Craig Mattson (Personal Website)
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Long Time Update (02/11/2008 04:10:03 AM)

Hmm... so many things to keep everyone updated on, so little time... Technically I should be studying for Mobile Middleware, but yeah - the notes are written by a Ph.D. holder, so naturally they are hovering around the 100 slides a week. But I'm sure you don't want to read about that.

On a positive note, I am finishing my final exam, tomorrow at 5:40PM. That is it. No more after that. Do I plan on going back? Probably one day to do an MBA (Masters in Business Administration) as naturally, that just appears to be what the industry needs. That is; dually qualified Business and IT people. So I figure, I know enough about the technology, but still need to learn about Business. I mean, sure, I deal with many businesses and requirements but certainly not at a level yet that I feel is entirely appropriate. So yeah, if I ever go back to uni, it will be to do a Masters in Business Administration and even at Monash University - seriously Business can't be as terrible as IT has been? So yeah, after tomorrow, I will be able to look back on three years of this University course and start applying for jobs.

GreenTubeLAN is coming up! Gossip has it that it will be 6th to 7th December 2008, so keep an eye out on the website. I've been playing about with Mobile Development too for the PDA, and here's the iPod ripoff of the next GTL management system for Pocket PC/Windows Mobile.

taste_531_01

More to come after tomorrows exam! I will probably redesign this website too in the coming days. So over this 4 year blue look I've had for the last few years. I mean it's nice and all, but it'd be nicer to see it in a new colour scheme.

 

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Long Time Overdue (26/10/2008 10:41:17 PM)

Hi All,

I know it's been almost a year since my last blog post, mostly because I had another blog going during a project at Monash University. As it is all over now, I'll be back to posting here!

Catch you all around laters,
Craig.

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An Experiment... (27/01/2008 12:49:00 AM)

Before the return to uni, I thought I would run a wee-little experiment. Lets see how many people remain oblivious to what's about to happen over the next month or so. Consider it a bit like the experiment Lisa Simpson ran to compare Bart to a Hamster.

Not much has happened - except work atleast 5 days a week, and the fact I have had some time to tidy up CMSv3 which should be ready to trial as of tomorrow night.

ohmg_120

I brought n IBM ThinkPad T60p aswell. Has the following specs (which consequently makes it the most powerful computer I have now)

  • Intel Core Duo T7200 (2.0GHz)
  • 4GB of RAM
  • 100GB SATA HDD
  • DVD Burner
  • 15.4" Wide Screen (1680x1050)
  • 256MB ATI FireGL V5250 (Equivalent to Radeon X1700)
  • 9 Cell Battery
  • 3 Year Warranty

Got it for a steal - $1,302 brand new! So yeah - I can now say that I have purchased a brand new laptop before ;)

Catch you guys around,
Orb!ter

 


Update: 8:00PM

I thought it was worth me putting my few cents down here aswell. Linux is gaining a lot of popularity recently, especially through devices such as Asus' eeePC and numerous other vendors giving major discounts for choosing Linux over Windows. Take for example American vendor gOS. They are manufacturing Sub-$199US PC's that run their own Mac OS X ripoff of a Linux Operating System.

When it comes to deciding what needs to be in a Personal Computer these days, it's gone beyond the 'walk in, walk out with $$$ PC', people are considering the alternatives in the market to the standard Microsoft Windows offerings. With Linux, we have an entirely new line of computing that means just about everyone can own a modern computer system without feeling like they are operating an old clunker from 1965!!! What market am I talking about? Well, one market often sought after by the IT Geeks who can build their own computers themselves by getting the best bargains is that market!

Whilst there are some subtle differences (such as the architecture, size and power) as per group, having a $200US computer (under $300 Australian if in the future released here) brings about a whole new definition of cheap computing. By avoiding Windows, a consumer can potentially save $50-$300 on a computer, and one such example currently offered by Acer is one of their latest Celeron-M powered notebooks at $499 after $80 cashback

Which one looks more pleasing to those after a general, every day computer? The Asus eeePC with 7" Screen. limiting RAM and HDD Space and no optical drive, or the Acer 14" Wide Screen laptop with DVD Burner and 80GB HDD? Whilst the consumer could shell out and purchase a Compaq, HP etc... with a Windows license, for those simply using Office related products, browsing the web, burning a few DVD's, listening to music, checking e-mail, using VoIP products, editing photos etc... Linux offers it all, and now without the headache of preconfiguring all the software yourself.

I mean, have masses of people yet complained about the eeePC being so difficult that it is next to impossible to use or configure to run the latest sound card, or view the 3D Desktop under Ubuntu in eeePC's offering? I didn't think so (and any minor complaints could potentially match that of Windows and Macintosh users) and it does go some way to proving a theory I and many others share. Linux is NOT difficult to use, nor is it difficult to configure - just as long as the right mixture of options co-exist to create a usable operating system.

Whilst there is some evidence suggesting that some people simply wipe the existing Linux installation, and install bootlegged copies of Windows XP on these computers, but how many "average users" buying these computers would know where to look for these patched operating systems to use on these altered architectures? 

[3 Comment(s)]


YouTube Morons (13/01/2008 05:12:12 AM)

After watching more moronic actions from the inhabitants of this earth that we like to classify as humans on various media sites, no wonder there is so much discussion on the problems associated with the so-called "kudos" these idiots get.

This and this stunt are probably the lowest things I have ever seen recorded. Why? Not because the kid is stupid and running on the track, but because the imbosol didn't seem to consider the driver (or two) in this locomotive travelling at what could be up to 130km/h for one moment. Not only would the driver been shitting themselves (wouldn't you if some moron ran out pulling the same thing in a car?), but if the dickhead got hit, where does that leave the driver? Whilst many locomotive drivers return to the industry after accidents, some do not - the psychological burden left upon some of these drivers is enough to ensure they don't drive again.

Now what annoys me even more than the complete moron acting it out, is the support this guy is given from randoms on the internet saying how this guy has balls for completing such a STUPID act. With comments like this, those who are psychologically deranged end up contemplating their own variant of this stunt (and ultimately could get killed in the process).

Now, presumably if the kid died, what happens? The media goes crazy, the parents get shoved on Today Tonight/A Current Affair criticising the Train Driver because (s)he should have seen where (s)he was going, and how the kid is an A++++ student, a good kid and how (s)he is socially popular, whilst the train driver remains traumatised for life.

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End of 2007 (31/12/2007 06:23:34 AM)

So, another year down. Well, it was at the time of the post, so what am I doing? Well given I am posting this entry now, one could be thinking he's doing nothing special. You'd be right. Currently, I'm staring at the following:

image005_800

If I tilt my head 90 degrees to the left, I see this:

image004_800

So that explain what I'm doing for New Years Eve? Just sitting in my room, mucking about with computers trying desperately to get my Content Management System Version 3.0 finalised for use in the new year. Anyway, here are the random snarls over the last two weeks:

Trains:

Yep, first topic is stupid dumb trains and their operators (yes, I realise Trains are objects without the ability to utilise any form of memory - thus invalidating the term dumb). It appears as if V/Line are not allowed to run their trains passed Pakenham causing me to waste valuable money in Petrol to travel to work the past week. Why have I driven? Well, to put it bluntly, trains on a weekend or public holiday timetable (letalone the free transport offered lately) would cause me to miss my bus connecting to work ontime. Weekdays should be fine and I will ofcourse test this myth out on Wednesday.

Work:

Work has been up and down like a yoyo. What is the point of running shifts that finish at like... 10:30AM? Or better still, todays 9:12AM! Whilst it means I have the rest of the day to do important things like shop for Christmas presents, buy myself an LCD or run around finding my brother parts for his PC, the trip in and out is just so boring. There's no form of civilisation until just before the turnoff to Monash Berwick! That's 60km of nothingness except cars overtaking me when I'm not exactly driving like a grandma.

Christmas:

Yeah, that thing called Christmas happened - lots of stress, running around and many more car trips planned (I had planned a total of zero and managed every day from Thursday to Monday). All for what? A morning of opening all those presents and having a lunch... almost like any other day on the calendar. It's all nice and fun to have Christmas and what ever, but is the prior week(s) (months for some families) of organisation really worth it in the end? Letalone all that money to make a single day special? Don't get me wrong, I'm not bagging out Christmas, but it just doesn't make sense to me atleast as per why people rack up huge debts to make someone happy for the day, letalone the stress before hand.

Hell, it taken me on the Saturday 45 minutes just to move 500m down the road from the Dandenong Market. All because some people didn't use their brains (maybe they should rely less on their kidneys) to work out that going through the town = not going to work. Seriously! Once I got to the end of the street, and still seen traffic banked up like no tomorrow, I was able to turn right, go up a few small residential streets and on the M1 towards Warragul in about 2 minutes. Rubbish!

Anyway - I'm really buggered, tired etc... I don't think I'll be up to see the new 2008 but yeah. One things for sure, nothing below a HD (overall mark) and definitely 1440x900 and 1280x800 are my new years resolutions (saved up around the $10,000 mark to buy a house for 2008 is my real sane resolution) ;) for 2008.

Happy New Years Peoples who can be stuffed to read this :) 

[2 Comment(s)]


The last month (15/12/2007 06:56:52 AM)

nokia63001_400Hi all,

I suppose you are wondering (or not) why there's no post here? Yeah, thought so too - probably not! Anyway, so much to say, so little time - but whilst I have the next few days off work, I may aswell spew it all out here.

University Results

Well, I suppose it all began with receiving my marks in amongst all the other rigmarol with work at the time. As to be expected, I passed everything... actually I kinda HD'd everything yet again (there won't be any top of the uni letters this round, but I'm remarkably happy with one unit in particular; I did NOT expect to HD Information Technology Project Management at all even if my marks for all three assignments would have suggested otherwise. That was one class that was just imperitively difficult to get to - but all in all, I got through - without doing much work at all yet again :)

Work

It feels like a long time since finishing uni (and I honestly wish I was back there just to have an excuse to cut back on work), but whilst there is no uni, it's a perfect opportunity to save up for future plans. The plan is to save up $10,000 between now and the end of 2008 so that I can move into a full time job ($45,000-$65,000 would seem to be the norm - especially for someone as highly equipped with the necessary skills such as myself) and have a deposit on a house, most likely in the Trafalgar/Moe area (due to low housing costs/better access to public transport than my area).

Somewhere in amongst all of this, I was promoted to 2IC (Second In Command for those who don't speak the lingo) for Saturday work, including what appears to be a supervising role for New Years Eve according to my latest roster (bring on the whopping $2 per hour pay rise). The offer for 2IC couldn't have come at a better time though - I was planning on taking up an IT position to mingle in with work, but it looks like they have the hours and willing to put me on, so I'll stay where I am for the time being!

Yes, the work is still brain-numbingly boring, but what-the-hey, I get paid too well to knock it back!

GreenTubeLAN 7

Last weekend was GreenTubeLAN, and it was by far, the best fun I have had for ages! I actually got to play Flatout 2 Multiplayer with :o other real people (even if somehow I only came second in my school bus out of 7 others - and I was beaten BY A GIRL!) - but seriously, it really was fun. I even found myself killing lots of people in Quake 3 Arena on a model of our old venue. All in all, was quite fun excluding the fact that I think I myself am over these overnight LAN's that finish 10AM Sunday.

There's a hint too of a Warragul one coming up, probably during the day (due to our packup being approximately 1 hour) for a period of 12 hours. If we sit down and investigate GreenTubeLAN, we seem to only ever force 11 hours of gaming (2PM to 1AM), so maybe we can do a 6:00AM to Midnight to get gaming happening from 10:00AM to 10:00PM. I think it could work, but it would be a Sunday (have to cut back my weekends).

New Mobile Phone

Yeah, not exactly new news now, but I signed up for a $20 cap through Virgin Mobile. Basically I got a Nokia 6300 (pictured above), a free iPod shuffle and $50 worth of calls a month. I figured I should just sign up for a cap because I was spending in the last two months about $20 a month, so why not get a free phone with it that ACTUALLY WORKS?!?!?! So I did, and wow - I've used many Nokia's (most I found pretty difficult in terms of layout), but this one - too easy. It actually felt like my Motorola's easy menu system when I first picked it up, and it even runs NES games :D So, yeah - I'm happy. The camera is reasonable... for train picture taking just so I can rub it in on Zer0 that I take a Hitachi to work, and he has to put up with random cat-pi$$ smelling Sprinters :)

So yeah, the phone is nice, and despite being thin actually has some form of weight and size.

ALDI in Warragul

About freakin' time we get something new in Warragul since The Warehouse all those years ago (and I think Subway around that time too). Consequently, it's almost directly above the Railway corridor so there's a perfect photo point *wink wink, nudge nudge Nic* for any trains coming through. Anyway, when they have specials, they HAVE SPECIALS, and the best thing about it being in Warragul, is the same reason any retail outlet that has something new in the area does. Basically, when something is out of stock in Melbourne, you can guarantee it's still in stock, and in a pile rurally.

They have some 22" LCD's I am waiting to drop to the $249 mark. Once that's done, guess what I end up getting :)

Life

Ok, so here's the part about where I am at. I seriously feel so drained of energy it's not funny. These 5:30AM starts are really starting to eat me alive, which wasn't assisted too greatly by loud *doof doof* music, cars reving in the area, taking the weekend off by running an all night LAN Party and the fact that certain stability/hosting issues start happening with *some* client websites that I cop the blame for. Between the last 3-4 weeks of stupendously long weeks, lots of train travel (which doesn't bother me ofcourse :)), and trying to do the right thing by people doesn't seem to be paying off too well.

Infact, it seems to be having the reverse effect. I won't go into too much detail here because nothing is finalised yet (and I don't want to point fingers at the purpertrators *yet*), but it really is starting to feel like a huge waste of time trying to help anyone lately. Each time I try to help some of you guys, the shit gets thrown back on me (to the point where you guys are either a) completely confused/frazzled over what is happening/has happened or b) have no bloody clue what the real story is). I would like to believe I try to help everyone out to the best I possibly can, but the feedback I am receiving seems to be of the opinion that I am trying to get everyone else in the shit?

If anyone seems to feel this way, I would like to say now that this is not the case. It's been happening a fair bit lately, and frankly - I'm at the stage now where Craig Version 1.0 is making a return! Frankly, I'm sick and tired of hearing how it's my fault for trying to help *some of* you guys out, or how what I do is not good enough for me to offer assistance and get no where with it. Whilst I don't expect any praise or anything in return for helping you guys out (never have), I certainly do not appreciate being spoken to negatively nor have rumours/opinions spread over my assistance.

That's my rant for the last month, and yes - it had to be said. I'm driving myself insane here! I've just about killed my left leg (somehow I sprained it laying down on my bed? Felt WORSE than spraining something, but the after-affect appears to be soreness from a sprain) which isn't helping!

Anyway, a few things to come up over the next few weeks include *sekryt projakt* to be announced, redoing of my Video Game Music on keyboard (I brought an el-cheapo one with Midi) and possibly a few more midis as I have a few days at work off coming up.

Cheerio! 

[4 Comment(s)]


Weird Al - Close But No Cigar Midi/MP3 (10/11/2007 06:49:00 PM)

Hi all,

It's been ages since my last post because of Work, Uni and Exams, but now that Uni has finished, and work is about to die down for the year, I am having some me time again :) First thing first, I sat down for about 4 hours last night and put together Weird Al's Close But No Cigar into Midi/MP3 and it's now finished (I'll perfect it maybe one day) so if you want to download the midi or mp3, then go to my music download page.

Exams were relatively easy (they get that way when they were all copy/paste of sample exams and replace the word and with the word but type of thing), and yeah... GreenTubeLAN 7 is coming up as soon as a venue is confirmed.

I'll make a proper post in a few days, but right now I have things to do - like finish CMS Version 3.0

Craig. 

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This weeks ramblings (22/10/2007 08:47:16 PM)

Hi all,

It's been a long time since my last post, and yes I am still busy with work and uni, but uni should start to die down soon and hopefully a couple of jobs will come up over the holidays.

A few interesting topics have come up since my last post that I should address here:

New Laptop:

I brought an Acer Aspire 1650 after my IBM ThinkPad T40 taken its last breath a week or so ago, which is a shame - the machine was stable, sturdy and tolerated alot of damage that would have had any other normal laptop begging for mercy, but oh well, not much you can do about that. The reason I brought an Acer Laptop is not because I value Acer high on my preference list at all (infact, Acer is down there with HP/Compaq, Toshiba and Dell on quality), but the specifications in this one were too great to pass up the opportunity. Although not much of an upgrade, here is what they are versus my old thinkpad.

Acer: Intel Pentium-M 1.66GHz, 80GB HDD, 1024MB of RAM, 128MB ATI Radeon X300, DVD-RW, Intel 802.11G, 15.4" WXGA, 3-4 Hour Battery.
IBM: Intel Pentium-M 1.3GHz, 80GB, 1024MB of RAM, 32MB ATI Radeon 7500, DVD-ROM, Cisco 802.11B, 14.1" XGA, 3-4 Hour Battery.

New PC Parts:

For the first time in five years, I have purchased components to make a personal PC. My last proper PC purchase was back in 2002 when I brought an AMD Athlon 1800XP+ System, 256MB of RAM, 40GB HDD, Liteon CD-RW for $400. This time, I have an Intel E2160, 2048MB of RAM, 160GB HDD, DVD-RW for $320. So yeah, I now have a powerful PC again :)

Racism:

After a few random trips on buses to work, this is starting to get on my nerves. A few fundamentalists? have travelled on buses with me who try and explain to everyone how racist white Australians are. I was born and bred right here in Australia, and when I am told by non-white Australians that I do not deserve to be in this country, it ticks me off (as it would do with any one being told they don't deserve to live in their own country). I won't go into too much detail on this conversation as I understand these extremists tend to only speak for a small minority of their larger counterparts, but I might explode the next time some one tells me about how I don't deserve to be in this country!!!

CMS Version 3.0:

Yeah, I probably should be studying for exams more than I am (but I know most of the stuff already, reading over the same and boring jargon I already know just ... well ... is unnecessary.) I have been working on CMS Version 3 though, and in comparison to Version 2.x, the system currently looks brilliant (yeah, I'm being biased here), and functionality is about 100 times better. I have included a screenshot below of how it looks :)

page_120 menu_120 menu2_120

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Ramblings (15/10/2007 10:19:36 AM)

Hi all,

The last week has been hectic without a working computer. Two assignments happened to be due within that week which is largely impossible to complete when your laptop dies, but somehow I managed to complete them.

My new Acer Aspire 1650 laptop is in aswell, and it's a typical non-IBM machine. That is; flimsy, wide screen, glossy screen, terrible keyboard, no trackpoint and runs substantially warmer than my ice cool IBM. But what can you do hey. I picked it up very cheap and it even has a decent video card in it (ATI Radeon x300 Dedicated), so most of the issues about it being flimsy are relatively void. Why? Well, if it lasts me one year - it's doing well...

Kuju Rail Simulator has just been released aswell, so I am just waiting for my import to come in so I can simulate ... er ... drive trains :) Preferably down a massive mountain so I can launch it into a tower hehehe...

RADIUS:

I spent most of today dealing with the implementation of RADIUS for my latest assignment, and I thought Linux's implementation was largely complex (until I read the FreeRADIUS website rather than the random HOWTO's on the net). Once I followed some basic structure, I was successful in setting up a full accounting server to work closely with my M0n0wall. In reality, it taken about 20 minutes to set up after I followed instructions.

