The Last Telegram

It was noted in Slashdot , Fox News and a pile of other places to be honest that

telegrams no more. Stop. India to send world’s last message July 14

So, the last telegram in the world will be send in India on 14 July 2013.

Today telegrams have become largely irrelevant as a means of electronic communication although I am sure that the Indian rural communities will still miss it. I noted today that my eldest son, now having reached his thirties, had never seen a telegram. I can remember a couple from my childhood.

I can also remember that as I was born 9 years after the end of World War 2 and a year after an armistice in the Korean War, that to my parents and grandparents a telegram was something to be dreaded as it inevitably brought with it bad news. The loss of a son or husband in action was the usual message, or the fact that they were missing and their whereabouts were unknown. Good news telegrams were generally that he had been wounded and was in hospital. In any case, it was almost always dread news.

Good news was sent by letter between people but bad news was sent by telegram. The news and government services were, of course, the exception, in that they were reporting events – some good and some bad.

So, that harbinger of doom, the telegram, ceases in a few weeks time.


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Even More on Aussie Submarines

After our spirited discussion on submarines recently in More on Submarines and then the post Submarines – some more, I came across an article in the Sydney Morning Herald today with a title of Defence to get new supercomputer. It seems that Cray Inc., the company making supercomputers has sold the Department of Defence a $2.2 million supercomputer to help with research for the Future Submarine program.


A Defence Department sopkeperson noted that,

The system will be used to undertake computational fluid dynamic studies to increase knowledge and assist the evaluation of technical risks associated with the hydrodynamic performance of future Australian navy platforms.

The capacity of the system will enable large computational fluid dynamics simulations to be performed in the order of days rather than months.’

So, seems the Australian Department of Defence is trying to make the next batch of submarines flow through the water, better – even if they can’t get enough crew to man them.

Personally, I would have thought a $2.2 million supercomputer wasn’t that flash!

The other two interesting bits of news with regards to this is that they apparently are looking at container-housing the computer so that it is portable. Not sure why they want to do that rather than just ensure they have the necessary channel bandwidth to access back to the supercomputer.

The other interesting part of the report was where “client and vendor are expected to run performance tests to see whether the system would qualify for nomination for the biannual top 500 supercomputer list”.

Right! Not very highly I would have thought.

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Well this is perplexing – Virus Report

Bloody hell - I must have been very busy surfing!
Bloody hell – I must have been very busy surfing!

I use avast! anti-virus software on the office PC ((I use Microsoft’s Security Essentials on the home PC)) and once a month avast! gives me a report of it’s activity over the previous 30 days.

That’s the report out there to the right – or at least the guts of the report.

Files and Documents scanned – 59,354 over the month – yeah, I can believe that as I shuffled a few folders around, copied and restored a number of files and generally tidied things up a bit so that seems quite reasonable.

Emails scanned – 533 scanned over 30 days – yeah – that’s believable – it is about 25 a day (work days that is) so seems about right.

Web & Network Protection – 300,591. Really? There were 22 working days in the last 30 days here. So that means that every day at the office (some 8 hours of work time as I am away from my desk for the lunch hour), I surf 13,663 web pages? That is 1,708 pages per hour or about 30 pages a minute.

Now the boss knows I goof-off from time-to-time, sometimes checking Facebook, sometimes checking Twitter but 13,663 pages a day? A page every two minutes?

I think there is something wrong with the statistic, my guess being that avast! is counting each separate element that makes up a web page as not even I could goof-off that much!

Thomo’s Hole Record Day – 10,000+ Page Views


I saw this stats page and thought there may have been an error. It looked like all past statistics had disappears to be replaced by something really odd for the day. There were over 10,000 page views recorded. Now, I know that my youthful good looks and boyish charm make me popular but really, the best day I have ever had here in the Hole has been around 500 views and usually I range between 150 and 250 page views a day.

I did some checking.

It seems that the post I did a few years back (7 May 2007 to be exact) on Korean Soldiers in WW2 German Army was picked up by the Today I Learned section in Reddit and has generated over 100 comments there.

