stream when I have no other means of easily doing so just feels weird.

[Listening to: National Radio -- Radio New Zealand]

December 16, 2005

Some photos already!

And, less than half an hour later, there are some photographs on Flickr. Enjoy!

Here's a selection. More commentary later; I'm in the Launceston reference room of the Tasmanian State Library right now.

Tiny Albert eats Hungry Jack's/Burger King.

Hobart, Tasmania from Mount Wellington.

A cruise ship in Hobart harbour.

And, finally, a toilet sign that I think could be rather badly misinterpreted. Sadly. :(

Toilet sign, Highway 1, Hobart to Launceston.

See you all in a few days! :)

On leave

I'm currently on leave, taking Tiny Albert Kenby-Bear around some interesting places. I'll be posting some interesting photographs of his travels on Nikster's photo album on my return!

December 7, 2005

Pity I'm busy tomorrow...

I'm going on leave soon, so I'm too busy to work on the new women's studies resource site, or to go to this gig at Indigo Bar tomorrow with an old friend (Jerome Chandrahasen) on the line-up. Sigh.

Here's the Wellington Comedy Club poster I spotted on Lambton Quay today.

So go if you can!

November 23, 2005

Upcoming new site

After a bit of discussion back and forth about my honours research project, I've decided to do part of it as a student-run website on women's studies. I've sorted out a domain name and at the moment I'm sorting out hosting. If you're interested in contributing links and short thoughts of women's, sexuality and gender issues now and again diary/blog style, drop me a line and I'll keep you in the loop. (I reserve the right to edit contributions for grammatical clarity and for markup validation purposes, but I won't edit the substance of contributions, unless a sane law court threatens me with jail or something like that. Which I'd imagine would be rather unlikely.)

Thanks!

November 2, 2005

greta.electric.gen.nz crash

Just when I'd nearly finished migrating content from greta.electric.gen.nz to ibiblio, greta needs a complete rebuild. Which is probably just as well, anyway. Most of the web content that fits ibiblio's collection policy has already been moved, such as the teddy bear satire and humour websites and the dr-fun-changes mailing list.

And in the process, some new content has been added to what was migrated from greta, such as some photographs related to women's studies topics.

I hope they're of use to some people. Enjoy!

Meanwhile, for old times, of the content that's probably gone from her that (most likely) won't be migrated to the rebuilt greta is an entry in a previous incarnation of this diary, tph, from 12 October, 2003:

A quote on Maurice Sendak’s supposedly wild ‘stance against literacy’…

Spotted on an English lecturer’s door at WCE:

What is the significance of Max standing on the books on the first page of Where the Wild Things Are? Is this a stance against literacy by the author? — Signed two satisfied SCKEL 102 graduates.

On another related topic, check out the English Exemplar sheet I Was Sad When My Cat Died. Hrm.

With some luck, the rebuild of greta will be completed by mid-December.

Hopefully sooner, though, of course. :)

October 16, 2005

027 versus 021 voice quality

Is it me or is the voice quality on my 021 GPRS/GSM handset better than the 027 CDMA handset I have been checking out for a couple of days now?

Either way, both of them are working, which is what matters. I hope both of them will, at least until number portability finally comes about -- which I'll believe when I see it happening.

September 21, 2005

Google Print

For those who don't want to wade through annoying printable PDF files, there's now a searchable copy of 149 Poems on Google Print.

For viewing and searching, the best experience is probably still to be had with one of the PDF copies, though. At least with this new copy you won't need to load Acrobat Reader or some compatible clone.

July 16, 2005

Homework first!

Well, I had partial success. I've only read the first chapter of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince so far... and a few other bits. Maybe. Honest.

Gormless photographs will follow shortly.

Queues

I wonder how long are the Harry Potter queues at the book shop I preordered a copy of a certain book?

May 24, 2005

Christian porn filter seen as censorship

From the NZH: Christian porn filter seen as censorship.

Anti-porn software developed for schools by a company with links to fundamentalist Christians has been criticised for blocking students' access to leftist political forums and websites on sexuality and health.

Education Minister Trevor Mallard approved the Watchdog Corporation's CampusNet filtering software last year, as part of a $9.5 million package to help schools screen out hackers and objectionable material such as pornography.

I wonder if my Section 27(1) and public domain books page will be next? :)

A neutral thought here: perhaps it's better to not block information sites so students can get both sides of arguments, so they can research these views? Perhaps doing so, and providing some teacher guidance anyway for any Internet access, would help students form balanced and fair assignments and personal world views and opinions?

May 16, 2005

College Libraries Set Aside Books in a Digital Age

From the New York Times: College Libraries Set Aside Books in a Digital Age. Some shades of Cambridge High School anyone, but perhaps at least in a more positive (and, well, American, geographically, as opposed to New Zealand) setting? And to imagine if VUW tried this... and to think of the digital rights management costs, especially with those non-one-off licence payments! Still, the basic principle shows much promise. Interesting, this all -- will be equally interesting to see how it turns out. Outside the world of education, I do wonder what uses there may be.

Time will tell.

On another note potentially stupid note, I managed to coax my DVD-ROM drive here to play the Brooke Fraser DVD, though not using my preferred software video player. But in any case, I'm playing it a few times now in case I don't get a chance to do it again on this computer. It's an improvement on the results of my last attempt to play the disc, anyway.

[Listening to: Saving The World, Lifeline, Arithmetic and Better -- Brooke Fraser -- What To Do With Daylight: Special Edition (Disc Two: DVD) (18:51/19:09)]

May 14, 2005

Brothels in Kent

According to the venerable site that is The Register, a search for brothels near postal code TN12 7EA shows a police station. Also mentioned is a pointer to Dutch academic research material archives, and a new way to use Skype for the classic scam. Yes, the 419. In other possibly equally venerable (or otherwise; I'm not intentionally judging them) spots:

On a different tack, I ended up buying the 'special edition' of Brooke Fraser's album. Unfortunately, the bonus DVD suffered pretty much the same fate that Centre Stage (which I can't seem to find right now) suffered on my computer -- it wouldn't play. Odd. It did when put into the television, so I'm still happy. Just someone don't tell me I need to send the computer in again for warranty service. The lack of a local authorised warranty centre gave me quite a shock in courier charges. The transportation charge was peanuts, but once the postal worker got to the compulsory insurance bit... apparently whole computers are quite a risk.

More books will be scanned from about Monday week. Watch the bookshelf. As for the quick table, it wasn't much of a success, but I might keep it anyway.

May 11, 2005

Chocolate at night!

Chocolate at night!

Chocolate at night!

Originally uploaded by Jonathan Ah Kit.

Chocolate! Nothing better than some chocolate piled up on one's desk at night, ready to be eaten!

May 4, 2005

Flower, Lady Norwood Rose Garden

Flower, Lady Norwood Rose Garden

Flower, Lady Norwood Rose Garden

Originally uploaded by Jonathan Ah Kit.

I've been trying to figure out what this is, which I took during a lunch break at school. I was getting the impression asking about the other flowers in the pond I found this growing out of that the staff weren't too sure. I'm guessing this isn't lavender, however. Any clues, anyone?

April 28, 2005

Radio feeds

How to waste one's 'broadband' traffic quota: listen to radio feeds!

