Fixing Dad's PC

When my sisters came out to visit yesterday, they brought what's left of Dad's PC (an old Q6600 that was a very nice machine in it's heyday) with them so that I can try and put it back together. His PSU blew out a while back, and conveniently didn't take …

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Crash in atheme-services!

While stuffing about trying to upgrade this ancient infrastructure, Atheme promptly exploded in a core-dump. I guessed (correctly) that it was related to the old configuration file being used on a newer version, rewrote the configuration file, and off we went. After I got everything mostly squared away, I decided …

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Linode: IPv6 Pools on FreeBSD

Well, we abandoned the Slackware experiment, and I started configuring a de-systemd'd Debian installation, when my co-admin Avi admitted defeat: "I'd rather you used FreeBSD than Debian if you can't run Slackware". We went back and forth about how Slackware was a "man's distro", and how "real men" don't need …

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Slackware: Linux, the hard way

I run a small community shell server for a group that's going on about 20 years old, I'm sure I've mentioned it here before. We're running Debian Wheezy LTS, which is coming up on it's EOL this year, but the registrant of the domain has gone AWOL and it was …

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No Wipers on the Commodore?

Wiper Motor Short

It's grocery shopping today, so out and about. On Saturday when defrosting the windscreen, Sabriena noted that we had no windscreen wipers, so after a bit I diagnosed that the fuse had blown. I suspected that it blew because the wipers were frozen to the screen and had caused too …

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Steam Link

Out to do our usual garage sale trawl this morning, but found precious little to actually spend money on. There was a sale that advertised video game stuff, but the lady wanted absolutely insane prices for everything (a PSOne for $125!) - she did have a PS2 fat, and I went …

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Bootleg SNES Games

I've been dying to play Chrono Trigger for quite some time now, and Sabriena had mentioned that Neil had suggested she play it on an emulator, as it's basically his favourite game of all time. I'll probably never find a legitimate copy for a price I'm willing to pay, but …

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House complaints

In to sook at the property manager again this afternoon.

We complained before we left to the USA about the broken window (it looks like the foundation has shifted and caused the window frame to not be a rectangle anymore) and the security door on the kitchen falling off the …

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Playstation!

We've been heading out to yard sales for quite some time now, mainly because ever since I got bitten by the retro gaming bug, I've been hoping to score something amazing. I've found very little so far, but that makes it a rather cheap hobby. I like to tell folks …

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Asus ROG Giveaway

One of the benefits to the Nvidia card I bought (considering that in retrospect, I probably should have bought an RX480 instead if they were more available) was that it came with a free game. Neither of the games were something I was super interested in, so I didn't put …

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EPN, again!

Ebay sent me mail again this morning, and not the usual bullshit (things you look at once, usually because it was linked, and it spends a week hounding you about). No, they've lowered the payout threshold for their Ebay partner network. I'd forgotten all about that!

Back when I started …

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NBN works in progress!

My suspicious surrounding the pit labelled "nbn power" were correct - they're installing the node cabinet right out front of our neighbour's house. Assuming our last mile copper doesn't do something stupid like go up the street and down again, our loop length could be as low as a hundred meters …

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Using VirtualBox remotely

This took me shamefully longer than it should have to figure out, so I'm documenting it here: I can finally connect to my Debian VM on my desktop via RDP using my laptop.

Enabling "Remote Display" shows an error condition, that VirtualBox extensions are not installed so it will be …

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Duncan's mouse is here.

Rival vs G Series Duncan's been hinting for a while that he wants a new mouse. He likes Sabriena's Logitech, because of the sharp angles, glowy bits, and more than three buttons. His favourite color (at the moment) is red, so when I was pointed to a $10 MSI G Series by a random …

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Duncan's GPU is dying.

I got woken up this morning by Duncan's desktop not coming out of sleep. He power cycled it, and it still "didn't work", so I got up and had him do so again. Windows loaded up, started a bit, then the monitor went to sleep. Checking things out, the PC …

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Duncan's seven!

Duncan is seven years old today (ish, modulo timezones).

My sisters came by last weekend and bought him a giant-ass Lego set, which he was pretty stoked about and him and his cousin spent most of the day building it. Then today after school he got the Lego Dimensions pack …

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Data loss!

Well, for the second time in my life I managed to blow away a partition by accident. In the process of trying to convert my two 1TB internal drives into a RAID0 volume, I accidentally destroyed the partition table on our 2TB external disk, our "backup drive". It turns out …

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Blog Bootstrapping

Part of the process of having a new desktop is moving my Debian VM over, and by virtue of getting off the Windows Insider programme, being able to use VirtualBox again (for desktop purposes, Hyper-V is really substandard, it has a bunch of features that seem pretty great for enterprise …

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New Desktop!

Okay, so the new-to-me case I picked up last week has sat empty long enough, and I didn't like the teething problems I'd heard about with Ryzen (which I was super pumped for, until I found out how unavailable they were) so I decided to go with the "safe" option …

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PC Parts!

Jealousy from Shaina's new PC has set in, so I finally got off my arse this weekend out to Mum's to pick up an old PC case I'm trading off my sister - I swapped her a bunch of NDS games for it, so we both did rather well.

It's a …

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Commodore: Heater tap failure

Today we were supposed to head out to Mum and Dad's for a visit, but when Sabriena looked out the window this morning she noted that there was a bunch of water on the driveway. I shrugged and said "it's probably condensation" since the top of the car was covered …

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Shaina's PC Built

Sabriena's sister Shaina has been dealing with an old (Vista-era) PC since forever... while we were visiting, I cleaned all the (significant) dust out, reinstalled a modern-ish OS (Windows 8.1, unfortunately) and installed a discrete GPU (a ~5 year old, low end nVidia). It worked for things like Team …

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Sabriena's SNES Lives!

SNES Power Socket

As I wrote a while ago, powering a US SNES outside of the USA isn't entirely trivial, but last Friday I arranged to purchase the power supply of an Aussie MegaDrive II from a seller, and it came today. I ducked into Jaycar hoping to purchase a panel-mount 4mm barrel …

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Copying Steam games.

GTA V is on sale apparently, and Sabriena and I have been looking for games we can play together, so we were wondering if her PC would run it. Easiest way to determine that? Copy the files over from my laptop, sign in on my Steam, and see how it …

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Indicator switch arrived - Fixed!

For the last couple of weeks, our car's been making this annoying rapid ticking sound when the indicators are off. I had my theories as to what caused this, but searching some forums confirmed it - the indicator stalk has got excess play. I reckon the problem is that the flasher …

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Playing with the Dash cam

For about the last year now, it's been one of the side goals of my dabbling with my ELM327 OBDII reader to build a datalogger, which I can then feed to a set of virtual gauges and then overlay it on top of a dash cam video. The original plan …

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More site fixes

Try as I might to be a careful webmaster, mistakes creep in.

I'm not sure why, but I ended up taking a peek at Google's webmaster tools and noticed I still have about four or five 404s. Why? Well, two of them were mistakes I made: one, I tried to …

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SNES Power

Today, after managing to get rid of our old queen size mattress, I was lost for something to do so I decided to take another peek at Sabriena's Super NES and ponder about how to get it to work in Australia when I don't have the original PSU.

The Australian …

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Gippsland, again

On Saturday, Duncan and I headed out to Mum and Dad's to spend the night - the plan was to head down to Grandma's for a visit, because school holidays are starting soon, we missed her over Christmas, and this would likely be our last opportunity to visit her before next …

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NTSC Games hooked up

I brought home a ton of video game shit from the US (customs people scanning our bags probably had an interesting time), and over the last couple of days I decided it's time to start looking at some of it.

Game Gear - Sort of working On Sunday, I took the Game Gear apart and started …

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Front bushes trimmed

When we came home the other day, we found a note from the council dated 4th of January. They wanted us to trim the front bushes to their specifications, because it's "obstructing pedestrians". They included a helpful diagram of what it should look like, so I set about fixing it …

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HTTPS

I saw a post on Reddit, which led me to another site, which led me to another, and so on and so forth until I arrived at a page that suggested everyone should be running HTTPS for everything because it's free everywhere, and mentioned something about AWS, which is where …

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Hard Disk Spelunking

I brought home about four IDE hard disks from the US, at least one of which I hoped to use in my Xbox console if they still functioned adequately. Unfortunately, I failed to take into account that I don't have easy access to a computer capable of reading them, so …

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Second Christmas!

Mum, Dad, my sisters, and my sister's kids came out today for "Second Christmas", which Sabriena points out is actually our third, but to me that just seems greedy. We exchanged gifts for the kids, where Duncan finally got the Brainsaw he'd been asking for the whole time we were …

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Don't Starve Together: Servers

The documentation for headless servers for this game is fucking awful.

Sabriena and her sister were playing this game during our stay in the USA, and she asked if I could set up a dedicated server for them. I had a look and the game supports Linux, and recently they …

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Home again!

After a very long plane ride, we're finally home again. The Delta rep that checked us in erroneously told us that we'd collect our luggage in Melbourne, and since we cleared customs in Melbourne instead of Sydney last time it seemed to make sense. Luckily, the Virgin people impressed upon …

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Fucking AT&T

For the most part during our time at Shaina's house, the internet has seemed pretty good. The house is exceptionally close to the central office, so her average rate is around 18mbps on ADSL2+ (unfortunately with still the same shitty upstream that all ADSL customers are stuck with), but for …

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Found my PS3!

I've been wondering where my PS3 is the last couple of weeks - I loaned it to my brothers-in-law Nick and Colton when we left for Australia, as I erroneously thought it wouldn't work with the games over there (as it turns out it wouldn't work without a stepdown convertor, but …

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Christmases!

We've had a couple of Christmases so far. Sabriena's mom Pam is working Christmas eve, so earlier in the week we went over there to open presents early. Duncan came away with way more shit than he should have considering we have to cart it all back on the plane …

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Storage Archeology

A couple days ago we visited Sabriena's mom at her new house, then headed over to the old blue house to hunt through our stuff. Hampered by no power, three sets of stairs, and the potential for racoon inhabitants, we managed to dig out a fair bit of our things …

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USA

After almost five years, we've made it back to Montpelier.

We weren't really ready to come back, but the visa for me to enter the US is time-sensitive so it was now or never. After a series of progressively less-lovely flights we landed at Indianapolis where Sabriena's sister and her …

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Nerd Shrine: Entertainment Centre

We've been toying with the idea of building an entertainment centre for a while - to buy something like we'd want would be prohibitively expensive. We bought two cheap flat-pack shelves to flank the unit and then set about designing what we wanted.

I decided to build at least a prototype …

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Windows Update Sucks

For about five days now, Windows 10 has consistenly failed to update from build 14955 to 14965 - each morning I'd get up, and it'd be stuck on the updating screen at 87%. Frustratingly, it would download another multi-gigabyte update again after each failed attempt.

Most annoyingly, despite the fact they …

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Internet Outage

Had our first negative interaction with Exetel's support today. :(

Shortly after about 3pm our connection dropped entirely, and when I checked things out the PPPoA was failing. I rang their support line, and got told that our modem had apparently reset to it's factory settings and they'd email me the …

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Talbot Swap Meet

It's a long weekend (4 days, for Duncan!) this weekend so I decided on Saturday to take Duncan out to my parents' place so he could hang out with his cousins for a while. We went yard saling and then had his appointment to apply for his Australian passport (a …

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Duncan's School: Parents forum

This morning we were invited to a "Parents' Forum" at Duncan's school. Apparently every few months they invite a small group of random parents and ask them different questions and discuss what the school can do better, and we were one lucky group of parents.

There wasn't much there that …

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X Boxes

Out and about this morning doing my usual crawl of garage sales - there's a guy who runs a Facebook group who compiles a list of them based off several sources, and other people can post theirs as well, for the entire Horsham area, which is super handy - then to the …

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Hello, Hyper-V

A few days ago I noticed that, once again, a Windows 10 update has killed VirtualBox. What a fucking joke this is. I get that I'm on the insider track (I wish I wasn't, as I've not had any time to work on Mumble at all, but unfortunately there's no …

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Immigration Success!

This morning, Sabriena and I got emails - approximately 10 minutes apart, for some reason - stating that they'd received all my documents (passport, physical, etc) and we'd been approved for a visa.

Hurrah!

There's still a ton to do. There's some sort of a payment we have to make immediately upon …

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Duncan's Passport(s)

We had to have Duncan skip a day of school, and pile into the car to head down to the US Consulate General in Melbourne in order to renew his passport - apparently minors can only renew their passports in person. The drive down was uneventful, though somehow we screwed up …

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A desk for Duncan

It's been a couple of years now since Sabriena got a laptop and we connected the desktop to the TV to allow Duncan to play on it, almost completely on his own (we rarely use it these days). In the early days, he'd use an Xbox 360 controller, sitting back …

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More Gear!

Dad dropped by real quick on his way back to work and dropped off some more gear I'd left at his place - an old P4 box which I probably won't hook up, but which should have a compatible batch of RAM that I can put into the Windows 2008 machine …

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Pong!

The local Facebook group that lists garage sales (mostly one guy, doing the lord's work by aggregating notices posted on other sites, but on occasion people post their own for him) had a huge list of garage sales this weekend, so we decided to go out and have a look …

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Ethernet Over Power

I've recently been playing around more with infosec related stuff, after it dawned on me the other day I haven't hacked anything except webapps in years. I decided to set up a small lab, ideally out in the garage where it'd be away from anywhere we'd like to keep tidy …

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Immigration Physical - Redo

It's almost time to finalize our application for an immigrant visa to the USA. We're not even sure that's what we want any more, but we've sunk so much money into it it seems like a waste to just drop it - plus with the visa snafus from last time (I'm …

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Trigonometry for Pilot Vehicle Signs

Dad rang me up this morning with an interesting problem, and I'm ashamed to say it took me most of the day to get this straight in my head so I could solve it. I think I have the math correct. Basically, you have a sign that's about 600mm tall …

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Chromium on Debian in VirtualBox woes

A while back I discovered that at some point my Chromium inside my Debian VM has stopped working satisfactorily. It ends up drawing black elements everywhere, gets stuck on top, and just generally messes up the entire VM unless you happen to have a shell handly where you can blindly …

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Water heater

Sabriena woke me up yesterday morning because the water heater was leaking. Huh?

I go out to have a look at it, and water is positively streaming out of copper pipe connected to the pressure relief valve. I waited until after they opened and phoned the property manager (spoke to …

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Passport renewal

Yesterday I dropped into the post office, printed-out form in hand, to find out about renewing my passport. It doesn't expire until November, but I'll need it before then and better safe than sorry. It turns out that I needed an appointment, though they could have squeezed me in if …

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More C#

I've spent the last few days messing around with C# in Visual Studio - I'd been playing with it inside Unity and found that on the whole, I'm quite partial to this language. I started up Visual Studio a couple days ago and was trying to decide what to try in …

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Review: Chinese knock-off Mercedes Benz Star C3

This is probably a long time coming, but I think it's safe to say that I've had a bit of experience using this so I can safely review it. We bought this unit around mid-2013, via AliExpress from a very-Chinese-sounding vendor - the instructions are awful. If memory serves, we paid …

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This storage shed drives me nuts!

I finally got around to driving out to Mum and Dad's today. The plan was to hang out with them for a while, maybe connect our Star C3 to Dad's van and take a look at it, and then dig through the chaff shed looking for the rest of my …

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AV Cables

SNES with AV cable

Yet more eBay stuff today... I could get used to this.

