Where Insanity Thrives… Still

I have been going to do a write up on this for a while and having digested all the documents from the Coalitions policy I think now is a good time to do it.

The Coalition has now presented a full policy on how they will handle the NBN if they win the election later this year. This involves moving from a full fibre to the premises (FTTP) rollout, to a Fibre to the node Rollout (FTTN) and using the existing hybrid-fibre Coax networks owned by Optus and Telstra as well as the current wireless and satellite options being rolled out by NBN Co.

Using this mix of technologies the Coalition aims to deliver there version of the NBN by 2019 at a cost of $20.4Bil compared to the $37.4 to deliver FTTP by 2021, resulting in the project being finished 2 years sooner and at 54% of the price (assuming both projects go as currently planed) however the cost for the coalitions plan could vary greatly due to some of the assumptions made in there costing such as that “Cost-effective access [to Telstra copper] will be attainable.”

The next most controversial item of these policies raised by Labour NBN supporters is the cost of upgrading a fibre to the node rollout to FTTP later on down the track. The coalitions policy documents references a report on the BT rollout that states the cost of this will be 109% of the cost of rolling out FTTP in the first place, however in the background document goes on to state that this would be cheaper due to the revenues that would earn if the FTTN is in use for as little as 3 years, however  looking at the numbers presented in this document, the longer that FTTN is in use rather then FTTP it appears that the FTTP would end up cheaper due to the lower operating costs ($60 V’s $90 per year according to the coalitions documents)

While there are other points could continue to compare from these policies much of the remainder of the coalition’s policy documents deal with a number of assumptions in order to make the Labour NBN seem to be costing more, going slower, or otherwise generally worse then the documents being presented by NBN Co, I could do similar things to the Coalitions policy however I think this would be unproductive.

So having considered the few facts presented in the coalitions plan and compared them with the current documents from NBN Co based on the Labour policy it is my opinion that changing the nature of the rollout of this project would not result in a materially cheaper (noting the costs that have not been factored in to the coalition project) or faster (noting the minimal time that has been allocated to complete all the contract renegotiations) completion of the project than that being currently build by the Labour government, and would then require upgrading at a later date as the remaining copper cabling that this policy relies on degrades past the point of acceptability for purpose (as it already is in some areas as presented by anecdotal evidence) so why not continue with the current rollout and get the project completed correctly the first time

Over the last 6 months I have been Participating in the SCA as a heavy fighter, recreating pre 17th century knightly combat. One faction of this I have noticed is a tendency for people to focus on the sport aspects of Heavy fighting rather then the recreation aspects, with many people opting for minimal armor or close to it within our rule set. I find my self rather opposed to these noting that the SCA is dedicated to recreating all aspects of life in pre 17th century.

When asking people why they chose to wear minimal armor you will receive many responses ranging from “It’s to heavy”, to “I don’t get hit there anyway”, my personal opinion is that neither of these,  or the plethora of similar reasons, truly make sense in the context of what we are attempting to achieve. By removing the weight and movement restrictions that wearing armor provides you are no longer attempting to participate in chivalric combat but in a sport that is only loosely based upon combat from this time period, as part of how and why things where done is due to the armor that was being worn by combatants.

On the other side of this argument is people who wear plenty of armor, however use modern substitutes (like zoombang, or plastic)for parts of there armor, with these I find myself being more sympathetic to there reasoning as much of this is based on improving the durability of there armor as they have found (and I have experienced) that some pieces of armor simply does not last, or gets badly damaged from being regularly hit, and replacing our equipment is not a cheap exercise, however there are a number of people who are going for these modern alternatives for reasons such as those above I find difficult to deal with this, particularly noting that a similar effect can be created with period materials.

So with my rant over with what I don’t like to see I would like to see more people wearing more armor, perhaps not to the amount that I am wearing, but to a standard where they are wearing some form of period armor on most valid target target areas what they may be hit.

Well I’m up to 6 hours played on Skyrim (according to steam) so I’m going to give it a full review (with out story line spoilers).

Upon loading the game up I was quite impressed, visually its quite easy on the eyes even on medium settings with a distinctly elder scrolls feel to it, and this is achievable on most common PC hardware. Now my PC is no gaming beast but its still above the average hardware that post people are using (again according to the steam statistics) so I’m going to take my experience as being fairly average of what most people would see. The shadows in Skyrim are one of the least impressive aspects of its graphics with them tending to get very jagged at times and detracting from otherwise wonderful settings, however all in all most of the time you would overlook this as your busy doing something (like killing the guy who just jumped out of his grave to kill you!) making it less of an issue that you would first expect. Overall I would place them graphics at ab 8/10.

