Archive for July, 2005

The Samuel Salute

NSW Premier Bob Carr announced his retirement from NSW politics today after a long and industrious career.

Mr. Carr has also announced that he has no plans to continue into federal politics.

I have always seen Bob Carr as being a sensible and level headed man, a man of integrity and morals, a gentleman and a leader, and a man of great intellect. New South Wales will be poorer without this great man as premier, and as much as I would like to think it will run smoothly without him, I very much doubt it. One of his ministers is likely to take over as premier, which will be interesting, and perhaps finally prove that City Rail isn’t Mr. Carr’s fault.

If Mr. Carr does stay out of Federal politics I think it will be a great loss. I would have liked to see him as Prime Minister one day, unfortunately it appears that will not be the case.

Regardless of what Bob Carr does, he has lead a very full, interesting, rewarding, challenging and hopefully enjoyable career and deserves to be able to choose his own terms of retirement. To survive as long as he has in politics and then to be able to make up your own mind about when to call it a day is an incredible achievement, and one that he definitely deserves.

The Honourable Bob Carr receives a very special award which is rarely presented.

Mr. Carr, you receive “The Samuel Salute”.

Congratulations on your many fine achievements, and may your retirement be as fulfilling and rewarding as your incredible career has been.

Mr. Carr, well done.


Add comment July 27th, 2005 at 10:29pm

Tutorial: Creating Patchwork Art

Last night I explained how Patchwork Art works, and said I should create a diagram, well, I have. Firstly a warning, this is a very long and colourful post, the blog continues if you scroll past it. This post renders with large gaps in Internet Explorer, use Firefox instead.

Step One: Drawing A Picture In Pen
This is possibly the most important step as it lays out the framework for the picture.

Step Two: Having A Colour Draw
This step places the colours in the order which you will use them. In my case it is a matter of randomising twelve colour pencils.
The order that the example Colour Draw produced is:
Light Green
Light Blue
Dark Green
Dark Blue

Step Three: Drawing Vertical Lines
It is up to you how many lines there are and how you space them, I recommend having at least four vertical and four horizontal lines. It is preferable that they are not evenly spaced and that you have a different number of vertical and horizontal lines. The lines must be drawn in the Colour Draw order.

Step Four: Drawing Horizontal Lines
This continues the Colour Draw order of colours.

Step Five: Filling in the grid squares
Again we continue with the Colour Draw order of colours. Filling the grid squares (even though they aren’t square) is done clockwise.

The black has intercepted a line of its own colour and is allowed to cross the line, this is called a spread.

The light blue has also intercepted a line of its own colour, and we have another spread.

Step Six: Colouring The Objects

Now it is time to colour in the objects. With larger objects such as tables you should follow steps Three, Four & Five on the objects, but with smaller objects, or in places where it doesn’t seem appropriate, you may choose to draw a single colour or do some kind of pattern. Whatever you do, you must continue to follow the order of colours from the Colour Draw.

Once you have done that you will have a completed piece of Patchwork Art.

As per usual, clicking on the picture will show a larger version. These pictures are not on the Photo Gallery.


Add comment July 27th, 2005 at 09:07pm

Samuel’s Artwork: Samuel In Dolgnwot

And now for today’s episode of Samuel In Dolgnwot.
Samuel doing his shoppingIn this Episode you can see Samuel doing his shopping.

It was a requirement of the Gold Game that we spent half a day, once a week, shopping. In this picture it is quite clear that the pencil lines were drawn before they people were. If you look closely you can see the teacher has left a tick on the page, which is actually a bit suprising considering what happens in tommorow’s double image special of Samuel In Dolgnwot.

Clicking on the picture will show a larger version, you can also find it on the photo gallery.


Add comment July 27th, 2005 at 07:11pm

Samuel’s Artwork: Samuel In Dolgnwot

In today’s episode of Samuel In Dolgnwot, you can see Samuel writing or drawing in his diary.
Samuel writing or drawing in his diary
It might be worthwhile explaining how the Patchwork Art actually works.

Basically, I had 12 colour pencils and a pen. Firstly I drew the objects with a pen, in this case it was the person, the chair, the table & the window. Then I had a “Colour Draw” where the colour the colour pencils were arranged in a random order, then I coloured in the background with the pencils in the order that they were drawn. Firstly I drew a set of vertical lines with the colour pencils and then a set of horizontal lines with the pencils. For this picture it appears that the colour draw was “Yellow, Light Blue, Cream, Dark Blue, Purple, Pink, Black, Red, Dark Green, Brown, Orange, Light Green” Then the resulting grid was filled in with the colours in a clockwise direction, if the line between the current grid square and the next grid square was the same colour as the one I was using then it got to “spread” into the next square. The objects were usually coloured in after this using the same method (The pencils were not reordered however) and in this case it would appear that I decided to make the window light blue.

