Thursday, 28 June 2007

Friendly Competition

Aaron & I are quite good mates. We both started Uni & Res. life at the same time, both studying I.T. and more importantly, we are Christian brothers. These many similarities have lead to quite a bit of friendly, but high-spirited competition between the two of us. The best example of this, began at the start of 2006, when we took up playing squash against each other. For a start I was beating Aaron convincingly, as I'd played before a lot more, then over time he improved and for the latter half of 2006 we where both quite even in skill level. However, this year that all changed, me having won only 2 of our weekly encounters all year to date. I almost literally had to beat him, in order to defeat him.

But as this list shows, squash isn't the only thing we've managed to make competitive:
  • Best PC - Me winning at present
  • Best Uni marks - Aaron
  • Football teams - Spoils shared here, with Essendon fairing better overall in 2007, but with Port giving the Mighty Bombers a shock loss a week or so ago.
  • His bigger res. bedroom Vs not having to cook for myself as much.
  • Call of Duty: United Offensive - Only just taken it up again after a long break, Aaron used to have the wood over me, but after some practice, I seem to be slightly better, for the time being.
This competition has now reached the online world. For quite a long while my blog was racking up many more hits than his, but over the last month or so the tide has changed. His overall count has almost reached mine, his counter being at roughly 700, & mine (even though it seems to have disappeared of my main page, not sure why) being about 770 at present. If current trends continue, he'll overtake me in the next 5 - 7 days. But as of today, we're both on holidays, so with the extra time on our hands, expect a flurry of activity on this blog in particular over the next 2-3 weeks. So it would help me out a lot if you could all check back regularly...

Tuesday, 26 June 2007


A weird part of me found this amusing....

The WOW has started with a bargain

I was lucky enough to pick up a bargain today, another guy on Res was selling:

  • A Radeon 9800 Pro AGP 8X graphics card
  • 512 MB DDR400 RAM

For $50!!

I put them both into my Vista PC and the WOW has now started! The Windows Aero interface is just so pretty. I really like it, the Flip 3D interface is really cool as well. As for stability, I would say it’s on par or slightly better than XP, but system recovery is much improved.

Unfortunately, Colin is getting the graphics card and so the prettiness is going to disappear tomorrow. But it has given me a nice taste of what’s possible. Thus endeth hands free blog number two.

Monday, 25 June 2007

Why Now?

There has been quite a lot said about John Howards plan to crack down on sexual, drug and alcohol abuse in remote aboriginal communities in the Northern Territory. Howard has even gone as far as saying the situation is Australia's own Hurricane Katrina. While it seems like it's good thing that action is being taken about this, it is vastly different to Hurricane Katrina. Why has it taken until now to act? These problems have existed for years. Ask anyone who lives in the Northern Territory. It's not like these social issues have only just come out into the public light. I've been to the Northern Territory twice, and seen the evidence of widespread alcohol abuse, It's there for everyone to see, in the main streets of most towns.

As this article states:
The strange thing is that the news about Aboriginal men's rampant domestic abuse and the increasing rate of child abuse in the NT and elsewhere came as a shock to Howard. If one cared to look, or was interested to look, the information has been around for a generation.
Why did it jump to national attention last week? Why am I asking this question on my blog? Why isn't the media filled with articles asking this very question?

Friday, 22 June 2007

Hands Free

This is a blogging first for me. Everything about this blog has been completed without me touching the keyboard. Everything from opening Firefox, to opening Windows Media Player so I can listen to dc Talk. Voice recognition is one of the most ingenious yet frustrating features of Windows Vista. My initial observations are that it is good for simple program navigation but very frustrating to dictate text into. But I'm sure it will improve over time, both as I improve at using it and as the software slowly improves.

Yes ladies and gentlemen that's right, except now when I talk to my computer…. it listens.

Thursday, 21 June 2007

Because We'd All Like to at some stage....

Given the title of this blog, I thought this was appropriate. Thanks Ange.

Wednesday, 20 June 2007

Say What?

This is an actual (part) question from my Windows Programming Exam today. If you think you wouldn't understand it anyway, substitute ".dll" for "potatoes." The effect is still the same.
How will you be able to use the .dll to use in your project?
I think I passed the exam, how well will be very interesting to see.

