Irregular Injection of Opinion
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 Friday, 17 March 2006
I feel utterly violated......

The Airlineshave done a GREAT job of driving down the cost of flying. Particularly trans tasman, the fares are not really well priced.

Can't say the same for the stinking governemnts and monopolistic airports. $226 of taxes!!!!! Is it any wonder that all the major airports in NZ seem to have been doing themselves up of late- monopoly rents if ever there was an example.

Traveller details booking help
Here is your itinerary. Please review, enter details for all travellers then CONTINUE.

 Wellington  -  Sydney  Return
Flights Departs Date Time Arrives Date Time Stops
NZ 0141 Wellington Fri 12May 6:40 AM Sydney Fri 12May 8:20 AM 0
NZ 0144 Sydney Fri 19May 6:15 PM Wellington Fri 19May 11:25 PM 0

Total cost
1  Adult fare(s) @  NZD   $258.00 NZD  $258.00
Total surcharges, airport & government costs - detail NZD  $226.01
Total NZD  $484.01

Travel|Friday, 17 March 2006 01:51:30 UTC|Comments [0]|    

 Wednesday, 15 March 2006
Soooo over Channel 9?

Are you soo over Channel 9, take a lok at what's on 10 instead.... it's even got hot chicks....

Toy Box|Wednesday, 15 March 2006 23:30:58 UTC|Comments [0]|    

Dollar Going Ker-Boom

Looks like the dollar is continuing to get NAILED. It was always going to happen- was just a matter of when.

At Kognition we've been holding quite a lot of our working capital in US$ lately in anticipation- it's nice that it's finally started doing something :-)

I think we've had the big fall now and we'll setlle in around 63-64 cents for a good few months. That said we could see a number of the mom and pop uridashi holders bail which could further catalyze things- good time to be holding forex anyway :-)

Rambles|Wednesday, 15 March 2006 02:33:47 UTC|Comments [0]|    

 Saturday, 11 March 2006
Simple Human Workflow wit Windows Workflow Foundation

I've just had a white paper published on MSDN.

It show how to us WF to manage wrkflow among a groupof huan actors- it's really cool ithat the communication with the actors is via common protocols like email and instant messenger.

Take a look at the white paper here.

You can also see nd discuss this at my session on WF @ Code Camp.

I'll also probabl being running through the saple as a lab @ CodeCamp too...

.NET|Saturday, 11 March 2006 08:17:54 UTC|Comments [2]|    

 Thursday, 09 March 2006
How We Are Being Disruptive @ Kognition

I had a great dicussion with my bank manager the other day- wen't something like:

CA: I need to be able to see the statment of account for my on call forex electronically via internet banking.

BM: We can't do that- you should use desk bank, our $30+ a month 'business' product.

CA: Hmmm... that feels like daylight robery... but do tell me more. Does it work over the internet.

BM: Well, sort of, you use a modem to dial into it.

CA: WTF!?! I thought modems went out long ago. I don't even have a phone line.

And so it is. We do not have analog telephone lines at all in Wellington. At the office we have a VOIP PABX (an Asterisk Linux Box) and attached to this we have some SIP phones. At home I am getting TelstraClear cable turned on (they now let you have the internet without a phoneline which is a darn lot better than Telecom) and we'll setup a VPN tunnel to the office and attach a SIP phone off the PABX at home too. We already have a great VPN tunnel; running between our ISA servers in Dunedin and Wellington and we are going to put an Asterisk box at the Dunedin end so that we can VOIP out onto the University or Otago phone network- we have a number of on campus customers. We are alos doing A LOT of Skype calling- several of our customers now use it as their primary communication mechanism with us- we can have multi party phone conferences, for 90 minutes, for FREE!

We're also really taking advantage of MSN Messenger a heap more now. We use the Remote Assistance feature for pairs based programming at a distance.

Other cool things that we are doing include using MS Virtual Server to run a number of our key servers- the real benefit for us is the ability to scale up more easily without doing a full rebuild each time. Just pick up the required server images and drop them on a new box.

So a lot of this stuff really excites me at the moment. I'm talking with a number of customers and friends about how this can help their business too. Finally we're looking at some new business opportunities that take advantage of all this stuff.

Exciting times ahead.

Kognition | Rambles | Toy Box|Thursday, 09 March 2006 01:26:05 UTC|Comments [0]|    

Want to find out something from Mix?

So I'm going to Mix and there aren't many others that I'm aware of from NZ going.

So- I'm keen to see if anyone want to find anything in particular out? Want a particular question asked? Burning to find something out and think it will be covered?

Here is my schedule thus far. If you have a special interest in something post in the comments and I'll keep and eye out for you and blog about it- obviously I can only post about non NDA stuff, but, I'll do my best to find out as much as I can tell you about from the horses mouth.

Schedule For Chris Auld

Monday, March 20

1:30 PM - 2:45 PM  
NGW050 The Windows Live Platform: Build Applications That Have Access to 400 Million Address Books, and 13 Billion Contacts!   Palazzo Ballroom E-L    
3:00 PM - 4:15 PM  
NGW008 Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF): The Opportunity for WPF Applications in the Browser and Beyond   Ballroom O/P    
4:30 PM - 6:00 PM  
BTB035 Extending Your Experience to Mobile Devices   Ballroom A/B    
NGW046 Running a Megasite on Microsoft Technologies   Ballroom O/P    

Tuesday, March 21

11:00 AM - 12:15 PM  
BTB025 Developing Interactive Applications Using Windows Live Robots, Activities, and Alerts   Ballroom M/N    
1:30 PM - 2:45 PM  
DIS003 Today's Identity Crisis, and the Identity Metasystem   Ballroom O/P    
3:00 PM - 4:15 PM  
NGW036 A First Look at Windows Presentation Foundation Everywhere (WPF/E): a Cross-Platform subset of WPF   Ballroom A/B    
4:30 PM - 5:45 PM  
BTB029 The Digital Home: Designing for the Ten-Foot User Interface   Palazzo Ballroom E-L    
NGW026 IIS7 As a Developer Platform   Ballroom O/P    

Wednesday, March 22

8:30 AM - 9:45 AM  
NGW034 From “Username and Password” to "InfoCard"   Ballroom M/N    
10:00 AM - 11:15 AM  
11:30 AM - 12:45 PM  

.NET | Mix06|Thursday, 09 March 2006 01:10:33 UTC|Comments [0]|    

 Tuesday, 07 March 2006
The Wonderful World Of Travel....

