Commentary: January 2003 Archives

Tragedy at Waterfall

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Waterfall Derailment

The picture on the right says it all really.

From SMH:
Nine people are confirmed dead, and 39 injured in hospital, after a peak-hour commuter train derailed in Sydney's south today. The driver was killed, many people remained trapped in the wreckage and it was feared that the death toll could rise.

Initial reports were that it was a south-bound train (heading away from the city), but there were conflicting reports, and I worried about some friends of mine that live in Helensburg and catch the train to work. A mobile phone call later confirmed they were ok.

In a way it was a good thing that it was a southbound train, as the casualties could have been a whole lot higher if it had been a citybound train.

My brother (who works for Cityrail) got to the site, he said it was pretty bad.

For some bizarre reason this affected me a whole lot more than the Glenbrook train disaster - prolly cause this is so much "closer to home".

I was fiddling around with the config of my blog today and noticed you can get an activity log of entries added and search terms used. The following are some of the keywords entered into the search thingie in my blog:

'arvrillavinge-i'm with you'
<lots of other sex-related entries from the one ip address snipped>
'vodafone credit codes'
'free top up codes '

the last two and avril lavinge make me wonder the most. Like, isn't it *obvious* that my page is a blog?? And I don't even have any entries even *remotely* related to those search terms.

People are weird!

Plants and Movies

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My plants are growing! (in my fish tank) Some of the new grass shoots have been growing at a rate of a couple of centimetres a day! Very cool. Will have a look at getting a yeast CO2 reactor going, just as soon as I get a pH test kit so I can check the pH levels before and after running it.

Movies I've seen recently:
Lord of the Rings - The Two Towers - BIG is the word I'd use to describe this movie. An epic of, well, epic proportions.
Catch Me if You Can - highly entertaining. Even better cause it was "inspired" by a true story. Apparently the dude payed back all the money he stole, by making a fortune developing anti-fraud systems :)

Movies I want to see:
Star Trek Nemesis - next (final?) nextgen Star Trek movie. Comes out Feb 6 here, must see!
Bowling for Columbine - supposed to be very good, and very funny, although not in mainstream theatres here.

Shopping Trolleys

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Wednesday nights I usually go walking with my friend George(ina). Tonight, both of us needed milk, so we decided to walk to the shops. Along the way we passed several abandoned shopping trolleys. One of them was from Target, about a suburb away. Another was from K-mart. The nearest k-mart was three suburbs away! I can't believe people walk their shopping trolleys those sorts of distances! That's just nuts if you ask me.

Closer to the shops we passed two more trolleys belonging to the centre, so we wheeled them the rest of the way. People watching must have thought we were crazy :)

Then we had to walk back to George's place with kilos and kilos of milk - good arm muscle workout if nothing else! Although I tried to minimise using my right hand, which is suffering from RSI at the moment from spending my life operating a mouse. It's aching quite a bit at the moment, even after spending all of today and some of yesterday using the mouse with my left hand - such a bizarre thing to get used to! We're looking at getting either a rolly-ball or joystick mouse for work that we can use when our wrists get sore from our ordinary mouses.

Urgh it's after 11. I wanted to be in bed by 10:30 tonight. /me grumbles off in the general direction of bed.

Ring of Fire

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The image to the right is the bushfire "hotspots" around Canberra for the past 72 hours (different colours for the different days). I got this off the CSIRO site - they have a site called Sentinal (actually spelt Sentinel, but it appears people have been mistyping it into search engines and coming up with my blog - scary! currently located here) which has all the bushfire hotspots around the country.

My heart goes out to all those people who lost their homes and loved ones. Not much else I can say about that - what a tragedy .. 400 homes in one go and 4 deaths (so far) with hundreds of people injured, many badly burned.

I'm also kicking myself for not going to Mt Stromlo a couple of weeks ago when I was down in Canberra. It was on my list of places to see, I just didn't have the time to get there. Now it's all gone :(

And this was in the Sydney Morning Herald a few weeks later:

By Jenny Sinclair
August 6 2002

Australia's new domain naming system brought in a lot of firsts - the first truly personal domain name, the first of the new names and the first "reserved" or offensive word allowed to be used in an Australian URL.

The first Australian personal domain name bought under the new system was not Smith or Jones, but the wonderfully Australian "Kazza". Sydney woman Karen Johnson, 28, bought, in preference to, because Kazza is what her friends call her.