The UI’s in the PC version seem to have been taken directly from the console version and for the first few hours I was fighting them to get what I wanted done and learning where everything was hidden in the 2 separate menus you have available (one for your stuff your character uses, items spells etc, and the other got more game like things like saving the game and viewing active quests). this was rather disorientating particularly as navigating them was clearly designed to be done with a controller. in addition to this some of the default key binding made functions hard to find (or use when you needed them like the dragon shouts that are bound to ‘Z’ by default. In the end i gave up on the keyboard and mouse and plugged in a Xbox controller and things became much easier to use, this are of the game could have defiantly used some more work in the PC version, however my experience with the controller says they got it right for the console versions. combat also became easier with the controller as all your combat related buttons where not under each other (like the shouts I already mentioned.) making the game much easier to play.

The leveling mechanics in the game make it very fast to level up with the perks giving you options to make a specialist that is viable regardless of your play style (yes even the sneaky archer can kill a dragon, if your careful) however adding perks using the KB and mouse was again hard, and much faster and more intuitive using the controller. but as your not doing this to regularly its not that bad. all up i give the UI and control system a 5/10 using the Keyboard or 9/10 using the controller.

The storyline of the main quest is exceptional (so far) and much better if you don’t go and read any spoilers before you play (and that’s why I won’t put any here) with some nice twists and the odd side quest that actually helps you out, to the point of having done one of the side quests allowed me to practically skip an entire main quest as I had already achieved the objective. while this was a nice bonus it would have been nice for the objectives to be separate, with so much of the story i have not begun to look at I won’t comment to much on this section, but quests seem to be relatively compact so far, making it more inviting to do the odd side quest, even if it is just to take some herbs across town.

With so much to do in the game I feel that the price tag on this game is more then justified, with a good mix of content, good graphics and game mechanics this title has earned its place as a AAA title this year, however the shocking menu system for the PC version leaves something to be desired. the game also requires you to link it to a Steam account making it difficult for some people who may wish to play the game with out access to broadband internet, as there was a day 1 patch that I am defiantly not a fan of (Surely buying the game on launch day I should be playing 1.0 not as this screams that the game could have been better released in a month or 2.

Overall I would rate this a 7/10 game on PC, having an Xbox controller for your PC makes the experience much better, however the keyboard and mouse experience needs some more work to make this a good introduction for players new to the elder scrolls series. if you happen to own a controller this is easily a 9/10 game.

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It’s been some time since I last played an elder scrolls game, however with skim I have decided to give other a go.

After some shopping around I got my copy, for the PC, and headed home to load it up, and during he install it automatically linked it to my steam account, so no need to keep the cd key on hand thankfully. Steam then went to work getting the day 1 patch for me and updating my game to taking about 10 minutes to download and install. While this was happening I had a quick look at the map that came with my copy of the game, this was a nice high quality printing that would not look astray above your pc so you can see where you are going with out having to refer to the in game map.

With the install now finished I started up the game and it detected the video settings and set my system to use the high settings (and using my native resolution that was a nice surprise.) so I left everything as it suggested and dived head first in to the game. as usual for an elder scrolls game, you start with a scripted sequence with you as a prisoner being taken to an outpost of some kind. where you are introduced to some of the main factions (well I presume they are) and some of the story line to come. After some explanation of the story line you are thrown in to for the main quest line (that I won’t spoil for you here) you are placed in to a small tutorial style section of the game that explains some of the mechanics for fighting and gives you some basic equipment before leading you to your first village in the game so continue with either the main quest line or the large number of side quests in the game.

One thing I noticed that could get annoying quickly was when killing the last of a a group of enemy’s your character went in to a cut scene style kill move, while h=these are quite nice there is a limited number of them so they tend to repeat, and while doing one of the side quests I noticed I went in to one while I was still being shot at! so I’m a little undecided about that feature, however it is quite nice when you sneak up on someone to see a little shot of you assassinating them to reward your efforts.

On the graphics side of things, its a very good looking game, even with out the settings maxed out. I’m using a gt20 in my pc with a dual monitor set up, placing me below the recommended specs however the game still put me on the high setting, just one below the max, with out having checked any numbers the game was a little jerky so I turned the AA and AF down a little to get it nice and smooth, but even still the quality did not suffer significantly, so with that said if you meet the recommended specs for the PC version you can expect this game to run very well and get the most out of it.

well I’m off to play some more enjoy your time in Skyrim


well over the last few months if have been slowly working on setting up a workshop in the garage, at it has finally ha the last vital piece installed. The forge, now this may not seem to be a normal piece to add to a home workshop i find it quite useful and fun to boot.

how this came about is an interesting story that started with some innocent Google searching, and i came across some websites about blacksmithing, now this has always been something that has interested me, however i never thought that i would be doing this at home. however with some help of a friend who had a gas forge and some inspirational websites showing just what could be achieved with very few tools i decided to set out and build my own.

first up was a list of tools I HAD to have to be able to do anything, that was a hammer, something to make it hot, and something to hit it on.

after much searching i came across where there was listings for all sorts of tools that would complete my workshop, and a few emails and a couple of months later i was the proud owner of a 30kg anvil and a pair of blacksmiths cross pein hammers. this solved 2 of my 3 must have items, a hammer and something to hit it on, but still left me with no way to make it hot.

hence began the long search for a forge, after a few false starts looking for gas forges and either not being able to get them to sydney, or them being way out of my price range i posted a wanted a on the work classifieds, only to be offered a free solid fuel forge, that was found to be in perfect working order and only about 15 minuets from home,so naturally that was a taker.

so now I have a forge, anvil and hammers ready to go! lots of fun times to follow, time to decide what to make first (well next as i had to make some tools first!)


well after quite some time of not writing much code I decided to dig out the old code for this site and see what If I could use it for some projects I had in mind.

As it turns out while the code isn’t spectacular in the form I had left it it was still a good idea for the most part, so I decided to set about a rewrite/re factor of the code to bring it up to php5.3 standards from its old 4.x standard and make it in to more of a OO framework that i can drop into other projects with out as much need to hack it to pieces to make it work.

after hacking out all the business logic of doing anything in particular (like creating this blog in a previous life) I found I had quite a lot of work to do to bring it up to date. however its starting to come together so I have decided to move it on to GitHub to host my project (and those it will spawn once the rewrite is “Done”)

with the choice to host this code came the choice of license to put it up under, and after looking through several licenses i ended up going with the modified (3-clause) BSD license.

hopefully this will form a nice, simple, and fast framework that can be used for a range of php software both open and closed source.

Well I have been a bit lasy again putting things up here so I thought its about time I uploaded some more photos.

So I have finaly got around to uploading some photos I took at the 20 twenty big bash last weekend.


I came across an interesting concept the other day of a developer of an open source project who was developing the project “behind the scenes” with out any feedback to the community, now this stuck me as odd while first reading there comments about what they were doing.

What had happened in this case was the developer wasn’t happy with being pushed in any particular direction on there project so they had stopped openly advertising what they were doing on the project, with out stopping other people from using there code, this is where i came up with the concept of Open Source Vs Open development.

When most people think of open source the link these two concepts  of not only having the source code available but also being directly involved in the development cycle of the project through bug reports, submitting code patches etc, and most project this is how they are run, however in this case it was no longer occurring as the developer had no wish to implement new features and was more focused on maintaining it and fixing bugs at there own pace.

my question to you is have you come across a case of open source but not open development? do you think there is a place where this makes sense for a project to be developed with this methodology? or should all open source projects also employ open development?

Well recently I got IPv6 enabled on the VPS that is currently running my mail server, now this I thought would be a great opportunity to start to move into the new generation of IP on my hosting by getting this server enabled. when this was assigned I was interested to note my humble VPS with just 128mb of ran was not allocated a single IP address but a whole subnet that I could use. Now knowing that IPv6 has some 340 trillion trillion trillion unique addresses I wasn’t so surprised by getting more then one address, but my surprise came when I found out how much I was given.

My VPS was assigned 2607:f128:42:d1::2/64 as its IPv6 allocation, now that may not seem to imposing at first glance but a small amount of research and you will see that this allocation contains more IP address space then the ENTIRE ipv4 address space, this makes me wonder why this is the case, and why the MINIMUM allocation any of the regional address providers will give out to an organization is a /32 block, this seems wasteful and unnecessary.

Now I understand that IPv6 has been designed so there are far more addresses then we will ever use but is that a reason to waste them like this so early in its adoption. as was the case with ipv4 where early in its life cycle large blocks were handed out to the point where we now see that things like NAT are required to keep even a portion of the address space available for use.

Would it not be more prudent to give a single server a much smaller allocation of ip addresses (perhaps just 1 even?) rather then taking such a huge chunk out of the address pool we have seen the effect this has had on IPV4 with some organizations being given entire /8 blocks of address space early in its life cycle (although some have since been returned for reallocation).

Now this may never become an issue with the huge address pool available to us through IPv6 but I believe that this should at least be considered before this becomes so wide spread that every IPS and hosting provider in the world is using a /32 and they are running out.

Well having just finished this book I figure its time for a review, this is the thirteenth book in the series and has been completed by Brandon Sanderson after the death of Robert Jorden in 2007, and while many fans believed that the series would never be the same being finished by another author, my self included, I assure you you wont be disappointed by this book.

Now I will attempt to keep spoilers out of this review for those that have not read the book yet but I can’t guarantee I wont give any. If you haven’t read all of the proceeding books the please be patient as this will contain spoilers for them, you have been warned.

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