Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Luceo non Uro

While in Colchester England, I saw a key ring bearing the name "Mackenzie" on it. Seeing as McKenzie is my middle name, I couldn't resist buying it. Yes that is right my middle name is McKenzie, it comes from my Dad's mothers maiden name I think. It seems like a bit of tradition if you look at my family history of maintaining the mothers maiden name as a middle name for the eldest son.

Anyway, On the keyring is the Mackenzie clan motto "Luceo non Uro" which literally means "I shine, not burn". Apparently the saying came from blacksmithing or smithing in general, where one had to make sure that the metal you were working with didn't get burned, but shone in the heat. [1]

I think that is quite a cool motto when applied to life, We need to balance the hardships/heat in our lives so that we continue to grow and to shine but we also need to make sure we don't let life burn and scar us. The motto reads like it is a choice, which I think it often is. We do choose how we react to circumstances.

Are you going to allow yourself to burn or to shine?

Friday, December 15, 2006

5 things Google should give us all for Christmas

Like all good ideas, more than one person has them :)
Panda Search Engine News beat me to the "google christmas presents" idea...

Here are mine anyway:

1. Put http:// back in the urls

Like many avid google users I use the google personalized search feature, this has benefits in that you are able to look back at what you searched for and found, but it has the disadvantage that the link you click on in the search results isn't the real link. It redirects through google's tracking servers.
The problem is now that you can't look up a site then right click copy url and paste it into an email. You can select the url under the result and copy and paste that, but you have to add your own http:// to get the mail client to recognise it as a link. Since Yahoo also seems to do that same thing there may well be a very good reason for not displaying the http:// but it would be good to atleast hear it so that I can think of all the people I am helping each time I type http://

2. Speed up google analytics

I'm sick of waiting seeing "waiting for" in my firefox status bar. It is also the reason I don't use it on my blog. I trialled it for a while but it just seemed to slow everything down. If it was me I'd go for a minimalist approach. Just get people to but a really small image on their site and record the hit at the server end. We don't need the fancy javascript stuff...

3. Make Picasa Web Albums manageable with picasa

When I heard about picasa web albums I was excited. This was going to mean I could create and manage albums in picasa and publish them on the web. Hoorary! The reality
left something to be desired. Picasa basically is just a tool you can use to upload files to picasa web, what we really need is something that will keep the same albums synchonised, eg. you say put this album on the web and as you add or remove files they magically appear in the right place on line.

4. Add a "grab contacts" button to Gmail

I often get emailed other peoples email addresses, or see people I need to email cc'd into an email I get. I would be great if there was an easy way to add these people into the address book.

5. GCal Outlook Sync.

People have been asking for this for a while, and some people have even developed some work arounds, but none of the ones I've tried work reliably for me. I think this is something google need to develop before Google Calendar really takes off in the business world.
Update: Syncmycal provides an excellent and free solution for this! Thanks Vaibhav.

5.5 Rest

Have a good break, and come up with a whole lot of better ideas to do next year...

Update: Matt Cutts likes my list!
And see Pandia again for a round up of blog posts on this topic.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

2007 Technology Pioneers

The World Economic Forum has just announced the technology pioneers they have invited to their annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland. Apparently getting to davos is every entrepreneur's dream.

So congratulations to those companies who made it:

WEF, might need to hire one of these to technology pioneers to updated the titles on these pages so it doesn't display as "(untitled)" in the web browser...

Saturday, November 25, 2006


I read a good definition of vision today.

Vision is a picture of the future that produces passion.

- Bill Hybels (in Courageous Leadership)

Monday, November 20, 2006

SF book meme

There is a 'meme' going around at the moment about Science Fiction Books
I found it from Simon Chamberlain who saw it on "Walt At Random" who found out about it from "Thinking out Loud" who was triggered off by "The Essential Kit".

These kinds of things go on and on around the internet all the time. Normally I am not interested but I have been getting into science fiction a little bit recently so it is interesting to see what books other think are good.

Here are the rules:
Bold the ones you have read, strike through the ones you read and hated, italicize those you started but never finished, put a star next to the ones you love, and put a [?] beside ones that you think you may have read but can't really remember. Just to add to the fun I have added another option [!] a book I own but haven't yet had a chance to read, or in my case because my brother borrowed it and hasn't gotten around to giving it back...

