Some New Additions…

Ok so the content on this blog doesn’t change that often! so I’ve  decided to add some interactive pages that provide real-time data. Notice now that there are two new pages APRS Live Map & Weather list at the top & down the right hand side. I’ve also added a small weather widget as well, this take a live feed from my La Crosse WS-2310. During the winter months the temperature sensor does get a little direct sunlight, so readings between about 8am to 10am may be higher than what the real temperature is, but as this is only for personal use you should not base any decisions on the weather data provided from this, please refer to the BOM for such details.

Just a little more info on the WS-2310…

As I use Linux, the software that was provided with the WS-2310 is for MS Windows. I needed to find something that could talk to and get the data from the weather station, the solution, Open2300 this give more functionality that what the original software provided!

interval2300     cw2300     light2300

dump2300     log2300     fetch2300

minmax2300     mysql2300     wu2300

histlog2300     xml2300     open2300

I won’t go into detail about all of these, but the main two I use are … mysql2300 & wu2300 (with a slight mod) and a third utility that is provided from XASTIR called open2300db2APRS. MySQL2300 places the weather data into a mysql database and wu2300 uploads my weather data directly to weather underground while open2300db2APRS is an interpreter for mysql to XASTIR.

More scare tactics… Are we that STUPID ???

Oh boy this has to be about the highest level of stupidity of the Rudd Government not only do they wish to filter your Internet they will also potentially attempt to ban you if you don’t comply. The unanswered question remains that the OS in question (Microsoft Windows) has simply got a lot to answer for, in that its lack of genuine security now making an government believe that the only solution is to attempt the following …

Compulsory computer protection mooted

Providers would also have to tell users when their computer might be infected and offer a ”clear policy on graduated access restrictions and, if necessary, disconnection until the infected machine is remediated”.

23 Jun, 2010 12:00 AM

Australians could be forced to install anti-virus protection on their computers and have their access to the internet shut down if they did not remove software infections, under a proposed crackdown on cyber crime.The Hackers, Fraudsters and Botnets: tackling the problem of cyber crime report, written by a bipartisan parliamentary committee, calls for a new Office of Online Security headed by a Cyber Security Coordinator and a national online cyber crime reporting facility, which would operate 24 hours a day offering help, referrals and free access to scanning software.

The report said cyber crime had grown over the past decade from the ”nuisance of the cyber smart hacker into an organised transnational crime committed for vast profit and often with devastating consequences for its victims”.

Committee chairwoman Labor MP Belinda Neal said the Australian Communications and Media Authority detected thousands of compromised computers every day, ”with many people often unaware that their personal financial information is at risk of theft by criminals operating online”.

They could be unknowingly ”distributing child pornography or actually interfering with other people’s privacy, stealing their identities in internet fraud”.

The report said Australia needed to apply the ”same energy and commitment given to national security” to the cyber crime threats that impacted on society more generally.

The committee called for a new voluntary code of practice for internet service providers to be made mandatory.

”The private sector must also play its part. The internet industry has to accept that commercial gains also carry social responsibilities,” it said.

It said internet service providers should have to provide basic security advice when accounts were set up, and not allow new users to log on to the internet until they had installed anti-virus software and firewalls.

See original article from here

So are we to accept this potential flawed policy, or are we to challenge it should it even be given the time of day in parliament. Its getting clear the our current government doesn’t trust us nor do they even think that we can be responsible Internet users. We may have had Kevin 07 but if the Labor party are really serious on this then I doubt that there will be a Kevin 10/11 (when ever he dare call the next election) So its time to pose the question to your local Federal M.P what their stance is on such policy, and ensure that its not just you that believes this to be a complete load of CRAP!  😐

APRS I-Gate update (server swap)

Effective from today I have retired my IBM NetVista (second server) that was hosting my APRS I-Gate VK7HSE-3. I have moved my  APRS I-Gate to my main server. Whilst I was at it this gave me a chance to remove excess dust build up from within the IBM eServer 220. I have to admit, I didn’t think that the room where all my gear lives was so dusty!

The only one small change made, I’ve reassigned the call sign of VK7HSE-1 (formally VK7HSE-3) to the I-Gate.

