Monday, January 31, 2005

Too much driving this weekend

This past weekend I drove more than 1200km! Crazy huh?

I left on Friday after work and drove to Rotorua. I was going to stop to have dinner with Marty, but decided to keep trucking. Made it to Gisborne in 4.5 hours and met up with Kenny. We went over to his mates' place and hung out for a while then went home and crashed. His mom's house is pretty damn sweet.

In the morning on Saturday we went for a walk down to the beach near his house. Really beautiful out there:

Then we went to a car show in town:

For the rest of the day we hung out with his girlfriend and some of their mates.

On Sunday morning I took off to Napier, but soon found out that Samantha couldn't hang out because of some family thing she had.

There were some pretty awesome beaches along the way:

So, when I got to Napier I just walked around town and took photos of the cool Art Deco architecture:

From there I drove straight on to Taupo for a total of 6 hours of driving... When I was almost to Lake Taupo there were awesome views of Mount Ruapehu and that central volcanic region:

When I arrived in Taupo many people were in the lake. I stopped for a brief time and walked along the beach before heading to Rotorua for the night:

On my way to Rotorua I stopped at the Hot and Cold Pools near the Wai-o-tapu Thermal Area. Had a soak in the pools for about an hour then carried on to Rotorua and stayed at Marty's house. We ate an a really good Thai place in town called "Amazing Thai".

On Monday morning I took Marty into town for work and then went to Kerosene Creek to have another soak. It was too hot though. I couldn't stay in the water for more than 5 minutes at a time. It has been so long since it has rained that it was just too hot...

Back in Hamilton I just hung out the rest of the day... This post is like a little kid's story book because it is 10 words then another photo.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Long weekend coming

Today is the last day of work for 3 days. We have a long weekend because it is the Auckland/Northland anniversary on Monday and the Waikato celebrates it at the same time. I am going to head out to Gisborne to visit Kenny, then to Napier to visit Samantha. Sam leaves for England on the 15th of February. It will be good to see her before she jets. Hopefully I can get some good surfing in with Kenny too.

This week has been pretty good. Gareth slept over the other night because Sarah had gone to Tauranga for the night and accidently locked him out of the house. We got some videos and watched them at work on the projector: Dodgeball and Harold and Kumar go to White Castle. Both were really good, hysterical movies. Then last night I watched Dodgeball again with the flat.

So the JTAG stuff is working now and I have OCD Commander working. Having problems getting data occaisionally. It has to do with PCI System Resets occuring on the bus and changing the state of the FPGA. I need to sort that out. Once I get that figured out I should be able to start really debugging my problems.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

More technical discussion

So, I think I have decided that the MMU screws up the OCD Commander. I am not sure of this yet. There is one way to find out... Turn off the MMU and see what happens.

I wonder if anybody who reads this is actually interested in the technical stuff. I don't care. When I am thinking so hard about this that I have dreams at night about it working, I might has well write about it here. I guess that makes me a geek. Maybe just a loser.

Slowly more and more

Ok, so the JTAG stuff is really coming along. A few problems. The OCD Commander is by default in "big endian" mode, so you have to switch it to "little endian" but issuing the command "endian little". Then it tries to locate the minIcache at address 0. If you change it to something after your bootloader it should work. So I changed it to 0x500000 by issuing the command "xmon 0x500000". Now it works! I have the XScale stepping though code.

New problem. Now, when I try to halt it, the PC always has 0 in it. It should have the address of the current instruction. This is the problem to solve for tomorrow.

Monday, January 24, 2005

JTAG works... wheeee!

So after about a week and a bit I got the JTAG working here at work. We ended up purchasing a Wiggler and now everything is hunky-dory. All I need to do now is get code running on it and I can debug my problems.

Last night I worked on organizing some photos on my laptop and getting some ready to print in the future. I have a few favorites at the moment. This one of me riding up above Clarke's Mistake at Turoa is one of my favorites of the winter season on Mt. Ruapehu:

The best from Australia is this one from the Surfer's Paradise beach:

Sunday, January 23, 2005


Current music: WBER 90.5FM

Ok, back at work after getting so much sun this weekend. Yesterday I went out to the beach at the Mount and went surfing for a few hours. I have some beach photos that I will try to get up on here tomorrow.

For some reason I just realized that I haven't been listening to WBER at all in the past months and now that we have an uncapped bandwidth at work I should be. Therefore, I am listening to it... and loving it.

Back to JTAG land.

Friday, January 21, 2005

Finally, nearly conquered Mt. Pirongia

Got up this morning all ready to tramp up Pirongia. I went to the store and got food, went to the camping store and got gas to cook the food, then drove out there. When I got there I found out that the hut was full for the night. It is only a 6 bunk hut. Doh! I drove around to the other side of the mountain and climbed up from Corcoran Road to Rupane Peak. It is about 120m short of the peak, but the views are meant to be better from there anyway.