Now it is interesting to see what an individual blogger has read and thinks is good etc, but I think this is an example of where aggregation would be really helpful. It would be cool if we could see that 86% of people who did this survey liked JRR Tolkien's Lord of the Rings Trilogy. I think this potential for aggregation is why sites like LibraryThing, Delicious, Flickr and other "social" sites are so popular. People want to see how there content, likes and dislikes, etc compare with other people.

Anyway enough rambling here is my list.

1. The Lord of the Rings, J.R.R. Tolkien *
2. The Foundation Trilogy, Isaac Asimov *
3. Dune, Frank Herbert
4. Stranger in a Strange Land, Robert A. Heinlein
5. A Wizard of Earthsea, Ursula K. Le Guin
6. Neuromancer, William Gibson
7. Childhood’s End, Arthur C. Clarke
8. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, Philip K. Dick
9. The Mists of Avalon, Marion Zimmer Bradley
10. Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury
11. The Book of the New Sun, Gene Wolfe
12. A Canticle for Leibowitz, Walter M. Miller, Jr.
13. The Caves of Steel, Isaac Asimov
14. Children of the Atom, Wilmar Shiras
15. Cities in Flight, James Blish
16. The Colour of Magic, Terry Pratchett
17. Dangerous Visions, edited by Harlan Ellison
18. Deathbird Stories, Harlan Ellison
19. The Demolished Man, Alfred Bester
20. Dhalgren, Samuel R. Delany
21. Dragonflight, Anne McCaffrey
22. Ender’s Game, Orson Scott Card
23. The First Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever, Stephen R. Donaldson
24. The Forever War, Joe Haldeman
25. Gateway, Frederik Pohl
26. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, J.K. Rowling
27. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams*
28. I Am Legend, Richard Matheson
29. Interview with the Vampire, Anne Rice
30. The Left Hand of Darkness, Ursula K. Le Guin
31. Little, Big, John Crowley
32. Lord of Light, Roger Zelazny
33. The Man in the High Castle, Philip K. Dick
34. Mission of Gravity, Hal Clement
35. More Than Human, Theodore Sturgeon
36. The Rediscovery of Man, Cordwainer Smith
37. On the Beach, Nevil Shute [!]
38. Rendezvous with Rama, Arthur C. Clarke
39. Ringworld, Larry Niven
40. Rogue Moon, Algis Budrys
41. The Silmarillion, J.R.R. Tolkien
42. Slaughterhouse-5, Kurt Vonnegut
43. Snow Crash, Neal Stephenson *
44. Stand on Zanzibar, John Brunner
45. The Stars My Destination, Alfred Bester
46. Starship Troopers, Robert A. Heinlein
47. Stormbringer, Michael Moorcock
48. The Sword of Shannara, Terry Brooks
49. Timescape, Gregory Benford
50. To Your Scattered Bodies Go, Philip Jose Farmer

Saturday, November 11, 2006

NZ -> UK -> US ->NZ

I have finally succeeded in uploading all my photo from the my trip. Since it has taken me so long i though I should probably go through and link to all the blog posts about my trip. It started off being a sort of travelog type thing but due to time constrains deteriorates into just photos from the various places I visited.

Roughly in order of events:
Flying Brunskills
Bury St Edmonds
Westminster Abby, Big Ben and The London Eye
Changing of the Guards (Buckingham Palace)
Greenwich (The Royal Observatory, Maritime Museum, Thames Barrier)
Windsor Castle (The Queens Weekend Residence)
The British Museum
Sherlock Holmes Museum
The Tower of London
HMS Belfast
San Francisco
BEA World Conference

Thursday, November 09, 2006

In the Chair

A interesting company has just opened its doors, it offers you the ability to play your instrument along with professional bands and orchestras. Their software gives you feed back on how well you are playing and fitting in the with the music. See:

I play drums and sometimes saxophone (both very badly due to the fact that I never practice) in a band (The Jandal Society) one of the best things about it is that I get to hear how my instrument sounds with other musicians rather than how it sounds in my bedroom. In other words In the Chair has just given us all one less reason to meet with people in real life! Someone please tell me there isn't a Secondlife Orchestra?

Cynicism aside, I think this is a really good idea it will help people to achieve a higher level of playing, before they join a band and have to learn how to play for real...

