Noticed the server lost international connectivity for a brief period late this afternoon.
An enquiry with the colo provider I use has resulted in advice that they're having router troubles at the moment, and the guilty party is to be swapped-out at sometime between Midnight and 1am tomorrow.

So there'll be a little more pain before it's sorted. Sorry bout that folks.. :) Impact should be minimal as you should be doing something else after Midnight on a Friday! :)

As the sign says....

Credit to one of the guys at work who pointed out how appropriate the sign is when we wear our IT security hats. :-)

Oh, come ON...


Er.. yeah.. thanks for that kitty! Still havn't gotten the feathers out of every blimming corner of the rumpus room...

Up until recently i've been a stalwart supporter of Dick Smith Electronics - yes, I'm a former employee. That was 10 years ago, however.

Sadly though they've seen fit over the last few years to drop out of a lot of their 'specialist' electronics stuff and focus instead on the consumerware that is otherwise found in places like Harvey Norman and Noel Leemings. DSE have the advantage of being far more numerous, and thus, more accessible. I used to also believe their staff were sharper, but this remains to be proven in the current climate.

Of course, DSE still carry more 'eclectic' stuff (they're a hybrid Harvey Norman -> Jaycar bridge, now, really) but there's one thing you need to be very careful of with DSE; check the pricing on what you're after and make sure it's infact sane.

Here's an example.
End of last year I picked up a Bluetooth Handsfree Kit (aided by the law change requiring their use).
The unit I picked based on cost:benefit was the DSE EA0054.

Here's their photo ripped from their website:

This retails at $79.95. Pretty sure that's about what I paid for it nearly a year ago, too.

Then I spied this at the local supermarket the other day:

It's the same damn unit with a different brand name printed on the front. And it's $49.95. Or 62% of the price.

Frustrating, really. I'm seeing no significant advantage to having the DSE brand name on my handsfree unit. Not enough to translate to nearly half-price at my even more ubiquitous supermarket.

So, DSE; what's your markup on EA0054? Can you justify being that much more expensive?

Server was subjected to some updates over the weekend and a reboot to place these fully into effect today. Sorry for any impact, and let me know if any troubles persist...

I have to give a lot of credit to David Millar (and others) for giving those of us in the NZFIRE group a steady stream of updates from Christchurch in the aftermath of one of NZ's most significant natural disasters. The affects of the magnitude 7.1 quake which hit last weekend will be felt for years.

One interesting point of note is the value the new Hazmat-Command Units NZFS has recently fielded have brought into play, with their integrated communications systems, etc. Here's some photos taken by David and posted to NZFIRE today:

Larger versions can be found in my South Island Album.

A couple of years ago wifey and I formed a home business as the New Zealand distributors for CardMemories. The business we formed was Jazzed Solutions Ltd and we just relaunched it's website after running a very flat, very basic HTML page for a while.

Due to our changes in personal circumstance the business has been wound right back until recently, but now it's time to get out there again with our Greeting Card Albums. They really are a neat product and are an awesome gift (Christmas is coming y'know!).

So check us out. What can I say, it's our lil thing and it deserves the odd plug. :)

Whilst reading the Herald today I was surprised to see an article on NZ's thriving underbelly which mentioned Jason Boon - a school acquaintance who was brutally murdered and it opened my eyes to a few more of the details which were not spelt out well at the time.

It's enough to provoke a lot of thought, most of which isn't suitable for open discussion, but fundamentally it makes me grateful for the values that my parents taught me and for the person i've become.

It also disturbs me exactly how significant the criminal world out there really is, and how oblivious to it many folks are.

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