[Listening to: Concerto in C (in the style of Vivaldi): Andante doloroso -- Fritz Kreisler -- Fritz Kreisler Edition (04:07)]

[Listening to: Imagine Me Without You (LP Version) -- Jaci Velasquez -- Crystal Clear (04:10)]

[Listening to: A Midsummer Night's Dream, Op 61: Wedding March -- Aaron Rosand -- The Story Of Mendelssohn (01:32)]

[Listening to: WFUV Stream]

[Listening to: God Of Wonders -- Rebecca St James -- Worship God (04:13)]

(Yes, I do have a QuickTime and RealAudio player installed somewhere, the latter for Humour Australia tracks primarily, and the former for some video clips from school, but it seems, alas or otherwise, Microsoft have the best feeds.)

[Listening to: Messiah Highlights: Hallelujah! -- Sir Thomas Beecham -- Händel: Messiah - Highlights (03:33)]

[Listening to: I Could Sing Of Your Love Forever -- Sonicflood -- Sonicpraise (04:47)]

[Listening to: You Are So Good To Me -- Third Day -- Offerings II: All I Have to Give (04:02)]

[Listening to: 50/50 -- Metal Urbain -- Anarchy In Paris (02:45)]

[Listening to: audioad9 -- Steven Curtis Chapman -- All Things New (00:11)]

[Listening to: Passenger Side (LP Version) -- Wilco -- Wilco A.M. (03:34)]

But, the best feed on the Microsoft list, of course, is...

[Listening to: BBC News -- Yahoo! Broadcast]

On the subject of wasting my broadband traffic and Telecom, their Rex & Molly site has me suspicious. It just doesn't seem right...

News wise, here's an afternoon roundup. Quite a lot of gender- and sexuality-related stories at the New York Times this week, it seems.

[Listening to: Also Sprach Zarathustra (Sunrise) -- Saint Louis So/Walter Susskind -- 25 Thunderous Classics (01:43)]

[Listening to: Polonaise -- Moscow Symphony Orchestra -- Orchestral Works Volume 17 (05:02)]

April 27, 2005

Jelly beans on a saucer

Jelly beans on a saucer.

Jelly beans on a saucer.

Originally uploaded by Jonathan Ah Kit.

Taken at school yesterday afternoon after a spur-of-the-moment sort of visit to a vending machine. It reminds me of a Ronald Reagan quote: You can tell a lot about a fellow's character by his way of eating jellybeans. I'm also finding much enjoyment in reading the definitions a jelly sweet in the shape of a bean (Concise OED) and a chewy, gelatinous candy in the shape of a bean with a hard sugar coating (Oxford American Dictionary of Current English).

April 12, 2005

Patent reviews

Here's an interesting note from someone claiming to be an IBM employee on their internal review processes for patents.

On another note, today I came across an online directory called The Asterix Annotations. While I knew a lot of the puns already, this would have been useful years ago!

March 24, 2005

Happy Easter!

Assignment handed in. Sleep is now on the agenda. Happy Easter!

Oh yeah, and so is some work on helping write some Jabber client documentation, and another assignment. Once the sleep thing (and thus that annoying tiredness thing) is out of the way.

March 14, 2005

Restored, but not from a backup!

There are days when you wished you'd kept more recent tarballs. Today was one of them, after being alerted by someone (thanks!) that Safe Marriage had disappeared from the Section 27 and Public Domain Books Gallery. Oops. At first I thought someone must have tried to put on a copyright infringement claim, but of course the book was a pre-1923 book, so was definitely covered under the expiry provisions of US copyright legislation as I understand it. It is also way out of copyright in the NZ legislation, so I should have been covered both ways. Anyway, it's been so good to have some cool people from DP helping me fix this.

But, whatever the case, I now have a tarball copy of a new known good copy of all the books, so we can all rest easily. For now.

Well, you too can now, once again, enjoy Safe Marriage: A Return to Sanity! Or, if you'd prefer, just one page at a time.

At this point, I should probably suggest some discretion is advised reading the book, as it talks about sexual issues. But, that said, it was a best seller in England, and was popular in Australia, even if the New Zealand authorities banned a book by a New Zealander...

In any case, there's no lurid interest in putting these books online. It's all good academic interest, and I hope other people can find some use for these books, such as the person above (who e-mailed me about the missing book problem) appears to possibly have.

Which, by the way, if anyone needs a tarball or other archive of some or all of the books, please tell me. Attribution would be useful, by the way, thanks. :)

Back to the original topic, yes, I've learnt my lesson with backups. Naughty Jonathan!

[Listening to: We Don't Know How Lucky We Are -- Frederick Dagg -- Fred Dagg: Anthology (02:49)]

March 6, 2005

Signs malware and spyware are both getting out of hand

Here's another sign (courtesy of Slashdot) that malware is getting out of hand: at least 23 megabytes of bandwidth used up without asking. Not to mention in the same story someone discovering that they've been had for no less than 65 megabytes for a .NET Framework installation they never asked for, excluding the adware, malware and advertisements that came with it.

I wonder if Microsoft AntiSpyware and Norton AntiVirus will come out with definitions against the web page markup that does this, if not already... as someone on a byte cap, this is not only below the belt, in a very uncomfortable spot, but quite probably unethical.

I guess I have to be very careful what websites I visit, now. Grumble. Not that I wasn't already, however.

February 4, 2005

Beans for (spent) toner

Well, I have a marketing e-mail from HP imploring me to recycle my toner cartridges, which had me thinking in stupid ways. Which (the recycling scheme) is a vaguely honourable thing (well, presumably they make money selling the recycled bits). Until you discover that they don't pay you to send it to them, though they do provide a FreePost number on their website to help do so.

The e-mail reads, however, if until the end of April I hand it in at somewhere called Esquires Coffee Houses, I get to a free medium coffee of some sort, and a chance to win a 1.35 kilogram bag of beans.

Somehow, methinks despite the allure of maybe winning beans, $10 is probably much more appetising for my printer's toner from another place. Though the latter appears to want to try to onsell the bits they recover to recondition cartridges, while HP, apart from presumably trying to prevent this (hey, if the margins don't supposedly come in on the printers, they got to get the profit somewhere, presumably), says that one doesn't get paid, because the objective of this programme is not to collect these products for remanufacturing, but to recycle them responsibly. Hmmm.

Besides, having a 'Swappacino' sounds like I'm about to have a 'swappa crate' (however one spells it) of beer instead. Even if they are referring to swapping a toner for a coffee, it sounds worringly odd to me.

Maybe I need to be examined somehow. I don't know.

Update: to keep up tph's banality when not thinking about S27(1) things, I need to mention that there's also one other problem for me. There's no Esquires Coffee joint anywhere in Wellington or the Hutt Valley at the moment. Guess there's no New Zealand outside of Auckland. Or, in this case, Christchurch as well. Sigh. Could have been worse, I suppose. I'm going to go for the $10 once my first/current toner in the printer finally decides shaking it around repeatedly isn't going to work any more (which I haven't even needed to do yet, either).

February 2, 2005

The publicity effect

Seeing the Close Up story last night on TVNZ publicising the Mount Wave Cam as a place for voyeurs has me speechless a little. I'm not sure what to think. There is a video clip of their report that's around six-odd minutes long, if you can manage it.

Seems like whoever's controlling the Java applet at the moment is trying to find women to zoom in on (it's on full zooom right now, too). No such luck, really. It's obviously raining pretty heavily, by the looks of things.

Whatever one's views, it does look slightly alarmist but the report, whether or not it is indeed alarmist, does raise some privacy issues. It is a public place, on one hand. Maybe warning signs might be appropriate. Perhaps.

It's going to be a mine field to work through, no pun intended.

