Eric Lindsay's Blog December 2013

Sunday 1 December 2013


I must have slept well. Not up until almost six.

My weight was 67.3 kilograms according to the Withings scale.

Scrambled eggs for breakfast, followed by a walk at Willows Shopping Town. Jean gave some books to a bookseller at the markets there. Too hot to stay out in the sun and check the market stalls.

Ate biscuits and cheese, and left over salami, for both lunch and dinner. The cupboard seems bare of anything I regard as food. However we did have some champagne, since it was Sunday.


So your company likes obscuring your web page with signups? Tab closed, did not read.

Idiot! @BrutalAtheist: I keep copies of the Koran and Bible by my toilet for those times when I run out of toilet paper. Way too scratchy.

@DarlingXmasTree cloud #0012f3 #christmasconversations #santafest #darlingharbour


I had pathetic internet access this morning, after downloading a 3GB update overnight. Technically I had internet, but it was too slow to use. I restarted the Apple Time Capsule. However if this pattern of lousy internet access continues, I am going to return to Airlie Beach.

Public Affairs

I watched Insiders, followed by the last ever of Alan Kohler's Inside Business. I ended with Meet the Press. So that was my TV viewing for the week.


I realised that my attempt at moving the furniture was doomed to failure. So I reverted partly to an earlier scheme. Otherwise known as making it up as I go along.

Since I now have decent loudspeaker stands, I took all the books off the two bookcases that used to hold the speakers. I located the shelves I had removed to make space for the speakers. Restored the shelves. This was bad, since I lacked sufficient appropriate screws.

To my intense annoyance, the Zenith square drive screws (which come with a square drive bit) were not the same size as the drive bit. So I had a packet of right length screws I could not use. I only bought those screws because standard ones were not available in Bunnings when I looked for screws.

I did have enough pine coloured plastic screw caps to improve the appearance a little by covering screw heads. I note these screw caps do not retain well, so I added a drop of glue before covering each screw head. However I noticed several other bookcases lacked these plastic covers, so I need to buy more.

I removed two shelves at the top of the larger bookcase. Moved one of these shelves down about 8 cm. This should provide sufficient space to put the TV set on the bookcase. However now I am getting nervous about the strength of the radiata pine shelf. I may reinforce it with a cross piece. Just checked the weight of the TV. It is very light, not at all like the larger model. No need for extra reinforcement. I was able to turn over the bookcase and add pine coloured screw covers to the second side before I went to bed.

That bookcase location is also probably the best in the room for sight lines and loudspeaker placement now I have moved my desk to under the window.

Monday 2 December 2013


I slept badly, having had a lot of trouble getting to sleep. I blame the glass of champagne.

My weight has dropped to 66.9 kilograms according to the Withings scale. This may be the lowest yet. On the other hand, I am hungry.

I could hear Asian kitchen geckos, and went hunting them with a bottle of Crawly Cruncher spray. Did not see any of them.

Off with Jean in her car for a shopping expedition, which was probably avoidance behaviour by both of us. More plastic pine coloured screw cover caps, some 8G 45mm chipboard screws (no 50mm available), and some washers for door handles from the helpful Mitre10 hardware. Busy Monday morning chemist to collect all my prescriptions. In Bunnings Hardware I was amazed to find they had the MortBay colour change RGB light bulbs. Alas, only one in an Edison Screw E27 style, but that was one more than I had previously. Plus they had two of the Arlec Lunar luminaires. Finally to Spotlight material, where we did not find any shirt or sofa covering material. However I did unexpectedly find a small glass side table that looked OK, and was only $15 according to the sale sticker. The price sticker was unchanged from some sale, and so it registered at $20, however they gave it to me at $15.

I walked to the restaurant around 11 a.m. and had Penny's scones with jam and whipped cream instead of a proper lunch. Jean walked over with me for exercise.

I walked over to the medical centre with Jean later in the day. She was delayed, so I checked the bar, which was unexpectedly open. Penny made me a lemon, lime and bitters. I chatted with Holger and Lexi, who were there to sell tickets to the Social Club Xmas Party.


The religious faithful and their imaginary friend. Deluded, delusional, or fraud? Which is it?

But the links are to Apple @macstoriesnet: Fix *iTunes Store Is Unavailable* Error and Apple is unavailable!

I believe in a god. Thor. Hey, three movies, and he got rid of the Frost Giants. Seen any Frost Giants lately? Thor must be real. #atheist


I have been putting the pine coloured plastic screw caps on screws in each piece of furniture I notice is lacking them. I think everything in my room is done now.

Tuesday 3 December 2013


I was up about 5:30 a.m. I had prepared laundry the previous night, so since the sky appeared reasonable (and thus fitted the forecast) I started the washing machine.

My weight is down to 66.8 kilograms according to the Withings scale.

We did our usual morning walk in Willows. About three times around this time. Picked up some orange juice for the morning, and some cheap Coles soda water.

I went to lunch at the restaurant with the usual crew. Jean walked over with me, and then headed home. I knew Jeff would be there, as I saw him zoom past on his Segway. Ray and Dot turned up pretty soon. There were about 26 people having lunch. The first day of a replacement chef, Randy. He was obviously experienced at bistro cooking. Very nice layout on the plates. Very generous with the chips, which I felt I had to eat. As usual the barramundi was really nice. I took the salad home for later.

Walked back. Fought with my internet downloads until it was time to walk back over to visit the doctor for my pathology report. Nothing to get excited about. I asked for a copy for my records. Due to privacy restrictions, it has to be paper rather than email.

Dropped in to the bar for a lemon, lime and bitters as part of supporting the new hosts. Plus I was thirsty after walking in the hot sun.

Bob from Country Solar was parked in the driveway. It seems Big Ray had suggested he visit me.


Twitter via web site seems to be totally broken. Bloody useless internet.

Morgan Freeman art by Kyle Lambert on an iPad via fingerpainting

Australian internet. App downloads are currently taking a minute per megabyte.

82 iTunes app updates. It is taking about 10 to 15 minutes minutes per small app. The internet is just absolute shit!

4K Monitors

A lot of 4K monitors either out there or announced for release soon. Usually they are actually doubled up FullHD TV, so 3940 x 2040. Remember, if they do not have at least Display Port (and preferably Thunderbolt), you do not want them.

iMac Computer Life

I had moved my desk, and connected at least the iMac desktop system. Finally. I got to try to download 292 emails, many of which were the target of instant deletion. Then about a third through, the downloads slowed down to about an email a minute. Now it says there are 402 mail items. Wonderful, just bloody wonderful.

Next was starting app updates downloading. 12 apps, 4.55GB of them! That will take all day and all night! It stalled after maybe 500MB. App Store would not let me move to the Update window. Luckily the keyboard command to that window did take me there. Nine apps to go.

iTunes app updates. Looks like 82 apps to update. Looks like it is taking about 10 to 15 minutes minutes per app. The internet is just absolute shit!

After rebooting the modem, I continued to attempt to download apps via iTunes. The first three stuck at the processing files step. The only way I know to get past that is to restart iTunes. After the reboot, I now have 69 apps to download, after two hours of download time. App downloads are currently taking a minute per megabyte.

MacBook Air Computer Life

My Apple MacBook Air fan is going fairly heavy. Why? Window Server continues to make moderate (10%) demands on the CPU. Why does that stay so high?


I had lost my internet connection while away at lunch. Both Macintosh computers failed to get a numeric ping through. I power cycled the Belkin ADSL modem. That let me continue to download.


I found a visitor parked in the driveway when I returned. Bob from Country Solar. He quoted me an acceptable price for six additional solar panels on our eastern roof. Our SunnyBoy 1100 inverter can not make use of the full output from a 2kW array, but when output is not full (which is pretty often), we should get better output to the grid. Since we get paid 44 cents per kWh for grid output, and typically use little power early in the morning, that should be good for us.

Wednesday 4 December 2013


I was up at 5:30 a.m. on a mostly clear morning. Not feeling at all like getting up.

My weight had gone up to 66.9 kilograms on the Withings scale.

Vinegar seems to partly clean the floor tiles in the shower, if left on for a quarter hour and applied with a stiff scrubbing brush. I would rather like an easier system, since I will not always be able to get onto my hands and knees.

We went to Willows for our walk, and managed to get around it four times.

Taking half hourly readings of solar input from the Sunny Boy inverter this bright sunny day.


I lost the internet on my MacBook Air running OSX 10.9 Mavericks. Just silently stopped accessing internet. StoreAgent ran wild, presumably because it could not access internet, and I had to Force Quit it. WiFi can not connect to my Time Capsule, although it was doing backups up to an hour before.

I removed all the cookies and history in Safari, and powered down the MacBook Air. It came up without WiFi.

An Apple Wireless Diagnostics panel came up from the Wireless is not Working. They suggest rebooting the wireless router. The Apple Time capsule will not restart.

I turned off the Belkin ADSL modem, and WiFi on the MacBook Air, and restarted everything. This time I seem to have a connection again. But I have basically wasted a half hour.

Updated an outstanding item in the App Store. Now Tweetbot seems unable to access Twitter. No, it was just so slow I thought it was broken.

Solar Power Output

I recorded the solar power output of my six east facing 170 Watt panels, which are a nominal 1KW output. It was a sunny day. Contrast to 30 November which was overcast. See also last year three days starting 7 April 2012.

Time, Voltage, Watts, kWH, Total kWh 6:30, , , .15, .15 7:00, 191, 485, .22, .37 7:30, 190, 588, .28, .65 8:00, 189, 679, .30, .95 8:30, , , .30, 1.25 9:00, , , .43, 1.68 9:30, 183, 842, .46, 2.14 10:00, 183, 863, .41, 2.55 10:30, 182, 870, .46, 3.01 11:00, 183, 866, .40, 3.41 11:30, 183, 866, .44, 3.85 12:00, 182, 830, .42, 4.27 12:30, 184, 781, .39, 4.66 13:00, 181, 733, .38, 5.04 13:30, 190, 668, .35, 5.39 14:00, 192, 592, .32, 5.71 14:30, 197, 488, .30, 6.01 15:00, 196, 395, .20, 6.21 15:30, 199, 279, .17, 6.38 16:00, 199, 173, .11, 6.49 16:30, 195, 73, .06, 6.55 17:00, 171, 25, .02, 6.57 17:30, 179, 15, .02, 6.59 18:00, 171, 7, .0, 6.59


I walked over to the pub in the blazing sun after taking my 4 p.m. solar panel reading. Jean was kind enough to take the later readings.

Jeff was there. Ian soon arrived, as did Ray. We also had the pleasure of seeing Harry once again. Even though I started with a lemon, lime and bitters, I soon fell off the wagon with a rum and coke, or two. This was probably not a good idea, as I know I sleep poorly after drinking alcohol.

