Tuesday, July 29, 2003

Fraser Island (1st Day)

Got on the bus it was nearly empty. It was sold to us as a cheap party tour to Fraser Island and all the people getting on were families and couples. One Kid look like bobby out of king of the hill. We got coffee and started to talk to Bart (a Dutch guy that sounded Irish), Paula and Josie (Two cute Swiss girls). In actual fact Phil went straight over to the women like flies round a turd. After a 45 minute boat ride we arrived caffeinated and ready to go.

First stop was Basin Lake a perfectly clear inland lake. Phil, Bart and John all went in for a dip. The sun was shining and the water was so clear, not only that but ranger Dave informed us that as the water was 5.5Ph it actually cleaned us while we swam! I think that was a first for Phil in a few days anyway.

After the swim there was a 2km walk to central station and launch. Central station was so called because in the days when logging was allowed a steam train was used to move the timber.

After lunch another short walk took us through Pile Valley. Phil was still trying his luck with Josie; demonstrating to her how to operate a digital camera. After the valley Dave took us to Lake Mackensie another inland lake but much much bigger, than basin lake. Most people got in, even Josie after Bart gave her a helping hand dumping her into the water. It would have been the perfect scene except the weather had slightly worsened clouding over and dampening our fun. After the swim phil pulled out his $2 cards and we all started to bond over a game of shithead. (Teaching most of the crowd at the time). I do think this made the trip a lot better because we played it most nights before and after dinner.

A note to travellers to Lake Mackensie check out the aptly named second beach its quiet and the entrance to the lake is shallower so the water gets heated up more.
Dave took us back to the lodge complex most of the group ened up together in lodge 8. The rooms were nice though a few more toilets and showers might have been useful. A few more games of shithead killed time before dinner (and whilst waiting for the showers). More people were now joining in and learning the game.

Dinner was outstanding, the food was both plentiful and tasty especially the pizzas. The girls tried hard not to dig in but surrounded by such good food they soon tucked in. Entertainment was in the form of a quiz. Phil got the drinks flowing buying two jugs so we were all getting merry. Needless to say we didn't do too well at the quiz but we sank plenty of shots (a few cocksucking cowboys I think and we all liked them). We were up early the next day so we went back to the lodge for more shithead before retiring to bed.

Tuesday, July 22, 2003

Jet Lag Sun and Diving

I spent a week doing jack around Surfer Paradise. Phil's housemates would wake me up about 6 in the morning as they went out to work. I then spent the mornings on the internet trying to get used to the jet lag. The afternoons I spent wondering around Surfer what a barren wasteland nothing but endless seas of hotels and shops, you could be anywhere same. After a week of doing nothing (except fixing Steve's PC) I was really bored. Was this Australia? Get me back to the UK please. Fortunately Phil took the wise decision to leave work one week early. We took a day trip to one of the most beautiful places in Australia, Byron Bay. You can see from the photos what sort of place it is.

After Byron and nights spent drinking with Phil, and Sam (Phil's New Zealander flat mate). We went to watch the Lewis fight, it was pretty weird the Aussies didn't want him to win, I enjoyed it even though it didn't go the distance. Walking to the pub we had passed a surf company, and having nothing better to do we decided to go surfing. You can check out the photos here. It was very fun and I would recommend the it. Pity about our knees though my tip don't get off in water too shallow. Sam was already a surfer so he took all the pictures, thanks mate!

Phil took me for my first dive on Monday. It was Phil's last day working at the dive shop. I didn't enjoy it that much because it felt very alien and clumsy in the gear. There was
also a group of Asian people that kept on bumping into me.

Saturday, July 19, 2003

About Phils house mates

Steve he is a real Queenslander after a few days I had enough, here some examples, I fixed a pc for him and he woke me up at 6 in the morning to chat about it git! In fairness to the guy he did give Phil his money which helped put gas in the car.

Sam cool guy. Just did not need Phil around because he could not save money.

Sam (Another Sam) and Amy were also New Zealanders they are nice people although Amy did wake me up every morning at 4am and Sam again at 6am

Friday, July 18, 2003

Arrival

The Manics wrote in their song Australia "you fly for so long it hurts" and well its pretty apt as after flying I really felt like death. Meeting up with Paul was surreal we missed each other at the airport and finally met at central station. Really good to see him again though even though I wasnt unto much after the flight I had a good evening though. Sydney was good although I was still a bit zombified, I will have a better look around when I arrive back there at the end of my tour.

