The other weekend I was at my sister's installing their wireless network. They have Bigpond ADSL with a Speedtouch 530 modem, and had bought a D-Link DI-524 wireless router to go with it. It took me a long time to set up! I had to ftp to the address and delete everything in the dl directory as mentioned here. Then, the DNS did not seem to be working, but I entered the DNS server addresses on their notebooks and everything was fine. I have ensured marital harmony in their household.

Now, M (my brother-in-law) can read 2 Channel without interrupting my sister. M told me that Nichanneru is a site where anybody can post anything anonymously. He uses it to follow news about dodgy surgeons in Japan. I was intrigued and immediately wondered how long a site like this would last in Iran. I estimate a few seconds -- how should I say it diplomatically -- Iranians have some cultural problems that cause them to want to Censor Things.


buy my powerbook

What a bargain!

I'm not sure when I'll buy another notebook, probably when Apple comes out with their newest model.


santa rosa

Yesterday, I read on the Mac Rumors site that the next Macbook Pro revision after the imminent upgrade will have the "Santa Rosa" platform by Intel, with all sorts of good things like 800MHz FSB, and 802.11n wireless built-in. I assumed that this was named after the city of Santa Rosa in California, but then I became curious to know which Santa Rosa the city was named after. Wikipedia did not explain.

After some searching I determined that it was named after Saint Rose of Lima, the first Catholic saint of the Americas. She has a public holiday in Peru dedicated to her, tomorrow, August 30.

She gives a whole new meaning to Catholic guilt...

(from Catholic Advent article about her)

In her twentieth year she received the habit of St. Dominic. Thereafter she redoubled the severity and variety of her penances to a heroic degree, wearing constantly a metal spiked crown, concealed by roses, and an iron chain about her waist. Days passed without food, save a draught of gall mixed with bitter herbs. When she could no longer stand, she sought repose on a bed constructed by herself, of broken glass, stone, potsherds, and thorns. She admitted that the thought of lying down on it made her tremble with dread.

(from Appleton's Cyclopedia)

She showed great piety in early life, and, to avoid hearing the praises of her beauty, disfigured her face with oil of vitriol (sulfuric acid).

I'm reading a book now about the problems with Islam. It's full of all sorts of criticisms and written by a Catholic. But what is to be gained by the Catholic Church continuing to venerate saints like Santa Rosa? How much further society could have advanced if the church venerated scientists instead...


salaries, look alikes

The median salary for Masters Research/PhD graduates in mathematics in 2005 in Australia was $63,547. Nearly five years after my PhD, I still don't make that much. I, too, must be an "unassertive person" like the kind of people who work for Ginga. Why doesn't someone just come along and offer me a better job?

I did look at myheritage.com's facial recognition site. It failed to come up with anything impressive. It kept comparing me to Christina Ricci.

Every time I look at RTM's site it feels like I'm looking in the mirror.



I've only flown on a Tupolev once, on September 11, 2003, on a Tehran to Khorramabad flight. (Yes, check that link!) As we arrived in Khorramabad I could see how easy it would be to crash into the mountains nearby.

Anyway Tupolev safety is a national joke in Iran so I am not surprised by the latest crash. However, Tupolev deserves some credit for inventing the world's first supersonic passenger aircraft, before Concorde.


the team weakness

There's a first time for everything... tonight we had a team of six. I had tried to enlist a TV specialist but she cancelled on me. It was an amusing night though, guessing Madonna's height, beating a team of gay people :-)

Here were the questions for the TV round, where we scored 8.

1. What are the names of the two boys in Diffrent Strokes?
2. Mrs Garrett moved from Diffrent Strokes to which other show?
3. The ABC is also affectionately known as...
4. Who is the host of "Temptation"?
5. Who has an uncle Jimbo in South Park?
6. Who is Edmund Blackadder's servant?
7. Veronica Mars is set in which fictional town?
8. Who plays Veronica Mars?
9. In which ABC show are DC Carver and DCI Burnside?
10. This Desparate Housewives character commits suicide and season 1 and now narrates the show.
11. Denny Crane is the main character in...?
12. How many seasons of Friends were there?
13. Who is the uncle in the Addams Family?
14. In the OC, Marissa died in whose arms?
15. Who won It Takes Two?

"I wouldn't want to be on a team which did well in a TV round" -- Matt


fond memories

I saw many films at the South Bank Cineplex. I decided to go past a nearby well-known restaurant and take some pictures. (I mean, well-known for paying its employees $9 or $10 an hour, under the award rate! They do this by employing unassertive people who are here on working holiday visas.)


free french lessons

I have been working very hard lately...

Today, I got some spam in Spanish sent to my maths account (ending in .edu.au). I became curious about what it said. (Because I could understand most of it.) Apparently they think I am going to visit a holiday reserve near Lima in Peru.

I commenced a lengthy vigorous discussion with my French officemate. Why did they send it to an Australian educational address? And why do some people get so much Korean, Chinese, and Japanese spam that they cannot understand?

I asked him if there was a French word for spam and he said there wasn't. So I typed invent french new words into google, and the very first result was discussing this exact topic on a blog! Some of the commenters said there were two words for spam in French -- pourriel and polluriel. I decided to research when each of these words were first used using groups.google.com. Pourriel is first, being first used on 1999-03-26 and polluriel was first used on 1999-09-15. Then I spent some time discussing the Academie Francaise with J. He said most French people would not understand any of the words used in the 1999-03-26 post above. Ok, back to work!



I spent $100 buying Rybka, the chess program, two weeks ago. The computers at work have been enjoying their weekends analyzing positions for me. But, I realized that other people have had my idea too. In particular, John L Jerz uses Rybka to analyze one of the sharpest variations in chess, the Traxler variation. Another player Maarten de Zeeuw wrote a survey of the variation and it was voted the best from the past 25 volumes of the New In Chess Yearbook Series. (!) de Zeeuw claims White has many ways to get a clear advantage, but Jerz finds better moves for Black.


funerals, languages, films

My boss went to a funeral of a friend yesterday. The friend got pancreatic cancer and was told he had three months to live, but it turned out to be only three weeks. He was 59, twice my age. I hope to live longer than that. What am I going to do with the next thirty years of my life?

A French student is visiting us at the moment. I have been trying to learn French words in the midst of procrastinating. Yesterday I had a discussion with him about programming languages. He vigorously promoted Caml to me. It has really good reliability and type-checking features. But I am just so used to C now. Am I too old to learn a new programming language well?

Last night I saw a wonderful film called Crossing the Bridge: The Sound of Istanbul at the film festival. It was so good I want to buy the soundtrack. On Saturday night I could see the Iranian war film Gilaneh. But it was not a favourite of audiences at Fajr and so I don't think I will see it then, if it all. Instead, I will go and see the world premiere of "Quest" because I loved the director's last film Paheli. Unfortunately, I have many friends who are quite closed-minded about Bollywood and refuse to see Bollywood films on principle.



Brisbane City Council (Bus Complaints)
GPO Box 1434
Brisbane Qld 4001

Dear Sir/Madam

Today, the 1st of August, 2006, I arrived at the bus stop next to Indooroopilly Station (Stop 35, 30 Lambert Road approaching Central Avenue) at 8:04am, intending to catch a bus to the University of Queensland, St Lucia. In the next twenty-three minutes, four buses, apparently full, went past – a 432 at 8:06am, a 432 at 8:08am, a 427 at 8:12am, and a 427 at 8:25am. Finally I caught a 428 at 8:27am arriving at UQ at 8:46am.

I think the council has probably known about these problems for a very long time, since I have seen BCC employees counting passengers stationed at this bus stop many times. A friend of mine, Ken Gray, who rarely commutes via bus, commented that he had complained about the problem as long ago as 1990. But the problem of a lack of buses along this route has reached a new peak of ridiculousness recently. I should have written earlier about these problems but today was just the straw that broke the camel’s back.

I would appreciate it if you would note the extreme problems here and if you would send a reply consisting of something other than platitudes and vague promises. A solution needs to be implemented as a matter of great urgency, otherwise it makes more sense for me and everyone else to catch a taxi or drive. (Alternatively, you may be able to advise me that fewer problems occur along the route from Toowong to UQ.)

(Attached for your reference: picture of line at bus stop at 8:25am today with annoyed commuters stretching out to the corner of Clarence Road and Lambert Road).