Month: December 2013

Sound Device Order with ALSA

One problem I have had with my new Dell PowerEdge server/workstation [1] is that sound doesn’t work correctly. When I initially installed it things were OK but after installing a new monitor sound stopped working. The command “aplay -l” showed the following: **** List of PLAYBACK Hardware Devices **** card 0: Generic [HD-Audio Generic], device […]

Misc Computer

Political Advocacy in Clubs

One topic that often gets discussed when it’s near election time is whether clubs and societies should be “political”. Some organisations are limited in what they can do, for example in some jurisdictions religious organisations can theoretically lose their tax exempt status if they advocate for one party. In practice any organisation that has a […]


The Nexus 5

The Nexus 5 is the latest Android phone to be endorsed by Google (and manufactured by LG). It’s getting good reviews and the price is good for the specs. I just bought one for my wife, I got her the 32G version because when I bought her a Nexus 4 at the start of the […]


Links December 2013

Andres Lozano gave an interesting TED talk about the use of electrodes inside the brain (deep brain stimulation) to treat Alzheimers disease, Parkinson’s disease, and depression [1]. Daniel Pocock wrote an interesting post commenting on some bad political decisions being made in Australia titled “Evacuating Australia” [2]. You can read that as a suggestion to […]


Dell PowerEdge T110

In June 2008 I received a Dell PowerEdge T105 server to run in my home for a client [1]. That system has run well for over 5 years for the purposes of my client and also as my own home fileserver and as a workstation. But now it’s getting a bit old, while it was […]


A Basic Income for Australia

There has been a lot of discussion recently about the concept of a Basic Income (Wikipedia), largely due to the efforts to change the Swiss constitution to provide a Basic Income [1]. The concept of a Basic Income is that residents get a fixed payment without having to be sick, disabled, looking for work, or […]


A Better University

I previously wrote about the financial value of a university degree [1], my general conclusion is that the value is decreasing for most fields of employment that don’t have a legal requirement for a degree. In the past I wrote about some ideas for a home university [2], basically extending the home-schooling concept to a […]


Preferring Not To

I’ve just read Bartleby the Scrivener which is a short story about a scrivener who refused to work saying “I’d prefer not to”. It reminded me of some situations in the computer industry. I’ve never seen a single case where someone preferred not to work when everyone around them (colleagues and management) wanted them to […]