Weekly Wrap 267: Chaos, then embracing the change

To boldly go...: click to embiggenMy week of Monday 13 to Sunday 19 July 2015 continued the lack-of-productivity theme, alas. Mostly because my dying computer decided to die far more rapidly than it had been until now.

My sincere thanks go to Justin Clacherty for lending me a spare MacBook Pro until I can organise my own new machine. I’m pleased that the set-up and transfer of data to this “new” machine only took nine hours — well, plus the six hours it took to take a proper backup of the old machine, because it kept throwing errors.

That said, in the latter part of the week I did get quite a bit done on the Pozible crowdfunding campaign to pay for that replacement machine. That campaign should launch in the next few days.

And because I had to archive some data off the old computer — because it had a 750GB hard drive, whereas the loaner has a 500GB SSD — I was browsing through old photos and videos. This put me into a particularly reflective mood again on the weekend. I hope that some good will come of this, because having a properly-working computer again — and a fast one! — should provide another boost to my optimism.





5at5 was still on hiatus this week.

Media Appearances

Corporate Largesse

  • On Monday evening, I caught up with Leslie Nassar to discuss a SEKRIT project, and he bought me dinner.

The Week Ahead

I’m back in Wentworth Falls this coming week, and most of it hasn’t been mapped out yet. Still, I have a broad outline.

On Monday Tuesday, I’ll be submitting that Pozible project for approval, doing some shopping in Katoomba, and mapping out my writing commitments for the next few weeks. Now that I have a working computer again, I’ve got heaps of work to catch up with.

On Tuesday Wednesday, I’ll be completing a video to go with that Pozible project, which should launch that day. I’ll also be producing an episode of The 9pm Edict podcast. I’ll delay the posting of both until Wednesday Thursday if the Pozible campaign doesn’t launch.

The rest of the week is a bit vague, but I know there’ll be a ZDNet column in there somewhere. And I’m guessing I’d better organise some other work as well.

Update 20 July 2015: Edited to slide nearly everything in the plan back a day, to reflect a Monday sickie.

[Photo: To boldly go…, being a small boat heading out into the fog of San Francisco Bay on 10 December 2010.]

Announcing “The gasping computer, the changing plan”

Gasps of a dying computer: click to embiggenSome three weeks ago, I told you how my computer was dying, and crowdfunding would ensue. Then just two days ago I said that the crowdfunding was imminent. That too must change.

Yesterday morning I lost three hours to chasing various error messages. The week’s plans were ruined from day one.

Last night I stopped to think how the computer’s steadily degrading performance was affecting my productivity, and I went digging. The image at the top of the post shows just one species of frequent error message.

As I explain on the Flickr post:

For whatever reason, user interface (UI) updates get disabled — and stay disabled for seconds at a time. Signals just aren’t getting through, and I’ve seen them last for up to 20 seconds or more.

So the basic problem is that you click on something, or press a key on the keyboard, and there’s a delay. Then another one.

And that’s just one of several serious symptoms.

Trying to assemble the crowdfunding campaign — as well as all my other work — on the dying computer itself is a fool’s errand. And I have been that fool.

Fortunately, Justin Clacherty has a spare mid-2013 MacBook Pro with maxed-out processor and RAM specs, and he’s going to lend it to me while I organise things. The new current planned start for the crowdfunding campaign is during the week beginning 20 July. Wish me luck.

Weekly Wrap 266: The chasm of change yawns wide

Wi-Fi: No hardware detectedMy week of Monday 6 to Sunday 12 July 2015 was the first of two weeks I’ll be spending in Sydney — but it wasn’t just the geography that made it unusual.

I had intended to get a Pozible crowdfunding campaign under way for The 9pm Urgent Hardware Refresh, but I ended up doing quite a bit of work on the SEKRIT television project instead.

This is a Good Thing, because it’s fun and interesting work, and the pay is quite reasonable. But as the photo at the top of the post shows, my computer is dying fast. The Wi-Fi hardware fails regularly, and you can also make out the screen cracks. So that crowdfunding effort will have to happen quite soon. Like in the coming week.





5at5 is on hiatus this week and next.

Media Appearances

Corporate Largesse

  • On Tuesday evening, I went to Tanium’s open-house demo and drinks evening in Sydney, where of course there was free food and drink.

The Week Ahead

On Monday, I’ll be working on that crowdfunding campaign, as well as getting a haircut, and in the evening meeting with Leslie Nassar about yet another, different SEKRIT project.

On Tuesday, I’ll be doing further work on the crowdfunding project and, ideally, launching it. I’ll also be producing an episode of The 9pm Edict podcast, which may extend into Wednesday. Otherwise, Wednesday is likely to be a day of research and writing, before I wander to Oracle’s drinks evening in Surry Hills. Thursday is also a day of writing, ideally culminating in a column for ZDNet.

Friday and the weekend are as yet unplanned. However there are many, many things that need organising, so I daresay they’ll be quite full days. Stand by. Also, and and all of this schedule may be disrupted by urgent work on the SEKRIT television project.

Update 13 July 2015: Edited to add The Saturday Paper reference, and indicate the flexibility of the schedule.

[Photo: “Wi-Fi: No hardware detected”, being an increasingly common sight on my rapidly-disintegrating MacBook Pro.]

Coming Soon: The 9pm Urgent Hardware Refresh

Photograph of MacBook Pro showing keyboard damage

The 9pm Edict cover art version 2, 150 pixelsMy computer is dying. It’s dying fast. It’s not going to make it much longer, and certainly not through to when I’ll be able to afford a replacement. I need your help.

Previously I’ve had success with my Pozible crowdfunding campaigns to resurrect The 9pm Edict podcast, and to get me to Breakpoint and Ruxcon. So in a few days from now I’ll be launching The 9pm Urgent Hardware Refresh, a Pozible campaign based around a special podcast episode. The “rewards” for you contributions will help shape the content for that podcast.

Right now, I’m figuring out exactly how those rewards will work. After some discussion on Twitter last night, here’s what I’m thinking. Feedback please.

  • For $50 or whatever, a Two Minutes Hate. You choose the topic, and I’ll rant about it in the podcast for two minutes. The topic can be absolutely anything. Should snakes be equipped with legs? Why does Peter Dutton look like a cabbage? What are the best ways to remove bloodstains from a carpet?
  • For $100 or whatever, a Morning Glory. A wake-up call with a difference. I’ll phone you or your sleepy-headed friend at the appointed time — althogh I’m not sure how that can create podcast content, what with laws and stuff.
  • I had thought of offering to write and perform an erotic poem about a public figure of your choice. That’d cost. Pants-off extra.
  • @PointZeroOne suggested that one reward could allow you to nominate five question that I then put to a group of people in the pub. That one might be more expensive, because there’d be some work to do, and drinks to buy.

People have asked whether Rewards could be combined. An erotic poem as a wake-up call? Sure, why not?

The initial Pozible project goal will be whatever a new mid-high MacBook Pro plus AppleCare would be, plus a backup drive, plus costs. Stretch goals would be to up the specs of that machine, and then add cameras and microphones or whatever to improve my kit.

What I’d like from you right now are your ideas and comments on Pozible rewards and stretch goals.

Just comment below, or tweet at me, email me, or drive out and personally discuss them with me. No, actually, don’t do that last one. Comments close at 1400 AEST this Friday 26 June. I’ll then set up the Pozible project, which should go live early next week in the week commencing 13 June in the week commencing 20 June.

Oh, and if you were wondering what’s wrong the computer, specifically…

Continue reading “Coming Soon: The 9pm Urgent Hardware Refresh”

Weekly Wrap 189: Net Neutrality, damage and drugs

I'm sure it isn't meant to look like this: click to embiggenMy week of Monday 13 to Sunday 19 January 2014 was a little less productive than planned, but I did knock off a couple of items about Net Neutrality.

The productivity plunge was largely down to me changing medication for depression. It’s always a bit of a roller coaster ride as you change from one drug to another, lasting a week or more, and this was no exception. Looking ahead in time to the present, though, I’m thinking we may have gotten it right this time. Fingers crossed.

But my mood was also hit by a potential technical disaster. I knocked my MacBook Pro off the table once too often, and instead of the MagSafe plug popping out of the power socked as it should have, it jammed — and the plug itself was torn in half.

I stressed and stressed and stressed — until I realised I had access to a spare power adapter and, using that, discovered that the computer still worked as it should. Big sigh of relief.


I also wrote an op-ed on Sunday afternoon, but since it wasn’t published until Monday it’ll appear in next week’s wrap.

Media Appearances

Corporate Largesse

None. But it’ll definitely start flowing again soon.

[Photo: I’m sure it isn’t meant to look like this, showing the accumulated damage to my MacBook Pro on 13 January 2014.]

Weekly Wrap 110: Loss, damage and dead animals

Not to put too fine a point on it, for me Monday 9 to Sunday 15 July 2012 was a cunt of a week. I use the strongest of all taboo words deliberately to indicate the level of upfuckness involved.

Monday night, as I was returning to my SEKRIT hideaway from doing a spot on ABC Local Radio, the key broke in the door lock, necessitating a $155 call-out by a locksmith. The next day I realised I’d lost my notebook somewhere. Then on Wednesday I spilt a beer onto my MacBook Pro, with dire consequences.

I shall leave it there for now. That’s enough misery for you to digest at once. I, however, had no such luxury.


  • Patch Monday episode 145, “Twitter mimics Facebook, kills own ecosystem”. A panel discussion with Henare Degan, co-founder of Bleeply, who make Twitter tools for business; Leslie Nassar, technology director at digital agency Amnesia Razorfish and founder of TweeVee TV, which provides tools for integrating Twitter with live television; and Kate Carruthers, business strategist and founder of Social Innovation.


Media Appearances

Corporate Largesse

  • On Tuesday morning Symantec held their Next@Norton media briefing, and provided a lovely “high tea” brunch. There were chocolates in the take-home bag of goodies

The Week Ahead

Well, it’s already started, but at least Monday has gone largely to plan. On Tuesday morning I’m attending Commonwealth Bank’s event “The Future of Business is Coming”, but they won’t tell me what it is. Then at lunchtime I’m covering a forum on mobility and bring your own device (BYOD) policies — what, another one? — for Technology Spectator.

On Wednesday I’ll return to Wentworth Falls, where I’ll probably be staying until Tuesday 24 July, doing a bunch of writing and stuff while I’m up there. To be honest, it’s all fairly flexible at that point.


Most of my day-to-day observations are on my high-volume Twitter stream, and random photos and other observations turn up on my Posterous stream (or they used to before my phone camera got a bit too scratched up) and via Instagram. The photos also appear on Flickr, where I eventually add geolocation data and tags. Yes, I should probably update this stock paragraph to match the current reality.

[Photo: Elegance of Dance Part 37: The Dying Swan, taken on Market Street in the Sydney CBD on 13 July 2012.]