Archive for June, 2005

Samuel’s Musicians Of The Week

The award this week almost went to the Wayfarers (who are under album name “The Australian Collection), but they got beaten right on the finish line by Bachman Turner Overdrive.


Add comment June 26th, 2005 at 05:49pm finally has image uploading

Don\'t Fear The Penguins
Yay, I don’t have to upload images to my photo gallery before putting them on my blog.

I felt like using the new feature to add the picture to the left of screen.

And it automatically sizes it nicely, I like this.


2 comments June 26th, 2005 at 05:44pm

Garfield’s Birthday

As you may be aware, Sunday was Garfield’s birthday.
Garfield\'s 27th Birthday
Happy Birthday Garfield!!


Add comment June 21st, 2005 at 08:51pm

Now gmail is doing it again, in multiple locations.

Gmail has seemingly reverted to on every computer I am using.
Seems to me that gmail might be getting closer to a public release.

Naturally, I have scrubbed out my emails from the picture above.


Add comment June 21st, 2005 at 08:45pm

Samuel’s Musicians Of The Week.

I’ll let you in on a little secret here, the Musician (or Musicians) Of The Week is almost always based on something I heard during the preceding week. Most of the music I hear during the week comes from the CD collection at home which is played in order alphabetically by group or person name.

Anyways, we have started from the top of the collection again, and ABBA have won the award for this week.


Add comment June 19th, 2005 at 07:04pm

I’m holding my breath now!

Until 12:05 when I find out if John Kerr is still hosting New Day Australia on 2UE, 4BC, 2CC and many other stations around Australia.

You can hold your breath too, either by listening to your local New Day relay station, or listening online via the 2UE website, or the 4BC website. I think the 4BC stream sounds better…but it uses more bandwidth.


Add comment June 19th, 2005 at 06:39pm

More 2UE Laws/Bocking News

Well, Stuart Bocking doing his Saturday night show last night said that John Laws had an back operation during the week and is now at home recovering, he also said that they are expecting Lawsie to be back at work “soon”.

In the meantime however, John Laws has attacked 2UE and is threatening to quit. He spoke exclusively with the Sunday Telegraph which suprises me as he always seems to have tongue in cheek when reffering to it and it’s weekday version, The Daily Telegraph, as a “fine journal”.

The Daily Telegraph story can be read here and is also reproduced below.

Laws attacks 2UE

June 19, 2005

BROADCASTER John Laws feels he is being wasted by 2UE and is threatening to quit the Sydney radio station.

Frustrated: Talk show host John Laws recuperating at home in Woolloomooloo

In a stinging attack on 2UE’s management, Laws accused the station of being too Melbourne-centric and neglecting its Sydney interests.

“It does sort of bother me that with what is a great radio station by any standards, these people think they can run it from Melbourne,” Laws said.

“Well you just can’t bloody well do it.”

Laws said too many spending decisions at 2UE need approval from Melbourne head office and not enough is spent on promoting the Sydney station which he regards as the jewel in the company’s crown.

The radio legend, who is in the middle of one of the worst ratings slumps in his 53-year career, said although he feared quitting radio because it gave him a reason to get out of bed each day, he felt he was being “wasted”.

He said if he is not “captain” then he does not intend to stay aboard the sinking ship.

Once the top-rating Sydney station, 2UE is now in eighth place and Laws, who dropped 49,000 listeners in the latest ratings period, admits that for the first time in his career he is worried.

Laws wants more independence for 2UE, which is owned by Melbourne-based Southern Cross Broadcasting, more money for station promotion and more “mongrel” in station management.

“I’d certainly want to be looking at all my options, because if I’m not the captain then I’m not going to stay aboard the sinking ship, but if I thought better about that situation then of course I would (stay),” Laws said.

“It’ll depend a lot on what goes on in my head but at the moment I just feel that I’m being wasted and the radio station is being wasted.”

Laws spoke to The Sunday Telegraph at his palatial Wooloomooloo harbourside apartment only hours after being discharged from St Vincent’s Hospital.

Last week he underwent a three-hour operation to relieve chronic back pain that has dogged him for more than a year. He will spend six weeks recovering.

The time away from the microphone has given Laws plenty of time to mull over the decline of the once top-rating 2UE – now lying eighth in the Sydney market and five points behind talk rival 2GB.

In the last survey, Laws dropped to fifth place. And he acknowledges that although he has been in slumps before and recovered, this time he is worried.

“It probably feels different because of my age. I probably wonder how many times can I keep bouncing back again,” he said. “There’s got to be a limit I suppose. And also I’m probably just a little grumpier.

He said Southern Cross managing director Tony Bell was “too nice to be in radio”.

Laws is contracted to 2UE until 2010 but can walk away any time he likes. He just can’t work for another station.

He turns 70 in August and admits he has been thinking about his future – thoughts sharpened by the back pain, his frustrations at 2UE’s decline and a feeling that the fun has gone out of radio.

“Never before in my life have I thought ‘Oh Christ, why am I doing this? I’ll take six months off.’ But I started to think like that,” he said.

But Laws, who still commands a vast regional network audience, later adds that he doesn’t want to retire while he’s down. Laws believes he can claw his way back against rival and former protege Ray Hadley.

“I’m not scared about (retirement),” he said.

“But I would be concerned that my life would feel empty, that I would feel I wasn’t needed. That’s the deal about living. You’ve got to feel needed to get out of bed in the morning.”

Story courtesy of The Sunday Telegraph


Add comment June 19th, 2005 at 05:39pm

And now Gmail isn’t doing it

Well, it would appear that was a short lived adventure. It seems to have reverted to now…very odd


Add comment June 18th, 2005 at 06:31pm

Gmail update

I noticed something interesting about Gmail a few minutes ago.
When accessing gmail, I used to be directed to, now I am directed to

To me at least, this indicates that Gmail is getting closer to a proper public release.

Until then, if you want a Gmail invite, I have some to give a way. Email me at smoothwallsamuel (_at_) gmail (_dot_) com if you would like one.


Add comment June 17th, 2005 at 02:43pm

Power saving to the max!

While fixing a computer last night, I got quite a scare when the computer stopped booting. I could see the Windows 98 splash screen, but it just stopped on that. It wouldn’t boot from the HDD, the floppy drive or the CD drive. After a lot of pulling my hair out I discovered that it seemed to stop around the time it wanted to check the HDD, which didn’t make sense as the HDD was fine.

After a lot more hair pulling and tugging I decided to have a look at the BIOS power saving, it was on, which isn’t an issue as such, but after I turned it off, the computer booted properly. On further investigation I have discovered that the power saving went nuts and turned off the HDD when it was in use…great fun.

Now, if you have power saving turned on, I have to ask you why.
When your hard drive is on, it is spinning, and the heads are being held aloft over the magnetic surface of the HDD by the air cushion created by the spinning, your HDD also has a landing zone for the heads, the reason it has this is that when the Hard Drive slows down and the air cushion disappears, the heads crash land on the hard drive and drag for a little while…the same thing happens in reverse when the hard drive starts up again, the heads drag for a while until the air cushion builds up. The landing zone creates a safe area for the heads to crash and drag.

The more you turn your HDD on and off, the more damage you do to the heads, and if they don’t hit the landing zone, the data on your HDD. Your HDD doesn’t use much power…in fact, an absolutely minimal amount. You would be well advised to leave your HDD running when you computer is running as it creates less wear and tear on the heads, the magnetic surface and the motor. It also provides faster access times.

The only decent reason for using power saving on your HDD is if you are running a laptop on batteries, otherwise, turn off power saving.


Add comment June 17th, 2005 at 02:18pm

Record SmoothWall uptime

Well, it became time to apply an update to my SmoothWall and reboot it. It has created a record uptime of 84 days, 16 hours and 42 minutes.
Record SmoothWall Uptime Screenshot


Add comment June 16th, 2005 at 12:02am

Samuel takes an axe to Microsoft

What a wonderful day Microsoft have just had.

