That’s it. HP support rocks


I have an iPaq h2210, which I have been very happy with. It’s out of warranty (*I assume, it’s 18 months old), and the funny rubber grips on the side just delaminated. I can get spares from the US for $12 plus $20 in shipping. I thought the shipping was a bit much so I gave HP locally a call to ask if I could buy them here.

The nice Indian man insisted on sending them to me for free. I know it’s a little thing, but I feel so loved now…


TECRA M4 P-M 770 and Ubuntu live CDs


My work machine at the moment is a Toshiba Tecra M4 tablet, and I figured I’d give a Ubuntu live CD a go over the week and play with setting up this disc array. I only have a Ubuntu live CD for version 5.04 lying around, so that’s what I used.

The machine booted fine, once I’d disconnected the USB external keyboard, which stopped the hardware detection from working for some reason. Dunno why. In fact plugging the USB keyboard in at any time killed the X server so that the mouse and keyboard never worked again. Odd.


HP iPaq GPS FA256A

I picked up a HP FA256A blue tooth GPS the other day for my iPaq. The idea is that when I move to Mountain View, CA to work for Google then I’m going to need some form of satellite navigation to survive crazy American roads where they drive on the wrong side.

I’m liking the GPS. It was only $145 Australia, it’s got an eight hour lithium-ion battery, and comes with a car charger. I downloaded a free GPS test application for the iPaq (mine still runs Windows Mobile 2003), and it just worked. The only hard part was working out that it was hiding on COM port 8, not the COM port that was labelled as blue tooth in the drop down.

The graph to the left was made with some GPS code I wrote a while ago which I haven’t got around to documenting better than the README in the source code (tarball).

This graph is a dump of the drive from Andrew‘s house to mine last night. The color change indicates speed, with red being faster than blue.

I’m considering getting around to using GPS data more here. One day in my free time…


What are we doing with the pets?


We own a dog and a cat. We’ve had the cat, Taffy, for a long time and he’s quite old now. The dog, Spike, on the other hand hasn’t been with us for very long. So, when we move to the US, what are we going to do with the pets? Well, the cat is relatively easy, as he’s too old to cope with a move, and is quite attached to my father. He’ll be staying in our current house, which dad will be renting from me.

The dog, Spike is harder. The kids are now quite attached to him, having been initially scared of him (we got him as a puppy, and the kids didn’t like that puppy phase too much). He’s now a year old or so. On the other hand, he didn’t like the flight from Sydney to Canberra when we acquired him, so a 14 hour flight to the US is too much for him. If we don’t like the US and want to come home really, soon then he would also end up in quarantine, a four hour drive away from us, for a very long time (around three months I believe).

Worse than that, we’re probably going to end up in an apartment in the US, and that would mean that he wouldn’t have a yard to play in…

In the end we ended up deciding that it was better if Spike staying in the US. we contacted the breeder and had a chat, and found a lady in Sydney who has been looking for a Labradoodle for a while. After her visiting us and meeting the dog, and us interviewing her, we decided to just give her Spike. It felt really wrong to even discuss money.

Spike now has a dog’s dream job — he’s a mascot for a Sydney school, and plays with the kids at before and after school care (which are urn by his new owner). he also gets to go for long walks every day, and play on the beach, which something we were somewhat lax about.

That’s what the trip to Sydney that I blogged about earlier was about. Spike was dropped off, and then we went to my father in law’s house for the night. The boys got skateboards in return for being strong about the whole thing. They still ask after Spike a little, but I think that they understand that we’re going on a bit of an adventure and that Spike is best off where he is.

That’s why I was at Freshwater breach for that surfing competition that day as well… That beach is about a five minute walk from Spike’s new home.

I honestly think we’ve done the right thing, but it’s still sad when I think about it.