October 23, 2007

Some more photographs

I still can't say yet exactly what's happening with my scanning project yet, unfortunately, though it's heading along the lines of good news at this stage. In the meantime, here's some more photographs to keep everyone occupied and believing that I'm really alive still at Penn State. Really. Anyway, here they are:

  1. There's this really nice statue outside the Business Building at Penn State.

    I was rather taken aback by this statue outside the Smeal College of Business. The building itself uses a lot of glass windows, and methinks is quite pretty in places.

  2. There is some random fountain, outside the Forum Building.

  3. I was lucky to catch the sunset outside Sheetz, on North Atherton Street, State College, one evening.

    State College and University Park are very fortunate to have some very pretty sunsets through the year, sun or snow. Rain, too -- sometimes.

  4. Notice something about the bookshelf labels?

    I was at the local Barnes & Noble in State College, and the person with me and I noticed that Love & Sex and Sexuality were both next to Addiction/Recovery.

    Oops, maybe?

Anyway, that's probably enough for now. And I'm still alive. Yay! More photographs later!

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.


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.)

May 8, 2007


I reappear in NZ next week!

I think.

At least I will when I get around to packing my belongings for the suitcases.

And summer storage.

And my semester of short entries will end on my return. Hopefully.

(Note to self: apparently the cabin baggage allowance on Air New Zealand has changed. Sigh.)

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!

February 4, 2007

Nailing jelly to the wall

Tried nailing jelly to the wall? Don't bother, the advice would appear to say.

It'd appear the exception is to be found in concentrated jelly cubes. Which, last time I checked, one can't find in NZ. Those just stick to the wall, but can be nailed, anyway. But, as the advice author says:

This is called "cheating".

Another reminder, after going to see the Vagina Monologues for WMNST 205 last night: I should be studying, I should be studying, I should be studying... [instead of looking at articles on nailing jelly on a library laptop!] Anyway, the play was an interesting empowerment of women's sexuality -- because it took not only a positive look, but also a multicultural look at sexuality, including, well, rape.

Not a bad week overall, then. Lots of study has been done. Yay!

But there's still more to do.


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 7, 2007


Well, dialup works. Photographs might take a while longer to put online. Oh well. Hopefully in-room Ethernet will be up soon, but it looks like that soon will be some time after the middle of the month. Sigh. At least dialup will do for now! :)

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


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.

December 20, 2006

Things not to do -- or, at least, avoid -- at graduation

Last week's fun times at the Victoria University of Wellington and Victoria University of Wellington College of Education graduation ceremonies were interesting. Notes:

  1. If in doubt (or in possession of a hunch) about whether any of one's students or academic staff colleagues are graduating or not in a particular ceremony, book a seat and gown anyway.
  2. You'll possibly want to avoid being at the front of the staff procession.
  3. To repeat it, in text: avoid being first in the staff procession in to the Wellington Town Hall.
  4. If you are, enjoy being the last out.
  5. If applicable, try to ignore the fact you're going on leave for four and a half months to go on an exchange with VUW to Pennsylvania State University in State College, PA, US.
  6. Pack them bags!
  7. Bags, what bags?

(Disclaimer: It's actually not bad at all being first in -- and last out -- at graduation. But, my point is, it's definitely interesting in a good way.)

That's probably enough for now. More later after I've packed. See you in two weeks, Penn State!

(Which, while I'm at it, I should memorise the VUW and WCE mottos in case it comes in handy at PSU. WCE even had two at one stage, I recall (one Māori, one Latin, I believe). Then again, it'd more time to collect them, being nearly 20 years older than the rest of the university and all.)

And yes, see you all back in Wellington in mid-May. Sniff.

December 8, 2006

Hinemoa's story is now/not available for proofreading

Well, you'd better hurry if you want to go to Project Gutenberg's Distributed Proofreaders website to help proofread Rev Henry James Fletcher's Hinemoa: with notes and vocabulary. (Why bother to mention it? It's the first book on the DP site with Te Reo Māori claimed as the primary language.)

So far, it's looking like it will have the fastest first round proofread cycle I've ever seen on the site of anything I've uploaded (not counting a book that was around 5 pages or so I previously uploaded).

Or, if you don't want to proofread it, you could just download the PDF scan of Hinemoa instead. The whole book comes with a glossary (the book appears to be pitched as a textbook for English-speaking learners of Māori language and culture) and some sort of quick summary of the story in English; methinks one would find the entry on the Hinemoa story in the 1966 edition of the Encyclopaedia of New Zealand also useful.

(It's not the only other book in PG or DP that I can find that's in Te Reo. You'll find Edward Shortland's Maori Religion and Mythology floating around DP at the moment; it doesn't claim Māori as the primary language. That appears to be the only other one I can find right now on either website, however.)


Celebrate '06 maps

Almost everything's sorted -- I'm leaving for this (and next) month's Celebrate conference in New Orleans just after Christmas. There's one other thing I'll be doing while in the USA which I'll write about later when that's sorted as well.

I don't know if I'll get any book scanning done while I'm away, but I've had a couple suggestions from other Project Gutenberg Distributed Proofreaders users to consider visiting to help with book sorting or scanning. I hope I do have time to make that happen, and I hope last week's uploads aren't the last for while I'm away. We'll see.

