STATIC DISCLAIMER: All the stuff in here is purely my opinions, and they tend to change depending on what mood I'm in. If you're going to get bitter if I say something about you that you don't like, then maybe don't read. I avoid using names as much as possible, and would request that people who know me do the same in their comments. Basically, I often vent my frustrations on here, so if you happen to be someone who frustrates me, expect to read a description of someone very much like you in here!

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Longhorn, and the rumour mill.

I've managed, by obscure and devious means, to get my hands on yet a more current beta of Windows Codename Longhorn (funny, I haven't been to the site in a while - they look like they're moving into "prelaunch" mode...). My previous look at this OS was happily impressive, and although the logon screen looks like you've just started up your Mac OS 10.3 computer, the new design features of the system are very nice and have a lot of potential as far as I'm concerned. I'll let you know how it looks once I've had a play.

So I got this email from a student this morning, and was really quite blown away by the claim made within. Check it out.
(The boldness was applied by me, to emphasise the bit that I'm wanting to point out, and a name was removed in the interests of protecting privacy.)

thanks sir for the advice on *****'s emails they work now for him, do you like counter strike? if so do you want to come to a lan game, i've heard rumors that your good and i like to take on experts as i'm good to.

Now, I have NEVER mentioned playing CounterStrike to any student. I've mentioned to one that I'm a gamer, but that I mostly like RPGs. And yet somehow, it is now common knowlege that I 0wnz at CS. What the...?! Not that I'm complaining, mind you. It's nice to be held in awe and acclaim. And as long as I can avoid EVER having to meet a student in a game of CounterStrike (or any other FPS game for that matter), I can maintain this air of superiority that I'm now the focus of.

I like this... I like it a lot.

Monday, May 30, 2005

Bali fallout

Since my post on Schappelle Corby the other day, the media have gone into a frenzy of polls and exclusives, trying to catch every possible advertising dollar by luring people in with the promise of fresh information and new content. I think it's important to realise that the next lot of "fresh content" is going to be a long way away. Schappelle will be sitting in her Bali prison cell, while the extremely slow wheels of the Indonesian legal system turn. In the meantime, here's a response I wrote originally as a comment on this blog, that belongs to one of my friends. I decided it was too big for a comment, so here it is.

I know a lot of people are angry because they believe Schappelle Corby is innocent, but I think the issue is not whether she's innocent or guilty, but whether Indonesia's legal system was fair in making their decision - which I think they most definatley were not. Schappelle shouldn't be in prison, not necissarily because she's innocent, but because there is substantial evidence to bring into doubt her guilt. I think from a legal perspective, it's a case of she might be innocent, and therefore shouldn't be sentanced as guilty. You know, reasonable doubt and all that. Indonesia however, don't think so, and personally I really feel this is an "us vs. them" issue. I think one of the major reasons that she was handed such a tough sentance, and why Indonesians in the court room cheered at her sentancing is because she's Australian, and so they want her to be treated harshly. This might be a big call, but I really think it's true. I think they were trying to send Australia a message that they're not going to let us push them around. I think that the fact the court ignored the letter from the Australian government was part of this. The judge has commented on how unusual that was, and I think the more involved that Australia became, the more the Indonesians resolved to serve her a guilty verdict, and a harsh sentance. This isn't fair on poor Schapelle, who has ended up being the scapegoat for Indonesia's message to Australia.

The other thing I find interesting is that this Indonesian judge has now tried 501 cases, in all of which the defendants were found guilty. This is a logical improbability. It is entirely improbable that of 501 people tried, not one had reasonable grounds to be found innocent. What does this say about the judge trying this case? That he is fair? Just? Impartial? I would have to conclude that his record proves that it is logically improbable that he is any of these things.

OK, that's my last post on this topic. My wife has embarked on a possibly 20-year task of writing letters of encouragement to Schappelle in prison, and I think this is possibly the most meaningful thing we can do at this time. I imagine that if she doesn't get freed, people may forget in a few years that she is still living day-to-day in an environment no person should have to endure.

On a lighter note, at least all of this has benefited someone. The guy at the airport shrinkwrapping people's bags is making a fortune...

Friday, May 27, 2005

At the request of my wife...

