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Pure New Zealand

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Jun 28, 2007

Annotated Blosxom

If you're a fan of Perl of Blosxom you'll appreciate the fully annotated Blosxom script by Rob Reed.

[/tech/perl/blosxom] | [permalink] | [2007.06.28-10:41.00]

Jun 27, 2007

FaceBook in 40 Years + More

Fascinating - Viewing American class divisions through Facebook and MySpace. Summary - 'nice' kids use Facebook; 'bad' kids use MySpace. Related - genius pisstake of Facebook in 40 years.

Finland is cool - In Finland's Footsteps: If We're So Rich and Smart, Why Aren't We More Like Them?.

Notes 8 - My life with Lotus Notes 8. Looks impressive for a beta. Love the integration of some of the OpenOffice stuff too.

Cool - Img2HTML. Convert an image into a web page with 1 x 1 pixel coloured table cells.

Play Windows games on Linux with Cedega.

Genius - Walkman Mellotron.

[/links] | [permalink] | [2007.06.27-05:48.00]

Jun 21, 2007

Problems Retaining Gen-Y

Actually a real news story (hopefully the article doesn't disappear) which is some-what amusing for a theoretical Gen-X-er like me:

* Forget Gen Y, employers told

Sample quote:

"Here's my message to you: don't hire Gen Y," Mr Korn explained in a provocative but humorous address to a business lunch in Melbourne yesterday. "Hire people in their late 20s when they've passed that stage." According to Mr Korn, 'that stage' ends in their late 20s, when Gen Y-ers start to think long-term for the first time in their lives.


Mr Korn, director of market and social research firm Heartbeat Trends, characterised Gen Y-ers as very self-centred. That selfishness was accompanied by their unshakable optimism. After witnessing the trauma of their parents being retrenched and down-sized, Gen Y-ers had no faith in employers and no sense of a job for life. "They have no trust. They figure, `somebody's going to screw me, well I better screw them first'," Mr Korn said.

Of course the article fails to mention the parenting or societal attitudes that have led to the stereotype of Gen=Y. After all isn't 'Gen-X/Y' a direct result of the 'Baby-boomer' generation ?

[/humour] | [permalink] | [2007.06.21-18:57.00]

Self-Provisioning IT

One of the annoyances for any IT group is dealing with the trivia of BAU (Business As Usual) tasks. Anything that makes BAU more bearable definitely falls into 'Killer App' territory.

I hardly ever read ComputerWorld but when I do I usually come across at least one decent article and this one in particular caught my eye - Self-provisioning helps Warehouse Stationery save time.

Whats cool is that they're utilising a Kiwi companies technology - Activate.

Check out some of the demo's - the work flows match up with a number of common operational tasks performed by Helpdesks and Admins everywhere.

Whats funny is that we've initiated an inhouse MAC's (Moves Adds & Changes) project that will probably end up re-inventing the wheel with respect to some of this stuff with custom code rather than an off-the-shelf product.

[/tech] | [permalink] | [2007.06.21-00:40.00]

Jun 18, 2007

New Header - Lyall Bay Map

I'm a big fan of maps - something about the attempt to capture geographic detail appeals to me. The map in the header is the South of Wellington centered on Lyall Bay. Its not a particularly exciting map other than the closeness of the contours indicates some pretty steep hills (certainly gives you a workout if you cycle around them). Also in the bottom right corner you can just see the The Atatürk Memorial which is a sobering reminder of the Gallipoli Campaign.

[/headers] | [permalink] | [2007.06.18-19:07.00]

Dr Who

As per Dave Bishops post - "He's baaaaaack!"

Utopia was a great episode. Looking forward to the final two in the series . . .

[/misc] | [permalink] | [2007.06.18-05:27.00]

Jun 13, 2007

Wellington Grey laments the decline in Physics teaching standards + More

Interesting - Wellington Grey laments the decline in Physics standards. The sample questions are fine for basic science understanding but by the time you start to specialise you really need to start crunching some numbers.

Nifty - Y-Box a novel widget display hack that fits in an altoid tin. This is the way its meant to look when its done.

Re-inventing ZFS - Btrfs: a copy on write, snapshotting FS.

Free - Java based media server - for Wii & PS3. I'm quite impressed by our Wii.

One of those 'when I were a lad' articles - How children lost the right to roam in four generations. Amazing what a little misplaced fear will do.

The scary French - Is Maman mean or magnifique?

Amusing - flickr stream of Atheists visiting a Creationist museum.

Interesting - US States Renamed For Countries With Similar GDPs. NZ's GDP is the same as Washington DC.

Census stats - some interesting information from the NZ 2006 Census - Who we are part 1 Who we are part 2. Interesting that almost a quarter of the population are immigrants, that marraige and divorce rates are almost the same now and that Hindi, Mandarin, Cantonese feature in the top 10 languages (also German speakers appear to outnumber Tongan speakers).

