Article History

March 2011




Went and saw “The Kings Speech” with my parents. Good movie, but the print the cinema used was terrible! The picture was jumping around throughout, which was especially noticeable whenever there was just text on the screen. And right at the end a vertical green line (i.e a scratch) appeared for a few seconds. Was it a bad new print, or a used one? Perhaps the sprocket holes had become worn and damaged, so the normal pin-registration was “loose”, causing the picture to jump around.

On the way to the cinema and the way back I got to try out the car mount for my phone that attaches with a suction cup to a windscreen or window. I ran the “wardrive” app and found some open access points in town.


Installed CyanogenMod 7 RC3 (0.07-11.03.04) onto my phone after running Cronos Ginger 1.0.0 on it since about two days after I got it (and re-installing it a few times since). It features a bunch of fixes made since that version of Cronos was released (based on CM7 pre-RC1?).

The ADW launcher isn't as smooth as Launcher2 on Cronos. There's a bunch more settings in the ‘Settings’ app. The ‘DSP manager’ is back (I guess it was in Cronos Froyo). The ‘Car home’ is back too, but still doesn't do anything when it's put in the car holder. And the screen doesn't ‘lock’. I‘m wondering if there’s some setting or combination of settings that stop the lock screen showing. I get it when the phone first starts, but pressing the power/lock button on top twice just brings the screen back.

The kernel still has problems with locking up and even restarting. These latest CM releases use ‘leaked’ kernels from Motorola as they‘re working on their Android 2.2 release(s). I wish they’d fix these problems!


Rang up to make an appointment with my surgeon because my bum is acting up again. Probably another abscess developing.

My desktop system hung (it's been a little while since that's happened) so I downloaded the patches to kernel 2.6.38-rc8 (from -rc6) and compiled them. Seeing all the complaints from udev on boot about a deprecated key name (BUS) I figured I should spend some time to finally update my USB config file. I had a bunch of false starts before reading the udev(7) man page and finding that I should be creating symlinks (with the SYMLINK attribute) to the kernel-provided device node, instead of changing the name (NAME) and symlinking back to the kernel-provided name. I also found an example in README.Debian of how to use udevadm to see exactly what sysfs attributes a device has. So I finally got it to match my Milestone phone, creating symbolic links under /dev/usb/milestone/. I converted all the other entries too (lots of thumb drives and cameras) but only tested one thumb drive.

Visit Glenn and Tania

I‘m going with Mum and Dad to visit Glenn and Tania in Batemans Bay! It’s almost been two years now. We're leaving Friday afternoon (Mum and Dad are getting off early from work), driving all the way down there (five hours!), staying two nights there, and driving back on Sunday afternoon. So we have all of Saturday and half of Sunday to see stuff!


Headed off to Batemans Bay, stopping at the Cowra café like we always do. I tried to use the free Wifi at the McDonalds there but it didn't seem to work from the carpark. We continued on to Yass, which we usually bypass on the highway. Then through Murrumbateman, Bungendore, Manar, Braidwood, then through the mountains down to the coast, Nelligen, and finally Batemans Bay.

We checked into the motel. I got my own room, which is always a requirement with Mum and Dad's loud snoring. I turned on the TV and started flicking around. I found what looked like a news program showing a long wave moving across the ocean. Was this a movie? Sadly, no. The earthquake-induced tsunami was hitting Sendai and other areas. Unlike the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami that hit relatively-poor south-east Asia, the Japanese media were straight in to covering the tsunami and its destruction. We got to watch it all live. Of course, aerial

We soon headed out to a club across the road for dinner. Here there was a problem: ID. As a club licensed to serve alcohol, they require either membership (with a photo and date of birth) or out-of-town guests to sign in with some other form of ID. I don't usually carry ID and I didn't have any on this trip beside my Medicare and NIB cards in case I had to go to hospital for my anal abscess. I rarely need any ID and I hadn't thought to bring it.


Drove down to check out the house that Glenn and Tania are interested in at Denhams Beach. It looked alright, but it's a little old and a lot of work has been done to it in that time. In inspection turned up lots of little problems too.

Then we drove to the end of the street and went for a walk along the cliff taking photos.

Then it was down to check out another house near their apartment that was open for inspection. It was probably nicer and less problematic than the other house.

We stopped at the little bay just down from Glenn and Tania's apartment.

We had lunch in a park near the beach at Lilli Pilli. There was an public barbecue and we used it to cook sausages and steak, but it ran out of gas near the end. We went for another walk through the bush along the top of the coastal cliff. We then headed back to Glenn and Tania's apartment and ended up watching a *cough*rip*cough* of The King's Speech. And talking.

Went out for dinner at another club. This one didn't have a staffer checking people, so we all just signed in as guests and walked on through. I had a big laksa, which took me a while to get through. By the end of it I wasn't feeling well though. I don't think it was the Laksa; it was probably my abscess leaking some nasty bacteria into my bloodstream.


Visited Mogo, a small inland town. Had morning tea at a cafe and then walked down the main street looking in stores (all of two blocks). We then drove back to Glenn and Tania's to pick some stuff up (I'd left my water bottle in their freezer last night) and then we followed them to get some oysters (it was a little hidden). Dad likes his oysters.