Now, one would have thought that using Microsoft IAS would have been easier, but just like DHCP and DNS on Windows Server 2003, it is quite the opposite!!! I simply could NOT get anything working with it. I either got rejected or just simply ignored. So who'd use it :P

ASP.NET:

Simply sucks! Read other blog posts for more details hehehe... Seriously though, the concept of using DataGrids and DataSets is all fine and dandy in applications, but when an application is introduced to the internet? There's just something about random and pointless controls that I don't like in ASP.NET. I'll be glad to go back to PHP after this semester :)

So... ok, there's absolutely nothing of any importance posted here. Only another full week to go :) Stupid University and Work! 

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Fantastic Week and Recursion (06/10/2007 08:24:08 AM)

Yep... as the title suggests, I have had a great week. Between cars and computers, I don't know what the hell is going on. Most of you already know how the start of my week has been, but to top it off - I now have my IBM ThinkPad T40 yet again dead from the Video Card issue.

One thing I haven't done yet either that I figure I'll do now is post about Recursion in Java specifically. (Link Here)

 

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Money Dilemma (29/09/2007 10:02:36 AM)

 Ever had the feeling where you have plenty of money, but you feel like you dont? At present, that's about what I am feeling... I have money, but I don't want to spend it... I never used to be like that - if I had $20 in my pocket, I used to have it well and truly spent before it was in my wallet (which is well... eight years old from memory now). So what is annoying me so much?

Lets face it, I have about $1,000 sitting in my bank account doing jack-all. I have work three days this week, I had work three days last week, I've done some websites in between and some general work. So what things do I need? Well, for starters - a Mobile Phone with the "9" key would be a good starters... $79 through Virgin can do that. A musical keyboard is on the list of things I should have purchased in the last five years atleast... $150. Finally a personal computer - I have been without a PC for 18 months now, and with games coming out that I am looking forward to playing in great graphical quality, I kinda need to get something to play them... $400 for a relatively decent gaming computer/box. The problem? I don't want to spend any of that money on any of the above. Undecided In fact, I don't want to spend un-necessary money period.

I mean, I could get a decent Video Camera... but what for? I'd use it maybe two to three times and uh... that'd be the end of it. A Mobile Phone is well, going to have to happen before I throw the peice of garbage I currently own out - but again, that's $80 I have to come up with for a prepaid option. So maybe I get a cap plan at like $20 per month or something - but then I have to spend $20 a month (mind you - I do that on prepaid a month so nothing would be new). As for the computer, do I really need it? The answer is probably not - when do I get off my coight to play games anymore? I mean... in reality, I would play maybe... 2-3 hours of games a week these days?

I spend around about $50 to $60 per week on travel ($30 petrol, $30 train) for the five days a week, but yeah - I just don't know. Maybe I should invest it and uh... keep it piling up for a house. Give it this time next year, I may have enough for a deposit on a house in *shudder* Moe or *shudder* Trafalgar. The thing though I look at is, if I get a job in Information Technology one day (yes, it's still impedingly difficult to find a half reasonable, part-time job that doesn't involve asking someone 'have you tried turning it off and on again?' - even then, I can't get that type of job because I'm either overly qualified without a certification or too-far out).

Funny thing this work business too... I don't actually feel like it's work at all. I mean, sure - I have to get up in the morning (sometimes at 4:30AM - damn those early 8:00AM starts hehehehe) and I have to spend two to three hours travelling to get where I want. I work, I get paid, I don't spend money, I'm actually doing something more than sitting infront of my slightly tiring IBM ThinkPad T40 (in need of a format) browsing the internet for something to do.

WARNING: This is a boring life story

 Another topic people keep bringing up is travel. Apparently in the world of sane people, travelling for long distances daily is just stupid. So why do I do it? Apart from having an interest in Public Transport, when it comes down to it, I do alot of thinking and studying on the train. In fact, I get all my assignments done on a train, I get websites done on the train - as silly as it may sound - I concentrate much better on the train. I mean, it's an hourish each way... 10 times a week... that's 10 hours of work that I can focus on. When I'm not working, I'm thinking about algorithms and problem solving. If not, I read the newspaper, listen to music, sleep, eat, sight trains...

I will be honest, the first time in ages since regularly taking trains was in December, 2005 and it was an extremely long trip to get to Glenferrie Station. To get there, I had not alot to do (my laptop at the time... actually... I didn't have a laptop at the time thanks to a scamming twit on eBay) and well - my MP3 player died at about Caulfield on the return trip. Very very very... long... trip that was. That was succeeded by taking a train from Warragul to Caulfield to Edithvale Station which was also a very long trip to stay with my relatives for the week to be introduced to life at Monash Peninsula. Train trips were easy, daily Zone 1+2+3 tickets were easy (after a true Australian actually shown me how to purchase a ticket from the most confusing Metcard dispensing machine ever) and well... travel was still long. The following week though, I stayed with my Uncle in Drouin as I was at University five days per week and I think I spent about four weeks there. The first week was tiring - the whole Train from Drouin to Dandenong, Dandenong to Caulfield (was cheaper this way as I had to travel Zone 1+2+3), Caulfield to Frankston... then the same in reverse.

The funny thing though was after about a week of that, the travel did not seem to bother any more. I had an MP3 player, I could eat on the way, I could read the newspaper... then I found a quicker way - Drouin to Dandenong, Dandenong to Frankston via Carrum Downs and The Pines on a bus. Long trip - yes - but it didn't seem that bad at all. After this, I stayed with my grandmother for a few weeks (which was made largely uncomfortable by many parties). In April, I got my license and my first car. With the RFR going ahead and closing down Gippsland's line for five months, it was alot easier to drive than take about one million buses to get to my destination. Was great aswell - I would park up next to Leawarra Station, it used to be quite warm - barely any clouds - and would meet peoples at the cafe or one of the labs in the G building. After the semester break, I drove the three days a week to uni until... August... when I wrote my car off and severely damaged another... in Drouin of all places! This forced me to alter plans significantly and take the dreaded bus from 8:00AM Neerim South to 8:20 Warragul, 8:25 Warragul to 9:10 Dandenong, 9:15 Dandenong to 10:15 Frankston... then rewind it all again... 3:15 Frankston to 4:15 Dandenong, 4:25 Dandenong to 5:20 Warragul, 5:30 Warragul to 5:55 Neerim South. Unfortunately - I did have to spend a week taking buses from Warragul to Pakenham, but luckily - trains were restored. Tuesday this week was a warm-ish day, barely any clouds and it reminded me of catching a bus from Frankston to Dandenong... then when I got to Dandenong, catching the train home again... Used to make it a very long day, but yeah - travel wasn't the concern nor was the time.

I suppose not much more that I can really say - I have work coming up, I have uni finishing, I have a great opportunity to earn some money for savings purposes and yeah.

Ciao!

[5 Comment(s)]


Random Thoughts (27/09/2007 08:22:47 AM)

Hi all,

One would expect a big blog post of stuff that's happened since my last rather brief post and well, there isn't much. Life's been work work work, assignments and more work. So, hilights of this week?

Goodbye Optus, Hello Netspace

Sometime during my last blog post, NetSpace finally was enabled on my telephone line so I have 1GB less download with free servers to download the most important stuff:- Linux. So far, nothing is different apart from the fact that domain name resolution with localised Australian servers that aren't overloaded seem to be doing their job. Downloads are pretty high though considering someone hadn't realised that the new Off Peak data period is before 7:00AM and not 12:00PM. All in all, thank christ we are away from Optus. It's stupid to think that it was only three months ago that I was paying $49.95 for Internet and $34.95 for the phone and then some for the relatively few calls. With Optus now, they moved us for some reason to a $55.00 Business plan and charged a bundle for calls. Pretty PATHETIC when the phone bill went from the usual $40 a month to $80!!! No kidding!

That's what originally prompted the change (amongst Optus's database issues - they simply were incapable of clicking an UPDATE button on their application infront of them!) and I'm happy to say that for $84.95 per month, I get 1500Kbit internet with 10GB/10GB downloads, marginly less upload speed and the phone line with $10 of included calls. Really does suck when compared to a major telco that used to be very cheap.

V/Line launches new livery

Finally, they launched their new livery beginning with the grey I have posted and the new Macca's coloured trains. Doesn't the picture just make you want to order fries with your ticket. Maybe the next station is McWarragul? Well, either way - still looks strange and I uh... haven't taken the FSH25 or the 7007 yet so I can't report on the internals of them.

On the topic of trains, I'm surprised that at Dandenong Station last night that a) The PID stated 6:20 TRAFALGAR and b) The PA man thingo managed to say Trafalgar clearly. Why? Well, I don't know of any train that has EVER terminated at Trafalgar letalone any new services that do. I taken a photo, but the thing is too dodgey to even contemplate putting up.

Work and lots of it

Looks like I've been made somewhat more regular than previously. I have three shifts a week, and I'm making a bundle. About $350 to be precise per week so I should be able to afford a new phone, new keyboard and new computer very shortly. I figure a PC with a dual core processor (E2140's looking sweet at the moment :P), 2GB of RAM ($78 seems cheap enough at the moment), 160GB SATA HDD and uh... probably an 8600GT for < $350 looks good enough for me to play the up and coming rail simulator.

Music

Yeah - once I work out if I want to actually upload music I have been working on, they'll appear on this site somewhere.

ASP.NET truly does suck!

Ok, why do I think it sucks? All it is, is merely a Javascript + HTML generator with nothing more than a page processor in the background to deal with sessions and scripting. Whilst it seems a good theory to be able to deal with the .NET framework, things I find practically a joke when built into the core are:

  • asp:Calendar, asp:AdRotator, asp:CreateUserWizards... They are all HTML Code Generators. They produce code based on a few properties you define. Seems to me an utter waste of resources. Good for Rapid Application Development where no one looks twice at the workings, but ultimately - nothing more than generated code.
  • ASP Textboxes, Labels etc... uh... why? WHY?!?!?! Apparently we need to use more code than <input type="text" name="name" id="id" /> to display a simple textbox.
I'm too tired to think of any more, I'll continue this discussion in my next blog post - but seriously, ASP is just a bloated pile of dog crap trying to do what Visual C++.NET did to C++ :) I'm still oblivious as to why cookies are absolutely screwed in ASP but yeah - that is a discussion for another day. PHP, MySQL, Javascript, Linux - all the security I could possibly need :) *waits for flamewar*

Um... apart from that, not much. Sekryt Projact dubbed Black Pineapple is coming along nicely and is on schedule for release by the end of the year. Infact, it should be finished (the coding of 250,000 lines) in November for it's scheduled December release date. It's an MMO that I endeavour to make freely available, but probably will not interest any of the visitors to this website. So don't worry :P Maybe the code and concepts behind the project will.

[4 Comment(s)]


Week in a nutshell (21/09/2007 10:38:22 AM)

Clients, Late Trains, Uni, Late Trains, Work, Crowded Trains, Work, Seat on Train, Uni, Slow Train, Clients, Work, Family, Sport, Shopping, Uni, Late Trains, Copyright, No Trains, People, Trains, Grease, 4:30AM, Pakenham Trains, Work, Tired, Sleep, Late Trains, Sardine Trains, Money, Flu, Late Train, Head Spinning... Work Due... Not Finished... Wake up Late, Head Spinning, Web Development, Head Spinning, Submitted, DEAD.

There's the last 2 weeks. 

[3 Comment(s)]


How to stop office Gossip (13/09/2007 03:47:16 AM)
Fully uploaded this time... Viewable here! Anyone recon it looks like an old Lecturer and Tutor of Databases?

[1 Comment(s)]


Websites Updated Again (10/09/2007 09:17:11 AM)

Hi all,

After a longish day (by the time you take into account my travel), I finished off two more websites that will keep me out of the red for a few more weeks to come! Also, one of our horses foaled thismorning at 7:55AM, so that was also news for today. Um... not much else to say, except w00t - almost finished!

Craig. 

[0 Comment(s)]


The last two weeks. (08/09/2007 08:21:56 AM)

Hi all,

Well, I know it's not exactly breaking news now, but I still am chuckling over The Chaser team after their antics this week at the APEC summit, and yet again - the media (well, more correctly TT and ACA) is still saying "no one is laughing" at the stunt when polls state quite the contrary. I find it even more funny that the police are still looking at charging the 11 "Chaser's" that were involved, when in all reality - it was the fault of the security team letting fake pass holders and Osama Bin Laden enter within 10 meters of the building. One things for sure, I can't wait for next weeks episode.

In other news, I finally won my personal protest against FIT3024: Internetworking and Wireless Communications. Infact, I have no fees owing and I don't even get a DISCONTINUED on my transcript. Quite happy with that outcome, given the courses content was really dragging me down simply because Attenuation signals and launching satellites are not part of my Information Technology career. Maybe had the course been on routing and the TCP/IP suite, then I wouldn't have had to drop the unit.

Work is back on the agenda atleast for two more weeks which lets me afford petrol to go up and down the road to University, so yeah - that's been good and really appreciated. Have applied for a couple of new jobs for the summer period, so hopefully I can get a real boost for next year. Mainly back-to-school jobs (and knowing my luck, I'll get one for $10 an hour in Geelong or something stupid heheheh... Maybe I can find an actual Information Technology related job?

Today, my Content Management System Version 2.1 turns one year old. That's right, Friday 8th September 2006 was the day I first rolled out Content Management System Version 2.1 onto my website, followed by my slightly older version by one month on the Neerim Wolves website. So yeah, I am working on Version 3.0/Version 1.0 which is basically the next version under a new name given CraDanKa! is slowly dying down. It'll be pretty much abandoned as soon as my Google Applications work on my domain.

Um... yeah... not much other news except the new V/Line livery for FSH25 is out now running around for testing purposes, and well - it really does look shite. Not that I think the red and blue waas something special. I wouldn't mind seeing the Chicago Freight livery locomotives running infront of these though, would look sweet. I still prefer the Tangerine/Grey livery and the old VicRail blue and gold one. They stood out, and they never blurred in with the landscape :) I will admit, the H cars now look comfortable. A shame that only one service runs down our line thats a H set now (IIRC that is).

Ciao!

*UPDATE* My new e-mail addresses are working :)

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Welcome to the new Site!!! (06/09/2007 07:58:58 AM)

Hi All,

Um... ok, so it's not exactly a new website, but it does have a new proper domain. Hopefully I can add a few more things to this site versus the other. So uh... yeah - new site...

Craig. 

[1 Comment(s)]


A Weight has Lifted (30/08/2007 09:18:12 AM)

Hi all,

Now that I am not burdened with the subject FIT3024: Internetworking and Wireless Communications, I can sleep easily tonight :) Infact, I can get back to boring old me ;)

Craig. 

[3 Comment(s)]


The Problem with Vendor Industry Standards (27/08/2007 10:28:34 AM)

Hi all,

There's been a fair bit of news I thought I would comment about today that should fill up enough kilobytes to annoy you all.

Vendor Industry Standards:

Yes, as the title suggests, I am not happy with Vendor Industry Standards. Microsoft has been attempting to push their new document format, Office Open eXtensible Markup Language (OOXML), for quite some time now and thank god that at least one group gave the OOXML a thumbs down. So why am I glad? Well, Vendors are great for making software that works and integrates with each other, but there are times when big players want to take out the smaller players in the effort to create competition and promote their own products.

poisson_400With Microsoft, they want their Office 2007 format to be an Industry Standard simply so they have control over who can use the format and the types of revisions they use on it. Now, do we really need Microsoft owning any more of the Information Technology community? Lets take the humble .doc format. For those who don't know, .doc is a propietry format for Microsoft Office 95/97/2000/2003 and even older versions. Basically what that means is in order to view a document file with the extension .doc, you need special file reading algorithms to translate the document.

So why is this such a problem for the end user? Well it limits choice. For instance, loading up a document file in Open Office looks substantially different, and saving from Open Office to Microsoft Office is a conversion process aswell that isn't 100% accurate. We already have an open format called ODF (Open Document Format) that Microsoft could use, but no - they have to make their own vendor formats that mean Microsoft not only dominate our office, but they dominate our files yet again.

I mean, what kind of an open format is one that has XML tags called (and this is the most funniest one I have come across) ? This is supposed to be an open format, and it is making reference to propietry software?!?!?! The format specifications are also a supposed 6000 pages or so. I mean seriously, who wants to read 6000 pages on the format.

You HAVE to use Windows:

A man who was sentenced to five years imprisonment and a further five years confined within his house for pirating Star Wars Episode III via BitTorrent has just been sentenced yet again with having a stipulation that he MUST use the Microsoft Windows operating system simply because they require monitoring software to be installed on his computer (and currently, it only operates on Windows). His concerns aren't so much that he has to have monitoring software installed (it's part of his sentence), however to be told you can no longer use Linux is like a second sentence!!!

I mean, can a court really stipulate the type of Operating System he must use just because they cannot locate an application to monitor computer usage? Surely keyloggers exist for Linux that could monitor everything done on the computer. Oh well, more fool him in the first place for pirating stuff.

Kid cracks Porn Filter:

I love the wording that has been used lately to describe the methods in which a 16 year old kid hacked in to an application the government spent millions on developing. The software, Net Alert, is designed to prevent pornography access for children to further secure a childs life.

linuxNow I will admit, the kid did a great job finding a way around the software, but it's by no means cracking (or hacking in its pure definition). I mean, I don't consider my workings at school (breaking NetOp, bypassing Proxy Servers) hacking unlike the *two* times I found my way in portions of the school database that I shouldn't have had such easy access to and neither should this kid.

I mean the kid bypassed the filter and is a great screw you to the government on spending money on software children can find their way around (it's inevitable given the way the application is designed), but I wish the Television would stop making him out as some sort of guru over it - I especially like the offer Kochie made on Sunrise (a Television show in Australia) about the government employing him.

So yeah, the kid did a great job bypassing the filter - but it's definitely not something one should cheer about public - hell, I'd have been inundated with press if half of the things I did were ever released hehehe... like unsecured marks and family details databases... Wink

Media and Inaccurate Descriptions:

Finally, I want to complain about the media. What a pack of morons they have been this week and it's not just one news paper or TV show. For instance, earlier last week the A66-MTH-MTH Stony Point train hit a truck at Somerville and the bulls#it flying about this incident was hillarious. Here are the inaccuracies so far caught by the media:

Anyway, there has also been some inaccuracies with the horse flu thing I'll post tomorrow or something. In the mean time, I'm going to sleep!

Ciao

[1 Comment(s)]


*sigh* (23/08/2007 08:42:37 AM)
*sigh* nothing more needs to be said.

[1 Comment(s)]


Commercial Addon Royalties (22/08/2007 06:58:36 AM)

Hi all,

Only a small one today, but with the release of Kuju's new Train Simulator, there has been some varying discussions on royalties Kuju will be charging for the creation of commercial addons. The problem appears to be those trying to make money by creating routes would have to consider parting with approximately $2,000US. This may change at a later date, but it does question whether it is right for a company to charge for commercial addons. My opinion is yes, I think the small fee of $2,000US that you pay to create a commercial route is next to nothing; that is only if you are serious about creating it commercially. What do you think in a general sense for creation of commercial addons (that is; modifications and addons that you make money out of to profit).