"I just though Kazza would be a good name to have," she says.

Johnson, who works in IT at the University of New South Wales, says she was talking to a friend at an ISP and made a spur-of-the-moment decision to buy a domain name. She didn't imagine it would be the first of its type to be issued.

Technically, names have been available before, but they were only sold under sub-domains such as "".

There isn't much at her site yet; Johnson, a confessed Internet addict, is considering moving her personal site there soon.

She also bought the name "I got that for my family," she says. "I can set my e-mail address for whoever I want, so I can have (for her uncle)."

The first page she's hosted under the URL is a memorial site for her grandmother, Win Johnson, who died last month.

In Adelaide, Danen Lush, 28, was the proud owner of the first name under the new system.

For her, the new system was little more than a delay; she'd applied for just as the naming system was suspended over the weekend before the changeover, and it was registered on July 1 when the system reopened.

Now, a month later, she's busily building inventory for her start-up business, an online shop. Lush is selling jewellery, both the conventional type and for attachment to body piercings - hence the name.

She plans to keep the business virtual, operating from home.

Western Australian domain-name speculator Brad Norrish, 23, began domain-name trading several years ago.

He is participating in auctions for some contested generic domain names that are being sold by auDA through online auction house

Last month he picked up what Internet industry watchers would consider to be a couple of bargains when he registered and for less than $100 each, at retail prices.

Neither were put to auction.

He says this is a good result when the generic auction has seen some hefty premiums paid for some names.

This was in the Sydney Morning Herald on July 1 2002:

By Jenny Sinclair
July 1 2002

Today's launch of the new Australian domain system was a success, according to new registry operator AusRegistry.

But one of the eight new registrars was not selling names four hours after "go live" and most registrars - and AusRegistry itself - did not have a public who-is service for looking up the owners of Australian domain names for a large part of the day.

Managing director of sales and marketing for AusRegistry, Adrian Kinderis, said it was up to the registrars to activate their links to the whois function; he said it should not be preventing name sales because a whois is not a "name availability check".

AusRegistry's whois was working from 10 am, but at a Web address not linked from their public site. It was added to their site by 2pm. The personal namespace also got off to a slow start, with at least three of the new registrars not adding the option to their sites after the system was turned on at 10 am this morning.

Kinderis said several hundred names were sold by lunchtime; the first was ""

Even former sole registrar, Melbourne IT, which has heavily promoted, did not have the namespace as an option on its front page, although it was offered as "other .au".

In the first hour and half, "different registrars (were) finding problems .. because it's the first time they've entered a live environment," he said, but by 2pm the seven working registrars were not having any problems.

Kinderas said some registrars had not taken advantage of a short "live test" window on June 30 to iron out problems.

Most of the problems involved were with connecting to the AusRegistry system, he said.

West Australian registrar Connect West was not selling just after 2pm today, and Kinderis confirmed they were "not up" yet.

A table of registrar prices has been privately compiled by auDA board member Joshua Rowe at this site.

Harry Potter

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Harry Potter/Daniel Radcliffe
If you haven't read any of the Harry Potter books by J.K. Rowling, I suggest you find yourselves copies and have a read, they really are very good. I'm a hopeless reader (it took me over a year to plod through "The Hobbit") yet I managed to churn through all four Harry Potter books in two and a half weeks!

I'm still undecided on whether they'd be a good thing for Christian children to read. For the most part I think they'd be fine, there's just that small chance that a playful interest in magic could turn into a more dangerous interest in real witchcraft. I guess it's something parents should decide on, and use as an opportunity to discuss these sorts of things with their children.

As an adult though, they're fantastic, I enjoyed them immensly. The movies were great too, I just saw "The Philosopher's Stone" again recently and loved it all over again, especially the score by John Williams (who is still going strong at age 70 - I wonder what Steven Spielberg will do if he dies - John Williams has written the music for all of Spielberg's movies except Duel and the Color Purple).. oops I digress.. I meant to say that I feel kinda sorry for Daniel Radcliffe who plays Harry .. it must be weird to walk around any shopping centre and be surrounded by pictures of yourself!!

Anyways, read the books, see the movies, enjoy :)

Kazza's "Boring Life Of a Geek" aka BLOG

IT geek, originally from Sydney, moved to Canberra in 2007. Married to "the sweetie", aka Stu. Prolific photographer, Lego junkie and tropical fish keeper.

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