If you visited quickly a little while back you may have noticed that the previous post appeared twice. This has now been corrected, but why did it happen?

Answer: the vagaries of the rubber band driven dongle – the usual Huawei crap – and the Optus prepaid broadband. The combo had a spasm as I was posting from here via Windows Live Writer and I had to reboot the dongle and re-establish connection midstream. And not the first time.

Now according to the Compare Broadband site, this is what I was getting after reconnecting.



That download speed is not what usually happens. Most often it is considerably less – 50 or so kbs more often than not. I think the upper end record for a nanosecond or two here and there is 1 meg per second. And the upload speeds? Well… It sure beats dial-up….


Baby Toshiba on the left on top of the printer, then the dongle, and on the right this very entry in process on Live Writer!

So here we look a few kilometres south with growing envy:

Kiama has recorded one of the fastest National Broadband Network take-up rates in the country since commercial services launched late last year.

Of the 2500 Kiama Downs and Minnamurra homes and businesses with access to the network, more than 600 have made the switch, according to government-owned builder NBN Co.

‘‘When we benchmark the take-up rate here compared to what telcos have seen in other parts of the world, it normally takes two or three years to get to 25 per cent take-up that we’ve got in Kiama after a relatively short time,’’ chief executive officer Mike Quigley said….

Kiama Downs and Minnamurra residents were among the first in mainland Australia to join the fibre network, which will pass another 5200 sites in Kiama and Jamberoo by the end of the year.

Kiama council recently became the first local government on the mainland to connect, while data is also flowing across the network to a new digital hub at the town’s library…

NBN Co announced this week an extra 16,000 homes in Wollongong, Dapto and a new release site at Corrimal would have access to the network by 2014.

I can get faster free services than Optus provides via dongle by going down to the Diggers Club, Yours and Owls, or the Library – and no doubt more places. I usually take Baby Toshiba for such assignations.


So there I was in Diggers yesterday, as Baby Toshiba recorded above. Great. Internet was going fine, but I had forgotten that Baby Toshiba hadn’t been online this week and so there were the PATCH TUESDAY offerings to accept and install.  Fine, down they streamed in delightful manner, until Microsoft and Toshiba – and I believe this is a Toshiba issue, combined to force me to install the final four or five updates one at a time. yes, reboot after each one! And me on battery too.


Still, Baby Toshiba hung in there until the juice left wouldn’t allow the last one which I then finished later at home. Ah the joys of computing.

But I am enjoying the ebooks which I now read most often on Baby Toshiba.  More on that later.


I have reached an age when the decades slide and blur and rush onwards

Much thought is being given so far this year to the events of 1942.

1942 Australia Florin copy

I have also given much attention to 1952 – for personal reasons. See 1952 and Jeanette Heather Whitfield: 1940 – 1952.

I am struck today by how close those two years must have seemed to my family. Just ten years! Today 2002 seems from my perspective – dangerously close to the Biblical three score and ten – still to be part of the present, and 1992 – the year M and I moved into Elizabeth Street Surry Hills – no time at all ago.

And 1962, the year I came first in Asian History at Sydney University: can that really be half a century in the past? And is it forty years since we elected Gough Whitlam?