Craig. 

[0 Comment(s)]


Action Replay in Games (13/08/2007 11:25:23 AM)

On MSN tonight, I was discussing the theory of Action Replay in games and how to apply this technology to my own programs. For those reading this and wondering what the hell is this guy talking about and want something more interesting to read/see, might I suggest you look here.

For those who were not mesmorised by the above link, Action Replay is a concept used in games to record replays or demos of what happens within a game. To keep the file sizes down, one would assume they use their own algorithms to store important data to be replayed back in a stream, probably tied together using :o timers or threads. But how do they do it?

I am working on a web project (for argument sakes, lets assume I am creating a knock off of the game, Quibbles that I first had a VB3 version of in 1995) that requires me to record an instant replay of these 3 quibbles during a race. There needs to be consideration on file storage (lets say 100MB for race Storage), and consideration on the accuracy of the race. So how does one approach it?

Record using Video:

This is by far the most accurate way to record anything. What ever is recorded in video format is guaranteed to be the same on all computer systems and other video capable devices. But this poses the biggest problem of all. File size. In 100MB, that's less than 100 races. What if this project of mine is to last for 2-3 years at any time before a clean out? Say 8 races a day for 365 days a year at 1MB each, this is just way too much. 2920MB just for races is a little bit absurd.

Record frame by frame where each and every object is:

Most games these days probably use this method given the file size of the demo files recorded. For instance, 5-6MB for a file storing 20 seconds of footage must be storing something spectacular. This type of method would be great as no actual physics has to be recorded, nor do you have to record un-necessary footage on each frame like the landscape. In this type of game above, we are looking at storing say: the quibbles x and y position for the entire race.

If a race lasts 30 seconds, and a quibble moves 30 times per second, then this is a staggering 2,700 frames. Whilst the file size is much smaller to store 2,700 peices of information, what happens if the project was to be increased to have 30 racing and races go for 2 to 3 minutes? This becomes up to 162,000 frames. Certainly unviable when file sizes would reach 1MB very quickly (only 33% of that of the video option).

With this in consideration, maybe we should investigate a hybrid of the above theory, especially for a website?

Random Seeds for AI:

This theory comes in handy. In computing, each random number has a seed. For instance, a seed of 1 may produce between 1 and 100 the series 1, 5, 9, 16 as the first four numbers. This is the same as long as the seed is the same, so instead of storing each frame, maybe we just give each quibble a random generated seed that is stored somewhere for the replay? This theory is a supurb theory for this kind of game, but what if we wanted to take speed into consideration? The seed isn't very helpful then.

Probability Distribution with Key Frames:

Well, here is an idea that may be useful. Lets say we are running a replay on a race for the 3 minutes defined above. The important key thing to take into consideration in a race is precision, especially within the last part of the race, say... the last half of a screen? What if, using the example above we worked out that for the last 400 pixels of a race that happened to be 10,000 pixels long was the most important? You know, ensuring that the finishing position didn't change?

The idea is that say each second of the race (180) up until the last 400, we store in the initial recording the position. This means for approximately 170 seconds, we store just one value. For the last 10 seconds roughly, we can afford to be more precise and at 30 for 10 seconds means about 300 extras on the 170 there. This mounts up ofcourse to about 15,000 frames. Certainly more managable at about 40-50KB.

So in the replay how do we deal with the gaps between the one second? Well, if we store in the keyframe that at 1 second, the x value needs to be at a particular place, you can either use a probability distribution of values to get there, or just increase an average of the distance (for instance, if x was 2 for the frame before and is now 4, then move 2/30 per frame). This would do the job, but would look very strange.

The 2 ways to fix this is to either a) increase the key frames to once every half a second (increases overall data to 20,000 (50KB to 60KB) making it more accurate) or b) use probability to generate some form of movement. As long as they get to the end and roughly resemble it, the user should be none the wiser unless they are analysis buffs.

Seeds with Key Frames:

The final idea is to use seeds at particular key frames. As mentioned above, the seed has a predefined sequence of random numbers that could be used appropriately. Given we want to take into account speed and skill to generate a race, it is possible that the script organises before the race starts a random number. This would be stored in the demo file, and before the race starts, we would then define what the maximum left/right is and how often it can reach the desired maximum left/right movement (speed and skill respectively) and use the seed to generate.

The only concern I have is the synchronisation so to improve this, you could introduce key frames at every second or two just to ensure everything is on track.

Here is a rough type of thing I am trying to replicate that would work all the time providing a random seed is generated. Please note that this is almost pseudocode for PHP. Although this code compiles and works, it is only a working model and doesn't actually produce anything more than a list of numbers.

 <?php
        srand($RANDOM_SEED_NUMBER); //Seed generated at random by script
        $high = 0; //Sets up a count
        $low = 0;  //Sets up another count
        for($i=0; $i < 100; $i++) //Tests 100 times
        {
            $testseed = rand($SKILL_LEVEL,100); //Determines high/low probability for skill
            if($testseed >= 90) //If reaches certain point
            {
                $avd = rand($MEDIUM_SPEED,$FASTEST_SPEED); //Move high amount based on medium speed
                $high++;
            } else {
                $avd = rand(1,
$MEDIUM_SPEED); //Move up to medium
                $low++;
            }
            echo $avd."<br />";
        }
        echo "High: ".$high." Low: ".$low;
?>

Either way I choose to go, this is one widely undocumented feature that Google can't seem to find for me. I'd be interested to hear other input on this situation, so yeah - if you have anything you could possibly add, the comments are there for your use :)

[3 Comment(s)]


apt-get install life (11/08/2007 12:27:53 AM)

dishwasher_400 Well, I'm feeling much better today. At least I'm not trying to rip anyones head off anyway *yet*. In my last blog post, I said I had finished my Web Systems 3 assignment, to which I have and well, I thought I would post (after a few requests) a screenshot of the main page.

emoroadYesterday whilst *trying* to find somewhere to eat, we walked right down Waverley road only to find an interesting road. I wonder who decided to put Emo road in Caulfield/East Malvern and then decide to close the road for resurfacing! Only in Australia???

Apart from that, had the second easiest test of my life... Packet Analysis with Ethereal Wireshark and we were asked to write down certain parts of a packet header. Interestingly enough, I still managed to spend an hour or so doing stuff.

emoroad2_335 So um... not doing much. I have work coming up though between 30th of August and 1st September which should get me... $200 or so to pay the car rego, and hopefully get my tax return back ($123) which will pay for a couple of weeks in V/Line tickets, and yeah - then I'll be broke yet again *sigh* straight after it.

On top of the whole frigged up week thing, I just got a nice yellow envelope with a letter inside it telling me I have been called up for Jury Duty. At least because I am a full time student I can deny it, but otherwise I was expected to travel some 60km's to Morwell return with $38 per 4 hours which well... wouldn't pay for the petrol pretty much! Damn society.

Um... nothing more I could possibly think of rattling on about, except I truly suck at getting money off eBay... 1c for 3x Sticks of DDR RAM... pathetic. Even the expensive keyboard went $50 cheaper than one with a busted key so yeah - go figure.

***2:47PM UPDATE***: Many of you are wondering why I have got into the whole scam busting scene, well it's crap like this man received that prompts me to fuck about with these disgusting scammers. I have also had a couple of people I know lose money to them aswell. But yeah - interesting to read anyway as to how far people can go.

[0 Comment(s)]


Grhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh (09/08/2007 11:39:00 AM)

So bored... Yet again, todays class was appauling at best. What did we cover in the lecture? Information again not related in any way to the course. In the tutorial, we covered material I covered in Mathematical Methods in Year 12, Semester 2 but to a much more difficult scenario. I mean hell - this is stuff from Physics 101!

Why am I complaining? Well, it appears as if Monash really made a mistake when it came to admitting people into the course based on the grounds of low ENTER scores (the final year score for admission into universities) and only requiring Year 11 Mathematics (General). Apparently you can even bypass this unit (or RPL it) by completing Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) Modules 1 and 2. Now, I have read into Modules 1 and 2 for my own benefit, and I never EVER seen the following things that have been conducted:

> Analysing a peer reviewed IEEE article based on Mobile Computing (answering if the article was of good quality, what referencing methods are used)
> Discussing how a Pizza gets ordered and delivered using a "Layered" approach
> Calculus methods for calculating signal attenuation, bandwidth etc... on CDMA networks

Yes guys, it's true! This is the type of material discussed in the course that can be credited by completing CCNA Modules 1 and 2. So yeah, I'm bored and somewhat annoyed.

Well, for the first time in my entire life, I have completed an assignment approximately 1 week before it is even due! Go Me! It's a website for an ASP.NET unit which covers some of the basic programming techniques in ASP.NET, and the topic is on Tumble Dryers. Pretty cool website, and once it is marked, I will upload it here as it could constitute as me copying off me... thanks to the new plagarism website detection thingo's.

Yesterday was a rather perculiar day. Infact, I was told by a particular someone that I wasn't respecting this person enough to talk to him online which wasn't a concern - the guy's totally useless for my benefit so for him to block me is well, nothing at all. Interestingly enough, I thought I would log into my own *sekrit projact* website which tells me how my clients websites are going in terms of websites that are using my CMS are concerned.

The project doesn't infringe on peoples privacy as my clients know this well and truly before I do the website. Helps me keep a list of Administration details handy for cross-site scripting to fix issues with (especially when some of my clients are clumbsy and lose both their hosting password and their admin password). To my utter dismay, I found 2 websites that came up that were rather odd (keep in mind, I hadn't checked this system for the last 3 months due to lack of clients) and what do you know, but this dickhead had removed all copyright notices which isn't that greater a concern. What floored me the most was the fact the bloody moron had replaced Powered by CraDanKa! CMS Version 2.1 with his own and passing it off as his own f***ing creation!

People wonder why I get pissed off greatly by certain people on the internet? Well - to be told I don't respect some nutcase enough only to find that my work is nothing to him is beyond me. I've dealt with many arseholes in my life, but nothing quite to this extent.

On top of this, but I had a rather perculiar e-mail back about sponsorship details from a particular IT related company for GreenTubeLAN asking if we are running another 50 player LAN as you did at number 2? My first instinct was to reply with "What are you on mate ;) We never ran a 50 player LAN" until it got me thinking. OK, this is only a theory at the moment, but how far can someone go with a god damned lie? As far as getting $200+ sponsorship?

So yeah - I don't know what to feel... Better go and sleep it off. Some fancy wancy test tomorrow for Network Standards and Specifications.

[0 Comment(s)]


What the? (08/08/2007 05:38:56 AM)

Hi all,

Just a quick one today. Interestingly enough I was going through my garbage and well, found this SHS-10 keyboard floating around and thought I would put it on eBay especially as I had searched and found it had been going $300-$400. Anyway, can anyone believe that this keyboard (pictured below) is worth $151+? With 1 day to go on eBay, it is already $151! That's like... I can get a decent Casio or Yamaha PSR-2## keyboard for that sort of money. Oh Well...

Orb!ter

2abf_1_400

[1 Comment(s)]


New Update from the Random Update (04/08/2007 04:52:43 AM)
Cars working, DVD Drive somewhat working, no job, no money... I suppose things aren't all bad :)

[0 Comment(s)]


Random Update (02/08/2007 10:36:02 AM)

emoticon_guy_looking_sad94579_129Hi all,

Well, where do I start? I'm jobless (I didn't get the support job at the plumbing company), I'm broke, my car has a flat battery and today's lecture and tutorial for one of my subjects was dead-set boring. BOOOOORING.

Jobless:

Still no word from Digital Motorworks, so I assume there's no work there which is a shame - the work was boring but doable and paid quite well I believe, but when there's no jobs to process, I suppose yeah - they have to make some cutbacks somewhere. Got the call Wednesday to make up some silly story about how we were all exceptional candidates (honestly, I'd prefer the you're too far out and you can't commit crap than the I feel sorry approach - especially when the interviewee's had wondered why I didn't have a job heheheh... but yeah if they had come up with the can't commit crap, it'd have been a lot easier to contemplate at the moment hehehe... so yeah) didn't get the gist of what was said over the phone as of the dodgey reception, all I know was I didn't get the job - none of my referees were called either Undecided

Money:

The money I had since June has well, been depleted... the car costs money, V/Line costs me money, food costs me money and now I am broke with money borrowed off my parents just so I can get down to Uni and back. See Jobless for more information ;)

Car:

On my very slow trip home, my red light came on for the battery and well, yeah - flat battery + night driving = slow trip to ensure I don't run into someone so I'm back to taking the bus maybe for Friday, but Tuesday and Thursday next week just can't happen until I get a battery!

University:

Frankly, I'm getting sick of it... I'm getting really REALLY sick of going into a lecture and sitting down that it is so UNBEARABLE to even listen or read the notes. I'm getting sick of going to a Tutorial only to hear crap about questions that I can concentrate much better on my own with. I'm getting sick of well... Uni in general.

So yeah... not much news, just a random bitch hehehe... Hopefully this job situation gets sorted out in a couple of weeks... Looks like I'll be flipping burgers with you, Pranesh!

Orb!ter

[2 Comment(s)]


OMG Portfolio Updated (29/07/2007 09:30:46 PM)
Well, another website is finished which is good and now I have decided to redo my Portfolio page. No news today yet :)

[0 Comment(s)]


Irony on the internet? (28/07/2007 10:28:40 AM)

Is it just me, or is this post hypocritical of itself?

......have read these stuff what whining people is saying. They're assholes who's bitching for nothing. The project what team is doing is free for us, and no-one dosnt pay to them, so they are free to do the mod when they want. I agree with that people wants this mod, but whining wont do the mod relasing faster. So stop whining and start to stimulate team, so they maybe would do something. But i would wanna too to get an update or some page, witch would tell us how the mod is going and stuff, not like updates, just telling what problems is and maybe when it's going to be finished.

I wonder if by any chance this guy himself would stop whinging? This is also from the same forums:

you're all idiots, learn to wait and stfu, end of.

Recon this guy would do the same? I suppose my point is I understand the concept of telling a group to shut up, but to add additional remarks like these 2 posts do is just absurd. That's like me saying something like STOP POSTING WHINGES!!! Think that's absurd? Check this one out:

omg,
every update produces like 100+ comments from guys whining for not releasing and additional 100+ comments from guys whining back to the whiners not to whine.
thats so sick. as if you could change something!

so what can we do? well, check the site once a month. then see - most likely - no progress at all. then leave the site. when its october grab a <console> and <game>.

and: as i am now commenting i can't refrain from giving another opinion:
obviously fanbase means shit to the <project> team - and the guy saying that there is communication (meaning the few comments in the forum) is the most sick of them all. i mean u can't tell this communication - no infos at all on any progress, no information what they are doing right now, no dev blog. we don't even know who is still in the team. oh i forgot: everyday they give us a fuckin picture showing them playing <game>. wow. if i want to see nice pictures i check www.phun.org so long

This is my favourite of all for obvious reasons. Not only does he whinge about the whingers, but he also manages to whinge about the whingers whinging. What makes me laugh even more is that people whinged about this guys whinge on top of his whinges... Following?

Orb!ter 

[1 Comment(s)]


Todays antics (27/07/2007 10:38:30 AM)
conjob_400

Hi all,

Well - today I had my first interview for any job (yes - that's correct, my first interview for a job) and well I suppose things went wellish (how am I supposed to know if I went good or not. I answered questions without boring the interviewer(s)) and well I suppose I find it all out whether I got the job (or not) on Wednesday. Anyway - now it is up to the referees and well I suppose this will be the test to see how satisfied some of my clients have been with my work. A little unsure of how it'll pan out (again, refer to the first interview component :D) so yeah - either way, I'll end up getting a position somewhere, someday, somehow......

Today's networking class was strange to say the least... Yet again work with ethereal revealed that many websites, including the famous MySpace send your password completely unencrypted in a network such that your POST requests well... are sent in plain text. This basically means if it's not a http, then programs like ethereal are going to well - turn up the password some way or another.

After observing it, you certainly don't want to be at a school, internet cafe or library (unless you use SSH for tunneling or some form of VPN) using MySpace... I would have thought they would have had an SSL layer for logins or even javascript for encryption atleast... but yeah - you've been warned ;)

This weekend I endeavour to have all clientel up to date with websites so that I can sit down and get a Tutorial knocked up for this weekends Marratech class 1:00PM Sunday :) Feel free to join in, I think I'll be covering the Assignment...

Anyway, sleepy times...

Orb 

[2 Comment(s)]


MSY Damn You!!!! (26/07/2007 09:21:02 AM)

Today really has ticked me off in regards to MSY and the entire run around I have been doing for the past 4 weeks for clients. Today started out by me driving down to Caulfield for the first time with the total cost of the trip at $39.00 (versus my usual train ticket of $7.80) in both fuel and parking *sigh* and the reason to drive was to get some "stuff" for a Job interview I have tomorrow for a plumbing company at Clayton for IT Software Support (finally an interview for an IT position Surprised).

Anyway, once I got all of my "things" (Fountain Gate truly does suck for both parking and the 'right' shops), I went straight to MSY. I thought I'd be smart and turn off at Stud Rd, and move up Wellington Rd to MSY to avoid traffic congestion but as fate would have it, not 1, not 2 but 3 separate lane closures (1 on Stud, 2 on Wellington) brang traffic to a stand still.

I got to MSY, parked, walked in and waited about 30 minutes before I was served. I enquired about laptop bags for one of my clients and they just told me to go over to the wall where they were and well - yeah... I have a look and I can tell you now... I'm not PAYING $25 for nothing more than a neoprene folderish type of bag. Anyway, went back to CentreCom on Springvale Rd and well, they had no laptop bags so I just left.

I then went up to Suntrom (my favourite computer store) and well, they had laptop bags and I even asked to see them. When they shown me what they were, all well and good! Exactly what I was after at the right price as well. It's pretty pathetic when it comes to going to a store I normally by used/refurb'd PC's from to buy things I wouldn't expect them to stock. Not only do they actually have things in stock, but I'm not treated like a complete moron when going in there! So yeah, I think it's back to getting everything from Suntrom (even if they are a tad bit dearer, their customer service level is fantastic and always has been...)

Anyway, got to Caulfield, lecture was boring, Vista crashed XP and itself, Linux and Mac booted, lecture was boring, I browsed the internet, boring lecture followed by a boring tutorial that James snapped in (for all the right reasons Wink - how does reviewing a paper directly effect networking protocols I have no idea). Oh well, wish me luck - I may have money to continue uni shortly! (Still waiting for my tax return).

[0 Comment(s)]


University Menu Added (16/07/2007 09:08:13 AM)

Hi all,

Due to my recent tutorials that will run parallel to 2 different units this semester, I have put a link in the menu before Links to UNIVERSITY. This will contain basically all of the material for the 2 units I will attempt to tutor. Hopefully I can pull it off hey :)

Orb!ter 

[0 Comment(s)]


Long time no post (03/07/2007 08:26:53 AM)

754326804_cf39dc61e3_400Hi all,

Thought I would make a post as I have been busy over the past 3 weeks that has prevented me to even make a small update on this website. So where to begin...

Exams:

Well, all 4 exams are finally down and well - they were all too easy. The Unix exam out of the lot of them was the most appropriate though testing all aspects of the unit, not specific portions. My theory on an exam is that it should cover everything to test what you know, not what you don't know. For instance, a student who attends all lectures and tutorials and studys say 90% of the course work should be able to get a pretty decent mark of about what the person has studied - however there are occasions where exams will study 5-10% of the subject area that the person did NOT study causing them to get a substantially lower mark despite what they learned.

