Weekly Wrap 237: The week before Christmas, kinda

Wires: click to embiggenMy week of Monday 15 to Sunday 21 December 2014 was more stressful than I thought it might be, for reasons which may be alluded to in a future edition. However I will say that Mistress Insomnia was a persistent guest in my life. I hate her.

But on with the show…



Another full week for 5at5, with emails going out on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. You might want to subscribe so you receive them all.

Media Appearances

Corporate Largesse

The Week Ahead

This is barely even a tentative plan, because it’s based on the assumption that a certain large media organisation will pay their goddam bills. If that doesn’t happen on Monday, then a lot of this will have to change. Nevertheless, we have to start somewhere, right?

Monday sees the Solstice, which happens at 1003 AEDT, followed by the New Moon at 1236. I’ll conduct a small ritual centred around those times. Before that, though, certain urgent organisational tasks need to be dealt with. And after that, I’ll start work on the next episode of The 9pm Edict podcast, which has the working title “The 9pm Christmas Nazis”.

On Tuesday, I’ll be writing for ZDNet Australia in the morning, I think, before heading to Sydney for some errands and the ABC at Ultimo to do the 720 Perth spot. I may stay in Sydney overnight, or I may not.

On Wednesday, I’ll be completing The 9pm Edict, as well as tying up several billion loose ends before the holidays descend.

Thursday is Christmas Day, which will be spent quietly because family is small and distant. I’m not sure whether I’ll be in Wentworth Falls or Sydney or somewhere else at this stage.

While Friday is a public holiday, I’d originally scheduled a server migration to start that day. However that’s now looking like that’ll have to change too. The weekend is unplanned, at least at this stage.

Update 1750 AEDT: Edited to add the New Moon time and to clarify some of the exposition.

[Photo: Wires, a view from Katoomba railway station in the Blue Mountains, photographed on 15 December 2014.]

Weekly Wrap 216: The return, the throat, the stress

The Tower at Dusk: click to embiggenMy week of Monday 21 to Sunday 27 July 2014 is just about to end, after a month of virtual silence on this website. I’ve been active elsewhere, just not here. So what’s the story?

I’ve been exhausted. A few weeks ago I made the mistake of spending a Friday evening in a Sydney mass-market bar with ordinary people, and I seem to have picked up some sort of disease. An infection. A lurgy. Whatever. As far as I can tell, it’s something that’s currently doing the rounds in Sydney. A sore throat with fatigue that’s difficult to shake. So I’m not too worried, just annoyed.

I also went for nearly a week without a computer, when my MacBook Pro had to go in for repairs. That was more disruptive to my work patterns than I’d hoped. Maybe I’ll write about that soon. Maybe not. The short version is that an iPad is just not the same.

And as a third disruption, there was a technical crisis that affected the clients of my other little business, and which took over my attention for two long days. I don’t think I’ll write about that at all, because it’s annoying.

The combined result, however, is that I’ve only had energy to focus on those things, plus the things that I’d committed to do and which generated immediate revenue. Well, some of them anyway. And everything else has been burned.

I plan to back-fill the missing posts of media appearances and the like, but they’ll have to wait for about a week. Meanwhile, this Weekly Wrap contains the links to the stuff that is available now, and a plan for the week ahead. And a photo.

Oh, and I should also mention that on Thursday and Friday I had the distinct pleasure of presenting a two-day “Writing for the Web” course at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS). It made a lovely change from my usual solitary work.


Here’s everything I’ve written since Weekly Wrap 211.

Media Appearances

Quite a few since the last Weekly Wrap, but none this week. Watch out for blog posts as I publish the backlog.


Is listing them here pointless? Just head over to the 5at5 site, and either subscribe or browse back through the recent editions.

Corporate Largesse

None this week. I’ll report the rest in the next Weekly Wrap.

The Week Ahead

Monday is about finishing a column for ZDNet Australia and producing an episode of The 9pm Edict, as well as wrapping up some geekery for a client.

Tuesday and Wednesday I’ll be in Sydney covering the ADMA Global Forum for Crikey and Technology Spectator. I’m particularly looking forward to meeting Bob Garfield, co-presenter of WNYC’s On the Media.

Also on Tuesday evening I’m heading to the OpenAustralia Foundation pub night.

On Thursday there’s a media briefing on various information security matters by Cisco and, in the evening, drinks with executives from Oracle.

Friday will see me wrapping up whatever media objects need completing, and then the weekend is unplanned.

And at various points through the week I’ll be trialling a Microsoft Nokia Lumia 930 smartphone, their latest flagship model, with particular attention being given to the camera.

[Photo: The Tower at Dusk, being a shot of a mobile phone tower at Katoomba in the Blue Mountains earlier this evening.]

Nokia Lumia 925 and Windows Phone 8 trial: Day 1

Katoomba railway station: click to embiggenSetting up the Nokia Lumia 925 was straightforward, and I’m impressed with the smartphone itself. But while there’s plenty to like about Windows Phone 8, I was also struck by the lack of key applications and a few rough edges.

These are my bullet-point observations from Day 1 of my Nokia Lumia 925 / Windows Phone 8 trial. You can also follow it live on Twitter, where I’m using the hashtag #LumiaWP8trial.

Continue reading “Nokia Lumia 925 and Windows Phone 8 trial: Day 1”

Weekly Wrap 146: Just a photo, Ma’am

Blue sky at Katoomba: click for original image on FlickrThe week of Monday 18 to Sunday 24 March 2013 was bereft of newly-published media objects, so here’s a photograph of the sky.

The Week Ahead

On Monday (today) I’ll head into Sydney to deliver my guest lecture at UTS in Ultimo and then go to meeting in Alexandria. The rest of the week is full of writing (exact order TBA) until it all stops early for Good Friday and I become annoyed.

[Photo: Blue sky at Katoomba, photographed on 24 March 2013.]

Weekly Wrap 142: Queensland, rain, alcohol and suchlike

Approaching the colony planet: click to embiggenThe week of Monday 18 to Sunday 24 February 2013 began in Queensland, of course, because I told you that last week. It then went to Sydney, Wentworth Falls, Sydney, and Wentworth Falls again.

The latter part of the week included far too much alcohol, but we won’t talk about that.

More importantly, the week was full of rain. Rain in Queensland. Rain in the Blue Mountains. Rain in Sydney. Too much rain.



None. There was going to be one, for TechRepublic, but my recorder died. I am jinxed.

Media Appearances

Corporate Largesse

  • I attended Kickstart Forum 2013, the annual get-together of many of Australia’s technology journalists with a bunch of vendors who pay to be there. There was plenty of largesse. Event organisers: return flights from Sydney to the Sunshine Coast and two nights accommodation at the Novotel Twin Waters Resort including breakfast. AVG ANZ: Information drinks on Sunday evening. Emerson Network Power: a 4GB USB drive containing their media pack. Intel: Sunday night’s superhero-themed dinner (although I didn’t go). KANA Software: a “personal survival kit” containing a Berocca Twist & Go, Panadol (12 tablets), Mentos mints (4) and a branded water bottle. LogMeIn: a spiral-bound paper notebook, a pen and a Berocca Twist & Go. Motorola Solutions: a 4GB USB drive containing their media pack. NEC: audio earbuds in a sensible little plastic case, and an iDual combined stylus and writing pen. NetSuite: Sunday night’s 1980s-themed dinner. Rackspace: Tuesday’s lunch. Symantec: Monday’s lunch, a branded water bottle (not taken) and a blank 8GB car-shaped USB drive. Truphone: a 2GB USB drive containing their media pack.
  • On Wednesday I attended the launch of VMware’s new end-user computing platform, which took the form of a lunch at Altitude Restaurant at the Shangri-La Hotel in Sydney. There was food and wine and a view.

The Week Ahead

Monday is a day of writing, with articles for CSO Online and Technology Spectator. On Tuesday I’ll pop down to Sydney for the lunchtime launch of Kaspersky Endpoint Security for Business. The rest of the week has yet to be arranged, but it’s looking like a steady few days of writing and planning. The weekend is completely unplanned.

[Photo: Approaching the colony planet, actually a photograph of the pumpkin and ginger soup at The Carrington Hotel, Katoomba.]

Weekly Wrap 124: Dirty dog, dirty martini

My week Monday 15 to Sunday 21 October 2012 was marred by the black dog, who decided to visit in strength with his friend back pain. Productivity was very low.

It’s a shame. I have the workings of several quite good articles in various stages of assembly on the computer, and invitations to take part in a variety of interesting unpaid projects. At least half of them will progress no further.




Media Appearances

Corporate Largesse

  • On Monday I had lunch at a North Sydney cafe with Marc Brown, managing consultant of Trustwave SpiderLabs in Australia, along with members of their external PR team. They paid. I believe I had smoked salmon salad.

The Week Ahead

It’s a busy week of writing ahead, after the usual Monday scramble to complete the Patch Monday podcast. At this stage it looks like I’ll be in Sydney on Wednesday and overnight into Thursday. The weekend is currently unplanned, but that will be fixed later today.

[Photo: Manhattan at the Carrington, an essential part of yesterday’s return to normality. For some value of “normal”.]