Diary of a geek

October 2005
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Andrew Pollock

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Tuesday, 04 October 2005

Are you subscribed to Linux Weekly News?

Catching up with my LWN backlog, I read that LWN subscriptions have pretty much flat-lined, and the current level isn't terribly sustainable.

I'm lucky. I get my subscription paid for because I'm a Debian developer (one of the few perks of the job).

Would I subscribe if I had to pay for it myself? After having been a subscriber for about 2 years, and for $60USD per year, probably yes.

LWN is one of the few weekly publications that I make a point to read. I find the writing style, and the length of the articles to be quite good. I think most "political" issues are covered fairly objectively. It's a good read.

I also subscribe to Linux Journal in dead-tree format, and to be honest, I have about 6 months worth of magazines lying around the house at the moment, still in their plastic. Purely because I just haven't had the time (or the presence of mind when I have) to sit down and have a read of them. And that's not because I don't think LJ is a good publication, quite the contrary, I think I'm just satisfying my information requirements with LWN, and so I'm not finding that urge to pick up the magazine.

I personally wish Jonathan all the best with LWN, and hope to see it reach 10 years. If you like what you can read for free, and would rather read it hot off the press, consider subscribing. If you're a Debian developer, you've got nothing to lose.

[22:33] [tech] [permalink]

Trip to the Snowy Hydro's Tumut 3 power station

Making the most of the long weekend we just had, Sarah and I decided to blow a tank of fuel doing a trip to the Snowy Hydro Power Scheme yesterday.

It took us the best part of 3 hours to get there from Canberra.

I was really impressed with the sheer engineering of it all. I had no idea how much water they were moving around from so many different dams. The scheme is just as much about carting water around as it is about generating power. In fact, the generating power bit is just a front to make carting the water around vaguely cost-effective.

The tour itself was a bit disappointing. You didn't get to see a real lot, and you weren't allowed to take photographs. I guess there isn't a lot you can see in a functional power station. The turbine is pretty much all concealed. The bus-bar room looked innocuous enough, but the tour guide said that if someone walked in there, it'd be like a bug in a bug zapper...

All in all, it was worth the trip though. I like dams and power stations, so it was fun crawling all over the place taking in all the different vantage points.

[02:01] [life] [permalink]

Upwardly mobile lemmings

That was Rick, his brother and myself on Sunday. We made the most of the weekend and walked up Mount Tennant, in the Namagdi National Park. I'm still sore.

The mountain is about 1300 metres above sea level, and we started at about 600 metres. The walk up was about 6 kilometres, and took about 2 hours. The walk back took about an hour and a half.

There was a rainwater tank at the peak, which I was very happy about, as I exhausted my water bottle getting up there.

There was also a fire observation tower, which we could get half way up without a key to the padlock. I took a couple of north-looking photos with my phone, which was all I had with me in the way of photographic equipment.

View north from fire observation tower on
Mount Tennant   View north from fire observation tower on
Mount Tennant

The view north was of southern Canberra, and the view south was of more mountains.

[01:41] [life] [permalink]