Weekly Wrap 344: Sleepwalking into 2017 on my stomach

Lower OnkaparingaMy week of Monday 26 December 2016 to Sunday 1 January 2017 was almost non-existent. The time flew by.

I picked up some gastric bug over the Christmas weekend. On top of the mental exhaustion from the Adelaide trip the previous week, as well as the usual end-of-year stresses, it was all a bit too much. So I spent most of the week in bed.

It turns out you can live on a diet of gin and chocolate chip ice-cream for a surprisingly long time, but it does make your poo smell a bit funny.

Articles, Podcasts, Media Appearances, Corporate Largesse

None, for the reasons just stated. Call it a holiday. Everyone else seemed to have one.

[Photo: Lower Onkaparinga, photographed on 19 December 2016. The last few meandering curves of the Onkaparinga River in South Australia before it discharges its water into St Vincent Gulf. The river mouth itself is just below the bottom of the shot. I took this photo from a Melbourne to Adelaide flight just as the aircraft turned to run up the coast to Adelaide Airport. I’ve boosted the contrast and such to highlight the landforms. Consider it an abstract.]

Weekly Wrap 310: Repaired computer, repaired(-ish) human

Malcolm Turnbull announces the federal electionMy week of Monday 2 to Sunday 8 May 2016 was essentially a continuation of the previous week, although the illnesses both physical and digital have ended.

Well, the short-term medical conditions anyway. The long-term conditions are both being addressed more or less according to plan. Ish.

I’ll tell you about the key events another time, however. For now, just the essentials.


I’m quite pleased with this episode, and what little feedback I’ve had about the potential future of this podcast suggests that this magazine format is the way to go — although the Public House Forum episodes also seem popular.


Jobs and growth, jobs and growth, jobs and growth. Australia’s federal election has finally been confirmed for Saturday 2 July. We have an eight-week campaign, which means there should be at least two episodes of the Edict.

The mediascape will be filled with the usual commentary and mainstream punditry based on each day’s action. So for my own efforts, in podcasts or elsewhere, I intend to slow down and get outside that bubble.

What will this mean in practice? I don’t know yet. Watch this space.


Media Appearances

  • Mark Newton decided to preserve my rant about Senator James Paterson from Thursday night. I was angry that he’d asked a question in Senate Estimates about the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) spending $50,000 on a custom typeface, the answer to which he could have found by reading any news story on the topic. I’ll have more to say about that another time.
  • On Sunday, I was quoted in an article, My innovation is bigger than your innovation, by Ken Wolff at The Political Sword. It’s an interesting read, in which I play a tiny, tiny part.

Corporate Largesse


The Week Ahead

I’ll be based at Wentworth Falls for most of the week, I believe, and it begins with a day off on Monday.

Remarkably, the rest of the week has no fixed appointments, but I’ve got plenty to do. There’s the usual writing for ZDNet and perhaps Crikey, the geek-for-hire work, and the neverending work to bring my tax affairs up to date. I’ll also have to lock in my podcast and election campaign plans. But I’ll be able to work on these things in the most comfortable order. This pleases me.

The weekend is similarly unplanned. Joy.

Further Ahead

On 24-27 May, I’m covering the AusCERT Cyber Security Conference on the Gold Coast. Apart from my usual conference coverage, once more I’ll be on the panel for the event’s closing Speed Debate.

[Photo: Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announces the federal election on 8 May 2016. Screenshot from ABC News24.]

Weekly Wrap 309: Broken computer, broken human

Approaching Sydney: click to embiggenMy week of Monday 25 April to Sunday 1 May 2016 was disrupted — not in that silly fashionable way, but in the traditional annoying way — by failing computer hardware and illness.

My MacBook Pro developed a screen fault, so I lost time moving my work to a loaner machine and organising repairs. Somewhere along the way I got what I presumed was food poisoning but which is clearly something else. Both patients are getting better, the silicon more quickly than the flesh.

The many edits to last week’s Weekly Wrap reflect all the plans made and discarded.

As a result…




None. However an episode of The 9pm Edict is part-produced.

Media Appearances

  • On Tuesday, I spoke about all the cybers on ABC 774 Melbourne.
  • On Thursday night, I recorded some short videos on various information security topics for ZDNet, which will dribble out over the coming weeks.

Corporate Largesse


The Week Ahead

I’m back at Wentworth Falls in the Blue Mountains this week, or at least for most of it.

On Monday, I’m working on geek-for-hire tasks in the morning, and completing that episode of The 9pm Edict podcast in the afternoon and evening.

On Tuesday, I’m making the long commute down to Sydney to cover the inaugural National Fintech Cyber Security Summit. Tuesday night is federal Budget Night in Australia, so I’ll probably stay in Sydney to amuse myself with that rather than spend the evening on the train. Nah, that’s too long a day. I’ll do some bits and pieces in the Blue Mountains instead.

