My Source Code

Living Life; One Line of Code at a Time...

Visiting the Mothership. San Fran Day 2
Today I joined the AUC (Apple University Consortium) bus tour that was organised to Silicon Valley.  A bright and sunny morning greeted us in San Francisco and we left the hotel at 9am. 

The first stop was Fry's Electronics.  This store was something else - the closest I could come to describing it is Jaycar + Dick Smiths + JB HiFi + Harvey Norman + Food.  It had everything, and I mean EVERYTHING.  From Paintball guns, BB guns and Tasers (!)  to computer parts to hifi to white goods.  We had a bit over an hour there and I only was able to go through three quarters of the isles.  Some people bought items, but I didn't (although I was tempted).

Next stop was the Computer History Museum after grabbing some lunch at a 7-Eleven store (the bus stopped at the museum, across the road there were some shops, I chose the 7-11 over Starbucks).  The museum was pretty interesting.  They had three main exhibits: one on computer chess and it's history, including one half of Deep Blue, the only computer to defeat a Grand Master of Chess; one on digital storage (which included a whole range of old computers and main frames - including Google's first production server, the Apollo Guidance Computer and other pioneering computers); and Charles Babbage's second Difference Engine.  The Difference Engine was a working machine and was demonstrated to everyone.  What I found amazing that Babbage didn't actually get around to making the second Difference Engine, he only designed it around 150 years ago.  It wasn't until last year that a couple of computer buffs decided to build it and it worked exactly to Babbage's intentions without any modification to the origianal design (apart from some minor engineering corrections due to modern materials).

After the museum, we called into Apple's main campus in Cupertino.  Funnily enough, Apple's campus is located on 'Infinite Loop'.  You can't get into the buildings due to the tight security in them, but they have a company store there, where you can buy merchandise which is not available at any official Apple store; such as 'I visited the Mothership' t-shirts.  I bought a couple of pressies for Caitlin and Laura there.  I resisted buying myself an Apple t-shirt as I'll probably get at least one from the conference.

Once everyone had finished buying items from the Apple store, we made our way back to San Francisco to the Moscone Center, where the conference is to be held to check in and get our passes.   Each delegate also received a t-shirt (photo probably tomorrow) and a wwdc09 branded bag.  Headed back to the hotel for the Australian and New Zealand delegate reception, where we could mingle and get to know the other Australian delegates here for WWDC.  

After the reception ended, I decided to head to an Irish pub with some other people and have a drink and some food, which was pretty good. I'm back here at the hotel mucking around on the internet before heading to bed.  Tomorrow we get up around 5ish to go line up for the Key Note address first thing tomorrow morning.  You literally need to get up this early so you get a seat in the auditorium as not everyone will get a seat.  Hopefully there's not many people who get up at this time.


Jet-Setting. San Fran Day 1
Well, I'm in San Francisco!  Here's the first of hopefully a daily blog on my happenings and doings in the US of A.

The XPT trip to Sydney was pretty straight forward, there's not much to tell.  I ended trading SMS messages with my Dad on the way down, but it was getting a bit frustrating as the shielding on the train was stopping any sense of a signal getting through most of the way.  Once in Sydney, I made my way to the Marque Hotel, which is right next to Central on George Street.  

I was going to go see a movie while in Sydney, but I was disappointed to find that they no longer have the 11.30pm sessions at the George Street cinemas.  So, I just settled in for some TV watching and then sleep after calling Sal.

I got up around 9am the next morning, took my time and headed back to Central.  Grabbed some breakfast and spoke to my brother Andrew for a bit.  Caught the train from Central to the International Terminal at Sydney Airport and proceeded to check in to my flight.  Glad I saw the warning signs about what was prohibited, as I forgot I had a cigerette lighter in my shoulder bag from The LAN (for lighting BBQs!).  Once checked in, I checked out all the duty free shopping and wished I had a lot more money.  Three hours seemed to be just perfect for arriving at the airport before my flight, as while I was not pressed for time, I wasn't waiting around too long either for my boarding call.