Apple iPad Mini Retina

I started setting up the iPad Mini Retina tablet. I am setting it up as a new tablet on my Apple iMac, although I am not convinced that is really the best way to proceed. It is certainly not the easiest way to proceed.

Thursday 5 December 2013


I was awake and wired all night. Could not sleep at all. Got up around three since there was no use tossing an turning. Moral is probably that I should not drink rum and/or coke. Got myself a glass of milk, since I was hungry.

My weight remains at 66.9 kilograms according to the Withings scale.

No spare eggs this morning, so I had another glass of milk. I also scrubbed Jean's bathroom shower floor, as she has more problems getting down to the floor. I did the same to mine. It seems to me that leaving vinegar on the floor for an extended period really helps the clean up. Use of the daily shower spray also seems to cut down scale nicely.

We went to Willows shopping centre where I had a couple of slices of raisin toast for breakfast. We did walk around three times, as well as getting shopping. Had the left over salmon on a sandwich for lunch. Cheese and biscuits for dinner, and more milk.

Apple iTunes

I immediately ran into computer problems. I am really sick and tired of the shitty software Apple are dumping on people these days. This time it is iTunes on my MacBook Air not having me logged in. It keeps bringing up a login box, time after time.

Wasted an hour until 4:30 a.m. trying to persuade iTunes to let me log into something it thinks I am already logged into. Deauthorised the computer (which seemed to work). Used the Keychain Access repair utility. I am so sick and tired of the shit that Apple serve up these days. Apple can go to hell!

I sent Apple a feedback note. iTunes Store asks for login repeatedly, and never accepts it.

This occurs after clearing all cookies from Safari in an attempt to solve other problems, and setting Safari to not accept any cookies (my default choice to reduce tracking).

iTunes (or iTunes Store) seems to add an Apple cookie to Safari, and the password access to iTunes fails unless this cookie can be set.

Can I request an appropriate warning regarding Safari cookies in iTunes when it is unable to set the cookie?

Later I moved the 78GB Lossless iTunes library over to my LaCie Thunderbolt drive from a USB drive. That took about 50 minutes.


I see Quartet for Keynote has downloaded 2.08GB of 4.89GB. It says the download will take 3 days and 3 hours.


I see Quartet for Keynote has downloaded 2.08GB of 4.89GB. It says the download will take 3 days and 3 hours. #NBN


I took the strip power points lead and mounted it near the top of my bookcases, about chest height. The more I look at rooms, the more I wonder why power points are not at least waist height off the ground.

Residents Meeting

I attended the quarterly meeting and subsequent annual general meeting of the Resident's Committee at Carlyle Gardens retirement village. This is the only official committee representing the residents.

It sounds like bore water is being used, but not perhaps to the extent really needed. Cost of water is high (despite fairly cheap water). I did not find this unexpected given we have an area covering over 450 homes, all with extensive lawns and greenery. The place is an oasis of green by comparison with many areas.

The loss via retirement of our long term night managers Gary and Anne probably sets up a fight next year. Residents expect to be able to call for resident help after office hours, given emergencies can and do fail to keep regular hours. I fear the cost of this will result in a reluctance to replace the night manager, something I find unacceptable.

Friday 6 December 2013


I was up late, at 5:30 a.m., after finally getting a good night of sleep.

My weight had gone up to 67.2 kilograms according to the Withings scale.

More vinegar down on the floor of the shower stalls in both bathrooms. Maybe they will be cleaner after a scrub brush attack this morning.

Fight for half hour with Telstra Pre-Paid SIM renewal. Infuriating.

No eggs available for me to have breakfast, so I had more milk. Jean refuses to buy nice snacks for me, because she claims I would blame her if I eat them and put on weight. I would too.

We went to Willows for our morning walk, a little late after me being delayed by Telstra upgrade fight. That left me late enough to attend the Telstra store to get another NanoSIM. Afterwards we went to the Twelve Oaks egg farm store and got three dozen eggs.

I walked over to the restaurant at midday, despite it being 35°C outside. Not pleasant. Had lunch with usual suspects Dot, Ray and John. Our chef Noel had a very restricted range available, having just returned to work. I had fish and chips, which was about the right size for me.

Computer's Today

I moved the 78GB Lossless iTunes library over from my LaCie Thunderbolt drive to my main iMac fusion drive. That took about 5 minutes, in sharp contrast to the 50 minutes on USB the previous day.

That freed up the one terabyte Western Digital drive for Jean to use as her second backup drive. I did need to check it was GUID format, and used Mac OS Journaled file system, but it was already OK for use as a backup drive.

Fight for half hour with Telstra Pre-Paid SIM renewal for my iPad Air. Telstra 24/7 could not do the renewal, although it should. The Telstra web site failed to work. A valid credit card as rejected and I had to use an alternative. Infuriating. How could you possibly recommend internet enabled computing to a friend? To an enemy, sure!

Got a Telstra NanoSIM for my new Apple iPad Mini Retina while I was at Willows. The Telstra online system can not cope with my address. The staff member got around it. The Nano SIM appears to have worked, when I was finally able to install it. The nano card size is now so small I have difficulty holding it to put it in the tray.

Connected the iPad Mini Retina to iTunes on my iMac. Selected an assortment of apps, music and movies to download to it. However what I really need to do is to set up the various existing apps. In particular, to set up my many POP3 email accounts.


Efficient and forward thinking like old PMG Dept @ashermoses: Coalition NBN must be a monopoly to survive: NBN Co

Stop spying on us. @ashermoses: Telstra's data vacuum

Working as designed. @AmericaTonight: Each new #Walmart store destroys an average of 150 jobs, one study found.

Make a car that sells instead. @GuardianAus: Tony Abbott should ‘step up’ and fund Holden, say Labor and unions

Length of time since TV was switched on? Five days. Ability to live without TV at all? Probably better than average. If it is bad, avoid it!

Friday Social Club

I fell off the wagon, and had a rum and coke in a large glass. To some extent this is a test of how well I sleep after that combination. The answer is not very well. So it is probably back to the lemon, lime and bitters, if the bar is not too busy.

Saturday 7 December 2013


I was up several times during the night, but despite that did sleep reasonably well. I got up around 5:30 a.m.

My weight was down to 66.8 kilograms, according to the Withings scale.

First stop was the Mitre10 hardware store for double sided tape, and zip ties for the lights. Looked for screws for power boards, but the only type looked a bit dubious. No luck with Terry tool clips.

Willows for a walk. I did check BigW for Terry tool clips, but there was no sign they had any. They did have stick on transparent bumpers for under furniture.

AutoPro opened at 8:30 a.m. and had been recommended by Mitre10. No luck finding Terry tool clips. They disavowed any knowledge of them. I noticed they had a range of multi-tools, which are sort of handy when you do not have a full range of workshop tools.

Carlyle Gardens Art and Craft market opened at nine. Lots of tables. Not a lot there of interest to us, despite the wide variety of crafts. I would love to get some of the wooden boxes with inlay, but have no idea what I could do with it.

Jean could not find colour matches for what she wanted, when she looked at scarves. We got some pastry snacks from the restaurant, something healthy with spinach and ricotta for Jean, and mini sausage roll for me. Jean had eated her snack before we left. I took mine back.

Outside in the Carlyle Square we found some aloe vera and some jade in pots, so we bought a pot of each for the garden. They are said to be sturdy succulents. They will need to be sturdy to survive me. Jean found a pot for the piece of aloe vera that broke off.


I stuck up one five metre string of self stick flashing lights on the Eastern gutter, under the eaves, at around 6 a.m. It was a bit awkward on the steps because of the weight of the string of LEDs on the tape. I wanted to install a few more. However I soon retreated from whatever out there was biting my ankles.

Ran out of materials for installing the power supply. That is heavy enough that it must be mounted securely under shelter, lest it pull the stick on tape off.

By mid afternoon, the lighting tape had started to fall down. Looks like the 3M adhesive was less than adhesive. At least on a hot metal gutter.


In regional Australia dominated by @Telstra, how could you possibly recommend internet enabled computing to a friend? To an enemy, sure!

When @Telstra Siebel accounting system works, it is handy. The @Telstra web site has improved out of sight. When Siebel goes wrong … Help!

If you are on a new estate with a @Telstra RIM, you really are out of luck for internet access. I HATE three day downloads of an OS.

@Telstra Ben, I am on a RIM box just down the street, 4.6 km from Kerwin exchange. Speed is always pathetic. Tech unlikely to help.

@Telstra Ben, 694kbps download, 200kbps upload, which is typical, and 80% slower than Australian average according to

Dump the whole secret #TPP and start again. Just another bunch of companies shafting the public.

Anti Apple iBooks conspiracy in US Justice department

One iBooks author explains how Apple made his book possible. It was impossible with Amazon.

Mounting Power Boards

I have so many items low drain gadgets to power that supplying sufficient power points is a distinct problem. In addition, I am not happy with having power cords and extension cables and power boards all over the floor due to the trip hazard they form. I much prefer power points to be above waist height on the walls.

The bookcase was in the way of the waist high location. So I decided to incorporate some power boards in the bookcase. As a first attempt, I put some terry tool chips on the bookcase. Made a hinge out of a couple of the stems of the broken solar garden lights. That just involved screwing them at each end of a piece of wood.

It is not the most tidy arrangement, but it will do for testing the concept.


I walked to the pub at four. Jean went for a walk along with me, despite the high temperature. At least the humidity was not too high. Jeff came up behind us on the almost silent Segway.

It did not take long for Ian to also appear. Much later in the afternoon the bowlers came out. A fair number from the West also stayed for Saturday dinner.

I was still experimenting with what I can drink and still have a weight loss. This time I tried scotch and soda. No calories in soda.

Sunday 8 December 2013


I slept reasonably well at the start of the evening, much less well as time went on. I was basically awake from two until I got up at four. It seems I can not drink alcohol if I hope to get a decent sleep.

My weight was still 66.8 kilograms according to the Withings scale.

We went to Willows for a walk, arriving around eight. On the third walk around I took the chance to head outside and rush around the open air market in the car park.

Dropped in to the Carlton Theatre on the way back. No-one there for putting out chairs and tables.


The horrors of religious fundamentalist homeschooling, destroying lives.

How much has Edward Snowden revealed about NSA spying on us? List and links.