On Wednesday morning, I daresay I’ll be writing something. At midday, it’s my first progress check at the Black Dog Institute, three months into working on the dog of a different colour. I’ll probably have some news. Then I’ll collect my repaired MacBook Pro, and return to the Mountains.

The remainder of the week and the weekend are unplanned, but I know I’ll be writing for ZDNet and doing more geek-for-hire stuff in there somewhere.

Further Ahead

On 24-27 May, I’m covering the AusCERT Cyber Security Conference on the Gold Coast. Apart from my usual conference coverage, once more I’ll be on the panel for the event’s closing Speed Debate.

Update 2 May 2016: Edited to reflect changed plans for Tuesday.

[Photo: Approaching Sydney. A Qantas Boeing 737-800, I believe, on approach to Sydney airport (SYD) over the inner west suburb of Lilyfield on 25 April 2016.]

Weekly Wrap 268: Changing perspectives

Rosella Cottage and its solar panels: click to embiggenMy week of Monday 20 to Sunday 26 July 2015 was ruined by health problems. I won’t go into the details. If you saw some facts, you saw them. Otherwise you missed them.

There were no articles or podcasts or editions of 5at5 produced, so I’ll make this Weekly Wrap look slightly better by omitting the sub-heads. I’ll skip the Corporate Largesse section too, because there wasn’t any, and stick to what did happen.

Media Appearances

  • On Tuesday, I spoke about the Ashley Madison data breach on ABC 936 Hobart.
  • On Wednesday, I spoke about the Ashley Madison data breach on Sydney radio 2UE, but I won’t be posting a recording because it adds nothing to the Hobart one. I’m thinking about being a lot more selective about what I post here — or at least what I go to the effort of writing a whole blog post about — and maybe even automating most of the Weekly Wrap. I mean, do you even read this?

The Week Ahead

I’m not going to match specific tasks to specific days at this stage, for various reasons. But I will say that my Pozible crowdfunding campaign for The 9pm Urgent Hardware Refresh has been given the green light, so I’ll press the “Go” button on that relatively early in the week, and I’ll produce an episode of The 9pm Edict podcast to coincide with that, more or less.

I’ll also write some stuff for people. Is that vague enough?

I’ll be in the Mountains for most of the week, I think. I can’t see much that’d draw me into Sydney, not when I apply a strict cost benefit analysis to it all. You people are terrible.

[Photo: Rosella Cottage and its solar panels, photographed on 30 January 2012. This week I returned to being based in Rosella Cottage, rather than the Bunjaree Cottages outbuilding called “The Studio”. It’s not only far more pleasant, it gives me morning views like this, and this, and this. I think this will help.]

Weekly Wrap 247: Attacked by car, leech, and diarrhoea

Attack of the Killer Leech: click to embiggenMy week of Monday 23 February to Sunday 1 March 2015 began with fatigue and ended with drama, and then more fatigue.

The fatigue was inevitable, given that last weekend saw the production of two podcasts, as well as the first day of Tech Leaders Forum, which continued into Monday.

What I wasn’t expecting was being run down by a car on Thursday night. I wasn’t hurt, really, but nevertheless it was annoying — and I’ll tell you about that in The 9pm Edict. I wasn’t expecting to be attacked by a leech on Friday. And I wasn’t expecting Saturday to be wiped out by a gut problem. Sigh.

But enough of that…



None. The will be an episode The 9pm Edict on Tuesday 3 March, once I’ve gotten a feature written for ZDNet Australia.


There were three editions of 5at5 this week, on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. You might want to subscribe so you receive them all as they’re released.

Media Appearances

Corporate Largesse

  • On Monday, we wrapped up this year’s Tech Leaders Forum at the Fairmont Resort in the Blue Mountains. Apart from one night’s accommodation and plenty of food and drink, some vendors gave out various bits and pieces. Bitdefender gave me a branded TSA-approved travel lock and a Gecko dashboard pad thingy. Emerson Network Power, a novelty branded USB stick with their PR material. LogRhythm, a branded pen. Oakton, a USB stick with their PR material. From Simplivity, a branded pen.

The Week Ahead

Here’s the plan. Monday, a feature for ZDNet Australia. Tuesday, an episode of The 9pm Edict. Wednesday, probably a day trip to Sydney — and if it happens, it might include a bit of television. Thursday, a column for ZDNet Australia. Friday, updating that ebook, finally, and getting it to people.

The weekend isn’t locked in yet, but one option is heading down to Albion Park, where a Boeing 747 will land at the tiny Albion Park Airport, before it becomes a permanent museum piece at the Historical Aircraft Restoration Society (HARS). Or I might not. It depends on many factors.

Updated 16 March 2015: Added the largesse from Simplivity, which I just found.

[Photo: Attack of the Killer Leech, the one which I had to remove from my foot, photographed on 27 February 2015.]