Friday, 31 October 2008

Last time it was a calf

What is wrong with these people?

Colesworth take note: history has already judged you!

Grocers are but merchants, the business of an Apothecary is a Mistery, wherefore I think it fitting that they be a Corporation of themselves
King James I of England in 1617, defending his decision to allow the Apothecaries to separate from the Grocers' Guild.

Time for a regeneration

Slightly old news, but worth repeating. After next year's collection of telemovies, David Tennant is leaving Doctor Who. David has been a great Doctor and I will be sad to see him go, but he has had a reasonable run (I'm looking at you Christopher Eccleston) and I look forward to seeing what the new Doctor (and new boss Steven Moffat) are going to do with the show.

Ooo, stop press: Moffat is reported to want James Nesbitt as the new Doctor. Watch this space!

Wednesday, 29 October 2008

NaNoWriMo nag page...

I've been talking about my participation in NaNoWriMo 2008 for a couple of months now. I've posted a few posts since then and hopefully made my intentions clear. There is no backing out now.

I'm asking anyone who reads this (and cares) to come onside and nag the life out of me. Leave a comment here, send me an email, a text message or give me a ring (if you know those details) and ask me how I'm going. Especially if you look at the charts on my sidebar and see that I'm not doing so well. If you really want to know how bad is bad, the NaNoWriMo crew have generated these detailed Progress Reports... click if you dare.

I really don't want to have to start making up justifications for poor performance. It will all just be too embarrassing and will therefore be my incentive to write.

Thanks in advance.

Edit... (no longer available) I've decided not to keep all my charts on the sidebar. The NaNo site seems to be having a bit of a problem with a heavy workload now. No need for me to be adding to that every time someone hits my site (like it really makes a difference!).
Instead, they can stay on this page.
Country vs City Word War, Elsewhere in Australia vs Perth, North
North vs South Word War, Me in Esperance vs Kamu in Port Hedland:

Edit 2...: I should have just kept everything here, but I'm posting regular (milestone) updates here.

The attack of the unwanted apostrophe in Camden

I'm not saying anything about the desirability of a new Islamic school in Camden, but judging by this sign shown in the ABC's story on the issue I think some people could make better use of the schools they do have.

I'm sorry, but this sort of thing really brings Bob the Angry Flower in me.

Monday, 27 October 2008

Friday, 24 October 2008


Daylight savings time is coming up this weekend in WA. Once it is over, we get to vote in a referendum (again).

Slashdot ran a story today about the end of DST in the northern hemisphere. Here a few of the more insighful comments.
I grew up in AZ - moved to a state that does daylight savings a couple years ago. I hate it. I never felt any lack for not having it or thought, "Gee, I wished we messed with the clocks twice a year." - stoolpigeon

make everyone talk in UTC. That should do it. - frank_adrian

Russia has a dozen time zones and fares just fine - as does China, with only one. This business of claiming that 'light' is a problem needing a solution is the only issue here...- djupedal

So, scrap daylight savings time and replace it with a system of several thousand time zones, each updated daily based on the predicted "high noon" for that particular day at that particular location. If the prediction ends up being off by a few microseconds on a particular day, just change the time to correct it right then and there! Sure, wristwatches will become orders of magnitude more complex, but it's the only way to have a truly sane and accurate system of time measurement. And after all, isn't that what we all really want here? - eln

If people want/need to get up earlier or later to take advantage of the daylight then JUST GET UP EARLIER OR LATER! There is no good reason to change the clock backward and forward. Lots of places don't do it and they don't have any problems. - slashname3

What a crawler?!

This is one little girl determined to get where she want to go! Apologies for the phone-camera quality, but you get the idea!

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Running Azureus (Vuze) as a windows service revisited

This is a follow-up to my 2006 post. It's a shame I'm not using Windows any more and I can't figure this out for OS X, but the old post continues to get hits, so I thought I would neaten things up a bit!

I haven't completely tested this system with more recent versions of Azureus/Vuze, but all the files seem to be much the same, so I'm guessing it will be OK. Please leave any comments with news to the contrary.

As before, I have taken much of my information from other places, but I feel I've put it together in an easier to follow manner. In particular, the bulk of ideas came from the azureus wiki

Step 1: Install Azureus and enable Headless operation

  1. Download the executable installer from sourceforge
  2. Ensure that the installation directory contains the file Azureus2.jar
  3. Download the files log4j.jar and commons-cli.jar from here and place into the Azureus directory. This will allow command-line (headless) operation.
  4. To run, use command java -jar Azureus2-XXX.jar --ui=console
Your Azureus directory should look like this

Step 2: Install plugins

  1. Run Azureus in regular mode. NB: To configure the options for these plugins (and any other general settings such as download directories, you need to be in regular GUI mode)

  2. Install the HTML WebUI plugin. Configure the settings for the plugin such as the port number, username and password

  3. At the same time, I installed the Speed Scheduler

Step 3: Test the setup so far

  1. Exit from GUI

  2. Run: java -jar Azureus2.jar --ui=console

  3. Go to, enter username and password and you should see the WebUI as below.

  4. Exit from the command line (Ctrl-C), try to refresh the HTML (it shouldn't work).

Step 4: Install the service

Thanks to info here and here.
  1. Need to install the programs instsrv.exe and srvany.exe from the Win2K resource kit. I put it in C:\Program Files\reskit

  2. Run the following command: C:\Program Files\reskit\INSTSRV.EXE Azureus C:\Program Files\reskit\SRVANY.EXE. This creates a windows service in the "services" control panel applet, and the appropriate registry entry.

