Eric Lindsay's Blog June 2013

Market Day

I was awake a little after six, watching it gradually become lighter on the first day of winter. The temperature inside was 23°C, which for a winter day is not too bad.

Wandered around the markets. The lady I normally buy jams and conserves from lost her husband a little time ago. The wet weather has prevented planting crops on their farm. She is certain he is concerned about the delay.

Caught up with Rex, whose phone line is out, and download quota has expired. Too much on the internet is too large for small access plans that are favoured by pensioners.

Caught up with the new local ALP candidate for the Federal election. Could not give her any good news about who I would vote for. She seems pleasant enough.


Because it is. @Noahpinion: What Americans … expect from the TSA, … other countries think of as sexual assault

Anyone know why The @verge is always blank in Mac Safari? HTML downloads, but is not visible.


I found that the internet was down when I got back to the computer at 5:23 p.m. No numeric pings. Modem connection light is still green. Traceroute not returning addresses. So I power sequenced the Netgear ADSL modem at 5:28 p.m. Internet connection back at 5:31 p.m.


I was very happy to be able to catch up with Michael. He dropped in for a while in the afternoon after the markets had closed.


Josie arrived first. Rex had phoned to say he and Myra were on the way. Caught Jim about to drop over. Chad and the two girls also soon arrived. I ordered an excess of pizza, and have 12 slices left over!

Sunday 2 June 2013

Hardy Reef

Chad picked me up a little late (I had already been to the NightOwl for sun screen), and then we went in search of a working GPS. Drew flew us to Hamilton Island to pick up some tourists headed for Whitehaven Beach. They got a ride to Hardy Reef to drop us off.

We had time to drink water. However we did not find time to have a lunch, although we both had snacks with us.

We cleaned the 20 person glass bottom boats (the birds shit all over them, despite the bird scarers) and got started. Good shelter from the sun. Chad is replacing bad shackles on the various moorings he put in for Air Whitsunday at Hardy Reef. So he swam out, checked them, and did all the hard work, while I tried to keep the boat in the area and avoid running into coral. That is quicker than anchoring, although we anchored in sand for the longer replacements. Pretty much non-stop.

Deployed one completely new mooring. We had to get that good boat back to the landing area for a 2:30 tour. Transferred all our bags and gear to the smaller boat, where the scarer gear was not working. Totally covered in bird shit. I do not know how many buckets of sea water I dumped as I was sweeping up. This time Chad did most of the steering. I was in the bow getting GPS readings of the locations of each of the moorings. Very tight to get to some, because they are basically marking where the coral is real shallow. We completed that just in time for the 4 p.m. flight home.

Oh yes, the smaller boat had not been attended to in six weeks. I had to pump out the bilge (manual pump). We had a very active and busy time.

It is vaguely possible I should not have been doing this with stitches in my back. However I will treat any such suggestions with ignore.


Jean and I were out watching for the International Space Station, each 300 kilometres apart. Nice (no mozzies here). A long, long pass, very bright, directly over the top of the Terraces. I watched until it blinked out close to the northern horizon.

Monday 2 June 2013


I awoke early, after a very early night. On the computer around five, to catch up.

Off on a walk before the sun was up over the hillside. Along the Centennial Walkway from Airlie Beach to Cannonvale. That totalled about 5.5 kilometres. I stopped a lot to take photographs, almost all of them with my iPhone 4 camera. Basically a test of what I can get out of such a camera in the early morning light. Should be interesting. May try it again using a different camera utility to the standard Apple camera app.

Bought a swag of stuff from Coles. They had a few things on my list on special, plus they stocked the Dick Smith jams I can not find anywhere else. Caught a taxi home, as I could hardly lift my swag.


Usually they hide the lights @KevinStandlee: Looks like this #CheapMotel in San Jose holds down costs by hiding all of the power outlets.

Half the population is crazy? @ashermoses: Facebook busts through 12 million monthly active users in Australia

No problem unless disturbed. Slow is good. @Epigrammist: The Coalition’s plan for FTTN NBN is perfect. Julie Bishop loves asbestos.

Tuesday 4 June 2013


I did not get up until there was some light showing. The temperature had dropped to 22°C inside, which is cold for the tropics. I had found an extra cover for the bed overnight. Made a hot chocolate to get myself started.

An early morning walk around the marina and Airlie Beach. Breakfast in the main street. Collected a newspaper, and another magazine. Chatted with Wal about the gardens at the Whitsunday Terraces. He says he removed some sensa weed. I still think more gardening time is required. I would think about 25 hours would do it.

Evening. Started working on FLAP mailing comments. Having the issue to one side led to stretching to read items so that i could comment. I managed to pull a muscle in my back.

Could not sleep all night due to muscle spasms in back. No comfortable position.


Great. It Syncs again as well. @UseClear: If you’ve missed 'Scroll down to create’ in Clear for Mac, it’s back!

TPG offer unlimited 100Mbps 24 month fibre optic broadband contract for $299 a month. $5000 setup fee. Minimum cost $12,176 #NBN


A whistleblower releases information about the USA NSA PRISM program. Seems like NSA are grabbing and analysing all the phone and internet metadata they can get their hands on. Not spying on USA, they swear. I have a really nice bridge to sell also. The big question for me is can the NSA access a backdoor to SSL?

Wednesday 5 June 2013


A lot of repeated applications of a hot pack finally seemed to stop my back muscle spasms. Since the hot pack was an old towel rag soaked in hot water, all in a few plastic food bags, it also left a lot of spilled water around.

Had some hot chocolate for breakfast. After eight I felt sufficiently recovered to walk to the main street. I bought some professional sealed gel hot and cold packs from the pharmacy. At least they take a lot more maltreatment before they leak.

Took some photos of the site where Woolworths seems to be scheduled. Also some photos of work on the main street.

Worked on mailing comments for FLAP.

Was there some football match today?


Landfill harmonic orchestra, music from trash

Poor in America A possible explanation Why does work suck?




I got a bunch of scanning started. Interspersed with continuing to work on FLAP comments.

Thursday 6 June 2013


I was up before six, reading stuff on my computer. There are potential updates I could put through, or so I believe.

Dumped stuff in the washing machine and started the laundry.Sky is totally clear.

Had hot chocolate as a first instalment of breakfast.

Clouds appear. It started to rain. Heavily. At 7:13 a.m. The laundry is only half washed. Stuff this!

Laundry out in strong winter sunshine just before eight. Sky has 9/10 cloud cover by nine. Taken cotton sheets in (they are already dry). Left one drying rack outside under cover.

A long session at the local optometrist in Airlie Beach. Eyes are fine. I also now have a replacement pair of prescription sunglasses on the way, in a week or so. In addition, the staff fixed the bridge on the pair of OPSM reading glasses, which have been wrong (corroded) since I bought them.

Got a haircut at Kazzas. Seems like a pretty well done job, to me, not that I know much about haircuts. Number 2 to 4 buzz cut on the sides, scissor trim the top, and blend them in well.

Dave at the BWS knows my party buying. He pointed to some Jacobs Creek magnums, reduced to clear. That should look fine at the party, so when I was returning, I picked up all three bottles. He wanted the space for new arrivals anyhow.


Was there some football match in Australia last night? #SoO

I thought this was already happening? @davefreersf: What if they gave an apocalypse and no-one noticed?

Buying consumer durables from overseas before price increases from lower A$ hit retail. Deciding which usual purchases to cut (lots).

Just do it! @ashermoses: Yes, nanoscience can enhance humans – but ethical guidelines must be agreed via @guardian

Internet down for the second time today. Why does a business have ADSL2+ from Telstra, when BigPond only give me ADSL1? #telstra

Ordered an extra two Holiday lights from MooresCloud @mpesce That makes 6 ordered. Hope they are water resistant.

In tropics. @mpesce: @ericlindsay They are. They should not be immersed, but they're fine in the rain. I plan to have them under shelter.

Rain in tropics does not always agree with my definition of shelter. Planning Holiday light layout now. @mpesce: Rain resistant is good.

You need more than a countdown @LiberalAus: …track how many days … #auspol #MyLiberal More actual policies please.

Why any rules? @btckr: ACMA invites you to help frame new rules Dump media if it offends.

Unfollowing! @paulkidd: #A #good #way #to #get #lots #of #Twitter #followers #is #to #make #every #word #in #your #profile #a hashtag.

Public’s nuts! @ACCAN_AU: Reckless website blocks ‘like using a sledgehammer to crack a nut’ Time for more TOR.


Internet is out of action at 8:03 a.m. No routes. Times out on numeric pings. Netgear modem still shows as having a connection. Power sequenced ADSL modem at 8:06 a.m. Internet back two minutes later.

Internet out of action at 5:06 p.m. Power sequenced the NetGear ADSL modem.

Metadata Security Matters

A brief account of why metadata security matters. Metadata search is cheap for governments. It reveals more than you would imagine.

I am actually not too concerned with private companies (except bulk data suppliers like phone and internet companies) having personal data. If they overstep, I can drop them entirely. However phone and internet companies must be forbidden to hold bulk data past undisputed billing periods. If the data is not collected, it is harder for governments to get access.