I suppose I'm lucky in a way - I know enough about computing to simply walk in, sit down, write and walk out with fairly minimalistic study in any subject but time and time again - I see fellow students split down the middle of what is easy and what is not. Infact, some have even said they didn't study much at all and were able to assume they did exceptionally well whereas someone who hadn't done well claimed to have studied. This didn't happen at the end of the Unix exam surprisingly.

Network Administration on the other hand was very practical based - and for the first time in my life I have seen Bonus marks on an exam worth more than 10% of the final mark (ie 15 marks out of 95 - that is a substantial amount). I could have done did that exam off the top of my head so it'll be interesting to see how I went in that one.

System Analysis and Design was an interesting exam - no tricks, but as it's analysis (and I spent about 0% of my time studying for it), I don't know how I will have gone here. My guess is after the course restructure, not as well as desired.

Introduction to Security was a strange one. It did seem to test what someone didn't know rather than what was known. It was also the poorest designed exam paper I have ever dealt with (even more so than the random whiteboard exam questions in Year 8 for English hehehe). The simple fact is, if we are expected to do an exam, how the hell are we meant to know if we are to circle answers in the book (given no answer sheet is provided), draw a diagram (without a nice blank sheet of paper) or even write a legible answer down (with no lines for guiding). I think I did exceptionally well on that exam, but who knows - when questions come up that I swear were never covered in the course, well - yeah.

681495884_3140b2af5a_400Job:

Well, for the last 2 weeks (and the next 2) I have no work which is really pissing me off. Just one day a week to get $75 a week would suffice at the moment to pay some small bills and travel expenses as I go but noooooo - the only time I have a break, and I can't find work *mutters words*. So I'm back on the job hunt - probably look for help desk positions whilst I'm still in the black.

Car:

Exactly 10 months and 1 day after my accident where I caused $12,000 damage all up, well I finally brought another car. 1990 Holden Commodore VN Executive and well - it has 4 wheels and goes, so now I'm mobile again! Given I'm mobile, maybe I can score some free fuel doing some night shifts at petrol stations hehehe....

GreenTubeLAN:

Well, GreenTubeLAN 6 has been and gone and mostly due to not having a working OS at the LAN party, I had about 10 minutes of gaming on Yousef's laptop during the night. The rest was running around for people (which given the limiting budget came out of my god-damned pocket... damn you petrol prices!!!) but not all is bad - I still thoroughly enjoyed the night. Atleast we had something we didn't have at the other LAN's, People and CAKE!!!

So when is the next LAN? I don't know - depends how I'm going money wise but I anticipate middle of August for the next one which will be a Cheap As(s) one whereby it'll be 12 hours, no servers (apart from INTRANET for DHCP and BITSERVER for my own personal use). Maybe at this one, I'll get to play GAMES!!! HEHE...

Miscellaneous:

Uh... just installing my laptop at the moment and have a paper trail a mile long full of tasks to do for clients (namely polish and update some client websites for the new financial year) hehe...

Ciao

[2 Comment(s)]


The number 67,137,648 (17/06/2007 11:31:41 AM)
67,137,648... is the same number in MB that the *nix UFS (Unix File System) can store EXTRA over the Windows NTFS (the one used in Windows XP) per file. Wow... that's like 67.13 Terabyte HDD's :)

[0 Comment(s)]


Java != Javascript (15/06/2007 11:11:04 AM)
Once again, a complete moron who is supposedly a Web Designer AND Java programmer believes that Javascript is not only made by Sun Microsystems and is a derivitave of Java, but also believes that the Java framework must be installed for Javascript to execute. So here is a little image for that person who I know does not read this webpage. (Tough if they do :P)
 
grhhhh_591

[5 Comment(s)]


Hospital Tycoon (15/06/2007 03:59:47 AM)

Hi All,

Today I for the first time loaded up Hospital Tycoon after working out why the hell it wouldn't run on my laptop - it turns out that it defaulted to high quality, 1024x768 on a not-up-to-scratch system. So, I got the game running only to be greated by the worst music imaginable - Bus Driver has much better music (even if it was made using FL Studio hehe). Anyway, I have never been a fan of any 'Tycoon' badged game (yes thats right, I didn't even like Rollercoaster Tycoon, Railroad Tycoon, Monopoly Tycoon, Transport Tycoon, Realestate Tycoon, even School Tycoon was a disapointment) so I wondered if this game was any different.

The main reason I do not like 'Tycoon' games is because they seem to require too much effort to do anything useful... I certainly found that with most of them I have played anyway - but is Hospital Tycoon any different? Well, coming from the Theme Hospital world, this game is nothing more than a rip off combined with the relationship management (probably better done in Hospital Tycoon though) from The Sims 2. After getting passed the crappy music, it was time to load the game up - and what the? The first 'mission' starts up as an introduction to some fubared American drama - it introduces your staff :S and they Talk! (which would have been OK if they didn't directly rip off the sims here - that garbled talk does not impress me).

Anyway, once I got passed this stage of the intro video (this is 10 minutes into the game by the way - given the stupendous load time on my laptop), it was time to play. Now, Theme Hospital made it easy - I remember the first time I played Theme Hospital as per how easy it was to build a room (that being build a building, place an object, build a desk, hire some staff with flashing queues) and Hospital Tycoon atleast had this element so that it was easy to work out where to start. The only problem here is that the 'helpful' doctor in Theme Hospital is replaced by a 'Teenager souding' Receptionist who talks just like a real Sim. You would have no idea how much hearing a high pitched sim voice really annoys me. Even in todays age, the characters can't speak! The queues in Theme Hospital "Doctor Requirity GP's Office" are helpful - the "meningbla gibulabla compnrenre" means diddly squat to me. Instead of building specialised rooms like Theme Hospital, you get to build pre-defined sizes (which is disapointing - I wanted a whole plot to be a Ward Frown) and put your items in there - which I suppose has it's advantages - instead of deleting a room, you can simply replace items in the room to make it a new one. Another great thing I found was the ability to put bin's ANYWHERE in the hospital.

So, a patient sees the reception desk as normal and goes to the 'Examination Room' where a Nurse sees the patient and takes her into the doctors office - in there, they are Examined (could you believe) for their illness and once done a POKEMON card came up called a Curedex (Pokedex???)! Whilst this is a great idea - it can be annoying that I have to click a Computer to find this card whereas Theme Hospital would just pop up a little icon to click (a green box with a ? or ! to be precise).

I suppose I'm just a bit disappointed in the whole game - it's not fun, it's quite boring infact. I couldn't get myself to play it anymore than the first Scene. There is just nothing fun in listening to some sim bitch for ages and have a hospital already built for me (that seems to be what the rest of the scenes are) and all I have to do is run and modify. I know there is a sandbox mode that may be a bit of fun - but really... there is alot of garbage in there to do anything.... A true Tycoon game hehe...

Before anyone says play it as Hospital Tycoon and Theme Hospital... Well, there was only one way to play it and I have been looking forward to this game for ages. It's a downright disappointment - no skill required, shitty music, an unhelpful doctor that tells me how to play the game speaking in a high pitched voice and relationships between stupid doctors and nurses is just unnecessary in a simulation designed to build a hospital. I suppose I should have seen it coming with School Tycoon ;)

I'll play it some more ofcourse before I give it my final verdict - but yeah... off to play Theme Hospital for a while ;)

Orb!ter

UPDATE: Zer0 from Drouin updated me on the latest disaster with Public Transport. V/Nacho's!!!! are no longer for sale... infact they have been BANNED!!!!!!!!

[0 Comment(s)]


Sun Microsystems - how long until death? (14/06/2007 10:46:13 AM)

Hi all,

I don't know how many of you keep up with the exactly 6 years older than me, Sun Microsystems, but has anyone noticed the impending doom on Sun Microsystems? The once king-pin in both servers, desktops, operating systems and entire business consultancy is just going down the gurgler so-to-speak. What makes me say this? Well - has Sun Microsystems done anything major lately that will have increased their marketshare and profits?

Originally Sun created a version of Unix known today as Solaris which was their primary product, yet not that long ago, Sun Microsystems made Java an Open (Closed?) Source framework - why? Well, they claim it was a great move for Java to go down that path with little-to-no emphasis on why now, and not before. One of their greater achievements was purchasing the German made StarOffice. Star Office seems to have disappeared off the face of the planet with OpenOffice still in production (frankly, OpenOffice still needs alot of work before I would 100% switch to it... for starters - develop it in something OTHER than Java ;)), yet StarOffice which was a commercial product is being replaced by an Open Source productivity suite?

There's no point me reposting this recent action here with attempting to join OpenSolaris with the Linux community, but if you do read it - does anyone else believe with me that Sun Microsystems may be grasping at more straws trying to work something out to keep them out of the red?

I can honestly see within the next 5 to 10 years SUN Microsystems completely gone - a memory if you will given there seems to be no innovation from the company. As I said before - Sun seems to be about making it's projects Open... OpenSolaris, OpenOffice, OpenJava... they all use the GPL License now :)

It's just a theory - be interested to see other peoples thoughts on the matter. 

[0 Comment(s)]


Why projects fail? (13/06/2007 02:52:54 AM)
Why do projects fail?

I know this is an old topic now, but I came across it during revision and I must admit - how bloody true it is in the real world.

What the user wanted:

what_wanted_120

What the budget allowed for:

what_budget_120 

What the timescale allowed for:

what_pf_120

What the technician designed for:

rocket_jet_120

What the user finally got:

wheelbarrow7676_120 

[1 Comment(s)]


Why oh why? (12/06/2007 08:32:41 AM)

It has intrigued me as to why by default the two leading productivity packages, OpenOffice.org and Microsoft Office, set their paper size to Letter when clearly all printers by default are set to A4. I mean seriously - who goes and buys a realm of 500 sheets of Letter sized paper (letter sized paper has a slightly shorter length)? It is pretty poor that neither software productivity packages or printers can agree on one default paper size.

My guess is that software developers should make A4 by default ;) I mean - how many letters have you written versus other documents requiring A4 size. Also, when you write a letter, did you buy special letter sized paper to print it out?

[1 Comment(s)]


Using methods within methods and String manipulation (09/06/2007 12:40:06 AM)

For those of you who are studying Java or Object Orientation Programming at University, here is something that may be useful to you. Basically this question came up in sample exam, and I was appauled to see the answer completely incorrect in terms of the lack of depth within the answer and the approach that when compiled, produced the wrong results. Here is the question for those who don't know, and the proper solution for it.

Question: Write a method called soundex to convert a string to a soundex code using the following criterion

  • All characters must be in UPPER CASE
  • Leave the first character in
  • Replace double letters with single
  • Omit the following characters: A, E, I, O, U, W, H, Y
  • and only produce a maximum of 4 characters

This question will no doubt be in the exam (or similar atleast) and even for those not doing the course, it is worth a read to see that it is possible to use mutator methods within methods. Here is my version of the proper, fully commented solutions to the question.

To complete this question, you must be familiar with the following methods;
String.charAt(integer); returns a char for the position requested.
String.toUpperCase(); returns all characters to upper case.
String.indexOf(character); returns an int as per the position in the string (-1 if doesn’t exist).

The code for the solution is below:

public String soundex(String aWord);
{
    //Check if there is a value within aWord
    if(aWord == "" || aWord == NULL)
    {
        //Return an empty string
        return "";
    }

    //Create a message variable to return, and a variable containing chars to eliminate
    String message;
    String toElim = “AEIOUWHY”;

    //Complete condition 1 to convert to lower/upper case
    aWord = aWord.toUpperCase();

    //Complete condition 2 to leave the first letter the same
    message = aWord.charAt(0);

    //Step through each individual character
    for(int i=1; i<aWord.length() && aWord.length() > 1; i++)
    {
        //Complete condition 3 to see if the 2 characters are identical
        if(aWord.charAt(i) == aWord.charAt(i-1))
        {
            //break out of the if...else condition (we don’t want identical letters)
            continue;

        //Complete condition 4 to see if the character appears in toElim
        } else if(toElim.indexOf(aWord.charAt(i)) > -1) {

            //break out of the if...else condition (we don’t want eliminated characters)
            continue;

        } else {

            //Add the letter to the string to return
            message += aWord.charAt(i);

            //Complete condition 5 in checking the length is 4
            if(message.length() == 4)
            {
                //If it does, then return the message
                return message;
            }
        }
    }
    
    //Once the loop has exhausted, return what has currently been set
    return message;

}

You should already be familiar with the commands expressed above, but what you may not be familiar is using methods that return a variable or value within methods.

Let’s assume the following:

String word = “TEST”;

We have the following commands and outputs:

word.charAt(2); //This would return the character ‘S’ as it is in position 2 in the string word.
word.charAt(3); //This would return the character ‘T’ as it is in position 3 in the string word.
word.indexOf(‘E’); //This would return the integer 1 as it is the position of the character ‘E’
word.indexOf(‘F’); //This would return -1 as the letter F does not appear in the string.

You should be familiar with this using integers and characters. One thing you should have learned was the fact that you can also use variables in place of the characters and integers, and thus the following could work:

int pos = 2;
word.charAt(pos); //This would return the character ‘S’ as pos = an integer of 2
char ch = ‘E’;
word.indexOf(ch); //This would return the integer 1 as ch = the character of ‘E’

As you know how to do these, there should be little to worry about dynamic variables such as those in a for loop:

for(int i=0; i<word.length(); i++) //This iterates through the individual letters
{
    word.charAt(i); //This will return what the value is at i.
}

So, you know you can get integer variables of datatype int and char to work in indexOf and charAt respectively, but can we do it with methods that return a value (those being accessor methods)? The answer is yes! So, if we have a look at Question 4.1, we created an alphabet of characters to eliminate. Using the combination of indexOf (which is useful for finding out if a character does exist) and charAt (which is useful for getting a character at a given position (or index) in a string.

Lets step back a bit – we said that indexOf can take the value of a character, and the method charAt returns a character. Therefore, is it possible that finding the index of a character within the alphabet will yield the response we wish to obtain? Again, the answer is yes! charAt returns a ‘char’ which is perfectly acceptable to use within String.indexOf(char). This is where something like the following comes in:

toElim.indexOf(aWord.charAt(2)); //In this case would be the equivalent to toElim(indexOf(‘S’));

Using the word TEST, this will mean that aWord.charAt(2) is the same as ‘S’. Therefore, the indexOf(‘S’) becomes -1 as toElim does not contain the letter S. aWord.charAt(1) on the other hand is the same as ‘E’ which is in the toElim string. indexOf(‘E’) returns the integer 1 which states it is in the first position in the string. By manipulating this theory, we can create a conditional statement to complete criterion 4.

if(toElim.indexOf(aWord.charAt(1)) > -1)
{
    continue;
}

The rest of the code is pretty self explanatory (in terms of position = position – 1 for checking the character before the current character), and checking if there have been 4 characters already.

[0 Comment(s)]


Thin-Clients now in Laptops (07/06/2007 07:55:45 AM)

Hi all,

Thought I would actually post something decent today (apart from the bit of a knock together in Fireworks). I've been working a fair amount this week (had 3 days at work) and almost ready to splash out and get a car - about 11 months after my accident last year. Anyway, something I came across today was the theory of Thin-Clients in Laptop form.

One of the great things about the Microsoft Windows Server 2003 operating system is the Terminal Services module (yes, it does exist in older server versions) and some of the organisations I have set up networks for have also enjoyed this 'freedom' of being able to use on what ever computer they happen to be on, their same desktop set up as they left it as. With many stolen laptops, this theory of thin clients can potentially mean that although a laptop may be stolen, it won't have any important data on it.

I must admit, I'm a bit skeptical about the whole theory given it sounds to me like it's nothing more than a standard laptop without optical drives or hard drives. Whilst the battery life will be phenominal, there is really no point to having a battery life as you kind of need to be seated somewhere to use it :S

I'm sure you guys can come up with some clever points as to the benefits of having a thin client laptops, but right now - I need some sleep :P I've been up the last 3 mornings at 4:30AM and well - sleeping at 11:00PM just isn't doing much for me ;)

Orb!ter 

[1 Comment(s)]


No more V/Nacho's!!! (05/06/2007 04:13:11 AM)
0551314400_350
Caption: No more V/Nacho's

No more V/Nacho's on atleast one more service thankyou to the truck driver who caused this today at 1:40. Just what V/Line needed - more trains down.

On a more serious note, I am forever seated in the BRN car (which is what's pictured above for those who don't know) and well - shit, looks like theres been some damage. I wonder if the train driver yet again steered into the truck?

Edit: On a side note, may I grab your attention to an earlier post I made some 4 months ago about my prediction that 6 months from the launch of Vista (from November when Business was released), Dual Core systems and RAM will be cheap. It seems that these predictions have come true with MSY offering 2048MB of RAM for under $100 and Dual Core processors (Pentium-D) from $115. By the time you build a new system up AND get a legit copy of Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium OEM for $170, then yeah - for under $1,000 - you will end up with a system more than adequate to power Windows Vista Home Premium - hehe I still think it's a waste :P

[0 Comment(s)]


Programming Concepts Part 2 (02/06/2007 09:22:49 AM)

If you have missed part 1, you can view that by clicking here!

So, this post is a direct follow on from the program that is a Phone Book and hopefully educating some of the viewers some design concepts in creating small portions of code. Back in the previous post, we had implemented a menu, and a Person object. Continuing on from Step 4 which precisely defines what happens during the method, we can now interperate this now into Java syntax. To enter a person to the database, we assumed the following steps:

  1. Enter a users name
  2. Enter a users phone number
  3. Enter a users e-mail address
  4. Store the name
  5. Store the phone number
  6. Store the e-mail address

Lets convert this into Java code step by step:

//We firstly want to display some text for the user for the fields we wish to enter
System.out.println("Enter a Persons Name:");
//Now ask for the data using the keyboard we defined
String un = this.kb.nextLine();
//Ask for the users phone number
System.out.println("Enter a Persons Phone Number:");
//Again, get the data from the user
String ph = this.kb.nextLine();
//Ask for the users e-mail address
System.out.println("Enter a Persons Address");
//Get the input again from the keyboard
String ad = this.kb.nextLine();
//Now, store all the values - there's a number of ways we can approach it
//As we have a constructor class, we may aswell use it:
Person newPerson = new Person(un, ph, ad);

Above is the entire method for adding a user. In the case of adding an array, we simply require a counter (we are not assuming ArrayList here), so basically it works as such:

arrayName[position] = newPerson;
position++;

This method above would (assuming arrayName was already set up for the Person object; Person arrayName[];) simply store into the array of Person objects the new person created. The position incrementing simply says that the next time you add a person, you would store it in a new slot.

I'll post the final method tomorrow which will involve the use of a structured for loop, but right now there is something more important that I feel needs to be expressed:

There is NOTHING stopping you using multiple namespaces! Alot of people seem to be confused and think that it's only possible to use one namespace which is false. You CAN use multiple namespaces. For instance, providing we have say a Person that has a Lesson object and Lesson has a Time object, then there is nothing wrong with using:

Person.Lesson.Time.returnTime();

Or, you may even have methods associated with it to return the Lesson Object, and the Time Object (especially where arrays are used):

Person.getLesson().getTime().returnTime();

This is exactly the same (that is if getLesson returns a Lesson and getTime returns a Time) as the one above it - it does not matter how many you have ;) Just don't get confused.