So for the end-user its business as usual, and a small saving on electricity for me…   😀

OSM now included in XASTIR 1.99 (cvs)

Over the last week or so there has been a major inclusion into the XASTIR project, OSM (Open Street Map) has now replaced the tiger series maps, thus now providing online mapping resources to a larger community.

Here is a screen shot from my install of XASTIR…  (click on image for a full size view!)

So as you can see I have a basic map of my local area thus negating the need to make my own custom maps! Here is the current selection for the OSM implementation…

A big thank you goes out to the people who have added this code to the project for including OSM into XASTIR now makes for a better FOSS partnership  😀

Ubuntu and the need for power! (individual)

This topic seems to be rearing its ugly head within the recently disapproved ubuntu-au loco team. Although there has been some healthy discussion within the community from getting the bad news, there is still a lot of work to do before things will be back on the right track to getting the loco re-approved. Below is an article that was recently published on and I thought that it was worth reposting …

Ubuntu: meritocracy not democracy

Ubuntu community manager Jono Bacon explains

By Jono Bacon

Jono Bacon is a musician, writer and software developer. He’s also the Ubuntu Community Manager, though the opinions expressed here are entirely his own

Ubuntu has many recognisable traits, but one of the best is its reputation for working with its community.

Since Mark Shuttleworth forged the original team in 2004, the Ubuntu community has exploded in size, spawning a diverse range of teams across the globe.

Underlining this sense of community was Mark’s eagerness to embrace transparency, putting in place open governance and tools, a code of conduct and an invitation for volunteers to join the ranks of the project.

Recently, however, there was some controversy surrounding this community ethos. It kicked off when Canonical, Ubuntu’s primary sponsor, announced a refreshed brand for the project. A new lick of paint was applied to the logo, wallpaper and more, and new colour schemes, textures, photographic treatments and other artistic flourishes were shared with the wider community.

As part of the brand development, key members of the community were flown to London to work with the design team, and senior community governance boards were told about the brand before it was publicly announced.

The announcement that I drafted included two screenshots showing the new light and a dark themes. Although seemingly innocuous to the casual observer, within the screenshots was a detail that got a few people a little worked up: the window close/maximise/minimise buttons had moved from the right to the left.

Community controversy

A bug was filed regarding the change, and everyone and their dog weighed in to share their opinions. Some offered genuinely thoughtful usability critiques, but many spewed forth disjointed, rambling opinions.

The debate raged on before Mark threw his two cents into the well: “We all make Ubuntu, but we do not all make all of it. In other words, we delegate well. We have a kernel team, and they make kernel decisions. You don’t get to make kernel decisions unless you’re in that kernel team. You can file bugs and comment and engage, but you don’t get to second-guess their decisions. … We have processes to help make sure we’re doing a good job of delegation, but being an open community is not the same as saying everybody has a say in everything.”

At the heart of Shuttleworth’s response was a clarification that decisions at Ubuntu are not made by consensus but by recognised and informed decision makers. He concluded his post in response to a previous comment, affirming this position of Ubuntu:

“This is not a democracy. Good feedback, good data, are welcome. But we are not voting on design decisions.” Within seconds of his comment on the bug being posted, Linux and open source newswires were ablaze with stories that Ubuntu was not a democracy, with some mis-reporting that there had been a fundamental change in how we build Ubuntu. My inbox filled up.

When the story broke, it reminded me of a conversation I had with Mark three years ago at an Ubuntu Developer Summit in California. It was my first UDS and I was still learning the ropes. At the time, I was putting together a community-led governance board for the Ubuntu Forums.

We’d codified the expectations of the council, fleshed out term lengths, decided on governance infrastructure and identified what the council would focus on. All we needed to do was decide who was going to serve on the council.

As we discussed different approaches, I recommended that we could hold a vote, to which Mark responded: “No, this is not a democracy.” At first, my reaction was pretty much the same rabbit-caught-in-headlights response that some people experienced recently. Democracy felt like a culturally familiar, comfortable and fair approach to community, so the idea it was not our culture came as a bit of a bolt out of the blue. Mark continued to explain the position:

“In Ubuntu, decisions are not driven by a popularity contest, but instead by informed decision-makers with firm experience of the problem and making solutions.” After he’d clarified what Ubuntu was not, he followed up with what it was: “Ubuntu is a meritocracy.”

