February 2007 Archives

Deal to send boat people packing

Yet again Howard seems to have no qualms about manipulating the public with xenophobia, deceit and racism in the lead up to an election. He's tried this trick before, with great success - during the Tampa situation in 2001. It disgusts me that he thinks he has the right to take an even harder line, and further screw with international law. What will disgust me more is if the Australian population buy into this, like they bought into the "we won't increase interest rates" line for the last election and the "we decide who we let into Australia" mantra of 2001. How good is the memory of the populace? Or are they still focused purely on money due to the economic strategies of Howard in creating a debt dependant populace.

Of course the biggest reason I left Australia was to be with Astrid, but the political and environmental situation as well as the rampant selfish greed exhibited particularly by the Sydney populace also had a strong influence on my decision to no longer call Australia home. I came to love Sydney as a city in the time i lved there, but am certain that
the factors that attracted me to it are being rapidly destroyed by long term inept governance, ethically corrupt business and selfish residents.

I'd love to see each and every individual in Oz sit down and watch the recent series Decadance from SBS, which SBS should repeat regularly until everyone in Oz has managed to watch it. We are not on the right path, in many ways - and we've possibly gone too far down the wrong path to change track without serious economic damage.

NAS here I come

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Yesterday I bought one of Apple's new Airport Extreme base stations, these implement a draft version of the forthcoming 802.11n networking standard. Now I don't have a single device that can talk N yet, so why buy the wireless router? For two reasons:

  1. I've only got a laptop but have plenty of disk storage lying around on external 250GB drives. I'm sick of daisy chainging these to my laptop getting everything working and then realising that I want to take the laptop downstairs or into the next room.
  2. There's a very sucessful hardware hack to replace the wifi card in my laptop for one designed for the latest MacPros which supports N.

Now I'm not that keen on ripping my MacBook Pro apart and installing a new card right now, I simply don't have the equipment, tools and such to do this well. All of this is in Oz and I don't really feel like rebuying it all. Plus I have a nice long warranty on the lappie and don't want to do anything to void that. What I might do instead is sell up to a newer MacBook Pro in a while, which is why the new tech will be a goodd investment longer term.

Now, I already have an Airport - the Airport Express, a tiny little 802.11g box that has happily provided wireless access for a couple of years, plus it's the only product from Apple so far that offers AirTunes - a handy little feature that allows me to send my iTunes music directly to my stereo wirelessly. The Express does the job, coverage in my house is good - much better than when I lived in a flat and everyone nearby had wi-fi or cordless phones - all causing interference and reducing my range/speed.

So again, why do I need another box?
Well it's mostly for the Network Attached Storage (NAS), this new Airport adds support for what they term AirPort Disk which is really just a tarted up NAS.

So I configured it all up, which was a little complex as I wanted to join the old and new airports together in WDS. That part took a while, but configuring the Aiport Disk was much more straightforward. A short while later I was lying in the bath, watching a movie streamed wirelessly from one of my disks. Read performance is adequate even when limited to G speeds, but i'd recommend using a small memory cache to ensure truly skip free playback of higher bitrate items. Haven't really tested the write mode, which is supposed to be a little slow. But I figure that for large files I can always walk over and plug in via Ethernet to the airport, or even disconnect the drive from the airport and plug it in direct to my laptop.

So far I'm happy, a new way to manage my files, now I just need a USB2 hub and a few more USB2 cases, so I can connect all my drives to this solution

Without doubt the single most asked question I get in Norway is "how do I like the weather?"

In short I think it's fantastic. This response puzzles those here affected by the vintersorg (winter depression). I can only justify that I've had 30 years of baking sun, so the rain is something I really enjoy as a contrast.

Mostly I think I like seeing rain on a regular basis, and seeing the place cope with insane amounts of rainfall - weather that would make Sydney crumble for a day, goes unnoticed here.

I love the unpredictability of it, today we had snow, rain, sun, slush and now hail. All in a single working day. Sydney would be either hot and humid, or cool and very windy. That's about it except for our annual hailstorm sometime in september. The only real respite from Sydney's monotony are those glorious spring (and early autumn) days with no clouds, little humidity or wind and that gorgeous deep blue twilight we see in september and april.

The weather here in Stavanger is beautifully complex and harsh, in a way that complements my overall musical preferences.

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