The only solutions I can see involve vastly smaller governments. The only way to make governments smaller involves starving them of funds. How? Whatever it takes. (Graham Richardson)

Friday 7 June 2013


I was up just after five. A black start to the day. By the time I had put the rubbish out, and had a mug of hot chocolate, it was grey. A grey, misty day, unsuitable for a morning walk.

Internet Fails

I checked at 5:35 a.m. My line speed is 2.95 Mbps (2954 kbps). My download speed is 369 KB/s (0.36 MB/s). That is lousy. Something is preventing me from getting better than ADSL1. This despite being a mere 700 metres from the telephone exchange.

Internet is essentially stalled at 8:30 a.m. Browser unusable. Unable to get pictures on Twitter. Ping is dropping packets.

Internet out of action at 10:08 a.m. Ping not working. Modem is not showing a fault light. Power sequenced the Netgear ADSL modem. Internet working again. I think I will replace that modem, just to confirm it is not a modem problem at my end.

Internet fails again, around 11:58 a.m. I powered sequenced the Netgear ADSL modem yet again. Connection back up a few minutes later.

Internet failed again, half way through my OS X update. Noticed the fail at 1:19 p.m. This time the Netgear ADSL modem is showing a red internet fail light. Power sequenced the Netgear ADSL modem. Internet came back.

Telstra BigPond internet connection is yet again out of action. Power sequenced the Netgear ADSL modem yet again.


An empty page? @ABCenvironment: Want to know where all the clean energy is in Australia?… via @cefgovau WTF use?

Government online security is offensive Stop spying, or else.

Cyber safety? Not in Australia Who watches the watchers?

Apple Fail

I see yet another iTunes failure. This seems to be apart from the iTunes Store in Australia not actually showing any Apps or Podcasts. iTunes 11.0.3 tells me there is an update available to 11.0.4. I click to Update. It sends me to the Mac App Store. Mac App Store says there are no updates available. After a few cycles of this failing, I updated manually.

Apple OS X 10.8.3 will not update to OS X 10.8.4. Dumps me to the Mac App store, which only offers a complete OS download of many GB. This support page has a link to the 809MB Combo Updater, so I downloaded that manually.

Fiscal Imbalance

The fiscal imbalance between State responsibilities and their income could be resolved by returning the personal income tax powers to the States, like it was prior to 1942 war time emergency. The Commonwealth could handle business taxation, which should concentrate them mightily on reducing rorts.

Apple Mac Pro

I thought that Apple were going to kill off their full capacity desktop system, the Mac Pro. The design is a decade old. It is almost certainly the lowest selling Macintosh, in a company that now makes most of its money from hand held computers. My architect friend has had a bunch of Mac Pro pass through his hands. I scored two of the chassis, and I love the elegance of the design. But all I can think to do with them is turn them into supports for a coffee table. Albeit perhaps a coffee table with weird built in geek stuff.

Then a year ago Apple CEO Tim Cook deliberately said there would be a Mac Pro replacement. This was after Apple started using Thunderbolt, an impressively fast PCIe and Display Port bus extender. I started to get an image of a minimal Macintosh, with expansion via Thunderbolt. This means an external PCIe chassis and drives, both purchased as a separate item. Then I thought there was no way traditional big iron buyers would go for that. They like swapping cards into expansion slots.

I came across a recent article by Don Lehman about Mac Pro: Apple’s most intriguing product. This addresses the question of what will Apple do. First conclusion is drop the Mac Pro. Second is to keep it with minimal upgrades. Third is do internal updates, which technically would be sufficient for users. However it has been a long time since they did much. The interesting point here is that CEO Tim Cook also said they would revert to building a Macintosh in the USA. A high price, high profit, low volume model seems best for that. However if you are going to the effort of getting new facilities, would it make sense to drop the people already making it? Not really.

The fourth option Don puts forward is to change the entire ball game for workstation type computers. At a time Windows 8 seems stalled, and desktop computers sales are in decline? It is a gutsy move, but the desktop is such a small part of Apple's business now that they might take the chance. If it fails, at least Apple gave the desktop a final shot. I think they might do it. Make the expansion only via Thunderbolt (PCIe). It will piss off a lot of people.

Saturday 8 June 2013


A dismal dark rainy morning. I dumped the rubbish out, and got rained on. Well, misted. Looks like no laundry today.

A visit to the money machine on the way to the Saturday Markets. No sign of Rex, but I caught up with Glenn at his stand. Saw Kurt and Ingrid at the markets and chatted briefly with them. Had lunch at the main street. Visited the news agent. I must drop in at the news agent when going to the market. They sometimes want something (like sprouts) collected from the market.

Sunshine, so I started laundry to do the various towels. Eventually they all dried, by late afternoon. It was not a good day for drying.


Is NSA PRISM a backdoor to breaking privacy via Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificates? Seems plausible. SSL speculation.

I scored 5/5 on the Financial Literacy Quiz, and I am not even American, average 2.88/5. @lauriedtmann

I want a Segway! @mpesce: I seriously wonder if Glass will fail for the same reason Segway did: using it makes you look like a wanker.

Segway and Google Glass solve policing inside malls. @johnallsopp: @mpesce I see them both as a solution in search of a problem

John Allsopp tweets: @ericlindsay @mpesce nobel prizes all round! ;-)

@mpesce Did you see Blinky Tape USB programmable LED lights on Kickstarter? Interesting variation.


A loss of all internet access, discovered at 10:15 a.m. when I returned from the markets. This time the Netgear ADSL modem is showing a red loss of internet light. I power sequenced the modem. Ping is back at 10:17 a.m.


I sent out a late reminder email of the party. First to arrive were Pete and Dawn, followed by Glenn and Alison. I knocked on Jim's door, and he came along. Later he brought his ukulele. Rex arrived, although not Myra this time. Jonathan and Josie arrived fairly late. I was about to order pizza when Ellen arrived, seemingly by herself, which seemed unlikely even for such an independent child. Rose brought Jasmine along soon after, with Chad arriving much later.

Ordered four pizza and four garlic bread, with meat lovers pizza a heavy favourite. All was eaten! So I think that worked well.

Perhaps not as well done were the drinks. The magnum of champagne slowed people down for a while. Jim kindly brought along a bottle of Pepperjack shiraz, to supplement the Pepperjack I had already chilled and opened for Glenn. Another bottle of champagne. A bottle of Strongbow cider, of which I had several on hand. Rose must have brought another variety of cider, as there were two bottle I had not provided. I asked Jim to take the remains of the third Pepperjack with him. Although the two well behaved children seemed to often ask for orange juice or water, I did not run out.

After saying they had to make an early night due to events on Sunday, no-one seemed in any real rush to leave. The last of the group departed not long prior to midnight. I thoroughly enjoyed the party, although I had to press a lot of chairs into service.

Sunday 9 June 2013


I was up at 5:55 a.m. to check if I could view the International Space Station. However with 10/10 cloud, there was nothing visible.

Walked around the Airlie Beach town centre for a while. Got the wrong sort of things (mini party pies) from Brumbys. For breakfast.

Jonathan dropped over to collect a video he had accidentally left behind.

Going through more of the paper here. Quantities are dropping. However what is left tends to be hand written, so OCR will not help me.

Watched part of a 99 cent movie rental I had downloaded to iTunes. However Telstra are telling me I have almost exhausted my download capacity.

The back of my office chair is breaking. Only way to repair it probably involves plywood and steam for bending it to shape to replace the crap plastic backing. Not happy. Chairs are less than four years old, and were not cheap.


Game of Thrones? I did not read the books. Why would I view the video? Not that it is legally available in Australia in any case.

Not even close … yet. @samotage: With the right equipment it’s nearly cheaper to buy diesel and generate your own electricity!

Excessive Internet Data Use

I had a message from Telstra. They are going to let me know how much data I am downloading. However in the past week, I seem to have used my entire 50GB download allowance. Which is flatly impossible unless there is some problem.

So, what is chewing the data? Activity Monitor keeps a list of network activity. However it resets when you reboot your computer, which I did very recently for an update. Damn! So I will need to do a screen capture of the figures from Activity Monitor prior to any reboot. That probably lets me see if OS X is involved.

I downloaded Little Snitch, version 2. I had a licence for that version. So I installed it. I am very suspicious of Livefyre. So I set Ghostery in Safari to block every single bit of tracking software it knows about.

I started up Bandwidth+ in the hope that helps give me clues to when stuff was happening.

The web interface to the Netgear modem gives a summary of bytes downloaded and uploaded. That is probably the most accurate record. However the modem had rebooted sometime during the afternoon. It thought a half gigabyte had been downloaded.

Monday 10 June 2013

Morning Bus

I was awake at four. Since I could not sleep, I got up and took care of transferring the last of the computer scans to the large hard drive. I still need to do the equivalent at Carlyle Gardens.

Today is a holiday. Queen's Birthday. Not that it is really her birthday. Not in all states either. Nice lady, it seems. When can we get rid of the hereditary monarchy?

I had leftovers for a very skimpy and very early breakfast.

Continuing to work on the computer. Still trying to understand how so much data is being downloaded. I thought I had most advertising blocked.

There is a cruise liner out in Pioneer Bay, all lightly lit. Markets this morning. However I need to catch the 7 a.m. bus out.