Today it was the AV cables I bought for a couple of our video game systems. I bought a component cable for the Wii, which is supposed to help the interlace tearing in some games such as Skyward Sword …

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New screen for Duncan's tablet

Tablet Screen Broken

More eBay stuff today, this time an unexpected delivery knock at the door in the morning. It's the digitizer to Duncan's tablet! He broke it a few weeks back playing Pokemon Go, when he managed to drop it in the main street. He was utterly devastated, and I gotta admit …

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eBay Goods! New NIC for the TV machine!

The first of the fistfull of things I bought on eBay last month has started arriving - I'm addicted to buying $5 shit from Hong Kong, but not addicted to waiting the time it takes for surface mail shit to arrive.

One of the first things I bought was a Realtek …

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Speeding?

I got pulled over this morning after dropping off Duncan at school, and I just thought it was the usual random breath test thing. Nope, apparently I was speeding.

I was incredulous.

After dropping Duncan off at school, we left the parking space on Bleakley St (at 8:59am per …

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Back to the Wii, again

On a whim, I picked up Skyward Sword for Duncan's Wii, not realizing that we lack the requisite WiiMotion Plus controller for it. :(

I had a quick look on EB Games' website, and they wanted $60AUD for the Nintendo branded one, so I thought maybe they'll have a used one …

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Toothless Kid!

Toothless!

Duncan managed to lose his second front tooth this morning, so all he wants for Christmas is his two front teeth!

It's been wiggling for a few days now, but unlike the other one which came out very easy this one saw fit to stay put. This morning after biting …

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Xbox 360 Controller woes

I woke up this morning to Duncan and Sabriena discussing the Xbox 360 wireless controller attached to his PC (our old desktop) - she ended up abandoning it and plugging in the wired one instead.

She replaced the batteries in it and it still wouldn't turn on - but what the fuck …

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PS4 Cleaning

PS4 Dust

I've noticed some frame drops while playing GTAV and the characteristic roaring of a device that's working too hard to keep itself cool and came to the conclusion that it was time to clean the dust out of the PS4.

I took a look for a guide online, and found …

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Damn Heisenbugs!

Last night someone came into the Mumble IRC channel with a complaint about our permissions system not working correctly. Initially, I responded with some skepticism - our permissions system looks pretty complicated to an end user, but the code to actually implement it is merely a pair of for loops toggling …

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Super Nintendo!

Super NES!

I arranged to take Duncan out to Mum and Dad's today so he could hang out with his cousins for a while - the entire way there he wouldn't shut the fuck up about playing Terraria on his tablet with Cody.

We got through to Avoca, where he revealed he had …

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Taxes: Done already

The end of the financial year is upon us, and rather than leaving it until the last minute, I decided to get in early and thus spent the morning doing taxes. I'm not due a refund or anything (in fact, I had to pay a small portion), but I've gotten …

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Duncan's Limited Steam Account

Duncan's friend Lincoln was over to visit today, and the two of them wanted to play Team Fortress 2. That's fine, Lincoln's parents gave us their old laptop that runs TF2 acceptably so that's fine. The problem, though, is that Duncan only has one Steam account - easy enough to fix …

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Wired Ethernet to the desktop

I finally got sick of the Netgear USB Wifi adaptor we bought a couple of years back. It worked okay for a while, then we moved the desktop up front and it would repeatedly fall off the network under high-PPS or high-throughput situations, and the only way to get it …

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House Inspection

Our property manager came along today, perfectly prompt, to check the house out on behalf of our landlord. She had some minor gripes, for example the lawn on the nature strip was long in places and I hadn't edged along by the back fence - but in my defense (and which …

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House clean up

We have a house inspection scheduled for the end of the month again, so naturally it's my time to freak out about all the things that are untidy around the place. The shed in particular looks like a bomb went off, so Friday afternoon and this morning I resolved to …

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Back to Portland, again!

I had an interesting experience with Maritime Security, Biosecurity Australia, or someone while on the docks at Portland this week. We were taking wind tower blades off a ship, with apparently some confusion with Biosec about checking the blades (as it was possible the frames they're stacked into was contaminated …

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Contaminated Sausages!

Tuesday's dinner was effectively ruined, the meat for the dinner proved to be contaminated with some sort of plastic! It reminded me of the sort of plastic you find under the glass lids of higher-end brands of instant coffee, or perhaps the seals used in food producing machinery (it didn't …

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Dental Hospital

Off to work earlier this week, then home for a single night before heading out to my parents place. I ditched the van there, and Dad took me in to Carlton in his ute, to facilitate easier parking (parking a van that's about three meters tall isn't easy in the …

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I hate working on SSL stuff

I spent a bit of time over the last two weeks working on the SSL stuff for Mumble - I very much would like to be able to use Let's Encrypt for Mumble servers (I suppose the plural isn't really necessary, as I only have one left) and currently it involves …

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Duncan Birthday: Bowling

Duncan's birthday fell during the school week this year, so we didn't get to do anything super-fun on the day... he got to choose what he wanted for dinner (Subway, for some reason, instead of fast food or pizza) but we decided this weekend to take him bowling at Horsham …

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Portland!

Out to Portland, VIC for my first job in a long time - luckily this one was pretty profitable, as there wasn't much driving at all apart from actually getting there and back. Super long day though - start at 6am, work until 2am, few hours nap, then work again until midnight …

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curl: *tableflip*

I spent way too long working this out. I'm almost ashamed it took so long.

I've been hacking on a project called murmur-rest, as it's basically a head start on what I was going to do when I rebuilt the old MumbleDog stack to open source it: abstract away the …

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Laptop Wifi Troubles

Lately I've been having a bit of trouble with the Atheros AR956x Wifi NIC in my laptop - it drops packets occasionally, usually only for around 10~50ms at a time, but enough to cause real grief with gaming. I confirmed the other day while playing Team Fortress 2 with Duncan …

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Signing my Git commits

Github now natively supports verifying signed commits, so uhh... why not?

After some experimenting, I signed a commit for a blog entry pretty easy because I've already used Keybase to put my GPG key on the machine I do my authoring on - unfortunately it didn't like my email address (which …

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A new lounge room

Can you help me for a moment?

That's how it started: Sabriena wanted to vacuum the dust off the ceiling fan and lacked the uhh... "vertical attribute" to do it by herself. Three hours later, we're both exhausted having moved the furniture in the lounge room around.

The new layout …

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Microsoft licensing still sucks

Okay, I get a fair amount of free shit from Microsoft via Dreamspark, but I've also paid the Microsoft tax and even bought several products in my life time so I feel I've a right to complain.

A while back I downloaded the ISO from "Project 2016", and today I …

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Debian Update

After playing around with Laravel, it became pretty obvious my Debian Wheezy VM is grossly outdated, so I needed an update. I had originally planned on trying Ubuntu, so I span up a VM and installed it. For some reason, I found it slow as shit compared to Debian - maybe …

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Hike: Mackenzie Falls

Mackenzie Falls

I'm exhausted!

We decided to make the trip out to the Grampians today to check out Mackenzie Falls, because Sabriena saw it on a website and thought it looked great. We walked around the lookout loop, which is almost 2 kilometres of seriously light-grade walking on pleasant tracks. The falls …

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Trying out Laravel

I shit on PHP all the time, but I haven't actually done anything substantial with it in quite a while. I wrote a couple of WHMCS modules, including open-sourcing one, but none of that was more than elaborate copy+pasting and a bit of logic involved.

Someone on #mumble mentioned …

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Guitar Surgery and fixing Mum's TV

Duncan and I went out to Mum and Dad's today - we had originally planned to go fishing with my sister and her kids, but they didn't have their fishing rods so that went out the window. Instead the plan was Duncan could play with his cousins, while I worked on …

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Good Friday at Grandma's

We spent last night in a motel in Beaconsfield - not much of a motel, either, really - then out to Grandma's at about 9 o'clock to hang out and then have a big family lunch. The Monash freeway was absolutely stuffed last night, but the drive home today was excellent. We …

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BSA: Headlights have arrived

Disaster!

Checked the mail today after picking Duncan up from school, and I have a package waiting for me at the post office. I'm expecting the LED headlights for the BSA, so that must be them! In to pick them up, and sure enough it's a package from China - this …

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Reflections on winding up a business

It's with great regret today that I announced that our little company MumbleDog will cease trading imminently. I expect to have wound everything up in the next 30 days, but the email finally went out this morning after much soul searching - I wasn't even sure it's what I wanted to …

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BSA: Electrics and Clutch lever

I put much of the finishing touches on the electrics of the BSA today. I have some LED headlight bulbs (could only buy a pair) on the way for it, so I thought I might as well get ahead of the curve and rewire the connector (which has seen better …

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Fishing!

Fishing!

A few days ago, Duncan entered a colouring competition as part of Horsham's fishing contest, and ended up winning one of four fishing rods as a prize. This put Sabriena and I in the awkward position of having to take him fishing, despite not really knowing how to do it …

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Bombed in Calculus

Ugh, I'm mentally exhausted!

I've spent about the last 6 weeks, non-stop, studying Calculus both at Uni and hitting up Khan Academy every single day. Today was the exam, and I don't think I did very well.

I've checked the marks for my assignments, and I got a distinction on …

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Farewell, Barnaby

We had a bit of a shitty day today - Duncan's fish has been lethargic for a day or two and this morning was leaning over, a pretty clear indication of a dodgy swim bladder. I wasn't expecting him to last that long, and sure enough before lunch time he was …

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More VM stuff

Being productive over the weekend felt great, so I decided to continue that groove and reduce the size of a Linux shell box I've been hosting as an act of charity for a few years now. It gets almost no use, and it's sitting on a 2048 Linode when a …

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Productive Weekend!

Pretty proud of myself over the weekend. Thursday I managed to finish off the second assignment for my calculus class - I think a couple of my proofs are pretty weak, and it's entirely possible I got completely the wrong answer, but at the beginning of the week it was looking …

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Bomb Threat

Duncan's school sent out an alert via their "Skoolbag" app - the recent bomb threats some dickhead has been making to schools across Victoria finally hit his pokey little school (along with two on the other side of the state).

They assembled under what Duncan refers to as a "blue alert …

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Khan Academy: God damn it.

I'm most of the way through my semester of mathematics class for my Bachelor's degree, and I found myself "comically unprepared" for Calculus (seriously, that's my Khan Academy biography at the time of writing). I've been using Khan Academy to great effect to catch up on things like Algebra, Trig …

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Rock Band!

EB Games sent me an email (but shh! Don't tell them it's effective) that Rock Band 4 bundles were 50% off, which put them into mostly-affordable range. When we last went into the music store in town, Duncan was eyeing off the electronic drums they have there, and since we've …

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Commodore Headliner: Is the nightmare over?

About a month ago, the headliner sagging in the Commodore started to get worse, so I come up with the genius idea of trying to fix it. My brother-in-law Luke did the headliner on his, and it stayed put for a few months until my sister was driving it and …

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Up a mountain

Duncan at Mt Stapylton

We woke up bright and early this morning, bound and determined to do something active and outside of the house. We decided to head out to Mt Zero and go for a minor hike.

We ended up heading part way up Mt Stapylton instead, and quite enjoyed ourselves. I took …

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BSA: Speedometer

I've been working pretty consistently at getting the BSA in roadworthy condition, but unfortunately over the last month or so I've spent probably more than I should have, so it's time to cool it and let the budget catch up.

But I'm still really manic about this particular project, so …

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BSA: Movement

A bit of a panic last night - I hooked up the regulator/rectifier I bought to the AC output of the alternator, put my DMM on it and... I get about 4vdc max and idle. What the hell? Took everything apart and measured the AC output of the alternator and …

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BSA: Beep beep!

Yesterday I ordered a gasket kit for an Amal 376 from Union Jack Motorcycles - our carb is actually a 375, but it seems that the only difference is the bore size, making the flange gasket the only part that won't fit, and mine seems in okay order anyway. I also …

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BSA: New Ignition Coil

Uh oh... Very exciting day today, the 12v Lucas coil I ordered at the local motorcycle shop finally came in. I suppose it was only two weeks, but it felt significantly longer. Shot in to town to pick it up, pulled the house battery out of the van, and wired everything up …

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Smeaton times two

Left home by myself last night, spending the night out near Shelford to take two trips up to Smeaton today. It eventuated that I drove right past Grog's house three times, but didn't have the time to go in for a visit. I actually would have between the loads, but …

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Dentist and Ballarat

We had to wake up bright and early this morning, to be gone by about 6:30am to get to Maryborough by 9am for Sabriena's penultimate dental appointment. We ended up getting there far earlier, about 20 minutes too early... but while I'd miss that sleep on the way home …

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BSA: Coil Ordered

In to town today to buy milk and put fuel in the car, and I decided to stop in to the local motorcycle shop (Wimmera Motorcycle Co, principally an HD dealer but they sell lots of other shit as well) to see if they carry a coil for the BSA …

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Infinity: The Force Awakens

Duncan (with a bit of coaxing) donated over two garbage bags full of toys today to the local animal welfare society, and so effectively as an award Sabriena bought him The Force Awakens playset for Disney Infinity. We also bought him the Kylo Ren figurine, because he can't shut the …

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GPG: Whoops!

Mikkel Krautz tried to send me something regarding Mumble today, and encrypted it with PGP. No problem, I've got GPG... but what key did he use? It wasn't my Keybase, it was something from 2011 (fwagglechop@gmail.com; created 9 sep 2011, 670de1f1).

Checked my dropbox, and I have some …

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Ugh, Moniker... again!

Once again, we reach the time of year where I want to renew all our domains again so I don't forget about them and let them expire, and once again I'm troubled by Moniker's absolutely appalling website (not new any more, so no excuse).

I selected all my domains, picked …

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Happy New Year!

I got a facebook message sometime around the 30th from my cousin Rodney, who I was very close to growing up (his grandmother, my great aunt, actually put up with me staying with her many a school holiday just so we could hang out). He'd mentioned coming out to visit …

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Moving Granny

Granny's Shed

We got up super early boxing day, because Sabriena was going home with Duncan and they wanted to avoid the traffic. Surprisingly, there was very little at all, and no cops to speak of - they made it home safe by 10:30.

I stayed behind in the van, because Grandma …

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Merry Christmas!

Out to mum and dads early on the morning of the 23rd,hoping to avoid all the traffic idiots - not entirely successful.

I didn't eat too much Christmas dinner, despite deciding pre-emptively to suspend counting calories for the weekend. Rather proud of myself, really... I guess I can train my …

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BSA: No spark!

Down the street this afternoon to pick up oil for the BSA, and a spark plug for good measure. I settled on 15w50, though apparently they're not picky. Per instructions from some helpful forum members, I verified the oil pump was working after draining a whopping 200ml or so of …

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Beeza!

BSA Day before yesterday I had to drop off the VZ ute that dad picked up for $200. He picked it up near Warracknabeal, but didn't have time to take it all the way home before being back to Nhill for work, so he left it in our driveway overnight.

It …

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More ATO Bullshit

Another, this time very scary, letter from the ATO about past due BAS forms. Huh? I filed those! They're paid for and everything.

Rung the ATO at about 11:30 today and spoke to "Jane", apparently it looks like the computer system didn't finalize them until the 11th, and the …

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GTA Online

Valve have made an absolute mess of Counter Strike with the latest update - the r8 Revolver was fun for about an hour, then it started to get old using the same gun for everything and it looked like no fix was in sight, so I looked for something else to …

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Python: webspyder part 2

I shifted a few things around on my site lately, so I decided to check and see if I had any 404s on the local copy - I have a few 301s on the S3 copy, but it's probably better if I'm not linking to something that eventually goes away, plus …

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Sabriena: Wisdom teeth

Between my exams today, Sabriena had an appointment to have her wisdom teeth out. Unluckily, hers couldn't be taken out via manual extraction the way three of mine were, and she'd require surgery. She needed an adult with her for the 24 hours after the surgery, so Mum came over …

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Exams again!

I moaned back when I started this course that I was having a hard time with it, and today was the first examination in the entirety of my degree that I've been genuinely terrified of. Even the first exam ever I was pretty confident going in, but this maths course …

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Tax Woes

Got a letter from the ATO last monday - I'm apparently overdue on a tax return and three BAS statements. Huh? Don't I pay a guy for this? It turns out the income tax return was for when I was out of the country, so I just needed to go through …

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Hello Barnaby!

Duncan has been bugging us for a pet for a while, and it's really quite heartbreaking. We keep trying to tell him we have pets, they're staying with his Grandma, but to a five year old it's a tough thing to understand. So what to do? If we go back …

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Plumber over again

Yesterday was the third time I'd tried plunging the bathroom sink and having zero effect, so I decided to remove the P-trap (S-trap?) and clean it. After opening the cabinet doors, an idea struck me: am I allowed to do that? I then looked, and it seems the house has …

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Power outage: Fire!

Duncan got to stay home today because it was his Teacher Student Parent interview at 9:30. He's still doing really well in school, reading far beyond what is expected of him (but we kinda knew that), although his creative writing and counting are both hindered by what I think …

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Good URLs never move...

... but sometimes it's necessary.

I kept a few of my pages on this site under the /p/ subdirectory because I wasn't sure if I was going to keep using Pelican or eventually move back to Blogger, which doesn't let you set up your own directory structure in any way.

While …

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Fighting spam in phpBB3

I think purely by virtue of my time zone, I was doing the lion's share of moderating on the Mumble forums up until work absolutely blew up a couple of weeks ago. I re-attached to IRC to find Stefan Hacker lamenting that the moderation queue was rather large. It turned …

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Steering Column Fixed

While we were in Sydney, the valet at the hotel parking garage managed to break the lock on the adjustable steering column on our Commodore, which made it a serious pain in the arse at times driving back from Sydney. Bits of an H-shaped piece of metal that was broken …

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SSD for Sabriena

Arrived home today to grab the "we missed you" card for our delivery from MWave - about a week ago I ordered 16GB RAM for my laptop, and an SSD for Sabriena's laptop... early Christmas presents for both of us. Picked it up from the post office and proceeded to install …

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Sydney for Immigration

USCIS finally approved our petition for a partner visa (I-130)!

Sorting this mess out has been a long time coming - fully 14 years after we applied originally in the USA then cocked the entire thing up.

The drive up to Sydney was uneventful - we decided to simply go in to …

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Commodore: 200,000km service

No work again today, and I had to pick dad up from the mechanic while his van was getting looked at, and it reminded me that the Commodore is almost due it's 200,000km service. Unfortunately work hasn't been that great this year, so as much as I'd like to …

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Deleting a Homegroup in Windows

Last night I stayed up far later than I should have reinstalling Windows 10 on our desktop, and I wanted to network it with the other machines since it's not running like dog shit now.

Unfortunately, there's a phantom Homegroup on our network which meant I could neither connect to …

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Commodore: Flat Battery

I got home yesterday evening and managed to spend the first night in almost a week in my own bed, which was lovely. This morning we had to buy groceries for the coming week, but the van was in the way and needed fuel anyway, so I asked Sabriena to …

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More site fixes

I kinda liked the built-in Google search that being on Blogger offered, at least it was better than the search included in Wordpress. Unfortunately after moving off Blogger, the only thing I could find is Google's Custom Search Engine (CSE) which is ugly as fuck (and doesn't work without Javascript …

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Accident Avoided

Black Range Overpass

For the second day in a row I was sent out to Mortlake, which is good because it's a short trip and I was home just after lunch both days. Today though I had to take a minor detour, after hearing on the UHF that there was an accident between …

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Car tire fixed

Took the car in today to have the front tire fixed. The screw had definitely punctured it, but they removed it and repaired the hole (they go to great lengths to tell me it's not a plug, but I honestly know almost nothing about tires), fitted it back to the …

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Duncan: First Friends' Birthday Party

They're not his...

Duncan had a first today: the first time he went to a friends house, and for a birthday party no less. Sabriena took him to buy presents (there were two boys celebrating at the same time, Lincoln and Gabriel) on Thursday while I was at work, then this morning we …

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Out to Mum and Dad's

Riding bikes

This morning I took Duncan out to Mum and Dad's so he could see his cousins. Dad needed some help getting the ride-on off the back of his ute, after picking it up from the repair place so it helped that I ended up out there.

We left home pretty …

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Math is hard

I'm finally into the meat of my bachelor's degree in one of the courses this term - "Mathematics for Engineers" which is basically pre-calculus. The other course this term is basically an ethics class, which I'm finding terribly uninteresting, but at least it's not exactly challenging as I'd feel extremely overwhelmed …

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Garden Season

It's that time of year again, time for the garden to need some tending to. The lawn mower is difficult to get around certain edges, so I decided to bite the bullet and buy a weed eater. Unfortunately I didn't want to spend too much, so we ended up opting …

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Big power outage

Last night I had just crawled into bed when there was a big flash, followed by the telltale combination of a "boom and a buzz" that gave me flashbacks to when the transformer blew out outside our shop in Sacramento. In that occasion, a squirrel had climbed up and short-circuited …

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World of Warcraft on the TV

Lately Sabriena and I have been playing World of Warcraft again, as we'd just about run our course on Trove and two of our friends were playing it so it sounded fun. Duncan was bugging us that he wanted to play too, but how to accomplish that?

We've got the …

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Infinity Day 3.0

They're not his...

It's that time of year again - Disney Infinity 3.0 released and of course we had to have it. As you can see from the photograph, we may have gone a little overboard, as usual. This month is going to be rough, as I'm already off work for the week …

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I fixed my bike :D

Uh oh!

Fun fact: this is the second blog post with an identical title, and identical URLs except for the month/year.

A month or four ago I noticed I'd managed to break the drive-side locknut on my Colony, and I resolved to do something about it. Fast forward to Monday, when …

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J Ward and Gum San

J Ward

A look through Duncan's "diary" that he writes at school each monday was a bit of an eye-opener: most entries, barring the weekends we went to Mum and Dad's, consisted of him talking about Minecraft, Terraria and Trove. Uh oh, that was a bit of an embarrasment during his Teacher …

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Exetel DNS outage

This morning the internet all of a sudden stopped working - no big deal, the router's only been up for something like 300 hours, probably just needs a reboot. Prior to rebooting I noticed that we still had connectivity - weird. After some investigation, I worked out that we're receiving two DNS …

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New Toy: USB Steering Wheel - Betop BTP 3130

Into the opp shop this morning to waste some time before Duncan's TSP interview and I stumbled upon a race wheel for five bucks. I didn't get excited, because normally the ones I've seen in the oppshops here are all the old school PC game controller interface, which I don't …

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This is why I have trust issues...

The title is slightly tongue in cheek, it's not that big of a deal...

... but this morning I was doing something productive when my wife began talking about our club on the game Trove (which is actually rather cute and despite being extremely dumbed down there is a fair amount …

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Laptop cooling redux

A while back I had an issue with my laptop wherein it would be running with the fans spun-up for no real reason whatsoever, so I ended up looking around Horsham for some thermal paste, after my semi-annual cleaning of the heatsink proved fruitless. The only thing I could find …

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Blog post maintenance and Photo hosting

I spent tonight doing some maintenance on my blog - I found several typos and grammatical errors, along with a couple of posts I meant to add photos to and never got around to going back and doing it. I ended up touching a surprising number of files:

$ git status | grep …
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Selling the Van - Part 3

I've mused at least once before on selling the van and trying to find a job closer to home, but procrastination has consistently gotten the better of me. This year's been particularly awful in terms of productivity, with us barely managing to sock any money away whatsoever for the entire …

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Automotive Archeology

The JVC stereo that the Commodore came with doesn't support Bluetooth - it has an optional bluetooth module that turns out to not be installed. There's a microphone on the A-pillar, what the heck is that for? The JVC wasn't terribly well installed, so I slid it out to have a …

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ELM327 in Python

One of the first things I wanted to know about our new vehicle is whether or not my extremely cheap ELM327-knock-off OBD2 cable would work on it. It should, as it's a GM LS1 and a GM 4L60E transmission, but that doesn't necessarily imply that Holden wouldn't find a …

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New (to us) car - VT Commodore

Drove all the way to Warrnambool and back today, because our newly-purchased VT Commodore was done with it's roadworthy and we were able to finalize the deal. Almost threw the Navman out the window on the way down, because it took us the most fucked up route ever - including a …

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Sore Ankle!

Out for my tri-weekly jog again today, all by myself because Sabriena is laid up with a suspected torn calf muscle (which she hilariously tore again trying to run from a train about a week ago), and I've been trying to listen to music because apparently it helps you stick …

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Hunting a V8

We're looking to get rid of the Cruze, as now Mum isn't out with Dad on the road all the time she'd kind of like to have it back (damn it!) which will actually be nice in a sense for us because it's one less thing to pay for.

On …

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Pelican time zone issues: resolved!

Today I decided to brave the depths of Pelican's source and work out why time zones weren't working as I expected them to. If I tried to put time zone information on the end of an article, it rejected that article. Why? This is what I tried:

Date: 2015 …
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New Pelican Theme

I'm working on a new theme for my Pelican installation, based off the bootstrap theme for same. The default Bootstrap3 theme is amazing if all you want to do is chuck up a new Pelican site with a template that doesn't suck shit, but I've become rather accustomed to the …

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Trying out Windows 10 Insider Preview

My laptop has needed a reinstall for a while now, so I decided to play a scorched earth tactic and try out the Windows 10 Insider Preview with the understanding that if it fucked up my Windows, I could just reinstall like I was going to.

I'd heard good things …

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Down to Gippsland

We shipped off out to Mum and Dad's on Wednesday in the Sprinter, because Sabriena had a dentist appointment on Thursday (almost finished!) then from there we went on to Catani to visit my grandmother, where we stayed the night.

I nicked Grandma's scanner and raided the photo albums, stealing …

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To the movies: Inside Out

Today we went to the movies in Horsham, to take Duncan to see "Inside Out". It was an excellent movie, it's pretty clear Pixar haven't lost their touch. Bill Hader and Lewis Black were standouts for me, being fans of both of them but the entire cast did well and …

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Duncan got an award!

Duncan getting an award

On Monday we got a call from Duncan's school right before it was time to pick him up, saying that he was getting an award on Friday if we would like to attend the assembly. Before that, there would be a picnic on the grounds of the other campus of …

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Goodbye Telstra, Hello... Telstra?

This morning I ended up pulling the trigger and cancelled my Telstra account. Between my mobile account and the 4G "hotspot", I was paying up around $109/mo and I've hardly used it at all! Sabriena's on Telstra prepaid, and she gets free calling and all that shit.

So I …

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Redirects with Amazon S3

After making a few changes to my site and uploading the entire thing again, I decided to check Google Webmaster Tools and see if there's anything that needed my attention, and it alerted me that I'm up over 400 404 errors. Yikes!

For some reason though, it's still returning 404 …

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Fixing fwaggle.org

While trying to fix an annoying issue with one of my templates, before I have to upload the entire site to S3 again (as every single page will have changed), I decided to validate my page's HTML5 using W3C's "nu" validator. It turns out there's a heap of errors in …

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Ballarat Model Train Expo

Signal Strength post-change A couple of years ago in 2013 we went to the model train exhibition in Ballarat (Incidentally, we took a bunch of photos of it, but I don't appear to have written about it), and Dad rang me up wednesday to ask if we wanted to go again. Sabriena's been …

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Wifi Changes

Signal Strength post-change The other day I was messing around with an Android application that purports to show signal strength on Wifi, and noticed something peculiar: our WAP is on the same channel as almost all the other WAPs in the area. My van's WAP defaults to channel 2 for some reason, and …

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Fire department shows up

Yesterday while fooling around on my laptop, Sabriena pointed out that there were fire fighters in our driveway. I went outside to find out what was going on, and they asked if we had a fire going in the backyard. "I hope not!" was about all I could blurt out …

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Duncan is back to Skylanders

Duncan has been annoying the shit out of us wanting to play Skylanders again. The problem? He only had Skylanders for PS3, which isn't hooked up at the moment. So I decided a while back that if he worked really hard in school and got a good report from his …

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Book Choices

Lately we've been letting Duncan pick out his reading books, and while he commits the cardinal sin of only looking at the cover before he decides if he wants it or not, for the most part he's pretty good. When I went to read him a book tonight and the …

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Tracking down a Quassel Bug

Last night after coming home from the movie, I set about trying to isolate what's going on with my IRC setup. It has the weirdest behavior: in the evening, the windows client will disconnect, and then not reconnect. The next morning, it'll be fine.

I'd assumed it was just a …

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Drive-in Movie

Tonight was Horsham's "Drive-in movie night", which we decided to take Duncan to as it quite likely might be his last chance to ever experience one, as the idea seems to be dying out rather quickly. I was wondering how it was going to work, as it was at the …

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Mum's Missing Birthday

We bought a card and a couple of small gifts for Mum for mother's day and/or her birthday, but due to other commitments we didn't end up making it out there (they all went to Gippsland for the weekend and we just couldn't justify that much travel on a …

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Mother's Day Surprise

Duncan had to take money to school yesterday to buy something for Mother's day, and he came home with a brown paper bag with stuff in it.

Sabriena kept trying to catch him out, because usually 5 year olds have huge mouths and Duncan's a bit of a blabber mouth …

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Up to Parkes

So it turns out in the ISRI seats in the van, you bounce around sufficiently to trip the pedometer in a FitBit. Because of this, and the vast changes in altitude going up to Bendigo, I earned a heap of badges on Fitbit that I don't actually deserve. It doesn't …

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All aboard the FitBit hype train!

Sabriena and I both ended up buying FitBit devices today. I've heard of several people who had good experiences with them, and one who'd had a semi-negative experience (in that while walking a dog, the dog leash slid down and managed to break the irreplaceable wristband for it). While looking …

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Duncan is Five

Duncan and birthday cake

Duncan turned five today (well, sort of - he's not chronologically five years old quite yet due to being born in USEST).

Unfortunately he had school today, but up early to watch a movie anyway. He got to open his cards before school, one of which contained ten bucks from my …

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Mum and Dad's Broadband

Sabriena has another dentist appointment, so out to Mum and Dad's last night to spend the night. While there, I was supposed to hook up Mum's new PVR, which my sister went and took care of (though it didn't come with an HDMI cable, so I'll probably get one for …

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IRL Guitar Hero

I've basically been playing... well... doing something to guitar for years. I started in grade 5, played for a bit, gave it up. I bought an electric bass in 1998, and dabbled a bit here and there. We have a cheap (I think Ibanez?) electric in the USA as well …

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Fuel efficiency in the Sprinter

I have been endeavoring to keep track of fuel economy in pretty much every vehicle I've owned since the Suburban (which, thanks to a 454CI engine was an exercise in misery) and with the Sprinter I've actually done a rather exceptional job at it. I have fuel fill data along …

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Adelaide again, BP trouble

As it turns out we've got four more trips still to do in Adelaide after easter, so back out there again for more work. Last night I put fuel in at the BP in Wingfield, SA, hoping to catch a shower immediately after. It hadn't clicked before I put the …

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Easter: 2015

Duncan woke us up bright and early (more like dim and early, around 6am) this morning, and hunted for eggs even before the sun came up. After finding what the easter bunny had left him, I spent the morning catching up on school work and then played some Counter Strike …

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Adelaide -> Pinnaroo

Dad and I were both out to Adelaide, SA on Sunday night to take as many as 5 trips out to Pinaroo before Good Friday. Despite Duncan being on school holidays, Sabriena elected to stay home - Duncan was bored simply driving to Maryborough so being in the van for a …

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Playstation 4

I must confess, I don't actually know why we did this.