I arrived in Colangata a bit confused I thought it was called the Goldcoast and the gate was changed perhaps I had boarded the wrong flight. Everything was alright though I was in the right place, and Phil met me at the baggage collection place. Another surreal but welcome experience. Only last week Bruce and myself were discussing how weird it was sitting having a bbq without him and now here I am 12000 miles from home standing next to him.

Sunday, June 15, 2003

Going Tommorrow

Its 12:40 my plain leaves tomorrow morning I cant sleep. I'm wondering whether I'm doing the right thing. I am going to miss my graduation leaving behind everyone and going on an adventure.
I'm really worried about the flight, 21 hours sounds like hell to me. I'm scared about the first night alone in Sydney 15,000 miles from home. I must be made. Either my next journal will be very happy as I enjoy my adventure goes well or depressed alone in a foreign land.
Australia here I come!

Friday, May 09, 2003

Going Away

Only 5 more weeks and I've finished uni, that's it, all done! Most of my life has been spent in education and now its coming to an end. I'm happy and a little worried at the same time. To celebrate I am off to Australia for two months I can't wait. Going to visit friends check out Aires Rock and the barrier reef, learn to dive.
All I've got too do is pass my remaining exams, oh why couldn't HCI (Human computer interface) be more interesting!

Friday, May 02, 2003

Printer woes

Due to a pressing need to print out many copies of high quality images (for my dissertation) I decided that it would be cheaper and easier to buy my own photo printer. To tell the truth I have wanted one for a while. I own a digital camera and though I don't mind looking at images on the web others keep requesting pictures I've taken as hard copy. Anyway I digress yesterday on finding a massive queue for the colour printer at uni I decided it was time to take the plunge and buy a printer.

On my way home I stopped at Micro Direct and purchased a brand new HP 5500 photo inkjet printer. Got home to find it wouldn't work, spent an hour on the phone to HP Technical support who gave me a reference and suggested I return it to the store. So I got my dad to give me a lift back to Micro Direct where I waited for nearly an hour in a queue. Only for some little tech-monkey to tell me it was a driver related problem. I thought this was a bit odd as the HP tech (who was really helpful) seemed to blame the printer mechanism. After much arguing a more senior bod tested the printer and confirm it was b0rked, half an hour later after filling in various return forms I had a replacement and was on my way home.

Once I unpacked the new printer I noticed that it had much more packaging, than the previous one. Firstly there were lots of bits of tape securing bits of the printer. The other one didn't have any of these taped pieces. It then dawned on me although the box was new the previous printer was not, I wonder how many other people it will be sold to or how many broken items are re-boxed in this manner? I don't know whether it was Micro Direct, or one of there importers but I was not happy to have wasted most of the day buying a printer. At least I managed to get everything printed off in the end, actually its quite a good printer if you get a working one!

Thursday, February 13, 2003

Are Amateur Theatres Open Source?

First Published Slashdot Journal
Tonight I did something I have never done before, I volunteered to help back stage at a local theatre group YUTG (Youth Unlimited Theatre Group). While I was carrying bits of props back and forth I noticed a parallel between this group and open source. The Theatre group is run almost entirely by volunteers who give up their time and offer all sorts of skills (some professional in the case of the light and sound bod's). After seeing the level of dedication it makes me wonder why people find it so hard to understand the success and drive of the open source community.

Tuesday, February 04, 2003

Hacked :-(

First published on Slashdot Journal
Yesterday my server got hacked into, probably by some 14 year old armed with a hacking tool (as yet unknown). They managed to get onto my server and disable Quickshells. I feel terrible, I thought I was reasonably secure obviously not. At this stage I think a user account was compromised then a root kit installed. The hack wasnt bad (although I at this point I cannot be sure) so now I am going to have to rebuild the server pushig the quickshells launch back futher.
I was angry at first but now I am resigned that these things can happen and I must try harder to make everything secure

Wednesday, January 29, 2003

Browsers

First published on Slashdot Journal
I was pondering something today after reading a Slashdot artical about browsers. Microsoft licenced MSCA Mosiac and famously offered to pay royalties for every copy of interent explorer sold. They then opted to deliver Internet Explorer free and therefore never paid any royalties. Microsoft now argue IE is so embedded into Windows so deeply it cannot be removed. If this is true shouldnt they be paying royalites to Netscape for every copy of Windows with Internet Explorer sold?