The bus went by 15 minutes early while I was still on the main street. Luckily the now more distant and inconvenient bus station is only ten minutes further away. The bus takes five minutes to get to the transit terminal, and at least ten minutes to unload. I still had plenty of time.

The bus left only a few minutes after seven. A quick trip to Bowen, and a lengthy stop at the service station there. We managed to leave there early, around 8:50 a.m. Refuel at Guthalunga. Good time until we were about 50 kilometres from Townsville. Many stops for road work.


I saw Jean's car at the bus terminal. She had messaged that she had been waiting there for some time. We went straight home, with a pause at Sunland for me to collect a bread roll for a salmon lunch. Jean raided the Easy Meal I had brought back with me. So that worked well.

I went out with Roundup weed killers and attacked anything that had grown since I left. It looks like there is now sensa weed in the lawn. There goes the neighbourhood.

Ninja Blocks

I had a Ninja Blocks kit awaiting me. Basically a BeagleBone microcomputer, with a wireless module. The starting kit includes a universal plug pack power supply for the microprocessor. There was one of each kind of battery powered wireless sensor. A door style button, a temperature and humidity sensor, a magnetic door or window sensor, and a PIR movement detector.


@RobertHoge Plot? AGW Cameron Fantasy Classification System, and some darts.

Tuesday 11 June 2013


I was up at around 5:30 a.m. Very silent in this area at that time. Lots and lots of tweets on Twitter.

Today is the Apple WWDC keynote. So I wonder what will be revealed?

Weight was up after more than a week at Airlie Beach. Now 71.5 kilogram. Not good at all.

A walk to drop off newspapers to Neil. Tried making appointment to see the doctor. Had to return to find staff. We had a shortened walk.

Asked the lawn mower contractors about the sensa weed. They have already sprayed once. However they will do a second spray for the stuff. I can see a patch at the back and a patch at the front of our place.

Walked over to office with Jean. John tried to run us over. Thanked Jo-ann for having the sensa weed sprayed with poison. Had a look at the satellite antennas. Looks like the power is taken back to somewhere, probably the terminal room. A quick look in the terminal room seems to confirm that.

The table was full, with Pat, Sue, Dot, Ray and John. Once again rack of lamb was available, so I got it, and even ate it all. Jeff arrived later. Pat was not doing so well by then, and he helped her home.


Cavity searching your online data to infinity and beyond. #NSA Not Secret Anymore

@DanDotLewis Wasgij 1000 piece puzzles are fiendish.

Apple WWDC Keynote

It looks like OS X Mavericks? Ran out of cats. Mavericks is a surfing beach. Tabbed Finder, with Tags. Multiple monitor support, finally. Lots of low power support. iCloud Keychain. iCal update, no virtual cows. Maps app for OS X. iBooks for Mac.

OS X Mavericks battery life in beta seems to have the battery time remaining available. That disappeared in Snow Leopard, with only percentage available. Glad to see it back.

New MacBook Air, with Haswell and longer battery life, greater flash storage. Sneak peek at Mac Pro. 802.11ac WiFi. New Airport Extreme, new Time Capsule.

Mac Pro to be built in the USA. It is a low volume device. About an eigth the size of the giant former model. Very impressive specifications. However if you want mass storage (rather than internal solid state), it is external Thunderbolt 2. Same with different video. This is pretty much what I expected that Apple would do.

iCloud based iWorks, running in a modern web browser.

XCode 5, for developers.


I lost internet access around 9:35 a.m. No numeric pings. Power sequenced the Belkin ADSL modem router at 9:37 a.m. Pings now working. Web browser now working. Bloody Telstra.

Gadget Repairs

I finally got around to using some superglue on the switch on the Grange light. This device was broken when I got it from Bunnings. The switch is not all that well made, but at least is large.

If the switch fails again, I will need to replace the entire switch. If I can find a 240 volt foot switch.

I guess that is foreshadowing. The glued together switch no longer works at all. I pulled it apart again. I can see damage to one of the two copper strips that actually act as contacts. Repair would be very delicate, due to restricted space.

Wednesday 12 June 2013


I was up at 3:30 a.m. and again more permanently at 4:20 a.m. I am not the least bit impressed by this idea.

Failed to spot the International Space Station pass over at 5:10 a.m. due to cloud. Misting.

Weight has gone up to 71.7 kilograms, after rack of lamb for lunch yesterday. Not a good start.

After a very light breakfast, off to Willows with Jean. She had spotted a (mostly) stainless steel drying stand in BigW for Airlie Beach. Returned to BigW to get Philips shaver replacement, and some cleaning brushes Jean wanted. Found some Ruggers shorts in Lowes menswear, but they do not look right. Also missing my Lowes card.

Visit doctor at 2:45 a.m. to have stitches removed. Took out my iPhone and read Twitter and RSS feeds. An hour after my appointment time, doctor inspects his (very neat) stitches and gives the nurse approval for them to be removed. I was also able to get replacement prescriptions on the same visit, so that was something. Sigh! Head for the pub.

Ian arrives. Jeff arrives, Ron arrives, Ray arrives. Allen sets ou palatial snacks. Well, chips and fish fingers, but a hungry guy can hardly complain.

Back home, hunting Asian kitchen geckos. They stay silent now, which made it harder to spray a half dozen of them with Crawly Cruncher.


I started downloading the Apple WWDC 2013 Keynote address in 1080p at around 3:30 a.m. The large and mostly unused off-peak download period for iiNet seems to be 2 a.m. until 8 a.m. so starting early seemed a good idea. Alas, when I got up after about an hour, 570MB, less than a tenth of the 6.6GB file, had actually downloaded. After two hours, I have about 1.1GB downloaded. At 10 a.m. around 3.5GB. The iiNet dashboard is not showing any off peak download at all. At this pace, more than a half day to download a video.

Something in my download stalled it at around 6.34GB after I left at 2:30 p.m. I restarted the download around 7:30 p.m. and completed the 6.6GB before eight. So over 16 hours to download a movie.

Basically the Telstra phone and internet connection in this part of Carlyle Gardens absolutely sucks.

Thursday 13 June 2013


I was unfortunately awake at 3:30 a.m. again. Got up at four, since I did not seem able to get back to sleep. Very silent in the darkness of a winter night.

Weight is proving stubborn. Still at 71.5 kilograms. Much the same as the day after I returned from Airlie Beach.

I do not like this morning. Too dark way too late, after six. It got light enough to see the problem was an intense morning mist. I could see ghostly figures walking by on the road in the morning mist.

Off to the chemist to collect prescriptions as soon as they opened. Return home without diverting. There was even some mail, although we returned early. I dumped the accumulated batteries in the battery recycling box.

Left over lean beef chilli and grated cheese for lunch, with lots of corn chips as a spoon, washed down with a beer. After a small breakfast of cereal, I was hungry.

Jean was off with appointments, and trying to get the rattle from the front of her car fixed. I gather the rattle is still there after fasteners were replaced. Not good.

A bunch of small ants had invaded the toilet paper roll. Weird. Jean used surface spray on them. They were coming from a crack in the gyprock. I tried to find where they were entering the house, but some hunting outside with ant sand revealed nothing.

Jean and I took a walk around Carlyle Gardens after five. We were real slow this time.

Apple Updates

I updated my Apple Mac mini to the latest operating system. An automatic update of Airport Utility to 6.3 did not appear in the Mac App store. I was careful to check that because my MacBook Air is also not seeing that update.

Next step was to pull the new Apple iMac out of the very neatly packed box. I started this about 4:30 p.m. A lot of lightweight protective plastic to remove. For a moment I thought there was no mouse, then realised the keyboard box was a bit too large. It also contained a Bluetooth wireless mouse. I already had a spare Apple trackpad. I had ordered an extra Apple battery charger, so I could have two sets of battery charging at any one time. Only thing to connect was the power cord.

After starting the new iMac (a bit of a scrabble before locating it behind the iMac but on the left hand side) I followed the wireless trackpad, keyboard and mouse instructions so these connected. After establishing I would use English, and an Australian keyboard, we were away. If you hesitate a bit too long, the iMac speaks to you and offers directions by voice. It wanted to connect to a WiFi network, so I provided the password. The iMac provided instructions on starting Migration Assistant on my Mac mini. Then it was follow the prompts for a minute or two, and a wait while the two machines communicated.

They said the file transfer would have around two and forty five minutes. I probably should have connected the two via an actual Ethernet cable, as this can be a lot quicker. However no great problem for it to take longer.

Around 7:55 p.m. the file transfer was over. The iMac started to say a minute remaining to transfer support files. This gradually increased to 2 minutes, 3 minutes, 4 minutes, and then 5 minutes. Maybe I have too many old applications? Now it is back to less than a minute remaining. Actually it showed less than a minute for about three minutes. Now 8:03 p.m. and it is asking me to answer a few questions about Location Services.

Apple Mail Problems

I have an older version of Apple Mail (6.3) on my new iMac. I should have Apple Mail 6.5. It is pretty reasonable that Migration Assistant would not move (nominally) older applications. However I wonder why Software Update did not detect me having an older version? Maybe a plist thinks it is already updated?

Mail does not have my Signatures, nor my (many) Rules on it.

