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A Programmers Life

A Truly Free Domain

Kitten with Money

If you have ever had a personal website, like me, you would know that your url to your website is important

However if you are also don’t like to pay for things that you can get for free, such as webhosting, you end up with a url that is not as nice as a top level domain.

There are some free domains at the top level but the never have the same feeling of a .net or .com.

So how did I get a .net without using my own money? Well I did but not through a credit card or check I did it by filling out online surveys. They offer cash out via paypal then all I needed was to buy the domain using the survey money.

I had enough in about 3 months just filling out surveys during my usual time on the web.

I ended up buying the domain through namecheap. They offer WhoIsGuard for free for the first year which is a great service so your personal details don’t show up in whois searches.

So it’s not entirely free but if you don’t value your time too much it’s not much work to do a few surveys and have a professional looking domain for your website.

And yes that is my cat! He is a year old now but still very cute, when I bought my last car the seller insisted on cash, I just couldn’t resist the photo opportunity.

Death in a Digital Age

I have recently experienced a death in the family, which has started me wondering about how our digital persona’s will live on.

I personally spend alot of time on the internet, a couple of hours a day at least. Spending my time reading email and rss, writing a blog entry (ocasionally :P ), particiapating in online discussion (Stack Overflow at the moment), buying stuff, reasearching stuff. There is just soo many things that I rely on the internet for.

But at what point do these things dissapear, with the cheapness of media maybe what we create will exisit on forever. This webpage may not as hosts come and go like my first provider, but you can still see entries from there, not very pretty ones, with the internet archive.

It just goes to show that there really isn’t anyone who produces on the internet will ever trully die and therefore no one should be lost to history no matter how small your percived contribution was.

Just makes you think doesn’t it.

The house is finished!

Have you ever noticed that as time goes buy your passion for different things start to wain? I do it seems some things that you thought was important is not so important any more. Like blogging for instance :P

It has been quite a while now mainly because work has been heating up for me. I went on a week long trip to China visiting different customers.

And most importantly our house was finished and we moved in about 4 weeks ago Yey!

And we are loving it, the cat hasn’t adjusted too bad either. But the money is now flowing out finishing off the house. Oh well such is the life of a mortgagee.

House Update

Most people would know we bought land in April to build our first house on.

And since then we have been trying very hard to get approval to build the house we want on it. There was a clause in our title, Memorandum of Common Provisions to be exact. That no structure within the first metre of the boundary will be greater than 3.6 metres tall. And the house plan we decided to build once sited on the block made the height of the garage at 1 metre from the boundary 3.79 meters.

So both I and the build phoned the council to see what could be done, simple they said all you will need is a Planning permit and it should only take a couple of weeks for such a small item.

Thats when the fun really began it took the council 3 months not a couple of weeks to approve the permit and when we finally got it back we were told that the planning permit was not all that needed to be done to allow us to build our house :(

A planning permit like this gives you permission to get a licensed surveyor to draw up a plan that will then be approved by council which will then need to be submitted along with the title kept by the bank to the Titles Office.

So here’s the list of things that cost money along the way:

  • Planning Permit
  • Letters to neighbours
  • Plan
  • Approval of Plan with Council
  • Release of Title from bank
  • Submission to Titles office

So if anyone ever tells you that a Planing Permit is no big deal laugh in their face it is a big deal and it will take time effort and quite a bit of money.

But if you are going through something similar take a queue from me that I should have known earlier, you need to be a squeaky wheel. If the person says that something will be done on a certain date or in a “couple of days” then make sure you phone them then and find out if it has been done.

Other than that we are now very excited about the prospect of getting on with the building of our house :)

The coolness of a 3D desktop

Well it’s happened I have been working full time for over a year now and I am just getting more and more slack at writing valuable stuff on my blog, he he he.

But something most wonderful has happened over the Christmas break the alsa bug report tracking the problem with my soundcard has heated up, and someone found that by poking a register my soundcard will work under Linux.

So I have been spending the last few weeks getting back into my OS of choice.

I have Compiz working which is the coolest innovation on the desktop in a long time. I actually started with the fork Beryl but that version has a problem with java swing that is only fixed for Compiz in a Beta update for Java6 but not Beryl. So I am now enjoying the spinning cube virtual desktop, wobbly windows and the like in all their glory.

I also received an old Dell Latitude 600m which I mentioned I could use as a server box at home. The idea was to use it to host a webserver for AME, if I ever get it finished, so that I could host my own ads and receive full donations as per the sourceforge terms of service. But since I have not managed to finish it yet, I have been finding uses for it as a home server.

Such as using it to host torrentflux, as well as a SAMBA server for home multimedia sharing and I think I will get rid of my embedded print server and use it as a print server for the house aswell no need to pay for multiple devices to be running all the time.

And our land development has been pushed back to a release some time in April so house is on hold for now. Should get this post out it has been way to long coming till next time.

Ready Set Rant

Well are you all ready for yet another rant about people and their cars? Well I certainly am.

Last Friday I was pulling out of a car park and I noticed as I was pulling back that the person directly behind me had their reversing lights on also but as a I was already going and they were just starting I thought, “Hey I’m right here just keep going and they will wait”. Well how wrong I was! grrr.

