Monday, 31 December 2007

Happy New Year - All the best for 2008!

Just learnt to make text conform to a path in Inkscape!

Thursday, 27 December 2007

Wednesday, 26 December 2007

We have video now!

RWCN have just obtained a brilliant little Webcam - the Logitech Quickcam Pro 9000 so watch out for what that might add to the network.
Check out the first video in the video bar as seriously, this is a great webcam:
  • Carl Zeiss lens
  • Logitech's RightLight technology combine to deliver superior image quality, especially in low light;
  • 2-megapixel sensor lets you shoot video up to 1,600x1,200 resolution;
  • QuickCam software is polished and easy to use; flexible stand works equally well on top of a monitor or a laptop or resting on a desk.
It cost $115AUS and I have been having a lot of fun with it.

Wednesday, 19 December 2007

Laptop LCD screen replacement

I replaced the LCD screen in Michelle's 3 year old laptop today which was an interesting exercise.

It had started to deteriorate with the pixels fading out in a vertical line about 2cms wide in the center of the screen. Now I reckon this occurred because she insists on putting her laptop away every time she has finished using it. The constant opening and closing of the top must have effected the circuit board which lives at the top of the screen.

She was quoted $700+ when she enquired about getting it repaired at the store where she purchased the laptop and considering she could probably replace her laptop for that price nowadays was a bit of a joke really.

I rang the distributors and they said they could supply a replacement screen to my door for less than $250 which made going ahead with replacing the screen viable

Now I just needed to find out what was involved and after a bit of Googling decided that I should be able to handle the job.

Anyway it turned out to be very fiddly as she has a Metabox laptop and there were no screws to get the bezel off which took me aback initially as there did not seem to be a way of getting it off at all. I eventually worked out it was a snaplock fitting and it ended up coming apart fairly easily in the end except for both lower corners which were just not going to budge.
So I had to deal with it remaining in place at the bottom of the screen which made getting the plug for the inverter (it is right down at the bottom of the screen of course) back in again very difficult, and was only achieved using angled pliers and great patience and care.

The next fiddly bit was replacing the video plug but that was not quite so intense an experience but still tricky.

Rebooted to make sure I hadn't damaged anything and the screen cranked up beautifully Whew!

Put the internal framework screws back, snapped it all together and voila! the laptop is like new again.

The instructions I used are from the Screentek site if you want to save yourself some money and get that laptop back to new again.

Tuesday, 18 December 2007

Classical Guitar posture discussion

There has been an interesting discussion on the Delcamp forum of late about posture and the classical guitar with people using all sorts of devices and means to get the guitar to where they feel it ought to be. I am happy with the footstool having resolved the issues relating to it's use but for some it just seems to be too hard or they feel there must be a better way!
Well here is a very interesting example as the image to the left from many years ago of great British guitarist Paul Galbraith shows. He started experimenting with a more cello like posture and I remember thinking at the time - "Well interesting, but I think he might go back to the footstool"

I was wrong 'cos here he is today having taken the concept all the way to a very successful conclusion using an 8 string instrument.

I haven't found any video footage, but here is some video of Redmond O'Toole, a young Irish guitarist who has adopted the 8 string guitar and this posture and in which Paul Galbraith makes an appearance at least!

Sunday, 16 December 2007

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly! An absolutely sensational rendition and very, very amusing!

And I just had to add this one aswell! Again sensational and very, very amusing!

Saturday, 15 December 2007

16 interesting RSS feeds - What I choose to read about!

There are many news readers available and I happen to use a Firefox extension Wizz RSS which I have found works well for me. Following my last blog, about two minutes ago, it occurred to me to blog about the feeds I choose to follow that enhance my internet life.
There are quite a few, many you will already know, others you may not have come across and they are:

M15 interesting RSS feeds - What I choose to read about!

There are many news readers available and I happen to use Wizz RSS. Following my last blog, about two minutes ago, it occurred to me to blog about the feeds I choose to follow that enhance my internet life.
There are quite a few, many you will already know, others you may not have come across and they are:

Coding Horror - A very interesting blog!

