Tuesday, 9 January 2007

08-01-2005_08-31-2005

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

THINGS I HATE part 1,223,731
I hate starting off to develop a new web application, spend almost a year of my time pushing shit uphill with a sharp pointy stick, and then reading that someone else has just done it...
True story - two friends and I started off to develop exactly this around a year ago, because we all have day jobs we got as far as concept and a few basic database tables and a few pages, and now we've come off second.
I tried to interest several businesses in the idea, tried to get some sponsorship or investment in it - all to no avail. It's something uniquely Australian I think, that we look at good ideas and say "nah f*ck it - too much hassle" and then get leapfrogged. Or maybe it's just me, I keep having these ideas and never finding backing and then finding my ideas on the shelf sneering at me while some other bastard collects all the income....
Add it to the growing list of shit I thought of and never managed to get to the market... Crap crap crap...
Categories - ::/:: Edited on: Tuesday, August 30, 2005 9:03 PMposted at 9:01 PM Ted Comment made, yay!
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Monday, August 29, 2005

Coincidentally...
Every so often you get a string of coincidental stuff. Like when you get up in the morni ng and get hit by a bus. In your bathroom. No. Sorry, no that wasn't what I meant at all. I like meant when you get one thing sticking in your memory and then a whole slew of references to it suddenly crop up.
First I see this screensaver in honour of a very talented science fiction writer. Then I see this photo and caption on Flickr. And what did I do yesterday? Look at my bookshelf and decide to grab the Fabulous Riverboat book out to read on the bus... Yeek...
Yeah I should have bought a Lotto ticket.
Categories - ::/:: posted at 9:55 PM Ted
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Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Why The Surfeit?
Why the surfeit of blog articles today? I'm home with a miserable flu. That's why.

(Homebrewed long black coffee. Flat Catmug. Panadol just out of shot...)
I've had time to sit and add a few stories to my blogs, go check out TEdAMENU for some food experiences over the last few weeks, finally got around to writing them up.
Trish and I have been to Araluen, Box 3 at Carousel shops, and Kailis Bros in Freo, among other places. We try and get to one or two places a week but don't always have enough spare time (or money!) to do that but we're trying... I have a few places planned for future visits, but we're open to suggestions.
If you have a place you'd like to see reviewed, get them to contact me or send me their details and we'll try and arrange to go there, finances and time permitting. Tell anyone you know that has a foodie shop, restaurant, scenic or tourist attraction, or general fun place like book stores, appliances and entertainment systems, - basically anything that's fun and that deserves to get good exposure online - and we'll try and cover them in an upcoming article.
Categories - ::/:: posted at 11:50 AM Ted
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Araluen, Canning Dam. Nice to go RIGHT NOW...

NOW is the time to get out to Araluen (head out on Brookton Highway off Albany Highway, turn right at the sign and follow the signs) if you want to see the beautiful blooming of the tulips and natives.
Trish and I went out there on Saturday, despite having been here many times I still find new places to explore. This time we headed to the top carpark and wandered down the hill behind the BBQ and facilities area, where there's a pretty little brook with a park bench by it.

Entry will cost around seven dollars per person but it's well worth it, especially if you stay a little longer than we did. We didn't go to the lower section at all this time, because we had Plans, but if you're going the first time it's better to go down to where the water features and flower beds are, perhaps take a coffee or tea at the wisteria-covered cafe on the slope there, and then catch the baby train (gold coin donation) which will take you all the way to the top carpark where we stayed, and takes in the scenic valley along the way.
As I said Trish and I had "Plans" for lunch, i.e. we'd decided not to take advantage of Araluen's extensive and well laid out BBQ facilities. Exactly where we were going to have lunch - well, that far ahead we hadn't planned... We left Araluen after we'd had our fill of beautiful colours and lovely scents in the perfect sunlight of the day, and instead of turning back to Perth we turned the other way to Canning Dam.