The flight itself wasn't too bad.  I had a seat at an exit (I actually requested it due to my height and need for leg room), so it was pretty roomy.  It was a little bit on the noisy side because I was behind the wing, so got the noise from the engines.  With Qantas, I got to watch some movies on their little TV screens.  I watched 'Michael Clayton' and later on started to watch 'The Watchmen' but didn't get to finish it as we landed.  I was pretty impressed with the food in-flight, with the exception of the 'hot breakfast'.  The dinner they served was very nice, along with the snacks during the night. Breakfast was very ordinary.

I did get a little sleep during the night, but I think i was too wired being my first overseas trip and all.  After landing, all the passengers were directed through Customs, which is pretty tight security, requiring everyone to be finger printed and photographed and filling out 2 forms as well as the Visa waiver thing online before we left Sydney.  But once that was over, it was all good.  The person sitting next to me on the plane was going to WWDC as well, so we had been chatting on the plane the whole way and at San Francisco, we went and found the train into the city ($5 was a better option than a $50 taxi or $20 shuttle).  Once in the City, we parted ways, as my hotel was one way and his was the other.

After getting to the hotel, and finding my room (I'm sharing with jbekkema who had already checked in), spoke with James for a bit before going for a walk to find some lunch.  We walked to the Moscone Center where the conference will be held and then went and found a Subway.  We also went and found a supermarket to get some bottled water and some nibbles.  I will have to get used to the fact that the tax is added at the register, it caught me out today.  

After getting back to the hotel, I uploaded some photos, but couldn't stay awake any longer and crashed.  I woke up 9 hours later.  It's 2.15am right now, so hopefully I can go back to sleep.  I have a tour of San Francisco and Silicon Valley tomorrow (or today rather) leaving at 9am, so that should be fun.


Heading off
Silent Bob
Well, I'm off to Sydney tomorrow night on the XPT before flying to the US on Saturday afternoon.  I packed my suitcase tonight - well, Sal did... I started, but she said I was hopeless and did it for me. :P  

I'll be blogging the technical part of my trip (touristy stuff will be posted here) over at my Tech blog, so jump over there and book mark it. :)

I had my weigh in for Biggest Loser tonight, at 131.3 kgs, which is a loss of 1.8 kgs for this week.  I've lost a total of 6.5 kgs so far and I was biggest loser again this week.  I think after two weeks in a row, I think I'd have to be close to leading the group, but about half the people have been away for at least the last week and quite possibly two weeks, so there could be some other people that have lost more.  It doesn't worry me though, as I'm only competing against myself.  I want to lose 20 kgs over the 12 weeks and I'm well on track to do that.

Low fat lunch ideas
As the title suggests, I'm having trouble coming up with ideas for lunches when at work. I tend to make salad sandwhiches and the odd left overs from dinner the night before but I'm not 100% happyin the fact that it doesn't seem to be helping in my quest to lose weight. Anyone know of a website that has suggestions for lunch that would be feasible to pack and take to work?

Biggest Loser
Silent Bob
 A couple of weeks ago, I entered into a competition being run here in Bathurst called 'Bathurst's Biggest Loser'.  It was launched off the back of the latest season of Channel Ten's Biggest Loser TV show, although it has no real link to the show other than the end goal.  If you've been living under a rock, the idea is that over 12 weeks, you attempt to lose weight, while attending weekly classes on nutrition and healthy living.  The person who has lost the greatest percentage of their original weight is deemed the biggest loser.  A small rego fee goes to make the winner's prize which isn't too bad.

My first weigh-in was 137.8 kgs and in the two weeks since I've lost 2.6 kgs which isn't a bad start.  I'm going to work towards 2 kgs per week which will mean around 20 kgs after the 12 weeks.

A downside is that the people running it are Herbalife product distributers so they're pushing their products every chance they get.  I don't want to use any kind of product like that.  Some people are using it, for instance, the biggest loser this week (lost 3.7kgs!) is using Celebrity Slim.  I feel kind of disadvantaged this way, but I guess I am really in it to lose weight, the prize is just a bonus.

