Month: October 2004

Radio Gaga

I did some tests last night with an 802.11g wireless rig, with directional sector antenna, from my rack on L48 of the Sky Tower, to Chris’ Apartment window down at H47. Results were very positive. With our airing system consisting of “holding the antenna in our hands and vaguely pointing them at where we thought the other person was” we managed to get a link which could sustain FTP throughput of 15 to 20Mbits/sec. Latency when not maxing out the link was around 1 to 2ms.


Total configuration time: About an hour.
Total hardware cost (2 x Base stations, 2 x Panel Antenna, RF cabling): $400
Value compared to 256Kbits/sec data capped “broadband” connection from local monopoly telco: Priceless


Rollerblade 7

I bought new skates today, on a whim. I was at Cheapskates with Annette while she bought hers, and I decided my probably about 8 or 10 year old solid-thermoplastic skates were about done. So I bought a new pair of Roches (to be specific, these and they’re really rather great. They hurt my feet fat less than the old set, and I suspect that once they’re fully shaped in, they won’t hurt at all.

I have, you see, absurd Hobbit feet. They’re much broader and higher than is appropriate for their length, when referenced against the rest of humanity. I’m not even sure how you skinnypods even manage to stand upright on your poor, sad, spider-monkey style feet. I pity you, you and your slender footwear!

The downside of this, however, is that when I buy skates the right length, they’re not wide enough, and my feet get squished. And they hurt.

These new skates, though, are soft boots, so they’ll eventually stretch. They already hurt far far less than the old solid plastic ones did. I plan to try to get back to skating every day, during summer. Next weekend, I may see how long it takes to skate to work, up Hobson street, along Pitt, down K road, then down Symonds Street. Whee!

Wretched Hive

I’ve been thinking more about it – if they actually played it straight and not for laughs, I absolutely would watch CSI: Mos Eisley.


I went skating tonight, for the first time in .. several years? As I expected, I was not as good as I was when I skated for a few hours every day. Surprisingly, my Mighty Human Brain totally remembered without any hassle what motions to make, how to balance, etc – I was in zero danger of falling over at any time. So that’s a good thing. However, as I also suspected, the small muscles in my feet used for delicate balance control (which are pretty much not used for anything except skating) were FECKIN’ SORE after about two minutes of skating about the underground parking lot of my building. So clearly, they’ll have to be built back up into shape.

The basement parking lot is REALLY great for skating. Big and flat, with ramps and bumps to jump, levels B4 and B5 are pretty much deserted in the evenings – it’s really quite perfect.

I managed to skate about for 45 minutes or so, before the pain my feet forced me to stop. To a lesser extent, my lower back was also sore – skating has some legs-pushing-slightly sideways stuff going on which uses that muscle group, but I’d forgotten all about that.

All in all, it went much better than I thought. If I do it each evening for an hour or so, I should be into shape enough to try skating to work one day. I may skate every day downstairs, then try a trial skate to work and back next weekend, to see how long it takes.

Oh yeah, also, one thing that I REALLY wish I had back in The Day was an ipod. Ipods make skating double-the-fun! [1] Oonst beats and EBM are, I feel, the right music for skating. Anything with an agressive bass beat, really. That’ll be why Roller Discos were so popular. Anyone want to throw a one-off roller disco here in Auckland?




[1] Note to Apple: Next ipod firmware release – can the ipod PLEASE have at LEAST a simple crossfader option for track transitions? itunes has it. Now please make the ipod have it.

Additional Note to Apple: Also, can you give some thought to a DJ-specific firmware release for the ipod? Maybe that .. say .. doesn’t have all the games and notes and shit, and that (if there’s enough CPU) does have some simple DJ functions like (in order of importance) (a) a crossfader, (b) a pitch bender, (c) scratching via the scroll wheel, (d) maybe a BPM counter, with a bass threshold trigger adjust. KTHXBAI.


I was having Coffee on friday after work, over at St Kevins Arcade, when Chris and Helen stated that they’re going to Illicit which is the local piercing/tattoo/black-clothes-with-pictures-of-demons-on/handbags-shaped-like-coffins-and-suchlike, Generic Get All Your Slightly More Counterculture Stuff That Real-Groovy Sells, Hipness And Rebellion In One Place emporium. So I tailed along with them, and on a whim booked myself in to get my ears pierced.

My normal lobe piercings have all healed up, I haven’t worn earrings for ages – but I have been talking about getting upper ear piercings for quite some time, so it’s nice to actually follow through with a concept for a change, instead of talking about it at length and never actually doing anything about it. Which is what I normally do with good ideas.

So, yesterday morning I went over there with Annette and had the work done. Nick the needle-jockey was very nice, very professional, listened to what I wanted and then made it so. I have three little blue titanium barbell thingies through my upper left ear. I’ll be going back for my right once these have healed enough to sleep on. Nick wants to take a photo of them for their big book of pictures, once they’re healed. Excellent!

For piercings like this, they have to use a hollow needle that actually takes a chunk out of you like a holepunch. Especially when they’re going through cartilage. The first one was okay, sore for an instant then almost immediately fading down. The second one was REALLY sore, and took longer to fade – I’m guessing there was a bigger nerve bundle there. The third one was less sore, but when he did it, I heard Annette go “Yahhh!” and Nick said “Oooo, that’s a bleeder!” at the same time. Apprently he hit a capillary – Annette tells me that there was projectile blood. 🙂 That one still bleeds when I’m playing with it.

All in all, I’m extremely pleased with the result. Can’t wait for it to heal up so I can go complete the set.