this blog is girtby.net

Posted
04 May 2008

Categories
Nerd Factor X

Tags
electronics kit dac

2 Comments

Building An Alien

This weekend, Peter and I built this:

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Posted
10 April 2008

Categories
Personal Or Something

Tags
books job thailand vacation toys

2 Comments

The Next Plane Out Of Sydney

Over to the right — unless you are using one o' them fancypants RSS aggree-gators — are the monthly archives for girtby.net, with a count of the number of articles posted for each month. Last month there was just the one and this month isn't looking too promising either. That's as good a measure as any that I've been, well, preoccupied.

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Posted
01 March 2008

Categories
Nerd Factor X Provocation

Tags
web forum nntp usenet

6 Comments

Web Forums Considered Annoying

Specialised web forums are commonplace these days. They cover the entirety of the long tail, and are therefore indispensable for discussing obscure, and not-so-obscure, topics.

These days I wouldn't consider making any serious purchase without at least a brief consulation of the relevant web forum. Technical problems with just about anything can usually be resolved with a well-crafted search through the appropriate forum. Put simply, the web forum is the basic unit of online community these days.

But despite their ubiquity and obvious utility they remain frustratingly limited in lots of ways. In this post I vent some of these frustrations.

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Posted
28 February 2008

Categories
Nerd Factor X

Tags
apple hardware mac pro

1 Comments

Latest and Greatest

Those of you familiar with my propensity to succumb to temptation for the latest and greatest may have been looking at my setup, marvelling at the mildly dated hardware, rolling your eyes and thinking "that's not going to last long". And I'm happy to confirm that, in accordance with prophesy, the hardware upgrade juggernaut has finally rolled through my part of the world. Oh my word yes.

In the first week of January, Apple announced an upgrade to the Mac Pro line of workstations. They would have 8 cores as "standard", through the use of two 4-core Harpertown Xeon CPUs. What they didn't highlight was the fact that the "standard" configuration was actually customisable down to a mere single 2.8GHz 4-core CPU, making it available for a comparatively-quite-reasonable A$3300.

And naturally, I bought one. Read on for initial impressions.

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Posted
17 February 2008

Categories
Nerd Factor X Linkpimpin'

Tags
led flashlight arc

4 Comments

Arc Flashlight

A few years ago I purchased an Arc-AAA led flashlight, mainly on the advice of Dan. It was an excellent piece of kit. Small enough to carry everywhere but bright enough to be useful. For years it was the only thing that hung off my keychain (besides keys of course). A month ago it died due to a battery leak.

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Posted
14 February 2008

Categories
Verisimilitude

Tags
australia society

1 Comments

Righting Past Wrongs

Yesterday's apology to the Stolen Generation was a very moving and hugely significant moment in Australian history. For most of my life the many problems of Aboriginal people in this country have seemed intractable, even hopeless. This is the first time in many, many years that visible and meaningful progress has been made. I hope the importance of the occasion is adequately reflected in the global news coverage.

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Posted
08 February 2008

Categories
Nerd Factor X Provocation

Tags
iphone sdk schneier

8 Comments

Vendor Lock-In

I generally agree unequivocally with Bruce Schneier, but his recent column on vendor lock-in has me wanting to take issue with some of his points.

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Posted
05 February 2008

Categories
Nerd Factor X Linkpimpin' Or Something

Tags
apple microsoft packaging

2 Comments

"Open This First"

To justify my occasional lapses into Apple fanboy-ism, I offer the following for your consideration.

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Posted
30 January 2008

Categories
Nerd Factor X Me Use Brain

Tags
free software licensing

3 Comments

Freedom Zero

Some prominent bloggers have recently asked the question "Why don't people care about freedom 0?" To me this just raises the question "What is this freedom 0 stuff anyway?" Herewith the (lengthy) results of my own attempts to find out the answers to both of these questions, and even raise some of my own.

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Posted
22 January 2008

Categories
Cultcha Verisimilitude

Tags
macworld keynote randy newman politics jon armstrong grey

5 Comments

Reality Distortion vs. Reality

Herewith, some comments apropos of the Macworld 08 Keynote, specifically Randy Newman's performance at the end.

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