Bruised Apple

I had problems logging in to the Apple iTunes Store. The solution seems to be to remove Apple cookies in Safari, change Safari to accept at least third party cookies. I closed both Safari and iTunes. Then I opened Safari, and opened iTunes. This time I was able to complete a login to the iTunes Store, by entering my password twice, and confirming credit details. Annoying, but it looks like I ran into some security issue towards the end. What I do not understand is why iTunes is relying upon Safari cookies. It should only need the Apple cookie.

So I bought Mr Reader, an Real Simple Syndication (RSS) news reader for the iPad. I think I have about given up on an update to NetNewsWire for the iPad.

Next was Daedalus Touch, a text editor for Cloud, from The Soulmen. I am not totally convinced about using iCloud (given my poor connectivity), but I need a better workflow for plain text. This uses Markdown, which helps structure a document for HTML, while remaining unlocked to other apps. It also moves away from the traditional computer concept of folders, files and documents. I have misgivings about this, but Apple are making sure file system access is difficult on iOS. So now you have an infinite number of sheets, in stacks, with gesture navigation. Built in Web Browser for quickly checking items. Export to text, pdf, and ePub.

Finally, Ulysses III for Mac OS X. This is also from The Soulmen. This is a complete rewrite compared with the LaTeX friendly Ulysses 2. Again, a Markdown plain text editor. This syncs with Daedalus Touch, but has far more features.

Social Club Xmas Party

I had misheard something our neighbour Alexis had said about the time to put things in the Carlton Theatre. At about 3:30 I put the various lights in Jean's car and drove over to the Carlton Theatre. I had managed to put together seven of the colour change globes, and had two strips of flashing lights. Ed helped me install these at the front of the stage, where the musicians were setting up. They had a light projector as well. Someone suggested more lights at the back of the theatre, so when I returned for the party, I brought the last strip light.

Jean kindly drove me to the Carlton Theatre well before five. I installed the last light strip at the back. Then beat most of the rush to the bar, and bought a bottle of champagne. That was probably a mistake.

I was at table 19, which Lorraine had organised. Sitting next to Blue, who was in his usual red and green. I had used my green palm trees on a red background shirt for Xmas. It was a fun table at which to sit.

I wandered around a lot taking what turned out to be 105 photos. The Fuji 550EXR is not the best camera for taking large group shots in a fairly dark theatre. Luckily there were several other village residents with much fancier cameras also taking photos. I do need to print a photo and send it to Neil and Jean. There was a pretty good attendance, over 170 people.

Ham and chicken for dinner, with nice roast vegetables. More than sufficient for me, and then the Xmas pudding was served. After dinner there were prizes for the best table. Luck door prizes. Prizes from the Social Club raffle (I won a Xmas ham).

One after dinner entertainment came when Laura from the restaurant gave a ballet demonstration (she actually knows what she is doing). She was accompanied by a chorus line of old men in tutus and tights, including one with a cane, and another with a walker frame. It was certainly different.

We started putting away the chairs to get away around nine. I packed up my lights. I could only take one box home with me, since I walked, so I will collect the rest in the morning. It seemed a good party. I did not however have time to drop in on John's party.

Monday 9 December 2013


I did not sleep well. I think I now have more than sufficient examples to blame much of this on alcohol. It may not be the only reason, but alcohol sure does not help. I will start monitoring my sleep (or lack) patterns soon. So I got up at 4 a.m.

My weight had gone up to 67.2 kilograms, according to the Withings scale. Not too surprising with a big Xmas dinner, a Xmas pudding, and champagne last night.

I put the 105 photos from the Xmas party on a memory stick for the Carlyle Gardens office.

Managed to hit one of the Asian kitchen geckos out the front with Crawly Cruncher. I went out a little later and caught another one with a good spray. Probably not the only one.

My nose is running. I fear I may have caught a cold.

I drove over to the Carlton Theatre in Jean's car. Access was available. I collected my other six globe lights, and drove them back before eight. They are now back on the speaker stands.

No walk today. Jean was elsewhere, and unable to get at the shopping area.

I dropped the details I had of the Fibre Optic system in Carlyle Gardens over to big Ray. Had a chat with him about that and other items, like the hearing loop I hope to get installed in the Carlton Theatre. The office basically want to rip the $100K fibre optic head end equipment out of the office and discard it.


RSS in peril first by killing Google Reader. Now Feedly demands Google+ account, and hijacks content. Idiots.

Computer Life iPhoto

I had planned otherwise, but discovered my last import to iPhoto on the Apple iMac. It seemed I had not completed entry of sufficient metadata. I also had a lot of photos on my Fuji 550EXR camera. So first I used Finder to copy the camera photos over to a separate drive on the iMac. This maintains a copy that iPhoto has not stuffed around with. About 100 of the photos were from the Xmas party. There were really only a few events represented.

Most of the day I added metadata to all the photos that did not have sufficient. Since I was not managing to get much else done, it was about as productive as I uld hope to be. Had that completed by evening.

In the evening I connected my Apple iPhone 4 to the iMac. I had to tell the iPhone that I trusted the iMac, as they had not previously communicated. I used Image Capture (which is the transfer mechanism iPhoto uses) to bring the photos from the iPhone into a file folder on a separate iMac hard drive. This is to prevent iPhoto being able to stuff around with my original photos.

Next I allowed iPhoto to import the photos from the iPhone, and subsequently delete them from the phone. This left me with about 486 new photos in iPhoto. The iPhone adds location metadata. I now need to add lots of other metadata. However first I went through deleting duplicate images and the worst of any HDR images, bringing that down to 328.

Tuesday 10 December 2013


I slept reasonably well, and did not get up until around 5:30 a.m. I have a hangover, which is really unfair as I drank nothing yesterday.

My weight has dropped to 66.7 kilograms, according to the Withings scale.

My large 4GB overnight download of Quartet for Keynote continued to come in steadily. It completed the download before 8 a.m. Looks like much of it should be on the off peak or Freezone download.

I was somewhat late heading out to the restaurant for lunch. Not much of a range today, as there were also two large groups in the restaurant. I had the lasagne and a half dozen chips. No idea how Noel manages to make such giant chips, but I really liked them.

I had a salmon and lettuce sandwich for dinner, when means I am now stuffed overfull. This will show up in my weight tomorrow. Did not get to bed until eleven, thanks to reading part of a novel late in the evening.

Computer Life

I started adding metadata to the 328 iPhone photos I had added last night. This is pretty boring, but it is like cleaning up anything.

I completed the iPhoto metadata entry around midday.

My large 4GB overnight download of Quartet for Keynote continued to come in steadily. It completed the download before 8 a.m. Looks like much of it should be on the off peak or Freezone download.

Solar Panels

I noticed that the additional solar panels were going in at Ray's house around nine. Sounding hopeful for today.

I hear people stomping on our metal roof, and it is not yet even five to eleven. Two Country Solar trucks arrived in our driveway a few minutes ago, with a crew of about four people. This is their fourth installation today in Carlyle Gardens. Their electrician turned off the solar panel feed switch. They were soon drilling and installing mounting posts for the panel supports. They seem swift and efficient. We are getting another six 195 Watt solar panels, to come closest to matching the existing six solar panels. This will bring us up to a nominal 2kW of panels, although the inverter can only handle 1100 Watts.

The install crew had completed the entire work a little after midday. The Sunny Boy inverter took a few minutes to decide to come on, and sync with the mains. At this stage it was showing it was running at maximum output of 1110 Watts.

I took more readings during the rest of the sunny day. The inverter seemed to be producing peak output until around 2:30 p.m. Other readings seemed somewhat higher than previously. The output for that half day was around 3.5kWH, which is pretty good for an afternoon with panels facing east.

The install of 1000 Watts (or so - more like 1170) of panels cost $1800, or something under $1.80 per Watt after RET subsidy. Since the original cost us nothing, this makes the entire solar power system cost to us less than $1 per Watt.

Air Conditioning

A second arrival. The air conditioner serviceman arrived after eleven, over a half hour late. He got into cleaning the air conditioner filters. It seems however that despite it being four years since they were installed, most of the filters remain in relatively good shape. It did not surprise me to find my room air conditioner filters were hardly used.

The outside tap was used for the cleaning. This sometimes seems to upset the garden watering timer. I need to keep an eye on this.

Wednesday 11 December 2013

I was up around 5:40 a.m. after sleeping very well. However I have a hangover, despite not having drunk any alcohol since the Xmas party on Sunday.

My weight was up to 67.1 kilograms. My blood pressure was 123/71 and pulse rate was 46 first thing in the morning. First attempt at reading failed.

The garden watering did not operate this morning. Hope it works tomorrow when scheduled.

We went to Willows for our walk in the air conditioning. Jean reminded me to check Target. She also found two more pairs of cheap $12 shorts in my size. At the checkout, we found they were 20% off, so they were even cheaper!

I visited the Telstra store. They now have iPhone 5s in stock. After that things went downhill. Telstra now have a 20% higher price for connection, before any payment for the actual phone. I told the attendant I would try one of their rivals.

Stopped at JB HiFi. I was able to get one of Apple's costly Lightning to 30 Pin Adaptor cables.

Telstra iPhone Follies

I visited the Telstra store. They now have iPhone 5s in stock, which was great. After that things went downhill. Telstra now have a 22% higher price for phone connection, before any payment for the actual phone. I told the attendant I would try one of their rivals.

Actually what I am going to check is whether it is still worthwhile to have a mobile phone at all.

I was able to get one of Apple's costly Lightning to 30 Pin Adaptor cables at JB HiFi. I need this to use the Withings Scale with something other than my iPhone 4, since the scale only has a 30 pin Apple connector on it. However if I have that adaptor, perhaps I can connect the Withings scale to my Apple iPad Mini Retina instead of the iPhone. I plan to go through each device and see whether an alternative to an iPhone is plausible.


A magazine is an iPad that does not work properly.

Solar Power Output

I recorded the solar power output again now I had my additional six 195 Watt solar panels, which face east. These new panels are in series, and then parallel with the existing six east facing 170 Watt panels, which were a nominal 1KW output. So the voltages remain about the same, but the potential current doubles, and the available output is about 2kW. However the SunnyBoy inverter can only handle 1100 Watts, so power output is truncated at that point. It was an overcast morning, until the afternoon. Contrast to 30 November which was overcast, and 4 December, which was sunny, both on the 1kW of panels.

Time, Voltage, Watts, kWH, Total kWh 10:00, 192, 706, .40, 2.32 10:30, 197, 731, .42, 2.70 11:00, 193, 643, .44, 3.14 11:30, 189, 943, .40, 3.54 12:00, 191, 697, .45, 3.99 12:30, 182, 1006, .50, 4.49 13:00, 218, 1069, .52, 5.01 13:30, 213, 1110, .53, 5.54 14:00, 210, 1110, .50, 6.04 14:30, 191, 1070, .56, 6.60 15:00, 197, 882, .48, 7.08 15:30, 199, 640, .41, 7.49 16:00, 200, 458, .31, 7.70 16:30, , , 17:00, 61, 180, .25, 7.95 18:00, 12, 170, .05, 8.00

Thursday 12 December 2013

Animal Crackers

A heavy breathing out the back pre-dawn. Grunts and thrashing through the garden. Mating season for the wallabies, and the big males are carrying on. More annoying, they are knocking down my solar garden lights.


I was awake around three. Got up at 3:33 a.m. halfway to the arising of the beast. Except the beasts were already in the back garden. I started downloading updated apps via iTunes, on the slow network connection.

My weight was 66.7 kilograms on the Withings scale. My blood pressure was 119/67 and my pulse was 52. This was done using the Apple iPad Mini Retina, as I attempt to move away from iPhone applications.

I went outside before five to seek the Asian kitchen gecko that is out there somewhere. Signed it and sprayed the gecko with Crawly Cruncher.

Scrambled eggs for breakfast. Meanwhile the laundry we started around six was getting close to being washed.

Mitre10 hardware, for a double Hills Self Watering vertical garden.

Willows, where we walked around three times. I alas bought a half dozen double chocolate chip cookies from Subway.

Update Apple

I downloaded all available updates from iTunes Store to my iMac. Then I attempted to sync with my new iPad Air. There is content on the iPad Air that iTunes claims is not on the iMac. iTunes Store then claims my iMac is not authorised (it is). So I authorised the iMac. iTunes responds that it is already one of my three authorised computers.

At one point the transfer claims that Paperless is not authorised, and could not be installed, Go though the authorise computer step yet again, and again I am told it is already authorised. Weird bug.

iTunes is also not showing my books on the indicator of how much storage has been occupied on my iPad. It seems you need to sync a second time before books get counted.


The wallabies are restless, and noisy pre-dawn. Some males are having a dispute in the back garden. Much heavy breathing. They managed to knock over a few of my solar garden lights.

To Airlie Beach

I was fortunate that Jean drove me to the Greyhound bus terminal. The bus was already in position, so I was able to board it a few minutes before the 11:30 a.m. departure time. Not even a lot of people on board. It was one of the new comfortable buses, with USB power and WiFi. Which may or not be working.

During the bus trip I found my iPad Mini Retina was not actually connecting to the Telstra mobile network. That was not good, since I paid for a data package on 6 December.

There was a short interlude at Delta, less than 15 minutes. We reached Airlie Beach at 3:20 p.m. which was good time.

Airlie Afternoon

I tried to get bread at Brumbys, however they were out of the bread I wanted. At least I could get the back issues of the Whitsunday Times at the newsagency.

Way too warm walking home up the hill. No mail at reception, not that I expected any since the Post Office do not deliver. Once I got the balcony doors open the breeze soon cooled the place.

I was still fighting with mobile on the iPad when Jim arrived home. He had also been away. Asked for advice on a replacement computer.

It got to about seven and I was starving. Made myself a bowl of chilli and cheese, with corn chips. So much for diet.

There must have been a half dozen Asian kitchen geckos hanging around outside. I managed to spray most of them.

Watched Deep Space 9 on 55 while I tried to sort out the computers. They have three episodes back to back. Qapla'

Computer Traps

I did not get a connection to the internet at first. It seems I need to turn things on slowly in the sequence ADSL Modem, AdTrap, Apple TimeCapsule, Philips Hue Hub. Otherwise the Time Capsule router does not get a connection via Ad Trap. Sigh.

It seems the Telstra mobile data for a new iPad Mini Retina nano SIM can not be enabled by the store. Which might be why I was not getting a data connection over the mobile network. Luckily Jean was able to get me the 12 digit magic number from the Telstra receipt. I had left all the stuff relating to the SIM in the iPad box. Naturally the mobile connection still did not work. Luckily turning the iPad off entirely (sleep/wake button for several seconds) kicked the Telstra system into action. For some reason this iPad indicates I have a 4G connection in Airlie Beach. That was a surprise. I thought only a big CBD had 4G, but I hear Telstra has been expanding the network.

The BigPond download period here expires in two days, so I started everything I could think of downloading. Might as well use up my 50GB quota of download capacity.

Solar Power Output

I was fortunate that Jean took a note of the amount of solar power the six new solar panels output in the aftenoon.

Time, Voltage, Watts, kWH, Total kWh 6:00, 210, 373, .05, .05 6:30, 201, 726, .27, .32 7:00, 196, 1028, .30, .62 8:00, 212, 1109, .51, 1.62 9:00, 220, 1114, 1.05, 2.67 9:30, 183, 539, .52, 3.19 10:00, 221, 1113, .46, 3.65 10:30, 229, 1111, .44, 4.09 12:00, 212, 1112, 1.60, 5.69 13:00, 214, 1112, 1.14, 6.83 15:00, 199, 550, 2.02, 8.85 16:00, 197, 386, .58, 9.43 17:00, 186, 102, .17, 9.60 17:30, 183, 62, .04, 9.64 18:00, 164, 12, 9.66

Friday 13 December 2013


I was up a little after five. Somehow managed to forget to use the scale here, or the blood pressure gadget. Have put both in more prominent positions. Packed my bag and set out along the beach path a little after six. Interested to note Woolworths construction includes the last of the car park. Just one section left for concrete.

Walked along the beach path, overtaken by heaps of ladies out doing their exercise. Stopped at Bunnings Hardware, five kilometres into the walk. No sign of tool clips. However I did find a trade pack of 10 stainless door handles for $15. They look more stout than the previous lot I found, so I bought them. I also discovered I could buy a packet of mudguard washers with only a quarter inch inside diameter hole. These are for my still being designed magnetic lamps. I continued to Home Hardware. They had a single, solitary MortBay colour change remote light bulb, which unfortunately was $31. That means I again have one for each lamp.

By the time I returned to the Whitsunday Shopping Centre I had walked about 7.5 kilometres. A mini sausage roll and a mini party pie from Brumbys for breakfast was a treat.

I read the newspaper while I waited for the Queensland Government Agency to open at nine. I much prefer them to most of the specialised government bodies, so I have arranged my life as far as possible so that I do not need to interact with governments. The QGA seem to have three window positions open, which covered everyone waiting for them to open. As usual they were pleasant and effective. Even managed to get my postal address changed to reflect reality, rather than the government database everyone seems to use (which is outright wrong). So now my driver's licence is renewed for another five years, or will be once it arrives.

Next was Coles for food shopping. I bought rather too much stone fruit, since it is now in season. I bought lemons and limes for juicing and freezing for my drinks. Made a selection of strange ingredients so I could make a dip for snacks. I had a little wait for a taxi, but one arrived before I got too anxious about frozen foods slumping in the heat.

Late home, around ten. However I had done a lot of walking.

Bunit phoned, and brought his camera drone with him. I soldered up the battery connector for him. I wish builders would not use thermosetting plastic plugs that need soldering, as the connectors sag. However it all worked.

Jim dropped over about his lost internet connection on the G5 Mac Pro. I could tell what had happened, and it just required a reboot that did not allow it to revert to the wrong settings. I also straightened up some minor issues on his iPhone.

Eating too much of the wrong things. These days everything seems to be the wrong things.

Business Spectator Website

I no longer seem to be able to read articles from Business Spectator, when they email me links to articles. Not sure what is going wrong, but there is not a lot of point in seeing links that do not work. Interestingly, I can see the inane comments on the invisible articles. Life is to short to diagnose web site problems, so I unsubscribed.

I am so overwhelmed by Xmas email that I started unsubscribing from a heap of things. DAZ Productions, Dick Smith, Dan Lewis, Fight for the Reef, Indigogo, Kogan, Udemy, even interesting ones like O'Reilly Books.


I noticed around 5 p.m. that I have lost the Telstra internet at Airlie Beach again. The modem lights are still all green. A numeric ping and a numeric traceroute both fail to get past the ADSL modem. I power sequenced my ADSL modem, and the Telstra connection came back. Grump. I would be even grumpier if it had not came back.


New Zealand spies on its own citizens when they return from overseas. How about NZ not spying? Arseholes.

This is why I like knowing Earth Crossing asteroids have actually missed me!

Solar Power Output

A mostly sunny day with some cloudy periods. Jean noted the output from the six new solar panels.

Time, Voltage, Watts, kWH, Total kWh 6:00, 194, 88, .02, .02 7:00, 212, 1109, .39, .41 8:00, 222, 1111, .56, .97 9:30, 230, 1110, 1.56, 2.53 10:15, 217, 1109, .74, 3.27 11:15, 215, 1108, 1.04, 4.31 13:00, 213, 1111, 1.94, 6.25 14:00, 208, 1108, 1.03, 7.28 15:00, 194, 858, 1.04, 8.32 16:00, 194, 418, .62, 8.94 17:00, 186, 72, .22, 9.16 16:00, 164, 20, .06, 9.22

Saturday 14 December 2013


I was up at 5:30 a.m. Feel like I have a hangover, despite not drinking anything alcoholic for days. I was awakened around 2:30 a.m. by rain, and had to get up to close doors, but got back to sleep fairly quickly afterwards. The ISS went over at 3:51 a.m. but the sky was overcast anyhow.

My weight was 66.8 kilograms according to the Kogan Blue Anatomy scale, and 67.6 according to the old dumb scale. Blood pressure was 120/85 according to the wrist meter, with a pulse of 52. I forgot all these measurements yesterday.

Had some cherries and a banana, and took the rubbish out to the bin on the street around six. Soon after that it began raining again. I doubt there will be anyone much in stalls at the local markets. Luckily I had taken that into account in doing my previous shopping. I did eventually get to the markets.

Discovered that FLAP was due this weekend. I had thought I had an entire extra week. I finally managed to add some additional pages to FLAP, and send it off by four in the afternoon.


I had put some LED strip lights out under the awnings at Carlyle Gardens. However when they fell down, the limitations of the 3M glue on the back of them became apparent. At the Terraces, I have fairly wide mounts for the vertical drapes. I found the step ladder and checked the top surface. Covered with dust and dirt, but it seemed a solid surface. That seemed like a good place to put an LED strip light. The glue only has to hold the light strip in place, and not to actually support it as well.

So this morning I started to clean on top of the vertical drapes, probably for the first time in a decade. What a mess. Lots of moving of ladders and sloshing of cleaner.

in the afternoon I figured everything was dry. So I stuck the LED strip right on top of the vertical drape support. Connected all the wiring. It tests OK. Should be pretty impressive at night in that room.

