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April 1st, 2013

12:16 pm: Say a Prayer (Fred Smith) Lyrics
Since I can't find them anywhere else, here are the lyrics for "Say a Prayer", as performed by Fred Smith and the Spooky Men's Chorale:

Say A Prayer
by Fred Smith

(Refrain: Say a prayer, Maryann)

Just married and the world seemed new.
It was August 1942 (refrain)
He was the Bosun on the cruiser Canberra
The young woman’s name was Mary Ann.
Say a prayer for a lonely sailor. (refrain)

/C Am C Am/C Am C Am/F D/F DC/C Am C Am/

On the docks there were children waving. (refrain)
To the boys of His Majesty’s Navy (refrain)
They set sail for the Solomon Islands
There to fight for an airstrip at Henderson Field.
Say a prayer for a lonely sailor. (refrain)

A rainy night and the wind blew sombre. (refrain)
They anchored north of Manamatomba (refrain)
Around the point of Savo Island
Four Jap destroyers with their eight-inch guns ablaze.
Not a prayer for the cruiser Canberra. (refrain)

I went down to the beach last Sunday. (refrain)
Took my nephew for a swim at Manly. (refrain)
On a bench among the seagulls
An old woman sat staring out to sea.
Say a pray for a lonely sailor. (refrain)

Say a pray for a lonely sailor. (refrain)
Say a pray for a lonely sailor. (refrain)
Note: Not sure about spelling of "Manamatomba".

Google was no help. The best suggestion I got was:
"Manatomba was the small point on the shore of Guadalcanal that the southern cruiser group was using as its land reference on its patrol line.

And yes, your spelling is correct, but it no longer uses that name.

Which is still not exactly what Fred is singlng, but since I can't find a better reference, I'm leaving it as it is.

Also:  In the original version of the song, from Fred's "Bugarup Empires" CD, the line .."four Jap destroyers with their eight inch guns ablaze..." was "...the Furutaku with her eight inch guns ablaze..."

Thanks to Anne Poore and Larry Larkin for that info.

June 6th, 2012

11:20 am: GUI Designers
etfb has been playing with open source GUI development tools lately, mostly giving up with cries of disgust.

I have to agree with him: Visual Basic came out in 1991, Delphi in 1995. IMHO, Delphi is still head and shoulders above anything else out there for visually designing a form and then linking it to code, but VB perfectly usable, and Visual C# is a serious contender.

Windows has a heap of quite good desktop application builders, many of them available for free download.

WTF does Linux/OOS have nothing to compete?

Mono and Lazarus are quite flawed.
Netbeans does have a reasonable workable screen designer, but it too is known to be flawed, especially when you start trying to do anything complicated. A bug I've noticed with all versions is that changes to the form design are not always picked up when you run the code, you have to clean + build to be sure your last modification has been included.
Another is that the rather clever layout system will sometimes go critical and mess up completely, and you better hope you have your form backed up.
But the main problem with the netbeans/matisse form designer is that Netbeans keeps trying to hide it. It's still there in the latest versions, but not easy to find, and the version on the ubuntu repository does not appear to contain all the needed files for the form designer to work.

The top contender actually appears to be Glade + GTK + Python.

Glade allows you to build a screen for GTK and save it as an xml file.

The Python gtk library allows you to load this form and provides relatively simple access to controlling it, and Python is quite a powerful language in its own right. It's also a relatively portable solution, as it will run on most systems out there.

Getting started is not intuitive, but it does work.

Ubuntu has provided a moderately useful development tool:


This a) makes sure all the assorted tools are available and b) wraps the creation process and builds some templates to get you started "quickly".
I have't had an extended play, but it does appear to be a step in the right direction.

Having said that, how hard is it to:
* Create a form
* Drop objects onto a form and change properties
* Create an event handler in an underlying language and be able to flick to that event manager by double-clicking on the event in the form designer.

This last is where Glade doesn't quite measure up. I can see why they want to keep it language independant, but all they would need to do is add in a hook to allow language designers to intercept a 'go to event source' button, and this would go from being "useful" to "awesome"

One day I may have to break down and implement something along these lines, but it won't be today.

May 26th, 2012

12:09 pm: Fun Running
When the cold weather started in, I thought I might try switching to running as a major form of excercise over cycling... as cycling in cold, rainy weather is not much fun.

