Blog entries from August, 2006

update: Apple TechStep

Sunday, August 20th, 2006 at 03:51pm

Apple TechStepThis afternoon I pick up some photos and descriptions of the Apple TechStep that I obtained earlier in the week.

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Mag finally does LED

Saturday, August 19th, 2006 at 01:46pm

Today I spotted an advertisement in the paper (a full page in the weekend magazine opposite the sudoku) for MAG-LED™ Technology indicating that 2, 3 and 4 D cell LED models and a two AA LED model were available. It also displayed an LED upgrade module for 2, 3 and 4 C or D cell models which (if I want to) would let me upgrade the 2 D cell model I have had for a few years now.

When I was next on my computer I decided to check out their website to see what else there was. What did I see? The same page that has been up for quite some time saying that they “are pleased to report that Mag will soon be adding MAG-LED™ flashlights to its product line.”

Surely it is a lot less effort to update their website than it is to produce full page advertisements in print publications?

The one light that I am interested in is not mentioned in the advertisement, the solitaire. I have one of these with my keys and a couple of times I have looked for a similar sized LED light but haven’t been able to find a suitable replacement. I hope they are planning to release an LED version.

On a final note it will be interesting to see how these LED lights compare to the dozens (if not hundreds) of lights that have appeared over the past few years.

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1994: AU$1167, 2006: AU$28

Wednesday, August 16th, 2006 at 08:15pm

Last week I was the winning bidder for an Apple TechStep, the diagnostic tool for early Apple Macintosh’s and SCSI hard drives. On Sunday night I noticed that the seller was no longer a registered user of eBay and as I had already paid the grand sum of AU$28 (including postage) I became a bit concerned but everything became well when I found it waiting on the doorstep when I got home tonight.

So what did I get for AU$28 that seems to go for a few hundred US$?

  • Apple TechStep unit
  • CPU Tests, Vol. 1, v. 1.1.1 ROM
  • SCSI HD Tests, v. 1.0 ROM
  • Apple TechStep AC Adapter
  • Apple SCSI Cable
  • Apple TechStep case

Based on the above site, some photos on flickr, and some other sites I believe that it is missing the following items to be totally complete:

  • ROM packs for CPU tests Vol. 2, 3 and 4 (could also list the older version of Vol. 1)
  • Serial, ADB and audio cables (I may have enough of these already)
  • Manuals
  • Floppy disks (I am not sure what these are as it seems the techstep can drive the Macintosh over SCSI or ADB…)

One other interesting thing about the TechStep (and would normally remove) is a price tag on the bottom dated 25 November 1994 with an ex tax price of $1167.00. The power supply has a similar sticker except the price of that is $178. This thing cost a fortune and that isn’t even adjusting for the 22% sales tax that was present back in 1994 (these days we have a 10% GST).

If I get my act together I may get some photos up this weekend…

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There should be a fine

Monday, August 14th, 2006 at 09:45pm

Today marked the first day of the annual hard rubbish collection run by the local council. As it would be problematic to pick up everything from the entire area in a short amount of time they divide it into six areas, each of which is assigned a particular week.

Most of my ride to work is through area 4 which has been assigned the week starting 4 September 2006, ie FOUR WEEKS away. Despite both the website and an article in the local paper telling people that they shouldn’t put rubbish out until two weeks prior I am seeing a huge amount of rubbish that is already drifting onto the road and footpath. Since they are not following the council’s instructions should these people be fined for dumping rubbish on the nature strip?

For the past few years the council has also stressed that “Scavenging is an offense under local law and offenders will be prosecuted.” A co-worker pointed out that since these people are not following the instructions for hard rubbish is it still an offense?

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I want some serious hardware…

Sunday, August 6th, 2006 at 10:30pm

About two months ago I was given a free UPS. Specifically an APC Smart-UPS 700 that has been providing stable power for two of my systems (I am still planning to deprecate the thirdat some point in the future) for most of that time with my total expenditure so far being AU$30 for new batteries.

However this is nothing compared to what other people can get

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Saturday, August 5th, 2006 at 01:19pm

Earlier in the week my paper proposal for this years Open Source Developers’ Conference was accepted. I now have just over a month and a half to write it…

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Thursday, August 3rd, 2006 at 09:28pm

Today was and tomorrow will be the last day for two more people at work. I say more because there have been a number of departures since the start of the year:

  • three left for jobs at other organisations, two of which were for a signifigant pay increase;
  • one moved to a position elsewhere in the university;
  • two were seconded to other projects, while they are theoretically supposed to return that is unlikely; and
  • two have taken leave without pay in order to travel, one starting with the world cup and the other leaving today;

If you have been keeping count that is a total of eight (a third of the team) departures with only one of them being replaced which hasn’t been good for morale…

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