I used Software Update to bring in an updated Operating System, from OS X 10.8.3 to 10.8.4. Two automatic reboots, and I am now checking if anything has changed. OK, I now have OS X 10.8.4. Mail is now updated to 6.5 (1508). That seems the most recent version.

Mail now sees all my old signatures, and my set of Mail Rules. It already had the actual XML files containing the signatures and Rules, but previously Mail would not use them. Good result.

Google Glass

A Google Glass teardown. First time I have seen the insides. Thanks to Sparkfun for sponsoring.

Friday 14 June 2013


I was awake at 5 a.m. which is a lot better than being awake even earlier. Got up well before six. Cool but not overcast morning.

My weight has dropped to 71.1 kilograms, still well above what I had dropped to before excessive eating at Airlie Beach.

I started a load of laundry at 6 a.m. I had set everything up ready to go last night.

Off to Willows. BigW had both the long trousers and shorts close enough to what I wanted, at a low price, so I bought them. Failed to find the milk we wanted in Coles, but Jean got vegetables. The strawberry prices were wrong. We drew that to the attention of an checkout operator. Jean got bread at Brumbys. Off to the Mitre10 hardware for Inox oil, and some cement for the garden edges.

I got a few shirts in from the laundry hanging outside. Another half hour and it all should be thoroughly dry.

Off to lunch. Jean walked over with me for exercise. Present were Dot, Ray and later John.

Worked on transferring files to my new iMac during the afternoon.


@chriskkenny: Apparently on the flip side of the menu was Obama's Kenyan birth certificate. #menugate I knew it would turn up somewhere.

Apple Migration

I could not see any easy way to access my external hard drives on the Mac mini from my new iMac, without moving them across. So I decided to copy my 100GB+ external iPhoto library back to my internal Mac mini hard drive. First, I switched off the Time Machine backup, as the one terabyte backup drive does not have a lot of space remaining. I started the actual file transfer at 10:45 a.m. I had not allowed for an external USB 2 hard drive being so slow. Estimated time is about three hours for what the Mac mini now says is 95.8GB. Turned out it was not as bad as originally expected. That file transfer via USB 2 took about one hour.

From now on, all new non-Thunderbolt external drives need to be USB 3, not USB 2.

Next transfer will be slower. Using WiFi from internal Mac mini drive to my new iMac. The iMac says the iPhoto Library is 106.49GB. I started the file transfer at 11:43 a.m. File size on the copy utility says 95.8GB. When I returned from lunch just prior to 2 p.m. it had transferred 18.45GB and was predicting another 7 hours. I suspect one computer fell asleep part way through. Looks like it will complete around 5 p.m.


A failure of the internet connection. Jean had to power sequence the Belkin ADSL modem around 12:30 p.m. to regain internet access. Boo, hiss.

Gold to China

I see the Shanghai Gold Exchange has delivered over 1200 tonnes of physical gold during the first half of 2013. Largest in the world. It probably exceeds world gold production, leading to shortages.

Just what mistrust is making the Chinese buy so much good money? Good money is tucked away, for emergencies. Bad money is spent straight away, before it becomes worth less. Yet there are few indications the Yuan is in trouble. Sheer population dynamics of the move towards middle class would cover that demand. Little trouble in big China.

Google Loon Internet

A weird Project Loon, internet for everyone via Google balloons. High altitude free flying solar powered polyethylene plastic super-pressure balloons steered into desirable wind streams by adjusting their height. Internet connection over a 40 km diameter to each 15 metre high balloon, which use a mesh network to get signals to destination via whatever ground links are available. Parachute descent for service.

A test batch of 30 Google Project Loon balloons will be launched near Christchurch New Zealand on 16 June.

Saturday 15 June 2013


I was up at around 5:15 a.m. Closed various open windows because it was cold.

Weight is now 70.8 kilograms, despite having had a big rack of lamb at lunchtime yesterday. I did skip dinner yesterday, but had two glasses of wine at the regular social club Friday fund raiser. Diet may not be all that well planned.


Stuff Twitter.


I am very happy with the transfer of my iPhoto albums to the new iMac. Now I finally have sufficient hard drive space to start putting more photos into iPhoto.

Step one is to determine how long ago I stopped adding photos. Looks like mid 2011. Ouch.

Checked a whole heap of memory cards. Moved lots of photos over to the new computer, and made backups on other hard drives. Hope I have this all organised.

Tomorrow I move lots of photos into iPhoto, and label them.

Camera Use

I extracted some statistics of my camera use as I checked when I took my most recent photos added to iPhoto.

1 photo with a Kodak DC240, dated 8 March 2001. Photo size 1280 x 911 pixels, showing our view at the Whitsunday Terraces. Perhaps a photo from Jean?

9926 photos with a Pentax Optio 330GS from 9 August 2003 until 1 July 2008. These were 2048 x 1536. Using this small 3X zoom camera convinced me that sometimes you needed even more zoom. However it also convinced me you needed a small camera. If I recall right, it was a bit heavy on AA batteries, and would not work on NiMH. Used Compact Flash (CF) memory cards, then the standard. I had several for my Psion devices. I found the camera, and with new AA batteries, it still works. Not sure where the box and manuals are.

13766 photos with a Kodak Z740 ultrazoom, from 30 April 2006 to 24 March 2011. Photo size is 2576 x 1932. This was my first ultrazoom camera, and for the moment has taken the record number of photos. Slightly too large to carry all the time. I still keep it at Airlie Beach for ad hoc photos. However the controls are starting to fail. Also the rechargeable AA batteries probably should be replaced.

5274 photos with a Canon Powershot TX1, from 1 July 2008 to 25 August 2010. Photo size up to 3072 x 2304. This was basically the first dual function ultrazoom still plus video camera from Canon. Beautifully built and startlingly heavy for such a small camera. Battery life is uninspiring, at around 100+ photos per charge. Also no-one has fingers that can really hold the camera as it needs to be held. I was hoping Canon would fix the faults in a TX2, but it never appeared. They used the lessons learned to make much better still cameras with great video features.

25 photos with a Canon Powershot A560 dating from 6 October 2008 to 17 December 2008. Size is 3072 x 2304. I believe these are photos Jean took and gave to me.

43 underwater photos with a Canon Powershot A720 on 7 July 2009. They are 3264 x 2448. A hired underwater camera at a reef offshore from Cairns.

6338 photos with a Panasonic DMC-TZ10, from 5 August 2010 and continuing. Photos are 4000 x 3000, but not quite as good as this resolution implies. I bought this duty free at Sydney airport as we headed for Russia. It is small, lightweight, ultrazoom, with decent battery life except for GPS. It has a slow battery intensive built in GPS to locate where photos are taken. I started looking for GPS equipped camera before this Century started, and the photo industry took over a decade to deliver a cheap version. If it took slightly better photos, and had better GPS, this would be a perfect camera for me.

1278 photos with an iPhone 3 and later an iPhone 3Gs, between 15 August 2008, and 26 October 2010. Resolution is 1600 x 1200 for iPhone 3, and 2048 x 1536 for iPhone 3Gs. The photos are more than adequate for record purposes.

772 photos with an iPhone 4, from 7 November 2010 through. Resolution is 2592 x 1936 pixels. You can get some decent photographs with the phone cameras, plus they have GPS, but nothing replaces ultrazoom for long shots.


I walked over to the bar with Jean around four. Ian was just ahead of us, and Jeff was already there. I drank far too much, three glasses in three hours of the very nice Pepperjack Shiraz that Dave had arranged to get for me. Jeff managed to dispose of an impressive two bottles of wine. Hope he survives that. There were a lot of bar snacks. Allen put out two big bowls of crisps and Shapes biscuits. Then Dave brought us samples of the hors d'oeuvre he was making. Back home around seven. Did not eat dinner.

The bar was putting on an evening meal for the local tenpin bowling group. All helps keep the place open.

Sunday 16 June 2013


I was awake before five, on a cold but clear morning. Had to find some long sweatpants and top to cope with the crisp (by tropical standards) morning air.

My weight is down to 70.2 kilograms, a record for this decade. Amazing what skipping meals can do. I would have thought the drinking would have raised it. This also brings my body mass index below 25 for the first time in the decade.

I started a first load of laundry around ten past six. Mostly bulky towels, with insufficient space for everything. The place is dark and cold.

I cheered up a lot after breakfast, of two large eggs on a slice of toast. Even did another load of laundry. Lunch involved using up one of the EasyMeals we got as cyclone supplies. They store well, but not forever.

Spent most of the day tagging long neglected photographs into my new computer.

We went for a walk late in the afternoon. Only around CG, which is not really sufficiently far.

Too stuffed to do much. Watched the Apple WWDC conference video instead of anything else.


If you ask someone to write, pay the writers, or stop pretending to be a business. @paythewriters

iPhoto Issues

I was happily pulling photos from the far too numerous SD memory cards from various cameras. Made sure I had good backups. Then I started importing them into iPhoto on my new iMac. Things went well for the first several times, and by mid afternoon I was ready to tackle a large batch of photos.