Merit-based change

For those of you unfamiliar with the term, a meritocracy doesn’t assume that everyone has a right to a vote, but instead that leadership and direction is driven by those who’ve developed a reputation based on merit and good work.

In a meritocracy, you don’t climb the community hierarchy by driving a nicer car, having finer clothes or other such material attributes. Progress is made through great work that’s identified and respected, and grounded in experience and informed judgment.

Meritocratic communities are at the heart of how people share and collaborate in an idealised manner. As kids, we’re warned of the temptation of bending the rules, or using status or a materialistic veneer as a fast-track to getting on in the world. From our earliest memories we’re taught that good deeds are rewarded with good deeds.

Communities such as Ubuntu work in this very manner. Fundamentally, communities are economies, but instead of growing financial capital, we develop our reserves of social capital. We build this by giving gifts to the community (such as patches, documentation, bug reports or other contributions), and when others see our gifts and respect our work, we grow in their minds as good citizens; citizens who have experience and who we typically trust to lead.

These attributes are by no means specific to Ubuntu; the majority of open source communities are also meritocratic and leaders are identified through good work, recognised contributions and trust generated by the community.

I’m hugely proud of the incredible work the global Ubuntu community has achieved in the last six years, and meritocracy has helped bring viability, respect and acknowledgement to their work.

We still have work to do and problems to solve, but opportunity is lighting the path forward and I, for one, am ready to roll.


Sourced from

Flash Player 10 for 64-bit Linux… What Gives ?

As reported from Adobe

The Flash Player 10.1 64-bit Linux beta is closed.  We remain committed to delivering 64-bit support in a future release of Flash Player.  No further information is available at this time. Please feel free to continue your discussions on the Flash Player 10.1 desktop forums.

However, all is not lost! there are still 2 servers you can still download the last version from until support starts up (again?) in the future…

Adobe Flash Plugin for Linux x86_64 Server 1


Adobe Flash Plugin for Linux x86_64 Server 2 (courtesy of )

What makes a good ISP ?

Ok another subjective topic I know! but that question comes up regularly, and for you what does make a good ISP (Internet Service Provider) OK let me start with a little history from my experience with ISP’s …

The early days …

I first got myself connected to the Internet back in 1997, yes this was certainly the “Dial-up Days” and as two friends of mine where using a local Tasmanian company call Southern Internet Services (aka southcom) now I can’t recall the plans that were available at that time, but I used to use their pre-paid service where you purchased time by the hour. The rate was $2.50 ($AUD) per hour block and this suited me quite nicely in the early days as I could keep my usage in check and never had to worry about a large bill or worrying about going over any quotas! Around 2003/04 southcom were eventually bought out by a company called KeyPoint, for users of southcom, it was still business as usual just under a different name. The KeyPoint were bought out by yet another company called Eftel, it was at this stage the old southcom accounts were being phased out and the push was on to convert existing customers to plans instead of a pre-paid arrangement, also the company’s offices are based in Perth Western Australia and it was around this time I started looking into other ISP’s.

True discovery of Internet usage

So I started to ask myself  the question “What makes a good ISP?” and although I was certainly happy being a southcom customer, the service being provided was only simple (email & web access) after looking around at some of the competition, I soon realised that most ISP were offering some sort of “free to download” content, Now this is where things can get rather interesting! so of what benefit is free to download to the end user? well again depending on what you do this can vary greatly from person to person. My Internet usage was increasing and I was finding I was spending more time online so the pre-paid situation was now starting to cost more than a basic dial-up monthly plan so I decided to switch to Telstra BigPond as I could bundle and get my home phone & Internet access at a slightly cheaper rate (Dial-up access $24.95 per month $AUD) Now Bigpond do offer certain content from their website as free to download to their customers, they also have a download mirror where you can get software that counts toward “free to download” this was of use to me as around this time I was starting to get a little more experimental with both Internet applications and operating systems (namely Linux) In early 2007 Telstra had a big push to move people from dial-up accounts to Broadband, I was sweet talked to switch over and I was connected at 256/64Kb at a cost of $29.95 ($AUD) but this was discounted for the first 12 months because of taking up a new 2 year contract by bundling the home & mobile (cell) phones and Inter into one package, the discounted access for Internet was $14.95 ($AUD) with a 12GiB download quota and if you exceeded this your service was throttled to 64/64Kb but you were not penalised for excessive data as this was an “unlimited” plan.