Internet Use

I had a message from Telstra Big Pond, a little after midday yesterday. I had used 40347 M Bytes from my Allowance for this period of 50000 M Bytes. Your allowance will reset on 14/12/2013. I think I can count that as a win!


I looked at the markets with binoculars around 8 a.m. during a break in the rain. To my considerable surprise there were a fair few market tents in place. So I put some large plastic bags in my pockets and walked down.

My first surprise was my regular breakfast place was there, so I could get a bacon and egg roll. Bruce told me Horst and Olga had told him they were not going, and then phoned in the early hours to say they were going.

Kurt was heading along the path. They are partied out, and not attending (only seen them at my parties a time or two). He said nice things about their visit to Niue, and especially the fresh fish.

Rex was there, tossing up whether to set up his stall. He is attending an 80th birthday party this evening.

After buying some limes, I headed for the newsagency. I had forgotten to check on the way down, so I turned around and headed back to the markets to get some sprouts for the news agent.

Artist and sculpture Adriaan Vanderlugt was setting up, so I stopped to chat. He will be on TV on Sunday on TV4ME at 7 p.m. on a program called Colour In Your Life. While I was there the newish young and energetic editor of The Proserpine Guardian came by. Seems we will be in the social pages next week. Since Adriaan was not getting any customers in the threatening rain, I got him to do a pencil portrait of me. Something I had intended for some time.

So I finally went out in the rain, back to the newsagent. Collected newspapers, and then up the hill to our apartment.


I was actually ready for my party by five. Not too bad considering my starting position. Had potential attendee emails from Jonathan, Pete, and Marlene. Jim has returned. Potential from Glenn (who has a late job at Centro) and Alison. Rex can not attend, and has an 80th birthday to attend.


I was rather surprised at how many people turned up at my party so close to Xmas. Jonathan and Josie were first to arrive, with Pete only a little later. I knocked on Jim's door to tell him people were arriving. He said that Ginger and Jim were also expected. He turned up a minute later, and Ginger and the other Jim not long after that. Bunitj and Venus were the last to arrive, making nine people in all.

Luckily the four pizza (two thin, two thick) and garlic breads I ordered just managed to satisfy everyone. One slice of pizza left over. The dead drinks seemed to be two beer, three bottles of red wine, and one bottle of champagne. There is a fairly well depleted bottle of champagne still in the fridge.

The new lighting system seemed to go down well, with a couple of people asking about what was used, and where to get it. I think the colour change LED systems will really take off once they are easier to understand.

The party broke up sometime after ten. I even had time to clear the chairs, rinse the glasses and throw out the rubbish before I collapsed in bed.

Solar Power Output

I am again indebted to Jean for these figures from the six new solar panels.

Time, Voltage, Watts, kWH, Total kWh 7:00, 194, 180, .10, .10 7:50, 198, 321, .50, .60 9:00, 176, 573, 1.19, 1.79 10:00, 213, 1112, .68, 2.47 11:00, 220, 1108, .85, 3.32 12:00, 223, 1111, 1.21, 4.53 13:00, 200, 698, .95, 5.48 14:00, 199, 789, .69, 6.17 14:30, 197, 481, .39, 6.56 15:00, 197, 433, .27, 6.83 15:30, 202, 241, .13, 6.96 16:00, 208, 666, .18, 7.14 16:30, 200, 301, .22, 7.36 17:00, 194, 138, .08, 7.44 17:30, 194, 113, .03, 7.47

Sunday 15 December 2013


I was up at 5:15 a.m. which was already rather light. I collected and started a run of laundry in the old washing machine.

I took a short walk around Airlie Beach. Down past the roundabout, around the marina and the new beach. Then along the Airlie Beach foreshore. I collected a newspaper as I returned. Total distance 5.29 kilometres.

My weight was variously 67.2 kilograms on the old scale, and 66.7 kilograms on the Blue Anatomy scale, after my walk. Blood pressure using the wrist monitor was 127/84 with a pulse of 58, or 115/76 a minute or so later, with a pulse of 60.

Laundry out on the balcony to dry, luckily without any clouds to interfere, and before the wind really got started. All was dry before ten, and taken in. Which was good, because the wind started around then. Sometime in there I also managed to wash up all the glasses from the party.

Dump Social Media

I think I may end up dumping Twitter, despite generally liking it. Too time consuming, relative to the value I derive.

I long ago dumped Facebook, mostly due to continuing privacy issues. I was never even tempted to sign up for Google+ as I do not want to be sold to advertisers. Linkedin has always been too pushy.

For information purposes, I do not permit the use of cookies (with a very limited number of exceptions - currently 3). I also do not allow advertising on my internet connected devices, at least at home where my firewall can discard almost all advertising. If your business model relies upon either, I am probably not interested.

Twelve Volt Lighting

I decided I could use the excuse of adding colour change lighting to also start installing a 12 volt lighting system in the apartment at Airlie Beach. This is somewhat earlier than I expected.

The 5050 based semi-smart LED strips actually run on 12 volts (they have a switch mode power supply from mains voltages). The input into the infra red remote receiver is actually 12 volts. The five metre strip draws about 6 amps, or about 1.2 amps per metre, so call it 15 Watts per metre. Light output on full from the 60 LEDs per metre is around 900 lumens per metre. That is enough for a workable 12 volt system for general low level indirect illumination. Not sufficient for spot and task lighting as things stand.

I can see several locations for horizontal surface mounting of the LED strips. On top of the balcony door vertical drape mounts (about 4.3 metres each). On top of the bathroom mirrors. On top of the tall kitchen cupboards. Above the bedroom closet. As background illumination behind TV sets (as a special case). So I will need a number of additional controllers, and a few smaller power packs for testing.

I should also see if mounts can be installed inside the closets. I also need to look for thin mirror strips to increase the light output.

The next step would be to find what is available in the way of battery packs to run the lights. A preliminary search indicates battery availability has improved significantly since I last looked.

This is starting to look like a plan.


I noticed the interest had failed around 9 p.m. A numeric traceroute did not get past the ADSL modem. The NetGear ADSL modem is still showing a green internet connection, not a red fail light. I power sequenced the ADSL modem. Got a red internet fail light on the modem as it came up. Then got a green. Still no response to numeric ping. I power sequenced both the ADSL modem and also AdTrap. This time I got a response to numeric pings. Connection now restored.

Monday 16 December 2013


I woke up late, after sleeping for far longer than I usually manage. It was past 6:30 a.m. on a beautiful mostly clear morning. A small cruise liner was anchored out in Pioneer Bay, which means there will be a market day aimed at the liner passengers.

My weight was variously 67.2 kilograms on the old scale, and 66.8 kilograms on the Blue Anatomy scale. Blood pressure using the wrist monitor was 121/85 with a pulse of 52, or 119/81 a minute or so later, with a pulse of 51.

Went to the markets, since a boat was in. Did a bit more cleaning up.

The disruption around here during the day was the tree mulching machinery. They were looping the overhanging tree at the edge of the drive. Sure is a noisy process.

To bed very late, since I was reading the end of a very long novel.


I lost my Telstra BigPond internet connection at 6:55 a.m. in between web pages. No numeric ping. NetGear ADSL modem is not showing any error lights. I power sequenced the NetGear ADSL modem, and also the AdTrap. Internet connection restored.

Markets Walk

I had heard that the cruise liner Pacific Dawn would be anchored out in Pioneer Bay this morning. That means a market day. Alas, that particular reef cruise for a week from Brisbane is somewhat aimed at the party crowd, with indications the ship ar is the profit centre. So the folks at the markets were not expecting great sales.

Breakfast on the main street around eight, while I read the Courier Mail. Not the right thing to do, for a person wanting to lose weight. Alison turned up, getting a coffee for Glenn before she headed to work.

Then a wander through the markets. Not my style of stuff at all, since many of the stall holders were trying to match stock to ship passengers. The wind was whipping up, so a fair bit of time was spent chasing light items blown from stalls.

I had a chat with Glenn, in between customers. He has some peaked baseball style caps with a sun cloth. They would be handy for travel, so I asked him to bring one to my party.

Had a chat to another stall holder, on her first market day. I fear she may not have realised which items were likely to sell. Her English is a little stilted, although she has been here ten years. Hope she does OK.

Finally I had a walk around the lagoon, to push my distance up a little more. Still wildly inadequate distance of course. Bought a newspaper. They also had a copy of Renew Alternate Technology magazine on hand for me at the now busy news agent. By the time I reached the top of the hill again I was wrecked by the heat. At least the breeze kept the apparent temperature down.


I discovered no less than four old uninterruptible power supplies (UPS) tucked away under an old trolley while I was clearing things out. So I decided to try powering them up, with a Watt meter in line to see if they were actually accepting power. Three were Belkin models UPS, which must have been real cheap. One was a PowerTech UPS from Jaycar, which was cheap.

The first Belkin UPS showed no sign of accepting even a trickle charge into the battery. With soft power switches you do not really know if that is an electronics failure, or a dud gel cell battery. However a bad battery is certainly the most likely. The Belkin UPS do not even look easy to open for checking the battery.

The remaining two Belkin UPS accepted about 12 Watts. That is equivalent to about a one ampere charge into a 12 volt battery. That seems reasonable for a trickle charge. Plus they have a green charging light on. So I will continue to test those two, after letting them get the equivalent of a full charge. I would guess that means 6 to 12 hours of charge into each, since they probably have something up to a 7 Ah lead acid battery in them.

Every now and then I go out and administer a sniff test, to see if something in the UPS smells hot and bothered.

The Powertech UPS is drawing 23 Watts. It has a green flashing charge light. I am not real sure I like flashing lights.

Tuesday 17 December 2013


I was awake and up way too early at 5:15 a.m. on an overcast and cool morning for the tropical summer. A good sea breeze, so I must take a decent walk.

My weight was variously 67.6 kilograms on the old scale, and 67.1 kilograms on the Blue Anatomy scale. Blood pressure using the wrist monitor was 125/88 with a pulse of 51.

I went for a 5.5 kilometre walk around the Airlie Beach area. Bought a loaf of bread at Brumbys bread shop, and a newspaper. That let me make a couple of boiled eggs on toast for breakfast. It rained for short while at eight, in a typical tropical weather event. The wind has also picked up to pretty brisk.

I walked down to the main street in the morning heat at nine to get a haircut. Waited, and waited. No sign of anyone opening the hairdresser shop. So I walked up the other end of Airlie Beach. The shop there had bookings until after lunch. Came home in a bad mood. Most likely response will be to cut my own hair, and who cares what it looks like.

Wasted a lot of the day on unfinished paperwork. I still do not know exactly what shape the final spreadsheet (and graphs) will take. Do I primarily want company results, or do I primarily want a time based series. I probably want both.

