It is easy in the world to live after the world's opinions; it is easy in solitude to live after our own; but the Great Man is he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude.
-- Ralph Waldo Emerson
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Sunday, October 29, 2006
Working, Working, Always Working
Well this is my second weekend on-call, and I'm really looking forward to finishing it. It'll mean that I've paid my debt to the on-call rota for my holiday and I can get back to a normal life, where weekends actually mean time out from work!
I've been meaning to write this is my new Vox blog
, because the subscription for renewal from blogdrive is due in a few days time, but my recent upgrade of browser to Firefox 2.0 seems to have broken the compose feature!
Maybe I'll copy and paste into Internet Explorer (where it does still work), or cross-post. I don't know. I'll decide once the weekend is up!
On the plus side, I do get an extra hour's sleep tonight since the clocks are going back tonight! Woohoo!
Posted at 1:43 am by alkam
Friday, October 06, 2006
Well here I am in Hong Kong. It's been a while since I've been here. I think I was last here two years ago.
There was a lot of trouble to get annual leave. I had originally asked for my on-call rota to be cleared in September because that was when I thought I might take my holiday.
Unfortunately, due to short-staffing in the team I'm working in (due to lots of people taking leave at the same time), I agreed to move it to October. Unfortunately this involved a lot of reorganisation with my duties and I was only able to know for sure and book my tickets a week before I flew!
I've been here almost a week now, and I guess I've adjusted to the timezone difference (7 hours ahead).
The great thing about Hong Kong is the food. You can get an interesting variety of food and at really cheap prices (well, compared to the UK at any rate!).
I've got one more day here in Hong Kong. Better make the most of it!
Sent using Treo 650
Posted at 10:46 am by alkam
Wednesday, August 16, 2006
I'm on the hunt for a broadband ISP at the moment. It's a long process of reading user's reviews of their experiences with different Internet Service Providers. I'm not looking for the perfect ISP, just one that's reliable and provides good speed, at a reasonable price. There are a few on my list, some have free connection, others offer free broadband modems (not that I need one).
I have to admit that Australia was pretty backward when it came to ADSL broadband (the one you get through the telephone line). I had a 512k connection with a 12Gb/month download quota.
I guess the problem is I'm spoilt for choice here, with offerings from 512k up to 8Mb connections, though why anyone would want to choose an 8Mb line with a paltry 3Gb/month download limit is beyond me!
Anyway, right now I'm connected to the net via my mobile phone! I signed up for a new T-mobile UK phone contract whilst I was at Singapore Airport. I chose the cheapest line rental I could find, with a 1-month minimum term, and added T-mobile's new Web'n'Walk Professional to it, giving me 2Gb/month of internet access via GPRS (or 3G if you have it). The Web'n'Walk Professional add-on lets me use my laptop to access the net, but bars the use of VOIP or Instant Messaging (I rarely use either). My trusty Treo 650 makes a great bluetooth modem, so it hasn't been too bad, but I'm basically back to dialup speeds here.
My search continues...
Posted at 10:13 pm by alkam
Monday, July 31, 2006
I've not tried this service but it looks interesting. You need to take multiple photos at one location, and once you register, this free service will make a composite to remove unwanted objects. Presumably one of the other pictures will have the background needed to fill once the offending object has been removed.
Discovered at Resource Shelf
I suppose if you're a D-I-Y type of person, you could probably do it yourself with Photoshop.
Posted at 1:18 pm by alkam
Thursday, July 20, 2006
Greetings from Singapore! I'm actually at the airport waiting for my flight back to Manchester in England. It's been 4 activity-filled days here, with visits to various buildings and landmarks around Singapore. The food here is great and there's even an offer here for tourists to try their famous Chilli Crab for free! I recommend it, but give yourself some time because eating crab can take time!
The Airport itself is interesting because I'm blogging from my own laptop connected to a dedicated Laptop Access station. Luckily I brought my ethernet cable to get me online! There's also a set of chairs that will give you free foot massages, so I can't complain. Unfortunately they haven't combined the two so you can get a foot massage while you blog!
It's been such a quick holiday that I neglected to arrange transport from Manchester back home to Leeds, so I had to do that at the airport too! It's been sorted out now, but it wasn't cheap. Ah well -- I had too much luggage to drag onto the train and I prefer a door-to-door service!
That's all for now. My flight leaves in... er.. 4 hours...
Posted at 12:19 pm by alkam
Wednesday, May 24, 2006
Well, it's amazing to think about how much time has passed. I'm already thinking about selling off the stuff I can't take back with me to England.
I'm due back at work in Leeds in August and plan to take July off to travel. This was a fortunate plan because the owners of the flat I'm renting have decided to terminate the rental agreement on the same date I'm starting my leave!
So anyway I need to sell my car, find a shipping company that will take my stuff back to the UK and buy some plane tickets.
Sent via Treo 650
Posted at 3:01 pm by alkam
Friday, January 27, 2006
Australia Day in Sydney. That's the harbour bridge, that is.
Sent via Treo 650
Edit: This post was supposed to be sent to my flikr photostream rather than the blog. Not sure how it happened. There was no alcohol involved! Honest!
Posted at 9:24 am by alkam
Tuesday, December 20, 2005
The car dealer is fixing the faults I identified on red car when I agreed to buy it. They gave me a courtesy car to drive around instead a couple of days ago.
It's a pretty big car compared to the 1.5L Accent. It's a 3.8L Holden Commodore VX II Executive, and even has cruise control. It's a great car to drive, even if it chews up petrol when I'm in the city. Unfortunately, it also has a side indicator light missing so I hope I don't get pulled over by Police!
I've also only paid AUD$100 deposit so far, even though I technically 'bought' the car last week!
Nice. Hoping to go to Hunter Valley for a few days and will have to take the courtesy if the car dealer doesn't ring soon to tell me when my car's ready!
Sent via Treo 650
Posted at 9:33 pm by alkam
Wednesday, December 14, 2005
It's a day of celebration today because I've managed to restore my PDA phone to working order! I have some diligent people at the shadowmite.com site to thank for their breakthrough in discovering how to do it. It's really quite clever!
I've also been driving around in my new (but still secondhand) car. It's a red Hyundai Accent that's 5 years old. I've driven one in the past so I know how they handle but this one's been modified slightly to have a slightly higher ground clearance, an upgraded audio system, and a 3-inch sports exhaust! The sports exhaust is going though because it's too noisy, and has some rust damage to it. The car dealer is replacing that for free. The tech department at the automobile association tell me a sports exhaust on the 1.5 litre Hyundai engine won't do much for power/fuel economy either and is just there for the noise!
Update (15th December 2005): Pictures of the new car uploaded.
Sent via Treo 650
Posted at 1:37 pm by alkam
Friday, December 09, 2005
If it ain't broken, break it!
Thank goodness that I can email blog entries in. I'm here at work and I'm not allowed full internet access. I also can't blog using my Treo anymore, but more on that later!
An update on the car front. Thanks for the useful comments! I finally got my car back for the past couple of weeks or so. It's no longer overheating now that it has a new water pump fitted! This has been quite fortunate, because the termperature has since shot up into the 30's (Celcius), so having an overheating car would not have survived very long!
Despite the car working again, I'm really on the look-out for another car. As much as it's been fun, I'm not too fond of having to bring it back to the garage every month and having to rent something to drive in while it's being fixed! I think I might trade it in for a decent car with manual transmission or something.
On the subject of things needing fixing, I've managed to turn my all-singing all-dancing Treo 650 PDA phone into a pretty brick. It was my fault entirely: I was trying to upgrade the firmware on it with an unofficial version. It's ended up in a constant reset loop and no amount of soft, warm, hard or even zero-out resets is making it behave properly. I'm waiting for a fix to come out, so in the meantime, no more blogging on the move! (So much for that idea!!)
More updates later.
Posted at 3:21 am by alkam