When I reached the European trip photos from 2012, I realised I had a major procedural problem. Namely 2677 photos that had already been imported into my MacBook Air. This I did during the trip, so as to ensure a backup of the camera cards. Now the camera cards are all ready to import into the MacBook Air. However if I have already added metadata, it would just be double handling. That is about 18GB of photos.

Decided to leave that problem for later. Instead I imported less than 400 photos from one of the other cameras. That should be somewhat easier to handle. Except that it appears that the Fujitsu F550EXR did not capture any GPS data. WTF?

Greg Egan - The Clockwork Rocket

I finished reading Greg Egan The Clockwork Rocket, or Orthogonal Book 1. I do not believe I recall another author who would devise an entire mathematically firm universe in which to set a series of fiction books. It is a wonderful diversion. Luckily the author does prove some additional notes to assist the reader understand somewhat better the strange world. Meanwhile, the story is pretty cool. An attempt to save a civilisation by taking a long journey of discovery. The hope is your descendants will have solved the problem faced by a world, when they return only a few years into the future of the world.

Monday 17 June 2013


It must be clear today, as the temperature this morning is low. I am rugged up in a tracksuit to cope. Alas, there are not enough items in the laundry to make it worth doing today. Getting closer however.

My weight remains at 70.2 kilograms. It was that slice of tasty cheese on a slice of buttered bread for dinner that did it. Next time, no butter.

Cereal and strawberries and blueberries for breakfast. Cheese and tomato on a two slices of bread for lunch. Left over tomato and a slice of cheese for dinner. Still hungry. Had rum and Coke. Balanced diet.


No surprise the U.K. spy on their allies, just like the USA. Who can trust a government?

Chalk and talk is about due to be Gonski. Funding a dodo farm is pointless. Evidence based results count. #auspol

Illegal boats. Eleven ships carrying 1044 people arrived in Australia in 1788. Ask the Aboriginals how that worked out for them.

If IGA and corner stores can not compete with Coles and Woolworths, maybe they need to think about how to offer value? @RealBobKatter

If more than 20% of Australians want to buy from Coles or Woolworths, how do you think you will stop them? @RealBobKatter

Not that I actually have a working TV to check. RT “@Malcolm4Leader: #QandA is officially nonsense” But all media is crap these days.

Why do I have a hamburger 🍔 at the end of my Terminal prompt? This damn diet is hell.

Camera GPS

I tested the Fujitsu Finepix F550 EXR camera GPS in the garden after setting the sleep time to five minutes. The camera is set to look for GPS locations when it is powered on. What I feared was the camera was sleeping before getting a GPS reading. The previous and default sleep setting is two minutes. However if you let the camera try for GPS continuous, the battery will be dead when you want to use it. Bit of a dilemma, and maybe I need a second battery.

This time the camera display is telling me it is located in Townsville. This seems a step forward. I will take several photos in this area today, for testing. Then I will check that the actual photo EXIF data incorporates GPS readings like it should.

iPhoto Continued

I made a bunch more iPhoto Smart Albums, and put them in folders, mainly to track what I have been doing. One folder separating the various cameras. One folder by year.

The big import is the European trip in 2012. This has several thousand photos. So I have been bringing in a hundred or so at a time. Labelling them takes a fair amount of time. I will eventually complete this. But not today, or even this week.

Tuesday 18 June 2013


I was up late, around 6:30 a.m. A cool clear morning. Started the laundry a little late as a result. No worries.

At least, I broke the barrier, and weigh in at 69.9 kilograms. First time this decade I have been that low.

After breakfast. Jean is on the phone. This means bad news. Like some other trip planned.

Sue, Ray and John were there at the restaurant for lunch. Dot was away. Sue had poor news of Pat (I thought I had seen Jeff bring her home, but was entirely wrong). When Jeff arrived, he updated us on her continued hospital stay.

Allen was moving his meat pies. I had forgotten how large they were when his chef Glen made them. I took a lot of mince meat home with me for dinner. A little too salty for me this time, but these days I rarely put salt on anything except eggs and celery.

Jean returned before three. We took a very short walk around the block, much less than a kilometre.


The public do not vote for leaders. The Prime Minister is not even mentioned in the Australian Constitution. #auspol

The @TSA is why I never travel to the USA. Now TSA pick on a young girl doing nothing wrong.

Aussies eat beer waste! @comedy_au: Vegemite turned 90 last week. Where would we be without the old sauce? @ausgeo

@comedy_au: Vegemite turned 90 last week. Where would we be without the old sauce? @ausgeo Eating better food?

Bring back Genesis 19:36 @mpesce: Wait, what's wrong with polygamous marriages? They're all over the place in the Bible. #OverTheTop ?

Is there any such thing as Australian cuisine? An American asks.

Help Other Apple Users

I had a phone call from Frank, asking for help with an iPad and iMac sync problem with Groups in Contacts. I dropped in on my way to lunch. Luckily I had allowed for a bit more than a half hour.

It seems to me that Apple are making it harder to avoid having an iCloud account. I had one of the old Mac accounts, and every now and then I get issues with Apple software. I suggested that eventually going with iCloud would be worthwhile.

Luckily I was able to backup Contacts and so on, load a good set to the iPad from iTunes on the iMac. Then I let that go up to the iCloud account. That then synched again, and each device ended with a nicely updated set of data.

Wednesday 19 June 2013


I was up at 5:30 a.m. on a cold morning. Found tracksuit to wear.

My weight is up to 70.4 kilograms. The Withings scale is unable to identify me. Does not let me change to one of the two existing accounts. No idea why not. Ah, discovered why. Jean had a problem with the scale not identifying her (you have to stand on one foot when the un-smart scale is uncertain - don't ask). Some of her readings got accidentally included as mine. I was able to change them using the online account. So the wrong readings have been removed from my account, and the correct readings now included. Now back to agonising about why a single meat pie yesterday makes me weight another half kilogram.


If Facebook, Google, Instagram, Twitter don’t trust me with an RSS feed, why should I give them data?

-... ..- .-.. .-.. ... .... .. - @TimKarr: Boy Scouts relapse over. Also, Twitter not particularly well suited for Morse Code.

The lies US governments told us and continue to tell us as they abuse their powers.

Yes @IanWoolf: can smoke alarms be set off by fog? Or are they just full of false positives? Fog, steam, dust. Photoelectric one better.

Australia is a secular society. Get religion out of schools, and out of Adelaide especially. Start taxing churches.

Apple Problems

I can not get the Apple Store to respond at 7:18 a.m. when I try to log in. Not an internet problem, as I can see new items in the store.

I killed off App Store using Activity Monitor. Now App Store seems totally broken. Not buying anything today. Opps, spoke too soon. It is back!

Another thing I did not realise about my $2 buy is the download is over 4GB. Jean just got through a 2GB download that took three days.

I think the download completed around 4 p.m. The fan on the MacBook Air ramped up. The installd just spiked at over 300% of CPU. Which is a pretty neat trick! Gone back to normal now.


I have copied all 2700 of the European 2012 photos into iPhoto on the new iMac. It turned out I had done a preliminary copy onto my MacBook Air during the trip. So I did have a little alternate information in those photos. So now I need to check all the old photos prior to deleting them. Sigh.

One of the Smart Albums I did was for nameless faces. So I have been tracking down the Faces for the European trip, and naming them. Or, more often, excluding them. A named face disappears promptly from the Smart Album. Removing a Face error (like a wheel being taken as a Face) does not seem as prompt. Not too surprising. Unfortunately I still seem to have over 3000 unidentified Faces in my entire photo collection.

The Global Positioning System on the Panasonic TZ10 camera is a bit slow identifying a new location. I have to check, and sometimes correct, the first few photos in any new location. It sure beat geolocating any other way. According to the GPS Smart Album I did long ago, there are around 24,700 photos that are no geolocated.

Visit Bar

I went over to the bar a little after four. Ian and Jeff were there, joined a little later by former publican Ron. Ended up drinking whiskey at Jeff's place while he looked after the cats. This will not end well. Got home around 1 a.m. Unable to find my way out of the closet.

Thursday 20 June 2013


I did not awake until well after nine. Must have been a lot more in the whiskey glass than I thought. Take note to ensure all whiskey glasses are small in future, not gigantic.

On the other hand, my weight was down to 69.3 kilograms. Decided that a whiskey diet works really well, except for the aftermath.

A short walk to the mailbox with Jean just before ten.

Two explosions rattled the windows around 12:44 p.m. What on earth is the RAAF playing at today? Another bang rattling windows at 2:19 p.m. Even larger one at 2:20 p.m.

Catching up with rubbish today.


If I had shares in Slater and Gordon, I would dump them before the election. #auspol

My weight was down to 69.3 kilograms. Decided that a whiskey diet works really well, except for the aftermath.

Holy shit! @JohnBirmingham: Visited the Rum Bar at the Breakie Creek Hotel today. 400 rums. 400!!! … The Airlie Beach rum bar only has 70.

Bonkers article. @GuardianAus: Why Australians deserve a universal minimum income | Godfrey Moase:

Did Julia commit fraud while at Slater and Gordon?

How to uninstall McAfee Antivirus, direct from the inventor John McAfee himself. NSFW

Friday 21 June 2013


I was up late, just before six. Chilly morning, although not real cold.

