Craig Mattson (Personal Website)
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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. 

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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)]


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