At the request of my lovely wife, I'm using the global forum that is the internet to say the following:

She (and I) would encourage every Australian, and indeed every human, to boycott tourist travel to Indonesia in response to the sentencing of Schapelle Corby today. Obviously the Indonesian justice system does not work in a way that could be considered "fair" or "just", as it seems to me there is an abundance of evidence that doesn't necessarily assure her innocence completely, but definitely eliminates any possibility of definite guilt.
(Oh but that's right - they actually said that they took none of her evidence of innocence into account when making the verdict. So I guess once you ignore all the evidence to the contrary, guilt is the only option.)

A country that functions on this level shouldn't be supported by the input of money from Australia. I can't pretend to think that I could have any input into government process, but if I could, I would also suggest we make a statement of disapproval through the restriction or boycott of trade with the country until they agree to allow all Australian prisoners, future and past, to be tried and sentenced in Australia. We are a country who have decided we disapprove of the death penalty, but yet we will allow another country to serve that penalty to our people. Do you think the other Australian drug smugglers caught in Indonesia will get any less? I think not.

So basically, Indonesia is the country where you can get 20 years for being suspected of smuggling drugs. If you are definitely guilty, then you get shot. Not a place I want to go, and I encourage anyone reading to publicly hold a similar stance. Maybe if enough people go "this simply isn't on", then someone important will take a bit of notice.

I'm considering making a site under some domain name like "" or something and trying to get some support for people boycotting travel to Indonesia by people who think that 20 years for someone who has shown pretty clearly there's a good chance they're completely innocent of smuggling drugs is just not on. Personally, I think killing people who are drug smugglers is not on either, and they're quite happy to do that too.

OK, enough politics. I've said my peace. Enjoy your weekend.

Bein' the Boss

The most difficult thing about my job is the fact that I'm not in charge. I like very much to make the decisions, as I tend to think I'm always right. As a result, if I was in charge, everything would rock. Not that I'd ever attempt to "organise" a speedy exit for my boss or anything, but if the chips could have fallen differently at the start, that wouldn't have been so bad.

My issue de jour is disk imaging. If I was in charge, all our machines would be set up to use Remote Installation Services out of Windows 2003. They could network boot, hook up to the server, ask a couple of questions, and then image themselves. Simple.
But I'm not in charge. And the decision belongs to one of my workmates. The system currently makes it basically impossible for anyone but him to reimage a computer. All the image files sit on his laptop which has GhostCast server installed on it, and he takes it to a lab of computers, and then boots them off floppy disks and points them to his laptop to retrieve the images. Not simple, not manageable, not fun.

So yeah, Justin comments again about need for new job. I'd like a mid-size site (500 seats?) who are completely unhappy with their current system and need someone to create a new one from scratch. They'll have substantial money allocated to this project, and will be able to create and test the new system in parallel to the existing one, perhaps with a parallel implimentation, but I'd prefer an end-of-year cutover with the staff comming back to some staff training (outsourced to appropriate friends...) to get their skills up to scratch. Ongoing sysadmin would be done by me, with a couple of offsiders handling helpdesk. The offsiders would be hardworking, but have an interest in computers outside of a work environment so that we'd all be getting excited about the latest piece of bleeding-edge graphics hardware, or better yet, the new Playstation3 that kicks the pants of that Xbox358.5 thing. :P

OK, enough dreaming for today. Back to my current job, that is gradually starting to have a rather boredom-relieving side-effect: Students think I'm awesome. I now have several students who write me emails about tech-related stuff, and ask my assistance on coding projects, etc. Hehehe... I am l33t. They are teachable... The next generation is k0mm1ng...

Wednesday, May 25, 2005


Forgive me Blogger, for I have SYN'd. It's been 5 days since my last blog entry.

I stumbled across a strange article via an RSS feed on this thing called podcasting. Apparently, the idea is that it works a bit like an RSS feed, but with an MP3 file attached that contains audio of someone talking, or music, or both. Basically, do-it-yourself radio, but not live. I heard of this concept for the first time today, but I must be a bit slow in my geekyness, as apparently it's already a phenomenon. A bit like the "I kiss you!!" guy, but with less foto-cameras, and hopefully more good taste. Mind you, you never can tell...
Anyways, the result of all of this is that having only just cottoned on to the idea of RSS feeds as a cool way to keep up-to-date on stuff that interests me, I'm now going to hook up to some podcasts and get them on my iPaq so I can listen to them on the way to and from work.