Last night I went out to Raglan for the sunset. It was a really excellent one! Here are some photos from it:

Here are some photos from Pirongia as well:

Photofriday: Crowded

This is a shot I took back in April of 2004 on Queen Street in central Auckland:

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Tired and planning to leave work early today

Last night I was here at work until 7pm, then I went home and hung out with the crew. Nothing exciting. Watched the new Simple Life 2 and played with the S5 slideshow code. I think I might use it to do my photo galleries... Not sure yet though. I still have some more to look at with it.

Got more JTAG info for the processor I am trying to debug. Well, sorta. It looks like the XScale 80321 documents from Intel don't have any JTAG information, so we are going to try to use the XScale 80331 documentation. It should be the same we think.

This weekend I might try doing Pirongia again. Seems like every time I want to climb that mountain the weather gets bad though. Almost lunch time!

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

work movie work movie work movie work

All week this week I have been coming to work, then going home and watching a movie. Then I come to work again. Watched Igby Goes Down last night. I have been wanting to watch it forever. I remember when it was in the theatre and I was trying to get people to go. It was really good. A sad movie, but I like those depressing ones the same way I like depressing music. Hamish and Jo both got up and left in the middle of the movie, but I was loving it. Oh well...

Tonight might be another movie night. I made a lot of enchiladas last night, so I might have those for dinner again. I made enough to have them 4 times...

Here is a photo Ben and Jeff sent me this morning from Vail:

Back to work on getting the JTAG interface working...

Monday, January 17, 2005

Too much working but I still come back

Worked over 10 hours yesterday. I rarely do that, but it was 5:30 and it felt like it was 3:30 so I just kept going. Trying to get the JTAG debugging working on the XScale using a homemade Wiggler, but not having much luck. I guess it is about time to get back to that today.

Last night I watched a really strange Kiwi movie called Snakeskin with Hamish. Totally bizzare.

Too bad I can't meet up with Rachel in Chicago. My layover is too short. Here is my itinerary in case people want to meet up in airports (all times are approximate):

February 2:
Auckland 7:45pm -> San Francisco 10:45am
San Francisco 12:45pm -> Washington Dulles 8:45pm

Staying in DC for 2 days. Meeting up with James, some other company employees, and maybe some customers.

February 4:
Washington Dulles 5:15pm -> Tampa 7:30pm

Staying in Bradenton for 4 days to see my grandparents.

February 8:
Tampa 12:00pm -> Chicago O'Hare 2:00pm
Chicago O'Hare 3:00pm -> Los Angeles 5:15pm
Los Angeles 9:45pm -> Auckland 7:30am on Thursday, Feb 10

Should be a good trip, but I will be jetlagged as.

Sunday, January 16, 2005

Back at work and busy as always

I have been so busy at work this morning that it is 10:22 and I am just having my coffee! Ugh.

The travel agent booked me from DC to Charlotte, NC instead of Sarasota, FL. Not sure how that mix up can happen, but it is a good thing I caught it! I am waiting for her to get back to me with a new itinerary.

This weekend was cruisy as. On Friday night I just hung out. Saturday night was a bit more exciting. I went out to Raglan for the sunset, then came back to Hamilton and went to the This Night Creeps show at Ward Lane. There was some other really good band playing before them. I don't know the name of them, but I am going to have to find out!

Yesterday Hamish was on a cleaning mission and cleaned our whole house. He went nuts. In the arvo I went with him to Eastside to hang out for a little. After that I headed out to David's house. David is a guy from work and he had invited me over for dinner and do some DVD burning. I got all my photos burned to DVD now. That will be nice because it is a much better backup than those damn CDs. Now I just need to verify the backups and I can take the 5GB+ of photos off my laptop and free up some serious space!

Photos from the Raglan sunset will be coming tomorrow probably. Eh... the sunset wasn't that great anyway.

Photofriday: Signs

I know this isn't a great photo, but it is my favorite sign:

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Gmail Account Invites

Well, I have 3 more Gmail invites... Who wants them? First 3 people to respond can have them...

Still too proud

Current music: U2 - I Fall Down

I have been talking to one of my co-workers about punk ethics and morality. It reminded me how much I love my friends... Here is a photo I took at a hardcore show in Hamilton a few months ago. I think it really shows that everybody gets along and can have fun. It was a cool show with Most Precious Blood:

Not real exciting

Went home last night and just chilled out and watched Shrek 2. Isn't my life exciting some days?

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Crack the whip

Current music: Joy Division - The Eternal

Last night we had a BBQ at my house for dinner. Mmmm... Excellent grilled portabellos marinated in red wine. Sashan and Liwaa came from work to BBQ with us. After that Liwaa and I went in to the office to watch The big Empty on the projector. We hired Shrek 2 as well. I think that Amanda and I are going to watch that tonight.