So mch for my regular blogging... But, I promise to live blog from Mix!

A number of others such as Rod and CJ have been having travel problems recently- I hope I don't catch that bug!

I'm in DUD at the moment, then out to MEL via CHC tommorow until next week then back to WLG via CHC. Then off to TGA for two days.... then it all goes a bit pear shaped and I travel to Singapore via MIX06, the Game Developers Conference and Fargo North Dakota. Something like:

1. NZ 462 Y 18MAR WLG AKL 1900 2000.

2. NZ 2 D 18MAR AKL LAX 2300 1355

3. UA 1566 Y 18MAR LAX LAS 1626 1738

4. US 8204 Y 22MAR LAS SJC 1146 1311

6. UA 530 A 24MAR SFO DEN 0600 0927

7. UA 6668 Y 24MAR DEN FAR 1007 1253 

8. UA 6669 Y 25MAR FAR DEN 1251 1343

9. LH 467 D 25MAR DEN FRA 1725 #1145

10. LH 9762 D 26MAR FRA SIN 1300 #0700

11. SQ 219 D 31MAR SIN SYD 0930 1955 (Quick stop in Sydney for U2 Concert!)

12. NZ 144 D 03APR SYD WLG 1815 2325

13. NZ 446 Y 15JAN WLG AKL 1500 1600 (Clever Travel Agent stuff see here)

On a good note, Rod and CJ and I have been searching for a good way to enter flight times acoss multiple time zones. Gallileo's ViewTrip being a TOTAL LOAD OF CRAP there are not many options- all seem to end up having my LAX-LAS flight leave before my AKL-LAS.

So I've discovered the Star Alliance travel tools. The desktop app is great for gettin your routing right when trying to squeeze travel into a small space (as above). The Pocket PC app allows you to choose your flights then drop them straight ino your Pocket Outlook Calendar. Of courseit doesn't work for Blackberry.... but that's no great loss... unless you happen to be silly enough to use Blackberry....


CJ has a great wee tool for doing this here

Some feed back on it- it's be great if the time zones were sorted properly :-) Apart from that it works really well.....

Travel|Tuesday, 07 March 2006 22:49:25 UTC|Comments [0]|    

 Friday, 03 March 2006
What I Want to Bring Home From Mix

Origami Goodness!

Toy Box|Friday, 03 March 2006 04:38:27 UTC|Comments [3]|    

 Thursday, 02 March 2006
Getting All Disruptive

So we've beengetting really disruptive with ur technology recently. Lots of VOIP and MSN for collaborative work.

We've now got a US number that VOIP through to us. I'm going to do a big post smetime soon on how we're putting together our collaboration platform, but for now, you can call me on

+1 425 296-6726

Toy Box|Thursday, 02 March 2006 22:24:58 UTC|Comments [4]|    

Speak What You See - Speech recognition in Vista

Gets really cool around 10min mark


Human Aggregation|Thursday, 02 March 2006 03:16:36 UTC|Comments [3]|    

Is Microsoft Made The iPod

A great wee video- if Microsoft boxed the iPod

Phil will enjoy this!

Human Aggregation|Thursday, 02 March 2006 02:18:31 UTC|Comments [2]|    

 Tuesday, 28 February 2006
Why I Love My Travel Agent

OK... so the fundamenta principle of agency is that someone else endeavours on your behalf.

Such it is with travel agents. We are in an increasigly agent hostile world but I still get HUGE value out of using my agent- he thinks the way I think- craftily!

Here is todays clever piece of work.

I'm booking a round the world fare for next month- easiest way to hit LAS,SJC,FAR,SIN in the space of two weeks.

On the way back I'm stoping in Syndey and maybe Brisbane. The agent is like:

As we have miles left you could use.....we could call Wellington a stop on the way back to Auckland or BNE-WLG-AKL For the cost of the ticketable taxes (about $19) you'd get a flight from Wellington to either Auckland or Christchurch.....this would be date changeable and valid for up to a year from when we issue the ticket.

Which do you want? (AKL OR CHC?)”

I.e. I'll be stoppoing in WLG for as many months as I feel like and effectivly get a 'free' WLG-AKL fully flexi fare as part of the package! Now that's what I call effective agency!

If you want a kick ass agent like mine then you need to talk to Toby @ Flight Centre in

Travel|Tuesday, 28 February 2006 22:42:04 UTC|Comments [0]|    

It's Bike To Work Day

I had forgotten that it was bike to work day. As I rode from the Gym (Thorndon) to the Office (Willis St) I stumbled upon the free breakfast (well the end of it) @ Civic Square.

Anyway- IU've got right back into riding to work having shifted to Wellington. Fuel is too expensive, m car drinks it (Turbo Subaru), and I'm really liking my new bike.

I think that Phil is keen for a Makara Peak MTB ride soon. So, if you are keen for a bike ride in WLG post a comment here and we should all heahis weekend sometime.

Adventure Sports | Gettin Fit|Tuesday, 28 February 2006 20:22:09 UTC|Comments [0]|