[/links] | [permalink] | [2007.06.13-18:44.00]

Jun 11, 2007

LazyWeb - Run Book

There used to be an active site called LazyWeb. The idea being that if you had an idea whose time was due but you didn't have the time, skills, motivation or resources to implement it.

So you'd put the idea out to the wider InterWeb on the basis that someone out there might know the answer or be able to implement it better than you could.

The site itself doesn't seem to have seen much action since 2006 but the idea is still sound.

Anyway . . . its a good excuse for me to put my stupid ideas out there in the tenuous hope that someone might go "ooo thats a good idea . . . I'll implement that".

After much fruitless searching I can't seem to find a half decent run-book anywhere. The closest I've come is Suns i-RunBook - looks good but its stupidly expensive and appears Sun-centric.

So if some nice person could create a simple php/mysql app which lets you add servers and network gear into a simple asset register with room for additional information like installed applications, startup/shutdown information that would be great.

You could even create a commercial version which integrated into Nagios. That way your host definitions and application dependency information comes from your run book.

Come to think of it you could do some cool stuff around layering value add tools such as Nagios and MRTG/Cactii on top of the run book too. That way you get system information coupled to availability and performance information too.

[/lazyweb] | [permalink] | [2007.06.11-04:13.00]

Jun 09, 2007

YouTube Music Video - Shellac (Live)

Shellac perform the Squirrel Song.

Watching drummer Todd Trainer wail on his drumkit in such metronomic fashion is kind of mesmerising. Obviously the insane drumming helps distract you from the nonsense lyrics about thousands of squirrels :-)

Not that anyone will care but Shellac have also released their first album in seven years - Excellent Italian Greyhound. Will have to keep an eye out for it.

[/music] | [permalink] | [2007.06.09-22:19.00]

Jun 08, 2007

Another ESX Advantage

Built in clustering & high availability!

Even if you have an application which is CPU hungry (say Exchange) you can drop it into an ESX farm and allocate resources equivalent to a single physical server - then if you leverage VMotion and High Availability if the Exchange server crashes you can migrate it (manually or automatically) to another physical server with minimal downtime. In the old-days if the server failed catastrophically you potentially needed to re-install and restore from backup (assuming you had spare hardware available).

[/tech/virtual] | [permalink] | [2007.06.08-01:31.00]

Jun 07, 2007

Pico-ITX Review + More

They just get smaller and smaller - Pico-ITX Review. Check the last page in which some enthusiasts cram a Pico-ITX board into a GameBoy case.

Scarey and depressing - Generation F*cked: How Britain is Eating Its Young. As the comments point out this is a global issue.

Useful - Many Books in different formats.

Panorama - Hugin is an open source photo-stitcher.

The price of an open encyclopedia - Wikigroaning. Probably reflects the high geek to genuine expert ratio. Or the desire to drivel on at length about trivial rubbish in the mistaken belief that like minded individual will read it :-)

Humour - The Armageddon Flowchart. The terminal scenarios are genius.

Chris points to Apple putting User data into DRM encoded tracks. Wil Shiply points out that Adobe does too. "I was shocked! Shocked! They didn't even bother to try to disguise it!" Classic.

[/links] | [permalink] | [2007.06.07-19:29.00]

Mac Uptime (Updated 01/06/07)

I finally got around to applying the 10.4.9 update to my MacBook. Just before my reboot the uptime displayed:

17:17 up 65 days, 9:40, 2 users, load averages: 0.21 0.17 0.28

Pretty good stability for a laptop (or computer of any kind). I could have kept going as performance seemed the same as it did when I'd rebooted 65 days ago.

My MacBook has been the fastest and most stable Mac I've ever owned. Highly recommended if you're in the market for a non Windows laptop.

[/tech/mac] | [permalink] | [2007.06.07-19:07.00]

Jun 02, 2007

Psychopaths among us + More

Faskinating - Psychopaths among us. "For his first paper, now a classic, Hare had his subjects watch a countdown timer. When it reached zero, they got a "harmless but painful" electric shock while an electrode taped to their fingers measured perspiration. Normal people would start sweating as the countdown proceeded, nervously anticipating the shock. Psychopaths didn't sweat. They didn't fear punishment -- which, presumably, also holds true outside the laboratory."

Amusing - Ultimate Mouse Pointer.

Useful - TPS Report Template. For those burdened with an over-active bureaucracy.

I knew a guy who had a whole stash of altoid tins - Uses for Altoid tins.

Interesting - Presentations on who to scale websites from people like Twitter, Flickr, Bloglines etc.

Something to look forward to - Top 10 Features in Windows Server 2008. A server OS without a GUI - fancy that.

More good stuff - Cognitive Bias: Reasons why what you think is right is wrong.

One to watch - Utu (FYI 'Utu' is a Maori word for revenge). "The Internet needs identity, reputation, and retribution." Should be a fascinating communication tool if it comes to fruition.

Neat - 3D window manager for Windows.

[/links] | [permalink] | [2007.06.02-00:19.00]