My weight was up to 69.6 kilograms. I had very little to eat yesterday, but was probably dehydrated the previous day.

Off to Willows. We walked around almost three times before doing vegetable shopping in Coles. I checked the news agent. Boring looking newspapers. We also collected more eggs from Twelve Oaks farm.

Off to lunch soon after Jean returned from the University. At first only Ray was there, but he had lost the race to our usual table. Then Dot turned up. Later John displaced Jerry who was sitting in for a while. I had a really nice rack of lamb with vegetables, and took home lots of leftovers.

I had leftovers from lunch for dinner, after Jean had grabbed most of it. Still too much to eat.

Clearing home made wooden desk of excess scrap paper, in vague home of getting new iMac organised. Found the 4TB USB 3 drive I had put aside as a backup drive.

World Wide Party at 9 p.m.

Saturday 22 June 2013


I was up late, around 6:30 a.m. Although the weather forecast was mostly fine, it did not seem that good. However I loaded and started a run of laundry, which we could not hang out to dry until after eight.

Weight after the rack of lamb for lunch yesterday is back up, to 69.9 kilograms.

Off to Willows with Jean, where we walked around three times. Got the missing milk and bread roll, and that is our shopping for the end of the week.

I had for lunch one of two sausages I found in the freezer, which worked well on my bread roll. Alas, I managed to spill tomato sauce all over my shirt. Better a shirt than a keyboard or a book.

Off to the bar a little after four. Jean walked over with me, for exercise. Met with Ian and Jeff at the bar, and later with Ron. Jeff seems a bit gun-shy about Chivas regal whiskey these days. Little wonder. The bowlers were putting in a lot of time with their competition. Frank had a chat with me about his iMac. Geoff and Margaret turned up, and Geoff told me he has an iPhone 5 now. Half his luck! Allen and Dave were coping with 80 people attending for a Chinese dinner. Mind you, Allen was playing Indian music. The ABC shop said that was as close as they came to Chinese music. I had a couple of glasses of Pepperjack Shiraz while I was at the bar. The lads gave us a bunch of nice bar snacks. Cheese and tomato on Sao biscuits, potato crisps, and later on prawn fluffy things (details when I recall the name). Walked back home around 6:30 p.m.

No need for my flashlight, as it was a full moon. Tomorrow should be about the brightest, largest moon of the year.

Lamp is Live

I got around to replacing the faulty foot switch in the relatively new metal standing lamp. Not that I could find any place to buy a foot switch. There was an unused Arlec cord line switch available here, still in its plastic bag, so I pressed that into service.

I can not understand how this lamp could have passed safety tests for Australia, given it is all metal, but does not have an earth connection. One break in the insulation and the whole lamp is live. I suppose technically the dual sheath power cord means it is double insulated, but …

One reason I particularly wanted that lamp working is that it is one of three into which I have placed colour changing LED bulbs from my Philips Hue starter kit. These lamps are ES27, not bayonet cap like our older lamps.

Kogan 27 inch IPS Monitor

I am at last starting to get my new Apple iMac integrated into my life. Today the first step was hardest. Clearing more junk from my desk area. Then actually vacuum. I had previously moved the big Dell monitor out of the way (it will be on the Mac mini until I move that). Then I needed to shift the iMac across the desk, being careful of any cords in the way.

When I installed the new Kogan 27 inch IPS monitor, I got a fright. No power on it. Turned out you can manage to plug the four pin DC plug into the monitor the wrong way. Luckily the safety circuits prevent the power supply from coming up.

The Kogan manual (online) relates to a totally different monitor. You can tell from the diagrams, especially the stand and where things plug in. Bit confusing. I had bought these monitors at an opening sale so Jean and I could each have a massive display available. The Kogan screen is more reflective than the iMac, which is a pity. There is a little plug in the back of the Kogan stand, so you can easily adjust the height to match the iMac. That worked well. Both are the same screen dimensions, and each is 2560 by 1440 pixels.

Looks like the Kogan 27 inch IPS monitor is drawing about 0.45 Amps from the Mains, about 71 Watts, with a power factor around 64. When in sleep mode, it draws 0.05 Amps, around 1.2 Watts, with a power factor around 10. That seems reasonable. I will test it with a second Watt meter sometime.

Apple Passbook

A report on Apple Passbook at NSNorth conference by Ryan Nvstrom in The Next Web.

They email a link to a personalised Passport conference pass. I have seen this many times, from airlines like Qantas and Virgin in Australia. Also when I visited the Greenpeace ship Rainbow Warrior.

NSNorth also used Passbook for broadcasting event news and schedule updates. The back of the Passbook also contained convention and hotel addresses, wifi password and speaker times.

The cover image was updated for each new speaker. Push notifications for meal breaks and informal gatherings. Finally after the event it turned into a group photo of the attendees.

That is sounding like proper use of the Passbook facility.

Sunday 23 June 2013


I was awake early, and unable to sleep. However it was so cold that I did not want to get up early. The temperature inside the house is about 20°C, while outside on the back porch it is about 14°C. Not impressed.

My weight was up. Two back to back readings made it 70 kilograms and then 69.9 kilograms. Too much wine? Too many bar snacks?

Despite that, we indulged in fried eggs on buttered toast, with half a cooked tomato on the side, for our Sunday breakfast. We used to have this with bacon, but have been cutting bacon out of our diet of late. Orange juice to wash down our numerous tablets.

Went for a walk around Carlyle Gardens with Jean around ten, before it got too warm. Back from the two kilometres in under a half hour, which these days is good enough.

Had a small steak for a late lunch, half of a hunk that had been in the freezer. I want to empty the freezer.

We went for another short walk in the afternoon, but only about a kilometre. Jean had taken tablets, used ointment, and had a medicinal rum. Still has joint issues, not helped by cooler weather.

I had a slice of cheese, and the remains of a banana for dinner. Plus a glass of milk. Hope I was late enough to make it through the night without getting hungry.

The so called supermoon does not look any more impressive than an ordinary moon. It is light enough to walk around outside without a torch, but that is usually the case at full moon.

Organised my bus ticket for Airlie Beach.

Drive Stand

I plotted to make a wooden stand for the new drives. I had some wood that would be (mostly) suitable for the shelves. However the timber I have available is too short for the uprights. Need to come up with some other idea to get the drives off the bookcases.

The plan I came up with involved simply using a different, smaller, now unused bookcase for the drives and the UPS. I had to move a heap of other things to get everything plugged in.

First I backed up the Mac mini. For some reason it did not seem to have done a backup all week. Since nothing had changed, that was fine. Except that somehow in using Migration Assistant, it decided it had over 100GB to back up. This took a while on USB 2.

Then I concentrated all the power cords for that in to a single power board, nicely out of the way. That will make life easier for me when I have to move the thing.

With all the new drives connected through a UPS, I started the new Apple iMac. This immediately found the drives. I simply had to tell it which of the two to use for backup. I used the 4TB Western Digital USB 3 drive for backup. 325GB to be done, however it did not take more than an hour or so. That actually seems a little slow.


Australian Day of Action for privacy against spying on citizens on 6 July 2013. e.g. USA NSA PRISM

Apple Passbook has more potential than it appears. The Next Web reports on NSNorth conference use of Passbook.

Whistleblower Edward Snowden leave Hong Kong. Wonderful piece of digging by HK in their note to USA.

Obama’s Insider Threat program to stop USA leaks to Press via whistleblowers in 2011

@JonathanStrahan @strangedave My early Retina iPad runs hotter than iPad 2, gives up a little battery life. No real issue. Wait for iPad 5.

@JonathanStrahan @strangedave I agree with Dave about slow recharge issue. My chargers are all 2 Amp. Some computers are not.

Monday 24 June 2013


I was not up until six. It is way too cold after a clear night.

I weighed 69.8 kilograms, so the downward trend seems to have restarted. Just not working all that well.

What seemed like a huge breakfast of cereal was mostly piled up banana, strawberry, blueberry and kiwifruit. I was hungry again by one, and had a sausage on a couple of slices of bread. Had my very small piece of left over steak for dinner. I have a bad feeling about this.

Jean and I took a walk in the local area in the morning. Then when we saw the parcel delivery folks, I had to rush back to get a parcel the delivery guy would have left anyhow. Still, it put our walking distance up a little. We saw a triffid in a garden.

An afternoon walk with Jean, around the larger inside perimeter of Carlyle Gardens. That was over two kilometres, so Jean is doing well for the day.


NSA spying is why Australians should not use USA based companies like Google to host their email.

@TheTweetOfGod: Retweet this and I will give you one trillion dollars. After QE ends, that will be worth about a cup of coffee.

Another attack on information in USA. Neutralising Barrett Brown by jailing him.

Creepy monitoring of your internet browsing by Qantas Toolbar. Do not install it.

Sensible things from Australian government Inquiry into potential reforms of National Security Legislation today.

Song of the Slums

My book of the day is Song of the Slums, by steampunk author Richard Harland. What would happen if rock and roll had been invented in the 19th Century? In 1846, in the middle of the Age of Steam, when British airships waged war to support the Plutocrats. A fine young adult steampunk novel, from the slums of Birmingham to London, greatest city in the world.

