Magento Australia Post shipping module

I have completed the first part of a new module for the open source ecommerce software Magento which aims to add in a bunch of additional functionality specific for Australia. You can find the module, along with installation instructions at [the Fontis Magento project page][1]. It actually took quite a while to create this, rather simple, first part of the module. This was mostly due to my lack of understanding of the way Magento modules work as well as the Zend Framework upon which Magento is built. Read On →

Vale Gary Gygax

Gary Gygax, creator of the Dungeons & Dragons role-playing game, has passed away at the age of 69. I shall have to pull out some of my books tonight for a read in his honour. Update: I don't think I could possibly have put it better than [how the guys at Penny Arcade have paid tribute][1]. Update 2: There's a great obituary for Gygax over at Ars Technica. It's amazing to think of the impact this man's work has made on so many people in the world! Read On →

Speed Is Relative

You wanna know how to tell if you're downloading a slow torrent? I now get excited when it tops 1.0 kbps. There's only about 5MB left but I'm starting to think it would be quicker to swim to the single person seeding and ask them to just copy the file onto a disk for me. That or wait for continental drift to create Neo-pangaea so I can just walk.

2008 440 Teams Announced

As a few students have already noticed, the official team listings for 433-440 Advanced Software Engineering Project have been placed on the subject web site. I hope to have a great year with everyone involved! I'll now have to start setting aside a beer budget for team A…

The Government Fails Again

Is it just me or does the Australian Government fundamentally have something against its citizens using the Internet? The latest is a proposal to require ISPs to ban users who are caught pirating copyrighted material. I thought punishing criminals was the job of the police? However, I have worked out what the reason is behind all these attempts to destroy Australia's internet access: the Government is attempting to dissuade or prevent people from using the Internet so that our crappy networks will be able to handle the increasing bandwidth needed for multimedia transfers (think YouTube, IPTV, Skype, etc). Read On →

The Station Formerly Known As

I quite like the new styling of Spencer Street Station, I think the renovations were long overdue and the whole station is much easier to navigate. What baffles me is the name change. "Southern Cross Station"? I'm pretty sure having the street name is far less confusing for everyone and allows us all a little more alliteration in our lives. Still, what's more puzzling that original change is the fact that they can't seem to ditch the original name! Read On →


I just bought a new keyboard/mouse combo today to act as inputs for my laptop when I'm at work. I went with the Microsoft Wired Desktop 500 set and it's pretty nice. There is one, glaring, problem though: the keyboard has a PS/2 connector. Pretty useless on a laptop that doesn't have a PS/2 port! Why Microsoft would even make non-USB keyboards anymore? I guess I should have gone for the more expensive wireless set. Read On →

Adventures with ExtJS and jQuery

I have recently been doing quite a bit of development with both ExtJS and jQuery and I thought I would share my experiences with both of them. One thing to keep in mind is that I'm not going to say whether one is really good or bad – they're both excellent libraries and your choice for any given project might simply come down to personal preference. That said, the rest of this will be my opinion on the two. Read On →

Subversion Fun

In my new position at Fontis, I have been tasked with continuing development on a somewhat larger project for an external client. It doesn't sound like anything too dramatic – web site written in PHP, using the CakePHP framework, and driven by a database. I just didn't factor in Murphy's Law. The first order of business has been to upgrade the version of Cake that's currently being used, 1.2 alpha, to the new 1.2 beta version. Read On →

I’m Not Dead Yet!

There has been a disturbing lack of activity on this blog over the last month but, rest assured, I am still alive and well. I've been taking a holiday of sorts from blogging but now I plan on getting back to business. The new year has brought a change for me – I am now working at [Fontis IT][1] alongside two of my friends from my days at uni (when I was still a student that is); it's nice knowing other people at work right off the bat. Read On →