Sabriena found a pretty good deal on a Playstation 4 at Target, and wanted to go get one. However this resulted in a disagreement of sorts, because she wanted me to want to get one as well, so it …

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Three Wisdom Teeth Gone

Back into Maryborough for one last time (Update: No, one more time April 10th, I have to get a referral to the Royal Melbourne Hospital to have my last wisdom tooth taken out surgically), as the dentist was optimistic he could remove all three wisdom teeth that were exposed "the …

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More Van Work!

As I mentioned last time, I had to take the van in to Doherty Clark because the mechanic and Tyrepower couldn't get the caster right on it. I was told that Doherty Clark in Sebastopol were the people to take it to because they did a lot of light truck …

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Bike Paint Job

It's been over a year since I bought a 2011 Colony Endeavour off Gumtree (Australia's Craigslist basically, because the actual CL website is simply a cesspit of spam and scam), and the paint work on it has never been in that great a shape. I'm also not particularly fond of …

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Minecraft Scoreboards

I was thinking how cool it would be to have a mod to keep track of how much diamond everyone mines... I was actually thinking it'd be cool to track levels earned, but that doesn't appear possible without mods - tracking blocks mined is possible with vanilla server and zero mods …

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Van Front End

Yesterday was my van's appointment with the mechanic, which Sabriena and I managed to forget. The mechanic's wife rang me up just before lunch and reminded me - whoops! Turned out okay, their morning was completely full so it didn't actually waste any of their time (apparently) but I still felt …

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Four year olds and VOIP

Yesterday, Sabriena and I did something we swore we'd never do.

We gave our four year old a microphone and let him loose on our VOIP server. I swore I'd never do this, because of all the idiots who give their kids mics and set them up on games like …

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Quassel full time

I switched everything over to Quassel full time, after shuffling around all my IRC stuff. I've put off doing anything about it for so long, but I was running all my IRC stuff on the same netblock as I had a few (not many anymore, thankfully) paying customers... something which …

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Metadata Retention in Australia

Australia's government looks set to pass an idiotic bill requiring ISPs to retain metadata on customers for two years, because terrorism. This system will be a boondoggle, accomplishing exactly nothing and costing a fortune, so I decided to write my local MP because hey, it's 30 minutes of my time …

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Learning Spanish

It's been a goal of mine to be functionally bilingual for as long as I can remember. I had the option of learning either Spanish or Japanese in grade 6, and I thought at the time "when the fuck am I ever going to use Spanish?" (Great call eh? Considering …

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Giving Quassel a try

Today, while mucking around with my Linux VM I use for MumbleDog work and egged on by screenshots of a friend's Linux Mint installation, I decided to give Linux Mint a go. The results were a little disappointing: try as I might I simply couldn't get it to automatically adjust …

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Forgotten Schooling

I'm neck deep in revision at the moment, having relearned things like excess notation, floating point numbers, one's complement, two's complement, and so on, I'm doing my best to commit them all to long term memory.

One of the easier problems (working out memory requirements of a two dimensional array …

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Duncan: Religious Education again?

Duncan's school sent home a form today asking us to check if everything's correct, and everything appears to be so - except under "Religious Instruction" it has "Agreed Syllabus 'Religion".

We purposefully did not consent to that, something which I believe violates Victorian law if he has received any special religious …

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Duncan Parent-teacher interview

On the way home from Red Lion yesterday, Duncan's teacher called to ask if we wanted to schedule a parent teacher interview tomorrow. I took this to mean that she had something that was a concern, so I asked Sabriena to make an appointment. I also thought it might be …

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Dad's Radiator Swap

Another dentist's appointment on Friday, so back out to Mum and Dad's place again. On saturday, when I'm supposed to be recuperating, we get the genius idea of swapping out the radiator on Dad's sprinter so I can have his old one while I get mine looked at.

It didn't …

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Pelican + S3 + CloudFront

Messing around a bit more with this blog - I shifted the main portion of it to CloudFront instead of vanilla S3. The advantage to that being that the free tier gives you a good bit more bandwidth, assuming things are accessed often enough to take advantage of CloudFront's cache (otherwise …

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Almost Ready!

I've successfully configured the sitemap.xml generator which I think was the last thing on my todo list before I push this site live on my domain.

The git repository for the sources is a bit of a mess, because I shifted some stuff around, but it'll rapidly fade into …

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Pelican Success

I've been mucking around with Pelican a lot lately, and it's been working rather well. I've gotten most everything done that I wanted to, and while I still have a few things I need to fix up (mostly template issues) I managed to push the published site to S3 successfully …

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Parents' Rummage Sale

Out to my parents' place yesterday for a dentist appointment, and since I ended up with a double-shot of whatever they stab into the area I was feeling a bit groggy so I spent the night.

This morning was the Talbot wide rummage sale, which Mum and Dad were participating …

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Line Follower Robot

The NXT Light Sensors (#9844) we bought from BrickLink finally came (they came rather quick from Canada, really), so after testing them out (involving Duncan playing with the super-annoying test program which changes the pitch of the piezo speaker inside the NXT brick depending on the amount of light detected …

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Skoolbag app updated

Sabriena updated the "Skoolbag" app the other day, and it appears to be functioning correctly now. I like to think our bug report played a small part in that.

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Trying out Pelican

I really like Jekyll, as I've mentioned before. Unfortunately it's written in Ruby, and I really just don't get on well with Ruby - and I'd like to extend the CMS so I can add features to my blog.

Hyde is a Python alternative to Jekyll, however the documentation is utterly …

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No one can escape... the claw!

After going grocery shopping and then mowing the lawn, Duncan and I sat down to build a project we found online: an NXT robotic claw arm. This time, Duncan built almost the entire thing unsupervised. His attention to detail is improving dramatically, I'm pretty sure I can count on one …

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Duncan Robot v1

Duncan and I built his first rover-type robot today - he decided that "Alpha Rex's" time had been and gone, and it was time to build something new. So we sat at the table and mucked about for a bit, knocking out a simple twin-servo skid-steer rover in about an hour …

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Robot update: I want more life, fucker!

Duncan up bright and early this morning to have breakfast and then play with the robot. I tried for a few moments to get him to understand the LabVIEW NXT programming environment, but his mind was elsewhere.

Off to play with it for an hour or so before school, but …

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Duncan starts school tomorrow!

It's Duncan's first day of school tomorrow - on a Friday no less. I'm assuming it's to help the new preps acclimatize to their situation, but at first thought it does seem rather silly to have kids start school on a Friday.

He's pretty excited to go back and make some …

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"Skoolbag" app unusable

Sabriena's having difficulty with the Android app that Duncan's school uses for parental communication. I tested it on my phone, and it's broken there as well. I tried to find a way to contact the app developer, but it appears to be targeted at schools, so I wrote the school …

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Inspecting pull requests from Github

I'm ashamed to admit that there's a fair few things on git that I've just simply never learned - I've taken the hackish route around a problem and just never stopped to consider that there might be a better way.

One of those is looking at pull requests for Mumble. I …

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Back in Gippsland for the day

Work saw me down at Stony Creek today, so I decided to stop in and see Grandma on the way home and ended up bullshitting with her for about two hours before I decided I ought to try and get on the other side of Melbourne before I fall asleep …

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Replaced smoke alarm batteries

We're a little bit late, they were replaced in February 2014, but I figured while I thought of it I'd replace the batteries in our smoke detectors. I bought two decent alkaline 9V batteries from Bunnings, and came home to put them in.

The rear one was easy, hinge it …

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Ugh, Moniker support

It's that time of year again (or rather it was, last week) - time to renew the domains. I like to do them all at once, like ripping off a bandaid, so I don't have domain renewals spread out through the year.

I head over to Moniker, our registrar, who I've …

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Grumbling about desktop updates

I've been wanting to build a decent gaming desktop for a while, but travelling around in the van has meant - unfortunately - that a laptop was my best bet. Since enrolling in school, however, I've endeavoured to be at home as much as I can, which is making a desktop sound …

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Fence Damage

In to see the property manager today, and spoke to Freya, to file a maintenance request because the storm the other day blew down a few panels of fence along the side of the property. I hate reporting this shit, but it's my legal obligation - I could seriously fix it …

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Helicopter Excitement

Police Helicopter Bit of excitement for Duncan today - there was a helicopter making repeated passes overhead. Outside to take a look, and couldn't quite see where it was hovering (which was interesting, as my Dad likes to remind us hovering in a helicopter is quite expensive, they don't normally do it unless …

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Tyres in the back yard?

Called up the property manager again this morning, because when we got home we noticed another crack appearing in the master bedroom and this one's pretty big. We're almost never in there with the lights on, so this doesn't bother me too much - but I want them to have the …

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Scienceworks and Planetarium

Left the hotel this morning on our way home, and decided to do something different and check out Scienceworks, a science-themed museum. Duncan had a great time, a lot more of the exhibits were targeted at his age group than I thought there would be.

I think he ended up …

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All Zoo'd Out

It's that time again! Down to Melbourne yesterday to meet Mum and Dad, and set ourselves up in a Hotel for two nights for our yearly trip to Melbourne Zoo. We stayed in the Vibe Hotel in Carlton this time, because strangely enough it was far, far cheaper this year …

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Hello, Tomtom!

The GPS in the Cruze is suffering from a case of swollen battery syndrome, and it's ancient so despite the fact it still works I think it's time to replace it. The NavMan in the van pisses me off on a regular basis and is missing several features that would …

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Welcome 2015

Photo courtesy of my sister, Linda

Judging from recurring memes on the internet, most people's 2014 sucked. My parents did anyway - in addition to a year with very little work, someone jumped the fence and torched one of their vans last night, almost $20,000 down the toilet.

There's been a lot of curious goings on …

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Personal Finance Software

Lately I've been playing with PocketSmith.

I started out using the Quicken version we bought a couple years ago, planning on updating it if it worked out... but it's become pretty obvious that Quicken is being grossly neglected in favour of Mint. I absolutely adore Mint, particularly the budgeting tools …

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Boxing Day Sales: Hell no

In to JB Hifi this morning in search of a new mouse. There was a fair few people in there, but it wasn't packed  by any means, so after a few minutes of looking, found one I thought I wanted.

Looked at the line for the checkout, it extended to …

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Christmas!

We left Horsham to head to my parents' place on Christmas Eve, which is probably not the smartest time to be out driving. We stopped in at Coles in Horsham on the way out and it was bananas - just way too many people. The highway itself wasn't too bad though …

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New high beams for the Van

The other two relays I ordered last week showed up, so I installed them before leaving for work last night. Tonight, I decided to replace the high-beam bulbs with the new ones I bought months ago. It's too early to tell if they'll be any better, but I'm hoping they …

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Electrician Paid

Baz, the electrician, finally came by today to pick up the pittance he charged us for replacing the ADSL socket. We had a bit of a chat to him about more work he's going to do to the house on behalf of the landlord at some point in the future …

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Windows Licensing still sucks

Sabriena's laptop that we bought her a while back just doesn't perform like I reckon it should, even after a few tweaks.

I decided that reinstalling to cure it of the HP installation would probably be the best bet, so I went and found a download for an untouched Windows …

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Sprinter Fun - p1610

Did a short job today out to Kalkallo, and on the way home I made it most of the way through the Pentlands before the van abruptly gave up.

Fuck.

Whipped out my laptop and the diagnostics gear (this thing's saved my arse so many times now!), and I'm getting …

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First rental inspection

The property manager of our (rental) home came by today to inspect the property. We've known about the inspection for a few weeks, but we weren't really too panicked because we tend to keep a rather tidy house anyway.

For some reason though, I was compelled yesterday and today to …

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That was quick...

EnergyAustralia have already emailed the amended bill after cocking up the first one. Hopefully their customer service is that effective for any future problems we might have.

I'm still not 100% sure about how they adjust their prices for the blocks, which makes keeping track of the costs less than …

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Gas bill discrepancy

We got our first gas bill in the mail today, a whopping $120! How is that possible? We've used the heater for maybe six hours before summer started to kick in, there are no other gas appliances and the supply tariffs only account for about $25 of the bill. If …

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Visit from the electrician

A while ago I arranged to have the electrician who works for the landlord come by to replace the phone outlet and any wiring inside the house because of our problems with the internet. Unfortunately, by the time I'd gotten around to ringing him, he was on a long term …

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Hewlett Packard - Why do I keep giving them money?

Our plan for around this Christmas was to build a couple of nice desktops, since we'll be living in the one place for at least a year and my laptop is already starting to show it's age in terms of gaming performance.

Sabriena mentioned how Duncan spent most of his …

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Mumble WoW Plugin: 128-bit GUIDs

Updated the World of Warcraft plugin for Mumble again, and it was finally committed. This update was interesting, because as part of the 6.0 patch WoW switched to 128-bit GUIDs. Boost has code to deal with these GUIDs, which would have perhaps simplified things (I personally don't much care …

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Internet connection dodginess

Our ADSL2 connection from Exetel is "good enough", but it's not right, and dammit I want it to be right.

I've gotten permission from the landlord to have the electrician who fixed some of the lights come and replace any cabling inside of the house that isn't the phone company's …

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Duncan's New Whip

New Bike

Duncan has been rapidly outgrowing the last bike we got him, and I wasn't convinced he'd make it through until Christmas so we ended up springing a new one on him early.

He's finally off the training wheels, which has been great. Once he got over his stubbornness, he took …

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Preparing for Halloween

Halloween is just around the corner, and will be here before we know it. Unfortunately, it doesn't really make a whole mess of sense to buy up a ton of Halloween decorations (not that there's a huge assortment to choose from here), but Sabriena and Duncan decided to make a …

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Eclipse photography


Eclipse Partial Eclipse


Despite the fact it meant staying up late, I decided to try my hand at lunar photography since we have a half-decent telephoto lens. It's not quite good enough to get the moon into the frame, for that we'd need a telescope and the appropriate adaptor, but it …

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Out to Mum and Dad's for a visit

I took a short trip out to Kalkallo, which basically put me just the other side of Mum and Dad's, and I would have to drive right past them to go home - so we decided to have a visit. Sabriena and Duncan drove out here themselves, and we're going to …

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Laptop GPU crashes

My laptop hasn't felt "right" on various games in about a month, and today my framerate on Counter Strike: Global Offensive was just appalling, which I had attributed to a recent patch or something like that. I then jumped on World of Warcraft to fight something with Sabriena, and noticed …

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Home ADSL connected

Finally!

Exetel were actually on-time, which is something that I wasn't convinced was going to happen. The ADSL sync light came on sometime around lunch time, and I gave them until about 4pm for the credentials to show up before I called.

I also tried using the "default credentials" scheme …

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House issues resolved

Several contractors came by today to fix various things wrong with the house, starting with the electrician to fix the light in the range hood and the fan switch in Duncan's room. Again, most of this shit I could just live with but the property manager has to protect the …

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New Router Woes

Today's the day our ADSL is supposed to be turned on (of which I'm sceptical, but regardless), so yesterday we went and picked up a modem/router so we'd be ready if it came on in the morning. We opted for a Netgear N600 (specifically DGND3700v2), based on the good …

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Sabriena Online... sort of

I've brought the 4g hotspot in from the van so we can get a little better signal, and then this morning I picked up a wireless adaptor for Sabriena's desktop. It seems they do not sell PCI/PCIE adaptors anywhere any more, so I opted for a USB one - specifically …

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House condition report

Went in to see the property manager this morning, and they gave us until Monday to finish the condition report. They were exceptionally helpful through the entire thing, spelling out basically what they wanted sent in as maintenance requests and what should just stay on the report.

