Category Archives: Commentaria

60 Years of the Biro

According to the BBC, the ball-point pen or biro turns sixty this month.

I have to confess that I have gone back to using a fountain pen. Modern materials and ergonomic design make them a far cry from what they were when, in 1938, the Biro brothers created the first ballpoint to get around the problem of leaky ink.

For the mathematicians reading this who cannot make 1938+60=2006, the anniversary is that of when the biro first went on sale in the United Kingdom.

Happy bicday.

Java Goes Open Source

As long-time supporters of the Open Source movement, it is no great surprise that Sun Microsystems has announced the Open Sourcing of its Java technology under Project Glassfish. See James Gosling’s (the "father" of Java) comments on his blog.

Use of the Duke logo on this post is used without asking permission – because Duke is now Open Sourced as well!

Kudos to Sun – again. It is so nice to see the “big boys” like them and IBM supporting the Open Source movement. When, oh when will Microsoft get in on the act? Their Shared Source initiative is a joke (and not a very funny one at that).

The Big Dry

South Australia is the driest state on the driest continent. This year (2006) is extra dry. The River Murray – the source of water for much of the state – is at very low levels, the Darling is down to almost a trickle. Water usage restrictions are being put in place and farmers are feeling the bite, with cereal crops just about wiped out. Houses in Adelaide (built on clay) are starting to crack, and not just because of lousy builders.

My Year To Date Rainfall Table says it all. Although it rained in October (sort of), there was not enough to tip my gauge. I should be able to run the house on rainwater until mid-January but after that – who knows.

‘Tis a grim picture.

Name and Shame!

If you have a mobility impairment, and a permit to park in mobility/disability parking spaces, you have experienced the inability of using those spaces because someone who didn't have a permit parked there illegally. It happens, everyday, everywhere.

Thus begins the introduction to a new, international, initiative to name and shame those who park in disabled (handicapped) parking spaces who have no right (or need) to do so.

Whether the inconsiderate type of person that actually does this would respond to (or even notice) being stigmatised for their actions remains to be seen, but this blogger rather likes the idea.

UPDATE – I have added this to my new category, Accessibility Rogues Gallery, as this site is performing much the same task, to my mind. Name and shame! Heh, heh!

Shine on you Crazy Diamond

The world mourns the passing of Syd Barrett, one of the founding members of Pink Floyd, the greatest band in the history of time and space. I am touched to see the huge media coverage – even from smaller, more parochial channels. Merely putting Syd into Google News produces a whole host of comments, tributes, and the like. (Those reading this post later on may get different results – Google News being a thing dynamic.)

Farewell, you Crazy Diamond.

BADD Begins

It’s seven in the morning, here in South Australia, the terminator (in the astronomical sense) having swept past within the last hour; BADD has begun!

I was hoping to be offering a number of articles on the topic, but am not feeling that wonderful, so it will probably be only two or three.

Spam, Spam, Spam, Spam!

I am so glad that I have started to use my 'blog again; I had forgotten the joy that deleting all the 'spam' comments can bring!

Checking the WHOIS information, most seem to be coming from the Ukraine at present; Russian Mafia at work?

The balance of products being pushed seems to have changed; the Generic Vagra is still very much in evidence, but there seem to be a lot of mobile phone ring tones on offer as well.

This brings me to something that I cannot understand – why anyone would not only go to the trouble of downloading a ring tone for a mobile phone, but actually pay for that dubious privilege. It's a telephone – you need to know that someone is calling you, not have an uplifting aesthetic experience (a mobile phone ring tune could only be so for someone who has just spent the last decade in a sensory deprivation tank).

Please note – if you should want to comment on this post, the word 'ringtone' is taboo.

See also: De-Spamming WordPress Comments elsewhere on this web log.