I should probably make an animation of this system to make it a bit clearer.

Clicking on the picture will show a larger version, you can also find it on the photo gallery.


Add comment July 26th, 2005 at 06:21pm

Software Development Lifecycle

This is from a person calling themselves “Fox_E_Mama” on the Mozilla website.

  • Open source calls it: alpha testing Microsoft calls it: 1.0 Google calls it: shhhh … top secret Apple calls it: unsubstantiated rumors
  • Open source calls it: beta testing Microsoft calls it: 2.0 Google calls it: beta testing Apple calls it: rumors with possibly some substance to them.
  • Open source calls it: release candidate Microsoft calls it: 3.0 Google calls it: beta testing Apple calls it: copies are circulated to the usual suspects, who eagerly publish reviews describing it as the “most innovating product yet!”.
  • Open source calls it: 1.0 Microsoft calls it: varies. Previous names have included 3.1, 95, 98, 4.0, 5.0 or X. Google calls it: beta testing Apple calls it: released to the market place, Steve Jobs goes on record to say that it is “insanely great”.
  • Open source calls it: 2.0 Microsoft calls it: SP1,2,3… Google calls it: beta testing Apple calls it: a recall


Add comment July 26th, 2005 at 01:11am

More Reasons I Like Firefox

Well, apart from the obvious “It isn’t written by the lunatic monkeys at Microsoft” reasons, there are a few other reasons I really like Firefox.

Firefox UpdateFor one thing, it knows when it needs updating, and it makes it a simple “couple of clicks” process. Security problems are generally fixed within a few days of the Mozilla people becoming aware of them, which is much better than the monthly patch-o-rama from Microsoft. Internet Explorer doesn’t seem to know much at all, let alone when it is out of date…and if you don’t run Windows Update, there is a very good chance your copy of IE is out of date….of course if you don’t use IE, then you don’t have too much to worry about. Note that my version of Firefox isn’t out of date, it just keeps the symbol there for a while after it is updated until it checks in with the update server again.

Firefox TabsTabs, well, there isn’t much to say there other than the fact that they are great. They make life so much easier.

Firefox FeedsFeed Integration. Firefox makes it nice and easy to subscribe to feeds, and has one supplied with it, BBC World News headlines.

Firefox Extensions on my statusbarExtensions, this is ultimately the knockout feature of Firefox. Being open source and somewhat JavaScript based, it is fairly easy to create extensions for Firefox. There are a heap of extensions for Firefox designed to make Firefox easier for people to use. On my status bar you can see the Firefox Gmail Notifier, the Google Adsense Notifier, and a weather forecast thingy. Most, if not all of these extensions work on all distributions of Firefox, so cross-platform is nice and easy. Internet Explorer has extensions too, but most of them are bloatware/adware/spyware toolbars that don’t do much.

ChatzillaExtensions aren’t by any means limited to the statusbar though, Firefox has an extension that brings the Mozilla Suite’s Chatzilla program to Firefox. Chatzilla is an incredibly good IRC client. It amazes me how much open source software relies on IRC for developer discussions and end user support. IRC is an open standard, but was something that most people had never heard of a few years back, now it is one of the first stops for open source info.

Could somebody remind me to never send “/list” to freenode ever again. I did it to help create that screenshot, but it ended up taking 5 minutes for it to get the entire list of 2655 channels….never again.

FTP in Internet ExplorerOf course, one of the complaints I have heard (and have had myself) is the lack of FTP functionality in Firefox. Of all the browsers, Internet Explorer has the most FTP functionality out-of-the-box as it has a Windows Explorer style FTP interface which works almost the same way as Windows Explorer, it lacks advanced features of most FTP clients, but it does a reasonable job (except for the freeze when it has trouble connecting).

Firefox has the standard “List the files and folders as hyperlinks” way of showing FTP connections, which is a bit of a standard approach, and is easier to look at when you want to download something, FTP in Firefoxbut it has absolutely no upload features, which makes things slightly painful. Firefox also has problems when a standard FTP login goes slightly astray, and trying it through a proxy is like banging your head on the wall in the hope it will turn into a pumpkin…it just isn’t going to happen.

Naturally, somebody has come along and written a fantastic FTP Client extension for Firefox called FireFTP. FireFTP has all the features you would expect from a commercial FTP client, Local & Remote folder views, advanced file settings, ASCII & Binary transfer mode selection, and much more. And the best parts are that it is free, FTP in Firefox extension FireFTPopen source, and above all, as a Firefox extension, it is cross-platform. So you can take your favourite FTP client everywhere.