So I got halfway out just about to put my car into 1st gear and I see this person pulling out I thought “Oh no!” so I hit the horn…. But to no avail this looser just kept coming all I could do was sit there hand on horn and wait for the inevitable… Once they realized what happened they quickly pulled back in and I get out to assess the damage.

Thankfully they didn’t cause any damage. But they didn’t even get out of their car; this stupid looking Kia Carnaval thing. I couldn’t believe it they just sat their. But as there was no damage it was Friday evening and I had my dinner in the car going cold I just couldn’t be bothered with it all. So I left….

Now I guess they couldn’t see my little Excel in their giant blind spot maybe but to not stop while there is a horn going for like 3 seconds behind you is just plain stupid… Grrr.

Enough of that now I’m getting red blooded just thinking about it. I checked broken code into source control last week, a first for me. We are in the middle of a giant refactor of our codebase so it’s only natural that I can’t do it alone but checking in code that leaves the copy under source control unable to compile just feels dirty…

Oh well until next time rant on brother/sister.

Big News

Well once again me like some of my friends find it hard to actually get to the content page and add new stuff to their blogs but I think the news of the last 2 weeks really deserves a blog post.

Well probably the biggest news is from this week, Merinda and I have bought a block of land! And get this it’s in Mernda, that will make for interesting conversations and lots of spelling names over the phone. And it only took us a week to go from looking at existing properties to buying land and looking at houses to build!

With stamp duty here in Victoria being so high it doesn’t really make much sense to buy a fairly expensive property that will be over 20 years old.

The other big news is that I received a employee recognition award which is always quite strange. It was for integrating one of Microsoft’s better technologies into our product, the ability to write mini-dumps in the event of crash. Which then allows us to see the stack and trace the line of code that the crash occurs on.

Finally I wish to say that mustang (or JDK6 as it is now known) ROCKS it makes programs such as jbidwatcher seem so much more polished. With true double buffering the windows no longer goes gray when repainting, and the new register allocator that I talked about a while ago makes every java application fly. It’s still in beta but when it releases for real it will be a great step forward and with the open sourcing of the platform to be complete by ruffly the end of 2007 I’m looking forward to more java technology into the future.

The Long Silence

Well it’s been well over a month since my last post I am getting really really slack. What’s happened in that time? Well quite a lot really.

  • Holidays
  • Flights
  • And a stupid film

And I will outline them in that order :P

Well last week Merinda and I packed up and went on a 4 day holiday to Beechworth and stayed at the Swiss Cottages there it was a most relaxing time and can recommend the accommodation full heartily.

Last weekend (1 July 2006) Merinda and I got to go on a second holiday to Brisbane overnight. Our fantastic broadband Internet provider, aaNet, flew both of us up for a party they were having. We got the flights because I am a moderator on their forums. I only started getting back into the forums a few weeks before the trip was announced so it was great timing. It was a lot of fun and meeting people you have only ever communicated to in a digital medium was interesting. We spent most of our time playing cards which is a great day in our books.

And to the final point we went a saw the new Superman movie, Superman Returns, for a $300 million movie it was a bit of a disappointment really.

Begin rant/spoilers

I don’t know what it is if it’s the Superman story itself or the story of this particular movie in particular but the character to me seems to be a bit lacking. When compared to the X-Men or Spiderman series, Superman the character is very bland in that he is predictable in his actions, there is no human side to his character (I know he is an alien). But even when stabbed with Kriptionite after it is removed he is fine again.

Also he stands for all things moral however he has an illegitimate child with Louis Lane, it just lacks consistency. The movie also shows that Superman is helping people all around the word with their problems, ie. a burning house in Germany, so in one moment he is trying to help everyone and then goes to his day job in Metropolis at the Daily Planet. What about all the people with burning houses now?

I just find it hard to identify with this interpretation of the character. I was expecting a reinterpretation like the original Batman movie or Batman Begins however it was just really the next Superman movie with better visual effects.

End rand/spoilers

Anyho that’s about it I would just like to add decaf sucks, I had some yesterday and I guess now I know what I really appreciate from coffee.. the caffeine hit.

Undelivered Mail And Incredible Building

Well aren’t I the lazy boy I haven’t put up a post in ages….

Well this week has been a bit stressful in getting a build ready so hopefully I can be excused.

If you are a /. reader you may have heard about a small start up called blue security who had a novel concept of fighting spam by sending thousands of un-subscribe emails to the perpetrators of the spam. I signed up for this free service and started fighting my spam.

However one of the leading spammers in the world didn’t like this idea much and started a campaign to stop the company. Bringing down websites such as tucows and typepad in the process. And eventually Blue Security threw up their hands and called it a day.

This has left me without a spam fighting technique and now with my email address well and trully in their address books. To the point now that I am receiving 2-5 emails a day saying that mail was undelivered so these quite insidious people are now using my address as a return address for the spam they send out. How Great!!!

On a note of the more professional nature we are trialling Xoreax Incredibuild, a distributed C++ build system for Visual Studio and it is going well. Nothing quite like your colleagues cpu idle cycles working for you instead of against.

Well I guess that is enough angst for one day.