Craig Mattson (Personal Website)
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OMG I HAVE RSI (30/01/2007 09:38:21 PM)

validrss Whilst the title of this may be true, the actual fact is I have just uploaded a trial of this RSS thingo that everyone seems to complain about these days *sigh*. Well, I suppose if you really want, you can subscribe to it (or whatever you do with it). I'll continue just visiting my main websites Tongue out Enjoy. Now quit your complaining about my blog being the only one on the face of the planet to not have RSS.

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Public Transport (30/01/2007 02:31:26 AM)

250pxhitxtrapfssFor those who know me know that I complain about public transport often. Generally Connex, but lately I have been a bit peeved with V/Line and their antics as well. For those who don't know, V/Line is a regional train and coach operator where as Connex is the Melbourne Suburban train operator. Lately, there has been some controversy over their train fleet and as a result Connex has had to remove some of their trains and replace them with Hitachis (the old stainless silver trains).

Well, today I went to Springvale to pick up a few computer components and was expecting an all day trip. Today for some reason was different. Everything today ran on time! I got to Warragul train station, and the train was there at 8:52, 2 MINUTES EARLY. I got to Dandenong at 9:42, 2 MINUTES EARLY. I caught my bus to Springvale at 9:46, and got there at about 10:06. I brought my components and went outside to wait a whole of 2 MINUTES to catch a bus to Springvale station. When I got to Springvale, a Pakenham bound train (Siemens by the way) arrived 2 MINUTES after I got there. I got to Pakenham on time to walk elsewhere to get some other components. I got back, where the V/Line train was 2 MINUTES early. I got back to Warragul at 12:50. Today was just one of those days where everything ran according to plan. Everything was on time, there was no waiting for trains etc... It seems that Connex's removal of a few services has infact increased the punctuality of trains! Strange one hey!

pentiumdQuite funny actually, as we arrived at Pakenham station (on my way to Dandenong), a Hitachi was on the other platform, and absolutely no one got on the Hitachi train! They all piled in the 2-unit V/Locity making it fairly crowded, but yeah - pretty much a scr3w you to Connex Wink I also heard today on my way back (at Pakenham station) a kid say 'look at the yucky train, its old and dirty'. The ironic thing is, Air Conditioning in trains tend to malfunction often (well, from what I've been on anyway) and you can't open windows. This is on top of the rock hard seats in the newer trains. I can't see what the problem is (unless the back 3 carriages are providing plenty of electrical smoke to cover the entire Dandenong station) especially when the trains have more comfortable seating, and WINDOWS to open! I can tell you now, I'd rather be on a train moving with a bit of a breeze and get home rather than stand on a platform for the next 30 minutes praying for a new train.

On another note, I have just set up a Pentium-D 925 computer system that is running at a nice cool 35*C in the ThermalTake Soprano case using the stock thermal paste and stock fan. More news to come on that when I finally get a hold of Windows XP 64 Bit Edition. 

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Helstra *sigh* Again! (28/01/2007 09:00:44 PM)

computer_problemsEver wondered why Helstra (a combination of Telstra and Hell) is not in my good books? Well, telemarketers are forever calling me to get me to switch my home phone back to them. Usually involves offering me $70 worth of calls just for switching back! Fantastic hey Laughing Well, that's all well and good if they can do me a land line deal of $19.95 per month and give me a one-off $70. There's only one issue though and that's their internet. Helstra doesn't seem to think that other ISP's are capable of offering cheaper broadband. For instance, take my internet deal. I get 1,536kbit/256kbit ADSL1+ broadband with 21GB download for $49.95 per month and pay $29.95 per month for line rental. That's $89.90 per month if my math is correct. Helstra on the other hand can only offer liberty which is 10GB and say that's massive for $69.95 per month. What intrigues me more is that for $99.95, I get 25GB with them, then charged extra for going over download. Not good if you have a big month.

Anyway, interestingly enough today I had a call from a client explaining that his internet didn't work. So, I take a trip down to investigate and as fate would have it, I couldn't fix the issue because the issue wasn't client side. The next step was to call Bigpond. After calling their technical support line directly, I was greeted with a friendly message "Hello and welcome to Bigpond. We are currently experiencing an overload on help desk calls. Please try again later. Beep Beep Beep". So, I ring up the other Bigpond, non-free line and I press a few buttons like Press 1 for ADSL, Press 2 for Business DSL, Press 1 for Business DSL standalone... Anyway, about 1 hour later I finally got to speak to an Indian who believe the weather was fantastic in Flinders Street. After explaining my issue that the modem won't connect using the interface to the internet as it's bring up a Line is Busy error, he tried telling me that that's an issue with Windows XP Service Pack 2!!! This got me furious to which I politely said that Windows XP has been updated for months, and how could you not support Windows XP SP2? He said it is a limited connection issue.

15509790When he said this I felt like smashing him, especially when I know for a fact that he knows absolutely nothing. I said no, I'm connected and using the Modem Interface page at right now. He said 'I understand, but it's a Windows XP issue'. After about 10 minutes of arguing and me giving in *sigh*, I listen to his solution of clearing the Cookies, Delete Files, Clear History etc... and guess what! It didn't work! For some reason, it is also standard procedure to turn the modem off for 5 minutes so the internet will work, almost as successful as Microsoft Window's troubleshooter. Anyway, long story short - he eventually tested the phone lines, and came up with my original diagnosis of there is a problem between the modem and the exchange. I would have loved to grab him by the collar and say NO FCUKING SHIT!!! So what happens now? He is sending a tech support guy out to have a look at the lines and to stuff up the computer network in the next 2 days.

