061220 – Wednesday – Moving day

A gray and overcast day in Christchurch, New Zealand but it isn’t dampening my spirits at all. Today is shaping up to be an interesting and fun day.

Moving day

Today is moving day for me. If you’ve been following along, you’ll know that when my wife, Sharon, and I came here back in August, we bought an apartment in Christchurch. Well, today is the day that the deal is completed. In the US, we’d say “Closing is today.” Here in New Zealand, they say, “Today is Settlement Day.” Either way, the papers we signed back in August come to fruition today and, hopefully by noon, money and papers will have changed hands between the bank and the solicitors (that’s what Lawyers are called here in NZ) and it will all be a done deal and I will be handed the keys.

I’ve been leasing an apartment on the ground floor of the same building where the unit we’ve bought is. Our new unit is on the 6th level. In the US, we’d call it the sixth floor because we number floors so the ground floor is one. But here in New Zealand, they seem to prefer to call the ground floor zero. So in NZ terms, our apartment number is B5-2 for Building B, Floor 5, Apartment 2. It has a slightly different floor plan and I will be taking some photos once I get up there and post them here. Here’s one of the building, itself.

Our building from across the street in Hagley Park

Moving should be easy. I’ve got the things I carried here and suitcases and a few additional things I’ve bought since arriving a month ago. I’ve gotten a desk, an office chair and a printer, for example. I think I’m going to become good friends with the building’s elevator, today. Both the apartment I was leasing and the one we’ve purchased came fully furnished.

Technical Fun

Back on December 2nd, I installed new Stats software here on this Blog. Stats are how you can follow how many people are reading your blog, where they are coming from and when they’ve visited. You can even see which pages they’ve been looking at and for how long. The software I’m using is called BBClone and it is from Germany. Many thanks to Kevin at cryptogon for helping get it installed.

It’s interesting and a bit of an ego addiction to look and see how many people have been reading along and where they are.

This morning, for example, I noted there was a burst of 18 readers in a single hour. I went and looked in the detailed stats and I could see that someone in Estonia on an XBox had apparently ‘discovered’ the site and passed it on to a number of other readers – at least, I think that’s what happened.

If you are curious what my stats look like, you can see them here: Note, they are divided into Global, Detailed and Time categories.

There is another way to see traffic on this web site and that is via a piece of software called ClusterMaps. With this product, you can see a map of the world and it will show you where the readers are coming from and in approximately what volumes. You can see this here: Once you have the world map on your screen, you can click on any continent to see it expanded for more detail. Note also, that you can request that the cluster sizes be made smaller for better detail/resolution.

Both of these facilities are also available for you to look at along the right margin of this web site towards the bottom. Look for ‘Stats’ and the world map image.

More Technical Fun

Yesterday, I had several windows open on my screen here. In one window was a real-time web cam image of the room at home (near Seattle, Washington in the USA) where our computers are. In another window was an exact image of what was on my wife’s computer’s screen at that moment in that room at home.

I watched my wife walk into the room, spend a moment petting Kali, our cat, and then she sat down at her computer and opened an E-mail I’d written to her a few minutes earlier. After she read it, she replied to it.

As she wrote her reply, I watched her typing at her computer via the web cam as Kali walked back and forth over the keyboard ‘helping her’ and I could see an exact copy of her screen her as well and I saw the words there as she typed them.

As this was going on, I had an image in another window here of the screen of my computer at home, which was just across the room from her, where I was doing some accounting work. And,I was listening to music via the Internet on KUOW FM which is a radio station in Seattle and I was also pinging half a dozen server systems here and there to make sure they were all up and running and available to me if I needed their services.

I’ve been working with computers continuously since 1977 and I am still amazed year after year at what they can do. If my wife has a problem on her computer at home, I simply link to her screen from here in New Zealand, and as I fix the problem, she can see me zooming the mouse cursor around on her screen and typing – just as if I was sitting there with her.

If I forgot some files at home, I simply attach to my system there and transfer them here.

When I want to do accounting for our business there, Sharon just scans the documents I need into her computer and they are then available to me here to read on the screen or print so I have hardcopies.

Currently, we have the web cam setup in the hallway. Here a shot from just a few minutes ago of two of our cats just hanging out:

Cats in the hall on Dec 19th at home

I am careful with my bandwidth usage. The Internet is not an infinite resource. When I listen to music via the Internet, I always choose low bandwidth feeds. When I’ve got a web cam running, I only update the image at intervals rather than continuously. And, the software that lets you see and control other computer screens remotely (radmin) is quite gentle on bandwidth. So, don’t be thinking that all this hi-tech fun is wasting huge bandwidth. It ain’t so.

One Response to “061220 – Wednesday – Moving day”

  1. Michele says:

    Loved the picture of your cats in the hallway – it’s amazing what computers allow us to do – I’m still exploring 🙂

    Thanks for sharing