Most of the …

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First night in the new house

We spent our first night in the new rental in Horsham last night, and Duncan spent his first night in his own room. It went better than we were expecting, considering he's never slept away from us due to our former circumstances - when we were at home he was in …

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Wings and Wheels

We spent the weekend in Maryborough (coming home to sleep of course), to check out the Wings and Wheels event going on this weekend. If you were looking for something free to do, the historic car show and the air museum were both free on Saturday, but regrettably we forgot …

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Approved for a rental

On the way home from picking up Duncan from kinder we got a call from the real estate agent, and learned that we'd been approved for a house. It wasn't our first favourite, but that's primarily for financial reasons - I'd have preferred to rent the smaller one and save $40 …

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Thrift shop find: ADSL2 modem

Out to Horsham today to look at rental properties again, and while we had to wait between appointments we decided to check out the local thrift shops to price furniture (which was a dismal failure). I did happen upon an ADSL2+ modem for nine bucks though, and to my surprise …

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Babby's first ear infection

Took Duncan to Ballarat Base Hospital last night with a suspected ear infection. Turns out we were right, they gave us some antibiotics for middle ear infection and sent us on our way. We got home around midnight and finally got some much needed sleep.

You might argue he's done …

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The drowned pump

We had a minor flood at Mum and Dad's place recently, and unfortunately no one had retrieved the pump for the horse water prior. I guess it just slipped everyone's mind as we've not had to use it in quite a while, but either way Dad pulled it out of …

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Exetel: Bummer

Recently received correspondence from Exetel, that they now service our exchange... Awesome news, as they were about the only company with a genuinely interesting plan to warrant the pain of switching from Telstra. Checked out their website and then later called, it turns out that they only support it for …

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Grandma's 85th

Down to Grandma's local pub today for a birthday lunch - the results were rather disappointing. The meals weren't up to their usual standard and took forever to come out of the kitchen.

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Finally fixed the Sprinter's indicators

It's been quite some time now since I bought another indicator stalk cluster from a wreckers to replace the one that I've been limping along with, but I finally got it installed today. It's quite a lengthy job, involving removal of the driver's airbag, the steering wheel and several other …

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Trying to sort out Telstra

On the phone again to Telstra this morning, and I had some moderate successes but overall what I was trying to do was a dismal failure. I think the people at the Telstra shop see my parents coming!

It turns out Mum's mobile is still under contract, but I expected …

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SteelSeries Rival: Great mouse, terrible software

The mouse wheel on my Microsoft "Comfort Optical Mouse 3000" is giving up and irritating the piss out of me, so while we were in Ballarat today waiting for the van to get it's windscreen replaced, I picked up a new mouse. My friend Neil is batshit about SteelSeries stuff …

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New Toy: Linksys SPA-3012

Today while browsing through the local thrift shop, I found a Linksys SPA-3012 for five bucks. I've wanted to experiment with VOIP telephony for a while now, and I figured five bucks was a small price to pay - unfortunately I don't know when I'll find time to play with it …

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Fuck yeah, Childhood!

Duncan and Lego We took Duncan to see the Lego Movie recently, and I have to say... I thought, when seeing the previews for it prior to seeing Frozen, that it'd be one of those movies where the previews show all the good parts and the rest of the movie is just filler …

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More Sprinter Fixes

Stopped in Adelaide on my way home to pick up some parts for the van - I needed to stop being cheap and just get another indicator stalk, and I decided to grab the headlight and grille finally as well. It didn't take too long to get all the parts together …

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Run to the Border

I'm sitting at Border Village, after doing an emergency run from Melbourne. I'm all done, and about to head home but I wouldn't actually get very far so I'll leave tomorrow. Because this run was emergency, and Sabriena had no clean clothes, she stayed at home with Duncan and I …

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Updating WoW plugin for Mumble

I stayed up until 1:30am last night (this morning?), something I haven't done in quite a while. I was trying to update the Mumble positional audio plugin for World of Warcraft, and it wasn't going so well. The problem is that we typically get all our offsets and addresses …

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Made it home safe

Against all odds (in my unprofessional opinion), Dad's van made it back home safe and sound sans idler pulley. The remains of the plastic around the bearing was mostly smooth, and the tensioner obviously held it out far enough to keep just enough tension on the belt to keep the …

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Easter Bunny and Echuca

On board the Paddlesteamer Woke up this morning at Mathoura, NSW and decided to head into Echuca and do the tourist thing rather than just bolting straight for home. The last time we were in Echuca we really wanted to go on one of the paddle steamers, but we didn't have the money.

Today …

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Broken down in Bourke

Dad's van is broke this time, not mine. It's not really broken - we'd decided to stop for the night in Bourke, and when we were checking into the caravan park I noticed that Dad's van was making quite the racket under the hood. We checked it out, and there's a …

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Boxing Kangaroos

Boxing KangaroosAfter finishing up, we came back to Emerald, QLD to sleep. Couldn't get a shower at the Caltex roadhouse, because of a problem with their brand new plumbing, so we went around to the local caravan park and paid five bucks for the privilege. It was worth it though, we …

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Bustling Barringun

We made it to the NSW/QLD border early, and have to wait for a second truck and different police to convoy through Queensland, so we spent the afternoon and night at Barringun, NSW. There isn't a whole lot here, but at least there's a shower (for a $2 fee …

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Up north into the cyclone

Tropical cyclone Ita made landfall last night, and we're headed up there this afternoon. It shouldn't cause us too many issues, but there is the real chance that a flooded river somewhere will leave us stuck. That's what we get paid the big bucks for, I suppose.

We should be …

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WebSpyder

Playing around with Jekyll for a new website idea last night (and I mean late into the early hours of this morning), it struck me that I had a fair few 404s that kept taking time to stomp out. I went to install MOMSpider, and found that even when installing …

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Jekyll, where has it been all my life

Ages ago for my Hungry Hacker website I was messing around with various content management systems of my own authoring. The later incarnation essentially revolved around some hideous server-side includes hackery, some scripts to generate things, and some revision control (foolishly choosing SVN for the task). It worked well, but …

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HDD mount for the PS3

Sony PS3 Stats Right after Christmas I upgraded my laptop hard disk to an SSD, so I figured I would put the old hard disk into the PS3 as it's only got a measly 8GB (CECH-400X).

We ended up buying GTA5, because I couldn't resist, and it needed more than the 8GB storage …

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A little Python hackery for IRC

An IRC network that I try and have as little to do with administering as possible has merged with another IRC server. While we originally were happy to throw away their services database (honestly, I'd throw away services completely for our purposes, but that's not my call to make) I …

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That time again, SSL certs

I got that yearly email I always dread: it's time to renew SSL certs for all the things.

I use StartSSL for almost everything, simply because it's nice not to have the warnings pop up but I don't care enough about them to actually pay for a certificate. I still …

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More PHP

After stuffing around a bit, I managed to test our my module in two ways: a), Dwolla have a test account that is a "reflector", it sends any payments you send it back; and b) I forced a friend in the US to sign up for Dwolla, then sent him …

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Writing PHP again...

I really dislike PHP - I much prefer Python, despite the fact I was instantly turned off by using indentation for blocks. But unfortunately, while I dislike it and I'm not particularly good at it, I always seem to wind up getting stuck writing it.

We've had a couple of clients …

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MtGox Yubikey not reprogrammable. :(

Since MtGox went down in flames a while back, I thought I'd go through and pull the trigger on trying to reprogram the Yubikey they sent me for free ages ago.

It turns out that it won't actually report an error until you try to reprogram it, but MtGox programmed …

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Scavenged a few more posts...

So today I learned the cyber-squatting fuckwits still holding my old vanity domain have switched their system up and it no longer produces a robots.txt denying everything. This means that archive.org are free to serve up the archived versions of my site.

Tragically, they didn't appear to grab …

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Sea Lake: Telstra outage

Up to Sea Lake for another quick job tomorrow, and it turns out the Telstra wireless internet service here is trash for some reason. I kept getting Connection Error (26) on the LCD of the unit, helpfully no error message whatsoever on the web administration page.

Sat on the phone …

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Crystal Brook -> Moulamein

Amazingly, we picked up our first trip of this year. Yep, things are pretty rough, haven't worked since Christmas and I'm going a bit stir crazy. Hopefully there's a light at the end of the NHVR tunnel and things will get back on track soon. We're back in debt again …

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Guild Wars 2

Finally got around to picking up GW2 and got lost in it for a few days. I actually feel like this might be a really good MMO fit for me, because I'm done with the current "living story" fortnight and I find myself a little bit bored.

If they do …

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Granny's House, and Home

We're finally home!

We left Coal Creek and headed up to Bayles, to visit my Grandmother. On the way there, on the Caldermeade Road, we were turned around because of emergency vehicles blocking the intersection, which we later learned was a rather tragic multiple-fatality. It didn't take us long to …

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Coal Creek

Up bright and early, then we looked online and Coal Creek doesn't open until 10. We spent the night at the showgrounds, because of the available toilet block, so we messed around at the skatepark for a while where I successfully managed to fall off because I didn't check all …

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Wonthaggi, Inverloch and the Prom

Heading off the island, we headed through Wonthaggi, the place I went to school. It's blown up quite a bit, but most of it hasn't changed. The caravan park we stayed in was absolutely atrocious, and various parts of the town... while Sabriena could only see the veneer of cute …

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A parade of penguins...

Koala @ Phillip Island

... and a cavalcade of Koalas? I suppose that works. Anyway, after exploring Rhyll, Newhaven and Cape Woolamai, we hit the two major tourist attractions: the koala conservation centre and the penguin parade. Duncan had a really great time at both, and I've not been through the koala pictures yet (photography …

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One last fling in the van?

Wallaby on Phillip Island I've been trying to find another job closer to home, so that I can hopefully return to school - if that happens, we'll likely put the van up for sale, since I'm not really rich enough to keep a campervan around just for weekend trips. With that in mind, we decided …

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Another go at S.T.A.L.K.E.R.

I decided to have another go at S.T.A.L.K.E.R: Call of Pripyat, a game I bought ages ago under the impression it was similar in game play to Borderlands. My first disappointment came when I realized it wasn't co-op, so I couldn't play it with …

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Hello Moto G

In to Ballarat today to get Sabriena another phone after something happened to hers. I originally wanted to get her a Galaxy Nexus, because I know CyanogenMod supports it and I feel like barring any crippling issues with third party firmware I can get at least another two years out …

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Trying out CyanogenMod 11

Upon recommendation from a few people, I decided to give CyanogenMod another shot. I've been sticking to AOSP and the "Google Experience" (didn't have much luck with AOSP), because for the most part since ICS I just preferred the vanilla experience and there were always precious few bugs with the …

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Duncan's new gloves

IMG_3780In to Ballarat the other day to pick up some gloves for me, because my old hands just didn't care for holding on to BMX grips all day long. Duncan saw them and immediately wanted a set just like me - this kid is one hell of an emulator.

So we …

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Buying shit with Bitcoin - Oh, how far we've come!

I'm addicted to Humble Bundles, I can't help it. I try and avoid most of them, but every so often there's at least a game or two in there that I want. Take today for instance, I'm a sucker for the DiRT series, and while I already have 3, Showdown …

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Sucking at something...

... is the first step to being sorta good at something.

Sabriena jogged for 20 minutes today - a huge milestone for her. I sort of tagged along behind. We then ate breakfast, then went in to the Maryborough skate park again since no one was there. I feel like I'm starting …

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Goodbye Skype for Windows 8!

I hate Skype. I mean, I really hate it.

However, I'm pretty much stuck using it - so when I got my new laptop, I installed Skype for Windows 8 on it and it was... cute. The two taskbars thing on 8 and 8.1 is still a UI tragedy (while …

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I'm so sore...

I've been bitten again by the BMX bug for months, and finally after sitting at home for the fourth or fifth consecutive week I decided to do something about it. I went and bought a used bike so I can ride around with my son - we head out to skateparks …

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Parsing GEDCOM files in Python

As Dad is coming to about the end of how far we can get using Ancestry.com, we've started maintaining copies of the tree (downloadable as a .ged file) so we still have all the data on there when we quit paying for it. I decided to take a look …

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FreeBSD on Linode - Redo

Colin Percival has apparently done a heap of work making FreeBSD stable on AWS (I'm sure plenty of other folks had a hand in the improvements, but Colin's work was the work that I saw a lot of), but much of that work was irrelevant last time I played with …

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Duncan's birthday present done and dusted

Despite having three months to go, we've gone ahead and bought Duncan's birthday present already. His cousin Elly scored a Nintendo DSi for Christmas, and was absolutely rapt with it - so much so that on their last visit she was actually excited to share. Duncan seemed to enjoy it, and …

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On a Genealogy kick

Curiosity got the best of Dad, and he decided to go through and pay for a few birth certificate pulls from Scotland on some of our relatives. This developed into us going hog-wild for a solid week, collating everything up and then.. throwing it away and starting again.

Dad's been …

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Our Phone/ADSL is back up

Got out of bed this morning to check the phone, and it's back up and working. No idea if a Telstra tech was still coming out, or if he's done something, or what... but it's working.

Rang up Telstra to cancel the ticket, and they weren't terribly forthcoming about what …

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Telstra Pain

Got a text from Telstra around dinner time - our line tests OK and if I don't call them they'll consider it fixed. Still no dialtone or ADSL.

On the fourth call back to them, they're going to organize a tech to come out. Who knows when that'll be as they've …

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Sabriena's legal!

In to Talbot to the post office today, because Sabriena has a letter we have to sign for. It turns out it's her visa notice - she's officially legal to live here. I'm quite impressed with the turnaround of DIAC once they get the ball going. It takes forever and a …

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More Python Work

Since I lack a means of procrastinating, I fired up my development VM and went right back to work on the new-new-new (we've got about 6) admin panel for MumbleDog. We're writing it in Python, and for the most part I'm really enjoying it. I'm getting the hang of test-driven …

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Power Outage

Had a power outage last night - the first proper one I can remember since we arrived in Australia, which isn't bad considering just an hour or so south Grog has horrific problems with them. Unfortunately this one left us with about 70~80v on the line for a few minutes …

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Possibly fixed our Squid?

I may have fixed our Squid proxy from Chrome continually marking it bad. It turns out in the PAC file on the router, I had a DIRECT where there ought to not have been one.

Whoops.

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Playing with SteamOS

I really like the idea of SteamOS - if anyone can push Linux to the "desktop" (becoming an increasingly blurred and useless description), it'll be Valve. One of the main reasons I've stuck with Windows (or at least, kept returning to it) is because of the inviability of gaming on any …

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SSD and Windows 8.1 impressions

My laptop is finally starting to come together after installing the SSD and going with the non-Toshiba installation (stock Windows 8). I had to install a few of the Toshiba utilities, such as the "Toshiba Function Key" (to make the hotkeys for things like volume, and turning off the trackpad …

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Back into Mercedes Benz

Had to wait until today for the parts department to return from Christmas break - the accessory drive belt they gave me proved to be the wrong one. I suspect it is for a 2.7L TurboDiesel with no air conditioning. This assumption was backed up by the parts guy explaining …

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Gran Turismo 6

For Christmas, Mum got me a $50 gift card to EB games, and I didn't know what to spend it on. I thought about putting it towards a decent headset, but they're obscenely expensive here, and because of work and other commitments I haven't spent near as much time using …

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New Toy: Samsung EVO SSD

For Christmas I really wanted an SSD for my laptop - I really like my laptop but I feel that the hard drive was slowing it down, and an SSD would obviously help performance. I ended up opting for the Samsung EVO in 500GB, but it had to wait until after …

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Melbourne Central

Tower and cone in Melbourne Central Our last night in the motel spent, we packed everything into the car and headed in to see what else we could see in the city. I was hoping to catch the Santa's workshop if Melbourne Central still did it, as well as the Myer Windows.

