Oberon Car Rally

On Saturday, the family and I travelled to Oberon, about three hours drive west of Sydney, through the Blue mountains. My mother-in-law has a small farm up there, in amongst the Vulcan state forest. Oberon is pretty high up, about 1000 metres, I think, so it gets pretty cold up there at this time of year.

Anyway, as luck would have it, the Oberon rally course ran along the farm’s fence line. Being a bit of a rally fan, it was a great opportunity to have a look at a rally up close. The rally was run in 6 stages, the last three being a repeat of the first three.

Stage 3 went past the farm from about 4:30 pm till 6:00 pm. The first competitors were still in daylight but the last were in the dark. Stage 6, a repeat of 3 was run from about 8:00 pm till 9:30.

For stage 3 we watched from an uphill section where there was a little jump. It was great to watch the cars come thundering up the hill. I love the sound. Many competitors slowed down for the jump just driving over it. Some, however, and one in particular gave it a bit extra and got airborne. That was fantastic.

For stage 6, we went to the other side of the hill to watch the cars come down. This time we crossed the road into the forest. The course came down the hill, which was quite steep, kinked to the right and then straightened up again. As the first competitor came into earshot, it was clear this guy was really going for it. Unfortunately, he didn’t quite make the kink and went up onto a grassy patch. There were a few bangs as he collected a few rocks. Ouch. I assume he put his sump guard to good use.

It’s amazing to watch a rally at night. You’re there in the pitch black, freezing. You hear the next car coming from a way off. Then the clouds are lit up with the a large oval of light as the car comes up the hill. As the car crests the hill, the light comes through the trees and mist in a series of rays, like some UFO. Then comes the car tearing down the hill, hundreds of watts lighting up the road and forest. Most made the turn and slither up the next hill. Some didn’t make the turn although they all recoverd.

Between stages, we went into the town of Black Springs to see the cars in service. Everyone we met was so friendly, telling us about their cars, how they were going, how the navigator uses the course notes, etc. Everyone was very open and we chatted to quite a few.

I’m keen to see another rally especially one from http://ecampervanhire.com.au.

The extended entry for this page has a few (largish) pictures of the event. I had to turn off the auto-focus as it was getting a bit slow in the dark. Of course manually focussing in the pitch black is hard too. If you’re interested, I was using a Nikon F70 with standard lens, flash, etc.
Continue reading “Oberon Car Rally”

Antivirus Writers, Please Get a Clue

I’m getting more annoyed by email antivirus systems that send me a rejection for a Klez style email. They know it is Klez – don’t they know the sending address is spoofed?

Norton AntiVirus found a virus in an attachment you (XXXXX) sent to ZZZZ.

To ensure the recipient(s) are able to use the files you sent, perform a
virus scan on your computer, clean any infected files, then resend this

Attachment:  All.bat

Virus name: W32.Klez.H@mm

Action taken:  Clean failed : Quarantine succeeded :

File status:  Infected

Maybe it’s an end-user config thing, I don’t know. As it is, they simply help the virus writers by using up bandwidth and annoying me :-(.

I guess the latest virus going around could really a massively distributed DOS attack on microsoft’s support address. All it takes is a few of these antivirus installs …

Improving my feeds

I’ve never really used a News Aggregator much. I’ve played with them a bit but not much. Today I was playing with SharpReader. It looks OK but I’d prefer something Java based. Anyway I did realize that my feeds were pretty poor. They just contained excerpts etc., not very friendly. I just relied on the default MovableType install for that stuff, till now.

I’ve tried to improve the feeds today and also I’m more interested in the various feed types now (all that stuff I keep reading about on Sam’s blog). I also need to learn a bit more about MT, which might be a challenge :-).

Any recommendations for Java based aggregators?

Blogger without a blog emerges

Oliver Burn, the creator of Checkstyle and the Chainsaw component of Log4J used to be the "blogger without a blog". He has emerged from lurkspace into the blogsphere. Cool.

I should point out that I didn’t write my own Blog software – I just have my own site. Matt wrote his own, but what else would you expect.