April 12, 2014

Accepting a position on the Graduate Development Program will involve a change in your personal circumstances. For some, it may mean leaving home and relocating, for others, it will be your first full-time role, and for others, it will mean new work and a new team. Please outline what sort of changes you anticipate you will need to consider to commence work.

As much as I hate writing answers to selection criteria, sometimes the questions posed do make me think.


December 2, 2008

I got in 😀

Can’t wait for the 3rd of January!


November 27, 2008

I’m applying to go to the National Computer Science School at USyd in January.

I’m not sure exactly what they do there or whether it’ll be particularly interesting, but, well, what is there to do in January anyway?

Books I’m reading

September 22, 2008

Well, I figure I’ve been to the library more times over the past two weeks than over the rest of the year put together, so I may as well document what books I’m reading. I might post up a more detailed review sometime.

  • Night Watch – Terry Pratchett – I’ve only read one of the Discworld novels so far (The Colour of Magic), which was very good. Wanted to get this read to see if I could use it in an English assessment, but I just haven’t had time.
  • The Art of Intrusion – Kevin Mitnick, William L. Simon – Yes, they call it ‘non-fiction’ which might be a bit of a stretch for some of their stories, but it hasn’t been too bad a read so far. The bits where Mitnick explains basic computer concepts can be quite boring.
  • Z – Jonar Nader – Endorsements on back look interesting. Read several chapters so far; Nader’s writing skills are certainly a bit less developed, and certain aspects of the story don’t really make much sense, but regardless, it seems interesting enough.

The Media

April 2, 2008

Interviews with TV, radio and print media all on one day. TV was the worst. The newspaper was the best.

I wonder how much research has been conducted into the difference between how we hear our own voice and how others do. Hearing a recording of my own voice is disturbing.


March 19, 2008

I’m no Christian apologist, so I’m not going to try to be one.

I do, however, find it interesting how atheist apologists tend to fit the concept of a god into human constraints.

I also don’t understand how anyone could logically become an atheist. I can understand why one could become agnostic.


March 19, 2008

“I would rather live my life as if there is a God and die to find out there isn’t, than live my life as if there isn’t and die to find out there is.”

– Albert Camus (seen on


March 6, 2008

Had a job interview today. Went well, except for turning up at the wrong place… got where I needed to be soon enough.

Anyone applied for the Australia 2020 Summit or the Australia 2020 Youth Summit? I applied for the Youth Summit which seems to have all of zero publicity.

Insert key – why?

February 23, 2008

Or more specifically, do we really need the Insert key mapped to enabling overtype?

Most computer users (myself included) have just fallen into the practice of using backspace or delete to correct things, and indeed I could’ve used overtype to correct a few mistakes I made while typing this very sentence, but I haven’t.

The reason I ask is that the less computer-literate of our population don’t know what to do when they accidentally hit the Insert key then start typing over a document. They then go and waste the time of people like me in trying to fix it.

Also, surely there’s a good use for another spare key on the keyboard? I can think of one already – using Insert to bring up a ‘template text’ menu, or a modifier-type key, so ‘Insert + C’ or ‘Insert, C’ could insert ‘CONFIDENTIAL’. I would actually end up using something like that.

MP3 players; apology

February 12, 2008

Some many many months ago I got an MP3 player as some cheap sweetener on some prepaid mobile deal, for a Nokia 1110 with Virgin I believe.

Some several weeks ago, I decided to get a decent MP3 player with some Christmas gift cards. Since I’m not terribly rich I got a $60-ish 1GB Thomson Lyra player from DSE. Unlike most MP3 players it’s powered by a standard AAA battery.

That worked well for a couple of weeks until it suddenly crapped out, presumably from a dead battery. Replaced battery, turned on, guess what, half the songs are missing and of the rest, half seem to have been randomly truncated. Try formatting on PC, suddenly it claims it has 4GB and somehow 300MB are used by nothing.

Oh well, back to DSE it goes. When I get around to it…

…meanwhile, I go back to school, I realise that now I’m allowed to possess evil music-playing devices and use them out of class, I need something to get me through all those hours of study. So, out comes the Onix HY-107 (yes, the crappy cheap one) and on goes a few songs.

The HY-107 works fairly well for a really cheap device; the software is OK, but the real problem is the construction.

The major problem is the interface – the buttons don’t necessarily work consistently. Press Previous, up comes the menu. Press Next, up comes the volume control. Press Volume, and you go back a song.

I couldn’t quite figure out why that was, but when it snapped open while recharging in this PC’s USB port, I decided to have a look.

Disassembled MP3 player – PCB, front

As you can see in the photo, it seems that, like every cheap electronic device made in China, it’s half assembled with sticky tape.

The real part of interest, though, is the five buttons. I found that when you press the buttons down bluntly with your thumb, about half the time it seems to mess up. When you press the centre sharply with your index finger it seems to work as intended consistently.

I’m no electronics guru, so I’m not sure what’s happening there. My present theory is that the buttons are detected by a varying resistance and when not pressed sharply it messes it up. Anyone out there more enlightened than me who wish to comment?

I’ve read the text of tomorrow’s apology and I think it’s pretty well worded – covers all the major points and doesn’t seem to open any holes.

Unlike many I think the apology and the compensation should be dealt with as separate issues. If the Government wants to pay compensation that should be done during Budget, not right now. Compensation is a complex issue that would require much more technical analysis. The apology, OTOH, can be done right now.

I’m looking forward to this. Unfortunately I won’t be able to watch it live, but I’m sure it’ll be online for me to watch somewhere.