The 10,000 plus page views are correct 😆

The interesting thing about this post is that here in the Hole it has generated the longest comment chain of all posts as well as some of the most vitriolic comments I have ever seen – it is a touchy subject to a number of folks, even though I had tried to write it even-handed.

This has definitely set a new standard for me to aim at although I suspect that my wargaming reports are not likely to generate quite that much interest.

Update 3 February 2013: The final tally for that day was 12,425 hits to the Hole of which 12,242 hits were on Korean Soldiers in WW2 German Army. 183 hits were from normal visitors 😆

Google – Stop Trying to Second Guess Me!

imageIt is really starting to annoy me! I spent a couple of days in Indonesia where Google left my search engine, email and everything really with an English language mask. My Google preferences are set to reflect that I am an English speaker. I am sure that if I check I will find several Google cookies on my PC all reflecting English is my language of choice.

So why then, when I get back to Singapore, does Google invite me to translate a page from Indonesian to English and invite me to “masuk”!

The only time I want a “masuk” is when I say to a Jakarta taxi driver, “masuk di sini!”. For the rest of the time, give it to me in English please – especially Google!

Religion ‘riskier than porn’ for online viruses

Yippee! From the Sydney Morning Herald Digital Life section yesterday:

Web wanderers are more likely to get a computer virus by visiting a religious website than by peering at porn, according to a new study.

Websites with religious or ideological themes were found to have triple the average number of "threats" that those featuring adult content, according to Symantec.

An interesting statistic it seems – figures were generated from Symantic who noted that there was an 83% increase in virus attacks this year over last year – although they would report that wouldn’t they? 😆

I wonder if this will alter my browsing patterns?

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New cable to connect Australia and New Zealand

Huawei Marine has announced that it will undertake a seabed survey for the planned Optikor cable to link Australia and New Zealand by the end of 2103.

So, not only will New Zealand remain tethered to Australia, but they will take 91 years to decide where to lay their cable!

Study Confirms Many of Us Go Online for No Reason

In something that could only have come from the Department of Stating the Bleedin’ Obvious, the Sydney Morning Herald on December 2nd, 2011 ran an article with the title, Study confirms many of us go online for no reason.

For anyone who needed official word, a new study confirms that many of us – and the majority of young adults – go online for no good reason at all.

The report from the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project found that on any given day, 53 percent of 18 to 29 year-olds go online just to have fun or pass time.

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Well duh!

Of course, no longer being a young adult, I do go online for very good reasons, reasons such as research into uniforms of various combatants in the Napoleonic and American Civil Wars; historical information from that mine of misinformation, wikipedia; online banking; paying my mother’s bills; and reading the classics.

I must agree with the Pew Research Center though, especially as I have four children under the age of 29 and they seem to spend an inordinate amount of time online for no good reason.

Now, where did I put my password to Farmville?

Technology Technology

I had the annual bonus money to spend this weekend. It’s actually a cost reimbursement where we are able to spend money on some technology, travel, medical and such and then claim back against company expenses.

I chose technology. After putting on 100,000 frequent flyer miles in six months this year, travel was not really an option. I was thinking about getting a new camera as my old digital SLR died about a year ago. I settled on an iPad2 as I was used to my eBook reader and this seemed like the next natural progression. What I do like is that for short periods of writing, such as for a blog entry, it is a useful tool. Reading on it is neat too.

Hmm, any more bonuses this year? I still need a new camera 😆


I finally got tired of Thomo’s Hole being hijacked by Webring. I’d joined Webring about 10 years ago I guess and used it as a means of driving traffic to Thomo’s Hole. I belonged to a number of rings like Wargamer’s; Military History; and so on. However, it had got to the point that generally 25% of the time I would log into Thomo’s Hole, I would be redirected to the Webring. In itself, that would not have been such an issue if a single click of the back button would take me back but it didn’t. So farewell.

Now to return to putting together the Early WW2 Russian army I’ve had sitting on the painting queue for a while – yes, another bright shiny object!