Anyway, more to come at a later date!

[1 Comment(s)]


Piece of Garbage! (31/05/2007 04:20:38 AM)

Right... Just as I have refreshed a Dell using the System Recovery CD set, this is really pissing me off with the amount of crap that is included with it!

Non-Standard Drivers:

Why on earth couldn't I just use the ATI Catalyst Drivers package I have on my server to update the driver? I was told the package was incompatible by ATI, yet it's a Radeon X1150 and I would have liked to see my updated package work. Instead, I had to download the same package, but from the Dell webpage containing some stupid Dell wrapper just to run.

The Yahoo! Toolbar

Ok, what the hell is up with Dell installing the Yahoo! Toolbar by default? I don't want or use Yahoo, and even if I did want to use a search engine, I know the god-damned URL for the website! For the record, I'm talking about the proper toolbar, not the simple search box in Internet Explorer 7 and Firefox.

Trial Software

Why oh why does a Dell machine include a trial for all of this stupid and pathetic software? Why do I have trials for word processing applications (ok, so Works isn't a trial - but it may aswell be!) and quick books? It is disgusting!

McAfee Security Suite!!!!!!

Ok, so this should be under Trial Software, but WTF! It's a bitch to remove cleanly and even if I did use it, it won't let me scan after the 30 day trial, theoretically making sure there is no security!

So, what are the alternatives that won't cost manufacturers?

Non-Standard Drivers: Very easy to fix - STOP putting stupid features on hardware!
Yahoo! Toolbar: Simply forget it - set Yahoo to the default search engine in Internet Explorer 7
Trial/Crippled Software: Open Office and AVG Anti Virus can easily replace Works and McAfee

Thoughts anyone? hehe... yes I know that these 'companies' pay Dell to include demo's on the PC's... something like $1-$2 each, but it mounts up.

Part 2 of the programming concepts post will be up next - I promise Tongue out

[0 Comment(s)]


Programming Concepts (30/05/2007 11:45:41 AM)

 Hi all,

I'm sure you are well and truly sick of reading about useless (useful?) crap about the wonderful world of Technology, but the way I look at it is if I can help someone out, even the slightest, then it's been worth posting a new blog up. Todays topic (yes, I'm talking about the same day I wrote this on (12:44AM in the morning) is about programming concepts as once again, exam times are coming up and too many students will fail this exam, not because they haven't studied their specific programming language in great detail (ie know the commands, know the importance of programming structures whether it be an Object Oriented approach or a Structured (line by line) approach.) but because they simply do not know how to use logic to create a program.

One of the many things I am appauled to see still happening is there is no emphasis on teaching logical programming. That is, teaching someone how to write a program rather than teaching them syntax. Take any other spoken language such as Japanese, French or even Arabic. You see, it's quite easy to memorise the alphabet, words and even string a few words together to form some sort of coherent speech, but to actually think off the top of your head how to put those words, especially when not taught how to talk pretty much renders your memorisation of words useless. For example, a typical greeting would be "Hello, my name is . Nice to meet you". There is a reason we string these words in this order, and that is because it is considered a logical way of doing so. You wouldn't say "Nice to hello you, my name is meet " because it means something totally different, or even cause so much confusion that no one knows where to begin. The same applies to computing and programming languages.

A Simple Structure:

Lets assume we have a program to store a list of your contacts phone numbers and e-mail addresses. Quite an easy example if you know what you are doing, and can be implemented in all languages. As the people who read this blog have some knowledge of Java, I suppose I had better write this concept using Object Orientation Smile

If I was to hand this example to my current group of tutee's, I am sure they wouldn't know where to begin simply because they have not learnt any concepts in how to think out the program, so here are some basic steps in solving this problem.

Step 1. Collect your data

One thing that most people seem to forget about doing is working out what data is needed for the program to work. Typically in this phonebook example, we have 3 things we need. We need a persons name, the persons email address and the persons phone number. Nothing more, nothing less. We however want say 100 people stored maximum.

Step 2. What do we need to do with this data

Now that we have the data we want, we have to work out what we are going to do with the data. Obviously we want to be able to store these 3 attributes (name, email, phone), and at some stage we would like to manipulate these attributes aswell such as changing the name, email or phone and even retrieving a persons name, email or phone. To do this, we have 6 things we want to do.

Step 3. How are you going to manipulate the data

In this example, we will want to have a user to enter some information, and we also want to get this information aswell.

Step 4. What are the steps to achieve this manipulation

Now that we have all of the information we require, we can start investigating the program. As you can see in step 3, there is only 2 lines there and for those who know any programming language, there isn't a method that randomly springs out of a box to do these things exactly, so we have to work out how we are going to do each of these tasks.

"have a user enter some information..."

So, thinking about this logically in a precise nature, this is the order one would expect to enter data in:

  1. Enter a users name
  2. Enter a users phone number
  3. Enter a users e-mail address
  4. Store the name
  5. Store the phone number
  6. Store the e-mail address

"get the information..."

Again, thinking logically in how to get the information, we need to do the following:

  1. Enter a name
  2. Search for the name
    1. If the name is in the phone book then get the phone number and email address
    2. If the name is not in the phone book, then tell me its not there.

Now that we have some methods written up in some way, we need to use all information gained and put it into a program.

Step 5. Apply this information

Ideally, you will have written your methods suitable to the programming language you know. In this case, Java will be used and as it has an emphasis on Object Orientation, I'll implement it using Objects.

The Java Program:

As we seen from Step 1, we needed 3 pieces of data. To store data, Java includes data types and variables. Therefore, we need 3 data types that will store text and numbers beginning with 0 into this book. Anyone who knows any programming language will realise String achieves this, therefore we can place the following information down:

String name;
String phone_number;
String email_address;

You will notice aswell, these are all properties of a persons phone number, and as they all deal with people, then we can create a class to store these in.

public class Person {
    private String name;
    private String phone_number;
    private String email_address;
}

Above now is an object that contains 3 properties that are hidden away from the application. Anyone who has learnt Java syntax should realise this.

Step 2 contained what we wanted to do with the data, that being we want to store it and get it. We use accessors and mutators in Java to do this. Accessors return something and Mutators set something. Again, if you know Java syntax, this next step isn't tricky.

public class Person {
    private String name;
    private String phone_number;
    private String email_address;

    public Person(String new_name, String new_phone, String new_email)
    {
        this.name = new_name;
        this.phone_number = new_phone;
        this.email_address = new_email;
    }
}

This above code now creates an instance of the object using the constructor method when the person is made. In other words, very important for this program. Now, we need to implement the methods from Step 2 which were we need to get the data and set the data.

public class Person {
    private String name;
    private String phone_number;
    private String email_address;

    public Person(String new_name, String new_phone, String new_email)
    {
        this.name = new_name;
        this.phone_number = new_phone;
        this.email_address = new_email;
    }

    public void setName(String newName)
    {
        this.name = newName;
    }

    public void setPhone(String newPhone)
    {
        this.phone_number = newPhone;
    }

    public void setEmail(String newEmail)
    {
        this.email_address = newEmail;
    }

    public String getName()
    {
        return this.name;
    }

    public String getPhone()
    {
        return this.phone_number;
    }

    public String getEmail()
    {
        return this.email_address;
    }
}

Now all appropriate methods are implemented, we need a driver class, that is - something to run the program. We design this class by thinking about the overall scope of the application. For starters, we need to store 100 peoples details, and we need to take care of the methods in Step 4. This is how it would be structured, and should be easy if you know the Java syntax.

import java.util.Scanner;

public class AddressBook {
    private Person person[];
    Scanner kb = new Scanner(System.in);
   
private boolean isRunning = true;

    public AddressBook()
    {
        person = new Person[100];
    }

    public static void main(String args[])
    {
        AddressBook ab = new AddressBook();
        while(ab.isRunning)
        {
            System.out.println("Menu:");
            System.out.println("");
            System.out.println("1. Add Details");
            System.out.println("2. Search Details");
            System.out.println("3. Exit");
            char choice = kb.findInLine(".").charAt(0);
            switch(choice)
            {
                case '1':
                    ab.addDetails();
                    break;
                case '2':
                    ab.searchDetails();
                    break;
                case '3':
                    System.exit(0);
                    break;
            }
        }
    }
}

There's the basic outline for the menu, and the rest of the methods will be implemented in the next news post. Right now, I have things to do... like sleep Yell

Thanks,
Orb!ter

[5 Comment(s)]


User Interfaces (26/05/2007 04:28:16 AM)

loadup_400Hi all,

Today, I will start with my usual rant about something in life. Today's topic is User Interfaces and I don't know exactly what's brought this discussion up, but probably something to do with me being pissed off yet again with the IT industry and poor designed interface - and finding videos on the topic ;)

It has amased me over the years with 'interesting' designs, and how some professionals automatically reject what would be considered good designs. For starters, lets have a look back in history with DOS. DOS was considered a good interface, could do everything with that one would ever need to do and there was no need to upgrade. When Doug Englebart first came up with the theory of GUI and Xerox came up with their own (then Apple stole his theory to produce the Macintosh GUI), the people in the DOS world were completely convinced that GUI's had no real purpose in the real work environment.

The mouse for example was a device considered stupid, and would never sell - however it does increase productivity, and does work as an easy device to use. I mean, how many people these days could live without a mouse? Dating a bit further, lets have a look at user interfaces in todays environment. Most of you have seen my CMS, if you havent - a video is on my CraDanKa! CMS Version 2 page. The system is apparently quite easy to use by more people than just me. Why is that? Because there are very limited features. It does just a basic website, with a few slight additions. I must admit - I could make this system much more easier, but in the mean time. It's much easier. Let's compare and contrast:

admin_screen_400

My system to create a new page is shown on the left hand side. You can see that there is a simple text entry box using the Open Source TinyMCE editor, and a title for that web page. What ends up being entered here is then shown as a webpage, or simply add it to the webpage. There is a button for uploading and attaching images (the link button also has this function to browse files and upload files to the web server), and well - it functions just about like any other word processor. Clicking submit adds the page to the website.

I believe it's easy enough to follow, even if you have had one to many to drink prior to sitting down attempting to create the website you really should have done prior to opening that can. There are no "confusing" menu's to choose from, just the buttons most people will ever need to use.

Now, lets take a look at doing exactly the same thing in Joomla! which is supposed to be one of the very easy systems to create your website with.

admin_screen2_400As you can see, this screen looks prettier than my one above, but damn... that screen goes FOREVER just to create a simple static webpage. It's not even called Page, or even webpage, or even 'thingamajig to put on the website'. It's called Content Item which well, er... that could be anything. This thing is supposed to be a Content Management System, and you are creating a new Content Undecided Well, er... ok then. It's nice to have the buttons up the top though - something I will implement one day into my Content Management System, but the 2 entry boxes, the tabs with options that are just completely strange. For starters, who uses most of these features?

There is a show in Front Page button, but how many pages do you want there? I for one only want one page, so why is this an 'important' option? The administration level for the content by default should simply be the person/group who created it. Why is there an option there? The Author is probably logged in already! Why is the an option to Alias the author! The created date is rarely changed aswell, yet it is STILL shown there. Oh, lets not get started on page statistics that obviously are NOT SET YET given it's a NEW PAGE! Even look at the editing windows. Notice how the actual page's content is the one in the bottom box? The one called Main Text? Who's bright idea was it to place a main text box called Main Text at the bottom? Both fields are also OPTIONAL! I suppose it's like Microsoft Word and people creating Blank Documents. I don't know too many people who want to create blank documents, but rather documents that contain something in them Tongue out I know my University Lecturers and Tutors don't want to receive "Blank Documents".

So... is Joomla! the only thing I can think of bitching about today? NOPE! One of my personal favourites (and was reiterated by a guy I was watching a little over 2 weeks ago) is the shutdown screens. Here is a typical Microsoft Windows 2000/NT/XP/2003 (XP only with eye candy turned off) shutdown screen:

And here is a typical one for a GUI based Linux Distribution using KDE:

I can think of atleast 2 things wrong with Microsoft's implementation over this Linux based one. First of all, who needs help clicking a button. If someone can't click a button, then HOW THE HELL ARE THEY GOING TO CLICK THE HELP BUTTON? Secondly, given the ample amounts of space in the window, then why on earth do they put the options "Shut Down, Log Off etc..." in the combobox when clearly there is enough space to put buttons? Thirdly (ok, so I have 3), why is this interface so poorly designed that it requires context sensitive text explaining that Shutdown means Turn Off when clearly, the gurus who designed KDE do not require this 'important' piece of text turn off a PC! I mean look for a moment. These screen sizes are not altered, yet the KDE one uses far less pixels to produce the same screen, yet much more user friendly? (With all jokes aside, I have always wondered about the motive to create a start button to turn off a computer. Ok, I know the Start button was always a "Click here to begin using your computer" theory, but a PC user is not new everytime they turn their PC on).

iexploreWhilst  I am on the 'Microsoft Stupidity' band wagon, I may aswell show you another one of those quirks that have existed for 7 (SEVEN) different versions. Have a look at the icon. Notice something about it? Maybe the E rather than another letter to represent the Internet? Who has ever associated the internet with the letter e? I have seen some crazy ones such as the Netscape Navigator icon using the letter N, but I suppose atleast Netscape starts with the letter N. I have always wondered, why though the letter I or an application called Internet has never been used in any operating system apart from linux and KDE? Some versions of Linux call the application Internet which points to a browser? I mean for starters, what significant 'internet meaning' does the word Netscape Navigator have? the Net maybe, but what's the rest of the crap? I don't know what Microsoft has been thinking for all these years, but rather than the gel look, they could have replaced the e with Earth or the letter I.

lang_400Webpages have always amased me and locations. For instance, most websites and computer software now assumes the whole world has computers. For example, lets take a look at Regional and Language Options in Microsoft Windows. Atleast the default language is English (for those who purchase english copies of the operating system). Also, atleast the default country is the United States, but one thing that has amased me is the way the list is structured. Ok, consistancy is a great thing, but is it truely a good thing when if we look at the top of the list in a combo box, the first language is Afrikanns followed by Albanian and many different "versions" of Arabic. ENGLISH DOESN'T APPEAR ON THE FIRST LIST! It's nice to think the whole world is interconnected, but I don't think the amount of users in the United States, Japan, Australia etc... is signficiantly less than those in Africa!

Ok, so Microsoft is learning from their mistakes, especially with Microsoft Office 2007, but is it too late now to change? For the past 10 years, users have been exposed to some attrocious designs and well - people know how to use Office 2003. I for one do not like Office 2007 in general because I find the interface lacks professinality, and it's crippled in my department for just load up something and type.

For School Work on the other hand, the new versions of the Microsoft Office Applications are actually easier to use. Things like citations, reviews and commenting is much easier to carry out, and it is significantly easier to manage the document in its entirety. As far as using the piece of software as a dynamic application (ie page numbers, headings, overall font changes etc...), it is brilliant - I can set up easier in more logical places page numbers that change dependant on the location (excellent for contents page), I can create cover sheets and there is no more times that looking at a menu produces a completely bizarre option when I click new. I mean... in Office 2003 (pictured below), if you click File - New, you are presented with a funky tool down the right hand side of the screen. Funnily enough, this responds to quite a few different options, but take note where the Create a New Document link is actually located! IT'S NOT LOCATED UP THE TOP LIKE A SANE PERSON WOULD LOOK FOR, IT'S LOCATED RIGHT DOWN THE BOTTOM AFTER OPEN, AND HELP LINKS! Atleast this is changed now, so that when you click the New button, you are given the option to create a type of document. I'd still like to see them come up with a creative name for Blank Document. Maybe a Blank Template would be a better word than Document.

Oh well, if anyone actually read through this and is a programmer - take some of these poor examples of good user interface development, and actually make easy interfaces! Remember, less is more - so just think how much more is Wink

 

[7 Comment(s)]


Optimus Maximus Keyboard (17/05/2007 09:10:24 PM)

Hi all,

Just letting you know that the Optimus Maximus keyboard is only 2 days from pre-orders. however I can think of about 1850 reasons why I will not be buying this keyboard.

Ciao

[3 Comment(s)]


Um... er... Cratemen anyone? (16/05/2007 06:22:22 AM)

[0 Comment(s)]


Computers Versus Trains (14/05/2007 09:20:33 AM)

Although this is borrowed by a friend last year, I thought I would proliferate the point again in comparing PC's to Trains.

You should all know by now that there are 2 classes of processors (prior to Core 2 Duo). That was the Pentium-D, Celeron-D, Pentium-M and Celeron-M. Essentially, the D is like the Diesel Service operated by V/Line. Basically, they run faster, they run much further, they get into places others can't, they don't require a huge number of trips, they run express where others dont and are more expensive to purchase. They have a tendancy to sometimes run on time (more-so than others), but when they are late, you really know about it. The M on the other hand is like Metlink. They run slower, they don't travel as far, they work for most people, they have to run more cycles to keep up with demand and they are always delayed, cancelled or just rerouted down the wrong tracks.

Anyone who doesn't agree should be shot Wink

Orb!ter 

[1 Comment(s)]


GreenTubeLAN 5 Review (12/05/2007 09:13:33 AM)
gtl_logo

Ok, so it's been a while since I have made a proper post given how busy I have been. University, Assignments, LAN Parties, and work just seem to mount up quite alot. Whilst I have a few moments, I suppose I had better make a 'review' on GreenTubeLAN.

The Bad:

  • Very very very poor turnout. To only have 15 from the 30 or so who registered actually make an appearance is beyond poor. Generally we don't run with less than 20, but this is the second we have had below this figure. We just simply cannot run with these conditions with the amount of time that goes into preparation.
  • The network seemed to be bottlenecked even with just 15. I've put it down to the DNS server trying to get a hold of the OptusNet Name Servers for each query so yeah - will be improved for next LAN.
  • The gaming consisted of Counter Strike Source and... um... yeah - that's about it. A little bit of variety, but yeah - Counter Strike Source - and I'm not a fan of FPS.
  • Other peoples input. I appreciate peoples input with how to run a LAN Party, but to be told out and out by more than one person that the way Matthew, Nick, Mike and I run the event is on the most part terrible is getting old.
  • Following on from the previous point, we do NOT need any servers. I am sick of people saying they have a server that is a top of the line server, and that we should use it because it's better than what I have. FFS! A Server contains a bunch of services. It is not necessary to have a huge amount of power for a handful of people connecting.
  • Coming through Rokeby Saturday Morning, a stanley knife was on the road. Basically a Tyre popped making sure that I couldn't make the train I needed to catch *sigh*
  • Lack of tournaments and organisation - Mainly due to the poor turnout. Maybe I would have been more inclined to dictate to others what's running if we could all agree on a damn game to play.
  • Lack of prizes. I must apologise to everyone about the lack of any prizes apart from those cheeseburger vouchers. Basically there are no funds left over to give prizes, so yeah.
  • People simply not registering. Seriously - if you want to come, REGISTER. Don't tell me Monday you didn't know about it!
  • Dale not showing up until about 45 minutes later arriving at Dandenong Station with about $2000 worth of equipment.
  • NO V/NACHOS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The Good:

  • Company for a change on the Train.
  • The fact I played more games at this LAN party than I ever played at any other one (mainly Theme Hospital contrary to popular beliefs about CSS being the ONLY game played).
  • More Train Simulator than ever before
  • It was relaxed, no complaints (mind you - I would rather someone tell me they want to play something - I apologise to the one that did where we couldn't get the interest in)
  • The Voucher/Honesty System actually worked. I know it's corny - but then again, so is V/Lines equivalent system ;) It did actually help out the can distribution.
  • I absolutely aniliated Matthew (DasBok) in Counter Strike Source despite his best efforts to knife me.
  • The Gigabit network sponsored by Phoenix LAN Group for the second time - very much appreciated guys.
  • I didn't end up waking up Monday morning with a chronic headache.

