It’s been a tumultuous month for me. The past 14 months haven’t exactly been a riot, but it’s been great being a stay at home Dad, studying. And I think that on the home front and the study front, I’ve done pretty well. I have occasionally bitten off more than I could chew, but I’m still on top and that’s something.

Recently though, I find myself increasingly wanting to find some more normality with life. Days seem to roll into one another and I dislike the disparity between days that are so full and busy I can barely breath and others so debilitatingly boring that I end up not doing anything constructive at all. One of the major problems I have discovered with being home and self-paced is one of motivation, and this is something that has plagued me my whole life. I am a very passionate person, and I love to jump fully into things with my eyes open and irrespective of consequence, but to take this action independently is something I’ve always found incredibly difficult. After reflecting on this recently (in one of my dreary, semi-conscious state of minds, after another night of sleep deprivation) I have come to the conclusion that it might be Freudian in nature. Constantly trying to seek the appraisal of others, and perhaps from my parents.

Whatever the reason, it no longer matters. What matters is the future, and this is the attitude I am trying to embody for (at the very least) the rest of the year, specifically in respect to study and my weight-loss.

At the risk of sounding arrogant, my intellect is both my biggest asset and my biggest curse. Apparently I am smart enough to be able to luck my way through life, smart enough to ‘guess’ the answers to the things I need to know. However, I am also stupid enough to never actually apply these ‘smarts’ in any significant way. In many respects I think the frustration I have within myself for knowing that I am smart enough to succeed in virtually anything I want, but constantly failing to properly apply myself to achieve it; is a primary driver for my decision to finally obtain a university degree. I am sure a psychologist could provide us a number of insights as to what events in my childhood led to these behaviors, just as it would be very easy to simply call me lazy. In either case is, this main point is that I need to retrain my mind and body to be more disciplined. To try and change past behaviors and relearning how to think and to stop taking the path of least resistance; lest I actually have to work hard.

This goes for my weight-loss too. I think both my attitude to study and my attitude to weight-loss are a microcosm for a larger, unhealthy lifestyle. What’s more, is that I am able to create an environment for myself that supports my unhealthy attitudes. I’ve lost 25kgs in 8 months – and most people, especially those closest to me consider this to be a great success. But I know in my heart that I barely tried. The same is true of my studies. My academic transcripts scattered with one or two credits and a handful of distinctions and high distinctions. I know I could have tried harder.

But I’ve never been pushed before in my life by anyone. And unfortunately, I seem to resent anyone who ever does try to push me. I live a life of comfort, when I should be living a life of much greater success.

But how do I train this old dog new tricks?

Uploading Files to WordPress Larger than the PHP.ini Setting

Add From Server” is a WordPress plug-in which allows you to import media & files into the WordPress upload manager from the Web Server’s file system. Really neat if you need to upload files in excess of the maximum file upload size as specified by the php.ini file. You obviously need to be able to copy the file to the file system via FTP or SCP, but other than that, this is a great way to get the file imported into WordPress without too much fuss.

Users Manual for an LG Split System Air-Conditioner (LST243H-2)

When we moved into our house 5 years ago, the previous owners had installed a LG Split System Air-Conditioner (LST243H-2) but had failed to leave the users manual behind. Through trial and error we eventually discovered the important features (a.k.a how to turn the damned thing on) but there was a whole bunch of modes for which we simply couldn’t fathom. The remote control had very little text, and more hieroglyphics than an Egyptian Tomb. It never occurred to me before to Google the model number until today.

Sure enough, I found a PDF version of the users manual for a LG LST243H-2. Woot!

iiNet ‘Freezone’ World of Warcraft Patches

Many people in Australia (myself included) are iiNet customers.  Recent acquisitions have made iiNet the third largest ISP in Australia, and I for one, consider them excellent value for money.  One of the features iiNet has as part of its product offerings is the iiNet Freezone, which is a large selection of content which does not count towards your internet quota. Many people are also unaware that World of Warcraft patches (which can be considerable downloads using the Blizzard auto-updater) are available on a 3FL FTP Mirror.  The 3FL gaming servers actually belong to an old iiNet rival ‘WestNet’ but iiNet bought out Westnet a while ago and not many iiNet customers are aware that 3FL belongs to iiNet now – and more importantly – are counted as Freezone servers.  Besides having some very awesome online gaming servers, 3FL also has a great FTP mirror and a Steam Content server (which is also Freezone and I’ve previously covered how to limit Steam to only download games from specific servers).

War on Sharing Infographic


As media digitization and data distribution becomes easier, copyright holders are having to take increasingly aggressive steps to counter the growing number of people partaking in illegal file sharing and copyright theft. This proliferation of illegal file sharing has been responded to by the music, television and movie industries with a of mass of litigation against file sharers, websites and network operators which they view as facilitating or participating in copyright theft. Moya (2011) says that a unnamed researcher has told him that “right now, the total number of ‘J. Doe’ defendants sued in mass P2P suits since the beginning of 2010 is on the cusp of 100,000 (99,924), spanning 80 different cases”. This is in relation to a single decentralized file sharing technology called BitTorrent created by Bram Cohen in 2001. In February 2009 it was estimated that BitTorrent traffic accounted for roughly 27% to 55% of all Internet traffic in some countries (Schulze & Mochalski, 2009). The popularity of file sharing technologies such as the BitTorrent Protocol as a distribution protocol could be attributed to the systematic litigation and subsequent shutdown or failure of centralized peer-to-peer file sharing networks such as Napster, Morpheus and Kazaa.

Each of these networks presented a large single target of litigation and an easy way to enforce filters to prohibit copyrighted material on these networks or to eliminate the distribution channel entirely. The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) and Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) are two organizations particularly infamous for their continuing and aggressive attacks on file sharing platforms, and their sometimes very public, relentless hunting and intimidation tactics over digital media consumers (Shaw & Mercer, 2005, 182). The modus operandi of of the RIAA and MPAA is to use stand-over and terror tactics on consumers it has identified as copyright infringers using provisions in the DMCA to subpoena the Internet Service Providers (ISP) of the alleged offenders, with the intention to sue them. Shaw & Mercer (2005, 182-183) describe the RIAA as regarding itself as a “key protector of music companies’ legal and business interests” and doesn’t bluff. Because of the tactics it employs, many people simply pay the redress and very few cases actually make it to trial. The RIAA alone, has issues several thousand infringement suites against people it considers to be violators. Gantz & Rochester (2005, 23) says that “by the numbers, most digital pirates are consumers” and that only a relatively few of violators actually profit off illegal downloading. This means that most of the people attacked by the RIAA are regular people simply enjoying media on their own terms.