I find it even more ironic that I myself can't get a job in Level 1 help desk, yet time and time again I have to deal with morons who just don't understand anything about computers! I'm never rude on the phone line with people, however it can be god-damned annoying to hear outsourced voices speaking broken English claiming to be from Australia. I understand they have a computer infront of them and they are only doing what they are being told to say which is why I don't go as far as asking to speak to a supervisor, or tell them where to go. I'm sure others give them enough sh!t already. Anyway, wonder if this blog post will effect the prospects of gaining a level 1 help desk job in the future Undecided

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Open Source Versus Commercial Software (28/01/2007 04:26:03 AM)

penguinOne of the things commercial software prides itself on is stability and support. I find this quite intriguing especially when Open Source preaches the same thing, but which one does in fact come out on top? Well, there are many theories to this.

Open Source generally is more secure because it's updated and patched daily by 'hackers'. Makes sense when the code is open source to be patched up by millions of people rather than a team of 4 to 5 people. The only problem is, there is a possibility of sloppy code writers and as a result we get unstable applications. Commercial software is generally more 'stable' in terms of it will do what I want easily given a lot of money is poured into making a user interface. Look at Mac, Windows, Office versus Linux, OpenOffice and the Linux Terminal Tongue out Ok ok, so Linux is easier for some people and Mac can be unbelievably difficult for Windows users, it's all personal preference.

The reason I am posting is because today is not the first time a particular software platform has crashed on me. In my entire web development career, I have used WIMP, WAMP, and LAMP combinations (W=Windows, I=IIS, A=Apache, M=MySQL, P=PHP). Now, on LAMP and WAMP solutions, I barely have any issues, as a matter of fact, I have never crashed a LAMP solution. Windows can be a bit dicey to set up, but works.

For a university assignment however, we have to use a WIOP solution (Windows, IIS, Oracle and PHP) and already I have managed to crash the entire Oracle and PHP component of the web server by executing one too many queries. I have managed to crash COMMERCIAL SOFTWARE that organisations rely on, that being Windows Server 2003 and Oracle 10g. What I find more ironic, is I have not just crashed oracle once, I have crashed it time and time again. So, go figure. I suppose I merely sit back and relax now whilst my tutor goes and fixes my little crash.

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Todays Stories in Tech (26/01/2007 06:33:37 AM)

hp_touchsmart_pc_bOn my last some-what half-arsed attempt to run a blog generally involved computer news. Here's my thoughts in tech today.

iPhone not good for $600 according to HP
Apparently HP is claiming that there are issues with the $600 Apple manufactured iPhone. They claim that if a user drops their $600 phone whilst jogging, they lose their only form of communication. To combat the issue, HP are recommending consumers buy a $2,499 for a PC that is not portable, and will certainly cause more of a crater on earth than the Apple iPhone if dropped Laughing or so ZDNet is trying to convince with their article.

IBM Selling yet again their divisions
What is IBM doing these days? Well, IBM is becoming a consultancy company and to do so, they are selling off their product lines. We have already seen IBM sell off their Desktop and Notebook line to Lenovo, and now they are selling off their Printer line (I didn't even think IBM made printers Undecided) now to Ricoh so, I suppose we will see some form of improvements er... maybe.

iTunes is illegal according to Norway
Who'd have thought that a legal concept of buying music supposedly from a legitimate company has now been considered illegal under Norwegian law. This one has got me beat, but the reasoning apparently is that DRM means that you need an iPod to play the music which is somehow illegal. Just like buying a CD means you can only play it on a CD player, and a Record on a Record player Laughing

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Happy Australia Day (26/01/2007 06:11:21 AM)

Well, I probably should start with Happy Australia Day, so there it is. Anyway, one of my hobbies is playing the piano/keyboard, and over the past year, I started playing Video Game music for the fun of it, things like Faxanadu , Mario , Zelda and Wizards and Warriors just to name a few. For the next few days, I'll be fairly scarce on the internet given I have a couple of big assignments due next Friday. Certainly full of news aren't I Wink Oh and GreenTubeLAN 4 is back on the agenda.

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Welcome to my Blog (25/01/2007 12:56:42 AM)

971f_12_400Well, here I am. First blog. First post. First sentence. First Paragraph. Um, er... I suppose I should start by posting some garbage about myself, you know - like most people on the internet do. I should start off by saying I am some sort of male model, athletic, fit, party person, top band musician and earning $200,000 per year and er... have a 2007 Ford XR8 but that would be stupid Surprised look I just did! Well, actually if you call 'male model' building and showcasing some nice computers, athletic as in hacking (it's considered some form of sport Tongue out), fit as in fit to sit in a chair all day in front of a computer or TV, party person as in someone who co-ordinates LAN parties once in a blue moon, top band musician as in playing video game music on a dilapidated keyboard in a one man band who doesn't even play publicly (apart from YouTube), earning $200,000 as in earning $200,000 in Theme Hospital, or GTA or The Sims and a 2007 XR8 as in I am looking at getting a 1987-1988 Ford Fairlane ZL because of a little accident I had last year, then yes I fit that description very well Wink.

Nothing remotely interesting happened today, so I can't even give you some wrap up about anything insignificant. Um... I had an argument with a guy on messenger about how crap Windows Vista will be, I uploaded this website and finally CentreCom stocks the Pentium D 925 processor. So, yeah - very interesting day. Hopefully I have something more interesting tomorrow Laughing

This is Orb!ter, Signing Off!

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