Tuesday, 19 June 2007


This (according to Google) is how long my distance relationship is:

This is a visual picture of the distance:

At the moment, it really sucks. But we'll get through, just like we have for the last couple of years. But who are we kidding anyway? We wouldn't still be putting each other through this separation if it wasn't worth it at some stage. I'm done with being negative about what God has made so positive. He'll be with us all the way. We should turn to him at all times. Embrace him. Embrace his promises.
I can do everything through him who gives me strength.

-Philippians 4:13

See you in 10 days.....

Friday, 15 June 2007

Making money worth more

If you have a spare 10-15 minutes I strongly advise you to read the transcript of this speech by Bill Gates at Harvard University on June 7, 2007.

Very inspiring. It's amazing & encouraging to know that the worlds 2 richest men would choose to spend their fortune supporting philanthropic work

Us Christians could do well to learn from some of Gates' ideas and examples.
I love getting people excited about software - but why can't we generate even more excitement for saving lives?
-Bill Gates
Ironic sidenote: The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation website wouldn't display properly in Firefox. Switch it to Internet Explorer & it displays perfectly.

Wednesday, 13 June 2007

Vision FM

If you're in or going through the Kaniva area at any time, tune into 88.0 Vision FM. It is Kaniva's newest radio station, broadcasting from the centre of town. it seems to have a range of 10-15kms depending on the terrain. Well done to the people responsible for getting it all set up, is really good to be able to have a positive alternative to the usual media selection.

Tuesday, 12 June 2007

Weekend Wrap-up

Every year I come to State Youth Games and it gives me nothing but pain, yet every year I keep coming back.
- Shaun

After almost 8 hours of traveling it was great to arrive at State Youth Games XI in Gawler, South Australia. I was apart of the 41 people that made up the team of Bordertown United which consisted of players from Serviceton Church of Christ, Bordertown Church of Christ, Magill Church of Christ and Edwardstown Baptist Church.

Sat. Morning - T-ball.
Despite one of our team-members being unable to run, we were competitive in 3 out of our 4 games, no wins unfortunately, but the only real blow-out was in our opening game.

Sat. Arvo - Flag Football - Our opening game loss 3 - 1 was no surprise as this sport was completely new to most of our team. It was great fun and very satisfying however to notice the improvement in subsequent matches. A great interception and run, followed by some gritty defending led our team to a surprise (even to us) win 1 - 0, over our friendly opposition Modbury. Our third match was against the banner and flag waving Noarlunganites. We battled hard against more experienced opposition, and were more than happy with a 2 - 0 loss. Our final game would come down to the wire, after both teams scored early the match was deadlocked at 1 - 1, but a great interception and run in the final play of the match would see Bordertown snatch unlikely victory.

Sun Morning - Netball - Probably the sport I enjoyed the most. Playing most our games at Goal-Attack, I was able to score a few goals as well as run through the center, it was very tiring but great fun. We managed 1 win out of our 4 encounters, but again the enjoyment was had in seeing our team improve over the course of a morning.

Sun Afternoon - AFL Modified Football - Bordertown 2 were going to be battling all day in this competition. With only 3 of the 5 allowable males on our team & myself being the only player to have played football competitively before, it was going to be tough. Nevertheless, we battled on hard, ran till we had a stitches and enjoyed the challenge. Experience playing for KLU for a number of seasons had taught me to appreciate scoring points as scoring goals, and scoring goals as winning games. This we certainly did and when I was able to snap-kick the handpass I'd received from a team-mate to a marking forward, our only goal for the afternoon was kicked and we celebrated our moral victory.

Bordertown United were Runners Up overall. We where champions in the following sports:
  • Flag Football
  • Darts
  • Mens Basketball
  • Womens Basketball
  • Table Tennis
  • 3 on 3 Soccer
  • Marathon Relay
Teams were also runners up in the following:
  • Netball
  • Backyard Cricket
  • AFL Modified Football
Was a really good weekend. Well Done to all my fellow team-mates. Also well done to Marion for winning overall & Happy Valley, who won the best sportsmanship (sportspersonship?) award. Would also like to make mention of the fact that the country churches placed rather well, with Balaklava taking out the small- church category.

I think we'll all be there again to get some more pain & soreness next year.

Friday, 8 June 2007

State Youth Games

I've been looking forward to the State Youth Games this weekend for ages now. I'm travelling approx. 700km to go with Bordertown United to the South Australian Games. Road trips are always fun, but bus trips with mates on weekends like this are awesome!!!