Photographer Bunit dropped in after six this evening with fancy camera and a massive tripod to attempt a time lapse of the moon rising. Today is a full moon. I do not really understand exactly how he was attempting to reason with the camera. However the camera automation did not do exactly what he hoped. It did do well enough show he was on the right track to a stop motion movie of the moon rising. I must attempt something similar, despite the lack of automation in my camera.


I checked the various UPS for overheating. The Belkin UPS all seem OK. The PowerTech draw has dropped from over 20 Watts to around 15 Watts, although it remained the warmest. Somewhat later it was down to 12 Watts.

One Belkin UPS did not accept any initial charge. It does look like it is designed to be opened for battery replacement. So I disassembled it and had a good look around. It seems pretty well made, with no signs of obvious failure. Enough so that I will try swapping a working battery into it for test purposes.


If the cost of the NBN is still such that it does not offer a commercial rate of return, then why is it still held off budget? Why not include it as a budget item, in competition with all the other worthy budget outlays?

Too Many iPhone Apps

I have way too many apps installed on my iPhone. One clue is not all apps show. Another is the stories that an iPhone will give problems if you have more than about 500 apps. However the main thing is that I can not even recall what some of these apps are intended to do. It used to be your could only easily have 11 screens or around 180 apps, unless you did some fudging. However with folders you can easily exceed that.

You can list the applications with a custom Spotlight search. In settings General Spotlight, bring Applications to the top of the search list, and suppress other searches for the moment.

Wednesday 18 December 2013


I got up around five on a fine but slightly overcast morning. It was still deliciously cool after an unclouded night.

My weight was variously 67.6 kilograms on the old scale, and 67.1 kilograms on the Blue Anatomy scale. Blood pressure using the wrist monitor was 115/79 with a pulse of 48.

I started my walk around Airlie Beach at six. A mostly clear day, but with a convenient cloud when I was walking towards the sun. I stopped to collect a copy of The Australian. Back home after a little over an hour, and 5.6 kilometres.

Boiled egg on toast for breakfast. I seem to be getting the timing right these days.

I went out a second time at nine. The hair dresser was closed, just like yesterday. So I went to the other hairdresser, which was also closed. This had a note saying back in five minutes. Fifteen minutes later I went back to the first hairdresser. She was just arriving. So I did eventually get my hair cut.

Pacific Dawn was back in Pioneer Bay all day. I guess the trip was basically Brisbane to Cairns and return, with perhaps visits to the reef. However I did not notice any tenders leaving.


I lost my Telstra BigPond internet connection in Airlie Beach at 8:12 a.m. while downloading a web page. Not impressed. My NetGear ADSL modem is not showing any fault lights. All lights are still green. Numeric ping has 100% failure rate. Had to power sequence Ad Trap and the NetGear ADSL modem.


I continued to scan paper during the day. As well as new material that had arrived in the mail, I also scan articles from Silicon Chip relating to electronics kits I may want to build. The quantity of hidden paper in the place is astonishing, when I think that I have already gone through seeking it out and scanning it. Every time I turn something over some new paper appears.

Thursday 19 December 2013


I was awake at five on a mostly overcast morning. Felt terrible, like a hangover, despite not having had any alcohol in days. Mornings should not start that way. Luckily getting up solved that.

My weight was variously 67.6 kilograms on the old scale, and 66.9 kilograms on the Blue Anatomy scale. Blood pressure using the wrist monitor was 119/81 with a pulse of 52.

I went over to help Jim transfer files. While the backup was going, I took a breakfast break. Boiled eggs on toast, with orange juice to stop the pills from rattling.

Scanning of pages from Silicon Chip magazine continued today.

The wind was so high that papers kept escaping all over the room. One more reason to eventually eliminate all paper here.

Apple Migration Assistant

I could not start the transfer until both computers were on the same network. Ethernet is no longer standard on Apple, so I had to start WiFi operating on the Netgear 300 ADSL modem router. The instructions were less than accurate. However the WiFi worked.

It seems you can not use Apple's Migration Assistant to directly transfer from a G5 Mac Pro with 10.5 to a new 10.9 Apple. Sigh!

That meant using the Time Machine backup instead. However then Migration Assistant does not seem to reject PowerPC only applications. Pity. It made the transfer much more tedious. Plus all the non-working PowerPC apps now need to be deleted.


I discovered the Telstra Big Pond internet connection had been lost sometime in the afternoon before two. A numeric ping also failed. I powered sequenced Ad Trap and the NetGear ADSL modem. this brought the internet connection back.

Apple iTunes Fault

I am unable to download Apple iTunes app updates. They are getting stuck at the processing stage. I have restarted iTunes several times. iTunes really is a piece of shit. Luckily it finally actually downloaded stuff like it should.

Friday 20 December 2013


I was awake at five on a mostly overcast morning. It must have been clear overnight, as the temperature had dropped to a very reasonable 24°C.

My weight was variously 67.6 kilograms on the old scale, and 67 kilograms on the Blue Anatomy scale. Blood pressure using the wrist monitor was 121/81 with a pulse of 50.

A half hour later, and it is drizzling. I somehow doubt I will be taking a long walk this morning.

Today I ran out of most of the foods that I should not eat. This will probably help the diet, at least eventually.

A fairly thorough amount of rain in the evening. I had to shut doors against it. Temperature outside dropped to 23°C.

Saturday 21 December 2013


I was awake at five on a mostly fine morning. It must have been clear overnight, as the temperature had dropped to a very reasonable and pleasant 23°C. It will not take long to get very warm.

My weight was variously 66.8 kilograms on the old scale, and 66.4 kilograms on the Blue Anatomy scale. Running low on snacks will do that. Blood pressure using the wrist monitor was 116/77 with a pulse of 49.

I started laundry before six. Naturally by the time I started putting the clothes out on the drying racks before seven, the sky was half overcast. I am not impressed. Naturally by the time I went for my second walk to the markets the sun was blazing down. It remained that way most of the day.


I walked down to the markets at seven. Rather few people putting up stalls there, with the threat of rain, and rain overnight. No signs of my usual breakfast folks. I did see Rex at his stand. I bought two bananas, and a half dozen limes. Then I started worrying about the weather. Got a party pie and a party sausage roll from Brumbys, and visited the news agent for the weekend newspapers.

I was back home at eight.

I went back to the markets again around 9:30 a.m. Chatted with Adriaan and Rex for a while. Walked around the lagoon, just to push up my walking distance. Got a mini Christmas pudding from Brumbys. Then walked home.


I attempted to use the Telstra BigPond internet connection just before three. No connection. The NetGear ADSL modem is still showing all green. A numeric ping shows internet unreachable. I power cycled both Ad Trap and the ADSL modem. Internet came back up.


I held another of my parties tonight, despite having held one last week. Several regulars were unable to attend the previous one, hence the repeat. It is also the last time I can do so this year.

Glenn and Alison did not arrive until seven, nor did Rex and Myra. Jim wandered in within minutes. Maybe I should start all my parties later? Bunitj arrived after nine, having been chasing photos someplace remote as the sun went down.

Sunday 22 December 2013


I slept exceedingly poorly, doubtless as a result of overindulging during my party. Got to bed after midnight. Woke up around 3:30 a.m. A mostly clear and very windy day, which at least kept the temperatures tolerable.

My weight had gone up to 67.6 kilograms on the old scale, and to 66.9 kilograms on the Blue Anatomy scale.

I went for a walk well before six, however the sun is now up so early that I still had it in my eyes. I had to take some strange pathways to get my walk above five kilometres. I had breakfast on the main street, on the poor excuse that this may be marginally better than pizza for breakfast. Then I had pizza and fruit for lunch.

Bunitj dropped in during the afternoon. I could not help him with the helicopter wiring, as I do not seem to have any heat shrink tubing here. I feel sure I have not run out of it entirely.

Bunitj dropped in again later in the evening, to share a large slice of his wonderful chocolate birthday cake. A special import from Ballarat it seems, and so rich that my diet is total broken.

The chocolate cake jolted me awake for a little while, but it could not last. I went to bed early for me, at 10:30. I felt I had been awake for days.


I continued to work through the paperwork, scanning some, taking notes about others. I have a lot that can now be shredded. Alas, I did not manage to get around to reduce any of the material to spreadsheets.


I tried getting mail, and failed. A quick numeric ping revealed that there is no Telstra BigPond internet connection. I power sequenced the Netgear ADSL modem and Ad Trap. The internet connection returned.

Monday 23 December 2013

Airlie Beach

I awoke well before five, on a warm morning, since it had been partly overcast towards morning.

My weight had increased to 68.1 kilograms according to the old scale, and 67.6 kilograms on the Blue Anatomy scale. This is what happens when you eat up all the scraps in the fridge after a pizza party, and top it off which a large slice of chocolate cake. My blood pressure was 121/83 according to the wrist gadget, and pulse a mere 42.

Closed up everything, and tried to ensure all was organised. I rather fear I forgot something.

Leaving Airlie Beach

I had trouble with my bag. Way too heavy for the kilometre walk to the bus. I had tried one of the little wooden handles, which at least kept the strap from ruining my hand. Paper is annoying that way.

The Greyhound arrived about the correct time. It left somewhat after seven. About 15 people boarded the bus. To my surprise there was a road construction delay after Bowen, and before the Delta roadhouse where the bus refuels. We had a 45 minute break at Delta, which I basically used to read a newspaper.

We picked up about six people in Home Hill, and another nine in Ayr. They looked like locals. This is very unusual.

Arrived in Townsville slightly after midday.


I was collected by Jean at the Townsville bus terminal within a minute or two of the bus arrival.

We set out for Sizzler, which was relatively uncrowded. I had expected a big crowd this close to Christmas. We had our usual mini lunch, a single pass through the salad bar, and a small steak each, with water as our beverage. Includes dessert, which is not great but I find it hard to resist. It seems some others do also. The number of exceedingly fat people in Sizzler is astonishing.

We did make a stop at Dan Murphy. However all we got was a bottle of mixer rum, since that was in short supply. Being before Xmas, prices on most booze was not exactly a bargain. What a surprise.

Dropped in on Jo-ann at Reception. Still had not taken a copy of the Christmas party photos off the memory stick I had dropped in before going to Airlie Beach. She copied it while I waited. Sigh!

A Mess

I have to say my room was a mess. Mail has arrived, and is piled on all chairs. APA have arrived, ANZAPA and FAPA. I hope the deadlines are not close. Parcels have arrived, including a Blinky Tape, with a battery for portable use.