It turns out the …

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Melbourne Zoo

Oh how my feet ache.

Elephants! We saw almost the entirety of the Melbourne Zoo today, starting at about 9:30. Again, skipped the lines by prepurchasing tickets, only strangely for a Saturday on the school holidays the lines weren't big at all - we skipped perhaps 10 people.

Lunch in the …

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ING Reprieve?

After emailing back and forth with the various reps at ING, it appears they've decided to give me a reprieve. My wife's name isn't on the account, and my only ties to the US at the present time are a US phone number accessible only through Google Voice.

Things will …

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Christmas Again

This Christmas turned out pretty good really - Christmas is a lot easier when you've got money.

Duncan got just about everything he wanted, including a skateboard which we found at an op-shop for $5. The majority of his other Christmas wish-list consisted of things for Disney Infinity, which serves double-duty …

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More Superannuation Agony

I thought I'd found a match made in heaven six-odd months ago when I found ING Direct's "Living Super" - as someone who doesn't spend a lot of time in Australia, I don't particularly care if the pittance I have in super doesn't grow, I just don't want it to evaporate …

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Grampians: Halls Gap, Lake Bellfield

Had a short trip out to Lake Bolac, and we had to be back west of Horsham for Monday morning at day break. We decided it wasn't worth going home for one night in a bed we hate, so we cruised back through Halls Gap instead - mainly to avoid the …

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Bauhn Android Tablet 44809

This morning I picked up a dash cam (NavMan MyVue 358, more on that another day) but I didn't really feel like buying a new micro SD card when the huge one from my Motorola is still kicking around... but where?

Then it dawned on me, it's in the Droid2Global …

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Quick trip to NSW

After sitting at home for a couple of weeks (I've almost dinged my 3rd toon to level 90 on World of Warcraft), we finally got tossed a bone - to take a header (combine harvester to the stateside) up to NSW. Dropped off just north of Rankin Springs, before ringing around …

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Time for a new Bike

Duncan's new Bike Duncan finally figured out the pedal motion for the little plastic tricycle my sister got him before we landed in Australia, so I decided not to bother waiting for Santa to bring him a bike and just to buy him one. Sabriena reluctantly (or not so) agreed.

I don't really …

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Three things I learned about Android today

It's a good day if you learn something.

It's not often you learn something simple that saves you a heap of time, and certainly not three such somethings in one day. But here I go:

  • Two finger swipe the notification bar to immediately access the settings. I think I may …
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Cape Nelson Lighthouse

Out to Portland for another job today, and it got delayed. It was rainy all day, meaning Duncan really didn't get to do much outside, until very late in the evening when it dried up. The playgrounds were all still wet, so we set off to look for the local …

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More Chrome gotchas

I'm having a harder and harder time liking Chrome at the moment. I dislike what Firefox has become, and the Chrome sync stuff has been sublimely useful for traveling between devices.

But god damn if it doesn't piss me off sometimes. We're blocking outbound HTTP connections that don't originate from …

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ADSL Success?

After giving Telstra ample time to figure out it wasn't entirely a problem their end, I decided I'd had enough of the terribly unreliable internet and went in to town to pick up a new modem. The tiny office supplies place in Maryborough only had three to choose from - a …

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Squid - does this do what I think it does?

We've been using Squid's delay pools feature as one of several tools to help manage the abysmal bandwidth issues with our Telstra ADSL here. One of the frequent issues has been one thing or another unfairly tying up the pool and leaving nothing for any other user of that pool …

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Duncan's soft-modded Wii

With the release of the Wii U, used game retailers like EB Games have been inundated with trade-ins (now closed, apparently) that are no longer worth all that much. A while back I saw a sign advertising $50 pre-owned Wii systems, but we didn't have any spare cash to do …

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New Laptop - Toshiba Satelite L50

As mentioned earlier, I decided to spring for a new laptop so that we could make use of the Mercedes Benz DAS system we have, without having to drive the van up to the front of the house and pass the cable through the bedroom window.

I'd been looking around …

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Variety Club Bash - Ballarat

In to Ballarat this morning to pick up a few things, and we happened to notice a minor ruckus in the parking lot for the shopping mall at Wendouree. Upon closer inspection it looked like we'd arrived just in time for the awards at the end of the Bankstown to …

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Telstra ADSL - Resolved?

We just got in from Adelaide, SA and I decided to call up and find out what was going on with our case with Telstra's "congestion management department". Apparently the case is closed, can they reopen it? Well hold on, things certainly do seem better.

Upon running some tests now …

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Dad's van broke :(

More mechanical troubles, this time it's Dad's van. Something transmission related, we're not sure what - it's being trucked back in to Mercedes Benz in Ballarat, a not insignificant journey. We absconded with his fridges and anything else he couldn't live with while he waits for a tow-truck.

Given the fact …

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More Telstra ADSL Troubles

We're still having issues with the Telstra/BigPond ADSL at Mum's place. I'd love to switch to another company, but there basically aren't any good ones that service this area and any that did would be leasing the lines from Telstra anyway so it'd just add another layer to the …

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New Toy: Sony 'Mechless' Head Unit (DSX-A50BT)

Sony DSX-A50BT I just couldn't help myself, when I saw a Bluetooth car receiver for $99AUD, I had to spring for it. I got into a tiny bit of trouble by not even running the idea past Sabriena beforehand, but it was worth it. This thing was an amazing deal.

We were …

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More Latitude Woes

Tonight, while trying to accurately tag blog entries for time and location, I went looking for Google Latitude's location history feature as that makes it really easy to tell where we were and when. Unfortunately, it seems impossibly hard to find since the retirement of Latitude.

It may be because …

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Back at the base again

We're back at Mum and Dad's - hopefully not for too long, but the Sprinter needs a service and at least one tire. In to Ballarat on the way home this morning, where I stopped in at the previously-I-didn't-know-it-existed Mercedes Benz dealer to buy filters and such. Why on earth was …

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Balladonia

We made it to Balladonia, WA almost at dark, and Sabriena still wasn't feeling well so I decided to treat her a meal at the pub. We ordered, and she went with fish and chips expecting it to make her sick again, but it was actually a really good meal …

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Kalgoorlie - Super Pit

Kalgoorlie Super Pit We arrived at Kalgoorlie quite early this morning, as Leonora is not really that far out. Our first port of call was in to the BP roadhouse for a shower, and then back in to town to fetch some supplies. On our way into town, we stopped and drove up …

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Kumarina and Leonora

We left Newman late in the afternoon, accompanying a friendly truck driver as I'm still leery of mechanical problems associated with what my wife calls the "WA curse" (incidentally we also have a "NT curse", wherein we are two-for-two for coming back with a broken vehicle). We made it as …

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No more Latitude

Google have retired Latitude with their last Maps update, but that didn't really bother me too much as I really like G+ and welcome another reason to use it over Facebook - because most people I want to communicate with are already entrenched in FB there really is not much point …

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Another look at Newman

Newman Mining MuseumWe are still around Newman, which is unfortunate because I really much prefer the weather further south. We had the most desperate of personal hygiene needs to take care of (entering my third day with no shower) and with a chronic shortage of actual truck stops it was time to …

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The other Tropic of Capricorn

Today marks an amazing achievement - we successfully took a vehicle across the WA border and avoided any mechanical troubles.

Not only did we do that, but we're further north in Western Australia than we've ever been and I need to do some comparing but we may actually be further north …

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Back to one blog...

Quite some time ago I experimented with using Google's "Blogger" to host my personal "blog", as I don't really care enough about my own site to maintain the security necessary to keep and maintain a Wordpress blog, but I also don't care for Wordpress's hosted service. Despite the obvious shortcomings …

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Dropbox+KeePass issues on Android

I appear to be having some sort of an issue with my KeePass setup on my Android phone - I appear to be perpetually using an older version of the database, as it does not have the new root password for Arbok in it. I need to investigate why that is …

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Android 4.3 update woes

Ugh, it seems like every version bump for Android, I have a nightmare of a time trying to upgrade my phone. I try to keep the thing reasonably close to stock, but in this case I'd modified the build.prop file to do something as menial as change the DHCP …

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Kitchen Terrorist Attack

Oh god, sometimes I wonder if my life is a Truman Show style comedy. While trying to convince my sister to make chilli from leftovers, I assured her it was nigh on impossible to fuck up.

I managed to prove that wrong several minutes into the process. While browning the …

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Enabling GPS on Sierra Wireless AC760S

I found a pretty neat post (which I neglected to save, apparently), which talks about enabling the GPS functionality (that I didn't even know it had) on my "Telstra 4G Mifi" which is a Telstra-branded Sierra Wireless AC760S. It looks pretty easy - connect the thing via USB, install the USB …

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This is what several hundred bucks worth of copper looks like

After much thinking, I decided to trust my diagnosis (I'm not a mechanic, I just play one on the internet) and decided that the fault was most likely in the turbo boost solenoid (which Mercedes Benz has several names for), and I decided since we were in Adelaide to stop …

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No turbo again on the Sprinter

The turbo on our Sprinter has been an on-again-off-again thing for quite some time, and I've been struggling to diagnose the problem. We have access to a DAS computer, and I decided to crack the shits and buy a vacuum gauge because I didn't know anyone close by who had …

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ADSL Modem Issues

After a lengthy session with tcpdump, Wireshark, and World of Warcraft (a story for another day) I finally figured out one of the major causes of our bandwidth management ailments - the old Netcomm NB7 ADSL modem I'm using since we switched to a FreeBSD powered router appears to be royally …

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Debugging Squid PAC on Chrome

I'm tearing my hair out trying to get our Squid proxy to play nice with WebSockets, so one of the things I decided to try was to use a PAC file to get browsers to skip the proxy for websocket URLs. Should be easy right? The URL for Ripple's websocket …

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Blogger template grumblings

There are some times when I really miss running my own Wordpress installation, and one of those was today when I was hoping to get rid of the "date line" above groups of posts on this very website. Blogger's template language is quite powerful, providing the data is in the …

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NTFS Failure under FreeBSD

In the past I've had absolutely zero problems getting FreeBSD to write to FAT filesystems - I'm under the impression that even FAT32 is a relatively "simple" filesystem and it seems like the code to read and write FAT is well tested.

We do a fair amount of torrenting here - not …

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Ballarat Computer Market - Really going downhill

Into the Ballarat computer market this morning to see if I could find a reasonably priced motherboard for the router, that would use less power than the Pentium 4 it's currently rocking. Dad went too, in search of a decent XP laptop to run the Mercedes Benz diagnosis software he's …

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Diablo 3 Downloader issues

I've had some free time lately and I thought I'd install Diablo 3 and check out what's new in the latest patch. I have an old version of Diablo 3 on our old hard disk, so I thought I'd copy the files over. The installer then failed to update it …

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Air cleaner won't stay on the XF

My XF Panel Van has been retired from work, and basically exists now as a hay wagon for my parents' place, however my sister's been borrowing it for a bit periodically.

She ran it out of petrol yesterday, and I noticed that the air cleaner won't stay on. The bolt …

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Almost trust-less Ripple for Bitcoiners

A lot of people involved in Bitcoin don't really get Ripple - many see it as a competitor, which must therefore be immediately attacked because there can be only one, and we've chosen Bitcoin. Others, in particular the loony paranoid types, think the idea of decentralized debt and trusting random people …

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Happy Birthday Duncan

At Maryborough Train Station  Today is Duncan's birthday in the AEST time zone, so after giving him his presents before breakfast (which turned out to be a "hungry" idea, in retrospect) it was off to Maryborough to spoil him.

At Domain ParkHe's been wanting to play at the park outside of the train station ever since …

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New Toy: Ripple payments

I don't think I've made it any secret on the web that I'm interested in cryptocurrencies - Paypal eats a substantial amount of our profit every month, and anything that has even a remote chance in the distant future to alleviate some of that is certainly interesting to me.

My problems …

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Hanging Mum's TV on the wall

I'm such a noob, I bought the wrong LCD mount, twice. Back to Bunnings for the third time to switch them again - I thought these things were supposed to be standardized?

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Toolondo, Vic

Off to Horsham for a local job, where we slept by the Information Centre the night before. After two trips back into Horsham, we learned we were needed for two more the next day, so we decided to look for a caravan park to sleep in.

Since Toolondo was closer …

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Arigeitsu -> Arbok

A couple weeks ago something really weird happened on our primary California server, Arigeitsu. Ice started acting really weird, and despite the fact smartmontools doesn't show any anomalies, my gut feeling is that one of the disks in the RAID-1 mirror is going.

Since the box is still running FreeBSD …

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Lunch on top of the world (not quite)

Duncan at Mt Hotham After departing Grandma's over easter, we decided to take a break from our constant life of driving and go for a drive...

... sounds stupid, except that we decided to do the Great Alpine Road, which is something we'll likely never get to do for work. We had a really great …

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Family Reunion #2

King of the StumpSince we were back in Victoria for Easter weekend, we'd basically never hear the end of it if we didn't head down to Gippsland for Grandma's Good Friday get together. Dad took his van and we took ours, and we figured we'd stay at Grandma's overnight which wouldn't make it …

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Resurrecting my Skype

I've had Skype since forever. It was the second VOIP package I'd ever used (the first being some steaming hunk of crap in about 1998 that didn't really work over a 56k modem at all), and the fact that it'd "beatbox" with more than two people on a call was …

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Adelaide Zoo

Delayed. Again.

Adelaide ZooWe decided to make the most of having an entire day off and head out to see the Adelaide Zoo (which was formerly most likely going to have to wait until after easter, but was always on the agenda). The weather seemed slightly inclement, including the heaviest shower …

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Hanging about in Port Adelaide again

We're grounded again in Port Adelaide, this time due to lack of work. We are scheduled to leave again on Wednesday, so we spent Monday getting things organized and getting the van serviced. While we're at it, we had a bullbar fitted, in the hopes of avoiding a repeat of …

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Mildura - Rio Vista House

We stopped in Mildura last night, due to the funds available on the credit card running out and the bank being too closed to do anything about it. We looked around for a free place to camp with a toilet, and it turns out outside of skipping back across the …

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Parenting Win?

SPOTTY WOT! I'm not sure whether we can claim this as a win just yet, but Duncan had the greatest day out ever today. What was on the agenda that thrilled him so much? Shopping at a local Opportunity Shop, where he picked up a pre-loved WotWot, followed by a trip to …

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Sprinter back together, on the road

Fan Carnage After lightening our bank account to the tune of almost $800, we managed to get the necessary parts to put the Sprinter back together. In the back of a service station in Adelaide, I pulled the old radiator out, removed the radiator support, put the new fan back on, pushed …

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Kulgera, NT

As I mentioned previously, last time we were up near Australia's Northern Territory we had some troubles with the Transit and we pretty much just stopped at the border, rested a bit then bolted south.

Duncan's New Truck This time we had to meet a truck up in the sleepy pub town of …

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NT Border, Second visit

So for our second jaunt up to the NT/SA border, things went a lot more smoothly. It's still not something I particularly enjoy - going hours without phone service on a sparsely traveled highway - but at least nothing went wrong this time.

