2020 Summit; WorkChoices

March 20, 2008

Got into the 2020 Youth Summit 😀 Yay me 😀

Also got my WorkChoices mousepads, courtesy of the Deputy Prime Minister’s office.

Also got a response to my letter to Senator Conroy’s office re: net filtering. I ought to scan it in and post it here, but it’s standard government response: the Minister appreciates your concerns, and I, the Acting Assistant Secretary of some random branch in his Department have no power to change what the Labor Party has already decided, i.e. that we will implement an unworkable, fundamentally broken policy, and set up a few committees to solve the remaining issues.

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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.


2008 so far

January 12, 2008
  • KDE 4.0.0. Awesome.
  • Getting Steal This Film, Parts 1 and 2, downloaded. Also awesome.
  • Preparing to make a documentary called “Language Patterns of Chinese Migrants” or similar. The past week has given me more Chinglish than I’ve had in years.

Haneef’s appeal upheld

December 21, 2007

The ABC site tells me that in breaking news the Federal Court has upheld the decision to reinstate his visa. More news soon…

update: ABC News,
Sydney Morning Herald


HSC Results

December 19, 2007
Units Course Exam Mark Assessment Mark HSC Mark Band
2 Chemistry 79 79 79 4
2 Software Design and Development 89 85 87 5

Better than I expected really. Anyone else doing the HSC, or parts thereof, like me?


At last

December 13, 2007

Yesterday I finally got my School Certificate, which funnily enough is dated today rather than yesterday. I’m also Year 10 Dux, but when dux means three As, a B and two Cs, that tells you just how brilliant my school is.


SC English-literacy – OVER!

November 12, 2007

Yay! No more English! (Until Year 11, that is.)

I think I’m probably the only Year 10 student in the state who:

  • mentioned Linux
  • implicitly criticised Microsoft
  • mentioned the School Certificate itself
  • managed to answer a question with a story involving how had writers block and couldn’t answer the question

in one test.

Everyone I have talked to has said it was very easy, and being the SC you’d expect that.