And it's not even 11am!
 Gah! What a morning...

On Sunday morning we discovered a wet patch in the corner of our bedroom.  We didn't think much of it at the time as Caitlin walks up and down the house with her water cup and is prone to tipping it upside down.  Yesterday morning, the wet patch was still there, so I thought it just hadn't dried yet.  I grabbed a towel and mopped up as much as I could.  This morning it was wet again and the patch was bigger.  This changed our thoughts to that of worry as we came to the realise that there's something actually wrong.

The wet patch itself is in the end corner of the room, which is at one end of the house, so that corner is an extremity of the house.  On the other side, outside, there is water seeping out from under the bricks - this part of the house is surrounded by cement, which is the pergola area.  The hot water system is on the other side of the end of the house, right at the corner (where the wet patch is).

We called the plumber to come and have a look at it and he pointed out that you can hear running water - and it was quite audible - from in the wall.  The plumber was going to start looking at it this afternoon, so we'll have to just wait and see how bad it is and where it is.

Ok, it's not the end of the world, this kind of thing happens from time to time.

After the plumber left, we headed out to drop me off at work and take Caitlin to Kindy.  We travelled no more than 1km from home when the front left tyre on the car just suddenly went flat.  I wasn't driving so I couldn't tell if it was going down since home or if it suddenly went flat - it didn't look flat at all while at home a few minutes earlier.  After pulling over (it felt awful driving on the rim), Sal decided to get the girls out and walk them back home leaving me to change it (big man's duty!). 

The side street we'd pulled into was on a bit of an incline, but I had the park brake on and it was in the park gear.  First attempt to jack it up saw it roll backwards the instant the front left raised off the ground and off the jack. Luckily my foot wasn't anywhere near anything that could squish it and it stopped once the wheel rested on the ground again.  It was at this point I called my Dad to get some help.  Once he and Marty (his surveying colleague) turned up, Dad sat in the car with his foot on the break, chocked some wooden pegs under the rear wheels and had another go at it.

Once changed, I took it to a service station and checked the air levels in each tyre.  Once done, I finally got to work albeit 90mins late. 
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Have a Second Honeymoon!
Caitlin has gone away for a week with her grandparents this week.

O. M. G.

I'd forgotten what silence sounded like!  Without trying to sound too harsh, you certainly do notice when Caitlin isn't around.  She only has one volume setting at the moment; Race Announcer volume!  I do miss her terribly, but it has been good to get a bit of quiet for a change.

It's been funny, really, as I've found that Sal and I talk a lot more with Caitlin not around. It's amazing how preoccupied we are when we have an 18-month old running around.  Sal also remarked that she was bored the first evening because she usually runs around cleaning up after the munchkin once she's gone to bed.  It has been good for us, relationship wise, which was needed I think.

We're Off!
Well, it's all systems go for WWDC.  The DVC Admin (who approves all international travel) approved my trip and signed off on my travel request.  The flights to and from the US have been booked.  I fly out on Qantas on Sat June 6 and get back on Monday June 15, but I don't get to ride the new A380. So, now that that's done, I can relax a bit.

One to remember?
I had an interesting weekend, to say the least.  Here's a whirlwind summary: put up shade cloth and polycarbonite shade on the pergola, played soccer for the first time in six months, drove to Sydney, nailed an L plater, played WoW with some friends and visited some family.

Saturday was spent putting up some new shade cloth on the pergola at our place.  The old stuff was damaged removing a dead grapevine from the beams of the pergola.  We also got some polycarbonite panels to make a covered section at one end.  We spent two hours at Mitre 10 getting the stuff (service was a bit slow for some reason), half an hour of which was spent tying the polycarbonite to the trailer (the sheets were rolled up but still 4.2 m long).  Putting up the cloth was pretty easy and simple, the polycarbonite was a different story.  We got there in the end, with the last screw going in just as it got pitch black outside.  My Dad helped me out with it, so it was great to spend some time with him putting it up.