4.1 Edit registry.

  1. Go to the new registry key at HKEYLOCALMACHINE\system\CurrentControl\Set\Services\Azureus

  2. Create a new key "Parameters" and go there

  3. Create the following String Values (NB: string values do not contain quotes):

  4. Application: Java

  5. AppParameters: "-jar -Xrs Azureus2.jar --ui=console" (NB the -Xrs switch is to stop the the console from shutting down when logged off - not sure if I understand why, but the wiki article says "You'll then find that whenever someone logs out of the computer, Azureus will stop. That's because the Java VM is trapping some signals like WM_ENDSESSION, and exits gracefully. You can tell Java to ignore it, with the switch -Xrs, as documented by Sun)

  6. AppDirectory: "c:\program files\azureus" (or whatever is appropriate)

4.1 Edit control panel stuff

  1. Go to control panel, administrative tools, services (see image above)

  2. Find azureus, double click for properties
  • In the General tab, probably want startup type as automatic
  • In the Log On tab - use "this account" and set up your details. If these don't match, then what you set up when using the GUI won't match to the details when running as a service.
  • Tell the service to "start" then test as above

Step 5: Usage

I also created a couple of shortcuts to enable quick starting and stopping of the service (eg when the download is slowing your net connection):
  • "Start downloads": %windir%\system32\net.exe start azureus

  • "Stop downloads": %windir%\system32\net.exe stop azureus
I make sure these shortcuts are somewhere Launchy (or your app launcher of choice) can get to them to make turning azureus on and off a breeze.

Even more Anxiety

For more of Jason's band Omaha Anxiety (who played support to Mental as Anything on the weekend, w00t!), check out his youtube page. This is the last I notice to this effect I will put on this site, as Jason now has one of his own (edit 2015, so much for that...). Go there and nag him to get it up and running.

Tuesday, 21 October 2008

Nano update

NaNoWriMo 2008. 11 days to go. Less than that if I'm going to get up just after midnight on the 1st.

My plan is nowhere near as detailed as I would have liked, but I have a reasonable idea of what is going to happen, I have three significant protagonists and a couple of minor characters in pencil. I followed the instructions I mentioned in my previous post and managed to get some interesting things out of that. I have even had an ending jump me in a dark alley when I really hadn't seen it coming.

In the "Procrastination Station" on the nano home page today there was a link to a forum post entitled "Cumulative Wisdom from 7 (successful) Nanowrimos, or I must've learned something from the last ~350,000 words!". It was a great post, even if my experience differs with respect to the desirability of planning. What I loved was the plot breakdown, broken into sections of specified word length to fill up a November. I'm repeating it here because I think it is so great:
  1. 5,000 words: Teaser and exposition. Introduce the protagonist and why they are as they are.

  2. 2,000 words: Catalyst event. Introduce the second protagonist.

  3. 9,000 words: Exploration of the story world; new characters and nuggets of information. Things are still going well, but introduce the villain(s).

  4. 18,000 words: Things fall apart! The story becomes bigger than the characters. Things happen, they get saved, things get worse, repeat, repeat, repeat.

  5. 6,000 words: Reveal bigger quest.

  6. 6,000 words: Challenges are defeated. Things are learned. Characters change.

  7. 6,000 words: Resolve any leftover issues. Epilogue
(Credit to moonpook).

I'm going to incorporate that into my plan. Did I say before I think this is great?

Right now I'm off to plan my writing schedule. I have at least a couple of days each week where I will get little or no writing done, so if I can plan around those days by getting more done on other days then I will not fall behind. If anything can be gained from my last two years, falling behind is fatal!

Wednesday, 8 October 2008

Amarok! On OS X!

I can't wait to get home to download this. An installable package of Amarok for my mac! Joy of joys! I kept telling myself that when I got this running I would be donating to the project and I will... I would pay for commercial software of this quality.

Tuesday, 7 October 2008

HMAS Darwin

We saw HMAS Darwin leaving Esperance Bay on Sunday. It moved a lot faster than the Capesize freighters we usually get! Its visit was noted in the Esperance Port Authority shipping list, so I don't think I am endangering national security by posting this here!

Hate Crimes?

I read this on the ABC news site today:

So-called hate crimes are on the rise, with dozens killed in racially motivated attacks so far this year.

Now I know this is a very serious issue (especially for those belonging to minorities in Russia) but I couldn't hold back a snigger when I remembered hate crimes in Life on Mars:

Sam Tyler: I think we need to explore whether this attempted murder was a hate crime.
Gene Hunt: What as opposed to one of those I-really-really-like-you sort of murders?