GreenTubeLAN's Warragul LAN Party

Anyone who would like a LAN party in Warragul really need to register their interest on the website. No, you aren't registering for the event but rather for the interest so we may have an indication of who would come to a LAN Party in Warragul.

[3 Comment(s)]


LAN This Weekend (03/05/2007 09:16:58 PM)
Ok ok... apart from work, I've been very quiet - LAN THIS WEEKEND OMG!!!

[0 Comment(s)]


What really happens in e-mail! (29/04/2007 02:08:12 AM)

img_0166_400Hi all,

I thought I would post today about something I found out when I was trying to muck about with my server farm. I had just finished setting up the RETIRED server for the LAN party (basically contains the lighter game servers for when a major one is taking up the resources on BITSERVER). Anyway, I thought I would somehow make a service on a new IP address for the SA-MP Official Server list, so I investigated using Ethereal what packets was being sent and recieved to see if I could come up with something to put the 2 SA-MP servers in a list.

Anyway, I found it truly funny when I had outlook opened in the background of my laptop and noticed the whole E-Mail request, so I thought I would scare you guys by posting how e-mail works:

Server Sends: +OK Hello There. <13098........@localhost.localdomain
Laptop Sends: AUTH
Server Sends: -ERR Invalid command.
Laptop Sends: USER Craig.Mattson@GreenTubeLAN.yi.org
Server Sends: +OK Password required.
Laptop Sends: PASS mypasswordhere this was unencrypted in plain text!!!
Server Sends: +OK logged in.
Laptop Sends: STAT
Server Sends: +OK 0 0 this is basically no new emails
Laptop Sends: QUIT
Server Sends: +OK Bye-bye.

Now, I don't know what scares me more - the fact that e-mails are sent in a packet more distinguishable than POST and GET requests on webpages OR the fact that my laptop and the AussieSpace server were having quite an intelligent conversation together... IN ENGLISH!!!

Anyway, that's my rant for the day - I have also uploaded a picture of my current 'Server Farm' comprising of:

IBM Netvista M41: (Pentium IV-1.8GHz, 512MB of RAM, 160GB HDD, 100Mbit Ethernet)
Green Box: (Celeron 600MHz, 256MB of RAM, 10GB HDD, 100Mbit Ethernet, 802.11b Wifi, 100Mbit USB)
Dell Optiplex GX1: (Pentium II-400MHz, 128MB of RAM, 4.3GB HDD, 100Mbit Ethernet)

As some of you know, the IBM and Dell run Windaz and the Green Box runs Linux. All in all, not a bad network so far Surprised

Ciao 

[0 Comment(s)]


CraDanKa! CMS Version 2.1 (12/04/2007 09:49:10 PM)
I finally decided I would upload something to do with CraDanKa! CMS Version 2.1 I have made to my CMS as per request from a few potential clients. On that page, you will find the video, and some reasons why to choose it over other systems.

[0 Comment(s)]


TV Sucks (10/04/2007 11:39:09 AM)
chasers_400Television has really done it this year. One of the most important aspects of everyones life is getting more and more screwed every minute of every day. I mean, does anyone actually have any idea on what is going on behind the scenes with ABC, Channel 7 (Prime), Channel 9 (Win) and Channel 10 (Southern Cross TEN)? Anyone noticing that they are getting away with unbelievable amounts of torture and tourment? Well, lets take a trip back about 6 months ago.

The Glass House (ABC) was a top rating show on the ABC, but thanks to some weird theory about the ABC not holding onto Glass House even to this day is beyond me. I certainly miss the show on a Wednesday night, was quite relaxing to see them digging up dirt on Australia and the world, mind you it's not all bad - The Chaser's War on Everything screens at 9:00PM and is making up for the dirt digging that The Glass House used to dish out. So much for political correctness hey :)

Outrageous Fortune (Channel 9/WIN) was a reasonable rating TV show that Eddie put on the list for being Australian content which really isn't true (apart from Grant Bowler who hosted The Mole for 3 seasons). It was screening during the non-ratings period on a Monday and Wednesday night and well, it's a show I quite enjoyed watching - so much so that I ordered the DVD's just so I can continue to watch it thanks to Channel 9/WIN removing it simply because it wasn't going to be counted as their Australian content or whatever it is. What do we have now during this time slot? Well, on a Wednesday night - you have Extreme Makeover, and on Monday? Footy Classified - as if there wasn't enough on channel 9 already *cough* The Footy Show *cough* for the football category. None-the-less, it's most likely never to return.

Kath and Kim (ABC/Channel 7/PRIME) is well, not much to say here but now is on Channel 7, so lets kick back and enjoy the 7:00PM time slot, followed by an 8:30PM timeslot, then why not throw in an 11:00PM time slot and a 10:30AM one? Why not? It seems to be the going thing for Channel 7 at the moment, they can never seem to keep a TV show in one time slot for more than 2 weeks in a row.

ofGreat Comedy Classics (Channel 7/PRIME) is a collection of old BBC shows such as Some Mothers Do Have Them, Are you being served, George and Mildred, On the Buses, The Benny Hill Show amongst others. Anyway, this weekend, it starts at 7:30PM. Last weekend, it started at 8:30PM. Last month, there was one instance it started at 10:30PM. I mean, do Channel 7 have this 'thing' about not keeping the right time? Or do they like pulling times out of a hat. It gets frusterating to sit down ready to watch a show only to see some other crap like highlights of the hilights football show hilighting what the news shown earlier of the game on 3 hours beforehand. Quite frankly, AFL is good and everything, but I don't need to live and breathe every minute of a singular game for the next 3 weeks :@

Lost (Channel 7/PRIME) well... see a pattern? Lost is (well it seems to be anyway) the first show to be moved or postponed in the event of a special being shown. For example, last week there was a special footy match on. Interestingly enough, none other than Lost was postponed to show this match. Last year, Steve Irwin died, so none other than Channel 7 postpones Lost to showcase a 30 minute recap of what 60 Minutes had done on the Sunday which was a recap of every god-damned news channel explaining how the stingray pierced him. I think all Australians got the point after the first day... Well, hopefully nothing this week will postpone Lost again ;)

CSI (Channel 9/WIN) is obviously more than just one TV series. As a matter of fact, there's many variations which you would know about... unless you live under a rock on Sunday nights in particular... CSI, CSI Miami, True CSI... kinda gets boring after a while of watching fictional (and not fictional) TV Shows, especially when during the week there are many other Crime related TV shows on... I'm sure Channel 9 could fit a bit more variety such as maybe... Outrageous Fortune on a Sunday Night?

The Chasers War on Everything (ABC/ABC2) is a great show - but 3 times a week... the same episode... then you can download it... maybe they are running out of shows such as The Glass House maybe? It's shown on Wednesday nights, Friday nights and Sunday nights (ABC2) letalone downloading the episode from their website. It would be nice if instead of repeating it twice in one week, they may actually think about introducing a new TV show? Like hell I suppose which is disappointing... Maybe they will give it the flick when The IT Crowd Season 2 is shown later this year... We'll see on that one I suppose

lost_400As you can see, TV is screwed! Although I haven't mentioned Channel 10, most of you guys already know I'm pissed off with their constant 10 minutes late garbage, and well - it'd be nice if they didn't repeat Thank God You're Here, but I suppose at 6:30pm on a Sunday night, there ain't much else on hey ;) I could ofcourse watch some crap Channel 7 came up with (used to like Red) and 20 to 1 that's on Tuesday aswell... Oh well, so TV just isn't as exiting as last year (when I used to look forward to Wednesday nights beginning with TGYH, Spicks and Specks which I havent seen an episode this year, some random BBC show, The Glass House and then something on channel 7). I suppose it gives me an excuse to do Uni work though :(

Anyhoo - GreenTubeLAN is only in a few days, so get off your ask and register ;)

Ciao

[5 Comment(s)]


New MP3 Theme released (09/04/2007 04:49:23 AM)

Hi all,

Had a bit of fun today with FL Studio 6 again, and I put together a new theme for GreenTubeLAN 5. It's somewhat based on Grand Theft Auto Vice City's theme, but yeah - different to suit the logo. Feel free to download it/use it/delete it if you really want to from here. It's also on the Music page somewhere Wink

Ciao

[0 Comment(s)]


Another week gone by... (07/04/2007 08:46:56 AM)

Yeah, it's me again and it seems appropriate to post something about what has happened this week. First of all, I came across a distribution of linux called Sabayon Linux which well, is simply a linux distribution with EVERYTHING you could possibly want built in. Lets see what has worked so far.

  • Video Cards
    • As Sabayon Linux comes with all propietry drivers installed, all my ATI and NVidia cards were detected instantly, and all appropriate 3D Accelaration was enabled whether it be through NVidia, AIGLX or simply XGL. Ofcourse, this also allowed the built-in windows manager, Beryl, to function properly on ALL my computer systems.
  • MP3, DIVX, MPEG, AVI Support
    • That's right, all multimedia formats I use regularly have been included in this distribution. Even DVD Support made it in this version of Linux making it well... perfect as a desktop operating system if someone was to use it for a multimedia system atleast. Once more, even Midi works fine in Timidity and I can even add/remove different sound fonts to get the appropriate sound.
  • NTFS Read support
    • Yes, most distros read NTFS partitions, but Sabayon not only reads, but it writes. On top of that, but the NTFS drive works just as it would under Windows, that being thumbnails are loaded whilst browsing the drive. Certainly a great feature for any linux distro!
  • Bluetooth/Wireless/Infrared/Network
    • Everything was built in for my T40 atleast. That being my Cisco Aironet wireless card was detected and working instantly, my $10 USB Bluetooth dongle was detected and working automatically as I was able to install Java applications (via OBEX) and transfer files to a Motorola RAZR V3. Interesting anyway that this same adapter under Windows is either struggling during file transfer (no matter the PC I put it on with the RAZR V3) or just plainly not working at all. The adapter isn't dodgey either as it works more-often-than-not with Nokia 6230's. Infrared works fine, even without ifconfig irda0 down/up Wink
  • KDE is Default
    • Torvalds said it himself , KDE is the window manager for linux - not crappy Gnome, and anyone wishing to take this up with me can go to hell given the creator of linux specifically says AVOID GNOME Surprised I suppose, what would he know - it's not like he invented Linux Tongue out Anyway, KDE default is great. All my applications are there in the spots one would expect it to be. The Konqueror File Manager is great, infact it must be exceptionally great for vista to pinch the 'replace address bar with buttons for directories' theory. I use both WDM's on a regular basis, but KDE just has the 'right' feel, mind you it doesn't mean I don't get my hands dirty in a Terminal window or PuTTY on windows ;) Sabayon does however come with Gnome for those Torvalds-theory hating users, just as there is other WDM's available not quite as standard as KDE or Gnome.

So, what's to hate about this version of Linux? Well it's Debian based, without being Debian which ticks me off somewhat. Infact, it's Gentoo based which is almost like an independant system which is loosely based on Debian and well, that means anything I have done Debian or Red Hat specific just isn't the same under Sabayon. It makes it increasingly difficult to find packages for that otherwise I would just use either YUM or APT-GET for. It relies on compiling stuff straight from source using EMERGE and well, it takes forever to do anything with which kind of annoys me. Mind you, there haven't been packages I have had to install yet given it's all there... provided for me, and the positives outweigh this slight inconvienence.

The other thing is the fact that I am used to directory structures such as /etc/network/interfaces which is obviously different amongst many players, but what do you do Tongue out Honestly, I will probably end up installing just straight Debian as a permanent desktop system and setting up read/write access simply because Debian's package repository is in my opinion, one that is extensively tested and will pretty much work when tested. I suppose time will tell Undecided Oh and I'm in the market looking for a cap plan with great phone shortly, I'll let you know how I go - but a 6288 is looking good on a $29 cap plan Surprised

Anyway, Happy Easter, Passover, Gonnohrea, Birthday or whatever you are celebrating this weekend,

Ciao

[3 Comment(s)]


This weeks happenings... (31/03/2007 11:08:44 PM)

Well, it's been a while now since I have posted, and although I haven't entirely been busy, there's a few things that have happened.

shot2sm_400Grand Theft Auto IV
Interestingly enough, the trailer for GTA IV was released this week and all I can say is wow... look at the detail in this one. Again, the game appears to be set in Liberty City and looks like the player will be part of the Russian mafia this time which will be an interesting scenario. In short, can't wait until October 2007! The video was recorded using their new RAGE engine and all we know, is it was recorded on a console.

Multi Theft Auto
Man these guys are taking ages. All we really want is a synchronised GTA Multiplayer game, and they go right ahead and insert 'wow' features. Surely enough, it will be more advanced than their compeditors at SA-MP, but what for? Just a few gravitational fixes, some vehicle mods and custom number plates? This game just isn't GTA anymore Wink I just hope MTASA (DM) will be synchronised enough so I can run around with a gun and shoot people.

How easy is university?
First assessment for the year happened Friday whereby all we did was a 1 hour test in unix... kinda finished it in 5 minutes. Very easy test, everyone walked out except for Yousenix who er... forgot the ../ in one question hehe...

GreenTubeLAN 5: CNAP for Short
Dates been confirmed guys! Sign up here for it! Not much I can say about it, its all on the GreenTubeLAN website. Um... we have a new logo Laughing

Work
Still working, but not for the next 2 weeks. Instead, I will be doing another 2 webpages for a few dollars. With this, some work at DMI and Whiskey Creek paid up, I should have a car by the 3rd week of April (hopefully). Definitely have one by GreenTubeLAN 5 anyway.

So... I suppose I will now take my leave.

Ciao 

[4 Comment(s)]


Today put to sleep a myth about overcrowding (27/03/2007 05:30:34 AM)

Hi all,

image001Been a few days since I have posted here, but there really hasn't been anything to post about, unless you really want to hear about Trains being delayed, me standing up for a period of 2 hours to Warragul from Caulfield. On top of that, standing up 4 trips in a row. Anyway, I have installed Ubuntu Linux again, and found a way around the shell scripts (thank you Pranesh for your help) issue with it not liking ()'s. Cedega along with my VPN Client now fully work under Ubuntu. I even have GTA San Andreas, Counter Strike Source and Microsoft Train Simulator running at acceptable speeds under Linux.

The next step is Macromedia Dreamweaver, Flash and Fireworks. If these can install properly over Cedega, then well... what else can I say? Windows has no need on my system - besides, Beryl actually has useful features (even though some are 'borrowed' from Apple) and with a Glass theme looks more 'WooooW' than Vista itself. All of this, running on my ATI Radeon 7500 is working brilliantly. If for whatever I need a quick infrastructure network, I can simply enter the following commands:

ifconfig eth1 down
iwconfig eth1 mode Master
iwconfig eth1 essid NETWORKNAME
ifconfig eth1 10.1.1.1 up
/etc/init.d/dhcp3 start

After doing this, I have just set up my laptop as a Wireless Access Point (ie acts as a true router would rather than Windows and it's dodgey Ad-Hoc mode) and its done. What's even better is I have turned that into a shell script residing on my desktop. I simply run the shell script and dependent on whether I 'ap' or 'no', I can revert back to a search of current wireless devices.

ubuntulogo_400I also have Webmin set up on my Ubuntu desktop meaning I can monitor all of my processes from anywhere in the house, or even whilst I am on the machine directly, I can even use it to configure my web services for webdev. The 3D Cube is a lifesaver, especially when confined to my LCD only. Using Multiple 'Screens' means I can have a blank desktop, one with firefox, one with aMSN and one with OpenOffice all loaded up at the same time, and the push of a button, I can show them all up at once. I can then press F8 and all my windows show up on one screen zoomed out so I can see what's happening in ALL windows at once.

It's features like this I can't understand why Microsoft doesn't put in Vista. The whole OS seems to be about 'woooow'... even their advertisements state clearly 'Wow'. Yet, you show beryl in action (even on my relic ATI Radeon 7500 32MB 1xAGP), and it tends to get more of a 'Wow' than others :P

Sure, Linux has it's faults like the lack of native DVD playing support or MP3 support, but all these are fixed by downloading codecs, and/or running PowerDVD or WinDVD in Cedega :P I suppose for what it lacks in software, it makes up for in processing power. I have customised my desktop edition of Ubuntu so much that I know EXACTLY what is on the system. it barely uses over 100MB of RAM (in a 1500MB RAM system) and yeah - not bad for a desktop system with more 'wow' than Vista ;)

I have work on Thursday which should be good - means more money for my car I will get one day ;) Also - if you are coming to GreenTubeLAN 5: CNAP for Short , you probably should look at working out what CNAP stands for. You have approximately 1 month to do so, and a prize will be available on the night for the correct answer :)

Anyway, time for me to do some assignment work and excuse the picture above ;) But it's like the first picture for the Ubuntu logo on Google Surprised

[1 Comment(s)]


Bus Driver Game Released (24/03/2007 03:38:21 AM)

bdgAs you mostly know, I love simulators. One that hasn't been done yet (well, prior to yesterday) was a Bus simulator. It's now released, and costs a staggering $29.95 US. I'm downloading a trial now, and if it's lame enough, it may end up a prize for GreenTubeLAN Tongue out

Anyway, http://www.busdrivergame.com/ is the websites address if you really want to check it out. Um... if you want to download, get it off the FileFront website.

[0 Comment(s)]


You knew it couldn't last long (22/03/2007 07:49:51 PM)

I'm sitting here in Introduction to Security, and can you believe that there are things known as Personal Identification Numbers that are associated with Automatic Teller Machine cards? I mean, wow - this is some form of security that we must learn. Been somewhat bored today, so I thought I would draw an image:

blah_400

Not much is on the agenda at the moment, just waiting to get paid for a few things to actually be able to purchase a car within the next few weeks. Until then, I'm kind of just working, waiting and working. Better go, I may miss an important part about setting read only on some files actually prevents them being written to :O

Later on today, I will be mucking about with linux too learning how to authenticate users :O /etc/passwd :O 

Ciao

[2 Comment(s)]


OMG IT'S NOT A LINUX POST Part 2 (22/03/2007 05:57:03 AM)

Hi all,

Got back from my first day of work at 7:00PM this afternoon, and well, what a long day. At least they are paying me for it :D and quite a good dollar compared to the rest of the jobs I had applied for (and never heard back) so all is good. Now, what is it with Melbournians and Stage 4 water restrictions?!?!?!!? I mean FFS! We have had water restrictions stage 3 here for ages, and farmers in Thorpdale have had stage 4 for ages. For some reason, I think the farmers here need a bit more of a break than the people in Melbourne. Boo hoo, you can't water your gardens. We have been dealing with this for ages.