Then it was off home. We stopped in Bungendore to look at the woodwork shop. It has some amazing stuff in there, but they‘re also quite pricey. I needed to go to the toilet and eventually walked out of the place looking for a public toilet. With the help of signs and the map on my phone I found a park and its toilet. Mum and Dad saw me go off and figure out where I was going. Lucky they did, because my phone didn’t answer their attempts to call me. I wonder why?

We stopped at a small diner in Yass for Dinner. The guy running it was a little rude and the facilities were quite old. Yass used to be on the highway to Canberra, but since the Barton highway was built, it's been bypassed. The whole town is just a little run-down; it clearly doesn't get enough business to fund any updates, renovations, etc.


Saw my surgeon again. Once again the suspected abscess had cleared up a day or two before hand, even though I wasn't on antibiotics this time. He was wondering what's happening with my back passage, so he rang up Concord Hospital and got me an appointment with some specialist there for an endoscopic ultrasound. Yes, I'll get probed. In the mean time he was wondering if there was something wrong “up stream” that was coming down and causing the problems, so he made another appointment for me to have colonoscopy at the private hospital. It requires some preparation beforehand though.


Wiped and reinstalled CM7 (0.08-11.03.16 RC3) on my phone. With a fresh install it could answer calls again! So it appears that something I have saved with Titanium Backup is causing it to appear engaged on the network. I carefully restored apps from TB, not restoring any “system” settings and initially no apps that have anything to do with the telephone network. Over the coming days I slowly restored more and more, occasionally calling my phone to make sure it was still contactable.


Babysat Zac so Alissa could go for her driving test. Zac liked playing with my new phone. We also played on the Wii and watched some videos on Youtube. Unfortunately Alissa failed her driving test. I hung around the rest of the day. Alissa went and picked up Sarah from school. She was very excited when she got home. She's probably the oldest child in Kindergarten; a result of being born right in the middle of the year. So I think her 5½ year old brain is more than ready for school.

Andrew arrived home not long after and we talked about all sorts of stuff. Then Mum arrived to pick me up.


Day before the colonoscopy. I got up at 9am and had toast, yoghurt, and fried eggs. 10am was the last I could eat anything for probably 24 hours or more. At 11 I had the first sachet of “picoprep”. Ghastly! Bleh. I hate to think what it would taste like without the strong lemon flavour. I drank lots of water but only had one loose bowel movement. Isn't this stuff supposed to flush me out? I was expecting more.

The hospital rang and said I should arrive tomorrow at 10am.

I had the second sachet of picoprep at 3pm. Bleh again. Andrew came over on his way home from work to return my micro-USB cable I had left at their place on Monday. we talked a while about the upcoming election. I eventually had to excuse myself and he left to go home. I then had several very watery bowel movements over the next hour or two. This is more like it!

I had a shower, shaving my left hand and just past the wrist, around the inside of my left elbow, as well as the three spots they stick the electrodes for the ECG - the front of each shoulder and under my left armpit.I was quite hungry by the time I went to bed.


Got up just before 7am and drank as much water as I could. Went back to bed.

Dad had a day off work so he drove me into the hospital. I went through the procedure of being weighed, having the nurse check off all sorts of questions about smoking, teeth and dentures, reflux, etc. Then it was into the pre-op room to get changed into a gown and onto a bed. There were two other people in the room, which has never happened before. I've always been alone all the other times. I was eventually moved into “pole position” next to the door but then spent even more time waiting there. It was after 11:30 that I was moved out of that room into the preparation room, just outside the operating theatre. More waiting.

The anaesthesiologist was the same guy as previous times and he recognised me. It again took him a while to find the vein on the back of my hand. I tried not to tense up when he put the catheter in like I did last time. Then I was finally wheeled in and got to see the endoscope. I was asked to turn on my side and was given Propofol just like last time. It's much nicer drifting off to sleep rather than counting down from ten and having my lights switched off like the usual stuff.

I woke up in the recovery room, sometime around 2pm. The surgeon visited me while I was still kinda groggy and told me everything seemed to be okay, but that he'd taken several biopsies. I was disconnected from the drip, got dressed, and moved over to the lounge chairs to have my first food in 28 hours. Sandwiches and soft drink! Is this what the $250 excess pays for?

Dad arrived and took me home.

Installed Cronos Ginger 1.1.0 on my phone.


Dads‘ 61st birthday. We had lunch at the Vanilla Bean with Andrew, Alissa, and the kids. We hadn’t all been together in quite a while so we talked about all sorts of things. After a great meal (and dessert) we left the restaurant. Sarah wanted to visit our home because they haven't been there in a while, so they followed us home. The kids played and we talked some more.


I haven't been too impressed with Cronos Ginger on my phone. It's supposed to be “optimized”, but it doesn't feel faster than CM7. In fact, if anything, it feels slower. And at some point the launcher decided to stop rotating. Everything else rotated when I turned the phone, but the launcher only appeared in the up-right portrait orientation. So I went back to CM7, installing the new 0.08-11.03.27 RC3. I‘m getting pretty good at setting up Android to how I like it after a fresh install. I’ve done it enough times...