Well isn’t this one going to be a long write up. I have been quite busy lately with work, work and more work, and of course, my latest task – Heroes. So of course today is Australia Day and its a time where all aussies invite their family and friends over for a BBQ. Today just wasn’t one of those days. Instead, it was spent shopping, with my cousin. Of course it was planned that we head out for a jog, but ended up at Chatswood Westfields. This got bad to worse as I entered J.B. Hifi and purchased, what I thought was a bargain. Of course, it was a bargain. I wouldn’t buy anything unless it was. So that notion landed me with a brand new head unit for the car. The Alpine CDA-9855R was the item and it is oh so beautiful. Top of the range CD player for Alpine – it has the most… I think I could go on for days. So anyway, got home and installed it. It only took about 30 minutes, to rip out the old one and throw in this one.

Of course, I still don’t know all the features of it, but I guess a quick lesson in car audio. When you have a system with amplifiers and subwoofers, you don’t want to tweak the music too much. Personally, and many people will say the same thing, to keep all settings flat. So don’t play with the equalisers. Do your crossover adjustments, depending upon the person, around 80 for the sub, 80 for the fronts and 125 for the rears. The aim of the game is to have good quality of music. I have a good set of splits for the front, 3 ways for the rear, 4 channel amp powering all for speakers, 2 channel amp bridged for the subwoofer. Still plently of room for improvement when I can afford it. The new head unit does have digital crossovers and time alignment. You tend not to play with these too much, but having the digital crossovers allows you to fine tune the music. It is a bit difficult with a knob on the amp that has a scale from 50hz to 500hz. Who is to know where 125 is? So small things like this make a difference.

What I will be missing is the use of my new’ish 12 disk cd stacker, and the front aux in I had in my JVC. Guess I will need a proper CD wallet now that I can’t have 12 cd’s in the back ready to play. There are couple names that come to mind who may be after this combo. You lose some, you gain some. My car now sounds completely different. Something that I will have to get used to and tweak to my liking. When I say different, I do mean better. AND one problem. Its aerial adapter is not your standard adapter. I require an ISO/JASO antennae adapter to fit my car. So currently no radio. I’ll be heading out to Autobahn tomorrow morning to see if they have any, well shop all day to find it.

On tuesday, the highlight would have been the call for “All wardens please man the emergency phones”. This was followed by a loud howling noise. This was all mentioned in the safety induction, but I had to experience it for myself. So I walked out into the centre of the building. The windows were open (automatically) and there were fans blowing at the top of the building. This would create a draft to suck out all the smoke if there was a fire. The fans were so strong, and created such a difference in pressure that when you opened a door out into the “open” it would be quite difficult to open the door. It was found to be dust from the construction site next door that covered the smoke detectors (so it thought the room was full of smoke) and started the emergency procedures.

So on wednesday i had my ‘big’ meeting with one of the leading scientists who has an interest in what I have been working towards. This involved my boss and a couple testers of the system. It was nearly two hours, and personally I felt there should’ve been more progress. This is because normally I am used to have decisions made during meetings, but there weren’t any. More of a discussion, where points were made, but nothing stuck. A disappointment, but brings out some confidence in me and in what I’m doing. It had me working on the remaining tables for the following day. Help desk problem we had was a computer that had Powerpoint 2003 installed and it would crash when typing (editing) data in a file that wass “too big”. The person (and many others) use powerpoint to make posters. The file was from one of her students, and when she starts to edit any of the information, Powerpoint would hang, cpu usage was 0, disk usage was 0, and it would return to normal after 20 seconds to 2 minutes. So when she creates a file, it is fine, until it reaches a certain size (of which we think about 1 meg) and it will start to hang. We uninstalled and reinstalled office and we encounter the same thing. So that was the head scratcher for the week. We havn’t formatted as yet, hoping that will solve it, but the lady has a few deadlines coming up in the next week and needed her computer. So when she’s away, we’ll be tearing it apart, trying to sort out why.

That problem started on wednesday and we returned her computer on thursday. I spent most the day working on the exports from the filemaker database. There were 300 more entries into the database. Coincidently, well more annoyingly, the date format (which exports as a string) changed from ‘3/3/06’ to ‘3 Mar 06’. I was running my populate file, and I started getting errors, and I look back at the export and I see these stupid date formats! It ran me up the wall why they would change how they entered the data half way through. Of course I solved it quickly and moved back onto the other tables. Finished them quite quickly before the end of the day. I compiled 4 times, the first with an error. I ran the populate file 3 times, and it was done. I feel as though I’m getting the hang of created stored procedures. They are becoming second nature.

I have, during these past few days, been watching the newest prison break episode and started watching Heroes. I am currently up to episode 8, so 5 more to go until I’ve caught up. It’s a great watch so far, pity I didn’t start watching it last semester when my uni mates were watching it. Then again, I would’ve had to wait most of my summer break before I could get the latest episode.

Written by Milton Lai

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