Rob Smyth

Sunday 29 November 2009

VisualSVN Server

I respect software that 'just do it'. In this case, I like the way VisualSVN Server, makes installing and managing a Subversion server.

I've installed subversion servers a few times. Not difficult but not doing it often it does require reading instructions, knowing a few command lines, and configuring a few files. But tonight I'm playing with another little experimental project and I find working without version control ... hmmm .... 'interesting'. The project is experimental so it would premature to create an on-line repository (e.g. GoogleCode, Sourceforge) so I downloaded VisualSVN Server, ran the installer and had a running server is just a couple of minutes.

The VisualSVN guys made the job easier by:
  • Making the ignores of: bin, obj, *.suo, etc default. So I did not need to import and then go through the process of ignore and delete.
  • Prompted for the creation of the conventional (trunk, tag, branches) folders, so I did not have to create them.
  • Provides a nice simple GUI that showed me up front the subversion URL (no reading documentation for the port number) and I could add myself as a user while I was committing.
Nice job guys. Slick. As a software developer my job is to automate other people's processes, I appreciate it when others automate my processes.

Thursday 26 November 2009

Resident Bushfire Gear

While trying to find a bushfire/wildire balaclava/bandana I thing I'm finding a void between the professional/volunteer firie and residents. I'm finding it surprisingly difficult to find gear suitale for a resident's fire kit.

In particular I wanted balaclavas for our kits. I want balaclava that can be used "as required" rather than "in standard preparation". A fire fighter will take on protective gear through training and the knowlege of what is possible. But I'm looking for solutions on extrem fire rating days that allow me to deploy as conditions get worse. A progressive solution. I'm not a firies, so I'm not expecting the worse. I found what seem like good balaclavas, but they require clothing in advance. I want one that I can place in a pocket and use, quickly, when needeed.

Being an (not a firie) resident I do not think I'm going to dress in advance (it will be bloody hot!) and I do expect that conditions will change (worse case) rapidly.

Great products out there but I want one that has something like a velcro strip so I can slap it on as needed. (I'm a whimp so if hot I probably will not be wearing it until really needed).

The photo shows the one we got. Seems good, but I would rather one that did not need me to put it on before doning a helmet.

Balaclavas/Bandanas I have found:

  • Friday 20 November 2009

    Bushfirre FDR - Potential Yet To Deliver

    Following the tragic bushfires (wildfires), and the interim report from the 2009 Bushfire Royal Commission recommendations 5.1 & 5.2, we now have a new Fire Danger Rating (FDR) system which seems good but is, currently, difficult to use.

    We have, following community education, based our fire plans on the new FDR. But I'm finding it difficult to keep informed of the forecast FDR. The media gives great details of the "Total Fire Bans" (TFBs) but not the new FDR.

    I'm wondering if the CFA's community education had been successful but not supported by the media, CFA web site, and the BOM's web site.

    Gotta love the CFA. Great organisation that we owe so much to.

    Friday 13 November 2009