In other news, Gopher access is back on greta.electric.gen.nz on a pygopherd daemon, so it's also available once again in non-Gopher browsers. I need some content to put on there, though. I wonder if photographs from my trip to Hamilton would be of use?

My Jabber work should also continue, from late February, once my school timetable is finalised.

Mmmm, sleep

Mmmm, sleep. Come Tuesday morning I should be able to get more.

[Listening to: Santa Monica -- Savage Garden -- Savage Garden (Disc 1) (14:44)]

January 31, 2005

Getting to 4 Kelburn Parade

Well, the new timetables server from the regional council comes up with this route on its automated brain that I'd never thought of. Slightly modified for my writing style, here it is:

  • Turn left into Wellington Station.
  • After 3 metres, continue into Lambton Interchange Subway.
  • After 175 metres, turn left into Lambton Quay.
  • After 250 metres, turn right into Masons Lane.
  • After 50 metres, turn left into The Terrace.
  • After 120 metres, turn right into Aurora Terrace.
  • After 300 metres, continue into Walkway.
  • After 120 metres, turn right into Clermont Terrace.
  • After 80 metres, turn left into Salamanca Road.
  • After 0.5 kilometres, turn right into Kelburn Parade.
  • After 17 metres, arrive at 4 Kelburn Parade, Kelburn, Wellington.

But if that's not mindless for 25 minutes to Kohanga, the route via the cable car is a bit odd, funnily enough:

  • Turn left into Westpac Stadium Walkway. (Wouldn't it be easier to exit the railway station?)
  • After 60 metres, turn right into Unnamed Road (which I've never heard of, oddly).
  • After 70 metres, turn right into Bunny Street.
  • After 30 metres, turn left into Stout Street.
  • After 350 metres, turn left into Lambton Quay.
  • After 350 metres, turn right into Cable Car Lane.
  • After 60 metres arrive at Cable Car Station (Lambton Quay), Wellington City. (That was a 13 minute walk.)
  • Wait 2 minutes for a cable car.
  • After 3 minutes, arrive at Cable Car Station (Salamanca Road), Wellington City.
  • Turn right into Walkway.
  • After 40 metres, turn left into Salamanca Road.
  • After 175 metres, turn right into Kelburn Parade.
  • After 17 metres, arrive at 4 Kelburn Parade, Kelburn, Wellington City. (The last bit is a 4 minute walk.)

Maybe I'll stick to human experience. But aren't automated trip planners just fun for odd and unexpected things like this?

January 27, 2005

www.telecom.co.nz appears momentarily broken

While just now trying to quickly find out Xtra's prices for 'broadband' (no, wait, boredband, perhaps -- I'm not entirely sure I really, really want it right now, anyway), it seems I can't get on to pretty much any page on www.telecom.co.nz. How odd.

Here's a screen shot of www.telecom.co.nz looking temporarily broken right now. Uh oh.

January 26, 2005

Scanning delayed

Due to time constraints today, I didn't finish scanning the Royal Commission report I'd been hoping to by now. Sorry.

In the meantime, however, the DP OCR process for the Court of Appeal decision from the early 1980s I talked about earlier has finished. I'm going to create it at DP as an anniversary/birthday project for NZ -- it's Waitangi Day on 6 February.

I'll be disappearing from tomorrow until at least Monday afternoon, so there won't be any scanning until then, and probably not until after Waitangi Day, though I'll try to get the Royal Commission report scanned and reading for DP project creation before the special day.

A footnote: I'd thought about whether a Court of Appeal judgment and/or a Royal Commission report was an appropriate set of books to put in for Waitangi Day on DP, but I reasoned that it's a case of important documents in NZ's constitutional history. People might consider them of lesser importance and significance than the Treaty of Waitangi itself, but I believe whatever their importance that they've got their place with the Treaty as a point of development in NZ's historical events. I'm happy to hear other views if people disagree, of course.

As for further nominees for other stuff to scan next, I'm looking at some select committee reports of passed and failed proposals for legislation (about three books/reports come under this). A close finalist for scanning next is the 1955 followup to the Mazengarb Report (1954) that Tony Simpson mentions in his book Shame and Disgrace (1992). Closer yet is possibly Contraception, sterilisation and abortion in New Zealand. What is it? It's the report of the Royal Commission on Contraception, Sterilisation and Abortion, which reported in 1977. It would be an interesting step to have that alongside Mazengarb and maybe the 1990 amendments to legislation liberalising access to contraception information for minors.

January 24, 2005

Link resolvers

Well, I had some progress persuading my copy of EndNote 7 (as kindly provided by a VUW instutional licence that covers students) to like the VUW Library's link resolver. So far, I've had some luck with the path set to http://victorialink.lconz.ac.nz/lfp/LinkFinderPlus/Display and the arguments set to ?genre=article&issn=ISSN&volume=VOLUME&issue=ISSUE&date=DATE&spage=SPAGE&sid=&title=TITLE&atitle=ATITLE&aulast=AULAST&pid=.

However, even that isn't perfect. Or the resolver itself isn't: even with the path set to go through the library's EZproxy server (http://helicon.vuw.ac.nz:2669/lfp/LinkFinderPlus/Display), it still has some issues, activated from EndNote or within a database. At least it does tell me which databases are good for looking through for a specific article, and it does work/link through with some databases.

As for the actual use of link resolvers, I'm finding them really useful, especially within EndNote when I need to find an article again. While some databases like EBSCOhost does provide me a link I can bung through VUW's EZproxy server to (legally) get the article again.

Good thing there's also the Serial Solutions list that VUW subscribes to, too. Unfortunately it doesn't list some databases due to (presumably) non-supply of suitable collections data by them. Mumble. Never mind.

January 22, 2005

And another one goes!

Yes, looks like there was another earthquake that's now on the GeoNet drum. In addition to Friday morning's. And some of the others from this week.

By the way, I may if I have time, before going to Hamilton, be going to the blogger drinks on Wednesday night. Even though I detest the word 'weblog' or 'blog' and I consider this a 'diary'. Never mind. :)

News feed at the Electricity Commission

I thought that seeing the power house officially says it's web news management for hydroelectric power stations, I'd better create a category/section about electricity policy and issues, even if it's now mainly a place to talk about books without copyright. So, here I go.

A quango that has an XML news feed on its front page. Now, let's see if in the new year the Electricity Commission maintains it. And its insurance policy.

On the subject of linking, Six Apart have put together a Q&A page on rel="nofollow".

In the area of S27(1) books, Venereal Diseases in New Zealand is now In Post-Processing in DP too, like the Mazengarb Report. My next document is currently sitting in the DP OCR pool, now. Alas, the next one to scan is going to be quite huge. Eeeek. I guess that I'd better have a good lunch before I start scanning, this next time.

And, last for now, I took some photographs of the Wellington Railway Station, Waterloo Quay, Parliament Building, Government Building and the Wellington Cenotaph late last night on a fifteen second exposure for most of them. At first impressions, I think that the seemingly (at first, at least) over-exposed photograph of the railway station actually looks good, with the blurred flags flapping and the large golden ball of light leaving the station could be interpreted in many ways as a static image. The album is currently offline, but hopefully not for much longer. I'll add the photographs when it's available again.

January 20, 2005

Happy

Mmmm, I had a pretty happy day today, meeting quite a few friends. Some I somehow randomly managed to see, one friend I saw unexpectedly for a second time. Then there was the invitation to the twenty first birthday party that I only got this morning through a text message from yet another friend.