You watch - they'll outlaw them within a week now. That always happens to me.

So hey, on a completely unrelated point, my cousin is getting married in November, and he's asked me to be his groomsman. This mightn't seem like a big deal to some, but I'm really pumped. My cousin is a really great guy and he's marrying an awesome girl, and I'm just stoked that I can be part of their day. Heheheh... I'm such a softy.
Anyways, I sent him a link to my blog so I thought I'd put in a big "hello!!" in case he does in fact have a look.

Look, I know I've been a bit slack with actually ranting on this "man-with-rant" thing, but the problem is that I just never have time (although I'm not as bad as someone I know... SLACKER!! hee hee). Like right now - I set this time, the hour previous to this very moment - 8:41pm, aside for playing my PS2. My wife had gone out for the evening, so I figured I had the whole place to myself, and could just unwind in front of some Star Ocean 3. I haven't played this game in probably over a month, and I was seriously engrossed in it last time I played. With work, and then our baby boy (who is 1 year old in about 2 weeks!), and spending time with my wonderful wife, I really don't have a lot of free time. And yet there are SO MANY things I really want to do! Gaming is just one of a multitude - a multitude that includes writing in my blog.

Anyway, the moral of the story is to be patient. Some day soon I'll write about how I don't think reality is actually real at all, and that I think it must be "rendered" at the point at which it is viewed. Something along the lines of the "if a tree falls in a forest" argument. I've got reasons for this, but I think I'll save it all for another night. In the mean time, go do something fun. Life's too short for being bored or boring, so do something you enjoy even if you're tired for work tomorrow. I think that's what I'm going to do...

Friday, May 20, 2005

Students... Who'd have 'em?

Ehem... {begin official voice} Students at St. Paul's shall not install games on the school computers.{end official voice}

F:\>del "Going down.exe" /S /F (Note: This is a game installer)

Deleted file - F:\StudentHome\00003958\Desktop\Going down.exe
Deleted file - F:\StudentHome\00003961\My Documents\Year 9 English Video documentry 2005\The Goods!\Going down.exe
Deleted file - F:\StudentHome\00003961\My Documents\Year 9 English Video documentry 2005\The Goods!\Luke Hatherley\games\Going down.exe
Deleted file - F:\StudentHome\00003967\Desktop\Travis stuff\Going down.exe
Deleted file - F:\StudentHome\00003972\Desktop\Going down.exe
Deleted file - F:\StudentHome\00003976\My Documents\games\Going down.exe
Deleted file - F:\StudentHome\00003986\Desktop\Dom's Stuff\Going down.exe
Deleted file - F:\StudentHome\00003990\Desktop\Jordon's folder\etc\Going down.exe
Deleted file - F:\StudentHome\00004002\Desktop\Jo's Folder\Going down.exe
Deleted file - F:\StudentHome\00004004\Desktop\Going down.exe
Deleted file - F:\StudentHome\00004004\My Documents\Going down.exe
Deleted file - F:\StudentHome\00004006\Desktop\games\Going down.exe
Deleted file - F:\StudentHome\00004013\My Documents\reeds stuff\Going down.exe
Deleted file - F:\StudentHome\00004037\My Documents\Going down.exe
Deleted file - F:\StudentHome\00004045\Desktop\games\Going down.exe
Deleted file - F:\StudentHome\00004049\My Documents\New Folder\New Folder\New Folder\New Folder\New Folder\New Folder\Going down.exe
Deleted file - F:\StudentHome\00004062\Desktop\Going down.exe
Deleted file - F:\StudentHome\00004076\Desktop\Going down.exe
Deleted file - F:\StudentHome\00004079\Desktop\Going down.exe
Deleted file - F:\StudentHome\00004082\My Documents\My Received Files\games\Going down.exe
Deleted file - F:\StudentHome\00004082\My Documents\My Videos\New Folder\games\Going down.exe
Deleted file - F:\StudentHome\00004083\Desktop\Andrew's stuff\Other stuff\Goingdown.exe
Deleted file - F:\StudentHome\00004084\Desktop\Stuff\games\Going down.exe
Deleted file - F:\StudentHome\00004093\Desktop\games\Going down.exe
Deleted file - F:\StudentHome\00004097\My Documents\history\New Folder\New Folder (2)\games\Going down.exe
Deleted file - F:\StudentHome\00004099\Desktop\Going down.exe

OK, crap. Talk about redundancy...