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

First and Follow Sets Page - Updated

This probably isn't that relevant to many people, but I just wanted to let the world know that I have finally gotten around to updating my First and Follow Sets page. It now displays correctly on any unicode complient browser.

If you are wondering what First and Follow sets are, they are used by computers when 'compiling' software.

Time - Best Inventions of 2006

Time has released it's annual "best inventions of the year feature". Check it out online here:

Here are some of my favorites:

- This saw senses when it comes into contact with something soft (like a finger) and automatically stops the blade. It must have been a bit of fun testing it, "Hey mate, just stick your finger into this spinning saw blade, Oh argh I was sure I had it right that time, oh well you still have 9 fingers".

- How cool would it be to sleep on a bed suspended from the floor by magnets!

- This machine sucks fresh water out of the air. That has to be the coolest thing since sliced bread.

- This one turns straw into a useful building material. No more big bad wolf stories with this tool in the picture.

Friday, November 03, 2006

A Tiger at Hamilton Zoo

A Tiger at Hamilton Zoo

I'm testing out another photo site called Zooomr it has some cool features, but flickr does seem to be catching up adding geo locations etc. It will be interesting to see what zooomr brings out next.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Groom and Groomsmen

Groom and Groomsmen, originally uploaded by Azzaroni.

Yes, I was a groomsman once...

Photo Credits: Stephen Barker

James Brunny tees off at Pitch n Putt

I didn't know I was now called "James Brunny" but I guess that will have to do.
Note: I don't really know how to play golf.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

A Sea Gull in a fountain

A Sea Gull in a fountain, originally uploaded by jambe.

Just one of many novelties in beautiful Sausalito

Mother Duck and Ducklings

IMG_0136, originally uploaded by jambe.

Bethany aka The Dog

Bethany aka The Dog, originally uploaded by jambe.

The Dog

The Dog, originally uploaded by jambe.

Well I posted a photo of the cat and a pigeon, now it is time for the dog. (Only about 365 million more animals to go, I'm glad I only have to feed them when everyone else is away!)

A baby duck in lilypads

A baby duck in lilypads, originally uploaded by jambe.

This has got to be one of my favourite photo's that I have taken.

A white pigeon

A white pigeon, originally uploaded by jambe.

The Cat

Our Cat, originally uploaded by jambe.

It is a pretty well know fact that you are not a "real" blogger until you have posted a photo of your cat. Actually this cat belongs to my sister, but it will have to do :)


Dan, originally uploaded by jambe.

Here is one of my favourite shots from my new camera. It is so good to be able to control depth of field!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Java in 25 years?

I just read this post over at O'Reilly Radar:

This paragraph caught my attention
The future news is that twenty five years from now, we'll all be saying the same thing about Java: "what? I thought that died in 2010 when IBM switched to Haskell! Oh no, banks are still writing Java code—and their new programmers only want to use Smalltalk. We can only hire 50 year olds to program in Java! Thank heavens all those Indian programmers from the offshoring boom of the early 2000s are looking for something to do to cover the cost of Chinese lessons ...."
It is always interesting to see what people think will happen in the future, even if it is supposed to be joke. I think it is facinating that we all think that China will some how be the next super power. I agree that it is entirely possible, China but couldn't it just as easily be the chinese who have to learn Indian? I mean heck those are the guys who wrote all our computer programs. Won't we want to be able to communicate effectively with them?

Monday, September 25, 2006

BEA World 2006

Finally I get to the reason for my trip, BEA World 2006.
This is the annual conference for BEA the company that makes weblogic server.

This year they anounced a number of new products most notible was the SOA 360 initiative and their microService Architecture.

Of course the highlight for me was receieving a portal award for our "mypapers" system which I must admit I had very little todo with. I'm the second from the left in the photo.

BEA Press Release - Waikato Press Release

San Francisco

San Francisco is a nice city, I was a little surprised how many beggars there were on the streets through. If you are visiting be prepared to have to tell a whole bunch of people that you don't have a spare "quarter". Otherwise I'd recomend the place...

Golden Gate Bridge
The golden gate bridge, probably one of the most photographed bridges in the world.

Golden Gate Bridge (from the water)
Golden gate again this time from the salsolito ferry.

A Sea Gull in a fountain

The GE Motors for the San Francisco Cable Cars
The machinary running San Francisco's famous cable cars.


