31 December 2008
Yesterday I bought another Asus Eee, a black 1000H model with Windows XP on it. The store had only one left (on sale). It has 160GB HD, 1GB RAM, wifi 802.11b/g/n, ethernet, 1.3M camera, Bluetooth, 3 USB ports, an SD card slot, microphone and earphone jacks, and an external monitor port (VGA). Full specs on the Asus website for those of you who want all the technical details. It weighs around 1.45 kg and its power adapter is surprisingly lightweight. I promptly downloaded and installed a specialised version of Ubuntu known as eeebuntu. It comes in three versions: Standard (all the usual software that comes with Ubuntu installs with the operating system), NBR (netbook remix) and Basic (minimal software). I chose Standard. The Eee's hard drive came partitioned into two 80GB drives, so I've now got the Eee set up for dual-booting, with 40GB for each operating system and its software, and 80GB for data files accessible by both o/s. I'm still installing application software. The screen is very crisp and clear; the keyboard is reasonably usable for a touch-typist (much more so than the smaller keyboard on the Eee701); the wifi and Bluetooth work with both Windows and Ubuntu; so I’m happy. This will be my main travel machine, and will also act as my Windows computer at home, replacing the older laptop (a Dell Inspiron 510m) that I’ve been using for that purpose; it, in turn, is going to a friend to replace the friend's elderly computer.
29 December 2008
Rain fell overnight, leaving puddles to mark the low spots in the construction site. Several boats had come into the new harbour, presumably to seek shelter in case of wind and waves. That area has a usable boat ramp, handy if someone wants to come ashore in a dingy to shore, but we doubt that the gate is open to get a car in to the ramp.
26 December 2008
I generally avoid watching, listening to, or reading what passes for general news (as opposed to science and technology news), as it's mostly negative: economic doom and gloom, people being intolerant and nasty to each other, murder and mayham. I do browse through the headlines, though, and spot the occasional items of interest to me. For example: Happy Birthday Earthrise, Christmas Eve 1968 on Apollo 8 orbiting the moon.
25 December 2008
21 December 2008
Inspired by all the online socialising I'm doing on Facebook, I've started scanning back issues of my fanzine WeberWoman's Wrevenge and making them available in PDF on my own website as well as two of the fanzine archive sites, efanzines.com and fanac.org. Plans for a brand new issue of the zine are fermenting in my mind.
20 December 2008
Cruise ships large and small visit Airlie Beach regularly, on their trips up and down the Queensland coast. These two arrived on the 8th and 9th of December, coming in around 6 AM (soon after dawn) and departing around 6 PM (not long before sunset).
A derelict house just below us on the hillside is finally being torn down. This is probably due to local government saying "clean that up before cyclone season or we'll do it for you and charge you a lot of money". Scientists are predicting an "active" cyclone season for Queensland, so there is a lot of pressure on the half-completed construction projects to clean up anything that can blow around -- before they close up for the 2- to 4-week summer break. And of course pressure on householders with junk in their yards.
Removing the roof began 10 days ago.
Using a chainsaw to cut the roof battens. No use of any of the required safety equipment is evident.
Smashing down the weakened structure.
Some cleanup of debris still to go, and some stubborn structure to knock down.
19 December 2008
After months of resisting, I've finally got a Facebook account. Increasing numbers of friends are putting photos there and have been encouraging me to get an account so I can see them. I'm rapidly discovering hordes of friends, particuarly from the science-fiction fandom community, including many in my age group, so I can see a lot of time spent catching up with them.
18 December 2008
On Tuesday we drove again to Townsville, this time to attend a pre-Christmas pizza-and-pool party for new residents, and to inspect progress on the house. The weather was fine, sunny, and hot, though not excessively humid. We enjoyed meeting more of the residents (and collecting the latest gossip); the pizza was good too. Afterwards, we drove around the established part of the community (the "east side"), collecting ideas on window coverings and garden treatments. The next day we inspected our house, located on the "west side" (also known colloquially as the "far side"—a designation we quite like). We noted that driveway had been poured 2 days before, the kitchen cabinets were in, the roof ventilation and solar hot-water panel was in, final bits of tiling were in progress, and there was still no evidence of airconditioning going to be installed in the 2nd and 3rd bedrooms, as specified. I queried this point and this morning received a call to say "yes, it will be done!" Here are two more pictures. The first is taken from the other (eastern) side of what will be a landscaped park; the arrow marks our house. Projected completion date is now early January, weather permitting, but we're in no hurry.
12 December 2008
I'm a Creative Commons fan; I like their philosophy. If you're not familiar with CC, you can read about it here. Browsing around their website reveals much of interest, including notes on which organisations and individuals are licensing some or all of their output under one of the several CC licenses available.
08 December 2008
05 December 2008
Wanting to get the Eee working with my mobile phone as a modem, I bought a USB-to-Bluetooth dongle. (More recent versions of the Eee come with Bluetooth built in.) Lots of internet research and mucking around later, I got it working. Hooray! (I'll come back here later and insert some links to web pages that helped me figure it out.) Unfortunately, after turning off the Eee overnight, upon rebooting this morning I found that Ubuntu doesn't "see" the dongle. So apparently what worked to get it going wasn't persistent. More research needed, but no time right now. Here are two photos of the device I bought. It's one of the smallest ones available. I got mine from the local Tandy store, but they are readily available on eBay and other online shops.