I took readings from the solar panels as the sun set. 9.45 kilowatt hours generated today. This six panel upgrade is going pretty well, compared to the previous six panel system. It is a bit of a pity that the Sunny Boy inverter is not able to handle more than 1100 Watts, but the result is acceptable.

Tuesday 24 December 2013


I am sleeping very poorly. I was awake before three, and did not get back to sleep. This despite being tired last night, and getting to bed at ten.

My weight according to the Withings scale is 68.1 kilograms, a major increase during the time I was away. I am not happy with that. However having a giant Sizzer lunch yesterday made it a very likely thing.

Went outside hunting Asian kitchen geckos around 4 a.m. and again at 5 a.m. Found way too many of them on the walls of the house, and sprayed them with Crawly Cruncher. It is a constant battle to kill off this imported pest species.

Started laundry running at 5:30 a.m. It was already fairly light. So I watered the pot plants as well, once I found where Jean had left the watering can. Looks like the weeds are starting to proliferate in the garden as well. Fruit medley for breakfast. We were able to hang the laundry out to dry around 7:40 a.m.

We drove to Willows Shoppingtown, arriving before the shops were really open, despite it being early opening on this last day of shopping prior to Xmas. The crowds soon began to accrete, but despite that it stayed sufficiently uncrowded that we did manage four times around the place. More than I expected we would manage.

No mail for us, but we had checked the mail box a little earlier than usual.

Lunch at Restaurant

I walked over to the restaurant, where Jeff was already seated. Not a large range on the menu today. I guess they are cutting down stocks before the Xmas break. Dot turned up while I waited to order. Ray arrived a little later. Most of us ordered the steak, which was really nice meat, and Noel had done a good job cooking it. I should have avoided the fat chips, but find it hard to resist them.

I had brought my newly arrived Blinky Tape lights, to liven up the last day before Xmas.

Bar Afternoon

It was the wrong day for our bar afternoon, but Xmas was in the way. Only Jeff and I decided that a Tuesday made a perfectly good Wednesday. There was however a large contingent from the bowling club, hiding out from the excessive heat of the sun inside the bar.

Wednesday 25 December 2013

Xmas Morning

D Day on the drive towards the true meaning of Xmas, namely retail consumption, whether of use to either purchaser or recipient or not. Hark the Herald Tribune sings, Advertising wondrous things. I neither gave nor received presents, which is how I prefer it. God rest ye merry merchants, May ye make the Yuletide pay! However some people can not be dissuaded from sending Xmas cards. I thank them for the thought, but it is a waste of their money. Angels lift their voice on high, Tell us to go out and buy! Well, I am not buying this crass commercial perversion of a pagan fest, co-opted by a religious takeover. The true hero of Xmas is the Grinch.


I was up a little after five, on a fairly clear morning. I fear it will be rather hot today. I had been up several times during the night, but had actually slept a lot better than I expected.

My weight had gone down a little, to 67.6 according to the Withings scale. Alas, this is still far higher than it was when I left here a few weeks ago.

I went for an early morning walk, before the sun could get in my eyes, nominally to collect any mail we had missed yesterday. I managed to cover 3 kilometres in 30 minutes, and get the mail. To my surprise, one was my driver licence update.

Sprayed weed killer on any suspicious plant in the garden. It is amazing how much the weeds have grown in such a short time since I last poisoned them.

Sprayed Crawly Cruncher on three more Asian kitchen geckos in the evening after I returned from partying at Jeff's place.

LED Lights

I cleaned the top of the horizontal supports for the vertical drapes. The idea is that this will provide a flat surface on which to mount the LED strip lights. I hope I can thread the LED strip under the mounts which hold that horizontal strip to the wall above the windows.

First thing after cleaning was to measure the length. I used the backing paper from a previous led strip, and just ripped it off when I had the first length. Used scissors to cut the actual LED strip to the right length. The strip can be cut between the LEDs, and has copper connectors for putting another set of contacts in place. All the LED smarts are in the LEDs or the remote receiver.

The so called 3M sticky tape on the back of the LED lights is pretty much useless in this climate. I find it hard to believe it is really a 3M product. I stuck one long strip of LED lights up above the western window of my room. Somewhat later, I stuck a second longer strip of LED lights above the south facing window. Positioning is a little messy. OK, a lot messy.

Xmas Lunch

I walked over to the Xmas lunch at the restaurant somewhat before Jean did. Collected a glass of champagne from Danielle as I went through the door, and then bought a bottle for our table. Kris had said she wanted to use the Blinky Tape I had used yesterday, since she was acting as MC. It looked a lot better on her than it did on me. We had Jeff as the other person at our table, and he was looking very bright in a red tropical shirt.

There were a whole heap of people I did not recognise, many seemingly visiting relatives in the village.

We were one of the later tables to be called up for the meal. Lots of hot turkey and pork, plus hot vegetables. The buffet salad course was also extensive. I did not bother with the giant cold chicken, as I already had more on my plate than I normally eat in several days. I did heap up apple sauce and cranberry sauce, and added some ham.

When it was time for the 98 attendees to tackle the 15kg of prawns, I abstained. Prawns are not my thing. Jean and Jeff probably made up for me. I did however enjoy the pavlova and fruit afterwards. No way did Penny and the wonderful staff get out at three. It would have taken at least another hour to clean up.

Afterwards I dropped over to Jeff's place, to sample his new distilled spirits. A little floral, but the chemists who do the liquor flavours seem pretty good. Pity that I am trying to give up alcohol entirely. I also checked his solar panel outputs, which were a rather paltry 3.63 kWh for the day from his seven panels. Seems low to me, given we got well over 8 kWh from 12 panels. It was too late in the day to get a decent reading on the maximum voltage. I came back home before six.


I found that the iiNet internet connection via a Telstra line had totally failed around 8:30 p.m. The problem seems to be that Time Capsule has failed. I power sequenced Time Capsule, and the internet connection resumed.

Thursday 26 December 2013


I was up before five, after sleeping rather well. It seems dark.

My weight was 67.8 kilograms on the Withings scale. After the Xmas lunch I am not too surprised by the increase. Now to get rid of the extra weight again.

I went for an early morning walk around Carlyle Gardens. Covered 3.04 kilometres in slightly under 28 minutes, according to Runkeeper. Moves thought I ran about two thirds of the distance.

Jean had me juice four oranges with the Kambrook juicer when I returned. That let us put the orange skins out for the weekly garbage collection. I went to my little cache of lollies from the Xmas lunch, only to find tiny black ants had already discovered them. Then it turned out that the Raid surface spray was broken, and acted more like a fire hose than a spray. I had to mop up insecticide.

Off to Willows for a walk. We managed to get around the place four times. Not a lot of people hunting sales, except outside Target. The supermarkets opened around 8:30 a.m. Brumbys bread shop was closed, so we could not get bread. We were unable to get milk at Coles, and left without buying anything else. Tried Woolworths, and got apricots and yoghurt. I put that in the cooler in the car, while Jean returned to Coles. Met her there, and we got the some fruit, since Coles had that cheaper. Then off to Sunland shopping centre, where we got the last of the Misty Mountain milk. Brumbys were open here, and so we also got bread.

Apple Safari Dashboard Bug?

I can not install any dashboard widgets in Safari 7.0 in OS X 10.9 Mavericks. I am not sure what the problem was, so I went through the (many) open web pages awaiting a read, and when I was through them, restarted Safari. That got the dashboard widgets working again. Very strange.

Afterwards I updated Mavericks OS X 10.9 to 10.9.1 on both the MacBook Air and the iMac. Seemed like it might as well get done. The download of a mere 250MB took hours.

Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race

I was really pleased to find that Channel 7 actually showed the start of the Sydney to Hobart yacht race at midday. Most interesting bit was seeing how they retrieved the onboard camera people. Most horrible part, the incessant advertising interruptions.

I also found a few minutes of speculation about the race, filled in with footage of the start, on the ABC news at seven. Overall, pretty woeful coverage.

Netatmo Weather Station

I finally tried to connect the Netatmo Weather Station, after establishing an account. This very limited internal and external weather station gadget does do a few extra things, like give CO2 and noise readings. However it totally lacks rainfall and wind measurements.

I was unable to persuade the external sensor to link to the main internal station. Many attempts with the batteries out and starting again from the point of inserting the batteries all failed, at least while I was using the Web App. I suspect that you should totally ignore the Web App when first setting up the Netatmo.

The Netatmo app would not download correctly to my iPad Air. The App Store thinks it has downloaded (at least the second time I tried). However the application will not open, Spotlight search can not find it on the iPad, and I can not find it with a manual search.

My iPad Mini did have a working copy of the Netatmo app, so I used that. At least that seemed to allow me to establish a Bluetooth connection to the external station. A few minutes later, the external station finally came up with readings. It took about four hours of intermittent fiddling with a multitude of devices before it started working.

It also seems that the CO2 sensor needs to be calibrated. However that takes about six hours, and the device must not be disconnected. One of the things I was doing may have shorted the calibration. I am unsure the results are realistic.

I am not very happy about how much work was involved in getting the Netatmo to all work. Next step is to check whether the readings it provides are accurate.


I had an email from PhoneHalo saying a package was being despatched to me. This turned out to be an Indiegogo crowd funded and supported TrackR Bluetooth device for finding lost items. The same company makes a number of different specialist Bluetooth tracking devices, as well as StickR TrackR.

Friday 27 December 2013


I was up a little after 5:15 a.m. There is some haze and overcast.

My weight is 67.5 kilograms according to the Withings scale. A moderate decline from when I arrived here, but still not nearly as low as I want.

I went for a morning walk around 5:40 a.m. A little over three kilometres in less than a half hour. The sun was starting to get in my eyes on the last block or two, so I need to start my walk even earlier.

Half a banana for breakfast. I am now hanging out for something more. I squeezed four oranges with the Kambrook juicer, so we had fresh orange juice. Then I forgot my tablets, and had to get some water to wash them down.

We drove to Willows Shoppingtown before eight. Managed to walk around it, very slowly, five times. It did not look very crowded or busy. Unlike Boxing Day, Target was nearly empty. We did not actually try buying anything. Got away about 9:15 a.m.

Netatmo Weather Station

I was not able to get any readings from the external sensor for the Netatmo Weather Station after the first twenty minutes or so when I finally got it connected last night. I have no idea what is wrong, but I am massively unimpressed. At the moment, the thing is as useless as tits on a bull.

I moved the Netatmo Weater Station inside unit from a USB power from my iMac (where I had originally tried to set it up). I plugged it into a mains powered USB power supply, and found a high perch on top of a bookcase for it. The internal unit continues to work. No sign of readings from the external unit, except for the quarter hour around 8 p.m. last night.

Sometime in the morning, while I was away, the internal Netatmo started getting readings from the external unit. I have no idea why it started, unless changing the power connection was involved.

I took an electric drill out, and placed the supplied screw in the outside wall. This revealed that the only masonry drill close to the right size was blunt (as indeed were probably all the others). That let me hang the external unit outside, sheltered by the awning. At least the readings will be from an external position, if it continues to work.

ColorVision Spyder2Express

I decided to run my ancient ColorVision Spyder 2 Express monitor calibration device from DataColor on my newish Apple iMac. This is not really needed for the iMac, as Apple calibrate the LCD displays correctly in the factory. However if you connect an external monitor, you will see a very different result.

The first obstacle was that the ancient Spyder 2 Express software came on a DVD drive. Computers do not have an old DVD drive these days. Luckily DataColor, the manufacturers, allow you to download an update to the software. In fact, DataColor let you download Spyder 3 Express. This is still able to use the Spyder 2 hardware colorometer.

Alas, Spyder can not seem to cope with a second monitor. That really reduces how much use I can get from it. I will probably give it to someone who can make use of the Spyder.

If you have an Apple computer, you can calibrate both the internal and the external display using System Preferences, Displays, Colors. I calibrated my Apple iMac, and also the 27 inch Kogan monitor. The main problem is setting the controls on the Kogan monitor, which uses a mildly tricky on screen display for controls. However once I did both, I was getting a fairly decent display match. It was about time I got around to that.

Social Club Happy Hour

I was pleased to see Penny, Laura and Julie-Ann opened the bar at 4 p.m. so the Social Club could run their usual happy hour fund raising. Jean walked over with me, and then headed back home.

The numbers of people attending were down rather a lot, with perhaps half the usual attendance. I sat with Jeff at the bar. He had attended because there would be no Saturday opening. It seems that the restaurant may re-open on Thursday, 2 January.

Jean had somewhat cynically suggested the dinner would be Xmas party leftovers. That seemed about right. Lots of cold cut meats, chicken, and two varieties of ham, and a few prawns, with two varieties of salad. Followed by pavlova for dessert. Seemed just fine to me. However I am sure it will have totally ruined my diet.


I lost internet contact around 3:30 p.m. This time the problem seemed to be that the Apple Time Capsule was not connecting. I power sequenced the Time Capsule, and got an internet connection again.

Got back at 7:40 p.m. Not only is my MacBook Air not connected to the internet, it is not even finding a wireless network with which to connect. Scanning fails to find any network at all. However the Apple iMac is still connected via WiFi, and the internet is working. I switched the MacBook Air WiFi off for a half minute, and then switched it back on. The internet returned. Weird bug!

Saturday 28 December 2013


I was awake as early as 2:30 a.m. and could not get back to sleep. I finally got up at 4 a.m. since staying in bed was not working for getting back to sleep.

My weight was 67.3 on the Withings scale. I thought I would have had a weight increase, given the giant meal at the pub last night.

A quick walk starting around 5:30 a.m. I managed 3.5 kilometres this time, at quicker than 6 kph. Managed to avoid getting the rising sun in my eyes except on the very last bit of the walk. I checked the mail, of which there was none.

A fruit medley for breakfast does not keep hunger away. Not even close.

We drove to Willows Shoppingtown, after hanging out the laundry. Did not manage to leave until eight, thanks to the slow washing machine. We walked around about five times, or maybe a bit more. We even did some shopping, which is not our aim when we visit. Target had the shorts I usually buy at half price, a fairly silly $6 each, so I bought them. Later I got a packet of drill bits in BigW, not being exactly sure which sizes were blunt (probably all). They also had reduced prices on masonry bits, so I bought a $4.50 box of masonry bits, since I knew from yesterday the size I mostly use was blunt. The self serve scanner could not cope with reading the barcode, so there was a fair delay while someone found a manual number to insert. Jean meanwhile bought more fruit in Coles. We did not get back home until ten. The laundry was mostly already dry, so I took a bit of it inside out of the sun.

Jean had just opened the ham I won a while ago. So I carved myself some ham, and added some Jarlsburg cheese, and some mustard for the ham. That made a decent lunch, but I am still hungry. Not a good start.

Put aside a USB memory stick of photos from the Social Club Xmas party. This was for Lorraine, who organised the table I was at during the party.

Applix 1616

I discovered I did not have nearly the range of schematics for the old Applix 1616 that I expected. Copies of what I had are now on hand, but I seem to be lacking the revision C schematics, and also the Memory SCSI board. I am not sure what happened, as it seemed to me that I should have had them. I did have the hand-drawn revision A schematics, and the revision B schematics, as well as the Floppy Drive and SCSI expansion.

Despite this, I did find some unexpected old copies of Applix material on the material I had transferred from long dead hard drives a decade or so ago.

Sunday 29 December 2013


I did not awake until slightly after five, which was a really good night sleep for me. Even the Withings Pulse device seemed to think I slept well.

My weight was down again, to 66.8 kilograms according to the Withings scale. This is back to within reach of where I want to be.

After opening up the house to the cooler morning air, I set off on my morning walk. Since it was only 5:20 a.m. I thought I might be able to walk along each of the streets within the main block of Carlyle Gardens before the sun got in my eyes. This actually worked. I covered a little over 4.5 kilometres in under 43 minutes, which was pretty good time.

We had a fruit medley each for breakfast, which left me feeling hungry.

Off to Willows for another walk with Jean. The outdoor markets were not on this Sunday. The air conditioning was not on in most areas of Willows, except for the new area. So after a while we stopped walking all the way around, and confined ourselves to the new far end. I collected a newspaper, and later an apple turnover with cream at Brumbys.

We also visited IGA at Sunland, looking for milk. Got a number of yoghurt for Jean, and some salmon and condiments like pickles for me.

iTunes Music

I decided to add what is technically known as a shitload of ripped CD music to iTunes on my Apple iMac. When I had first set it up, I had just let Migration Assistant transfer everything over from my older Mac mini. However the disk drive on my Mac mini could only hold a fraction of my media. I had left most of my music in MP3 or AAC for that reason. However I wanted my music to all be Lossless, now Apple Lossless is a documented open standard.

Meanwhile I had re-ripped every CD I could find in my collection using my 2005 model iMac, which has a DVD drive. This I had done into two separate iTunes Libraries. One of about 25GB containing the relatively small number of vocal CDs I own. The other, of some 68GB, containing all my classical music, about 2620 items.

I had iTunes add each of these libraries to its existing library. It looks like it has managed to do so. I wonder what will go wrong?

One thing I do need to do is find any MP3 albums for which I have a Lossless version, and get rid of the MP3 version. However I think that can be done gradually as I notice them. Despite which, I deleted 174 tonight.

Monday 30 December 2013


I was awake before four. Eventually gave up trying to sleep and got up. Opened up doors and windows and turned on a few fans to try to get some cool morning air through the house.

My weight is still 66.8 kilograms according to the Withings scale. The Withings HealthMate app on my iPhone has my weight loss entirely wrong, with a totally incorrect high loss figure for the week.

I continued to delete MP3 files in iTunes.

I walked 3.6 kilometres around Carlyle Gardens, in a little over 35 minutes. Marge at 547 stopped to have a chat with me about using Apple.

We went to Willows a little late, as the laundry went out late. Walked around five times. Not finding much we wanted in the shops. Even getting the few food items took us to both Coles and Woolworths. We were not back until almost ten.

Jean had the good idea of using up our smoked salmon by having toast, and an egg on it. Like a diet Eggs Benedict. It worked really well.

I had too much ham and cheese and pickles for dinner.

I went out in the evening hunting Asian kitchen geckos, as was Holger. I also watered the four pot plants.

iTunes Media

I continued to delete duplicate music in iTunes, where I had an MP3 version of something I had also copied to Lossless. This is going to take a long while.

Removed 439 MP3 songs before my morning walk.

Before breakfast I removed another 234 songs.

Before we left for shopping, another 96.

After we returned from shopping, another 255.

After an early lunch, I deleted another 961 MP3 songs. That makes the total for the day 1985 songs, and the total since I started 2159. It also brings me to the end of the music. Now to go back and fix some of the many errors and exceptions.

The second pass got rid of about another 450 songs. The third pass gave me a list of problem albums.


I lost the internet around 8 p.m. Seems like the problem was the MacBook Air. Restarted the WiFi and that fixed it.

Tuesday 31 December 2013


I was up a little after five, after a good night of sleep for once.

My weight was up to 67 kilograms according to the Withings scale. It seems I can not go back to a glass of wine and a Neenish tart as a treat.

My morning walk around Carlyle Gardens started early enough that I did not get the sun in my eyes until right at the end. I covered 5.15 kilometres in 47.5 minutes, for an average pace of 9:20 per kilometre. I thought that was pretty good.

A five fruit medley for breakfast.

Off to Willows for our walk. Jean managed five times around the shopping centre. We checked a couple of the bag stores afterwards. Both of us want shoulder bags, if we can find suitable ones. Back home before ten, but no mail had arrived. Jean took photos of the new alien shirt she had made for me, and also of the flowering desert rose.

I had another egg on salmon on toast for my lunch. Very nice.

Diary and Privacy

I note the propensity of modern democratic governments to snoop on the lives of their citizens, as well as on their allies. As well, every advertiser wants more and more information about you, and some are willing to ensure they get information. plus there are now innumerable scams operating over the internet. Under these circumstances, I no longer feel comfortable leaving my diary online. I will not be posting my diary blog in future.

Solar Power

My solar inverter output figures are 5424kWh in 15316 hours. The previous figures in November were E-total 5166kWh, h-total 14907 hours. This makes 256kWh power generated in 408 hours. 8.25kW per day or 627 Watts per active hour, in November. Panels were doubled this month to 2000 Watts nominal, however the SunnyBoy inverter is still limited to 1100 Watts.

The Ergon electricity meter for November 2013 are 5544kWh purchased on Tariff 11, Tariff 33 is at 4388kWh, and solar power export is 2345kWh. December figures are 5611kWh, 4690kWh on Tariff 33, and 2486kWh for exports. Use for the month of December is 67kWh, air conditioning use is 302kWh. Solar export is 141kWh. In essence, air conditioning tripled as the heat peaks, solar power sales more than doubled, and regular electricity use declined a little as 115kWh of solar power used by us filled in for Ergon.

The September figures are 5257kWh, 4159kWh on Tariff 33, and 2151kWh for exports. So for the three months of the electricity bill, we have used 354kWh on Tariff 11, 531kWh for air conditioning, and exported 194kWh. We shall see how that compares with the actual electricity bill, when it arrives.

Home and Away

Eric Lindsay's Blog December 2013