So, I'm unusually happily happy. So there. :)

January 18, 2005

A big thing or two

In a moment, something about food. But first, that earthquake. Yes, an earthquake in 'the' Shaky Isles.

Well, as DPF said, it was big and that there was an earlier one I don't remember.

Here's the GeoNet national drum image from some time tonight.

At least hopefully the effects of this weren't too big. Don't think I can say the same for the trouble at Panix. No pun intended.

Other stuff I've found interesting in David's diary tonight: the ALP's Mark Latham disappearing from the Australian federal parliament (I knew that already, though from one of those e-mail alerts, from The Age's web presence), and person having too much food. And it doesn't end there.

In Section 27(1) news, I've received clearance for the Court of Appeal decision and, separately, the Royal Commission report I'd applied for copyright clearance for PG. They will be two interesting books to scan!

January 15, 2005

Weekend reading, or lack thereof (at least in Section 27), and the week that was

In Section 27(1) news, obtaining the next book on my list of finalists to scan next (which, incidentally, as I've said, wasn't actually a S27 book, just PD in the US and NZ) has hit a snag. Looks like it's onto the next possibilities on the list, though there are some further options to explore. Which does include looking for more finalists for the next list. Suggestions appreciated, though my own personal interest and academic study takes precedence. So there.

Now for some (mostly) education-related weekend reading for everybody. Starting off at InternetNZ: happen to be a lawyer looking for some teaching and research work? Maybe a fellowship might be useful.

Anyone else smell qualifications inflation in this New York Times article, too?

Looks like I'll need a bit more than a BA, then from the SES -- I mean the School of Education Studies. Or should that be a FOE of Still Eating (or Emulsifying) Something? I'm not sure. Hehehehe. Actually, that's what I intend to do, anyway, and not get into the satire business. For the time being, at least.

Interestingly, the last three or four paragraphs of that article seem to be the most useful. I'll have to make a note of them.

And, I now know why libraries for sight impaired people don't like using CDs for distributing books. And why fields alongside parking barriers are bad. For business or security, anyway. (And if it were Photoshop, it was funny anyway.)

Oh well. I've had an odd week, and two wonderful people helped out with making things a little better. (Thanks!) On to the weekend now, I think.

(To the abovementioned people: I hope you don't mind not being named. Unless it's to do with services rendered to get my sites up and running, I'm generally hesitant to thank people online in such a place like this without their knowledge.)

January 8, 2005

A new project, and a new location!

Well, to cut a long story short, the power house has indeed changed locations. For now, at least, but that said, it's not an experience I want to repeat any time soon.

Sorry for the long entry, too. Got heaps to mention.

(Yes, kids, greta.electric.gen.nz is still experiencing trouble. Sorry. I'm working on it with Philip as time allows either of us. :) Thanks for everything, definitely, Philip!)

Part of the reason is that I've decided to take on a new project, digitising books that come under Section 27(1) of the Copyright Act 1994 (NZ). So far, I've only done 1954's Mazengarb Report, but I think there's some good, promising targets for the Section 27(1) treatment. (It's going through the Distributed Proofreading process to become a Project Gutenberg e-book, too, which coincidentally -- read on for the coincidence -- is also hosted on ibiblio.)

As a result, I'll be spending less time on esoteric things, and mainly talking here about the books I republish on the Section 27 pages, both on the Section 27 project itself, and commenting on the books I post. I'll be creating a category presently for all that stuff.

TypeKey authentication is, for the time being, compulsory. My web host for the dr-fun-changes list and the Section 27 pages has suggested it. And, yes, it's the fine, gentle creatures at ibiblio. (I like their self description on their front page, the public's library and digital archive, incidentally -- fits in with PG and Section 27 quite well, methinks.) Thanks, guys, for taking my pages on for hosting.

It was actually for the dr-fun-changes list to be closer to the people who host the Doctor Fun pages that I originially decided to move. Then I came up with the Section 27 project, so after a bit of consultation with librarians, my university's copyright officer (even though I didn't use and don't intend to use VUW books for the time being), and a couple other allied experts, it appeared that ibiblio was also a good fit for digitised books that have no copyright in New Zealand.

You'll find more gormless information on the Section 27 page.

There's much more in the way of news I want to mention that I haven't while tph has been down, but I'll save that for a bit later. Such as the fact that a lot of inter-entry links are hard coded for the previous location. Never mind. They might get fixed, some day, if I have time. I knew I should have used relative links...

But, to cut things short, I'm back in business! At least completely so once my Jabber server has Internet connectivity again. :) I'm doing new projects now, so old ones may fall by the wayside, but that's another story, too. I'll keep you all updated.

November 17, 2004

In a galaxy far, far away...

Oh, the memories.

Mmmmm, changing spots...

(Interestingly, elsewhere in Amanda's entries, is a claim from a US reader that her nearest polling booth in her country's recent elections was around 160 kilometres away. I wonder how much they use mobile polling booths and postal ballots, and how it compares to Australia's experience, where some electorates are bigger than a good proportion of the countries of the world.)

On the subject of VUWSA executives' diaries, the EVP's diary looks fun.

Maybe I should do a 100 things about me entry for myself for some amusement (and serious thought) at some point.

Back to study in a moment. Enough of reading diaries for today!

November 15, 2004

Another one bites the dust!

Hot on the heals of ACE's demise, WCE have finally got their death wish.

From January, I'll be a student in the renamed School of Education Studies, in the Faculty of Education. Why can't there be a School of Musical Chairs instead? Or perhaps using the same letters, Still Enamoured with Studying?

I see the price harmonisation between the two institutions is finally moving beyond the tripling in price of student influenza vaccinations at WCE, too. Ouch.

Of course, however, the nice papers on youth issues, such as EDUC 229, will continue. Well, they'd better. I'm likely to be signing up for EDUC 228 and or EDUC 340 next year.

Why run backups?

What, stupidity with files when it comes to computer maintenance? That would have to be the first of an infinite number of reasons why I have installed a backup routine for my critical systems. Which reminds me, though I save an image onto a network share, it's just about time to transfer some of that to compact disc, once again. After all, I don't want to get worked up over losing 300 photographs myself, especially after the Kohanga end of year concert last Thursday night.

Based on the reader comments on a similar article the above linked to, it sounds like to me quite possibly the BBC could possibly take the cake for the freezing the hard disc trick.

All right, back to school work, now.

Life is boring

Life has probably hit another low when you read in the Southland Times on Stuff via the Newztext Newspapers database (what a mouthful...) this morning that the Southland Museum and Art Gallery have had their two 15 centimetre pet goldfish have been stolen from the museum pond.

November 9, 2004

Obselete!

I guess my photograph of the old Karori Public Library building will rather soon be a bit out of date, especially when they're rebuilding the place.

Must take another look around there, some time soon. And get some of my more recent photographs uploaded.

Oh, the joys of looking through Google results. Maybe a bit more sifting will uncover a rather good Jabber avatar for me, though I do like my current ones.

October 23, 2004

Comment spam again

Yes, tph -- and thus everything else running off greta.electric.gen.nz (which includes my Jabber server) -- is currently suffering a comment spam maelstrom, once again. Grumble. There were somewhere between 40 and 60 spam messages/comments. (I'd give an exact count, but they were coming in fast enough to annoy me.)

Spammers: when will you realise you're losers for making people's lives (say, mine) harder just to sell stuff?

In other thoughts, I notice that it's mainly .info domain names that they seem to be using. Maybe it's due to the free .info domain names offers I've seen floating around the Internet lately. Argh.

On another thought, I really need to move stuff to the other box I have on this network to prevent some of the issues.

[Listening to: Jewel -- A Night Without Armor: Poems by Jewel]

October 2, 2004

Work, work, work...

I'll be dead for the next few weeks. Bear with me...

When I'm back, hopefully there'll be more photography up.

September 19, 2004

35 minutes and 7 seconds

It's worse.

(And no loan machine, either.)

September 18, 2004

36 minutes and 36 seconds

I think I now know what it's like to have a half an hour call on a GSM handset, after having to call IBM's 0800 support number to log a problem report with a video driver.

The guy was quite good for a natter, and seemed to track down a variety of possibilities, from the Rescue and Recovery backup software, to blaming everyone's 'favourite' service pack (ho, ho, ho), while in the process of reminding me that reading the event log and running Google over errors is the thing to do.

I never knew learning that one's video driver appeared to start having infinite loop problems, a core dump, an apparently spontaneous restart, and being told to wait for a fix to pop up on IBM's website could be such fun.

Perhaps. Or maybe it was the radiation from the phone. :)

Ballot papers

Is it me, or are Lower Hutt City's ballot papers more of a nightmare than Wellington City's ones?

September 9, 2004

Spring!

Spring, spring, spring!

Damn, once again I now have to find different clothes to wear.

September 3, 2004

To (be) live or not to (be) live

If anyone's wondering, I'm currently watching Rove on TV3. I wonder if I should join their vast database of willing TV guinea pigs?

I need to make my life a bit more exciting some time soon. But I don't seem to be bothered at the moment. Hmmmm. I think it has something to do with upcoming assignments, as opposed to dangerously bad apathy, as I do want to be social, when I have the time.

September 2, 2004

Aren't I glad...

I think I'm glad that I don't diarise so often as some other people. Though I wish I'd Telecom's parody of broadband to download a certain service pack.

In other news: back to school on Monday. Yuck. In the meantime, in preparation, I went into the John Cawte Beaglehole Room to book a couple, uh, pamphlets for parents our esteemed government put out in the 1950s. No prizes for guessing what they were, though, but I do have a good reason for reading them. Really. Honest. I don't believe the things I try to do to study for EDUC 229...

August 29, 2004

Election time!

Yay! In the last half or quarter of an hour or so: a certain Australian prime minister has just got around to announcing that he's calling a general election.

Excellent! This ought to be the best electoral fun I've had in years. Interestingly, 9 October is also the same day for local council and DHB elections here in NZ. At least they're postal vote elections.

August 18, 2004

Weather

Ah, finally. The weather in Wellington and Lower Hutt suits my wardrobe! Unfortunately, it isn't the happiest of circumstances in which to be please I am able to dress well.

Pity I may have trouble getting home from school this afternoon, though.

Ironically, Linda Clark on National Radio played a certain Crowded House song -- yes, it was Weather With You -- during her show after a report on people waiting at the Wellington airport.

Oh, that and my Blosxom incarnation of this diary has been comment spammed. Grumble. I've just deleted some of the comments. Fortunately there weren't too many comments to delete, and I've now disabled comments. (On that subject, TypeKey still isn't functioning here properly yet, but I've left comments enabled so at least with the stories in this incarnation you can leave a message. Not that a lot of people have done so. But I'm not worried.)

Windows XP Service Pack 2

Just finished installing Microsoft Windows XP SP2 over the last three days. No problems yet, as I am still able to access network shares and the like so far with minimal reconfiguration, with existing settings and with the new defaults.

[Listening to: I Never Loved You Anyway -- The Corrs -- Best of the Corrs [Australia Bonus Track] (03:54)]

August 14, 2004

R2 feed oddness

Is it me, or are R2's live television streams slightly mixed up? Unless I'm mistaken, the Māori Television modem feed is carrying TVNZ stuff instead, and even has better reception than the 'right' stream for the TVNZ stuff.

Weird.

Still, it's great right now. They're showing a documentary on Elvis, which is somewhat relevant to what I'm essaying about at the moment for EDUC 229.

August 7, 2004

Random stuff

First, I want a Bluetooth rifle. Second, I don't want to download a whole new installer every time I hear of more vulnerabilities in Firefox. Third, the latest medicinal spam offers I get are for codeine.

On yeah, and ACE seem to think they're finally going to let themselves disappear into the University of Auckland. Here's wondering if it will actually happen properly, now that it's approved, from (apparently) 1 September. In the meantime the merger between WCE and VUW still wanders along in the consultation process.

[Listening to: Menelaus Remembers -- Anton Lesser -- Homer: The Odyssey [Disc 1] (05:29)]

July 30, 2004

I'm shy

Yikes. I seem to have made it into InternetNZ's annual report, just in time for today's AGM. The photograph I ended up sending them was taken by a school friend nearly four years ago.

[Listening to: The Right Time -- The Corrs -- Best of the Corrs [Australia Bonus Track] (04:08)]

In other electoral news, I finally found out today a friend got elected to a general position on the student union executive (congratulations!), and the results of the last JSF membership votes are available.

[Listening to: Only When I Sleep -- The Corrs -- Best of the Corrs [Australia Bonus Track] (03:51)]

July 24, 2004

McDonald's wireless

I was at the Lower Hutt McDonald's for lunch today, and discovered some teenagers being let loose with Windows-based PDA handhelds (I assume that these had wireless options taken up and enabled) to take orders in the inclement weather. Later, one of the two assistants (perhaps because they didn't give her a jacket to wear) was back inside taking orders from walk-in customers. The interesting bit was one man trying to pay with a credit card (using the handheld). No such luck -- yet. He had to use a counter terminal instead. (Now, all they need is cheap wireless in some of their outlets -- preferably using my favourite wireless provider where they can, naturally.)

[Listening to: Lifting Me -- The Corrs -- Best of the Corrs [Australia Bonus Track] (03:59)]

A crazy day

Wow, those EDUC 312 readings are intense. And then I still haven't decided if I'm going to the Kohanga ball tonight yet. Then when I got told that I appear in the newspaper, having had a crazy day overall, I thought at first perhaps someone got arrested and tried to use my name.

Anyway, the conversation goes something like thus. Mark asks did you see yourself in the Herald? I wonder if someone's misidentified me with my NT namesake (that's the Northern Territory of Australia, not a certain Windows OS flavour) politician person -- and no, I'm not related to any politician in Darwin -- and that last time I thought I appeared in the paper was two years ago on the Dominion Post's second day of publication. Mark then advises me that the New Zealand Herald's Web week column people have been looking around the power house:

One big blog: This tech blog seems to run on for ever with postings about all sorts of issues affecting its owner and the world of technology at large. Good for infrequent browsing.

Run on for ever? Now that's a new one. Though it's probably accurate. :) Perhaps I should actually write about electricity policy at some stage. Education theory and policy is far more sexy at the moment, though... (I wonder what good for infrequent browsing means for this site? Not that I expected anyone to read this, but cool if they do, hey?) :)

Anyway, for those who have been visiting, I should probably mention pretty much the same thing as David: I don't update this blog every day or anything, and it varies a lot between random irrelevent rants and occasionally politics and even more occasionally some vaguely technical notes. Occasionally. However, I should add that I am more likely to wonder about education issues more than geeky stuff nowadays. After all, it is more, uh, attractive for me to write about at the moment. (Which reminds me, my Jabber server's JIT gateway is still apparently stuffed, even though the daemon happily restarts on demand. Oh dear.) There's also the minor issue at the moment that, for example, <q> and </q> tags don't have any effect whatsoever in IE at the moment. Though (in a slight plug) Mozilla browsers (and other clients) do.

But what is this diary about? Firstly I don't like the name 'blog' or 'weblog'. This is more of a diary to me, than a, uh, 'log', though more public. I write about random stuff. I have an interest in both education and teaching issues, and the odd geeky thing I've learnt (all of which culminated in me joining the InternetNZ council, where I keep an eye on all sorts of stuff, but most of all education issues). I also tend to write long soliloquies like this one over the course of a few moments, instead of several small entries. Go figure. I probably should write more about this, but I'll leave it until later.

(In the meantime, I wonder if I'm one of the 4 out of 6 that fishy knows? Small world, I know. Mmmmmmmmmmm.)

The best part about this whole exercise, though, is that I've discovered some interesting (figurative) neighbours. Groovy. And thanks to the New Zealand Herald, too. Ka kite. :)

In other news, I've done my JSF membership voting for this quarter. Mostly renewals that were solid, but still a pleasure as usual. Which also reminds me, I need to check on that Wiki of mine and somehow force it to allow self-created logins... either that or I just let anyone edit, but then I need to keep an eye out for vandals... I can't ever win. Oh yeah, DPF's little dabbling in wireless networking reminds me of the Network Stumbler sessions I've had lately. Compared to a few months ago, more and more people have discovered turning on encryption is a damned good idea, but still a fair lot of people around The Terrace through to Lower Hutt aren't doing it yet. But at least the majority are now, compared to my Network Stumbler logs from March. Essentially, the police's and New Zealand Herald's Auckland conclusions pan out in Wellington, too, as far as I can tell from my limited trips. Home users really do need to note that their networks need better-than-defaults setups. Or maybe they really do want their broadband bill to be at risk, just to make things easy for them? :S (And no, I didn't try to get free access off any AP.) Oh well, off to bed, now. :) Enough of a mega entry. Really. :)

July 22, 2004

School notes

Not much time to write, but a note to say that I'm still here, and Jabbering when I can! :)

Well, I've had my first four lectures and first two tutorials for the new (sort of) trimester (why the heck VUW chose 'trimester' over 'semester' is beyond me, as people not familiar with non-maternity-related uses of the word tend to give me odd looks) for both EDUC 229 and EDUC 312. I'm finding the papers informative (already 229 has stretched my views on life challenges for youth and how they might cope with stuff), while 312 is giving me new viewpoints on ethnicity, building on the stuff I caught up on at WCE.

On that note, it's likely I'll be visiting WCE today with the Kohanga people.

Which reminds me, I need to put in my JSF membership votes in, quick smart! :) Looks like it's a good list to look at, as usual.

July 12, 2004

Back at school

I'll be starting Education classes tomorrow, with EDUC 229 (Young People, Education and Media) and EDUC 312 (Contemporary Issues in Indigenous Education Aotearoa), so I won't be writing so often as I used to. Possibly not at all, even. Alas.

EDUC 229 seems to be the most exciting of the two, as it's more relevant to my interests at this time.

I've also got some wish to tinker with Jabber and spam-related stuff (the latter through InternetNZ) more often, plus work on some youth and media interests, another reason this will probably take a back seat. :(

[Listening to: Tending The Happiness Tree -- Amber Claire -- Love and Such (03:57)]

I'll be back, soon enough, though. :)

Without advertisements

I've had some fun coaxing Gmail into displaying their advertisements and related pages links next to e-mail messages, lately. Seems like it's great for mailing lists one reads -- the links provided tend to be relevant. But when one gets to personal e-mail messages where one discusses a variety of topics, it starts going all over the place a little. The personal e-mail message I'm looking at right now has stuff as varied as concert tickets, and related links to constitutional bans on marriage in the US, something on when Star Trek meets bad psychology, and something on constitutional authority in the US, none of which were relevant at all.

Here is an example of Gmail's Sponsored Links and Related Pages sections.

[Listening to: Without You -- Brooke Fraser -- What To Do With Daylight (03:00)]

The spam filtering, however, isn't doing David Goldstein's mailing list (which I administer) too well yet. For sure it'll get better, but in the meantime, the odd message is still getting tagged as a false positive.

On Jabber-related things in my life, one of my transports is currently down. The JIT one seems to be acting up, marking itself 'offline' and not budging despite a restart. No time to look at it carefully at the moment, unfortunately. Hopefully later in the week, even though I'm back at school.

[Listening to: Song To The Siren -- Amber Claire -- Love and Such (03:46)]

June 25, 2004

Workshop notes

Having gone to the Wednesday night NZCS event, it felt as if I had the recap before the big workshop on Thursday. But no matter, as it was useful to hear the stuff beforehand.

What I didn't hear beforehand from Andrew Maurer was some detail about what was meant in Australia's Spam Act 2003 by inferred consent. As I (still) haven't read it for months (I suspect possibly even before it was passed, as well), it was interesting to see how wide a net they have cast to avoid innocents being caught up. Anthony Wing also had a few important messages. The interesting bits though were that his agency has issued 130 warnings so far, and a suggestion not to reinvent educational material. (I've heard similar things with regards to Internet safety, too, in the past.)

More on this and the InternetNZ submission later.

As if by coincidence, I received an e-mail message from Dell this morning, asking me to 'confirm' consent, for the purposes of the Australian Spam Act 2003, for staying on their books as (presumably) a marketing target, which I was happy (I know, I'm a sucker) to do, as I am pondering whether to replace a computer that seems to have a rather dodgy thermometer somewhere in it.

Thanks muchly to the kind Jeff Barr of Syndic8.com, I now have a Gmail account. The part of most interest to me was the spam filtering function. But, alas, now having my paws on a 'virgin' e-mail address is so tempting enough to consider not publishing it online to see if harvesters pick it up and start spamming it...

[Listening to: All You Wanted -- Michelle Branch -- The Spirit Room (03:38)]

June 22, 2004

Some toilet humour, a systems update, and some school results

Perhaps someone needs to select better acronyms?

On other matters, greta.electric.gen.nz is back up, until the second week of July, Philip tells me, so more overloaded load average madness on my Jabber and Mailman box is to be had until then. (Actually, it was up all the time the downstream server it hides behind was being worked on, but hey, even I couldn't access it during the downtime.)

I've also calculated what I think is my likely mark for EDUC 234, based on adding up my marks (ah, the joys of internally-assessed university papers). No such luck yet with the SOSC 111 paper I randomly picked up. That had an exam, so I'll be waiting for a while. Now, unfortunately, it's time for me to sort out my papers for next trimester. Yuck, as I smell degree planning up ahead in bright lights. Ugh, indeed. Incidentally, I see the VUW School of Education has decided to change its website. Hopefully this time the information is updated often enough, though even in its previous state, the information was still useful.

Time for bed now, methinks. I was going to write about the upcoming InternetNZ spam workshop, but I've decided to leave that until afterwards as I gather up ideas. (And yes, I'm still working on that unit plan. I might trim it for brevity, though.)

June 16, 2004

Learning new stuff every day

Today's cool word I find while randomly browsing the online Oxford English Dictionary: New Zild, the adjective form of it being defined as Of, relating to, or designating distinctive New Zealand speech or language; of or relating to New Zealand (esp of something viewed as typically characteristic), among other definitions.

And I've learnt how to persuade Movable Type to make some XML feeds for the power house; I thought it'd be a good touch to finally get around to it after someone suggested I do so, to make putting me on Planet Jabber a bit easier, should I ask to be added. Not sure I do, but if I am added, I wouldn't object. :)

On other matters of 'learning', I've finally realised the joys of a certain travel book, albeit by CD. For the past four years, since getting a copy of the US edition of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire on CD, I've found audiobooks much easier to take in than books in print form. Alas, the Harry Potter audiobooks as sold in NZ are rather expensive. Looks like I'll have to curb the habit and continue reading the print versions (like I did with Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix). Damn.

[Listening to: Disc 2, Track 17 -- Douglas Adams -- The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy [Audiobook] Disc 2 (03:05)]

June 14, 2004

New books, or: I'm on display!

That's right, it appears that I'm on the new books display at the VUW Library this week. I, uh, guess that's a good thing. (Alas, not literally me, but my book.) I'm still waiting for the invoice to be paid, though. I need to get around to the 'reminder', perhaps.

I wonder if anyone will actually spot it? That is, especially keeping in mind it's a somewhat thin A4-sized tome that's been plastic spiral bound and rather invisible when shelved, in my opinion. Maybe it might even pique someone's interest enough to read it. Deep down, I do hope so.

On the subject of new books, or not so new (if last year doesn't count), Michael King's Penguin History of New Zealand appears to be going for a seemingly ridiculous $10 (even including delivery charging, let alone GST) at the current online incarnation of Whitcoulls. I wasn't expecting those sorts of prices not to happen for a little while yet. Odd. Good thing I was playing about on Lynx over SSH over really expensive broadband Internet 802.11b then, while considering whether to try spending $29.95 at a book shop I had been meaning to visit for some time, I suppose.

Still trying to find out what new stuff is in the hardback edition the Penguin Books database says was published this month, minus a living author, though. A few library catalogues also seem to be implying that there is a different 'revised' paperback edition published this year with the same ISBN and (as a check against the Penguin Books database reveals) page count as the hardback edition. If it's more than an obituary, I think I'll be annoyed.

Keeping in mind I've got far more interesting things to worry about, of course. :)

[Listening to: All Imperfect Things -- Michael Nyman -- The Piano [1993] (04:04)]

June 13, 2004

huttcity.com appears again

Back in 2001, being low on available cash to burn (literally, perhaps), and in any case, not having much use for it anyway, I gave the venerable Hutt City Council my huttcity.com domain, after having got a phone call from their webmaster asking if they could have it. The person on the other end of the line suggested she'd look for another domain if I didn't hand it over, as they weren't interested in paying megabucks (nor when, trying to push my luck, I asked if they'd give me an alias on the domain), but they did agree to pay the (by then) overdue domain name renewal fee. Then again, this was in the days before anyone would have considered the UDRP, though it did exist by then.

I gave them the password for it, and after a few problems for the city council renewing the domain, it was all theirs, and ending my problem of finding money to keep it. Even though I did give it up, I assumed it was getting a good home/registrant.

Several months went by, and at least a year later, it was still pointing at the council's site. Which was still cool, all the same. I thought they'd never get around to using it for anything (the webmaster muttered something about some sort of city portal site, as my distant memory of the exchange goes), but I see it now appears to have another life as a pilot project for free mini-sized sites for new businesses that haven't yet splashed out on hosting. Likewise, having pounced on huttcity.org separately, they also have a site for community groups that's virtually the same, down to the documentation (give or take a few words here and there).

Well, new life into what was, when I had it, originally subtitled 'your online guide to Jabba the Hutt's favourite place to be', I guess.

May 29, 2004

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)]

May 23, 2004

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 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.

April 21, 2004

I want!

I want Post-it notes and balloons so I can fill up a room! Now! :)

April 10, 2004

A Tale of Two David Farrars

Thoughts about biometric passports (and my concerns about mistaken identity) reminded me about a 1947 movie, Black Narcissus, that I saw the opening for on TVNZ yesterday. Apart from dying in 1995, I just don't think the David Farrar they hired is the same David Farrar that I know. :)

April 4, 2004

Running stamps; more on e-government

It would appear around Lower Hutt it is nigh on impossible to get 5 cent postage stamps at the moment. I went to one post office and an agency yesterday, and the consensus appeared to be unless I was in for some exercise on my bicycle to find a dairy that happens to have them, I'm asking for a boring afternoon. Looks like I'll need to hope I don't post any domestic letters or postcards in the next day or so. So much for New Zealand Post's planning. Even the 1991 rate increase wasn't so insane.

On the subject of insanity, yesterday's critique on the NT's postal vote efforts was a bit harsh, on reflection. Just maybe they could have tried printing out the form once they'd posted it. Oh well, there's always next time. :)

April 3, 2004

Low resolution e-government

Thought e-government couldn't sink any lower? Try the NT, where their electoral office seems to have for some time liked providing postal vote application forms in GIF format. That's already bad enough (at least it's difficult to catch worms off a GIF file), when you find that this said postal vote application form and the form's instructions look great on screen, but being really low resolution GIF files, they're unreadable and (definitely) unfaxable when printed. At least an e-mail asking for a PDF-based form appeared to work. This contrasts with NZ, where the authorities in the last general election let one skip the paper-based application process altogether and download ballot forms. Groovy.

March 31, 2004

You have eight pages: start here...

Some of the sayings (well, the first four) I wrote in a friend's notebook during a PSYC 121 lecture today:

  • Crazy things seem to happen a lot of the time; a lot of the time, they're unexpected.
  • Love grows on regular communication, and thrives on friendship.
  • We have social norms, but what norms are norms themselves, and who decides they're norms?
  • From my limited experience, I'd say that fame is overrated. You often get followed or get funny looks.

I'm quite pleased with them, but I'm sure that someone must have written similar ones earlier than me. :)

Oh yeah, tried some fair trade chocolate today. Very edible. Alas, at around $2 a bar, it's about 2.5 times dearer than a similar 'regular' retail chocolate, but it's worth it. :)

March 29, 2004

Knives at the post office

Knife checks at a post office in the USA? And I thought I was worried about a fingernail file in my backpack at Darwin International Airport.

March 27, 2004

Parties, housewarmings and friends

Had lunch at a friend's partner's parent's place today, then went to a couple's housewarming afternoon tea. Then, just now, talked to a friend on IM. So I'm happy today. :)

March 26, 2004

Friends

It's such a cool thing when you discover you have more friends than you thought you did, and friendships you already had are stronger than you thought they were.

Well, I met heaps of friends around school today. Thank you and good seeing you all, everybody! :)

On a completely unrelated note, cane toads and introduced grasses are threatening Kakadu National Park's ecosystem. Uh oh. :(

March 21, 2004

Sleep

Mmmmmmm. Sleep is good. :)

March 16, 2004

Signs of madness

Well, I'm happy today! :) Not even thoughts about the oodles of cash required for a high-speed academic Internet link in NZ can dampen that mood. :)

March 13, 2004

Pizza ordering from hell

I'm sure the only reason Hell Pizza Deliveries use cutesy vectorised Flash stuff for virtually all of their website is just to make ordering pizza hell (ha, ha) for people.

March 11, 2004

The Return of the Cicadas

The cicada of HM LT206 returned today... to land on a professor lecturing for ENGL 111 (who cheerfully declined to brush the cicada off).

March 10, 2004

Sometimes romance needs...

One thing romance needs, among other things, is a coincidence. Or, at least, strange things happening with one's mail. Hrm. Hadn't thought of postcards that way before -- I don't know if I'd write one like that myself, though.