And, to, uh, celebrate going... I've made some simple maps of CESCM "Celebrate! At the River" 2006 conference venue -- and nearby airport. Take a poke via Windows Live Local, Google Maps or Google Earth. (I've also added the addresses of two of the groups mentioned in the conference schedule: the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra -- mmm, jazz -- and Shades of Praise, an interfaith gospel choir, though I've no idea where the actual venue for their events will be. Both look quite exciting, so can't wait to hear them both, especially the former, when I seem to waste a lot of my DSL traffic quota each month listening to ABC Australia's dig Jazz station.)

It might be worth noting that when putting up Google Earth folders for other Google Earth client users to download, file types might need to be added in some cases to make life easier. On Apache 2, it most likely will be as easy as two AddType lines in one's .htaccess: AddType application/ .kml and AddType application/ .kmz ought to do the recommended file type trick. Useful to prevent browser questions, if anything, at least for IE7.

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


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 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 station. Hmmm. I liked the Due South version that they did; it just seems to sound different now.

New on 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 14, 2006

Losing luggage in Las Vegas

It'd appear next time you visit LAS, you'd be more likely to lose money at the casino and less likely to lose luggage at the airport, thanks to RFID.

OK, other things: I got around to uploading Hinemoa: with notes and vocabulary (1907) by Henry James Fletcher this afternoon, scanned from a public domain copy in the VUW library.

October 12, 2006

Is 30 people big enough for a sample?

While I was writing up my final assignment draft for the university year, I spotted an article on MSNBC about dress style and fertility:

A study of young college women showed they frequently wore more fashionable or flashier clothing and jewelry when they were ovulating, as assessed by a panel of men and women looking at their photographs.

“They tend to put on skirts instead of pants, show more skin and generally dress more fashionably,” said Martie Haselton, a communication studies and psychology expert at the University of California Los Angeles who led the study.

I can see the point of the research, but as usual it raises the question for me that, OK, money might be a constraint, but 30 for a sample of, uh, people being tested seems a little small to me.

(If you can't be bothered wading through digital rights management hoops for an earlier version of the paper, bothering to Google comes up with a proof version in the author's online papers list, DOI code doi:10.1016/j.yhbeh.2006.07.007. If you don't mind wading through, for an earlier similar paper from the same journal, prod your favourite web browser at DOI code doi:10.1016/j.yhbeh.2005.10.006 via your favourite library journal database or link resolver for some reading.)

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 6, 2006

His Majesty King of Interface -- oh, and Telecom implies that Jabber is peer-to-peer stuff

Right, two things, while I should be doing work/finishing off at Women's Studies for the university year: my friend Donald Gordon is now King of Interface, or, put simply, a life member, and (in an unrelated madness) the open standards-based Jabber instant messaging protocol is a peer-to-peer technology, Telecom Xtra implies. Egads.

October 3, 2006

13 October

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

See you then!

September 8, 2006

Now, if only...

...Google Maps had street level coverage of my street. (Now, if you don't want my mini-essay which I wrote for my own amusement, you may want to skip straight to the thoughts I have on my latest batch of scanning for S27(1)'s scanned books collection. Hehe!)

They do do street maps -- it's just got no satellite imagery at street level for my suburb and then some: a good chunk of Lower Hutt is missing from the coverage (at time of writing).

With the new address to location translation on offer, it would be nice if the, uh, hole (no pun intended) in coverage were fixed. (Incidentally, the Windows version of the Google Earth client isn't much better when looking at Lower Hutt [see also below]; it appears to currently use the same data set as Google Earth for Lower Hutt -- you could also try these same coordinates in Google Maps if you can be bothered.) If it were, maybe I could put together some nice mapping stuff.

But then, there's a million other mapping websites with New Zealand coverage around, with at least one with apparently better street level aerial coverage (as in no holes in coverage, actual image quality being another matter -- hey, at least it's consistent!), and most that I use for every day purposes are developed in and for the local market here. That's not to mention the city council's property information database has really good images of individual properties. Some, though, concentrate on street maps as opposed to aerial maps or satellite imagery, but make up with their trip planning features (two, Metlink and Yellow Pages, claim they do walking directions, too).

I wonder if I should re-learn some programming to get myself away from all the stuff I'm doing for graduate school for a nice little bit of recreation and perhaps do a localised mapping thing (Jabber map stuff sounds like an idea here) for amusement.

Anyway, here's what Google Maps currently looks like to me with its gap in street level satellite imagery coverage when I search for Lower Hutt. Here's a closeup of what Google Earth sees of Lower Hutt at the moment -- note the change in detail. Now, here's the extent of the gaps in street level coverage of Lower Hutt in Google Earth at the moment; it's currently the same as Google Maps.

And, another book scanned

On other matters, I scanned another book today. Yay for high speed multifunction photocopiers that e-mail on stuff in PDF! Which while I'm on that subject, I've done the same for a few other books that will be released on to Project Gutenberg Distributed Proofreaders on September 20 as birthday texts for proofing.

I'll announce what those ones are closer to the day, but in the meantime, I've scanned A Plea for the Criminal (1905). It's a response (and on first skim through while scanning it, a critical response) by an ordained minister to a book I got through PG earlier that sounded to me like something on eugenics, and that went by the name of The Fertility of the Unfit (1903).