Allen and Unwin, ISBN 989-1-74331-005-2, 370pp, 2013. A$17.99.

Tuesday 25 June 2013


I was up around five this cold tropical winter morning. Found fleecy tracksuit to wear to ward off the cold. At least tropical temperatures are not like down south in Sydney, where it is probably utterly bleak.

My weight was down to 69.5 kilogram, despite actually having three (small) meals yesterday. However I am hungry, which is probably not unreasonable first thing of the morning.

Had a hasty breakfast of cereal topped with strawberries, kiwifruit and blueberries. Then we drove to the IGA store to collect more food, including forbidden Lindt chocolates, and Neenish tarts.

Off to my regular lunch at the restaurant, but well before midday. I would like to drop in on Frank's iPad class at the Computer Room, but that was not possible. Jean walked over with me for her exercise.

I need to get away from lunch early, about half past twelve, so I needed to start early. The regular chef was away, so I was not tempted. Just ordered a ham and tomato toasty.

Dot turned up, then Ray, with Sue not much later. Finally Jeff also turned up.


About time taxi licences stopped being a monopoly in Victoria. Plate owners are just rent seekers from all of us.

The dumbing down of Australian political journalism attacked by Corinne Grant. Good stuff.


I walked the two kilometres or so over to the Reading Cinema to see World War Z. This was an entertaining action piece about a really quick acting (in seconds) disease that essentially turned people into zombies. Lots of action, not much sense. Some great special effects.


I also saw After Earth Afterwards. This was a cheap dud. Basically a vehicle so that Will Smith's son could get some acting experience. Nothing terrible about it, but nothing to particularly recommend it either. I walked home, with a pause at the bar to have a glass of beer to quench my thirst.


A presentation by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) on avoiding scams was the highlight of the Infonite.

After the presentation and shifting back of tables, I had two eggs sandwiches (points), and three half scone with jam and cream.

Laurie wants to know how to make folders in BigPond email on an iPad. Hmm, it seems Telstra BigPond (now using Windows Live) offers only POP3 for inward email, and so does not have folders at all.

Wednesday 26 June 2013


I was up just after six. Jean went off clothes shopping later in the morning. I did not attend. She reported the store did not open until nine.

My weight remains at 69.5 kilograms, despite having actually had some lunch, and scones at supper yesterday.

Cereal, topped with honey, banana, blueberries and strawberries for breakfast. We had 3 kilograms of oranges. Jean later ran four through the tiny electric juicer, so we had fresh squeezed orange juice. I made cheese and tomato open face sandwiches on the fresh bread for lunch.

Working all morning on completing mailing comments on ANZAPA, so I can pass the mailing over to Jean.

Completed 31k of comments on ANZAPA around 4:30 p.m. Gave the three envelopes of stuff to Jean. She asked what I was doing next. Planned to relax. She asked what day it was? Oh shit, I should have been over at the pub a half hour ago. We both walked over (Jean for the exercise).

Ray, Ian and Jeff were there. No-one commented (overtly) on how late I was.

Heading back home that evening. Dave from the pub phoned to say Gillard is out, Rudd is in. Holy shit!


I noticed email was failing. Ping from Terminal indicated destination unreachable. Accessing the ASL modem via its IP number failed, because I misremembered the number. I walked out to the garage and power sequenced the Belkin ADSL modem at 6:14 a.m. I got onto the modem at however it is not delivering meaningful information.

Went out to garage and power sequenced the Belkin ADSL modem again at 6:23 a.m. Ping working at 6:28 a.m. Refreshed mail and got email. Connection to the modem menu still fails to show any meaningful information. I think that modem will be for the rubbish bin soon. As well as the failed data collection from the menu, it also has a failed wireless access point.


Decriminalise all drugs, like Portugal

@SabraLane: Rob Oakeshott is quitting politics: he'll be on AM at 8 today ... to explain why. He has a choice?

Iron wire is good enough for phone, no need for expensive copper. Overhead wires are cheaper than conduit. #NBN

Copper replaced iron phone wires Instead of old fashioned optical fibre, we need an Interrossiter.

Oakeshott and Windsor desert sinking ship. I was hoping for Abbott and Costello, not Abbott and Joyce. Not funny. #auspol

A beer and two glasses of wine. Australian Labor party politics are finally starting to make some sense to me. #auspol

Talking succession for North Queensland with folks at the pub. Australian politics absolutely suck. #auspol

Do it! @BernardKeane: can we offer asylum to American women denied basic reproductive rights by their own régimes?

Been all ready to go. @tansyrr: um, so the ABC is playing a Conservative anti-Rudd ad from YouTube. Just for a taste of tomorrow's media.

LNP no longer need policies. All they need is YouTube of Labor ministers stabbing Kevin Rudd after 2010. What a shambles!

Kate Lundy for Communications Minister. At least she knows about Computers and Communications.

That long? @mpesce: MInd you, if Rudd hasn't changed his ways substantially, this will all go pear-shaped in about a week.

Giggle! @mpesce: @ericlindsay i was trying not to be overly precipitous I hate it when I do that.

Giggle! @chriskkenny: BREAKING: Rudd calls public servants in for Cabinet meeting at 3.00am Changing his ways?

@DannyDangerOz: If I were to going to nuke Canberra, I wouldn’t start from Cooma. Just saying.

Kevin Leader

It was an interesting evening. I had sort of hoped to get a bit more work done. However instead I followed twitter and news feeds. Kevin Rudd defeated Julia Gillard for leadership of the Australian Labor Party. You stab me, I will stab you. I figure this will just about complete the breakup between the union side and the non-union side. Main reason seems to me to be save a few more seats, and avoid losing much more electoral funding from a low vote.

The opposition no longer need to say anything about their policies (if they actually have any). All they need to do is run on YouTube what existing Labor members said about Prime Minister Kevin Rudd when they stabbed him in the back in 2010.

Thursday 27 June 2013


I was up around five, despite a late night following the sports … sorry, politics. I found my iPhone and told it to turn on the lights … low.

Weight remains 69.5 kilogram despite going to the pub yesterday and eating snacks in the evening. Hungry now.

Peeled bananas, prepared strawberries, juiced oranges, all in a rush so the skins could go out in the rubbish before the garbage truck arrived. Jean was busy on a 6 a.m. chat with her group, so she took her breakfast at her computer. Then after all that effort, the garbage truck did not arrive until nearly eight.

I ran one load of laundry, but started it rather late. Got that laundry hung out to dry before nine. Started another load of laundry soon after. They dried fine by just after lunch.

I had a slice of cheese and tomato on bread, two pieces of that, around two. As a lunch it was unsatisfactory, I was hungry again soon.

We went for a walk over the other side of Carlyle Gardens. I dropped a security camera over to 16, which has suffered break ins recently. No idea where the security stickers are. I followed that by dropping a wireless access point over for Ray, for use with his new laptop computer.

Had a slice of toast with butter and marmalade for dinner. Jean suggested it, when I explained I could have a Neenish tart for dinner.

I sent out my party invitations for Saturday. Somewhat belated, but better than even later.


I found my iPhone and told it to turn on the lights … low. That would not have made any sense a few years ago. Philips Hue


I synched my iPhone with iTunes on my MacBook Air, and copied all the photos off it into iPhoto. That was about 500. Next I transferred the photos from my iPhone to my new iMac. There were over 600. In checking, I found a rather large number of photos from last year had never made it to any computer except the MacBook Air.

Apple do not provide any really satisfactory means of transferring original photos out of iPhoto on the MacBook Air. I used their Export file transfer system, and it was obviously not doing the right thing. The photos were twice the size of the originals. So I checked where Finder held the original photos.

Airdrop would not detect my new iMac. Not sure why not. Perhaps Little Snitch? So I enabled File Sharing instead. I transferred the unsatisfactory exported photos, which gave me a complete list of the photos I wanted. Then I transferred the largest collection of original photos I could find, something over 800. I needed to reach 954. It was a bit tedious going through the iPhoto files Apple prefer you not open, but eventually I had found all of them. By then it was evening.

I am going through gradually removing Face identification that is incorrect. I have several thousand bad Face items. However every now and then I go through and remove a bunch of them. They should eventually all be gone.

I must say that even with over 40,000 photos, the new iMac performs nicely.

Computer Notebook Sales Down

I see computer notebook sales are lower. Contract Manufacturers’ Notebook PC Shipments Fall to Three-Year Low in the First Quarter according to Peter Lin. I expected desktop computers to continue to decline in sales, however this is specifically notebook computers, the most popular segment of the market.

Global shipments of notebook computers from original design manufacturers (ODM) during January through March amounted to 33.2 million units, down a sharp 17 percent from 40.1 million units posted during the final quarter last year.

Friday 28 June 2013


I was up at 5:30 a.m. My weight was also up, to 70.2 kilogram. Ouch. Where did I go wrong?

Setting things up ready to leave. I did not seem to get very much done.

In contrast, Jean went to the Seniors event at the Carlton Theatre. It seems she did very well among the 40 exhibitors. It seemed as if she could have had an almost unlimited supply of shopping bags. Or pens. Mostly we do not need the helpful things available, as yet.