I did like the statement from somebody at Mozilla the other week along the lines of “We are expecting Firefox downloads to increase after the release of Internet Explorer 7”. Whilst I agree with them, I would like to see that implemented elsewhere, Open Office downloads increasing whenever MS Office is released, Linux downloads increasing when Windows Vista (the new name for Longhorn) is released…you get my drift.


Add comment July 26th, 2005 at 12:14am

Comment Spam In The Running For Golden Bull Award

The recent comment spam has now officially been entered in the Plain English Campaign‘s Golden Bull Awards.

I received an email from Tony Maher, General Manager of the Plain English Campaign a few hours ago in which he wrote:
I will certainly enter this into our ‘Golden Bull’ awards for you.
Exactly what the author was trying to achieve is beyond me.

Well Tony, it is beyond me too!

Incidentally, I wrote the comment spammer an email in which I said:
For some strange reason, I almost find your comment amusing

He replied with:
Thanks Samuel…
(His/Her Website which doesn’t deserve a mention)
Please note: message attached

But there were no attatchments, so I suspect that this person is possibly from another planet, or at least trying to appear that way.

I regularly receive Plain English Campaign newsletters and follow their awards closely, so I will attempt to keep you informed.


Add comment July 25th, 2005 at 11:48pm

Samuel’s Artwork: Samuel In Dolgnwot

Samuel arriving in DolgnwotToday’s episode of Samuel In Dolgnwot sees Samuel arriving in Dolgnwot on his horse who is saying “Neigh”, Samuel is pleased to arrive as well, saying “Ah good”.

Interestingly, this picture was actually the first picture drawn and was the original start of the series, however the pilot episode’s plot was created and a picture needed to be drawn for it.

The origin of the name Dolgnwot is an interesting story. At the beginning of the “Gold Game” unit of work, the class was asked for suggestion for the name of the town, one of the suggestions was “Gold Town” backwards, which was taken as “Town Gold” and then the letters were reversed as well, but the teacher made a mistake that nobody realised and so “Dolgnwot” (aka, “Town Glod” backwards) became the name of the town in which the unit of work was to take place.

Clicking on the picture will show a larger version, you can also find it on the photo gallery.


Add comment July 25th, 2005 at 02:53pm

Schnappi hits 12

Hooray, Schnappi is now 12 on the ARIA singles chart

I looked tonight as ARIA update the charts on Sunday nights, and I was very very pleasantly suprised.

Schnappi has been in the charts three times, originally at 20, then at 21, and now at 12…I am very pleased.

The Schnappi website can be seen at and I have provided the Schnappi lyrics below.

Ich bin Schnappi das kleine Krokodil,
komm aus Ägypten das liegt direkt am Nil.
Zuerst lag ich in einem Ei,
dann schni schna schnappte ich mich frei.

schni schna schnappi schnappi schnappi schnapp
schni schna schnappi schnappi schnappi schnapp
schni schna schnappi schnappi schnappi schnapp
schni schna schnappi schnappi schnappi schnapp

Ich bin Schnappi das kleine Krokodil,
hab scharfe Zähne und davon ganz schön viel.
Ich schnapp mir was ich schnappen kann,
ja schnapp zu weil ich das so gut kann.

schni schna schnappi schnappi schnappi schnapp
schni schna schnappi schnappi schnappi schnapp
schni schna schnappi schnappi schnappi schnapp
schni schna schnappi schnappi schnappi schnapp

Ich bin Schnappi das kleine Krokodil,
ich schnappe gern das ist mein Lieblingsspiel.
Ich schleich mich an die Mama ran,
und zeig ihr wie ich schnappen kann!

schni schna schnappi schnappi schnappi schnapp
schni schna schnappi schnappi schnappi schnapp
schni schna schnappi schnappi schnappi schnapp
schni schna schnappi schnappi schnappi schnapp

Ich bin Schnappi das kleine Krokodil,
und vom Schnappen da krieg ich nicht zuviel.
Ich beiss den Papi kurz ins Bein,
und dann, dann schlafe ich einfach ein.

schni schna schnappi schnappi schnappi schnapp
schni schna schnappi schnappi schnappi schnapp

schni schna schnappi schnappi schnappi schnapp
schni schna schnappi schnappi schnappi schnapp


Add comment July 25th, 2005 at 12:48am

100 Pictures On The Photo Gallery

My photo gallery hit 100 images tonight after I placed the two Samuel In Dolgnwot images on it. The photo gallery continues to grow, and this milestone is quite an acheivment, especially considering that its main original purpose was hosting my photos from Linux.Conf.Au 2005

The first pictures on the photo gallery were of Nattie at the Canberra balloon fiesta in March, however the photo gallery was still in a trial period at that time. After a little while it became the official image repository for this blog as it automatically resizes pictures and gives them URLs without me having to think about it, and whilst now has image uploading, the photo gallery still mirrors most of the images used here and often has more.