I have to get a deliverable done for a customer by tomorrow. The code isn't really working at the moment, but we are going to send them what we have so far. It is a month and a half late. I think I just found th problem that will solve everything, but I need to do a bit more testing. Gotta get some documentation thrown together for it too...

Looks like I am going to DC on the 2th until the 4th, then to my grandparents' house in Bradenton, Florida until the 8th. Should be a good trip. I might get to meet a customer of ours in DC. I am thinking about purchasing my camera during the trip... Just need to work out if I will have the money to do that or not. I spent too much in Australia. I am going to try to meet up with Ben and Mel in LAX. They are flying into there on the 2nd of February as well...

I want to get in touch with Simon to find out if he wants to climb Taranaki this weekend. I guess I should email him now while I am waiting for this test to fail.

PS - My post from 2 posts ago was not a "yell for sympathy". I was simply stating that I hadn't had much response from my Australia photos. Usually I get more people responding about my photos. That is not bad, I was just surprised.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Photofriday: Silhouette

I took this shot using the timer on my camera. It is my friend Ryan and I standing by Lake Pleasant in the Adirondack Mountains of New York State.

A few things have happened

Well, I guess a few things have happened since I last posted on Monday. Work said they will fly me to the US to see my grandma. I will most likely stop in DC on the way to Florida so that I can meet some of our employees there. Not bad huh? They have really been treating me well here.

Other than that not much has been going on. Just hung out at home the past two nights. Almost done reading Angels and Demons.

I hope people have been enjoying my Australia photos. I haven't gotten much of a response except from Lori and Kris...

Sunday, January 09, 2005

More photos are up

Ok... Finally the last of the Australia photos. Now I just need to get the Christmas ones up!
New Year's Day in Cairns
Atherton Tablelands Waterfalls
Byron Bay
Gold Coast (Surfer's Paradise and Kirra Beach)


Back at work

Here I am back at work. After about 2 weeks off I wanted to stay off... Anyway, here I am back at work.

Last night I watched Starsky and Hutch with Hamish and Amanda. Great movie.

Time to make a coffee!

Saturday, January 08, 2005

Some pics are up...

Ok, I got a few pictures up, but still only some... There are more to come as well as Christmas ones. There are pictures from Brisbane and pictures from my dive trip to Holmes Reef.

Just finished all my phone calls for the day. Talked to my parents for a while, then to my grandparents, then to Ben and Mel for two hours. I guess I will make some more calls later in the week... I have almost used up my 10 euros of Skype credit. I have talked on it so much though... I love it.

Time to head home now.


There will be more to come as I get the organized, but here are a few...

Byron Bay's main beach:

View south of Australia's eastern most point (at Byron Bay):

Surfer's Paradise:

Do I need to make a caption for this:

Kirra Beach looking back towards Surfer's Paradise:

Back in Hamil-tron

I have made it back safely to Hamilton. At points I didn't think I would make it, but in the end I am fine.

So, I didn't realize that I would need my ticket that says I am leaving NZ in order to re-enter. That is crap, but I made it. I had to get a copy of my cancelled itinerary from Qantas in Brisbane and rip off the part that said it was cancelled. It fooled everybody.

My last day on the Gold Coast was cool... I hung out on the beach all morning and did a little shopping then caught a bus to Nerang Station, then a train from there to the Brisbane airport. Photos are coming shortly... Just downloading them now.

Friday, January 07, 2005

Back to NZ today

Well, Australia has been cool, but I think I really enjoy NZ way better. Everybody is just about partying here. There is not nearly as much nature to check out. It really reminds me of California. Commericialized, but some places trying to be really hippie (Byron Bay). Overall, it is fun and a cool place to visit and party, but I am ready to get the hell back to New Zealand.

Today I am going to head into the Surfer's Paradise CBD and get some breakfast, do some shopping (I want some shirts), hang out on the beach a bit, then I have to catch the bus at 1:10 to the train station, then catch the train to the airport. Hamish is picking me up when I get back to Hamilton. He's such a good dude.

Pictures coming soon! I think if I am not too tired tonight I will head into work and upload pictures. Get ready, there are a lot...

I love the Gold Coast

Just got back from Kirra Beach... surfed for the day. Yeah! Caught quite a fair few waves. Well, time to go sit in the spa for a while.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Sleeping Inn Surfers

Well, I got to finally get out on a surfboard yesterday. The waves were small, but that was alright... I still got tossed around a bit. I caught a few. Much easier on a longboard.

Last night I just hung out around the hostel. It was so bloody hot in our room. I dealt with it though.

Today I think I am going to go down to Kirra Beach a bit south down the coast. There are buses that head down that way every 10 minutes or so, but first I need to organize my rides to the airport in Brisbane tomorrow. There is an "airtrain" for $20 that I think I will take. It goes right to the airport.

Surfer's Paradise is a lot different than Byron Bay. There isn't the whole hippie thing going on and it is really commericialized. Good shopping though. I wandered around the malls and stuff yesterday as well. I need to take some Surfer's Paradise pictures today because it is not as overcast as yesterday.

Sounds like I have plenty to do... Outta here!

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

It rains in Surfer's Paradise?

Last night was cool. After having dinner and watching Simpson's at the hostel I played some pool and then headed out to Cheeky Monkey's for some dancing. I am not much of a dancer, but this club was just so cheesy and they played such fun music, I had to get down and boogie with the hot girls.

For the past two nights I stayed at the coolest backpackers (except for Paradiso in Nelson, NZ). It was called Aquarius. When I checked in there they told me that dinner would be served at 6:30 and Simpson's was on at 6 so be there. I stayed for dinner and Simpson's and then Simpson's was on again at 7! Then at 7:30 they play Killer Pool (cool new game I learned). Such a great place right in the middle of town and only a 2 minute walk from the beach. Byron Bay really is a great place!

This morning I took off on the early morning bus to Surfer's Paradise. This place is really built up and the weather is crappy today. It was just raining a few minutes ago. I want to get out on the beach and do some surfing! Maybe it will clear up. I think I am going to take a walk down by the beach and check out the waves. I have to check into my hostel at noon, then after that I think I will find a board to hire.

Still no USB ports... I guess I will probably be waiting to download any pictures until I get back to NZ. Only a few days away and I still have plenty of space on my memory card since I was able to download pictures to my Neuros when I was in Cairns.

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Kinda boring

I kept hearing how great Byron Bay is... how it is laid back and fun. Well, I am not seeing that so much. All people do here is drink and party. There is nothing else. Really that is most of what I have seen in Australia. I am not overly impressed.

I guess the waves are crap again today. I hope the sets are better tomorrow in Kirra Beach. I am heading up there in the morning...

Stupid sun burn... Yesterday I got my second sunburn ever. I am not liking it. It is not too bad and I have been putting on heaps of aloe vera gel. Today I am going to wear a shirt all day so that it can heal up... Hopefully it better by tomorrow so I don't have to wear a shirt surfing.

Off to the beach for the day (after applying sunscreen).

Byron Bay

I have made it to Byron Bay. This place is busy. I got here this morning and didn't have a booking for a place to stay. All the people at the info centre were trying to call places and having a hard time. I rang two places and the second one I got a place. They said they just had a cancellation and I was lucky.

After getting in to the hostel I went up to the beach and walked around. So many topless girls... loving that... Cool beach, but the sea is really choppy so I didn't get out for a surf. I will go early tomorrow morning I guess. I am staying here tomorrow night as well, then heading up to the Gold Coast and checking out Kirra Beach, then on to Surfer's Paradise.

I met a really cool girl on the beach from Melbourne. Of course I slacked and didn't get her name or number or anything. Talked for a short time then we both left. She is leaving for Surfer's Paradise tomorrow... I'll have to try to find her tonight. Yeah right... there are so many people in this town. It is nuts here.

Unfortunately, this computer has no USB port, but as soon as I find one I will post some pictures.

Sunday, January 02, 2005

Smelliest guy in Brisbane

Ok, I am sitting in an internet cafe in Bris-Vegas and the smelliest guy in the whole city just plopped himself down next to me. I think this will be a short post so I can get the hell out of here.

Last night I went out with a few guys in Cairns then went back to the hostel and crashed out early. Got up at 4am to catch a bus to the airport and now I am in Brisbane. Wandering around, doing some shopping. I think I am going to head down to the Lagoon and sit in the sun for the afternoon.

The hostel I am staying at takes people up Mt. Koo-Tha (or however it is spelled) on Tuesday nights so I am going to go up there I think. I have a bus ticket to Byron Bay tomorrow morning. I will head down there for a day or two then go to the Gold Coast and check out Kirra Beach, Surfer's Paradise, and whatever else I can find there then head back to Brisbane on Saturday afternoon to catch my evening flight back to Hamil-tron in the NZ.

Well, off to go get some more Aussie sun.

Atherton Tablelands

I went up to the Atherton Tablelands today outside of Cairns. I went to Millaa Millaa Falls. There was a famous commercial from the 80's with a woman washing her hair in the falls. We swam in there. Went to some other falls too. I am in a hurry now to meet some guys at the pub. Heading to Brisbane tomorrow. Just found out that Amanda can't meet me there. Oh well... looks like I will be surfing the Gold Coast alone...

Here is a shot of Millaa Millaa Falls that I took today: