Laptop Computer

Well after about two days of Installing software, I now have a functioning laptop for the trip to Montreal.

I was thinking as I installed my often used tools, that it would make a good list of what I like to use, and have to use.

  • Might & Magic IX (for entertainment)
  • Visual Studio 2005 & MSDN
  • Subversion
  • TortoiseSVN
  • SQL Express
  • Our product
  • Firefox 2.0
  • Beyond Compare 2
  • RSS Bandit
  • Wireshark
  • XVI32
  • ProcessExplorer
  • Live Writer
  • 7Zip
  • InstallShield 11 (used often but not installed)
  • ScrewTurn Wiki Desktop Edition

Wifi/LAN work at work. At home the LAN just works, but the Wifi “connects” but I can’t ping the gateway. Might play more this weekend. Grrr, it should just work.

This was posted from Laptop via LiveWriter, so I know it will all work before I leave.

Misleading Xtra Advertising

I got home yesterday to an interesting press of Telecom/Xtra advertising suggesting I might like to get Xtra Broadband, and that I could get it at $10 less*.

First strange point: I already have their broadband service, so why would they send directed mail promoting other services.

The Save $10 every month that is looks so attractive, is just a rewording of their normal stance. They used to say Starting from $29.95 * (* You will pay $10 extra if you do not have you toll service with Telecom), and now that are saying Save $10* prices starting $29.95 (*$10 saving is based on the standard price for customers who don’t have toll calls).

Hmmm, they are trying to making there tolls punishment seem like a savings.

My other problem is what you get for the $29.95, ~2Mbps/128Kbps 256MB, and dynamic IP address.

To get another 768MB (1GB plan) costs $10 extra.

To get a static IP costs $20 extra.

Telstra on the other hand for $29.95 you get, 2Mbps/2Mbps, 1GB, static IP address.

I miss my Telstra connection. I like their data over use policy, where you pay in $3 chunks, compared to Orcon’s $10 chunks. $10 makes me feel like I’d have to monitor my usage really closely. I understand the Orcon style is just a progressive package selection, but it feels like large dollar increments. I just like the small chunk idea from Telstra. I must sound petty complaining over $10, but all those just $10 type things add up.

The second part of Telstra’s pricing policy that I like is when you upgrade plans inside one month, you get all data capacity of the next block, but only pay for the number of days (left in the period) of that service month. The flip side is you have to keep the same plan for a billing period.

My bigger mental problem is really because every Telstra broadband user pays per byte, it feel like Telstra has more incentive to to keep the network capacity expanding as users are added. Because the larger the pipe, the more data I could get, thus the more they can charge. Whereas with the Telecom ASDL and the all you can eat plans or data rate capping plans, there will always be some level of “free” data traffic, that is reducing capacity, without directly paying for it. Even if it’s traffic shaped, or low rate < 64Kbps, it reduces the incentive to expand to maintain free capacity. Or expensive traffic shaping equipment needs to be purchased, to manage users.

All in all I don’t understand how Telecom are getting away with charging more, when the installation cost is lower. Telstra have to send a technician to wire up your house, and give you a “free rented” cable modem, verse just posting you a modem. Which they say costs $100, when you can get it for $70 from computer shops.

Just noticed that $50 on Telecom gets you “Unlimited data” or 2GB whereas on Telstra you get 10GB.

Windows Live Writer and Photo’s

Just noticed on my Live Space, that each time I drag a picture in Windows Live Writer (Beta), that the photo is uploaded to my blog.

Just found a few copies of the same picture due to me changing my mind how the picture should look, and snapping it, and pasting into Live Writer. I would think it would be better to only upload the photo once the page is published. Shrug

<rant>
I also can’t find how to turn off “helpful”/”auto”/”magic” text selection. It gets really annoying having the editor adding extra characters to my selection. Worst feature in the world.
</rant>

First Business Trip: Montreal, Canada

Next Monday I’m off with co-worker Matt, to Montreal (45°30’17.95″N, 73°34’8.40″W) to discuss some shared development opportunities, with one of our half brother companies. We are looking to upgrade some of our back-end tools, that do the same stuff as their back-end, and upper management would like to reduce double work. So off we go to learn how/where/what they do, and see if the common ground is closer than the gap of incompatibility. There is lots to learn from them even if we re-rolling our own, so I’m keen to see what they have.

So other than the business/technical side of it. I’m excited, as I have only left New Zealand once before to play sports. That was only to Australia, which feels to close to call international travel. Sure they love to treat us like the annoying little brother, and we like to try beat them at every step. But they still feel like family.

One thing that took me a few minutes to name when inspecting the itinerary was, the air time of the return trip was 2 hours longer. It then took a few more minutes for the why to click. Spinning earth, relativity. Not something I would have thought of as a factor, until there was a difference that needed an answering.

Current Montreal weather: -2°C Overcast. Light snow. I wonder if I’ll be be able to wear shorts and t-shirt inside?

Pity I’ll not be doing any snow activities. Or site seeing or anything of the likes. A co-worker was noting that a around the world ticket might be cheaper than a straight return trip (it was 20% cheaper for one of his US trips). If I had Mic & Co with me, that would be cool, or if my brother & sister had not returned from London seeing them over there would be also be cool. But alas.

Fixed annoying RSS Bandit Formatter Stylesheet issue.

I have my own style-sheet based on the ‘outlook2003-orange’ style-sheet. But I have the Read/Unread flag at the top and bottom of each post, so once I’ve got to the bottom I can make the post read.

So it look like:

But for ages, I have had a problem when I click the envelope, that the pictures change, but the entry status doesn’t. So today I decided to track it down. The image is changed via an onclick JavaScript event, and the status is changed via a <map><area> event.

After click at the edges of the picture, when the mouse cursor was still the arrow, not the hand, I noticed the picture still changed, but the status didn’t. As soon as the cursor changed to a hand, the status would also change.

*click*, the cursor was the changed by the <area>. So now I changed the coords element from coords=”1,1,12,12″ to coords=”0,0,16,16″, it never misfires.

I understand the original mapping was true to the icon displayed, but it wasn’t the complete surface of the image displayed. So when reading you look to see if the image would change, then move on. Only later to discover some entries where marked unread. Problem solved.

Only problem left to solve is why on some blogs, does <map><area> events not work, even when the mouse is in the middle of the page.