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A return of sorts for 2019

June 17th, 2019 at 05:30pm


It has been quite a while since I have posted anything on here, and an awful lot has happened in the world in that time. In recent weeks I have come to the conclusion that I am keen to resume blogging on a regular basis, but at the same time I don’t know that I really have enough spare time in the day to blog “on a regular basis”.

That said, I do want to resume, so here we are.

It would be fair to say that, since 2008 I have had a number of periods of absence from this blog. Each time I come back and decide I want to blog constantly and frequently, then find that I have too many ideas that I want to blog about, not enough time to write anything useful about most of them, and end up putting off new posts until I complete the old ideas which, of course, I never do, and the blog grinds to a halt. I have learned from this.

What I propose to do instead is to return to blogging occasionally, sometimes frequently, but not worry about it if I don’t have time to write about everything which I would like to write. Assuming I do go on blogging, there are a couple maintenance tasks I would like to do which will affect the way you view the site. These include:

Updating the overall appearance a bit. The current look and feel of this blog has been in place with minor adjustments since I moved the blog away from Blogger and on to paid hosting all the way back in 2005. It has served the site well, and fundamentally I still like it, but it could do with some updating, especially the main column width which worked very well in the days when 800×600 and 1024×768 screen resolutions were the norm, but these days it is too narrow and is also quite clunky on a mobile device.

Removing aspects of the site which require Flash. Flash is a dying technology, and has been exterminated in a lot of places. Some web browsers make it very difficult to use. There isn’t much on this site which uses it. It is only in use for embedded audio and video. The audio is simple to deal with as this is generally all MP3 audio anyway which anything can play, so embedding a player adds minimal benefit, but embedded inline video is important in some posts. Back in the days when Google was buying YouTube and things like Flickr were shiny and new, I made the conscious decision to not host most of my media content on these external platforms because it puts the content at the whim of those sites. If a site disappears, so does the content. If a site decides to remove it for whatever reason (and we are seeing a lot of censorship by Google and Facebook in particular lately, primarily of conservatives) then the content is gone. Keeping it hosted locally takes up space, but provides much greater control and freedom. The video content on this site when embedded was generally in the Flash Video format, although in some cases I did upload alternative versions in Windows Media and Quicktime formats (back in the days when having different software really determined what would and would not play on your system), so these may need conversion to MP4 format but then should be easily embeddable without the use of Flash.

Another thing I would like to do is write some brief summary posts about various world affairs which have transpired since I last updated the blog, outlining my thoughts on some of these events. Assuming I do this, they may be a bit few and far between, depending on when I think of a subject which requires a summary. I can think of two right now, but I’m not ready to write about them yet.

So, with that, I will leave you for now and move on to the next post for the day.


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  • 1. nbrettoner  |  June 17th, 2019 at 10:39 pm

    Welcome back Simon,
    Looking forward to once again reading the sometimes blogs you find time to put up. And how you go with the new layout etc.

    I still think back to 2015, when we caught up over coffee and you showed me ’round your workplace, and in the process introducing me to some interesting people and technology.

    In brief summary, last year I was able to finally return to the “Top End” after 32 years absence. As with my 2015 7 week sojourn I camped/slept in my Subaru Outback wagon. Only this time the duration was 2 3/4 months. Departing Coffs Harbour 15 Feb, via Broken Hill to Adelaide then the Ghan to Darwin. Driving back to Adelaide like Zorro (all over the map) including over 600kms dirt road. Then back home via Deni and Sydney.
    Simon, welcome back 🙂

  • 2. Samuel  |  June 18th, 2019 at 1:53 am

    Hello Noel. Good to hear from you. It sounds like you had quite the adventure over that distance.

    I did read your email the other week but my memory is failing me and I’m not entirely sure if I replied or just mentally composed a reply and got sidetracked by something else. I am off to bed shortly, but I will endeavour to check in the morning and reply properly if I haven’t already done so.

    I hope Coffs Harbour is treating you well. And yes I recall your visit to Canberra and Jason kindly offering some of his time to show us some of the more technical bits and bobs. Even I learned a thing or two that day.

    All the best.


June 2019

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