Sunday, August 10, 2014

Mac screen dimmer

To relieve the intensity at night of your screen, so that your eyes take less punishment, I found F.lux here.

What are the Bees eating right now?

A dry winter with barely enough cold nights to get through a load of firewood, followed up now with an amazingly gorgeous [pre?] spring.

Which means the flowers will start to bloom, the bees will start making up for the slower winter months and Nature's Gold will start hauling in all that nicely, naturally made Honey =)

Wonder what their favourite spring flower is..

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

Naming your computer files for easy referencing

Housekeeping on computers - File naming.

If you produce a lot of documents you need a consistent naming style that allows for understanding the content of the file without having to open it and for easy sorting should you make multiple editions of a similar file.

One of the environments that I work in produces audio files; some on a weekly basis, monthly, yearly.
Once determined your naming system can apply to most situations and allow for the above conditions to be met, ie. know what's IN the file, ie. what it is, and see easily the different versions/editions.

All consistently regular text should be before the text that modifies it;
eg. dates or sequence numbers ("1", "2" etc).
If the number of files is large and the sequence numbers go beyond single digits then earlier numbers need to be "padded" with zeros eg. "01", "02" ... "10" ... "99"
or "001", "002" ... "999"
This is because "12" would sort before "2" in a list (because the "1" and the "2" are in the same column), but "02" would sort before "12".

For our first example here are two audio files:

Original names:

Promotional AD 1 2013.wav
Promotional AD 2.wav

New names:

Promotional AD 2013 1.wav
Promotional AD 2013 2.wav

A simple rename in this case. Add the year to the second filename and put the sequence number at the end.

Obviously the dates on the files above is simple being a once a year item but if months [and days] are required then always use reverse order for nice chronological sorting in your File Manager (eg. Windows Explorer)

So, why do this?
Below is a list of filenames, derived from daily logs, please look through them and find the most recent file:


Now here are some similar filenames but in the YY-MM-DD format, find the most recent one:

Even though this list did not write the date in full form (YYYY) it's still readily apparent, in a long list like this, the chronological order. But if we had less files using the same naming convention it could be harder:

In the list above which digits are the years and which are the days and which are the months? It's perfectly possible that the first digits are the days meaning this list is sorted first by the value in the days then months then years. You can see, if that were the case, that we have files from 2012 at the top and at the bottom of this 'sorted' list. Not very convenient.
We might deduce that a column doesn't contain months if there were digits above 12 but we also need those digits to be above 14 (as of the writing of this post in 2014) to show that the digits do not represent years. Should we presume the years are the first digits or the last? Even if we presumed they were last, because many people (of the Australian clients I've worked with) DO write DD-MM-YY, how do you *know* for sure? Add to that the different formats other countries use:

For example Australia and America differ in how they write the date (DDMMYY vs MMDDYY) therefor there is the potential for confusion between an Australian date, 03/06 (3rd of June) and an American, 03/06 (March 6th).

So writing the full Year first removes that ambiguity as that implies the reverse order style, and that order is only done one way YYYYMMDD, no 'other' version, at least not in my experience. If it is done it's done very rarely.
Using the reverse date order (YYYYMMDD) the above list would become:


Adding the hyphens makes the date(s) easier to read than without but it is still relatively easy to discern which digits represent years in the list below:


Now, why do we want the 'regularly occurring' text before the date or sequence number?
Let's say you produced some documents and the parts were labelled:
1 history of tech.doc
2 history of tech.doc
3 history of tech.doc
4 history of tech.doc

This naming looks reasonable enough at first glance, and kept on their own in a separate folder they will not be confused but should you place them into the same location as another group of documents, similarly labelled:

1 dawn of technology.doc
2 dawn of technology.doc
3 dawn of technology.doc
4 dawn of technology.doc

the end result, when viewed in a file manager (eg. Windows Explorer) would be:

1 dawn of technology.doc
1 history of tech.doc
2 dawn of technology.doc
2 history of tech.doc
3 dawn of technology.doc
3 history of tech.doc
4 dawn of technology.doc
4 history of tech.doc

Now when you want to drag ONE set of documents away from the other it's not as simple as drawing a selection box around the files of one of those sets.
This list only puts two difference 'groups' of files together, imagine this list if a large number of files, of a variety of 'groups', named thus were all dropped into the same folder.

On the other hand; if the sequence numbers, or dates, were at the end (a suffix rather than a prefix), the similarly 'titled' files of each group would 'glob' together and the sequence numbers or dates would sort them:

dawn of technology 1 .doc
dawn of technology 2 .doc
dawn of technology 3 .doc
dawn of technology 4 .doc
history of tech 1 .doc
history of tech 2 .doc
history of tech 3 .doc
history of tech 4 .doc

Also remember that file and folder names can be quite long (256 characters) so unless you have software that reduces the available viewing size of a filename (or somehow squashes it making it hard to read) then you should feel free to write descriptive names; don't limit filenames to one or two words if it creates ambiguity with other files with similar names. If you are restricting the length of the filename for ease of viewing in other software then at least make your folder names more informative.

in a folder named "dawn of technology" I place files named:



There, hopefully that is of some use to someone out there on the webs. Email any questions and if need be I'll edit this post to reflect that which I've [probably] neglected.  =)


Sunday, October 06, 2013

Watergum Antennas servicing the Mid North Coast Satellite - Antenna needs.

