NZ

There are 25 entries for the tag NZ

On the state of streaming video in New Zealand

A couple of recent articles and events have got me thinking that the next few months are going to be a pretty interesting time in the world of New Zealand SVOD (that's streaming video on demand for those who don't like acronyms). While I’m by no means a media writer, it's a topic I'm interested in as a media consumer, as a technology fan, and for another slightly obscure reason I can't talk about (yeah, sorry, I know that's kind of a lame thing to say). With SkyGo, Lightbox (wth Spark starting to push it pretty hard), Quickflix,...

Where does technical debt come from

Over the past year I’ve been dealing with some technical debt across a couple of different ASP.NET applications that we recently inherited. As part of that work I’ve spent a bit of time thinking about technical debt, how to deal with it, and how to avoid it. Describing the subject of technical debt as interesting might be overstating things a little however it is a subject which is relevant to most developers at some point in their career. So when I read this article (Lotus Notes - a Double Edged Sword) it struck me as a great example of...

Vodafone Sure Signal - sounded promising for all of 5 seconds

If you live in New Zealand and you’re a Vodafone customer then the chances are you’ve got awful cellular coverage. Where I live it’s so bad that I’ve considered disconnecting my mobile – when I’m at home the missed calls and call drop outs end up being more of a liability than anything else. So the Sure Signal device should be something I’m excited about – and I was, until I read the bit that says you need to be a Vodafone broadband customer in order to use it. Huh? I need to use your crappy broadband service...

Happy Customer x 2

I’ve had a couple of positive buying/services experiences recently, and wanted to write about them briefly. I recently replaced my main computer. I wanted something which would work well for day to day development but also for the occasional gaming I manage to do. I spend a lot of time in my office as I work from home, so it’s important to have something powerful but quiet as well. Also as an added complication I’d recently purchased a SSD which I wanted to drop into the build. I did a bit of shopping around PC retailers in...

Looking back on the past couple of years as a freelancer

It's coming up to the 2 year mark since I resigned from my full time job and went into freelancing / owning my own businesses. After many years of working as an employee, a contractor and doing small bits of freelancing on the side I probably thought that switching to freelancing would be a bit easier than it ended up being, which is part of why I wanted to write a little about my experiences. There's plenty of material out there offering freelancers helpful tips or things to avoid - this post is similar to many of those, but it's...

Mindscape LightSpeed 3.0 released

Local lads Mindscape released version 3.0 of their LightSpeed O/RM tool yesterday. The ‘what’s new’ list has some interesting technical additions (as you’d expect), but developers will also appreciate other changes such as improved samples (I’m a sucker for good samples), new databases providers, as well as a simplified licensing model. The migrations framework looks especially interesting – if it works half as well as the summary paragraph in the release post suggests then it’ll be a pretty invaluable feature for a lot of developers. I’d also suggest that using LightSpeed for this work instead of a tool such...

I think it might be summer

IMG_6694, originally uploaded by Merauder.   Tags: NZ

“Veolia Transport apologises...”

There’s nothing like getting a text alert from the Auckland train service which reads “Attn Passengers. Major delays on Network. Please find alternative transport” on a Friday afternoon to make me glad to be working at home a lot right now (and especially today). Tags: NZ

The leaving of Xtra's interleaving

A friend pointed out to me last week that Xtra have finally turned off interleaving for customers. The result is a rather noticable drop in ping times to New Zealand sites, as one would expect. However I'm curious to know why they chose to do it, and why they didn't make a bit more noise about it – or am I the only one of their customers who was at all interested? Tags: NZ

Farewell winter..

With winter gone, we can look forward to more spectacular mornings like this:   Tags: NZ

Mindscape Visual Studio File Explorer

In the spirit of supporting New Zealand made I’ve just installed the free Visual Studio File Explorer Add-In from Mindscape. It’s a neat idea, and in theory it should suit my developing style pretty well. The Visual Studio File Explorer Add-in (sexy name we know, but hey, it’s self documenting) is a free Tool Window add-in for VS 2008 that provides a Windows Explorer style file system view. It’s particularly useful for performing routine file system tasks without the need to “context switch” away from Visual Studio, which can be time-consuming over the course of...

Time for Nisbett to hang up the mic?

One of the features from the NZ vs South Africa test match a few weeks back was some shocking commentary mixups from Grant Nisbett. During that match I counted at least 4 instances where he got players mixed up or utterly wrong during his calling of the match. The best one was when he credited a run to Joe Rokocoko who wasn’t even in the squad due to a 6 month layoff recovering from surgery. It seems that we’re in for a repeat performance this week in the New Zealand vs Australia match. So far he’s managed to confuse...

New train timetables

If I’m going to write about Auckland’s trains, then I need to be fair about it – because sometimes, good things happen, and they need to be mentioned. Yesterday the new timetables for the Western Line kicked into effect. For anyone who lives beyond Henderson there are huge improvements to the regularity of the services – the previous wait of 40 minutes between trains has been reduced to 15 minutes during peak times. That’s a big difference, and it’s really going to make taking the train a much more viable option. There were a few changes to other services, as well as...