I'm debating if I want to have images up as I've done so previously, or just have the PDF (that the photocopier spat out at me) available -- or both. Feedback would certainly be appreciated on this. (Thanks in advance!) If someone wants A Plea for the Criminal before I get around to properly posting it online, let me know and I'll either email it through somehow, or actually get around to posting it. I blame grad school for my lack of alacrity. Heh.

It doesn't mean that my attempts to find additional sources for material to scan (legally, of course) that is Section 27(1) compliant is bearing some success, necessarily, or even at all -- I do hope it does -- but I have found some stuff that should keep me occupied while I do look for things more relevant to my grad school study and research -- though today's scanned book is very much related in some aspects (say, related to the eugenics stuff someone found in a text I'd also scanned and put through PG).

ibiblio server move

The wonderful folks (ibiblio) that host Section 27(1), the dr-fun-changes mailing list, this diary you're reading right now, the SCM e-book editions, and even some teddy bear satire (which I must admit is not really being updated at the moment, partly due to worries over chewing up ibiblio's precious disc space), are having some stuff happening from Saturday, 9 September at 10am (NZST) until Sunday, 10 September at 10am (NZST). Apparently there may be some interruption in service; mail will be down for a wee bit and I won't be able to post, but the site should stay up.

One more time, thanks people for the hosting! Trying to host lots of scans of books to show the publisher's original intent (something I don't think a formatted e-text like what Project Gutenberg do) is rather (though methinks for the value of the intent, not unreasonable or overly onerous) disc intensive (not to mention slightly more demanding on bandwidth and traffic if you get the Slashdot effect or even a comparatively minor 'Public Address effect'), so everything's appreciated. :)

August 25, 2006

1955's Mazengarb followup ready for proofing

For your Project Gutenberg Distributed Proofreaders proofreading pleasure, and sooner than expected, too, that 1955 followup to the Mazengarb Report, the Report of Juvenile Delinquency Committee, is now available for proofreading on Distributed Proofreaders. You'll need to log in (and if you're new, register) first to proofread some pages. (If you still can't access the proofing page for the book, just manually search for it on the site.)

August 24, 2006

More! More! More!

All right, I'm putting 1955's Report of the Juvenile Delinquency Committee (or, the Mazengarb Report) through PGDP finally. I've had the scans available for viewing on the S27(1) and PD Page as scans for some time now (since 10 February 2006, it seems). I've just forgotten to put it up for proofreading and formatting.

I'll, going to plan, do a write-up of my impressions of it next week after I finish part of an essay. The key thing to remember for me when doing an analysis will be to remember that I'm looking at a followup to the Mazengarb Report. I'll look forward to it when I find the time.

[Update: well, finding someone at PGDP to run it through an OCR package took less time than expected, so now the report is now available for proofing. Enjoy!]

August 14, 2006

Making it easy

Sure, some smart person cleaned the wrong house, but have they got the message that it isn't such a smart idea to hide a key?

Not to mention I'm now scared of running web applications that might get hacked.

On another note, last month I recently had a trip to Dunedin via Christchurch. The view on the way back was rather nice. Pity the airline (Origin Pacific) appears to have met an unfortunate demise. Sigh.

Here's a view from the plane on my recent trip from Christchurch.

July 30, 2006

New EndNote link resolver settings

Mutter. VUW Library are migrating their link resolver service from LinkFinderPlus to Journal Finder (which is already being used for holdings information for journals, and also known as Article Linker), so I spent some time working out some settings to replace my current EndNote setup. Basically: if you're game (I accept no responsibility for problems!), set your OpenURL path to
or (choose either depending on whether you want to authenticate to the library's EZproxy server first or not), and set the path to ?rft.spage=SPAGE&rfr_id=info%3asid%2fsersol%3aRefinerQuery&sid=sersol%3aRefinerQuery&citationsubmit=LookUp&rft.aulast=AULAST&SS_doi=&rft.title=TITLE&url_ver=Z39.88-2004& (That's quite a long query string, so you may want to make sure that it's all pasted in there before complaining -- if you want to check, the last part of it should be 'AUFIRST'.)

[Update, 21 August: another set of, possibly better, recommended EndNote settings!]

So far, my wrangled code only works for journal articles, which in any case is good enough for me. Books are easily done on an ISBN search directly on the library catalogue, and journal titles can be had with just the title or ISSN on Journal Finder directly, whereas journal articles have to get quite a few things entered in to Journal Finder -- that is, unless one already has a DOI number such as 10.1046/j.1365-2648.1993.18030416.x.

If anyone still looks for my related Mozilla Firefox 1.0 extension for Google Scholar, if it's still working at all (and I haven't updated it for the last several Firefox releases), it probably won't work by whenever VUW Library finally switch off LinkFinderPlus. I'm not actively maintaining it now, either, as it was just a slightly customised version of someone else's Firefox extension. Though that (as at time of writing) five people downloaded the extension this week seems odd. Oh well. If I need use of it some time, I might take another look at it, but it's not high on the priority list at the moment.

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,, 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.

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 20, 2006

Mona Lisa, nearly starkers, with paint strippers!