Sunday I played my first game of outdoor soccer in six months.  I was originally supposed to be keeper, but we brought in our 3rd grade keeper for the first half, only to have casseross get injured, so he kept for the rest of the game (brilliantly so though, despite his injury!).  We lost the game 8-2 I think (I lost count), mainly due to the fact that we only had 7 players (which meant a 4 man overlap on the field for the uninitiated).  Hopefully we get some more players soon.  On the up side... I SCORED!!!!  My first ever outdoor goal.  It was a set piece from a free kick just outside the 18 yard box.  I curved it round the wall, a defender got a head onto it but pushed it into the bottom corner of the goal.  The ref called it an own goal because the defender's header was definite, but I don't care, I scored... :)

After soccer, I drove Sal to Blaxland so she could do some shopping in the City, except roadworks at Lawson meant that we missed the train. I took her to Penrith to catch one there instead.  While heading there, I nailed an L plater.  Long story short, he gave way to the wrong direction at a round about coming off a railway overpass, I slowed down but not fast enough as my foot was sore from Soccer.  Braked a bit harder and the tires stopped and slid (downward slope from the overpass + greasy road from rain the whole day + not so great tires = skid) and slid about 2 metres into the back of him.  Not much damage was caused (surprisingly), just a mark from a part of the chassis sitting behind his rear bumper and the corresponding mark on my front bumper.  We moved off the road to exchange information and this is the bit that really gets me.  His mum was the observer and she got out and asked me for all my info, which I happily gave (as I was in the wrong, I tried to be as helpful as possible), then she started at me 'How could you hit an Learner driver?' I explained that it's wet, my foot was sore and I might not have been paying as much attention as I should have been' apologetically.  As she got back in her car she retorts 'Are you sure it wasn't deliberate?'  I stood there stunned as they drove off.

After dropping Sal off at Penrith Railway station, I drove back up with the girls to groovemerchant 's place and waited there till Sal finished.  skrop came and visted also and once the girls had had lunch and Laura was asleep (Caitlin refused to sleep) we had a bit of a bash at some WoW quests with mickachu .  Had some fun after a stressful and tiring morning.

Got home around 11.30pm and crashed. That was my weekend... :/

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Holidays are supposed to be relaxing!
Well, last Thursday I received approval to go to WWDC from the Exec Director of my division.  All systems go for the US.

The Easter Long Weekend was good, with the minor exception of some elevated stress levels on Friday night.

Friday, we spent the day out at Andrew's Capertee property for a BBQ lunch.  It was quite enjoyable to get away from the house for a bit.  Caitlin enjoyed the ability to walk around the open space.  Her walking is pretty good now, though still has work to do on her balance.  I think it's due to her small feet (for her size).

Friday night I had to organise getting things for The LAN together as Eph and Zebbie were not going to be there.  Cue stress.  Getting the Dizzy board wasn't a problem, I rang Jason from Bathurst Sound and Lighting and arranged a pickup.  The problem was getting Zebbie's gear, which consisted of the servers and the networking gear (cables and switches).  Zebbie was over in England visiting relatives and was due back on Sunday, after The LAN.  I rang Bron (his wife) to tee up a time to pick up the gear.  'The gear isn't here.'  Oh... Crap.  It turns out that Zebbie had mixed up the dates some how, most probably in his mad rush to get everything ready for his trip to the UK.  Anyway, a long story short and after a couple of calls from Zebbie from the UK, we had arranged to meet various people in locations where the gear was located.  For a two hour period that night I was off the wall.  

Saturday Morning, Eric (another admin) and I went around picking up all the gear (My car was already full - I need a trailor or van to fit it all really - so I was leading and we were putting the gear in Eric's car) and got to the Uni about 30mins late.  We finally got everything set up and ready to go only 45 minutes late.  Other than that, the LAN was a good one - albeit a bit smaller than usual but still good.

Sunday I spent marking.  I'm marking assignments for ITC140 at Uni, a C++ Programming subject being taught by one of my old lecturers, Errol Chopping.  It's a nice little bonus which will go straight into my US Trip spending coffers.

Monday was just a bludge day (as I needed it!).

The girls both have colds now and I've caught it too... bah!


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