My week of Monday 9 to Sunday 15 January 2023 was dominated by the logistics of getting the new computer, or more accurately the failure thereof. That said, I did finally receive the machine and get it set up. And some of my consulting work entered a new phase.
The computer was scheduled for delivery more than a week ago, but was marked down as “delivery failed”. There’s several reasons why this might have happened, so I didn’t stress. We provided more detailed directions, and requested a redelivery for Monday. There was a different driver that day, and they went down the wrong side track to the wrong address, resulting in a “delivery refused”.
After much discussion with a customer service representative, none of which left me with any confidence, I told them that on Tuesday I’d travel the 65km down to the company’s depot in Western Sydney and collect it myself. Which I did. Except I didn’t collect it myself, because while I was having lunch the courier company called to say the truck was back at the correct delivery address and could someone else sign for it.
Sigh. I ordered more wine. At least I’d have the computer on Wednesday. And I did. Except it took an overnight attempt to transfer data from the old hard drive to realised that it wasn’t going to work without taking days to run. Thursday was therefore spent manually transferring data and configuring the new machine, and it was finally Friday this week before I could start doing actual work.
I’ve worked on that same computer for seven and a half years, with a configuration that had been transferred to it automatically from its predecessor. This means there’s a lot of custom configuration to re-create. And there still is. All very amusing.
I can’t tell you about the consulting work just yet.
And then there’s the water problem…
There was another amusing interruption to my routine. Despite all the rain we had in 2022 thanks to La NiÃ±a, on Friday morning the rainwater tank ran empty. This building contains the property’s laundry and the tank also feeds down into the tank of a large family home, and we’d been taking advantage of some sunny weather.
No problem, we thought. The other building’s tank is full and there’s a transfer pipe. Except that didn’t work. So on Saturday morning we broke out the petrol-driven pump kept for just this purpose and used maybe once every couple of years. Except it had sprung a fuel leak. Which means that right now we’re lugging around 10-litre boxes of water.
A tanker truck has been booked to deliver another eight or ten tons of water â€” on Wednesday. Joy.
I’m not too fussed. I can shower in the vacant cottages, and indeed a change of view will be fun. Some people have to cart their water three kilometres or more every day. While being shot at. And the water might kill them anyway. I’m doing OK.
As you almost certainly know by now, my crowdfunding campaign The 9pm Hardware Refresh 2023 is under way.
The core component, a new computer to replace the seven-year-old MacBook Pro that has now completely died, has finally been delivered. But there’s more to go.
We’re currently 86% of the way to Target Four, which represents a camera and a better external monitor. And I’ll be setting further targets this week.
The campaign runs until Australia Day, 26 January 2023. Please consider.
- The 9pm The Right Stuff with Bonus Fascists, a solo episode recorded on Saturday and posted first thing Sunday morning. Yes, we’re kicking off the new year with some random Nazi stuff! No, not really.
- Digital developments from Canberra 20, 13 January 2023. In the first of these summaries for 2023 we have a major review of Australiaâ€™s secrecy laws, a bunch of reviews by Treasury, and a cost rise for the government’s cybersecurity threat intelligence sharing platform.
You can read my previous writing at Authory, where you can also subscribe to an email compilation of any new stories each Sunday morning.
- A random train photo was used as the header of What Is the Indian Pacific, Australiaâ€™s Greatest Train? For once one of my more, em, impressionistic images proved useful.
Videos, Photos, Corporate Largesse
None of any of these things. You can subscribe to my YouTube channel to be notified when new videos appear.
Just two items about the Musk-Twitter dramas today. Things are once again moving so quickly that it’s difficult to keep up.
- Muskâ€™s Twitter Intentionally Suspended Tweetbot, Third-Party Apps, Messages Show. Yes, “the mysterious outage of Tweetbot and other third-party Twitter clients that began Thursday night was an intentional suspension”. However I’ve also noticed unreliability in Twitter’s own web interface, with only the most recent of tweets being visible, and strange reordering of notifications. Something’s up, but there’s no official news yet.
- Tesla continues to cut prices on its electric vehicles by up to 20%.
And in other news:
- Heck of a piece in the Chicago Tribune this week: “For now, bitcoinism is an amateurish mix of intellectual arrogance; misunderstanding of basic economics (not every asset is money); postmodernism (‘gold is no more intrinsically valuable than bitcoin’); a new religion under its prophet, MicroStrategyâ€™s Michael Saylor; and a very volatile bubble. That is not a promising path forward.”
- “Our public holidays should reflect Australiaâ€™s multicultural make-up, writes Osmond Chiu.”Our public holidays should reflect Australiaâ€™s multicultural make-up, writes Osmond Chiu.
- Vancouver Skyscraper Twists Around Zoning Restrictions.
- A lovely little telesen duet by Ei Wada and @lll_3_lll_3 via Electronicos Fantasticos. The more I hear this instrument the more I love it.
- Some mononymous folks tell their story in Meet some New Zealanders with one name. Yep, just the one.
- And finally, from the excellent Strong Language blog, The 8th Annual Tucker Awards for Excellence in Swearing.
The Week Ahead
It’s going to be a very busy week, especially for the media production. I hope I’m up for it.
Monday is a day trip to Sydney for a couple health-related appointments, errands, shopping, and a well-overdue haircut â€” all of which were rescheduled from last week. En route I’ll be polishing a client’s document which is getting very close to being finished.
On Tuesday night it’s finally time for The 9pm Quiz of the Year 2022 Part 2, at 8pm AEDT. Click through and set yourself a reminder. Remember, one round of questions will be about Georgia, just for â€™Pong, because he’s currently living in Tbilisi.
[Update 17 January 2023: We’re putting this back a week.]
On Wednesday I’m recording an episode of The 9pm Edict podcast with Elise Thomas, freelance journalist and OSINT analyst with the Institute for Strategic Dialogue. She’s been on the podcast before in April 2021 and February 2022.
If you’re a podcast supporter with TRIGGER WORDS or a CONVERSATION TOPIC for this episode, please get the details to me by 9pm AEDT
tomorrow, Monday 16 January next Monday 23 January. The finished episode will probably be posted on the weekend.
Sunday is the start of Lunar New Year celebrations. I should probably do something , but at the time of writing I haven’t even had a chance to think about it.
- The 8pm Quiz of Everything 2023 Part 2, 26 January 2023, 8pm AEDT.
- End of The 9pm Hardware Refresh 2023 crowdfunding campaign, 26 January 2023, 9pm AEDT. I’ll be reporting the final hour during the Quiz.
- Lunar New Year Comedy Festival, Sydney, 28 January 2023.
- Everything Open conference, Melbourne, 14â€“16 March 2023 (TBA).
- NSW state election, 25 March 2023. I’ll definitely do something special for this one.
- The Sydney Dialogue, Australian Strategic Policy Institute, online, 4â€“5 April 2023.
- Coronation of Charles III, 6 May 2023, although I have no idea what I’ll actually do about it.
[Photo: Some nostalgia this week: a cloudy day over Potts Point, Sydney, photographed on 11 January 2018.]