Yeah, looks like someone else thought it interesting, too.

Mona Lisa... Smile? Starkers?

But, strippers? Uh... right.

Continue reading "Mona Lisa, nearly starkers, with paint strippers!" »

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 13, 2006

Uploads again

So now, faster upload speeds, if you want to pay more. Possibly not me at these prices, anyway.

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.


February 4, 2006


Alas, not that sort of proposal. :( No, I put in my first conference paper/praxis proposal this week. This ought to turn out to be an interesting experience.

[Listening to: Little Blue Riding Hood -- Daws Butler; June Foray; Stan Freberg; Walter Schumann -- The Very Best of Stan Freberg (03:27)]

February 3, 2006

Hidden in an envelope: an upgrade notification

Yeah, it's that time of the century again, when your friendly university decides you can't have a race with your friends this year to see who can keep their student identification card the longest without replacement or loss. This time welcome to the world of RFID! :) Well, proximity cards, anyway.

That's right, time once again to revoke all of the cards in circulation.

In the meantime, finding out how to build your own proximity card cloner and then use it to actually clone a proximity card (or so the writer claims, anyway) ought to make for amusing reading.

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 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 5, 2006

Bear naming contest!


The Bear Committee (see if you're not familiar) has decided to run a fun competition to name their newest bear cub minion/crony/ally that signed up over here. Answers please to either or -- a prize of a Committee-endorsed lunch (bought from The Kiosk at VUW, or other Committee-approved establishment of course) with Nikster, Little Albert Kenby-Bear, new cub and their hēkeretari is on offer to the winner. If the names are good.

In order to help you select the best name, fourteen photos (taken with Tiny Albert Kenby-Bear, one of its brothers) is attached; [the] new cub is the white-furred bear with the blue scarf. Deadline for entries is when the bear's named. Which could be in the next five minutes, so you'd better hurry.

Good luck!

Bear hugs,
Nikster's hēkeretari (for Nikster, who's actually on holiday somewhere in Wellington).

NB: no shaggy fur from [the] new cub was lost in the shooting of the pictures. Just so you know; new cub wanted that mentioned.

[Selected photographs in full entry.]

Continue reading "Bear naming contest!" »

December 3, 2005

I want coffee!

Sigh. I want coffee. Now!

Even if it's that crazy stuff they pour out free on air planes.

Coffee, Flight QF4004 (2 of 3).

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.)


November 19, 2005

It works!

Well, the link resolver function in EndNote 9.0.1, once again. EndNote 8.0.2 managed to break it quite spectacularly. Sigh. At least I can use it again, but now I'm wondering if using VUW's Journal Finder service would be much easier. But I have set up the link resolver stuff already, so I may as well use it.

November 2, 2005

More advertisements!

I've published more photographs of advertisements mostly targeting women from around Wellington. The prize for oddest element would be a morning-after pill billboard that has a radio station's web address in the corner. Then there's the Dove Firming 'as tested on real curves' billboard on Lambton Quay. But this text on a billboard I saw on Willis Streethad me kind of speechless. I'm not sure what to say.

Girl available for only $3.50. [Vodafone advertisement on a bus, Willis Street, Wellington.]

Yikes. crash

Just when I'd nearly finished migrating content from 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. :)

September 29, 2005

Nikster moves home

Sorry, no new photo shoot, as it only involved a pile of tarballs transferred over SSH and the usuall tinkering with a text editor. But to cut the story short, after poking through ibiblio's collection policy, Nikster's pile of humorous photo shoots have moved from to

(At least I wouldn't consider it a vanity site, anyway. It's mostly a pile of satirical cuisine and travel reviews. When I remember to put in captions.)

The main collections, though, are the Section 27(1)-related materials. I haven't had much time this term to scan and upload any new books, but with my plans to start honours next year studying the books, things should get rather interesting.

September 15, 2005

Another Google News page

I've put together a new customised Google News page. This one contains searches on Student Christian Movement, ecumenism, religious dialogue, Christianity, religious tolerance, social justice, human rights, New Zealand churches, civil unions and gay marriage.

September 14, 2005


Yay, less than a month of second trimester left! So time for more scanning again, soon... :)

September 6, 2005

Movable Type 3.2

I installed Movable Type 3.2 tonight. Not much to mention, though the Style Library concept seems useful. There's possibly more on this as I update the templates for this diary.

I haven't decided on a new theme for this diary yet. The selection seems much wider this time around, which looks fun.

August 13, 2005

Hunter Building exterior

Hunter Building exterior

Hunter Building exterior

Originally uploaded by Jonathan Ah Kit.

Well, I decided to work from home today instead of in the SCM cabin, so here's a tribute to another (far more famous) landmark at school, the Hunter Building. If I recall correctly, that's a view of the stained glass window of the former library, which is now the council chamber.

August 12, 2005

View of Frank Kitts Park, Wellington

View of Frank Kitts Park, Wellington.

View of Frank Kitts Park, Wellington.

Originally uploaded by Jonathan Ah Kit.

Well, I wish I were there right now. Yes, I posted this here at the end of May, but I want to be sitting down there. Right now.

Even though tonight it's rather windy.

August 4, 2005

Projects and news

I've been working on a few GEND-related projects and assignments lately, so while the scanning is related, that's been put back a little. So, if anyone's looking for a reason why I've decided to leave the InternetNZ council, there you go.