Enter the breath of fresh air! …

Once the contract period expired with Telstra BigPond, again I was starting to notice that one company was offering a good deal that had me wanting to swap to them as soon as I could! this company name is Internode, Now what makes Internode stand out from the others? well for starters they offer better price point for end-users/businesses with a wide range of plans to suite your needs. their free to download content has to be one of the best on offer within the country! (no I’m not getting paid to say all this!) And recently Internode has been rolling out more ADSL2+ enabled exchanges making them also one of the largest to offer such speed. Even more recently with their announcement on entry pricing for the FTTH (Fibre To The Home) as part of the NBN (National Broadband Network) has many competitors lagging behind.

So have I answered my question?

Well I believe so…   😀

My best friend… Maisie

Do I really need to say anything ? Maisie, our short hair domestic tabby & white moggie adopted from the Hobart Cat Centre in June 2008. She is now a healthy 2 1/2 year old with plenty of personality (loves a cuddle!) and loves to play with her favourite toy … A ping pong ball !!!

How could your resist those lovely green eyes…  I can’t    😀

Editorial: Gigabytes and gibberish ¹

THERE is little doubt digital data technology has revolutionised much in our lives.

THERE is little doubt digital data technology has revolutionised everything from televisions, cameras and telephones to cars, computers and newspapers.

The past 15 years have seen the technology creep into the fabric of life. We are now reliant on it in some way, shape or form. Texting and email have become a part of everyday life. As such, we know it works. We know its advantages.

But many of us remain wary of the obsessive computer geek who rants gibberish about the latest technology. Incomprehensible jargon with grand, majestic statements are a cause for mistrust.

This is a problem for the federal and state governments in the $43 billion National Broadband Network rollout.

Take for example, Tasmanian senator Carol Brown, who says the NBN is the “largest nation-building project in our history”. What’s that mean exactly?

“It will be an enabling platform across the economy, critical for small businesses, future healthcare delivery, the education of our young people and our ability to work cleaner, smarter faster,” she says.

What’s an enabling platform?

She goes on to say it will “help drive productivity and increase growth”. How?

Australian Computer Society president Anthony Wong says the NBN will start a revolution in online services.

“Technology underpins all forms of production, transport and communication, and enables the delivery of an enormous range of products and services in eduction, banking, health and entertainment,” Mr Wong said.

What services? What products?

In layman’s terms, why would a Midway Point householder connect?

This has not been properly explained.

We have heard grand statements about the revolution, but, in plain English, how will it change our lives?

If people do not understand, they will not connect.

NBN Tasmania chairman Doug Campbell predicts fewer than 30 per cent of premises will take up its service in the first few years and industry sources suggest 17 per cent.

In December, Telstra offered a million cable customers in Melbourne three-times faster download speeds on a two-year contract (at similar speeds to the NBN), but in the first few months only a few hundred took up the offer.

The world’s most comprehensive optic-fibre rollout, in South Korea, has attracted only 39 per cent of households.

How will it go down in Tassie?

The State Government is funding forums statewide to help explain the NBN and the Tourism Industry Council of Tasmania, the Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association, the Tasmanian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Tasmanian Small Business Council are promoting its benefits.

The Tasmanian public’s reaction to the NBN will set the tone for the national rollout. Any perception problems in Scottsdale can be expected to be replicated everywhere from Greendale, in Victoria, to Coffs Harbour, in New South Wales.

At this stage — only weeks from the first connections — the information has been far from grounded.

Combined with early issues about training and workplace practices, the rollout has got off to a shaky start.

With Tony Abbott vowing to wind back the rollout and ready to pounce on the slightest slip, it is imperative it goes to plan — the political survival of the Rudd Government may depend on it.

Every Tasmanian home, business, school and hospital is set to get high-speed broadband.

That sounds great, but how will that affect Gary and Norm down at the local, or Shane and Barry at the sawmill, or Terry and Sue at the school, or Maria and Dan down on the farm? We need to know.

¹ sourced: