Thursday, 27 September 2007

Happy 21st Tim!

My oldest son Tim turns 21 soon but I am blogging about it now because he is coming back to his hometown this weekend to celebrate the occasion with family and friends .

I would like to tell you some stuff about Tim.
  • He is way taller and carries a lot less weight than his Dad!
  • He has been with his delightful girlfriend Kelly since he was 15 - longer than myself and Michelle have been together!
  • He is in his final year of a Nanotechnology degree before entering what looks like a very exciting honours years developing an industry supported project!
  • When he was very young, his word for music was murket!
  • I knew he was pretty bright when he rode down to our house at the Wolery on a two wheeled bicycle he had taught himself to ride without us knowing at the age of 3!
  • He is a nice guy!
  • He is heavily in to games and associated technology - I wouldn't mind a Wii either actually!
  • He just about drowned at my one of my favourite surf breaks - Matterhorn at Nanarup and I can understand why as it can get a bit nasty and Michelle has also got in to a bit of trouble there also!
  • He has had a good shot at learning to kite board!
  • He plays a bit of guitar and bass and when he was very young had a crack at the violin too!
  • He loves his mates and thoroughly enjoys getting together with them if he hasn't seen them for awhile!
  • He and Kelly have a Jack Russell called "Shauna"!
  • He has a younger brother Oscar, already a well respected manager at McDonalds and yet to turn 18 , and an even younger half brother Angus who was reading before he went to school!
  • He is in to philosophy as well as science because he is a number 9!
  • His Dad loves him heaps and tells him so - something I never heard from my father and am making sure that my kids hear from me because it is important!
I love you heaps mate and Happy 21st for the 11th!

I am still here!

But I have been busy, busy, busy! with:
  • 2 assignments
  • 3 tutorials
  • listening to or reading lecture material
  • trying to memorise Edgar Cruz's brilliant transcription of "Bohemian Rhapsody"
  • trying to fit in a surf or the gym in between
  • going to training and assessment course classes
  • and a job application (part-time of course)

    Oh Yeh! and fitting in some work to earn money so I can pay the bills etc!
The astute amongst you will note there is a smile on the face of the character above and a certain balance to life that others may not enjoy! :-)

Monday, 10 September 2007

The only intact 1st generation computer surviving anywhere in the world!

CSIRAC was constructed in Australia at the Sydney University and was the 4th computer built in the world and used to produce the first "computer music".
In 1955 it was moved in a large truck to Melbourne and can be seen today in the Museum of Victoria.

CSIRAC was first successfully tested in 1949 and the name is derived from Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation Automatic Computer.

CSIRAC specifications
Speed .001mhz
Word Size 20 bit
RAM 768 words
Disk Capacity 2048 words
Power Consumption 30,000 watts
Weight 7,000kg

Many of the founders first programming skills were learnt using CSIRAC and the image to the left is a routine sheet showing stages for the development of a program.

Saturday, 8 September 2007

TED! Just continues to amaze me!

When this talk started I though - Oh Yeh!
There is some trickery going on here!
Then I realised that No!
These things are actually moving around in a lifelike manner!
Amazing work!

Sunday, 2 September 2007

8 reasons to vote No to OOXML

Click on the image to register your no vote!
  1. There is already a standard ISO26300 named Open Document Format (ODF): a dual standard adds costs, uncertainty and confusion to industry, government and citizens;
  2. There is no provable implementation of the OOXML specification: Microsoft Office 2007 produces a special version of OOXML, not a file format which complies with the OOXML specification;
  3. There is information missing from the specification document, for example how to do a autoSpaceLikeWord95 or useWord97LineBreakRules;
  4. More than 10% of the examples mentioned in the proposed standard do not validate as XML;
  5. There is no guarantee that anybody can write software that fully or partially implements the OOXML specification without being liable to patent lawsuits or patent license fees by Microsoft;
  6. This format conflicts with existing ISO standards, such as ISO 8601 (Representation of dates and times), ISO 639 (Codes for the Representation of Names and Languages) or ISO/IEC 10118-3 (cryptographic hash);
  7. There is a bug in the spreadsheet file format which forbids any date before the year 1900: such bugs affect the OOXML specification as well as software applications like Microsoft Excel 2000, XP, 2003 and 2007.
  8. This standard proposal was not created by bringing together the experience and expertise of all interested parties (such as the producers, sellers, buyers, users and regulators), but by Microsoft alone.

Saturday, 1 September 2007

GetUp's APEC campaign worth supporting!

The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum is to be held in Sydney, Australia shortly and GetUp, an Australian online action group with an excellent record of exerting pressure on government decisions, has organised a campaign with Avaaz by to create a 500,000-strong email and photo petition of citizens to be delivered direct to our global leaders.

They have organised this campaign because there is reason to believe that our Prime Minister and George Bush are planning to use the event to sidestep commitments to binding greenhouse gas targets.

To become involved with this campaign, click on the target image to add your vote.