a new semester begins

Today is Tuesday (duh!), and uni started back yesterday. I am lucky enough to start my week at 8am on a Monday, so no easing into the lecture schedule for me. I was pleasantly surprised to find that one of my papers has already released the first assignment. This means that I will actually be able to get onto it in a timely manner. Normally they all wait until third/fourth week to all release them at the same time, and then are all due at the same time. I’m a bit sick today, so I’ll be starting on this assignment tomorrow and trying to get it done by the end of the weekend.

Also discovered that one of my other papers get to play with Windows source code (WRK). Very cool!! It’s only the WRK for Server 2003 but, as they say, that’s pretty much the same as XP, which is almost the same as Vista; so there we go. My schedule isn’t too bad for my – touch wood – final semester before returning to the real world, so I’m not stressing over possible time issues at all. I’m doing mainly CompSci papers to finish off, but most of them are network related, so I’m really weighing towards mainly InfoSys in reality. I’ll also be completing my CCNA semesters 3 & 4 as part of one of my InfoSys papers which is a bonus. And, I believe my other InfoSys paper allows me to sit an Oracle certification at the end too. Look at me the uber-student.

Check this link out for a bit of a laugh when you get the chance (make sure you have sound!). It is safe for work. Also, notpron.com is classic. It’s also safe for work, but the url my cause filters to trigger, so best to do it at home. I have to put in the following video, just because I hadn’t seen it for ages, and I re-watched it again over the weekend. It’s still as ridiculously funny as it was when it first came out!!

As you’ll soon see, I’ve been going through my favourites folder on YouTube, and I went right to the very back end for the oldest (possibly forgotten) vids I could track down. Here’s Best Baby Break Dance:

and this one of a guy catching glasses with his face:

I’ll end the queue of videos with this one. It’s actually quite heart-touching, so enjoy and be happy for him:

I’ll be doing some more tuts this afternoon, or tomorrow. Something to do with XML and HTTP now that I’ve had a bit of fun setting that up for my site (launch will be within the next two weeks I think!!) and coordinating it with JS so that other sites can call to mine and get responses back. I’ll also look at something to do with dynamic JS creation from PHP.

today was

Today was a sad day for much of the world with the passing of MJ, The King of Pop, at the age of 50 of a heart attack. Also passing away, but with much less fanfare due to Michael’s passing, was Farrah Fawcett of Charlie’s Angels (the original good one) fame. She too was an icon of the entertainment industry, and will be missed.

Meanwhile, I had another exam, which was notable for it’s content as always. The first question being worth 53 of the 120 marks was awesome in so many ways!! Anyway, it’s done now, and on to the next one. Having said that, this paper has been great because it pushed me into different ways of doing my database set up etc, which has been great as I write the sites. It also made me get in-depth on my xml and styling of xml, so all-in-all not a bad thing.

I have one more exam to go, on Monday afternoon, then it’s off for a week of relaxation and no real scripting or coding. Dependent upon internet access I’ll be blogging still with photos, so I should get back into at least daily updates. Check my twitter though, because I’ll be updating that more regularly from my phone and so on. On that note, please come follow me on my twitter so I can feel the love. I broke 30 followers the other day!!! So I’m not in Ashton’s league yet. Packing for the Brisbane trip will be Monday evening and through the night, before leaving the house at 3 or 4 in the morning.

I’ve planned my flight already, as I am intending to have backed up all my data before flight so I can wipe my laptop and do a whole new clean start. I’ve got my Windows 7 ready (or maybe an XP Pro install), as well as all my Office Pro and other software ready. I have to still use MS Windows because ONE of my papers requires assignment submissions in MS Project. No Ubuntu for me then, except the rebuild of the server box once I get back from Aussie. I’m also hoping to get a bit of work done on my tutorial type pages, so I can add them to here once I get back from Aussie. All these promises I keep making, but it is true: the next few weeks will have the site launch (hopefully the 2nd not too far after) and also have the tutorials hit the web too.

I’m also gonna be having an interesting conversation with the IRD tomorrow, as they just declined my claim for donation rebates as

[t]ax credits can only be allowed for amounts paid or donated that are equal to or less than your total income. [Their] records show that [my] income from salary/wages or benefits for the year was $0.00.

That’s cool, and I’m not going to dispute that, as it is the most recent communication from them and so the most up to date. The interesting part will come when I ask them (on the basis of a letter received two weeks earlier) to refund me the money they acknowledge I paid as PAYE (Pay As You Earn income tax) as since I earned nothing (according to them), I really should have no tax to pay. I’m sure they will kick up a stink at me, and find new records; but all I can do is look at the veracity of what they officially document to me, and as they have officially told me – I earned nothing.

I’ll keep you updated on this, because I can see it turning into a bit of jargoned legalese rubbish where they find a way to say I earned nothing but owe them thousands in taxes….

Update: 27.06.09 – I did call them today. The result being that they decided that they had made an error in their most recent letter, and they now acepted that I had earnt money last year. Funny that, I told them I was happy to accept their most recent decision, however they preferred to refund me a couple of hundred dollars, rather than a few thousand dollars. Apparently it will now take at least 6 weeks to process?? Hmmm, I said, you’ve just done the whole process on the phone for me right now; what more is there to do except start the direct credit to my account? Ah, well, that’s the government for you; always taking extra long to give you money back without interest, but penalising you immediately if they think you might owe them money.

Here’s a classic bit of internet lol’age, the baby panda video. You’ve either seen it ages ago (so you need to see it again) or you haven’t seen it before (so you really do need to see it), so here it is:

That’s it for tonight, and I’ll be back with more tomorrow.

quick update – is microsoft doing something “decent” ???

Just a quick post, I’ll do a real one later today, but I wanted to note some potentially fantastic news.

Microsoft has just announced they will be allowing end users to downgrade from Windows 7 Professional or Ultimate editions to either Windows Vista Business or Window XP Professional, and also allowing OEMs to release products with XP Professional, XP Pro Tablet, or XP Pro X64 installed, instead of Windows Vista Business or Ultimate. There’s a WHOLE shebang of legal stuff, and who knows what might be “re-interpreted” between now and actuality. There’s also the time-limit that:

Microsoft OEMs will be allowed to provide such Windows Vista downgrades until six months after Windows 7 General Availability (GA).

which is only a month or two away, so really this only lasts til the end of 2009 but, end of the day, this is a step in the correct direction. The cynic in me feels, however, that this is just a move to either avoid some anti-trust / anti-competitive type liability issues, or to attempt to PR schmooze the public, or both. And, it comes only days after the release of Vista SP2, which implies a not so great or happy uptake of the same?? Time will tell. 

source: techarp