To start with, Microsoft have reminded everyone that Windows 2000 support will end on 30 June 2005. Windows 2000 is probably the most widely used OS in corporate environments and cutting support for it isn’t going to win them any friends. Sure, MS want companies to move to their newer, nicer & stranger Windows XP, which will cost money. Australian government agencies would not be happy with spending money on upgrading, so which option do they take:
1) Stay with unsupported an eventually highly unsafe Windows 2000 (see for proof of unpatched and probably never to be patched security issues in Windows 2000). Cost: Short-term $0, Long-term potentially costly investment in fixing all the issues that will arise. Future versions of Windows Apps (and some current ones) not supporting 2000 will also add to the cost through lost productivity and profits.
2) Upgrade to Windows XP and deal with the new quirks it brings, as well as the interesting upgrades of various programs that simply won’t run under XP. Cost: High, could cost a very large sum of money with the gazillion upgrades and re-training of staff…even if only Windows needs to be upgraded it will still be costly.
3) Move to Linux. Depending on the applications required in the company, probably a good idea, even if only part of the company changes. The cost is anywhere from $0 to low/medium depending on which distro is chosen and whether training is required. Regardless of the overall cost, it is still worthwile considering…good to be informed, you may need the information when it comes time to avoid Windows Longhorn.

Second axe grinding issue, Microsoft have censored MSN blogs in China. If you are chinese and want to talk about anything remotely political, Microsoft will give you a nice little warning saying “This topic contains forbidden words. Please delete them.”

Among the censorings are:

  • Freedom
  • Democracy
  • Human Rights
  • Communism
  • Socialism
  • Capitalism
  • Taiwanese Independence
  • Tibet
  • Dalai Lama
  • Falun Gong
  • Terrorism
  • Massacre
  • Demonstration
  • The name of the chinese president, Hu Jintao
  • Tiananmen

If you’re chinese and want a blog, use or something useful, because Microsoft & Yahoo want to censor you, Microsoft being more censor filled than Yahoo.

And while I’m at it, lets have a look at AOL and Microsoft.
AOL users reportedly make up the majority of zombie computers on the internet, which is hardly suprising with the way AOL operate.

For those of you who don’t know, AOL internet connections work with proprieatary AOL software (Including their own bizzare version of the clattering rubbish machine that is commonly known as Microsoft Internet Explorer). AOL also do everything in their power to prevent users from understanding the way their computer or the internet works, at the same time, not providing any anti-virus, anti-spyware or other anti-malware software. Congratualtions AOL, it is thanks to you that the rest of us have to ensure that we keep all our anti-malware software up to date consistently and ensure we have good firewalls. Thankyou AOL, you have successfully slowed down the Internet with your constant stream of zombie generated junk, and thankyou so much for never letting any of your users know about any problems that could occur. It is thanks to you AOL that non-computer savvy people have absolutely no idea that they are spreading useless junk and will never know or suspect that such stuff even travels to and from their computers. Thankyou AOL, thankyou sooooo much.

If you are an AOL user, please do a few things, firstly, change ISP. Secondly, install, run, and keep up-to-date anti-malware software (use the search box on the right of the page if it helps). Third, Install Mozilla Firefox (web browser) and Mozilla Thunderbird (email client).


1 comment June 15th, 2005 at 08:45pm

Co-driver staying or going?

I am now hearing conflicting reports about whether Stuart Bocking is staying with John Laws and Saturday Night Live or not, whether John Kerr is continuing to host New Day Australia or not, and whether George Gibson and Warren Moore and staying the places they are currently in or not.

I’m thoroughly confused now!


Add comment June 15th, 2005 at 07:52pm

Samuel’s Musician of the Week

Looks like I forgot to post my Musician of the Week….Ray Charles


Add comment June 15th, 2005 at 07:51pm

Blog View Stats

Another Exciting Change on Samuel’s Blog!

As some of you may have noticed, you can view stats for this blog by clicking on the little graph picture under the heading “Blog View Stats”. This service is provided by Nedstat, however I have noticed some minor problems with it…the major ones being that a number of the stats only account for the last 100 page views, and that there is no easy way to see what search phrases are being used to find the site…I get keywords and referring URL’s which is a pain in the neck.

I have now added WebStat monitoring to the site as well, the free counter isn’t as detailed as nedstat, but it makes life a lot easier for me as I can see some meaningful overall reports whilst letting nedstat do it’s recent trends thing (and make pretty pictures on the fly).

Both the detailed recent nedstat stats, and the meaningful long term stats are availabe from the sidebar. Note that the Webstat stats are new and won’t be detailed for a little while…but they are there anyway, enjoy!


Add comment June 14th, 2005 at 12:00am

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