Soldering is such a pain in the arse

Filed under: General - Mark @ 7:16 pm


Well I’ve been fixing this awesome surround sound unit that my friend at work gave me. The left channel was busted, so I managed to deduce that the problem lay in an IC (it was kinda obvious actually). So I ordered the replacement parts through some guy in HK and the ICs arrived the other day. In the process of replacing the IC I somehow managed to damage the ribbon cable that runs to the front panel (it was a very very poor design), so now I have to replace that because otherwise it won’t turn on.

So I de-soldered the existing ribbon cables (there were two of them), ripped apart an old IDE cable (seemed to be the right kind of weight in the wiring) and set to work. After 45 minutes I’ve soldered one-end of the ide cable in place, but two of the contacts are broken and one of them just fell straight off. Now the soldering iron wasn’t particularly hot, so wtf? Now I have to freakin spend hours fixing the fix for the fix. Not tonight though. Can’t be bothered.

Add Comment (2) | 29/11/2007



Naughty naughty boy

Filed under: General - Mark @ 7:50 am


I know I know, I’m as bad as the people I like to critisize. And I seem to be saying that more and more regularly. But in honesty, I have sat down to write something three times in the past week and something has happened to cause me to stop.

So, it appears we have a new government this morning. As I said to Angela last night, this is the bit where everyone who voted Labour goes to bed and wakes up tomorrow wondering if they did the right thing. Dad equated it to like buying a new expensive toy and then immediately wondering if you need it after all. But you know what? Its time for change. I voted Labour. Mainly because I don’t like John Howard any more and I’m sick of him. It’s not really a party thing at all. Just him. I’ll be looking forward to see what happens in the next few months.

What else? Oh, Engagement party plans are coming along. We think we finally have an invitation list. We have to keep it kinda small considering it’s going to be at Angelas place. No more than 45 or so people. Making the list kinda made me realise how many friend I don’t have in Sydney, but then I’ve always kinda been a loner so that’s OK.

We put a deposit on the reception venue. It’s going to cost an absolute fortune. Not a small fortune, and absolute fortune (that is, a fortune in its own right). I can’t stress that enough. I’ve mentioned to a few people how much its going to cost and all but one of them almost fainted. One person goes “Thats not too bad”, but his sisters wedding did cost $80,000.

Hmm, gotta head off now. If I don’t get distracted, more later.

Add Comment (1) | 25/11/2007



Sydney Tower

Filed under: General - Mark @ 10:32 am


Ange’s work mates very thoughfully got us a dinner for two at Sydney Tower (otherwise known as Centerpoint Tower, the huge ugly sticky pointy building in the middle of the city). The food was good (not great, but good), but the drinks were expennnsive. But it was a nice night.

And guess what Kris: They were taken on my CAMERA PHONE! OH NO THE HORROR!

Add Comment (1) | 18/11/2007




Filed under: General - Mark @ 7:05 am – This guy’s neighbours were stealing his wireless. Because he has a proper setup (not just a dodgey router like most people, including myself, use), he was able to flip their internet upside down. Absolutally awesome.

Add Comment (0) | 15/11/2007




Filed under: General - Mark @ 3:09 pm


I’ve just had to use a 15″ Widescreen Sony Vaio laptop at work (it’s someone elses, I had to set up their security settings for our intranet).


I am absolutally ashamed to say that I like it. I normally hate Vaio laptops. Sony make hi-fi products. Not laptops. And the ones I’ve seen and used in the past have dissapointed me with their incredibly high prices and low performance, and general un-ergonomic design.

But this was one nice. It had a full sized keyboard (very rare on a Sony laptop) and the screen was just vibrant and crisp. It had a few typical Sony faults (there was a huge fucking clip right in the middle of the palm rest that normally holds the screen shut, but it wouldn’t go down when I tried to lock it away and annoyed the shit out of me) but all in all, I was impressed.

I’m sure it’s still incredibly over-priced though.