The Canning Dam is a primary water catchment area for the region so dogs and activities which might pollute are not allowed - but luckily BBQs are considered non-polluting... Heading to the top of the dam we saw signs everywhere that the dam top road was closed, and it's obvious why when you look at the angles the sections are at that the road is having some subsidence problems.
I explored as far as I could, including the quarry where they took the rock for the dam, and we explored further into the forest park until we hit a main road, at which point we turned back and went to the BBQ area just below the dam, and enjoyed the meal with a few drinks before heading back to Perth.

Best advice I can give to anyone wanting to explore the Perth surroundings are that if you take fuel and water with you then you should feel free to go a little bit further, try that smaller road. Eventually they all lead back to Perth, but along the way you'll find some surprisingly beautiful spots.
Categories - ::/:: posted at 10:28 AM Ted
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Tuesday, August 16, 2005

More Stupid Spammers
In my inbox today, and rather silly at that:
From: myrtle roseDate: 08/16/05 11:20:56Subject: now I am a new man
LONGZ capsules feature an exclusive blend of natural supplements that have been proven to...
The underlined bold highlights are what got me.
If it made Myrtle Rose into a new man then it must be potent. But... Why do I keep thinking of some stud going "There, I've taken the capsules that will make me shoot out rather than drib... Hey! What the?? Man boobs? And why are my privates shrinking? HEYYY!!!..."
I swear, if I was a spammer I could get a 20% better clickthrough rate on my emails just by not being a total f'wit..
Categories - ::/:: posted at 11:47 AM Ted Comment made, yay!
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Sunday, August 14, 2005

Poor Interface Design 101.
Seen at OneDogSaid, this link to a clickless web interface. Go hie thyself hence and try it out, it's interesting.
I just went there and the sheer clumsiness of it all left me thinking it's crap. Fair enough, half of it is caused by their wanky "Ooops" screen but even so - what about text highlighting, scroll bars? Is mouseover a fair way to control that? Not really, the click is here to stay I think.
And on the topic of their "Ooops" screen that pops up every time you click the page. It's probably the one single largest argument against them. I entered my name and out of habit clicked the next field. Stupid oops screen, and then - well looky at that it went back to the homepage not the page I'd left, which is shit poor design for a start. But even more annoying would have been if I'd typed in the whole thing and then clicked...
I also found it annoying to have a single spastic mouse movement open a new item and lose my place in whatever I was reading before the new item replaced it, and it's also annoying because I use my mouse pointer to find my place in the text, if I hit a hotspot that kind of defeats my intended usage.
I know touch screens are similar, I've used various gadgets with touchscreens and they are appealing, I find myself wanting to tap the screen of the laptop after using a PDA or other TS device. But even they are annoying when they can't tell the difference between a touch and a click, which a lot of them seem to have trouble with and which is why I don't have one.
So my vote to them was that it sucks, for those reasons. The mouseover/click/action paradigm exists for a reason, it is a lot like pointing at something with your finger, then prodding it to make things happen. I don't expect text on a hardcopy to cringe away when I run my finger over it to keep my place, and I've grown to expect that on my computer interfaces too.
My web pages will stay point/mouseover/click thank you, until they develop a new pointing device under which the mouseover actions make sense.
Categories - ::/:: posted at 5:52 PM Ted More Comments: (3)
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Friday, August 12, 2005

Spam titles, all in a row. Made me laugh, anyway.
Subject: [SPAM] My Friend, You are in Trouble
Subject: [SPAM] Has your cum ever dribbled and you wish it had shot out?
Subject: Extra power. Don't think. Just act.
I won't add anything else to this , that would just spoil it...
Categories - ::/:: posted at 11:24 AM Ted
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Thursday, August 04, 2005