Great to see someone I trust available to our region, the Mid North Coast, doing installations for TV, [International] Satellite, CCTV, Pay TV, home theatres with surround sound, extra ADSL LAN/Cat5e outlets etc.

Watergum Antennas

Servicing the Mid north Coast (Taree, Wauchope, Kempsey & Port Macquarie)

Welcome back to the warmer climates pal.


Thursday, September 26, 2013

Coalition government wants to ban public right to boycott

So, I recently received a letter from GetUp discussing the new Coalition governments plan to make boycotting an illegal activity:

"They are considering legislation to remove our right to speak up against companies with poor environmental records. In other words, the Government knows just how powerful our movement can be when we work together – and they want to put a stop to it."

Why would the government, a group of elected individuals supposedly "of the people and for the people" actively seek to end any voice of the people? A voice only raised because the government is obviously failing in its duty to be "for the people".

There's only one reason - the [current] government is FOR the corporations.

A discussion I had with a friend recently touched on the issue that most cultures, communist, socialist, democratic etc are all still 'monetist'. That is they seek to get ahead through gains in paper wealth. This is most obvious in economies that allow money to not only be the main means of trade but also to allow the trading of money to be the most lucrative way to make money.

One difference between, say, communist countries and western-democratic would be that in communist countries the 'state' interferes more in the way business runs. Whilst 'the west' has less of this interference or controlling interest, of late the trend seems to be that business is now dictating *to* the state! Telling the voted representatives what they should, can, must and will do.

At least this, to me, explains why a government would try to suppress the voice of the people, when that voice is discussing what [big] business is doing to the situation of/for humanity.

If the 'job' of politicians is to 'keep' their job, rather than truly speak for the people, there are two main criteria.

1) convince the people they are the one(s) for the job - ie. campaign and

2) find money to finance such a campaign.

So the cycle is, bend over for the corporations that will finance them, ie. promise to make certain things happen for their corporate sponsors; and then bull shit on to the public about who they are and what they will do in their campaign so that the public will vote them to *not* do much of anything for the people.

Rinse and repeat every few years and we have the mess that the western world is in.

A drain hole of corporate design and intention, and of epic proportions now that it is propped atop 7 billion people.

Friday, August 09, 2013

A little info about video codecs

Always a chore understanding technology as it races along. The commonest one I find is people not understanding the tech around multi media, namely movies and music.

There are a few different formats for both and then different software/hardware  [sometimes] required to play them.

But LifeHacker has explained some of the video particulars so I won't reinvent the wheel...

Video stuff explained by LifeHacker


Thursday, August 01, 2013

Custom Friends Lists in Facebook

 Controlling the "spammy-ness" of your FB news feed is essential for some sort of stress reduction, not to mention getting some hours back in your day.

 But Facebook do not make for a very intuitive/user friendly interface.

 Here's how to make custom friends lists:

 On your home page, ie. NOT your profile page but rather just, go down the left sidebar to the [grey] header "Friends"

 When you float the mouse over this you should see "more" appear to the right. Click this; the main window/frame should then change to show your Friends' Lists - the default lists being items such as "Close Friends", "Acquaintance", "Family".

 Click "+ Create List" and you should be able to enter a name, eg. "Besties", for a new list and add members.

 This new list will then be shown in the left sidebar, below the [greyed] Friends header I mentioned above.

 If you float your mouse over this title, eg. "Besties" you should see a small 'pen' appear, click this to get the option to "Add to Favourites" or "Delete" the list.

 Adding to Favourites will move that list, eg. "Besties" up to the "Favourites" at the top of the sidebar.


Friday, May 18, 2012

Removing IPv6 Tunnel Adaptors - Windows 7

What a bore this is, to have the ipconfig results overloaded with redundant adaptors. Weak effort M$. Possible fix: and/or Control Panel > System > Device Manager > View > Show Hidden Devices > Network adapter>

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Locate your (on screen) Mouse

Sick of losing my mouse (on screen) and finding that cranking the size up created other unpleasantries I opted to install Mouse Locator

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Firewalls for OS X, Mac

Had a recent pang of worry about blocking unwanted intrusions from the net. It's a periodic thing; so I had a quick search:

Found this on Macworld

Which lists such goodies as:

Little Snitch, very good value for money.
NoobProof, for adjusting the settings on the Mac's own built in [Unix like] firewall software.
WaterRoof, as above.