Add Comment (1) | 13/11/2007



This is why I don’t normally do anything with the commonweath bank

Filed under: General - Mark @ 5:13 pm


Ange and I opened a joint account the other day with the commonweath bank cos they had the highest rate of intrest on a savings account.

I got my card and whatnot today. It says I have to active it. Ok. So I call the number. After navigating through those annoying menus, it says to enter my card number. I do. It then says enter my password. What password? I dont know? So I enter my pin. No good. It then asks for my card number again! So I input my card number, and then try my online banking pin number (not that I have my online banking account yet, but more on that later). No good. After one more round, it then says it’s going to transfer me to a operator. It then says that all the operators are busy, and I should call again later, and fucking hung up on me. I’d rather wait on hold for 45 minutes than be hung up on by a computer and then go through those bullshit menus again, but I guess that wouldn’t look so good on their call stats.

Also, the lady who set up my account wanted to know a password for internet banking. So I wrote one down for her (not that I wanted to give her my password, but what can ya do?) and assumed that would be that. But no. My new password for internet banking arrived the other day. Great, so what happened to the password I gave her? Why did I need to give her my password? And where’s my username/account number/access code/thingo? I have a password but nothing to use it with.

Fucking typical.

Add Comment (1) | 8/11/2007



Scary shit

Filed under: General - Mark @ 5:31 pm


My inlaws are meeting Angela’s inlaws for the first time in exactly half an hour. Scary stuff.

Add Comment (0) | 7/11/2007



Weee! A WP Auto-Updater

Filed under: General - Mark @ 8:37 am


After my little complain about WordPress the other day, Kris kindly pointed me to this jem – A WordPress Auto-Update plugin. Awesome.



The downside of RAD

Filed under: General - Mark @ 8:40 pm


Because at work I use a RAD tool for absolutally everything, it’s dead easy to write complex and very functional programs. What’s not easy to do is to write interesting or appealing programs for end users.

I try to do it when I design websites or intranets. I try to add something fun, or colourful, or just interesting to get people coming back. But a database just is not interesting. In any way, shape or form. And the RAD tool we use is very grey and doesn’t use Windows forms, so it’s a bit ugly. And boring. The way most databases are. And thats because making this pretty or visually appealing doesn’t make you any money our B2B world.

Fortunately though at work we’re starting to spend a little bit of time making things visually appealing. If it’s just a Dilbert comic on the front page of the intranet, or replacing ugly windows alerts with nice outlook-style email alerts or nice balloon popups. have some awesome (and cheap) ActiveX controls that do all that for you easilly. And in RAD tools ActiveX is really one of the only ways to get decent functionality into it.

Now, to find one that has Outlook 2007 style navigation buttons…

Add Comment (1) | 6/11/2007



Found it

Filed under: General - Mark @ 11:28 am


Ange and I have found our perfect reception venue. It’s Bel Parco restaraunt at Sydney Olympic Park. It’s just beautiful, nice intimate areas, great view, solid wooden furniture, nice furnishings, its tops.

It’s not cheap. It’s over $120/head, but considering we’re only having a smallish wedding, it’s still affordable 😉 And cos they close the whole restaurant for the night, just for us, it’ll be brilliant.

Add Comment (1) | 3/11/2007



“I’ll pee on you if you want” – Angela

Filed under: General - Mark @ 8:48 am


I got my Nintendo Wii yesterday. Yay. That was super fast shipping. And it’s awesome. I did go and buy a 2nd remote (but not a nunchuck) so Ange and I can play the sports games together.

I had a go at the boxing one this morning (cos I dont have a 2nd nunchuck I can’t play it with Ange, as much as I’d like to beat the crap out of her in a nintendo game) and I’m not really very good at it.

It came with a another game, and I got a game when I bought the 2nd controller, so there’s going to be many a hour of playing the sports games I fear.

We created Mii’s of ourselves. The one Ange helped me create is eerilly like me. It really is. Its freaky, seeing yourself in a video game. Sure you could do it in The Sims easier and more accurately, but I could never be bothered.

Add Comment (1) | 2/11/2007