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Monthly Archives: October 2009

And on and on…

Just about all day it has taken to finish bringing the ACER totally back. But here it is!

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Normal posting resumes shortly.

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Posted by on October 23, 2009 in computers, personal

 

Well here I am again

I have just finished and emailed the Aunty Beryl story to the South Sydney Herald and I have been to M’s to do something for him – he’s on a ship cruising around Australia at the moment. I have also been carrying on with rereading The Lord of the Rings – about halfway through, but most of my time has been spent restocking the ACER which went to the computer hospital for a successful operation yesterday.

I’ll tell you what happened. I managed to corrupt Vista, all by myself. It’s easy. Just forget to tick a box when creating a backup, especially if the box you fail to tick is the data disk. Then restore from that backup. Works every time!

There is a plus though. ACER comes with an ability to roll back to XP – and now it has. Yes, while you’re all out there contemplating Windows 7 I am retreating. I have to tell you the computer is very happy with the change.

Of course there are those updates which are still trickling in from Microsoft, but I can tell you a neat trick. IOBit Security 360 has a tool that downloads and installs all the missing Windows hotfixes from Windows except it does it a lot faster than Windows does. I discovered that a few days ago when I was running an older borrowed computer as a stopgap.

Soon I will get back to proper posting, but now to do the photoblogs.

One last thing: three of my coachees are now doing the HSC so they are no longer coachees. But a Year 9/10 one told me yesterday that they have a family friend with three kids who want tutoring, so that may work out well. The Year 9/10 is happy with me because he has just been promoted to the top English class.

 
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Posted by on October 22, 2009 in blogging, computers, personal

 

Communication, Education, Respect

“Those are the only three words in my dictionary,” Aunty Beryl Van-Oploo, an Aboriginal Elder originally from Walgett told me today when I interviewed her for next month’s South Sydney Herald.

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Arriving in Sydney in 1958-9 to be a nanny to an Eastern Suburbs family she pursued her dream to achieve all three and to return her education to her community. She still has good relations with that family. “I had to learn to read, being a nanny and the kids going to Sydney Grammar…”

You’ll have to wait for the South Sydney Herald article for the rest.

Now her dream is a reality as she cofounded, through a training and employment initiative of the Redfern Waterloo Authority, Yaama Dhiyaan Hospitality Training College.

Our Name
Yaama means ‘welcome’ and Dhiyaan means ‘family and friends’ in Aunty Beryl’s Yuwaalaraay language of the Gamillaroi people of north west New South Wales.

Our Logo
The emu design was chosen as it is the totem of the Gamillaroi people. The emu design was based on an Aunty Elaine Russell design and developed by the artist Marian Aboud.

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“We can’t forget our past,” she said, reflecting on some of the hard things, “but you’ve got to move on for the sake of future generations.”

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What an inspiration she is!

 

Ross Gittins today and last Monday’s “Media Watch”

I am about to do what so many bloggers do – refer to a newspaper item, quote part of it, and make a brief comment. That this practice is exercising the minds of the media owners was made clear in a very interesting Media Watch (ABC) on Monday:

The Philistines, in Mr Murdoch’s view, are the bloggers and aggregators, from Crikey to the Huffington Post, who, he claims, survive by commenting on the stories that newspaper journalists dig up.
And they’re also the search engines, the Googles and Yahoos, who Mr Murdoch says reap a fortune by making news available without creating it – and feed none of that money back to the content creators.
But Rupert Murdoch and his son James, the heir presumptive to the News Corporation empire, believe the public must be made to wake up too.
The free ride is over:

James Murdoch: Yet it is essential for the future of independent digital journalism that a fair price can be charged for news to people who value it.
— Edinburgh International Television Festival MacTaggart Lecture delivered by James Murdoch, 28th August, 2009

Now for Ross Gittins. Today he offers a quick diagnosis of our current evolutionary dilemma. I tend to agree.

… At one level we’re smart enough to have dreamt up all our amazing machines and ways of organising society; at another we’re people with caveman brains struggling to cope in the space age.

We’ve been too successful for our own good. When humans lived in small groups on the African savannah we were hardwired to be preoccupied with the pursuit of resources, which were scarce. Since our ancestors often couldn’t obtain all the food they needed, they were programmed to grab all they could find…

The greatest consequence of our transition from scarcity to abundance is that human economic activity, which at first was puny relative to the huge natural environment, is now so big – so many humans in the world enjoying such high material living standards – it’s doing great damage to the ecosystem that provides us life.

Climate change is the most pressing instance of that damage, but our politicians seem blissfully ignorant of the threat.

 
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Posted by on October 21, 2009 in Australia, climate change, environment, media watch

 

Afghanistan – on the dollar trail

Last night Four Corners showed this French documentary which had featured earlier at the Venice Film Festival 2009.

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While most live as above just nearby an amazing array of MacMansions – except they are far bigger – are sprouting in one section of Kabul. Guess who owns them. Meanwhile a newly built hospital wing is literally falling apart because of profiteering and shoddy materials.

… Eight years after the fall of Kabul, reporter Paul Moreira went in search of the promised schools. Despite repeated requests to authorities, he had trouble finding a new school that had been completed. Still on the trail of the aid dollar he found a hospital that was supposed to be refurbished. Instead it was literally falling apart. The aid money intended to pay for the hospital’s renovations had been wasted and the work was shoddy.

In other parts of the capital Afghans go hungry, their children sit in open air classrooms while Moreira finds evidence that aid dollars are being spent on banquets feeding an array of businessmen and government officials.

However, there is one construction sector that is in full swing: that of luxury villas. In one district of Kabul, poor residents are being evicted from their homes. The buildings are then destroyed and the land sold cheaply so that massive villas and homes can be built for the wealthy. Why are these people being sold the land so cheaply?

Where is the money coming from that is used to build their palaces? The answers will shock you.

As NATO and its allies struggle to keep the Taliban at bay, the corruption and mismanagement of the reconstruction program is forcing many Afghans to think again about who is their real enemy. Is it the Taliban or is it the Karzai government and its supporters?

The level of corruption, the total absence of any sense of public service, is the major argument used by the Taliban in their propaganda. This first hand account of life in Afghanistan today explains why the insurgents are making so much headway – not just in taking back territory but in winning the hearts and minds of the people…

There were some courageous individuals trying to be open and honest, but the odds are against them. So sad – and bad.

 
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Posted by on October 20, 2009 in current affairs

 

Computer — tragic

I have had a computer disaster and am using an older machine as a stopgap. More at another time.

 
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Posted by on October 19, 2009 in personal, site news

 

Sunday Floating Life photo 31

Here’s one for spring. This is yesterday. Today is rather different.

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