The photo gallery went into true production mode when Linux.Conf.Au 2005 came to town, becoming one of the most popular websites of the conference receiving 306 visits with 2357 page views. During this time it received 16748 hits, some of which were from images on this blog, which was one of the most popular blogs during Linux.Conf.Au 2005 and was used as a news source by The Register for Andrew Tridgell’s bitkeeper demonstration.

Since this time the photo gallery has received numerous pictures covering things that Nattie has done, pictures I have drawn and numerous other things.

The photo gallery can be found at


Add comment July 24th, 2005 at 11:22pm

Samuel’s Artwork: Samuel In Dolgnwot

The Samuel’s Artwork series continues now with a series of pictures titled “Samuel In Dolgnwot”.

Samuel In Dolgnwot was a series of pictures I drew in Year 6 (1999) during a unit of school work called “The Gold Game”. As part of this we had to keep a diary, and rather than write my diary, I drew it, and this series is those drawings. The drawings mainly consist of my “patchwork art” which was my style at the time, I will explain the process I went through to create the images at a later date. I intend on running one episode per day, so stay tuned for the full series of Samuel In Dolgnwot.

The first picture was the cover of the book, and it is an artwork itself. While I was drawing these pictures I decided that it was a TV series, and as such, each picture is an episode. The episode you see here is the pilot episode where I leave home for the goldfields. Despite the fact that this is the first picture in the book, it was, in fact, the last picture drawn in the book. I made the plot for the pilot episode long before I drew the picture.

Anyway, the basic outline of the story is that I live in the forest of Canberra in the mid 1800’s (Long before Canberra actually existed, and history shows that Canberra was not a forest, but for the purposes of Samuel In Dolgnwot it was) and my house is very futuristic for its time, containing most of the modern conveniences of 1999, however money is starting to become scarce and as such, I leave for the goldfields in order to make some extra money. In this particular episode, I am just about ready to leave when my mischevious housemates (various animals) hide my luggage and make me go on a mystery hunt through the house, following the clues they have left behind, to find my luggage. Eventually I find the luggage and head for the goldfields on my horse.

Clicking on the pictures will show larger versions, you can also find them on the photo gallery.


Add comment July 24th, 2005 at 10:52pm

Comment Spam

There is a rather long piece of comment spam on the post below this one. It is weird and interesting, but just so you know, my blog does continue after it.


Add comment July 24th, 2005 at 06:23pm

Samuel’s Musician Of The Week

This week the award goes to Johnny Cash, and in particular, the song Ring Of Fire which I have fond memories of hearing when I was much younger (two or three years old I beleive).

Wikipedia has a very good biography of Johnny Cash at and the lyrics of Ring Of Fire are below.

Love is a burnin’ thing,
And it makes a fiery ring
Bound by wild desire —
I fell into a ring of fire.

I fell into a burnin’ ring of fire —
I went down, down, down
And the flames went higher,
And it burns, burn, burns,
The ring of fire, the ring of fire.

The taste of love is sweet
When hearts like ours meet.
I fell for you like a child —
Oh, but the fire ran wild.

I fell into a burnin’ ring of fire —
I went down, down, down
And the flames went higher,
And it burns, burn, burns,
The ring of fire, the ring of fire.

I fell into a burnin’ ring of fire —
I went down, down, down,
And the flames went higher,
And it burns, burn, burns,
The ring of fire, the ring of fire.

The ring of fire (and Fade)


4 comments July 24th, 2005 at 12:49pm

Stargate Atlantis: Brotherhood to be replayed

Good news, Seven have seen common sense and will be replaying the episode of Stargate Atlantis they cut off last week at the usual time on Thursday.

Well done Seven, and thankyou for considering those of us who watch late night sci-fi.

I hear there were a number of angry phone calls to Seven after the debacle they created, so maybe this had something to do with the decision…regardless, Seven have made the right decision. Thankyou Seven.


Add comment July 24th, 2005 at 12:46pm

Schnappi 21 On The ARIA Charts

I am pleased to be able to announce that Schnappi The Little Crocodile (Schnappi Das Kleine Krokodil) is currently 21 on the ARIA singles chart. Who would have ever thought that Schnappi would be in the charts. He was number one on the German charts for a while apparently, and John Laws did take quite a liking to him, and played him many times each morning for a while, maybe that it is why he is in the charts.

I guess the upshot of this is that all those TV & Radio chart countdown shows have to play Schnappi, which is a good thing. And if you are wondering, Sanity are selling the single for $AUD4.99, which includes the remixes and the video clip.

I think it is time for a picture of Schnappi
Schnappi The Little Crocodile


Add comment July 23rd, 2005 at 10:49pm

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