Duncan with the Opal mounds The last time we were up this way …

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Sprinter: Rear Door Lock issues

As I mentioned earlier, the Sprinter we bought is a fantastic vehicle thus far, but has some minor niggling issues that while not show-stoppers, I sure would like to fix them. One of them is the door lock system - there's a fault in one of the rear doors, which manifests …

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New (to me) Laptop

The eldest of my two sisters, Linda has moved back into my parent's place after Jess moved out to Wangaratta, and while unloading her stuff I noticed an old laptop in with it all. After some minor negotiations she agreed to let me use it, since she's not anymore, so …

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Technicolor TG587n Lock up

We woke up this morning to no internet access on our mobile phones - which sucks because if I'd received a ticket overnight I'd likely not have been notified. Mum and Dad's house is made of quite thick blue stone, which pretty much slaughters GSM signals and it's not surprising we …

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New Vehicle: Mercedes Benz Sprinter

It's quickly become apparent that the Falcon panel van was simply not going to cut it - it's uncomfortable to sleep in with all the gear we need to carry, it's not as easy on fuel as I thought it would be, and there appears to be no light at the …

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Squid: Network unreachable to IPv6 websites

Uh oh - since I started routing everything here through a FreeBSD router as well (though putting the PPPoE process on the router rather than on the Modem is proving to be a pain with Telstra BigPond's ADSL service, but that is a subject for another entry after I figure it …

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Stuffed Cannelloni

Sabriena made stuffed Cannelloni for dinner tonight - she wanted to make Manicotti, but alas it appeared Coles do not stock the requisite noodles.

Most of the stuff was the same as her Mom would have made it, but she did deviate a little... For example not par-boiling the noodles, which …

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OBD2 -> USB Cable

Dad's Holden Rodeo started burping and farting and throwing codes on him recently, and it made me think how much I'd really like a scan tool. I still couldn't afford a decent handheld one, and my current car doesn't even need one so it'd be a bit of a waste …

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Carburettor Part Deux

So against my better judgement  I tore the carb down again... then tore down the extra one that I had laying around, and built one out of two. The accelerator pump accumulator on my car's Carb body was a bit scabbed up and I was concerned about it leaking fuel …

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Aussie merit badge: Rebuild a Carburettor

When complaining on social networks about my carburettor troubles, my cousin Rodney asked if I was going for an "Aussie merit badge" or something, because rebuilding a carb isn't something that most non-mechanic types are wont to do in this day and age. Even his brother, who is quite the …

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Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!It doesn't really feel like Christmas, but we're having a pretty good one. I think we're chomping at the bit to get back out on the road, and that's taking the magic away.

Things were starting to look pretty rough, financially... but thankfully some payments came in at the last …

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Trying to avoid the Steam sales

It's that time of year again - Steam Sales. Prepare your wallets, et cetera.

I'm trying to avoid it. Why? My desktop motherboard died on the flight to Australia, so we made one PC out of two with Sabriena's. Unfortunately, it really needs a reinstall - I bought Warhammer 40k: Space Marine …

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SwiftKey Flow Beta

SinceSwiftKey Flow is in open beta, I thought I'd download it and give it a shot. I've always liked Swype, but lately it's been a bit of a pig.

I bought SwiftKey 3 on the last sale, and while the prediction is absolutely fantastic I still missed swiping to …

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At Mum's Again

We're back at Mum's house again for a little while, then it's up to Sydney and back out west again before Christmas.

We got the electrical problems sorted out at least, even though it was quite expensive. We needed a new alternator it turned out, so we decided to pull …

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Back through Adelaide

Playing at the BeachAs we came I'm through the top of Adelaide, it started warming up. Duncan started to get cranky, so I decided "bugger it, let's spend the hottest part of the day at the beach, and continue after it cools off." So we spent our third day at the beach in …

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Most of the way west

Nullarbor Station  Our latest jaunt over west went better than the last one, but not flawless. We made it as far as Norseman, but that was as far as I felt like taking it - we had an at-the-time unspecified cooling issue that I later diagnosed as transmission related. Since the transmission is …

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Semaphore Park, SA

Dipping Toes So the second job we had lined up got delayed another twenty four hours, leaving us in Adelaide with nothing to do. We took a small jaunt out to Semaphore park, since it was a nice day. We didn't end up seeing the fort, but that's okay - Duncan played pretty …

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Android's gesture keyboard

It's been ages since I got the 4.2 update on my phone (at least it feels like it), and yet I hadn't tried out the gesture keyboard feature yet. I'm an avid Swype user, so it's a pretty exciting thing for me. I bought Swift Key during the sale …

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Second voyage!

So we're off on our second voyage in the Falcon, "Bessie." Sabriena has this (not uncommon) thing about naming cars, and her and Duncan discussed it and said she felt like a "Bessie," so that's that.

We're off across the Nullarbor this time, again not an easy thing to stomach …

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Bridge works on McCallums Creek

We're currently back at my parent's place, sorting out a few minor issues with our new vehicle before we head off again... hoping to make as much money as we can before the Christmas Hiatus.

Anyway, some guy showed up to dump a bunch of rock into the creek, which …

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Android 4.2 showed up, OTA.

Honestly, I simply turned my phone's screen on this morning to check my bank/credit card balances, and the 4.2 notification popped up. I have an Australian (Telstra) Galaxy Nexus, but I flashed it to Takju quite quickly upon receiving it. I guess I just got lucky in that …

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Back out on the highway

After a seemingly eternal hiatus, we're finally mobile again. We managed to scratch together enough cash to buy and set up an old Falcon panel van, and we can now run it for ourselves. This means we get all of the income, but we also shoulder 100% of the responsibility …

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Back to the folks' place!

We finally managed to sneak the van back home to my parents' place, and it's not looking good. It's really starting to look like the engine computer's shit itself now. It has, in my mind, all the symptoms of a blocked catalytic converter (the diesel mechanic who undid the EGR …

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This van is cursed....

So we made it about 400km into our trip to WA, when the van split another fuel line. We managed to limp it into Blackall, QLD and rang RACQ who helpfully have a depot right in Blackall with a "very good mechanic".

Unfortunately said mechanic ignored my advice about air …

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Finally my ringtones are back...

I neglected to grab the ringtones off my desktop the last time we were down there, and we haven't been down there for weeks now. The lack of attention-getting tones is really making using my phone a pain, so today I cracked it and went in search of the same …

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Off to the WA Border

So we have a few things to do over the long weekend before we embark on our journey to Border Village. I've been there before, but Sabriena never has (not to mention Duncan) and my last trip over there was in a crappy station wagon with barely any gear,  so …

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'Give it heaps!'

Duncan is a bit of a petrol head, there's no denying it. Ever since being really small and going for rides on his uncle's ATV, he's loved things that go zoom.

When we first got to Australia, he picked up the nasty habit of yelling "Give it shit" whenever someone …

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Duncan's immunization record

Got a call today from "Leanne" at Duncan's Australian doctor's office, that they've received notice he's overdue on some vaccines scheduled at 18 months.

Huh? He only needed one when he got here, and then he was up-to-date until 4 years when the first round of school ones start. I …

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Mackay - Shoplifting like a Boss

So we saw the most hilarious thing in Big W today: someone obviously high on something (or extremely mentally deficient, though that's probably insulting to the handicapped) attempting to shop lift with a swagger, only to completely ruin the thing.

We're checking out at the self-checkout, and we see a …

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Nudgee Beach

Park at Nudgee Beach Since we've nothing to do for ages, and we were north of the Airport after having checked out the Charles Kingsford Smith memorial, we decided to take a gamble and head on up to Nudgee Beach. It looked more "out of the way" and less "tourist friendly" to say, Surfer's …

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Kingsford Smith Memorial

Since we have about 48 hours to kill in Brisbane, we started looking around for something free to do. Peter from #BUGS suggested checking out the Charles Kingsford Smith Memorial at the airport, and though it was a bit out of our way, a quick jaunt through the city to …

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Clermont

Clermont. The mind boggles at how a town wins a tidy town award with a piano stuffed up a gum tree, but there it is... Apparently it's a replica of a real piano that was stuck up in a tree after a flood almost 100 years ago.

We originally only …

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Rockhampton Zoo

The Rockhampton Zoo exceeded my expectations of a free zoo by a long margin. Considering our last experience with free wildlife attractions, anyway, but I do think it rivals the paid zoos we've seen. Sabriena's already had experience with Koalas in the wild, as well as kangaroos, emus and a …

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Crossing the Capricorn

Duncan on the Tropic of CapricornUpon arriving in Rockhampton, we checked out the information centre to see if there was anywhere good to camp for free (there really isn't) and just to generally let Duncan out of the car for a while. The information centre we stopped at was situated (apparently) right in the Tropic …

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Holbrook - Prepare to Dive!

Captain Duncan On our way back south, we decided to stop in at a town called Holbrook, which houses a giant submarine. It's actually the top skin of an actual submarine, and it seems as though they almost encourage climbing on it. Naturally Duncan thought that this was the bee's knees.

Apparently …

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King of the Mountain

Now defunct nature park at Mount PanoramaTonight we ended up in "bogan mecca", Mt Panorama. 

Much of the track is actually public roads, and there was apparently a nature park at the top of the mountain so we decided to go up and have a look. 

It turns out that there's not so much nature in …

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Koalas at Narrandera

Drop bears! I whined on no less than two outlets (in addition to copious verbal whining) about how we'd spent the entire day at Gunnedah ("Koala capital of the world") looking for Koalas that taunted us with their non-presence.

For this last trip, we neglected to bring the camera battery (our current …

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In-dash diagnostics on EL Falcon

I'm mainly posting this for my own reference.

We're currently tootling around in an Ford EL Falcon that's got a laundry list of issues wrong with it, but not the least of which is (well, was, so I thought) lack of a temperature gauge. It turns out the temperature gauge …

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You can never find a Koala when you need one... :(

We were delayed a day up here in Gunnedah, NSW (the "Koala Capital of the World") so we decided to go see some stuff. My wife's been in Australia for almost seven months now, and has never seen a wild (and live) koala, so I figured now might be a …

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Google Authenticator on multiple phones

This might be obvious to others, but I'm posting it here because it took me a while to realise I could do it. Basically, I have two phones here in Australia: a Motorola Defy I use for work-related stuff, and my personal Galaxy Nexus which I'm addicted to flashing new …

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I got my phone back from Samsung

I finally got my phone back from Telstra for a warranty claim. For those who don't pay attention to obscure threads on developer forums, don't plug an external antenna into a GSM Galaxy Nexus. Apparently it's a not-uncommon (but not 100%) problem where you plug an external antenna in (I …

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I'm not a criminal!

Huzzah!

Of course I already knew that, but we just got back the background check for me from the AFP, which I now need to forward to the immigration department for Sabriena's paperwork. I'm still waiting on the reports to come back from the FBI in the USA, since we …

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Fixing the TV at Mum's

I spent a while on the roof over the last day or so getting the TV antenna right again. For some reason, the guy who installed the brand new one Mum had put on last winter stuck it on the top of the main chimney, and the heat from the …

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Github's Octicons

I don't know if this is the post that people are talking about some apparent "negative comments" on, but I think this is fantastic. I've toyed with the idea of adding SVG images to some of my websites before to improve how they look on really small or really big …

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Bonfire

Voomf! When the cat's away, the mice will play!

There's been a couple of piles of garbage wood sitting on my parent's place for ages, and now that we're into Autumn/Winter, it's safe to set them ablaze.

Watching the fireThe transit's out of commission for the time being, but Dad's picked up …

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Still waiting on the Transit...

Unfortunately, we're still mostly grounded. We snuck the van off for a "short" jaunt - a 720KM round-trip to do both parts of the course for my accreditation over the course of two days. The van actually ran moderately well for those trips, but it was still pretty stressful.

The local …

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Gmail time saver - Preview pane (now with 20% less ads)

I actually stumbled upon this when trying to find out what exactly got updated in the Google Sitemaps Plugin for Wordpress, but it's kinda neat. I'm not sure if I'll keep it, since I had a horrible experience with Outlook Express's preview pane back in the day, but here goes …

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Duncan's 2nd Birthday

Duncan's second birthday has come and gone, and a spectacular time was had by all. Sabriena finally got around to doing some baking here, which was actually quite the traumatic event - as I'm led to believe any American forced to use the metric system for the first time in a …

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Finally back in Port Augusta

After a nail-biting trek back along the Stuart Highway, we finally made it back to reliable mobile service... where at least if the van died we could call someone. Thankfully it made it all the way down into Port Augusta, and in time before the Ford dealer closed as well …

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Glendambo, SA

Outside either end of the tiny town of Glendambo, South Australia, is a sign that includes population figures for people, animals, and then some millions of flies. I'm ashamed to say that we've been through this town twice now, spending the night the first, and we didn't manage to get …

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Coober Pedy, SA

Coober Pedy is a place that's always intrigued me, but until recently I'd never actually set foot in the entire state of South Australia. Pretty pathetic considering I grew up the son of a Truck driver, when you think about it.

Primarily known for being the source of much of …

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Off to the NT border and back...

We've now officially set foot in Australia's Northern Territory, albeit only a few kilometres over the border. Duncan probably won't remember this:

Northern Territory Rest
Area

The night before we left we were up until 2am getting Dad's ute ready for it's maiden voyage: we were to be the rear pilot and Dad the …

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Sabriena wants a Kindle

It's not like I have to think very hard for gifts for Mother's Day, 2012. Sabriena has made it abundantly clear that she would very much like a Kindle. She originally wanted the Kindle Fire - good luck. We're starting to do a lot better financially, but that's still a ton …

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CSIRO Parkes - "The Big Dish"

CSIRO Parkes is a not-insignificant part of the Australia's contribution to the astronomical sciences, and while I'm not near as well-versed on space-related stuff as I'd like to be, the geek in me still digs things like this. Plus, it's a friggin' big dish.

When you drive past it on …

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Muswellbrook, NSW

On our way back from dropping off a load in northern NSW, we ended up spending the night in a town called Muswellbrook. I looked around for a more secluded spot than the initial rest area on the northern side of the town, right next to the highway. A friend …

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Telstra 4G Wifi Hotspot

After a couple weeks of stuffing around with Telstra not liking the fact that I've got zero history with them (having lived in the US for 12 years until just recently), I finally managed to get a hold of a 4G hotspot through Bigpond. While I have several friends who …

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I've reluctantly taken a second job!

I don't think I've made any secret of the fact that the #1 thing I want to do with my professional life is MumbleDog, but it's just not making the sort of money our growing family needs to accomplish the things we wanted to do. We came out to Australia …

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Debian + Puppet == Love

If it's not immediately obvious from reading any of my websites, I'm a FreeBSD guy. It's just comfortable: I've been a FreeBSD user since the late 90s, and I just know my way around it. Despite using various Linux flavors here and there throughout my life, they always feel slightly …

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We survived a family get together...

To my darling wife Sabriena, there are very few things more horrifying than a family reunion - her family is very tight-knight and almost don't speak to any of her extended family for one reason or another. Due to requests though, Mum organized a "little" family get-together down in the teeny …

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Duncan became an Aussie!

I wasn't aware it was an option when he was born, but thanks to Groogle pointing out that Duncan was a dual citizen by virtue of my citizenship, and all I had to do was some paperwork (which may or may not be a simple matter). We filed the papers …

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I forked MumbleReader

I went ahead and forked Pimmitje's MumbleReader project, grabbing only the client-side bits - as I think having the two in one project complicates things for prospective users of it, at least coming from my users whom won't need the server-side PHP bits. I hosted it on GitHub, since I have …

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Fixin' fences

Within a few days of arriving in Australia, I was already hard at work helping my parents put up a fence to keep the ponies in a paddock they hadn't yet been in. The day before yesterday, we went down to go fix another fence and to move some of …

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Off to Ballarat

Today we have to head out to Ballarat to organize getting a Medicare card so Duncan can get his checkups. We were meant to do it Tuesday, but like an idiot we got halfway there and I realized I'd forgotten to bring all the necessary paperwork - so we're heading out …

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Droid 2 Global on Telstra

I managed to pick up a damaged Droid2Global before we left the states, and sell off my Droid X because it would be a brick if we got out here. I'm kinda glad we didnt get the insurance on it, because i took such great care of that phone it'd …

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We've landed in Australia!