PlayTech Home Server Reviewed

PlayTech Windows Home Server Reviewed in New Zealand PCWorld by Tentacle Software's own Sam Wood. Helping New Zealand rank well at number 2 on the global WHS World Cup standings are a wide range of home servers from local system builders. One of these systems, the PlayTech Home Server which is a AMD Athlon X2 4600+ processor based system, is reviewed in the May issue of New Zealand ‘s PC World. The review is authored by Sam Wood, a member of the WGS community and author of the great WHS Disk Management...

Thank you for travelling with Veolia Transport!

Rail campaigner banned for collecting names in support of the Airport train extension. "If the rail operator is not for airport rail extensions, what hope has Auckland got?" What hope indeed. Thank you for travelling with Veolia Transport! Link: Campaign for Better Transport Link: Rail campaigner banned for collecting names (Warning: Herald article - may contain errors) Tags: NZ

More incompetence from Veolia

Friday's piece of fun on the train was so enjoyable that it needs to be written about. That's my little shot across the bow to give everyone who doesn't care about Veolia Transport / Ontrack related whining the chance to look away. It started off with me sipping a beer in a Mt Eden pub watching the Black Caps game after visiting my father in hospital. I checked my phone for any delay related SMS messages, and as it was clear I headed off to the station. Upon reaching the station the messages began to come in, one or two via text,...

Morning Frost

Frost by itself isn't anything too amazing or interesting. However, when it's in Auckland, and when you can scoop it into a pile and almost make a snowball out of it, then you can say "It's cold today" and feel somewhat justified. Tags: NZ, NZ Trains

Analyzing the favorable winds

I threw the leg times for an end to end trip (specifically, the first train of the morning) on the Western line in both directions into a quick Excel spreadsheet, and can now reveal the following useless statistics: There are 18 stations and therefore 17 legs along the western line. The most common leg time is 3 minutes. There are 9 eastbound legs which take 3 minutes, and 12 westbound. There are 7 legs in which the durations for the eastbound and westbound legs differ. Of the 7...

Follow the favorable winds

I was looking through the new timetable for the Western line and thought I'd noticed a screw up in the train times. The trip duration eastbound looked like it took longer than it used to. That was until I checked the old timetable, and realised that apparently it takes less time to travel from Britomart to Waitakere as it does to travel from Waitakere to Britomart. I'd never noticed this before! The eastbound trip end to end (non express) is listed at taking exactly an hour, whereas the return trip is listed as taking 57 minutes...

Western line tracking progress

Today was a fairly significant milestone in the double tracking of the Western Line, with the new track opened up all the way through to Henderson. In this article, Newstalk ZB decreed that the entire line has been double tracked. I'm not sure if their definition of entire means 'the entire line (apart from 4 stations)' or whether they consider that finished means 'no tracks, no second platforms, but some digging has been done', or whether they just screwed up. (Note that the entry could have been fixed by the time you read it, if you do, because...

Back on the train

I'm back to taking the train after driving for a couple of months. It looks like the reliability issues have gotten a bit better since their alltime February/March lows, however there are still delays and they're still (apparently) being caused by signal failures. It looks like most of the major earthworks have been completed along the western line, and so from here on in things should be getting better. One thing which has surprised me a lot over the past few days commute is that the trains seem noticably busier. I'd actually expected their use to maybe...

..and now, a break from all things technology

Sunset at Bethells beach, Waitakere, Auckland, New Zealand. Tags: NZ

The start of the Super 14 Rugby Season is upon us!

Seeing as I started a category for Rugby, so it would be negligent of me not to comment briefly on the first Super 14 matches last night. First, it's exactly as we thought it would be to have teams minus their 'rested' All Blacks. NPC rugby is always a bit weird when you have teams missing touring players, and it's weirder still when they return - some manage to integrate back in well, others don't. Previously it was nice that Super rugby was immune to this. Those players will of course be back playing soon enough, but it...

Auckland train fare prices to rise from today

Or at least that's what we were told. I figured I'd buy a few 10 trip tickets a week ago before the price went up, to no avail, as they'd sold out. Back then I thought 'No matter, plenty of time before the increase' and went back on Friday to pick some up. This time, they had tickets, however they refused to sell them to me because 'the prices rise on Sunday'. So really, the prices rose a long time ago. Excellent. Yes, I could possibly have gone to another vendor, however there aren't any others near me (which...

Great start to the first commute of the year

The train arrived on time only to be delayed for 15 mins at Henderson, which is common and happens a lot. However there were then a series of 5-10 minute delays between various stations, to make the usual 40 minute trip take a grand total of 1 hour and 20 minutes. Excellent start to the year, I hope this isn't how things are going to continue. On a related note, I had a read of the October 2006 train planning information booklet the other day. It made for some interesting reading. It's filled with their projects planned over...