At the moment I'm playing the following sports:

Sat Morning: T-Ball
Sat Arvo: Flag Football

Sunday Morning: **Unsure** (Either Netball or Backyard cricket)
Sunday Arvo: AFL Modified Football

All are mixed team sports.

Let the Games begin!

Wednesday, 6 June 2007

It Happens

It annoys me greatly that after tragedies like the collision between a truck & train near Kerang yesterday, all anyone seems to want to do is play the blame game.
Why is it so hard for people to accept that accidents happen? I don't understand why I have not seen or heard anyone in the media mention the possibility of brake failure on the truck. Every time I drive a large truck, I put my faith completely in it's braking system. If it fails while the truck is doing 100kmph, there's not a lot anyone can do to stop it. Maybe it wasn't mechanical failure, maybe the truckie couldn't see because of the sun, in which case he was driving (at least to an extent) recklessly. So what? It's a risk you take every time you get inside a fast-moving vehicle. Besides, every driver in the world has done something stupid on the road, intentionally or otherwise.

It's not possible to get the convenience and pleasure of travel without the risk of it.

My Two Systems

Since it's inception this blog has carried the title: 'The Blogs on an IT Nerd in the Country.' Yet up until now, I have not listed the specs of my 'system'. Surely it's not truly a Nerds blog until I list the details of my 'Rig'. Today I fix this anomaly.

Currently my main system specs are:
  • AMD Athlon 64 bit 3400+ CPU socket 754, 2.41Ghz
  • 1Gb (2 x 512Mb) PC3200 DDR400 RAM
  • Abit KV8 Pro Socket 754 Chipset
  • XpertVision ATi Radeon X800GTO 256Mb AGP 256-bit DDR, DVI, TV-Out, AGP 8X
  • Seagate 300Gb 7200 SATA 8Mb Cache
  • Western Digital 120Gb 7200RPM 2Mb Cache IDE
  • Videomate DVB-T 300 Digital/Analog TV Tuner Card
  • Windows XP Home SP2
I've also just built another PC from old parts that I've upgraded on the above PC & bits I've got off mates & eBay.

It is:
  • AMD Sempron 3000+ 64-bit CPU, 1.8GHz, SOCKET 754
  • 512Mb PC3200 DDR400 RAM
  • ATI Radeon 9250 128Mb AGP 8X
  • Western Digital WD800JD 80GB 7200RPM SATA II 8MB Cache
When I get it up and running it'll be the perfect games server. Only problem is, the Hard-drive above is SATA II. The motherboard is only SATA I compliant. So I need a HDD jumper to jump the Hard-Drive back to SATA I speed. I don't have any HDD jumpers. So if you have a spare one lying around, let me know.

So I now have the combined power of a Dual-Core machine.....

Friday, 1 June 2007

A Future Beginning

"You're a white-collar worker, YOU'RE TURNING liberal!" -Tiarnee
"I can't believe you're joining the corporate world" - Sus

Only the most avid of my readers (Read: Aaron & Sus) will have noticed that back in March & April, I alluded to travelling to both Adelaide and Melbourne. I didn't however allude to the fact that these two trips were very much related. Apparently, I did well enough in the inital group (& personal) interview to warrant a second look. The second look was in Melbourne, where I was asked a series of programming questions and asked to work them through on a board. I honestly thought it went ok without being brilliant. I was told then & there that I would hear either way within 2 weeks. That was almost a month ago.

Since then, I'd all but accepted the fact that I hadn't gotten the job. That was ok, it is after all only June, which is heaps of time to find other stuff. I did however want to put the whole idea to rest in my mind, an email and 3 working days later, I get a 9am phone call from mum. I have recieved a big manilla envelope in the mail. She starts reading, I sit up in bed, no longer in the drowsy half-asleep mode I was when she rang.

I been offered a positon as a 'Graduate Software Engineer' with this company.

I found that out on Wednesday, but it's only starting to sink in now. While I type a blog on company time in my current job. I'm the most blessed guy going around I rekon. I'm in constant awe of Gods faithfullness to me, inspite of my non-faithfullness to him. He has had every step of my life planned, and never failed to silence my own doubts about his ways.

I'm going to be a 21 year-old Graduate Software Developer. It's amazing. My future is starting now, who (God) knows where it will end.

I'll leave you with this quote:
13I can do everything through him who gives me strength.
Philippians 4:13

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