After the smoke cleared...
... the laptop was in ruins. No - not really that spectacular. On Monday evening I turned it off, on Tuesday morning at work, it just sat and sulked at me when I hit the power button, flashing a nasty orange light at me, flash FFLLAASSHH pause flash flash flash flash flash FFLLAASSHH! which is Toshiba code for "screw you hippy!" or something like that...
In any case - blogging was ruined, my web dev work for my company seemed to be ruined, all that stuff. In fact, work had another similar laptop and I am now using that and have the hard drive out of the old lappie in a USB caddy, so I am recovering as many bits as didn't get spiked when the laptop died.
To begin with - this blog. I got half of it to load up, that being that Thingamablog figured out that I had several blogs going. But it didn't manage to find the articles, and I emailed the author of Thingamablog, Bob Tantlinger, with my problem. A day later I had my response, suffice to say it's been totally my fault for not recovering all of the files I needed. Here's part of my thank you note to Bob:
"Doh! Here's where I do the blonde bimbo thing with the rolling head and eyes and go " 'database' folder? Ooops..." I totally did not know to copy that folder off the backup. And that was it - put that in with the others and everything is back. Turns out that in the recoveries before, I must have restored that without registering that I'd done it..."
And that was it - one forgotten folder later, my blog is back and useable once again. Thanks Mr Tantlinger! This man deserves a medal, he has helped me resolve several things I was trying to do with Thingamablog, with the utmost patience.
If you want your own blog without the hassles of running software on a server somewhere, if you need to post a blog on the simplest web/ftp server in the world in just HTML format, then TAMB is for you, I've found that what I can't do with it isn't worth doing.
So thanks to a great piece of software, and thanks to its consummate author, for getting my blog recovered so quickly, and hi to you all!
Categories - ::/:: posted at 11:42 PM Ted
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Monday, August 01, 2005

Serpentine falls
In a non-gastronomic adventure (unless you count cheese and onion crisps and lime Coke) Trish and I went for a drive 30 minutes out of Perth today, to Serpentine Falls. It's a pretty spot at this time of the year, there's lots of running water, everything is lush and green, and the weather is pretty much perfect.

The Falls are to the left of the highway as one heads south, and I think from memory the dam is to the right, towards the coast. Okay - here's the secret, as mentioned above. This is the last half of winter here, heading for spring. That means we've had rain, things are just starting to grow, and the scenery is spectacular. Remember, if you come here, that Late April to July is best for visiting the Northwest, Pilbara, and Karijini Park areas, the months from August to about end of September are best for southwest areas.
We walked to the Falls themselves, it's a pretty spectacular little valley, and I snapped away for my Flickr album to my little heart's content. Had we planned things a little more carefully, we would have brought some BBQ meat and supplies with us and had a late lunch or early dinner there. There are wood-fired BBQs and shelter tables to make your day, and the nice park rangers keep the wood supply topped up so you don't have to vandalise the valley to sear the steaks.
I was impressed by the vegetation, this looks like a Lost Valley with ferns and lush growth and a few secret paths and places. As we were walking along the guide path, I pointed out a kangaroo path down the hillside to Trish. She'd noticed it but didn't know what caused it, whereas I know about the stupid foolhardy ways of the roos - if you see a path that goes down the steepest most breakneck part of a valley and is about 20cm -30cm wide, that's where the stupid roos will be going. In some parts of the country, roo carcasses and skeletons attest to the stupidity of that habit of theirs, they just slip, fall, and - goodnight Irene...
I would have liked to walk between the pipelines and come back via an overgrown tunnel-like path but we were both tired by then so that will be another post one day. As I said, there are a LOT of places around WA that also deserve to be made known as well, and I'd like to post those before revisiting existing posts.

As you can see from the above there are a lot of things to see. Put aside a few hours here if you want to explore thoroughly and have a BBQ. Take some local beef steaks, mushrooms, and potatoes, coffee tea and a few beers, and kick back for a few hours!
Additional note, free and gratis: Araluen Botanical Gardens will open their doors for the spring tulip blooming, and it's another of those places you need to visit - if you watch this blog Trish and I will do Araluen for you and post a few impressions here.
Categories - ::/:: posted at 1:02 AM Ted
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