Saturday, December 28, 2019
There have been some calls for new year's eve fireworks to be cancelled in Australia, due to bush-fires. Perhaps they could be replaced, at least in part, by spectators' smart phones. The idea would be to have each person hold up their phone, which would display part of a coordinated pattern. This would be similar top the effect where those in a stadium hold up colored cards on cue, but could form a much faster changing, more vibrant pattern. This could supplement laser light shows and displays projected on buildings. This would also turn people from spectators, into active participants in the show, as well as avoiding setting off pyrotechnics during a total fire ban.
Friday, December 27, 2019
Carry On Bag
There is a bewildering rage of carry-on bags. I wanted one which did not have wheels, or a frame, to save weight, and looked more like a bag, than a backpack. Also I wanted one which opened up flat, and ideally, had compartments. With many backpacks you have to stuff clothes in through a narrow opening in the top.
First I purchased a Cotton On Foldable Cabin Bag. This zipps down the middle and opes to reveal two zipped mesh compartments, making it easy to pack. It weighs very little, however it had no backpack straps (just a shoulder strap). Also it is made entirely of fabric, so does not retain its shape, making it more difficult to carry.
Shorty before my trip I purchased the Caribee Sky-Master. Like the Cotton On bag, this zips open and has two mesh covered compartments. One compartment is slightly larger and has compression straps. It also has backpack straps, and a foam plastic back-plate which keeps it in shape. The backpack straps can be concealed in a zippered compartment, and are very comfortable in use. There is a carry handle on one end and on the side, allowing it to be carried as a small suitcase. There is an outer zippered compartment for small items, but I found that I tended to open it too far and they fell out.
While luggage sellers make much of conforming to airline carry-on bag restrictions, when I cam to pack my bag I found that weight, was the limiting factor. My first flight, from Sydney to Singapore, had a limit of 10 kg, which I was able to meet, but the second flight, to Yogyakarta, was limited to 7kg. If you fill a carry-on size bag it is very difficult to get it under 7 kg. At this stage of my travel, my bag had increased to 12 kg, so I purchased extra checked luggage allowance. By the time of my third flight, the bag had got to 20 kg (with all the shopping, and fortunately I had checked baggage with the last ticket.
ps: Caribee might consider making this bag simpler and lighter. The backpack straps could be made removable (as the shoulder strap is). There would then be no need for a zipped compartment on the back to hold the straps. The smaller compartment on the front could be given a lip, so items don't fall out when it is opened, or this could be omitted (this would make security much easier, as the bag with then have just one zip).
Thursday, December 26, 2019
This is my first pair of cordless headphones and I found it a relief not to wake up on an aircraft entangled in wires. The batteries last long enough for the flight from Sydney to Singapore. The controls are simple: one switch turns on both Bluetooth and the noise reduction function (you don't have a choice of one or the other). There are volume up, down and pause buttons.
|On the Yogyakarta
to Jakarta Train
I did wish the headphones were a little more compact. The ear-cups rotate so they can be laid flat, but they do not hinge in, so are still quite large. I bought the blue, rather than black model, so they would be easier to see in a dark aircraft, but they could do with some bright highlights as they are still hard to see (but does makes them unobtrusive). That said, I have no regrets with this purchase.
Friday, December 20, 2019
Mount Merapi is an active volcano near the Indonesian city of Yogyakarta. This photo was taken from the balcony of a hotel downtown, during the TALE 2019 conference. In 2006 I arranged for the Australian Computer Society to fund Indonesia students to work on adapting the Sahana open source disaster management software if needed for an expected eruption of Merapi. Fortunately this did not happen.
Monday, December 16, 2019
Sunday, December 15, 2019
|Skytrain (from Wikipedia)
Terminal 3 is very new and very large: the shuttle stopped in front of what I thought was the front of the building, but when I looked up there was a roof high above us. Facilities are still be installed: the "street food" so far consists of burgers and pizza. There are free showers, but I was not offered a towel, or soap.
Saturday, December 14, 2019
Railink") to Soekarno–Hatta International Airport. I took the train from Yogyakarta after the IEEE TALE 2019 engineering education conference, then one stop on a crowded commuter train to transfer to the airport express at Manggarai. The only difficulty was that the station is being rebuilt, so to get from the old commuter platform to the shiny new airport one, I had to balance along the edge of the platform, with busy commuters coming the other way, then walk cross the tracks. I then went up an escalator into a different world of space, and helpful staff. The train appears to have more staff than passengers, the conductor explaining Friday is the peak time. Also the warned me that at Duri the train changes direction. One improvement would be to have the train display the next destination: currently the display tells you the temperature and the speed of the train, which are not as important as where to get off.
|In the dining car
|Small Hut Over Water on the Jararta Line
Monday, December 09, 2019
|Bright lights of Yogyakarta
|On the bus from Yogyakarta Airport