I am sure those of you into coding would probably have come across this great blog published by Jeff Attwood. If you haven't it is well worth checking as much as anything for the length and breadth of the discussion that occurs in the comments!
Here is one relating to Jeff's assertion that there are only two types of programmers! and here is another relating to current levels of Apple laptop pricing compared to Dell!
There are plenty of other examples to keep you busy for the day as Jeff has been publishing his blog since 2004! I have added his feed to my news reader and look forward to keeping up with what he has to say in the future.

Michelle is fine!

Michelle had an abdominal hysterectomy on Monday afternoon and after only 4 days is home and doing really well already! Still a bit sore and bruised obviously and one can see why from the image on the left as the abdomen is stretched radically in order to facilitate access.
Michelle has suffered terribly from Endometriosis since her teens and has had to use anti-inflammatories every month for years to control the pain.
Recently a large fibroid had developed behind her uterus which was starting to cause her great discomfort and diminishing her ability to lead as active a life as she would like. She is a keen surfer like me!
A hystorectomy is a major operation and not a procedure that any medical practitioner would recommend lightly, but Michelle had decided that she had come to the end of her tether and that something needed to be done.
Normally, patients requiring a hystorectomy would have to travel to Perth as Albany has been without the services of a resident obstetrician/gynaecologist until the recent arrival of Dr Johan Herholdt from South Africa. This clearly highly skilled and professional gentleman indicated to Michelle that going ahead with a hystorectomy was advisable in her circumstances and carried out the successful procedure.
We are lucky that we have a great little hospital here in Albany (finally to get a 50 million dollar upgrade) staffed with wonderful nurses, orderlies and other ancilliary staff, all of whom did their bit in looking after Michelle generously and with great care.

Wednesday, 12 December 2007

A Radical Makeover - The Wizard has fled!

Wo! That looks a bit different! In line with the recent change of emphasis of this site, I have also redecorated!
This has occurred as I am currently in the process of developing a website for myself which also has a dark theme.
I have for sometime wanted to create a logo that reflected the Aries/Snake that I am and I was pretty pleased to come up with the design on the left which I created using Inkscape - the open source equivalent of Illustrator. Can you believe that one can actually get the hang of using those weird Bezier curve drawing tools!

Monday, 10 December 2007

We have hit the 5000 views milestone!

Thanks to everybody who has visited this site for taking the time to do so.
I hope it has been worth your while and that you have found something here of interest to you!

Sunday, 9 December 2007 - A Wonderful Resource for Classical Guitarists

While searching for sites that might take some of my little compositions for classical guitar students, I stumbled across this fantastic resource for classical guitarists.

"Commited to classical guitar players around the world, is an absolutely free internet resource center. In our forums, you will find 2.146 pages worth of scores for classical guitar listed according to difficulty level. You will also have access to thousands of tips, video clips, online guitar lessons and more than 4.500 MP3s performed by our worldwide members."

The people running the forums are excellent, very welcoming and keen that a certain standard is maintained which is crucial for a site such as this.

If you are at all into the classical guitar, make sure you take the time to have a look.

Monday, 3 December 2007

An acronym for the new marriage - HUC

For such a long time now I having been searching for a new description of my relationship with Michelle other than defacto, partner etc all of which I hate and do not describe the relationship. I am sure many other couples feel the same also too.
Finally I have come across a possibility and that is that we are a HUC! Happily Unmarried Couple!
So that means I can now describe Michelle as my TOHOAHUC. IE. The Other Half Of A HUC. It sorta sounds Polynesian so may actually suffice! Oh Well an acceptable try, I will keep working on it!

Sunday, 2 December 2007

GNU/Linux hits the mainstream again this year with ASUS eEE PC!

Finally, this awesome little machine has been released in Australia and I am sure it will be a sellout here also as it has been everywhere else.

Apart from it's obvious excellent features, what delights me about it most is the use of yet another GNU/Linux OS - Xandros this time.
This follows Dell offering desktops and laptops with Ubuntu installed, the huge success of the WalMart Green PC running gOS which is basically Ubuntu, the OLPC project to provide children with a PC also running a GNU/Linus OS and the growing number of smaller organisations offering machines with GNU/Linux installed.

Microsoft must be starting to get really worried about this especially as all this is happening in the wake of the debacle of the release of Vista. Finally consumers are getting some choice of OS when they purchase a new machine rather than being offered Windows and that's it.

Sorry, all you Windows fanboys but Windows is just not the best and only OS worth using and it is about time that the average user was given the opportunity to find that out for themselves.