Blog entries from May, 2005

All moved and unpacked, well mostly…

Friday, May 27th, 2005 at 9:03 pm

The office move today went through reasonably smoothly with the issues that I mentioned yesterday were solved by placing a total of two desks in their planned locations. At minimum the other desks were rotated while others were swapped between locations and most of them were also rotated.

Instead of sitting so that one of the doors to the office (they are on opposite sites) would hit the back of my chair if I rolled backwards a bit I rotated my desk by 90 degrees so my back is to the wall and the door across to the right. Unfortunately I had to swap my desk (2100mm long) with another one (1800mm) in order to allow for adequate clearance but after getting set up I did miss the extra 300mm.

Surprisingly all the network and phone points were installed in time and much more importantly they work as expected. However one thing about that that may become an issue is that the new rack for all of this was installed in the old server room with a raised floor. Just how are they going to remove the floor from under it prior to renovations?

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All packed up and ready to go

Thursday, May 26th, 2005 at 7:20 pm

For the past three weeks we have been spending one hour a day at work sorting through stuff in preperation for the move to new offices. Well as of tonight everything that is going is boxed and/ or stickered as at 7AM tomorrow the movers start moving…

It will be interesting to see how everything fits in the new offices considering that the facilities people have based the layout on a plan that has walls and doors in the wrong places. But if they say that two 2100mm desks will fit in a 3900mm space then I guess we have to assume they know what they are doing…

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Sydney and back in the same day

Tuesday, May 17th, 2005 at 10:23 pm

Today I went (with work) to a usability workshop in Sydney. All up it was pretty good but having to leave for the airport at 5AM then returning home at 9:30PM was a pain…

I should write down my thoughts…

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Photos of Kooyong Station

Sunday, May 15th, 2005 at 3:55 pm

I have just finished sorting through another batch of photos, this time of Kooyong Station from after perl mongers the other night.

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More photos…

Saturday, May 14th, 2005 at 2:16 pm

I have just finished sorting through and uploading two sets of photos:

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Provisional Member of the ACS

Wednesday, May 11th, 2005 at 11:54 pm

When I got home tonight there was a package from the Australian Computer Society waiting for me. It appears that due to there being no distinction between members who could progress past Associate level with experience and those who could not due to their qualification they introduced a new membership grade – Provisional Member.

This means that I could (but I don’t) use ‘MACS (Prov)’ after my name instead of ‘AACS’ but what is funny about it is that the new card that was in the package is only valid until the end of the month (just over two weeks away) because my membership is up for renewal. I guess I will get yet another card in the next couple of weeks…

One other strange thing about my ACS membership is that a couple of months ago I started getting copies of the computer magazine PC Authority as part of my membership. I won’t pass up a free magazine…

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An office move in the near future

Friday, May 6th, 2005 at 8:52 pm

For some time now there has been a space issue at work as more staff join the team while the office space has not increased appropriately. We have taken over some other offices but it simply hasn’t been enough. A couple of months ago it was raised that there was a possibility of us moving across to some vacated space in a building just off campus (but owned by Monash) but it had already been promised to another group. Our offices are in the basement (really a semi basement with big windows in most of the offices) of one of the administration buildings and yesterday we received word that someone upstairs urgently needed space for some finance group and our current space would be suitable.

This morning this was confirmed and in around three weeks we will be moving and then again around four months later. This double move is because the new group urgently needs our space so we will move into the front half of the new space and then move into the rear half once it has been refurbished. Then once the front half has been refurbished another group that is also in the basement of the administration building will move across.

While moving will give us a lot more space there is the downside of no longer being a short walk from all the food outlets, banks and the post office that are located in the Campus Centre. Apart from one cafe around the corner anything like that will now require a, albeit short, drive. This does has the advantage of making it more difficult to waste money…

Apart from actual work this was pretty much all that was talked about and the biggest topic was in regard to transport and how it will affect people in different ways: Read the rest of this entry…

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Must remember to bid on eBay items…

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2005 at 12:05 am

Last week I found an item on eBay that I was really interested in, a brand new set of Apple Design Powered Speakers which are pretty hard to find. So I placed a bid but as I was shortly outbid I decided to return just prior to the end of the listing like I normally do.

For some reason I thought it ended on the midnight that is on Monday night, not the midnight that is at the start of Monday, ie Sunday night.

A quick search that includes items by international sellers brings up a similar but different set for a very low price. Unfortunately the stated shipping cost from the UK is huge.

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WordPress based blog

Sunday, May 1st, 2005 at 10:16 pm

The new month brings change as this weekend I finally got around to migrating my blog over from my homegrown solution to WordPress as I mused about back in March.

The biggest task involved in the migration was the creation of a theme so the look and feel of the blog could largely remain the same. The biggest change is that there is now a sidebar on all the blog related pages with links to the monthly archives. This has also been the most painful task as although the WordPress templating system may use PHP it does not relate to any half decent programming practives. Each ‘tag’ in the templates is actually a PHP function and some of them print a string, some of them return a string, and some of them have an argument to say whether they print or return. Don’t get me started on everything being global…

At first I thought I would have to write some code from scratch to migrate the existing entries into the WordPress tables but I was pleasantly surprised when I found that WordPress comes with a RSS import script. I did have to modify the RSS generator in my old blog to both include all entries as well as the complete text of each entry but that was fairly trivial which allowed my to discover a bug in the import script. WordPress stores two dates with each entry, the date in GMT/UTC and the date with the desired offset, and in the import script these were back to front which meant that all my posts were imported with a date twenty hours different. This was fairly straightforward to correct and I suppose that I should contribute my changes so no one else has this problem.

The final task involved in the migration was to insert some rewrite rules to redirect requests for my old blog over to the new one. Initially I was going to lookup the old style 12 digit time/date string in the database to determine the exact url to redirect to but I realised that they were wrong anyway because of when I changed back from daylight savings (I’m not going to bother with that in the future) so instead I just extract the date and redirect to the appropriate day archive. The only time this will fall down will be when I posted close to midnight…

My next task (well the next task related to my blog) is to get the trackback functionality up and running and after that are investigations into the numerous plugins that are available…

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