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The Ultimate Land Line
Date: 16/6/2005
After our land line cordless phone died I've been looking around for a replacement part, not really sure that anything I get is going to be any more robust that the horrible Doro thing we used to have.

Then I found this little jem which allows you to seemlessly use your landline and Skype VOIP with just one cordless handset. No more holding a mic in front of the computer! How frickin cool is that?

If you havn't used Skype yet then your missing out, it's pretty amazing, the sound quality is better than a local call and the lag is usually pretty easy to deal with. And it's free. Which is an important consideration in the light of the spiralling phone call costs that phone providers are charging.

The way I see it, people can get this thing and use it get on the VOIP bandwagon without sacrificing connectivity to people not yet connected to skype. The more friends you convert over to skype, the more money you save. And somewhat less importantly the less money going into phone companies coffers (muhahaha). About half my friends are on broadband, but most of my family are not (although I'm trying hard to get my parents on broadband - it's cheaper too!).

Now my only issue is scraping together A$200 to get one ;)
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Car
Date: 15/6/2005
Our recently aquired 2nd car has really been in the wars this weekend. Firstly on friday night I was about to fill it with some petrol and I dropped the fuel cap, and before it had come to a stop on the ground a car had run it over it and smashed it.

Then while we were away over the long weekend the car was parked outside our friends place in Killara (a very upper class suburb) and it got broken into. The theives smashed a small pane on the back passenger door and took our digital camera and the spare tire. The spare was later found a block away but the camera, an old 2.1mp Canon IXUS is gone. The annoying thing is that it's not worth anything on the market being so old and all but it's still really handy to us. So it's not even going to be worth selling (you'd be lucky to get A$50 for it). I didn't even know the camera was in the car when I left it, or I would have taken it with me.

Then to add insult to injury this morning when we picked the car up the battery was stone cold dead, presumably because the internal light was left on, and I had to jump start it.

Update: I've had some luck with the spares, getting the fuel cap and replacement glass for A$65. I'll fit the glass myself as it seems to be just screwed into place. As for the camera, I was a little on the cheap side, they are going for A$91 on ebay. But it seems like a good time to go shopping for a better camera. I'm thinking a Powershot Pro1 would do nicely ;)
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Bits And Pieces
Date: 8/6/2005
Marty (my 1yr old) said his first word today "eight", as I was counting with Maya AND after I got to seven. Nice...
I changed my car's front brake pads for the first time this morning. Took 2 1/2 hrs and a lot of hard work. But I'm glad I did it, I like to know how to do the simpler stuff on cars.
I'm looking around for a Quicksilver PowerMac (with keyboard, mouse and 512mb of RAM) for about A$500 (although I'll consider any G4 over 500mhz). So far the ones on ebay are still a bit over that, round the 630-700 mark. Am I dreaming? This is for porting Lgi (and thus Scribe) to OS X, if you want to help you can

This windows XP hack makes working with large avi files in explorer MUCH less painful. Windows can be really dumb sometimes. (Sometimes!?!)
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Howl's Moving Castle [Finally]
Date: 8/6/2005
Madman have updated their coming soon page with a real date for Howl's Moving Castle: September 22nd.

FYI There is a showing on the closing night (June 25) of the Sydney Film Festival but at A$31.60 it's not cheap. I'd rather wait a few more months and see it with my friends.
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No Net Access
Date: 8/6/2005
Hey all, bad news, my cable modem has apparently died so email and releases are going to be patchy at best over the next 2-3 weeks. Hopefully we'll be able to jury rig up some temporary access while I wait for a new service provider to provision up a new connection for me.

Great! just what I needed.

Update: My current research indicates that a Billion 5100 and iiNet is going to get me a kick arse connection for A$99(+shipping) setup + A$50/mth + whatever the bundled phone deal costs (A$30+calls/mth). Currently my exchange just has the craptastic Telstra DSLAM's in it, but come 4th quarter this year it'll be upgraded to ADSL2 DSLAM's and I'd automatically get upgraded to a 8000/1000 kbit connection.

Update2: Ok so now it's working again. But it's an on again off again deal. Sometimes power cycling it works other times it doesn't. I'll probably be able to limp along while ADSL is provisioned for me. "Yay". *shlump*
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Marketing Ploys 101 For The Unwary
Date: 6/6/2005
Buying things online can be a wonderful way of saving some money and getting what you really want (except if it's this). For instance you could be attacted to a nice shiny new LCD, like a Dell 2005FPW which uses the same LCD component as the Apple 20" Cinema Display and thusly is an Object Of Desire.

And on sale at A$880 (at the time of writing this) it's the cheapest 20" LCD on the market. But look at the fine print: "Price inc. 20% Cash off *Online Store Price valid to 10/06/2005". Quick you'd better hurry it's about to end!

Well, that particular deal is about to end, only to be replaced by a very similar deal, which ends and is replaced by the exact same deal. The point being that it has been A$900 or A$880 for the last month on 1 week long sales. If you happen by the site doing your shopping and see that you'd be inclined to jump on a great bargin before the sale ends. Which is exactly the desired result Dell want by playing this marketing trick.

My advice to you is: Don't be suckered by end of sale dates. There will always be a better sale on in the near future. Just bide your time and buy when your ready, not when some supposed sale forces you to.
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