The week of Monday 25 to Sunday 31 March 2013 was hectic and varied — lecturing at a university, appearing on TV and being reminded how easily internet technology can fall apart.
The various media things are listed here, of course. What’s not listed is a sudden and unexpected day full of geekery that began at 0100 on (Good) Friday and ran well into the evening. A server software upgrade went pear-shaped. and I had to coordinate work between the server team in India and the data centre team in the US. Given that they had different responsibilities and authorities, I had to sign off on their plans. There’s some lessons in there that’d make an interesting blog post — but not yet.
- On Monday, I paid a visit to Vertel in Alexandria, Sydney, to find out about what they can do with high-speed wireless internet links. They offered me a beer. I accepted. It was a Peroni. It was rather nice.
The Week Ahead
This’ll be an interesting one because tomorrow, which is both the public holiday for Easter Monday and the start of a new quarter, I’m planning to kick off a series of changes in my little world. Or at least try to. I’ll write about that tomorrow
I’ve also got plenty of writing lined up, including two pieces for Technology Spectator, one for CSO Online, one for Crikey and my usual column for ZDNet. This both pleases and stresses me. I may rearrange this a bit, because that’s rather a lot for a short week.
At this stage it’s looking like I’ll be in Wentworth Falls for the first part of the week, before heading down to Sydney on Friday morning to record Marc Fennell’s Download This Show for ABC Radio National.
[Photo: Shut up, I’m eating this flower, yet another photograph of a crimson rosella (Platycercus elegans) at Bunjaree Cottages. I feel like I’ve posted a few too many Bunjaree bird photos lately, but I couldn’t resist the seemingly-cheeky look this guy threw me while he ripped apart and ate the eating a mountain devil (Lambertia formosa) flowers from a nearby plant.]
[Update 1 April 2013, 1145 AEDT: Updated the ETA for the post about my plans to reflect the unfolding reality.]
As my first full working week for 2013 draws to a close, almost, here’s an update on how I’m thinking this year might unfold for me. At least as far as work goes.
(If you’re not up to speed on this, please read Doing the business on Stilgherrian’s journalism and Death of a Freedom Fighter, a writing challenge before continuing. The second one includes an explanation of my focus on how the internet is changing power relationships.)
First, there’s a tidy-up of my arrangements with mastheads I currently write for. That’s already delivered two changes. Crikey has given me a pay rise, to a level they now describe as “slightly less pathetic”. I’ve started pitching more stories, and that’s resulted in three stories this week. And there’s this as-yet unnamed sky-shouting column in the works, which will start soon.
Second, I’m thinking of doing a few self-funded projects — or at least projects for which I directly arrange funding — rather than through someone else’s masthead. There’s all sorts of ideas rolling around in my head, though I haven’t reached any firm conclusions yet.
Continue reading “Five questions and no answers about my media work”
The week of Monday 7 to Sunday 13 January 2013 was supposed to be filled with thoughts about my work in 2013. Instead, there was too much urgent geekery, too much intense thought about certain non-work matters, and too much hot weather for my liking.
Some might also argue that there was too much wine. I couldn’t possibly comment on that point directly, except to note that there was also beer, cider and gin.
Nevertheless, the week did see the delivery of two media objects, which are here listed for your information and enjoyment, and yesterday I went on a long, random exploratory excursion.
- The 9pm Heat Wave, which should need little explanation. Or a lot, actually. I’ll tell you my thoughts regarding The 9pm Edict and other podcasts within the next three days.
None this week either. Australia is still closed for summer. I daresay this will change in the coming week.
The Week Ahead
I’ll return to work at full intensity. I’m sketching out the details later today, at least for this first week, as well as posting more about my slowly-evolving plans for 2013. Stay tuned for that.
I’m in Sydney all week, it seems, staying at Lilyfield. And my new, erm, “health regime” starts tomorrow. Should I post my plans for that too, or just leave you to make suggestions?
Apart from that, there’s nothing locked in to any particular schedule, so feel free to send through the invitations.
[Photo: Urban sophistication, or so it is imagined, a house photographed yesterday in Maroubra, Sydney.]
I’m heading to San Francisco for VMware’s VMworld 2012 event starting on Sunday 26 August and staying on for the rest of the week.
I see that the logo features the words “Right here right now”. If they play that effing Fat Boy Slim song, I will truly go postal!
This will be my fifth visit to San Francisco in the last two years, and I must admit the place really is growing on me. Apart from the fact that it’s in that collapsing empire called the US. It does depress me to see the disabled veterans begging on the streets.
I mentioned this trip on Twitter about half an hour ago and already I’ve been told to visit a “beer mecca” called Toronado. What else, do you think?
And yes, I’m travelling as VMware Inc’s guest.
Things have been delayed around here, and elsewhere, because last Wednesday I spilt a beer onto my MacBook Pro, sending it comatose. That’s one damn expensive beer. And it’ll take me a while to catch up.
Now a splash of beer or, presumably, any other liquid should you be mad enough to drink them, won’t necessarily kill a computer or smartphone. The emergency procedure is straightforward.
Turn it off. Pull the battery, if you can. Get rid of as much liquid as fast as you can by mopping it up. Then get rid of any lingering moisture: dismantle the device as much as it can be, and put it in a sealed container packed with silica gel or uncooked rice for three days or more.
If the liquid is potentially damaging to the device — a certain popular cola drink, say, which is acidic and will damage some components — you can rinse it with distilled water or isopropyl alcohol too. Choose the one that’ll dissolve the threat.
With a laptop computer, if you’re quick the worst case scenario is that you might lose the keyboard. I’ve managed to resurrect completely saturated smartphones.
My procedure failed. MacBook Pro computers now make the keyboard extremely difficult to get to. I simply couldn’t get in there promptly. I had to transport the computer to the rice, and in doing so it was carried on its side, potentially allowing liquid to flow into other parts of the computer. And then, in my impatience, I powered it up after just one night on the rice to see how things we going.
How things were going was not at all.
Continue reading “Expensive beer kills computer, honesty kills my budget”
A reminder: This afternoon I’m heading to San Francisco for the RSA Conference on information security, all on Microsoft’s tab. I’ve also discovered that it’s the Electronic Frontiers Foundation’s 21st birthday party this Wednesday night, and San Francisco Beer Week. What could possibly go wrong?