March 9, 2004

More joys of targeted advertising

Using a certain IM client when it has a local affiliate providing the banner advertisements makes it fun to see how targeted they get for the local audience. According to this said client from none other than Microsoft, I'm a teenage girl in need of changing or choosing a brand of tampon some time soon.

As with last time, here's some free impressions for the wonderful advertiser.

Banner advertisement for 'New Carefree Slims with Silk Ease Cover'.

Funnily enough, I don't fit the demographic due to chromosome issues. At least there's others the client spits out that are more tailored to my description.

March 7, 2004

Bad news, good news

Bad news: I have to choose a new mobile. Good news: I have some money from the last phone.

March 3, 2004

The joy of...

It's not the joy of something I'd rather not think of, but the joy of bounces! I've caused it before myself (accidentally), but I've never heard of a 15,000 bounce message pile (or an needing a long international toll call from one's hotel room to one's ISP to solve the said issue) before.

Too bad loop detection for this sort of situation isn't that advanced as far as I know offhand. Hopefully I'm wrong.

February 29, 2004

Bear stamps!

The Bearcom are now in possession of some cute 90 cent Malayan Sun Bear stamps from New Zealand Post! Alas, no $1.30 Red Panda stamps were obtained, however. Must get some. The committee, anyway.

New Zealand Post's recently issued, and very cool, 90 cent Malayan Sun Bear postage stamp.

February 26, 2004

Big Fish

Seeing Big Fish last night with a lovely group of friends provoked me. I've often thought no matter how wacky a story, there's always some element of truth in it. As it is too often said, truth can be stranger than fiction. (That and the Big Fish site takes forever to load. Pity. Maybe I need to get around to moving and finding a place with CityLink connectivity to live in.)

February 24, 2004

Conversation in the Willis Street Starbucks

Well, I've decided with two friends this: I want a housecat!

February 22, 2004

Necessary bear food reviews

Nikster wishes to announce that the Bearcom are now reviewing good food. First up are Honey Mustard Grain Waves and SPAM. That's right, there are photographs. (Curiously, the Australian SPAM site appears to have some ColdFusion trouble right now. Ha.)

February 21, 2004

A 2004 diary, finally

On the more dull subject of life, I have finally obtained a 2004 (paper) diary for me to write in. It's even a 'pocket size' that will actually fit where it supposedly does (and with hopefully not so much blank space at the end of each day). :)

February 20, 2004

Another InternetNZ council meeting

Yep, I'm at another InternetNZ council meeting. Unlike other InternetNZ meetings, this month's meeting, it seems, will be pretty uncontroversial.

February 16, 2004

Still at home...

I'm still at home. While I'm missing classes, I'm not complaining too much, though. You get odd weather living in greater Wellington. Interestingly, from what I can tell, having not ventured outside, the street I reside in is being used as a detour street. Overall, there's still not much change in the weather.

[Listening to: We Do (The Stonecutters' Song) - The Simpsons - Songs In The Key Of Springfield (01:19)]

And, just as Linda Clark played on National Radio's Nine to Noon this morning...

[Listening to: Weather With You - Crowded House - Recurring Dream: The Very Best of Crowded House (03:45)]

Stuck in Lower Hutt

While I'm stuck in Lower Hutt unable to get into Wellington due to the weather after advice from traffic police not to attempt travel, here's some articles I've been holding out posting for a few days.

Firstly, in Germany, one city council has decided Linux is so easy even a woman could use it. Elsewhere, Kuro5hin doesn't seem to like Movable Type. (I'd stick with Blosxom, but like with the previous software, it just took too long and I as of now still don't have the time to rectify it. Maybe in a month or two I will.)

Onto technical things, I'm looking at installing a comments filtering system. However, it seems I get few enough comments one side of me is saying I don't need it. But then I wouldn't have to look at my diary so often for people desperate for Google rankings. Personally, I'd rather not use things to defeat PageRanks. Mumble. And Nikster really does need to get her GnuPG key signed eventually, after one aborted attempt. That and I am for now using Firefox as my usual browser for personal interest. It seems kinda funky, though I'm not too keen on the second name change. Oh well. Reminds me of the naming problems for some characters in the Tintin comic strip series.

February 13, 2004

Let's buy just the blank and extraneous tracks!

Is it me, or will North Americans buy just about anything, even blank bits from digitised CD albums from online music stores?

Yikes. Some have even been thinking of buying just the blank bits (thanks to automated ripping processes) from albums if I've read the article correctly.

February 10, 2004

Crazy fortune cookies

One thing (assuming greta is up) I know is that I'm going to get at least one (readable) e-mail message each day. Okie, so it's just a cron script that sends me one with two cookies from Debian's fine fortunes packages. But sometimes they're just a little to ironic for me, for example today's first one, which was Never let your schooling interfere with your education. With that followed by Server depressed, needs Prozac, I'm wondering why I didn't think of either earlier. :)

[Listening to: No More Cry (acoustic) - The Corrs - In Blue: Special Edition Bonus Disc (02:53)]

February 8, 2004

Another random banner ad

I wonder how effective for the taxpayer is this banner ad I have gotten lately now and again in (shock horrors) the MSN Messenger client imploring me to apply for certain things early to avoid certain people certain amounts of grief. I wonder if the Ministry of Social Development would actually tell me how many clicks per billions and the cost per click for the advertisement. Maybe if I could be bothered using the Official Information Act 1982, I suppose. But I can't. :) Anyhow, here it is for some free impressions on this site, all three kilobytes or so of it.

StudyLink banner advertisement from MSN Messenger.

February 7, 2004

/me wants a webcam

Maybe it's about time I got something like a cheap USB web camera, if only for finding annoying people have been snooping where I live.

On the subject of photographs, the promised snapshots from a certain birthday party back in mid-December did actually get uploaded, but passworded. No, none of the photos were dodgy -- privacy paranoia on my part, that's all. :)

/me wants a webcam

Maybe it's about time I got something like a cheap USB web camera, if only for finding annoying people have been snooping where I live.

On the subject of photographs, the promised snapshots from a certain birthday party back in mid-December did actually get uploaded, but passworded. No, none of the photos were dodgy -- privacy paranoia on my part, that's all. :)

February 3, 2004

Cool library databases

One good thing about enrolling at a tertiary institution is the nice databases most private and public sector organisations probably wouldn't subscribe to, with the odd exception of a government agency. The problem is when they don't subscribe to the more popular ones, but hey, it's better than nothing. :) On a related subject, it may help being prepared when one randomly visits a university. :) Hehehe.

[Listening to: Good Morning Baby - Bic Runga - Beautiful Collision (Bonus Disc) (03:29)]

January 31, 2004

Britomart and the Beast

Some funky photos posted of Auckland's Britomart Station remind me of my visit there on its second day of operation. Hopefully things are much better than what they were back on Day Two when I arrived there for the NetSafe 2003 Conference. Somehow I don't hold out a heck of a lot of hope, but I suspect I'm just being parochial. Damn.

January 2, 2004

Banner ads

468x60_card.gif Ah, the joys of banner ads. Saw this interesting one last week...

December 30, 2003

Might be dumping Blosxom...

Depending on how things go, I suspect there is a very good chance I will be dumping Blosxom. Still haven't decided. The main consideration will be the load times, and whether I can reuse a form of the template I used for Blosxom on this incarnation. So I am still on the fence. In other events, my Christmas break is going well. Back to homework on Thursday, methinks.