I've been doing the C25K program, and am now in week 8 of a 9 week course, and it is actually working. I can't see any problems getting up to a 30 minute run next week as I'm already doing 28 minute runs with relative ease.

So, running friends... what fun runs or other Canberra based running activities are coming up that I can use as an incentive? I think I could manage a 5k run or there abouts.

Remembering that I'm almost 50 and have only been running for 9 weeks and am not terribly fast (my sustained running pace seems to be around 9min/km). I don't mind coming last as just finishing would be an achievement, but I think I'd prefer not to be totally humiliated... :D

May 23rd, 2012

05:35 pm: The Hedgehog Song
Nanny Ogg out of Wyrd Sisters (by Terry Pratchett) is always singing "The Hedgehog Song",much to the disgust of Granny Weatherwax.

In honour of the local production of Wyrd Sisters I'm involved with (performing August 14 through to August 25 at the Tuggeranong Arts Centre) I've jotted down the words as of the version as performed by Martin Pearson. (With chords!)

The Hedgehog Song
Rude WordsCollapse )
There are hundreds of more verses, but these seemed like a good selection.

September 15th, 2011

11:00 pm: Lazyweb - digital signing
OK, Lazyweb - I'm working on signing some SOAP XML.
I've got most of it worked out (and I do have a .net working example)

I've got the c14n and digests all worked out 100%

I'm quite confident I'm doing the right thing with my signing certificate.

I just can't get the windows CryptoAPI to generate the actual rsa-sha1 signature.

For reasons to do with backward compatibiliity and support, I'm reluctant to use a .net or java solution.

What I'm looking for is one of:
* A working win32 example of xmldsig (using rsa/sha1) (any language)
* Delphi code to do same, using any mixture of readily available components
* A library I can use (must be royalty free and easy to distribute. Would prefer open source, but a commercial one would be acceptable if it works OK)
* Some hints on using the .net libraries from Delphi 2010
* Definitive confirmation that a later version of Delphi will handle signed soap.

Any hints appreciated.


August 3rd, 2011

11:08 am: Sydney - Home to Cthulhu!
The Australian Museum in Sydney needs to make this an exhibition.

This paragraph is taken from the original "Call of Cthluhu" short story/novella:

After that I went to Sydney and talked profitlessly with seamen and members of the vice-admiralty court. I saw the Alert, now sold and in commercial use, at Circular Quay in Sydney Cove, but gained nothing from its non-committal bulk. The crouching image with its cuttlefish head, dragon body, scaly wings, and hieroglyphed pedestal, was preserved in the Museum at Hyde Park; and I studied it long and well, finding it a thing of balefully exquisite workmanship, and with the same utter mystery, terrible antiquity, and unearthly strangeness of material which I had noted in Legrasse's smaller specimen. Geologists, the curator told me, had found it a monstrous puzzle; for they vowed that the world held no rock like it. Then I thought with a shudder of what Old Castro had told Legrasse about the Old Ones; "They had come from the stars, and had brought Their images with Them."

Plus, local adventure seed? Hello?

July 22nd, 2011

02:38 pm: Things Happening
Thing number 1:

I finished the first draft of my Android Programming book, and sent it in. The cheque for that phase of the process arrived the next day. Given it was a snail-mail letter from the US, I can only suppose someone is prescient, since it was dated a week previous.

Keep an eye out for Beginning Android 3 Tablet Programming from Apress. http://www.apress.com
Having said that, there's still an editing round and 2nd draft to go through, but they are keen to get it out and my editor thinks there won't be that much to do.

Thing number 2:
My digital guitar arrived from You Rock (http://yourockguitar.com ) yesterday.
As an actual replacement for a real guitar, it's not quite there yet, but by gum they're getting close. A little more sensitivity on the strings and it will be.
The fretboard takes a little getting used to, but it is quite forgiving.

As it is, it's light, extremely portable, and is definitely good enough for noodling about. Plus it sounds remarkably good. And you can use it as a game controller for Guitar Hero/Rock Band, so it is multi purpose.
And it never has to be tuned...

Probably going to order an optional headstock and gig bag.

Every musical geek should have one.

June 29th, 2011

10:27 am: Dishwasher
Anyone want a dishwasher? It's a bit old and tired, but still works. Free to a good home. Or any home, really.

We're getting a new one... a Smeg. Queue Red Dwarf jokes now...

April 27th, 2011

02:07 pm: The Dice Lice Blues
Because apparently I have nothing else to do with my time... :P

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