Anyway, one's a short 20-shot photographic essay of supermarket shopping, which I've titled I Promise I'll Be Gentle. More about it once I hand it in.

July 31, 2005

Cotton Building stairwell

Cotton Building, Victoria University of Wellington.

Cotton Building, Victoria University of Wellington.

Originally uploaded by Jonathan Ah Kit.

Here's another sight, though probably far less commonly noticed -- the stairwell on the northern end of the Cotton Building.

Easterfield Building

Easterfield Building, Victoria University of Wellington

Easterfield Building, Victoria University of Wellington.

Originally uploaded by Jonathan Ah Kit.

It looks rather nice on a sunny day. Not so great inside there all day, however.

July 28, 2005

The mystery of the free university-provisioned metropolitan daily newspapers

There's stands of free daily newspapers at Victoria University of Wellington at the moment.

With compliments of Victoria University, there's stands of free copies of the Dominion Post at the university at the moment, albeit during the week. I've posted some neutral thoughts at for the keen.

July 27, 2005

Leap second

Ha. You're getting an extra second this year. So there.

SCMA news now. Now that the WSCF-AP books have been uploaded, I've been working on arranging the DVD Our Stories, Our Struggle: Life and Mission of World Student Christian Federation Asia-Pacific to be put online. Thanks to those doing that -- I'll post details and credits when it's done.

[Listening to: We Belong Together -- Mariah Carey -- We Belong Together (03:23)]

July 23, 2005

Book changes

To prevent pesky scripting resizing your page, and to keep some layout within the SCMA design, the WSCF-AP electronic books' Flash-enabled menus now 307 to a WSCF-AP publications page at The content is the same -- it's just easier to manage for us at SCMA -- and though the layout fits the current SCMA style guide, the content is clearly marked as being hosted at ibiblio.

I'll be likely to start scanning a circa 1937 select committee inquiry on abortion next month, time permitting.

July 18, 2005

More electronic books!

All right, so they're not Section 27(1) books. But if you're finding that your copy of the CD World Student Christian Federation Asia-Pacific Library: Archives and Resource Materials Since 1974 shows up too many pesky security errors thanks to Windows XP SP2, you might want to try a copy I've installed at

(I've done a preliminary copyright clearance of sorts in the last week -- I see also that it's already up at -- if the link is still available this time tomorrow, my double check worked out fine.)

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.

July 10, 2005

UniQ protest

In case you didn't know already, two of us SCMA people joined in a UniQ protest outside what appeared to be a Destiny Church rally in Lower Hutt. I decided to make an appearance (thanks for the ride, Fionnaigh!) to take photographs for SCMA's website at the very last minute. Anyway, Fionnaigh has written a review of the protest, and the video being handed out.

My photographs for SCM Victoria are linked to from, for those that are interested.

Streaming video clips will be officially available shortly, with some luck!

June 18, 2005

Gate latch, Kelburn

Gate latch at the front entrance to a house on Salamanca Road, near Kelburn Parade, Kelburn, Wellington.

Gate latch, Kelburn

Originally uploaded by Jonathan Ah Kit.

And, here is the last photograph of mine that I intend to make a note about today.

This is one of my favourite photographs so far this year that I have taken. I was surprised at the level of detail that I got from the rust on the latch. It's unfortunate that Flickr's recompression routines don't let you see it on their copy of the photograph. Alas.

No, the Bucket Fountain is not a public toilet

What to use the Bucket Fountain for (apparently) ...

What to use the Bucket Fountain for (apparently) ...

Originally uploaded by Jonathan Ah Kit.

And no, I didn't do the abovementioned map of the Bucket Fountain. Even if Elijah Wood allegedly did do something of that ilk. (The map was spotted at school.)

May 22, 2005

Final presentation

I have (if I have added my papers -- courses, if you will -- and points right), I have the final assessment piece for my major tomorrow. There are some ancillary bits such as a literature review and reflection to also do that are due on 27 May, but other than that, I am done.

May 20, 2005

Student political activism on blackboards

Student political activism at Victoria University of Wellington.

Student political activism at VUW.

Originally uploaded by Jonathan Ah Kit.

I don't know about other universities or colleges other than VUW, but here (well, at least everywhere at VUW but the former WCE, it seems), but here, there's a lot of blackboard (not usually whiteboards, oddly) political graffiti in lecture theatres. Otherwise notices about gatherings and 'advertisements' for commercial websites are put up, but I find it's usually political rants. Anyway, this was a rather odd one to turn up to at a GEND 101 lecture; I'm sure any pun wasn't intended. Ugh. From what I gather, it was probably written yesterday (Thursday) about student aid in the 2005 government budget presented at Parliament yesterday. I guess after the student protest at Parliament earlier this week people weren't too hopeful for all the youth undertaking tertiary study.

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 10, 2005


Apparently I've scanned a book on eugenics, I'm told! Or, something called The Fertility of the Unfit, by a William Allan Chapple, in any case. I've got a preliminary scan available now. A split page version will be available once I get my act together and put it through the DP OCR pool. Or, if I have enough time, I do that bit myself. As it happens, it will probably the former, due to school stuff to do.