After a long and gruelling trip, we've landed safely in Australia and are now staying at my parents' house. The weather when we arrived was freakishly hot, I think here locally it hit about 108F at one point - but the lack of humidity is surprisingly nice... the heat didn't really …

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New Toy: NameCoin

Since the well of things I actually cared enough about to part with Bitcoins over appeared to dry up, I decided to go ahead and pick up some NameCoins on the BitParking exchange, and register a few NameCoin domains.

NameCoin still doesn't work on FreeBSD - I can't manage to build …

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Kickin' ass and taking names...

I've been neglecting MumbleDog the last couple of days: there are things that I should have been working on (like our idler auto-move feature I hope to launch soon), but the open source work on Mumble proper has simply been more fun. I've learned a huge amount lately too.

One …

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The DSL nightmare is over...

... hopefully anyway.

It all started about three months ago when we got official notice from AT&T about the new data caps they were instituting, and how they really weren't bluffing and we'd get three months of reprieves before they start charging us. I spaced on the date, and we …

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I love the start of Fall

Trevor fired up his ATV, to stock it in the trailer and go ride somewhere in Wells county, and as soon as he heard that thing start up Duncan wanted outside.

After a few laps around the house, Duncan spied Colton and Nick playing soccer on the lawn and decided …

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Using an Android phone that won't activate in your house

Since in the near future we might be spending a little while outside of Verizon's service area and we can't really afford to pay for a phone that won't work, and our phones are still under contract, Sabriena's giving her phone to her sister (who's taking over the contract). This …

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Eleven Long Years

My wife and I have been married eleven years today.

Well, technically yesterday - but we got married on her brother's birthday, so we tend to celebrate our anniversary on the 9th instead. I feel like at this point that we're over the hump - if we've made it through the things …

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Presenting: Mutter for Mumble!

It's been ages since I've maintained anything this ambitious, and it's not even a huge project... but I'd like to formally announce mutter - a command-line interface to Murmur. I've had this project a while now, and it was in it's own tree up until today, when I decided to rewrite …

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I may have created a very expensive monster...

Just ask my wife - it's absolutely no secret that I would love for Duncan to be into dirt bikes or something similar when he's a bit older. I've always loved tinkering with small engines, and I've loved dirt bikes ever since my cousin and I used to tootle around on …

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Our first ever Karate demonstration

Our little karate school had it's first ever demonstration today, and I think it went really well. In fact despite that I can't seem to get rid of this beer gut, this karate thing has helped me out a lot, really. I've always been less than comfortable in new social …

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Old Posts Resurrected

Because I've moved my primary journaling over here, I decided to go back through my old blog's history and take some of the posts that I liked and bring them here.

I didn't bring all of them by any stretch - most entries were the "random thought" affairs, which I'm going …

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Electronic Check Cashing - We are living in the future!

So I believe I've mentioned the ATI HD5770 I picked up a while back... well it came with a mail in rebate from the manufacturer, which finally came yesterday in the form of a check. Suddenly, a thought crossed my mind: how the heck am I gonna cash this thing …

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Mucking about with Mumble Authenticators

I really don't care too much for the name "authenticators" as in my particular case it's not really a good name yet for what I'm doing (there's no authentication callbacks going on at all), but I believe it's the commonly-accepted name for Ice-powered callback scripts. If you've not messed about …

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Fun at the Park

Since this morning was such a lovely day out, we decided to do something we hadn't found time to do lately and take a walk to the park. We even took the dog, which I'm sure was a welcome change for her (usually when we walk it's up to the …

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Portland's City-wide Rummage Sale

So a town near us is having their annual city-wide rummage sale at the moment, and since I had to drive out there anyway to drop Shaina off at work, we decided to tootle around and see what was available. So far the only thing I've found that I wanted …

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Things I've bought with Bitcoin

For those who aren't familiar with Bitcoin, I'll try sum it up. Bitcoin is a peer-to-peer electronic currency based off encryption to avoid having a central authority (that is, there's no one person in charge of it who can be corrupted). Because there's no central authority mandating it's use, there's …

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Everything always needs moar fwagglechop!

So about a decade late to the party, I've decided to give this Blogger thing a shot.

Why? It's a pretty long and uninteresting story, full of self-reflection, and I think well suited for a first post. Initially, I loathed Wordpress. Like all "good" PHP kids, I rolled my own …

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Duncan’s Birthday is coming up!

It’s almost here – the anniversary of Duncan’s arrival into the world. We’ve already got his present, and honestly it’s been murder avoiding the temptation to open it and let him play with it.

We’ve also bought some different things, like the start to his easter …

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Sit up straight, boy!

So Duncan is getting really good at sitting up now, so much so that for the most part he’ll keep himself articulated and vertically oriented for quite some time – he spent about 45 minutes yesterday playing, and even managed to keep his balance through a sneeze:

I think that …

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Doing pushups means no sleep?

Duncan Tummy
TimeAs you can see in the image to the left, Duncan can do pushups now. This is a monumentous achievement, and I have no idea whether he’s early, late, or on schedule with it, but it’s awesome that he’s doing it.

Problem is, it apparently messed with …

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Duncan’s growin’ up!

Our kid is growing up so fast. It seems like only yesterday we were passing out cigars and celebrating in shock the new life we’d brought into the world, and now he’s discovered kicking legs, that one hand can grab the other, and he’s almost figured out …

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Duncan got his shots :(

Last Tuesday, Duncan had his two-month well-baby checkup, which involved a battery of inoculations. This time we knew exactly where his new doctor is (though it wasn’t particularly difficult to find last time, Google Maps’ directions were spot-on) so we made it there perfectly on schedule.

We went inside …

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Encryption is like a big, impenetrable pipe…

… at least, that’s what I have to keep telling people who just don’t grok encryption, and think it’s some magic pixie-dust that you just sprinkle on anything and it’s imbued with magical protection.

I was trying to explain this to some MMORPG folks, who think that …

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Long night

Man last night seemed like it went on forever. In the grand scheme of things, this kid of our’s is pretty awesome – he doesn’t fuss too much and he did give us a chance to get some rest the first day, but we were too worried about getting …

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So… I’m a Dad now…

… and it actually feels great. People aren’t kidding when they say it’s a life-changing event, and in more than the obvious ways.

The labor went really quick, but the first few parts didn’t seem like it. Sabriena has had back problems since forever, so we were hoping …

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Trevor's Bumps... Mark II

We spent the better part of yesterday putting Trevor's bumps back in his vehicle. His first vehicle was a 1985 Ford F-150, which was severely lacking in the "tunes" department, so he put in some cheap Xplod head unit, and then later a 12" sub in some tiny choked out …

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Over-the-Air HD out in BFE

So we live out in Middle-of-nowhere, Indiana. When we first moved here, there was an old UHF antenna up on the roof, facing north, with some ladder-wire to a connection in the kitchen. We hooked a TV up to it (this was back in the VHF/UHF NTSC days) and …

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Almost got in a wreck today :(

So we were coming home from Muncie, and we were about a third of the way home when some guy jumps on the brakes at an intersection, in the left hand-turn lane with his left turn signal on. "No problem," I think. "There's a passing/right-turn lane!" So I move …

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Modern Warfare 2!

My brother in law lucked out today - a store we usually go to, that's rather ghetto, for some reason had Modern Warfare 2 for PS3 on-sale today. So he picked it up... I would have too but we're cutting back on toys because of the incoming baby. ;[

Anyway he went …

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Update WordPress Plugins… profit!

So the original author of WP-Flickr-Manager hasn’t had time to update the plugin to work with 2.8, so some enterprising young soul decided to fix it. Hooray!

I tried doing it myself, but I lacked the time to really pour over why it didn’t work – I’m …

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Hey Oldsmobile... shh!

On friday my brother in law and I set off out to the wrecking yard to try find an exhaust for the Olds, because it basically didn't have one from the catalytic converter back. After peeking under what seemed like a hundred cars, none of which had wheels under them …

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Trevor's Subwoofer

My brother in law Trevor recently bought his first vehicle. It's an old beater Ford pickup, but he's pretty stoked with it. Arguably he could have bought more important things, but one of the first things he decided to get for it was a stereo system. He picked up a …

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The New G-Ride

So we got a pretty good deal on a "new to us" car - it's a 1993 Oldsmobile Cutlass Ciera and we've got just over $300 in it so far. The downsides: it needed a harmonic balancer, the rear half of the exhaust (cat-back), and a tune up.

Harmonic BalancerToday I finally …

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My time at the Shelter

Sabriena and I are basically huge animal lovers. I like to think we’re not misguided, I (and my wife, for the most part) understand there’s a circle of life and try not to interfere. I’m an animal welfarist, I think we’ve got an obligation to ensure …

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Fun things to do with Electricity

When I was growing up, I walked a fine line between above-average intelligence and absolutely zero common sense. On one fateful night, we happened to be out wondering around just after dark, me and a few friends, with nothing but a clothes hanger to entertain ourselves with.

It was around …

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The “Kofta” Incident

In the tradition of great internet poo stories, I’m going to share mine. In case it’s not already apparent – this is a poo story, if you’re easily offended, stop reading.

In Victorian schools, sexism in education isn’t tolerated – for this reason, boys studying home economics and …

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Schrodinger’s Baby

Well, it’s possible my wife might be pregnant – so naturally I must find a geekish way to reflect upon this.

My wife takes the “sensible” yet somewhat boring stance: “I’m not pregnant until the test says I am.”

I was explaining to my wife Schrödinger’s cat is …

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This is how you don’t write PHP

A friend (and client) of mine started building a site using Jupiter CMS, so I decided to take a quick audit of it. It’s pretty much an example of how not to write code, and in my opinion the people who wrote it should take up farming or something …

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Haha @ FreeBSD telnetd

… and here we were almost a year ago making fun of Solaris for letting silly things slip in. The good news is almost no one uses telnet anymore, and if they do they probably deserve to get owned.

Here’s a hurried patch confirmed to plug this hole, but do …

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screen + irssi + xterm titles

Okay, so despite the fact I’m a die-hard UNIX guy, I still spend the majority of my desktop time in Windows. I’m not ashamed of that, it just seems to be the way I’m most productive. However, I can’t stand Windows based IRC clients. I used …

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I fixed my bike :D

I decided to drag my bicycle out of the shed today and fix the flat tire it's had for quite a few months now. It's a shame I don't really ride it that much any more, it's not exactly a cheap bike (although it's not outrageously expensive either) and because …

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Playstation 3 + BT848 Capture

I wrote a while ago that I was disappointed with the built-in image capture from the PS3 on LittleBigPlanet, so I started digging through my box of goodies to see what I could find. I found an old PCI, Rage-based ATI All-in-wonder card that I've never been able to get …

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Things I learned about Parenting

… from my nephew’s Dad.

  1. Labor is rough on an expecting father, be sure to take a seat periodically to rest your weary legs.
  2. The couch is an appropriate place to leave a week-old infant unattended while you go have a cigarette.
  3. It’s a much more financially sound investment …
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The MapleStory Private Server Scene

Despite the fact I’ve had several people asking me to setup another MapleStory private server, I’ve declined… I really don’t want to get into wasting time on that crap again, and especially not when it could put my financial well-being at stake.

Rather than port over all …

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Tracfwned.

"1999 called, they want their e-commerce exploit back"

This is a class of vulnerability that really shouldn't exist these days. I don't know if anyone remembers this, but around 1999 to 2000, when e-commerce was still in it's infancy, there were many "e-tailers" who were ripped off blind by people …

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Vengeance was mine that day - Part #2

Back before we had a car, my wife and I used bicycles to get around everywhere. On my days off, I'd ride my bike up to Sabs' work to keep her company on the ~2mi trip home. Well, one sunny Sacramento day that little exercise took a turn for the …

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Vengeance was mine that day

You can ask my wife... I'm a real laid back person, very slow to anger - but once you get me angry, I'm vindictive, cruel, and a fiendishly evil thinker.

So today I decided to post this story on a truck forum in a thread about people messing with your ride …

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ADSL issues :(

Note: This is an historic article originally published on Hungry Hacker, which I moved here instead.

Hrm, I guess OurStory.com fixed the XSS I notified them about a while ago. I was going through all the crap I'd found, and checking it out on XSSed.com to see if …

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It's alive! It's also alive!

Note: This is an historic article originally published on Hungry Hacker, which I moved here instead.

Yesterday, after floating around several projects, I opened up the package to my MSP430 evaluation set and made a decision. I was either going to make a working B-trigger prototype, or kill my paintgun …

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Saving slowpoke

Unfortunately, my old Indigo2 "slowpoke" somehow managed to not boot onto the network after the move from California. I'd sold the only monitor I had that would fit it, which left me without a giant teal toy to play with. Today, I decided to see if it was possible to …

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New House: Montpelier, Indiana

It's official - we've moved to Montpelier, Indiana. The house is an extreme fixer-upper, so I'm sure there will be plenty of forthcoming articles and entries about DIY home improvements.

The trip was interesting, to say the least. I was mentally prepared to "iron-man" the drive, taking power naps where possible …

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got f1sh?

Note: This is an historic entry originally published on Hungry Hacker, which I moved here instead.

On my birthday (the 15th) my wonderful wife got me a powertool - a cordless drill to be exact. I was going to link to the exact one she got me, but Home Depot's website …

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Wiki-mania!

Note: This is an historic entry originally published on Hungry Hacker, which I moved here instead.

I really need to find a way to manage my time better.

It seems like for the last two weeks (maybe even three), I've run around like something that runs around a lot and …

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banner exchange up!

YAY!

i finally got around to doing my banner exchange site, which just needs a domain and then some cleaning up to make it look more presentable (oh and the sometime soon i have to figure out a way to automate the banner upload part a little). but if you …

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magazine madness

well, after being bugged by kleptic i decided to mirror outbreak magazine on my site. this didn't really seem too fair to me considering i also used to mirror the discordant opposition journal too, so tonight i mirrored the doj, as well as possibly i'm going to mirror SoLJo too …

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boredom reigns supreme!

well, i sat on the bus with my laptop, "nomad", and i wrote up some content for fwaggle.net today. i came home and uploaded it, as well as making a few minor changes to the php code to enable me to make a links page work right. i added …

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brand new design!

well.. i got sick and tired of my old design before i even really got it completed, so i elected to create a brand new design. i've also elected to code this version in php, because it's just so damned easy ;) i'm not sure whether or not it's going to …

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*yawn*

well.. i'm bored. really bored. i did this quite a while ago, but i only just got around to posting about it now. i don't think everyone finds it as funny as i did, it had me in stitches :(

speaking of having me in stitches, there's a couple of nice …

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r.i.p. moocintosh :(

well... :(

i spent three days fucking with my cute little macintosh se/30 i'd named 'moocintosh', and in three short days i'd not only customized mac os system 6 to my liking, learnt it basically inside and out (with the exception of programming it, i suck at assembly), and even …

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sugarbaby go bye bye

my mainboard for sugarbaby blew up, so i was forced to use another board which i was only testing and planned on selling.. to make matters worse, it's video card sucked and wouldn't support x windows, and it only lets me use 32mb ram... i've remedied the video card problem …

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