One of the places there was Battery World, Townsville. Jean needed rechargeable batteries to replace the ones for her camera. We had been discussing that the previous day, and she had raided my old Lithium battery supply. Battery World had Sharp Eneloop rechargeable AA batteries, and even at a slightly reduced price. Jean also got a bunch of other handy things, both from Battery World (9 volt batteries for the smoke alarms) and others. Battery World gave her a little tiny rubbish bin for batteries. We already put our batteries in the bin at the mail boxes, but this might help us separate dead batteries from ones that still have some life.

Despite some traffic hold ups. Jean got me to the bus terminal well ahead of the scheduled departure time.

Bus to Airlie Beach

A lot of construction projects on the Bruce Highway. As a result, the bus was delayed several times. It seems they are putting an overhead bridge over the railway line between Bradden and Ayr. I had no idea. Outside Ayr there are a bunch of potential improvements. I read my recent copy of Silicon Chip magazine during the trip.

The bus had to take the bypass road through Airlie Beach, as the half road was closed. We arrived just prior to four.

Airlie Beach

I dropped in to see Tony, the optometrist on the main street. My new prescription sunglasses were ready. Seem to fit pretty well. First real trial will need to wait until tomorrow.

Checked Brumbies for bread, but not much to see. I think I can leave the bread buying until at least Sunday.

Had a chat with the news agent. She likes the idea of Philips Hue lights for her husband to play with. He likes gadgets. Collected my various copies of the Whitsunday Times newspaper. Even if I had wanted other newspapers, the store had already ran out of stock. I thought the whole town looked busy.

Dropped in to see Rose at Reception, before she leaves. Sounds like she has a real tight schedule in when she moves next week. Wow, we took weeks, and months.

Indulged myself in a massive TV viewing session that evening, starting with news. Not much on looked worth continuing with. There was a new show about a town caught behind an invisible wall. I continued to use my MacBook Air while watching. Plus I caught up with some of the Whitsunday Times newspapers.

Saturday 29 June 2013

Morning and Markets

It was still dark when I got up just before six. Despite having been warned by the news agent that it had been cold, the inside of the apartment was still pretty reasonable at 23°C. However I had left the doors closed, and the vertical drapes closed for the evening. Outside it was around 20°C, which is not that unreasonable for mid winter either.

I wandered down to the beach Markets just before eight, with beautiful fine weather. Just a wonderful day. Saw some interesting message T shirts, but I can not really justify having black shirts.

Caught up with Michael, who had his double width framing and photography stall in a poor position. Only space elsewhere for a single width stall. He showed me the new credit card reader he has.

Got my usual bacon and egg roll for breakfast. Caught Glenn, who tells me Alison had to go to England again. I gather this was somewhat unexpected. No sign of Rex.

I took a bit of a walk up around the lagoon. The street seems to be gradually coming together. I still can not imagine the construction folks having it complete by mid August. However it should look nice when complete.

Collected the weekend newspapers at the new agent, before slowly walking up the hill. My walk this morning has been totally inadequate. Only a few kilometres.

I read a bunch of newspapers during the day. Did not manage as much cleaning up of stuff as I would have liked, but that is standard. Had ice cream for lunch, as a compromise between a proper meal and nothing at all. Proper diet is important, which is why I avoid it.

I identified my broken Kelvinator fridge model as a C220C, from 2001. Getting a thermostat is not looking cheap (about $100). That assumes one of the two thermostat parts numbers I found is correct. Plus I am only guessing that is the problem.

My resolution is to do local web sites when local. So I started working on the Whitsunday Terraces web site, bringing pages up to date. Lots of pages, so I expect this to take a while.

While waiting for my guests, I moved my ANZAPA mailing comments into Pages, and started making them look tidy. Looks like I will get eight pages from that part of the contribution.


WTF is a fax? Is that something you see in a museum, like a telegram or a typewriter?

Diplomatic conflict with Indonesia re boats? What’s their beef? Oh, right, Labor stopped live beef imports to Indonesia. #auspol

Yes! @ScienceAlert: A new fungal infection may spell doom for cats and dogs Get rid of your cats!

“@Malcolm4Leader: If he invented the Internet, imagine what @TurnbullMalcolm could do with our country #auspol Free but slow porn for all?

Tablets will soon be cheaper than magazine, and be given away with subscription, says @mpesce He calls that right. Computers in schools?

Private semi-automated education will soon be cheaper than teachers. How many schools will you need then?

Apple Crash?

I could not persuade my MacBook Air to wake from sleep overnight, when I returned from the markets. At least, nothing appeared on screen. I finally resorted to a power up. No real indication of what was wrong.

Decided to start removing junk from the MacBook Air. First item to be deleted was Dropbox. I never use it. Do not see the point of it. If I want access to something from another computer, I can put it on my own web site. Not at all impressed by this cloud stuff, especially since the cloud is not accessible a lot of the time.

Towards evening I picked up my MacBook Air and again found the keyboard did not bring up the display. I eventually tried the Command Option Escape keyboard combination. However I do not know if that woke it up, or if it were merely slow responding. Not liking this issue.

iPhone Birthday

A happy sixth birthday to the Apple iPhone. Born 29 June 2007. Changed the world.


A lot of people are away, or otherwise unavailable, so it will be interesting to see who turns up at my party. Jonathan and Josie are finally out sailing. Glenn's neighbour has a birthday. I doubt Rex will attend. Chad and Rose are packing.

Pete and Dawn arrived first, and started partaking of champagne. Jim came over around seven, with a bottle of Pepperjack shiraz. Cutting down on alcohol, as are we all it seems. And that was it for numbers. I ordered in a couple of meat lover pizza, a couple of garlic bread, and a Coke came with it. I have most of a garlic bread and much of a pizza left over. Only two empty bottles over five hours. I guess we have cut down on alcohol. Conversation must have pleased people, as they left at 11:30 p.m.

I cleared away the food, rinsed glasses, put out the rubbish. Plugged my iPhone into the Jaycar solar charger, and switched on the power. That was pretty organised for midnight.

Sunday 30 June 2013


I woke up at four, after drinking too much champagne at my party. Even small amounts of alcohol seem to keep me awake these days. Sat down with the computer in the quiet pre-dawn and tried to catch up on some of the downloads.

There is an Asian kitchen gecko somewhere outside.

Went for a walk down Shute Harbour Road to the entrance to Port of Airlie marina. Then back, and along the foreshore to the lagoon. Had breakfast on the main street, while I read the newspaper. Then back up the street and up the hill without buying bread or a newspaper. Over three kilometres.

I watched Insiders on the ABC, the Bolt report on 10 (changing back to Inside Business during commercials), and followed that with Meet The Press. Two and a half hours is about as much current affairs shows as I can handle.

Seriously contemplated buying a loaf of bread, but the amount of left over pizza in the freezer convinced me not to bother. Breakfast tomorrow may be an interesting problem.

Bread shop will be closed at three. Skipped lunch since breakfast had Calories. However I have now discovered that I am hungry. Zapping pizza in self defence. This will not end well for my diet.

Managed to squirt two more Asian kitchen geckos with Crawly Cruncher. I think I got them well enough to kill them off. See if I hear them later tonight.


Latham says of Rudd. Labor now led by the most dishonourable saboteur in its history.

Rudd as toxic pretender, says Kerry-Anne Walsh in SMH. Publicising her book?

Schools reverting to teaching arithmetic using Roman numerals. Use of Zero makes learning too easy for students.

Power Use

I topped up both iPads from the Waka Waka solar charger, and put both solar chargers out in the sun on the balcony.

I also started testing power use by various gadgets, for my records.

The night light and torch charger seems to draw about 1 to 1.2 Watts, whether the LED light is on or not. Not very efficient passive draw.

The multicolour RGB LED light globes seem to vary between about 2.1 Watts and 4.7 Watts when on, depending on colour (red uses least, as you would expect). No measurable power drain when switched off with the remote control. That is good.

The big 42 inch Dick Smith LED TV set uses 147 to 150 Watts when on, and about 1.4 Watts when on standby. Better than a plasma TV, but far higher than most other non-heating devices in a home.

Roomba vacuum cleaning robot draws 10.5 Watts while battery is recharging. Still draws about 6 Watts when the battery is charged. That seems way too high.

Solar Power

My solar inverter output figures are 4498kWh in 13104 hours. The previous figures in May were E-total 4405kWh, h-total 12781 hours. This makes 93kWh power generated in 323 hours. 3.1kW per day or 287 Watts per active hour, in June. Panels are 1000 Watts nominal, and it was really cloudy through the month. Those results are lousy.

The Ergon electricity meter on 31 May 2013 showed Tariff 11 at 4732kWh purchased, Tariff 33 at 4098kWh, and the export of power from the solar panel at 1998kWh since installed. New figures for the end of June 2013 are 4913kWh purchased on Tariff 11, Tariff 33 is at 4116kWh, and solar power export is 2023kWh. Use for the month of June is 181kWh, air conditioning use is 18kWh. Solar export is 25kWh.

Second quarter use from 4 April (4441, 3986, 1926) to date was 291kWh for Tariff 11, 112kWh for Tariff 33. Power exported was 72kWh over the three months, with lots of clouds.

Home and Away

AB 11, CG 19, T 0

Eric Lindsay's Blog June 2013