This is one odd text published in 1903 (hey, it even had what appears to be the original cover still on it), but then again, I only skimmed it as I was scanning it tonight.


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?

Scanning more books

Thanks to a suggestion from someone obtained from an SCMA-sourced contact, I've started scanning a book from a William Allan Chapple, as well as a response to that book written by someone else. I expect I'll finish these by mid-June, though there are no guarantees, of course.

More details to follow. After some discussions with a local university library, I am also likely to have another select committee report from the 1920s scanned in addition to Venereal Diseases in New Zealand (1922). This will be likely to occur during the mid-year break at VUW.

[Listening to: On My Knees (LP Version) -- Jaci Velasquez -- Heavenly Place (03:49)]

Some more education-related articles from mostly the NYT and the BBC:

All right. Sleep seems good now.

[Listening to: Legacy -- Nichole Nordeman -- Live At The Door (04:16)]

[Listening to: My God (LP Version) -- Point Of Grace -- Steady On (05:04)]

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 20, 2005

Starbucks today

I was down at the Willis Street Starbucks in Wellington today, deciding to try and get their shiny new-ish Telecom Wireless Hotspot Service running on my computer.

Put it this way, the competition did much better. It actually worked, as opposed to obtaining an IP address and not doing much more (directing me to a login page would have been nice).

A nice touch though was when upon telling the cheery staff that their hotspot didn't seem to get me anywhere (such as a login page in a web browser), they smiled and gave me a CD. It was titled Telecom Wireless Internet Access: A Guide to Getting Started, with the friendly suggestion that I Call 0800 952 695 for Telecom Wireless Hotspot Help. I might have done that, if I weren't actually busy talking to someone at the same time about school-related stuff (and sending off an e-mail message he suggested). Oh, and running a Jabber client, of course.

The Windows instructions on the Flash-littered disc were basically what the instructions on Telecom's hotspot site. Still no luck.

My conclusion is that a system reboot may have helped, but unless one wants to be rude to the person one is talking to about school-related matters, it's not really an option.

Still, it was an interesting experience, not least the discussions I had on my Section 27(1) project. I now have an official Starbucks coaster, Xtra and Starbucks logo on it, too.

April 5, 2005

Fountain, Kelburn Park, Wellington

Fountain, Kelburn Park, Wellington

Fountain, Kelburn Park, Wellington

Originally uploaded by Jonathan Ah Kit.

Well, this photograph was taken some time last November. Anyway, I've been posting on Flickr for about two months now, and this is my first public photograph. Enjoy!

Vibe opening

I was briefly at the Vibe (aka the Hutt Valley Youth Health Service) opening of new premises at 12 Daly Street, Lower Hutt last night, wearing my Youth Infusion hat, to show support for the redefined venture. $15,000 (according to the Vibe press release) does seem like an awful lot just to 'rebrand' at first, especially with a $500,000 budget, but if it keeps the service relevant in the minds of youth, it is worth it. But I do believe the new environment compared to my prior visits to many of the prior premises of the HVYHS showed the need for new digs in an appropriate place -- there's a reasonable level of parking onsite, at least for staff, and certainly on-street parking, despite utilising parking meters, is nearby. It really is a great place. Visit there soon!

Incidentally, I can't wait for the next YI meeting.

March 26, 2005

There is a social emergency!

Yes, that does sound like something out of a speech during a moral panic, perhaps.

Anyway, thanks to a kind someone who scanned it especially for PG's DP site, Social Emergency (1914), edited by some William Trufant Foster, is now available. It's a book published in the US, so it could be interesting for academic study in terms of sexual health issues in that country during the decade in which it was written. The Social Emergency: Studies in Sex Hygiene and Morals (that's its full title) is also available in the usual Gallery interface.

I still haven't described the unrelated books I uploaded the other day. I may do so shortly once I evaluate whether Beatrix Potter books are fun enough to add. :)

Anyway, enjoy studying the new book.

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 28, 2005

The digital divide is 'narrowing fast' -- apparently

Well, that digital divide between rich and poor nations is narrowing fast, the World Bank said on Thursday. Apparently, so says Reuters, in the New Zealand Herald.

February 18, 2005

It's ready!

I've checked everything and checked everything again, and it seemed ready, so I've done the deed: the SCMA website has now had its update unleashed, thanks to a nice little HTTP 307 redirection.

More redirections from older URIs will be put in place shortly, but all the bits that need to be working now work.

The site is available at

February 15, 2005

Royal Commission report scanning temporarily suspended

I've temporarily suspended scanning on the Royal Commission report I was scanning. The page sizes are becoming an issue, unfortunately. And the minor issue that the scanners I were using seemed to have had the computers they were attached to changed, causing some 'interesting' issues. Oh dear.

Hopefully, however, I can have another go at it tomorrow. Here's hoping!

The scans of the Court of Appeal ruling will be made available, probably as early as next week. Chances are I will throw a login system to access it, however. Time (and changing thoughts) will tell.

Still, four books scanned, with three of them with scans posted isn't bad for a couple months here and there.

I have another finalist coming up after (or before, if my current scanning project falls apart). It's a short select committee report, to see how feasible a new scanning method might be.