China Town (San Francisco)
China Town

A Mural in San Francisco
There are quite a few murals in San Fran because the graffiti artists respect the muralists work and don't deface it. People often get a mural painted as a sort of graffiti deterant...

A San Francisco Fire Truck
A Fire Truck

The Ferry Building (San Francisco)
The ferry building

The Salsalito Ferry
The Salsalito Ferry

A Sculpture in San Francisco
A Lawn Sculpture.

San Francsico Landscape
Part of the City

Golden Gate Bridge (San Francisco)
And one final Golden Gate Bridge photo to finish it off...

HMS Belfast

HMS Belfast

The HMS Belfast, one of the last world war II cruisers still a float. It is now a floating museum sitting in the calm water of the Thames in London.

One the original boats from HMS BelfastOne the original boats from HMS Belfast Hosted on Zooomr

Apparently this is one of the very last boats of it's kind, used during world war II.

HMS Belfast Radio TowerHMS Belfast Radio Tower Hosted on Zooomr

One of many big guns on The Belfast (HMS Belfast)One Of the many big guns on The Belfast (HMS Belfast) Hosted on Zooomr

The Two 8in Gun Turrets (HMS Belfast)The Two 8in Gun Turrets (HMS Belfast) Hosted on Zooomr

Apparently these guns have been aimed to blow up the M1 Motorway!

Me a Prisoner! (HMS Belfast)Me a Prisoner! (HMS Belfast) Hosted on Zooomr

Part of the Gear box (HMS Belfast)Part of the Gear box (HMS Belfast) Hosted on Zooomr

See also: The Official Site

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

The Tower of London

The Tower of LondonThe Tower of London Hosted on Zooomr

This is the building the houses the Crown Jewels (The Tower of London)This is the building the houses the Crown Jewels (The Tower of London) Hosted on Zooomr

Some Ruins of an earlier verison of the castle (The Tower of London)Some Ruins of an earlier verison of the castle (The Tower of London) Hosted on Zooomr

Crows are Part of the landscape (The Tower of London)Crows are Part of the landscape (The Tower of London) Hosted on Zooomr

A suit of Armour with Horse (The Tower of London)A suit of Armour with Horse (The Tower of London) Hosted on Zooomr

A model of the castle (The Tower of London)A model of the castle (The Tower of London) Hosted on Zooomr

Sherlock Holmes Museum

I have to admit the Sherlock Holmes museum was a little bit of a let down after all the amazing museums I got to see in london. It feels a little too fake for my liking, but it was interesting.

Me Standing outside the Sherlock Holmes Museum (London)Me Standing outside the Sherlock Holmes Museum (London) Hosted on Zooomr

The Famous Monograph (Sherlock Holmes Museum)The Famous Monograph (Sherlock Holmes Museum) Hosted on Zooomr

Sherlock's Sitting Room (Sherlock Holmes Museum)Sherlock's Sitting Room (Sherlock Holmes Museum) Hosted on Zooomr

Me Chatting to Sherlock and Dr. Watson (Sherlock Holmes Museum)Me Chatting to Sherlock and Dr. Watson (Sherlock Holmes Museum) Hosted on Zooomr

British Museum

The British Museum is absolutely huge so if you are in london I remend taking the british museums walking tour. I can't remember the exact details but it leaves from holburn station and isn't too expensive.

Hoborn Unground StationHoborn Unground Station Hosted on Zooomr

The Entrance to the British MuseumThe Entrance to the British Museum Hosted on Zooomr

The Museum's main entrance, the building stretches out from here on both sides.

Glass Roof (British Museum)Glass Roof (British Museum) Hosted on Zooomr

The Rosetta Stone (The British Museum)The Rosetta Stone (The British Museum) Hosted on Zooomr

The highlight of the trip for me was seeing the Rosetta Stone, which enabled scientists to decypher hieroglyfics for the first time. Amazing to see something like this in a country so far away from where it was found.

Our Guide explaining the stone sculpture (The British Museum)Our Guide explaining the stone sculpture (The British Museum) Hosted on Zooomr

Horse Sculpture (British Museum)Horse Sculpture (British Museum) Hosted on Zooomr

Horse and Rider Sculpture (The British Museum)Horse and Rider Sculpture (The British Museum) Hosted on Zooomr