Geeky humor

I have a program that tacks a random quote on the bottom of my emails. This one came up this morning, and for some increadibly nerdish reason, I found it hillarious.

A bad random number generator: 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 4.33e+67, 1, 1, 1

Funny stuff. More bloggy goodness... soon...

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Oh my GOSH!!!

Firstly, official pictures of the PS3. I'm starting to save for this NOW.

But what really got me was a link from a mate of mine who was sitting at a hotel bar in L.A. surfing the pre-E3 release footage prior to attending the actual event tomorrow. It's a remake of the opening to one of the greatest games of ALL TIME - Final Fantasy VII. And although you require paid GameSpot access to see the link he sent me, by the power of my blog, I will make LINKAGE FOR YOU ALL!! (20Mb) This is footage rendered in REAL TIME by the Playstation3.

(Maybe right-click the link, and choose "Save target as..." Media Player might be less annoying that way.)

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

The deEvolution of Man

See, here's something that puzzles me on a semi-constant basis. I'm pretty scared of death. Like, the concept honestly freaks me out, and I actually wonder if I'm suffering from depression as I tend to think about my own demise at least once a day. Scary, huh? I'm OK, it just freaks me.
But here's the thing: I believe that death is a God-instated consequence for our rebellion. We screwed up, we are now paying the price. I don't like it, but that's the way it is. However, if I was an athiest and believed all this was just a giant cosmic accident, I don't know that I'd be so accepting. Evolution is all about survivial of the fittest - and yet compared with 6000 odd years ago, we're not living so long. Why haven't the genetically strong "long livers" become the dominant portion of the human race? Anyway, this isn't the point, but is a good one none the less.

The point is this. We are all dying, and yet there are scientists dedicating their lives to developing a better rocket engine, or new technologies to make our TV's thinner, or our computers faster. If they really believe that this is all an accident, then there is NOTHING TO STOP US finding a way to stop ourselves from dying. If death isn't any kind of consequence - just a part of this giant accident that made life, then it is entirely preventable. Why isn't every scientist who possibly can working their butts off 24hrs a day, 7 days a week to find the way to prevent it? Do you get what I mean? If an atheist scientist really holds to the idea that this is it, and there's nothing after death, then how can they go though a day without trying to find the thing that makes us decay? It is inexplicable to me that someone could live like that. If it was me - if I didn't believe in a God who created all this, who we rebelled against, and I believed that my death was the end of my existance - I would be at uni studying biology and chemistry and genetics and anything else I could possibly learn to help me spend my life researching a way to extend my life, preferably indefinatley. I would forego anything and everything in the hope that there was a way that I could avoid death. And hey, if this is it, why wouldn't you? It would be the only thing you could do that would hold any true value.

I need to stop now, because although I like to be logical and composed, the thought of death does scare the crap out of me. I hold to the great hope that when I die I'll be with God thanks to Jesus and what he did for me, but I'm not as strong as I should be. I doubt, I fear and I worry. And it's so wrong, but I don't know how to get past it. So hey, I'll keep working on that. In the mean time, hopefully a few athiest scientists will have a think about why they're content to die meaningless deaths and hopefully see the reality of God and his creation. That's just my POV anyways.

More less-morbid bloggy goodness to come...

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Just a note

Just thought I'd mention that I've noticed nearly all of my blog entries begin with me saying how bad I'm feeling on that particular day. You might conclude from this that I'm always unhappy. This however is not the case. I just thought I'd let you know the truth is that I just blog when I'm unhappy. Although, I also blog occasionally when I'm exceptionally happy - the HomeEasy rant is a classic example.

Should also chuck in a quick paragraph about my son's dedication today. If you remember back in March, I wrote this little gem after being stuffed around with the whole dedication process. Well, after that we postponed the event until today, and along the way we simply gave up on trying to make it something special and convinced ourselves it just wasn't going to be a big deal. I think that was the best thing we ever did, because seeing we had no expectations, they got met and exceeded. It was a really nice morning. Things were screwy right up until the day before, but our 7 minutes were just special enough to make me forget about it all and just feel kind of good about the whole thing. I think the nicest part for me was that my wife had written a song for today, and the guy in charge of the music had changed it pretty dramatically, and we said OK even though we weren't really sure about how we felt about that - but he made a point of coming up to us after this morning's service and asking us if we were happy with it and how we think it came across. I just really appreciated him making that effort. It meant a fair bit in the face of all this church not-goodness.

OK, it's way too late for a Sunday night. More bloggy goodness to come, just needing sleep now...

Saturday, May 14, 2005

"I won't always live in my regrets..."

Just some random song quotes:

Hey now, the past is told by those who win
My darling, what matters is what hasn't been
Hey now, we're wide awake and we're thinking
My darling, believe your voice can mean something
~ Futures - Jimmy Eat World (Futures) ~
Amazing still it seems
I'll be 23
I won't always love what I'll never have
I won't always live in my regrets
You'll stay alone forever
If you wait for the right time
What are you hoping for?
I'm here I'm now I'm ready
Holding on tight
Don't give away the end
The one thing that stays mine
~ 23 - Jimmy Eat World (Futures) ~

(This song is definatley worth a listen(11Mb) if you haven't heard it before. If you like it, you should get the CD. These guys really do rock. Oh, and if the link dies, please let me know.)
I've been listening to this album a lot lately. I don't know what to write about it except that the song "23" makes me cry. It's not supposed to be that kind of sad song, but the lines "Holding on tight, don't give away the end, the one thing that stays mine" just brings up in me these feelings of how completely final each moment, and indeed my own life, is.
I'm sitting at home tonight feeling rather down. Saturdays now do this to me. My wife and I sit at home, and don't do terribly much. We would go out, but our son really needs to be in bed around 6pm, otherwise he's too much of a handful the next day. We could have friends around, but the people we most spend time with tend to be busy on Saturday nights. For my wife, Saturday is the one opportunity for her to do all the things she's been unable to do during the week because she's looking after our son, which means that my Saturday tends to be full of entertaining a 11 month old boy who knows his father is easier to push around then his mum.
I just get to wondering if I'll always feel like this. If I'll always lament the Saturdays spent out with friends until all hours of the evening. Meeting up at Kurrajong lookout after 10pm, and still being there at 3 the next morning. Movie nights that involved more then one movie. Maccas for breakfast after a night of long indepth discussions and watching dodgy American tele-evangalists. I guess I'll never go back there. It's a shame... I really do miss it.
Anyway, my wife has headed to bed, so I should probably go too. More bloggy goodness to come, I swear.

Monday, May 09, 2005

Random thing that makes me cranky

Today, I'm not in a good mood. So I thought I'd take 30 seconds (well, probably more likely to be 30 minutes) out and write something in my blog.

My gripe of the day is the word homophobia. Check it:

Main Entry: ho·mo·pho·bia
Pronunciation: "hO-m&-'fO-bE-&
Function: noun: irrational fear of, aversion to, or discrimination against homosexuality or homosexuals —ho·mo·phobe /'hO-m&-"fOb/ noun —ho·mo·pho·bic /"hO-m&-'fO-bik/ adjective
Merriam-Webster's Medical Dictionary, © 2002 Merriam-Webster, Inc.

Main Entry: an·dro·pho·bia
Pronunciation: "an-dr&-'fO-bE-&
Function: noun: an abnormal dread of men : repugnance to the male sex
—an·dro·pho·bic /-'fO-bik/ adjective
Merriam-Webster's Medical Dictionary, © 2002 Merriam-Webster, Inc.

I don't like the definition of homophobia here. Phobias are irrational fears, right? Well, you'll notice that androphobia says "repugnance to the male sex", which can be quantified by the fact the person is afraid of the male sex. However, in homophobia's definition they specify "...or discrimination against..." Same dictionary, very different meanings for what is essentially two forms of the same thing. According to this, a person who disagrees with homosexuality on moral grounds, and then discriminates against a homosexual on those grounds, is classified as homophobic. Now, phobias are pretty much considered synonymous with mental illness, at least of the "anxiety disorder" variety. However, the person in my example is not mentally ill. Nor are they suffering from irrational fear. They've made a concious choice to uphold a certain set of morals or beliefs that include a belief that it is an immoral thing to do to be a homosexual. Now, I've heard all the arguments for and against homosexuality being something genetic, but as such my understanding is that there has been no solid evedince for this premise, even though the homosexual activist community as a whole cling to this idea as truth (Just in case, if you're about to make a comment that I'm wrong, then you better reference an official medical journal article when you do).
So where does that leave the person in this example? Or me, for instance, who believes that it is morally wrong to be a homosexual? I bare no malice towards people who are homosexuals - there are lots of people who continue to do things that I believe are morally wrong. People have affairs, lie, steal, marry horses (man in Arkansas - yay for the southern states of the US), cheat on their taxes, look up porn on the internet, make porn for the internet... None of these I believe to be right things to do, but I'm not going to despise anyone for doing them. Although I'd be pretty weirded out by the horse guy...
The old outage that "if it doesn't hurt anyone, who's business is it?" could be also applied to a variety of things that we know are wrong - it doesn't necissarily hurt a child to photograph them nude and then post it on the internet, but everyone knows that to do that is VERY wrong. Aside from the very obvious moral conflict in most people (ie: child porn = very very bad), and the legal ramifications, it also encourages sexual tendancies towards minors in those who would seek out these kind of images. At the outset, it hurts no one - but that doesn't make it right. Not only that, it doesn't mean that it isn't hurting someone in the long term. People say that the fall of the Roman empire can be attributed to primarily a loss of the moral values that were key to the society. It began with things like homosexuality and prostitution, and led eventually to a depravity that caused the entire society to collapse in on itself. Are we so much more intelligent then the people of that day that we are beyond this kind of collapse? I'm going with no.

This whole rant came about from watching the opening night of Big Brother on TV last night. There's this one guy in particular, who said in his "intro package movie bit" that he hates people who can't accept others: you know, homophobics and stuff. Oh, but hang on a second - isn't that not accepting me based on my beliefs??? I'm going with 'yes' this time.

On an entirely different note: Finally, a sport that I could be good at! :P

Oh, and as it turns out, interspersed with work this has taken me about an hour and a half to write. Longest 30 seconds I ever saw. Tee hee.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Blogger does it again!

{insert string of unhappy obscenities}

Blogger has once again deleted a carefully crafted post that took me ages to type. The "recover post" option recovers only up to the point at which I saved it as a draft, which was 2 days ago. I'm so so so not happy. >:(

However, let me place the last paragraph here for now:
If anyone knows of someone who's after a Windows/Linux sysadmin for $65k+ a year, then I'm their man. I have truckloads of knowlege, and around 7 years experience setting up and maintaining Windows-based networks. Also, I'm increadibly l33t. And everyone can use more l33t. :D Tee hee... w00t!

Monday, May 02, 2005

We are SUCH cheapskates...

Well, we just made an offer on the house I mentioned in a previous post. $200,000 with a 7% donation to HomeEasy. This means that we minimise on our debt, but the vendor is only netting $186,000 on the property. However, they are the government, and I really believe the property is only worth this much. It is SO going to be God's doing if we get this at this price.

Just a few things of note I'd like to share about this property:
  1. It is in a part of the street known as "The Ghettos".
  2. It is BADLY flood affected, with a ratio above 1:100.
  3. It has been vacant for 4 months, and the Ghetto locals have been using it as common land, which includes kicking holes in the downstairs enclosing walls.
  4. It is the only property on the market at the moment that meets our criteria for both attributes and price.

See, point 4 really means I have to ignore the previous three. We can't change the locals, we can't change the flood plain, but we CAN get in, renovate like there's no tomorrow and then sell for a profit. Hence the need to get this at the most absolute rock bottom price ever, so we have a little money to make some serious improvement.

So hey, if we get it, someone needs to nominate us for one of those renovation shows, K?