February 5, 2005


Here's an odd word I found in the OED today, while looking for Hansard, for those who get enamoured with them: Hansardise (or Hansardize in the dictionary itself), or to confront (a member of Parliament) with his former utterances as recorded in 'Hansard'; to prove (a person) to have formerly expressed a different view or opinion. (Alas, you may need, to view the full entry, an account, it seems, or a nice EZproxy server like VUW's to get it for you.)

Ooooh, I see that VUW have decided to buy a full subscription to the Oxford DNB. It would have been very much useful to have subscribed to Oxford Reference Online (and either subscription level there would have done nicely, too) as well, though.

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 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 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 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 (, 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 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 12, 2005

Wireless improvements

Looks like the VUW wireless 802.11 trial is finally allowing better unproxied access to a wider range of stuff on the domain. I'm now able to avoid the 'no, you're not supposed to bill me for library database access' problem I had to go through last year when (seemingly) forced to use the proxy.

It's not totally fixed, yet. It's still locked down unproxied to only a small selection of the domain, and it still doesn't exactly like library databases authenticated through the university's EZproxy server that insist on redirecting to their own hostname instead of browsing via a port on the EZproxy hostname. I probably should bother telling them, as I often use them to download some rather large printable versions. Sometimes it's up to a few megabytes in size.

I guess you can't have everything, but it's at least a bit more useful now.

Oh, and in other news, Venereal Diseases in New Zealand (1922) is now available, scanned, on the Section 27(1) page.

January 10, 2005

Virginity pledges

I've just finished watching the Channel Four documentary Texas Teenage Virgins on TVNZ. It appears to be at least a year old, but makes for an interesting episode from what appears to be a television series on religion.

It's almost as if Texas (and much of the USA is going through much of what we in NZ went through from the 1950s (see 1954's Mazengarb Report which I've just digitised) through to 1990, when a lot of contraception education was legalised (and it's been further liberalised since, judging by the self-adhesive addenda stuck into my printed copy of Health and Physical Education in the New Zealand Curriculum when I got it. (Disclaimer: I'm not necessarily expressing any views on sexual education policy in Texas, just an observation.)

On the subject of what to scan next and digitise, I've put in copyright clearance for PG for one ministerial inquiry from 1922 (actually, I'm about to upload it), one landmark Court of Appeal judgment from the early 1980s (though I'm also wondering if I should pick another one on the Western Samoan citizenship case from around the same time), and a Royal Commission from the 1980s.

I'll probably actually stick to stuff I'm interested in for my graduate study, actually. But it's so easy to get distracted when reading primary source documents.

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, 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.


Is it me, or are VUW SCS account statements almost impossible to understand?

Unless I'm mistaken, I'm being charged once again to access library databases. But then, I wonder if I need a CA to understand the bill. Unless what I was told when I originally enrolled that library databases weren't charged for has been rescinded.

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.

November 12, 2004

The crows are circling!

Seen the recent University of Canterbury print advertisements in student publications like Salient where they crow about being one of the top two universities in the country, because of their TEC PBRF rankings?

Well, get ready for a fresh round. The 2004 Times Higher Education Supplement world rankings are now available. Auckland is 67 out of 200, Massey is 108, and Otago is 114. I'm currently reading the THES rankings right now on their website (yay for VUW's account at that site!), and the articles seem rather boring advertising supplement or advertorial style articles. Unfortunately.

Spare me the marketing, please... that's the advertorials and the blasted advertisements that I can smell following closely behind...

(Hey, I wonder, with the amazing disappearing WCE, if its 'disappearance' will manage to drag down VUW's PBRF ratings next time around with its second-from-bottom performance this time. Probably not if they're minnows by size comparison, I suppose.)

November 9, 2004


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 27, 2004

Forced charging

In the small crazy things in life, today the VUW SCS posted a message on the VUW student portal website entitled Streaming media over the Internet is chargeable:

Please be aware that viewing streamed media while browsing the Internet is chargeable traffic and is being captured and billed to students who use this service. It is the students' responsibility to monitor their own Internet traffic and refunds will not be given for streamed media[...]

Sure it's just a small point, but when some CyberCommons rooms have the default home page set to the (chargeable) XtraMSN home page, which currently has a hefty Flash file...

I've also had some continuing trouble being charged for library databases that don't like to go through EZproxy. I guess some things take time, like the outgoing e-mail issues.

Overall, the good thing is that things seem to be working, especially the wireless access in some locations. I wonder if I want to try doing PSYC 101 in the Quad?

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 10, 2004

Falling apart at first, on average

Seems like that the new box is having some minor issues with load averages, using the exim4-daemon-heavy package from Debian testing. From what I could tell, it had something to do with frozen and bounced messages getting repeatedly reprocessed for viruses and spam stuff by Exim.

So, in the meantime, I've re-set ignore_bounce_errors_after and timeout_frozen_after to some probably dangerously (but hopefully sane and or understandable) low levels for now, and set values for queue_only_load and deliver_queue_load_max. Hopefully that does the trick for now, and things don't get too bad (like a big dictionary-based spammer attack on the mail servers here).

Perhaps setting these sorts of options as a matter of course when setting up an Exim daemon is a good idea, albeit from what I can tell.