Anyway, that's my bitch for today,

Ciao 

[0 Comment(s)]


OMG IT'S NOT A LINUX POST (21/03/2007 01:57:55 AM)

Hehehe... Well, I thought I would mention today that I have finished a website for a client. It finally is usable and readable, and I now have an excuse to use RSS on their website. Tomorrow I have work, so I won't be around until 8:00PM tomorrow, so have fun without me :D

[0 Comment(s)]


Unix - The tool of the devil. (20/03/2007 03:33:19 AM)

I bet you guys are getting p!ssed off with all these posts about Linux and how it (as a server) tramps all over Microsoft Windows Server 2003. Well, here's another one to add to your emerging frustration with my Blog. Yesterday in Network Administration, I was appalled at the lack of logic that some people demonstrate. Since when is it so difficult to press the 'Next' button? Basically yesterdays task was to learn how to install a Linux distribution, namely Fedora Core on their PC's in front of them. The problems they had? Well, they didn't seem to realise pressing next actually did something, yet it's common in Windows to press 'next' to achieve something.

linuxFor the record, Fedora Core even from it's infant stages (version 1) had a GUI installer, which has always been quite easy to use, providing that you understand that to install the Operating System, you have to at some stage or another press the next button. Not a difficult task unless your keyboard and mouse have strangely not been detected by the kernel. For my group, I installed my other HDD and formatted it, letting them install openSuSE on it. They did that quite quickly (in fact beating the others by about 30 minutes). Whilst they were plugging the network in, I asked the tutors did they have a DHCP server set up, and they hadn't yet, so I said - ok I'd put up a basic one now in Linux. After hunting through repositories, I finally installed the dhcp3-server package, and had one written out.

To be honest, setting up a DHCP server under Linux is pretty darn easy providing you know the commands to initialise (which when you remember the commands, you then obtain an understanding of DHCP) as opposed to setting up on Windows whereby you have to use a wizard to do so creating weird-o scopes with no CLI configuration. To show you how simple it is to set up a simple DHCP server to work on one subnet, I have included it below.

default-lease-time 600;
max-lease-time 7200;

subnet 10.1.1.0 netmask 255.255.255.0
{
    range 10.1.1.10 10.1.1.100;
    range 10.1.1.150 10.1.1.200;
    option subnet-mask 255.255.255.0;
    option broadcast-address 10.1.1.255;
    option routers 10.1.1.1; # I was sneaky here and hehe... controlled packets
    option domain-name-servers 10.1.1.1; # Got bored and had Bind9 aswell
    option domain-name "fit.lan";
}

So, I'm sure you are thinking now - that's difficult to memorise all of that. Quite the contrary actually, if you understand how DHCP works. Basically we have defined a default lease time for the IP address, the Maximum time to do so (before renewing), The range that we want (I have set up between 10-100, 150-200 to prove I could theoretically have servers on 2-9, 101-149, 200-254). The Subnet mask is necessary to determine the length of the IP Address, the broadcast address is the address to broadcast the DHCP address on, the Router (or default gateway on windows) is obviously there to route packets through a firewall (or to another WAN address or something) and Domain Name Servers. You don't need a DNS server, but who wants to remember a bunch of IP Addresses :P Unfortunately, I kinda got a bit frazzled myself when I couldn't get the DNS to operate for a while, and it just hit me straight in the face. Never bothered to check the IP of the current adapter now, did I? Basically it was an easy fix from the CLI. Basically what I entered below fixed it. I didn't necessarily need the first line, or the up on the second line. But this is how you change an IP address straight away. Much quicker than clicking Start, right clicking Network Places, clicking Properties, locating your LAC adapter and right clicking and going to properties, then locating TCP/IP and then clicking an option button... blah blah blah... Under Unix, it's done instantly using:

ifconfig eth0 0.0.0.0 down
ifconfig eth0 10.1.1.1 up

Well, I know there are going to be people out there who are used to Windows who will just say that it's easier to do this under windows because there is no CLI to worry about, and that helpful wizards are included. Of course it's easier for someone who doesn't know DHCP, but how many of these people have successfully set one up from first try letalone know exactly what their server is doing?

computer_problemsAs I have said countless times before, you know nothing about computing until you use Linux, and unfortunately there is a whole group of Windows users out there would debate the fact. But you ask them exactly what certain services do, and they have absolutely no idea. If they have absolutely no idea, how can they truly optimise their networks or PC's? <To see if anyone actually reads my blog, I have finally secured a job - $17 per hour, $19 and $26 per hour.> Efficiency is great too with Unix. VIM has become my favourite editor, more so than notepad after learning how to use it properly, as the features to find and replace everything takes no time at all. As I do change script variables regularly, I now have the knowledge to simply have VIM browse through my website directories, and by entering a command, I can replace EVERY INSTANCE OF A WORD, STRING or VARIABLE with whatever I want with no prompts. I can also define what sort of a pattern it must fulfil, like if there can be characters after it, or if it requires a number before... Directory listings is a good example. It is 33% more efficient to use ls rather than dir to locate your directories.

Whilst this is a Unix promotion post, I am not saying Windows is bad. Not everyone wants to learn or use CLI's. Hell, a lot of people hate working with Windows as is, and changing their OS on them will destroy them even more, simply because a process done one way on a machine is different from another. Windows XP isnt such a bad operating system either. Sure, I have more BSOD's in Windows a day than I've had on Linux since the start of this year.

Anyway, catch you around peoples 

[3 Comment(s)]


New RSS Feed System (19/03/2007 12:56:05 AM)
Hi all, please note that I have uploaded a new RSS system. You can access this one using: http://cradanka.yi.org/feed-blog.php

[0 Comment(s)]


Linux Router (18/03/2007 03:29:52 AM)

180307_1810_400Well, I finally finished my Linux Router Project today, however it was yesterday I was reading on Digg about a guy who posted something to the effect of saying he set up a Linux Router in Ubuntu and the common response was 'this is nothing new' and 'think of the electricity wasted in powering the machine'. Well, although I tend to agree with DHCP chewing up too much electricity if that's all that's installed on a machine is not a viable option over a router, I don't know of many routers that can achieve what I have done right here.

Basically my router consists of: Intel Celeron 600MHz, 128MB RAM, 4.3GB HDD, CD-ROM, PCI Ethernet (Directly to Switch), PCI Wireless Card (802.11b in Master Mode) and a USB Ethernet (Directly to Router/Modem). It also has the following features: DHCP, DNS, WINS, SAMBA, Apache2, PHP5, MySQL 5, Webmin 1.330, Squid, SSH, FTP, Firewall/IPTables and SSL. This isn't alot for a machine of it's magnitude, especially when the website merely contains a small intranet site for hosting files, and displaying information. The Webmin component provides a web interface controlling all of these features of the server whilst SSH controls the OS itself. The system boots up in a respectable 60 seconds from power on (which can be made quicker by disabling RAM checking and IDE checking) and during this time bridges the PCI Ethernet and Wireless card, and obtains an IP Address via DHCP from the WAN Interface.

180307_1811_400Ideally, the system has become much more than a router. It provides a local intranet, website blocking (both keyword based and url based), bandwidth limiting per user (quota or speed), and updating to increase functionality is a case of running apt-get install at times. Overall, it is a speedy system for what its designed to do for a total cost of: a machine given to me because it's old and a $29 Asus 10/100 8 port Switch. The server has become a small data warehouse too containing databases for 3-4 applications and services on other computers whilst containing facilities to back up these computers (CRON).  Not bad for a machine using only 50MB of RAM (obviously more RAM is used when more and more people are looking at the website).

So, what am I using it for? Well, technically it's been specifically built for GreenTubeLAN, however given the nature of the Content Management System included and the servers name being called Intranet on a domain greentube.lan, it's fairly easy to modify or implement for a variety of other events that require a collection of PC's to both translate Windows and Unix hostnames with each other (something that most SOHO routers have issues with).

Anyway, over the next few weeks, I hopefully will be trialing a new commenting process, however it requires a user to 'activate' their comment by having an activation e-mail sent with each one they post. The other option is that darn squiggly text crap... I'll see what I plan on doing anyway :P

Ciao

Oh and I am off to a training session for a new job :o

[0 Comment(s)]


Linux V Linux. (10/03/2007 05:03:38 AM)

I have said often enough that the Linux community can be complete and utter <insert bad names here>, especially when it comes to comparing the *nix based Operating Systems to Windows. The fanboyism can be downright annoying for both those who support and condemn any operating system, and it's something I strongly oppose and depicts a bad image of any operating system.

The funny thing lately I have been seeing are arguments that have changed in what they are attacking. More and more, there are discussions about Linux being better than Linux??? For example, over at Digg there have been some completely stupid and moronic discussions with fanbois of openSuSE, Ubuntu and Fedora Core. The discussion is about one Operating System being better than the other. The thing is, neither are better than one another. They are all different, they all have specific purposes and they all have varying levels of software support. As a matter of fact, I use all 3 (and then some)...

SuSE (SLED, openSuSE 10)
linuxThis seems to be a great desktop, easy to use interface (given they altered Gnome) and have XGL (the 3D cube) built-in ready to work out of the box. It comes with YaST (which is something you either Love or Hate) that allows for a robust install. Security appears to be tight in terms of commands such as ifconfig, iwconfig and many others are hidden from normal users. Ultimately, I use it on my Laptop because of the impressive performance I get with XGL loaded.

Ubuntu (Server and Desktop 6.10)
Probably the easiest of all 3 to set up. You put a CD in, load the OS up and click 'install' to which everything is installed to the HDD. Given it is based on Debian, aptitude is included (apt-get install <package> automatically installs applications from repositories.) which makes it easy to update applications remotely. Configuration of the server component appears to be easy as p!ss - to the point where I had a wireless router set up with DNS, WINS, LAMP and DHCP up and running in about 60 minutes. The major problem I found was the use of shell scripts, but for a server or someone installing packages designed for Ubuntu, it's a nice little OS to begin with. Certainly makes a great light-weight server for the next LAN party :P

Fedora Core (Version 6)
If there was ever a distribution suitable for ANYTHING, Fedora Core is the way to go. It has a fantastic package base for both a desktop and server environment, and is backed by Red Hat who offer certifications for their operating systems. The problem I found was the amount of configuring over the alternative OS's which can be good and bad at the same time. It's good given you can customise to the finest of details, however probably not suitable for a newcomer to Linux. The interface looks pretty ordinary, but certainly gets the job done. I use this primarily for proper web server because of the support, the easiness of configuring without requiring every package and the fact it's updated every 6 months with a new version does give me peace of mind.

Basically I'm trying to say that there is no right or wrong answer. As a matter of fact, for a Desktop environment for most users, Windows would still get my recommendation. Why? Well people just don't want to go through the trouble of learning a new operating system, and Windows is the one people have come to know and love hate. I just find it funny that the Linux community is getting bored of the Windows attacking that they have to resort to attacking their own.

[0 Comment(s)]


Ze Frank (07/03/2007 04:28:41 AM)
Yesterday, I came across this guy on the website TED dropping random jokes about Information Technology and the process before development. Thought I would share the video with you. Anyway, I managed today to install Beryl on my laptop (32MB ATI Radeon 7500) to which I have a much more user friendly and feature full Linux desktop environment using both XGL and the Vista-ish Theme. For those who don't know what XGL or Beryl is all about, then click here to watch a video on YouTube that demonstrates some of the features of it. You really have to use it to believe how much easier and productive Beryl on Linux is over Vista's new Aero interface.

[0 Comment(s)]


Linux. Is easier than Windows? (03/03/2007 06:11:32 PM)

linuxThere are many myths in the IT world, especially with those that don't know IT as well as they may think they do. One of the big myths in IT is how easy Linux is to use over Windows. But, is it a myth? In reality, the people who say Microsoft Windows is the easier operating system have generally used Microsoft Windows XP for 10+ years, or originally started using it at the dawn of the Windows age (1985 onwards). Now, if this time was invested into Linux/Unix based operating systems, surely one would consider Linux/Unix to be the easier operating system, but which one is correct?

Well, I have had many discussions last week with friends including showing them some of the features of Linux, in which some of them commented on how much Linux looked like Windows (for the record, I had Knoppix loaded up at the time). In my test environment, I used a wireless network card, a cabled Ethernet card, a digital camera, scanner and an nVidia video card and within minutes, I had all these devices working and fully configured for deployment. Lets start with Wireless technology. Granted, some vendors do manufacture windows-only wireless cards because it's supposedly cheaper to do so. Why would they hire a team of Linux experts when the market share is limited? Well even if one doesn't have a Linux-compatible wireless card, then they can always use the ndiswrapper which basically uses the Microsoft Windows based drivers and allows you to control your network that way. The card I used was a 3Com Prism 2.5 based card, and was picked up by linux straight away. So what do we do from here? I want to make an access point (something that just can't be done under Microsoft Windows), so to do that, I edit a file called /etc/network/interfaces and put in there information about the network card.

auto eth0
iface eth0 inet static
address 10.1.1.1
network 10.1.1.0
netmask 255.255.255.0
broadcast 10.1.1.255
wireless_essid TestNetwork
wireless_channel 6
wireless_power off
wireless_mode Master

So what has that done? Basically it has assigned an IP Address of 10.1.1.1 to the card, and using the master mode, it has turned it into an access point. I'm sure many of you Windows users are reading that now thinking that's easier than windows and are probably p!ssing yourselves laughing over it. It is infact  substantially quicker to type that in rather than clicking, right clicking, waiting, installing wireless drivers, turning on the adapter, then wait for a GUI to come up to fill in 'address, netmask' then you have to make sure that you can search for a wireless network. Long story short, what's here in the configuration file is only slightly more information than the steps you would take in windows, with the exception this works straight from a shell environment than from the windows GUI.

I suppose the bottom line is, you won't appreciate computing, let alone have the knowledge on how computers work until you do learn how to use Linux or any Unix operating system for that matter. Once you learn how a computer works, then you will find Linux a pretty darn easy Operating System to use, in fact easier than Windows for the most part. For instance, lets take a home user's uses. They use their computer to watch DVD's, play Music, burn CD's, burn Music, Word Processing, Internet Browsing, Printing, Instant Messaging, Payroll and Taxes, E-Mail and Solitare (yes, I'm sure that's why Windows 3.0 sold as many copies as it did :P). Linux includes most, if not all of that now. Watching DVD's requires a DVD Codec and/or player to do so legally, and does cost. Just as it does for Microsoft Windows. It just so happens that many DVD-ROM or enabled PC's already come with PowerDVD or WinDVD installed. As a matter of fact, Linspire has a commercial version of a DVD player available, Nero both have Linux versions of their application suites that include a DVD Player and XINE can take some questionable codecs to also play DVD's. Alternatively, one could simply use Wine to run their existing DVD Player. The rest of it is built into most of the popular Linux operating systems (yes, even my collection of printers all detect automatically thanks to a better version of CUPS).

penguinThere is an age old issue about how hard or difficult it is to set up a Linux Operating System, and I still think it is unreasonable to get any newcomer or someone who isn't into computers to install an Operating System. Essentially it is the role of most Windows installers to fully configure a Windows machine, so why not Linux? A user shouldn't have to worry about installing an operating system on their computer, especially when no matter how simple the install is, it is easy to *cough* up your entire system (I know myself after the amount of clients who attempted to install stuffed everything up and lost important data because they tried 20 odd times). The point is, just as on Windows where one needs to know how to install and configure it, the same must be done for Linux. For those who say Vista has a fantastic GUI, how about checking out Beryl or XGL and tell me which one is truly better, especially when one enables the Aero theme on Linux.

Remote administration is easier under Linux as well. Providing you know how the shell environment works (in which it didn't take windows users 24 hours to learn how to use DOS fully, if they learned it at all), and you have the capability to read a text file, you can diagnose the error by searching for the error logs (for Debian this is inside /var/log/) and fix it that way. If the user wants an application updated, under Debian you simply run apt-get install <package name> (or use Yum on Red Hat systems). The user doesn't have to stop working either. They can simply be working in OpenOffice.org whilst the update is executed without any notice to them. How? By using SSH or Telnet of course.

Ultimately I am not going to convince anyone that Linux is easier than Windows, that's something that one will have to sit down and use for a substantial period of time before coming to the realisation that Linux is in fact easier, especially if one has a working knowledge of how a computer works. So why is Windows so easy and why I would still recommend Windows over Linux? Because Windows is a supported Operating System. It has software on the shelves for it, and the internet is primarily aimed at Internet Users. There is much better gaming support, however this is slowly changing as games become multi-platform. Oh, and gaming is still easier on console - you pop the disc or cartridge in and it works. On a PC, you have to *shudder* install *shudder* it. Ultimately, people know how to use Windows, and don't give a sh!t about how their PC works. I'm sure if I put Linux in front of this group, most probably wouldn't be able to tell the difference except Surprised wow a new cool theme. But why change something for users that know how to use Windows? They don't want to learn a new operating system, or how to use a new application. They simply want to get on a machine and hope it works.

Anyway, I have 3 systems now to format and install Linux on Tongue out 

Ciao! 

[0 Comment(s)]


Evil Prevails... (02/03/2007 01:28:41 AM)

It's a fantastic thing when scum can get around the law, yet you are the one that cops the full hand of it. You know - the kind where the 'law breaker' gets treated better than the 'victim'? Well it appears as if a certain forum that I belonged to prior to today appears to have allowed a particular rule breaker to well, take over the forum and is quite allowable to break rules. Long story short, be f***ed if I am going to put up with the shit.

Anyway, on a brighter topic, a big announcement in the GTA community is one where a trailer seems more exiting than the prospects of a game being completed Surprised There have been a few rumours at least so far about the upcoming installment of GTA. I am actually wondering if the trailer is an April Fools joke (you know, given last years GTA Chicago one) or it is the real thing. I'll do some searching tomorrow on whether Rockstar did make an official announcement or something later on. The second major rumour is the possible use of the Euphoria engine, and look at the pretty logo over at rockstar's website.

Well, I have a CMS Version 3 calling me, so better do some work on it.

Catch! 

[0 Comment(s)]


Off to Caulfield... (01/03/2007 05:17:03 AM)

buildinghWell, It's been a week since my last post, so about time I make a post (even if it's lame). I'm still looking for a job, and I still don't have enough for a car, so technically I haven't done anything Tongue out Anyway, this week was my first week back at University (mind you, I only had one week off after completing a couple of units over summer to which I got yet another HD and my lowest mark so far, a C.) I turned 19 last week so yeah - nothing much has happened.

Anyway, Caulfield certainly feels like a real university where it won't be possible for everyone to know your name, nor will you get to know the lecturers and tutors well enough Wink however it is much closer to me using Public Transport, so I'm not complaining. It was taking me up and beyond 3.5 hours per trip to get to Frankston, and well things are much easier in a more manageable 1.5 to 2 hours per trip at maximum. It'll be interesting to see how this year pans out. The course itself is starting to teach some of the more important aspects of Information Technology (all in which I have been doing for years) so hopefully I can pull out some more D's and HD's.

Not much other news is available I'm afraid, however I am playing SimCity 2000 again for some reason Yell and when I'm not doing that, I'm working on a new project to make me $$$. I'll let you know more about that at a later date.