In other news, I have upgraded to Movable Type 3.11. No apparent issues, but I've come up with a new method of installing the files that seem to make things quicker to upgrade.

Oh yeah, and there's a new logo on SCMA's website. Well, it's 'new' only in that it looks much better than our last drawing of it, but useful and much better, anyway.

[Listening to: Our Mystery -- Bebo Norman -- Myself When I Am Real (03:33)]

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.

August 23, 2004

Unicode and EndNote

Damn! I can't do macrons for Māori in EndNote!

This sucks. Especially when most of the titles in the reference list I'm building right now use common Māori words.

[Listening to: Everywhere -- Michelle Branch -- The Spirit Room (03:36)]

On the subject of Unicode, I'm finding that a lot of other programs, such as many Jabber clients, don't like the Windows 'New Zealand Māori Keyboard Definition'. Either the macron input is ignored, or if I even try to paste in a macron, it's ignored. This from some programs that are claiming they have Unicode support, too. However, I don't know all of the ins and outs of Unicode, so I can't offer solutions just yet. :(

Update, 12.15: Yes, I'm using EndNote 7. But I don't expect VUW to bother getting a more recent volume licence unless someone important who needs Unicode support raises a stink about it. Oh well. The EndNote lot claim that a certain SP2 for a certain OS doesn't exactly like their latest offering, anyway.

August 18, 2004


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.)

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.


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 11, 2004

Theme songs

Being forced to listen to the Monty Python theme song being played by a really weird brass band in VUW's main quadrangle because you are in a nearby room in a neighbouring building with no chance to escape is torture. Then when the band plays Side By Side, you go crazy.

Now it's time for more torture. It's SRC time again. Why does my usual study room have to be so noisy?

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

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. :)

June 22, 2004

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

Perhaps someone needs to select better acronyms?

On other matters, 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 17, 2004

How to Jabber safely (apparently)

Being a read the manual type of person, reading a fact sheet on 'safe' IM practices was kind of amusing. But, that said, serious at the same time.

A while ago, I was contemplating running an academic experiment using a chatbot I'd cobbled together using existing parts -- centericq and some external plugin implementation of Eliza. I'd have to say it did work kind of well when I were testing it -- if one were supervising it (it has a habit of suddenly causing a crash by increasing processor overload, at least last time I tried it). It did fool the odd person, but there were two problems -- it processed each message individually, and it couldn't join conference rooms, because it would reply to everything in the room, right down to the join messages. (I imagine, though, for the latter I could have used a grep or something.) I can't seem to get past the ethics issues, though, but that's mainly because I haven't had time to work on it in the last several months. Still, it was of some amusement at WCE.

What does this tell me? Like my join message on suggests, I'm not hot by any means at programming, and I worship off-the-shelf binaries from apt-get. But I like writing documentation-like stuff, which is what I suppose I can contribute to Jabber.

In the meantime, however, I'm working on a unit plan for teaching schoolchildren safe choices with regards to junk e-mail and instant messages. I've deferred work on it, however, until a workshop next week...

So, incidentally, I'll be going to an anti-spam legislation workshop in Wellington on 24 June. It should be interesting to see what sorts of stuff come up. Sure most of the spam we get in NZ comes from overseas, but we still don't want people to perceive our country as a soft touch. At least in the meantime we have a good Internet Service Provider community who tend to (by my experience or two getting a spammer run in; other people's experience may vary, I suppose) terminate spammers pretty quickly.

[Listening to: Disc 3, Track 09 -- Douglas Adams -- The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy [Audiobook] Disc 3 (03:08)]

Update: while typing this, someone asked me to put my chatbot back up. Turns out its home directory was a bit full, so creating a fresh account seems to have done the trick for now. Currently it's Jabber only, but I'll add back the other protocols if I see it's gonna be useful. I'm not sure if I'll leave her on all day, though. I'll have to think about that.

[Listening to: Disc 4, Track 01 -- Douglas Adams -- The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy [Audiobook] Disc 4 (02:57)]

June 2, 2004

Going, going, gone... to Auckland

So, the VUW vice-chancellor is going... he's only taking a short drive up SH1 to the University of Auckland, not to some place overseas, however.

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.

May 13, 2004


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

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

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

May 8, 2004

The Hotel Alcatraz Auckland

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

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

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

April 26, 2004

Back at school

Back at school today, for the second half of the trimester.

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 25, 2004

Traffic lights at the university

The first signs of two lots of traffic lights at VUW are now evident. This should make crossing Kelburn Parade less amusing, but certainly less hair raising (and risky).

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 9, 2004

There's cicadas in my lecture theatre!

Well, there was at least one cicada in HM LT206 during the SOSC 111 lecture today, happily chirping away.

March 8, 2004

The Representative Bourgeoisie


Okie, why did I volunteer to be one of the EDUC 234 class representatives?

I'll probably realise why in the morning.

Yay for gut feelings! :)

And the lecturer's a good jazz improvisationalist.

March 4, 2004

A sudden urge to take notes

I had an unexpected request to take lecture notes for somebody today for papers I am not enrolled in, which I was able to do. But one thing I notice now is that I take down as much as I can, as I'm not sure what the recipient of the notes will want. Maybe I should consider some formal training in the art and be a 'real' official note taking person.

February 16, 2004

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 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)]