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Hehe... Connex got hax0rised :) (23/02/2007 05:10:06 AM)

Funny thing actually, before getting off the internet I got an SMS from connex saying: "ALLAHU AKBR FROM CONNEX! our inspectorS Love Killing people - If you see one coming, run. Want to bomb a train? they will gladly help! See you in hell! (+61429911196)"

hehe... comments anyone?

[UPDATE] Epidemic Over, stand down. I got another SMS from Connex confirming the hoax. Someones head will roll tomorrow :) The SMS was 'A hoax message was sent tonight to some users. Connex apologises and is investigating with the police. (+61429911196)'.

[UPDATE 2] Just as I thought, the newspapers are all over it now :) 

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A Stupid theory in Technology (23/02/2007 02:27:33 AM)
After the frusteration in resolving linux host names to windows (and believe me, the internet is NOT helpful), I'm tempted to give up on it entirely and go back to Windows Server 2003. So, what version do I choose? Well preferably one suitable for the task. How about Windows Server 2003 Web edition? One would think that a Web distribution of Windows Server 2003 would support websites right? Well, all well and good until one looks at using Microsoft SQL Server!!!?!?!?! Well, it appears as if our friends at Microsoft have crippled the web edition to not allow Microsoft SQL Server to run. This begs the question, is Windows Server 2003 Web edition really fit to be called one when they cripple what SQL servers you can run? *sigh* Back to linux :(

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Game Shows (20/02/2007 03:47:18 AM)

Well, whilst Temptation is on it makes me think often, and today enough to make a blog post about it, about how poorly designed and thought out game shows really are. For instance, lets take a look at the common game shows at the moment.

Temptation
This game show is on 7:00PM on a weeknight on Channel 9. For a person to walk away with close to $1,000,000 in prizes, the player must be there for 8 nights. This is 4 hours worth of answering a tough range of questions and it's not the type of game show that if you leave early, you get a nice cash prize or a great prize of some description. For example, most of the time the prizes consist of Grand Pianos, Whitegoods such as massive dish washers and internet fridges. The stupid thing about this show, is the most money one could theoretically win on the night is maybe $12000 and that's after a prize, a shot at the vault and some extra cash after buying and haggling for a prize. Overall, a tough set of questions but with a low prize turnaround given the extreme difficulty when compared to other shows.

Wheel of Fortune
This game show gives out a few dollars, a few prizes, and has 3 puzzles. A low turnaround in prizes, easy puzzles makes for a nice little show to go on if you are really after a holiday to every part of the world that no one obviously wants to visit :P

Family Feud
Not a difficult show either, low prize turnaround with absolutely no real thinking involved. Players may get money or they may not. It adds a degree of difficulty and alot of luck on this show, but ultimately you win a few dollars, not uncommon to get $10,000 to split with family anyway for 30 minutes worth of work.

Deal or no Deal
If there was ever a game show you want to win $10,000 on, this is the one to do it with! You answer 3 questions to do with what's in the media in the last month, and then you guess what suitcase has a nice dollar amount in. Well, I thought this was the easiest show to win money on until some others came up.

The Rich List
This TV show is one of the most simplest to answer questions on, and you have the chance to earn BIG money. You answer the question by providing as many answers as possible for things like 'states in the United States of America' and in doing so, you can get up to $250,000. How's that for less than 15 minutes worth of work.

100 v 1
This competing with The Rich List has a similar style to Deal or No Deal crossed with Millionaire. Basically you answer questions like 'What part of the body allows you to walk? A. Legs B. Hair C. Computer Joysticks'. Again, not uncommon using the lifelines to get over $100,000 in cash for answering easy questions.

Quizmania
This show is one of those uplate ones that contain hosts dosed up to the eyeballs on drugs (I'm sure of it) where you call in and get say $100 for saying 'ball'.

So, why is it that the harder the questions get, the less money you earn? I know Millionaire got you some decent money if you could get into the hotseat and answer some tough questions, but most walked out under $32,000 and less time was spent in doing so. Strange hey :)

[3 Comment(s)]


Moving on from Frankston... (14/02/2007 07:14:08 AM)

buildg_400Hi all, well after finally finishing my last exam, I am hoping that I have done reasonably well in which I am hoping for about a High Credit/Distinction in Java 2 and Distinction/High Distinction in Web Systems II. Why? well honestly I have been so god-damned busy with everything else happening (nor is it easy to concentrate doing on-campus units off-campus). So, overall if I achieve those marks then I suppose I have done not too shabby (especially when I know the practical sides to it almost back to front).

So, what does this mean? Well today was my last time I would ever need to be in Frankston again. No more going to the Peninsula campus, and definitely no more 3 hour bus trips each way *sigh*. So, although I leave quite a picturesque campus behind, I am moving on up to a closer (by train atleast) campus at Caulfield to continue my IT studies there. The stupid thing about it all, is a train trip is roughly 1 hour to the campus but I'm not complaining, especially when I have more time to do things at uni now.

Anyway, GreenTubeLAN is coming up this weekend, so I am now preparing for that by recreating the servers from previous LAN. With a bit of luck, I will have a Linux router set up aswell (oh what fun that's going to be if I find out the wireless card needs an NDIS wrapper).

Ciao! 

[1 Comment(s)]


Virus Alert Released (10/02/2007 10:57:17 PM)
gmlogoAfter spending hours working on this rather than studying for exams on Tuesday and Wednesday, I have finally released both an MP3 and MIDI version of Weird Al's Virus Alert. Check it out by clicking here!

[4 Comment(s)]


"Weird Al" Yankovic - Virus Alert Update (10/02/2007 01:46:31 AM)

weirdal_solIn my last blog post , I said I was working on both studying for exams and a sequenced version of "Weird Al" Yankovic's Virus Alert. Well, considering I am such a nice person and all, I thought I would release a 30 second preview (in MP3) weighing in at a massive 390KB in MP3 form. This has been exported using FL Studio 6, so you will find that the audio is of a much better quality than those terrible GM sound cards.

Apart from that, after studying today the entire Javascript section of my Web Systems 2 unit, I now have the knowledge to enhance my website some more (namely validation on data entry), so CMS Version 3 will be on it's way possibly May/June this year. When that's released and 'important' clients are updated, CMS Version 2 will be released open source.

After exams, GreenTubeLAN is coming up and after GreenTubeLAN, I will have a massive project in updating the Horses 'R' Us website to the SMF platform. There are just so many features in SMF that IPB 1.3 Final doesn't have (let alone being more secure and compatible with my web platform.) and given it's free, I can't argue with price. I remember first trying this platform when it was version 1.07 or something, and found it to be total bullcr@p, but I can't have checked it too hard now given it's very easy to edit CSS files, and the community in general seems reasonable, so yeah - that's happening after GreenTubeLAN.

Well, better start revising for this Java exam *shudder* this one's going to be tough :(

Ciao! 

[0 Comment(s)]


Midis and Music Added (09/02/2007 02:16:46 AM)

Hi all,

rabbitrescue_120Been a bit bored today with all of this studying for 2 exams I have next week for University, so I decided I would post a blog update. My site is slowly coming together now since I uploaded one of my assignments for university called Rabbit Rescue. So what is it you say? It's a corny story line of a game that is meant to be a 2D platformer (like the old NES and SNES versions of Mario Bros) where you have to shoot robotic bananas to save rabbits by touching them. In the final level, you kill an evil monkey boss to save your mum. Sounds strange hey Tongue out

vintagekeyskeyboardlg_400Well, I had the game working in under 2 days, so I was pretty impressed with how far I got with it. This is probably the most complete game I have ever designed, followed closely by a game called My Mansion I created in Quick BASIC back in 1999. Anyway, that's available in my computer software page if you are at all interested. You will need the Java Runtime Environment (J2SE) of atleast version 1.5 to play it. The source code is also included, and given the nature of an assignment, it's fully documented so that you can create your own variants if you wish to do so.

Apart from that, but I have also included a new section on my website called Midis and Music. One of my hobbies as I have mentioned before is playing the piano. I also enjoy composing and sequencing music, both original and replicas of existing pieces. So, certainly feel free to check that out as well. Currently, I'm working on converting Weird Al's Virus Alert from his new album into a midi, so expect something here shortly for that.

Anyway, better get back to the salt mine. Ciao! 

[1 Comment(s)]


Video Game Addiction (05/02/2007 08:47:36 PM)

wwcAddiction is defined as the repeated use of a substance, carrying out a physical behaviour or psychological disorder. There are many forms of it ranging from Smoking, Drinking through to drug use. There's one thing however that is only starting to get a mention about now, and this is the possibility of Video Game Addiction.

So what is video game addiction? Well, I suppose someone who appears to be addicted to a game would be classified as a Video Game Addict. To be classified as an addict, one would need to repeatedly play a given game, where it would be detrimental to the persons health. This is certainly evident from my own research and people who I know personally who appear to be addicts of a particular game. The game, World of Warcraft, involves what most good RPG's have. They have a role for you to play, they lead a life, they become powerful and it's seen as an alternative life. The game does this well, but there are increasingly more and more people who are becoming addicted to the game.

Do I blame World of Warcraft? I personally don't think blaming the game or the manufacturer as the problem, just as the brewer of a beer cannot be held responsible for your use of the product if you choose to get drunk. What is to blame is the failure to self-limit access to the game. People do immerse themselves into this game, where there are people who want to become powerful. To do this, more time has to be spent playing the game. The direct repercussion of this is that loss of sleep, loss of eating and loss of health start to happen.

I know of atleast 2 people I know who have at one stage or another been addicted to the game. Both had this problem where they were spending up to 12 hours a day playing a given game. Is it healthy? No. Why do they play this game for 12 hours? Because they don't set a boundary, and if you can live an alternative life where you became powerful, rich and were able to dictate an entire life, would you jump to that opportunity?

The interesting thing is, it is considered unsociable to do so by a majority of families who believe their son or daughter is addicted to the game. What they fail to realise is that by playing the game online, they are playing with other people who they can socialise with. It's just done infront of a computer rather than conventional methods of meeting a person 'in real life'.

Well, that's my thought for the day... had to post something Tongue out

[2 Comment(s)]


GreenTubeLAN 4: The G Stands For Games (03/02/2007 01:50:12 AM)

header_400Hi all, this is just a friendly message to say GreenTubeLAN 4: The G stands for Games will be held in 2 weekends from today, being the 17th to 18th of February, 2007. As always, venue is open for participants at 12:00PM Saturday, and finishes 8:00AM Sunday.

Please note that registrations will be made slightly different this time. They will be done on the site, and stored in a database to make it easier to accept payments. Feel free to register here!

=================
GreenTubeLAN 4: The G stands for Games
Cost: $15 per head, no free entry. Entry is to be paid prior to entering the venue
Includes: A share in $50 worth of chips, access to bottles of drink in plastic cups
Capacity: 40 Participants
Venue: Frankston North
Special Items:
Additional Information: Basically we are trying to gather enough funds from this LAN so that we can find a venue capable of seating 100 participants. This is why the price is $15, and only includes a share in $50 worth of chips.
Network Infrastructure: *gasp* Most likely 100Mbit dissipated over multiple hubs. Make sure you have games installed for this very reason (unless someone can come up with a gigabit hub for a backbone).
Prizes: 1st Place in AoE 2 Tournament, 1st & 2nd Place in UT2k4 Tournament, 1st Place in V8 Challenge Tournament. Prizes pool is valued at $40.
=================

Yeah, shut up - I'm advertising on my own blog Money mouth

[4 Comment(s)]


Web Development Assignment Finished (01/02/2007 10:44:48 PM)

I wish I could say I'm free, but I'm not yet. Now I have to start and finish over the next 2 days a Java assignment. After frantically dealing with images, documentation, oracle databases and writing lengthy queries, I was able to successfully upload a website after tidying up over the last few days.

250pxinterior_of_siemens_train_aftPublic Transport:
Once again, the topic of trains is in the news with yet another Siemens Train overshooting the Seaford platform. This has yet again caused more controversy over Connex's ability to operate the entire Melbourne network. What people fail to realise is that Connex is not the one who ordered these stupid, not-well-designed-for-peak-traffic trains, this was M>Train back in 2002. I also find it quite humerous that to fix the problem we are currently having, Ted Balieu has suggested that all Siemens Trains be removed from the metropolitan network. To do so, Connex would have to operate on an altered Saturday timetable which includes more 'peak service' trains. What I thoroughly enjoy laughing at is the idea that reducing the trains to a Saturday performance would help passengers out by letting them know atleast their trains will run. It's a funny solution simply because this would cause more of an overload than already present Laughing and I can't see why they can't split off-peak services to 3 cars or something like that. They are rarely full in Zones 2 and 3, but I suppose that's what Connex is paid for and not me. What p!sses me off is I guarantee that V/Line services will be even more packed than ever before making sure that I cannot get on my own train (that runs hourly) from Dandenong which has happened before *shakes hands and thanks those with met cards, pay much less than me and can get a train every 15 minutes*.

TV:
Channel 9 back in 2005 used to be my favourite TV channel. This is far from the case now. They have just canceled Outrageous Fortune!!! To compensate, they put on even more crappy quiz shows (like there isn't enough of them already). Channel 10 is getting worse for putting advertisements that take up a good 1/4 of a screen for about 20 seconds DURING A MOVIE!!! Channel 7 is really giving me the sh!ts by gaining most of my TV viewing and god help us all if Channel ABC continues this trend of running shows 10 minutes overtime!

Well, that's todays complaints. Stay tuned until tomorrow where I complain about whatever could possibly happen tonight. 

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Windows Vista (31/01/2007 08:56:34 PM)

vistalogoSo most of you think I hate Microsoft Windows Vista adamantly. Well, I myself hate the new Microsoft operating system, especially after beta testing it since the days it was known as Longhorn. It doesn't mean I won't use it, and it doesn't mean it is the biggest pile of garbage. The thing is, of course with the launch, I have had people wanting to upgrade to the latest operating system already! So, I thought I would post my proper views on the Operating System.

Why should I upgrade to Microsoft Windows Vista?
If you like transparent windows and a somewhat flasher operating system with less viruses than Windows XP, then by all means upgrade. Is it worth the $282AU for the Home Premium upgrade (the home premium proper upgrade, not OEM nor Academic Edition) just to get a few new cool features? Well, that's up to you to decide.

What version should I get?
Home Premium is the lowest system you would want to get to notice any major improvements. Home Basic does not come with the Aero theme, not a good choice for laptops (whatever the reason may be), no Windows Media Centre, no Backup, no HDD Encryption (even Business doesn't have this), no games and no HD capabilities. Basically it's going to be minimum $282 to upgrade, then you need to make sure system is capable.

computerWhat is a reasonable computer?
For most of my clients, a simple RAM and Video Card upgrade should be all that's necessary. 1024MB of RAM is roughly $150, and a Video Card can be had for about $60. All up, $210 should upgrade your current system enough. Ideally, you will want a processor above 1.5GHz, a HDD with atleast 40GB of HDD Capacity, 1024MB of RAM (if you plan on running the Aero theme), and a 128MB ATI Radeon/NVidia Geforce video card.

When should I upgrade?
I would suggest holding off for at least 6 months given if you want help with any issues, next to no-one will have a thorough understanding of the Operating System. Of course, I will myself over the next 6 months thoroughly testing the OS on a spare machine I have lying around to work out what bugs are there, and what error messages mean what. By then, Dual Core machines with 1GB of RAM will be quite affordable, and Vista OEM editions can be found cheaper when we buy a new system Wink

Apparently Vista allows me to listen to music, photos and stuff. I couldn't do it on Windows XP!
If you honestly believe that Microsoft Windows XP was incapable of displaying your photos and listening to your music (which is what Microsoft Windows Vista is claiming), then you certainly will be unable to operate Vista's Media Center given you still need to copy photos off your camera, and copy music from CD's. My point is, Vista is only enhancing the way you interact with photos (ie using Media Center on your PC or a Media Center Extender like the XBOX 360). If you can't click Start - My Pictures, or Start - My Music, then Vista is going to be just as difficult to sort through Tongue out

Are you saying Microsoft Windows Vista is pretty much garbage?
As with the release of any new operating system, there is no reason to splash out on it. There are features that will be Vista-Only, for example the DirectX 10 Library (for gamers) that will require an upgrade to Windows Vista. This is why I suggest 6 months to 12 months before people will start realising they need to upgrade. For the time being, Windows XP is not passed its used-by date and can probably idealistically be used for another 2 years before support really starts to drop for it.

Are you going to use Windows Vista?
I have no choice but to. Given my career choice, I would be severely disadvantaging myself to not use Vista. I'll be using my newly acquired Ultimate Edition on my IBM NetVista 1.8GHz with 128MB Video Card and 768MB of RAM when I have the time and inclination to do so. Vista is going to be the future, no doubt, as software developers won't be switching to another platform just yet. I am personally holding out for the Longhorn Server to be released given the better RAM management and stability that makes Windows Server 2003 a great desktop operating system. Strange how it works hey Wink

linuxIs Macintosh better than Vista, Linux better than Vista?
Depending on the application, there are strong points to all 3 operating systems. Dependant on your needs, a Macintosh might in fact be a better solution. For myself, an Apple Macintosh is not an ideal Operating System. It is severely limiting (despite being a derivative of BSD), however in it's limitations is where Security becomes a great positive. For those browsing the internet, listening to music, making DVD's with no emphasis on game play (mind you, with Boot Camp you can install Windows to a mac but then you defeat the purpose of owning a Mac Tongue out) then a Mac is ideal.

Linux is in a world of it's own. The community in general (sorry to those in the community) is disgusting, and in my opinion very unhelpful. You will generally find a few who are happy to bend over backwards to help you, but overall it's pretty terrible. It's run mostly by teenage kids who don't know the first thing about it which is a shame (judging by many forums I have visited). The community is very much 'ha ha you are too n00bish' which in English translates to you are too stupid. Despite this, the operating system if you know what you are doing is quite a good operating system. It's flexible, and you can fine tune it to the finest of details. Would I recommend it to a client? Only SLED 10.1 without YaST, Terminal and any super user access Laughing so, short answer No.

I don't feel I need to reiterate the Microsoft Windows strong points, as you are most likely used to them now anyway. Windows is here to stay, and will be around for a long time. We will certainly see Mac and Linux come up with some decent competition (especially for those who can't afford $500 to upgrade Surprised who will stick with XP anyway).

Final Thoughts on Vista?
Of course, everyone has their own opinion on Microsoft Windows Vista. Personally, I can't see (from a technical aspect) how an Operating System should be allowed to use up 400-500MB of RAM on idle by default. I know it's terrible with Windows XP sitting on 500MB of RAM with stuff open (especially on my 512MB of RAM in my laptop). However, computers that will be released over the next few years will come standard with 1024MB of RAM and 128MB Video Cards, so this won't be an issue. What annoys me the most is how Mac, and Linux have been able to implement fantastic GUI's (for looks) and still use VESA drivers to draw them (VESA in english is pretty much just a standard driver that utilises no special features in Video Cards). It is not an excuse to say that Windows is not Linux nor is it Mac. The simple fact is, there is a drawing algorithm out there embedded into Operating Systems that do not require 128MB Video Cards.

To finish, I suppose time will tell on how successful the operating system is. The only time we will know if the operating is really a success is in 4-5 years if Microsoft is still making operating systems Wink

Ciao! 

[6 Comment(s)]


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.

[3 Comment(s)]


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. 

[0 Comment(s)]


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 10.0.0.138 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

[3 Comment(s)]


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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